Hey folks. There were a lot of good responses to my last post that were useful. I do want to address the idea of a Wealth stat - or die and the problems I have had with it. Also I wanted to go more into detail about how purchases add or don't add to the game play experience.
The Wealth TraitThis suggestion came up and to tell the truth I was using this several years ago in one of my first Savage Games. The problem I and my players found was in the swingy-ness of the rolls. For example-
- The player in question wants to buy a new pistol. He rolls his wealth die and fails. So he moves on to another vendor and decides to buy a car. He aces the roll and buys a car. This actually happened and left the player questioning how he could have enough money for a car but not a pistol.
So the randomness doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Even if you figure in some haggling, the odds that someone could haggle a new car down to below the cost of a common firearm breaks belief.
Which brings me to the gameplay experience
Now was there anything wrong with just letting the character buy the gun? It wasn't going to break my game so it really isn't an issue of balance. In Savage Worlds there isn't a power creep of items like you have in D&D. Sure a Bazooka is more powerful than a pistol but it has several built-in drawbacks: weight, slow reload time, lack of concealability, and the fact that any law enforcement will shoot at you on sight.
The mechanic of purchasing equipment is binary, meaning you either can buy it or can't. There's no challenge in purchasing, no extraordinary successes. You either get it or you don't. I'm not sure that it qualifies as a fun game mechanic. Even in D&D, the characters eventually gain enough money to make purchase-limitations inconsequential.
Ultimately equipment acquisition comes down to game balance. Do you want the characters to have access to that or not. If you deem the object to be too powerful, you will find a reason that the heroes can't have it even if they can afford it, and whether you are counting coins or not.
Love to hear more feedback.