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Author Topic: [Solar System] Secrets of Resources  (Read 7306 times)
Courage75
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Posts: 57


« on: June 10, 2009, 07:06:02 PM »

Hey All,

I'm trying to nail down some Secrets to model tiered levels of wealth (Resources) for my Werewolf game. This is what I have come up with so far:
Secret of Resources (Rank 1 to 10)
  • The Resources Secret represents personal disposable income, wealth and assets that can be liquidated for more money in an emergency. It has a Rank from 1 to 10. If a character doesnít have the Resources Secret, then they have an effective Resources Rank of 0.
  • Every valuable item has a Resource Rank, ranging from 0 to 10. Items Ranked 0 are usually worthless junk while a Rank 10 Item might be worth millions or even billions (such as a resort hotel, for instance)
  • A character can automatically afford items that are less than his Resource Rank.
  • If his Resources Rank is equal to the Resource Rank of the item, the player has three options:
  • 1. He can choose to pay Pool equal to the Rank of the item. This represents the character working harder to afford the item. The type of Pool depends on how a PC acquires her disposable income. A labourer may pay Vigour while a professional may pay Reason and an entertainer may pay Instinct, for example.
  • 2. He can purchase the item outright but they lose one Rank of Resources by doing so. This is a useful option if the character needs desperately needs the item but doesnít have any Pool to pay for it.
  • 3. He can attempt to convince the vendor of the item to reduce the price of the Resource by one Rank. This is usually a contested Persuasion (I) check versus the vendorís Persuasion (I), Resist (R) or even Empathy (I). A supporting check may be applicable to appraise an item, such as Crafts (R) or Science (R), depending on what it is. If the check fails, the character cannot purchase the item, even if he drops his Resource Rank as above.
  • If the Resource Rank of the item is greater than the character's Resources Rank, the character cannot afford it. The character will have to increase his Resources Rank, either through spending XP or a gift of Resources from another character. The character might be able to combine his Resources with another character, although the item will then be joint-owned.
  • A character can gift his Resources to another character by giving that character one Rank of his Resources. The character then loses one Resources Rank.
  • A character may combine his Resources with that of another character to purchase an item less than their combined Resources Rank. If the item is equal to their combined Resources Rank, they must decide which method they are going to use to purchase it. If purchasing outright, each character loses a Resource Rank. If paying Pool, divide the Resource Rank into equal shares and then each character must pay Pool. If attempting to haggle, the characters may support a Persuasion (I) check, but the effect is the same. Note that only an item of that is normally capable of joint-ownership can be purchased in this way, e.g. a vehicle or a house, not a book or clothes.

Any suggestions? I'm sure there is a simpler way to model this, but I kinda like the crunch.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2009, 11:39:21 PM »

This is the approach Exalted uses, isn't it?

The way I'd do this sort of thing would be to simply have a Wealth (I) Ability that depicts how the character gets his way in a situation by spending money. He could also have a Bargain (I) Ability to depict how he can make a deal when it matters. With these Abilities I would handle buying things simply: if it makes sense for the character in the fiction to be able to afford something, then he gets it. If it is uncertain, a successful Bargain or Wealth check can make it so. This is based on how the conflict system of the game works: if something matters, then it is a conflict. If it doesn't, then the Story Guide just makes a call and the game moves on.

I'm sure it depends on the group, but I wouldn't get much mileage out of a long list of equipment and equipment prices in the first place. For me it would be a matter of character rights, essentially: what mechanical benefits could I provide through the equipment to justify the time and xp we as players spend on the issue? Equipment ratings? Free Effects? After I answer this question, I can also answer what the players should be paying to get those benefits. For an example approach, see my sketch for Ammeni wealth mechanics for TSoY.

If you're set on resource ranks, then I suggest that 10 steps (as something that takes up to ten Advances to get) is probably dramatically too much. A three-step set-up would be my choice: one rank for comfortable, two for opulent and three for filthy rich. Even spending three Advances on something that doesn't provide mechanical benefits and is there just to speedbumb character concepts is a bit suspect to me, though.
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Courage75
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Posts: 57


« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2009, 07:17:16 PM »

It's been a while since you responded to this, Eero, but thanks for your answer!

My inspiration for the Secret of Resources was actually Burning Wheel. Exalted uses a scale of 1 to 5 (I think).

The Ammeni wealth mechanics are interesting but they have a more "have & have-nots" feel to them that don't really suit what I am after.

At the moment, all the PCs have a Persuasion (I) Ability that I think I can broaden to cover a Bargain(I)/Weath(I) check. I like the idea of having three levels of Resource Secrets as you suggest. Perhaps it could look something like this:

Secret of Comfortable Income
You have enough disposable income to live comfortably and spend money on things as you need them. You can make a Persuasion (I) to create an Effect for bonus dice to spend on a future Persuasion (I) check to buy an item. Cost: 1 Instinct plus the cost of the Effect

Secret of Wealthy
You are quite well off and have a bank account deep enough to purchase most things. You can spend as much Instinct as you like for bonus dice on any Persuasion (I) check to buy something. Prerequisite: Secret of Comfortable Income. Cost: 1 Instinct per bonus die

Secret of Filthy Rich
You are rolling in money and you can afford the best stuff. Whenever you make a Persuasion (I) check to purchase something, you get the result as an Effect for free. Prerequisite: Secret of Wealth. Cost: 3 Instinct


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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2009, 06:27:13 AM »

I like this solution in principle, having each rough level of income provide a specific mechanical effect helps them be meaningful to be sure. Do try it, and keep note of how the specific mechanics work. For instance, I might just give a bonus die in the first Secret for any buying the character does. But the principle is sound.
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Courage75
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2009, 07:06:56 PM »

Thanks Eero.

In regards to your suggestion for the Secret of Comfortable Income to give a bonus die to any buying the character does, is this a Secret that would have a cost? Or would it be an automatic bonus die at any time? I think it would be a redundant Secret if it cost Pool for the bonus die since any character can spend 1 Pool for a bonus die anyway, but I just want to confirm.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2009, 10:18:31 PM »

I suppose it'd be a free die, but that's just a detail. I'm not sold on the mechanic you have because at my table creating an Effect is something anybody can do. No reason not to limit it, but you should at least decide whether you're removing the general rule altogether, or is it just this one Ability that requires a Secret to create Effects from.
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Courage75
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Posts: 57


« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 09:00:57 PM »

I suppose it'd be a free die, but that's just a detail. I'm not sold on the mechanic you have because at my table creating an Effect is something anybody can do. No reason not to limit it, but you should at least decide whether you're removing the general rule altogether, or is it just this one Ability that requires a Secret to create Effects from.
I suppose I am extending the applicability of Persuasion (I) to buying things. Normally, Persuasion (I) would not be able to used for this purpose - it is more about convincing people than bargaining or sheer buying power. I have conveniently folded the bargaining/wealth aspect of into it by requiring PCs who want to use it in that manner to purchase the Secret.
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