Every character has a Wealth bonus that reflects his or her buying power — a representation of their hoard, their loot, even their booty. A character's Wealth bonus serves as the basis of the character's Wealth check, which is how characters get stuff.
A character's starting Wealth bonus is equal to 5 + their Charisma score, increasing by +4 every time they take the Wealthy feat. Over the course of play, the hero's Wealth bonus will decrease as the hero purchases expensive items and increase as the hero gains levels.
A character's Wealth bonus can never fall below +0, and there is no limit to how high the Wealth bonus can climb.
Since Wealth is an abstract concept, it's sometimes difficult to determine how financially well off a character is. To get a general sense of how financially solvent a character is at any given time, check the table below.
|Wealth Bonus||Financial Condition|
|+0||A poor sailor or indentured servant|
|+1 to +4||One step ahead of the press gang|
|+5 to +10||Free and getting by|
|+11 to +15||Carrying some bling|
|+16 to +20||Wealthy bastard|
|+21 to +30||Rich: a captain maybe, or a minor lord|
|+31 or higher||Very rich: running a fleet or king of an island|
Wealth checks are used to determine what characters can afford and what stuff they might reasonably have access to. Every object and service has a cost, which is the Wealth check Difficulty; the higher the cost, the more expensive the item. To purchase an object, make a Wealth check against the difficulty.
Sample Wealth Difficulties
|Common household item||4-5|
|Ship's passage, 2-3 days||4|
|Rough lodging, per night||5|
|Ship's passage, 1 week||7|
|Expensive lodging, per night||11|
|Small ship (sloop)||32|
|Medium ship (brigantine, merchantman)||36|
|Large ship (war galley, ship of the line)||40|
The Wealth Check
A Wealth check is a 1d20 roll plus your current Wealth bonus. The Wealth bonus is fluid. It increases as you gain Wealth and decreases as you make purchases.
If you succeed on the Wealth check, you gain the object. If you fail, you can't afford the object at the time.
If your current Wealth bonus is equal to or greater than the Wealth check difficulty, you automatically succeed.
If you successfully purchases an object or service with a Wealth check difficulty that's higher than your current Wealth bonus, your Wealth bonus decreases.
Shopping and Time
Buying less common objects generally takes a number of hours equal to the purchase difficulty of the object or service, reflecting the time needed to locate the wanted materials and close the deal. Getting a license or buying an object that is illegal in your current region increases the time needed to make purchases.
Taking 10 and Taking 20
You can usually take 10 or take 20 when making a Wealth check. Taking 20 requires 20 times as long as normal (you're shopping around for the best price).
Also, there is a penalty for spending beyond your means. Whenever you buy an object that has a purchase difficulty higher than your current Wealth bonus, your Wealth bonus decreases (see below).
You can try again if you fail a Wealth check, but not until you have spent an additional number of hours shopping equal to the purchase difficulty of the object or service.
You can make an aid another attempt to help a character purchase an object or service. If the attempt is successful, you provide the purchaser with a +2 bonus on his or her Wealth check. If you aid a Wealth check for an item with a purchase difficulty higher than your current Wealth bonus, it decreases as normal.
Any time you purchase an object or service with a purchase difficulty higher than your current Wealth bonus, or one with a purchase difficulty of 15 or higher, your Wealth bonus goes down. How much the Wealth bonus is reduced depends on how expensive the object is. Your Wealth score is only reduced if the Wealth check succeeds; if the Wealth check fails, your Wealth score is unaffected.
|Item Cost||Wealth Bonus Decrease|
|15 or higher||1 point|
|1-10 points higher than current Wealth bonus||1 point|
|11-15 points higher than current Wealth bonus||2 points|
|16 or more points higher than current||3 points|
Along with this loss, any time you buy an object or service with a purchase difficulty of 15 or higher, reduce your current Wealth bonus by an additional 1 point.
Regaining Wealth: the Professional Skill
A character's Wealth bonus recovers as the character advances.
Characters use their skills to earn a living. A skill used to earn Wealth is called a professional skill. Discuss with the Narrator what skill would be appropriate for your hero's profession, which can change, at the Narrator's discretion, as your character moves from one profession to another.
Characters use professional skills to improve their Wealth. You make a professional skill check to improve your Wealth score every time you attain a new level. The Difficulty is your current Wealth score. If you succeed, your Wealth score increases by +1. For every 5 points the check result exceeds the Difficulty, your Wealth score increases by an additional +1. You can't take 10 or 20 when making a professional skill check to improve your Wealth score.
Your rank in your current professional skill also automatically adds to the Wealth score increase you receive upon gaining a new level. See the accompanying table for details. (This bonus is accounted for in a character's starting Wealth score of +5.)
|Ranks||Wealth Score Increase|
|1 - 5||+1|
|6 - 10||+2|
|11 - 15||+3|
|16 - 20||+4|
|21 - 23||+5|
Adventuring may result in characters finding valuable items (See: loot. Also: booty). In such cases, the benefit translates into a Wealth award.
Equipping Your Character
When buying your hero's starting equipment, you may wish to follow these basic guidelines to simplify matters. List all the equipment you want your hero to have. Purchase all the items that won't reduce your hero's Wealth score. Then purchase the remaining items, starting with the most expensive (highest purchase Difficulty) to the least expensive. This ensures your hero's Wealth will go as far as possible.
To sell something, a character first needs to determine its sale value. Assuming the object is undamaged and in working condition, the sale value is equal to the object's purchase difficulty (as if purchased new) minus 3.
Selling an object can provide an increase to a character's Wealth bonus. The increase is the same amount as the Wealth bonus loss the character would experience if the character purchased an object with a purchase difficulty equal to the sale value.
Regardless of the character's current Wealth bonus, he or she gains a Wealth bonus increase of 1 whenever the character sells an object with a sale value of 15 or higher. If A character sells an object with a sale value less than or equal to his or her current Wealth bonus, and that sale value is 14 or lower, the character gains nothing.
Obviously selling stuff you're not supposed to have is a bad idea, generally speaking.