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 Post subject: The economy of Splicers
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:58 am


Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
Posts: 7239
so, recently i've been thinking a bit about how the economy works in the splicers world. we know that there is a fairly universal standard of money (or at least widespread enough that it is commonly accepted across the resistance). various warmounts and pieces of equipment have specified monetary value as well. the various OCCs start with some money and some trade goods worth money (even biotics start with a little bit).

so, what do you think the overall economy is like? i expect it varies from house to house, which is why i'm kind of glad that they don't have listed weekly or monthly wages for each member of an OCC. but what do you think might be "average"? are credits mainly supplemental, in the sense that members of the resistance military get their basic needs provided for and then get a bit of spending money to do with as they please, or are they given wages that they can spend on housing, food, etc as they like? does an outrider get a special budget to pay for feed for their warmount? do those with host armours get extra allowance to feed their host armours? or are they expected to forage for the requirements of their equipment?

if a person buys an extra personal weapon or piece of equipment that isn't standard for their OCC, and it needs to be dipped in goo every so often to survive, do they pay for that extra piece of equipment, but not for their base equipment? how about storage costs... most of the classes that get host armour can also get living armour. do they have a locker back at their barracks for that? do they have to leave it with an engineer?

we're not really given any compelling guidelines to work with, either. a few things we do know:

(all from splicers p 67)
- there is definitely an uneven distribution of wealth
- the house of barren marsh is relatively well off.
- most other houses are worse off... we aren't told % for barren marsh, but in other houses even around 50% of the military and government are considered "poor". to me, it implies that the military are the "wealthy" in house barren marsh, which means about 30-40% of their people would be "poor". if other great houses have similar ratios of military, that would mean as much as 70% of their population are 'poor'
- bio-technology is specifically noted as being something the 'poor' do not have easy access to.

(from the warmounts section of the main book)
- warmounts range in trade value from as low as 500 credits (a normal horse, which is not really a warmount at all) to as much as 16 million credits for a good dracos. average for a 'proper' warmount (ie the ones that have all the features listed, so not horses, mega-horses, or gorehounds) looks to be around 4-5 million. i would expect this to be far beyond a normal person's capability to buy.
- at 500 to 5,000 for a horse (that 5,000 credit horse presumably has about the highest stats possible, and is probably a warhorse), i would expect that lower end to be within range for a 'middle class' individual (which i would expect to mean 'military'). as such, i'd expect most military OCCs (not biotics) to have an income of not less than 2-3 times the minimum cost for a horse in a year, and wealthy houses might give enough pay that middle class can save up for a really nice horse in the same amount of time and quite possibly less.
- at 50,000 credits or higher, i'd expect mega-horses to be too expensive for most people. someone as wealthy as a senator could probably afford one, but imo likely has enough clout to get one assigned to their use if they decide they need one. as such, i'd expect buying mega-horses to mainly only come from wealthy merchants or equivalent.

(splicers p 109)
- "coins" (pre-disaster microdiscs) have values ranging from 1 to 1,000 credits (though the highest value ones are most likely extremely rare). it would theoretically be possible to scavenge an old house and gain several hundred credits if it hasn't been cleaned out before. an unscavenged school, clinic, or factory could likely net you several thousand credits, and something like a university or large hospital equivalent probably has tens or even hundreds of thousands of credits worth of 'coins'. of course, it is also likely that these will have been scavenged already, or if not, they'll be death traps.
- "coins", gems, and precious metals are not accepted currency for many people not in the resistance. so retro-villages, wasteland gangs, etc, likely don't consider them to have value.
- conversely, gems and precious metals do have value within the resistance (they likely also have some practical value, as the only metals which can be handled safely).

(from miscellaneous bio-tech equipment, weapons, etc)
- most basic military equipment seems to range from around 500 to 5,000 credits
- really heavy stuff (weapons and armour both) seems to cap out at around 30,000 credits.

(to me, that lower end matches up nicely with the cost of a horse, suggesting 'middle class' citizens should be able to save up for them within a few years at most if they make that one of their goals. meanwhile, the high end military stuff i would expect only the elite forces to be likely to be able to save up for; so any system that has all of the PCs with 100,000 credits of spare cash after a few months of playing has probably set their income too high :P ).

(from the splicers main book OCCs)
- most OCCs start with at most around 3,000 credits.

so, to boil it all down... how much do i think the various OCCs should be paid?

i would say something like whatever basic room + board costs as a baseline. then just figure out what their disposable income should be per month; for a prestigious OCC like a dreadguard, if we want them to be able to afford a high-end piece of military gear every 5 years or so (so let's say at least 30k credits saved) without having to get lucky on finding places with 'coins' available, you're probably looking at around (30,000 credits / 60 months) 500 credits in disposable income per month.

for someone like a biotic, you might be looking at only being able to afford a horse after about a year, so (500 credits / 12 months) about 50 credits per month. of course, you may also want to allow for some of their disposable income to go towards more fun stuff, like alcohol, better food, nicer place to live, etc... but this makes a reasonable "average" i think.

i rounded to 50 mostly because it gives a nice, convenient number; dreadguards have 10 times as much disposable income as biotics. presuming dreadguards should be near the top, that gives us a nice, easy scale, of 1 to 10.

i'm going to go ahead and speculate where i'd guess certain OCCs go, mostly based on their starting money. of note: most of those with personal biotech modifications go lower on the scale.

1: biotics
3: geneticist
4: skinjob, scarecrow*
6: outrider, roughneck, bombardier, sweeper, gardener
7: deliveryman**
8: archangel, technojacker***
10: dreadguard, saint, dreadnaught
11: tormentor (maybe higher, they get a lot of money)

tempest: +1 on the scale.
reclaimed biotic: officially don't get more pay than normal, but as they get massively increased other benefits, should probably go up by at least a few spaces, perhaps to around scarecrow and skinjob level.

i don't have the other OCCs that i know are out there; feel free to fill them out yourselves :)

* scarecrows don't make good pay. they likely receive other non-financial benefits from their librarian master, however.
** deliveryman: might actually receive their "money" to be used to trade in the wilderness if they decide to do so, rather than actually receiving pay per se.
** technojackers typically won't live as part of a great house. but when they're working for one, i expect the great house kinda has to pay them; based on their starting money, i would guess that they might get paid more when they are being paid, but get paid for a lot less of their time (and probably receive a lot fewer non-monetary benefits too); a dreadguard will continue to collect pay while recovering from injuries for 2 weeks, and probably receives the best treatment available unless they injured themselves by being stupid. a technojacker is lucky if they're even given a safe place to rest, let alone paid for their recovery time.

additionally: this isn't intended to reflect benefits from such things as salvaging or capturing gear from enemies, bonuses given by superiors, income earned by trading favours (a deliveryman might be able to trade the service of recharging biotech gear, but that isn't part of their pay, for example).

i would suggest that pay would go up as characters gain levels (probably something like +1 on the scale every few levels early, with very high levels of 9+ potentially each being worth +1 on the scale to reflect the incredible amount of experience such characters gain to go up levels), and rank could potentially throw the whole thing out the window (if your dreadguard becomes a senator, you probably stop measuring monetary wealth and start measuring influence instead).

to adapt for poorer or wealthier houses, or if you don't like my assumptions, simply replace the 50 credit multiplier with another number (and if they're getting their base living expenses in money as opposed to simply having access to those things, reduce both the base value and the cost of living).

hope that helps :)

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