Wealth and Tech Availabilty

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PsiTraveller
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Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby PsiTraveller » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:49 pm

Tech levels on a planet occasionally strike me as odd. The planet Sperle is tech 7 with 90 million people on it. The Class B Starport is tech 12 to service the passing ships.

I am trying to get an idea of the tech drift from Starport to local economy. If there was a rich person on Sperle, Billionaire for example. That person could buy a TAS membership, or just pay for passage to a higher tech planet for healthcare.
Could they import a TL 12 Autodoc and tuck it into their basement? Heck, can they buy a starship and park it behind their house?

Anyone have rules or experience with players wanting to leverage higher tech capabilities on a lower tech world? There is a lot of profit to be made bringing in the TL 8 widgets to a TL 7 world, let alone the TL 12 gear.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:13 pm

Yes, money fixes all those problems.

I don't remember exactly where (maybe Trillion Credit Squadron????) where costs for an item at various tech levels (local value of a Credit) might help. I think there was a table of TL vs. Starport...???

Also there has been info about importing higher TL stuff (+50% per TL comes to mind, but don't quote me).

So, you could blend the two - depending on the world, adjust the local currency to the Imperial Credit, so that Billionaire on a TL7 planet isn't quite so rich as a billionaire on a TL15 planet - then start using the +50% per TL rule and you should get some pretty outlandish costs to import that AutoDoc - but totally worth it if you can pay for it.

THEN you have to be able to maintain it. While resupplying an AutoDoc is trivial on a TL 14 world, on a TL7 world, the resupply costs are going to be pretty stiff - AND you have to worry about routine maintenance and what happens if it breaks down. I would use the Starship missed maintenance rules as an idea of how long before it starts breaking down... Think about your car, it needs routine maintenance about every 3-4 months - I don't see an AutoDoc needing less than that...
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phavoc
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby phavoc » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:04 pm

I would say tech drift would go beyond the local starport. Depending on the item and it's uses, you may find TL12 equipment on TL4 worlds. Obviously the closer to the starport the person is the more likely for the tech drift to occur.

I always like to use the juxtaposition of Somaila doing basic maintenance on 787 airlines IN Somalia. The tools and parts are imported, but basic maintenance is done locally with local labor (also usually rotated off-planet for Traveller to get training).

People with wealth aren't going to let distance stop them from enjoying the finer tech in life.
Condottiere
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby Condottiere » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:30 pm

Local labour would be considerably cheaper.

But you could have your money on an off planet tax haven, or if the service is available at your local bank, in a CrImp account.
Linwood
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby Linwood » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:03 am

I think there’s two possibilities to consider. The obvious is the local billionaire effect - someone who either through money or other means (retired Traveller?) brings in high-tech gear for personal use. So long as there’s a B or A star port maintenance, consumables, etc may not be a huge concern.(Cost, as pointed out elsewhere, may be a different matter.) In that case the consumer likely is prepared for the trade-off. Or the gear ends up in the local junkyard as irreparable and maybe becomes an opportunity for an enterprising scavenger.

The other possibility (again assuming a relatively busy star port) is pawn. It’s likely down-on-their-luck Travellers might trade off a high-tech gadget or two for cash. Or local thieves might score some tech from a visitor, or star port security might confiscate something cool (look at what the TSA collects every year). Bargain-hunting Travellers might make it a practice to visit the local pawnshops around the star port for deals on used gear. Which also might make a good story seed...
Epicenter
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby Epicenter » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:38 am

The problem with varying tech levels on worlds is a relic of the random UWP generation system - just like a lot of nonsensical things in Traveller. There's been a lot of discussion how you just wouldn't find some TL7 world right next door to a TL12 world when they're both members of the Imperium, the TL7 world doesn't appear to be poor in some way, nor is the TL7 world interdicted or an autarky (it's particularly ridiculous if the TL7 world is industrial).

I have a (not necessarily canon) view of Tech Level in Traveller that readers of this board might find handy:

Tech Level is extremely biased by what kind of goods the world can offer a Free Trader who visits the world to fill his or her holds to go off to the next world and the likely markets for goods he or she has in his hold already. Likewise, there is less emphasis on what is actually in use on the world by its natives. This neatly explains why much of human history simply lumped into TLs 0-4, despite all the great strides made in those TLs, the goods produced by those TLs will only be of interest as curios and therefore not much interest to merchants for hauling.

Similarly, I'd say that on any world that does not have some sort of ban interstellar trade, you're going to see much higher TLs in use on the world. The closer the TLs to Imperial Standard (TL12), the more higher tech you'll see; a world with TL4 simply doesn't generate the wealth to trade to purchase off-world goods; they're likely to get their foreign exchange by trading resources. Resources are typically controlled by a few landowning elite (even in a "democracy") and the wealth will naturally flow into their coffers. As they'll sending that wealth off-world to get more high tech goods, they won't be investing it in their homeworld; there'll be an epic wealth gap as a result and only the super-wealthy will have (lots of) off-world goods. Even in the case of a world of freeman farmers at TL3 or something, their crop yields are so low they'll take forever to accumulate tradeable wealth, so the number of high-tech goods in use on the world will be limited (of course, some visionary and charismatic person might organize said farmers into a cooperative and increase yields through the use of technology but the cases of those where that one person doesn't end up being a land baron I think will be rare).

As TLs rise, they will have more things to trade and wealth tends to (slowly) be spread out more on the world as enterprises not directly tied to resource exploitation become more significant. The accumulation of wealth (wealth recognized by interstellar traders) will allow more off-world goods to be afforded. By TL7 or so, many things on the world might be TL12 - hospitals might be equipped all with TL12 medical gear, personal communication might be all TL12, and so on. However, the world's own native industries could still only produce export goods up to TL7. Still, the world might be pretty wealthy if they have some hybrid of TL12 and TL7 machinery and devote much of their world to Agriculture and there's some industrial world nearby that needs foodstuffs.
PsiTraveller wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:49 pm
Anyone have rules or experience with players wanting to leverage higher tech capabilities on a lower tech world? There is a lot of profit to be made bringing in the TL 8 widgets to a TL 7 world, let alone the TL 12 gear.
There's a proviso I'd put in as an old Traveller player: Don't let your players make a killing importing high-tech goods to a low-tech world. I know this sounds like Opportunity (tm), but this is the Traveller universe. There's hundreds of thousands or millions of other free traders in the Imperium who are lean and hungry (and possibly desperate) pouring over maps of the Imperium looking for opportunity just like the players. If the players can think of it, so have at least a hundred people who are in a position to do something about it. There may be opportunity there, but it's likely that others are already there doing the same thing; if it hasn't worked so far, there's a reason for it. If it does work, others are doing it and have established markets. Players could find a niche though.
phavoc
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby phavoc » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:54 pm

To your point Epicenter (finding a TL7 world next to a Tl12), it's something we see on Earth today to an extent, though it's not an exact parallel. Because there are so many world generated randomly you find this issue. What we should be seeing would be worlds that are crafted with a core idea running through the creation process. So you'd find a core set of worlds with uniformly higher tech, then you'd find waves of worlds on their outskirts with progressively lower TL. For something the size of the Imperium you'd have certain core worlds with higher TL and then ripples of lower TL around them.

But there isn't a "good" way to fix it. What's done is done and you have to muddle your way through this as best as you can if you want to use Imperial space as your setting. Or else create your own sub-sector and address it that way. There can be lots of adventure in a single system if you want to spend the time to develop it on your own.
steve98052
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby steve98052 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:35 pm

Epicenter wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:38 am
. . . : Don't let your players make a killing importing high-tech goods to a low-tech world. I know this sounds like Opportunity (tm), but this is the Traveller universe. There's hundreds of thousands or millions of other free traders in the Imperium who are lean and hungry (and possibly desperate) poring over maps of the Imperium looking for opportunity just like the players.
It wouldn't just be free traders. Megacorporations would have entire departments devoted to arbitrage -- technology exchange, hooking up natural resource producers with consumers, and so forth. Some might look for bulk business to keep the ships full regularly, while others might be tasked with finding niches and short term opportunities. Free traders are left with routes that don't have enough volume to justify regular service for even one corporate freighter, for routes with scheduled service too infrequent for urgent cargoes, and for general cargo that is left over after the big guys have filled their ships.

In short, free traders business is picking up on big lines' rounding errors.

So you're right, players just aren't going to find easy money regularly, because everyone wants easy money, and too many people chasing the easy money will attract enough people that it's not easy money for long.
If the players can think of it, so have at least a hundred people who are in a position to do something about it. There may be opportunity there, but it's likely that others are already there doing the same thing; if it hasn't worked so far, there's a reason for it. If it does work, others are doing it and have established markets. Players could find a niche though.
Finding a niche is the main way to keep up with the mortgage. Maybe you find some regular customers because no one else has figured out how to get their livestock to market in top condition -- or no one else is willing to deal with the necessary cleanup after they've been in the hold. Maybe you're the only crew willing to serve as roadies and let the band practice during jump. Maybe your cargo master is the only human in the subsector outside of their family who can speak Ancient Borfels without an accent.
Condottiere
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:21 pm

Image

This guy is responsible for checking planetary trade figures and creating spreadsheets showing if it were profitable to set up a route and market their products directly to the indigenous consumers.
tytalan
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby tytalan » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:47 am

Can I point out that The Spaceport is own operated build and supported by the imperium not the planet. Think of the Spaceport as the imperial embassy only a couple of square miles in sizes. The tech level of the Spaceport is determined by its classification A 15-14, B 13-12, C 11-10 and so on. There size would also be tied to their class with a A being the size of a major city and each classification being about half the size of the next one up. Add half again if it has a Scout base, Double if it has a Navy, triple if it has both.

A planet tech level has little to do with knowledge most of the time and more to do with the roads, power systems, and a whole lot of other stuff that is need to build stuff. Yea I know there’s a word I even know the word but can’t remember how, to spell it. This might be restricted for many reasons lack of certion metal or some other important ingredients.
BigDogsRunning
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby BigDogsRunning » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:54 am

tytalan wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:47 am
Can I point out that The Spaceport is own operated build and supported by the imperium not the planet. Think of the Spaceport as the imperial embassy only a couple of square miles in sizes. The tech level of the Spaceport is determined by its classification A 15-14, B 13-12, C 11-10 and so on. There size would also be tied to their class with a A being the size of a major city and each classification being about half the size of the next one up. Add half again if it has a Scout base, Double if it has a Navy, triple if it has both.

A planet tech level has little to do with knowledge most of the time and more to do with the roads, power systems, and a whole lot of other stuff that is need to build stuff. Yea I know there’s a word I even know the word but can’t remember how, to spell it. This might be restricted for many reasons lack of certion metal or some other important ingredients.
If you're outside of the Imperium, or other major Polity, the starport is likely going to be a planetary responsibility. The size and TL of Starports is likely pretty spot on. and the word you're looking for is Infrastructure. :D
NOLATrav
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby NOLATrav » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:25 pm

Back in the MegaTraveller days, using the World Builders' Handbook, you could have varying levels technology across a spectrum of sciences, like Medical, Transport, Comms. There were also general designations, like High Common Tech, Low Common Tech, etc. Like many things MT it was fiddly and a ton of work for not a great return.

Inspired by that however, in my ATU (and also in my Trojan Reach campaign when it gets off the ground) I have defined these basic tech areas:

Habitat (including Life Support, hydroponics, agriculture, waste/recycling, etc)
Electronics (including Computers, Sensors, Robotics, etc)
Transport (including Infrastructure such as roads, nav sats, bridges/canals, etc)
Medical (including implants, cybertech, advanced drugs)
Military (all forces from planetside to orbital to interstellar)
Edutainment (including Comms networks, education, socio-cultural networks, etc)

Usually I pick a few things for a given world based on its UWP and neighbors and sometimes speed-of-plot concerns but I have a roll when I hit a creative roadblock:

Throw 1D2-1, +1 if Class B port, +2 if Class A, for the number of advanced areas the world supports (TL DM of +1D3)
Throw 1D2-1, +1 if Class C port, +2 if D, E, X port, for the number of lagging areas the world suffers (TL DM of -1D3)
then throw 1D on the list to see which areas are advanced/lagging.

So that TL 8 world surrounded by TL 10 - 12 neighbors may have some sciences and manufacturing as high TL 11. Whether that's global, centered on the starport or held only by the rich I determine on a case by case basis. By the same token certain areas could be as low as TL 5.

Takes about 2 minutes for a given world and opens up lots of color and cultural mash-ups. And it helps me explain away the 'why aren't all worlds TL 12?' question.
JMISBEST
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Re: Wealth and Tech Availabilty

Postby JMISBEST » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:53 pm

Some very good ideas

I plan to use some of them for Drinax if the characters get The Class B Starport at Wildeman and give it to Drinax. Sounds like it should be fun, although they are more likely to trade it for The Blueprints for The 1,300 Ton Wyvern Class Ship Drinax used to have, then save up for at least 1 likely at least 2, to have 1, or more, build then have Thee build it/them

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