Assets (D20 Modern Feat)

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Assets [Ranked]

You rule a fief or run a business, providing you annual income.
Prerequisite: Noble Title, Church Ordination, or Guild Commission.
Benefit: You have real wealth, as opposed to mere savings or wages: land rulership or control of a business.

This asset provedes you with regular income and is usually tied to your rank and affiliation. You don’t actually own the land or business— your house or guild does—but through birthright, luck or hard work, you have gained control over it and thus reap its benefits (and suffer its responsibilities). You cannot sell the business, but may abdicate your position or temporarily place someone else in charge; during this time, you do not gain the income associated with the asset.

This feat provides you with an income and responsibilities. Each time you take this feat (maximum of five times), it increases the amount of your income (and the amount of your responsibilities).

The money is listed in solaris: this is how much the asset brings the character in yearly income after paying expenses, barring no disasters or dramatic changes in circumstance for good or ill. It also provides a small amount of extra starting money.

Fief: You rule or own a subsantial portion of land and the serfs who work that land, creating wealth from its commodities (food, minerals, crafts, etc.) or by taxation. While any freeman can own a plot of land, it is nobles who own the most valuable land and hold contracts of indenture on serfs. A portion of the land’s wealth must go to support these serfs, and bad years where no money is made—or where natural disasters destroy crops—can cause negative debt to accumulate. Technically, the character does not own the land—his noble house does.

Except for the Emperor of the Known Universe, a lord always has a lord above him to whom he must answer; misuse of lands is often cause for loss of rank (at least). A lord does not necessarily oversee the daily demands of the fief; usually seneschals or chamberlains undertake this task.

The size of a fief is not the most important factor determining its value, though its resources—from raw materials to manufacturing capability—must also be considered. A small parcel with a single gold mine might be as valuable as an entire province of prime farmland. While there were once rank requirements to rule the most valuable properties, the chaotic land-grabbing of the Emperor Wars has left knights in charge of fiefs once ruled by counts, while certain dukes now rule lands once sonsidered barely fit for baronets. While such extreme cases are the exceptions, it shows that your rank is not necessarily a determination of your wealth. Nonetheless, suggested traditional ranks are listed with each fief size. In some places, CHOAM owns and operates fiefs; diplomats and ambassadors are placed in charge of such assets.

A 1st-level Asset feat might provide a shire or village (usually lorded by a baronet), with tenant farms as its resources. A 2nd Asset feat might provide a borough or town (baron) with a silver mine. A 3rd Asset feat is worthy of a province or city (earl or marquis) hosting prime farmlands. A 4th Asset feat is a county or capital city (count) that derives most of its wealth from taxation.

A 5th Asset feat is a continent or moon (duke) hosting raw or refined resources (mineral or otherwise).

Business: You own a business that creates wealth for you. This usally means that you employ a number of people in a variety of positions to keep the business running, from manual laborers to accountants. Bad business can mean the firing of employees and even loss of assets, or you must throw all your profits back in to the business just to keep it alive. This is a risky but potentially very good investment. You do not necessarily oversee the daily operations of the business; you can leave that in the hands of a trusted employee or partner.

A 1st Asset feat business might be a hospital, catering to those who can afford medical care (rather than stand in line with the serfs at the local parish). A 2nd Asset feat might signify the crafting or manufacture of luxury items. A 3rd Asset feat could be a weaponscrafter mill that produces firearms or artillery. A 4th Asset feat suggests a high-tech manufacturing plant, perhaps a ceramsteel smelter, energy-shield mill, or even a fusion generator supplying power to a local grid. A 5th Asset feat is usually reserved for the highest-profile businesses, such as a starport, shipyard or starbase.

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