Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Designing a Planet Part 10 - Economy
After that brief two day interlude from the Designing a Planet series now we're back with the previously planned show. Today we discuss creating your world's economy and what it is used for and how to make it (on a basic level, creating an actual economy down to the little details would suck and probably not be worth your time).
Creating an economy goes hand in hand with many of the other details that have already been discussed such as history, powerful factions, and purpose. Economy sets parameters for the style of people, crimes, and ambitions that everyone has because of their lifestyles and what the economy allows them to be like. Of course for the few rich people they in general have the same motives and characteristics, there just might be more or less of them. I already talked about the nature of crime based on economy so I can skip that. What I haven't talked about with economy is how it is where you begin planning for the future, sort of laying the groundwork for where you want to take your story or campaign in one direction or another because of all the potential that is directly connected to the economy. By leaning the economy towards one end of the spectrum or another you are steering how developments of various elements might occur, new characters are added to the party/battlefield and what they are like, certain benefits one side may gain in a campaign from funding or supplies a party may find in their travels on the planet, this is another element with nearly unlimited potential.
When creating the economy you need to keep in mind all those pieces that have already been mentioned (or don't… you could completely ignore me. But if that’s you're plan why on terra are you reading this blog?) and the key to the whole thing is the foundation and where you want to take this. What style of economy would suit you best? There are a variety of economies that are obvious with some maybe less obvious ones, the obvious ones being communism, capitalism, or some mixture in between as well as the barter system. The not so obvious economy systems could involve complicated currency forms and conversions with emphasis on certain items in a sort of barter system based upon the need of the local industries, the importance of and specifics for any kind of culture or special religious principles, and problems that a district may be facing. This special case is, as I already said, a form of the barter system but what makes it different is that you set up values that are essentially means or determine the importance of any actual goods, materials, products, what have you. Remember that fleshing any of your details out more will never hurt, it will often give further inspiration for more ideas and can be something that you refer back to and rely upon later on if you feel like it and are at a dead end - perhaps it will keep you from doing any extra work later on!
In any case here's a quick example of all of that. With the jungle planet it is more communist than anything else because of the rigid military life style and survivalist, working together attitude that everyone has that lives there. As a result people are given credits or so (of an equal amount mostly, determined by their need and their contributions towards the planet's industries or needs) which is then spent on food and other items such as promethium for keeping back the jungle. The economy, because it is so strictly administrated and watched over is fairly strong but is not booming due to the lack of profits in much but the black markets where everything is a barter system so that people can get around the credit system of the government. This black market mostly involves illegal goods or just the normal items for much cheaper. Not the worst of black markets, and crime is not such a problem on the world due to it being fairly prosperous and most everybody being happy as well as the military keeping the dissent in check by being such a fascist society (because it is the Imperium of Man). Where I might take this planet from here for example is that somehow the economy just starts to fall, people revert to crime more and more, and uprisings and problems begin showing up across the planet as crime becomes more common and others turn to Chaos because they feel they have no other way out or they have lost their faith in the God-Emperor. Some of these desperate criminals might join a party or explain a conscripts squad in an Imperial Guard army in a campaign or special rule.
So there you have it. Another post.