Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-21-2017, 08:19 PM   #1
Boomerang
 
Boomerang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Default Post Apocalyptic Economics

This thread is for discussing possible economic systems and currencies for the types of post apocalyptic, after the end scenarios featured in RPGs.

I think gold would be a good currency option for the basis of an after the end economy. When I get a minute I will detail why I think that.
Boomerang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2017, 08:59 PM   #2
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomerang View Post
This thread is for discussing possible economic systems and currencies for the types of post apocalyptic, after the end scenarios featured in RPGs.

I think gold would be a good currency option for the basis of an after the end economy. When I get a minute I will detail why I think that.

Start with the fact that it isn't perishable. One thing you don't want in a medium of exchange is a tendency to rust or rot on the shelf. Gasoline, ammo, food, these are barter commodities but they aren't currency. Even if you don't use them they'll become worthless in a few years.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2017, 09:08 PM   #3
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomerang View Post
This thread is for discussing possible economic systems and currencies for the types of post apocalyptic, after the end scenarios featured in RPGs.

I think gold would be a good currency option for the basis of an after the end economy. When I get a minute I will detail why I think that.
Gold can work, if things have come back together enough for a monetized economy at all. But it can be too rare. That's one of the reasons some societies historically have chosen to use silver.

Note that it's conceivable that refined metal in general in such a setting could be valuable enough to make a viable currency.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2017, 10:28 PM   #4
Dalillama
 
Dalillama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
.

Note that it's conceivable that refined metal in general in such a setting could be valuable enough to make a viable currency.
Most refined metals are too useful to make a currency. If it can be made into a saw or a knife or a plow or a spear, nobody is going to make it into a coin.
Dalillama is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 01:01 AM   #5
Boomerang
 
Boomerang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Why I think gold is a good after the end currency:

1) Historic acceptance: through much of recorded history gold was money and even in modern times with fiat currencies backed by strong governments about 40% of all gold is held by investors. In ancient times gold ownership was a sign of status.

2) Durability: as mentioned before in this thread, gold does not tarnish, is resistant to acids, is non-flammable and does not spoil.

3) Non-consumable: gold that has been used, for example for jewellery and dental fillings can be recovered fairly easily.

4) Appeal: polished gold is beautiful. Gold is valued even when it has no mundane practical purpose.

5) Rareness: gold is rare enough that small quantities can represent large amounts of value. Although as discussed earlier in some cases it could be too rare to be practical. I think it would depend on how the end came about.

6) Easy to verify: gold has a number of properties that make it difficult to forge and relatively easy to validate.

7) Quantifiable: gold is easy to quantify by weight.

8) Independence: gold's value isn't tied to any particular commodity, unlike for example ammunition which depends on the availability of compatible firearms. And it's value is independent of government unlike fiat currencies.

9) Storage and portability: makes it handy for transactions.

10) Security: a small amount of gold is worth a lot so it is easy to hide a large amount of wealth or even the fact that you have any.

11) Malleability: gold is soft enough that it can be split into smaller denominations with hand tools but not so soft it falls apart.

12) Future proof: as civilisation rebuilds the relative value of gold increases.
Boomerang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 09:20 AM   #6
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

The main problem I see with precious metals is availability. I don't have little gold beads sitting around to trade with people. All the gold I own is tied up in jewelry of highly sentimental value (wedding rings and such).

Additionally, I don't know that the skills in an after the end setting support the fine weighing and checking of precious metals. Though if you have enough of a society to have an official metal of exchange you might have those skills.
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 12:06 PM   #7
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Money requires much more societal infrastructure and stability than I normally connect with post apocalyptic settings.
Most are about survival, so an object's value is completely connected to how much it will help that. Specks of shiny rock or metal seem like silly luxuries. Individuals may want them, but not everyone and certainly not enough to spend real resources to get.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 01:15 PM   #8
Dalillama
 
Dalillama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Also a valid point; how long after the apocalypse are we talking here?If it's less than a couple decades there probably won't be any currency at all.
Dalillama is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 01:17 PM   #9
Irish Wolf
 
Irish Wolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Earth, mostly
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Also a valid point; how long after the apocalypse are we talking here?If it's less than a couple decades there probably won't be any currency at all.
I was just preparing to ask the same question. For the first few decades, "valuable" will pretty much mean the same as "edible" or "useful". Fripperies like "pretty metal" only matter when you've got the basic needs of survival covered.
__________________
SCIENCE:
If you don't make mistakes, you're doing it wrong.
If you don't correct your mistakes, you're doing it even more wrong.
If you're unable to admit mistakes, you're not doing it at all.
Irish Wolf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 02:18 PM   #10
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: Post Apocalyptic Economics

Take a page from Fallout and have something generally worthless as a type of coinage... bottle caps anyone? :)
__________________
"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
after the end, economics

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.