Crafting Money (was: RE: [MUD-Dev] Star Wars Galaxies: 1 characte r per server)
Andrew L. Tepper
teppy at ironsoft.com
Wed Jan 1 22:50:29 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003
Jeff Freeman wrote:
> It's made me think that money, "coins", could themselves be
> craftable, given the infrastructure to support this sort of 2-way
> conversion. In a meta-sense, the 2-way conversion is already
> there: I can sell a sword for $5 and, if that's the going rate for
> a sword, then presumably I can buy a sword for $5, too. But the
> mechanics of this are so abstracted and unreliable that it doesn't
> Feel like I can do that, even if I actually can (ignoring the NPCs
> that invariable buy swords for $1 and sell them for $50, because
> they're about as much of the economy as a trashcan).
A Tale in the Desert (www.ataleinthedesert) does this, sort of. With
some papyrus paper and ink, players can craft un-forgeable
money. They can name the currency "JoeBucks" or "SteveShekels" or
whatever. It takes the same resources to craft a 1-SteveShekel note
as it does a 1000-SteveShekel note.
Getting others to value your currency is a challenge. One player had
had success by promising to keep one (for example) piece of Straw in
a chest, per issued unit of currency. He had a policy of allowing
anyone presenting his currency to swap for Straw. He gave a few
others the ability to audit him. This was basically a "full reserve"
Another group did the same thing, but only promised to keep a few of
their chosen commodity (Iron) in reserve. If anyone wanted to swap
for more than they had, they promised to stop whatever they were
doing at the time and immediately make the demanded Iron. This was
almost like a "fractional reserve" system, but with an undefined
A third group tried a "basket of goods" approach, which was never
well spelled out, and failed.
Our Beta#2 ended soon thereafter, but it would have been interesting
to see what evolved. In Beta#3, which is ongoing, they have not yet
reached the Minting technology.
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