Howdy All and Happy Friday!
Two weeks ago saw the release of the newest expansion for the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game, Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed! Once I got the new IK book in my hands, it sparked a wave of nostalgia for the game, which culminated in a session with my players where we revisited our old characters (before starting our 5th Edition D&D campaign, we had played the Iron Kingdoms RPG for over 2 years).
One issue that we found with the IK RPG rules, as written, was the wonky way that income and money worked. The prices in the core book seemed to have been set arbitrarily, which was confirmed for me by one of the designers on the Privateer Press forums, and there was no information as to how much money characters should be earning in the course of their activities.
Unfortunately, my IK RPG campaign had the players serving as mercenaries who wanted to get paid, so I needed to come up with some rules that would work with the prices, as written, in the core IK RPG rulebook.
The following are the rules I created for use with the IK RPG.
INCOME AND STATUS IN THE IRON KINGDOMS
As promised, I have finally put some thought into how to deal with the issue of income for the Iron Kingdoms RPG, and this is what I’ve come up with (which, for those who are interested, is largely adopted from the way the GURPS RPG deals with it, with some elements taken from Shadowrun).
So, the way your monthly spending cash will be calculated is based on what job you have (which gives you your monthly income) and what Status you are living (which gives you your monthly cost of living).
At the end of each month, you will make a job skill roll, which will determine how that month’s income went (whether you earned more, on a successful check, or whether you fucked up royal, on a critical failure).
The following table summarizes what the monthly income for some sample jobs, along with the relevant skills used and the penalty for a critical failure on your job roll.
|Job||Monthly Income||Success Roll||Critical Failure|
|Beggar||11 gold||TN 10 Negotiation||No income|
|Farm Laborer||11 gold||TN 10 Physique||Lose job|
|Street Thief||14 gold||TN 12 Streetwise or Pickpocket (player’s choice)||3 months in jail|
|Street Vendor||14 gold||TN 12 Negotiation||No income|
|Tenant Farmer||16 gold||TN 12 Intellect||No income|
|Clerk||40 gold||TN 12 Bribery, Law or Lore: Mathematics||Lose job|
|Cavalryman||40 gold plus room and board||TN 12 Hand Weapon, Lance, Pistol, or Riding (player’s choice)||Roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book)|
|Infantryman||40 gold plus room and board||TN 12 Pistol or Rifle||Roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book)|
|Inventor||20 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 12 Alchemy, Craft (Gunsmithing or Metalworking), or Mechanikal Engineering||No income and roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book).|
|Laborer||40 gold||TN 12 Strength||Lose job|
|Performer||20 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 12 Fell Calling or Oratory||No income|
|Petty Thief||30 gold||TN 13 Streetwise or Pickpocket (player’s choice)||3 months in jail|
|Porter||30 gold||TN 12 Command (if ‘Jack Marshal) or Strength||Lose job|
|Sailor||40 gold plus room and board||TN 12 Sailing||Roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book)|
|Servant/Lackey||30 gold plus room and board||TN 12 Etiquette||Lose job|
|Teacher||25 gold||TN 12 Lore||Lose job|
|Thug||30 gold||TN 14 Military Skill||3 months in jail|
|Writer||20 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 12 Deception, Etiquette, Law, Research, or Streetwise||No income|
|Actor||40 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 12 Fell Calling or Oratory||Lose job|
|Army Officer||80 gold plus room and board||TN 12 Command||Roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book)|
|Bureaucrat||60 gold||TN 12 Bribery, Etiquette or Law||Lose job|
|Factory Worker||60 gold||TN 10 Agility||Roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book)|
|Gambler||40 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 12 Gambling||No income or roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book) (player’s choice)|
|Man of Science||40 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 13 Alchemy, Craft (Gunsmithing or Metalworking), Lore (Any Science), or Mechanikal Engineering||Lose job (and be ridiculed)|
|Merchant||50 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 12 Negotiation||No income|
|Navy Officer||80 gold plus room and board||TN 12 Command||Roll on Injury Table (pg. 217 of Core Book)|
|Parish Clergyman||60 to 100 gold, depending on parish||TN 12 Lore (Related Faith) or Oratory||Lose job|
|Shop Owner||40 x Skill Ranks gold plus room and board||TN 12 Negotiation||No income|
|Skilled Craftsman||40 x Skill Ranks gold||TN 12 Craft||No income|
|Surgeon||90 gold||TN 12 Medicine||No income|
|Thief||60 gold||TN 14 Streetwise or Pickpocket (player’s choice)||6 months in jail|
|Aristocracy||160 gold plus 50 gold from property||TN 12 Etiquette||No income (but still receives gold from property)|
|Army General/Naval Admiral||160 gold plus room and board||TN 13 Command||No income|
|Diplomat||160 gold||TN 13 Etiquette||Lose job|
|Lawyer||160 gold||TN 12 Law||No income|
|Master Craftsman||160 gold||TN 13 Craft||No income|
|Merchant Ship Captain||160 gold plus room and board||TN 13 Negotiation||No income|
|Office-holder||180 gold||TN 12 Oratory||Lose job|
|Physician||160 gold||TN 13 Medicine||No income|
|Smuggler||160 gold||TN 12 Sailing or Streetwise||One year in jail|
|High Church Official||400 gold||TN 12 Bribery, Etiquette, or Lore (Related Faith)||Income drops by 10%|
|Professional Investor/Manufacturer||800 gold||TN 12 Negotiation||No income|
|Titled Nobility||600 gold plus 100 gold from property||TN 13 Etiquette||Property income reduces by 10 gold per month.|
When you make your monthly skill roll, compare the result to the contested Negotiations table on pg. 118 of the Core Book, looking at the Contract Offer column to determine how much you earn per month, if you are successful. If you fail, compare it to the Purchase Price column.
For example, if you are playing a character working as a Merchant Ship Captain, and you roll a 16 on your monthly Negotiation check, 3 more than the TN of 13, you would earn 126 gold for that month. However, if you rolled a 10 for your check the following month, 3 less than the TN, you would only earn 144 gold that month.
The following table summarizes the various Status ranks, what they cost per month, and what you get with each.
|Status Rank||Lifestyle||Cost of Living per Month|
|-2||Known criminal, prostitute, beggar, vagrant.
Live on the streets, eking out a living on a day to day basis.
|-1||Casual worker, servant.
Live in very meagre quarters provided by employer or in low income flophouse.
|0||Shopkeeper, journeyman, laborer.
Either owns a humble residence or rents an apartment for his/her family.
|1||Rural gentleman, lawyer, merchant, master craftsman, priest.
Owns his/her own property with a few servants. Enjoys some of the high life, but only on special occasions.
|2||Knight, Lawyer, Great Merchant, Senior Priest.
Owns his/her own property with some servants or has access to his/her employer’s standard of living. Enjoys more of the high life on a regular basis.
|3||Landed Lords, Ranking Church Officials.
Owns several properties with many servants. Very well acquainted with the high life (though likely unfamiliar with the way most people live).
So, to calculate your actual income (and what you have access to for spending money each month), you take your monthly income and subtract the cost of living from your applicable Status. For example, if you’re a status 0 mercenary working as an Infantryman, you would normally subtract the 60 gold cost of living from your monthly income of 40 gold leaving a net of…negative 20 gold? That may not seem to make sense, but there is a explanation.
For some jobs, such as Infantryman, you get your room and board (and, often, an ammunition and coal allowance), meaning that you don’t need to pay for your status while you’re working in those jobs, allowing you to save up your money while you are working. However, once you leave that job, you quickly find yourself unable to pay for the standard of living (the Status) that you have grown accustomed to, which often means you need to go back to work in no time at all.
As an example, let’s say that our friend Andrei Stoyanovich, a Status 0 soldier, accepts a mercenary contract as a Cavalryman for six months.
Assuming he spends none of his money for the duration of the contract, Andrei would earn 240 gold for the six month stretch and not have to pay for his monthly status cost of living.
However, once the contract ended, Andrei would have to start paying his standard of living cost again, at 60 gold per month for Status 0, meaning if he did not spend that saved money on anything else, he could only last for four months before being flat broke.
So, what happens if you do not pay your standard of living for one month? Good question.
For each month that you do not make your monthly payment, you need to roll one die. If you roll higher than the number of months you have missed, nothing happens (your savings, etc… are assumed to handle the costs of living from that month). However, if you roll equal to, or lower than, the number of missed months, your status drops by one permanently.
You may ask, what happens when you his -2 Status and stop making your monthly payments? Well, for each month you do not make a monthly payment of 10 gold, you roll one die. If you roll higher than the number of months you have missed, nothing happens. However, if you roll equal to, or lower than, the number of missed months, you make a roll on the Injury Table (pg. 217 of the Core Book) and the count of unpaid month restarts at zero.
Fortunately, the Iron Kingdoms have room for the upwardly mobile. If you decide that you want to buy up one rank of Status, you need only pay a one-time fee equal to 100 times the monthly cost of living (so, to move up from Status 0 to Status 1, it would cost your character 12,000 gold).
TIME TO EARN THAT MONEY, SOLDIER!
For those of you who run or play an Iron Kingdoms game, I hope these rules help fill a hole that we found in the rules as written.
Until next time, I remain;
- THE DUNGEON MUSER