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Imperial Prison currency.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:36 pm    Post subject: Imperial Prison currency. Reply with quote

Going to be running a session for a character in an Imperial Prison.

What might the inmates use as an unofficial currency?

My first instinct was the old standby of cigarettes...but is there something else?

I'm sure the Empire wouldn't actually pay any credits for labour; even in the facilities that aren't outright hard labour camps.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, tobacco and cigarettes are a thing in the SWU (see Niles Ferrier in the HttH trilogy). Of course, his blend was pretty distinctive; enough so that Lando was able to ID it just by the scent of the smoke...

It does the beg the question as to what sorts of spices / drugs are legal in the SWU.

IIRC, it was you who had the whole section on leisure activities, including various spices...
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:


IIRC, it was you who had the whole section on leisure activities, including various spices...


Indeed;

Certain items would be available as contraband smuggled in.

But I am looking for ideas of things that the Empire might allow it's prisoners that might morph into a parallel currency.

Like perhaps cigarette-like stimulant-sticks that help dull the pain of long hours of labour; prisoners issued 3 a day or something, but the prison economy runs on people stocking up their ration for trade and to pay off debts, or to get protection etc.

Like how in RL military rations, certain items are used as an ad-hoc barter economy. Smile


EDIT:

I'm thinking now that this might be a good base to use:
Quote:

Andris was the most common spice variant. Mined on Sevarcos II, it was commonly added to food, both for its properties of enhancing flavor and preventing spoilage, the latter of which made it especially valuable on extremely slow starships early in the days of galactic travel. Raw andris, when mined, was tan and crumbly, and was originally used in this form; however, it was later learned that it could be refined to a white crystalline form that also provided a slight sensory enhancement to its users. Andris could be further refined into an addictive stimulant form that provided for even stronger sensory enhancement. Deep freezing also greatly enhanced its properties. While raw and refined, andris was legal under both the Old Republic and Galactic Empire, the highly-refined variety was not. Both COMPNOR and the Imperial Board of Foodstuffs and Consumables praised andris, and the Imperial military allowed its use by its soldiers; it was believed by some that this marked an attempt by the Empire to drug the Galaxy into submission.


https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Andris
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"You wanna buy some death sticks?"
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But why go with something exotic when you already essentially have cigarettes in your system: tabac / t'bacc, which is already available in cigarette form. Per your own write-up, individual cigs are .5 credits each.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
But why go with something exotic when you already essentially have cigarettes in your system: tabac / t'bacc, which is already available in cigarette form. Per your own write-up, individual cigs are .5 credits each.


Yes, it would be a simple and direct port. But I can't seem to rationalize in my head why the Empire would allow it, (as a mere comfort item) or that tobacco use would be wide-spread enough in the galaxy that most inmates would crave it.

Which is why I was thinking it might be something issued or rationed by the Empire for one purpose, but that can be re-purposed as a currency, maybe in a modified form.

I read that in a lot of modern prisons where smoking is restricted that postage stamps have become a currency.

In the end, I may go with it the classic smokes; But I'm fishing for some more ideas.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys aren't going to believe this, but Hot Pockets have nearly replaced cigarettes as the defacto prison currency. You can still barter for cigs & such, but everyone inside wants Hot Pockets.

So, some sort of tasty portable snack could easily fill the Star Wars bill. Maybe Bantha Breakfast Biscuits (Triple B's) by Biscuit Baron?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about 'chits'.. Prisiners get issued a chit or two a day, and can use them in the prison shop/barbers.. Or can bank them up??
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
"You wanna buy some death sticks?"


*JEDI MIND TRICK* You don't want to sell me death sticks.

Whill wrote:
"I don't want to sell you death sticks."


*JEDI MIND TRICK* You want to go home and rethink your life.

Whill wrote:
"I want to go home and rethink my life."


Cool
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
What about 'chits'.. Prisiners get issued a chit or two a day, and can use them in the prison shop/barbers.. Or can bank them up??


Well then, that leads to the next question I was pondering;

Would the Empire have prisons that run a commissary, RL prisons do, where goods can be purchased?

I was initially against the idea, with the idea of the Evil Empire doing away with any kind of luxury for prisoners. Thus, no commissary. No pay for forced work parties and thus no allowance of chits for purchase of anything.
The unofficial prison economy would all be for getting contraband smuggled in, paying for services and protection, etc. Thus the currency used would have to be something of inherent value to an inmate.

But then, I remember that the Empire grew out of the Republic, and wonder what Republic prison was like. Rebels, traitors and those engaged in sedition might be held in facilities closer to prisoner of war camps by the Empire, while 'civilian' criminals might enjoy an experience closer to our RL prison systems as a hold over from the Republic days.

Maybe the Empire is systematically cleaning out the prisons for slave labour and the like, but just hasn't gotten around to the one my Player's character is in yet.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
You guys aren't going to believe this, but Hot Pockets have nearly replaced cigarettes as the defacto prison currency. You can still barter for cigs & such, but everyone inside wants Hot Pockets.

So, some sort of tasty portable snack could easily fill the Star Wars bill. Maybe Bantha Breakfast Biscuits (Triple B's) by Biscuit Baron?


I read something about that; also in some prisons it's Ramen noodles.
Because of funding cuts, food has been scaled back.

I was thinking of maybe something like 'Deluge':


Quote:

Deluge was a form of spice which was utilized as a substitute for food during the Republic Dark Age. The slave workers on the Daimanate world of Aquilaris Minor used it to supplement their meager rations. This drug was able to counter hunger pangs by sapping all desire for food. However, side effects included inducing its users into an apathetic and lethargic state. These drugs took the form of small pill-sized capsules which were usually stored in time locked cases.


https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Deluge
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if prisons in the US and Europe are the best analog for what you're looking for. A lot of the modern rules for treatment of prisoners - including luxuries like commissaries and other "luxury" items - stem from Western concepts of individual rights and forbiddance of cruel and unusual punishment. I'm thinking some more Third World dictatorship, or Soviet gulag would be a better source. Consider some of the Russian Mafia types who've survived life in Russian prisons out in Siberia and the like...
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I wonder if prisons in the US and Europe are the best analog for what you're looking for. A lot of the modern rules for treatment of prisoners - including luxuries like commissaries and other "luxury" items - stem from Western concepts of individual rights and forbiddance of cruel and unusual punishment. I'm thinking some more Third World dictatorship, or Soviet gulag would be a better source. Consider some of the Russian Mafia types who've survived life in Russian prisons out in Siberia and the like...


Indeed I see what you are saying; but what about Republic prisons in the core worlds?
I am imagining them as kind of a North American analog, with them getting much grimmer under the empire.

My episode is taking place 7 years into the First Galactic Empire, so I wonder how far down it has slid.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine pretty far. The common citizenry - especially in the Core - may be the last to wake up to it, but the people under the boot of Imperial justice will certainly feel the change first, and seven years is plenty of time for lack of due process or the presumption of innocence to make itself felt among the rank and file of the Fringe.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I imagine pretty far. The common citizenry - especially in the Core - may be the last to wake up to it, but the people under the boot of Imperial justice will certainly feel the change first, and seven years is plenty of time for lack of due process or the presumption of innocence to make itself felt among the rank and file of the Fringe.


Well, that is one of the first things the character is going to notice when he gets out; the sector rangers no longer need search warrants!
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