Alright, so, one of my group members comes from a noble family. They own their fair share of ships and have the wealth and connections that they have their own industry in shipping and transport.
The party used one of their ships and managed to capture the boat of some pirates.
Now, the player with the wealthy family, has made the ship his own, with "joint custody" with the rest of the members of the group.
Now, he's wanting to use his family's resources to make this ship be one like his family's that works in shipping and what not, and eventually have their own fleet once they capture other boats.
Now, I'm all for this. I love the idea. But, what kind of income are they looking at? They got a bank note off the same boat they captured to help fund the first boat and get it started and what not.
But, what kind of income would the players be looking at each month/week/day? I'm not entirely sure how this would work.
Edition doesn't really matter; work up something relative to your campaign's wealth-by-level standards, or let them make whatever money you decide, but it can only be spent on things such as hiring new crew, building other ships, gaining shipping contracts, and so on, rather than their own personal wealth. I've done stuff similar to that before, and it works great. The players get the sense of gaining the wealth, as well as managing its usage, and it's not game-breaking. IF you do it that way though, make sure to still provide them with some personal loot as well, or they will feel as if their hard earned resources are being tapped for outside usage.
It depends on what trade goods they can get there hands on, I would think. Of course they'll have to find someplace where they can buy it for a low price and then take it elsewhere where it is more expensive. So the frequency of payment depends on however long it takes to sail from one destination to the next. Then, you have to pay you're crew. For simplicities sake you might just assume they take the same cargo to the same place everytime, but its still going be a function of what the cargo is worth, how much of a profit you can get on it and how much of it you can haul. I know the 3e PHB has prices for certain trade goods, which I think should be in the SRD.
Alternatively, there are various more abstract business rules. I know of two off the top of my head, one in the 3e DMG 2 and another based on the Kingdom Building rules for Pathfinder.
I agree with techpriest, give them wahtever income you want, but let them know they can't spend it on personal wealth, like magic items etc. They should understand that having huge income, that could be spent like that can imbalance the game.
Actually this situation recently happened to me. The party's swashbuckler had stolen a ship from a neighboring city (airship i mean) and promptly turned it into a roaming brothel.
Well, it worked to say the leeast.
Just be creative and let them do their thing.
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