Death may Die
Your background and traits have, up to this point, generated a trait called Resources. This reflects your characters assets available for obtaining useful things at your own discretion. Note that many people get equipment useful to their careers from the people who employ them. Soldiers, for instance, don’t typically have to buy their own firearms. This is personal asset.
The Resources Trait
The Resources trait functions much like a Skill. It has marks, and it is used in rolls. It doesn’t have a true Attribute base. Instead, it’s based on the character’s Strata. When spending Attribute Points, you spend Access.
When you want to buy something simple, typically you just use your Resources. The difficulty is based on how much asset you need to acquire it. This might be complicated by the need for licensing, red tape at acquisition, background checks, etc. Thus, the Resources difficulty isn’t always flat-out dependent on the actual money cost. Indeed, many transactions aren’t in money at all, but other useful things (personal services, favor trading, etc.).
You may need to use Skills just to gain access. For instance, trading on the black market may require Dealing.
Sometimes you need to push yourself to the front of the line. Some goods require special licensing, credit checks, and other things that technically anybody can arrange. However, it still takes time, and more importantly it takes exertion of personal assets. Some goods you have to spend one or more points of Access just to get a chance to purchase them, even if you only intend to Rote the attempt.
Once you have the goods available for purchase, you need to attempt to use your Resources to obtain them. If a Rote is all you need, you can pay for it practically or literally out of pocket. Otherwise, you will have to start spending Access.
Every Roll of your Resources die costs one point of Access. Keep rolling until you succeed or until you run out. (If the GM allows, you might be permitted to simply “give up,” but there should be some time before you can try again.) Once you succeed, you get it free and clear.
It’s always possible to get something on a loan. Many goods have purchase difficulties above 12, which is impossible for anybody to pay out of pocket (there isn’t enough capital throughput available to siphon that much resource at once). This is where financing comes in. The total purchase value cannot be higher than your Access times your Resources die.
Example: Dina Watson has three marks of Resources and a Strata of 6. Three marks gives her a d8. That’s (8 × 6), or 48. That’s the maximum loan debt she can accrue.
Once something gets filed into loan debt, it becomes a Labor that requires quality-months rather than quality-days. Every month you accumulate your Resources Rote towards paying off the debt. The quality-months required is equal to the purchase value times 10.
While this is happening, you’re also short Access. Take the total purchase value of debt (the Labor value divided by 10). Divide that by your Resources die (round up). You’ve automatically “spent” this many points of Access, and cannot use those points for any other purpose.
Example: Dina purchases something with a purchase value of 30. She finances it. It’s below her maximum, so now she’s accumulating a Labor of 300 in quality-months. With three marks of Resources, she accumulates 4 quality-months towards paying it off every month. She should have it paid off in 75 months, over six years away. While she’s paying it off, she’s short (30 / 8 =) 4 points of Access. This leaves her with only 2 points. It’s what one might call “crushing debt.”
You can, technically, spend that extra Access. However, it will cost you. For every Access that you spend from the amount you should have socked away, you lose one point of Standing. If your Strata falls such that your current debt is greater than your maximum, you’ve defaulted entirely. You lose one point of Standing for every 10 points of Labor still outstanding.
Resources Marks and Socioeconomic Class
You might be wondering what socioeconomic class you fall into with a given Resources. Well, it’s very approximate, but here’s some suggestions.
|Resources Marks||Approximate Social Class|
|0||Homeless or welfare dependent|
|1||Below the poverty line|
|3||Lower middle class|
|5||Upper middle class|
|7||High privilege class|