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Dodd81

Players getting too rich

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Hi,

So far my players and I have run through Escape from Mos Shuuta, The Long Arm of the Hutt, Trouble Brewing and Debts to Pay and have Under a Black Sun planned for this week.

They have been successful, to varying degrees, in each adventure and have accumulated quite a few credits from rewards and such.

I feel like they are getting unrealistically rich for a life spent scraping by on the Outer Rim, but there doesn't seem much to spend money on. I haven't noticed a cost of living mechanic like D&D or anything like that.

Any suggestions on how I can rein them in a bit? Just coming up with a quick "oh by the way, half of your money was stolen between adventures" seems a bit artificial and uninteresting.

Thanks.

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I have this problem too, my players had a nice ship aswell as 100k in the "bank". I found a way to damage their ship to the point it costed 70,000 to repair fully.

I feel bad for this but I was rewarding my players with too much money so I needed to curtail this. Going forward they will be getting less credits and more goods for rewards.

As for things to spend it on, other than ship maintenance ask the players what they want. Offer up investment chances or propose a sense of permanence (buying a homestead).

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Thanks for this.

I'm also considering applying some basic food costs and ship upkeep. As well as fuel, docking fees etc. Unsure of what to charge though.

 

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1 hour ago, MrTInce said:

For fuel I use the ship silhoutte x 1000 for fuel. Docking fees charge per location, charge more for security, maintenance etc.

Food cost use the rations item, which works out at 5 credits per day. 

Too much bookkeeping.

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Posted (edited)

Food costs. Assuming the cost of living on Coruscant is roughly equivalent to the USA, using the prices at Dex's Diner compared to a McDonalds, you're looking at around about 2 credits = $1 USD. Not sure what your party consists of but a party of four adult humans you'd be looking at around 300-500 credits per week if they're buying their food at a supermarket and preparing it themselves. MRE's cost a little bit more but are also more convenient (15 credits for one days food for one person according to the AoR core rulebook).

Fuel costs. Obviously petrol is not the same as fuel for a starship and I don't like the previous suggestion of silhouette x 1000 for fuel costs since that'd mean you're putting the equivalent of $500 USD in your speeder bike, but only $2500 for something substantially heavier and more power intensive. Not sure how I'd go about this myself though.

Docking/landing fees. Based on KOTOR I'd just say `100 credits for the landing and then charge the same amount every day the ship is parked there. Obviously you can park it somewhere that isn't an actual landing pad or hangar but thats opening you up to having people steal the ship or its contents, you can't refuel and you're open to the elements.

The real cash sink however is going to be repairs and maintenance. Getting your ship patched up is expensive - just as getting it serviced should be. Another suggestion is to remove the parties liquidity - they can still be wealthy, you can tie that down in items (your party members want to buy creature comforts: a new bed, computers, eat fancy once in a while, leather seats for the YT-1300's cockpit, etc) or investments (give them the opportunity to buy properties, a cantina or a share in a mine, etc, that will pay itself off over a long period of time but robs them of the money in that instant).

You've just got to get creative with how they use the money.

Edited by BipolarJuice

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So how much are you paying them for what? Are they just getting quest rewards? Are you allowing looting and resale without factoring in the resale price and encumbrance rules? What about adventures? Are you factoring all those setbacks and special checks that require gear to offset them? Are you using the "right tool for the job" rules?

 

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Posted (edited)

Another thing is have them begin to invest in real estate: Most criminal syndicates end up developing an iconic base of operations that various individuals have to pass through, which generally you have to be to maintain some anormaty in the empire. Or start giving them jobs that require specialist gear, so while the stakes get greater, the cost to actually pull those jobs off great greater and actually failing a job becomes a gigantic consequence.

Otherwise, what is the story you are trying to tell? Are you only going through modules or do you have greater plot arcs that the characters are invested in? What are their ambitions? Their obligations? Make the story less about the cash that they are earning/making, and more about building their own niche in the star wars galaxy, other then being the DnD adventurers styled who kinda drift from one job to another.

One example is that a few characters were involved with the Hutts, and had succeeded in a Gran Nopla previously, so they were invited to a massively upscaled version that had 29 teams competing in a massive series of events, including a battle royal treck in the mouth of a mostly dormant volcano. We ended up ultimately savaging the event to cripple the Hutt Empire and attempt to completely cut our ties to them, but having a gigantic mandatory event that would greatly complicate their lives whether or not they accept it? Well, that's a firecracker and a natural drain on resources.

Edited by LordBritish

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Not to be rude, but too much cash is typically a problem with the start of a campaign, or poor GM management.  To be fair, I ran into the same problem with the first group I GM'd in this environment.  So I made changes for the second group I GM'd for.

The characters started out in Edge, and instead of giving them a ship, I set up the adventure to have them buy (on credit) a ship.  This saddled the characters with 90k in debt and significant obligation to deal with.  Docking a ship isn't free either.  Docking fees/fuel costs vary from place to place, but the more corrupt or remote a system, the more expensive it can get.  And if the players avoid the costly traditional docking fees by parking outside of town...well, replacing the armor removed for scrap metal by scavengers will cut into their profits.  I've even considered employing civil forfeiture just to drain their coffers.  We suspect this ship of smuggling contraband drugs and weapons, we're seizing it and your bank accounts.  Thank you and good day!  Sure, maybe they can break into the impound lot and free their ship, but those bank funds might be already part of the Imperial treasury. 

If you are using Age of Rebellion and your players are maintaining a base...well, that's expensive.  You need to upkeep facilities, pay wages, provide food/supplies, stock the armory.

Equipment and mods are EXPENSIVE.  Throw some enemies with sunder at them.  Break a couple pieces of equipment.  Capture them and only let them recover some equipment.  When visiting some gangster casino and are forced to turn over their heavily modified heavy blaster rifle, have the weapons check person return a regular blaster rifle.  Do they start a war with a criminal faction over a blaster rifle, or do they just accept the fact that they've been screwed and deal with it.

Ships are expensive to maintain, and you should only provide baseline ships.  This encourages the players to spend money upgrading weapons and the ship itself.

Create an adventure where the players are compelled to help out the poor, or spend money to help someone.  I had an adventure where the players opted to spend some 20k of their own money to purchase weapons to help a small village defend itself from slavers.  They were still in heavy debt themselves and had been saving the money to pay off some of that debt.

Keep in mind that you are the GM.  You control the funds the players receive.  If the adventure says reward the players with 2000 credits each...why?  Make it 500 each and call it a day.

How about an NPC that demands cash for info?  Or their speeder gets stolen?  Or their bank account gets hacked?  Going under cover ain't cheap.  Buying fancy clothing to blend into a high society party could cost thousands.  How about a bad smuggling deal?  They take a deal to smuggle goods and have to pay for them up front with a promise to get 2x the amount when they deliver.  But then they found out the items are counterfit and the buyer won't pay.  They can hunt down the sellers, but can't get their money back.  How about Gizka infestations?

Also, don't let players loot like the game is Diablo.  The enemies armor is destroyed in battle.  Their ammo used up.  Their stimpacks empty.  The weapons are poorly maintained and not worth anything.

Basically, find a way to limit income going forward and find a way to siphon some of that cash away.

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So it's in a bank? Or on some kind of cred stick or what? Where is it kept? Are you using obligation or duty? Can a PC be extorted, blackmailed or just exploited? If in a bank, perhaps a slicer borrows or just takes some or all of it? Perhaps identity theft is in order, someone acting as one of the PCs did something and those screwed over come after the real PC to collect, and its the PCs problem to get their funds back from the fake "PC". Perhaps the collection of debt from the PCs was even done legally, leaving the PCs wondering what just happened. There are many in game organic ways to balance the ledgers per say, and they can lead to an interesting story, plot twist or something else all together. What if a PC didn't know they had a twin, but the twin knew of the PC, found out they had funds and needed to pay off some kind of debt. The twin might not of done it out of spite, say to buy back their other sibling from the cluthes of slavery. 

Maybe the tax man cometh for back taxes owed, the limit of why the PCs need to give up funds can come at them from many angles. Perhaps they are being sued for countless reasons. 

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13 hours ago, Dodd81 said:

Any suggestions on how I can rein them in a bit? Just coming up with a quick "oh by the way, half of your money was stolen between adventures" seems a bit artificial and uninteresting.

 

Why?  If they are filthy rich, living in the Outer Rim, and are even remotely prone to displaying that wealth, why wouldn't other unsavory types in Star Wars decide they need to be separated from their wealth?   You don't even have to have it happen "off camera", make it part of a story arc.  Set up a group of powerful NPCs (Rival/Nemesis level types), that are setting up a heist, probably like something the players have done in the past.  Only difference is the target is the PC's stuff.   Have them have a distraction group or something, to draw away the PCs, while others sneak into...whereever they keep their loot, and take it.   If the players never bothered to actually set up good defenses, because they fell victim to the "we're the PCs, people don't take our stuff" trope a lot of gamers have...well that's their problem :P   

Then you can have the inevitable "let's go kill those ******** and get our stuff back" storyline, can be a fun little side mission for a few sessions.  Perhaps introducing a long term, recurring villain or two for the group.

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Buying down Obligation can be expensive, and yes, all Obligations can be bought down with the right explanation--the credits may not go directly to work, but they get spent on it somehow.

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12 hours ago, Dodd81 said:

Thanks for this.

I'm also considering applying some basic food costs and ship upkeep. As well as fuel, docking fees etc. Unsure of what to charge though.

 

Food. Fuel. Berthing. BoSS fees. Tariffs, Bribes. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm apparently going against the rest of the thread because I think throwing fees like food and fuel and such at your group is a terrible idea. It's one thing if you've established these kinds of things to begin with, but it's just as artificial and uninteresting as just arbitrarily taking away half their money to just drop some money sink on they never had to deal with before on them. Not to mention that unless they are completely blind (to put it somewhat politely) it's no doubt your players will realize exactly what you're doing and why. Thus your players will seek to counter it by looking to make even more money than they already are which will quickly create a snowball effect, if they don't complain about the obvious sink you're putting in.

 

Instead, put the players in situations where the dice decide and stack the deck against them but not that much to begin with. Give them the opportunity to make tons of money or equipment or ships or whatever it is they want, but at the risk of losing a great deal. Some big cheese inviting them to go to a casino and gambling for big money against a game that they have little chance of success would be an obvious thing, but it doesn't need to be so blatant. In fact, if you can present them with choices do so, then present each as transparently as you can as low risk, low reward and high risk, high reward and they won't have any problem with you stacking the deck appropriately.

 

For instance, arrange for the group to catch wind that there is a bounty on Imperial officials depending on rank, and put a timetable on it. Kidnapping a low level Imperial official from some small and weak Imperial ship would probably be fairly easy and thus there's little little chance of the group damaging their ship, equipment, or themselves much if at all, for a modest reward. On the other hand, kidnapping an Imperial Moff from a Star Destroyer or some big heavily defended compound would be VERY hard to actually manage to do and survive and thus they would have a good chance of losing everything they have trying either in the attempt or spent to get to that point, but there's a massive reward to tempt them to try anyway. This can go either way with either option, they could try to kidnap the low level Imperial official and thanks to bad dice rolls fail utterly and limp away in a heavily damaged ship, locked in an Imperial prison, or dead. Then again they could have the god of dice on their side and breeze through to kidnapping the Moff and walk away with a few million credits burning a hole in their pocket. If they can't pull it off before the bounty is taken off the board they get nothing.

 

If the former happens you've accomplished your objective, if the latter you'll just have to throw in another similarly low/high risk low/high reward scenario at them again, but up the ante much further. Either your group will fail just often enough to slow down their money intake on their own, or sooner or later they will be left penniless and have to start over. Regardless, you get what you want eventually, and since you've put the choices in front of them so they can go into things with their eyes open unless your group is a bunch of whiny babies they'll love you for whatever adventures you've put them through whether they win or lose.

 

Another thing you could do is put a money sink in that the players choose to opt into, that provide greater benefits for greater cost. For example, give them the chance to hire some mercenaries, some with a very small up front cost like say 100 credits and small upkeep like 50 credits per week per man who are next to worthless cannon fodder Minion level and some with large up front like 10,000 credits and 1000 credits a week per man who are mid to high Nemesis level. Any sort of constant drain will do, so long as you've never had the same kind of thing available to them for free. Combine it with the previous suggestion and you've got a recipe for some really enjoyable adventures. You can even keep mixing things up by throwing in the occasional wrinkle, like say maybe the group hired the mercs to help in the "Kidnapping Imperial Officials" mission and decide to double cross the group at the end so they have to fight them off to reach their prize. Just make sure to put wrinkles in only rarely or the group will likely decide that it's not worth it and not bother.

 

That sort of stuff. The primary thing reining the group in with money and for that matter anything else you want your group to do to give them options you have prepared and then let THEM decide, rather than forcing anything on them out of the blue. At the very least if you are going to force (or Force ;)) something on them try to establish it as early as possible, preferably with foreshadowing beforehand.

Edited by immortalfrieza

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I'm with Immortalfrieza on this.  I won repeat the post, so I'll just add these 3 comments.

1. Why is it really a problem that the players have some money?  

2. Don't just throw various crap at your players to drain their money.  It's not fun.

3. Throw spacebattles at them.  Repairing starships is expensive.

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3 hours ago, Count Cenex de Solaan said:

I'm with Immortalfrieza on this.  I won repeat the post, so I'll just add these 3 comments.

1. Why is it really a problem that the players have some money?  

2. Don't just throw various crap at your players to drain their money.  It's not fun.

3. Throw spacebattles at them.  Repairing starships is expensive.

Some money is good.  But too much money creates problems.  It allows people to min/max.  With infinite cash, they can get bigger and better ships.  They can start sporting ironman level powered armor.  They can upgrade their weapons to the absolute best.

At first, this sounds good.  It's cool, it's fun.  But once they get the best of the best, you run into three issues. 

Unless you are throwing armies of rancors at them every encounter, there is no threat to the players. 

Once your progression dries up, the game is less exciting.  The lure of leveling up and getting new equipment keeps the game interesting.  It's how microtransaction games work.  They let you advance quickly and play as much as you want early on so you get hooked on that level of progression....then you hit a wall and are forced to pay to keep the same level of progression going.  Most people grow tired of the perpetual grind and quit.  There are two forms of progression in this game.  Equipment and XP.  If Equipment outpaces XP, they hit the max in that category, and lose half of the progression for their character.

The third issue is character motivation.  If you are an Edge character and the goal is to pay off your debts and get rich....well, if you are rich enough to retire, why keep risking your life?  Why not buy a business, or just retire and call it good enough?  If you are AoR character, then you eventually hit a point where just investing the money in legitimate businesses and funneling that cash to the rebellion would make more of a dent than your individual operations.

Being strapped for cash, and left wanting for more powerful gear is part of the drive of developing a character.

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What are they doing with their credits that is disrupting the game? Many of the replies say to break their stuff, but do they even have stuff to break? The other most common reply is to hit them with bookkeeping fees. I agree that if they were going to be in the game then that should be talked about before implementation and only implemented to reinforce a “struggling on the rim” theme instead of just as a cash drain. 

 

In the end, ask yourself why them having a bunch of credits is a bad thing.  If they’re just collecting them and not using them then they might as well not even exist.

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14 hours ago, immortalfrieza said:

Thus your players will seek to counter it by looking to make even more money

 

The opposite may also happen: the players will become completely cynical toward offered rewards - why bother/care about them when the payoff is just going to get arbitrarily yanked away again?

 

Either way, the effect on the game/group is toxic.

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If  you recognize what I wrote, use organic in-game ways to continue the adventure, perhaps those money gains are a plot item, players frequently don't see their cash used this way in a game, often they are trying  to exploit NPCs in this same way though. The twin using the money to rescue another family member or the slicer looking for an easy payday, who the PCs can track down, perhaps leading to bigger gains and greater depth in the campaign. Did the slicer fat finger the account number? connecting that NPC and PCs together for some kind of misadventure or is that what they tell the PCs? Why could be something like; someone hired the slicer to grab the PCs cash to draw the PCs out when they go after the slicer, allowing them to more easily track the PCs in the future. They have a vested interest in one of the PCs or even the whole party for some private NPC reason. 

Reasonable fees are just that, but over charging should only occur when the situation organically presents itself as such, "So you need a new ship transponder ID code to get to a restricted core world, well it will cost you." Setting the dice pool difficultly properly and the assorted modifiers boost and setback, players make their negotiation roll and the die roll result dictates they pay a small fortune for the new transponder ID. 

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