Wealthy Party Members

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Euphony, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Euphony

    Euphony Veteran Veteran

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    It occurred to me while writing up bios for my playable characters that several of them are quite wealthy. Three are royalty, and while their families would have restricted their funds somewhat considering their age, they still have a decent amount of money at their disposal. Another character is independently wealthy, with a tower full of valuable artifacts and gold, and would have no problem spending his wealth to equip the party, seeing as he is the "leader" of the group.

    So my question is, how would you handle this? How would you handle a party that can pretty much buy whatever they want from the get-go? Would you give the player a buttload of money at the start and tell them to make it last through most of the game, nixing the whole "money from battles" mechanic? Would you implement a treasury system that restricts spending, or perhaps rewards the player for being frugal? Would you take out equipment shops entirely and replace them with an equipment leveling system, so that money is no longer as important? Or would you just not care, being glad that you don't have to worry about money?
     
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  2. Sinweaver

    Sinweaver Veteran Veteran

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    Personally I like to keep things simple.

    If a party member come from a rich/privileged family, they can start off with better gear compared to a commoner. 

    Even if they are part of your party to help you on your quest, it doesn't mean that they will just hand over all their money to you to manage. 

    This may sound weird but you, as the party leader, already have much control over your party member (i.e. changing their equipment and taking away their starting item at some stage because you found something better, etc etc etc), so in exchange, it is kinda nice/respectful if you don't take control of their personal finance as well. Think about it this way, the gold you get from winning the battle is the leftover for you and the party's fund after you take away some for your party member's share. Yeah, I probably sound like I am completely crazy at this point.
     
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  3. txtk

    txtk Apprentice Member

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    Money management and money finding is a significant parts of RPG gameplay, especially RPG exploration. I mean significant. So, you really don't want to give our main characters too much cashes right from the get go, or too little. You want to give him/her some money but also calculate on the progress of the average common players.

    You don't want them to be able to buy all goodies in the beginning. Makes them work for it. A good RPG should be a game that the buying ability is accordance to the levels and game progresses.
     
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  4. Alkorri

    Alkorri Proofreading Penguin Veteran

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    You could start the game with your party members at a higher level, and have them face tougher enemies from the beginning like the party from Makio's game I Object. All of the party were distinguished generals starting at Level 50 and so likely they had the training and resources to gear themselves with the best equipment.

    I'm not sure if restricting players money and resource-wise would be very satisfying, because in any RPG we instinctively want to get more money, or at least better equipment to achieve that sense of accomplishment during gameplay. Of course this is not a rule. If you handle the restrictions well by rewarding the players through other means, then kudos to you!
     
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  5. txtk

    txtk Apprentice Member

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    My philosophy is always make the characters earn it, instead of giving it to them just like that. This works really well in Vietnamese mini games community.
     
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  6. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Couple thoughts:

    1: Just because money finding has been a significant part of RPG doesn't mean you have to have it in your game. If we always stick with what all other games have done, we never get anything new. So, that is something to consider.

    2: As to what to do with the wealth of the party members when they join, you could use it to give the group a kickstart at the beginning of the game. I did that in my game actually, as one of the party members is the 2nd child of a rich potion merchant, so she has a stash of cash she contributes to start up the party, as well as a stash of potions. Maybe you could do something like that, by having the MC donate a rare accessory to the group? Or something similar?
     
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  7. ShadowHawkDragon

    ShadowHawkDragon Veteran Veteran

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    This is my greatest philosophy. I for one am currently trying out an idea where the MC can insta kill any enemy, from tiny slimes to massive dragons, even bosses...

    When there's a unique aspect to a character/world I am all for building the mechanics around them rather than melding the characters to the rules of the default mechanics; after all how else do you make a game unique?

    In regards to the topic, you could consider implementing a mechanic that exploits this excess of cash.

    • In Bravely Default the 'Merchant' class actually uses money to cast their skills; such as dealing damage equal to paid gold, reducing damage but losing the same amount of gold. They also had skills for selling items to foes.
    • You could have a town/city/castle building/donation system where you could 'donate' money to shops to upgrade their stock, or improve the wealth of an area for other perks.
    • My World My Way while a very girly game had a mechanic could Pout. She could use Pout Points to change the layout of dungeons, strengthen/weaken enemies, reduce encounter rates, increase item drops, alter the flow of battle, etc. I imagine such a system could easily work with gold.
     
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  8. trouble time

    trouble time Bearer of the Word Veteran

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    In my game one of the main characters is from a rich noble family, but since she's underaged she doesn't have access to her trust fund, and because she's kinda run away from home (well she transfered from a Kill Team to be an Errant Knight) she doesn't recieve any money from her mother either. The money she already had with her she uses to pay for the teams food.

    THe other main chracter was a godess but her cult was disbanded when she wanted to become human and it's assets are tied up in the banks so she has money, she just can't use any of it.
     
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  9. Euphony

    Euphony Veteran Veteran

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    @txtk: While I very much appreciate the input and certainly don't want to discourage discussion, I don't think you're quite getting the question here. I'm not asking, "Should I give my characters a lot of money?" I'm saying, "My characters have a lot of money. Now how do I handle that?" Two different questions. :p

    @ShadowHawkDragon: The town/castle building idea sounds close to what I was considering. That would certainly be a fitting element given the characters' backgrounds. And fairly easily implemented, too. Good ideas all around, though!

    Anyway, I don't necessarily want to just discuss my own project. I'm interested in hearing how other people are handling money in their own games as well.
     
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  10. Pahhur

    Pahhur Veteran Veteran

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    Something I've seen done that is kind of interesting is change the focus. If they can buy everything that they might want, maybe have them start looking for things they can't buy, or if you want a meaningful currency have them gather a rare resource and use that to trade for much better and otherwise unobtainable items.
     
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  11. Raxus

    Raxus Villager Member

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    Perhaps make it so that money isn't the barrier for new and better armors. Make it so that it is the crafting process of better gear that is the barrier the party needs to overcome to get good gear. That's mostly the case for the highest echelon of armor in Skyrim, the dragon armor. That makes it so that the player has to devote another material to armor design, rather then your character's ubiquitous gold and the skill to do so as well.

    So, at the beginning of the game, perhaps that your characters have the best gear in the land, but if they want to defeat the big bad, they need gear that is even better than the best, they have to use ___ as material to craft/have a NPC craft it. 

    Don't be weighted down by the classic notion that gold/wealth has to be the end all way of rewarding players! :D
     
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  12. littleyuri

    littleyuri Veteran Veteran

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    In some rpg's they just make a plot out of it... While not being the main reason of why your rich character lost his/her money, it could also be a side effect.

    Look at Jowy Atreides, rich but ostracized and got kicked out. They made a situation that has character development and also a reason why he/she doesn't have what he/she's supposed to have. Like money.
     
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  13. NichG

    NichG Villager Member

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    You can re-imagine what 'money' actually is. If you think about it, it's already weird that wild animals and things like that could just drop amounts of money, and that the money dropped by such things increases over the course of the game. It doesn't have to be the case that this particular sort of accumulated resource is literally material wealth though - it could be crystalized magical energy or information/insight used to invent new elaborations on gear or crafting materials or even 'reputation' which is exchanged for access to military hardware that would normally be restricted or rationed for use by other people.

    The idea there is that material wealth has a limited ability to acquire goods very far beyond the sort of things that can be mass produced. Beyond that, the materials, expertise, or time needed are so rare that there isn't really an open market for them (and in general, perhaps the people who already possess such things, if there are any such people, are wealthy enough that they'd rather have the prestige of the rare objects than they would the additional funds).

    The wealthy party members may even be able to buy such things occasionally as plot points, to really underscore their wealth. But doing so doesn't just take money, it takes the time and effort to discover a seller. Maybe the party must journey to an auction, deal with various interactions surrounding the event, etc. So rather than something that just happens at the player's demand, it's something that happens at distinct moments in the plotline at which that legwork can take priority over other immediate concerns.
     
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  14. TheGamedawg

    TheGamedawg Veteran Veteran

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    A lot of the time I see these "royalty" characters sneak out of their home or join you undercover.  I always imagined that the reason why they don't give you all the money in the world is because doing so would look really suspicious.

    Another thing you could do is maybe have the character give the player a small fortune when they join you and say it came out of "military funds" or something.  They obviously shouldn't drop all of their money on their party, but this could be a cool way to show that they do want to help pitch in fund-wise.

    A lot of people have said this already too and I agree, giving them really good equipment from the start is cool as well.
     
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  15. Verloki

    Verloki Warper Member

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    [​IMG]    "Gee, it sure is expensive to be wealthy."

        So, we have a character and we realize he is wealthy because he lives in a big mansion and goes to some exclusive, special university for rich adolescents. He could add his money to the party's funds but then who would pay his rent? Or that ridiculously expensive university he goes to? And did you hear he bought this rare, exotic pet and insured it for a crazy amount of money? And that he also donates ridiculous amounts to the art gallery of this person he secretly fancies?

        There are always explanations to be made up for why the character separates his personal funds from that of the adventure. He may be off on an adventure but time keeps ticking and his structural expenses keep rolling. In fact, by having his hands full with this little adventure one could say he needs to be more careful with his expenses, because even wealthy people need to take care of their businesses to keep the money flowing.

     

     

    [​IMG]    What do you mean "what does it do?"

        Secondly, if we fail to come up with excuses for structural expenses, there are ways to make a character spend more money during his adventure. Characters are just your average imperfect individuals with their own materialistic desires after all. We often buy things we don't need but simply want. Wealthy people could even have really expensive tastes.

        In my game when you enter a settlement you can send every character away for a reprieve. My larger towns and cities have gift shops, jewelry stores, collectible card stores and such and various random events will lead towards the possibility of gifting someone. Some gifts desired by party members are fairly pricey but are often beneficial and/or unique, meaning that if you don't buy it for your ally you are passing up on the chance to gain a strong artifact early on, or potentially unlock more events, or learn a skill, plus raise the bond you have with the character.

     

     

    [​IMG]    "Oh no! Hard work doesn't pay at all!"

        I agree with NichG's "it's already weird that wild animals and things like that could just drop amounts of money". It is the first thing I cut out of the game. Enemies drop their materials and these can be sold for a (rather meager) reward. 

        Hunting animals makes you stronger combat-wise, yes, but it definitely isn't the path to becoming a millionaire. 

     

     

    [​IMG]    "Not for sale? This is a disaster!"

        It is also true that money is often a nice incentive for more exploration of an area and that you'd want such a thing in your game. But who goes about throwing money in random bushes and dangerous caves anyway? Some things don't have monetary worth yet are still worth the detour. This could be as simple as collecting old books for lore and achievements or finding gathering spots for useful/rare materials. Perhaps that cranky blacksmith sells amazing copper armor thanks to his suppliers, but no supplier knows anyone crazy enough to fetch some rare mithril from a very dangerous area. 

        You wouldn't be able to simply buy yourself to the top either way.

     

     

    Those are just my two cents. -Cough.LameJoke.Cough.-
     
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  16. gstv87

    gstv87 Veteran Veteran

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    I guess the point question would be: "what is it that money can't be used for?"

    ....there's your plot device.
     
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  17. cybrim

    cybrim Tinker of the Nether Veteran

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    What about reality: They were all scammed via a hedge fund, the corporation running it takes over the world, they no longer have need for the people that put them into power, you WERE wealthy, now you are outcasts with better than average equipment on a quest to get your **** back... and you're mad!

    One of your royals could have been tied to the Military Industrial Complex and has specialized military gear like Rocket launchers available for cash skill...

    One of your characters could have been in the pharmaceutical Industry so you can gain random status dealing drugs you can apply to your weapons & foes...

    One of your characters could have had a Yacht & a plane so there is your travel guy... 

    And your main character could have been a Venture Capitalist.

    Your story could be the realization that money isn't everything, but it helps you beat down those that took everything from you.
     
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  18. SinのAria

    SinのAria The Chaotic One Veteran

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    My thoughts here...

    The wealth is far more than you can reasonably earn in a lifetime.

    So you have a wealthy character in your party with more wealth than you can make in a lifetime? Say it AND show it. Perhaps monsters only drop 1c at best in early areas and 1s at best in even late areas.  However, with that wealthy character, you start off with 10000000g!  But that is all you get from them. The average low tier gear costs you 100c, but the better stuff might cost you 1000g or more!  And since your earnings are so low that it isn't worth grinding for, the game now has an element of money management.

    The wealth is your insurance.

    Oh, party wipe? Well, instead of taking from the party funds, we have an insurance fund here that we can take from to rush our party back to the hospital and heal up. Of course, if it ever got depleted...

    You have to return it.

    You have a loan from the party member (perhaps they are just there to make sure you don't run off). You have to pay them back at the end. Possibly with interest.

    There are some things money can't buy, for everything else...

    Wealthy person? No problem. It will buy you most of what you need. However, there might be some rare things that aren't on the market that you have to go find yourself.

    Wealth has no meaning in a world that doesn't use it.

    So what if you have 1000000000000000000 tonnes of gold? You just have a lot of rocks. Here, we trade using things we can use. You want to buy a sword? Get me some fur so I can get some clothes.  Oh, you have 10000000000 USD? Sorry, we use Yen here. The exchange rate? 10 USD : 1 Yen. Next area? exchange rate: 5 USD: 2 Huan, 5 Yen, 3 Huan.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2016
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