The City of Lives
Usually Resources is simply a measure of available wealth, but the specific form this takes, from a secret family silver mine to a well invested portfolio, can vary from character to character (and may be indicated and enhanced by their aspects). Usually this skill passively informs the GM what the character’s available resources are, but Resources may still be rolled for large expenditures, like purchases and bribes. Some large-scale conflicts may be about trying to out-spend the other guy; here, Resources can act as an attack or defense skill.
Note: characters who have access to a fairly sized organization’s resources can act as if they have Resources at Fair (+2) and, with the backing of the organization, can potentially make bigger purchases. These expenditures are tracked by the organization, and as such, if subterfuge is important, personal resources are a wiser choice.
Characters with high Resources include robber barons, aristocrats and successful criminals.
- Spending Money [Resources]
The cost of items is measured on the adjective ladder (for an examination of the costs of things, please see Wealth). Characters can buy reasonable quantities of anything of a value less than their Resources without worrying about it. For items greater than or equal to their Resources, they need to roll against the cost of the thing. If successful, the character can afford the item; if not, they still get the item, but take Wealth stress equal to the difference between your roll and the Cost of the item. Characters can only make one Resources roll per scene.
Characters are generally assumed to have all the tools they would normally need to do their job, whether that job is fixing engines or shooting people. Still, sometimes a situation will arise where something needs to be bought. When that happens, the price is measured in terms of how much Resources it requires.
- Lifestyle [Resources]
Characters are assumed to live in accordance to their means, which may mean that rich characters may not even need to go shopping. Generally speaking, if something costs two steps less than the character’s Resources skill, they probably have one already, assuming it’s something that would make sense for them to have previously obtained.
- Workspaces [Resources]
Part of the passive measure of Resources is the tools and spaces the character has access to. Workspaces are environments where a character can perform a certain type of work, and owning and maintaining a world-class lab or library requires a certain amount of resources.
Characters may use their Resources to set up the tools they need for their job. A character’s home may have, for free, a single Library, Laboratory, Workshop, or Relic Workshop of a quality equal to their (Resources-2). As described in Lore and Artificing, the quality of a workplace determines the highest possible difficulty of a “question” or project that can be pursued there.
For the various types of skills which need workspaces, the breakdown is as shown in the following table. See the respective skills for more details.
|Creativity||Relic Design||Relic Workshop|
If the character wishes to have a specialized workspace, such as a workshop that can only work on bows, they may have it at a quality equal to their (Resources-1) instead. Higher quality workspaces may be constructed, but will require a Resources roll with a difficulty equal to the quality +2 (or only +1 in the case of a specialized space), and will not be made immediately available at the time of purchase (though additional degrees may be spent to reduce time, as usual).
- Wealth Stress [Resources]
Resources also determines a character’s wealth capacity (the length of a character’s Wealth stress track), since Wealth stress represents debt and loss of money.
By default, players have 3 boxes for their Wealth stress track. Better-than-Mediocre ( +0) Resources increases the number of boxes as shown here.
|Average ( +1) – Fair ( +2)||+1 (total 4)|
|Good ( +3) – Great ( +4)||+2 (total 5)|
|Superb ( +5) – Fantastic ( +6)||1 additional Mild Consequence|
- Resources in Conflicts [Resources]
Resources can be used as a Maneuver skill in Social and Repair conflicts. It can be used as a Move skill in Repair conflicts.
Lifestyles (optional rule)
If the GM decides that a character’s lodgings and lifestyle are important, a PC can be assumed to live in the following conditions, depending on their Resources skill.
Poor (-1): This character is likely sleeping on the street, or at best in an overcrowded flophouse. They are likely to eat poorly and infrequently.
Mediocre ( +0): This character rooms in a fleabag apartment (shared) or tenement housing. Their food is the bare minimum for human sustenance.
Average ( +1): This character lives in a decent apartment or may share a small house with several roommates. Their food is nothing remarkable.
Fair ( +2): This character is decidedly middle-class, living in a comfortable apartment or townhouse. They can afford to eat out on a semi-regular basis, and can afford good food at home. They might employ a weekly or biweekly housekeeper or cook.
Good ( +3): This character lives in a lovely apartment or rents a small house. They can afford to eat out regularly, and may have a servant or two.
Great ( +4): This character owns their own home, whether a spacious apartment or a small- to mid-sized house in the good part of town. They likely have several servants, and can eat how and when they want.
Superb ( +5): This character owns a large house, likely in Sylvennis or Council Heights, complete with a small staff of servants. They can afford to eat the most exotic and decadent foods.
Fantastic ( +6): This character owns a mansion or manor house, and likely at least one other residence. They have a complete staff of servants, and can procure any food they desire.
Epic ( +7): This character is among the richest people in the City. They have a variety of residences, from mansions to lake houses, with staff numbering in the dozens or hundreds. They can choose to hunt exotic animals from far-off Realms for their food, if they wish.
Legendary ( +8): There may be one person this rich in the entire City. They have residences that are for all intents and purposes unlimited. They likely own an entire Realm (one of the smaller or more out-of-the-way ones).
Beyond Legendary: Only governments have the capital to be considered at this level, and not even most of them.
A character can temporarily reach beyond their means and live in a lifestyle above their Resources score. However, the GM should call for Resources checks on a periodic basis in order to maintain this lifestyle, and if the character fails the roll, they must take Wealth stress and go into debt, or else default to a lower lifestyle.
Some characters may find themselves avoiding this question entirely, through social connections or Aspects (perhaps they live in a rich friend’s spare room, or at a monastery), but these come with their own pitfalls (keeping the friend happy or the order’s vows, for example). Any character who is part of a significantly large organization is assumed to live at a lifestyle of Fair ( +2), as mentioned in the Resources skill description.