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BluSponge
BluSponge's picture
Wealth and Equipment
wealth points, equipment

So reading over the Kickstarter comments, I'm seeing a smidge of blowback on the Wealth rules and the lack of any guidance on starting equipment, specifically weapons.  Right now, if you want to be a pistol packing band of pirates, there's no reason the whole group couldn't load up with a half dozen firearms strapped to your chest and set off to conquer the high seas.  That's gonna be fine with some people, other are chafing on that freedom a bit.  Given the space of the book, I really doubt they are going to throw in a section on starting gear.  So I did a little brainstorming last night to come up with something easy that might do the trick for those inclined.

First of all, given the time, I would tie starting equipment to background.  I will probably come up with something for each background or sets of "kits" (ala Witch Hunter or DnD5e).  Nothing comprehensive, but enough to get you started.  But I'm not going to do that here.  No, this is specifically about how many weapons your character can start with.  And it's probably flawed, so I'm going to depend on the rest of you to clean it up a bit.  I know the Rich Advantage lets you start each game session with 3 Wealth, but I don't know if there is anything else that adjusts that.

Now you could assign a "wealth" to each background and let people spend that on starting equipment.  Each point buys 1 major item, like a sword or a horse.  Don't worry about the little things.  That's the easy way.  (In fact, I might send that in as a suggestion.)

Slightly more complicated way: 

  • At character creation, the player can select 2 "medium" grade weapons, plus one for every point of "starting wealth" (ie. Rich characters could start with 5 "medium" weapons).
  • You can exchange 1 medium weapon for 2 small weapons (dagger, stilletto, pistol, panzerhand, maine-gauche, etc.)
  • You can exchange 2 medium weapons for 1 Heavy weapon (blunderbus, boar spear, polearm, zweihander, etc.)
  • At the GM's discretion, you may choose a "signature weapon" (not to be confused with a Signature Item, but it could be one) on top of these picks: an ancestral sword, a named gun ("old painless").  There should be some story behind this item.

Any thoughts?

I kinda think it might be fun to put adopt the "random trinkets" table from DnD 5e to the game, too, if anyone else is interested.

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Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Our standard has been to minimize gear selection. We have seen players agonize for hours about how much rope to carry. I stand by the practice of " you have the personal gear you need to use your skills " unless, for story purposes, I need you to be without a horse or sword, you have one or can get one. If you are playing gun toting pirates, you should have 6 pistols and I am fine with that. By this point, the hero should have acquired those. Wealth should cover the need to book a hasty passage, bribe an official or buy a new outfit to wear into the ball.
Sean Butler
Sean Butler's picture

I liked the World of Darkness mechanism, where you had a Resources background that represented how much money you had to throw around.  The more dots in the background you had, the more stuff you could be expected to either have available or be able to easily purchase without hardship.

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

Wealth does the same. The difference is that basic wealht (Wealth 0) gives you basic food and lodging and gear. 12 pistols? NO worries, the problme is where you keep them - and if you carry them every guard will stop you and when entering house of someone else, you start unlaodign your inventory to wardrobe room taking ages. 

Sean Butler
Sean Butler's picture

The difference is that you don't spend/save up resource points in WoD-- it just reflects your general financial wherewithal.  Zero dots means basic food/lodging/etc., one dot means modest disposable income to spend, up to 5 dots being a multi-millionaire.  The number of dots you have never changes unless there's a good story reason (e.g., come into large inheritance, or stock market crash, or something).  So if you decide you want to buy/own something, the GM just verifies you have enough dots to afford it, without worrying about tallying actual transactions.  "I want six pistols" / "Okay, you have two dots of wealth, no problem." or "Zero wealth?  You have one hand-me-down pistol (but maybe we'll work out a story plotline that leaves you with six pistols at the end)."

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

Actually, it did diminish for duration. I have run sevaral years of Mage the Ascencion and played it for a decade. Okay, I do not know newest edition, but for 1st, 2nd, and Revised Edition Mages, wealth could be temporary exhausted. IT gave you basic wealht level. I see no difference in Wealth, except 0 point is not Angst fIlled Despair like on WW games.

The Wealht system? It does reset. You have your starting wealth every Act. For noble you have level 3 wealth. And the wealth description does indicate you do not have to wastee wealth for every object you buy, but important and expensive ones. If your character had time to work before Act, you get your profession skill as additional wealth. Thus, good nobles will have 6 to 8 wealth available to them - they can buy ships and houses, if need to be.

And wealth 0 was not bare necessities, but 1 was never do well. 0 was dirt poor. 2 was normal working person.

Kevin Krupp
Kevin Krupp's picture

I fully agree, Sal. The need for Wealth should only apply to add conflict to the story (or to force heroes to go to other means to get what they need.) Personally, my issue with the wealth system is it seems like a really bizzarre abstraction...Wealth Points? Why couldn't we just keep Guilder, Solis, Marks, Sentors, Pounds, etc and have a conversion like we did in 1st Ed. It's not like we really paid that much attention to cash in 1st Ed either except on the occassional fun bit where the party can't get anyone in Vodacce to take their Guilder...oops.

Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

I have the same issue. But, at the same time I understand that's not the kind of game that they want. 

They realized that it's something needed. But they did't found a good way to keep the balance of the money. "is lost between game sessions" or, if they want to save they lost "at least halfo of their total ... at the end of each game session" (p.164). 

That's a really lazy solution of the problem. Maybe because they really dislike with the idea of the money in the game.

FEEDBACK (2 solutions)

  • Erase the posibility of earn money with Profession. If they want something, they need to make a History.
    • NEW: With that, earn one wealth point cost one point of story. (If the rules don't change, I'm going to do that for sure)
  • Create "Salary points" Thats what you earn with Profession. Ten Salary Points = One Wealth Point. It's not the best solution, but almost allow you to save money and don`t make it dissapear in the bank.

 

HOUSERULES:

If you love go shopping ^^

  • Use the 1st Edition list of objects  1 Wealth = 100g, Profession= 10g per point. You start the game with 100g x point in Professsion
Peasant
Peasant's picture

A soft solution would be that you start with a peice of equipment relevant to every skill or advantage you have,

e.g a duelist starts with the weapons of his academy, a fencer starts with a 'rapier, dagger, cutlass or similar weapon', a person with ride starts with a horse, a character with 'come hither' or similar starts with a beautiful piece of clothing etc. Basically for everything you can do, you have the necessary equipment to do it. 

In short, minimum fuss. that seems the way John would want it. 

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

Better solution: Do not worry of inventory. It is part of stage if some item is missing or available. 

Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

The problem of the abstractions sometimes it's when you are playing a survival (Robinson Crusoe), traveler (Miguel Strogoff) or explorer (Columbus) campaing, when you want to buy first.

I also think that pay for medical care it's a reaaaally good rule.Only with that and the bribery ^^

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

Ditto, it's a nice way to let the players recover between fights while still having dramatic wounds feel persistent.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
The real hang up will be in convincing your players that getting paid is no longer a goal. For a lot of players there is a need to view success based upon how much treasure was gathered. There is also a strong contingent of older gamers raised on 70's and 80's era RPGs that firmly hold onto their rules of " if it's not listed, you don't have it". It may not be my style or your style but it was a very prevelant manner of play in it's day and many hold to it now. Personally, I like treasure, it's an easy way to feed a player the plot. I have grown past equipment lists but I like knowing that the players earned 10,000 guilders last month so I can sell them a ship for 9,000 and make them think they are ahead until they get hit with repairs, crew payroll and docking fees. (Then they HAVE to go adventure). But since I generally handwave fees, costs and what have you for gear, it won't effect me much.
Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

"The real hang up will be in convincing your players that getting paid is no longer a goal." @Salamanca

I understand why you tell that. But I can´t disagree more with youwink. Thats a game with a lot of pirates. And if you describe a pirate it's not because they are looking only for freedom... Also one of the examples of the Stories is become rich (p.163).

Also look for treasures (p.251) it's a focus of the game. The problem it's that the game gave you tools to become rich, like merchant (p.253) , but suddenly, they realize that you can become rich really soon. So they put the horrible rule (p.164) of the money that disapear or only the half, each sesion.

I also really dislike the idea of erase the Noble Adventage. I feel that they have been avoiding that. A lot. The only point that show you that you are noble it's the money (Same example p.163)

I don´t like the treasure for the players. At all. I can't remember when was the last time that I gave them money like reward. I preffer much more the propieties, unique objects, other works or the smile of a child (True). Much more of the time they look more to become famous or help somebody.

So, yes. Pirate game, that allow you to earn money but the rules make it disapear.

70's and 80's era RPGs that firmly hold onto their rules of " if it's not listed, you don't have it".@Salamanca

I agree with you, and the frustrating feelings of the old school games about that. But, again: sometimes que equipement, or the lack of it make us think more and use our imagination. Think in McGyver. If he have a bomb each time, I will be a boring terrorist serie.

More. Even the mega-quoted sceen of Riddik (Defeat the people with a cup). If you have in your pocket all that you need, why use a cup?

"ship for 9,000"+taxes  @Salamanca

That's a wonderfull idea. I recomend you to offer them a really cheap castle in the middle of the Eisen forest ... or a ship chased by a kraken... ( It was an amazing campaing. Much more when they forgot the kraken Muhahahahahaha! devil)

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
It's not the characters that will be the problem. It is the mercenary attitude of players. There are 3 regular gaming groups within 8 km of my home, I am invited to all and opt not to play because the only goal is to accumulate treasure and kill monsters. Those are 17 people who don't want a goal beyond money. It is uncreative and sad but they enjoy that style of play. And there is no chance of introducing them to this game and possibly expanding their interests in play styles without that.
Francis Tommaso
Francis Tommaso's picture

I'm not sure "sad" is the right word there. It's a simply a different gameplay preference that other people may enjoy. It would be easy to say that a more artsy style of gameplay is also "sad." lol It's not, of course, it's just that different people use RPGs to have fun, escape, and adventure in different ways. Some people just know what they like, and they're going to stick with it.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Yeah, I think it's better not to be in the business of telling people the right way to play.  And, as has been pointed out, if your game is centered around piracy, loot should be a factor.

Here's an idea that might make some people happier with the Wealth score.  If you want a game that revolves more around wealth, add 1 (or 2) zeroes to the wealth score and associated costs.  That's it.  You don't have to change anything else.  You can even call them Guilders at that point if you want to.  Sure being offered a bounty of 3 Wealth feels pretty lame.  But 30?  300?  Now we're talking real money.  And it still sorta fits.  Plus, it gives you a bit more wiggle room with rewards and treasure hauls, shares and whatnot.

If you do this, though, be sure to check out Savage World's 50 Fathoms or Pirates of the Spanish Main RPGs for details on Carousing and Shares.  Especially if you run a pirate-oriented game.  Hmmm...maybe I should strip those things out and repurpose them for 7th Sea anyway.  We'll see.  We should probably wait and see what Pirate Nations gives us in that regard.

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

I agree totally with you. And even the mentality of hoarding gold and hunting monsters can be done with wealth. 

The system says "hero should start with wealth at skill rank, if he has chance to use that skill to earn money". Story can start from point where he could not, thus the heroes does not have money. The player who said pirates has huge docking fee, that is story. They could not get their hoard sold, or someone swindled it. That is STORY. 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I think there might still be plenty of avenues for groups who are into wealth and treasure hunting.

You could add an Advantage called Filthy Rich (5-point advantage; start with 5 Wealth) that isn't available during character creation.

You could also take a page from the Barbarians of Lemura rpg.  There, you don't actually get treasure in amounts.  It's all descriptive.  You get mounds of loot.  Instead, you have to describe how you spend your ill-gotten gains to get experience points.  That would require some juggling with the Story Step rewards as written, but I expect you could come up with something.  Especially if most of your Stories are going to involve treasure hunting.

One last option that I would consider is creating a random table of treasures.  Each time the group brings in a haul, a player can spend a hero point to roll off the table.  It produces a "unique" piece of treaure with a story attached to it (think Earthdawn's threaded items here).  The player can choose to keep it (and build a story around it), or get rid of it with the rest of his wealth.  If he gets rid of it, it counts for nothing special.  If he keeps it and follows the story, not only does he get a step reward, but the item gets a special wealth value (usually 5-10) that he can cash in when desired.

Yeah, I really like that last option.  It seems to reward everyone and still keeps the game moving.  I'm willing to bet that most players, having worked through the story of an item, won't cash it in.  They'll keep it as a trophy.

True Iskander
True Iskander's picture

Here's another one I keep running into.  It relates to income for Noble characters.  The description of the Nobility Advantage says that such a character owns the manor, servants, etc.  Does that mean only the head of the Noble family is eligible to receive the 500G per month?  I have a character in mind who would be part of a Montaigne family, but certainly not the leader.  I wasn't sure if he would collect the 500G just for being part of the family, or if that's meant to cover the entire family's earnings.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Are you talking about the Nobility advantage from first edition?

There is the Aristocrat Background in 2nd, which gives you the Rich Advantage.  You start each game session with 3 Wealth. 

True Iskander
True Iskander's picture

Yes, it looks like my post got moved to this thread. I was asking about 1e originally.

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture
Sorry, I thought it was 2e wealth. Moved back to 1e thread.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

True Iskander
True Iskander's picture
Sorry, CN! I'll be sure to specify with future questions.
Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

That's the amount of money each PC with the noble advantage gets.

Yes, it's a ridiculous amount of money.

No, it's not really balanced.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Noble families have more than one manor. Could be it was a gift from the house leader when you came of age and you have never even been there. In theory, the place pays for itself and that money is the extra profit from owning the local mill, revenue from crops harvested and what not.
True Iskander
True Iskander's picture
Thanks, I wasn't sure if every member of a Noble family had their own manor. That seems like a stunning amount of wealth, especially in countries like Avalon and Eisen where income inequality isn't quite as bad.
Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
The inequality is as bad there. It is just that they have fewer nobles in Eisen and they are better regarded in Avalon. And just because YOU got the manor does not mean your 2 brothers and 3 cousins got one. Odds are good that one joined the clergy and another the army.
True Iskander
True Iskander's picture

Duly noted! 

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Also, not all nobles have the "noble" advantage. It isn't mandatory for a character. Many a player has said " my character is a noble but was disowned and I have nothing but this sword". They give up the starting money but usually had no plans for it anyhow. The manor part only has to be an issue if you and the GM want it to be.
Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

I know in my game, the Manor played a roll (as did my property in Barcino), during the game.  I had Verdugo over for dinner, had the house stormed by Vesten, was a safe house for Explorers, and got it burned down by the Inquisition.  For some of the game it was a non-issue, like when I spent three in game years in Ussura.  

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Heh. Maybe someone should modify the ship creation rules for manor houses. They both service something of the same purpose.

Yurik Darkwolfe
Yurik Darkwolfe's picture

After having read through all this I have two concerns for playing long term games, one is specific to items and the other is more advancement related (which I haven't looked for a thread about that yet). I start running a game in two weeks so I will have more in game experience then.

The first is items for players. I can work with wealth points with some house ruling, allowing players to save them up, making them relatively hard to come by, but having the impact they can have be very worthwhile all works. But when it comes to specific items, everyone loves getting a better weapon or unique armor or special item. Could you incorporate these things with worthwhile bonuses without overpowering everything?

The second has to do with advancement and stories. I personally can't stand the story method after reading through it - although I'll leave it up to the players to decide if we want to try it for a few sessions - and was wondering if there was another way to do it? Would the setup from 1e work?

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
The answer to your first question is in your second. Specialized items with bonuses fall under the signature item advantage. I would compare earning it to a portion of the Hammer and Tongs adventure where the heroes get a piece of Dracheneisen as a reward. Unless they want to make that goal their story, you can use it as a GM story reward for a session. My current mindset on stories is to let player stories earn advantages and GM stories earn trait and skill points. (Player's choice on what skill to raise to rank 3 for example)
Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

The system is following: You do not have inventory. Instead, the thing is following - if troupe agrees, that equipment is reasonable, then finie, You had it. If it is not, then you don't have it unless you spend Hero Point to find thes stuff as oportunity. IF you do not have GM and plaeyrs who cannto do this, the answr is simpel: Sorry, we cannot make rules which solve problme of bad players. 

I do really dislike the engineering solution thinking that you have huge inventories of every thing you have. And those engineers almost always ignores the fact things are bulky. Taking it into accouitn how logn it takes to take stuff out of modern backpack, imagine how much it took during 17th century stuff with more complex attachments like leather belts. 

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

There is one simple problme in Guilder system - which powergamers hate. They like large numbers. But system just breaks out if every game session they steal a ship and get its value. The problem is that a ship is God Damn Valuable. It costs income of tens of years of skilled artesan to make. The whole Tourist Economy Model of D&D just does not work if you think it for a second. The fact your magical item requires gold valeu whihc maitnaisn family for decades or even centries is absurd. 

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

I think there should be guildeline how large bribes are in certian amount of Guilders. I would say it is quite ismpole: wealth 1 allow syou to spend tens of guildsers, Weath 2 around hudnred, wealth 3  around 500 guilders, wealth 4 1000 guildrs, wealth 5 2000 guildes, without worrying much. This is for just giving person idea how much he can waste on bribes for roleplayign reasons.

On the other hand - 1st edition only nobles could afford anythign even close to expensive. No craftsman could get even 100 guilders. Patron could get you 160g a month whicih was a bit less than 1/3rd of noble land owner's excess income.

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

Another important thing is the fact value of money is not fixed except in poorly designed RPGs. Prices are not same. There is no catalogues of prices or google price checks, and even nowadays there is quite large spectrum of pricing for same object depending where you buy it. This seems to be really really hard for majority of humanity to get.

Thus - on 2nd edition - the brute wealth does not matter as much as opportunities. Desperate captain might sell his ship way cheaper or share of ship way cheaper than a prosperous merchan. Captain might have had bad luck and lost 2 cargoes in a row and have very very low liquid assets. It is more about stories less about statitstics.

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