Wealth is a special attribute that represents a combination of a character's assets, income, living arrangements as well as a rough approximation of a character's general influence at higher levels. Wealth is rated on a scale of 0-20. PCs start with a Wealth of 4 by default.
Common uses for Wealth
The first is to provide a general guideline concerning how one lives.
The second is it may be rolled just like an Extended Skill Roll for some tasks such as gaining access to powerful individuals and organizations.
Another third use is Wealth/2 (rounded down) determines the baseline level of NPCs a PC can readily hire in places where they are available. One notable use of this would be for NPC healers should a character be injured.
Acquiring levels in Wealth is based on three traits a character can buy. To represent a character improving their situation, they may buy the appropriate trait depending on how their position improved. To represent a character's circumstances worsening, they may lower a trait or a trait may be lowered.
Self Made: The most expensive trait which gives one level of Wealth per level of the trait. This represent's a character's Wealth improving by the character's own means and generally can't be removed or reduced without the player choosing to reduce it. In this way, it is the most secure.
Patron: Your character's fate is closely tied to a powerful individual or group. This also grants one level of Wealth per level, but has more limitations such as being subordinate to a more powerful person. This trait can also be reduced or removed depending on actions taken in game. Requires staff approval.
Elite: Your character is a societal elite of some kind. In most places this is nobility but it can differ. This also grants one level of wealth per level and is in terms of BP the cheapest method. However, characters with this trait require staff approval and are expected to be RP generators. In character actions can lead to a character's rank in this trait being changed.
In short, for those who wish to be beholden to none, Self Made is ideal. For those who want a connection to a powerful person Patron will serve best. For those who are RP generators and are willing to be part of a network of special privileges and obligations, Elite is ideal.
General guidelines on Wealth and a character's general financial situation
0: Utter squalor. Has almost nothing, and even the clothes on the character's back may be in wretched condition. Death from undernourishment or disease is imminent.
1: Has the bare minimum of food and clothing needed to survive another day. Shelter is often wherever it can be found on a given day.
2: The character knows where their next meal is coming from, but it's likely poor quality food at best. They have a place to sleep which protects them from the worst of the elements but little else.
3: When it comes to food, clothing, and shelter a character can be treated as equivalent to Wealth 4 for two of them. The other is often lacking and effectively Wealth 2.
4: The character may have a few special items (which are separate from Wealth), but beyond that their means are modest. They likely have a regular room at an inn or other place which provides a place to stay and can afford food of sufficient quality to provide sustenance. This is the situation of a large amount of the population of Kahara.
5: A slight increase from the average. In many respects this is similar to Wealth 4. The largest differences are on the fringes, such as a character being able to afford live entertainment for smaller groups than the large group entertainment available to those at Wealth 4 and below.
6: The character has reliable work for which they are well compensated for at this level, usually. Usually it is either specialized, such as one practicing trade law with modest merchants, or highly dangerous, such as adventurers who have had a couple successful outings. This level is also approximately the Wealth rank of the lowest of nobles who are still acknowledged as being of noble blood. Characters at this rank can usually afford a room at the nicest inn in the area. Those who are able to sustain this level of Wealth or higher but appear outwardly idle are often viewed with suspicion since it is a common view they are either acting in secret or maintaining their wealth via means such as blackmail on a particularly powerful person.
7: The character largely lives similar to Wealth 6, but at this level often starts having a chance to gain access to the more powerful in a region reliably, as they are able to pay for the information, gifts, entertainment, and other such things needed to gain access without making sacrifices themselves. It isn't uncommon at this level for a commoner to have access to a patron in combination with self accumulated wealth.
8: By this level reliable work is rarely enough to sustain this level of wealth. Most characters at this level have ventures and other projects they have put money into. Those who have reliable work at this level often have a patron who can afford to pay them at this level. Adventurers who have had many particularly successful outings may find themselves here, assuming they survive. Many lower rank nobles can be found at this level, but many of them have some form of productive activity which generates income. Occasionally there is an idle person with wealth at this level, but they virtually never rise above Wealth 8. It is at this rank that full houses become viable to have and maintain, including paying taxes. It is at this rank commoners often find lesser nobility start paying attention to them as possible equals rather than lessers and may either see them as possible allies, adversaries, or pawns to use in their ambitions.
9: For commoners, this is just a step below the best they can do without the aid of those more powerful than they are. At this level some commoners may effectively have more privileges than lesser nobility in many regards, as they are able to access regional power brokers and with time and preparation, may even be able to gain access to a country's ruler for a short time. In open view of the court, of course.
10: This is the pinnacle of wealth for most commoners, and a baseline average of wealth for nobles who have some form of tax collection or mining rights. By this level a character almost certainly has investments in various areas which have proven to be successful in addition to a great deal of work. Commoners who reach this level are often merchants or those who have particularly powerful patrons.
11+: At Wealth 11 and above, a character is almost always nobility or royalty or has access to someone with such a title. Powerful mercenary company owners often sit here as well. Merchants can rise to these levels, but they almost always do so thanks to the support of noble or royal patrons and the special privileges only they can grant.
16+: At Wealth 16 and above, a character is not only a powerful member of the nobility or royalty, they also have fabulously successful ventures, tax collection rights, and mining rights. Characters at this level are often the power brokers wherever they are found. Note: Characters at this level are almost always NPCs who may serve as major characters in a plot. Players should consult with staff before using characters at this level of Wealth.