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Value of loot and money given out

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  • Value of loot and money given out

    $500 starting money for level 0 PC (Novice)
    $1000 starting money for level 4 PC (Seasoned)
    Using Persuasion (increased by Streetwise) sells gear/loot at 25% (more for raises)

    Using above guidelines, how would you properly give loot/money to the level 0 PC so that when it advances to level 4, it would have roughly the same gear level as a PC starting at level 4?

    Level 0 PC uses their $500 for a kevlar vest.
    As they advance, the GM awards them avg. $125 per advance.
    When they reach level 4 they want to upgrade to an infantry battle suit ($800). They can sell the kevlar vest for $125 (25%), so if they haven't spent their money elsewise they now only have $625. This isn't enough to get the battle suit.
    Meanwhile, new level 4 PC has $1000, and can purchase the battle suit.

    As the GM, would you instead give the PC $150-175 per advance to cover the difference? Is there another strategy?

  • #2
    Originally posted by AwesomeOpossum74 View Post
    Using above guidelines, how would you properly give loot/money to the level 0 PC so that when it advances to level 4, it would have roughly the same gear level as a PC starting at level 4?
    Sorry but I wouldn't.

    Two things
    Going out and risking your life adventuring is (generally) worth more than starting money, after someone had been adventuring for a while I would expect them to have more "adventuring money" than a character just starting out/returning to the adventuring life.

    Going by character creation starting funds are $500 when starting out a Novice, $1000 as a Seasoned character, and $2000 as a Veteran (pg 54), the increase in starting funds is not linear so stating it out that way re advances is not going to give a balanced accounting (pun intended).


    • #3
      I reject your goal and substitute a new one.

      Make the money awards fit the world and story.
      Most of the small-time dealers have hundreds of dollars on them, maybe a couple thousand. The counting house has hundreds of thousands. If the players can pull off the raid then they get the rewards.
      If you can't live with that goal, remember that ongoing play has ongoing costs. Ammunition, food, transport, shelter, and entertainment for characters that aren't ascetic monks.
      Factoring in the ongoing expenses, I'd recommend about $250 per advance.

      The difference in final results of money value is going to be less impactful than having modern-era armor and future-era armor in the same setting without changing costs or availability.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


      • #4
        Same as the above posts, but in my own words.

        Setting up a fixed reward system per Advance would only end in failure. For one, rewards shouldn't be per Advance, since the Advance itself is a reward. Instead, monetary rewards should come upon the completion of a task. If a questline takes six or seven sessions, the characters might have Advanced twice before they receive the fruits of their labor.

        Rewards should also match the risk. If a Novice team takes on a challenge scaled for Veterans, they can expect higher compensation if they succeed. This is the tale of the underdog. It's like if a fireman rescues someone from a housefire, he gets a hearty pat on the back, but it's also his job; he's got the gear and training, so it's kind of expected of him. But if a normal citizen charged into the blaze with nothing but a wet hoodie for protection and saved a child, he'd be branded a hero and subsequently accosted with requests for exclusive interviews. Even though the result was the same, the underdog's acheivement is seen as greater.

        As for selling items, the rules in the book are mostly a guideline, not a hard mandate. It basically follows the idea that used goods have less value than new goods. But most settings are likely to have a seedy underbelly where you can sell stuff at or even above market price. And barter is usually a viable form of exchange too.

        The point (before I veer too far away from it) is that Starting Funds and quest rewards aren't comparable. I wouldn't advise you to limit the financial rewards to $500 over the first four Advances, and then $1000 of then next four. Try to be more fluid with values, and also try to think of rewards in relation to the task. Not everyone can pay in cold, hard cash. Sometimes, gaining a contact in a key location (as per the Connections Edge) is much more valuable than a sackful of Benjamins.


        • #5
          Two other factors to put in with the mix:
          1. You have to keep consumables and expenses in mind, too. If you achieved those advances though adventuring you would have spent money on lodging, resupply, healing etc. So you should definitely achieve more cash in play than the equivalent starting wealth for being a higher ‘level’
          2. Wealth at character creation is usually highly flexible in how you spend it, meaning you get what you want and need for your character. Loot acquire in play is much more variable, may be sub-optimal, need fencing etc. So you would need to acquire more ‘loot’ to achieve that same value as typical ‘starting wealth’.