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April 6, 2011

Money in the game

by Game designer

Mankind now travel faster than the information, a fortiori faster than economic data. When leaving a planet is it essential for your character to have cash with him. Because of weight constraint the coins has been abandoned since the antiquity. The money paper is easier to store and to travel with. The unique money legally usable in the universe is the Galac. First, I will describe the four functions of the Galac in the game. Then I will go through considerations about its supply and the related money policy. Finally, I will describe the different type of bank notes and their availability in the universe.

Galac is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in any galaxy whatever the socio-economic context. Its functions are a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and a standard of deferred payment.The Galac money system is based on fiat money. In other words, it is without intrinsic use value as a physical commodity, and derives its value by being declared by the Intergalactic Parliament to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the known universe, for all debts, public and private. The money supply consists of banknotes, bank deposits (the balance held in checking accounts and savings accounts). Bank deposits usually form the larger part of the money supply of a planet and, sometimes, a whole stellar system.

THE FOUR FUNCTIONS OF THE GALAC

  • Medium of exchange : in other word, when money is used to intermediate the exchange of goods and services.It thereby avoids the inefficiencies of a barter system, such as the classical double coincidence of wants problem.
  • Unit of account : this is a standard numerical unit of measurement of the market value of goods, services, and other transactions. It is a necessary prerequisite for the formulation of commercial agreements that involve debt.
  • Store of value : the Galac is able to be reliably saved, stored, and retrieved – and be predictably usable as a medium of exchange when it is retrieved. The value of the money is also remain relatively stable over time.
  • Standard of deferred payment : is an accepted way to settle a debt. In the Futurity world, the Galac is a unit in which debts are denominated. With this status as legal tender, it may function for the discharge of debts. Sometimes the real value of debts of planet or a whole galaxy may change due to inflation or/and deflation.

GALAC SUPPLY

This is the amount of financial instruments within a specific economy available for purchasing goods or services. Since the money supply  consists of Galac bills but also demand deposits (such as checking accounts) and various other types of deposits.The amount of money in the game is measured by adding together these financial instruments. Unless specify in the scenario, the game master and the players will not have to deal with this aspect. In other words, it is always easy for an item to be traded for another item, or into the Galac within a game.

GALAC POLICY

The control of the amount of money in the economy is known as monetary policy. In the Futurity RPG, this is the process by the intergalactic central bank (ICB), under the control of the parliament, manages the money supply to achieve specific goals. The actual main line of the Intergalactic parliament is that management of the money supply should be the primary means of regulating economic activity.

The goal of the intergalactic monetary policy is to accommodate economic growth in an environment of stable prices. A failed monetary policy can have significant detrimental effects on the game economy, and the galaxies that depends on it, like shortages of goods and even total monetary collapse and the adoption of a much less efficient barter economy. Some of the tools the ICB used to control the money supply include:

  • changing the interest rate at which the central bank loans money to the commercial banks
  • increasing or lowering government borrowing or spending
  • prohibition of private currencies
  • taxation or tax breaks on intergalactic transport

BILLS AND AVAILABILITY

  • Bills of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 100 and 200 Galacs are very common, and are readily available in whatever galaxy your character will go. Nevertheless, be aware that much of the 1, 2, 5 and 10 bills are often in poor conditions the heavy circulation had worn the surface of the banknote, and sometimes details are barely visible. Be aware ! This is a real opportunity for counterfeits…
  • The 500 Galacs bill is available in most stellar systems, but in limited quantity. This is the money of the show-off characters… When using it in certain places , such ostentation will lead you to be robbed… Or worse…
  • The 1,000 Galacs bill is somewhat difficult to find, you will find them only in town on larger planets. They are usually used to paid the salary of workers at the end of the standard month.
  • The 5,000 Galacs bill availability is very scarce, you may find them on business men or wealthy tourists.
  • The 10,000 Galacs bill is rare. Nevertheless, this is one of the favourite bill in the hands of organized crime : high enough to buy something big but not to high to be expand. Be aware, 10,000 Galacs bills and superior banknotes are always carefully checked before being accepted.
  • The 50,000 Galacs bill is very rare, the average character in the Futurity RPG game will probably almost never seen one. They are heavily use by banks and big BU (Business Units) to transfer funds.
  • The 100,000 Galacs bill  is prohibitively rare ! It is globally the money launderers favourite weapon of choice. They are mainly use in big business : major BU or Intergalactic Parliaments funding… If your character  will be find in the possession during a police operation. The agents will control the validity and the provenance will always be crosschecked.

The use of barter-like methods are still up to date, though there is evidence that organised crime organisations rely heavily on a parallel barter economy. These, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics. When barter did occur, it was usually between either complete strangers organisations or potential enemies. Money by itself is never a big motivation for the players, perhaps except as a way to keep score or get more powerful gear. But remember, the real excitement is playing the game !  If you want  to know more about this money, you can post your questions in a comment below.

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