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  • #16
    Originally posted by mcgonigle View Post
    As you pointed out technically lifestyle doesn't come under resources, you don't actually need to buy the resources merit to have the general lifestyle features,...
    Which doesn't get into the Wisdom issue. If you're using magic to get things instead of having wealth/assets/money and leaving an appropriate paper trail, you tend to get noticed by the people that watch these things (since it's an obvious sign of criminal activity, even if just tax evasion) and then you have to deal with that.

    Both of my "lots of wealth, disparate disposable income" examples are things that make sense to such agencies if reported properly.

    ...as your absurd millionaire example illustrates.
    There's nothing absurd about it. Let me demonstrate quickly.

    Property owner 1 has millions in real estate, all tied up into their personal home. That wealth is not actively generating any money (even if real estate appreciates as a general factor), and has significant upkeep and taxes. They can leverage this to some extent (take out a mortgage, sublet, etc.) but in general it's not going to be a significant source of disposable income despite it's value.

    Property owner 2 has millions in real estate, primarily in rental properties. While being a landlord has its own financial costs on top of simply owning the land and buildings, the revenue from tenants if handled properly should generate a net profit.

    See? Not hard, and certainly not absurd.

    As an example say I play a waiter, resources 0, due to fate magic I make slightly more than I should in tips, some of which because it's cash in hand doesn't get declared and no one is likely to be suspicious because I am declaring my full salary plus I am getting tipped reasonably well (and declaring tips probably makes you less likely to create suspicion.) But anytime my secret mage persona needs a bit of capital, it has came from magic.
    Welcome to 2020, where this is doesn't really work (even worse if you live in the US where the IRS gets to tell you what you should have gotten in cash tips)... because? Credit cards.

    If you want to make real money on tips, you have to work a lot of hours (goodbye time to be a mage) at as expensive as a restaurant as possible. But... more expensive means fewer people tipping in cash. Even if you wanted to not declare your tips, you couldn't because your boss includes credit card payments - including tips - in the record. Also your boss is going to know if you're regularly making +5% more than everyone else (and frankly, your coworkers are going to notice too, esp. if there's no obvious reason why you just happen to always get the high tipping customers).

    If you want lots of cash tips... well... then you're working cheaper places, with longer shifts, and less tips per table, so you need to serve lots of tables and the place needs to be insanely busy if a "slight" increase in tips is going to mean anything.

    You're also hosing your place of work and your customers with your Nimbus, which is going to bite you in the ass as a decent percentage of your customers are going to suffer from whatever the effects of your Nimbus Tilt is. Even if Wisdom doesn't kick in, the Guardians or the Seers (or really anyone that can sense it and doesn't approve of it) are going to be their own consequence.

    How many games have people actually played in where this character is making frequent use of spells to make money, is anywhere near top of the list of the thing the players have done which feels like it needs consequences?
    Most of the games I've played in... at least one PC had enough Resources it wasn't an issue for the cabal, rather than everyone needing to use magic to get around not having spending cash.

    And the need for consequences is thematic, even in this particular example is rare in play. Mages that rely too much on their magic get a kick in the rear from the universe for their hubris.

    Many of these examples feel confrontational, and the type of hypothetical response that are easy to trot out to an forum inquiry but would actually translate poorly to games.
    So... you're saying that you know you're arguing in bad faith, but instead of just owning up to it, you're going to obliquely accuse others of it first. Gotcha.

    The example in the text is friends, which clearly doesn’t fall into either category
    The example is more nuanced than that, as it goes into how friends that aren't defined by any Merit dots doesn't have SoM protections, but friends that do, are. Just like having the Cash Equipment isn't protected by SoM, but Resources is.

    "Friends" doesn't fall into a category until you define the characters relationship via dots (or the lack thereof), and then they do.

    (I’d even say that the Mystery Cult to me is covered by SoM (but to the value of the MC dot not all the bonus merits)),...
    Yes, hence my use of the word "bonus." If you have Mystery Cult Initiation 4, and get kicked out, you get the 4 Merit points back under SoM. You don't get the 2-3 extra Merits the define the bonuses of being in the cult back as more dots.

    But most of the social and some of the Mage merits are things you could effectively acquire in the general narrative.
    Which doesn't negate the need to spend XP on them.

    The story could go that your Mentor becomes and Infamous Mentor, but you buy that.

    whereas there are a lot of time in games where as the story progresses you end up essentially gaining merits through the narrative, build up connections with a mentor figure, find a artefact in an Atlantean ruin, spend time building security round your home. Which particularly with the CoD experience system are unlikely to be brought as merits (Like nWoD we had a habit of just taking more of them because low dot merits were relatively cheaper.) None of these are going to be explicitly written into the rules but neither is there any RAW for gaining friends.
    If you want the mechanical effects of Merits, you buy those. There aren't rules for gaining friends, but there are rules for if your friends count as Allies, or any number of other Merits.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      Yes, hence my use of the word "bonus." If you have Mystery Cult Initiation 4, and get kicked out, you get the 4 Merit points back under SoM. You don't get the 2-3 extra Merits the define the bonuses of being in the cult back as more dots.
      Instead of losing MCI directly, if you lose one of the bonus Merits you've basically lost a dot of MCI despite still being a member. In such cases the bonus Merits should also be replaced and one way to handle it is to grant a different Merit of the same dot rating.

      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      Which doesn't negate the need to spend XP on them.
      [..]
      If you want the mechanical effects of Merits, you buy those. There aren't rules for gaining friends, but there are rules for if your friends count as Allies, or any number of other Merits.
      Honest question: Do you also require the players to buy the Merits for Grimoires, imbued items, etc, if the players find (or possibly steal) them in-game? Or if they create them?


      Bloodline: The Stygians
      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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      • #18
        The secret behind where mages get money for rent and such is...

        Their Orders.

        The Orders are millenia-old secret societies. They have something of a property portfolio. Seers get Resources as a matter of course, but Pentacle mages who really need to pay real money for expensive items can get the funds from their Caucus; in game terms, you requisition the resources Merit using your Order Status.

        If you were/are wealthy enough on your own bat? Good for you. The Ladder or the TELM faction of the Free Council will help you invest Wisely.


        Dave Brookshaw

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Tessie View Post
          Instead of losing MCI directly, if you lose one of the bonus Merits you've basically lost a dot of MCI despite still being a member. In such cases the bonus Merits should also be replaced and one way to handle it is to grant a different Merit of the same dot rating.
          I'm not exactly sure how you'd do so, but I'd say that whatever you did to the Merit dots MCI provides members would refresh as the cult helps you regain whatever you lost, rather than getting different ones.

          Honest question: Do you also require the players to buy the Merits for Grimoires, imbued items, etc, if the players find (or possibly steal) them in-game? Or if they create them?
          Back in 1e, this was more explicitly the case (as it was stated under specific Merits) that acquiring them in play didn't cost additional XP.

          I don't charge for any such items made by the PCs, because they paid for the powers to make them, and they have to deal with things like relinquishing spells (which costs XP to recover from fully and all).

          For non-artifact items and some artifacts, the majority of the time our group just use their mage Status(es) to borrow them. That is, after all, one of the biggest benefits of membership after the first dot. Given that mage Status works like Resources instead of like Allies, it means getting to 3 in one of them ASAP (even at creation) is insanely useful, since that means you have access to as many 1 dot rating instances of a rather large list of Merits as your ST deems reasonable, plus one 2 or 3 dot per story. It's like having a library card, going to your library all the time, and then not choosing to take a book out of the library to go steal it instead... who would actually bother? If I was running an Apostate or Nameless game where they don't have such stores of tools for the players, I might adjust my approach, but my group hasn't really expressed any interest in that. We play Mage for the occult mysteries, not as a heist game (heist games are fun, but others are a preference).

          As such, I'm comfortable with them not spending XP when getting a magical item in play, with the understanding that they're going to be expected to fork it over to the communal stores if something doesn't happen to it first (after all, it's only there because the ST wants it there, which means probably a plot thing anyway; esp. finding artifacts that don't already belong to someone alive), but they can spend XP to make it theirs (and covered by SoM if something happens to it.

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          • #20
            Seriously I hate the idea that you have to spend Experience to keep the magic rock I put in the game for you.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by nofather View Post
              Seriously I hate the idea that you have to spend Experience to keep the magic rock I put in the game for you.
              You don't, it's just if they lose it it's not covered by Sanctity of Merits. Merits like Imbued Item, Enhanced Item, and Artifact are there for starting characters and for calculating requisition cost using merits like Order Status.


              Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

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              • #22
                Even beyond that, there's a reason the nWoD moved to buying Merits from the cWoD's "get Backgrounds whenever the ST says so, unless you can explicitly buy them with XP or there's some specific action to increase them built in."

                VtM created a really bad mechanical incentive around the Generation Background, because it was the only one that didn't increase because the ST felt you did enough to increase it, and increasing it in play was an epic pain in the ass (not easy mechanically, huge in-universe social consequences). So players would sink as many starting dots into Generation as possible, because decent social traits (and VtM is a game that encourages thus) plus vampire powers meant you could easily start collecting Backgrounds like Allies, Contacts, Influence, and so on without "wasting" any points; even if nothing stopped the ST from taking them away too.

                The whole idea of combining Backgrounds and Merits together, and having them all cost points even during play, is to avoid that sort of thing. It's acknowledging that the in-universe difference between internal and external boosts to your character aren't really distinct on a meta level, and improving your character is improving your character, whether with advanced fighting techniques or gaining new informants.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
                  You don't, it's just if they lose it it's not covered by Sanctity of Merits. Merits like Imbued Item, Enhanced Item, and Artifact are there for starting characters and for calculating requisition cost using merits like Order Status.
                  Was more of a 1e complaint. Werewolf fetishes don't have Merit dots at all now, but like mage things, did in 1e, all saddled with the annoying rule you could easily throw out.

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                  • #24
                    will help you invest Wisely.
                    Thanks to Fate and Time, no effort necessary!

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                    • #25
                      As ST you can always 'gift' your players with the merit points for the things they acquire in game, if you feel that is necessary. Has long as you do it equally I doubt your players will complain.
                      SoM just takes some of the sting out of losing things, but merits really aren't needed to represent one time acquisitions won in game.

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                      • #26

                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                        So... you're saying that you know you're arguing in bad faith, but instead of just owning up to it, you're going to obliquely accuse others of it first. Gotcha.


                        No, my point is that most of these arguments aren’t going to translate well to an actual game. The reason why we are having these discussions. You can come up with examples where this could backfire it’s easy to create an example to show something when you control every variable (or jump straight to the conclusion without showing reasoning), I could do the same for paying for things using resources.

                        The point wasn’t has anyone in a game you played in ever done this, but have you seriously played in a game where the interesting consequences to tell the story about is how that Camera you needed was paid for? Or how you paid for that train fare? Because I definitely haven’t seen that in Mage. Even the street level Aegis Kai Doru game (or basically that) where the players spend hours sometimes debating how to do things within the law, morally and with minimal risk. Even in that game I regularly sideline possible consequences or repercussions because there are other more interesting ones that are less of a stretch to impose.

                        Like I am playing in a game doing just this (Because my character is from a splinter timeline of Bletchley park, and wasn’t even born in the real timeline. It’s Demon/Mage.) Despite this Noah generally has less actions that are calling out for consequences than most of the party. (and I suspect if the ST wants to run something about the consequences of his magic it will be about the really overt public use of magic to save an old man Noah was really attached to from a fire, rather than how Noah catch the underground or paid for that suit.) But we have at least 5 more pressing fires to put out from grander mistakes.

                        Seriously all this is really digging for consequences, and I have never seen a game where that was needed, to create that theme. If you are going to have an NPC offscreen following a trail the players have set, this it quite a weak and unimportant trail.

                        Sanctity of Merits

                        You: Mystery Cult or Created by Magic are the categories of Merits not covered by sanctity of Merits,
                        Me: The listed example of Friends doesn’t fall into either Mystery Cult or Created by Magic, despite being the listed example
                        You: Unless you have brought it as a Merit
                        Yes At which point its covered by sanctity of merits, so not an example of something not covered by SoM. And it still doesn’t mean non-merit friends fall into your two categories.

                        Yes, there is nuance (well SoM basically you never loose merit exp through misfortune), your black or white absurd RAW perspective you were trying to convey, lacked nuance. It’s all those little things that build up over the course of the story that have never had a merit dot assigned to them but potentially have use and value and importance to the story. I cache in the favour I have with Merlin rather than using allies.

                        Millionaire


                        It’s absurd because that character 1 is going to have far more options than a more sensible resources 1 concept. They are going to be able to able to access far more capital should they need it. Millionaire who would struggle to get a normal car repaired, get a hotel room or afford a lawyer feels absurd. What’s their credit rating? what are the limits on their credit card going to be like? They might not have the resources 5 of the other millionaire but that isn’t described by resources 1. (Unless something like high Mentor for a rich spouse or other way of representing it.)
                        (I could see heir struggling with built up debts due to financial mismanagement in a home worth a million, but most of which is owed to the bank could create that weird duality but I wouldn’t summarise that as a millionaire. Personally I wouldn’t even stat that character as low as resources 1, because playing them higher being up front about the narrative I want to play and then reclaiming the merit dots when their story progresses is more interesting.)
                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                        Which doesn't get into the Wisdom issue. If you're using magic to get things instead of having wealth/assets/money and leaving an appropriate paper trail, you tend to get noticed by the people that watch these things (since it's an obvious sign of criminal activity, even if just tax evasion) and then you have to deal with that.


                        So a number of presumptions:

                        1) Using Magic to get things is suspicious to the authorities
                        Like the obvious example would be using magic to win the lottery, or making money on the financial markets neither of which is going to look suspicious to the authorities. Like the well worn path for this is Fate 2, much of which is going to appear like good luck.

                        2) You are leaving a paper trail
                        Other route is Forces to trick machines, computer says I did pay for that, how easy this is to notice depends on exactly the spell intent used but it’s not going to have your name on it. And it’s going to require a lot of effort to track back even if noticed, and the lie probably helps there. Also machine invisibility is the same level, pulling £200 pounds out of that cashpoint late at night and the camera catches nothing gives no obvious leads and anyone looking into it probably ends up explaining it away due to the lie.

                        The Tip example
                        Let’s start with Awakened Magic is absurd that was my entry into this conversation, like completely so.
                        I don’t want to make real money of tips, I want to make real money off manipulating Fate to hand me improbable tips.
                        You missed the point about the waitress example, it was you pocket the majority of the Fate increased tip, and I declare a slightly bigger tip. Someone looking at the tax return isn’t going to have any hint that happened and wasn’t declared. What’s more there are no weird spending patterns on my actual accounts because my awakened life needed to spend that $150 dollars on an occult grimoire.
                        All your points about realistic hours worked to get such, I don’t care because 1 reach on the spell gives me the results in the hour. This could be the day job, this could be one shift a week I do to supplement my English degree. (It has to be cash because you wouldn’t get the credit card one through the company in time, and you can possibly specify it in the spell.) It doesn’t matter if 90% of the tips in the place are credit card, the big one is cash.
                        Working hours are a really interesting piece of verisimilitude, but if you get into that it’s going to bite everyone to an extent, not just the one using magic to enhance their salary.
                        So Nimbus, firstly Immediate is not necessarily negative, for the next minute everyone is going to be slightly better at socialising. Also even when it is, it’s not forcing a sapient will to act against their interests, like at best it’s a sin against enlightened Wisdom which it already was*. Going beyond immediate Nimbus technically the spell targets you, so that’s where the main lasting effects are it might leave traces on the customers or the money maybe, but again you are choosing to have an NPC antagonist arrive through that weak trail of improbable bread crumbs rather than something that concerns core game or character plots, and probably has a stronger trail.
                        (The Restaurant likely has some Nimbus influence on it but you probably have enough sympathetic connection to your place of work that this is happening anyway.)


                        If people start noticing and getting a bit suspicious about the luck, but this is something that will slowly build up, to some degree lying and being on the ball with picking up tips will help. The lie might also help, but eventually that same spell also great for getting you a new job. You hand in your notice, and the next place you are walking past is really short staffed, and you happen to be there just at the right time.

                        *This feels like an interpretation, but also it means even casting entirely imperceptible spells around sleepers is an act of Hubris, which pushes Wisdom 8+ even more unachievable to maintain.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by nofather View Post

                          Was more of a 1e complaint. Werewolf fetishes don't have Merit dots at all now, but like mage things, did in 1e, all saddled with the annoying rule you could easily throw out.
                          They still have a dot rating:

                          Originally posted by "[I
                          Werewolf: the Forsaken Second Edition [/I]page 146-147]Fetishes have a dot rating from one
                          to five that indicates the Rank of the spirit bound into the item and just how powerful the fetish is.
                          Activation is penalized by dot rating and acquisition with other merits (such as Status) is gated by rating.


                          Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            VtM created a really bad mechanical incentive around the Generation Background, because it was the only one that didn't increase because the ST felt you did enough to increase it, and increasing it in play was an epic pain in the ass (not easy mechanically, huge in-universe social consequences). So players would sink as many starting dots into Generation as possible, because decent social traits (and VtM is a game that encourages thus) plus vampire powers meant you could easily start collecting Backgrounds like Allies, Contacts, Influence, and so on without "wasting" any points; even if nothing stopped the ST from taking them away too.
                            There are a lot of variables there and personally I'm looking at the key combo being:
                            It was really under-priced:
                            Character Generation only: (Except Diablerie) Like this tag will generally increase the chance of people investing in it at character gen, before making it a central trait.

                            You make Gnosis, 1 rather than 5 merit dots and for some reason only can be increased after character gen by performing mage-diablerie. The effect will be back regardless of whether or not you need exp to buy merits acquired in game.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
                              They still have a dot rating:

                              Activation is penalized by dot rating and acquisition with other merits (such as Status) is gated by rating.
                              In Werewolf, the dot rating just indicates the Rank of the spirit inside. While it can affect the activation, there's no acquisition gating, you don't pay any beats to obtain fetishes (beyond arguably those spent on the Fetish Rite, which lets you make as many as you want). This is clear in the book, made more clear by the developers and writers on this forum.

                              As for how I did things on mage it seems to be like most people do. Some PCs had Resources justified by magic usage, others by 'jobs' gained through Order connections, one was Resources 0 but sort of living a penitent lifestyle. Even without Resources mages are generally going to be better off than your average human in the same position, with opportunities open to them the average person could never hope for.

                              I don't recall much about her appearances before the Fallen World anthology (she popped up in the Mekhet clanbook) but Lucy Sulfate was a mage who faced a pretty big issue that an abundance of money probably could have solved. While she didn't seem to have the moral bent of bilking money out of mortals it was pointed out in the story that she could have had the problem solved if she was willing to prostrate herself to whatever mage power/money lenders were nearby. I think the one mentioned was one from that other race legacy.
                              Last edited by nofather; 01-06-2020, 09:02 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by mcgonigle View Post
                                No, my point is that most of these arguments aren’t going to translate well to an actual game.
                                Right, you're just looking for a reason to dismiss arguments without actually addressing if they're valuable by just labeling forum debates like this. Of course, that means all of your arguments are just as meaningless if you're being serious about it.

                                [quote]You can come up with examples where this could backfire[quote]

                                Right, because my position is only based on the possibility of backfire to encourage people taking a safer route.

                                I could do the same for paying for things using resources.
                                If you're trying to say that you can come up with examples of using the Resources Merit in a stupid way that could have mechanical consequences? OK, cool. I agree. Using Resources in that way should have those consequences, just like using magic should have consequences.

                                The point wasn’t has anyone in a game you played in ever done this, but have you seriously played in a game where the interesting consequences to tell the story about is how that Camera you needed was paid for? Or how you paid for that train fare?
                                Individually? No. It's when it becomes a pattern in a mage's behavior that it becomes a problem. That's why Understanding level Wisdom is the most common level range. You end up doing some Acts of Hubris, but not so many, or so callous, that you're unstably spiraling down.

                                So, yes, things like your magical waiter example have come up in my games, where it's something a character is constantly doing, even if individual isolated acts don't lead to the same situation.

                                But we have at least 5 more pressing fires to put out from grander mistakes.
                                Good thing I never said this "must" be used, or that there is some mechanical time frame in question.

                                This whole thing started because I asserted that Wisdom was a reason to avoid using magic to solve your problems. Nothing you're saying is actually arguing against that. You started with a mechanical argument about the level of hubris involved, and when I pointed out that it's more complicated than that, you've just decided that trying to nitpick examples is some beneficial thing, and have tossed out extremely lazy examples in your clear contempt for engaging in a fruitful discussion of this.

                                You: Mystery Cult or Created by Magic
                                Nope. What I said is easily found, because this is a forum. Lying about what I said is sad.

                                "Only things like Mystery Cult Initiation's bonus Merits, or Merits generated by magic, are supposed to not be covered by SoM."

                                "Like" is a very important modifier to this (as in, other things besides those fall into this consideration). As is the context of discussing Merits, not characters, making the whole friends thing a meaningless bit of nonsense on your part.


                                And it still doesn’t mean non-merit friends fall into your two categories
                                BECAUSE THE TWO CATEGORIES ONLY APPLY TO MERITS.

                                Of course they don't fall in, because they're not suppose to fall in. Non-Merit friends DO NOT MATTER to the idea of using Resources to buy MERITS.

                                Does the word "context" just not compute for you?

                                Yes, there is nuance (well SoM basically you never loose merit exp through misfortune), your black or white absurd RAW perspective you were trying to convey, lacked nuance.
                                What nuance in, "you can't use Resources to buy Merits that aren't protected by SoM" does my perspective lack, exactly? That Resources can buy non-Merits? Because that doesn't actually apply.

                                You also might want to stop using the word "absurd," here, since you're clearly just projecting.

                                It’s all those little things that build up over the course of the story that have never had a merit dot assigned to them but potentially have use and value and importance to the story. I cache in the favour I have with Merlin rather than using allies.
                                And? We have equipment, services, and Conditions for these (esp. that favor example) if they need a mechanical representation.

                                If these things aren't Merits... this doesn't add nuance or contradict my actual point.

                                It’s absurd because that character 1 is going to have far more options than a more sensible resources 1 concept. They are going to be able to able to access far more capital should they need it.
                                That's not what absurd means.

                                And... yes, the system RAW is kinda messy around the idea of leveraging wealth for capital (esp. with no conversion rate of Cash Equipment into different ratings). Hence I suggested updating the 1e Luxury Merit to have more space for addressing this sort of thing if it ever comes up.

                                Millionaire who would struggle to get a normal car repaired, get a hotel room or afford a lawyer feels absurd.
                                Feels absurd? That's nice. That doesn't make it absurd. A former house-mate of mine's grandmother was killed in an accident with a company held liable, and my friend, being her sole living heir, after probate, taxes, and so on, was technically a millionaire, with the vast majority of his wealth tied up in her house. He got some fairly sound help with financial planning since he decided to keep the house despite not really having the income at the time to justify it, tying up most of the settlement into a fund for paying for the property until his career advanced enough that he could afford it on his own; which took him the better part of a decade. Or, in simple terms, he was a millionaire that was living Resources 1-2 for quite some time... mostly because he was already living Resources 1 before that, and didn't want to engage too much in taking on debt for capital now. Though this was choice not forced by a bad credit score.

                                It's super easy to come up with examples from my life, because I know they actually hold up because they actually happened.

                                What’s their credit rating?
                                While no millionaire, I came from an upper middle class family and didn't have personal debts until I starting taking them on on purpose. My credit rating was N/A for the longest time because you don't get a credit rating if you don't take on debts, which is actually worse than a low credit rating. I got denied a credit card multiple times when I dropped out of college because of that and not finding long term employment yet.... even though I had a rather decent amount of capital in my college fund that I hadn't used yet as collateral.

                                I'm not on the mortgage for my house because my credit rating was still being built from that starting point, where my wife had a great credit score from having... student loan debt and practically no savings.

                                They might not have the resources 5 of the other millionaire but that isn’t described by resources 1. (Unless something like high Mentor for a rich spouse or other way of representing it.)
                                The problem though, as I alluded to above, is that the game doesn't really model debt and deficit spending well. While you can hand-wave low Resources as having significant debt and paying it down even if you have significant assets as well, it really doesn't work well if you want to use those assets as collateral and so on; which isn't absurd, just not something the game designers felt like modeling.

                                ..but I wouldn’t summarise that as a millionaire.
                                Have you noticed that what I say works better when you use my actual wording?

                                "Two characters could both be worth millions of dollars in what they own..."
                                "Property owner 1 has millions in real estate..."

                                It's almost like I avoided any issues with "summarizing" people as millionaires in the first place.

                                Personally I wouldn’t even stat that character as low as resources 1, because playing them higher being up front about the narrative I want to play and then reclaiming the merit dots when their story progresses is more interesting.)
                                That's nice. You're you. You're not the rules, or who everyone else has to please.

                                1) Using Magic to get things is suspicious to the authorities
                                Using magic, regularly to get things is suspicious to the authorities because they look for patterns (that is you need to be doing this often enough for it to ping them by it becoming a pattern). But you know, accuse me more of not having nuance by just removing it from my points.

                                Like the obvious example would be using magic to win the lottery, or making money on the financial markets neither of which is going to look suspicious to the authorities. Like the well worn path for this is Fate 2, much of which is going to appear like good luck.
                                Winning the lottery once or twice might go under the radar, winning a $1 million scratch off once a year? That'll have them up in all of your business trying to figure out how you're gaming the system.

                                Making money on the markets, besides just actually being good at it which doesn't take magic, by "getting lucky" a lot is also something that gets attention, because it makes it look like you're, again, cheating the system. When you're on the money making side of investments that the majority of traders were betting the other way on repeatedly? You're an insider trading suspect.

                                And the problem with these isn't ending up in jail, it's these people looking at your life in incredible detail while you're trying to be a mage at the same time.

                                2) You are leaving a paper trail
                                Well, not leaving one is more suspicious...

                                Other route is Forces to trick machines, computer says I did pay for that, how easy this is to notice depends on exactly the spell intent used but it’s not going to have your name on it. And it’s going to require a lot of effort to track back even if noticed, and the lie probably helps there. Also machine invisibility is the same level, pulling £200 pounds out of that cashpoint late at night and the camera catches nothing gives no obvious leads and anyone looking into it probably ends up explaining it away due to the lie.
                                And we're back to the frequency thing. Once? Sure. Using this as your paycheck? Yeah, no, that's not going unnoticed, and unless your blanking every camera in a radius (and screwing with the minds of everyone that sees you).

                                It's also pretty easy (if tedious) to find you even if you sabotage the electronic record. They know which bills go into ATMs, so they just go looking for where the cash you're taking is getting spent to triangulate.

                                I don’t want to make real money of tips, I want to make real money off manipulating Fate to hand me improbable tips.
                                It still takes a lot of work to make real money off of "improbable," tips off of small values. Getting a $5 tip on a $10 bill is extremely improbable. Doing it thirty times for a $150 book isn't subtly skimming off the top unless you're doing this over decently long period of time. Getting 50% tips from every table for a shift is exceedingly suspicious.

                                You missed the point about the waitress example, it was you pocket the majority of the Fate increased tip, and I declare a slightly bigger tip. Someone looking at the tax return isn’t going to have any hint that happened and wasn’t declared.
                                Well, again, credit cards destroy this tactic. You can't just pocket credit card tips and manipulate the reporting.

                                What’s more there are no weird spending patterns on my actual accounts because my awakened life needed to spend that $150 dollars on an occult grimoire.
                                Who's taking cash for grimoires like that? Awakened society deals in cash, sure, but because the Orders and Consilia need money too, but nothing in the setting generally implies this sort of scenario.

                                You get cash primarily for buying normal stuff, not magic stuff. Mages have much better things to ask for from you.

                                ...the big one is cash.
                                Wait, you mean you're trying to score one big tip? Like someone's going to drop $150 on the table in cash?

                                Going beyond immediate Nimbus technically the spell targets you, so that’s where the main lasting effects are it might leave traces on the customers or the money maybe, but again you are choosing to have an NPC antagonist arrive through that weak trail of improbable bread crumbs rather than something that concerns core game or character plots, and probably has a stronger trail.
                                Nimbus doesn't care what the target of the spell is.

                                As for noticing it by antagonists? You're dinging their Peripheral Mage Sight, so if they go in with Active Mage Sight (or turn it on reflexively) they'll see your Nimbus, and can then use Focused Mage Sight to see your Signature Nimbus too. Though, again, this is under the presumption that you're doing this a lot, not just once.

                                [quote](The Restaurant likely has some Nimbus influence on it but you probably have enough sympathetic connection to your place of work that this is happening anyway.)[quote]

                                The whole point of Shadow Names and keeping up your double life is that keeping your magic to your Shadow Name means your Nimbus's Long-Term effects don't do this.

                                If people start noticing and getting a bit suspicious about the luck, but this is something that will slowly build up, to some degree lying and being on the ball with picking up tips will help. The lie might also help, but eventually that same spell also great for getting you a new job. You hand in your notice, and the next place you are walking past is really short staffed, and you happen to be there just at the right time.
                                What spell, exactly, is creating a new job for you, that you're qualified for, and is going to hire you on the spot, whenever you need one?

                                It sounds like you're being way more generous with Fate than the rules actually allow.

                                *This feels like an interpretation, but also it means even casting entirely imperceptible spells around sleepers is an act of Hubris, which pushes Wisdom 8+ even more unachievable to maintain.
                                The distinction Wisdom makes is if innocent bystanders are affected by your magic. Influencing someone that's going to give a big tip to your restaurant, and to your table, is certain affecting them.

                                Originally posted by mcgonigle View Post
                                There are a lot of variables there and personally I'm looking at the key combo being:
                                None of which gets away from the additional factor of none of the other Backgrounds being hard to acquire in game, be up for loss, and those a waste of your starting points.

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