Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Economics in my GMing: How I handle wealth

I was lurking in the Sjgames forums when I cam by this interesting question. How do you handle wealth increase.

In economic behavior, a windfall is typically saved. In high saving countries part of the reason is that bonuses are deferred and not payed out immediately is to encourage saving. This follows much of the logic, people are able to differentiate what is a long term increase to that of a short term one.

I heard this study in my critical thinking lessons and economic history studies. In my wife's CFA exam this was also covered.

In my games, it follows that same logic. The PCs have more "cash" or liquidity. Thats pretty much it. It only becomes a more stable increase of wealth if they reinvest it wealth generating capital or more assets (weapons, armor, medical supplies, "hedging" against future damage).

Its weird to me when GMs try to "control" the wealth the players stumble into. what I mean control is they force the Players to spend points for it or else they lose that money. That is both unusual and highly unrealistic.

If' I inherited $1M in the middle of the game do I have to pay points for that? Doesn't this follow the same logic as character death: consequences and things that happens beyond the control of the players? The GM or the players demanding "fairness" after the dice rolls up something they don't particularly like is more like griping.

Anyway, wealth is a resource unlike a character's ingenuity, can be easily measured and have very tangible limitations. There are a lot of things Money and resources can't do, one only needs exercise one's imagination a little bit more.

When GM or the Game systems try to control this wealth and scale (after character creation) reminds me of the argument of "scaling" the reality to fit the character not the character fitting the reality. The kind of world which conspire to make all the challenges spoon fed to the characters that there is NOTHING they can't defeat as long as they follow certain rules.

Freedom is supposed to encourage innovation because of accountability ultimately falls on the character/player's abilities. screw with a Great Wyrm, he might kill, win it over, or work for it: What may happens depend on how adaptable the Player is in making a bad situation good, its an imaginary game and I don't need a safetynet (extra pregens maybe).
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