Etamui: Government, Rights, Economy, Occupations

Government

The government of the Etamui is in many ways a direct democracy with compulsory voting. Every citizen is expected to do their civic duty and participate in the process. Referendums can be put forth by any citizen that will come forward to a global vote, and every citizen is expected to weigh in on it.

Administering a large series of space stations, however, is not an easy task. There are two mechanisms in place to help alleviate the load.

The first is the use of Sortition. Any eligible citizen can be selected to represent their district, and they will be called and expected to participate in this duty (much like Jury Duty in the United States). The Sortition is used to appoint members of a Council and into specific roles (such as magistrates), who are in turn are responsible for a lot of the day-to-day administration of the Etamui. At any point their district can hold a Vote of Recall (which is limited to the district performing the recall) and have an individual replaced, though they are eligible to be selected again.

Most of the day-to-day administrative tasks are handled in this way.

The second is through the matter of delegation. A citizen may grant their vote for most referendums to a member of the Council who they believe represents them (who may or may not be from that individual’s district). Then—except for the most important of referendums and any vote of recall—the Council member is assumed to represent that individual’s interests until or unless the individual chooses otherwise.

The Council handles most day-to-day administrative tasks, handles initiatives that do not require a full vote from the populace, puts together legislation that can either be handled by just the council or by the populace as a whole, and appoints people for government positions that are not selected via the Sortition.

This causes particular stress between the Gawa Forge Cluster and Celestial Station, because most of the administrative functions are centralized to Celestial. If you live on Celestial then it is just a short walk and the neuralnet connections are all very fast, but if you live in Gawa Forge Cluster it can be a significant commitment that takes a great deal of time and frustration if you end up being assigned somewhere in Celestial or being selected to join the Council (which you can join remotely and suffer the time penalty in communication, but it is most effective to show up in person to effectively represent your district).

Every citizen is absolutely equal, of course. Just some (e.g., the SciDevs) are more equal than others (e.g., the Gawans).

Rights

Fundamental to understanding the Etamui is understanding their view of rights. Every citizen of society is guaranteed several fundamental things:

  • Food (covering basic nutrition only, think original soylent in our world) and water.
  • Housing (basically in a capsule hotel)
  • Medical care.
  • Education.
  • Basic implants depending on what you are genetically engineered for, usually implanted in childhood.
  • Clothing (basic, plain, but functional ).
  • A job with an Enterprise if the government can find one suited to your implants, genetics, and abilities.

Glitches, lacking the basic implant, are not citizens of society and thus are not eligible until they accept the implant. There are some relief organizations to provide supplies to Glitches, but these provide haphazard assistance at best.

Anything beyond that is supported by the work that you do which gives you Celestial Credits (cc), though gift giving is a very common substitute.

Work and Currency

Every citizen is expected to work either directly for the government (assuming they have been picked in the Sortition) or for an Enterprise of some variety.

Any citizen is eligible to take the Assessment at any time, which informs what the individual is best suited for. Most enterprises (but not all) will only employ you if you have the appropriate Assessment.

There are, of course, ways of influencing the results of the Assessment and there are certainly augments that can help one be Assessed in a particular way, but these things are not openly discussed and are frequently expensive.

The major currency used is the Celestial Credit (cc). For the economy nerds reading this (because it’s not necessary to understand in order to play Temet Nosce), it’s a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency. This currency mints blocks relatively quickly, but does still require consensus for verifying transactions, making it difficult to use in the Gawa Forge Cluster since most of the major stakeholders are in Celestial Station.

The Celestial Credit is used to purchase most luxuries: everything from better food and tea to better lodging and clothing. According to Celestial Station, this is the only acceptable currency, and certainly it is the most widely accepted.

In the Gawa Forge Cluster, because the Celestial Credit takes longer to process and is under the control of Celestial Station, it is not uncommon for Enterprises to pay their workers using their own enterprise-specific cryptocurrencies when can then be used to purchase things from that enterprise (including, often but not always, Celestial Credits) or, sometimes (from Enterprises that have entered into an agreement), from other enterprises in the Gawa Forge Cluster.

Enterprises

Rather than have companies the Etamui have a concept of Enterprises. All enterprises are considered to be (de jure) socially owned by society in general and the employees in specific, though in practice truly socialized ownership is rare. Enterprises are allowed to select their own employees, but any employee who has passed the appropriate Assessment may also be assigned to any Enterprise (with mixed results). The Council (or the People) may also at any point require certain behaviors of Enterprises, and Enterprises will naturally assist.

Usually one “climbs the ranks” (such as those ranks exist) inside of an enterprise through a combination of the correct assessments (showing proclivities toward, e.g., management) and seniority.

Forming an enterprise is relatively straightforward (if you are on Celestial Station, anyways). You register it with the Council, get a few regulatory approvals, provide a societal good justification, and you are good to go.

Glitches

Glitches have, from the standpoint of the Etamui, “opted out” of the system. They are allowed to do so, of course, but they aren’t citizens and thus aren’t entitled to the same rights (or carry the same responsibilities) as citizens.

They can, of course, accept the neuralnet implant, take the Assessments, and become full citizens at any time.

They usually trade goods as their major form of economic participation.

Written by: David H. Clements

Fanseeth Economics

The Fanseeth use a representative currency. You may have a slip of paper, but what gives that slip of paper value is the fact that it is backed by something more concrete, and could be exchanged for some backing commodity at any time.

There are two different economic units of account that can be freely exchanged for fixed amounts of what they represent. Those two units are the Kilocalorie (kcal, usually stored in either a mechanical or chemical battery or in the form of glucose) and the Gram of Gold (gg, exchanged as coins or as bars for larger quantities).

Kilocalories are (usually) represented by a paper currency); gold is generally represented by coins of (usually) non-precious metals or other forms of physical token.

In day-to-day transactions, especially those involving a transient good—going out to a restaurant, by way of example, or finding fuel for a spacecraft—the kcal reigns supreme and is widely used as a base unit of currency. Most people with jobs are paid by their companies in kcal for their salary.

Grams of Gold are considered a long-term, more stable unit of value. Often when purchasing non-transient goods (e.g., a chair, a ship) the payment will be in in gg. If a job offers a retirement plan, it is often in gg.

At least, all of that is the theory. Government policies are implemented around this assumption, after all, so it has to be at least somewhat true. Right?

Economics and Culture

By and large, kappi and hakal work almost entirely in kcal currency and will do so even for more permanent goods. They often end up not owning their homes in a classical sense, since it is easier to rent when your income is in kcal.

Vordur are the opposite of this in a lot of ways, storing generational wealth in gg which they frequently pass down. Even when they don’t have a lot of gg, this is how they tend to measure their own wealth.

Bondi follow the intended pattern as closely as any group. They tend to have long-term wealth which gets converted into housing and used for retirement. Then hopefully there’s some left over to give to their children or to use to invest in their child’s education.

Conversion

There’s a conversion rate between gg and kcal, but it fluctuates over time. We’ll have the exact exchange for the Fanseeth prequel event up in early January. In common practice, gg can always be exchanged for kcal, but the reverse is not always true.

It is theoretically true that you can reverse the transaction, but that requires a buyer and access to the exchange markets to make the sale. A lot of groups who are willing to do the currency conversion from kcal to gg similarly take a small cut as a handling fee for their difficulty in managing it on the monetary markets.

Representation in Game

For the most part we are going to be giving out kcal currency for this game in the form of paper scrip. You can also feel free to print your own if you think you’ll need or want more. But, if you want to bring gg into game: bring any non real-world metal coins that you want to use. Our standard will be the sort that you commonly see sold for, e.g., Stonemaier games and metal doubloons meant to represent pirate treasure, but any coin will do (be aware that if you acquire ones for ongoing games they probably aren’t going to be legal to spend in those games after trading them here).

But fundamentally that is more to throw around and make an impression. Every good or service sold by NPCs in the Fanseeth game in January will be available for kcal.

Written by: David H. Clements

Children of Earth: Economy

Today’s post is both about the commerce and economy of the Children of Earth, and also about mechanics for the prequel game, Grand Assembly.

Before we get too far into this, keep in mind that these things are here to enhance your play. If something seems like it will get in the way of that—breathe, and then figure out what will work for you. You won’t break the game by changing things around to make them simpler if it adds to your enjoyment.

Economy

Each of the four primary cultures have a slightly different take on the matter of currency and money. The Children of Earth have to be able to not only navigate between these different systems, but do so in a way that maintains their autonomy and that allows for exceedingly long delays between transactions.

Thus, for the Children, they predominantly operate with three general types of transactions, which they buy and sell both to the cultures that they interact with and amongst each other. They have three devices that they use to negotiate this:

  • Stock
  • Futures
  • Options

The Children are traders first and foremost. They do not use a standardized representational currency, but instead talk in terms of trading goods and services both in the present and in the future.

To discuss each of these in turn, at a very high level:

Stock represents a unit of ownership in a ship or a fleet. No stocks pay dividends and most are passed down generation to generation within a single family. It is considered a great loss of face to sell stock you may own outside of the family, but it does happen when families or individuals run too hard down on their luck.

By way of example, you may own one (or many) unit(s) of stock which represents a unit of interest—ownership—in a ship. You may also have gambled that away because you were down on your luck… with the option to buy it back at a later date (more on that in a moment).

Futures represent an agreement to buy or sell something on a given date. So by way of example, you may have a Future that agrees to sell 100 gross of self-sealing stem bolts for a given amount of gold in 30 years (at the next grand assembly) to another family of Children. Now in 30 years they have to make sure that they have 100 gross of self sealing stem bolts and the other family has to make sure that they have enough gold to cover the deal.

These, of course, can be traded. So if I happen to have a good price on self-sealing stem-bolts, I might buy your Future by giving you 50 gallons of Nurani Drinking Vinegar which I don’t have another good way to get rid of. You, however, are on your way to one of the worlds around the Nurani, so you can make a tidy and quick profit off of it.

Futures may have penalties written into them or violation of them may involve being brought up for violation of the Merchant Law.

Finally, there are Options. Options represent the right to purchase (or sell) something on a given date for a certain amount, and if you don’t exercise it then it simply expires. So I may have the option to sell 100 gross of self-sealing stem bolts to a group of Fanseeth for a given amount of gold 30 years from now, but if I don’t exercise it then it simply expires, which means I have suffered a financial loss but at least I have not reneged on my agreement.

There are, of course, more complex versions of all of these, but that’s the high level version of them.

Note: If you are familiar with these devices in the real world be advised that I don’t want to be calculating Black-Scholes mid-game, so we are dramatically simplifying things and abusing the terminology slightly, e.g., our Futures are closer to Forwards, we’re avoiding the words ‘call’ and ‘put’, etc.

In-Game Mechanics

So what does this translate to in-game?

First, we will be giving each group and/or individual in-game a certain set of basic stock, options, and futures to play with that you picked up on your last trade route, which we’ll also be giving to you. None of these will be especially complex, but will give you a basic template to work with.

Second, we are emphasizing this as a Progressive style game in this regard. If you don’t like the hand you’ve been dealt, make something else up! If you want to play with being an unsuccessful trader who has bargained away some of their family stock, then don’t let the fact that we gave you a great set of options and futures and stock deter you! If you think you should be playing a well-to-do trader then by all means, add more stock, options, and futures. Make it up and have fun with it. You don’t need our permission. You won’t break the game.

If you want reassurances on this point, by all means come talk to us.

Third, on that note, make it as simple or as complex as you can have fun with. If you really, really want to play with complex options that follow a Bermuda option model and have futures that trade based on the average price of a commodity over time—go for it! If you want everything to be utterly simple, you can do that too.

If you want to consult either direction, please feel free to ping us.

Trade Routes

As to trade routes. Part of the goal of this assembly is establish who has what trade routes for the next cycle. You have what happened last time, but will that be what things look like next time?

The different parties will draw lots at the start of the game to determine the order of who chooses the trade routes. You can trade your place in line—so if you are 2nd and you want to sell your right to select your trade route to the person/group who is 4th (how else are you going to get 100 gross of self-sealing stem bolts?), then by all means do so. Everything is tradeable.

You can of course vary your route, make up an entirely new one, or whatever else strikes your fancy, but we’ll provide some basic defaults to make life easy if that’s not your sort of game.

Let us know if you have any questions!

Written by David H. Clements