Monday, September 9, 2013

Wealth as a Trait in Savage Worlds

I am currently planning a cyberpunk campaign and would love to put some serious stress on players concerning their finances and their extremely expensive augmentation. However, I hate the accounting that goes into keeping track of currency, especially when futuristic inflation is involved. My solution will be to add a Wealth Trait to characters.*

In order to procure an item or service, the player will need to roll a Wealth check. Hitting the Target Number of 4 results in a successful purchase, but there are some complications.

For every successful purchase, the character gains a point of Financial Stress, which accounts for dwindling cash reserves. Each point of Financial Stress results in a -1 penalty to the Wealth check. Financial Stress scores can be lowered over time or when players come into a certain amount of cash. If the player receives a windfall, they can actually receive negative Financial Stress, which would instead be a bonus to their next Wealth check.

Each Raise on a Wealth check prevents a point of Financial Stress. Two or more raises actually removes Financial Stress.

Rather than having a specific monetary value, every item and service will have a cost rating. This cost rating translates into another penalty to the Wealth check.

0 - Normal living expenses, cheap consumer goods.
1 - Expensive items, weaponry, mid-range consumer electronics.
2 - Very expensive items, basic augmentations, high-end electronics and weapons.
3 - Military grade hardware, complex augmentations, top-of-the-line electronics and gear.
4 - Highly experimental or secretive services, cutting edge augmentations and electronics.

Player's start with a d4 as their Wealth trait die. This die can be adjusted by choosing Edges and Hindrances.

Poverty - d4-2
Normal - d4
Rich - d6
Filthy Rich - d8

If a player fails a Wealth check, they can spend a bennie to turn the failure into a success. However, they will immediately gain the In Debt hindrance. This hindrance will act much like the Enemy hindrance until the player is able to appease their creditor. This appeasement is at the GM's discretion. Possible applications would be a semi-permanent level of Financial Stress until the debt is paid or running dangerous missions.

Hopefully this will make my players think twice about what items they purchase, will prevent them from loading their character's up with augmentations and will potentially cause some drama should they find themselves in Debt.

*I was able to find a similar idea on the Pinnacle forum, but it's a little more complicated than I'd like.

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