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Old 06-16-2021, 07:34 AM   #221
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
Another thread with the title "Abstract Wealth Pyramid #3-44 " was started and from what I have seen it appears to be light years ahead of what has been presented so far.
The fact that thread has no responses implies said system is very rarely used, at least amongst forumites. And, while I certainly do like the concept (and as you note later, many inconsistencies can be explained away - if you can't buy a landspeeder but a few minutes later can buy a starship, it's because there weren't any landspeeders for sale), my gaming preferences are for settings where characters generally lack a monthly income and acquire wealth via adventuring, which really doesn't mesh well with an abstract wealth system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
I suspect that fixing cost of living vs income scaling over TLs would allow this aspect of II to be cleaned up fairly easily.
Yeah, CoL should probably be a consistent percentage of typical monthly income. I know there have been threads in the past addressing this, but I can't find them with a quick search (I also made my own system, with starting wealth and income following SSR for changes in TL, and CoL as a consistent percentage, but that's stuck on a computer with a bad video card). Of course, now that I think about it, I suspect what percent this was may have changed depending on TL. It's probably also realistic for it to change depending on Wealth - while a Poor person may spend less on CoL than a Wealthy one, the former could easily be a greater percentage of the character's income.

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
You've said that backwards now a few times and I wondrr if it's conributing to some kind of confusion. It doesn't cost more at lower tech levels, it pays less.
It costs (in points) more to have it replace some given fraction of monthly income. At TL 3, each point of II for a character with Average Wealth is $10/month, while an Average job pays $700/month - each [1] in II provides ~1.5% of the pay of a comparable job. AT TL 8, each point of II for a character with Average Wealth is $200/month, while an Average job pays $2,600/month - each [1] in II provides ~7.5% of a comparable job, a boost of x5. At TL 10, each point of II is $500/month, compared to wages of $5,600/month - ~9% per [1]. This is a problem if assuming II should be based on wages, but I don't think that's outlandish, given that's a very likely use-case for it - if you want to build a character who doesn't have to work, II seems like it would be the go-to trait... but it isn't. An easy fix, of course, is to base II on wages rather than on starting wealth. Not having a job gets you extra time roughly comparable to not needing to sleep, so basing cost for "completely replaces the need for a job" on Doesn't Sleep seems appropriate. Of course, Doesn't Sleep also works on the weekends and has direct adventuring uses, so I'd eyeball the appropriate cost for Doesn't Work as [10]. That implies each [1] in II should pay out 10% of monthly income for your wealth level.
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Last edited by Varyon; 06-16-2021 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:11 AM   #222
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
This is a problem if assuming II should be based on wages, but I don't think that's outlandish, given that's a very likely use-case for it - if you want to build a character who doesn't have to work, II seems like it would be the go-to trait... but it isn't.
If you want to build a character who doesn't need to have a job (in the GURPS sense of prerequisites, Wealth level, and job roll) to maintain their Cost of Living, Independent Income might suffice, or it might not. At TL0, where goods are scarce and life is hard, the most an Average Wealth person could get with Independent Income 20 is $50 a month nowhere near the $600 a month they need to maintain their Status 0 Cost of Living. But in the Stone Age, living at Status 0 is already luxurious; it isn't "average." No wonder you can't maintain that kind of lifestyle without working for it.

Meanwhile, at TL12, where goods are plentiful and everyone can easily have all their basic needs met, someone of Average Wealth needs just one level of Independent Income ($1,000 per month) to make ends meet. Leisure is much more possible at higher TLs.

And this is explicitly what the GURPS system of money is trying to do. "Variations in starting wealth by TL reflect increased prosperity due to civilization's progress not inflation" (p. B27). That's exactly what we see with Independent Income: the more prosperous, higher-tech societies enable more prosperous lives and lifestyles.

It all works exactly as intended. It's an abstraction, sure, but it's an abstraction that accomplishes its stated goal.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:50 AM   #223
Oggsmash
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
Hello Folks,
This is perhaps already been hashed out/over in past discussions. If so, I apologize. If not, I figure it is best to perhaps raise the point.

During one of my earlier Cyberpunk campaigns, I thought "hey, usually Cyberpunk is about the man on the street trying to drag himself up from the street. What if we put the shoe on the other foot, and make it such that the player character is trying to keep from being overwhelmed by those at the street level?"

So, we started to try and price out the character - where he has independent income (from stocks, royalty payments, etc). The idea was that his character's grandfather or perhaps father were to have created the computer chip architecture for the next generation computer chips. The independent income was intended to reflect that in order to manufacture said chips, other companies were paying through the nose in order to do so. In addition, the character was expecting to be able to live off of his stock portfolio - and finally, he would start to grow his "robotics" business in the form of buying a factory, designing robots, marketing them, etc.

So. What's the problem right? All we really need is Boardroom and Curia etc... right? Couple this with GURPS VEHICLE rules for factories and building machines etc - and we should be all set.

*cough*

Not so fast pilgrim...

Let's take Multi-millionaire III as an advantage for TL 9 for starters. Starting wealth is $30,000 at TL 9. Filthy Rich takes it up to $300,000,000. So far, no problem right? Starting assets for someone that rich means they're able to afford a 90 million dollar building, and have some 210 Million in assets still yet to buy. But let's look at Independent income. Each 1 point grants 1% of your starting wealth per MONTH. Taking 20 points worth of Indpendent Income means that the character is making 20% of 300,000,000 per month.

that works out to $6,000,000 per month. Wowsa! What is the best return on investment ratio for stocks these days? If the character is raking in 6 Million a month, and let's say return on investment is 20% per year (*cough*!!!!) - that would seem to imply that at 6 x 12, or 72 million a year, as a 20% return on investment, the character has a stock portfolio worth how much? I KNOW that I'm going to be wrong suggesting that it is worth around $360 Million - but that does seem to be in the ball park as best as I can figure. Initially, the character's total assets for Multi-Millionaire III was only supposed to be 300 million. Independent income bumps that up to a solid 360 million not inclusive of any other assets?

What are royalty payments like that a character gains that kind of money?

WHAT exactly is independent Income really supposed to be? Someone who is making a modest 6% return on initial investment of say, 100,000 - is only making 6,000 for the year, divided by 12, or roughly 500 a month!

At TL 9, that is only 500/30,000 or just a wee bit over 1% of starting wealth. Ie, a single point.

Every time I attempt to apply real world examples advantages or specific rules in GURPS 4e's wealth section, I keep bumping my head into "What were they thinking!"

Ever compute the hourly wage required to earn "average income" for someone working a 40 hour work week in order to earn *AFTER TAXES* 3,600 a month?
There are angel investors who get up to 20 percent return on their investments. I think the issue is trying to understand how anyone could reach such a high return because you are looking at commercially available investments to the general public. When you hit a certain level of wealth, unless you are an idiot I think your wealth is likely perpetual. I could make a case for a 10 percent return much more easily than 20 percent, but there are TONS of angel investors or people who got into a company that much later went public who have made far, far, far more than that. So it is certainly possible, feasible and happens all the time.

10 percent is much easier to get to, Ecuador has CDs that you can make over 10 percent on, crypto staking can get you to 10 percent. I remember reading a book a few years ago, and at the time the S&P index fund was returning 9.96% per year. Those are things fairly average people can get their hands on. I am sure being a top end investor in certain sectors can get you a whole lot more, no problem. These things seem incredulous to average people like you and me because they are not talked about openly and it takes a certain level of wealth to even be considered for the "club".
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:32 AM   #224
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
If you want to build a character who doesn't need to have a job (in the GURPS sense of prerequisites, Wealth level, and job roll) to maintain their Cost of Living, Independent Income might suffice, or it might not. At TL0, where goods are scarce and life is hard, the most an Average Wealth person could get with Independent Income 20 is $50 a month nowhere near the $600 a month they need to maintain their Status 0 Cost of Living. But in the Stone Age, living at Status 0 is already luxurious; it isn't "average." No wonder you can't maintain that kind of lifestyle without working for it.

Meanwhile, at TL12, where goods are plentiful and everyone can easily have all their basic needs met, someone of Average Wealth needs just one level of Independent Income ($1,000 per month) to make ends meet. Leisure is much more possible at higher TLs.

And this is explicitly what the GURPS system of money is trying to do. "Variations in starting wealth by TL reflect increased prosperity due to civilization's progress not inflation" (p. B27). That's exactly what we see with Independent Income: the more prosperous, higher-tech societies enable more prosperous lives and lifestyles.
This comes back to the issue of CoL being invariant - Status 0 at TL 0 gets you a lot less (objectively) than Status 0 at TL 12, but both have the same pricetag. There can be room to say that living expenses at TL 0 are harder to meet (a greater percentage of income) than they are at TL 12, even though at TL 12 Status 0 is worth so much more, but the difference in GURPS - CoL being 96% of income at TL 0 and <6% of income at TL 12 - seems a bit on the excessive side. Regardless, the Advantage "Doesn't Have to Work" doesn't seem like it should cost more at lower TL's (anymore than Doesn't Sleep, Doesn't Eat or Drink, etc would), but if using Independent Income, it does (and at many TL's requires you to increase your Wealth above the level you intend to support - the maximum [20] in II cannot match typical wages prior to TL 6, although at TL 5 it's probably close enough to count - $1,000 from II vs $1,100 from wages). Now, a GM can certainly have Independent Income be unavailable in a given setting - many TL 0 campaigns wouldn't allow for Independent Income, for example (but some could - a character might get a regular tribute from those he helped - or subjugated - prior to the start of the campaign) - but the same can be said for most Advantages.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:03 AM   #225
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
This comes back to the issue of CoL being invariant - Status 0 at TL 0 gets you a lot less (objectively) than Status 0 at TL 12, but both have the same pricetag.
Given that there is a lot less to buy at TL0 than at TL12, and all of it is of inferior quality, I don't see the problem.

Quote:
There can be room to say that living expenses at TL 0 are harder to meet (a greater percentage of income) than they are at TL 12, even though at TL 12 Status 0 is worth so much more, but the difference in GURPS - CoL being 96% of income at TL 0 and <6% of income at TL 12 - seems a bit on the excessive side.
"A bit on the excessive side" means "I don't quite agree with the numbers," not "the system doesn't work."

I don't have a problem with those numbers. Cavemen spend all their working time just to subsist. Starfarers work a full-time job, and most of their cash goes to entertainment, vehicles, travel, whatever they like. For adventurers, most of the extra cash will go toward heaps of adventuring equipment. This is what the system is trying to do.

Why can't an Average Wealth, Status 0 citizen of a TL12 society spend their $10,600/month wages on a Status 4 Cost of Living? They can! If their society cares about things like Status, then they'll trigger the consequences of living above their station as given on page B265. If they live in a classless meritocracy, then there might be no consequences to living a Status 4 lifestyle, and everyone of Average Wealth will do it. They'll still be Status 0, unless they have ways of getting more Status, and won't be able to influence people with their high Status, because they won't have any. (If everyone has a fancy car and fancy clothes, then you can't drive up in your fancy car in your fancy clothes to impress on everyone that you're in charge here.)

Quote:
Regardless, the Advantage "Doesn't Have to Work" doesn't seem like it should cost more at lower TL's (anymore than Doesn't Sleep, Doesn't Eat or Drink, etc would), but if using Independent Income, it does
There is no such advantage as "Doesn't Have to Work." Independent Income is not the "doesn't have to work" advantage. Independent Income is the "extra cash without needing a job to get it" advantage. I think this is at the heart of your difficulty with this. The point of Independent Income is not to support your Cost of Living in place of a job; the point is just to have a source of income other than a job. What you do with that extra income is up to you. How that extra income compares with your Cost of Living is irrelevant.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:25 AM   #226
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Meanwhile, at TL12, where goods are plentiful and everyone can easily have all their basic needs met, someone of Average Wealth needs just one level of Independent Income ($1,000 per month) to make ends meet. Leisure is much more possible at higher TLs.
What this is missing is that CoL isn't 'making ends meet' (that's around $25/month and is in fact TL-independent). It's "living the way a typical person of your status lives", which means you spend the amount it's expected for you to spend. Most people don't manage a savings rate of more than around 20%, so figure that's 80% of expected income.

Personally, I would change CoL to be lifestyle at a stated wealth level (so you have Average or Comfortable or whatever), costs a percentage of starting wealth for that wealth level (possibly slightly TL-variant) and just note "there may be a social expectation of a particular wealth level for a particular status, in which case you must live at that wealth level or suffer a reaction penalty. If you are gaining status from wealth, you cannot gain more status than what would be granted for the wealth level you are living at."
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:49 AM   #227
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
What this is missing is that CoL isn't 'making ends meet' (that's around $25/month and is in fact TL-independent).
Yes, yes, I'm just looking for synonyms to replace the dirge of "pay for your Cost of Living."
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:00 AM   #228
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
What this is missing is that CoL isn't 'making ends meet' (that's around $25/month and is in fact TL-independent). "
You've used that figure a couple of time now without explaining it. Is it anything other than "bulk cereal grains for a peasant who lives in hut he built himself and can forage for firewood to cook his grain"?

If so it's probably not "making ends meet". It's barely stayiing alive and probably risks nutritional deficiency syndromes.
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:24 AM   #229
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
There is no such advantage as "Doesn't Have to Work." Independent Income is not the "doesn't have to work" advantage. Independent Income is the "extra cash without needing a job to get it" advantage. I think this is at the heart of your difficulty with this. The point of Independent Income is not to support your Cost of Living in place of a job; the point is just to have a source of income other than a job. What you do with that extra income is up to you. How that extra income compares with your Cost of Living is irrelevant.
The latter is what Independent Income is, the former is what it should be. Honestly, most "gain/pay n% of Starting Wealth each <time period>" traits, like Debt or certain Compulsive Behaviors, should be based on income rather than Starting Wealth - it's fairly senseless being in debt at TL 0 is less of a big deal than being in debt at TL 12 (at TL 0 each [-1] of Debt costs 0.4% of your monthly income, while at TL 12 each [-1] of Debt costs a bit less than 10% of your monthly income, an increase of over 20x).

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Personally, I would change CoL to be lifestyle at a stated wealth level (so you have Average or Comfortable or whatever), costs a percentage of starting wealth for that wealth level (possibly slightly TL-variant) and just note "there may be a social expectation of a particular wealth level for a particular status, in which case you must live at that wealth level or suffer a reaction penalty. If you are gaining status from wealth, you cannot gain more status than what would be granted for the wealth level you are living at."
This strikes me as much more appropriate. You'd need to adjust the suggested wages, however, as those are built roughly as "CoL + 10% Starting Wealth;" if you want to maintain that and have CoL be 80% of monthly wage, you'd need income to be right around 50% of Starting Wealth per month, which is... pretty freaking high. A more conservative value of $2,000/month at TL 8 (median household income at the time was roughly $55k in 2004, median salary tends to be about half that, dividing by 12 and rounding to nearest SSR gets you to $2,000) means characters start play with roughly 50 months' - 4 years, 2 months - worth of savings (they have $400 left over after paying CoL). It also means characters have much less discretionary cash available... but the GM should probably be lenient as to what counts as "what CoL gets you" (such as the car being readily available for adventuring, CoL covering the cost of ammunition for a shooting hobby, etc).
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:30 AM   #230
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You've used that figure a couple of time now without explaining it. Is it anything other than "bulk cereal grains for a peasant who lives in hut he built himself and can forage for firewood to cook his grain"?
It's the low end of per capita GDP around 2004 (basis for GURPS $). Which isn't super healthy, mind you, but lots of people manage to survive on it.
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