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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    I have a campaign of my own design on the go. One major point of this campaign is that there can be many other things to do besides the campaign on the side, so that the players can all hear about how the world is changing around them as they progress, (such as finding out about a kaiju attack on a distant city they just barely decided not to go to favor of another path.)

    Anyway, that's the setting. the question is how can I work a crypto-currency into the game? the characters already have varying degrees of in-world money. I originally wanted to institute a stock market, but I decided against forcing players to care about in-world brands of my own arbitrary invention.

    I don't want to actually code the currency, but I want to work with the basic principle of a cryptocurrency: there has to be a finite amount, but not even I know what that amount it, and all players must have an equal chance at finding one at first, but each one becomes more difficult to attain the more there are in circulation. I want price fluctuation to be based on actual figure results rather than making up values, since the value may actually level out or even crash, depending.

    My idea is that players who buy into the crypto-currency may roll once per "tick" period when rolls become available, and the chance to uncover one if one is actively "mining" to be an incrementally lower percentage. Is there an elegant and fun way to do this without merely having them roll a D20 as they would a listen check once every mining tick?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    If you want to actually simulate a crypto currency then yes you will have then end up rolling every "tick" to see if they "mine" one of these in game placeholders of tradable worth. Which to be honestly sounds less fun that letting them own a gem mine of some sort that produces gemstones that are used in underground or even aboveground barter transactions. Which
    fundamentally would accomplish the same thing with more plot hooks. Perhaps the gems are uniquely standard in size and shape when they come out of the ground. - hmmm ideas

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Avaris's Avatar

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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    Playing cards? Each time the currency is mined, the 'odds' are set. These vary from colour (red/black- 50% chance) suite (spades/hearts/diamonds/clubs- 25%), number cards (1-10, 76%) royalty cards (J, Q, K, 24%), a type of card (eg. 2s, 7.6%) or even a specific card (Ace of Spades, 2%). Each person who wishes to mine can buy a number of 'digs', and draw that many cards from the deck. For each match, they get a point of currency.

    What this means is that if the currency is cheap the odds can be easy, but if its expensive the odds can be difficult. If each dig is a fixed price the average number of digs it takes to get a point of currency defines how much the currency itself can buy (I can probably do some maths around this if you want).

    Variations can be requiring people to say how many digs they are going to buy before drawing any cards, and deciding if cards are returned to the pack or not (fixed odds or getting better if you buy more)
    Evil round every corner, careful not to step in any.

    I'm a world builder, but have no worlds of my own. If you have a basic concept and want ideas to flesh it out, I can help! Pm me!

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    How is the crypto-currency manifested in the game world? Assuming the usual pseudo-medieval setting, a "gem mine" has exactly the traits you would expect of a crypto-currency, except for being in a fixed physical location.

    Without either a massive network of dimensional gates or a functioning Internet or internet-substitute with functioning online economy in the game world, I'm not sure how else you could do it.
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    well it's not a pseudo-medieval setting; but it's understandable someone automatically assumes a fantasy setting is like that.

    I really like schizo-tech, which I always consider for a world as long as it doesn't seem shoe-horned. I'll have robots and cell phones in a world idea even if aviation isn't yet possible. the idea of portable phones is too good not to include if it is even vaguely conceivable in the setting. The ability to communicate across distances can really change how the story moves.
    (and for anyone who plans to come down on me for robotics without a fuel engine, think on why you allow golems and magic mirrors to exist but never asked why golem technology was never used for automatic doors, elevators, and magic mirrors for security cameras.)

    anyway. I never gave it heavy thought, but it's not hard to mock one up. The world in question does have magic, and one branch in particular deals with creating hard-light illusionary shapes created by the arrangement of nodes and etchings on the inside of geode-type magic crystals.
    Now imagine crystals kept in the libraries of civilizations with etchings on the inside in such a way that energy can be pressed into it that causes a stereographic projection of the etchings that form hard-light manifest nebulae that effectively can be used to store information and communicate with other libraries via atmospheric magic.

    How's that for a magic computer chip for yous?
    Last edited by macsen; 2014-02-28 at 03:27 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    works like a nifty computer chip probably easier to recycle too....but on the crypto currency....why not regular credits, dollars, or gold pieces? It seems like you'd be adding a rather complicated setup for little gain in storytelling unless you basically treat it as a separate currency that is untraceable and drop the "how to mine crypto-currencies" set of rules.

    and if you have magic---well magic is the ultimate hacking system. Cryptocurrency would be pretty vulnerable to any magic/technological hybrid system used to mine it at a faster rate unless magic was used in the set up of the original program somehow.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2014-02-28 at 04:47 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    works like a nifty computer chip probably easier to recycle too....but on the crypto currency....why not regular credits, dollars, or gold pieces? It seems like you'd be adding a rather complicated setup for little gain in storytelling unless you basically treat it as a separate currency that is untraceable and drop the "how to mine crypto-currencies" set of rules.

    and if you have magic---well magic is the ultimate hacking system. Cryptocurrency would be pretty vulnerable to any magic/technological hybrid system used to mine it at a faster rate unless magic was used in the set up of the original program somehow.
    First and foremost I *thank* and *appreciate* all feedback and comments, and I don't want any of the following to diminish that.

    I feel like I'm getting a lot of questions questioning the "why" rather than the "how". Some of the points are quite valid, but many of the theory-based plot holes etc have already been solved by the setting, and the most I come back to explain it, the more I'm tooting my own horn or come off defensive.

    So...The players aren't necessarily hard-up for money, but what I was wanting to achieve is a side-story going on in the background that they are able to check up on after the fun part is done, to add a bit of extra curiosity, just to give that feeling of activity going on while they are solving their problems. One idea that comes to mind is the hero who did something inconsequential that ends up ruling in their favor, but not be a premise of the game, and after the A storyline is done with, such as say, a lottery ticket.

    Now on the hackability subject, the same can be said of anything. They are looking into technology in your refrigerator to monitor your food for example. Of course the first thoughts of some people go to hacking attempts. You add technology to your eyeglasses...hacking. From the founding of internet, hacking found its place, but the same technology, I propose, would have security measures. We invented internet, we invent secure connections. We invent smart cars, we invent secure smart cars.

    But thanks for the image of a wizard in a secluded glen on his back with a cracked geode nearby, his head smoldering from psychic damage from a failed attempt to topple a firewall in a nearby city, lol.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    Okay on the "why" I consider it the more important question. Because until you understand how it will fit into the game you don't know what kind of system to build. If it will a major pillar of how the characters earn money then a more complex system is called for than if it will be a minor side point. Also the question comes up of how to make it add to the game. Having a cryptocurrency may well add story options, flavor etc but do you need to understand the mechanics of "mining" the cryptocurrency to add more? Only if the players will be using that mechanic regularly. Also since I'm going to assume the players are not a statistically significant fraction of the miner of the cryptocurrency is to set a percentage chance to have a successful mine "strike" based upon the date. Say roll once per week per some unit of computing power. a say 1'st quarter of the year has a y% chance of a strike, Q2 has a (y-1)%, Q3 has a (y-2)% etc as limited number of bits are found by someone....perhaps the y value is nearly reset every couple years as a new batch of bits becomes available but would also eventually approach zero
    Last edited by sktarq; 2014-03-01 at 04:46 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Okay on the "why" I consider it the more important question. Because until you understand how it will fit into the game you don't know what kind of system to build. If it will a major pillar of how the characters earn money then a more complex system is called for than if it will be a minor side point. Also the question comes up of how to make it add to the game. Having a cryptocurrency may well add story options, flavor etc but do you need to understand the mechanics of "mining" the cryptocurrency to add more? Only if the players will be using that mechanic regularly. Also since I'm going to assume the players are not a statistically significant fraction of the miner of the cryptocurrency is to set a percentage chance to have a successful mine "strike" based upon the date. Say roll once per week per some unit of computing power. a say 1'st quarter of the year has a y% chance of a strike, Q2 has a (y-1)%, Q3 has a (y-2)% etc as limited number of bits are found by someone....perhaps the y value is nearly reset every couple years as a new batch of bits becomes available but would also eventually approach zero
    Well now we are getting somewhere. One of the implicit topics on the subject of a cryptocurrency is how to formulate a finite amount of currency without knowing how many that will be even myself. And so I was wondering how that would be done if it can without a computer. I don't think your equations would be useful, however, because they imply the knowledge of the final amount of currency possible, with only decreasing percentage of uncovering them. Percentage of a chance to uncover a unit of the currency is not the same as figuring out how many total there would be.

    However, it might be possible that you cannot calculate one of these figures without the other being given, in which case, that is at least one of the questions answered.

    Also, no, I don't accept your explanation for "why" being important. I'm not disallowing the asking of why I want to try something new, but don't give a disingenuous reason for it being necessary. It's ok, sheer curiosity is a valid reason, but neither the ultimate amount of a cryptocurrency nor the mechanics of uncovering them have no bearing on the reason for their implementation.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    Here is the thing. If it is only a minor issue for the characters Significant rule sets or even lots of work by the Gm will end up turning the whole thing into a negative. If it drags the game, takes up more mental effort for the players, etc then the players will find it a negative aspect of the game. There are times where tracking food, and commodity prices of things like wool, marble, and iron ore are appropriate but unless you are setting your players up as a traveling merchant types it isn't going to helpful to have that system bleed into the players experience. If you have a huge complex system and your players don't really care it could well be a let down and disappointment- which has a bad history of drawing GM's to try and pull the game into focusing more on their nifty new project that their players don't care about....which isn't good for the overall health of the game. The why is because of of "how to help the game" is more important than any of the other issues-including how doing something new might be satisfying intellectually.
    And the OVERALL number of bits (hell I'm going to call them goldbits or gbits for this conversation unless you have a proper name) doesn't matter. How the computers, magicomputers or whatever mine them doesn't matter. The character's interaction with the system is what matters and what you have to simulate. There is simulating a cryptocurrency and there is simulating a party's interaction with a cryptocurrency...which are different things. The total amount of BitCoins are known...about 24 million will eventually be produced and about 12-13 Million have been found so far and will be released in batches or tranches for several more years...so these things are knowable but unless you plan your players to be major players in the gbit world those things wouldn't matter-they will not be interacting with that number.

    also to try and expand on what I said before about the y% reset and all.
    say x=target number to get a "strike" per unit of computing power for a given time set. Say 1 full time specialized PC tower running for 1 week for example.
    Say y is the current year in game with y=0 as the date the currency was introduced.
    Say Q is the quarter of the current year. for Jan-March is Q=1, April-Jun Q=2 etc etc and would cycle each year
    z=starting percentage chance at time=0
    thus
    x=z-y-Q

    so eventually the chance of them striking more gbits would disappear because all of them (no matter how many that is) how been found. By somebody, not necessarily your characters.
    Unless you plan your characters to be closely ties to this cryptocurrency it should be able to run the same with or without their involvement.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2014-03-03 at 04:51 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    alright, I mostly understood the first block of text, but I have a feeling that it generally operates under the assumption that I can't read players' subtext well, and am not resoundingly cognizant of any and all cues they give to indicate what they find fun, and what works.

    If you must know, the cryptocurrency hasn't been implemented yet. I didn't give a full rundown on the world since I didn't think it was important to the subject of the OP which was how to implement a cryptocurrency (implied tagline "regardless of the motivation or reason for now"), but people seem so concerned with asking "why", something I've encountered on other topics I've made as well. I am not saying that asking why isn't valid, but keep in mind it implies, "why not just stick to what we all already have".

    the world setting is kind of a crazy one with many things not seen other campaigns. It is purposefully meant to incorporate new things you don't see everyday, such as important disasters and events occurring in other parts of the world where the players encounter only some oblique aftereffect. Portals, a Cloudrealm, a space station, an inexplicable literal hole in reality sitting in the middle of an uninhabited province, ancient high technology, sword-weilding treemen and a random encounter monster that is basically hovering loaf of bread; the residual aftereffect of a destructive failed attempt by a baker and a wizard attempting to link their powers.

    It is my hope the following sentence, in its brevity, will finally put to rest this "why syndrome" I've beginning to get tired of encountering:

    a cryptocurrency, among other things, is part of the flavor of the world.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a fictional cryptocurrency

    I decided to make the chance of uncovering the cryptocurrency 1/z, where z is the next number in the Fibonacci sequence after each previous unearthing.

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