Wealth

Wealth is an abstract measure that encapsulates a character's standard of living, the money available to them, and the sorts of goods they might be able to afford and use on an everyday basis. There are two components to the wealth system: Lifestyle and Resources.

Lifestyle

A character's Lifestyle level indicates the standard of living they maintain. Typically, the routine actions of keeping up that Lifestyle (such as working and paying taxes) are assumed to happen as a matter of course, so long as the character isn't trying to live beyond their means. Similarly, everyday items that are normal for people living a given Lifestyle to use are considered to be included, and may be freely used in threads without need for inventory tracking or ledger deductions. However, exactly what items are covered depend on the Lifestyle level and on the polity's particular Resource List.

Lifestyle is also directly related to Resources (described below), as characters receive a stipend of Resource Points equal to their Lifestyle level for each active season of play.

Lifestyle Levels

Destitute: A Destitute character owns nothing of value and has no steady source of income; they have no job, no home, and no significant possessions. They live solely on whatever they can scavenge or cadge from the leavings of others. Their clothes are secondhand and poor quality, often no more than patchwork rags, and their shelter — if any — is likely to be a tattered, motheaten cloak or blanket. Food is minimal and low-quality, often half-rotten vegetables or coarse grains, and not enough of them at that. Water is obtained from puddles and creeks, often gritty with mud; rarely it might be pulled from a public well. Fatigue, weakness, nutritional deficits, and illness are everyday companions, making the struggle to survive even harder. Simply put, a Destitute lifestyle is miserable and usually short.

Impoverished: An Impoverished character typically has a low-paying, menial job which affords them poor housing, such as a meager tent or a small apartment in a bad part of town, usually not well-heated. Their clothes are secondhand and often patched, but may have been decent quality when new. They struggle to get adequate nutrition, subsisting on cheap foods such as vegetables, grains, and beans; they may forage for food if the environment permits. Typically water comes from a creek, river, or public well; other beverages such as wine or small ale are poor-quality, low proof, and often heavily diluted with water. Illness is a common hazard, and nutritional deficits remain a matter of course. However, even the Impoverished can scrape together enough money to buy an indulgence every now and again.

Ordinary: The majority of people live an Ordinary lifestyle, neither remarkable for poverty nor for abundance. Ordinary characters have a steady source of modest income, enough to keep them in small but decent housing, new though still cheap clothes, and a moderately varied diet. Food might be grown if land is to be had, but most is purchased in the local market, and includes some meat and fruit in season. Beverages such as small ale and watered wine of modest quality are consumed as regularly as clean water, which is itself readily obtained. Illness is generally uncommon, unless some epidemic is sweeping through the community. Those living Ordinary lifestyles have some extra money to spend; this is also the lowest wealth level at which one can expect to sustain dependents, including family.

Well-off: TBD

Wealthy: TBD

Extravagant: TBD

Improving Lifestyle

Lifestyle Level Cost Cash-In
Destitute 1 - -
Impoverished 2 4 2
Ordinary 3 9 4
Well-off 4 16 8
Wealthy 5 25 12
Extravagant 6 36 18

No character may begin with a Lifestyle above Ordinary. Regardless of what level one begins at, improving a character's Lifestyle requires Moderator approval. A Lifestyle increase can be justified in one of two ways: by banking up enough Resource Points to immediately pay for the increase, which cost is equal to the square of the desired level; or through accumulating assets tangible (land, a storefront, livestock, equipment, materials) and intangible (Prestige, skill proficiency, trade contacts, noble patrons, employees or other helping hands) that justify a higher standard of living for the character. In either case, players should be prepared to explain how the character will sustain their increased standard of living over future seasons.

Reducing Lifestyle

A character may choose to reduce their Lifestyle at any time, essentially liquidating some of their wealth and obtaining immediately spendable Resource Points. A Moderator needs to be informed of the Lifestyle change, but no approval is required. Staff may also dictate that a PC's Lifestyle be reduced due to IC events such as catastrophes (e.g. a devastating fire), overexpenditure or excessive debt, etc.; also if there is a mismatch between the character sheet and how the player actually portrays their everyday life in threads, i.e. the player overstated their Lifestyle in order to have a higher stipend. Cashing in a Lifestyle level gives the player half as many Resource Points as the cost to regain it, rounded down.

Note that reducing a character's standard of living may result in the loss of assets, such as housing or particularly valuable equipment, which are no longer consistent with their Lifestyle.

Resource Points

While Lifestyle reflects a character's overall standard of living, Resource Points reflect discretionary funds that can be spent on assets or other unusual expenditures — items not covered by one's Lifestyle. These items are more valuable, more durable, or require ongoing upkeep. Resource Points are tracked in a Ledger, and anything purchased with Resources must also be tracked on the character's sheet, usually in an Inventory section. Items that can be purchased with Resources include anything outside the character's normal standard of living, such as a fine silk shirt or elegant vase; equipment and assets such as weapons, armor, animals, land, and buildings; any regular maintenance expenditures such as the upkeep of a companion animal or NPC; and unusual payments such as bribes or bought information.

Note that neither Resources nor Inventory are meant to catalog everyday, routine actions and possessions. For example, a PC with sufficient skill in a crafting profession can be assumed to routinely create valuable assets and sell them; that is part and parcel of their Lifestyle. Other PCs may freely thread purchasing these items just as they would when buying from an NPC. However, the selling PC can only add Resource Points to their ledger if they are actually giving up an item from their Inventory in the transaction. Thus, while a sculptor PC can sell a statue at any time, the sale is assumed to be part of their Lifestyle and does not gain them extra Resources unless the statue was already a tracked asset.

Acquiring Resources

Each character receives a seasonal 'stipend' equal to their Lifestyle level for every present-time season they are active in. In other words, a character of Ordinary Lifestyle will receive a stipend of 3 Resource Points. Stipends may be added to the ledger as soon as a character has cleared the minimum activity requirement for the current season (see Thread Types).

Needless to say, if the stipend was the only way to obtain Resource Points, it would take a very long time for characters to advance to the next Lifestyle level. Resource Points may also be gained through a number of IC actions:

If a character has valuable items in their Inventory, they may sell those items at any time in exchange for an appropriate amount of Resource Points; threading the transaction is not required. Material items and equipment generally sell for one point less than the purchase value. The value of an animal depends upon its breed, health, and age. The value of any item may also be dependent upon local availability of similar things and local demand. If there is any uncertainty about how much an item is worth, consult a Moderator.

Storytellers may award Resource Points at their discretion upon the conclusion of a moderated events typically these take the form of loot from raids, rewards for valorous action, valuable discoveries unearthed during explorations, or awards for performance in IC competitions. Most Storyteller awards are on the order of 1-2 points per thread. Note that players who receive Resource Points as a thread award for any reason may not also receive assets or other special items from that thread.

Players may also submit certain of their own threads to a Moderator requesting a Resource Point award; eligible threads include the character working at their IC job, stealing or uncovering valuable items, receiving bounties or rewards for actions, etc. Typically only one to two such threads may be turned in per season, and awards will be given as much for quality of writing and innovative plotting as for the value of services rendered. As above, either Resource Points or items may be awarded for a given thread, but not both.

Resource Points may be obtained through a transaction with another PC, but only if the selling PC has an actual asset in their Inventory to transfer. For example, say Adam wants to buy a sword from the Exceptional Blacksmith Bob. Adam and Bob may thread out this scene, Adam will deduct the appropriate amount of Resource Points from his ledger, and he will add the sword to his Inventory, because it is Bob's job to sell swords and so it is reasonable to expect Adam to be able to buy one. However, if Bob did not either previously purchase the sword in question or write a thread about its making and have the item awarded to him by a Moderator, he may not add Points to his ledger. This restriction prevents players from gaining extra Resources without putting forth any extra effort.

Spending Resources

Characters are free to spend their Resource Points on any sort of asset they can reasonably obtain according to the Resource List for their polity. Simple purchases (e.g. an off-the-shelf sword or a readily available kind of horse) do not have to be threaded out, but can just be noted through a ledger deduction and then adding the item to Inventory. More unusual or complex purchases made from an NPC, such as a special custom order; the purchase of livestock, land, or a building; or any successful negotiation of significantly reduced price must have their values approved by a Moderator before being threaded. Transactions between PCs do not need staff approval, but should be reasonably consistent with market values for the item being sold.

PCs may also freely give Resource Points to another character, reflecting a substantial IC gift. However, characters who abuse this privilege and make a habit of giving Resources away may find their Lifestyle reduced to reflect that recurrent loss of wealth. PCs may not receive Resources from NPCs except through threads moderated by a Storyteller.

Resource Lists

Goods

Assets

PCs may not receive assets (i.e. anything on which Resources would otherwise be spent) as gifts from NPCs, nor as a bonus from any other threaded event, unless awarded by a Storyteller or Moderator. PCs with appropriate skills may thread making assets for themselves (e.g. a smith PC manufacturing a sword), but must have a Moderator formally award the item before adding it to their Inventory.

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