Income & Social Status - Silver/Gold Divide.

Cubicle 7 // 2018
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SigmariteOrWrong
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:55 am

I'm playing a Cavalryman PC in our game, eventually I'll move from Status Silver 4 to Gold 1 when I make Sergeant.
This will stabilise my income at 20s per income endeavour, where previously it was 4-40s (Avg 22s).

Given required expenditure to maintain social class, Silver 4 Status nets 1-10 days worth of living costs for a weeks work (At the table we assume living costs are covered for any endeavour undertaken, and an excess is generated), and Gold 1 Status nets you 1 day of living costs. Has anyone devised house rules covering this income/status/living costs?

I think we will be looking at simply making one Income Endeavour generate 1D10 days of living expenses.
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Orin J.
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the living costs are for maintaining the standard of living, which makes a certain level of sense for gold tier- it's very hard to live the life of a landed noble when you're travelling away from your taxed population. that said, i pretty much immediately discarded the status as a concrete stat. it interfered with developing characters as the GM and didn't contribute much to the player's side of things enough to compensate.
Leith
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Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:17 pm

SigmariteOrWrong wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:04 pm
I'm playing a Cavalryman PC in our game, eventually I'll move from Status Silver 4 to Gold 1 when I make Sergeant.
This will stabilise my income at 20s per income endeavour, where previously it was 4-40s (Avg 22s).

Given required expenditure to maintain social class, Silver 4 Status nets 1-10 days worth of living costs for a weeks work (At the table we assume living costs are covered for any endeavour undertaken, and an excess is generated), and Gold 1 Status nets you 1 day of living costs. Has anyone devised house rules covering this income/status/living costs?

I think we will be looking at simply making one Income Endeavour generate 1D10 days of living expenses.
That's 2-20 days of living expenses. Half your status per day. Gold 1 would be 1 wk of work gets 2 days of expenses. I guess that level of social standing is tricky to keep up without constant maintenance.

Orin is right though, this sort of book-keeping is annoying and unlikely to add anything to your game.
Knight of the Lady
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:04 am

I guess I am one of the few who is thrilled that the social aspects of the Old World being brought in and that it isn't just handwaved but there's a concrete way to deal with various elements that comes from a class society like the Old World.

Now I understand that this could potentially be unnecessary if the campaign is based around "the plot", but if you're playing a bunch of guys living in a town, without a big plot to follow and explore, and needing to head out to adventures from time to time then I think this issue of life beyond the adventure parts is a gem.
Leith
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Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:17 pm

Thing is that I've pretty much forgotten about status for the whole of the 14 sessions I've run. Hence why I see it as unnecessary bookkeeping. I do intend to incorporate the social mechanics eventually as soon as I come up with a good way to remind myself they exist.

As far a living expenses go, it's something my groups tend to ignore, so paying to uphold status is likely to fall by the wayside as well.
Stirlander
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:01 pm

This is the exact issue I have had.

Can I clarify, unless I have this horribly wrong, to maintain status, there is a requirement to spend HALF status PER DAY?

Therefore, 2 Silver status would be 1s per day. (1 week being 7 silver.) Income then = 2D10 silver - 7silver to maintain. Seems reasonable.

This surely does not translate into Gold status. 1G = 12s, therefore there is a requirement of 6s per day. At most with Gold 1 you will make 12s per week. However there is a required spend of 42s (7 days of 6s per day) to maintain status. This just doesn't work. The rich are supposed to be rich not in debt.

Have I got this mechanic wrong?

In addition, there seems to be a conflict in the writing of the book on this. In relation to 'Earning Money With Status' , page 52 reads:

"This total is not strictly speaking what you earn, it's more a representation of how much money you have left at the end of the week AFTER ALL EXPENSES are taken into account."

Contrasting this, page 289, under 'The Cost of Living' , reads:

"...half your status every day is usually enough to maintain appearances...so if you have a Status of Silver 4, spending at least 2 shillings a day will do for food and board..."

This completely contradicts the information on p.52?

Can someone please clarify all of the above? I would absolutely love to have read this wrong because as far as I read there seems to be a few glaring issues with the status maintenance system.

Thanks for your help!
FasterThanJesus
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Location: UK

The information on p52 relates to optional earning, which allows a player to earn the amount specified (assuming a successful earnings test) NET.

Cost of living is something that players must keep spending to maintain status. Earning is an optional endeavour to make money. It's an attempt to represent what we have left over after spending on rent/mortgage, food, taxes, overpriced RPG supplements etc. Ergo 1 week of earning gives a whopping 2 days of savings.

However, the rulebook also states that earning may only be performed where appropriate for that profression. This should also include cost of living. Traipsing around the Drakwald will cost nothing beyond supplies. You may arrive at your destination, muddy, bloody and stinking of dung, but best pack a change of clothes.

Besides, who'd have thought the Empire had a higher cost of living than London?
Stirlander
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:01 pm

Faster Than Jesus, many thanks for the reply. Is there any chance you'd mind giving a brief example of how the above works? For some reason I'm having a mind block in relation to this.
FasterThanJesus
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I'll give you my interpretation. Where it is feasible, a character should spend half of their status per day on cost of living. Typically this is food, drink and lodgings (p302). For example, a noble would be needing to pay for high quality private room at an inn as opposed to the cheap common room a brass tier character would be paying for. If the player chooses to take the cheap option with their character, then character loses a status point. Personally, I would only enforce this in circumstances where it makes sense, e.g. in civilisation.

In between adventures, or more correctly, between sessions where the character has time off, they may choose to earn money as described on p52 (under GM discretion), which give them the amount listed net back.

So, if the characters, head off to a town following a lead and do whatever it is while there, they will need to obtain lodgings and pay for sustenence. The noble must spend 10/- a day. A single private room covers this, so they could cheap out on food with no status penalty. After whatever scenario plays out and there is at least a week's downtime, the Noble character may earn (apparently by leading people) and get 1GC back. If the noble starts to run low on money and is forced to spend less than the 10/- per day, a status point is lost per day.

There is also post on the Cubicle 7 website about this stuff: https://www.cubicle7games.com/wfrp-keep ... liebwitzs/
Stirlander
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My issue is at 10s a day for the week, wouldn't this greatly outstrip the 1G he can earn, therefore leaving him utterly destitute?
FasterThanJesus
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Location: UK

The 1GC is net, so it is disposable income after necessary living expenses.
Leith
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Stirlander wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:24 pm
My issue is at 10s a day for the week, wouldn't this greatly outstrip the 1G he can earn, therefore leaving him utterly destitute?
Only if you never do any work. The earning endeavor assumes you're spending the money as you earn it. The money you get at the end is a bonus on top of living expenses. So if your character never went off having adventures and just worked for a living, you wouldn't have to worry about it.
CapnZapp
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No edition of WFRP has ever had a functioning economy.

The gold/solver/brass divide is a good idea - if you use it as a basis for role-playing, not if you're assuming counting actual coins will yield meaningful results. That is, if you use it as shorthand for a character's social strata to help players without a deep knowledge of history new to the Old World characterize their PC's attitude towards society ("my Gong Farmer is only Brass, so he doffs his hat to any clean passers-by"; "I'm a Gold academic, so I treat the staff as trash since that's the only way a gentleman's going to get good service around here")

(Even though I am a harsh critic of WFRP4, this is not an area I am focusing on, since in truth no edition of any fantasy game ever has made economics work, so WFRP4 isn't really worse off in this regard.)

Anyway, we found that most existing WFRP adventures heap piles of gold crowns onto characters, so the rulebook info becomes obsolete quite quickly (it comes off as written by someone not interested in upholding compatibility with previous edition scenarios). Plus, while the Endeavours phase was novel for a while, the idea you lose all your loot after each adventure, as well as the mechanics for storing and retrieving it, gets old fast. After half a dozen adventures, you tend to skip it all.
FasterThanJesus
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Leith wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:23 pm
Only if you never do any work. The earning endeavor assumes you're spending the money as you earn it. The money you get at the end is a bonus on top of living expenses. So if your character never went off having adventures and just worked for a living, you wouldn't have to worry about it.
Yes. It's more succint than saying you've earned 4GC (or whatever), now deduct your living expenses. It's fiddly enough as it is.
Stirlander
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Leith wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:23 pm
Stirlander wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:24 pm
My issue is at 10s a day for the week, wouldn't this greatly outstrip the 1G he can earn, therefore leaving him utterly destitute?
Only if you never do any work. The earning endeavor assumes you're spending the money as you earn it. The money you get at the end is a bonus on top of living expenses. So if your character never went off having adventures and just worked for a living, you wouldn't have to worry about it.
Does it state that the status maintenance only occurs during out of town adventures? My understanding was that it happened at all times or at the very least when you were in between adventures in towns.

My confusion was that it appears to say the earning endeavour reflects all costs and expenses in one part of the book and in another suggests you must spend half your status to maintain expenses.

Doesn't it feel like the half status system per day is very harsh on the fixed income Gold Status careers?

I'm considering just abandoning status maintenance.

Is there a difference between Earning as mentioned on p.51-52 and the Income Endeavour?
FasterThanJesus
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Location: UK

Stirlander wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:43 pm
Does it state that the status maintenance only occurs during out of town adventures? My understanding was that it happened at all times or at the very least when you were in between adventures in towns.
It doesn't really specify. I strongly suggest using judgement here.
My confusion was that it appears to say the earning endeavour reflects all costs and expenses in one part of the book and in another suggests you must spend half your status to maintain expenses [status?].

Doesn't it feel like the half status system per day is very harsh on the fixed income Gold Status careers?
The earning endeavour seems to be just doing your job and living as normal. It's designed to give you some spare cash at the end of the week. It is the WFRP equivalent of us doing our day jobs, picking our pay up at the end of the week having already deducted all of our outgoings for living costs.

It does seem a little harsh an gold status, but it is likely a balancing mechanism for their benefits (at least I guess that is the intent)
I'm considering just abandoning status maintenance.
I would suggest skipping it, but maybe cherry picking the useful bits. If you have a high status character obviously slumming it, you can penalise them, but I don't think there is much point in the constant micromanagement.

Same for endeavours, some nice stuff there, but plenty of fiddly bits, too.
Is there a difference between Earning as mentioned on p.51-52 and the Income Endeavour?
I think so, but don't have the rulebook to hand.
Leith
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:17 pm

Income says your expenses are covered while you do it. Paying for status sounds like an expense to me.
Before scrapping the system consider that if the PCs are earning money and have no incentive to spend it, they will hoard it. You will find, as happens in D&D where PCs have gobs of cash thrown at them with nothing to spend it on, the PCs become very wealthy very quickly. By which I mean they will never wont for anything, though they may save for big ticket items. On top of that there is less of a practical difference between careers. If both the duelist and the protagonist have earned 10gc for the adventure they have the same spending power. If the duelist has to pay 1/6d a day to maintain status, first off they'd better get something for it, and the protagonist will feel like 10gc is a lot more. Because for him it is.
None of which is to say "keep up the bookkeeping." I hate the economy of D&D, but WFRP does a better job just by having equipment be more expensive. You don't need to fiddle with numbers constantly to get the feel that gold 1 is better than silver 4.
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