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Costs of living, everyday expenses and ship life!

An interesting debate (of conflict to be precise :slight_smile: ) occurred last session, as the group is getting more and more to the end of the month and bills have to be paid… It is related to the cost of living section in the rulebook and single sentence in the ship maintenance paragraph. But first things first.

The section COSTS OF LIVING AND EVERYDAY EXPENSES on p.104-105 introduce something I like a lot in roleplaying games - monthly upkeep that takes care of the annoying expense management activities that happens in other games such as Symbaroum. Helps to improve the roleplay aspect of the game by reducing the time spend on inventory management. The categories in the table 6.1 define different standards and upkeep for the different environments.

In my understanding of the rules, the player picks how he would like to live and ensures he has the necessary funds each month. Those cover the expenses and I more or less tend to use this system as the Credit Rating one in Call of Cthulhu, where you don’t track an expense unless it is above your daily allowance. Here it is not that detailed, but I can say that you have to find a money to buy this everyday item as it is big portion of your living standard.

So for me, it does not matter if the PCs spend most of their time flying, on the planet’s surface or 50/50, they want to aim for this kind of lifestyle.

Now, in the SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE on p.155. there is the following sentence: Servicing your ship (a technology test) also resupplies food, drink and other consumables, as well as reactor isotopes, antimatter etc.

You see where I am going. The players state that because they own expensive ship, they don’t have to do any upkeep based on the costs of living table and every time they service the ship all is good. They can live like kings because have Class 4 ship for example.

I disagree here, because I compare it to the real life scenario - if i own expensive property, its taxes and maintenance fees are high, but it does not mean that I automatically get expensive furniture, the best food shipped from around the globe and etc.

How do you handle this if you happened to have such discussion with your groups?


I guide myself of the fictional milieus’s assumptions and coherence, always. Coriolis looks like an ‘everydayman’ heroes caught in interesting situations kinda game… compare it to Shatterzone, Edge of The Empire, Firefly (a model for Coriolis), The Voyages of Simbad, B5… others of the same ilk.

I know what you mean, but the system governs upkeep & maintenance mechanics and I wonder how you handle this.

Can you quote the exact rules you’re referencing, please? Thanks!

I quited the page numbers in the first post - p.104-105 is about the cost of living and everyday expenses:

In Coriolis, there is a wide range of everyday consumables to buy, as well as food and living expenses. This is not handled transaction by transaction, but rather generalized as a monthly cost. You don’t have to keep track of food and other consumables. Below are some examples of common dishes, beverages and services, things the PCs could find on Coriolis and in similar places.

On the ship, p.155

Your adventures will sooner or later start to wear down your spaceship – micro meteorites or frost damage, a clumsy docking or maybe an uncontrolled landing – it will happen to even the best of crews. Servicing your ship (a technology test) also resupplies food, drink and other consumables, as well as reactor isotopes, antimatter etc.

There is no explicit ruling anywhere in the book and people are arguing if they should pay the cost of living when they own a ship, especially after the bolded sentence in ship maintenance states that the process resupply the food and other stuffs.


Looks to me like servicing the ship only needs a succesful Technology roll. Is there anything else related?

Please read the first post, I am not asking what kind of check servicing a ship is. I ask how people are interpreting the costs of living table and use it withing games.

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Im afraid I dont follow. How are you n your group ruling it? Like I stated afore, respect the milieu n you shant go astray.

What would Malcolm Reynolds do? :laughing:


I wonder if you could argue that the resupply of food, furniture, etc., is for the accommodation of any passengers? So, there are luxury items on board, but they’re not for the crew but for any well-heeled travellers they may carry?

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(To revisit a months-old thread)

How detailed into ship’s cost and maintenance do you want to go?

Having played Classic Traveller, we’ve discussed the cost of running a ship quite a bit. You could base it off a percentage of original value. You could consider how much bribe money at different docking ports you might need. Oxygen refill—what? you think this port station is gonna let you breathe their hard-made oxygen for free!? To flush and refresh your ship’s O2 is gonna cost you… Food, fuel, air, water. Even ships that produce some of their own (one reason to have that garden terrarium on board) could use a system cleaning ever few hundred light years.

You can see where, in both mechanics and role-play, the cost of the ship becomes part of the campaign. If players and gm like that kinda thing.

To your point about expensive furniture, etc—even if you can afford to, do you want expensive furniture? Are you a courier ship? Then, yeah. You probably do. Are you a cargo freighter? Expensive furniture isn’t really that ship’s style. Or maybe it’s a character trait of it. If your players bought the expensive ship, they’ve got that much more reason to have to account for paying to maintain it.

Daily maintenance and mise en scène details are integral and the core of what we like in rpg play. And in a game like Coriolis, paying the bills is far more than just hand waving.

Worth two coins, perhaps. :thinking:

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I’d also suggest that in the Third Horizon, appearances are important. A merchant may spend more on living expenses in order to attract a higher-value clientele. The same would apply to ships: if your players are after big, important contracts then spending more on higher quality everything - from furniture, to clothing, to food - projects an image to attract those jobs.
There are plenty of examples of this in real life. To cite just one: people expect their real estate agent to look sharp and drive a nice car - and the more expensive the car, the more expensive the properties that agent is likely to deal in (and therefore, the larger the commission on a sale). If an agent dresses like a slob and drives a beater, they’re going to deal in cheap housing with low commissions. If they want to buy/sell mansions (and enjoy larger commissions as a result), they’re going to have to step up their game…

I’ve lived in a three bedroom apartment with three other people (two were a couple who shared a room), and I have friends who lived in a three bedroom apartment in the same complex with SEVEN people in it. (Crazy, I know, one guy slept on the couch and another on the floor in the living room, and it was against their lease and probably the law, but anyway…)

Their bills got paid. They split the rent and electricity costs (water, sewage, and garbage all included in their rent). But, one guy was constantly begging for food when I’d go over there to hang out with them, for game night or whatever. He seemed to live off of roman noodles and was proud of his water-keeper that he kept in the fridge. It wasn’t even a water filter, just a fancy-shaped water bottle that he kept in the fridge for himself.

Other guys living there shared a room, and one guy had his own room (the smallest) in the apartment. He paid the most in rent out of all of them, and was constantly upset at his food disappearing, but he also had nicer clothing, and while his food disappeared, he always had food compared to the others.

They all lived together, but the one guy had a much higher standard of living than the others who lived in the same apartment with him. They all lived together, but one of them was constantly starving compared to the others. And the others were all in-between. - Different standards of living for a group of people living together in the same place.

For me, in my apartment with three other people, I didn’t have to deal with my roommates eating my food, but the internet always dragged. Eventually, I got my own internet connection, separate from the rest of the others living in my apartment. On that level, I had a higher standard of living than the others. One of my room mates had a big screen TV, it was kept in the living room, but no one was allowed to touch it when he wasn’t home (or even if he was) without his permission. He had an X-Box, Playstation, and Nintendo (I forget which editions of each), and he had a really nice car compared to the rest of us. I had a rust bucket of a car.

So, I would easily rule that the ship upkeep is like the apartment, and the living expenses are their own individual thing.

Ok, when I heard about Firefly-like game,I downloaded the quickstarter, to take a look.
My idea is that, from time to time make players do a cost of living mission. You determine the difficulty on what they want and for how long ad see how it goes. Carrying cattle in a space ship can be hilarious. And if it goes wrong the next mission can be facing lack of money/supplies.