I am still puzzled and frightened by 4e and the general sorry state that US-pop culture is in right now. See, we Germans have all we need & want in a version of our own, except two things: Nuclear Warheads & Pop-Culture. So we borrow both from the US. Thanks for that, btw.
On this ongoing quest to understand the general dearth of intellectually stimulating or just plain awesome ideas & practices, I stumbled upon the following.
As a second introduction, please remember that my current conjecture is that the main motivator for 4e is economic fear, WotC and their customers are frightened to the bone, clouding their minds and killing all creativity and independent thinking.
So…two quotes. Two quotes from Palladiumbooks products. One from 1988, the other from 2008.
Beyond the Supernatural 1st, p. 195 in the section detailing how to roll up “Victim” characters for low powered horror.
FINANCIAL BACKGROUND (Roll Percentile)
Poverty: The family lives on welfare, occasional part-time-jobs, and handouts from other, more well-to-do. relatives.
Wage Slavery: Bound by debts, mortgages and credit card bills, the family makes too little money to ever break even. Every month the total owed gets larger and the amount of available cash gets smaller. The family is living beyond their means and is trying to keep up appearances.
Yuppie Heaven: All the adults of the family work at high paying professional jobs. There’s enough moey to go around, the shortage is in time. High-powered jobs require lots of overtime, traveling and job-related socializing. As a result the family members are pretty much strangers to each other.
Wealthy: So much money that mere professions no longer mean much. Every family member has just about anything they would like. Also implie a lot of feuding over the family fortune along with involvement in politics and high finance.
— Erick Wujcik, 1988
Fast Forward twenty years…
Dead Reign, p.87 in the section detailing the “Everyday Shmoe” (Survivor) O.C.C:
Optional Table: Success & Annual Income Before the Apocalypse
Roll percentile dice. Might be a nice character element.
1-20% Just getting started/struggling artist – 2D6x1,000
21-40% Modest success – 3D6x$1,000 + $12,000
41-60% Successful – 5D6$1,000 + $30,000
61-80% Very Successful – 6D6*$1,000 + $60,000
81-00% Top in his field – 2D4*$10,000 + $90,000
— Hilden, Sanford, Zombieda 2008
Shocking, isn’t it?