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2.6.6 Defining Jobs

The +income command lets characters receive a regular income: once per week (or whatever interval is set with the income_interval parameter), players may enter the command to receive whatever amount of money they regularly make. This amount can be set on a player-by-player basis, based on a review of the character's background, but obviously this method is fairly labor intensive for the staff. Another method is to define jobs. Jobs are entries in the Argo database, specifying the job requirements, salary, how difficult it is to get a job, and the chance for and severity of on-the-job injury. Players who meet the requirements may use the +job command to find a job.

To define a job, enter the +define command and enter `job' as the category. Below is an example of the process in which we define `Master Mechanic' as a job.

>>  Does this job have prerequisites? (y/n)
>>  What is the category of this prerequisite?
>> [Enter stat, skill, spell, psiab, advantage, disadvantage, or .q to quit]
>>  Which Skill is a prerequisite?
>> [Enter Skill, or .q to quit]
>>  What level of this prequisite is required?
>> [Enter number, or .q to quit]
>>  Prerequisite added.
>>  Do you want to specify another prerequisite? (y/n)

Jobs may have prequisites... or, in this context, what we would call qualifications: ability levels needed in order to be eligable for the job. Job qualifications are entered in the same way as prequisites for a skill or other ability: specify the category of ability, the instance within that category, and the level for that ability. For a job like Master Mechanic, the Mechanic skill is an obvious prerequisite. A relatively high level is called for, given the job title: an entry of 4 or so would be appropriate. Jobs can have multiple prerequisites.

>>  What is the salary for this job?
>> [Enter number of credits does the worker receive per income period.

Here you specify the income — the amount players will receive with the +income command — associated with this job. The entry should be a number, in the small coin denomination. If your large coins were `silvers' and your small coins were `coppers', and a job were to pay 1 silver and 50 coppers per income interval, you would enter `150'.

Effective salary levels for different jobs will require monitoring and experimentation, since the amount of money players need will be strongly affected by other factors, such as prices on your world and the importance, given the theme's emphasis, on skills and commands that require costly objects or an expenditure of money. Use the salaries of jobs defined in ascr-base as a starting point for comparisons, but you should be prepared to modify salary levels for both these predefined jobs and for jobs you create as you gain a better understanding of your MUCK's economy over time. When deciding on salary levels, remember that the entry really reflects disposable income, not take-home pay... The +income command gives players money they can spend on whatever they want... unless you have supplemented Argo with a raft of other money-consuming commands, players won't have to pay for daily expenses for rent, groceries, and so forth. So, start with moderate numbers.

>>  What is the hiring modifier for this job?
>> [Enter number, or .h for help, or .q to quit]

Some jobs are hard to come by, even for qualified applicants... astrophysicist, movie star, baseball team owner. Others are easy to come by... dishwasher, salesman, etc. Use the hiring modifier to reflect this: assign a negative number to hard-to-find jobs, a positive number to easy-to-find jobs, and a zero modifier to jobs that are neither particularly easy nor particularly difficult to find. Players get jobs by typing +job #find, and then entering the name of a job for which they are qualified. Success isn't automatic, though: the system makes a Presence roll. If the roll succeeds, they get the job; if the roll fails, they don't. If they fail the roll, they must wait until the next income interval to try again. The hiring modifier is applied to their Presence when the roll is made. For example, a character with a Presence of 12 would successfully get the job if a 3d6 roll gave a result of 12 or less. But if the job had a -4 hiring modifier, a roll of 8 or less would be required.

>>  What is the chance for injury on this job?
>> [Enter percentage chance per income period, or .q to quit]

Some jobs are hazardous. Most jobs involve at least some chance for injury. Use this prompt to reflect this: enter a percentage, a number from 0 to 100. A percentile roll is made each time the player uses the +income command. If the result is less than or equal to the chance for injury, he will be injured on the job.

>>  How much damage on-the-job injury cause?
>> [Enter damage as a dice string, or .q to quit]
>> [Examples: 1d4-1, 2d3, 3d6+1]

If you enter a non-zero chance for injury, the system will prompt you for the amount of damage sustained when the player is injured. This entry should be a standard Argo dice string: a number indicating how many dice should be rolled, the letter 'd', a number indicating how many sides per die, and an optional positive or negative modifier applied to the result. `1d4', '2d3-1', and `3d4+1' are valid dice strings. Obviously, the level of damage should be tied to the nature of the work. You could be injured with a seemingly safe job like `office manager', but the odds are the injury would be minor (you slipped on a wet floor on your way to the coffee machine)... something like 1d4. For other jobs — Bounty Hunter, Test Pilot, Mercenary — the injuries sustained would be much more severe... life threatening, in fact. Damage levels like 2d6 or 4d4 are reasonable for hazardous jobs like these. Most jobs, though, will fall somewhere between these extremes.

The +income command does handle critical successes and critical failures, but these are independent of the roll for injury... a critical failure on +income would result in being temporarily laid off or fired, not injury (a critical success would result in a bonus or raise).

The job is defined at this point. Players can type +list jobs to see what jobs are available, and +info jobs/<job> to display a job's prerequisites, salary, and danger:

    Prequisites:       Skills: Mechanic (4)
    Salary:            80 credits
    Hiring Modifier:   0
    Injury Chance:     2%
    Injury Amount:     1d6

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