Currency is the medium used to buy and sell goods, or to leverage a barter. Currency comes in many different forms.
The DomarEditIn Gamma World, the Domar (marked as “Đ”) was the basic monetary unit of the world before the holocaust. It is a small lightweight (10-gram) coin, inlayed with colors and symbols denoting various denominations (but all domars are now treated as having the same value regardless of color or markings), and nearly indestructible. Since the nature of the domar makes it impossible to counterfeit, it is still used widely as a means of exchange. However, since it is possible that the ruins of an ancient bank may be found in the wilderness, there is the possibility of “new” domars being released into the economy of a settlement by adventurers. Because this new influx could destroy the value of a settlement's trade goods, merchants will prefer gold, other precious metals, and gemstones for large purchases. Merchants will be suspicious of strangers with large quantities of domars, but a sack of gold always talks their language. One “gold piece” (a piece of gold weighing one ounce) is usually equal in trading value to 5 domars, but a large influx of domars in an area will increase the relative value of gold pieces.
Precious metals and gems were used for little other than jewelry and ornamentation before the holocaust and will be correspondingly rare. They are also an alternative medium of exchange besides gold and domars. Barter remains the prime trade method in most areas.
Source: Gamma World, first and second editions.
In the Fallout video game, the relative scarcity of bottle caps made them a perfect currency for Hub merchants to adopt in the 22nd century, leading to the nickname "Hubbucks" and "Hubscript." Backed by the value of water, the Hub merchants supported bottle caps because the technology to manufacture them and paint their surfaces had been mostly lost in the Great War, which limited any counterfeiting efforts. Secondly, there are a limited number of bottle caps, which preserve their value against inflation to some degree.
Nuka-Cola brand bottle caps are the most common caps in circulation, with Sunset Sarsaparilla caps being second. Bawls (Guarana) bottle caps are rare caps that can be traded to vendors in exchange for a larger sum of bottle caps (up to 175), depending on ones bartering skills.
MetalsEditValuable metals do not need to be limited to the metals found in the book (copper, silver and gold) nor precious metals in general, as people in a post-apocalyptic setting would make do with whatever resources they can muster. Players may find the trade of raw metals more interesting, as well as high-level adventures, or adventurers who are active merchants.
Raw metals can come in all shapes, sizes and types. Metals pulled from the ground would usually be raw ore or nuggets. Ore generally requires processing to remove other elements. Metals pulled from ruins are generally scrap metals. Scrap tends to be rotted with rust and slag, and require recasting or refining to remove the impurities. Refined metals are usually cast into shapes — coins, beads, ingots, billets or bars — for further processing, storage or recasting. Coins, beads and nuggets can be interchangeable in value as they are about the same size (about 1/10th lbs.). Ingots, billets, bars, scrape and ore are usually too large to be carried like money, unless carried by a transport for trading (counted by the poundage). Processing metals do not remove radioactive contamination, and radioactive scrape placed into a bar stock can contaminate anything its made into.The value of each metal is based on poundage:
|Metal||Value (per lbs.)|
|Tin, zinc, aluminum, etc.||1cp|
|Bronze, brass, etc.||5cp|
|Iron, copper, etc.||1sp|
|Electrum (green gold)||5gp|
|Adamant, duralloy, mithral, etc.||500gp|