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Cheiromancer
2013-06-18, 02:40 PM
I am attempting to design a feat that increases a character's wealth by one level. That is, a feat such that a character who takes it will have the WBL of a character one level higher. One way to accomplish this is to frequently audit a character sheet and compare the results to page 135 of the DMG. But what if audits are infrequent? I have tinkered with the numbers and I think I am now able to describe the benefits of a Wealth feat.

A character who takes the Wealth feat experiences a one time boost in income, plus a regular income every time the character levels up. The recommended WBL is given in the table below. In the same row is the initial benefit of taking the feat. The last column is the level up benefit of a character who has taken the feat at a previous level.

For example, a 6th level character should have a total wealth of about 13 000 gp. Upon taking the feat, a windfall of 7200 gp is obtained. This raises the character's total wealth to 20 200, a little above the minimum wealth of a 7th level character. Upon reaching 7th level the same character will receive a payment of 2600 gp. At 8th level another 3000 gp will be obtained, and so on. This is in addition to the usual amount of treasure obtained through adventuring.

{table=head]Level | WBL|Windfall|Level Up Stipend
1 |100 |200 |
2 |900 |800 |600
3 |2 700 |1 800 |1000
4 |5 400 |3 200 |1 400
5 |9 000 |5 000 |1 800
6 |13 000 |7 200 |2 200
7 |19 000 |9 800 |2 600
8 |27 000 |12 800 |3 000
9 |36 000 |16 200 |3 400
10 |49 000 |20 000 |3 800
11 |66 000 |24 200 |4 200
12 |88 000 |28 800 |4 600
13 |110 000 |33 800 |5 000
14 |150 000 |39 200 |5 400
15 |200 000 |45 000 |5 800
16 |260 000 |51 200 |6 200
17 |340 000 |57 800 |6 600
18 |440 000 |64 800 |7 000
19 |580 000 |72 200 |7 400
20 |760 000 |80 000 |7 800
21 |975 000 |88 200 |8 200
[/table]

There are any number of ways that the benefit of the feat can be explained in game. The character may be lucky at games of chance. A magic item in the character's possession might be discovered to have additional powers. Gems assigned at the last division of treasure turn out, on reappraisal, to be substantially more valuable. A distant relative might have died, leaving the character a share in a gold mine. And so on; what is important is that the character's wealth consistently be about a level higher than would otherwise be expected.

The formula is as follows. If the character's level is N when the feat is taken immediately gains wealth equal to 200 * N^2 (that is, 200 times N squared). If the character levels up from level N to level N+1, the benefit is 200 + 400 * N.

The feat works well enough from level 3 to about level 12 or 13. Thereafter it falls a little behind; a 15th level character who takes it will get only 3/4 of a level, and an 18th level character gets less than 1/2 a level.

Although the benefit at first level (200 gp) falls well short of a 2nd level character's WBL, I think that an extra 200 gp would be extremely valuable at 1st level, and could be worth taking.

Oh, and here is the feat written up PHB style

Wealth
You have become rich.
Benefit: You immediately gain wealth whose value in gold pieces is equal to 200 gp times your level squared. For example, a 9th level character would gain 200 x 9 x 9 = 16200 gp. Henceforth at every new level of experience you gain 200 gp plus 400 gp times your old level. For example, upon going from 9th to 10th level you would gain 200 + 400 * 9 = 3800 gp. This is in addition to the normal wealth acquired by adventuring. You count as one level higher for any calculations related to expected wealth.

edit: I changed the level up stipend to make it easier to calculate the wealth of a character who has had the feat for several levels. The previous version is spoilered for reference.
For example, a 6th level character should have a total wealth of about 13 000 gp. Upon taking the feat, a windfall of 7200 gp is obtained. This raises the character's total wealth to 20 200, a little above the minimum wealth of a 7th level character. Upon reaching 7th level the same character will receive a payment of 2100 gp. At 8th level another 2400 gp will be obtained, and so on. This is in addition to the usual amount of treasure obtained through adventuring.

{table=head]Level | WBL|Windfall|Level Up Benefit
1 |100 |200 |
2 |900 |800 |600
3 |2 700 |1 800 |900
4 |5 400 |3 200 |1 200
5 |9 000 |5 000 |1 500
6 |13 000 |7 200 |1 800
7 |19 000 |9 800 |2 100
8 |27 000 |12 800 |2 400
9 |36 000 |16 200 |2 700
10 |49 000 |20 000 |3 000
11 |66 000 |24 200 |3 300
12 |88 000 |28 800 |3 600
13 |110 000 |33 800 |3 900
14 |150 000 |39 200 |4 200
15 |200 000 |45 000 |4 500
16 |260 000 |51 200 |4 800
17 |340 000 |57 800 |5 100
18 |440 000 |64 800 |5 400
19 |580 000 |72 200 |5 700
20 |760 000 |80 000 |6 000
21 |975 000 |88 200 |6 300
[/table]

Wealth (italics changed in new version)
You have become rich.
Benefit: You immediately gain wealth whose value in gold pieces is equal to 200 gp times your level squared. For example, a 9th level character would gain 200 x 9 x 9 = 16200 gp. Henceforth at every new level of experience you gain 300 gp times your new level. For example, upon reaching 10th level you would gain 300 x 10 = 3000 gp. This is in addition to the normal wealth acquired by adventuring. You count as one level higher for any calculations related to expected wealth.

Cheiromancer
2013-06-18, 06:40 PM
The above feat can easily be modified to produce a flaw or anti-feat; something the DM might allow a character to take in exchange for a bonus feat. Indebted is the flip-side of Wealth. A character loses wealth immediately, and whenever the character goes up a level, the character's wealth decreases by 300 gp times the new level.

The in-game reasons are the reverse of the reasons for wealth; the character loses at games of chance, magic items mysteriously lose powers, gems acquired as treasure turn out to be fake, distant relatives need financial help, and so on.

Indebted
You have trouble making ends meet.
Effect: You immediately lose wealth whose value in gold pieces is equal to 200 gp times your level squared. For example, at 9th level you would lose 200 x 9 x 9 = 16200 gp. Henceforth at every new level of experience you lose at least 200 gp, then an additional 400 gp times your old level. For example, upon going from 9th level to 10th level you would lose 200 + 400 * 9 = 3800 gp. You otherwise acquire normal wealth by adventuring. You count as one level lower for any calculations related to expected wealth.
Special: If you are Indebted at 1st level you may equip your character as a normal 1st level character. However, when you advance to 2nd level any wealth beyond your starting wealth is lost.

edit: in the previous version you lost 300 gp times your new level when you leveled up

Thomar_of_Uointer
2013-06-18, 07:05 PM
This sort of thing works best in games with abstract wealth, like D20 Modern. I think that rather than addressing WBL directly, it would be better for this feat to grant a free magic item (or multiple such items) whose value scales with the character's level, and it automatically improves itself (similar to a legacy weapon).

Another option would be to make a feat version of the background bonuses from D&D Next.

themourningstar
2013-06-18, 08:15 PM
I very much agree with Thomas here. I had thought the same once I first read this post. I like the idea, but I would hate to be the dm that had to deal with this. Changing it to "Inheritance" and allowing the PC to have a single magical item that scales with your character. You still get a boost to your wealth, and it is easier on your poor dm.

Tovec
2013-06-19, 12:24 AM
I kind of love this.

The problems for the DM aren't really that existent are they? It is mostly a starting character thing, character starts out with a little bit more gold than their friends. If anything, for the DM is is virtually non-existent because the benefit level to level balances out over time; they would have marginally more than their friends per level, but unless I misunderstand the table it is a difference of 4-6k at higher levels and a few hundred at lower levels. But that is a difference compared to the previous level, so someone who is level 12 but starts with level 13 gold travels around with someone who is level 12 (and lvl 12 gold) who achieves level 13 is losing out on his feat (assuming pay is exactly according to the table) by .. 300 gold. That is practically nothing at that point.

If anything, level+1 in gold and an XYZ that makes enough to pay a stipend to you to make sure you keep up with "level inflation" is all you need for the DM.

Tvtyrant
2013-06-19, 12:29 AM
Or just have an inheritance that coincidentally grants you a ton o gold when you level up. Maybe make it so that a wealthy relative has a group of imps that plane shift you when whenever you "prove yourself" by continuing to be an adventurer like your old uncle was and hand you a bag of cash.

Thomar_of_Uointer
2013-06-19, 01:12 AM
Now that I think about it, there's a feat that's meant to represent a rich family in Eberron called Favored In House. It lets you request a item from your sponsor a few times per week, in addition to other favors, but you're expected to give it back as soon as you're done with it. I think the suggested price tag was 500 gp per level. It left a lot up to the GM, and required d20 checks for each request.

Something like that could be fun to role-play. For example, a wizard who keeps breaking the equipment his college gives him might eventually find himself forced to field-test their dangerous, unstable, and experimental items.

Cheiromancer
2013-06-19, 05:12 AM
I kind of love this.
I'm glad you like it. :smallbiggrin:

...but unless I misunderstand the table it is a difference of 4-6k at higher levels and a few hundred at lower levels. But that is a difference compared to the previous level, so someone who is level 12 but starts with level 13 gold travels around with someone who is level 12 (and lvl 12 gold) who achieves level 13 is losing out on his feat (assuming pay is exactly according to the table) by .. 300 gold. That is practically nothing at that point.

Do you mean the difference between taking the feat a level later? It's a bit more than 300, but still not much. If you take Wealth at 12th you get 28 800. Then when you level up you get another 3 900, for a total of 32 700. edit: this refers to the old version of the feat If you somehow could get a feat at level 13, you would have gotten 33 800, which is 1100 more. Only 1% the wealth of a 13th level character, so pretty close.

It would be easy to change the stipend so that it doesn't matter when you take the feat. But the formula for the stipend would be slightly more complicated: (400 * N) - 200 instead of 300 * N. So you would get a 5000 gold stipend upon reaching level 13, and so the same amount, 33 800, as if you had taken the feat at level 13. (28 800 + 5000).

Now that I think about it, that might be a better way to do it. If you wanted to build a 12th level character who took Wealth at level 6 it would be a pain to figure out how much equipment he has.

edit: Done! The feat and anti-feat have been modified accordingly

If anything, level+1 in gold and an XYZ that makes enough to pay a stipend to you to make sure you keep up with "level inflation" is all you need for the DM.

That was the intention. Even if the DM doesn't both adjusting treasure to make sure character wealth is right, as long as it is a typical campaign the stipend should keep things working smoothly.

Tovec
2013-06-19, 06:38 PM
Yeah, no, I read it wrong. I'm dumb sometimes late at night it seems. Ignore my last post.

Here is what I was trying to say:

{table=head]Level | Normal WBL|Level+1|Difference
2 |900 |2700 |1800
3 |2 700 |5400 |2700
4 |5 400 |9000 |3600
[/table]
And so on.

I dont see how you are going to make up that difference. I still dont think you really need to. Wealth by level is something that really only enters game when someone is just starting out otherwise it might be hard to manage expectations when one person ends up with twice what his friend gets. That is fine though, but perhaps should be best handled in the privilege in house thing that was mentioned earlier. Having to manage an actual gold total to make sure that one person has that much more on them at all times does seem daunting for a DM. I still like the idea though, like I said, as a feat for when players are coming in, no matter what level. Starting with an extra level in gold is hugely worth it in that case and I love the idea.

Cheiromancer
2013-06-19, 07:07 PM
Well, 'when you are just starting out' can mean anything. Depending on the campaign, you might be building a 5th level character or a 15th. Sometimes you need more equipment more than you need a feat.

The DM doesn't have to track player wealth if he doesn't want to. I think the WBL tables are calculated from what typical treasure will be obtained from typical encounters. The most the DM has to do is have some kind of hand-waving explanation for how the character got wealthier at level-up. The table tells him exactly how much to give. What is daunting about that?

My formula doesn't match the WBL at very low levels or at very high levels. It doesn't give quite as much as you would expect. As you point out with your chart. But I think it works well in practice. An extra 200 gp is a big deal at first level. Maybe 50K at 16th level isn't much; if so, I recommend that a player be allowed to retrain it. The character will effectively be buying a bonus feat for a cost of whatever the windfall is at that level. Given that tomes give stat increases, why not a 50K tome that grants a feat? Easily done.

Tovec
2013-06-19, 11:40 PM
Well, 'when you are just starting out' can mean anything. Depending on the campaign, you might be building a 5th level character or a 15th. Sometimes you need more equipment more than you need a feat.
The greatest use I see is when you are starting out, no matter what level that is. Sometimes you need more equipment? Good, take this feat and get extra gold for equipment. Need more feats? Good, do that instead, that's the benefit of a feat.

The DM doesn't have to track player wealth if he doesn't want to. I think the WBL tables are calculated from what typical treasure will be obtained from typical encounters. The most the DM has to do is have some kind of hand-waving explanation for how the character got wealthier at level-up. The table tells him exactly how much to give. What is daunting about that?
Right, but ignoring method the DM uses for assigning treasure, if he has to take an extra step in giving one person extra on top of that - no matter the source - then it is a bit of a pain. Yes it can be mitigated with the table you have there. But I don't know that I would want to have to refer to that when figuring out treasure for my players. Beyond that, I don't think it NEEDS to. Extra gold per level, at any level, is HUGE benefit already. If you are a first level character with 900 gold then you can already tell this. You don't need to get more extra later having 900 at first level is already significant enough IMHO.

My formula doesn't match the WBL at very low levels or at very high levels. It doesn't give quite as much as you would expect. As you point out with your chart. But I think it works well in practice. An extra 200 gp is a big deal at first level. Maybe 50K at 16th level isn't much; if so, I recommend that a player be allowed to retrain it. The character will effectively be buying a bonus feat for a cost of whatever the windfall is at that level. Given that tomes give stat increases, why not a 50K tome that grants a feat? Easily done.
Again, I think the 'Favored In House' feat as it was briefly described works better than a large table. If you start out with extra gold AND that benefit, which comes up fairly rarely but can give great benefit at that time then I think that is pretty much optimal.

I don't think I have anything more to contribute beyond what I've said, so I'll step back. I liked the idea though.

Ashtagon
2013-06-20, 03:10 AM
I'd make a series of feats (which are NOT a feat chain)...

Windfall I

Prerequisite: Character level 5

Benefit: You receive 5000 gp worth of useful treasure or equipment from a campaign-appropriate source (family, guild, church, college, noble lord, etc). GMs should work with the player to choose something mutually agreeable. In addition, you receive a permanent +2 bonus on social interaction checks with that group.

Receiving this gift should be role-played. It may be a special distinction reward in a military campaign, an extra reward for completing a quest, a family heirloom or inheritance, or similar. A key part of this is that the character should need to return "home" to receive it.

Windfall II

Prerequisite: Character level 10

Benefit: As above, except the windfall is worth 20,000 gp.

Windfall III

Prerequisite: Character level 15

Benefit: As above, except the windfall is worth 100,000 gp.

Thomar_of_Uointer
2013-06-20, 12:11 PM
I'd make a series of feats (which are NOT a feat chain)...

Windfall I

Prerequisite: Character level 5

Benefit: You receive 5000 gp worth of useful treasure or equipment from a campaign-appropriate source (family, guild, church, college, noble lord, etc). GMs should work with the player to choose something mutually agreeable. In addition, you receive a permanent +2 bonus on social interaction checks with that group.

Receiving this gift should be role-played. It may be a special distinction reward in a military campaign, an extra reward for completing a quest, a family heirloom or inheritance, or similar. A key part of this is that the character should need to return "home" to receive it.

Windfall II

Prerequisite: Character level 10

Benefit: As above, except the windfall is worth 20,000 gp.

Windfall III

Prerequisite: Character level 15

Benefit: As above, except the windfall is worth 100,000 gp.

Why not just make it one feat, and make the value be based on your level when you take it?

Ashtagon
2013-06-20, 01:59 PM
Why not just make it one feat, and make the value be based on your level when you take it?

Yeah, that probably makes more sense.