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Old 07-18-2019, 02:50 PM   #1
phayman53
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

The gear in Low-Tech is very expensive compared to the gear in Basic and I think, for the most part, wealth levels were balanced against the gear costs in Basic. Most RAW templates of "Knights" in GURPS have wealth of "Wealthy", though Fantasy does have "Very Wealthy" or "Wealthy" plus 10 points in Signature Gear (for a warhorse I believe). This indicates that the assumption is that a knight should be able to equip himself on $5000 (GURPS $s). This is virtually impossible for any of the "Status 2" loadouts in Loadouts: Low-Tech unless you buy an extra level of wealth. However, if you are using the "realistic" optional rule that limits you to 20% of your total wealth for adventuring gear, you need to buy even higher levels of wealth. So your Status 2 Knight needs Wealth (Filthy Rich) for 50 points to be living a settled existence (which is supposed to be the default) and be able to pay for $5-$8k in armor. The problem is the same for lower status loadouts in Loadouts: Low-Tech as well. The standard wealth levels for those status levels do not come anywhere close to paying for their gear.

My optional for using the more realistic prices in Low-Tech is to say that the Wealth given by RAW wealth levels is 20% of your total wealth that all can be used on adventuring gear. You are assumed to have other equipment as is exemplified by "What Cost of Living Gets You" type tables (such as the one on Banestorm pg. 187.

If you are truly without a home, that means you have 5x your wealth level, but you must purchase EVERYTHING you own. All clothing, mounts, food, any gear you provide for servants, etc. You also must pay 2x the standard cost of living for your status every month or suffer reaction penalties and deterioration of gear for living at a lower status. This can be mitigated with appropriate skill rolls (such as survival if you are living off the land), but you also have to roll for or pay for maintenance of your equipment, clothing, and animals. Paying your normal cost of living price for your status will keep your equipment, animals, and clothing functional, but it will look worn and cause the reaction penalty.

In all cases, if you want to purchase more equipment available for adventuring, every 1 point spent will get you an additional 20% of your wealth level's available wealth. If you are itinerant, this still is based off of the settled wealth level. You do not get more money for extra gear purchased in this way just because you are itinerant.

Example:
A TL3 Status 2 Knight is Wealthy. This means he has $5000 to spend on adventuring gear. He has a house or room in a greater house, but not a true knightly manor. He has a wardrobe and servants, as well as mounts and appropriate gear for them as determined by "What Cost of Living Gets You" tables. If he needs more adventuring type equipment (weapons, armor, camping and exploration equipment, a better horse, a boat, etc.), every 1 point he spends will get him an additional $1000 to spend.

A TL3 Status 2 Knight Errant who is truly without a home has $25000 to spend on all of his gear. He must buy every article of clothing, every mount for himself and his servants, and any gear he is arming his retainers with (though they can have their own gear, but then should probably be bought as allies of appropriate point values). He also must pay 2x the status 2 cost of living or he will suffer -1 reaction penalties from everyone except people who are completely not status conscious. If he needs more gear, every 1 point will still only get him an additional $1000 of gear.

Thoughts? Too generous?

Last edited by phayman53; 07-18-2019 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:24 PM   #2
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

The concept is quite correct IMO (but I wouldn't get too hung up on the realism or utility of the 80/20 split.)
'What Cost of Living Gets You' is entirely in the discretion of the GM to devise for his or her setting. You might need to watch out for issues of inconsistency though, in cases were persons of similar SS have different expected load-outs.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:45 PM   #3
a humble lich
 
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

What your plan basically does is increase everyone's starting wealth by a factor of five; effectively giving everyone Wealthy for free. Which is fine, just think first about what sort of game you want. As mentioned the 80/20 split for starting wealth is a suggestion.

Fundamentally, I think knight characters in a low-tech society ought to have much higher wealth than Wealthy, and most templates don't give such characters nearly enough money. The Knight-Errant template in Banestorm has status 2 and the option of purchasing Comfortable. At Comfortable, the knight starts with $2,000, yet status 2 means he much pay $3,000 a month in rent.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:50 PM   #4
namada
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

The simple method would be to require higher levels of wealth for knights rather than this special case rule. Historically, knights were incredibly wealthy individuals, after all, owning some of the most expensive gear available at the time - just looking at Europe, a typical knight would have a horse (very expensive, tremendously so in the case of the finest warhorses), a battlefield suit of armor, and a ceremonial suit of armor (far more lavish & expensive than the other). That's not even getting into lands, servants, and weapons.

Of course, knights typically also carry a host of Patrons and associated Duties too, so don't forget those. And much of their wealth comes in the form of inherited lands which produce a profit, which might be better represented as Independent Income, rather than raw Wealth levels.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:07 PM   #5
phayman53
 
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

The problem isn't just with knights though, it is with all of the historical loadouts that use the Low-Tech rules. I picked knights because they are the easiest example, but just go through Loadouts: Low-Tech and compare the cost of different kinds of warriors' gear with their status.

For example: the Republican Roman Legions. The Hastati are supposed to be Status -1, the Principes are supposed to be Status 0, and the Triarii Status 1. Yet their gear is much too expensive for those levels of expected wealth for status. Same goes for the Hoplite loadouts and pretty much all the other loadouts that list the warrior's status.

That is why I am looking for a relatively easy way to fix this other than just saying "knights are richer than Wealthy". The problem exists across multiple status levels and historical loadouts across time and cultures.

Last edited by phayman53; 07-18-2019 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:06 PM   #6
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
The gear in Low-Tech is very expensive compared to the gear in Basic and I think, for the most part, wealth levels were balanced against the gear costs in Basic. Most RAW templates of "Knights" in GURPS have wealth of "Wealthy", though Fantasy does have "Very Wealthy" or "Wealthy" plus 10 points in Signature Gear (for a warhorse I believe). This indicates that the assumption is that a knight should be able to equip himself on $5000 (GURPS $s). This is virtually impossible for any of the "Status 2" loadouts in Loadouts: Low-Tech unless you buy an extra level of wealth. However, if you are using the "realistic" optional rule that limits you to 20% of your total wealth for adventuring gear, you need to buy even higher levels of wealth. So your Status 2 Knight needs Wealth (Filthy Rich) for 50 points to be living a settled existence (which is supposed to be the default)
Unless you're a hedge knight (who isn't settled anyway) a knight's standard of living is covered by his overlord or order. They're living in someone else's house. You have to be a landed knight to have lands of your own.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:15 AM   #7
phayman53
 
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Unless you're a hedge knight (who isn't settled anyway) a knight's standard of living is covered by his overlord or order. They're living in someone else's house. You have to be a landed knight to have lands of your own.
Knights still typically owned their own equipment and horses, even if some of it was gifted to them. GURPS counts your own equipment as part of your wealth, it doesn't matter where it came from originally. And even if you devote all of a knights wealth to gear, Wealthy still isn't enough to cover the gear for a status 2 knight (and you can forget about a horse, much less more than one).

That aside, as I said above, the problem isn't that GURPS wealth is too low to cover a knight's equipment, the problem is it seems to not cover any realistic equipment without sinking too-high levels of wealth into a character for their status. Should a Roman Republican Hastati (Status -1) really need "Wealthy" wealth to cover his gear ($2684 for just the armor per Loadouts: Low-Tech, plus $200 for the shield, and more for the weapons)? Likewise, the Hoplite (Status 1 for Early, Status 0 for late) costs FAR too much for their status.

This is also a problem when one looks at equipment that standard High Medieval infantry would use. Manuscript imagery shows the common soldiers with a surprising level of armor that would require them to be wealthy or better to afford even if made with "cheap" quality.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:12 AM   #8
namada
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
...but just go through Loadouts: Low-Tech and compare the cost of different kinds of warriors' gear with their status.
I don't own it, so I'll just have to take your word for it, that it's a consistent problem, or that you perceive it as such.

However, for most examples given, I don't. Between the individual's Wealth, Signature Gear, the 80/20 rule being mere guidance, the fact that most of these warriors wouldn't realistically own their gear (Patron's provide it), and the Trading Points for Cash rule - I still say just adjust the Wealth level of Knights (and add some Independent Income levels in the case of landed knights), as they really seem to be the truly problematic ones here.

Also, I think David's point was that the 80/20 rule shouldn't apply to knights because they're going to be living with their patron & can thus sink all of their starting wealth into gear - maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I read it.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:57 AM   #9
Celjabba
 
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

Often, military gear come, at least partially, 'free', from duty and/or patron.

When gear must be purchased by the fighter, it is fair to include it in the lifestyle 80%, if you use that rule. They are not adventuring gear, they are tools and workclothes for the job.

Then, any 'knight' character are as a rule loaded with as much debt as possible (and often more) and usually some kind of independent income to offset it.

But even with patron, duty, debt and independent income, heavy armored fighter, especially mounted armoured fighter, where for most of history and before industrialisation, at least wealthy, usually more. Much more if noble and/or landed.

Gurps does lack a clean way of stating an individual of moderate lifestyle except for some very expensive peces of gear. Signature gear is a partial solution, a pseudo patron snother.

Dedicated military gear was expensive, a huge burden on both individual and state treasury. So was the training, as it basically mean a young healthy individual was not producing food.

Last edited by Celjabba; 07-19-2019 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:38 AM   #10
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: New House Rule for Wealth directed at Low Tech

Is there any scope for noting that a knight's wargear is not just "adventuring gear" but, essentially, the tools of his trade as much as a blacksmith's forge is?
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