For the last couple of day's, I've been toying with the idea of how to represent money in Gunmetal City. According to the sidebar on page 125 of Dark Heresy, it mentions that the currency used in Gunmetal City is referred to as "Rounds". Because bullets are often used as currency in Gunmetal City.
When thinking about it, I've decided that any shells, bullets, or bolter rounds with a listed Throne Gelt per single bit of ammunition stay the same. For instance,at places outside of the Imperium a bolter round cost 16 Thrones for a single round. Conversely, in Gunmetal City, a PC could give a local merchant a bolter round for 16 Throne Gelts worth of merchandise.
However, I've run in a problem with things like Dumdum Bullets and Man-Stopper Bullets along with normal bullets. This is due to the fact that a single Throne Gelt nets a PC twenty-bullets. But the question is: how much are those bullets 'worth' in Gunmetal City?
In Gunmetal, if a PC goes in to merchant and gives him a slug -- what is it worth? Do bullets maintain the one Throne for one round of ammo rule? Or would a normal round only be worth a fifth of a throne, due to the bulk?
Lemme hear your thoughts.
I would consider the accessability and the demand for the given type of bullet ás well as it´s "worth" in the rulebook. My "table" would be something like
Arrows/Quarrels No Worth at all To common and to easy to make
Shot No Worth at all To common and to easy to make
Bullets 50 = 1 ThroneGelt On GunMetalCity should be an abbundance of bullets
Shells 25 = 1 ThroneGelt Still, to many available
Bolt Shells 1 = 10 to 15 ThroneGelt Valuable and Rare
DummDumm´s 5 = 1 Throne Gelt Valuable and uncommon
Man-Stopper 5 = 1 Throne Gelt Valuable and uncommon
InfernoShells 1 = 15 ThroneGelt Valuable and Rare
I consider ammunition to be inferior to throngelt. Sure nearly everyone is going to accept nearly every bullet... but everyone will always accept thronegelt.
In addition "re-sell value" depends on the availability. I expect tons and tons of bullets to be around in said hive... so bullets arent this interesting. In addition (and as you said): 300 bullets are harder to carry then 300 throngelt (if their is papermony or even a coin worth 10 thronegelt)
Of courseif you are in a part of the hive where there is a shortage of ammonition (the underhive?) a bullet might be worth a throne any time. Since (as a blasphemic saying in gunmetall city goes): "The thron won´t save you, a bullet might!"
Recently posted this one as a House Rule. I like it because instead of having to adjust prices up/down all the time you just take items on/off a table of things that can be used as currency. The pricniples can be extended to using anything as currency, not just ammo:
Ammunition as currency
Any currency, even paper currency, only has value if it is 'secured' by something of equal or greater value. 'Paper' and 'electronic' currency is secured by bank reserves (fractional-lending not withstanding). When using a product as currency, this is possible only if the product has inherant value.
Inherant value is determined by the market, based on scarcity and desireability.
To convert the inherant value into value as a currency, the practicality of doing this in an overall modifier. While all ammunition can theoretically be used to purchase good or services, but it is simply inconvenient to do so in some situations.
For example, in Gunmetal City standard ammo rounds would be so adundant and less sought after than more exotic ammo that to carry them around as currency is impractical. Sure, if someone can back up a truck for of standard rounds and dump it in your safe-deposit you'd swap that for something, but it's so impractical that it isn't cost-effective (it's not worth the bother!)
For any good to be practical to use as a currency it has to match or exceed the same attributes of other forms of currency - that is it has to be portable, verifiable, convertible, and easily exchangable.
To use ammunition as currency it has to first have an inherant value. Assuming a standard Hive or Imperial world, first of all the ammunition has to be scarce (Scarce, Rare, Very Rare) - not the weapon but the ammunition, and this should be assumed from the least-scarcity rating of any one type of that ammunition. Secondly, the ammunition must also be desireable which in this case means that it is used in weapons that provide an 'edge' (the weapon has a Special effect OR provides above-standard attribute such as E, X or R damage). Of course most Laz ammunition has virtually no scarcity (unless the power is out!), and shotgun ammunition is usually not scare, no matter how scarce the shotgun it goes into.
From the DH rulebook the ammunitions which falls into this category are:
Item Currency value (Thrones)
Heavy Laz charge packs 30
Hot-shot Laz pack 15
Bolt Shells 16
Melta Pistol canisters 20
Meltagun canisters 15
Plasma Pistol flask 24
Plasma Gun flask 18
Flame Pistol canister 8
Flamer canister 10
Krak grenade 50
Blind grenade 25
Photon grenade 60
Halucinogen grenades 40
Needle weapon needles 20
Webber canisters 20
Inferno shells 18
Man-stoppers, Dum-dums 5/6
Items should be adjusted on/off this list depending on local scarcity (weapon attributes won't alter). For example, in Gunmetal city Man-stoppers and Dum-dums may be Common rather than Scarce, and thus not inherantly valuable enough to qualify as generic currency. Conversely on a low-tech fuedal world standard rounds may be so unusual as to qualify.
Local scarcity should be the driving factor, and the world-type (Agri, Feral, Forge, Void, War, etc.) should be the first place to consider adjustments, leading to the following generic adjustment tables:
Drop: Flame cansiters
Add: Bullets, Shells
Add: Bullets, Shells, Shot
Drop: MS, DD, Laz packs, Flame canisters, Grenades, Inferno shells, MS, DDs
Drop: MS, DDs, Laz packs, Krak grenades, Bolt Shells
Drop: MS, DDs, Laz packs, Grenades, Flame canisters
. ... I do like the idea of standard rounds being currency in Gunmetal city - but with one caveat - that they have been 'scrimshawed' by one of the local Fanes/Houses and as such become more like dollar notes that are secured by the Fane/House rather than pure units of barter.
Of course, you can also argue that 'Thrones' do not exist except theoretically as a common mesure of wealth (somewhat like Euros) and thus bullets could actually be the 'dollars' of Gunmetal city??
Supply - Gunmetal City produces Ammunition.
Demand - Ammunition is exported for profit and probably also for the Imperial Tithe.
Why do the Nobles Export Ammunition if it is worth more in Gunmetal City?
Answer - It probably isn't worth more in Gunmetal City.
I would use DumDums as a replacement for Throne Gelt. It is roughly worth the same amount as Gelt, and thus barely able to be abused by outsiders. Adds enough flavor without creating unneccesary issues that will come from a completely overhauled economy. You can't get enough to make it worthwhile to try and trade it in bulk for big profit. A box of 100 costs 100 gelt in GMC. This is worth 120 gelt outside GMC. A 20% profit if you can get enough buyers. No where near as bad as what can happen with bullets being used as gelt.
Stamping Regular Bullets as coins seems feasible too, although for those seeking "Reality", this wouldn't work as every Noble would have to agree on a set stamp. If this was a stable Nobility set then it would be possible, but if it isn't then every Noble could mint their own "Coin" and then their economy would quickly collapse as the value of each minted regular bullet would vary with the fortunes of the corresponding Noble House. Forgery can also take its toll on the economy.
This just seems another means of control. The Nobles keep all Gelt Imported for both themselves and to keep their businesses running. They pay their people in DumDums. All other ammunition is treated normally. Outsiders can expect gelt to be readily accepted by citizens, but should not expect everyone to be able to pay them in gelt, but in dumdums.