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Thread: How much money does a Starship Officer make?

  1. #1
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    Talking How much money does a Starship Officer make?

    Before I start let me say I didn't post this in the "Narrator's Ready Room" for nothing. This isn't intended as a discussion if the Federation uses money or not (see below). I am just assuming they do and would like to ask you all the following question:

    How much does a Starship Officer earn (per month) based on rank (or rating) and time in service?

    For the sake of the argument let's assume that a moderate 24th century standard of living costs 1,000 credits (orwhateveryouwanttocallit) a month per person, including a nice apartment, dining out from time to time, occasionally renting a holosuite plus new clothes when you need them and a vacation now and again.

    Any ideas guys?


    Note:
    Somebody might want to know why I am assuming the Federation uses money, even if on-screen evidence seems to point to a non-monetary society.
    What got me thinking about this problem is that a non-monetary economy is AFAIK not a prerequisite for Federation membership. So what about a human Starfleet officer who decides to settle down on (for example) Bolarus after leaving Starfleet? What if they don't use money on Earth, but on Bolarus they do? Our ex-Officer will have lots of problems moving to Bolarus, if he doesn't have a single credit in his pocket and I don't think Starfleet would just tell him "Sorry man, but you can't live where you want, cause we are not going to pay you anything for your time with the fleet".

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    Talking

    Oh no! The other M-word!
    Greg

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    Madworld, Donnie Darko.

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  4. #4
    Perrryyy Guest
    Originally posted by Liz Not Beth
    QUICK! SEND IN THE MAR- uh... GROU- er... RAPI- um... RANG- eh... Dangit! Nevermind...
    Send in the BOY SCOUTS!

  5. #5
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    I'll give everyone 1000 credits not to fight over this.

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    Lightbulb Some Ideas

    I would say that number of years of service plus any special training, commendations, ect. would factor in to how many "resource points" that the character would earn. He could "cash in" these resource points when he wanted to purchase the retirement home or buy something. The 'resource points' would be translatable to whatever currency the character wants to go to. He just has to fill out the 'paper work' to get it done.

    Needless to say, the higher the rank, the higher the reasources.


    Hope this helps ya!
    >>J<<

  7. #7
    Perrryyy Guest
    Originally posted by Anomaly
    I'll give everyone 1000 credits not to fight over this.
    I officially bow out of this thread.

    Now fork over the cash!

  8. #8
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    I like the idea and I agree with the creator of the thread that it would make sense... Sadly I have no idea about the values of things.

    However may I suggest that we assume the standard of living smiliar to a retired naval officer today. So if such officer can buy himself a house then there is no reason why the Starfleet equivalent would not be able to do so as well ...

    Kind Regards
    Captain Alexandra Polanski
    CO, USS Archangel (flag of 7th Fleet, RRTF operations)

  9. #9
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    You are referring to Federation/Starfleet starship officers, right?

    I was under the impression that while dealing with monetary based economies, Starfleet personnel (and Federation citizens) simply sent the bill to Starfleet or the Federation. By an large, I think that most Federation citizens are consider equal as far as potenial buying power goes.

    In your example, I think if the character intended to live on that planet for any great length of time they would be expected to make a living the same way the natives do. Starfleet or the Federation could give him as much money as he needs to become established on the planet. Simply visiting the planet is another matter, though.

    Needless to say, the concept of the Federationss economy in Star Trek is a farely complex and interesting subject. While it may seem very alien from todays economies, I do not think it is too unrealistic. The main thing that allows this to occur in the Star Trek universe is mainly attributed to replicator technology. Of course many other factors also play equally important roles.

  10. #10
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    Somewhere or another there is a web site about the "replicator economy" and the possibilities of how cost, value and earning could play out within the limits (mostly) of what we see on the tube. If I can find it I'll post the link as it is IMHO pretty good.

    My players have never been comfortable with the idea of "no money", which is a limitation of 20-21st century minds and all that. However, we've set up a system that works for us which is basically:

    In the core worlds of the UFP one really doesn't "have" to have money. Everybody is given enough credits just for breathing to have a modest little cubicle apartment, eat, move about the planet (maybe not by the quickest or most comfortable means however), and enjoy a basic level of entertainment. Their right to life, libery and the pursuit of happiness is thus maintained as long as their happiness isn't to elaborate.

    In order to have a bigger/nicer place, eat fancy imported/non-replicated foods gain access to point to point transporters and play elaborate holonovels you need an additional source of credits and so you get a job. If you want to ride around on starships from planet to planet you'd better get a pretty good job.

    For our purposes it has been good enough that Starfleet counts as a "pretty good job" the characters are able to function at a middle class level and what is more have ready access to "expensive" perks like direct-to-destination transporter use, shuttles, and free rides to various planets. I've also made it such that Starfleet folk's families can ride space available on Fleet ships in certain situations.

    We get around the no money idea in that there is not an actual physical currency that is passed around in this system. The credit is of virtual value (we're almost there now).
    TK

  11. #11
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    Re: Some Ideas

    Originally posted by Anomaly
    I'll give everyone 1000 credits not to fight over this.
    Well I see no fighting (so far). Looks as if you can save your money.



    Originally posted by JayHawk
    I would say that number of years of service plus any special training, commendations, ect. would factor in to how many "resource points" that the character would earn. He could "cash in" these resource points when he wanted to purchase the retirement home or buy something. The 'resource points' would be translatable to whatever currency the character wants to go to. He just has to fill out the 'paper work' to get it done.

    Needless to say, the higher the rank, the higher the reasources.
    Okay, so what do you think would be the pay for[list=1][*]An ensign, fresh from the academy in his first year of service[*]A Lieutenant in his 5th year with Starfleet and a position that requires good training, but no direct command duties (i.e. no department-head or similar)[*]A Lt.Commander, 8-10 years in Starfleet, in a department-head position[*]A Captain of a starship (a medium sized cruiser with a crew of 300-400) who has been with Starfleet for about 15-20 years.[/list=1]
    All based on the assumption that 1,000 "credits" is enough for a month of middle-class living (see first post).

    How much of that pay would depend on rank and how much on time in service?

    Maybe someone could give me a real-life example from todays armies or navies to work with.


    Originally posted by E W Dawson
    Starfleet or the Federation could give him as much money as he needs to become established on the planet.
    Yes, but how much is enough to take crae of the needs of Officer Example? Will he just live there and look for a job or does he want to go into business himself with his own tailor shop? Will Starfleet give him enough money to rent an apartment and a shop and to pay some employees (at least until he breaks even)?

    If he wants to enter the interstellar trading business instead, will Starfleet give him enough money to just buy a small size 2 used cargo-hauler or enough for a size 4 nearly new freighter?

    The only reasonable way to make these decisions (that I can see) would be to base these benefits on how much Officer Example has done for the Federation in return.
    So even if you don't use money in most cases you might still need a pay-scale.

  12. #12
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    Well, you must realize that the value of personal wealth in the Star Trek Federation is quite diffenent from todays standards of similar issues. I believe the Federation makes no distinction between the buying/living conditions of their citizens. The Federations greatest inventor or greatest political personality/mind live in the same conditions/accomodations as the "lowliest technician." And the average Federation would expect as much. So the average Federation citizen would not expect anything outrageous when it came to living in societies that do not share the Federations views on personal wealth. Of course, the character can always do as the natives do and start to accumulate unnecessary wealth. But they would most likely have to do that without the Federations direct support.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Anomaly
    I'll give everyone 1000 credits not to fight over this.
    5000 quatloos on the newcomer!

  14. #14
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    A thought...

    This has never been an issue in any of the episodes or campaigns I've run, but here's a thought...

    Maybe Starfleet officers don't get paid, but have a per-diem sum (based on rank/time in service?) they can use for the odd purchase they might make when on an alien planet or something (ex., Beverly Crusher buying a bolt of fabric while on Farpoint Station).

    Tied into this, perhaps each ship has a specific amount of Fed. credit available to it, that the per-diems are pulled from. None of the officers have to worry about the money, though I guess someone could be given a talking to for going over it. (Though I doubt they would - greed doesn't exist as such in the Federation.)

    If an officer wanted to retire and settle down on a non-Federation planet (assuming all Federation planets are moneyless economies), I think it would be up to that officer to get a job or provide his own means. Though, I imagine the Federation could simply replicate a prefab house and plunk it down on the planet.

  15. #15
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    Re: How much money does a Starship Officer make?

    Originally posted by Lancer


    Note:
    Somebody might want to know why I am assuming the Federation uses money, even if on-screen evidence seems to point to a non-monetary society.
    What got me thinking about this problem is that a non-monetary economy is AFAIK not a prerequisite for Federation membership. So what about a human Starfleet officer who decides to settle down on (for example) Bolarus after leaving Starfleet? What if they don't use money on Earth, but on Bolarus they do? Our ex-Officer will have lots of problems moving to Bolarus, if he doesn't have a single credit in his pocket and I don't think Starfleet would just tell him "Sorry man, but you can't live where you want, cause we are not going to pay you anything for your time with the fleet".

    The question is what do you money for, if you can replicate anything you need. There is no sense in paying anything which you can get with the computer's help - even coins or any other form of currency. The only need for it would be to pay power usage, however concerning the advanced technology power generators are highly effective and thus energy is not that valuable. There are power sources which enable a small shuttlecraft of few meters size, to reach almost lightspeed, have shields and life support, etc.
    While the non-existence of money is no need to become a member I beliebe it actually is part of becoming one. What do you need money for if the galactic community gives it to you at no costs. You need industrial replicators - here you are, anything else?
    We came in peace, for all mankind - Apollo 11

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