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Patrick Zoch
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It is TAX day here in the USA.

What are your experiences with taxes in an RPG setting? Why do you include them as a GM? How do you feel about them as a player?


Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD: The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 3
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Rebus Carnival
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That will be 5 gold and 4 silver...

Leave those gems here, we don't want to bump into the next tax bracket...

political rant redacted


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David
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Those city walls won't build themselves...….
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GM: Good golly, how much money do you have?

Players: Here it comes...

GM: So, the tax collector knocks on your door.
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Strike Force was robbed!
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I can't remember any time when we were just taxed directly on our wealth.

I can remember paying more to enter a city because we seemed rich, which is similar. In one game the characters were each given an estate and then had to pay taxes to keep it.

I think that's all I remember.
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Phil Dutré
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As a plot element in an adventure - yes.
As a regular feature in the daily life of adventurers - no.
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philip.dutre wrote:
As a plot element in an adventure - yes.
As a regular feature in the daily life of adventurers - no.


Yeah, I think I would agree with this.

I would also say that I like the idea better in grimy low-fantasy settings like Warhammer or The Witcher than I do in games like D&D.
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Kai S.
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I think they work best when tied to trade routes in a Star Wars game...
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Shardra The Castrator
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Almost none. When I played in one Das Schwarze Auge game it came up from time to time but was more of a nuisance than anything. Taxes in games are much less horrible than taxes in life.

What is "tax day"?
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Strike Force was robbed!
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Shardra wrote:
What is "tax day"?


In the US we have to pay an income tax each year. The filing deadline is April 15.
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Clark Timmins
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In about the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition) period, Gary Gygax often wrote about using taxes as a way to eliminate excess campaign wealth from players. Because he promoted the scheme, I think probably a lot of DMs felt like it was either a good idea or some type of requirement or rule.

Frankly, it sucked. I never understood the game's conflicted desire to a) grant huge treasure hauls to players, but then b) strip it away by endless contrivances. Aside from lots of bookkeeping, it was never fun for anybody.

Anyhow, back in the 1980/90s, my characters often were taxed and as the DM I often imposed taxes. But, I got over it.

The solution isn't taxes. The solution is being a damn stingy dungeon master when generating treasure "hoards".
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Michael Lawing
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I believe at the end of U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh it specifies that the town council will take like half the value as taxes after the group not only rids their town of a haunted house, but also uncovers a giant tax-evading, pirating group of baddies. Who's the real bad guy here?

#taxationistheft
#fantasylibertarians

I haven't done any taxation on my group. I think the reselling of treasure at half the value (if they can find a buyer at all) is a fair way to lower overall wealth. Perhaps some heavy costs/tolls that make thematic sense would be good too. I think I have a hard enough time finding the items I'd like to buy with all my riches...
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Mark Wilson
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ctimmins wrote:
The solution isn't taxes. The solution is being a damn stingy dungeon master when generating treasure "hoards".


This. The tension of not having enough money to do everything you want creates all sorts of interesting decision points for players.
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Rebus Carnival
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lawingm wrote:

#taxationistheft
#fantasylibertarians


how do you tax a lvl 10 wizard? There is no monopoly on violence in fantasy settings. seems like extremely dangerous politikin to me.
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Eric Anderson
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There have never been any taxes in games I've run or played.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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My group collected taxes during a Pathfinder Kingmaker module.
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Rebus Carnival
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rebuscarnival wrote:
lawingm wrote:

#taxationistheft
#fantasylibertarians


how do you tax a lvl 10 wizard? There is no monopoly on violence in fantasy settings. seems like extremely dangerous politikin to me.


Now I want to play a campaign as a taxomancer, returning the wealth of others to the rightful hands of some hereditary monarchs.

Lawful Evil, naturally.
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Jamie Hardy
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I do not think I have had actual taxes. In terms of money soaks, I have pretty much only used them in fantasy games. In place of taxes, the following occurs:

1. When they move kingdoms, there is a new currency. They must convert.
2. They have gems instead of coin, so they must be sold for a fraction of the value.
3. Lots of dead PC/henchmen, so they must be paid to be raised.
4. Inflation drives prices us due to all of the new money coming in from the dungeon being cleared.
5. Thieves target the PCs due to the knowledge they have a lot of money
6. They have to pay for training or new spells and these cost a lot of money.
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Brian M
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Never had taxes come up in a game.

I had insurance come up once, but that was just a silly bit where Wolverine was about to shred the insurance forms he had to deal with after his rented prop plane was shot down.
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Clark Timmins
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rebuscarnival wrote:
how do you tax a lvl 10 wizard?

Send a lvl 11 wizard?
Taxes need not be derived from monopolized violence alone. Surely most wizards would pay a bit, even begrudgingly, to simply be left alone? Or, perhaps gods command taxation? Surely, the king has some type of fire-breathing pet? As a last resort, the assassin's guild. It's allowed to exist for a reason.

Throughout history, when taxation proved insufficient to meet the rulers' tastes and/or ambitions, the treason trials begin. Incidentally resulting in the execution of the accused. More to the point, the seizure of their entire estate.
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Peter Robben
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It's been an occasional plot device but not really one I'm very fond of. There are less painful ways to relieve players of excess money.

Now, steal from the tax collector and give back to the poor, however...
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Rebus Carnival
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ctimmins wrote:
rebuscarnival wrote:
how do you tax a lvl 10 wizard?

Send a lvl 11 wizard?
Taxes need not be derived from monopolizedviolence alone. Surely most wizards would pay a bit, even begrudgingly, to simply be left alone? Or, perhaps gods command taxation? Surely, the king has some type of fire-breathing pet? As a last resort, the assassin's guild. It's allowed to exist for a reason.

Throughout history, when taxation proved insufficient to meet the rulers' tastes and/or ambitions, the treason trials begin. Incidentally resulting in the execution of the accused. More to the point, the seizure of their entire estate.


I do not understand how the legal trail and execution is not a monopoly on lethal force. Taxes are always drawn at wandpoint, otherwise they would be called donations.

The monopoly is on the ethical use of force, which is moot when wizards can turn into dragons, because both wizards and the state do not follow the same ethical rules as normal people.
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Alain Curato
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lawingm wrote:
#taxationistheft


Hey! Do not compare my character with these people!
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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I don't know that I've ever used taxation specifically as a plot point, though I think I should with my kids. If only as an excuse to get them thinking about lawful taxation and what the implications of it are.

Taxes in a medieval fantasy realm aren't ever going to be fairly adjudicated, however. Taxation in ancient/medieval times was more a function of the tax collector looking around for who he could effectively shake down. One might note the portrayal of tax collectors in the Gospels for a pertinent example.

And the point about taxation being a threat more in a low-fantasy setting are right on target.
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Club Squirrel
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Can't say it's something I've really gone into in RPGs. Only time I've even touched the subject is when the PCs have been smuggling.
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