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Old 06-12-2017, 06:22 PM   #1
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The Wealth Advantage basically represents the social background and connections needed to obtain better jobs and higher income than characters without it. Spending points on Wealth is the right way to indicate that a character has a professional reputation (note lowercase, a GURPS Reputation is not the only trait that implies some element of social recognition) that justifies more economic success than his skill levels otherwise support.
While I'm thinking about it:

Social connections

Social background

Professional Reputation

Economic Success

These are terms you threw about in your paragraph above, and I think to myself "Good". Now for the fun part... In this new thread, please take the time to DEFINE those and what they mean to you, as well as how you think they should be defined using GURPS characteristics.

For instance. What if I were born and bred, living a lifestyle with Famous Celebrity parents, in a jet-setter type of environment if you will. How would you define that in GURPS? Would I know how to identify clothing of a famous clothing designer? Would I know famous world wide renowned wines and beverages? Would I have some form of "Cultural awareness" that someone born and raised in the center of Harlem New York City, would never have a chance of learning, let alone mimic?

So, what is economic success as an attribute? Is it a Mindset? Is it being part of a "group" of like minded individuals who look out for each other at the expense of ordinary people?

Professional reputation - what is this? How is it different than a reputation as a gunslinger who is deadly with his guns? Is that NOT a professional reputation if that is his job? Even if it wasn't his job, how is that reputation as a gun slinger who is deadly, any different than a professional reputation, even if it wasn't his job?

Social background - how is this portrayed in GURPS? GURPS has Status as one advantage/disadvantage, and it has wealth as an advantage/disadvantage. It even LINKS the two together saying that Wealth 2+ imparts a free +1 status, and Status 4+ imparts a +2 overall free Status. However, Status and Wealth are still separate and distinctly different things (albeit, entangled together somewhat).

Last but not least...

What are social connections in GURPS? How would you portray it? Is it a contact group? Is it a allied group? Is it a Hospitality like advantage? Perhaps a combination of those listed in this question?

I find it rather odd, that people want to believe, that a man who has "comfortable wealth" somehow, can force employers to pay him up to double normal wages for a normal wealth level - regardless of whether they have a relationship with the man or not. Regardless of whether he's from America and is in Greece (for example) or an Armenian who doesn't speak fluent American English in Southern Michigan.

When I see an advantage that is being used in place of other advantages, and used in a broad sense such that I consider unrealistic - I have to ask "Is realistic or acceptable?"

So, this thread is here to ask people to BUILD the very "things" your words (sans definitions) imply should be there. Just as Combat Reflexes can be said to be underpriced for what it does, perhaps WEALTH is underpriced for what it is supposed to do.

While this may be a topic that can cause some dissent, please, everyone, keep it civil and keep it on topic. Think of it as a math theorem problem in which your evil math teacher has asked you to prove is true, but can not use an indirect proof.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:50 PM   #2
Culture20
 
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post

I find it rather odd, that people want to believe, that a man who has "comfortable wealth" somehow, can force employers to pay him up to double normal wages for a normal wealth level - regardless of whether they have a relationship with the man or not.
"force employers" is an unusual phrasing. According to pages 516 and 517 of the basic set, someone with a comfortable wealth level will be able to find a comfortable-paying job. Not for a specific employer, but some employer will pay them that much for their skill (or lack thereof).
Why? Same reason signature gear can always be recovered or replaced: them's the rules.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:22 PM   #3
hal
 
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
"force employers" is an unusual phrasing. According to pages 516 and 517 of the basic set, someone with a comfortable wealth level will be able to find a comfortable-paying job. Not for a specific employer, but some employer will pay them that much for their skill (or lack thereof).
Why? Same reason signature gear can always be recovered or replaced: them's the rules.
I See. "Signature Gear" is a genre convention, seen in Indiana Jones and Star Wars (a starship), so it is perhaps understandable that the rule would be structured to replicate genre convention.

Wealth doing what it does as outlined in my first post - that follows which convention per se? Realistic? Nope. Cinematic? Since I haven't seen all of the movies ever produced (and some, I'd never want to watch thankyouverymuch), can you perhaps list one movie where it was used to good effect?

As indicated above and in another thread...

Just about every single instance I've seen where people who are incompetent retains their jobs, do so at the sufferance of a superior, or a patron whom no one wants to cross, etc. Nobody looking for a job, can expect to waltz in, demand a job that they're not qualified for, get double the normal pay, and then attribute it to the fact they dress well, know the right people, and make it look cool. It isn't a universal talent or capability that will work just as well in a foreign nation as it would in a person's home town in which their "network" has either grown with them, or was already in place and they benefitted from it.

So, can a character fly? Comes under the heading of a Super Power, or perhaps the ability to cast spells or what have you. Is it realistic? Not hardly. Does it come under the heading of "Genre convention". I think by definition, yes.

Now, if you have three separate advantages/powers in which to describe the ability to fly, and one "path" or "advantage description" is far cheaper than the others, does this mean that the multiple advantages were badly designed/flawed? Does it mean that the other pricing values are too high? Or would you say "hmmm, maybe the last one that is so cheap, is at fault here, since the other advantages are more or less in line with each other?"

If you go by what Icelander said in his response, the ability to land a comfortable paying job at 2x normal pay, either means he's getting access to a job that REQUIRES the comfortable pay requisite of "Comfortable wealth" or, the character has a job that is normal wealth in pay, and because of the comfortable wealth advantage, pays 2x normal pay.

Don't you find it a slight bit odd, that jobs have requisites OTHER than Wealth in order to secure a job if the character has to go job hunting per the GURPS rules? Does Comfortable Wealth automatically qualify a character for a job even if they don't meet the other requisites? Your call, your game world. Truth is, if that's how you want to rule, and your players are having fun, Great!

Just a word to the wise? I LOVED the first two FAST AND FURIOUS movies in the franchise. By the time we hit F&F 3, it was "huh?" as the franchise was losing direction. F&F 4 and 5 returned to its roots of sort, but was getting so "over the top" that by the time F&F 6 hit the theaters, I lost ALL interest. My daughter's comments throughout the movie was "this is Bull<expletive deleted" not once, but at least 6 times throughout the entire movie, She too lost interest in F&F7...

So, do I use the rules structure to promote an intuitive understanding or grasp of the "fake reality" by sticking to realism where I can, and veering off into the genre conventions that defy reality? Eyup.

Do I think the people who loved F&F 6 and 7 (is it up to 8 yet?) are idiots? Nope. Their tastes in entertainment differ from mine.

So, I reiterate...

WEALTH does WHAT?!!!

Break it down to it supposed component parts. Rebuild it using strictly only the rules as written. Price it and compare. GURPS already has a history of defining advantages that are overall, given a price discount despite what it does (see GURPS combat reflexes for an example). That having been said, I think it would be wise to take a good hard look at what is being asked of Wealth as an advantage, and applying it as if it had "Cosmic" properties. By the wording of the people who have discussed this in this thread or others, it would seem that someone with Comfortable wealth in the United States, can expect to have the same kind of "Economic" fortune in Japan - just because they paid points for it. If that doesn't qualify as "Cosmic", please tell me what does. Cosmic as an advantage modifier, usually jacks up the price of the advantage it modifies, by a HUGE amount.

Level 0: Cost zero
Level 1: Cost 10
Level 2: cost 20
Level 3: cost 30
Level 4: cost 50
Level 5+: Cost +25 per level

Note at level 2, a free 5 point advantage is added to the description. At level 4, a 10 point advantage is added to the description.

So

Challenge:

price out the entire components. Since it will be universal, toss in the cosmic so it applies anywhere. Then compare the costs against each other and see what you get. <shrug>
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Wealth gives you a multiplier on starting funds, free Status at Wealthy/Multimillionaire 1/Multimillionaire 2...and that's actually about all that you get out of the Basic Set. See B25-26 and B516-517.

B517 even says that a wealthy PC may work at a job below their wealth level, but only receives the normal pay for that job. On the flip side, if you have a job that pays more than your Wealth would suggest, you eventually have to buy up your Wealth as your savings accumulate. This means that job specific pay is job specific pay, and there's no reason for an employer to pay more just because you have Wealthy on your character sheet.

From this, I see an implication that you can start with a job suitable to that level of Wealth, but beyond that, you have no expectation of anything.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

From the original thread (posting here to avoid derailing the other one):

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
The only way that such an individual will get such a job and pay, is if they have a patron/client relationship with the employer (who said to the other guys "Hire him at the wages I said to hire him at!") or is the result of nepotism - which is essentially a form of patron/client relationships in which the patron is a relative instead.
Or he did really well on his interview. Or he has a heavily-padded resume. Or his previous employer gave him an outstanding recommendation in order to hasten the process of getting rid of him*. Or the job doesn't want to/is unable to fire him for something as minor as lackluster performance (he's at professional level, after all), due to the risk of the character playing the "victim card" and suing*. None of that requires anything on his character sheet other than Wealth to qualify him for the higher-paying job. With the fact that there are many high-paying jobs** where you can scrape by without a lot of skill, and the sort of bureaucracy that can be involved making it take forever to actually fire someone who isn't up to snuff, the situation hardly seems outlandish to me.

*I've seen these for the same person - my brother gave him a good recommendation so he could replace him with someone who was actually competent once he was gone (this worked out pretty well), and the guy went on to get fired from the other job, not because he wasn't qualified (he wasn't), but because he had really bad attendance. And it took a couple years before he got the boot, meaning you could easily have a campaign start and end while the character was still employed.

**I think it bears mentioning here, but in real life, the roughly appropriate GURPS skill levels needed to do a job and the payment for it aren't directly correlated - you can easily have a job that requires a high level of skill pay less than one that requires a different but much lower score. I don't think I have any skills above 15, yet I've worked jobs where I made more than the median $56k/year for SWAT sniper - in spite of Tactical Shooting showing them as having Rifle skill in the 16-18 range.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:29 PM   #6
hal
 
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemoricus View Post
Wealth gives you a multiplier on starting funds, free Status at Wealthy/Multimillionaire 1/Multimillionaire 2...and that's actually about all that you get out of the Basic Set. See B25-26 and B516-517.

B517 even says that a wealthy PC may work at a job below their wealth level, but only receives the normal pay for that job. On the flip side, if you have a job that pays more than your Wealth would suggest, you eventually have to buy up your Wealth as your savings accumulate. This means that job specific pay is job specific pay, and there's no reason for an employer to pay more just because you have Wealthy on your character sheet.

From this, I see an implication that you can start with a job suitable to that level of Wealth, but beyond that, you have no expectation of anything.
It also however, points out that the income gets modified if your wealth level is different than what is required for a given job. I'll have to go back and look for it later, but I'll pull that up. I suspect it is in the campaigns book, because I recall it being in a chart format that showed the multiplier effects based on the wealth level required.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:18 PM   #7
hal
 
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
From the original thread (posting here to avoid derailing the other one):



Or he did really well on his interview. Or he has a heavily-padded resume. Or his previous employer gave him an outstanding recommendation in order to hasten the process of getting rid of him*. Or the job doesn't want to/is unable to fire him for something as minor as lackluster performance (he's at professional level, after all), due to the risk of the character playing the "victim card" and suing*. None of that requires anything on his character sheet other than Wealth to qualify him for the higher-paying job. With the fact that there are many high-paying jobs** where you can scrape by without a lot of skill, and the sort of bureaucracy that can be involved making it take forever to actually fire someone who isn't up to snuff, the situation hardly seems outlandish to me.

*I've seen these for the same person - my brother gave him a good recommendation so he could replace him with someone who was actually competent once he was gone (this worked out pretty well), and the guy went on to get fired from the other job, not because he wasn't qualified (he wasn't), but because he had really bad attendance. And it took a couple years before he got the boot, meaning you could easily have a campaign start and end while the character was still employed.

**I think it bears mentioning here, but in real life, the roughly appropriate GURPS skill levels needed to do a job and the payment for it aren't directly correlated - you can easily have a job that requires a high level of skill pay less than one that requires a different but much lower score. I don't think I have any skills above 15, yet I've worked jobs where I made more than the median $56k/year for SWAT sniper - in spite of Tactical Shooting showing them as having Rifle skill in the 16-18 range.
Ok, taking what you've said a little bit at a time...

Padded resume: False reputation. If the resume says "well trained after 10 years experience" and the reality is, the person is barely competent with a skill say, 11 in GURPS terms - then there will be a point where the quality of work is not equal to what the resume promised. Now a former employer giving a really GOOD recommendation, is also what? A false reputation? It certainly isn't true, and when the reality sets in of what a lie the recommendation was, what will the employer think or do at that point? For some situations, the peter principle holds true (that's why they invented a name for the situation and spelled it out!). But in that case, the person is being protected. Whether by organizational inertia, or someone who plays politics well enough to keep their job, or through intimidation or what have you. These are NOT a function of "Wealth" as an advantage per se. No "network" nor the appearance of someone who is status 1 who clearly is connected, etc.

Now for the $64,000. Would such an individual consistently find jobs when they clearly can't do the job at the level they're promising? Maybe if they keep quitting their jobs quickly afterwards, and don't allow for time to prove they lied. But we're not talking about the "advantage" any more, we're talking about someone who is a scam artist, a grifter, etc. Each time I mentioned what was required to avoid issues, I named specific "Skills" required such as politics, intimidation, etc. Hell, someone with a good fast-talk skill might be adept at confusing the issues. Do a search someday on the seven steps of a project. It is amusing to say the least. The Second last one is "punishment of the innocent" and the last is "promotions for the non-participatory".

So, how would you build the advantage of Wealth such that it does what people say it does despite it not saying that in the basic books?

I think it would be an interesting experiment myself. ;)
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
While I'm thinking about it:

Social connections

Social background

Professional Reputation

Economic Success
The first two are Status, the third is reputation, only the last is Wealth.

Quote:
I find it rather odd, that people want to believe, that a man who has "comfortable wealth" somehow, can force employers to pay him up to double normal wages for a normal wealth level - regardless of whether they have a relationship with the man or not. Regardless of whether he's from America and is in Greece (for example) or an Armenian who doesn't speak fluent American English in Southern Michigan.
Ah, I see what this is about. No, that's not what's going on here. That might be the case, but it's actually putting the cart before the horse. I have a similar element in Psi-Wars where to join certain organizations, you must have a minimum level of Wealth. This is not because the organization is so snobby, but because if you join that organization, your income will be sufficiently good that you must upgrade your wealth (it also has to do with how Action handles money).

You have the same thing going on here. What GURPS doesn't want you doing is buying Dead Broke, then using your epic Fast-Talk 20 and amazing Savoir-Faire 20 and so on to talk your way into a CEO job and actually earning a Wealthy income. That's point crock! There are two ways you can handle this: You can either say that if someone's job changes, you require a change in Wealth, or you can say that your income is determined by your Wealth, and that what job you have is largely cosmetic. Given that jobs don't typically matter in most adventure games, GURPS has chosen the latter.

This is not meant to be an accurate and realistic simulation of what is going on, that Bill Gates can go down to the local McDonalds and earn millions flipping burgers. Rather, if you want to reflect his sudden fall into poverty, you strip him of his Wealth and then he can go work at McDonalds like everyone else, or you don't particularly worry about what his job is.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
This is not meant to be an accurate and realistic simulation of what is going on, that Bill Gates can go down to the local McDonalds and earn millions flipping burgers. Rather, if you want to reflect his sudden fall into poverty, you strip him of his Wealth and then he can go work at McDonalds like everyone else, or you don't particularly worry about what his job is.
I'd think that if our world's GM suddenly magically deprived Gates of Microsoft and his savings, he'd at worst lose one level of Wealth, but quickly recover otherwise. If he decides to start business anew, he'll probably be able to gain loans and/or investors on a scale of only mildly reduced Wealth (if reduced at all), start earning a salary comparable to his old one, and quickly bounce up.
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wealth does WHAT?!!!

Expanding upon this, GURPS, unlike some other systems, allows you to create characters that don't make sense. This is a consequence of being able to build anything at all. Its awesome, but it means you do need to pay attention to what you're doing and make sure you're not leaving something out. Wealth and skills are but one example.

I could totally see wealth as an optional rule. In fact, in a game all about gaining wealth (perhaps DF or traveler), I might just use a points for cash system and drop wealth.
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