Starting Equipment for Characters Leveled Up Through an XP Reserve

How do other judges handle starting gear for characters who begin at higher than 1st level thanks to an XP reserve?  One of my players recently retired a venturer character following a remarkable bit of arbitrage involving mule-loads of gems being transported into human lands from an otherwise closed dwarven citadel.  None of the other PCs wanted to go in with him on it, so he shouldered the costs alone and reaped the entire profit of the venture.  Unfortunately, the disinterest the other PCs displayed in his dreams of mercantile glory meant that the player felt his newly wealthy and powerful merchant princess had no further place alongside her former companions.  He donated the windfall to his XP reserve and closed the book on the tale of her mercantile empire (she will continue as an NPC, most likely).

The upshot of it is that he's now starting his replacement character most of the way to 7th level (average party level is right in that range).

He wants to know what level of wealth his new character possesses, and the extent to which said wealth can be leveraged for magical gear.

The new character has no connection to his previous one within the game world, not to mention the fact that the former character is retiring voluntarily and thus presumably keeping their remaining wealth, so the standard rules for an heir seem not to be applicable.

Now, I've already made a ruling on this question (a generous one, I must say), but I'm curious how other Judges have ruled or would hypothetically rule if such a circumstance arose in their own game.

I would use the Starting Above 1st Level rules at the end of the core book (ACKS Core page 253) as a guideline.

That's what I wound up doing, essentially.  I modified the starting wealth as a ratio of the character's initial XP vis-a-vis the 20,000 XP Adventurer benchmark.  Since the character began with roughly 60,000 XP from the reserve, that translated to a 48,000 gp nest egg.

It feels too generous.

R...really? I mean, even assuming you give them the ability to buy items around the worth of 10k+ no problem (quite reasonable over a supposed lifetime) the fact that any magic item you buy is at double cost for purchasing means that 48k goes very quickly. Given that most equipment is expected to be found not bought, it's likely that they'll only have basic equipment (+1 weapon, +1 armour = 20k off the bat)

I suppose you could do quite a bit with other uses, but as long as you have some basic oversight in to what they spend it on (this wealth was accumulated over a lifetime, they didn't just win the lottery) there shouldn't be any major problems as far as I could see.

The ratio changes later for the advanced starting rules, but 48KGP on 60KXP is the 80% ratio of treasure XP to monster XP.

I'd had the same reaction when I'd calculated things out - I think part of it is that the 48KGP, for example, spread out over the 6 or 7 levels, gets spent differently than having it all at once - the general flow of the game takes it out in bits and pieces rather than as single big items.

But, as Nimas points out, the overspend on acquiring a magic item rather than letting chance have it's way does make sure the windfall isn't that large.

What might be cool is some sort of structured system to roll a set of treasure hoards, emulating in some part a more natural "leveling experience".


What might be cool is some sort of structured system to roll a set of treasure hoards, emulating in some part a more natural “leveling experience”.

Hm. Abstract out a random encounter table to determine hoard type, then roll on them an appropriate number of times based on the XP desired.

That could be arranged, in theory.

Probably could be weighted by character level based off the Dungeon Encounter tables in the core book.

The distribution of items might be an interesting problem. What might be fun is randomly generating a party for the advanced character, perhaps at predefined intervals, and basing item distribution off that (so the wizard at the 3-5th level interval got that Fireball Wand, let's say, so our advanced character instead got some other item or equiv. treasure value...)

...we could probably sit and conjecture enough complications for this we wouldn't even have to actually play the game any more, just run a script and see what happened...replace the DM with a very small shell script. :)



I don’t remember the name but that was a game when I was in college >.>

You just ran the program and every so often you checked to see what monsters your party had slain and what loot they had acquired.

… I don’t think we’ve ever had a reserve-XP’d character come in with magic gear, actually. But we always run a surplus of magic swords, and you can usually take the dead PC’s armor and maybe barter it around the party for something your class can use. OTOH, we’ve also never had a reserve-XP character start higher than about 5th level, with henchman inheritance being strongly preferred (which gives you better opportunities to gear them).