[d20 Modern] Wealth + Gamble check question

pspahn

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Hi everyone,

OK, I've never had any problem using the Wealth bonus and purchase DCs, but as I was putting together a scenario, I ran into a problem. The encounter involves a card game between a PC and an NPC/GMC. If this were another game, the PC woul need to win $500 so he can pay off his debt. I'm not sure exactly how to word that in terms of wealth bonus, though.

Say the PC starts with Wealth +5. The NPC has Wealth +10. Each one buys a stake in the game as per the Gamble skill rules. The NPC sets the stake at 14 for the first hand. This gives the PC a +9 bonus and the NPC a +4 bonus to the Gamble check. Am I missing something here? Why does the guy with less money get a larger bonus for playing above his means? What does risking more money have to do with improving your chance of winning?

The rules also state that you reduce your Wealth bonus for purchasing a stake, but it doesn't say by how much, except in the example, but there's no way to tell if that applies to everyone equally. I'm thinking that the Check Result Difference table also applies to Wealth bonus decreases for buying the stake. So, if you bought a stake that was 10-19 higher than your Wealth bonus, it costs 2 Wealth. Anyone ran into this before?

One last thing, like I said the PC is trying to get out of debt. So, let's say he needs a Wealth reward of +20 to pay the debt. Does he reduce his Wealth to +0 once he reaches +20 and pays off the debt? I mean, are the rules set up for this? I don't want to house rule anything if I don't have to.

Man, it's strange how one little throwaway skill can raise so many questions. :)

Pete
 

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OK, I've never had any problem using the Wealth bonus and purchase DCs, but as I was putting together a scenario, I ran into a problem. The encounter involves a card game between a PC and an NPC/GMC. If this were another game, the PC woul need to win $500 so he can pay off his debt. I'm not sure exactly how to word that in terms of wealth bonus, though.

Say the PC starts with Wealth +5. The NPC has Wealth +10. Each one buys a stake in the game as per the Gamble skill rules. The NPC sets the stake at 14 for the first hand. This gives the PC a +9 bonus and the NPC a +4 bonus to the Gamble check. Am I missing something here? Why does the guy with less money get a larger bonus for playing above his means? What does risking more money have to do with improving your chance of winning?

The rules also state that you reduce your Wealth bonus for purchasing a stake, but it doesn't say by how much, except in the example, but there's no way to tell if that applies to everyone equally. I'm thinking that the Check Result Difference table also applies to Wealth bonus decreases for buying the stake. So, if you bought a stake that was 10-19 higher than your Wealth bonus, it costs 2 Wealth.
The purchase of the stake is like a regular purchase, so use those rules to determine how much Wealth goes down. On the other hand, if a rich gambler wins, it takes more "work" to gain an appreciable wealth bonus.

One last thing, like I said the PC is trying to get out of debt. So, let's say he needs a Wealth reward of +20 to pay the debt. Does he reduce his Wealth to +0 once he reaches +20 and pays off the debt? I mean, are the rules set up for this? I don't want to house rule anything if I don't have to.
Convert the actual amount he owes from a monetary figure to a Purchase DC (using the page 204 table) and treat it like a regular purchase (including wealth loss penalties). What you can do as the GM is decide when he can roll, and if missing the roll triggers any interesting response from the creditor.
 

pspahn

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Convert the actual amount he owes from a monetary figure to a Purchase DC (using the page 204 table) and treat it like a regular purchase (including wealth loss penalties).
I thought about that, but how do you explain that to the player? If he needs to get a Wealth bonus of +20 to pay off the debt, why would he get to keep the bonus after making a regular purchase? He would still have a +20 if he succeeded in making the purchase. In real dollars that would be like winning $2,000, paying off the debt and still having $2,000.
 

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I thought about that, but how do you explain that to the player? If he needs to get a Wealth bonus of +20 to pay off the debt, why would he get to keep the bonus after making a regular purchase? He would still have a +20 if he succeeded in making the purchase. In real dollars that would be like winning $2,000, paying off the debt and still having $2,000.
He doesn't need a certain level of bonus, just a shot at making the roll. If he makes the roll, then he spends the cash back down. If he fails, I suppose it depends on what he's been doing and how patient his loan shark is....Now that I think about it, maybe the DC can be artifically high and not affect his Wealth rating as much. I tend to raise the DC when a purchase involves rare or unique things, like a Superbowl ticket or Picasso.
 
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pspahn

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He doesn't need a certain level of bonus, just a shot at making the roll. If he makes the roll, then he spends the cash back down. If he fails, I suppose it depends on what he's been doing and how patient his loan shark is....Now that I think about it, maybe the DC can be artifically high and not affect his Wealth rating as much. I tend to raise the DC when a purchase involves rare or unique things, like a Superbowl ticket or Picasso.
That still presents the same problem, though. If the DC is high (or even if it's not) how do you tell someone they have to make +X Wealth to pay off their debts and then what happens if they fail the roll. Maybe I just need to figure out the proper wording. Or maybe I'll just have opposed gamble checks, best out of five wins. That might be the simplest option. I'll have to think on it.

Thanks!

Pete
 

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That still presents the same problem, though. If the DC is high (or even if it's not) how do you tell someone they have to make +X Wealth to pay off their debts and then what happens if they fail the roll.
First he buys the stake, then the Gamble rolls happen - this is unrelated to the stake/Wealth DC.
Depending on how he rolls, his Wealth DC can come back up.

If he fails, the guy he owes asks him to go on an adventure to get a maguffin!

I'll look in Wizards to see why they did that modifier thing, though - that is weird. I guess to reflect the fact that the more he plays for, the better the possibility that he makes money, even just a little. Don't forget that buying such a large stake is going to knock his bonus down beforehand.
 
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I think I understand the rationale behind giving poor players the bonus. If the skill check represents an hour at a casino, there's a good chance that he's left with some of his stake left. The bonus helps determine how much is left after the time interval. And the more was used at the start - the more of the players' money on the table, so to speak - the more might be left afterwards.

The problem is that it doesn't apply to a winner-take-all situation. Which I will shortly remedy.
 

pspahn

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I think I understand the rationale behind giving poor players the bonus. If the skill check represents an hour at a casino, there's a good chance that he's left with some of his stake left. The bonus helps determine how much is left after the time interval. And the more was used at the start - the more of the players' money on the table, so to speak - the more might be left afterwards.
I would think the poorer guy would be out more money the longer he spends at the casino, not the other way around.

But that doesn't explain why he gets a bonus to the roll. It essentially makes the game come down to a random roll stacked for the poorer guy to win because of bonuses. So if I have Gamble +2 Wealth +5 and the other guy has Gamble +4 Wealth +10. The stake is 12. I get +9 (skill+ wealth difference) to my Gamble check and he gets +6. So, my odds of winning are better, because I have less money? Even if it wasn't head to head, say there were other gamblers, the poorest ones have the best chance of winning.

Here's another thing that occurred to me. What (other than the GM) keeps PCs from gambling with each other to increase their Wealth. If I have Wealth +10 and another PC has Wealth +5, I can set the stake at 10 in which case I lose nothing if I lose the game, but he gains wealth if he wins. Quirky.

Pete
 

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I would think the poorer guy would be out more money the longer he spends at the casino, not the other way around.

But that doesn't explain why he gets a bonus to the roll. It essentially makes the game come down to a random roll stacked for the poorer guy to win because of bonuses. So if I have Gamble +2 Wealth +5 and the other guy has Gamble +4 Wealth +10. The stake is 12. I get +9 (skill+ wealth difference) to my Gamble check and he gets +6. So, my odds of winning are better, because I have less money? Even if it wasn't head to head, say there were other gamblers, the poorest ones have the best chance of winning.
The wrinkle is that this skill check is one of the only ones in which degree of success counts. It's not likely that he will break even, but chances are he'll still have some money left over from his stake (given that ranks in Gamble skill probably reflects that he's trying to do something to decrease the house edge).

Here's another thing that occurred to me. What (other than the GM) keeps PCs from gambling with each other to increase their Wealth. If I have Wealth +10 and another PC has Wealth +5, I can set the stake at 10 in which case I lose nothing if I lose the game, but he gains wealth if he wins. Quirky.
Well, you omit the fact that the Wealth +5 guy has a 25% chance of flubbing the roll to get to play in the first place. And that his Wealth decreases to +4 when he buys the stake. Finally, he'll only get more Wealth back if he beats his friend by 10 - if he wins by less, he's just back at +5. But I would still only add that modifier when figuring out the potential wealth increase.

You're ideas are giving me my own for some fixes; thanks!
 
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