>I have 10 cows to sell, how
>rich do I get? 20W4 (5 x 20)?
You don't get *any* richer. If you have those 10 cows, then they are part of your wealth. You are just converting cow-wealth into coin-wealth, which among the Orlanthi is in fact a *reduction* in your wealth, because cows are always better to have than coins. Unless you get a really good deal by using your bargaining ability, of course, but that has to be cemented with a hero point.
This is why you can buy stuff without losing wealth rating - you are just converting a small part of your wealth into a different form. With higher value items, you risk losing wealth because you might have to pay over the odds. If you fumble, then it becomes known or believed that you weren't as wealthy as people thought, so your wealth rating goes down.
Expendibles like room and board can even be covered by this analogy - by staying in an inn and paying out of pocket change, you get a reputation for affluence, and this helps to get credit in future negotiations. Some examples are more difficlut to justify, but if a player pushes their luck, then people will start augmenting their bargaining abilities with "jealous" or "spot bad deal" abilities. A character that abuses their wealth rating *is* swindling people.
Philip Hibbs http://www.snark.freeserve.co.uk/ Opinions expressed may not even be my own, let alone those of any organisations, nations, species, or schools of thought to which I may be affiliated.
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