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Old 10-11-2018, 12:16 AM   #71
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
That is also an interpretation which is supported by the mechanics of cost of living.
No it isn't. At TL 3, average wealth/average status has cost of living at 86% of income, which is insane for a single wage earner.

To the degree status-based CoL makes any sense at all, it's about demonstrating that you have the wealth appropriate to your status, plus ordinary patronage and useful employees. All of these things scale strongly on the average income of the society. There is a minimum viable cost that is less variable, but it doesn't really have anything to do with status.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:23 AM   #72
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

But, once again, the typical expenses of an average late TL8 (2018) individual in the USA is not $600 per month. For the majority of the US population (77%) that live in the megalopoli, $1800 per month is more normal for Status 0, with some people paying much more than that. For example, studio apartments in San Francisco average around $2400 per month, and that does not include insurance, laundry, parking, utilities, etc., the inclusion of which would push costs to $3,000 per month easily
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:35 AM   #73
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
But, once again, the typical expenses of an average late TL8 (2018) individual in the USA is not $600 per month. For the majority of the US population (77%) that live in the megalopoli, $1800 per month is more normal for Status 0, with some people paying much more than that. For example, studio apartments in San Francisco average around $2400 per month, and that does not include insurance, laundry, parking, utilities, etc., the inclusion of which would push costs to $3,000 per month easily
There's nothing typical about the expenses in USA. In fact USAian costs of living are very atypical for the TL8 setting humans live in.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:02 AM   #74
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
There's nothing typical about the expenses in USA. In fact USAian costs of living are very atypical for the TL8 setting humans live in.
No one is stopping a GM from adjusting COL and prices for local conditions, but GURPS uses the US $ for a benchmark, so it is valid to translate GURPS $ into 2018 $. In a developing nation though, the money saved in prices are usually made up in the cost of keeping servants to maintain security and the cost of private schools. For example, in India, a Status 0 individual will spend as much as in the USA, but they will have a few servants and will spend a small fortune on private schools.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:12 AM   #75
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
No one is stopping a GM from adjusting COL and prices for local conditions, but GURPS uses the US $ for a benchmark, so it is valid to translate GURPS $ into 2018 $. In a developing nation though, the money saved in prices are usually made up in the cost of keeping servants to maintain security and the cost of private schools. For example, in India, a Status 0 individual will spend as much as in the USA, but they will have a few servants and will spend a small fortune on private schools.
If nobody is stopping the GM from doing that, then of course you can crank up USA's CoL the way e.g. THS:Changing Times does.

I can't comment on India, but where I live, the point about spending a lot on security to maintain Status 0 seems inaccurate. Maybe for Status 3, but not 0 and almost surely not 1. Likewise, private schools are a Status +1 or +2 thing; people living at Status -1 to 0 use state schools instead.

$300-$600 for Status -1 to 0 seems roughly in the right order of magnitude IME, and I suspect so it does in many other places of the world. (Also note that I'm living in the capital city; that suffers from the 'prestigious area' crank-up of many CoL-related costs; a less remarkable city would likely be cheaper.)

Much of the world estimates prices in the USA-$, but that should never be taken to assume that what you can buy for that dollar is the same as in USA; if you travel throughout the world assuming the prices are the same everywhere, you'll be swindled hard.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:40 AM   #76
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

If you insist on treating Status, Wealth, cost of living, and income in GURPS as an economic system, rather than simply a playable framework on which player characters sit, of course you're going to find contradictions. Real economics is far more complicated; no handful of traits and numbers can accurately reflect it.

The point of the system is not to be realistic or to simulate an economy. NPCs do not participate in the system. Nobody works out the cost of living of NPCs they include in an adventure. Nobody bothers to figure out whether Generic Fighter met on an adventure has an Independent Income, or whether it's enough to pay his bills. None of that matters. The system is there just to put player characters into some kind of context in the game setting. It tells players whether their characters can pay their bills this month or if they need more loot from an adventure. It tells players whether their characters happen to own cars or apartments or houses or a wardrobe. It lets some characters start with more money than others. It give the game a veneer of an economy without actually having an economy.

It'll never pass a reality check, because it doesn't reflect reality and isn't supposed to.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:43 AM   #77
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
No one is stopping a GM from adjusting COL and prices for local conditions, but GURPS uses the US $ for a benchmark, so it is valid to translate GURPS $ into 2018 $. In a developing nation though, the money saved in prices are usually made up in the cost of keeping servants to maintain security and the cost of private schools. For example, in India, a Status 0 individual will spend as much as in the USA, but they will have a few servants and will spend a small fortune on private schools.
I am not sure they would be status 0 in that case.

I understand what you mean : if someone spend xxx $ for CoL, he is status X.
It is an interesting approach, I guess it mean that two average status people from different countries will have very different lifestyle, but identical wealth and CoL.

I usually prefer the reverse approach : If an area average CoL is xxx $, then the 0 cost status ("average") is the matching status. Urban USA would likely be a +1 status for example. So the same two average status people would have similar lifestyle, but very different wealth and CoL.

Both approach are likely valid, depending on the game scope.

As for translating GURPS $ into 2018 USD ...

Today, you can have up to a x100 factor between lowest and highest disposable salary depending on the country, for similar jobs.
For 1 bedroom rent in city center, and excluding some outlier city-states like Monaco or Singapore, the ratio is about x20 between lowest and highest average rent.
About the same with Basic necessities (water, food, energy, telecom).

Even high-tech items mass-produced and distributed worldwide from a single factory can have a price fluctuating by a huge factor, depending on local taxes, import fees and the retailer margin.

So I cannot see how you could find a conversion factor that 2 forum people would agree on, unless they happen to live in the same city, if not the same street.

Until and unless someone publish "Gurps Home Economics", a 256 pages hardcover covering realistic wealth and cost of Living computation in our world :)
With various 64 pages companions with statistical data tables and linked excel sheet for specific time and places, such as "Gurps Home Economics - Companion 01 - Montreal 2018"

I would probably buy the book just because, but let us be honest, it would never see the gaming table :)

Last edited by Celjabba; 10-11-2018 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:46 AM   #78
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
But, once again, the typical expenses of an average late TL8 (2018) individual in the USA is not $600 per month. For the majority of the US population (77%) that live in the megalopoli, $1800 per month is more normal for Status 0, with some people paying much more than that. For example, studio apartments in San Francisco average around $2400 per month, and that does not include insurance, laundry, parking, utilities, etc., the inclusion of which would push costs to $3,000 per month easily
I believe that San Francisco is estimated to be about three times the average cost of a US city, second only to New York. So probably not a good example.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:24 AM   #79
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
If you insist on treating Status, Wealth, cost of living, and income in GURPS as an economic system, rather than simply a playable framework on which player characters sit, of course you're going to find contradictions.
The problem is that it isn't even a playable framework. It's actually not that bad at TL 8 (CoL being too low doesn't seriously break a game), but at TL 3 being able to quadruple your disposable income by living at 1 step below your status is a bit ridiculous.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:23 PM   #80
Andreas
 
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Default Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
No it isn't. At TL 3, average wealth/average status has cost of living at 86% of income, which is insane for a single wage earner.

To the degree status-based CoL makes any sense at all, it's about demonstrating that you have the wealth appropriate to your status, plus ordinary patronage and useful employees. All of these things scale strongly on the average income of the society. There is a minimum viable cost that is less variable, but it doesn't really have anything to do with status.
I'm not sure why you bring up the fact that the cost for mantaining Status doesn't change with TL here? That might be a problem, but that does not have much to do with what I claimed (which was that cost of living should represent the minimum needed to mantain status in a certain setting).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
No one is stopping a GM from adjusting COL and prices for local conditions, but GURPS uses the US $ for a benchmark, so it is valid to translate GURPS $ into 2018 $. In a developing nation though, the money saved in prices are usually made up in the cost of keeping servants to maintain security and the cost of private schools. For example, in India, a Status 0 individual will spend as much as in the USA, but they will have a few servants and will spend a small fortune on private schools.
GURPS $ being roughly equal to the value of USD at some time in the past is does not at all mean that cost of living assumes modern USA as the setting. There is a very weak connection between those facts. Especially for a game system which is supposed to be generic.
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