View Full Version : Roleplaying the Rich

Totally Guy
2009-10-05, 06:18 AM
I've recently made a character who is very rich. Currently he's teamed up with the party to reclaim his old life and assets using complicated plans.

But once he's done that... what then?

I realise that I may be entering new territory regarding character responsibility. I've still got to provide motivation for going out and doing cool dangerous things with the party.

I also feel that I'm going to be responsible for filling the essential proactive player role because if I'm not doing something my character feels is important, why is he doing it?

What other pitfalls? I don't want to ruin a session by suddenly saying, "oh by the way, now we all have heicoptors with guns on."

Anyone been here?

Temet Nosce
2009-10-05, 06:28 AM
Yes, but I don't really see the issue until and unless you recover everything, and end up at a point where you have no motivation to continue. Personally, I try to build in a reason to continue from the start in such characters but in the case that you haven't the odds are good something will come up in game anyways.

Although having access to that much money may very well change the way the game is played, that can be interesting on its own. I've designed characters who had access to that kind of cash from the start though before (characters which owned dozens of vehicles, mansions, in futuristic games starships, etc).

2009-10-05, 06:45 AM
If it gets to the point where you have all of your wealth back (thats what you're striving for if I read it correctly, it IS a little late here and earlier on I thought my keyboard was ringing, so who knows at this point), I would think the DM would probably ask you to retire your character and possibly make another to avoid destroying his campaign.
Just be careful that you justify your actions as you believe your character would and thats all you can do- if there are any problems beyond that I believe its the DM's responsibility to deal with it.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-10-05, 06:47 AM
Screw the rules, I have money.

Totally Guy
2009-10-05, 07:03 AM
That's the immediate goal. But we're only one session in. It's Changeling: the Lost we're playing so he's got to see what being a changeling is like but that focus will come later.

Other motivations already displayed:

Fairy Artefacts,
Weight loss (he's a big fatty),
True Love (I'd like to see if I can do this)
Arcaelogical Artefacts (except he agreed that wouldn't pursue this, but that almost guarantees that the narrative will go back there).
Finding a secret society. (GM thought I was referring to our Vampire game... which I actually wasn't.)

Maybe I could be after supernatural items to allow me to do something... immortality, aid fertility (to make a human baby, not changeling) or grants a fit body.

2009-10-05, 07:05 AM
When you have the resources to do anything, what you elect to do says a great deal about you. What does your character want to do with his fortune once regained?

James Carnegie, Cecil Rhodes, James Hill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Northern_Railway_(U.S.)); these men were interesting for what they did with their money, not for the fact that they had it.

Oh, and remember that threats to that - oh, so useful - resource base will provide an almost infinite number of adventure hooks and plot twists. The perpetual battle for resources and knowledge is the very basis of the cyberpunk genre. :smallwink:

2009-10-05, 07:35 AM
Once you get the money back, you might lose them again quickly. Someone kidnaps your family member/close friend and things get personal. You invest your money in something, and that thing gets stolen/destroyed/turns out to be a hoax and you need to get the money back again. You're forced to spend your money to prevent some disaster, or you simply put most of them in some great project and go on adventure to get more.

And, like bosssmiley said, protecting your wealth from outside threats is often enough to keep a long campaign running.

2009-10-05, 07:45 AM
Boredom. The rich, bored guy who gets in trouble has got to be a trope by now.

2009-10-05, 07:47 AM
Also, do not forget that ennui can be a powerful factor. Once you are rich enough to never ahve to work, or really do anything at all, what sense is there in life? Most of us work because they need the money, maybe because they have fun in their line of work, and because they have plans that they can work for. You don't need all this. If you feel like going on a trip around the world, you don't need to make plans for years to come, and work all those extra shifts. You simply call somebody, say: "Foster, I'll not be around for the next year, please watch my palace..." etc. And that is terrible.

By going on daring adventures, and encountering situations where your wealth isn't nearly as important as your personal skills. Also, he may feel the need to justify his wealth. He's not sitting on his behind all day counting shinies, but actually risking (un)life and limp. Maybe he himself needs that to enjoy his riches.

2009-10-05, 08:09 AM
Boredom. The rich, bored guy who gets in trouble has got to be a trope by now.

Yep! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RichIdiotWithNoDayJob)

2009-10-05, 08:20 AM
Screw the rules, I have money.

If you took Kaiba and replaced every instance of technology with fanciful magic, you'd have a Changeling character. A bit angsty, but nonetheless.

2009-10-05, 08:32 AM
How tight is your character getting with the rest of the party? I've seen characters with no motivation to go on do it because they feel so close to their teammates and don't want anything to happen to them.

Alternatively, my CN/E half orc ranger only hangs out with his party because an extremely powerful mage believes them all to be destined to save the world, including my character, and if I try to leave, he teleports me back,or kills me.

So my hands are tied, and I'm sure your GM will come up with something like that if you decide to retire.

2009-10-05, 08:46 AM
There's also duty, honor, vengeance. Look at Bruce Wayne. Rich as sin and still lurking in warehouses punching crazy clowns.

2009-10-05, 09:10 AM
It's not often someone comes into a lot of money twice without making any enemies.

Mark Hall
2009-10-05, 09:12 AM
I've recently made a character who is very rich. Currently he's teamed up with the party to reclaim his old life and assets using complicated plans.

But once he's done that... what then?

Well, there may be any number of reasons. He may find that he likes adventuring, especially if he doesn't need to do much to keep his money flowing. He may be friends with the rest of the party, and be unwilling to let them go into danger without his help. He may develop personal reasons for pursuing the bad guys... avenge a fallen friend, can't stand to see what they're doing, etc.

What other pitfalls? I don't want to ruin a session by suddenly saying, "oh by the way, now we all have heicoptors with guns on."

Anyone been here?

While your character may be very rich, keep in mind that rich does not always mean a lot of liquid cash... it will be difficult to plop down a ton of cash for helicopters with guns on them.

I ran a game once, in d6 Star Wars, where everyone but one person was force-sensitive. The non-force sensitive guy I made rich (he was the local Hutt capo; he was planning on playing a Twi'lek gangster, I just moved him up the heirarchy). He didn't have tons of cash on hand at all times... but he did have vehicles around, he had a few employees he could send on errands, and he could easily come up with some muscle. Minor purchases (anything that could be bought off-the-shelf) got handwaved. So long as he kept things profitable for the Hutts, they didn't care what he did.

2009-10-05, 10:09 AM
Well, you dont need any more reason to continue adventuring, other than to get more money. Seriously, there are millions of people on this planet that have enough money so that they never have to work again, but they continue anyway. Some because they need to feel useful, others because they simply want more.

Having a lot of money wont suddenly make you stop wanting money, if anything from what I have seen it has the exact OPPOSITE effect: Having a lot of money makes you want even more. Your character will be sitting around in his gold-plated palace, thinking "hmmm, I got so much money in such a short time adventuring, which was actually kinda fun... I should try that again, I would like a few more palaces after all"

Plus, you having a lot of money to throw around wont ruin the game. The DM will adapt, pit y'all up against an even richer enemy or somethin.

2009-10-05, 10:10 AM
Drawing from comic books and movies, James Bond, Bruce Wayne, Thomas Crowne, Lara Croft, Tony Starke, and Reed Richards were all very wealthy people who were drawn to a life of adventure.

Looking at real life, Sir Richard Branson, Steve Fossett, and Steve Irwin are/were all very financially successful (Branson especially) but could never say no to an adventure.

There are basically three reasons that characters adventure: thrill and excitement, advancement of a cause, or the acquisition of wealth and power. Your character is currently on number 3 (to get his money back). Once he succeeds, just shift him to number 1 or number 2.

And FYI: there is NOTHING wrong with helicopter gunships. Get to the choppa!

2009-10-05, 10:38 AM
Nah, Boss Smiley was the closest to it for this character. Close, but no cigar.

Its not that other people taking his money are the plothooks.. Its that this character once had it all, then actually lost it, and now has it back. His entire motivation at this point will be to ensure that he never loses it again. He will go to incredible lengths to do so, perhaps becoming a champion of justice and a pillar of strength for the entire kingdom, perhaps becoming a terrible villian in his unbridled passion to protect his own personal gains. The character is the plot hook. Not the folks who might want to take his wealth again. For all he is concerned, they don't even have to exist, he will still react to the possibility of the threat.

2009-10-05, 10:43 AM
Also, rich people have a lot of expenses. Maybe he needs to keep finding more money in order to maintain the lavish family estate and pay his servants' salaries. Selling it or getting rid of his maids, chefs, and butlers would offend his honor and sense of class.