I like the economy system in MC3, but it seems kind of flawed. Of course, if you properly enforce the Restriction rating rules for finding an item for sale, and to find a buyer for your second-hand stuff, the problems is somewhat mitigated, hidden behind the chore of making rolls and the cost of wasting both real time and in-game time.
Of course, it may be that I haven't quite got this right, so here goes.
Lets assume Bruce Armstrong is looking to buy a Crypto Module: Restriction 4, Cost 10. Now he can either buy one legally using Lifestyle (difficulty +0) or Persuade (difficulty +1), or buy illegally using Thievery (difficulty -1). Let's assume he successfully locates the item. He then applies his Cash, rolling 1T per point in Earnings and Influence bonus. Let's assume his Cash amounts to 4, so he pays difference of 6 by spending that many Assets.
Now, if he later wants to sell the item he must first find a buyer, making a Lifestyle, Persuade or Thievery test against Difficulty 4, 5 or 3, respectively. Assuming success, how many Assets does he gain?
(Cost + Restriction rating) * 1/2?
(Cost * 1/2) + Restriction rating?
Is the Restriction Rating the actual restriction rating (i.e. 4), or the one used for the skill test difficulty, e.g. 3 for selling the item on the black market?
Is it not unfortunate that the rules for selling items seem to allow a character to gain more Assets than it cost him to purchase it? For example, a wealthy and influential character might buy that Crypto Module for a few or even none assets, representing how his Earnings and Influence lets him shrug off that kind of expense like it ain't no thing. But apparently the fistfull of cash he gets back from selling it later is a major windfall!
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