Friday, January 11, 2013

Social Class and Wealth

I've been thinking a lot about starting character wealth in Pathfinder. When my players and I have sat down to go through the steps of character creation for a new campaign, I have usually just told them to take the average amounts listed beside their chosen class on the Starting Wealth Chart that is present in the book their class can be found in.

While this has simplified things for the most part, I have recently grown dissatisfied with it. I don't know why exactly, I just feel like there could be a more interesting way to determine a character's starting wealth than flipping through a number of different books to find that Starting Wealth chart to determine it's average starting wealth.

Then it hit me: why not tie a character's wealth to their social class?

I have always liked the idea of a character's social class playing more of important role in a game than a simple line of description in their background. So, why not use it to determine how many gold pieces your character receives?

So, here's my supposed house rule. During character creation, Roll a single d6 and consult the following table. Once you have determined your character's social class, you can either randomly generate their starting wealth using the formula beside the social class' entry, or use the average starting amount. If you are using the Character Traits from the Advanced Player's Guide, anyone who chooses the Rich trait receives the maximum amount for their social class instead of the listed benefit in that book.

D6 RESULT
SOCIAL CLASS
STARTING WEALTH
AVERAGE
1-2
Lower Class
2d6 x 10 gp
70 gp
3-4
Middle Class
3d6 x 10 gp
105 gp
5-6
Upper Class
4d6 x 10 gp
140 gp

I decided to make this process random because I've always been a fan of determining some things through randomization. Also, I could see most people never choosing to play a lower class character if I just allowed them to choose. I'm probably going to do a lot more with social class in the future, but I think this will be an interesting first step. Since I'm going to be starting a new Pathfinder campaign in about a week, I'm going to test this out and see how it works at the table and make any changes I deem necessary accordingly.