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D&D 5E Would much Income should my players "make"?

Stalker0

Legend
So in my campaign, the party are a group belonging to the Ataridan, a military arm of the city of Taranya whose primary mission is to go through planar gates to explore, establish relationships, fight bad guys, all the good stuff.

For those people who are familiar with the Stargate series of movie/shows, its very similar.


Now Taranya is set up as one of the greatest cities in the multiverse (and its own city-state). Everything is bigger and better there, and it is a high magic place.

Traditionally I have handwaved "useless 5e gold", the party generally has the money they need to do the things they need to do, and live luxurious lifestyles (at least compared to non-Taranyans). However, over time my players have become more and more curious as to how much money they actually have, and so I decided to actually consider it.

So I would be interested in thoughts from everyone. For high end military members of the most prestigious area of the military, in the most high end "country" in the multiverse, what do you think the monthly income would look like?
 

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Stormonu

Legend
If I remember correctly, average wage for a “professional” is something like 1 gp a week. I imagine that would be an army private’s wages or so. A sergeant might get 3 go or so a week. A starting officer might make something like 10 gp/1 pp and an active, popular general might make somewhere upwards of 100 gp or more during wartime.

That’s all just a guess though, and I’d strongly consider the question - “Any given Sunday, what could this person blow their week’s paycheck on?”
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
A skilled hireling makes 2 gp per day, enough for a Comfortable lifestyle. The rules suggest that expert hirelings, which I assume would include adventurers traveling the planes, require more than that. I would just tie it to a Wealthy or Aristocratic lifestyle expense personally (4 to 10+ gold per day). You might also look at the Work downtime activity in XGtE for other ideas.
 

aco175

Legend
You may also need to think about spoils of war and if that belongs to the PCs or the military. Traditionally, armies took spoils and food from the local areas as they moved through. More recent times have the professional armies being paid from their government and not allowed to keep things from the enemy. There could be some cool stories about taking spoils, like the move Three Kings.

There could be some payment with the allowance to keep gold found or taxes paid to the senior officials. Magic items may or may not count against this. Pay way also considered low for most soldiers since the benefits like food and housing was paid for with health benefits and other things such as heat, hot water, electricity, and such. That all must be enough to keep them at an average lifestyle.
 

Coroc

Hero
So in my campaign, the party are a group belonging to the Ataridan, a military arm of the city of Taranya whose primary mission is to go through planar gates to explore, establish relationships, fight bad guys, all the good stuff.

For those people who are familiar with the Stargate series of movie/shows, its very similar.


Now Taranya is set up as one of the greatest cities in the multiverse (and its own city-state). Everything is bigger and better there, and it is a high magic place.

Traditionally I have handwaved "useless 5e gold", the party generally has the money they need to do the things they need to do, and live luxurious lifestyles (at least compared to non-Taranyans). However, over time my players have become more and more curious as to how much money they actually have, and so I decided to actually consider it.

So I would be interested in thoughts from everyone. For high end military members of the most prestigious area of the military, in the most high end "country" in the multiverse, what do you think the monthly income would look like?
It is rather what value has money in your campaign. With the RAW standard equipment and economy you do not get far, so do you have a custom economy attached to your setting, aka are the prices fixed and can PCs eventually buy something out of the normal? If not, then it is pretty uninteresting how much they earn, if it is enough for their daily living.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Money is a sign of poverty

Taranya is the greatest city in creation. Other places have kings and emperors, but the greatest of those isn't fit to polish the boots of the lowest Tarrian.

Gold, as a decoration, is common; typically you use a coating of it, then toss a transmutation glamor on it that makes the coating be the last thing that wears off. This doesn't need all that much gold, and doesn't make the thing heavy, but it makes the item appear to be gold to all intents and purposes. "Solid gold" items would be like a "solid cheese cow"; I mean, sure, but why? Gold-coat-transmuted iron is lighter and stronger and stays shiny even if you cut it in half. It is just a superior substance.

Actual gold isn't used by Tarrian citizens for commerce. Citizens who need to deal with primitive civilizations and deal with their currency goes and gets enough for their needs before traveling.

Taranya is a meritocracy. To each according to their ability. As high end members of the military, you just get stuff. Housing, entertainment, whatever. You don't worry about money, and in fact you don't have money, at least not money that is used to buy stuff like slaves, food, housing. Money is a symptom of poverty, and heroes in Taranya are not poor.

Being a Hero, your life is busy. You only have so much time. So finding things to do in the small amount of free time is your problem, not paying for them. And the better your status, the more people work on finding great experiences for you in your off-time.

There are non-citizens who live in Taranya, and they do deal in currency. But it is like the debt books of slaves in our history; the slaves might have an economy internal to themselves, but it isn't really of interest to the owners, except when it gets in the way. Non-citizens dealing in gold or whatever in Taranya are engaged in lesser pursuits.

Taranya restricts how much they are paid and how many there are as a way to keep the parasites out, more than because they want a good deal or whatever. But sometimes Taranya wants things and there is always more things to do than there are Taranyans to do it; so lesser importance tasks are passed off for "gold" to non-citizens. Especially unsavory tasks, like garbage disposal, fodder at the bloodgames, etc.

You don't need or want an unlimited number of non-Tarians doing those tasks. That is unsightly. So your problem is restricting who does the task more than finding a salary high enough to hire them.

The real restriction on gold isn't "do you have gold", but it is that wanting significant amounts gold makes you look soft (what are you buying from non-Tarians? Are you ... eating their food? Off mission? Ew.). And looking soft is how you lose status. And losing status costs you the other privileges. Similarly, "not working" or not being the Hero you should be also costs status.

---

So what I'd do is introduce a fuzzy status system. You can get some gold, but the more gold you withdraw in a short period the more likely it is to reduce your status. You can also get magic items. Gaining status is done by finding more awesome magic items, doing tasks for people and organizations that count, defeating awesome foes, and advancing the needs of Taranya.

And if they fail a "I want gold" check, it will not be because they don't have gold to give, but because something more important -- say, the college of transmuters is using dozens of tonnes of gold in an experiment, so we are a bit low right now; come back next week. Do the primitives you are trading with use silver? We do have this cursed statue of a monkey god that the museum didn't want that needs disposing of, you can melt it down.
 
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In reality, probably very little. The system seems feudal, so they party is mostly being paid in their luxurious lifestyle. If you want them to have some personal money, I'd probably have them paid a small amount for each successful mission (failure is not rewarded). Since you really haven't kept tabs, I'd probably just say they have 10-25 gp per level.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Think of the salary negotiation. The PCs have a choice between doing these jobs, or going off and adventuring on their own. Working for the government had privileges and burdens, and that will differ from game to game, so the compensation may be very different from campaign to campaign.

In one campaign, the government may not allow adventurers in their borders unless they work for the government. As such, the PCs options are leave and go outside the kingdom, or take the job. The offer for compensation might be low.

In another, the PCs might have the freedom to adventure and dozens of ruins nearby where fortunes can be made. The government might have to pay top coin to encourage PCs to work for them ... or force them into service with threats.

In the end, I'd figure out how much the PCs could make doing other things, figure out how much they're allowed to keep from the missions they go on, and then have the government pay them the differential.
 

Money is a sign of poverty

Taranya is the greatest city in creation. Other places have kings and emperors, but the greatest of those isn't fit to polish the boots of the lowest Tarrian.
...

And if they fail a "I want gold" check, it will not be because they don't have gold to give, but because something more important -- say, the college of transmuters is using dozens of tonnes of gold in an experiment, so we are a bit low right now; come back next week. Do the primitives you are trading with use silver? We do have this cursed statue of a monkey god that the museum didn't want that needs disposing of, you can melt it down.
This is pretty awesome. I'm going to have to remember this for sometime.
 

Stalker0

Legend
This is pretty awesome. I'm going to have to remember this for sometime.
And funny enough mostly how I run it:)

again to reiterate, this is more of a thought excerise to satiate player curiosity. My players have the money they need for the missions their on, thats how’s I’ve always done it. But the players have grown curious what that number would actually look like. Regardless of the answer the gameplay won’t change.

to the question about about spoils. The party gets to loan out certain amount of equipment from the armory for each mission (similar to James Bond getting gear from Q before heading out). But anything they find becomes Taraniyan property. It works wonderfully because the players get to try out different gear each mission and I never have to worry about handing them something that becomes a balance issue
 

They should be paid enough that they are not interested in revolution or insurrection, but not so much that they can execute a coup.

That is to say, they should be paid in titles and responsibilities, not gold.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Traditionally I have handwaved "useless 5e gold", the party generally has the money they need to do the things they need to do, and live luxurious lifestyles (at least compared to non-Taranyans). However, over time my players have become more and more curious as to how much money they actually have, and so I decided to actually consider it.

So I would be interested in thoughts from everyone. For high end military members of the most prestigious area of the military, in the most high end "country" in the multiverse, what do you think the monthly income would look like?

What I'd suggest would be first to work out how much it costs to live a luxurious lifestyle in Taranya -- which should probably be even higher than the suggested 'aristocratic' lifestyle costs in the the Player's Handbook. 40 gp per day sounds like a good starting place.

Every day of their employment, they have gotten paid enough to live that lifestyle, plus 1.5 times as much for expenses. So, with the earlier assumption, they have disposable income of about 60 gp per day. (Obviously, you can give them more money for expenses if you like.)

However, they've probably had situations where they had to use some of that disposable income, rather than just saving it up, so once you've come up with a total, have each player roll 1d20 and subtract the result from 96%, then multiply the total by that percentage to determine just how much gp they have.

If, after this, the numbers are higher than you'd like, you might want to ask the players what sort of non-liquid assets they've purchased -- art objects, trinkets, properties where the rental income is equal to taxes and maintenance, that sort of thing.
 

So in my campaign, the party are a group belonging to the Ataridan, a military arm of the city of Taranya whose primary mission is to go through planar gates to explore, establish relationships, fight bad guys, all the good stuff.

For those people who are familiar with the Stargate series of movie/shows, its very similar.


Now Taranya is set up as one of the greatest cities in the multiverse (and its own city-state). Everything is bigger and better there, and it is a high magic place.

Traditionally I have handwaved "useless 5e gold", the party generally has the money they need to do the things they need to do, and live luxurious lifestyles (at least compared to non-Taranyans). However, over time my players have become more and more curious as to how much money they actually have, and so I decided to actually consider it.

So I would be interested in thoughts from everyone. For high end military members of the most prestigious area of the military, in the most high end "country" in the multiverse, what do you think the monthly income would look like?
What ever you the GM think they can conceivably throw on the metaphorical company card or get their patron's accounting guy to ok the purchase order on?
 

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