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Financial Merits

This Merit gauges your characters ability to handle costly expenses without having to make sacrifices. Unless otherwise noted, every character makes enough money to cover their basic needs: groceries, a cramped apartment, an old clunker and maybe a cell phone. Wealth represents a higher standard of living a better car, a better house, a smartphone and generally anything that you could conceivably finance with a sizable down payment and good credit. One dot suggests a comfortable apartment and an affordable used vehicle. Two dots represent a modest single story house and a middle-class sport coupe or luxury sedan. Three dots afford your character a slice of prime real estate and high-end sports car or two vehicles suitable for someone with a lower Wealth rating. A character with Wealth could finance a small selection of lavish estates and exotic cars. At Wealth , your character could have several castle-esque estates and a collection of the most popular cars on the market. Your characters liquid assets are represented by abstract units of currency, called shares. You start with 100 shares to spend on all resources that are beyond the scope of your characters lifestyle, but you must sacrifice a minimum of 10 shares per point of Wealth. These shares are tied into your characters vehicles and estates, and they cannot be accessed unless your character liquidates. You are free to decide how these shares are split up. If your character is extremely wealthy ( or ), she may also have several shares tied up into investments or business accounts. The cost of this Merit increases to two points per dot at Wealth . Increasing this Merit further, to Wealth , will require your storytellers permission and cost you all seven of your bonus points. At the first dot in this Merit, your character receives a monthly allowance of 50 shares. This decreases to 25 shares at the second dot, and again to 10 shares for Wealth to , and finally to 5 shares at Wealth . This is because every share represents a portion of your characters wealth, and their value increases as you put points in this Merit. If your character has one dot in this Merit, every share is worth around ten dollars. This value increases by a factor of ten for every point you invest in the Wealth Merit (to $100 at Wealth , $1,000 at Wealth , and so on.) Always record where your characters money comes from, as this will give you and your storyteller some insight into the nature of her assets and any potential perks afforded by her career. For example, the owner of a small convenience store can get her hands on food, beer and tobacco as needed, whereas someone who works at a stadium may have an easier time getting tickets to sporting events. Knowing what your character does for a living will help you get a better grasp of who she is, and it may even provide your storyteller with ideas for plot-hooks.

Wealth ( to )

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character has a greater allowance than her Wealth would otherwise suggest. This could be the result of strategic business decisions, a recent promotion or just a twist of entrepreneurial fortune. For one dot, you can increase your characters monthly allowance from 5 to 10 shares, or from 10 to 25 shares. Additional dots increase your characters allowance by 25 shares per point. If you have the Multiple Sources Merit (see below), you can acquire a separate Allowance for every source of income at your disposal.

Allowance ( to )

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character has an abundance of material resources and liquid assets, far more than the Wealth Merit suggests. Every dot grants you an additional 100 shares to spend on material possessions. You choose how these shares are allocated, but your storyteller is within her rights to demand that you spend a greater portion of this wealth on your characters vehicles and property, especially if you want your character to have multiple estates.

Assets ( to )

Diversified ()

Prerequisite: Wealth Instead of a handful of strong, durable income streams, your character makes her money through a vast network of income sources. This Merit is appropriate for venture capitalists with dozens of investments and restaurant-chain owners with dozens of stores, if not hundreds. It takes a lot for your character to lose wealth, and when she does, her allowance rarely drops by more than one share at a time. Note that there is one major disadvantage to having diversity, and this is that often the rumor of a scandal can be far more devastating than the truth. Even a massive corporate food chain can suffer badly if a customer claims to have found a finger in his serving of chili or a frog cooked into a hamburger bun. Someone with great wealth and fortune may find herself offering settlements just to make lawsuits disappear, even if she isnt liable.

Prerequisite: Wealth Your characters allowance fluctuates depending on her performance, but it always yields enough to support her lifestyle. At the end of each month, roll any relevant Attribute + Skill. For example, a lawyer might roll Presence + Law, while a doctor might roll Intelligence + Medicine. The difficulty of this roll depends on any relevant market conditions that would have an impact on supply and demand. Examples of these conditions include competition, economic recession, even the time of year. The storyteller may allow you to apply bonuses to this roll to represent a strong client base, good advertising, a favorable location and so on. For one dot, your character gains 5 shares for every success above the difficulty; for two dots, this amount increases to 10 shares per success. These shares are in addition to your characters regular allowance.

Flexible Allowance ( to )

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character has an extra source of revenue that exists almost exclusively to launder money. While this is ultimately similar to the Multiple Sources Merit, front companies are often grossly mismanaged. Employees and especially supervisors are hired not because of their business acumen, but often because of their ability to look the other way. Fronts have a default allowance of 5 shares, but income from illegal sources can be funneled through them in order to increase their allowance.

Front ()

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character has an extra source of revenue that produces additional shares equivalent to her monthly allowance. This Merit could represent a service contract, a separate business that your character owns and operates, or simply a second job. Whatever the nature of the income, it should require a significant amount of time and attention to remain productive. Each acquisition of this Merit indicates an additional stream of revenue.

Multiple Sources ()

Sidework ()

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character has a small business on the side, but the income fluctuates. This is almost identical to the one point version of Flexible Allowance (see above), with one notable exception: your characters sidework is not part of his primary income. If your character loses his job, he could conceivably fall back on his sidework to stay afloat. Consider spending extra shares on equipment that will help your character with his sidework. For example, if your character is a freelance photographer, it couldnt hurt to have a high-tech digital camera. Special: If you purchase Multiple Sources, you can exchange this Merit for one dot in Flexible Allowance, provided you have your storytellers approval. Note that this will vastly increase the productivity of your income, so you should work out how your character was able to take her business to the next level before you take it as a Multiple Source. If circumstances force your character to rely on her sidework, apply the rules for Fluctuating Income. This flaw applies until your character finds another way to support her lifestyle or steps up her sidework into a full-time business.

Supplemental Income ( to )

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character has at least one extra source of income that she doesnt have to work for, and she can use it to supplement her wealth or as a cushion to fall back on during hard times. Be sure to discuss the nature of this income with your storyteller. Examples incomes include spousal support, royalties and prior investments that now yield significant returns. For one dot, your character gains an additional 5 shares per month. Two dots increase this allowance to 10 shares per month.

Financial Flaws
In the Storyteller Adventure System, flaws provide extra experience points whenever they hinder your character through play. Nevertheless, many of the flaws listed here have a point value. This is an optional rule for storytellers who wish to implement rules from the Classic World of Darkness and offer bonus points instead of additional experience. If you are a storyteller, please feel free to ignore these rules at your leisure. However, you may wish to provide your players with more than seven bonus points, as one of the flaws of this system is that it makes wealth more costly.

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character is unconcerned with the lifestyle her wealth entails. She has one car and one reliable vehicle thats suitable for someone below her

Below Your Means ( to )

Criminal Enterprise ()

Prerequisite: Wealth Your character is involved in an illegal enterprise of some kind, and she has a vested interest in making sure that the police never find out about it. This Flaw is equally applicable if your character is a low-level soldier for a criminal organization or a high-level lieutenant. In the case of the former, your character is more likely to be arrested, and she will almost certainly be required to take the fall if things ever go south. On the other hand, if your character is a lieutenant, she will have to keep a close eye on business and her people to make sure that she isnt compromised. Whatever your characters involvement, she should always be careful to gauge her spending and to take great care when discussing the details of her operation.

Your character relies upon a combination of skill and good fortune in order to maintain her lifestyle. This is not the same as a Flexible Allowance (see above); this Flaw represents a constant financial struggle with the potential for windfall. Your character can try to play it safe by keeping a tight budget and using trends in the market to her advantage, but nothing is ever certain. As with the Flexible Allowance Merit, roll any relevant Attribute + Skill. Your storyteller should set the difficulty based on any factors that would be relevant to your characters career path how well known she is, how strong her competitors are, and so on. In the event of a failure, your character cannot support her current lifestyle unless she sacrifices 5 shares for every success by which she failed to meet the required amount. A dramatic failure suggests a terrible complication that threatens to compromise your characters income entirely. For example, a small business owner might suffer an investigation from the health department, a lawyer might have a major client poached, or a food server might lose her job and have to find a new one very quickly.

Fluctuating Income ()

Prerequisite: Wealth to Your character pretends to make much more money than she actually has. Instead of the lifestyle described by the Wealth Merit, your character has a single vehicle suitable for someone with Wealth . In exchange for this indulgence, your character forfeits 50 shares and lives in a cramped single-bedroom apartment. The majority of your remaining shares must be spent on items that make your character appear to be wealthy. Designer clothes, jewelry, a smartphone, and so on.

Ghetto Fabulous ()

Making Purchases

Rags to Riches

Your characters liquid assets are measured using abstract units of currency, called shares. Every character begins the story with 100 shares to spend on material resources in addition to a monthly allowance determined by their Wealth. The purpose of the Wealth Merit is not to increase the number of shares. The more points you have in Wealth, the more your characters shares are worth. Every resource has a Cost, rated between and . Compare this value to your characters Wealth in order to determine if she can reasonably afford the expense. The number of Charges represents the value of the resource in relation to other items in the same price range. For example, a Cost expense with 2 Charges is worth twice the amount of a standard Cost expense. When your characters ability to make a purchase becomes important to the story, compare her Wealth to the Cost of the resource and refer to the table below. Listed Cost is . . . Two points below your characters Wealth One point below your characters Wealth Equal to your characters Wealth One point above your characters Wealth Two points above your characters Wealth Value (in Shares) None Number of Charges Number of Charges x 10 Number of Charges x 100 Number of Charges x 1,000

Example: Mason Lee Conner is a forensic photographer with 40 shares at Wealth . One night, while browsing the website of an antiquities dealer, he recognizes the symbols on an old tome from a crime scene he previously photographed. The website lists the tome at an exorbitant price (Cost , 3 charges.) Masons Wealth is equal to the Cost of the item, so he would be required to pay 10 shares per charge. Thats 30 shares! Mason decides to call the antiquities dealer and request an appointment. Perhaps he can find what hes looking for some other way

If you need the Cost rating of an item but you cant find it in the resources section, you can use the table below to help provide an abstract estimate. In order to keep the relationship between Cost and Charges as simple as possible, the number of Charges is always expressed as a number between one and nine, and decimals are never used. This means that a $75.00 expense will always be listed as Cost , 7 charges never Cost 0, 75 charges or Cost , 7.5 charges. The purpose of this is to keep the numbers from becoming too messy. As a storyteller, you are always within your rights to disregard this policy when converting real-world expenses into shares.

Exchange Rates

RATE OF EXCHANGE
Cost
0 1 2 3 4 5

Dollar Amount
$10 $100 $1,000 $10,000 $100,000 $1 Million

Making Money

Using the tables for Listed Costs and Rates of Exchange (see above), you can easily convert any dollar amount into shares in order to determine how much a character will need to spend but you can also employ this system in reverse to find out how many shares a character would gain from a payoff. First, determine how much money is changing hands. Once you know this, refer to the Rate of Exchange table to determine the Cost rating of the payment. If this number is more than two points below the characters Wealth, he gains nothing. Otherwise, divide the actual amount of the payment by the Dollar Amount on the Rate of Exchange table to find out how many charges the payment is worth. Finally, use the difference between the characters Wealth and the Cost of the payment to determine how many shares she receives.

Example: Mason Lee Conner has become a powerful Guardian of the Veil, but his colleagues know him only as Maleck. After a thorough investigation, Maleck has discovered that Knossos, a well-respected Curator, is in fact the serial killer responsible for over a dozen ritual murders. Once he presents this evidence to his Master also a Guardian of the Veil, and the local Hierarch she asks that he dispatch Knossos quickly and quietly. In exchange for his service, she offers him $5,000 in advance and an additional $5,000 after the deed is done. According to the Rate of Exchange Table, $5,000 is directly between Cost and Cost . The storyteller rounds down (Cost ) and compares this amount to Malecks points in the Wealth Merit (). The Cost of the payout and the Wealth of the recipient are equal, so Maleck would receive 10 shares per charge. The storyteller determines the number of charges by dividing the actual amount ($5,000) with the Dollar Amount on the Rate of Exchange table ($1,000). This comes to 5 charges at 10 shares each thats 50 shares!