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Old 09-09-2010, 01:21 PM
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Default Currency

So I have been thinking bout the type of currency my players are trying to design and thought you guys might have some feedback.

In a T2K world, assuming the area has some central government/authority, how would you handle a currency?

You could just use food but thats a very primitive or starter currency I think. Krakow just uses paper notes that hold a certain value. But what if people started to forge those notes? Happens all the time in history...

Could mint metal coins or clay coins with your "seal" on them but the same thing could happen with forgeries.

How does your campaigns major settlement handle a currency?
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:43 PM
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Something you want to consider with coins (aside from the counterfeiting issue) is ridged edges, like on most world coins these days. This prevents clipping some of the metal off of the coins to re-sell the clipped metal (believe it of not, that used to be a problem until about the late 1800s).

I think, however, that counterfeiting will be rampant in the first few years after currency is re-introduced, and there may be little anyone can do about it. It was a problem in Colonial America and post-Revolution US, complicated by each state making its own currency. One way around it might be to use still-existing prewar currency, and assign whatever value the local government decides to assign to it. Maybe put some sort of mark on it to tell where it was issued. (Many countries have stocks of currency stored up, including the US, who has stocks of currency stored in various places in the world).

Penalties for forgery could be made quite severe (i.e., long stretches of hard labor, reduced rations, or even death).
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:51 PM
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For currency, you need to use something that has no real value outside of being used as currency. While they may be fine for barter, gasoline, food and ammo make for poor currencies. For the most part, gold and silver are pretty worthless, so they make good currency.

Paper currency is probably too easy to forge; metal coins are somewhat more suitable since a 100 gram gold coin is still a 100 gram gold coin, no matter who made it. OTOH, metal tends to stay radioactive a long time ...
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:57 PM
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I'm trying to say this in a way that doesn't sound flippant, but what about something like POGs or bottle caps?

What I mean is something finite produced pre-war that would be nearly impossible to replicate after the war. What sort of goods might be suitable, if any?

Another possibility is that the government just prints its own money and doesn't worry too much about forgeries as anyone with the resources to forge money is likely to be very rare.

What do you think the economy would be based on? I'd suggest linking it to calories, all money is redeemable at government establishments for a requisite amount of food (this is essentially what Krakow does).
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:59 PM
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If we are going printed money, I would say value should be one days meal to start.

I was thinking something like the money would be rotated each week. Each week a different color combination, number sequence or something. And then rotate say 8 different patterns every 2 months or something. Also limit the number of "currency" any one person can use per day/week.

Not sure something like that is reasonable in a T2K world but it would help limit the effect of forgeries.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:39 PM
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To be honest, the amount of time it would take to co-ordinate that a government would probably just wear the loss to counterfeiting. In the FCoK the currency was changed every few months to stop stockpiling and you could also limit how many were exchanged for food every day.

You would still have to exchange notes for ones of teh new design or you'd be choking free enterprise (you may not see this as a negative), or have a way of swapping surplus currency for some other sort of benefit. Capitalism might suck in some ways, but if a government wants a recovery it's going to have to stimulate the economy in some way.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:50 PM
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FCoK was a starting point for our group talking bout this. I dont think there is another published source of a settlement that goes into that sort of detail.

Kinda OT here but I wanna talk bout that too. Economy.

For awhile to start I think most settlements will focus on just getting the basics down. Food/water/shelter/electricity and the industry that supports it. A currency would be used to project a normalcy to the citizen and give them SOME flexibility in what they "buy" with their hard earned "money".

From a command perspective, capitalism is a weight my guys dont wanna bother with for now. They see the way other settlements work, offering protection for the food/products the locals make on their own and wonder why not just take control over the whole thing and paying the civilians for their effort in food?

Once populations stabilize and their immediate situations become less "survival" and more "rebuilding", then you might see some true semblance of an economy but not anything supported by the 'government'.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonmark6 View Post
I'm trying to say this in a way that doesn't sound flippant, but what about something like POGs or bottle caps?
Maybe with some sort of special punch shape in it, to stop those who find a bunch of unopened bottles from "making" their own money.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonmark6 View Post
I'm trying to say this in a way that doesn't sound flippant, but what about something like POGs or bottle caps?
Have you, by chance, ever played Fallout 3?
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:18 PM
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Fallout 3 best game EVAH!
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default S Government's Emergency Stockpile of Paper Money

Here are couple of Links that I found, dealing with the US Government's Emergency Stockpile of Paper Money.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/c3i/mt_pony.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...rvation_Center
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:44 PM
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In my campaign (once it got back to the CONUS) the players were issued MilGov paper scrip as currency, concurrent with gold and silver having a relatively set value and being allowed by MilGov to be used as semi-official currency, so long as it was in ingot form and stamped with its purity and weight (the ingots could be any size and shape and could be smelted by anyone but of course stamped purity and actual purity often varied). I never really came to grips with all the difficulties of that system but hey, when you're running a game like T2K you've already got a million things to worry about as GM to keep things fairly realistic.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:02 AM
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Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics and Fallout 3. I'm a total fanboy.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:24 AM
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Me too. I played Fallout 3 literally for a year. It is an awesome game.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:24 AM
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Targan - I should probably just do something simple like that. I tend to locked in the details of everything and over think it. :P

Plus if you just know how much money is in circulation, and you see that number increase you know people are counterfeiting and then the 'sting' starts.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:57 PM
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In SAMAD, the interim currency is the K, or the kilocalorie. This little number is the invention of a porfessor of economics from the University of Arizona at Tucson. Very early on, the Huachuca command decides that what amounts to a Communist economy, with everything planned by and owned by a small group at the top, is antithetical to the American way of life. This sentiment is widely shared in the Twilight: 2000 world right across the remnants of Western civilization. However, SAMAD is actually in a position to do something about it in 1999.

The K functions much like the Krakow ration chit. The owner can redeem the currency for 1,000 calories of food. While this innovation hardly restores a proper market economy, it does enable small business. One of the main goals of SAMAD after 1999 is getting workers off the land and doing something else. This is hard to do with intensive garden-style agriculture, but increases in efficiency gained as a result of experience during the 1998 and 1999 farming years enable the percentage of the labor force growing, gathering, or hunting food gradually to decrease. Some of the labor goes into cottage industry to produce the variety of conusmer goods SAMAD needs for internal consumption and "foreign" exchange: soap, textiles, beer and liquor, boots and other shoes, cooking implements, and so forth. With internal consumption facilitated by the K, SAMAD's cottage industries are able to grow at a respectable rate, by post-Exchange standards.[1]

Again referring to the pre-Exchange library of technological goodies, SAMAD is able to supply its cottage industries with simple hand-powered and gravity-powered machines of the sort used in many parts of the Third World. Although much progress has yet to be made by 2001, it's clear that SAMAD is producing a wide variety of products needed throughout Arizona and beyond. The basis for a long-range trading economy is reappearing by April 2001.

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[1] Anyone who has tried bathing out of a big coffee tin with a gallon of water knows how valuable a coarse washcloth can be. Once SAMAD is able to lay hands on some cotton, the manufacture of good-quality washcloths becomes a cash cow, so to speak. Also, the need for cotton for all textile purposes helps drive the desire to reclaim the cotton-growing fields of southern Arizona.
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:39 PM
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Those links gave me an idea...

What if we just used US dollars or coins with some sort of marking on them to show the ones the settlement used versus per-war circulation ones? The current dollars would be more difficult to forge then any newly printed currency and its limited supply.

How many people after 2-3 years of being in survival mode kept their dollar bills?
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post
Those links gave me an idea...

What if we just used US dollars or coins with some sort of marking on them to show the ones the settlement used versus per-war circulation ones? The current dollars would be more difficult to forge then any newly printed currency and its limited supply.

How many people after 2-3 years of being in survival mode kept their dollar bills?
coins 4sure, bills idk.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:08 AM
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My guess is that there'd be a lot of cash pretty much just laying about waiting for somebody to pick up. Sure it might be in shop cash registers, bank vaults, wallets & purses of the dead, but my guess is that if prewar currency was made legal there'd be a big problem with looters for the local authorities to deal with (as if they don't already though).

On the other hand, who's to say cash lost it's status as legal tender? Became near worthless, yes, but lost it's legal status? It's also only been what, 2-3 years since the nukes, so there'd still probably be a lot of emotional attachment to it too.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:12 AM
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There are several areas that have currency of some type or other. The main problem is that most of this stuff is worthless outside of the general area where the currency is printed and in many cases is begrudging used because others in the area are using. Anyone doing trade out of the area, wouldn't want to be trade in the currency....
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post

For awhile to start I think most settlements will focus on just getting the basics down. Food/water/shelter/electricity and the industry that supports it. A currency would be used to project a normalcy to the citizen and give them SOME flexibility in what they "buy" with their hard earned "money".

From a command perspective, capitalism is a weight my guys dont wanna bother with for now. They see the way other settlements work, offering protection for the food/products the locals make on their own and wonder why not just take control over the whole thing and paying the civilians for their effort in food?

Once populations stabilize and their immediate situations become less "survival" and more "rebuilding", then you might see some true semblance of an economy but not anything supported by the 'government'.
From my reading of this, your PCs are talking about taking over a community, by military force if necessary, and then making the community work for them and turn over all of their production in return for "pay". In effect they are replacing the government with a military junta.

If this is the case, forgeries are the least of your worries. The PCs are going to have more issues with dealing with what effectively becomes a slave population such as sabotage, low production and pilfering if you're lucky and out right insurgency if they aren't.

Such a set up might work in the very early days when having the PCs is the difference between life and death, but very soon after that the local poulation would probably start to want more independence. "Ban the 100% tax" and "No taxation without representation" could well be their rallying cry.

Again, interesting times for your PCs.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:46 PM
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Thats something we have spoken about a few times actually Simon...

To us, until things settles down some our thinking was it would be better to control all aspects of production to ensure things go smoothly.

Its has always baffled me why a unit would simply trust a population to 'give' it enough food to survive when you can simply take over the production and ensure that happens.

Now they aren't all "use the slaves to clear that radiation rubble" or what ever but they think times are so tough that its better to have tighter control over the population. IE - martial law
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:40 PM
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To he PCs of course it makes perfect sense. Of course as a GM somebody needs to think about how the population would react to this.

At the very beginning, they will probably be too concerned about living day to day to worry about such things although you will always get some people whose principles outweigh their survival instincts. Almost as soon as the basics become stable however they'll be looking for more.

Even the majority of the large scale despots in the TK2 canon have a semblance of representation for the people whether it's the Krakow council or the Barons of the Margravate of Silesia. Even then there is an opposition that causes the regimen serious trouble with that trouble rising proportionately with the amount the rulers exert control over the population.

Now, if your PCs are relatively benign and share and share alike as well as possibly having a method of people giving their views or airing issues they think are unfair, they may get away with it for a long time. Maybe even long enough to achieve their goals. In teh long run however, people will want to keep the majority of the fruits of their labour in order to have control over their own lives. A totalitarian government no matter how benign is still a totalitarian government.

I think that one of the reasons why some large military units do 'trust' populations to give them food in return for protection is that they are reluctant to use martial law to sieze all assets and seek total control over the populace in case it leads to an insurgency.

It's your game however and you are more than welcome to run the game in any way you feel realistic, in the end the game's all about having fun. I know you don't need to have my permission to do that but I hope you do have fun anyway, especially as you sound as if you have an inventive group.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:12 PM
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Good post Simon!

I am sure that once my campaign settles down, food becomes more regular and the ever looming threat of starvation seems a distant memory, this will need to be addressed.

One idea they had was something I posted a while ago. A manor system, where select people are 'given' land and tasked to manage it. Keeping a certain percentage while giving the majority to the 'government'. More like feudalism really.

But at some point the system will need to mature to meet the ever improving soceity the PC's have created, if it goes according to plan. /wink
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:00 PM
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Having their own land would surely help once the inital crisis was over. You'd find that over a period of time, more people would want to keep more of their produce with less feudal oversight. This would be years if not decades so isn't a major issue unless you skip lots of time in the campaign.

I know it took many centuries historically but most people would want a quicker transition. Of course, many major war leaders often become politicians in later life.

But then TK2 stops being fun and becomes "P&P" (Politicians and PR Flaks), not my idea of a good game.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:58 AM
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Default Currency in my campaign

Hi all,
For what it's worth, here's my view on currency.
We've played quite a few campaigns in Poland and most of the time barter was very important, especially if you're not in any sort of regular army.
All sides of the conflict used some sort of "official currency", be it Soviet Rubel, US Dollar, British Pound, German Mark or Polish Zloty, but they were quite useless outside your zone of control. The same goes for coupons issued for meals, petrol etc.
Of course almost all countries had coins, but using money has more of a sentimental value than actual worth. The only coins in use in our games were gold and silver Rubels, Dollars, etc. Basically, precious metals keep their value, mostly because of their rarity.
But, as I said earlier, the main way of trading was barter. First of all, a clip of 5,56mm ammo is worth pretty much the same to everybody. It also gave some players or NPCs opportunity to gat some extremely good deals (at least that's what they thought then), because a can of spam is worth much more to a hungry man than a case of ammo he doesn't have a gun for.
And since most of our games were out of the regular armies, the PCs had to travel between different cantonments and trade whatever they had to spare for anything they might need.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:06 PM
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The change in the outlook of civilians on rights and liberties by 2000 should be nothing short of catastrophic. Hunger--real hunger--tends to put ideas about rights on the back burner unless and until the "government" is perceived to be tied up with the problem. A warlord who puts food on the plates of the civilians can get away with a lot. A warlord who puts an end to lawlessness or banditry can get away with a lot. Conversely, a government descended from a legitimate pre-war institution may find itself overthrown by a strong man if it fails to feed and protect its people.

One of the issues I've been trying to come to grips with for years is how the American military men cope with running what amounts to a centralized Communist-style economy and government. In SAMAD, refugees are put on a parcel of land and told to farm. Truculence equals hunger. In 1997 and 1998, there is no other way for things to run. Generally, folks are glad to be alive and have some prospect for staying that way. However, as the food situation comes under control in SAMAD, the economy and politics are going to rear their ugly heads.

MilGov is in the same fix. Unless I miss my interpretation badly, the government is calling the shots in terms of economics, food distribution, etc. The Joint Chiefs, who led the fight against Communism, are now running a totalitarian regime. They allow local elections, but the real power is in the hands of folks no one elected. If there weren't already plenty to lose sleep over, this would keep the Joint Chiefs up at night.

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Old 09-17-2010, 04:44 PM
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I agree Web, at some point people will want more.

I am trying to work out a "Lord of the Manor" sorta system where the local government 'lease' land to people, like a feudal system.

Perhaps as time passes, populations settle and the collection of taxes become an option, we can start to "sell" the land to the workers. Giving them ownership and control over their own lively hood.

Still I think there will be laws and guidelines that will need to stay in place, for the continued success of the area. I doubt, for a decade or two perhaps, will full individual freedoms be restored.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:56 AM
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Given the extent of the disaster that timeline doesn't seem unreasonable, after all, Britain was still rationing key foods nearly ten years after the end of WW2. As long as people saw things getting better and their safety and rights improving incrementally you probably get a high level of co-operation. The fact that some of it would depend on the individual Lord of the manor gives the GM the chance to create an interesting tapestry of conditions for the party to play in.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:46 AM
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I think there could be two types of currency in Twilight 2000.

First would be Bullion Coins, nine nations mint Gold, Platinum, and Silver Bullion Coins; and a large number would be in circulation (How many I do not know, I could not find a number).

Second would be Junk Sliver. Junk silver is an informal term used in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia for any silver coin which is in fair condition and has no numismatic or collectible value above the bullion value of the silver it contains. The word "junk" refers only to the value of the coins as collectibles and not to the actual condition of the coins; junk silver is not necessarily scrap silver. In Twilight 2000 Junk Silver coins would be a currency for several reasons:

Low Premiums:
Coins were purchased for little or no premium over the spot price of silver, particularly during years leading up the war.

Legal Tender:
Coins remain legal tender and maintain their face value regardless of the price of silver.

Recognition:
Coins are familiar and less likely to have their value disputed than silver rounds or bars.

Divisibility:
Coins can be easily spent or traded in small amounts. In contrast, minted silver bullion is rarely smaller than a troy ounce, while minted gold bullion (and other precious metals) is highly valued in even small amounts, like the American Gold Eagle coins.

Viable Alternative:
In the aftermath of the nuclear attacks, in which traditional currency collapsed, junk silver coins provided a viable temporarily alternative, while the fiat currency (paper money), which was not backed by precious metals or other commodities, emerged with no inherent value and was subject to extreme inflation, even hyperinflation.


I have included a list of available Junk Sliver and Bullion Coins.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Bullion Coins Available In Twilight 2000.doc (51.0 KB, 144 views)
File Type: doc Junk Silver Available in Twilight 2000.doc (118.0 KB, 107 views)
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