So in my campaign, Sonya is the gossip-wise matriarch of a bordello. Burning up their character, having a “moderate sized business” ate up almost all of her resource points, and having now gone through the rules for handling Resources, I have to say it seems brutal. Practically impossible, considering the rest of the group isn’t terribly interested in making maintenance of the establishment a major focus of the story. I really don’t want to say “welp, maintenance time. Exp. 2 Resources vs. Ob 3 for maintaining a small business (and being generous here since a bordello seems bigger than “a cobbler’s shop”). You failed, so your resources are taxed and drop to Exp. 1, you can’t maintain your business, you lose your character concept and get to be a bum like your friends…whose concepts actually fit being homeless.”
Anyway, that’s what I fear the rules are pushing. Without dropping the relationship which forms her character’s hook into the main story (I won’t make her), her character can only start with B2 Resources. I understand conceptually why these systems are so harsh, but she spent hours burning this character and she’s not gonna have a good time if the rules screw her out of her concept. RAW it just seems like running a successful business 'aint happening for a 4LP character, unless substantial conflict in the narrative will be devoted to keeping said business afloat. Too late to take the concept from her though.
So, I need a way to handle it. I can see a couple ways. Earning a Fund would be enough to at least allow her to survive a maintenance cycle without dropping an exponent, although if taxed, she would just have to spend a cycle working to recover from tax and then wham, the maintenance test after destroys the business. Still, enough Funds or Cash will keep the business afloat, but only barely, since it won’t help her pass a Difficult test. The easiest method would be a wealthy patron NPC she can “help” in order to improve her exponent (and aside from buckets of artha that kind of seems like the only way to ever improve B1 or B2 resources?). That being said, without any affiliations or relationships this isn’t something I can just “give” her, and I don’t want to decide she’s gonna get that ahead of time either, as that would feel cheap and not emergent.
So I feel kind of bummed because what I thought was going to be cool flavor for her character (the business isn’t directly in her beliefs, but that’s because the other players weren’t interested in seriously involving it in the story) is actually a real pile of bees within the mechanics. I can’t let her lose it as GM because it’ll ruin things for her for sure. I know her, she has terrible luck in RPGs, it will really put a dark cloud over things if it happens early on, again…But I can’t use the Resources rules without a Deus Ex Machina to save her finances.
I know the “right” method within the rules is probably to just start over, the rules don’t support this and if I fudge it, she’ll be overpowered. But she worked way harder than anyone else on her character, and it’s way too late to tell her she can’t use this concept.
How would you handle this?