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Old 01-21-2021, 01:34 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

Independent Income [1-20] is a mundane social advantage. For each point in this advantage, you have a monthly income of 1% of your starting wealth (adjusted by wealth level), for which you donít have to work. This could be from a pension, royalties, investments, welfare, etc. This advantage appeared late in the GURPS 3e period, and isnít in Compendium I; it appears to have originated in Steampunk for 3e.

While this advantage was created to represent the ďprivate incomesĒ of the upper class, it is not related to Wealth level; a welfare recipient has it, in spite of being Poor. It will likely vanish if society collapses, like most social advantages, but this is not a limitation worth points. If it comes from assets that you control, thereís an assumption that you canít or wonít turn them into capital. Itís perfectly possible to have a job as well as this advantage, just add the incomes.

It would seem possible to have limitations on this advantage, most obviously in the form of restrictions on your behaviour, or requirements to do specific things. Welfare recipients of working age are sometimes required to show evidence of searching for employment, for example.

Plenty of GURPS supplements use this advantage in templates, but few expand on it. Fantasy points out that a few hours a month spent collecting your income arenít considered a job, and explains how this advantage works in feudal societies. Powers covers gaining this advantage through Modular Abilities, and the need for it to support some kinds of Create.

This is a necessary advantage for building some kinds of character, and the threat of losing it can be a great motivator. How else has it played in your games?
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:51 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I This advantage appeared late in the GURPS 3e period, and isnít in Compendium I; it appears to have originated in Steampunk for 3e.
Definitely Steampunk. I remember the playtest.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:02 PM   #3
awesomenessofme1
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

A few levels could make sense to represent someone with luck powers (or who's just incredibly lucky) experiencing random windfalls, having luck at gambling, etc.

It might make sense to include this as part of an Heir trait? With it either being upgraded or replaced in the event that you inherit.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:28 PM   #4
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Definitely Steampunk. I remember the playtest.
It didn't actually say, in Steampunk, that it was intended to represent the wealthy. At the time, if you were Very Wealthy or better, you had II built it; taking the advantage gave you the same benefit at lower wealth levels. The original text cited the retired sergeant's "shillin' a day, bloomin' good pay" as an example of II.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:36 PM   #5
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

I've considered changing the job rules to be a combination of 'independent income' and 'Duty (Time-Consuming)', which is just an adjustment on Duty that simply reduces your available time for adventuring (based on disadvantages such as Slow Eater and Extra Sleep, 2 days per month is about [-1]).
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:55 PM   #6
ericthered
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

One aspect of Wealth I've noticed is that above a certain level of wealth people start to expect Independent Income to be part of the advantage for free. If you build a janitor, secretary, or doctor, people expect to have to go to work to get money, but if they're just "A Multimillionaire", they have this expectation that they can go off and the money will just take care of itself.



To the degree that this is true, they need to buy Independent Income. And its true quite a bit of the time.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:06 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

I generally require anyone with Wealth (Very Wealthy) or above to purchase Independent Income 5, in order to represent the earnings from their investments/properties.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:19 PM   #8
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
It would seem possible to have limitations on this advantage, most obviously in the form of restrictions on your behaviour, or requirements to do specific things. Welfare recipients of working age are sometimes required to show evidence of searching for employment, for example.
That seems as though it might in effect be a Pact!
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:44 PM   #9
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I generally require anyone with Wealth (Very Wealthy) or above to purchase Independent Income 5, in order to represent the earnings from their investments/properties.
That gets into a separate issue of income vs assets. Realistically, people in the lower wealth brackets are likely to have a net worth of less than a single year's income, but at higher wealth levels assets actually go up a lot faster than income. At lower wealth levels, median net worth is less than one year income (consistent with GURPS, average wealth is income $31,200 and net worth $20,000), but at higher wealth levels net worth can easily be ten times annual income. Realistic investment income for someone who spends fairly minimal time managing their investments is well under 1% per month.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:46 PM   #10
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Independent Income

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
It would seem possible to have limitations on this advantage, most obviously in the form of restrictions on your behaviour, or requirements to do specific things. Welfare recipients of working age are sometimes required to show evidence of searching for employment, for example.
Either a Pact or a Duty (as part of a template) would be appropriate for many versions of modern welfare.
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