Living Expenses

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Editor’s Note:  This article is adapted from a great little web page by Indy on the Raiders of the Lost Dungeon website.  The site is now off-line but you can find a copy of the original page at

http://web.archive.org/web/20001219183700/http://www2.interconnect.net/indy/expenses.htm

by Indy

Relevant Rules

There are a few sections from the rules that are relevant to determining the cost of living expenses.  All page references are from the original, not remastered, rule books.

Cost of Living

In the Expanded Rules book, p52, it states that “Instead of keeping track of many small expenses, the referee should assume that characters spend one-half of all the money they earn on food, clothes, rent, and other miscellaneous items.”

The Living Expenses section below breaks down where that 50% of their income is going.  This may be more relevant for urban campaigns where the characters are living at home and are only away for short periods.  When they are gone for extended periods, some of these expenses may be different.  It provides a guide to the referee on ways he might adjust that value based on the circumstances.

Length of a Work Week

In the Pay and Experience Point section on page 55 we learn that “The typical work week is five days of work with three days off.”  That, combined with the 400 day year (p 52) leads us to ten 40 day months each composed of 5 weeks.  These are the numbers used in determining the values below.  Thus if a being earns 20 cr/day, their income will be 100 cr/week or 500 cr/month.

Minimum Wage

In the NPC wage table on page 60, the entry for Non-skilled labor is listed at 20 cr/day.  This is taken to be minimum wage and the income for the lowest income category on the Living Expenses table.

Living Expenses

The following sections give the living expenses broken down by expense category and income level.  For each standard of living, a representative income is given, followed by the expenses incurred.

Subsistence (20 cr/day)

Basic Living – expenses: 50 cr/week, 250 cr/month

  • single room apartment – 200 cr/month Poor location
  • food – 10 cr/month basic staples, some treats
  • monorail – 25 cr/month
  • miscellaneous (clothing, etc.) – ~15 cr/month very few items, clothes look it

Poor (30 cr/day)

Moderate Living – expenses:  75 cr/week, 375 cr month

  • single room apartment  – 300 cr/month okay location
  • food  – 20 cr/month decent, occasional meal out
  • monorail – 25 cr/month
  • miscellaneous – ~30 cr/month very occasional movie, nightclub

Struggling (50 cr/day)

Good Living – expenses:  125 cr/week, 625 cr/month

  • double room apartment – 450 cr/month okay location
  • food – 45 cr/month good food, sometimes meal out
  • monorail – 30 cr/month
  • miscellaneous – 100 cr/month some movies, nightclubs, decent restaurants

Lower Middle Class

(70 cr/day)

Better Living – expenses:  175 cr/week, 875 cr/month

  • 2 bedroom or large double room apartment –  600 cr/month nice location or better location
  • food 60 – cr/month some luxuries
  • monorail – 35 cr/month
  • miscellaneous – 180 cr/month

Middle Middle Class

(90 cr/day)

Decent Living – expenses:  225 cr/week, 1125 cr/month

  • Large apartment or 2 bedroom house – 700 cr/month nice location or better location
  • food – 100 cr/month really good, some luxuries, eat out
  • monorail – 35 cr/month
  • miscellaneous – 290 cr/month

Upper Middle Class

(110 cr/day)

Well Off – expenses:  272 cr/week, 1360 cr/month

  • as above, but luxury housing – 800 cr/month better location
  • food – 125 cr/month
  • monorail – 35 cr/month
  • miscellaneous – 400 cr/month nightclubs, movies, misc

Lower Upper Class

(150 cr/day)

Rich – expenses:  370 cr/week, 1850 cr/month

  • as above but even nicer housing – 1000 cr/month
  • food – 215 cr/month
  • monorail – 35 cr/month
  • miscellaneous – 600 cr/month
Notes
  • Prices will be somewhat more expensive on stations, and the quarters smaller. But stations also may not have monorail fees.
  • Prices for each category are minimum guidelines for each standard of living and consider only a single person.

Editor’s comments

Food Costs Too Low

Personally, I feel that Indy’s numbers for food are a little low. The cost of 4 days of survival rations in the AD rules is 2 cr.  So for a 40 day month, living just on survival rations, that works out to 20 credits a month for food, double the amount listed for the Subsistence level.  And I’d argue that the survival rations, while specially formulated and therefore slightly pricier than “regular” food, still represent an absolute lowest value for food for a month.  Even fresh food at the subsistence level probably costs more.  However, we’ve presented Indy’s numbers here unaltered.  As with any rule or guide, feel free to adjust them as you see fit for your campaign.

Savable Income

These numbers assume that the person on that income is saving half of their income or has it available for discretionary spending per the Alpha Dawn rules.  At the lower income levels, this probably isn’t true.  You’re not going to be saving that much money if it means you’re going without food, shelter, or clothing.  You’re going to spend that money on the necessities first.  Thus you could easily increase the basic costs of living in general and still survive on the 20 cr/day, you just wouldn’t be saving half of your income.

Transportation

At the higher income levels, I’d personally probably increase the transportation costs by factoring in privately owned vehicles.  It’s great to take the monorail but it’s also nice to have your own car (and possibly driver).  That’s another factor that can be adjusted to provide some variety to the above values.