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Making Money in a low-tech setting

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  • LadyLens
    started a topic Making Money in a low-tech setting

    Making Money in a low-tech setting

    So, in a low-tech setting, I'm thinking about things my cabal could do to make money. The actual tech level varies from place to place, from Renaissance Italy in the more prosperous and advanced regions to late Iron Age in more backwards areas (which can be surprisingly close to each other). The Moros is easy, go to the beach and use Lodestone to separate out silica sand from other sorts, then shape the sand into glassware, which is worth vast sums. The Thyrsus isn't much harder: there's always demand for healers. The other three, I'm not too sure about. The pre-existing fortune tellers might not take well to the Acanthus (as they'll see it) muscling in on their turf, for example.

  • thenate
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    You can have Resources 0 and still be quite well-off — the Merit is "disposable income" as a narrative device the character has access to in a system where appropriate Skills and Merits provide contextually narrower access to the same exact things.
    Quite true. An owner of a vast business empire who is fully leveraged easily can have fewer liquid assets than a teenager with a job at the local burger shack. (Of course, a merit like Backing is more appropriate in some such cases) The level of resources available to characters during play is what the Resource background represents.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by LadyLens View Post
    Considering how easy it can be for any mage to make money, I'd be hard pressed to justify a mage not having at least Resources 2 not long after Awakening. People rather like not living hand-to-mouth.
    You can have Resources 0 and still be quite well-off — the Merit is "disposable income" as a narrative device the character has access to in a system where appropriate Skills and Merits provide contextually narrower access to the same exact things.

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    I didn't intend to connect Obsessions with Skill/Attribute increases. The first sentence was me giving a reason why increasing Resources would delay increasing another trait in-setting. The second sentence was an in-character motivation for not increasing Resources.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that's what you were doing. I was just using Obsessions as an example of my point.

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  • LadyLens
    replied
    Considering how easy it can be for any mage to make money, I'd be hard pressed to justify a mage not having at least Resources 2 not long after Awakening. People rather like not living hand-to-mouth. Of the mage concepts I've created, only one wouldn't have at least Resources 1 at start, and she was a street kid who was was new to her powers and working on how to actually profit by them.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    I didn't intend to connect Obsessions with Skill/Attribute increases. The first sentence was me giving a reason why increasing Resources would delay increasing another trait in-setting. The second sentence was an in-character motivation for not increasing Resources.

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    In character that becomes time spent not studying the Arcana or training Skills/Attributes. I believe most non-Seer mages would prefer to spend their time on their studies instead, feeding their Obsessions. If they need something they can probably get it through magic or requisition it through their Order.
    I feel that's overthinking what is ultimately just the result of how XP mechanics work. In reality, humans learn and grow in multiple ways at the same time. Following your obsessions will almost certainly lead to greater skills and attributes, it's just that the XP mechanic doesn't try to model that interrelation.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    What you can do is describe a scheme using spells to get money as a motivation to increase Resources in the first place. In character that becomes time spent not studying the Arcana or training Skills/Attributes. I believe most non-Seer mages would prefer to spend their time on their studies instead, feeding their Obsessions. If they need something they can probably get it through magic or requisition it through their Order. There might also be a cultural reason for Pentacle mages in particular to not live the high life; it's a way to distinguish themselves from the Seers.
    Seers instead get Resources from just working in their Ministry so little need for them to come up with additional money making schemes. Not to mention that greedy (or otherwise hungry for material power) mages are prime recruitment material for the Seers in the first place.
    Last edited by Tessie; 09-17-2018, 06:56 AM.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Resources represents off screen sources of dispensable income. You can definitely dedicate in game time for it, but then that's what you're spending your time on rather than other parts of the game.

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Raistlin View Post
    Or why players even need to buy Resource with xp.
    It's 5 XP to max out Resources, it's not exactly a huge investment.

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  • lnodiv
    replied
    Originally posted by Raistlin View Post
    Or why players even need to buy Resource
    They don't - at least, not any more than they need to buy the 'Allies' merit to have functional allies.

    There are a few perks that come alongside having experience invested in the merit, but it's hardly the only way to have plentiful access to funding.

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  • Raistlin
    replied
    At some point, one wonders why aren´t all mages living in castles or pentahouses. Or why players even need to buy Resource with xp.
    I mean other explanation besides "because Guardians of the Veil get pissed about it".
    Last edited by Raistlin; 09-16-2018, 03:35 PM.

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  • Wormwood
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

    Until Paradox from over-Reach burns out their mind.
    As Tessie already mentioned, Rotes mitigate that incredibly, and if this is the path you want to take, you should definitly have these Rotes.
    But yeah, there is a chance of overreaching if you are particularly bold.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    It's a bunch of Reaches you can't avoid (1 for Advanced Duration, 2 for exceeding normal maximums, as well as 1 per Attribute/Skill you wish to increase in addition to the first) but as a money making scheme you'll plan for this shit and make sure you have the time to cast the spell ritually. You also shouldn't spend Spell Control on both Enhance Skill and Gain Skill (that probably can't be stacked anyway) since being at least decent at what you'll be known for is a pretty good idea if someone starts snooping around.
    If you take a programming job you'll cast Enhance Skill on Computers with 3 Reaches (since that profession isn't dependent on any other Skills), which is at most 2 Reaches above your free Reach. Same with Augment Mind to increase your Intelligence (the most relevant Attribute). That's highly manageable for almost anyone. It's specifically at Gnosis 5 where you'd get 6 Paradox dice before mitigating factors (if you only have Mind 3), but above Gnosis 5 your natural trait maximums start climbing, making the double Reach for exceeding those less important.

    But if you instead have those spells as Rotes there's no Paradox risk at all unless you have reasons to include more than one Attribute/Skill in the spells.

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  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael View Post

    What makes you think that particularly a problem?
    If I recall, Exceeding trait maximums costs Reach. You'll want Advanced Duration to get anything out of it. Probably Instant Casting, if it is to truly be "on-demand". And you'll need to probably have a bunch of Skills related to the tasks Enhanced as well. So that's more Spell Control.

    Not too bad for a high Arcana and Gnosis Mage, but that will take some time.

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