Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

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hiro

Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:41 am

Has anyone come up with a simple set of rules for leasing ships that they'd be happy sharing?

From a little reading after a google search it seems current airliners when new lease for about 1% of their price per month for a dry (long term) lease but it's far from an easy subject to make such generalisations on.

It's getting dangerously close to the "Accountants in Space" side of things but would anyone like to make a suggestion?
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:39 pm

I think past editions of Traveller had a ship lease/rental section:

Pay the following:
Mortgage Payment
Maintenance Costs
Life Support Costs
Crew Salaries
Refined Fuel costs
+10% of the sum of the above

A longer-term lease, like multi-year, similar to planes today would drop the Life Support, Fuel and Salaries. 1% of the original, full=market value of the ship is probably about right, maybe 2%?
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hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:13 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I'll go ahead and use 1-2% and let the lawyers haggle the price!

I'll add a reserve fee that goes towards maintenance as they're far from an established business!
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby haveahappy » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:53 am

Yeah a % of the base value of the ship would be the way to go.

What % you pay would be some sort of market rate. Landlords (shiplords?) need a reasonable rate of return you know.

One thing you might do is along the lines of what retail landlords do here in Australia - which is force you to throw your books open and pay a % of your trade turnover as rent (with a floor rate of X% of course). That might help keep things within the bounds of what the players can pay.
hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:58 am

An interesting idea, my players are bounty hunters but one might dabble in the wonders of the free market...

Trouble is, if the broker goes broke will the ship's owners have a sympathetic ear?

Haha, not in MTU!

I'll stick with a flat percentage on a long term loan and work out the options if the players want a "wet" lease.
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby haveahappy » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:12 am

I would also make sure the ship is very much a "rental".

About 70 years old with thousands of parsecs on the clock. Probably had the manouver drive replaced and jerry-rigged so it doesn't work quite right (constantly veers up and to the left), Only one side of the cargo bay doors work, and one of the airlocks doesn't open at all. There's a bay of six escape pods and all are empty but one. Who knows if that thing works or not, it's still the stock fitted pod.
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby -Daniel- » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:36 am

haveahappy wrote:I would also make sure the ship is very much a "rental".

About 70 years old with thousands of parsecs on the clock. Probably had the manouver drive replaced and jerry-rigged so it doesn't work quite right (constantly veers up and to the left), Only one side of the cargo bay doors work, and one of the airlocks doesn't open at all. There's a bay of six escape pods and all are empty but one. Who knows if that thing works or not, it's still the stock fitted pod.
:shock: Why? I lease cars and they are brand new same year models. Now if you bought an old ship that had been a lease I could see this, but not for a new lease.
hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:05 am

Whimsical tormenting of the players is all, no reflection on anything else ;)

(My players read this forum, can't give too much away...)
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:11 pm

Megacorporations can lease starships; their operations aren't going to up and disappear overnight.

You're going to need a reliable guarantor, if you don't have surface fixed assets that they can seize if you default.
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby haveahappy » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:40 am

-Daniel- wrote: :shock: Why? I lease cars and they are brand new same year models. Now if you bought an old ship that had been a lease I could see this, but not for a new lease.
Because it's CHEAP :)

The OP's concern was the crippling expenses imposed by a ship's mortgage.
Comparisons to "real life" are a bit difficult as there are so many more variables that enter into the decision.
Cost is not really the primary reason that companies lease vehicles IRL - it is issues of taxation treatment of what they pay and the ease of servicing/upgrading the fleet of vehicles over time. It also has the nice effect of outsourcing a number of the more annoying aspects of vehicle ownership.

So the real issue here is that the ship the players want is beyond their means, by the RAW. They want a ferrari but they can only afford a corrolla. The solution is to either make the ship cheaper (or free) for them, or to give them the means to service the cost. A lease is not necessarily going to be cheaper, and the leasor may well have their own mortgage to pay and require a positive return. Personally I would prefer to just give them a more manageable mortage as this is better covered by the rules.
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby Epicenter » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:03 am

One thing is that starship leases are probably going to be a lot more difficult to get in the Traveller universe.

1) People do not just lease a Boeing 777 (or a Airbus A380 or whatever) and decide to fly off with it because they don't want to continue paying for it and mostly or totally get away with it (well it might, but I've never heard of it). This does happen in Traveller, apparently often enough that bounty hunters who specialize in "skip-tracing" exist.

2) Say what you will about the Straits of Malacca or the Somali coast, most ships do not run the risk of simply being seized by pirates on our present Earth. In Traveller ships do get stolen, repurposed, then sent back out or sold.

As piracy and skip-tracing don't really exist in the same way on present-day Earth (at least not without being caught reasonably easily), I think banks and owners of such jets are much more likely to lease stuff. However, such hazards are real in the Traveller universe. For that reason, leasing ships is probably going to be more difficult. If you want a lease in the Traveller universe, it's likely that you'd:

* Need to present the owners with a business plan. This business plan would be scrutinized with an electron microscope both to see if it's a sham to get a ship and if the business plan is realistic enough to actually turn sufficient profit to pay the lease (as being unable to pay the lease would tempt the borrowers to run off the with the ship) and that they'd get the ship back intact at the end of the lease (it seems that people letting you lease a mercenary cruiser would be pretty few and far between in the Traveller universe).

* Submit to reference-checking to determine the character of the borrowers and to determine if the borrowers are even who they say they are. This could take months, possibly even a year or two.

* You'd probably have to put up collateral in the form of money or goods that the people letting you borrow the ship would keep (or would be put in escrow). For a cheaper ship being leased to a trusted party who have a boring and safe (and profitable) business plan , this might be like 10%. For someone wanting to lease a Mercenary cruiser this collateral might easily be 50% or more of the value of the ship.

* Being Traveller, getting a reasonably high-ranked local noble in good standing to vouch for you, putting his or her good name on the line. This would probably excuse or reduce a lot the earlier conditions with the implicit understanding the noble's name would be tarnished and the noble would probably be responsible for paying out-of-pocket for the ship.
hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:13 am

Epicenter

You are of course, right.

The same can also be said for purchasing a ship, the criteria that a crew or individual would go through I can see as being meticulous and easily failed.

I'm keen to not bring patrons into this game. The game is set ostensibly outside of the 3I in the Trojan Reaches where nobility means less and I would like to avoid the perils of a patron the PCs must answer to.

I'm exploring options: Long term leasing (dry) and short term leasing (wet) but I think the winner will be purchasing an older ship, approximately 50 years and I'll steal Nobby W's suggestion from a few months back as to how the ships are valued.
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby haveahappy » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:34 am

Epicenter wrote:One thing is that starship leases are probably going to be a lot more difficult to get in the Traveller universe.

1) People do not just lease a Boeing 777 (or a Airbus A380 or whatever) and decide to fly off with it because they don't want to continue paying for it and mostly or totally get away with it (well it might, but I've never heard of it).
And banks don't just give small groups of disgraced and crippled has-beens with mid-life crises and itchy trigger fingers a mortgage for the hundreds of millions it takes to purchase the same Boeing 777 - however the Traveller rules seem to assume this does happen with some frequency.

As far as I can tell from the rules, the Traveller financial/credit system is basically the wild west. If you held the characters to the same credit standards we would expect IRL, no party who didn't roll a ship at character gen would ever get one.
I guess my point is that the difference between a lease and a mortgage in game terms is immaterial - if you don't pay, they take the ship, end of story.

The OP's issue is expenses - the solution to which is to make a ruling in the players favour that it doesn't actually cost them that much, or make pay for it in other ways (eg: ship is old and busted, or has a checkered history, or a third party has a financial interest in it).
Coming up with house rules for a lease is over-engineering things IMO.
hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:40 am

Indeed, as I'm finding out after doing a little research and the discussion on this thread. It's pretty much six of one, half a dozen of the other: lease versus mortgage and both are moot if you can't pass the credit check.

It's not so easy either to set a game in a 3I like setting and have the players buying passage aboard ships. I'm sure some would say it takes the flavour from the game but I was looking for ways of not hand waving a multi million credit ship into the possession of, as you say, "disgraced and crippled has-beens with mid-life crises and itchy trigger fingers" cos well, it fails on many levels, it's all a little too fantasy based for me...

Maybe ships are just over priced?
hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:52 am

I've not delved into the depths of the 2nd Ed but in all honesty, I'm liking what I've seen so far. I'm sure there will be issues, a lot of us are experienced gamers with a vision of the universe we want to play in that no rule set could comply with 100%.

I prefer to play games other than the typical free traders plying the lanes getting rich with that itchy trigger finger. I'm still not convinced the private ownership of ships is a thing we might see in the future but heck, it's science fiction, you gotta have a space ship don't you?
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby -Daniel- » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:58 am

hiro wrote: I'm still not convinced the private ownership of ships is a thing we might see in the future but heck, it's science fiction, you gotta have a space ship don't you?
I have always thought it would mirror some what the present plane and sea worthy ship pattern. The majority would be corporate owned, then the wealthy people and small niche business owned, and the smallest group, private owners not falling in the wealthy category.

Of course the future could change lots of things, it is just how I thought of it. :mrgreen:
Last edited by -Daniel- on Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:59 am

Prices have to be high enough so that not every Tom, Dick and Harry goes and gets his own.

Outside of egregious costing, the best you can do is see if you can game the system mechanics.

While not quite fitting in with the game ambiance, I'd would propose that you start off with a basic hull, and start adding components in various states of repair, legality, or other options that affect price, availability and/or performance, as the starting ship.
hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:01 am

Condottiere wrote:Prices have to be high enough so that not every Tom, Dick and Harry goes and gets his own.
Wait a minute!

That's exactly what happens already!

:mrgreen:

Roll on post scarcity!
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Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:09 am

That would crowd the spaceways, and you'd have to pay more taxes to build more.

Also, you'd have to compete for missions and commissions from ambitious drones from hive worlds, who can now afford to go interstellar.
hiro

Re: Leasing spacecraft in Traveller

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:12 am

Whereas every Tom, Dick and Harry who falls within the remit of "disgraced and crippled has-beens with mid-life crises and itchy trigger fingers" won't be your competition?

If you allow the rough and tumble that is your average Traveller PC group, you have by default opened the flood gates to starship ownership by the great unwashed.

It's a defining feature of the setting.

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