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StanTheMan

Social Status and Wealth

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Just got my book today and reading over it, and one of my long term ideas is making a light fantasy campaign set in the Roman Republic, with the players  characters as people of senatorial rank. One of the issues that I'd like to roleplay is social status amongst the upper class of Rome (equestrians vs. noble plebians vs. patricians). I'd like that to be a thing with "consequences" or at roleplaying opportunities, assumptions of power, etc etc.

By the same token, I'd like wealth to matter. In Republican Rome, wealth and status obviously went together in general (though it was possible to be an impoverished patrician, for example). So, one character should be able to talk about his vast estates and such while the other holds onto his tiny plot of land, just enough to stay in the Senate, with his fingernails.

Specifically: I'd like a way to model the economic and social disparity.

Looking over both Genesys and the corebooks I have for the Star Wars games, I don't find any "social" talents or hints on what to do. Heck, there isn't even a way to up your starting funds. 

Now, my question. I can think of two ways to model this; what do you all think?

1. Create Archtypes of the different social classes. Give them each a special ability related to their status (Patricians can invoke their "ancient rights" or Noble Plebians their "humble forefathers" or some such). Problem is, this negates the ability to change social classes, which was hard, but not impossible (Cato the Censor was a Plebian who was raised to the nobility through the advice and help of Flaccus). 

2. Talents. I make some new Talents, mostly Tier 1, that denote one's birth and wealth. Maybe leave a "fabulously wealthy" or "Creosus" Talent for Tiers 2 and 3 respectively, to denote the true super rich. Otherwise, characters start with "average" wealth, and if they buy a Talent (Equestrian Census Tier 1, Senatorial Census Tier 2) then they have been recognized by the Censors. Tiers 3, 4, and 5 would hold Talents to denote further status and accomplishment along the Cursus Honorum (say something like Junior Magistrate, Praetorian, Consular), donating people who currently hold or previously held offices. Another set of Talents could be used to denote Augurship or Priesthood (even the major Flamens at the higher levels).

3. Some combo of the two? I'm not sure how that would work though. Like, would an Equestrian Archetype person buy Wealth Talents to get to Senator? 

Thoughts? Reason I'm doing this is to get closer to something GURPS can do, without the complexity and weirdness of GURPS. Like, in GURPS, you have starting funds and such, but you also have Wealth levels that assume a certain amount of background stuff (you have a villa, lands, slaves and freedmen servants, whatever) matching your wealth level. I like this specific thing from GURPS, and I'd like to model it, but keep it easy. I'm not looking for "Social Simulator Roman Republic", just enough to hang our hats on when roleplaying and having in-character conversations and such.

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Great ideas! My first thought is that I'd decouple wealth and status. If you do this, there are a few ideas you might port over from Star Wars that could give characters extra credits, either at character creation, or during play.

The first is to borrow an idea from the Obligation/Duty/Morality mechanics where you can trade one of those things in for either +10 XP, +5 XP and 1,000 credits, or 2,500 credits. Using this metric, maybe allow players at character creation to pay 5 XP for 1,000 credits or 10 XP for 2,500 credits. It doesn't have to be tied to any other mechanic; just use it as a way for characters to start out with more stuff.

Second, I'd just port in the Sound Investments talent to represent someone with a steady income. Make it ranked, Tier 1. It grants 100 currency per rank at the start of each session. Players could buy more ranks in it to represent rising status, or any of a number of other things.

So, then that leaves status. Star Wars leaves this mostly to roleplay. A GM in Star Wars might be within her rights to impose a setback or two on a PC beggar using Negotiation against an NPC noble, say. There's also some stuff in the game that helps nobility be noble, like the Noble Regalia, which downgrades social checks versus nobility and their underlings. But in a game where differences in status are part of everyday life (and not as situational as in Star Wars), I think you need a more comprehensive solution.

So, what about the Respected talent? It's a genericized version of the Respected Scholar talent from Star Wars, and it downgrades the difficulty to interact with the chosen social group once per rank. Just define the social group here as "the upper-class." With two or three ranks, the characters can simulate being part of the class in question.

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13 hours ago, SavageBob said:

Great ideas! My first thought is that I'd decouple wealth and status. If you do this, there are a few ideas you might port over from Star Wars that could give characters extra credits, either at character creation, or during play.

The first is to borrow an idea from the Obligation/Duty/Morality mechanics where you can trade one of those things in for either +10 XP, +5 XP and 1,000 credits, or 2,500 credits. Using this metric, maybe allow players at character creation to pay 5 XP for 1,000 credits or 10 XP for 2,500 credits. It doesn't have to be tied to any other mechanic; just use it as a way for characters to start out with more stuff.

Second, I'd just port in the Sound Investments talent to represent someone with a steady income. Make it ranked, Tier 1. It grants 100 currency per rank at the start of each session. Players could buy more ranks in it to represent rising status, or any of a number of other things.

So, then that leaves status. Star Wars leaves this mostly to roleplay. A GM in Star Wars might be within her rights to impose a setback or two on a PC beggar using Negotiation against an NPC noble, say. There's also some stuff in the game that helps nobility be noble, like the Noble Regalia, which downgrades social checks versus nobility and their underlings. But in a game where differences in status are part of everyday life (and not as situational as in Star Wars), I think you need a more comprehensive solution.

So, what about the Respected talent? It's a genericized version of the Respected Scholar talent from Star Wars, and it downgrades the difficulty to interact with the chosen social group once per rank. Just define the social group here as "the upper-class." With two or three ranks, the characters can simulate being part of the class in question.

These are good ideas! The XP for cash is fine of course. Sound Investments - where's that from, anyway? I've got the three SW cores but not really any of the splats. But it's a good idea too.

As said, with Status, I want that as a known quantity, though maybe the roleplay is enough (i.e. a player just says it as part of their background that they are Patrician or Noble Plebian or whatever), which means, as you say, Wealth is the only thing to model. I'll think on it but that's not bad.

Respected? Again, in which book is Respected Scholar? From a splat? I like the general idea, though, so I'll think on it.

Vert good stuff to mull over! Thanks!

 

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7 minutes ago, StanTheMan said:

These are good ideas! The XP for cash is fine of course. Sound Investments - where's that from, anyway? I've got the three SW cores but not really any of the splats. But it's a good idea too.

As said, with Status, I want that as a known quantity, though maybe the roleplay is enough (i.e. a player just says it as part of their background that they are Patrician or Noble Plebian or whatever), which means, as you say, Wealth is the only thing to model. I'll think on it but that's not bad.

Respected? Again, in which book is Respected Scholar? From a splat? I like the general idea, though, so I'll think on it.

Vert good stuff to mull over! Thanks!

 

The Sound Investments talent is in Far Horizons: A Sourcebook for Colonists under the Entrepreneur tree.

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I don't know how familiar you are with Call of Cthulu, but I think it has a very elegant way to handle this problem (for the purposes of that system, so it might not be fitting for Genesys, or would at least need some thought on how to port it over). In a nutshell, under your usual skills you have a listed Credit Rating, that goes from 1-100 (1-10 ~ poor, 10-49 ~ normal, 50-90 ~ wealthy, 90-100 ~ rich) and determines how much money you have in your pockets and how wealthy you are in general (clothes, whether or not you own a car, and so on).

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8 hours ago, StanTheMan said:

These are good ideas! The XP for cash is fine of course. Sound Investments - where's that from, anyway? I've got the three SW cores but not really any of the splats. But it's a good idea too.

As said, with Status, I want that as a known quantity, though maybe the roleplay is enough (i.e. a player just says it as part of their background that they are Patrician or Noble Plebian or whatever), which means, as you say, Wealth is the only thing to model. I'll think on it but that's not bad.

Respected? Again, in which book is Respected Scholar? From a splat? I like the general idea, though, so I'll think on it.

Vert good stuff to mull over! Thanks!

 

Sound Investments is also in the Quartermaster tree from Age of Rebellion. Respected is from the Genesys Talents Expanded document available on this forum, but it's really just a reworked version of the Respected Scholar talent from the Scholar tree in EOTE, which also appears in the Archaeologist tree in Enter the Unknown for EOTE.

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I created a wealth system for my game, as its set in 80s miami and i wanted to differentiate those people driving around in lambos from the normal rabble without having to track monthly payments and crap like that.

 

Points Home Vehicle Cash/Game    
1 **** Beater $50    
2 Decent Worn $100    
3 Nice Reliable $150    
4 Rich Luxury $200    
5 Luxury Supercar $250    
           
           
Each player starts with a Wealth Limit of 4. You must choose an option from each column of the Wealth Chart, adding the point value of that item to your total until you reach your Wealth Limit. The limit can be increased by purchasing the "Wealthy" talent. Your choices can never span more than 3 rows. For example, you cannot earn 50 Cash/Game, live in a **** home, but drive a Supercar. The exception to this is anything earned through the narritive of the game. You can steal a Luxury car in game and its yours, however you could not upgrade it to a Supercar until your home was "Nice" and you earn 150 Cash/Game.
           
Home represents the cleanliness, repair, age, and overall appearance of your home. It also includes decor, furniture, location and security.
**** A home in **** condition is likely to be dirty, roach infested, and in obvious disrepair. Holes in walls, lights and even appliances that don't work. It is outdated in it's decor. It may be a motel room or a studio apartment. It's really nothing more than a roof over your head. You have 2 Setback on all Charm checks inside your home. Anybody attempting to break into the home gets 2 Boost checks on their Skullduggery checks.
Decent A home in Decent condition is likely to be more or less clean and operable. You have working appliances and lights. Your decor is likely outdated, but at least any wall damage is patched up. It is likely a small apartment. You have 1 Setback on all Charm checks inside your home. Anybody attempting to break into the home gets 1 Boost die on their Skullduggery checks.
Nice A Nice home is modern in appearance and well maintained. It may be a large apartment or a small home. There are no modifiers to Charm or Skullduggery checks related to the home.
Rich A Rich home is modern and well maintained. It may have ammenities like its own pool, nice furniture, and some good art. It may be a large home or a condo You gain 1 Boost to Charm checks made inside the home, and Skullduggery checks to break into the home have 1 Setback.
Luxury A luxury home is a lavish display of wealth. It may be a mansion or a penthouse. It is filled with modern ammenities, luxurious furniture, fine art, and the like. You have 2 Boost die on Charm checks inside your home and Skullduggery checks to break into the home have 2 setback.
           
Vehicle represents the condition of your car. It considers the age, type, repair, and prestige of your vehicle. A base vehicle is listed on page 231 of Geneys core rulebook (and above to the right). Any vehicle can be changed to a pickup by lowering passenger count to 2 (3 uncomfortably) and increasing encumberance capacity to 35. A vehicle can be changed to an SUV or Van by increasing its Passengers to 7 (6 comfortably) and reducing its Handling by 1.
Beater All Driving and Mechanics checks add 2 setback.
Worn All Driving and Mechanics checks add 1 setback.
Reliable As Base Vehicle.
Luxury Increase Speed, Handling, or HT and SS Thresholds by 1.
Supercar Increase Speed, Handling, Armor, by 1 or HT and SS Thresholds by 2. You may choose instead gain access to a Limousine with an accompanying driver. It uses the statistics of the Standard Vehicle, except that it's handling is -2, and has a Passenger Capacity of 10 (6 comfortably). Additionally, it adds 2 Boost to Charm and Negotiation checks in it's presence. The driver has an Average driving skill.
           
Cash/Game is how much money you receive at the beginning of each game session. Note, due to circumstances you may not have access to the cash right away. For example, if you are trapped in the Dreaming Dark. In these cases, keep track of the amount earned this way separately, and you gain it all when you would have access to it again.

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See what you did there saethone and I like it! I will probably do something similar, just tuned to Senatorial census Romans, but the general idea is good; assumption of a certain level of living (for background descriptions) and a certain amount of money per session that appears from land income. Quite lovely. 

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On 1/16/2018 at 3:43 PM, saethone said:

I created a wealth system for my game, as its set in 80s miami and i wanted to differentiate those people driving around in lambos from the normal rabble without having to track monthly payments and crap like that

Interesting. somewhat similar to the Lifestyle system in Shadowrun.

 

using a system like this, how would you (or anyone else who wants to answer) handle monetary rewards from "adventures"? The party does a job and (presumably) gets paid. If regular bills, upkeep, and maintenance of stuff is assumed to be included in the lifestyle cost how do you drain cash PCs get from adventuring? Is there an upkeep cost to the lifestyle that has to be paid every session or month or something?

How do you handle PCs changing levels? You mention that it is possible, but how does it actually work?

Probably no relevant to your Miami game, but I have an idea for a game that involves the collapse of a civilization, similar to the fall of the Soviet Union. How would a system like this deal with a sudden change in the economy of the setting, rampant inflation, scarcity of supplies, and so on.

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I don't think you can segregate wealth and status in Rome; whilst in some senses they are independent, one doesn't always lead to another. Pompey is a good example of someone who was lowborn, and though wealthy and influential he still never really held the status the nobles did.

I guess I would question what they (your players) would do with the wealth, and would it impact the story? I am playing a thief called back out of retirement in EotE, and my character is independently wealthy from previous successful jobs. He runs a very profitable, lucrative artisanal business, which netted him significant credits, and he puts that on hold to go back and help a friend out. So it exists, but in agreement with the GM it doesn't impact on the story or give me a material advantage.

Now, you could take a similar approach because whilst it would convey a material advantage, it really depends on the campaign itself. I sense there's more politicking going on, in which case having handfuls of sestertii to bribe would-be allies is useful and it's not just to acquire superior-quality arms and armour. If that's the case, then really the money itself is more useful as a concept than a fixed value.

You could therefore, when making social combat checks, apply net totals of advantages and disadvantages to represent the income/expenses affecting the overall pool. If a negotiation came out with 3 success, 2 threat, then the PC notes -2 on their wealth pool and applies setback dice to future checks where money changes hands until they have banked enough advantage in those social combat encounters to net it out. That way you have an easy enough mechanism for measuring their "cash flow". If you want them to experience actual poverty, then maybe give despairs the chance to be used to deplete or empty their coffers?

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12 hours ago, Forgottenlore said:

Interesting. somewhat similar to the Lifestyle system in Shadowrun.

 

using a system like this, how would you (or anyone else who wants to answer) handle monetary rewards from "adventures"? The party does a job and (presumably) gets paid. If regular bills, upkeep, and maintenance of stuff is assumed to be included in the lifestyle cost how do you drain cash PCs get from adventuring? Is there an upkeep cost to the lifestyle that has to be paid every session or month or something?

How do you handle PCs changing levels? You mention that it is possible, but how does it actually work?

Probably no relevant to your Miami game, but I have an idea for a game that involves the collapse of a civilization, similar to the fall of the Soviet Union. How would a system like this deal with a sudden change in the economy of the setting, rampant inflation, scarcity of supplies, and so on.

Actually, I plan to use the "Wealth Points" as rewards sometimes. If they find a huge stash of drug money, or gain some notoriety and bring in more business, etc etc. The PCs work for a private detective agency in the game so the "wealth" represents their normal pay and any side ventures they have, it's just abstracted. I didn't want to have to say "this job pays $500 a day" or "$20 an hour" or anything like that, and make them handle all the minutiae of calculating their hours, splitting the money, etc etc. Easier to just say "on average, you make this much between the stuff we handle in game and the background stuff"

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For a possible Song of Ice and Fire Setting I had been planning on making Status a quasi-Characteristic (Commoner 1, Retainer 2, Noble 3, Minor Lord 4, Middling Lord 5, Greater Lord 6, etc.); the initial Status  would have depended on the Archetype but could have been raised during creation, Dedication once with GM-approval. 

In certain situations checks might have been based on Status, especially for equipment acquisition and allowance (available money for one session).

Here's my first draft copied/pasted for whom it may interest: 

STATUS

Status is another characteristic, separate from the others but working similarly; the highest achievable rank for a PC is 5, Dedication has to be narratively justified and approved by the GM.

How the different ranks translate into a certain rank/title derives from the Green Ronin ASoIaF RPG Status table. Status comes into play in various situations:

Social Encounters/Interactions: When interacting with others, relative Status is most important; depending on the circumstances, the character’s approach, the target’s disposition etc., the difference in Status to the target is factored in adding Boosts or Setbacks, e.g.: Coercion/Leadership against a lower Status normally result in Boosts (and vice versa); impersonating someone from a different Class is always harder; Deceiving/Flattering one’s superiors might be easier.

Funds and Acquisition: Normally, people of higher Status have deeper pockets and better access to equipment; to be elaborated on later.

Befitting Equipment: In a society, distinguishing class so strictly, there are rules and expectancies what is befitting a person of a certain Status and what isn’t; most pieces of equipment (i.e. weapons, armour, clothing, mounts, and jewellery) have a suggested Status. It is considered inappropriate to carry anything, that’s suggested Status differs from the character’s Status. Inferior items have a Status reduced by 1, Superior ones the opposite; there’s the new item Quality Ornate, acquirable for example with the Ornament Attachment (costing 250 per Encumbrance), increasing the Status by another 1. When determining Boosts/Setbacks in Social Encounters

ARCHETYPES

There are three Archetypes, representing the PC’s initial Status. All regular Characteristics start at 2; one can decrease a single characteristic to 1, in order to gain an extra 20 XP.

Everybody is starting with 10 in both Thresholds; if during creation one of the respective characteristics has been increased to at least 3, one may increase the corresponding threshold by up to 2 while decreasing the other by the same amount.

Commoner

A Commoner is just an Average Human with a Status of 1.

Retainer

A Retainer’s Status is 2; their starting XP are 100; they get one Rank in any Career Skill (limited to Rank 2 during creation).
Livery and Maintenance: Once per session, the Retainer may spend a Story Point as an Incidental to increase their Status by 1 for the remainder of the encounter.

Noble

The Nobles Status is 3; their starting XP are 90; they get one Rank in Riding (limited to Rank 2 during creation).
Class Snobbery: Once per session, the Noble may spend a Story Point as an incidental to use Status, instead of the according Characteristic, for one single Social Skill check.

Edited by Grimmerling

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50 minutes ago, saethone said:

Actually, I plan to use the "Wealth Points" as rewards sometimes. If they find a huge stash of drug money, or gain some notoriety and bring in more business, etc etc. The PCs work for a private detective agency in the game so the "wealth" represents their normal pay and any side ventures they have, it's just abstracted. I didn't want to have to say "this job pays $500 a day" or "$20 an hour" or anything like that, and make them handle all the minutiae of calculating their hours, splitting the money, etc etc. Easier to just say "on average, you make this much between the stuff we handle in game and the background stuff"

That could work, in which case, each Talent represents a level of "general wealthiness". I can imagine something like 6 levels of Wealth (0 being what all characters have). If my players are fine with just being all noble, then I can angle the Talents towards that. Heck, the Talents could talk about a level of wealth, and bonuses to, say, Influence rolls or something like that. I'll think, but it's interesting.

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15 hours ago, Grimmerling said:

For a possible Song of Ice and Fire Setting I had been planning on making Status a quasi-Characteristic (Commoner 1, Retainer 2, Noble 3, Minor Lord 4, Middling Lord 5, Greater Lord 6, etc.); the initial Status  would have depended on the Archetype but could have been raised during creation, Dedication once with GM-approval. 

In certain situations checks might have been based on Status, especially for equipment acquisition and allowance (available money for one session).

Here's my first draft copied/pasted for whom it may interest: 

STATUS

Status is another characteristic, separate from the others but working similarly; the highest achievable rank for a PC is 5, Dedication has to be narratively justified and approved by the GM.

How the different ranks translate into a certain rank/title derives from the Green Ronin ASoIaF RPG Status table. Status comes into play in various situations:

Social Encounters/Interactions: When interacting with others, relative Status is most important; depending on the circumstances, the character’s approach, the target’s disposition etc., the difference in Status to the target is factored in adding Boosts or Setbacks, e.g.: Coercion/Leadership against a lower Status normally result in Boosts (and vice versa); impersonating someone from a different Class is always harder; Deceiving/Flattering one’s superiors might be easier.

Funds and Acquisition: Normally, people of higher Status have deeper pockets and better access to equipment; to be elaborated on later.

Befitting Equipment: In a society, distinguishing class so strictly, there are rules and expectancies what is befitting a person of a certain Status and what isn’t; most pieces of equipment (i.e. weapons, armour, clothing, mounts, and jewellery) have a suggested Status. It is considered inappropriate to carry anything, that’s suggested Status differs from the character’s Status. Inferior items have a Status reduced by 1, Superior ones the opposite; there’s the new item Quality Ornate, acquirable for example with the Ornament Attachment (costing 250 per Encumbrance), increasing the Status by another 1. When determining Boosts/Setbacks in Social Encounters

ARCHETYPES

There are three Archetypes, representing the PC’s initial Status. All regular Characteristics start at 2; one can decrease a single characteristic to 1, in order to gain an extra 20 XP.

Everybody is starting with 10 in both Thresholds; if during creation one of the respective characteristics has been increased to at least 3, one may increase the corresponding threshold by up to 2 while decreasing the other by the same amount.

Commoner

A Commoner is just an Average Human with a Status of 1.

Retainer

A Retainer’s Status is 2; their starting XP are 100; they get one Rank in any Career Skill (limited to Rank 2 during creation).
Livery and Maintenance: Once per session, the Retainer may spend a Story Point as an Incidental to increase their Status by 1 for the remainder of the encounter.

Noble

The Nobles Status is 3; their starting XP are 90; they get one Rank in Riding (limited to Rank 2 during creation).
Class Snobbery: Once per session, the Noble may spend a Story Point as an incidental to use Status, instead of the according Characteristic, for one single Social Skill check.

I like this rather a lot, now that I've looked more carefully. The Archetype thing I mean. There's some goodness in there, for sure.I'll have a think. Combined with some Talents to show even more Wealth or Influence, this could be what I need! 

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3 hours ago, StanTheMan said:

I like this rather a lot, now that I've looked more carefully. The Archetype thing I mean. There's some goodness in there, for sure.I'll have a think. Combined with some Talents to show even more Wealth or Influence, this could be what I need! 

I would appreciate a lot your sharing any improvements, if you didn't mind. 

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23 hours ago, Grimmerling said:

I would appreciate a lot your sharing any improvements, if you didn't mind. 

Definitely! Just need a chance to actually sit down and think. Sadly, in the midst of class planning, so, I hope today or tomorrow to get around to it. I don't think it'll be hard to put something together though.

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What sort of situations do you envision where you'd want a quasi-random result affected by a character's status? In these situations, what might a Triumph or Despair mean? If you have trouble coming up with examples, I would argue that you don't need a status to be a rating measurable with dice.

I would try the same analysis with wealth, then think about how both characteristics would interact. I certainly like the idea of having to worry about debts or lawsuits in Republican Rome - and a Despair sounds like a good way to reflect these risks. And if a patrician's wealth is low, he's obviously going to have a harder time keeping up with the Juliuses when it's time to bankroll some games.

Either way, I wanna play this setting.

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Okay all, FINALLY got some time to do some work on this, and here's what I tentatively came up with. It does come with a few caveats: 1. I didn't want to really add rules; 2. These things should be (mostly) within reach of starting characters; 3. I wanted something fun, that added a little spice, but as said, doesn't get in the way or main characterization; 4. Boiling down centuries of cultural practice into a few lines is hard...

The Rules

All players should choose one of the four basic archetypes: Average Citizen (Average Human), The Athlete (The Laborer), The Scholar (The Intellectual), and The Orator (The Aristocrat). 

Average Citizen: 
Brawn – 2; Agility – 2; Intellect – 2; Cunning – 2; Willpower – 2; Presence – 2
Starting Wound Threshold: 10+Brawn
Starting Strain Threshold: 10+Willpower
Starting Experience: 110
Starting Skills: The Average Citizen starts with one rank in each of two non-career skills at character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and these skills may not be increased higher than rank 2 during character creation.
Ready for Anything: Once per session as an out-of-turn incidental, you may move one Story Point from the Game Master’s pool to the players’ pool.


The Athlete:
Brawn – 3; Agility – 2; Intellect – 2; Cunning – 2; Willpower – 1; Presence – 2
Starting Wound Threshold: 12+Brawn
Starting Strain Threshold: 8+Willpower
Starting Experience: 100
Starting Skills: An athlete starts with one rank in Athletics during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Athletics above rank 2 during character creation.
Tough as Nails: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an out-of-turn incidental immediately after suffering a Critical Injury and determining the result. If they do so, they count the result rolled as “01.”

The Scholar:
Brawn – 2; Agility – 1; Intellect – 3; Cunning – 2; Willpower – 2; Presence – 2
Starting Wound Threshold: 8+Brawn
Starting Strain Threshold: 12+Willpower
Starting Experience: 100
Starting Skills: A Scholar starts with one rank in Knowledge during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Knowledge above rank 2 during character creation.
Brilliant!:   Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an incidental. If they do so, during the next check they make during that turn, you count their ranks in the skill being used as equal to their Intellect.


The Orator: 
Brawn – 1; Agility – 2; Intellect – 2; Cunning – 2; Willpower – 2; Presence – 3
Starting Wound Threshold: 10+Brawn
Starting Strain Threshold: 10+Willpower
Starting Experience: 100
Starting Skills: An Orator starts with one rank in Cool during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Cool above rank 2 during character creation.
Forceful Personality: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an incidental. If they do so, during the next skill check they make during that turn, your character doubles the strain they inflict or the strain they heal (you choose before making the check).


Classes
After this, each player should choose a career that reflects their take on being a Roman Noble. That is, where do they see themselves as a person in Roman Noble society?

Politicus (Politician)
The politician is a person who is either in the Senate, or dreams of doing so, and is sort of a jack-of-all-trades; they can fight, lead soldiers, speak in public, and in general serve in the many offices of the Republic. This is a person who expects to move up through a combination of bravery in battle, oration, wealth and family connections.
Career Skills: Charm, Coercion, Cool, Discipline, Leadership, Melee, Negotiation, Riding

Sacerdos (Priest)
While any Roman may be called upon to be a priest of the state (as a Minor Priest, Augur, State Priest, or Special Flamen, or other religious functionary), a character taking this class has really studied the lore of the gods and spirits, and understands that there is real power in learning the rites and sacrifices that please them. They may even forsake regular work or duties to become an expert in sacral things.
Career Skills: Charm, Coercion, Cool, Discipline, Divine, Knowledge (A god/goddess/spirits), Negotiation, Riding

Sciolus (Dilettante)
These people are that don’t have the wealth or inclination to seek higher positions or offices, or conversely, don’t care about it, and are more concerned with attending parties and enjoying the fruits of their wealth, or pursuing personal areas of interest. They may or may not seek offices, or spend their lives as idle backbenchers if in the Senate, happy to exercise their vote with their feet, never allowed to speak.
Career Skills: Charm, Cool, Deception, Knowledge (whatever catches your fancy), Negotiation, Perception, Streetwise, Vigilance.

Vir Militus (Military Man)
This is a person that has decided the best way to climb society is with the edge of their sword. They constantly volunteer for military appointments and spend more time outside Rome fighting her wars than in Rome. For them, political offices are not a goal in themselves, but a means to an end of being able to hold great commands (often given after being Praetor or Consul). 
Career Skills: Athletics, Brawl, Coercion, Melee, Perception, Riding, Survival, Vigilance.


Special Talents
The following Talents can be chosen in addition to the talents shown in the Genesys corebook. 

One note: For reference, money works like this: 4 sesterces (bronze coins) equal 1 denar (silver coin). One talent (a common measure of money) equals 6000 denarii or 24000 sesterces. It takes roughly 3 sesterces to survive for a day. All players start as either a slave, freedman citizen, or Roman Head Count, as they wish.


Higher Class
Tier: 1
Activation: Passive
Ranked: No
You are a recognized member of the Roman Fifth to Second Classes, with an official census of between 2500 - 25000 sesterces. You can vote in the assemblies and for higher magistrates. Despite this, you are considered more dependable that most under Roman law, and your word carries more weight than members of the lower classes. You can move yourself up into the Equestrian Class, if you manage to accumulate enough wealth to do it (in essence, you can upgrade this Talent for that Talent if you can spend the XP needed). This also let’s you ignore one  when arguing against a lower class person.

Patrician
Tier: 2
Activation: Passive
Ranked: No
You are a Patrician, a member of Rome’s original noble class. You can trace your ancestry back to the early days of the Roman kingdom, when your ancestor served as one of the 100 advisors to Romulus himself, and as a member of the first senate after the fall of the last king and the beginning of the Republic. As a Patrician, you gain one upgrades whenever you make your roll for elections. You are, however, barred from certain offices (like Tribune of the Plebs).

Higher Class (Improved)
Tier: 2
Activation: Passive
Ranked: No
You have a census of at least 400,000 sesterces in wealth, lands, or business interests, and more importantly, are considered a member of the Equestrian Class in Rome. You have the right to vote in the Assemblies. You can try to run for political office in Rome, but you will need to make sure you have the wealth to fit a Senator’s Census by the next election (in essence, you can upgrade this Talent for that Talent if you can accumulate the XP needed). You also have extra cash of 400 sesterces (100 denarii) per session, given to you at the beginning of each game session by the GM. Any time you must interact with the lower classes, you gain one  if using Charm or Negotiate. 

Higher Class (Supreme)
Tier: 3
Activation: Passive
Ranked: No
You have at least 1,000,000 sesterces in wealth, land, and secret business interests, and more importantly, are considered a member of the Senatorial Class in Rome (meaning that at least three consecutive ancestors of yours were Consuls). You have the right to vote in the Assemblies, and to run for political office in the Cursus Honorum. You also have extra cash of 800 sesterces (200 denarii) per session, given to you at the beginning of each game session by the GM. Any time you interact with the lower classes, you gain   if using Coercion or Deception. 

Wealthy
Tier: 3
Activation: Passive
Ranked: Yes
You are quite wealthy for your social class. For each rank of this Talent, your personal census status increases x10. You also receive another 400 sesterces per session, on top of your other income from other Talents, if applicable. You may take this twice. You are wealthy enough to try to sway elections with bribery; anytime there is an election, you add  two bonus dice to any election checks, either for your own character or for another character.

Creosus
Tier: 4
Activation: Passive
Ranked: No
You are one of the mega-wealthy of Rome, so rich (and so many owe you or depend on you) that there are probably only a handful of people at your level or wealth in the Republic. At this level, you always have money to bribe, even on the scale of influencing elections or supporting a legion or two on your own. With this Talent you can add two bonus dice to election rolls, as well as for passing legislation.

So, that's off the top of my head.
 

 

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Finally, here's my first concise draft; for whom it might interest. 

Status and Spending Power

For a Victorian setting I’m working on I’m going to forego wealth accumulation and bookkeeping. Instead each character is allotted a certain spending power, based on their social status, Status being a quasi-Characteristic (see previous post).

Status Ranks would translate to something like:

0 – debtors’ prison or workhouse inmate

1 – average Working Class

2 – average Middle Class

3 – wealthy Middle Class/average Upper Class

4 – wealthy Upper Class

5 – Peer

As mentioned, Characters aren’t supposed to track their income/expenditures. Instead their going to start with a certain spending power, to be replenished at appropriate times.

As currency I’m using Imperial £.s/d, converting at approximately 5d to 1 GCU (Genesys Currency Unit).

The Purse

The Purse is supposed to represent the cash a character is carrying on him normally; it is meant to cover immediate expenses like fares, bribes, newspapers, tavern bills &c. Characters only have to keep track of expenses within the range of coinage their purse contains, anything beneath that is handwaved (Middle Class characters have to bookkeep shillings, but not pence; Upper Class only keep track of sovereigns). The purse will normally be replenished when returning home after a day of adventuring.

When a character is justifiably expecting increased expenses during a given day, the GM may allow checking Vigilance (--), increasing their purse by 50%, if successful;  +1 coin per a, +1 more valuable coin per t.

Purchasing Power

When the need for purchasing a certain piece of equipment arises, a character has to reference his Status with the item’s price to determine the circumstances, under which it may be acquired; always subject to availability, of course.

Acquisition in downtime should be restricted to one item of each category; more might be approved, when the need is explained exhaustively.

Anytime: These items may be purchased whenever needed in reasonable and customary quantities. They can be acquired on the fly.

Daily: This item may be purchased without further ado once per day; additional acquisitions require spending a Story Point or increasing Obligation (Debt) by +1. Acquisition might take a few hours.

Weekly: This item may be purchased about once a week; additional acquisitions require spending a Story Point or increasing Obligation (Debt) by +2, possibly requiring a collateral. Acquiring it is going to take a day or two, normally.

Monthly: Items of this kind will take a little saving for, they are not regularly available when adventuring, but in downtime. A Story Point might be spent for an early purchase.

Annually: These Items of will take a quite while saving for, they are not regularly available when adventuring, but in downtime. A Story Point might be spent for an early purchase, but the GM might require a check (e.g. Discipline to determine the savings, Negotiation for getting credit, Charm for pestering family &c.).

Unaffordable: It’s “Impossible” to buy something this expensive at whim; it should be narratively justified and take some effort to acquire.

Status Purse < 1d 3d 9d 2s 5s £1 £5 £20 £100 £500 £1,000 £1,000 <
0 None Daily Weekly Monthly Annually Unafford.            
1 10d Anytime Daily Weekly Monthly Annually Unafford.          
2 10s Anytime Anytime Anytime Daily Weekly Monthly Annually Unafford.      
3 £5 Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Daily Weekly Monthly Annually Unafford.  
4 £10 Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Daily Weekly Monthly Annually Unafford.
5 £20 Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Anytime Daily Weekly Monthly Annually

Unafford.

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All these ideas look great, and ancient Rome is a fascinating setting. I take a much different and simpler approach in regards to wealth and status; I just let the players decide how wealthy they are and what their status is. I know lots of systems have rules about this to preserve game balance, but I've always found them arbitrary and not conducive to the story (in most game systems, Bruce Wayne couldn't have been Batman because he would have spent all his character points on his huge wealth advantage, with none left for combat traits). Admittedly, this approach takes a certain kind of non-munchkin player, but if your group can handle it, then giving them free rein can be a lot of fun. I've actually found that when I don't limit wealth or status, and treat it as background material, none of my players go crazy with it. They tend to create the character they want to play, who may be poor or of low status. The only caveats that I strongly enforce are that the group must have logical, story-appropriate reasons to be together, and I (the GM) can over-rule (without any whining) anything that seems abusive or contrary to the spirit of the setting. So far, its working great, without me having to come up with elaborate and balanced wealth or status rules. We just tell a good story and have fun (and then go play Imperial Assault if we want to go pure tactical advantage...). 

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It looks like a good start, here is some devil's advocacy.

You say you are not keeping track of income and expenditures. I agree that income is amorphous, but expenditures are definitely being tracked! Thus, why determine how much someone has on hand as well as their purchasing power? I think you'd be better served grouping item prices along a 0-5 scale too.

Even more nitpicky, I would expect Status and Wealth to diverge more often in a Victorian setting than in the Roman one. A noble family keeping up appearances despite being penniless is pretty much a genre staple - as well as ripe for story mining.

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1 hour ago, player966703 said:

Even more nitpicky, I would expect Status and Wealth to diverge more often in a Victorian setting than in the Roman one. A noble family keeping up appearances despite being penniless is pretty much a genre staple - as well as ripe for story mining.

With this one, I'm not sure game play mechanics need to change. At the end of the day, they're still buying these things...they're just depleting every last penny to do so, and as such I think that's really only a narrative effect.

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