Jump to content

Balancing Money Factor

Dr Divago

Recommended Posts

I'm about to starting a CybHerOpunk adventure, and i'm reflecting about money factor


In my setting, cyberware and weapons and like are buoght with money (not point), and worse, price are NOT dependent from Active Cost (in c'punk world, price are dictated from mode, not from value)

Again, my campaign idea is to mantain money level down, ala Gibson Novels (to make few examples)


But if i can spend few point to acquire huge cash, and with them buy powerful cyberware, things are lot unbalancing...


my idea was to limit money perk, ando only permit is as "cash reserve", not "monthly wage" but... do you have some suggestion??



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Balancing Money Factor


I'd still do it by using points or Resource Points (see Dark Champions), but as GM you have unlimited power to deal with this. Some methods I've used:


1) Always talk things over with your players. If you think something will be a problem in play, tell them. If a player is determined to munchkin out his character, and you don't want to see that kind of character in the game, then ask him what he plans to GM.


2) Unbalancing (in your opinion) cyberware is not available on character creation, and is tough to find in play.


3) If a character does manage to get his hands on something in play that you don't want him to have, others will want it. Have them come after the PC and either break it or steal it. You can get several good mini-adventures from the search for a Delta 590 Cyber-Phase Pulser, the instalation (cue mad doctor), the theft, the recovery, and the re-instalation (mad doctor redux). If you still don't want him to keep it after all that, it's time for cyber-rejection syndrome.


4) Your NPCs have an unlimited budget of both points and cash. For a while at least, you can just keep scaling up the adventures. If it gets to be too far from the scale of game you want to run, talk it over with the players again; it might be time to end the campaign and try something new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Balancing Money Factor


The problem is...

best to make an example (only an example...)


With 6.000 euros one can buy (legally)

-a cyberarm with some optional, that give:

a fire estiguisher (that can be used for Flash Attack)

powerful cybermuscle (+3 STR)

Winch (a stretching usable even in combat, or to resolve some situation)

Flashbulb (non lethal attack that blind and paralyze (stun only NND EB))

-two cyberoptics with IR sight, Anti Dazzle (FD) and a Targeting (bonus to OCV with smart weapon)

-Neural Processor with coprocessor for smart weapon


totalizing, for at least 40-50 Real Point (maybe lesser, but not under 20 RP)


Now, how much point he can invest to have 6.000 euros? i think far lesser than 40-50...


idea is that i explain and tell that Money is VERY LIMITED for this campaign, at least at the starting (in original CP2020 money was a bigger problem and i've found some idea to eliminate this problem... including stealing items, items that must be buoght illegaly, and some other...) but i'd like an idea to how much money can i permit to obtain...


(i hope you've understood what i mean; sorry if my poor english and/or a failed "language" skill roll :) result in incomprehensible speaching...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Balancing Money Factor


Check out the various equipment/points threads on the HERO System Discussion board (like "Is Punisher the Problem?"). Lots of discussion on pts vs money, and how secure each is.


To take some ideas from those discussions, you could make it clear that things purchased solely with money are fragile, unreliable things. Gear is more likely to get stolen, vehicles blown up, cyberwear damaged/shorted out in the course of the game. Things purchased with points have much more "protection" from the universe at large. Players may want to buy signature items/gear with actual points in order to almost always have access to them. Perhaps for other items you could set up an "insurance" policy where characters pay a small portion of the real cost of an item in order to help protect it from the dangerous world around it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Balancing Money Factor


I'd go with points + money for things that can only be removed by surgury and money only for things that can be grabbed.


As for the money perk, use it as more of a lifestyle raiting and how much money they have to deal with that. That way when you go into a club a person's wealth level becomes a factor as to what kind of night they have and what clubs they can likely get into. Don't have the perk = cash, but the affectation of wealth/credit, something a fence isn't going to care about (they want cash). Sure, they can buy 50 TVs but that doesn't have much to do with buying 50 SMGs. To do that, you would need not only the cash but the appropriate EQ contact.


The wealth levels also assume a working income. If the characters are working 40-50 hours, let them earn that. Assume they have assets totalling 3x their annual income on credit (meaning they own them but if they cash them out they have very little to show for it) and have monthly disposable income of 1/20th their annual (0-point level would = $325/month to "burn").


$3,000 		-10	$150 		n/a
$10,000 	-5	$500 		$10,000 
$75,000 	0	$3,750 		$225,000 
$100,000 	1	$5,000 		$300,000 
$200,000 	2	$10,000 	$600,000 
$300,000 	3	$15,000 	$900,000 
$400,000 	4	$20,000 	$1,200,000 
$500,000 	5	$25,000 	$1,500,000 
$1,000,000 	6	$50,000 	$3,000,000 
$2,000,000 	7	$100,000 	$6,000,000 
$3,000,000 	8	$150,000 	$9,000,000 
$4,000,000 	9	$200,000 	$12,000,000 
$5,000,000 	10	$250,000 	$15,000,000 

Now, obviously characters can't work 40-50 hours per week so by that standard they should take the Destitute disad (since they really have no job) and then live off what their missions pay.


As for lifestyle, you have to spend the annual income of the level you want to emulate/100 per month (not including assets). So, if your Street Samurai that lives in a shoebox by the dock wants to be recognized as a Wealth 5 individual wherever he goes based on spending, style, etc., then he has to spend $5000 per month to do so. That money is essentially burned.


Base subsistence is roughly $150-300/month for food. Shelter is a different story, and about $300-600/month. These are assumed for a -5 Wealth, but -10 essentially has to come up with them. At the -10 level you can only assume the character will not starve, but has no place to live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Balancing Money Factor


New problem arise:


I've compiled a "money advantage" table for my CybHerOpunk2021 campaign. It looks like this:

-10 100 euros/month

.-5 500 euros/month

..0 1.000 euros/month

..1 2.000 euros/month

..2 4.000 euros/month

..3 6.000 euros/month

..4 8.000 euros/month

..5 10.000 euros/month

..6 or more: 15.000-60.000 euros/month, not for starting PC


Now, initial cash are salary month times a result of Luck Roll


Problem is: a friend of mine (a Player in this campaign, of course) pay 5 point and 3d6 Luck (total: 20 point) to start with 20.000 euros; but say that 10.000 euros are TOO MUCH.

So he propose: to increase starting money and decrease monthly wage; an idea may be:

-10 500 Eur starting

.-5 1.000 Eur starting + 200 Eur/month

..0 4.000 Eur starting + 500 Eur/month

..1 8.000 Eur starting + 1.000 Eur/month

..2 12.000 Eur starting + 2.000 Eur/month

..3 16.000 Eur starting + 3.000 Eur/month

..4 20.000 Eur starting + 4.000 Eur/month

..5 30.000 Eur starting + 5.000 Eur/month.


Note: one 2021 Euro are roughly 2 US Dollars...

Again, campaign is Cyberpunk Style, so better is few money for PC...


Suggestion? Opinions? Idea?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Balancing Money Factor


The simplest answer is that your problem comes from the fact that you can use Points to buy the perk: wealth and then use wealth to buy cyber (which is points).


Just break that cycle. Disallow the wealth perk. I routinely disallow it in in heroic levels games where I want cash to play a major role.


The players can start off with a defined reserve of cash that they can use on cyber or guns 'n stuff (depending on background, that can be savings, if they have a decent job, an inheritance or a big suitcase of pure cocaine they took off a corpse).


Everyone starts with the same cash (which is fair), and how much cash the players later have access to in-game you can control as a GM: it makes the pursuit of cash a major goal for the PCs which is pretty normal for cyberpunk games/literature.


My last suggestion is to make cyber MUCH more expensive - base the costs off modern surgery costs. Sure, we can give people new hearts and internal organs today, but the price of a new liver or heart is anywhere between 100 - 400 thousand US dollars: basically the cost of a house. A high quality slicon-joint prosthetic arm today costs 10-15,000 US dollars - and that's without any cyber!


I'd jump those costs by a factor of ten, at least - maybe by a factor of 50.


That way, the players will have to score big time to buy much in the way of fancy gear (giving you more control as a GM) and you have an incentive for blackmarket chop shops dealing in stolen ask-no-question cyberware: which opens up lots of interesting plot options and also fits the grim and gritty feel of most cyberpunk. It also means that not every street punk is going to be cybered to the gills, so the players will feel happier and more "special" when they can graft some cool toys onto their body.


cheers, Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Balancing Money Factor


My thought is that the wealth perk represents earned income and assumes a 200 hour commitment. For arguments sake, make the base time is 1 month. Each step up the time chart is a +1 advantage. So, to only have to work 1 week/month is x2 character points, to work 1 day per month is x3 character points (representing managed investments). Something like that.


So, if he's going to be a runner then he will have to either pay stupid points to have that kind of income, work for it, or not have it and earn it like everybody else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...