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Resources what is it good for?

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  • Resources what is it good for?

    Money, bonds, heaps of salt, jade talents. All of these things that are supposedly useful in acquire new stuff through trade., the thing is resources stat is I feel broken, and not in the fun it can wreck balance way, but that it doesn't do any thing. I have played white wolf games for 14 years and this is an issue that has plagued it since day one. It always appeared to be a point sink.

  • #2
    Resources is indeed a very 'hand-wavey' rating, one that requires significantly more ST adjudication than Artifact or Manse. Those get you singular concrete benefits that are very clear -- I have this hearthstone, I have this place of power in this place, I have this big honking sword or this armor.

    The core, primary use of resources is basically "I want this object that can be purchased which I require/desire, and don't want a scene of stealing it or whatnot." Ancillary benefits include "I can more easily look rich for this fancy ball", "I can provide someone with a higher Bargain value if I don't have specific items they highly prize"...


    • #3
      I'm increasingly convinced that FATE did it right by making it a skill.

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      • #4
        Making it something like a skill, based on location might be a house rule.


        • #5
          But I almost feel something should simulate cash on hand.


          • #6
            Well if your looking for something concrete you can do with it, look at the Bargain social action, Pretty good way of bypassing the 'Slap em with Instill actions' game and cutting straight to the chase when you want someone to do something for you. Beyond that, resources is money and money is power, I find it really strange that you never find a use for it? Bribe officials, bring in supplies for the poor people you have saved, acquire skilled followers or retainers, set up homes and safe houses for your circle. Arm and train soldiers. Lots more can be done with money.
            Resources always felt like something that gave you a lot for 3-4 dots to me?


            • #7
              Yeah, I think it's more useful than some other merits.

              Generally in games I play, there tends to be one "moneybags" character who gets materials for the crafter (often they are the crafter actually), weapons and armour if PCs need it, equips any forces, gets them a nice house, etc.

              For example, any time we need money in the game I play, we go to the party's Raksha and ask for some of his gems (possibly these gems are made out of wyld-stuff, dunno) to buy things.

              In the game I run, recently the players wanted to defend a city that was on the route to their lands, to slow down the rampaging barbarian horde that was led by their enemies. The salt barons who ran the city and had the troops and workers were being awkward, so the party's Twilight (who has Resources 5) just bought one mine and its slaves, and rented all the others and their workers for 3 weeks. Essentially, he paid to take over the city temporarily. Much easier and quicker than going through all the hassle of subourning stuff.
              Also, he now has his own salt mine.

              "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"


              • #8
                I don't find it any harder to adjudicate than, say, Influence (and they often go hand in hand, of course). And it has been plenty useful in my games. What seems to be the issue that makes it useless? Personally the only problem I ever had with it was in games in which characters wandered around too much and too far from their "home base" as it can be difficult to move a lot of wealth in the ancient world. That was usually alleviated by carrying Jade currency, wearing a lot of jewelry and expensive clothes that could be used for trade in a pinch, bringing along a bunch of servants to carry semi-portable wealth to "forward bases" in which they would be staying a little longer and so on.

                Heck, "a king's ransom being transported, and who might be after it" is pretty immediate fodder for plot, even.

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                • #9
                  Yeah, I admit I've sometimes been a bit hand-wavy with the party's wealth. "Oh, uh, you've probably brought some with you" or having easily accessible letters of credit that may not necessarily exist in such a society.

                  "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"


                  • #10
                    There's a charm that helps with that last one now.


                    • #11
                      Don't forget, Resources have to be detailed with regards to the source

                      In my mortal games, I use Resources to represent long-term, stable sources of income. Sheer heaps of cash money wouldn't be Resources per se, (but I give them a number of purchases equal to a Resources value for sheer heaps of cash money). but owning a farm, holding shares of a business, or owning a trade ship would be.

                      I generally use the 2E Resources tab, as I feel it better fits mortal campaigns. In the ancient world, most "wealth" was tied up in agricultural production, not necessarily money. Unless you were absurdly wealthy, you were generally unlikely to see money at all. Most trade was done effectively through barter, credit, or through grants as opposed to straight money.

                      In Anglo-Saxon England, which my campaign is largely based on, the base division of land was the hide, usually valued at 120 acres, considered to have an output equivalent to one £, and would be enough to support a family for a year. "Peasants" would have anywhere between 1/4 hide to 1 hide, Thegns (approximate knight/retainer equivalents) would hold 5 hides, and Earls would hold multiple manors of 5 hides.

                      For example, in my latest campaign, I use the following system.

                      Res 1: Peasant farmer (partially dependent on landlord, work for them), unskilled urban laborer (ditchdigger, woodcutter, etc)
                      Res 2: Free farmer (own 1 hide of land, not dependent on landlord), po-dunk village craftsman, mid-level urban laborer, travelling merchant
                      Res 3: Retainer (own 5 hides of land, have laborers work for you), decent craftsman, skilled urban laborer, merchant w/shop
                      Res 4: Lesser lord (combined output of several villages), master craftsman, highly specialized laborer (shipright, etc),merchant with caravan/ship, own urban enterprise (entire brewery, etc)
                      Res 5: Greater lord ( urban center output), own several enterprises, famous craftsman (master swordsmith, etc)

                      Resources also ties into other Merits. For example, Command. I use a modified system, and for each dot of Command, you need to have 2x the dots in Resources, to keep them supplied with arms, food and sundries. This means the average Thegn would be able to rustle up about 12 warriors, which is about equivalent to

                      Something many people don't understand is just how expensive it is to keep troops. Which is why most cultures didn't have professional standing armies, as it was stupidly expensive to do so, having a bunch of dudes stand around and "do nothing", as it were. They aren't contributing much to the economy, and are using resources. That is why most cultures had some sort of feudalism, where warriors would get land in return for fighting, and work the land in between wars.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                        There's a charm that helps with that last one now.
                        Sorry, what do you mean?

                        Anyway, I think Boston123 is probably right: Resources really represents long-term, stable amounts of income, rather than just a large sack of money. I sort of have run finding large amounts of, say, gold or jewels as "you can buy about Resources 4 worth of stuff".
                        (Although I noticed that the Resources numbers seem to have changed slightly this time, with a peasant or unskilled labourer being Resources 0. A character with resources 0 is no longer a homeless wanderer with nothing more than ragged clothes. He's just a poor guy.)

                        But... to be honest, as the PCs in my game are Essence 5 guys who are mostly advisors to a jungle king, or in one case, actually the Queen of a barbarian mountain kingdom, their personal wealth isn't that significant to the game compared to what they can leverage out of the kingdoms they're running. So I don't tend to be very precise, except where they might be so rich that they could, say, buy a ton of extra food for the kingdom or something like that.
                        The Twilight actually doesn't really have a stable form of income (until he bought that salt mine recently). But as an Essence 5 crafter, it's not like he can't whip up stuff to sell whenever he cares enough to do so.
                        So generally, I let the Resources 5 Twilight buy what he wants in terms of having enough money. The issues are things like supply. Is there actually a bunch of extra food available for sale nearby in a way that's feasible to transport down a river into the jungle and distribute to a jungle's worth of hunter-gatherers when the jungle is magic and non-natives go insane on entering. Are the magical materials he wants actually available for purchase (finding a seller might be a plot in itself). Can he import grain to support soldiers instead of farm-workers from foreign countries when the neighbouring foreign countries are all hostile or wracked by war.
                        Because in medieval-east-Africa land, it's much more a matter of infrastructure* and availability* than money. And where it is a matter of money, if he's buying things for himself (and not an entire kingdom) it's fine.

                        *Which, you know, is actually still the case today, just less so. Last time I was in Kenya there was a famine in the west of the country, but this in no way stopped people buying, say, mobile phones, or cars. Because it just was incredibly difficult to get food and take it to the famine-struck areas, but phones don't rot.

                        "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"


                        • #13
                          I was referring to the one in the backer charm book that lets you turn a coin into a sort of magic super credit card.


                          • #14
                            I was working on a point system for Resources similar to how 2e handled Manses to encourage players to view each instance of the Background as its own revenue stream with pros and cons attached to it. I am presently waiting to see how 3e handles that rather than trying to work from the broken system of a previous edition.


                            • #15
                              I might just use it like wealth from d20 modern.