Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Wealth of Ideas for the Wealth System

In the Ample Basic Rules Book we introduced what you could call a ‘cashless’ wealth system. Using the Wealth Advantage, we tracked individual character’s money without keeping track of every single coin or credit. While this may work for some games (especially games that have little need for money to be anything but an abstract) it doesn’t work for all genres. As stated in the BRB; each system offered up for use is optional, and games masters are encouraged to pick and choose which ones to include and which ones to modify or ignore. The first campaign setting offered by Audio Samurai Games – Atlas City Almanac - uses the Wealth System as written in the BRB, but future settings will use modified versions to show how they can tweaked.

In the fantasy setting (which is still a work-in-progress) we do away with the Wealth System all together and stick to a more traditional coin based system. What we’re going to discuss today though, is the modified Wealth System we’re using for the Sci Fi setting of Galaxy’s End.

Modified Wealth System

In this system, we combine individual credit ratings with the Wealth Advantage – characters keep track of their own credits and choose to invest Advantage points in Wealth. The Wealth Advantage represents an overall assessment of a character’s, or an organisation’s, financial standing. It represents their income and available assets, rather than how many credits they have in their pockets. The Advantage is used during character generation to determine how many credits a starting character has available, and is used during play once per game session to grant a cash injection to the character. Aside from these uses, Wealth is used during larger purchases and business transactions, such as Starship buying, shipping cargo and mining.

The Advantage can be used as a group pool of resources available to the entire party, as well as funding for businesses and organisations.


For this system, as well as the fantasy setting coin based system, this leaves a gap in one of the uses of the Craft Skill; normally the Cost and Availability of an item are added together to give the number of successes needed to create an item. Without a Cost value expressed as points of Wealth, however, this won’t work. Instead, we introduce ‘Complexity’ in place of the old Cost value. Add this to Availability to get the number of successes needed for a Crafting Skill check. In the case of the fantasy setting, where we aren’t using Availability either, Complexity can be used in place of both (and thus get a higher value – Cost + Avail).

Food for thought, at any rate, for any budding campaign creators out there using Ample.