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Old 12-11-2012, 11:04 AM   #41
Sir Tifyable
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sheffield, England
Default Re: Gear rich, money poor

Whatís wrong with Unusual Background, which is priced by GM fiat?

Han Ė you have a small starship. Itís fast, but an old and battered thing you won in a card game. You can evade customs patrols and get perishables to distant markets quickly, but most of your earnings will be taken up in spare parts and dockyard fees for the maintenance you canít do yourself. That makes it revenue-neutral, so itís not Wealth. Because it comes in handy sometimes for adventures, Iíll call that a 10-point UB (once won a starship in a card game).

Engor the Vicious: you have your ancestral +5 Flaming Sword. Bit flashy that, and lots of people know about it. The advantage it gives you in combat is going to be counterbalanced by the annoyance of staying alert for people trying to take it from you Ė by theft, or by killing you for it. Without a personal bodyguard of soldiers to do the watching for you, you will need to stay constantly alert for attacks. Your ancestors wonít be happy if you donít buy Signature Gear for it and lose it in the first scenario, so weíll include Sig Gear in the UB cost. That makes it a 20-point advantage: UB (inherited a Magic Sword).

So a starship costing millions is worth fewer cps than a sword costing tens of thousands. Itís up to you as GM to price the UB on how useful they will be in the campaign.

The Falcon is basically a bus to take them to the scenario and a getaway car in the event it goes badly, so not that significant. Also, itís a tool for you as GM to get the party into the next scenario, so you want him to have it, and itís a resource for the whole party so why should the captain pay the whole cost? For all these reasons, Iíd say that the starship should be pretty cheap. Because you are using Unusual Background the cp cost does not need to relate to the sticker price. If the starship is in better condition and will enable the owner to make a steady profit, add the equivalent Independent Income to the UB cost based on its in-game utility, or if you want the extra book-keeping make it the captainís job so that income is based on his Job Roll, which will be related to the Wealth level he buys normally.

The sword will make a huge difference to his survival chances every time Engor gets into a lethal fight, so despite its lower ticket price, it is still going to cost him a huge chunk of cps. About as much as +5 to his Sword skill, in fact! You can arbitrarily say that the complications of people wanting to steal it will be counterbalanced cost-wise by Sig Gear and its other attributes Ė the times when a magic blade or one thatís doing fire damage in addition is worth more than just being better at hitting. Then hand-wave away the facts that for +5 to Sword skill heíd have better defaults with other weapons Ė heís not likely to use them. Or you can charge him for some of those factors, so that the cp cost reflects how much impact you think it will have on the campaign in Engorís favour.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:58 AM   #42
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Gear rich, money poor

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Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker View Post
Effective Status gives you the size of your base or ship.
What's "Effective Status" in this context? Han doesn't have much Status; Malcolm Reynolds even less.

I admit that I find the original Supers a little confusing, as it seems to confuse Status and Wealth. The given examples are a middle-class hero (Status 1) having a spare room, and a Status 8 individual a spare mansion. But these seem like examples of Wealth levels instead of Status. The two correlate in real life, but they're not identical.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:32 PM   #43
Ulzgoroth
 
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What's "Effective Status" in this context? Han doesn't have much Status; Malcolm Reynolds even less.

I admit that I find the original Supers a little confusing, as it seems to confuse Status and Wealth. The given examples are a middle-class hero (Status 1) having a spare room, and a Status 8 individual a spare mansion. But these seem like examples of Wealth levels instead of Status. The two correlate in real life, but they're not identical.
Expected standards of living are tied in to Status, not Wealth. Of course, if you've got Status 8 without some means of supporting the cost of living that goes with that, you're not going to be able to keep that spare mansion.

In modern societies it's typically very hard to disentangle the two.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #44
the_matrix_walker
 
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Default Re: Gear rich, money poor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
What's "Effective Status" in this context? Han doesn't have much Status; Malcolm Reynolds even less.

I admit that I find the original Supers a little confusing, as it seems to confuse Status and Wealth. The given examples are a middle-class hero (Status 1) having a spare room, and a Status 8 individual a spare mansion. But these seem like examples of Wealth levels instead of Status. The two correlate in real life, but they're not identical.
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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Expected standards of living are tied in to Status, not Wealth. Of course, if you've got Status 8 without some means of supporting the cost of living that goes with that, you're not going to be able to keep that spare mansion.

In modern societies it's typically very hard to disentangle the two.
The effective status for a headquarters is in no way connected to your actual wealth or social Status. It is only used to determine the size of headquarters, based on the table (on page B266). You do not have to pay the cost of living to maintain the status of your Headquarters (Supers p.85)
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:08 PM   #45
cosmicfish
 
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Originally Posted by Sir Tifyable View Post
Whatís wrong with Unusual Background, which is priced by GM fiat?
To me, everything. As a player I hate GM fiat, and as a GM I am not fond of it for character design. While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced that what I am likely to create by GM fiat. Especially when it could be used on multiple players in one setting - perhaps the warrior wants a magic sword and wizard wants a powerstone and a magic staff, and pricing them both by fiat can get dodgy and create strife in the group. That is why I am coming the forum, to get something a little more structured and reasonable-ish than hand-waving a cost.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:35 PM   #46
Dinadon
 
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This is indeed the issue - Wealth assumes a certain bracket of income. If you have Filthy Rich Wealth, you get Filthy Rich starting assets and Filthy Rich income potential. Perhaps I want Filthy Rich starting assets and Struggling income potential. Severing the two, without adding new story elements is the goal here.
I fairly certain there isn't. Having Wealth does not earn you money. Having a Job earns you money. Yes, Jobs have a wealth level, and in most cases you probably have a Job with the same wealth level as yours. However having a Job doesn't cost points, you have no guarantee of having a Job or for there even being Jobs available. Earning money is what you do in game, not something you have on your character sheet.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:41 PM   #47
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Gear rich, money poor

But having a particular Wealth level entitles you to getting a job at that level if you look hard enough. That's part of what you paid the points for.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:30 PM   #48
Ulzgoroth
 
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I fairly certain there isn't. Having Wealth does not earn you money. Having a Job earns you money. Yes, Jobs have a wealth level, and in most cases you probably have a Job with the same wealth level as yours. However having a Job doesn't cost points, you have no guarantee of having a Job or for there even being Jobs available. Earning money is what you do in game, not something you have on your character sheet.
Basically...not so much. Wealth in particular is largely oriented around supporting characters who have a largely off-screen day job and personal economic foundation.

Within which framework, it works quite well. Your character sinks a bunch of their between-session downtime into keeping their job, and their wealth level is quietly normalized at the level of both their Wealth and their Job when you're not watching. If you want to munchkin your time use sheets by being unemployed, you're going to have to have to explain where you're getting your cost of living from, but otherwise everything's simple.

On the other hand, if on-screen time dominates your character's life (and particularly their personal economics), Wealth doesn't make much sense. The implicit connections and so forth don't have any time to implicitly be maintained and used in. If you're doing a job, you'll be rolling dice for it, not having it stuck in your background story, and Wealth very seldom makes any direct contribution to rolls. It may make more sense to strike Wealth entirely in such games.

Yes, I'm saying that I would not use Wealth in a free trader campaign.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:31 PM   #49
Anaraxes
 
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Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker View Post
The effective status for a headquarters is in no way connected to your actual wealth or social Status.
So you see this as a separate charge, just for the base ("HQ Status"?) And this "status" has none of the benefits of regular Status? Certainly a candidate for renaming.

Quote:
In modern societies it's typically very hard to disentangle the two.
No so hard. Mother Teresa, the Dali Lama. Barack Obama (who is personally wealthy, but nowhere near wealthy enough to maintain the lifestyle or influence of US President, nor did his personal wealth jump from the election). On the flip side, Warren Buffet (who until recently had very little Status, perhaps a Reputation among investors; even now, it might just be positive rep for tax advocates). Some middle class families own vacation homes; others do not, without also differing by a point of Status.

I agree there's correlation, but there's not an absolute match between the lifestyle that you live, your social influence, and your income, compared to say, feudal England. The Windsors are wealthy, yes -- but William the Conqueror owned literally everything in England before he started handing bits out. The Windsors are a long way from that kind of wealth.

If there are two separate Advantages at all, then there has to be some meaning for mismatched values of Status and Wealth, with either higher. Otherwise, it's just one Advantage.

Having extra property for use as a base seems to me more like a function of Wealth to me than Status. Maybe Superhero Status requires having a base. You just don't take that masked vigilante as seriously as the guy that operates out of the Fortress of Solitude or the top floor of the Baxter Building. But is that Status, or just Rep? Then, the Xavier Institute shows Wealth, but not Status -- mutants are disliked in that setting; politicians get elected by promising to crack down on them, not by being one.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #50
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Gear rich, money poor

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No so hard. Mother Teresa, the Dali Lama. Barack Obama (who is personally wealthy, but nowhere near wealthy enough to maintain the lifestyle or influence of US President, nor did his personal wealth jump from the election). On the flip side, Warren Buffet (who until recently had very little Status, perhaps a Reputation among investors; even now, it might just be positive rep for tax advocates). Some middle class families own vacation homes; others do not, without also differing by a point of Status.
Indeed, the one place you can find it easy to separate Wealth and Status today is when Status-granting Rank intervenes.

...Meanwhile I'd love to see your source on Warren Buffet lacking Status. He doesn't have Rank, but I really doubt he's not getting imputed Status from his very substantial Wealth.
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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I agree there's correlation, but there's not an absolute match between the lifestyle that you live, your social influence, and your income, compared to say, feudal England. The Windsors are wealthy, yes -- but William the Conqueror owned literally everything in England before he started handing bits out. The Windsors are a long way from that kind of wealth.
This has what to do with modern society? (Also, I'd dispute the Wealth value of 'owning' 11th century England.)
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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
If there are two separate Advantages at all, then there has to be some meaning for mismatched values of Status and Wealth, with either higher. Otherwise, it's just one Advantage.
Of course there are two separate advantages. I said difficult to disentangle in modern societies, not indistinguishable.
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