(With thanks to Geoffrey Fagan, andi jones, and the rest of the GURPSnet crew)
The GM should define Standard Work Hours, Standard Capital and Standard Discretionary Income for the campaign. If you wish to tie wealth more closely to Status, set Standard Capital and/or Discretionary Income individually for each Status level; see the discussion of Status, below.
|Increased Capital||5 points/level|
You have more capital than average. Each level increases your capital according to the following progression: ×2, ×5, ×10, ×20, ×50, ×100, etc.
Special limitation: The increase only affects one part of your capital, either the cash or the goods. -50%.
|Increased Discretionary Income||5 points/level|
You have more discretionary income than average. Each level increases your discretionary income according to the following progression: ×2, ×5, ×10, ×20, ×50, ×100, etc.
|Reduced Work Hours||1 point/level|
You spend fewer hours involved in work-related activities than average. Each level reduces hours worked by 10%.
|Increased Work Hours||-1 point/level|
You spend more hours involved in work-related activities than average. Each level reduces your free time by three hours per week.
|Reduced Capital||-5/-10/-15 points|
You have less capital than average. Each level reduces your capital according to the following progression: ×1/2, ×1/5, negligible.
Special enhancement: The decrease only affects one part of your capital, either the cash or the goods. -50%.
|Reduced Discretionary Income||-5/-10/-15 points|
You have less discretionary income than average. Each level reduces your discretionary income according to the following progression: ×1/2, ×1/5, negligible.
|Severe Debt||-20 points|
Not only do you have no discretionary income, you cannot even pay for essentials without using up some of your capital. If you do not do this there will be serious consequences such as starvation, loss of status, or imprisonment.
This disadvantage includes three levels of Reduced Discretionary Income.
These rules completely replace the following published GURPS rules:
Naturally, while I can see the validity of these arguments, they don't convince me...
With these rules, the income from the Jobs Table becomes no more than a guideline for setting discretionary income. In freelance jobs, an average should be assumed; the roll can still be made to see how much more (or less) money the character has available in any particular month.
The role of Status in these rules provoked the greatest variety of opinion in discussions on GURPSnet and Pyramid; about the only point of agreement was that the rigid link between Status and Cost of Living was a problem. My recommendations:
With these rulings, the Status trait includes the means to live appropriately at your Status level and you never need to worry about the actual monetary value of Monthly Cost of Living.
It may be desirable to go further, so that (for instance) a knight can own his land/horse/armour without paying extra points for wealth. To do this, define Standard Capital or Standard Discretionary Income as a multiple of Monthly Cost of Living (MCL). In a published setting, the Standard Capital multiple can be calculated by dividing Standard Starting Wealth by the Status 0 MCL (for example, Fantasy is 5×MCL and Modern is 25×MCL); the Standard Discretionary Income multiplier can be estimated from the Jobs Table (e.g., p. B194) by dividing average income for an average job by the Status 0 MCL, then subtracting 1. In the ancient world this should be a small fraction (people didn't have much to spare). Most later historical and SF settings should be in the range (½–1½)×MCL; Fantasy is exceptional at 3×MCL. My only problems with this are that it increases complexity and that (in my opinion) it makes the Status advantage too cheap.
Some traits overlap with these rules, modifying the amount of money or free time you have. To avoid getting points back for the same disadvantage twice (or paying extra for an advantage) it is necessary to set some conditions.
The value of wealth will vary depending on the campaign; I recommend using these rules in conjunction with my suggestions for pricing social traits. For instance, I have set the cost of Reduced Work Hours between half and two-thirds the cost of less sleep. This makes sense to me but means that not working is twice as expensive as Independent Income; you can restore compatibility with current rules by halving the cost of the work hours traits.
andi jones came up with a great way of defining campaigns based on how wealth is gained: