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#1 Luddite

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 05:37 AM

OK, aside from humans themselves, what is considered to be the most valuable substance in the imperium?

Gold?  Diamonds? Water?

What?



#2 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 06:12 AM

Psykers... but let's asume those go under the human category.

I'd say raw materials to keep the wheels of the Imperium turning. Ores, minerals, promethium etc.



#3 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 06:12 AM

Psykers... but let's asume those go under the human category.

I'd say raw materials to keep the wheels of the Imperium turning. Ores, minerals, promethium etc.



#4 Sneakers

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 06:39 AM

Technology like STCs.  Information. 



#5 Necrozius

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:05 AM

Women.

Awww yeeeeaahh.



#6 Texas_Ben

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 04:07 PM

Sneakers said:

Technology like STCs.  Information. 

This.  Old tech, Information, and especially STC-type stuff are priceless. 



#7 Hellebore

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 04:44 PM

I believe the guy that discovered the Hellhound STC was given a planet for his reward...

 

Materially there are some rare things:

The psychically receptive alloys/crystals used in force weapons

The material they make null rods out of

Psyk Out dust - the stuff from the emperor's throne

 

THE EMPEROR'S TEARS! Forgot about those. Each tear is microscopic. A single phial the size of a pinky finger tip will contain hundreds of tears.

 

Hellebore (yes I'm pretty valuable



#8 Serps

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 05:15 PM

Hellebore said:

Hellebore (yes I'm pretty valuable

And yet, also foul Xenos technology.

 



#9 Cat that Walked by Himself

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 12:32 AM

If I do remember correctly in Jodoverse (Incal, Metabarons…) there is some sort of water standard. That means, I suppose, that Kublars (currency in Metabarons RPG) are freely convertible into pre-set, fixed quantities of water.

 

Also you can always play up on a symbolical aspect of gold.



#10 Headhanger

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:27 PM

Human life is certainly the most common commodity in the galaxy. And what with the rules of supply and demand, that leads human life to be the least valuable commodity too.

And what do you end up doing, consciously or subconsciously, with something you have so much of? You waste it. Especially if you refuse to trade it.



#11 Luddite

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:21 AM

Agreed.  But as i said, aside from human life, what is the most valuable thing?

I like the idea that information / STCs are considered the most valuable thing...thats certainly true of today.  And in the 40k 'verse where everything is in decline (supposedly), information relating to the past would seem to be of high value...

...but, do you see there being a 'market' in information trading?

 

As a traded commodity, i'm inclined to say 'water' is the most valuable, across the Imperium as a whole.  Except i can't see the Imperial nobility adorning themselves with 'water' to express their wealth (except on desert worlds perhaps)..

 

I'm also rather unimaginatively incline towards gold remaining of high value.  For years gold in the real world has declined in value, yet with the emergence of the credit crunch, gold purchasing has increased rapidly.  It would seem a deep-seated human instinct to view gold as being inherently and intrinsically valuable.

 

On a related note, what do you see the Imperial economy as being founded on?

In RL economies used to be founded on the gold standard.  Older communities had different foundations (like the Saxon weregeld).

What about the Imperium?

 

I found my Imperial economy on a weregeld system.  1 monetary unit of value (1 credit) = the value of food and water needed to support one human in temperate climate for one day.  From that, then 'generic values can be ascertained.  I also have prices for certain items fixed by the Administratum so that official commmodity values remain notionally constant across all worlds.

Have you worked out something similar?  How have you founded your Imperial economy / prices of goods, gear, etc.?

 



#12 Robban-O

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:46 AM

Luddite said:

...but, do you see there being a 'market' in information trading?

Is "market" the key word here? In that case I think that even if a STC is indeed the most valued thing there can´t be any market for it. Information on the other hand are another story, but that is a buyers market only. You can´t rate the value of information so it is up to the seller to decide what that particular information might be worth to a specific buyer.

I would say that water is one of the most valued things. Mainly because there are entire planets so polluted that there is no natural ecosystem, meaning that there is no clean water. But again, that depends on the system. On some planets there is a surplus meaning that there is no point to selling it. The problem here is of course that nobody has considered these things when the setting was created. Our currencies is based on the value of gold which might not fit in the 40K-universe. On the other hand baseing it on water seems also out of place. 

I think that diamonds are a good choice mainly because carbon is the stuff human are based of. Since most inhabitable planets in the galaxy seems to be housing carbon based lifeforms most planets probably also has diamonds. Making it both common enough but at the same time rare enough to base the currency on. But I am shooting from the hip here. Don't know anything about geology.  



#13 Luddite

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 01:05 AM

Robban-O said:

The problem here is of course that nobody has considered these things when the setting was created.

  Aye, that pretty much covers most of the 40k 'verse eh?

Robban-O said:

Our currencies is based on the value of gold which might not fit in the 40K-universe.

No they aren't.  the Gold Standard was destroyed in 1971 by Richard Nixon.  Most currencies are now fiat (underpinned by governemt guarantees - therefore founded on nothing of inherent value).

There are a few agencies wanting to restore a gold standard (Austrian School of Economics, Malaysia, Objectivists, etc.)  But so far it hasn't returned. 

Essentially the money in your pocket has no inherent tradable value.

Robban-O said:

I think that diamonds are a good choice mainly because carbon is the stuff human are based of. Since most inhabitable planets in the galaxy seems to be housing carbon based lifeforms most planets probably also has diamonds. Making it both common enough but at the same time rare enough to base the currency on. But I am shooting from the hip here. Don't know anything about geology.  

This makes sense, and indeed damonds also have practical applications and therefore inherent value in producing things....



#14 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 01:35 AM

Actually today's economy lives and dies by two key things, both are a form of fuel. Oil being what keeps the material objects in motion (psykers would be the 40K equivilent here) and electricity that keeps all our cute gadgets and toys operating (that would be the warp). However in the 40K univers your oil tends to just explode at random (being psykers and all) and your electricity tends to set loose demons and all manner of blights (being the warp).

So the next step is how to contain/harness/control your resources. In the real world Saudi oil fields are protected by all manner of high tech devices from super surveillance and motion tracking lasers to dudes with guns. So in the imperium the next valued resource is the military might to keep the eye of terror from being terrible and so forth. As well as the inquisition to go find people who are illegally hacking into said oil and elctricity (rogue psykers and warp spawn and cultists oh my).

In order to keep these forces at bay your inquisitors and soldiers need weapons and armour, so they need raw material. Metal, wood, gun powder, laser magnifying and reflective crystals and so forth.

So in short, there are so many things of value in the imperium no system or sector will ever have the same basic style or desirable elements. One system (such as K'otal the one I created for UA) may specialize in molten ores and orphans (wierd huh?) while another by produce a strange form of fungi that makes even the angry grox docile so it becomes a center of grox production (such as another one of my planets, Snehta). On Snehta nothing is more valuable then your grox herds, people buy, steal, trade, kill for and whatever else they can to increase the value of their grox. He with the most and best grox gets the best deals when negotiating and trading for other stuff.

But in the end, the most valuable thing in the imperium is the Warp. The Astronomicon. Navigators. Astropaths. Psykers and so forth. So anything that has to do with making them more powerful, making them weaker, making them easier to control would be of great value.



#15 Vespers

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 03:50 AM

Political Power.

War is politics writ large.



#16 Luddite

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 04:41 AM

Vespers said:

Political Power.

War is politics writ large.

Interesting.

So how would a citizen in the Imperium go about getting political power?

What DETAIL of an Imperial political system do you have or would you propose, in order for someone to get the hands on this valuable commodity of political power??



#17 Rashid ad Din Sinan

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 04:46 AM

Luddite said:

On a related note, what do you see the Imperial economy as being founded on?

In RL economies used to be founded on the gold standard.  Older communities had different foundations (like the Saxon weregeld).

What about the Imperium?

I get the impression that many of the worlds are so specialized that they are not self-sufficient, i.e. hive worlds can't produce enough food for the populace and agro worlds have little industry.  As such trade in necessities is what drives the various economies.  The Imperium could largely be based on a barter system.  Perhaps there are even 'warehouse worlds' where surpluses are stored and sent where needed, almost a socialist economic system.  There still are profits to be made but by comparison, I don't see a large luxury/leisure item market.



#18 Luddite

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 05:22 AM

Rashid ad Din Sinan said:

Luddite said:

 

On a related note, what do you see the Imperial economy as being founded on?

In RL economies used to be founded on the gold standard.  Older communities had different foundations (like the Saxon weregeld).

What about the Imperium?

 

 

I get the impression that many of the worlds are so specialized that they are not self-sufficient, i.e. hive worlds can't produce enough food for the populace and agro worlds have little industry.  As such trade in necessities is what drives the various economies.  The Imperium could largely be based on a barter system.  Perhaps there are even 'warehouse worlds' where surpluses are stored and sent where needed, almost a socialist economic system.  There still are profits to be made but by comparison, I don't see a large luxury/leisure item market.

Warehouse worlds!

Excellent!!  I love that idea.  It reminds me of the EEC 'butter mountains' and 'wine lakes' that built up.

I also like a more 'socialist' model of economy.  It fits quite well with my own idea that the economy of the Imperium, founded on the value of food and water to sustain human life.  Of course, even within the most ardent 'socialist' society on earth (China), capitalism and the pursuit of wealth and and always has been ingrained in the populace so perhaps a look at the Chinese model might be a good step?



#19 Ikkaan

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 05:27 AM

Different races would put emphasis on certain substances....

 

Imperium - promethium, adamantium, psionic blockers. The novel "Star of Damocles" describes the refilling process for warp drives, complete with dissolving workers...awful. Whatever the stuff is....the hazards make it probably the most dangerous and expensive imperial substance.

Eldar - won´t care as the fabricate everything from thin air...but a large collection of way stones would buy a lot of favours

Orks - tooth...and scrap. But they won´t barter for it. Shady places with natural moisture ?

Tau - metal alloys. Aside from that, they will generously give if offered "furthering the greater good". You can buy everything from the tau with honesty and goodwill.

Necrons - Won´t trade. Ever. And are not disclosing what their production cycle is based on. Probably something even better than "thin air".

Chaos in any form - as diverse as their belief, everything imaginable. Will also malevolently barter for grief, sadness, lust, massive bloodshed, etc.

 



#20 Rashid ad Din Sinan

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 06:45 AM

Luddite said:

Warehouse worlds!

Excellent!!  I love that idea.  It reminds me of the EEC 'butter mountains' and 'wine lakes' that built up.

It would cut down on the risks of warp travel.  Make psyker 'ordering' easier by having standard symbols & amounts, kind of like having the picture of the item at the register at Mikkey D's or '#1 soup' at the Chinese restaraunt.  Also allows for interesting plot hooks for pirates, marauders or espionage for poisoning food supplies or destroying war materials.

Luddite said:

I also like a more 'socialist' model of economy.  It fits quite well with my own idea that the economy of the Imperium, founded on the value of food and water to sustain human life.  Of course, even within the most ardent 'socialist' society on earth (China), capitalism and the pursuit of wealth and and always has been ingrained in the populace so perhaps a look at the Chinese model might be a good step?

And the wealth would be who controls these worlds and, as in supermarkets, the cost of shelf space for specialty items.  Might also be located near military bases and spacedocks considering the amount of traffic such planets would have.

It also adds some incentive to go looking for planets in 'the dark', empty space between shipping lanes, to speed up transit where 'less warp the better'.






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