Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mutant Future Money: Silver and Gold and Bottle Caps?

 My Mutant Future Campaign has its second session this afternoon, Woo Hoo!
Things are going well, the guys are taking to the game way better than I expected actually. None of them have played a P.A. RPG before, but they all adapted very well last session and quickly started working as an effective team to overcome some tough opponents!  I think the recent Fallout New Vegas release has everyone in a Post Apocalyptic gaming mood.
One issue I'm still trying to make a decision on is how to handle money in the campaign. 
Mutant Future uses the Gold Coin standard,  which makes since for the game designers purposes, but I'm not sure that is the sole way I want to go for my campaign.  The players rolled their starting gold bought their gear and then headed out.  However, do I want them finding gold coins as treasure on a regular basis? Sure I can see it potentially having value (look at the markets today for an example, every time I turn on the TV or radio someone is saying to "Buy GOLD!"), I can see some cool adventures with them raiding old vaults and such for gold, but wouldn't there be other money systems used as well?
Fallout uses the cool Bottlecaps concept.  Which fits the Fallout Retro 50's style setting perfectly, but I'm not sure it works for my current campaign.

Darwin's World uses Corium (a rare and dangerous to harvest metal found at the bottom of old nuclear reactors) and Classic Gamma World used the Domar, a type of money of the Ancients.
I could use a variation of all of the above, depending on where the characters are on the campaign map, different enclaves, towns and such might use different meanse of exchange, not to mention the ever present Barter system.  Hmmm something to ponder...
Anyways I was just curious what the rest of you Mutant Lord's were doing in your games.


  1. Wow! I love those 50 cent, 25 cent and 1 cent coins. So cool!

  2. Cool Domars.

    I used Plastoons, Lead Pieces and Uranium Pieces in my last Mutant Future campaign. It helped things feel a little bit different and sci-fi-ish. I also cautioned my players about having too many U.P.s as you never knew when you could reach critical mass...

  3. I used bullets as currency in The New West. Higher the caliber, the higher the denomination. Made for some interesting player choices when it came down to saving money vs. killing that thing that was coming to gnaw off your face.

    I actually found that the prices on the equipment list made it fairly easy to work up a barter based economy.

    1. Wow. That's kind of brilliant.

      I pay thee the ultimate GM compliment, "I am stealing that."

  4. It's been a while since we've played post-apoc, but when it came to currency we used ammo. It made for a lot of fun really and looting fallen enemies that yielded ammo the party didn't have guns for was another way to get 'cash' in their hands.

    Ammo was the hard currency, but bartering also went very far with the group, the other two hot commodities being fuel and luxury consumables like chocolate and tobacco.

  5. I always thought that Corium was a not a good idea. The concept of radioactive coins seemed... unwise.

    I like domars but let us be serious for a moment. How likely will it be that there will even be physical money in the future? How many people use cash now? What percentage used it 100 years ago? What percentage will use it in another 100 years?

    PA coind should be what ever the people come up with at that time. Silver & gold will be the most likely metals. Reuysing existing coins will be the default. New ones minted will probably be very similar.

    I know, I rain upon the parade. But we already have flying lions with laser eyes. Can we at least have sensible coins?

  6. A credit (cr) is a thin (two inch by three inch) plastic card that has been gathered from ancient ruins and is used as currency. A credit has the exchange value of a silver coin (1sc = day’s wage for unskilled worker). These non-biodegradable cards are embossed with colorful pictures and cryptic messages written in the same alphabet used by humans and furries (intelligent genetically-engineered mammals). Accepted by most traders and nations, the credit is impossible to counterfeit.

    Individual nations and city-states often mint their own coins whose value equals the weight of their metal. Foreign coins can be converted to acceptable tender for a modest fee (1-6%). Adventurers beware; large amounts of foreign coin will attract attention of crooks or law enforcement.

  7. Wow,
    Some great comments, ideas and suggestions!!
    Thanks everyone for your input!
    Had another great session today.
    The party met up with a Trader today, and the trading and such went quite well, combo of barter, old coin, old jewelry, and the really valuable commodity ;Knowledge and information!

  8. My plan was to make currency as variable as the societies my PCs were to pass through. Pure barter had a greater chance of success, put simply, although I dig the idea of created currencies by overlords keen to put a veneer of civilization on their upstart fiefdoms.

    Not related, but when I was involved in a production of Macbeth set in a post-apocalyptic future, my character proclaimed that our defeated foes had been forced to pay us 10,000 dollars and triumphantly hoisted strings of pop tops.

  9. I'll happily hork some of these ideas, too. I was never happy with the Domar as a kid, and tried to stick with precious stones, colored glass, and metals as currency.

  10. I'm all about using Credit Cards as currency. Gold cards are worth more.

    It was originally used in one of the GW editions, and basically what Clovis posted about above.

  11. I think of the GP in MF as just an agreed upon rate of exchange. Coins aren't actually changing hands, but some other kind of bartered trade good.

    I'm playing Fallout 3 right now and reading Atomic Highway and Mutant Future RPGs, so I've got this stuff on the brain.

    In Fallout I think of the caps representing credit. On their own, their worthless, but society has agreed that they will use them to represent exchanged goods and services. Much as why our own currency is worth so little by weight today.

    Gold as coinage is actually a pretty terrible idea. It just doesn't make any sense for people of sufficient means to NOT horde it. I imagine the past of settings using credit cards and bottle caps as currency having been previously ruled by wealthy folks and the old currency. Until the people finally said, "hell, I don't need that guy; look, I'll trade you breakfast and a bed for a little labor, deal?" "Sure, I don't need the labor though, why don't we bring up some kind of credit system at the next town hall meeting?"