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Very Different Places RPG

Iron Legion

Tripocalypse

Left Beyond

Waylights

Photon Knights

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Paint It Green (Under construction)

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Stuff

"I'll grab my stuff!"
"There is no time. Your sword is enough."

We're not going to try to design an economy for this setting, so this article is mostly OOC.

Equipment in Waylights is generally bought in tals (thals, talis; Tsuxians say "thalers" for some reason), although barter is not uncommon. Refined crystals constitute a sort of de facto second currency and would probably be the main coin of the realms if it wasn't for the fact that they have a half-life and that handling crystals too much and too casually causes psi chosys.

For simplicity, take your country's everyday-use small bill (dollar/euro/pound/1000 yen...), divide it by ten, and call that the value of a tal for things that aren't covered here (so for example, a low quality meal at a smuggler's dive might cost you thirty tals based on today's IRL price of three euro for two cheeseburgers at a fast food joint).

With very few exceptions there is no such thing as brand names, although there definitely is such a thing as a maker's mark: given that at least 10% of the world's population is nomadic or seminomadic, word of mouth works really well. Anything that a land cannot produce it must import, which generally means it'll cost about twice as much. One main difference between Waylights and real life is that plastic while known is nearly nonexistent: plastic requires oil, which is known but very scarce since most power is derived from crystals, and the types of plastic that can be made have been replaced by various hybrid or deep natural fibers. Airship envelopes are made of canvas and silk, but are as strong as kevlar, and so on.

In general, basic consumables cost about as much as they do for us today, while durable goods (toasters, clothing, books) are more expensive but last much longer, due to the basic lack of mass production; also because of this, there is little disposable anything (part of why ammunition is very expensive and spray-n-pray is not a good strategy). Fabric is one of the few things that is mass produced, but it's generally used for envelopes, walls (a lot of structures are temporary and designd to be collapsible) and the like. Person-wearable fabric also has to be very tough to resist high winds, provide protection from miasma storms, and so on. If you are familiar with the immediate post-WW2 period, use it as a guide for what is available. For example, you cannot buy 200t shoes - but your 1000t shoes will last at least three or four years, more if they're kept in repair. It is socially acceptable for a middle class household to go to school or to work with clothes that have a few tasteful patches, although they wouldn't wear them to church or to a business meeting. Due to a crystal-based energy model, power is cheap but material is more scarce.

TL;DR: The basic coin is worth ten cents of your country's currency. There are no fractional coins. Consumables are worth as much as they are in real life, durable goods cost about four times as much but last much longer and can take a lot of damage.

Price for items that do not exist in real life will be provided.

Below is a conversion table and some examples.

Item typeConversion factorNotes
Food, water, detergent, etc.10:1Default conversion factor.
Carpentry supplies, rope, etc.10:1Default conversion factor.
Metal items: nails, screws...20:1Metal is somewhat rare.
Tools, silverware, optical gadgets, simple power tools etc.40:1Little mass production, good base quality
Complex electrical or electronic device (radio or timer, or contains one)60:1Little mass production, good base quality. Requires vacuum tubes, etc.
Clothing, shoes, fabric etc.20:1One of the few massproduced things; little processing required
Hand weapons40:1Little mass production, good base quality
Launchers (bows, xbows, pneu rifles...)50:1Usually AK-47 tough. Using a launcher as a club happens more often than it should but non-precision launchers are designed for it.
Bulk foodstuff10:1Default conversion factor.
Bulk materials15:1In general, heavy things cost more to transport, in addition metal is more scarce.
Refined crystals1:1As compared to a liter of gasoline (Note that your average small airplane gets single-digit miles per gallon IRL!).

Socketed tools have to be built a certain way, and require more careful manufacture and often at least a little bit of psi effort from the maker. They can cost from 10 to 100 times more. The exception for this is electrical appliances that use a crystal and thermocouple for power, as that type of socket is simple and well-understood.

If an object fits two categories, use the higher cost one. A few examples follow.

ItemDescriptionCostRationale
FlickerAn inflatable parasail that can be quickly emptied and refilled15kMostly clothing: 30:1 from the base price of a generic parasail as found online
Wireless telephoneA transportable two-way radio with a hand crank and/or power socket7200Electrical tool: 60:1 from the base price of a CB radio
PKE meterA handheld device to help dowsing for crystal deposits (or stockpiles)30kElectrical tool: 60:1 from the base price of a FLIR camera or laser distance sensor
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Page last modified on April 30, 2014, at 01:52 PM