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> Cost of Living Breakdown, SSG doesn't give enough detail...
TheOneRonin
post Nov 10 2003, 10:41 PM
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This idea was sparked by the "Hourly Wage" thread.

Has anyone put together the house rules on the individual expenses involved in cost of living? SSG is really abstract in the way it handles things...not at all what I was hoping for. If abstract is fine for you, then skip this thread. If it's not, then let's hear how you handle it.

Here's some examples of things that need some clarification:

After a run, Runner Bob gets his hands on a vehicle (for free) and a year's worth of gas. How would this affect his cost of living?

Later, Runner Bob ends up owning a house. Since he doesn't pay rent or make payments, how will this affect his cost of living?

What about taxes, food, and other costs?
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Siege
post Nov 10 2003, 10:49 PM
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My group has always had a hard time justifying a vehicle or transportation as part of the lifestyle.

We tended to look at it as rent and utilities and basic entertainment like trid, satellite, cable or DSL as well as basic food.

If you wanted extra stuff, you dropped extra cash on the expense and dealt with it as part of the character cost. Like vehicles were handled seperately, if a runner with a "low" lifestyle wanted better food, he made a note to the GM that he spent an extra hundred or so nuyen a month to stock his fridge with better-than-kibble and/or takeout.

-Siege

Edit: If Bob owns a house, the 5k he was spending in rent gets translated to mortgage, taxes and so on. /Edit
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 10 2003, 10:51 PM
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The vehicle/year worth of gas is sticky. It very much depends on your GM.

Taxes, food, and other costs are all covered under the general heading of "lifestyle." Owning a house has the same lifestyle costs as renting an apartment; not entirely accurate to life but a lot simpler than doing comparisons. If you want to start doing comparisons, I leave that to someone else to muddle through.

~J
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nezumi
post Nov 10 2003, 10:53 PM
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The only time I've run into cost of living details (beyond what sort of posters are on the wall and how tidy the house is) is when, after doing a drive by I politely informed the GM I don't actually own a vehicle.

COLA is nicely abstract and I never include vehicles under it (although I do include gas fr a commuter car and buses). Since a year's worth of gas at today's prices are about $480-1000 a year and the bus is free, I don't generally consider it really worth worrying about unless the guy flies a helicopter to work and lives in a cardboard box. In my experience, food is about 1/2 to 1/4 of the monthly expenses, depending on how many people you're taking care of, and I don't feel especially compelled to take it into account financially since it's still not a huge amount of money. Although, that does mean that your troll should definitely look into paying off his middle lifestyle all the way before getting the symbiotes and thyroid enhancements (which triple his lifestyle cost because of food).

Taxes I'd include under income, either you've got it or you don't. Taxes are largely invisible to me as a leaser. "Other costs" are mostly rare and one time only.
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TheOneRonin
post Nov 10 2003, 10:57 PM
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Sure, owning a house can cost as much as an apartment (often times less), IF you are making payments. If the house is paid for, then owning is WAY cheaper than renting. Sure, I'm nit-picking, but I'm just not staisfied with the lifestyle rules as they are.

I mean, if a runner has the cash to flat-out buy a house AND has the means to do it, what would you do as a GM to adjust his lifestyle costs to reflec this?
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Siege
post Nov 10 2003, 11:01 PM
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If you don't mind house-ruling the entire thing, fix an arbitrary number and run with it.

Guess-timate at the cost of property value and subsequent tax based on location, utilities per month and various other expenses and let the player pay that a month.

Use the SSG as a guideline for other expenses that exist in the future of SR and commence.

-Siege
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TinkerGnome
post Nov 10 2003, 11:32 PM
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For vehicles, your lifestyle includes a small amount of cash paid toward vehicle maintenance as listed in Rigger 3, but the rest of the maintenance is your responsibility. Free gas, huh? Well, that'll help some... but what about oil changes, parking fees, vehicle taxes, washes for the blasted thing, etc.? You still have to handle those :)

For an owned house, check p133 of SSG.
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Talia Invierno
post Nov 13 2003, 08:58 PM
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Don't forget insurance in those places where on-the-spot proof of insurance is required and for some reason the runner hasn't been able to get it forged.

Still, there's lots of vehicles out there which are worth less than the cost of gas etc. required to run them. We never found including a basic tube transit pass to be a problem. If any individual group has a problem with including non-public transportation, the GM could always rule the vehicle is a junker, or is more than 10-15 years old and has acquired some "quirks". ("What do you mean, it's turning over but it won't start?") One vehicle in our group has been officially declared a dependent.

Personally, I find any kind of accommodation easy to build with the SSG. It gives a useful template - but it's only a template. A little creative imagination has to fill in the blanks. I personally like detail, as much as I can get - and I've always used templates as springboards in this regard. Others in our group prefer the broader strokes of the BBB: "What kind of lifestyle?" "Medium." "Okay."
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Lantzer
post Nov 14 2003, 04:58 AM
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QUOTE (TheOneRonin)
Sure, owning a house can cost as much as an apartment (often times less), IF you are making payments. If the house is paid for, then owning is WAY cheaper than renting. Sure, I'm nit-picking, but I'm just not staisfied with the lifestyle rules as they are.

I mean, if a runner has the cash to flat-out buy a house AND has the means to do it, what would you do as a GM to adjust his lifestyle costs to reflec this?

Well, the SSG has rules for that sort of thing. Figure out the fraction of the total
lifestyle the house takes care of (neighborhood, security, space, etc).

You can buy that fraction of the lifestyle permanently in the normal way: pay 100x
monthly cost.

The remaining fraction is what you pay every month.

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snowRaven
post Nov 15 2003, 03:34 AM
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If you want to own a house/apt/whatever - just combine the SSG rules wih the permanent lifestyle rules - BUY the location/size and other 'fixed' parts for 100 times the cost.Then simply deduct those monthly costs from your lifestyle.
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