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Wealth and Savings

 
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Althalus

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Joined: 07 Aug 2012
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Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Wealth and Savings Reply with quote

Hi,

I´ve run into something of a "wall-of-thinking": The wealth-resource covers the characters income, so far, so clear. But what about the livres, a character earns in his adventures?
In "Force Majeure"e. g., the PCs are payed 100 livres each and they can make possibly more by looting the spanish soldiers and the cultists (them being enemy soldiers or enemies of the state and therefore falling under the rules of engagement).

So, when a PC pockets so much money and doesn´t want to spend it on carousing - wouldn´t that qualify as Wealth 0 at least?

But that´s not all: What, if the PC invests his money? It was not unusual at the time to deposit money with jewelers or merchants or buy interests from traders on goods.

In any of these cases, based on pure logic, the PC would get the wealth-resource without paying XPs - he just has the money at his disposal.

So, is it possible to gain a resource without investing XPs?
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TAG Wiggy

Triple Ace


Joined: 11 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a hero just pockets the 100 livres, then he has 100 livres on his character sheet. A lump sum in his pocket doesn't affect his monthly income. I'd only allow him Wealth if he invests it. However, there are two main choices for how the GM handles this.

* Free Resource. The GM just grants a free Resource. The same might apply to an ally, contact, or patron acquired through role-playing. The aim of the game is fun, and if the heroes earn a free Resource, then let them have it.
It gets tricky judging Wealth levels, since a duke can have no Wealth Resource and still lead a very good life, throw parties, and so on -- he just he spends all his available cash (unless he uses one of his bonus Resurces to cut back and temporarily gain Wealth). Would 100 livres really do much for the duke in terms of Wealth Resources?

* Pay the XPs. Unless the hero pays the relevant XPs, the Resource is fleeting (maybe lasting for the next adventure only). An investment goes bad, an ally moves away or dies, the patron finds better prospects to patronize, and so on.

As with many discussions on the forum, GM playing style choice trumps all.
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Althalus

Deuce


Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 68
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As with many discussions on the forum, GM playing style choice trumps all.

That´s the usual premise. Wink
Quote:
* Pay the XPs. Unless the hero pays the relevant XPs, the Resource is fleeting (maybe lasting for the next adventure only). An investment goes bad, an ally moves away or dies, the patron finds better prospects to patronize, and so on.

Idea So, in case of resources, XP act as anchors - a PC may gain wealth, allies, contacts, etc. through RP alone, but to keep it, he has to invest XPs. That clears up a whole bunch of Question in one sweep.
Elegant!
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TAG Wiggy

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Althalus wrote:
Idea So, in case of resources, XP act as anchors - a PC may gain wealth, allies, contacts, etc. through RP alone, but to keep it, he has to invest XPs. That clears up a whole bunch of Question in one sweep.
Elegant!


Just make sure the player knows he has a choice before suddenly declarig his new patron has dropped him. Smile
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Althalus

Deuce


Joined: 07 Aug 2012
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Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Just make sure the player knows he has a choice before suddenly declarig his new patron has dropped him.

That would be nasty, wouldn´t it? Twisted Evil
But ... it would also open up the question why the patron lost interest in him - which could lead straight to another adventure ...
Slowly I begin to see the GM-potential in resources ... Very Happy
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The GIT!

Four


Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Althalus wrote:
Quote:
* Pay the XPs. Unless the hero pays the relevant XPs, the Resource is fleeting (maybe lasting for the next adventure only). An investment goes bad, an ally moves away or dies, the patron finds better prospects to patronize, and so on.

Idea So, in case of resources, XP act as anchors - a PC may gain wealth, allies, contacts, etc. through RP alone, but to keep it, he has to invest XPs. That clears up a whole bunch of Question in one sweep.
Elegant!

In my game I have given out free resources (actually a group shared resource) and I treat them no differently to Resources the players have spent hard earned XP on. The rulebook states "Resources are not permanent abilities, so they can be easily gained or lost during play. Your character should not abuse his Resources or use them carelessly, or he might lose them."

I've already stripped one player of his Refuge as part of the story but I generously allowed him to reuse the spent XP on another Resource - he basically sold his property. For me Resources are one of the strongest elements of Ubiquity but they can be abused so the GM needs to keep a tight rein on things. That said, they can prove absolutely invaluable to the characters during play.
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CanuckAlchemist

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll add in here, since it was my refuge that was taken away. TheGit did allow me to sell the property and reinvest the points in another lab. (Character is an alchemist), so I moved out, but converted the cash from the sale and my equipment into a new Refuge.


Resources make you act different. They tie to to one place like the shared hotel we got because of our adventures. We've all shared and spent experience points to improve security, I added a lab etc. So the Resource is 'ours', to be defended and improved upon. Or lost to a gang of thugs. It is now our achilles heel as well, targeted and watched by enemies. Open to damage, arson, legal battles etc. Double edged sword. And far more than just 15 points spent and scribbled down on a character sheet.
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Althalus

Deuce


Joined: 07 Aug 2012
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Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mhmm, all of that gets me wondering why a player should invest XP into non-social resources at all?
If I invest into Fencing School, the XP simulate a certain social investment, being an active member of that school, training harder, etc. For Allies and Patrons it simulates spending time and efforts, keeping these persons on my good side. The same goes for Followers and Contacts.

But why invest XP into Wealth and Refuge? The first one requires primarly money - gain coins, invest them into a promising business, make more money.
Refuge requires also money - buy a house, a hôtel ... I could even buy a hôtel and rent out rooms to gain money (Bonus resource Wealth).

Rank and Fame are a bit unclear in this regard, as Rank is bestowed upon a character by an external force and Fame has to be gained by deeds. When a PC is promoted, he will lose his new rank only, if he gets degraded by his superior, with or without XP spent.

Don´t get me wrong, I understand the purpose of XP-investment in system-terms, as it gives players additional ways to improve their characters. Maybe that´s more logically based in HEX - different social context, where a man can make everything out of himself.
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TAG Wiggy

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can give a Leagues example based on our campaign. At the end of our last adventure, the GM gave both players (me and Jimbo) Status 0 for free (his choice), to reflect we'd been given minor medals for our efforts in saving the nation. However, I chose to buy Fame 0 as well (my Motivation). As far as the newspapers. and thus the public, are concerned, I solved the case. My colleague was mentioned only briefly, as he didn't purchase Fame. By spending the XPs, I effectively changed how the story appeared in the press. Otherwise, the story would have gone unnoticed by the public at large.

Similarly, I donated a tiger to the Epicurean Society, of which I am a member (Rank 0). The GM agreed that my gift, if accompanied by XPs, was enough to earn me promotion to Rank 1. Otherwise, the gift would have been noted by my superiors, but not important enough to earn promotion.

In AFO, promotion is awarded by the GM, but he's within his rights to withhold it unless the character actively seeks it (spending XPs). Players should likewise work turning it down into the story, and the motives of their character.

Take the Three Musketeers film. D'Artagnan is offered a post with the Musketeers (Rank 0). Depending on how the GM wants to use Resource, whether he takes it or not is decided by his spending XPs. Since his Motivation is to become a Musketeer (Duty? Fame?), he accepts and pays the cost. In the Four Musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis turn down a lieutenancy. D'Artagnan accepts -- not because it is free, but because he has XPs to spend and wants a higher Rank. (I know this skips a few Resource levels in AFO terms, but the table had to fit 5 levels, not follow the movie, or reality.)

GM: There's a promotion being offered, if you want to spend 15 XPs on Rank.
Athos: I don't have 15 XPs handy. I'll say, "Thank you for the kind offer, good sir, but leadership is not my forte. Give it to a more deserving man."

Same for Fame -- spending the XPs can denote the hero actively talking about his own tales and having folk listen whereever he travels, rather than ignoring him as just another boastful Musketeer.
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The GIT!

Four


Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll support what Wiggy says on this subject 100%. Don't misunderstand me giving the players some free Resources. Such freebies come at a price. If the player spends the XP then the Resource is definitely more robust and significant.

In my campaign CanuckAlchemist is looking to gain a Patron. Rather than have him say "I've spent 15 XP on a Patron and here are his stats" I've discussed with him what he wants and I gently introduced him to his possible Patron. In fact, at one point he didn't recognise the person as a possible Patron but the penny finally dropped. A meeting is now set and, if he plays things smart, he will have a new Patron that will cost him 15 XP. If he screws up I won't allow him to spend the 15 XP on this Patron.

Another player is hoping to gain a new Resource (I can't say much here because CanuckAlchemist will gain too much info Wink ) but there are a few hoops to jump through before he/she gets to spend the XP and gain the Resource.

Another thing I have discussed with my group are the stats of Patrons and Fencing Masters etc. I have stated that the stats they come up with for these people aren't the complete picture; these personages actually have far more. The level of the Resource is just a representation of the relationship between the PC and his Patron. As the Resource increases the relationship develops, the Patron reveals more about himself, and this allows the PC to be able to tap in to more Skills, Talents and Resources that the Patron makes available.

Just my take on things.
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Althalus

Deuce


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, at the bottom-line, resources are a way to ground RP-elements within the system so all kinds of groups get the most out of it. If you like to RP things, you can, but if you´re more into 'get this over and back to action' it´s not a problem, also.

One more thing, though: Follower is not only used for Lackeys - it could be used for hunting dogs and horses, right? But that´s where it gets a bit strange ... 15 XP for a (maybe very well trained and loyal) dog/horse/hunting falcon? Shocked

I would imagine something along the lines of Zorros stallion or Rin Tin Tin could be worth 15 XP - but they wouldn´t be Level 0, would they?

Where would you draw the line between, say, the fiery stallion from the market (expensive and from exellent breeding) and Zorros stallion with all its tricks in regard to spending XP on the Follower resource?
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TAG Wiggy

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follower can be used for animals. HEX later added a specific Animal Follower Talent, which states that "This resource does not represent typical livestock, pets, or mounts, but rather unique animals who are especially motivated to assist their masters in particular tasks and even accompany them on their journeys." Although AFO doesn't use that specific Resource (which allows improved attributes and Talents but not Skills), a similar mentality applies -- not every animal is a Follower.

The animals in the AFO bestiary section state their Follower level. For instance, a horse is Follower 2. Given that every musketeer begins with a horse, I'd say that if he wants to turn his horse into a true Follower he needs to pay a flat 15 XP (rather than 30). Argument being he already knows the beast and how it acts. Spending the XPs just makes it more loyal and motivated. <aybe now it comes when he whistles, or something. Now he can spend more XPs to improve it at his leisure, if he desires.

However, if he wants to buy a brand new mount and instantly declare it a Follower, then I'd consider charging him the full 30 XPs -- horses who become faithful minions just like that aren't easy to find.
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Althalus

Deuce


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Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
HEX later added a specific Animal Follower Talent

I found it in the german edition of Space 1889. Wink
Quote:
For instance, a horse is Follower 2.

That´s what got me wondering. To comply with creation-rules you need this rating - but a horse is therefore worth more than a lackey?
Quote:
Spending the XPs just makes it more loyal and motivated. Maybe now it comes when he whistles, or something.

OK, that does not only answer my question, but opens up a new tier of character-definement. We know the PC, his lackey ... what about the horse he rides? Is it just a mount, a means of transportation to him or more of a companion? Would he mind, if it got hurt or would he just end its pain and grumble about the extra money he now has to spend?

And - as I know my group - it means additional work for me to research available horse-breeds in 17th century France ... Rolling Eyes
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