Currency


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What kind of currency would Starfinder have? I can't imagine good old fashioned gold would be used in a space station like Absalom Station but I can imagine it being used in primitive societies on other planets.

Will there be Credsticks like in Shadowrun or will there be regular dollar bills like our modern times? Or both?


Following traditional sci fi and modern day tendencies, you can't go wrong with credits. Another thing is one's reputation. You see rep used in Eciipse Phase and Nova Praxis.

I'm partial to zenny or neoshekels myself :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A lot of sci-fi games hand wave currency all together or use some intangible like credits. Revamping the whole credstick idea is interesting and very could work especially if the PCs are mercenary in any capacity.


Probably the Credit, probably some sort of other currency. Regardless, it would have to exist in electronic as well as physical forms. Gold might still exist in the frontier/less technologically developed regions. Probably will be like Pathfinder's currency system in a way, simple but flexible and diverse.


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Current campaign uses gold-pressed chips. They're gold circuit batteries that used to hold digital currencies safely. Eventually they became stored on data cards but are still called GP and the actual chips still the most accepted currency among non digital savvy borders.

The Exchange

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Someone's extracted all the latinum! There's nothing here but worthless gold!


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Makoa Greyrain wrote:

What kind of currency would Starfinder have? I can't imagine good old fashioned gold would be used in a space station like Absalom Station but I can imagine it being used in primitive societies on other planets.

Will there be Credsticks like in Shadowrun or will there be regular dollar bills like our modern times? Or both?

Whoops. By Credsticks, I mean creds or Nuyens if we're talking Shadowrun terms.


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Bitcoin


Ducketts? Wait, I think I'm showing my age, but that was a classic SF series.


crypto currency is always an option.

if the setting is advanced enough perhaps units of energy are currency?

I read a good book once where currency was in small physical data vaults that held highly encrypted deeds to small pieces of space stations and planets. money was owning pieces of lands straight up.

but then there is always the default credz, credits, megacreds, credstick, etc. etc.


That'd be pretty cool actually. Somewhat space feudal, but I can dig it

So we have the classic creds, EP's reputation or 'rep', and parcels of planets and starbases


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I'd love to see different forms of currency for different planets/systems/regions, but I suspect that will probably not be the case (and I can see why; like with languages, once you start getting too "realistic" it can bog down gameplay too much).

Ideally, though, give different currencies for each region, with a standard "galactic" sort of currency that is able to be used in most areas that have contact with the "core"/Absalom Station.


Makoa Greyrain wrote:
What kind of currency would Starfinder have? I can't imagine good old fashioned gold would be used in a space station like Absalom Station

Why not? practically every species save the Federation in Star Trek uses it, despite the fact that it is a primitive throwback in currency evolution.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Makoa Greyrain wrote:
What kind of currency would Starfinder have? I can't imagine good old fashioned gold would be used in a space station like Absalom Station
Why not? practically every species save the Federation in Star Trek uses it, despite the fact that it is a primitive throwback in currency evolution.

Well they use gold-pressed latinum. The Gold is worthless. But it influenced me to use gold-pressed chips so that 'GP' still works on character sheets. Also if any gold-pressed thing happens in the context of digital currencies GP is still an appropriate abbreviation because that's what they used to trade in so they kept the name.

another reason why I went with chips was because depleted batteries used as a currency (that was 1gp) in some places on Golarion, and in a technological context they would be rechargeable so would be some sort of useful commodity because they are units of energy storage which is still relevant even if energy is readily available. So 1gp would be a 'cell', and 1sp would be a 'charge'(as the batteries hold ten charges), and 1cp would be a 'spark' or a 'zip'(in reference to a zip stick).

The Exchange

Credit cards!


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Malwing wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Makoa Greyrain wrote:
What kind of currency would Starfinder have? I can't imagine good old fashioned gold would be used in a space station like Absalom Station
Why not? practically every species save the Federation in Star Trek uses it, despite the fact that it is a primitive throwback in currency evolution.

Well they use gold-pressed latinum. The Gold is worthless. But it influenced me to use gold-pressed chips so that 'GP' still works on character sheets. Also if any gold-pressed thing happens in the context of digital currencies GP is still an appropriate abbreviation because that's what they used to trade in so they kept the name.

another reason why I went with chips was because depleted batteries used as a currency (that was 1gp) in some places on Golarion, and in a technological context they would be rechargeable so would be some sort of useful commodity because they are units of energy storage which is still relevant even if energy is readily available. So 1gp would be a 'cell', and 1sp would be a 'charge'(as the batteries hold ten charges), and 1cp would be a 'spark' or a 'zip'(in reference to a zip stick).

The only place silverdisks are used as currency is in Numeria itself.

Liberty's Edge

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Space bucks. =p


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, you can't go wrong with credits. Always a good sci-fi sounding kinda thing.


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In the future, attention span has been monetized so heavily that attention itself is now currency.


Or maybe, they've created a utopia where money isn't needed and everything is split equally.

It could happen.

Eh, probably not.


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platinum, gold, silver, and copper will hold their value for a long time, because of their perceived value, plus their usefulness in construction and art. Rare gems and minerals might also hold wealth for the same reasons.

digital currency would only work if they are in heavily trafficked regions prone to a lot of travel/commerce.

Primitive worlds might still use a barter system. Stock up on blue beads and pretty jewelry.


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Gold is useful as conductors for electronics.


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Malwing wrote:
Gold is useful as conductors for electronics.

im not 100% sure, but I think copper is worth more as a construction material than gold is, for it has a wider application of uses. I could be wrong, though.


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
In the future, attention span has been monetized so heavily that attention itself is now currency.

Good lord. If their attention span in the future is anything comparable to that of modern people, the economy must be bankrupt.


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XLordxErebusX: Well, yes, using gold for non-electronic construction is a silly idea.

HOWEVER, for electronics, Malwing is right. Silver is technically one of the best conductors, but it corrodes easily. Gold is pretty close, far closer than copper, and doesn't corrode at all. It's exceptionally good in that role, so long as there isn't enough current to heat it up too much. But for small things, like connectors? It's amazing

That being said, just because it's a space-faring campaign, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to have the same technological base than the real world does. It's entirely possible that gold will be much more common in their circuits and other electronic technology, to the point where it retains value as an exchange medium for that very purpose. A great increase in technology dependent on it will make it valuable enough for such use.

The fact that it also lets use keep GP as a currency, even in an altered form, is just a bonus.

I'd rather have GP than arbitrary 'credits' anyway.

Plus. it's funny to imagine a bunch of characters in power-armor charging up a hill of cracking gold-plated circuit-boards as they attack the Cyborg Red Dragon in its lair. ;)


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Quatloos.


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"I only deal in virtual gold, mind you. Physical currency is so Absalom Reckoning."


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Each system will have its own, I hope. The hilarity of someone rolling in creds on Absalom enters (insert system name here) space, and can't even buy a cup of (insert planet name here) coffee without hitting a conversion station.

Extra bookkeeping? Undoubtedly. We also have to remember past a certain point, PCs just stop buying things anyways because they end up finding/making/stealing whatever they need.


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You could have several exotic currencies or universal commodities.

Different sectors/regions of the galaxy might consider some currencies more valuable or see a higher demand for some kinds of things over others. An interstellar trader could buy a cheap, low-valued currency or commodity then travel to a different sector where there's a high demand for the good, which the trader could then sell at a premium.

Examples.

- A-FUEL : antihydrogen, antideuterium or antitritium; these can be replicated using either magic or technology out of normal matter. A-Fuel is probably valuable everywhere but is the most expensive fuel there is.

- H-FUEL : not as expensive or as energy-efficient as antimatter, but useful for powering fusion reactors. One unit of A-Fuel is probably worth a fixed number of H-Fuel units.

- N-FUEL : plutonium, uranium, thorium, or other fissionable heavy atoms which can power nuclear reactors. One unit of H-Fuel is worth many units of N-fuel.

* * * * *

- LATINUM/UNOBTAINIUM : exotic substance able to be conjured up by magic, but not technology. Nonmagical replication is possible, making this substance inherently collectible in areas where magic use is not widespread.

* * * * *

- NEUTRONIUM : a technologically useful substance that is virtually impossible to mass-produce by any means. It has to be extracted from the source (i.e. scraped off the surface of a neutron star or stellar remnant) using magically-enhanced vacuum suits.

* * * * *

- HEAVY MATTER : top/bottom (or charm/strange) quarks or antiquarks held in magical stasis. Only technology can create heavy matter, while the stasis bottle has to be created magically). Heavy matter doesn't have any intrinsic commercial use but it's much harder to mass-produce than mere gold or platinum, and is a collectible item.

* * * * *

- MAGNETIC MONOPOLES : appears in some sci-fi as a commercial viable substance to go mining for...

* * * * *

- EXOTIC/TACHYONIC MATTER : matter that has a negative or imaginary mass, perhaps with some interesting technological uses or as an essential spell component in advanced time-manipulation magic.

* * * * *

- SOUL GEMS : spiritual or psychic energy extracted and imprisoned in a precious or semiprecious stone. Technology can't even detect psychic energy, let alone trap it; only magic can capture a soul or enable a gemstone to trap it.

* * * * *

- TRADITIONAL RARE METALS : platinum, gold, silver, copper, mithral, adamantium, and the other skymetals might be employed as useful currencies. Some nations may mint their coins out of these metals but assign a face value greater than the intrinsic value of the substance (a 100 gp gold coin, for example, or a 10,000 gp platinum coin).

* * * * *

- E-MONEY : universal electronic money also referred to as trade credits. One trade credit (TC) is equivalent to one man-hour of unskilled labor. Trade Credits can be exchanged in various denominations and multiples. 1 kilocredit == 1,000 man-hours; 1 megacredit == 1,000,000 man-hours; etc. In fractions, 1 decicredit == 0.1 man-hour [6 minutes] of unskilled labor; 1 centicredit == 0.01 man-hour [6 rounds] of unskilled labor. Some may trade in millicredits which does not make much sense (how much unskilled labor can you render in 3.6 seconds?) but bankers are big fans of financial precision.

* * * * *

Trade Credits might be traded electronically via TRADE STRIPS : currency devices made of near-indestructible flexible plastic or ironwood, these devices work like real-world debit cards but don't depend on connectivity to a third-party database/bank system. Currency transfers are done via a temporary peer-to-peer connection (NFC style). The size/portability of the device is variable.

Trade Sliver (fine size category): usually subdermal implants, sometimes stuck in the palm, wrist. Some models have unusual interfaces (via optic nerve, tongue, etc)

Trade Slip (diminutive size): about the size of a business card or a pack of gum. Models of this size and larger have some basic 'tablet' features like calendars, a list of contacts, simple memo function etc.

Trade Strip (tiny): size of a 3x5 index card, or a thick pen, or a pocket-watch, more automated than a trade slip.

Trade Bar or Tablet (tiny): Somewhat cumbersome to carry around without a harness or carrying strap, these devices are fully-featured for use by merchants or executives. Most models are a fully-functional portable computer which could double as a remote interface for other technologies (drones, vehicles, data servers, etc.)

Trade Panel (small): The size of a small window or dinner plate, these are usually set up as part of a cashier's workstation.

Trade Tower (small or medium): Basically an automated teller machine or kiosk which almost always includes universal datanet access.


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In the future, the only recognised currency is VIOLENCE.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Star Wars laser discs is my suggestion.


I removed currency in my Iron gods campaing.
Bullets, batteries, goo food, water, fuel, antitoxin/antiplague, and other similar commodities are used to storage value in a barter oriented trade system.

That works better for apocalyptyc future setting, though.


I used GP for similar reasons in my space age campaign (ease of translation) despite the fact that the currency was paper or electronic. It translated weirdly well with the archaic Wizards d20 Future supplements I adapted it from when mixed with Pathfinder rules.

After all, Gold was good enough for the Psychlos in Battlefield Earth, right?


The all-mighty Abadollars. Come get your Abadollars! Reasonable exchange rates in all intergalatically recognized currencies! Absalomoney, Credits, Spacebons! For every 100 pounds of Doshium you bring, you get 33 Abadollars in exchange! A fair buying price, won't find a deal as good as that this side of the Desnature Belt!


How about Absalom space recognizes a standard unit but outside of that you have to deal in local system currency or just barter goods the best you can. It would make the Appraise skill, you know, do something.


Perhaps we can use AU from Aethera?


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In the future, the only recognised currency is sadness. :(


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:
In the future, the only recognised currency is sadness. :(

The only acceptable currency is teenage angst, most often in the form of bad emo poetry.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Three moody sonnets, please."

"Can you change an epic tragedy?"


Steve Geddes wrote:

"Three moody sonnets, please."

"Can you change an epic tragedy?"

Why bother? Nothing matters... :P


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

According to my Hitchhiker's guide -

The Ningi is a galactic unit of currency, valued at one eighth of a Triganic Pu. It is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles along each side. Galactibanks refuse to deal in Ningis, declaring them "fiddling small change."

Scarab Sages

Umbral Reaver wrote:
In the future, the only recognised currency is sadness. :(

But remember, currency only functions as currency if it is scarce. So a society that could use sadness as a currency is inherently one that is fundamentally a happy one.


That's funny. I came in here going "well as long as they don't use credits I'm fine, credits are so boring". Gets that shows how much in the mainstream I am. Heh.

Honestly I think a form of digital money make the most sense, I just hope they can find something fresh to call them--credits gets used so much it's dead to me.

An economy based on charges of magical energy stored in small high tech phylacteries would be fun. Especially if you could siphon those energies directly to power stylum--the tech equivalent of wands (sort of like a wand rifle mixed with an IPod).


Grimcleaver wrote:

That's funny. I came in here going "well as long as they don't use credits I'm fine, credits are so boring". Gets that shows how much in the mainstream I am. Heh.

Honestly I think a form of digital money make the most sense, I just hope they can find something fresh to call them--credits gets used so much it's dead to me.

An economy based on charges of magical energy stored in small high tech phylacteries would be fun. Especially if you could siphon those energies directly to power stylum--the tech equivalent of wands (sort of like a wand rifle mixed with an IPod).

In my Iron Gods campaign, I use a post apocalyptyc world and money is useless. We use bartering, with Food, Water, Fuel, Bullets, Medicine and Silverdisk being the mist commonly used trade goids to store value. Silverdisk are specially useful, they are coin sized disks that store 10 charges which you can use for recharging tech items.

Btw, the handheld wand like device you mention us a rip off Sonic Screwdriver in my game


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In the grim darkness of the future, the only recognised currency is genuine acts of kindness.

Lantern Lodge

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Monatomic gold needs to be considered in relation to a gold piece for exchange as a commodity. Please, and thank you.

I like the idea of a gold-pressed chip disk that keeps your personal wealth value on file in a central repository on Absalom Station. That is both fun and functional.


Scarcity, desirability, and utility are all things that should be considered when concerning currency.

I think in a situation where we're talking about the vastness of space, the idea of physical currency is unlikely in much the way many people today rarely use physical currency. We mostly rely on debit and credit cards.

Though, ultimately you could have credits represent ownership of some physical object that had some agreed upon inherent value between all the species of that sector of space. Most universally this is going to be some sort of energy source.

Though the honest truth is that for modern currency is no longer backed by precious metals or other valuables, but on good faith of the government.

Perhaps certain areas will only accept currency back by their governing body and if you don't have that currency you would have to work/trade for it with the possibility of no currency exchanges except in locations were Absalom station (which I'm taking as a melting pot/meeting place for all space faring species).


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Some kind of unobtanium should work well. Make it "melange" in Dune, or "japanium" in Mazinger Z, "Elerium" in Xcom, "element Zero" in Mass effect, "Vibranium" in Marvel, or (ironically) "unobtanium" in Avatar.

Some sort of "pseudomagically enhanced element that allow supernatural science to happen", becoming the universally wanted item that every race in the universe has an use for


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FTL fuel as currency?


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
FTL fuel as currency?

that was my idea, yes. Not exactly "fuel", but the thing that "allows FTL". In Dune, it's the melange spice, which let the Navigators to fly at FTL without crashing with random space trash. Avatar, Mass Effect, or Xcom also have elements that allow FTL in a way or another, with those elements having as well other "magic properties" that allow for other superscience (anti-gravity fields, for example). I have vague memories that Bravestarr's Kerium also had properties beyond being used as FTL enabler.

The problem with making it just "fuel", is that PC could deplete their ship (big?) fuel depot and just buy a lot of things for their chars. With an "enhabler" or "catalyst", like Melange Spice, you won't have a big amount of it in your ship.

Of course it could be used as fuel if you make it impossible to be removed from the "fuel depot" once it's installed, I suppose.

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