Thursday, August 27, 2020

Caudle Paper for Machinations of the Space Princess and other RPGs


Over at his blog, the Alexandrian, Mr. Alexander has recently waxed philosophical about coinage in RPGs.  He opines that the sweet spot is three to four different currencies:


So why track three or four currencies instead of two or ten or forty? In my experience, that’s generally the sweet spot where you get the benefits of flavor and logistics before hitting diminishing returns. What you’re generally looking for is: A poor currencyOne or two currencies in the range of what the PCs typically useA rich currency denoting unusual wealth or powerWith those relative values, you’ve gained the bulk of the semantic/narrative meaning to be milked from currency. In D&D that’s copper, silver, gold, and platinum. In a campaign where the PCs are drug dealers, it’s the scale from garbage bags full of dirty $1 bills that need to be laundered to flashing Benjamins at the club.

Machinations of the Space Princess has but a single currency: the cleverly named grams, palladium (aka GP).  It is, of course, easy to divide such things into fractions of a gram, and Desborough mentions such divisions, as well as larger coins.

But there’s no romance in that.  So I’m adding two new common units of currency to my Machination’s campaigns. 

The first is a common psychoactive drug that simultaneously induces euphoria and sedation.  It’s commonly produced in thin, translucent, square paper-like sheets roughly 7 cm on a side (slightly smaller than a post-it note).  Because these squares are the color of cinnamon bark, it’s sometimes called cinnamon paper, but its proper name is caudle paper for its regenerative properties (aka, CP; see, I can play this game too! ;D ).  Nobody will be shocked to hear that the common price for CP is 100 sheets for a GP.

Smoking a CP will restore a single hit point.  No additional hit points can be regained this way within the same hour.  Hedge-witches and back-alley medics are rumored to have techniques to boost the restorative powers of a CP, but strange side-effects are common.  You can also find CP holders and pipes that claim to boost the effects of smoking CPs.  None of these claims have been verified, though they do make you look more elegant. 

Still need to figure out what my PPs are going to be…

19 comments:

Venger Satanis said...

Paul Darrow as Avon... scifi version of the man with no name.

Dick McGee said...

At the risk of being mistaken for a mcafee bot, a comment.

"Still need to figure out what my PPs are going to be…"

Psychonic Prism (PP): Small lenticular gems glowing with a gentle polychromatic light. Produced through an exotic technology that binds positive emoticognitive energy into a physical form. Simply carrying a psychonic prism eases mental stress and emotional trauma, an effect which increases the more prisms one possesses. Rumors persist that a secret discipline will allow a creature to "burn" a PP to augment their own life force, causing the gem to darken then shatter.

trollsmyth said...

Damned McAfee bots are really annoying...

Dick McGee: Ha! That's awesome! I love how this means the rich are literally buying happiness. ;D

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