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Old 02-23-2020, 01:34 PM   #21
Michael Cule
 
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

Realistically, 'Professional Adventurers' should get some training somewhere, then fall on hard times.

They should go out doing the professional adventurers gigs they can find.

And then die when they push their luck too far.
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:48 PM   #22
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

I had brought this point up, numerous times, in relation to BattleTech mercenaries: Though they may claim to be in it for the money, they're not. Each one of their 'Mechs could be sold for a king's ransom and they could retire, comfortably, on the capital world of their choice. (And, for those who don't know, there is always someone willing to play top c-bill for a 'Mech.)

They're in it because they enjoy the lifestyle. And, apparently, they enjoy complaining about not having enough money.

(XO: "We're really low on funds, I don't think we'll have enough to cover our bills."
Me: "Let's sell two of those Phoenix Hawks we're not using and haven't finished refurbishing. That'll give us about three to six million and we should be fine while we line up the next contract. I'd say we could sell the Catapult since they don't make those anymore, but it's too useful.")

A professional adventurer should make enough to continue doing what they're doing. Depending on the story you're telling, maybe a little more, or a little less.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:45 PM   #23
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

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Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
I had brought this point up, numerous times, in relation to BattleTech mercenaries: Though they may claim to be in it for the money, they're not. Each one of their 'Mechs could be sold for a king's ransom and they could retire, comfortably, on the capital world of their choice. (And, for those who don't know, there is always someone willing to play top c-bill for a 'Mech.)

They're in it because they enjoy the lifestyle. And, apparently, they enjoy complaining about not having enough money.
Eh, depending on their mentality and spending habits, they could very well be in it for the money. Some people aren't content with enough money to comfortably retire anywhere they want (reference, America's "1%"), and if continuing to be a mech-pilot merc is the best way they know to make money, they're going to continue being a mech-pilot merc. Also, someone who regularly blows through their paycheck rapidly is probably going to realize that "enough to retire" is probably going to last them about 3 months of partying with their friends, so they'd rather retain their means of making money so they can party once a paycheck rather than cash in said means, throw the Ultimate Party, and then be dead broke.

That said, yeah, most adventurers are going to be in it for reasons other than money - or at least other than money for themselves (in the webcomic Marblegate, the main character has opted to delve the titular dungeon in order to get money to send back to her home village, allowing them to pay the ridiculously-high taxes their moustache-twirling lord has imposed). They may enjoy the life, want to be a Big Damn Hero, want to wipe out monsters for revenge, want to gain status and power, etc, or even just want to support their friend(s) with such goals in mind.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:45 PM   #24
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

I think its really about TL and how adventure-centric is the world.

Since my days of D&D 2ed fell behind me, I think I have moved consistently away from creating/playing worlds that center around Dungeoning as a Profession and more towards dungeons are what sometimes happens as we go about our various life goals.


The question also depends a lot on what in these dungeons that people want.

The higher the TL or the more lucrative the loot, the more likely organized syndicates or corporations would mount a massive effort to tear it open and gut it from top to bottom. Why 3-5 people maybe make it maybe not... line up 40 basic "delvers" with 10 "Pros" a little heavy equipment and slowly and methodically dismantle it. Add another 30-50 people for magical/medical/food/repair support. Take a week or two to take it apart, clean it out, harvest the creatures/parts, strip all the usable stone and metal, take a week off and move to the next dungeon. 40% of the haul is the employee bonus, 20% is repairs and logistics, 40% is for the owners and of course there's the items.

You'll run out of reasons for dungeons to exist real fast.


Conversely the lower the TL the more likely that people will see adventure as a path to greatness, glory, wealth or status because its just not available the vast majority of non special people. Kudos to Chaotic Pioneering diary for actually demonstrating an organization that was controlling the dungeon complex and organizing the delving of said complex, and the local govt was taxing the loot. Brilliant.

If the TL is low enough to support the risk of being a professional adventurer then sure, you will have people that do it for money. But I think for the most part Adventuring is something that happens to people as they do other things. People that keep doing it, to the level of making it a profession are probably just people that have no other way to connect to society but dont want to be alone.

That was always my problem with that other game, once you advanced a char to 18+ you're just looking for ways to make retirement more interesting.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:38 AM   #25
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

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Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
I had brought this point up, numerous times, in relation to BattleTech mercenaries: Though they may claim to be in it for the money, they're not. Each one of their 'Mechs could be sold for a king's ransom and they could retire, comfortably, on the capital world of their choice. (And, for those who don't know, there is always someone willing to play top c-bill for a 'Mech.)
Culturally, that would be odd, because a 'Mech that you own, especially one that you inherited, is a symbol of nobility in that setting. Being DisPossessed (losing or selling the last or only BattleMech that you own) is a great shame - and something greatly feared - that I'm not sure has an equivalent in modern Western culture. Saying 'it would be like selling one of your children' doesn't work, it's a very different thing, but it come close in the expected intensity of emotion, even if the specific emotions involved are different. For a MechWarrior, losing your 'Mech means that your life is basically over; you're not a noble anymore, you're practically a peasant, one of the people that you used to step on without care (or that you protected from being stepped on, depending on the sort of MechWarrior you were).

That's a factor in why they're so expensive, too.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:17 PM   #26
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

In real life, I suspect most people who go on "adventures" are either financed by someone with money (i.e. Christopher Columbus, the Crusaders), are just exploring out of curiosity (i.e. "Mad" Mike Hughes), or are doing it as part of their regular job (i.e. military, firefighters, journalists).

I would suspect that people who set out on grand adventures and makes lots of money are extremely rare.
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:55 AM   #27
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

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I would suspect that people who set out on grand adventures and makes lots of money are extremely rare.
Probably, but there are people who will set out on [a] grand adventure in hopes of making lots of money. The problem with that for an RPG is they don't do it over and over again, and the protagonists of a game longer than a one shot really need to.

MMO designers usually fix the problem of nobody going on adventures by making finishing quests or killing monsters the only, or at least the best, source of some desired currency (levels usually, but sometimes money).
That doesn't hold up if you are thinking of your game in terms of a "realistic" simulation of an economy, and even then they are aided by the fact most of the people playing the game are there specifically to have adventures and there will *still* be players who find something else to do if you allow any other source of resources, including trading stuff.

There's a reason reality provides few examples of professional adventurers. I suspect the harder you work to make the compensation for adventures make economic sense, the more likely you are to discover why that is, which kills your game if the PCs were in it for the money in the first place.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:24 AM   #28
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

I get the impression from reading that most famous adventurers were gentlefolk or well endowed burgherfolk and had Independent Income. It was the sort of thing people did for a thrill.

A "professional" adventurer would be someone like a Sherpa, and they would get the pay appropriate to the going rate of their job in their area (Human Pack Mules can get pretty low, guides and armed escorts are higher).
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:06 PM   #29
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
There's a reason reality provides few examples of professional adventurers. I suspect the harder you work to make the compensation for adventures make economic sense, the more likely you are to discover why that is, which kills your game if the PCs were in it for the money in the first place.
History is full of professional adventurers who engage in serial hairbrained schemes such as Colonel Thomas Blood and Lola Montez, but they usually spend most of their lives making a living from a trade: sailors, printers, soldiers, surveyors, founders of cults and secret societies, dancers, actors ... a few are independently wealthy. People like the American mountain men, Uzbek slave-traders, and Caribbean pirates are probably closest to the D&D sense of people who earn their living from the killing, but even the old buccaneers were mostly hunters, rum-traders, and slave-drivers who went on the account every few months or every few years.

They are professionals like a professional criminal (who builds houses or runs a slot machine store by day and breaks houses or legs by night) not professionals like a professional soldier.

Novels by L. Sprague de Camp and George Macdonald Frazer give names to look up.
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:59 PM   #30
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Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Culturally, that would be odd, because a 'Mech that you own, especially one that you inherited, is a symbol of nobility in that setting. Being DisPossessed (losing or selling the last or only BattleMech that you own) is a great shame - and something greatly feared - that I'm not sure has an equivalent in modern Western culture. Saying 'it would be like selling one of your children' doesn't work, it's a very different thing, but it come close in the expected intensity of emotion, even if the specific emotions involved are different. For a MechWarrior, losing your 'Mech means that your life is basically over; you're not a noble anymore, you're practically a peasant, one of the people that you used to step on without care (or that you protected from being stepped on, depending on the sort of MechWarrior you were).
That, literally, only applies to a very short window, right around 3025. It's talked up a lot, but not seen in world. Being stupid rich is another way to become a noble. And the nobility thing doesn't apply to mercs. Mercs tend to wind up with a large stable of 'Mechs they've salvaged from the battlefield. Any reasonably skilled mercenary team will wind up with more 'Mechs than they have qualified pilots for. Sure, many will wind up trading them away, to their employers for a fraction of their actual value, but the largest merc companies keep them to sell on the open market, or to other merc companies.

Many dispossessed will join merc companies to try to get themselves a 'Mech again. But, that's the culture of needing a 'Mech to be important, which, as I said before, is the issue. They're not in it for the money, they're in it for the life-style.

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That's a factor in why they're so expensive, too.
That is not factored into the value of a 'Mech. It's just the c-bills it takes to make one.
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