Ruins of Adventure
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In most cases, the character’s kit will define an amount of cash (and possibly additional equipment) that the character starts the game with. In instances where the kit does not specify an amount of starting cash (or simply says “normal”) the character’s homeland determines the starting cash. If both his kit(s) and homeland do not specify an amount of cash, the character’s starting funds default to the below values (based on class group).
|Class Group||Starting Funds|
In some cases, the character’s kit(s) and homeland will both specify an amount of bonus cash or free equipment apart from the rolled starting funds. In this case the character receives all such bonus equipment and funds, in addition to the rolled amount (determined as above).
All arcane spellcasters (mage, specialist, shadow-walker, lone wolf, or bard) begin with a free spellbook (with 50 pages). Likewise, all characters from the Priest group begin with a free holy symbol of their deity (usually silver).
Multi-class characters gain the average of the starting cash listed for their various classes. Thus a multi-class Fighter/Mage would start with ((6d4+1)/2 x10gp).
Characters beginning at 2nd level or higher start with 1 random potion for free, plus one random magic item per level above 1st. Multi-class characters that are at least 2nd level in one class start with 1 random potion, plus one random magic item per level above 1st (in any of his classes). These magic items are always determined by random roll and are not guaranteed to be beneficial to or usable by the character.
Upkeep Costs (i.e. Taxes)
Regardless of what else a character may be doing, they will need food and shelter. As exciting and important as money is for player characters, tracing day-to-day expenses just isn’t very interesting. Forcing players to record every purchase their characters make is time-consuming and, plainly put, not very heroic. Instead player characters are charged a monthly living expense. This living expense covers all normal room and board charges whenever a character is operating out of a town or other home base. Separate charges for meals and beds need be made only when the character is traveling away from home.
Players describe how well (or poorly) they want their characters to live. From this the DM decides if they are living in squalid, poor, middle-class, or wealthy surroundings. The Player Character Living Expenses table, below, gives estimated base costs for each category. Squalid and poor living conditions cost the same for all characters regardless of race or level. Characters living middle-class or wealthy lifestyles multiply the base living expense by their level to determine the cost. Characters of races other than the predominant one of the area (e.g., dwarves in a human city or humans in an elven village) pay double the normal rate. This is due to suspicion and a scarcity of goods the character is accustomed to.
The only direct game effect of living conditions is the expense involved, but living conditions can also determine some role-playing events and conditions. Your player characters’ lifestyles even can be used as a starting point for many different types of adventures.
|Middle-Class||50 gp per level|
|Wealthy||200 gp per level|
- Squalid Conditions: Dirty straw in leaky stables, muck-floored huts outside the walls of town, contempt, and random violence—these typify squalid living conditions. Characters living like this aren’t likely to be robbed (since no one thinks they have any money), but they may be tormented or attacked just for the fun of it. Their legal protections will be few indeed.
- Poor Conditions: In poor conditions, characters benefit from some legal protection, although there may be general indifference to their troubles. They must also cope with a high level of violence, periodic robberies, and random fights.
- Middle-Class Conditions: Middle-class life tends to be safe and somewhat boring. Characters receive adequate protection and will not be the main target of most burglars. Thieves are generally attracted to the homes of the wealthy.
- Wealthy Conditions: Wealthy people receive the greatest benefits, but they must also deal with the highest level of deceit, trickery, and treachery. Nearly all with wealth are drawn into dangerous political maneuverings, mainly to protect their own privileges.
Upon building or claiming his own stronghold, a player character suddenly acquires a whole new set of expenses. The character no longer pays living expenses but must pay for the maintenance of his property.