The rules of the game purposely favor certain player roles over others.
At the beginning of play, players may choose roles or draw them randomly from a bag. The 4 roles described below represent social classes of increasing affluence. Player roles are, from greatest to least: Owner, Manger, Employee, and Unemployed—with radically different rules for each player role. If a player changes roles, she exchanges her current Role Token, Role Card, and Movement Die for those appropriate to her new role.
The Owner represents the affluent, wealthy class, moving most rapidly around the board and collecting the most money (15 times the Unemployed) each time she rounds Payday. Beginning the game with $3,000, the Owner will be able to buy and upgrade multiple properties during her first trip around the board. The Owner also begins the game owning the Enron and Flint utilities and therefore collects $50 from each player as they pass through Payday after the first round. The owner relies on access to superior healthcare to avoid excessive costs experienced by other players while visiting the Hospital. The owner also spends no time in Jail, due to the excellent lawyer she keeps on retainer and pays only a fraction of the penalty for landing on Back Taxes.
Note that the Owner may use these privileges to profit individually or to build community. Gentrification allows her to force another player to sell her any unimproved property for which she is able to immediately add a house. She may build community, rather, by purchasing and donating a house to another player, allowing her to avoid paying rent on any squares of the same color as the improved property.
Owners choose any blue role token and roll the blue 10-sided die for movement.
The Manager represents the upwardly-mobile managerial class, moving rapidly around the board and collecting a significant amount of money (5 times the unemployed) each time she rounds Payday. The Manager should be able to safely buy and perhaps improve a property during her first trip around the board. The Manager relies on access to quality healthcare to avoid excessive costs experienced by other players in hospital, paying only half the penalty for landing on Hospital. The Manager pays $100 each Payday to the Owner for water and electricity (utilities fees). The Manager's access to legal representation results in her spending only half the required time in Jail.
Managers choose any purple role token and roll the purple 8-sided die for movement.
The Employee represents the range of roles in the working middle class—earnestly striving to make ends meet. She moves normally around the board and collects a standard amount of money (over twice the unemployed) each time she rounds payday. The Employee will find it challenging to buy property and also save for unseen circumstances, such as paying rent on an owned square or receiving a challenging Change card, in addition to paying $100 each Payday to the Owner for water and electricity (utilities fees). The Employee pays the full penalty when landing up in Hospital. The Employee spends her full sentence when landing up in Jail, unless she holds a 'Pro Bono' Change Card.
Employees choose any green role token and roll the green 6-sided die for movement.
The Unemployed represents the job-seeking or underemployed class, moving ploddingly around the board and collecting the least money each time she rounds payday. The unemployed will most likely be unable to buy properties most trips around the board, since her salary barely covers the $100 payment each payday to the Owner for water and electricity (utilities fees), as well as unseen circumstances, such as paying rent on an owned square or receiving a challenging Change card. The unemployed pays the full penalty when landing up in Hospital and spends her full sentence when landing up in Jail, unless she is the recipient of a 'Pro Bono' Change Card.
The unemployed choose any red role token and roll the red 4-sided die for movement.