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Post Apocalyptic Monetary System (Deathlands has the best Idea)


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  One of the better remembered bad ripoffs was “Battle Beyond the Stars”.  A jump on the bandwagon Sci-Fi epic starring Richard Thomas (John-Boy from TV’s Waltons) looking for space mercenaries that included...Sybil Danning, George Peppard (pre A-Team) as Cowboy and most notably Robert Vaughn playing pretty much the same character as he did in Magnificent Seven.

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Late to the thread, but ideal currencies need only to be durable, scarce, portable, and divisible.  And the last two are not hard and fast requirements.


As such, ammunition would make excellent currency, especially if there's a set conversion rate like four .22LR = two 9mm = 1 AR round.  It's also useful for other reasons, though currencies usually aren't--consider that gold is practically useless for anything other than decoration.


The other thing I can think of for post-apocalyptic currency would be medications, especially antibiotics.  But it has problems with durability and divisibility, and its value would vary greatly depending on whether you were currently sick or not.


The electricity idea posted upthread would be a good idea if it could be easily stored and exchanged, such as with some kind of ubiquitous power cell.  Otherwise what you have is Bartertown--political power, but not a monetary system per se.

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  • 5 months later...

Our group played Twilight 2000 (way back in the 80s and 90s) for several years. Our “currencies” changed several times, depending on location, local resources, and need. Barter and Trading became vital skills.

For a while, the players used ammunition - small arms, mortars, C4 - as the standard for trade. Then at various times vehicle parts, including bicycles, black powder, food, and medicines. Once they even ‘acquired’ several tons of gold, and found it was only as valuable as their trustworthiness. 

Eventually the true currency became skill sets. Horticulturist and farmer. Engineer, mechanic, electrician, and gunsmith. Tactician, trader, and navigator. Some PCs became so valuable, the rest of the party would throw themselves in front to take a bullet.


The mechanic was so protected that the player quickly got bored. So, we let her play a scout as a second character. (The player was indispensable. She would point out what could be salvaged from houses and vehicles and what could be made from the scavenged parts. Being an engineer at the Oak Ridge National Labs has unexpected perks.)

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