Still confused by trade

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:22 pm

Still confused by trade

Postby Argle » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:42 pm

I spent a lot of time yesterday reading through posts on the forum and I'm a bit confused about a couple things.

First, there was a comment that freight and passenger traffic only goes according to the originating world and the destination doesn't matter. This seems to defy credulity. If I'm loading up at a class A starport on a high tech, high population world, I think it matters a whole lot whether my destination is another similar world or a system with a type X port and population 3 among asteroids. And would I be looking at 100 High passage travelers whether I was going to a garden planet or to a Red Zone? Is this really how it's supposed to work?

Second, for speculative goods, are the guide and the broker separate people? I assume if they are separate, you can apply different DMs and different rolls, then pay them each their percent fee above the cost of the goods. Or are "they" supposed to be one person collecting a single figure.

Third, I can see a couple ways of understanding the DM roll for the guide/broker. The simplest is you pick a % you want to pay to a guide (0%, 5%, 10%, 15% or 20%) and you roll for the guide's skill as 1D-2, 1D-1, 1D, 1D+1 or 1D+2. This means that you can have a 50/50 chance of getting a guide with a broker skill 6 or higher. But 5 in a skill makes you a master of a skill. Does the guide really have such godlike broker skills? (Also, if you're looking for illegal goods, is this really streetwise skill?) The other way I could see this is that DM+4 is the limit on the broker skill. Pay nothing and you have a 1/6 chance of getting a Broker/4 guide (and just as good a chance getting someone who is a JoT/1). Agree to 20% fee and you're guaranteed a Broker/4 guide. Which is the correct interpretation of getting the broker's skill?
Cosmic Mongoose
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Re: Still confused by trade

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:29 pm

Obviously, things come down to role-play situations. Referees add their own DMs to whatever the generic chart assumes.
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
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Re: Still confused by trade

Postby steve98052 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:28 pm

The best way to get trade to make sense is probably to import a subset of the rules in GURPS Traveller Far Trader. At least one of the co-authors (maybe even all three) is a professional economist as a day job.

The key concepts are that the origin and destination worlds each have a "world trade number", and any pair of worlds have a "bilateral trade number". Each expresses total trade, but above a certain point major liner corporations move into market, so the amount available for free traders tops out at the leftovers that amount to corporate traffic rounding error.

You probably don't want to use all of Far Trader though. Unless you want to do a lot of paperwork, the full rules are overkill -- but still a good read.

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