Information on the Credit

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 25, 2016 - 7:53am
I'm looking to verify some wiki information about the UPF credit system.  We know from the rulebooks that ID cards are used for transactions like renting a vehicle or riding the monorail.  That presumes that the UPF is in some part a "cashless" society.

The rulebooks I have access to don't really say much more than that, but the wiki entry (at the other wiki) goes on to say (among other things) that it is possible to convert small amounts of credits to physical tokens for small purchases, but that using large amounts of "hard cash" draws the attention of the authorities and may be illegal in some systems.

Is there anything in any of the modules, Dragon/etc articles that addresses this issue?  What "facts" (meaning supportable from the published material) do we know about the UPF Credit system?
Comments:

iggy's picture
iggy
April 25, 2016 - 12:35pm
I do not remember reading anything in the modules, Ares magazine, or rules about hard currency.  I have always thought of credits as existing in the frontier computerized banking system.
-iggy

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 25, 2016 - 12:54pm
That's the same conclusion I'm coming to, but I don't have access to 100% of the magazines, etc.  I just want to be sure I'm not missing sources.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 25, 2016 - 3:25pm
I don't know of any source that defines it any more than what you quoted from the rules.  I've always assumed that there are forms of physical currency but more used on the outpost worlds.  Most places take the ID card and there is a centralized accounting network but you can get physical coins and bills in places.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 27, 2016 - 1:54am
Trust me, there is a form of conducting "off the books" business in the Frontier. 

There always is. Cool
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 27, 2016 - 4:42am
I always figured a mixed economy...

Credits on cards, real cash, trade goods like SEUs accepted in some locals or processed ores for example in bars. The Black Market has got to do buisness every planet. 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
April 27, 2016 - 5:17am
If you are living on a low population outpost planet where you are mostly self sufficient but still need to get some things from the local general store a credit system would work. But if you wanted to trade with your neighbors or pay some temporary workers than other systems would be needed. Barter would be the most likely.

As for black markets that is total wild card. Barter exchange, stock options, credit exhanges from banks with extremely strict privacy laws, shell corporations, personal service hours, giving 200 roses an hour for medical assistance, home printed certificates of exchange (disney dollars) and the list goes on
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

iggy's picture
iggy
April 28, 2016 - 8:20am
This is also a question of sovereignty and identity.  Maintaining a local currency strengthens a nations sovereignty greatly. 
-iggy

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 28, 2016 - 9:52am
True. which brings in the question of the UPF in general.  The canon rules seem to indicate a UN-like organization of sovereign worlds.  A single currency though suggests a closer relationship than that, perhaps more of an EU than a UN, but not as unified as the US.


Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 28, 2016 - 10:52am
True on the individual monetary system is usually important to governments in RL, moving to the EU by many nations was a huge deal. I figure there are not separate monetary systems in the game rules to keep the money keeping simple for players and referee. However there is no reason why one could not have separate systems...

I have toyed with the idea of human colonies using dolmars & credits depending on the colony. Vrusk & Drals using the Credit as that is the system they where using before the other races showed up and Yazirians have their own traditional money too.  But in all cases everyone trades using Credits some way some how. I have to finnish fleshing it out, exchange rates, laws on different planets concerning which currencies are honored... and probably creating an "off shore banking" planet. The planet that trades with all, no one can get info on accounts, a lot of shady stuff but everyone needs it to do certain things even the UPF and all the planets in it need it too. 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 28, 2016 - 11:49am
Tchklinxa wrote:
I have toyed with the idea of human colonies using dolmars & credits depending on the colony. Vrusk & Drals using the Credit as that is the system they where using before the other races showed up and Yazirians have their own traditional money too.  But in all cases everyone trades using Credits some way some how. I have to finnish fleshing it out, exchange rates, laws on different planets concerning which currencies are honored... and probably creating an "off shore banking" planet. The planet that trades with all, no one can get info on accounts, a lot of shady stuff but everyone needs it to do certain things even the UPF and all the planets in it need it too. 


Oooh, dolmars. I'm getting that Gamma World vibe.

Yes, I think the credit system is for simplicity, but if you can come up with an exchange rate that would be great....

Of course then one would have to keep in mind things like inflation... is that 5,000 Credit Ground Car from 50 FY still only 5,000 Credits in 111 FY? How about recessions and depressions? I don't think the Frontier is going to overcome the economic boom and bust cycle despite what various monetary utopians think we can do now...

Then there is the march of technology. I wonder for fan-created devices if we should provide years for when such-and-such device or weapon is introduced. I've tried to do that with my complilation of various weapons from Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer. Anyway, something to think about.
Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
iggy
April 28, 2016 - 12:40pm
Credits are definitely uniform in the game to make it simple.   SF was marketed to early teens who would focus on adventure, not the complexities of market economies.  But as an adult with experience traveling between nations and their currency systems it would be fun to mess with fluctuating economics using a simple set of economic timelines consulted secretly by the referee. 
-iggy

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 28, 2016 - 1:48pm
^That sort of thing would come into play really most often if you were running a KH freighter campaign.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 28, 2016 - 6:05pm
The Frontier Credit would have several denominations, I have them as plastic chips in varying colors with the base 1 Cr being white, a 5 Cr would be red, 10 Cr is copper, 20 is silver, and 100 would be gold (all silk chromed plastic, like a model car kit would have for the "shiny" bits). What I have yet to develop is etchings on the "head"...the UPF logo would be etched on the "tail" side of each but aside from Admiral Morgaine being on the white 1 Cr token, I'm up in the air for the rest.


It should also be noted that canon rules permit non-credit currency on some (non-Frontier) worlds, suggesting the SEU as a possible base unit of currency. I would also presume the Rim has their own separate means of currency, I honestly do not recall if Zeb's mentions it anywhere.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 29, 2016 - 3:59am
I could have sworn that there was mention of SEU currency somewhere in the rules, but I'm quickly learning that a lot of stuff seems to have crept in over the years that everyone says were "in the rules" that really isn't/wasn't.

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 29, 2016 - 4:38am
SEU thing I think is just player/ref logic. 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 29, 2016 - 6:48am
ChrisDonovan wrote:
I could have sworn that there was mention of SEU currency somewhere in the rules, but I'm quickly learning that a lot of stuff seems to have crept in over the years that everyone says were "in the rules" that really isn't/wasn't.


It is probably someone's house rules. The game, as written by the creators, is meant to be taken in whatever the direction the referee and players want it to go. Have fun!
Joe Cabadas

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 29, 2016 - 10:19am
I thought Credits were issued by PanGal, not the UPF.

I'll have to look in Alpha Dawn.

In the absence of any canon statement about who created the Credit and who issues Credits, I think Pan Gal is likelier than the UPF. UPF is not an interstellar state until later canon. 
But this is all just my opinion.

Zeb's Guide fans may disagree. Or maybe not, since IIRC, the megacorps are very tied in to the UPF structure of late SF canon.


EDIT Flipped through AD. No mention of the UPF issuing money. And since it ( the UPF) is explicitly not an interstellar state, but a " loose alliance", while Pan Gal is described as one of the oldest, largest, and most powerful organizations in the Frontier...

Well, to each his own.
I think both FedCredits and PanGal Credits could work just fine. It depends on what the Referee wants. 
So far as I can tell, there is no official answer in the core rules and setting material.
I think the wiki should reflect that ambiguity, unless something in a later published source clears it up.




JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 29, 2016 - 10:02am
Oh, and therew was a story by C.J. Williams called "Buying and Selling" in one of the issues of Star Frontiersman magazine. That article has some useful information too.
Joe Cabadas

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 29, 2016 - 10:03am
So my interpretation of the Credit is that it is an accounting unit and an instrument of commerce created by PanGal. Because Pan Gal is the biggest corporation, the other corps and the planetary governments generally use PanGal Credits, too. 


Local currencies also exist, no doubt.

PanGal created a synthetic language ( Pan Galactic) just to facilitate trade. Issuing some sort of encoded scrip/money seems small in comparison with that.



Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 29, 2016 - 10:04am
I'll have to check that one out,thanks!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 29, 2016 - 10:25pm
ChrisDonovan wrote:
I could have sworn that there was mention of SEU currency somewhere in the rules, but I'm quickly learning that a lot of stuff seems to have crept in over the years that everyone says were "in the rules" that really isn't/wasn't.

I just tried finding it to no avail, it's not in AD anywhere (basic or expanded). I'll need to scour KH and Zeb's next, or perhaps it was mentioned in back of one of the modules as a campaign extension idea. 
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 30, 2016 - 6:55am
GW has the generic any color Dolmar (5) to Gold (1oz) idea. 

Zebs has the reference to SEUs "In the early years of the Frontier, 1 SEU was the original standard medium of exchange, equal to about 5 Cr. Since everyone needed energy, and the varying forms of energy were relatively convertible, it was a logical currency."..."some undeveloped worlds might still have a few primitive settlements that only deal in SEU currency" This is under Ammunition & Energy.

There is also the suggested no more than 10% break on price or raising the price no more than 15% on Black Market under Item Costs and the Black Market. 

Both sections are on page 63 (69 of PDF) chapter New Equipment...

So not fan idea after all. My bad.


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 30, 2016 - 7:51am
Thanks for the update Tch!  Energy as currency would be a very advanced form of barter.  I say barter because energy has intrinsic value, being used to do work.  That would make it even better than gold, which, when you get right down to it, has at best marginal real utility.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 30, 2016 - 8:18am
knew I'd read it in one of the published books. I'm actually more amazed that I --- of all people --- retained such a nugget from that book. 

Undecided


I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 21, 2019 - 9:22pm
Update on Credits from Villians of Volturnus Endless quest book
page 95 the protagonist leaves a few "PermaPlastik" credit coins in payment for something.

Now the source material is not what I would credit as highly authoritative for a few reasons but some setting details can be gleaned from it. This is one I would accept. Credits are standard electronic agreed upon method of transacting of goods and services but the is also the PermaPlastik credit coins which may or may not be of equal value to the standard credit.

Standard electronic credits were created and popularized by PGC. However in the setting materials we see that Streel as a mega corp is concerned with banking. It or a subsidy bank created the PermaPlastik credit coins. which were a instant hit and have been wide spread especially in some systems liek Dramune (Outer Reach), and where STreel holds sway to lesser extent in many human colonies  but not so much in Vrusk colonies and little penetration of yazirian colonies but that is more from traditional yazirian thinking and prejudices toward ancient yazirian coinage. The notable exception is PGC as a lobbying org has influenced law makers on Gran Quivera to outlaw the PermaPlastik credit although it is still traded on Gran Quivera by those that wish for a transaction to be off the grid and etc.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!