Basic Passage

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Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Basic Passage

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:50 pm

First let me say that this is a LONG TIME coming and I am glad to see it in the rules.

BUT... (there is always a butt...)

OIf I can stuff 4 Steerage passengers into a stateroom, I can make more money than carrying a High Passenger and I don't need that pesky Steward.

Seems to me the High Passage should be the most expensive because you actually take up 5 tons per passenger (1 ton of cargo) AND you need all those Stewards.

If Basic passage is Cr2200, the High Passage should be at least Cr9800 (4x2200+1000) or it isn't worth ever carrying them. That makes the old Cr10,000 per HP from CT make sense again...

Given than, I would think that a Middle Passage would be worth at least 3 Basic Passengers, so it should probably be in the range of Cr6,600.

Sorry AKAramis, I know you worked a lot on your spreadsheet, but the ratios between Basic and High Passage don't seem to work right.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby AKAramis » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:57 pm

All the prices are worked out to about the same actual profit margin.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:16 pm

OK, I trust your spreadsheet more than I trust my instincts, but is sure "feels" wrong. Just like the huge jump from J5 to J6 "feels" wrong, but your calculations support it so I am not going to argue.

I cannot imagine how much work went into this...

Thanks for that. Having the Passage and Freight numbers make sense is something new to Traveller! :)
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:19 pm

Maybe the cost of the ship needs to be raised to enable it to carry high passage, it's not enough to give them their own stateroom, you need luxuries and other amenities the masses wouldn't get?

If I read correctly, the base costs don't include a steward, who'll need to be paid and a stateroom, again driving the cost up.

Did I read correctly? :oops:

I too appreciate the level of work, interstellar travel was too simple under the old rules, this adds good depth.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby AKAramis » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:49 am

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:OK, I trust your spreadsheet more than I trust my instincts, but is sure "feels" wrong. Just like the huge jump from J5 to J6 "feels" wrong, but your calculations support it so I am not going to argue.

I cannot imagine how much work went into this...

Thanks for that. Having the Passage and Freight numbers make sense is something new to Traveller! :)
About 50 hours so far. Each major variation on the spreadsheet was about 3 hours set up, then several hours of tweaking for revisions. This double check for this post cost me about 45 minutes.

The steward's salaries are (now, below) worked into the passage costs for HP and MP. Wait... I better check the code and make certain I included the salaries.

So, here's the 30% markup numbers, rounded up to the next Cr50...

Code: Select all

corrected _____ J1 _____ J2 _____ J3 _____ J4 _____ J5 ______ J6 ________ J7
Cargo ________ 950 __ 1,600 __ 3,000 __ 6,950 __ 7,650 __ 85,150 ___ 225,900
HPSO _______ 8,650 _ 12,200 _ 19,900 _ 41,150 _ 45,000 _ 466,300 _ 1,231,350
HPDO _______ 5,200 __ 7,450 _ 12,300 _ 25,750 _ 28,150 _ 294,500 ___ 778,050
MPSO _______ 6,200 __ 8,850 _ 14,600 _ 30,550 _ 33,450 _ 349,350 ___ 923,000
MPDO _______ 3,500 __ 4,850 __ 7,800 _ 15,900 _ 17,400 _ 178,300 ___ 470,450
BPQO _______ 2,150 __ 2,850 __ 4,400 __ 8,600 __ 9,350 __ 92,750 ___ 244,200
LP _________ 1,350 __ 1,700 __ 2,450 __ 4,550 __ 4,950 __ 46,500 ___ 121,900
Versus what is in the book:

Code: Select all

Passage and Freight Costs
Parsecs High Passage Middle Passage Basic Passage Low Passage Freight
1 _________ Cr8500 _____ Cr6200 _______ Cr2200 ______ Cr700 __ Cr1000
2 ________ Cr12000 _____ Cr9000 _______ Cr2900 _____ Cr1300 __ Cr1600
3 ________ Cr20000 ____ Cr15000 _______ Cr4400 _____ Cr2200 __ Cr3000
4 ________ Cr41000 ____ Cr31000 _______ Cr8600 _____ Cr4300 __ Cr7000
5 ________ Cr45000 ____ Cr34000 _______ Cr9400 ____ Cr13000 __ Cr7700
6 _______ Cr470000 ___ Cr350000 ______ Cr93000 ____ Cr96000 _ Cr86000
Thanks for the prompting, Hiro. I'm not perfect. The numbers in the PDF did include the steward life support and stateroom, but not their salary. the correction

Also note: Basic Passage will go up by Cr1000 per jump if the LS changes to Cr1000 per person aboard
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby msprange » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:58 am

AKAramis wrote:
About 50 hours so far. Each major variation on the spreadsheet was about 3 hours set up, then several hours of tweaking for revisions.
And I ended up making him do it several times during the initial playtesting - as I said, Aramis is The Man on this :)
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:28 pm

AKAramis wrote:
Also note: Basic Passage will go up by Cr1000 per jump if the LS changes to Cr1000 per person aboard
Does that mean that life support costs are included in the cost of the jump per passenger or are they still paid separately ?

To avoid confusion it's probably better to have them separate to cover non jump weeks.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby hiro » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:41 pm

AKAramis wrote:Thanks for the prompting, Hiro. I'm not perfect. The numbers in the PDF did include the steward life support and stateroom, but not their salary.
Not at all!

Thank you for your time and effort!

I am a huge fan of this kind of behind the scene calculation and am chuffed to see it making it's way into Traveller.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby -Daniel- » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:08 pm

This makes me think a "behind the scenes" type article or blog report might be both interesting and a useful capture for future conversations. This type of detailed effort might be worth being in such an article or blog post. 8)
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby EvilDM » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:59 pm

For J5 and 6 the basic passage is suddenly cheaper than the low passage.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby hiro » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:02 pm

Evil, if you look 5 or so posts up the thread you'll see Aramis (the author of the passage stuff in the 2nd ed) has posted revised numbers.

You were reading the thread weren't you?

:mrgreen: :roll:
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby EvilDM » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:27 pm

hiro wrote:Evil, if you look 5 or so posts up the thread you'll see Aramis (the author of the passage stuff in the 2nd ed) has posted revised numbers.

You were reading the thread weren't you?

:mrgreen: :roll:
Yes but I did not notice that he turned the X/Y axis around in his revised table.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby AKAramis » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:55 pm

EvilDM wrote:
hiro wrote:Evil, if you look 5 or so posts up the thread you'll see Aramis (the author of the passage stuff in the 2nd ed) has posted revised numbers.

You were reading the thread weren't you?

:mrgreen: :roll:
Yes but I did not notice that he turned the X/Y axis around in his revised table.
I've always presented it as Jn across and passage down. It's the layout guys who swap it.
Likewise, since the design system includes J7-9 (as T5 does, as well), I've always run the numbers to the maximum; I don't list J8/J9 since they require drop tanks and/or substandard crewing.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby phavoc » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:37 pm

I see a slight problem with the numbers. The sweet spot is going to be Jump-3, and the bulk of the public are going to be stretched to pay for jump-3 passage. Even nobles, unless they filthy rich, will see big pains in their pocketbooks.

And for those planetary pairs that are J-4 (there are some on the X-boat routes) the costs are going to kill most trade between the planets because it simply becomes unaffordable. The additional costs to a product for the shipping means it will have to take a longer, roundabout route to even break even (which would discourage interplanetary trade).

The idea behind Traveller has always been that trade holds the Imperium together. And more than just curios or luxury items.

I'm not disputing the numbers, but I think the underlying economics are unworkable. Let me put things in perspective:

Here are the costs of a ticket on the Titanic (one way, naturally)

First Class (parlor suite) £870/$4,350 ($83,200 today)
First Class (berth) £30/$150 ($2975 today)
Second Class £12/$60 ($1200 today)
Third Class £3 to £8/$40 ($298 to $793 today)

Now, compare this to wages at the time (and this is a very small comparison). In 1912 a skilled shipyard worker who built the Titanic would earn £2 ($10) per week. Unskilled workers earned £1 ($5) or less per week. A single First Class berth would have cost these workers 4 to 8 months wages.

And the parlor suite was H-U-G-E. With it's own servant quarters. But there were only two, so they aren't really applicable. When it sailed it had 337 first class passengers, 285 second class ones and 721 third class ones.

Plus the ship had amenities - a dark room, swimming pool, elevators with attendants, etc. Different time, but still, to charge those kinds of rates you have to provide really nice amenities to go along with all that.

But, Traveller doesn't do that, not really. A stateroom is a stateroom is a stateroom. Maybe there is more coming out in HG, but most of us haven't seen it so everything discussed here has to be from CRB, and everything in CRB has to stand on its own.

Just for a comparison I checked on a flight from Dallas to Tokyo. A 13hr flight. I can book that, r with 1 or two layovers, for $700 roundtrip (plus you know there are going to be feees). That's also coach and me flying in the middle of the week with 30day advance notice. A direct flight will cost me $1,700. About a 145% price increase.

There were no business class fares available to make a comparison. But I did get the first-class fares. One stop cost $4,600, a few hundred more for 2 stops, and non-stop costs a whopping $6,200. This is on a 777, with roughly 16 first class seats, 36 business class and 195 coach. A full first class brings in $100k, biz is say $4k per ticket, so that is $144k, and coach brings in a measly $136k. Most companies don't pay the majority of their workers to fly anything but coach, so you can assume the average flight (or jump travel) costs should be based upon the average Traveller's need - which means things have to be priced at a level they can afford in order to fulfill the fundamental idea that the Traveller universe is about the common movement of people and goods between star systems. Otherwise people will mostly stay in their own system because it's far cheaper to exploit it than import - especially since Traveller credits are the exact same across the entire Imperium.

So there definitely should be some cost increases for longer, more direct jump travel. Paying for expediency is a time-honored tradition. But standard fares need to be quite a bit lower to accommodate the bulk of the traveling public. I don't think the math is wrong. Just some of the underlying assumptions.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby -Daniel- » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:34 pm

I would be curious, how would the assumptions and number fair if we were to use the late 1700s or early 1800s rather than the titanic? I was always under the impression that Traveller was the age of sail for space. When the fastest way to communicate was by ship and there were internal pressures driving folks to sail to new lands in search of a better life etc etc

Not sure what to think either way, but it would be interesting had you used that era as the benchmark to see how it flowed with the logic.

Either way, that was very interesting phavoc, thanks for doing that.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:45 pm

Some consideration about these costs.

They look as if they reflect the player level economy costs since they are based around making a little profit for player type ships.

When you bring in the mega corps who can fill the ships and have all sorts of options for lowering costs the prices become too high and would bring in massive profits.

A mega corp that buys in its own unrefined fuel and refines it for it's own ships, that buys its ships cash and pays them off over a forty year life (in effect halving the mortgage) plus scaling as the bigger ships become more profitable at longer ranges and I suspect the prices listed become the benchmark not what is paid.

The bulk rate, the special offer, etc.

Plus while trade is important the jump one mains are the key to that trade. Over jump 2 making multiple jump ones becomes far cheaper, not cheap but a lot cheaper than the express runs at jump 3 and up.

Can the normal person afford a trip by starship. No. A medic working on a far trader would need to save three entire months wages simply to afford a single two parsec jump as a middle passenger on his own ship.

But with a special offer on a big line he could probably afford that once a year holiday with a jump 2 each way more easily.

Example. A Jump 4 Tukera type AT with 1165Dtons of cargo.

6950cr per Dton at J4 is Cr8,096,675 per full jump. Two of those a month is 16Mcr.

With a corporation costing unrefined fuel, wages, life support and paying the cost back over a 40 year life (annual 1/480 of total cost rather than 1/240) you are looking at monthly costs of under 3meg. That's a 13+ Mcr A MONTH profit.

Even if paying the full mortgage and buying refined fuel a ship this big is paying under 5Mcr a month in costs. To break even with two jumps a month it can charge as little as Cr2200 and that's for a j4. So they can massively undercut the players even with a mortgage, which pushes your players into scavenging round the edges while the big boys undercut the 'Official price' between themselves and give better deals to the bulk shippers.
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby phavoc » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:59 pm

-Daniel- wrote:I would be curious, how would the assumptions and number fair if we were to use the late 1700s or early 1800s rather than the titanic? I was always under the impression that Traveller was the age of sail for space. When the fastest way to communicate was by ship and there were internal pressures driving folks to sail to new lands in search of a better life etc etc

Not sure what to think either way, but it would be interesting had you used that era as the benchmark to see how it flowed with the logic.

Either way, that was very interesting phavoc, thanks for doing that.
I used early 1900s because I think it's more of an analogy to Traveller than other timer periods. If you go back to the 1700s there really weren't dedicated passengers ships, everything was a freighter with cabins on board. You cleared out some space below decks and you put people in there. The things people put up with in 1700s was much different than it was today. Back then if you had a regular full belly you were doing pretty damn good. It's not until you get into the larger steel-hulled ships that you get into something comparable to the Traveller setting. Even the European diaspora to the new world didn't really take off until the advent of steam to cross the Atlantic.

If you are interested in reading more about shipping and such, check out this presentation. It's quite interesting and the graphs show the massive growth over the last century in sea borne trade as technology continues to lower the cost and increase the speed of the delivery of goods and people.

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consult ... a_8_en.pdf
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Re: Basic Passage

Postby -Daniel- » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:32 pm

phavoc wrote: I used early 1900s because I think it's more of an analogy to Traveller than other timer periods. If you go back to the 1700s there really weren't dedicated passengers ships, everything was a freighter with cabins on board. You cleared out some space below decks and you put people in there. The things people put up with in 1700s was much different than it was today. Back then if you had a regular full belly you were doing pretty damn good. It's not until you get into the larger steel-hulled ships that you get into something comparable to the Traveller setting. Even the European diaspora to the new world didn't really take off until the advent of steam to cross the Atlantic.
Makes sense.

phavoc wrote: If you are interested in reading more about shipping and such, check out this presentation. It's quite interesting and the graphs show the massive growth over the last century in sea borne trade as technology continues to lower the cost and increase the speed of the delivery of goods and people.

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consult ... a_8_en.pdf
Thanks, I will. 8)

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