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Wavinator

In an RPG without money, where's attainment?

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A couple of threads have sparked this idea: Let's say that you have some sort of Star Trek society, where we assume there's no such thing as coin, banks, or villagers that charge 999,000 for the Level 88 Ubersword (Uberphaser, sorry [wink]). So what do you do for the addictive sense of attainment that comes from earning money? Attaining, I think, in our minds, equals power, freedom and control (maybe because of the type of society we are, I'm not sure). We find it deeply rewarding, which is why monsters are effectively pinatas that burst into gold when we're done hitting them. When you get money, you often think in terms of planning and strategy. "Should I spend it on that keen dagger, or should I tough it out and save up for the Klingon Batleth? Will it be worth it by the time I get it? Will I want something else?" I don't think you can simply swap in a reward or rank points. Money grants little rewards, and is deeply psychological. And we mark our progress by the loot we get, by the stuff we can afford to outfit our character with. So is a money-less RPG impossible?

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I'll assume you are refering to RPG/MMORPG's since most games don't involve the need for money to acquire stuff.

Can you give me a definition of a society where money doesn't exist? I'm not a Star Trek fan so I don't understand the reference.

Is it a barter society where items/goods are traded for other goods? I would assume that these types of things don't just materialize or that the person who owns them would willingly give them to you.

I suppose making a system where, instead of exploded gold pinata monsters, the monsters are exploding goods pinata's. To aquire more unique items may require that you find some set of goods which can be traded for that cool new dagger. It still results in the same type of system though.

Perhaps limit the player to only gain access to items/potions/weapons through crafting. The biggest problem is making crafting fun. I have yet to experienced a crafting system that I would define as fun.

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Quote:
Can you give me a definition of a society where money doesn't exist? I'm not a Star Trek fan so I don't understand the reference.

Is it a barter society where items/goods are traded for other goods? I would assume that these types of things don't just materialize or that the person who owns them would willingly give them to you.
Actually, in the Star Trek world goods would just materialize. Replicators could make just about anything. People did their jobs for "the benefit of all mankind".

Quote:
Perhaps limit the player to only gain access to items/potions/weapons through crafting. The biggest problem is making crafting fun. I have yet to experienced a crafting system that I would define as fun.
Wish had a good crafting system. Mainly because there was so much to make. Corks, brooms, handles, shorts, you name it.

I think in a moneyless RPG, the attainment of power and control through rank in a powerful organization would take over. Since you can't throw money around, you do 'favors' to gain influence and manipulate people.

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I think a RPG without money would be possible, but I don't think I'd play it, I played Runescape (an MMORPG) for about 2 years and in the end the only thing that kept me going was getting richer and richer. I made all my money by dueling and after I made 21,000,000gp (which was a lot in Runescape) I ended up giving it away and quitting.

But I think an RPG with money would be more successful. Are you thinking about creating an RPG with no money in it?

EDIT: In terms of utility of the money, the best armour in the game cost ~3m . So I had really had 18m to spare, which would go to spare armour (at some points I had ~20 of the best sets of armour, well except Dragon Medium). I couldn't use the best shield in the game because it required a magic level of 59, whilst mine was 1.

My other money would go to items helping me in fights (Food to heal and potions to temporarily increase skills). Other uses of money were rare items such as Party Hats which cost ~15m for the most expensive one, but they provided no armour benefits so I never bought one.

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item trading where you start off with rubbish items (that you find) and have to 'work your way up the ladder' by trading items and just generally gaining.

I don't like the fact in games where money just appears out of nowhere, I would like a game where theres a fixed economy and people have to do something to gain the money (rather than fight X get given Y).

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Hmm, I think producing a money less rpg just for the sake of it would be a bad move. By definition, you wouldnt be adding anything interesting or useful, just removing another game mechanic.

This would simplify a game to some degree, but in an rpg simplification is not really desired.

A money less rpg is possible, but it would be an rpg with fewer features and options available to the player.

"I don't like the fact in games where money just appears out of nowhere, I would like a game where theres a fixed economy and people have to do something to gain the money (rather than fight X get given Y)."

Agreed, monster bashing shouldnt earn you alot. There should be little financial gain in attacking person X, and that gain should be outweighed by becoming an outlaw, etc, so that only a dedicated outlaw could make money from bashing things.

Bashing commercial competitors etc would be another matter entirely, whereby removing competition affects your holdings.

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A Bartering system could be used, but for selling to NPC's and such you would pretty much NEED a value system (a system in which the NPC determines the value of the items the player offers and the item the player wants so the player can buy from NPC's).

I would think that this system would involve problems though because it would be hard to find someone to barter with that wants what you have and vice versa. With money, EVERYONE wants it so there is always someone that wants it.

Example:
No Money: Say in a game where the player can get bear skins and sell them to a cloth worker. The Cloth Workers would find this REALLY valuable. The Cloth Worker wants it, but doesn't have anything the player wants. The player goes off looking for more Cloth Workers and finds one. The Cloth Worker gives him a Sword for the Skins.

Money: Player kills bears and then gets the skins. The player says he is selling bear skins for 100 dollars. Cloth Worker has the 100 dollars and instantly pays the player. Player then goes and buys a Shield or Sword he wants.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator

So is a money-less RPG impossible?


No, the recently released Xenosaga Episode II for PS2 completely eliminated money and shops. This decision was one of the top complaints about this game.

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Secert of Evermore an old SNES game had one chapter that involved a fun barter system that essentialy involved running around to various stalls trading 1 good for another until you had what the stalls trading equipment and rare items wanted. It was fun since you had to do a little market research and exploration. You want that jade disk? Well the guy will trade it for a lime stone tablet, a gold urn, and a cat statue. Now you have to find the people who sell those and see what they want. I enjoyed it alot.

But for a society without money in a startrek like world then anyone could have anything and would thus choose whatever they belive to be the best of that something. So instead you need other limitations, access levels would be a good one. A characters access level would determine what equipment they are allowed to replicate. As such it could be used as an incentive and punishment system. You've done well on your last few repair missions as reward you've been promoted from handy man to repairman which includes an increase in your engineering access level from 2 to 3. So perhaps a citzen starts with level one access in all categories. Catagories might include medical for instance, nd level 1 medical might allow a person to replicate bandages, tylenonal, antiseptic spray, etc... However if you want that portable dermal regenerator then your going to need at least level 5 medical access.


Another possibility would be to have replicator rations every item has a replication cost. Rations can be saved up and are rewarded at regular intervals. So as a repairman you receive 400 replication points a week. That type I micro scanner you've had your eye on costs 100 replications points so it will take you a while to save up enough for it. This of course is in essence another form of currency.

Either way since the player can effectivly choose the whatever equipment they want to use at their level then choice becomes a question of comparisons. So if level 2 weapondry allows you to choose between three diffrent energy pistols. Then the one the player uses will depend on whichever one they feel is the best.

Another option that might be worth exploring is that perhaps replicated equipment is worse then constucted equipment. Constructed equipment would be rare and difficult to aquire but worth the effort to aquire it.

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disallow replication, but model the money system on todays world methinks.

another one is bartering (like trading cards), where people only swap if they think they have a good deal. initially deal out some items to a selected few players and watch them spread evenly throughout the game world.

add a natural way for people to advertise.

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