Previously I asked a question about my players stating they've been gifted a bar. This hasn't come into play yet because they've been on a road trip. I've been unable to come up with a good reason for existing packs to do this. So instead I think I'm going to make them pay for it (I'm running some backstory stuff just prior to them getting back into town). My question is what would this cost? in game terms more than money, I don't want to make it impossible for them, rather just difficult-ish. E.G. I'm considering 4 dots in resources, but allowing that to be paid for over multiple characters, e.g. if each player bought 1 dot in resources.

update Part of the problem I have with just giving it to them, is they've already suggested abuse via "we get the money from owning the bar". In this case the money was for the road trip, and it wasn't really significant amount of money, and was important to the plot, and thus I wouldn't have asked them to pay for it anyways.

So businesses, are expensive to get started, but they also tend to bring in "disposable income" as it generates profit. if the players intend to use it in this way, and seems that they have. It should cost them in XP. It is possible that it isn't profitable, and this can be a part of their problem. This bar is based on a real world location, that is obviously profitable.

Another thing is a bar would need employees. Only one of the players actually claims to work at the bar, and that's part time as a bouncer.

Basically it seems they've asked me for a free source of income, with no responsibility, and no good story about why they got it. I need to ensure that they avoid abusing it, and I feel like the best way to do that is to ensure they've paid for it in XP.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you mean "Abusing income"? The game is balanced if all things players have are given to all players, not to one. Even if this means giving everyone 2 dots resources for free. Also, in WoD it is generally not a story about how you got the basic money to live. Varst numbers of characters I've seen have very free sources of income, like "Trust Fund" or "unspecified internet ventue". \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Oxinabox interesting considering the level of poverty you claim nwod1 characters have... I suppose I could give everyone a dot in resources, what I may rather do as a result of this, is lay the options out, if they want income from it, they'll have to work on making it profitable. (though maybe I don't really know how to make that interesting). I'm concerned more that they're going to think that having it gives them free access to things. I would rather they RP-ed it and spent XP on it. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ But this is not nwod1, this is nwod2 and the resources merit and how money works has changed. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


In short, this is a matter of story not mechanics.

The Resources Merit is not for that in nWoD-2e. The Resources Merit is for disposable Income. This is a partial change from nwod-1e, where Resources wase for disposable income and total capital.

A bar is not disposable income. It is not even a readily liquidated asset. If the PC's suddenly need cash to pay off a ransom, or pay off a blackmailer, or pay for a hitman; the bar can't be sold quickly enough to be used. It would take many months to sell a bar, it's not a short term source of cash.

Resources (• to •••••) Page 168 God Machine

Effect: This Merit reflects your character’s disposable income. She might live in an upscale condo, but if her income is tied up in the mortgage and child support payments, she might have little money to throw around...

Thus they should not be charged anything for it. It comes down largely to what I said in my answer to that question.

if the players want to play a game about owning a bar, and you are happy to tell a story about a pack of werewolves who own a bar, then go for it...You don't need mechanics to signify owning a business.

Since it seems you are starting play with it, then it doesn't really matter where the money came from. Probably it is a mortgage. If the characters don't have the disposable income for a bank to give them that, then maybe they shifted some of their (explicitly mechanically represented) nondisposable income around -- eg selling another business (and just managing to pay off it's loans), or if they are living in the bar, maybe they sold off their houses, or are spending the money they would spend on rent. None of this money is represented in nWoD GMC.

Similarly, they don't necessarily need the Staff Merit (though this would justify taking them), those merits do not represent someone working for you, they represent someone having certain skills that pertain to a particular mechanical effect:

Staff ( • to •••••) Page 170 God Machine

Effect: Your character has a crew of workers or assistants at her disposal.... Note that you may have employees without requiring the Staff Merit. Staff simply adds a mechanical advantage for those groups.

By letting them have a bar, you have chosen to run a story about a bar. Thus they have all the normal things that happen to bar owners, and perhaps a few more besides.

to quote my other answer again:

"Owning a bar throws up tons of sweet plot hooks. Everything from the mob wants protection money, to the cops finding a patron dead outside, to a wandering Uratha heard about the place and decided to drop in."

Small businesses are often (normally?) owner operated. This means that the owner doesn't have to pay a manager. Small bussiness owner-operators are not wealthy people. Infact many in this situation earn a total of less than there highest paid employees, but do it for the love. This means that if they were paying a manager, they would be making a loss.

If the players are not owner-operators, and there are 4 or 5 of them. The profits are not going to go far at all.

Ergo, it probably doesn't even justerfy purchasing dots of resources for them at the moment. It might pay the bread money, but unless they put some work in, it isn't going to give them much disposable income. Thus they might still be at zero resources

  • \$\begingroup\$ the thing I see about making them pay, in say, resources, is that shows that they had "disposable income" to buy it, but also that it generates some. Though perhaps you're suggesting that the bar shouldn't be remotely profitable. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with it being a story thing, but I'm concerned about player abuse of the resources, and the fact that there's no story about why they have it in the first place. updated question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xenoterracide: A bar that you just treat as a source of income and nothing else very soon ceases to be profitable (ask any bar owner). I would say "It's barely breaking even at the moment and will stay that way till you put some Resources or other effort in"; but YMMV. Regardless, letting the players decide "We got a valuable bonus and don't have to pay for it" is just bad DMing: they should find out in play just what the real cost was. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 20:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ They of course don't get disposable income, unless they spend resources. Whether or not this is because the bar is not profitable is not definate one way or the other by rules. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 22:37

Not mechanics, but story

My preferred way would be to have them pay in story hooks, not resources.

Stick them with a lease (that will require funds or attention at random times of your choosing), an old unpaid tax bill that will attract unwanted attention, and an audit from whatever agency enforces food safety issues in your area and has encountered signs of animal fur in the bar's food/kitchens.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with it being a story thing, but I'm concerned about player abuse of the resources, and the fact that there's no story about why they have it in the first place. updated question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2014 at 17:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @xenoterracide if it brings in, say, $X of profit/month, then a rule of thumb is that purchasing it without having free capital requires a loan that costs approximately $X / month. If they don't 'deserve' resources, don't give free money to them. Furthermore, in nWoD if they would have a profit, then all of it would reflect only in the Resources merit and nothing else - if they need to obtain something, then that always comes from Resources and not from a different pocket called "the bar". \$\endgroup\$
    – Peteris
    Sep 21, 2014 at 18:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .