Wealth and Class
Wealth is a special attribute that follows slightly different rules from other attributes. Your character's Wealth rating is a measure of how much surplus money or other economic resources they can bring to bear at any given point. Note that this has little to do with your nobility or lack thereof. You may be a wealthy merchant of common stock or an impoverished noble from a distinguished family. Remember that the setting of the game is a salon held by the socially elite Countess of Danforth, and that even with her propensity to value how interesting her guests are over their social standing, she does maintain a certain standard of behavior and would not insult her more discerning guests by asking them to mingle with unsavory characters. Thus, wealth ratings are skewed towards the upper end of the financial scale. The values are –1, 0, 1 and 2. They represent the following:
Wealth = -1: Dependent.
This indicates that the character does not have sufficient personal wealth to enable them to attend a social event hosted by someone of the stature of the Countess on their own, and therefore they must be here at the behest of another character. You are lower class or middle class, perhaps a servant, a poor relation, or maybe an artist attending with their patron. If your lodgings are not provided for you, at best you might have a small house or rent a flat, but nothing extravagant. Your clothes will be plain, provided, inherited or worn.
Mechanics: It is possible to buy this down, meaning that taking this potentially-crippling impediment provides an extra character point which you may spend on something else. Your time between sessions is not your own, and you must generally get approval from your patron for your actions or risk their wrath. It does not provide any Monetary influence each session.
Important note: Please be very careful when choosing this rating for your character! You will be expected to be dependent on and accountable to your patron, and if for some reason there is an in-character falling out, you will need to find another patron immediately, or spend a character point to buy it off (with appropriate story as well). The GMs will be cautious when approving this. The only real reason to take this is because it is the only thing that makes sense for the character.
Wealth = 0: Well-to-do.
Your character has the income appropriate for their profession, position or rank. You have enough money to exist comfortably and travel as needed to get to the salons. You are upper middle class or lower upper class. You probably own a home, possibly a sizable one, or perhaps a modest townhouse and a modest country house. Your wardrobe is generally appropriate for the season, and you may have a choice of jewelry for different occasions. You may employ domestic servants, and one or more may commonly travel with you. You might occasionally spend the summer out of the country, and can afford some Terran luxuries if that's where your interests lie. That said, significant financial investment is beyond you.
Mechanics: This is the default value; most characters will have this. No exchange of character points is necessary. It indicates that the character is well-off enough to travel at will, or at least has some source of resources that enables them to attend the salons, but does not provide them with surplus in a quantity to be significant in game. You do not receive any Monetary influence to spend each session.
Wealth = 1: Wealthy.
Your character is wealthy, though not prominent; you’re probably a banker, industrialist, or minor noble. You are of the wealthy middle class or solidly upper class. You may own several residences, or an impressive townhouse and a substantial country estate. Your wardrobe is always current, and you have an impressive jewelry selection. Each of your residences has a staff, and you travel with a valet and probably at least one other servant. You travel whenever you want, and are familiar with other European countries. You can afford a wide range of luxuries, art objects, and the like, including fanciful items imported from Mars or Venus.
Mechanics: This rating indicates that the character has considerable wealth, and has expendable income sufficient to fund limited game activities. It requires that you spend 1 character point to get this at character generation, or 2 later on. In return you receive 1 Monetary influence to spend each session.
Wealth = 2: Filthy Rich.
Your character is upper class and extremely wealthy. You own a couple of impressive estates, and have residences in several countries. Your wardrobe is likely to set fashion trends, and your jewelry and art collection make you a common target for attempted robberies. You have a staff of servants and whatever specialists you are likely to need. You are extremely well-traveled on Earth. You can afford whatever luxuries are available through normal means, and you probably own something rare and impressive, such as a personal ether-ship, a famous country estate or work of art, or a legendary piece of jewelry.
Mechanics: This rating indicates that the character has more money than they know what to do with, and has expendable income sufficient to fund multiple game activities. It requires that you spend 2 additional character points (3 total) to get this at character generation, or 3 additional later on. In return you receive 2 Monetary influence to spend each session.