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Friday, November 26, 2010

Random Wealth

I posted a poll over on RPGNet asking about how people feel about rolling for random starting wealth. We've all seen the arguments between people who think random generation of attributes is fine and people who can't stand the idea. What I think is odd is that I've never seen people get as worked up about random starting wealth vs. some fixed approach to starting wealth. Not that I think there should be such arguments; I just wanted to know if my intuition about this is correct.

There aren't many votes yet, but the responses do seem to be falling into the expected division: people who consider themselves "old school", however they define that, are OK with randomly rolling starting wealth, and people who consider themselves "new school" would rather have some kind of guaranteed levels of wealth and/or equipment. There are some outliers, but very few.


  1. I roll social class on 3d6 and associate starting wealth and equipment with that. If a player doesn't like it they can swap their social class with another ability score. Funny, nobody has taken me up on that offer yet ...

  2. I roll starting wealth as given in the PHB - if the roll is abysmally low, it gives some interesting pointers as to character background - why is he so poor? Was he robbed? Cheated? Just bad with money? Low starting wealth also forces the character to be very creative with armour and weapons combos until they hit that first big stash.

  3. I've gone back and forth between randomness and fairness. I was on a point-buy for stats and max starting funds by class kick in 3E for a while, but I've come back around.

    Random starting funds sucks if you never find any treasure, and I've played in just a couple of games like that, but as long as you can eventually find some loot it doesn't matter so much.

    I do like Roger's idea though. With or without social class, 3d6 times a value by class should be a pretty easy conversion from the traditional die rolls.

  4. If you assume that the 3d6 roll for wealth is a social class roll, and that you multiply social class by 10 to get starting gp, then you have the by-the-book system with an option to treat the social class roll as any other stat... so you could use "swap two" or "arrange to taste" as Roger suggests. It's not too bad of a house rule.

    I'm thinking of a weird way to pair it with special abilities, however...