Nibiru Update #12 - Antumbran Economics!
After a slow day yesterday we have picked up the pace, and are on our way to the last third bit of the trip towards the second stretch goal!
There's something cool to know about this one in particular. The difference between the first stretch goal and the second is does not just account for "the map". Sure, that's what you get in the book if we get there, but it mostly comprises the costs of printing more than 1000 books (which is our minimum order quantity).
This means that we'll have a healthy stock of books to send to retailers, to sell to those who learned about Nibiru after the campaign, and to take to conventions with us—which in turn helps us reach a larger audience, and opens up the possibility for supplements to be produced.
All of this, of course, after the KS backers get their copies. In essence, it's a stretch goal that will help the game stay healthy in the long run :)
But enough about the boring real-world number stuff! It's time to talk about the economies of Antumbra.
All Antumbran city-states started as small settlements, some of these sharing a single vault, but eventually merging under one ruling council. This idea of a "council of the peoples" became the pillar upon which societies developed, in which a group of wise folk would decide what was the best way to distribute the plentiful bounties of the vault.
Even if the city-states grew more advanced and wise, they remained mostly isolated in their vaults. Given their privileged position, they did not require (like our ancestors on Earth) to move from one place to the other in search for natural resources. Most of them didn't develop a currency until the first contact with other settlements happened.
Curiously enough, this "currency thing" didn't happen in all city-states. Some councils viewed the ideas and creations of other city-states as something to covet after. It was in those societies that the State Credit became a thing, used to encourage people into acquiring these foreign creations.
Other societies performed exchanges by just trading some of their own creations. It was with the invention of State Credit, however, that the larger societal imbalances started to spark.
State credits exist as a currency today, and have imposed a kind of artificial scarcity that affects resource distribution. The more credit you have with your city-state, the more resources you are allocated. In the beginning, the system "seemed" to work since there was plenty to distribute and redistribute for everyone. Yet this model wouldn't work in the long run.
State credits today even work past borders; they are used across Penumbra, for example, to buy labor in exchange for citizenship. Too late did societies found that their credit-based economy wouldn't work once resources started getting limited.
The "idea" behind credits is that they represent the efforts you've made to make your city-state richer. The reality, however, is that (both inside the walls of the vault and outside), they've made everyone else poorer.