So here's the topic: You're a recently-Exalted Solar, with no friends, nothing to start with, et cetera. You know, for some reason or another (prophecy, memories, etc.) that your primary function/goal is to build up infrastructure and accumulate wealth, with which to do things like build summoning chambers, manses, artifact-cathedrals, and so forth. While a higher-level Solar craftsman might be able to do some of these things himself, it's a lot easier with 5,000 paid employees, 1000 paid guard soldiers, support staff, and well-made equipment.
So here's the thing - how do you make money, without drawing too much attention to yourself? Here's some ideas, and I'm hoping for more:
- Use terrestrial sorcery to summon earth elementals, and have them bring you 'noble' materials from the surrounding areas - after all, they should know the location of about every diamond/gold/orichalcum/etc deposit in the region, and are especially suited to tunneling them through the earth and bringing them to you.
- Find wealthy but sick people (cancer?), and ask them "How much would you pay to be better?". Follow up with some rigamorole about your magic medicine pill and a personal-essence fueled contagion-curing touch. Poof - you've got half of their wealth. If you really want to, you can follow with Eclipse-caste oath, but that exposes you in exchange for sealing their statement. Similarly, you can follow with a presence-based mindwipe.
- Stealth charms + bank = profit.
- Performance/Disguise charms, take cash from banks.
- Dragon-Blooded Larceny charms allow you to both cheat and more explicitly win at gambling. With something like a large lottery (in our world) it would stand to reason that a single application of such a charm could allow you a quick Powerball win at 300 million or so. In Creation, it'd be more tough, as you'd have to worry about being caught cheating, but I'm guessing there are Solar equivalents to the DB charms that can't be detected with less than a 'perfect' investigation check, most likely by a Solar. Not a problem in the First Age, when a Solar would be running the lottery or police anyway, but in the Second Age, very easy to get away spot - free. That is, of course, if you're willing to let your name be known as the winner. Then comes the issue of selling 'winning tickets' to others, etc...
Any other ideas?
Nice ideas so far, but most of them are not really, you know... legal. A very compassionate Solar for example would never demand something in return for healing an ill merchant prince - he would just do it. So, what can you do to make money without robbing or abusing persons.
- I'm not so sure about that. While some of them (robbing) are illegal, selling healing powers is quite legal - doctors do it all the time. Similarly, having earth elementals mine for you doesn't seem illegal either, unless you happen to be in an area where the ruler claims rights to all the lands. There are quite a few places in creation where there's no concept of mining rights, so you wouldn't be stealing there either. - GregLink
- I agree; as long as the Solar is making sure that his prices is based on the income of the person he heals, it's perfectly fine (as long as he's not Compassion 5 or something). - FrivYeti
One way might be to sell your fighting power (guarding a city, killing roaming monsters, etc...), hunt for treasures (manses offer many of them) or find a "real job" (wandering bard, cook, sailor, mercenary, sheperd or something might be a way. To make sure to make your job better than anyone around you, use personal-essence powered Charms and soon your boss will realize, that there is some potential in you and pay you better. That is the way I think obtaining money will work without getting the attention of the Wyld Hunt. Jiba
- Yeah, selling your fighting power is a rough one, as to effectively command a high price, you'd need to point out that "I'm a super-killin machine, worth 500,000$ a year on retainer", otherwise you get the standard 12,000$/year grunt salary. Similarly, doing your job better than anyone only gets you wages - and we all know that you never get rich working for yourself. Since the kind of money we need is on the order of resources 5, it's tough to get that unless you're a manse architect or somesuch. - GregLink
With two Craft charms, a Solar can quickly and reliably churn out exceptional weapons and armor. Start off with things like bows and arrows where the materials are practically free and work your way up. With Master Horseman's Eye and some bureaucracy or presence charms, you can engage in some rather profitable horse trading. With socialize charms, you can know exactly what people want and are willing to pay for it. Enter (or hold) contests of strength or skill and use Charms. Marry rich. Find a city, declare yourself its ruler, and begin collecting taxes. There are huge numbers of possibilities... -szilard
- While some of these are good for making 'small' cash, I'm looking for more 'power twink' ways of getting cash - much like your example of marrying rich. Building a Manse requires steady income for thousands, and even reaching Resources 5 requires a big business. The horse trading also makes sense, if you can do it on a large scale. Are there any Bureaucracy charms in particular that you're thinking of when you say that you can run a good business? Honest-to-Goodness charms that say things like "Your investment increases by 10% for every success rolled on a Charisma+Bureaucracy roll" or some such? - GregLink
In the campaign I'm currently running, I have players who haven't quite got the idea that they are demigods yet, and play their characters very much like they would a D&D campaign. I realized that in Exalted, wealth really doesn't matter as much as it does in other games. Giving a D&D character millions of gp would really significantly alter the campaign, but massive wealth in Exalted really doesn't alter story lines that much, since characters who put their minds to it can just take over towns without much effort. I decided to arrange for my circle to aquire rediculous wealth (they ran into a guild higher-up heavily involved in slave trading, one thing led to another, and they now have more jade, gold and heroin than they know what to do with). A couple of indulgences aside, it hasn't changed the campaign that much, though the players are a bit more in demigod mode than before. (Now I just need to get them to act instead of react.) - Wordman
With a handful of Bureaucracy and Presence charms, you can become SUPER SALESMAN and turn ridiculous profits on goods. This may attract some attention, but if you travel a lot, you can likely avoid that, at least for a while. --JohnBiles
- Weelllll, you got trouble my friends, yes sir I say trouble right here in Nexus City. Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for POOL! --UncleChu
- For additional subtlety, and if you have any sort of access to the target bureaucracy, start contracting with the government of the area. Start small, if you must - a cargo shipper with a single boat. Speed the Wheels on getting your contracts handled, clearances filed, and so forth, while clogging up the gears for your competitors. In short order, you will be able to buy them out. Build up your business as a government "contractor" and periodically buy up your competitors - and when you're the major player, diversify into new concerns. -- BillGarrett
The best way to make money is to become a provider of some resource or commodity. This means you don't just sell your own sword-arm - you may start out doing that, but to make real money you'll have to create a stable of powerful fighters. This could be an elite group of 12 men and women loyal only to you (perhaps through Worshipful Lackey Acquisition) who are known as the deadliest assassins and/or the most reliable bodyguards in this quarter of Creation, or it could be three legions of relatively loyal troops you've inspired to follow you (through Fury Inciting Presence, Gathering the Congregation, and Tiger-Warrior Training Technique, usually). Similarly, it's the difference between selling individual wonders or works of art, and being the producer of them. Or having a stable of treasure-hunters beholden to you. Even though your Solar is worth a hundred men, if he also has a hundred men, then he's worth two hundred - or possibly more, since with certain charms they can each be empowered to be the worth of five or ten regular people! Through simple math, with more people, you can rake in more cash - especially since a Solar can make them all worth even more.
Then, the way to turn all that money into a Resources rating is to make the money do the work. Investments are the way to go, so you'll have money even if you don't have work - and basic Bureaucracy charms allow you to find a good investment (Insightful Buyer Technique), make sure you're not being cheated (Frugal Merchant Method), and cause your investment to start paying off really damn quick (Speed the Wheels). - IanPrice