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Old 06-16-2021, 01:29 PM   #241
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
That's a standard for 86 million people in Nigeria. It's not a good source of numbers for even the bottom rung of the ladder in games set in places that will remeble The US or Europe. Particularly for characters who will be shopping in HT or UT.
It's a perfectly fine figure for TL 3. The US will go a bit more expensive, even for homeless people eating in soup kitchens, because we don't think of giving people beans and gruel as adequate.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:50 PM   #242
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Right, that's why independent income should be the "doesn't need to spend time working" advantage. If you're not doing simulation, the point value should be based on the amount and quality of free time it gives you.
The character point doesn't give you or improve your free time. It gives you cash. That's all it does. That's all it's supposed to do. If you spend that cash on weapons for adventuring, you haven't earned any free time. It's a character point for monthly cash.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
From a gamist ("not a simulator") perspective, what makes more sense to base a wealth-generation trait on - the rules that are already in play for generating wealth (jobs) or something tangentially related (starting wealth, which is equal to 10 months' wages minus 10 months' CoL)?
The question is a false dichotomy. Jobs are cash-for-work; Independent Income is cash-for-no-work. You have to have prerequisites and job rolls to have a job; you have to spend character points for Independent Income.

The reason both jobs and Independent Income scale with TL and Wealth is because they reflect prosperity at high TLs. Getting money is easier at high TLs. Spending money is easier at high TLs. That's why you HAVE more money at higher TLs in the first place. That's why higher TL jobs pay more. That's why Independent Income pays more at higher TLs.

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I'd argue for the former as more narratively useful - "Each [1] means you need to work 4 hours less each month to gain your normal monthly wages" makes more sense as a trait to me.
Independent Income is NOT about replacing wages! It's NOT about paying your Cost of Living. It's about getting extra cash, to do anything you want with.

Since it's not about these things, it doesn't have to scale with them.

By the way, I'd argue that it's more narratively useful to decide whether a character has enough cash to buy a blaster than it is to decide whether he can write 4 fewer hours on his Time Use Sheet.
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Old 06-16-2021, 02:16 PM   #243
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
The character point doesn't give you or improve your free time. It gives you cash. That's all it does.
And the value of cash is "it means I don't have to spend time earning money to get that thing".
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:14 PM   #244
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
The reason both jobs and Independent Income scale with TL and Wealth is because they reflect prosperity at high TLs. Getting money is easier at high TLs. Spending money is easier at high TLs. That's why you HAVE more money at higher TLs in the first place. That's why higher TL jobs pay more. That's why Independent Income pays more at higher TLs.
I think I have a response for this, one moment...

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
... GURPS IS NOT A SIMULATOR. It's not trying to model the economic forces behind personal income.
Seriously, saying that having Independent Income that is able to replace a job should cost more (or even be outright impossible) at lower TL's because of reduced prosperity at those TL's is an argument in favor of simulation.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Independent Income is NOT about replacing wages! It's NOT about paying your Cost of Living. It's about getting extra cash, to do anything you want with.
I'm aware of how it works. I'm saying it's based on the wrong thing, because the way it's set up limits its narrative use unnecessarily.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
By the way, I'd argue that it's more narratively useful to decide whether a character has enough cash to buy a blaster than it is to decide whether he can write 4 fewer hours on his Time Use Sheet.
Basing it on wages instead of starting wealth will still tell you how many blasters the character can buy each month (or how many months he needs to save up his II to afford a blaster, depending on his Wealth, how much II he has, and how much blasters cost). It will likely be a different number of months than basing it on starting wealth, but it will still be some set amount of cash each month. That aspect isn't lost, it's just easier - and more consistent - to use it in place of needing to work.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:16 PM   #245
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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It's a perfectly fine figure for TL 3. The US will go a bit more expensive, even for homeless people eating in soup kitchens, because we don't think of giving people beans and gruel as adequate.
But Nigeria isn't TL 3. Not all of it anyway. Also it isn't the only place of extreme poverty. It does show a potential failing of the Realm statbox as the distribution of wealth is as important as its overall wealth.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:40 PM   #246
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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But Nigeria isn't TL 3.
Sure, though the subsistence farmers probably are. In any case, the US could have kitchens that provide oatmeal ($0.70/lb in 50 lb bags), rice ($0.50/lb), and beans ($0.70/lb), which will get you 2,000 calories for about $0.75 ($0.53 in 2004). Cooking will add a little bit for fuel, first-world wages for food preparation workers will add more, but keeping it under $0.83 isn't that exotic.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:10 PM   #247
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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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.
If that's you think the flat CoL trying to model, well it doesn't. Firstly, TL0 'cavemen' worked less hard, and had a better standard of living, than TL1-2 farmers, to the point that a TL2 farmer with Status-0 was reasonably well-off, while a TL0 hunter-gather probably couldn't have Status-0 (though having to rely entirely on themselves they could end up with limited Wealth and income for various reasons).

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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.)
So, just about every 'middle class' person in modern western societies is 'living beyond their Status?'. If so, then they aren't, because that new level of expenditure becomes the norm for their Status. Also, even after converting for time and place, the $600/month for Status 0 won't buy you Status 0 living here in NZ (and it didn't in the early 2000s either, even after conversion for a different place and currency). It might-ve bought Status -1 living, barely (and by living in a cheap part of the country, which has its own problems and is arguably an indicator of lower Status anyway).

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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.
No, it's really not. It's one determinant of how much value 'doesn't have to work' has. At TL5, II-10 gets me about the same money as taking a part-time job for half hours (assuming the job pays correctly for my Wealth). At TL10 it means I get almost as much as I would from a full-time job (as much as a slightly low-paying one).

At TL5 when the GM says "... and nothing interesting happens for six months), the fully employed PC gets 26 weeks x 40 hours x 1/4 / 200 = 1.3 points in on the job skill points (quite possibly that means in skills they aren't that interested in), and has to spend their off-work hours to get training in what they want.

At TL10 those same points mean 0.65 points in one-the-job training, and 1.3 points in whatever they want and they have their spare time still free for whatever they want.

At TL12, they have 40 hours a week in extra spare time.

That's all aside from having a silly amount of extra money every month if you use the CoL as presented. At TL12 II-10 gives you the money to go from Average to Comfortable Wealth in under a year, without having to work. That kind of Wealth accumulation is the hallmark of the extremely wealthy, not Status 0 people of average means (and II-10 should not be the indicator of extreme wealth).
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:12 PM   #248
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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If so it's probably not "making ends meet". It's barely stayiing alive and probably risks nutritional deficiency syndromes.
It's also questionable at TL8 in many places that you'd be able to do that for long before the land owner turns up wanting rent, or if you're freehold, some government turns up and demands property taxes of some sort, duns you for not meeting various housing standards, and so on.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:13 PM   #249
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Sure, though the subsistence farmers probably are. In any case, the US could have kitchens that provide oatmeal ($0.70/lb in 50 lb bags), rice ($0.50/lb), and beans ($0.70/lb), which will get you 2,000 calories for about $0.75 ($0.53 in 2004). Cooking will add a little bit for fuel, first-world wages for food preparation workers will add more, but keeping it under $0.83 isn't that exotic.
The problem with such a diet is you risk vitamin deficiencies. Also there are other cost factors - the fuel to transport the food, a place to store the food, someone to distribute the food, and so on.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:26 PM   #250
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Default Re: Independent Income at later TL stages

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That puts Average hourly income at $20/hour at TL 8, which at first I thought was high, but a bit of online research indicates that's roughly where "middle class" was defined in 2004. So, ~$2000 per month, and CoL of $1000 per month, making Starting Wealth worth around 20 months - 1 year, 8 months - worth of savings. That sounds workable - but again, you're looking at less spending money during play for employed PC's ($1000 per month instead of $2000 per month).
For people of Average (and under) Wealth, living at an appropriate Status, spending money should be quite limited. We're talking about the range where, even if not living paycheck to paycheck, people have to choose between expensive hobbies and savings. Most of their money is spoken for, and unless we assume the standard CoL involves living like a monk, CoL should eat up most of their income. So far that's been true for Status 0 and lower people since forever.

I think CoL should be a constant fraction of your expected income, regardless of TL. What it might do is scale up more slowly than income as you become wealthier, though partly I think it's that Status and Wealth become less closely linked past about Status 2, and also that even with only 10% of you income free for whatever you like, with a large enough income you can get to the point where the marginal value of extra spending money has dropped quite low.
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