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Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:55 am
by Hakkonen
Help me make sense of the Passage and Freight Costs table, core book, p. 207.

The cost for high passage over one parsec is Cr8500. Across two parsecs, it's Cr12,000, an increase of Cr3,500. From two to three parsecs is an increase of Cr8,000, and from three to four is an increase of Cr21,000. From four to five parsecs, the price rises by only Cr4,000; but from five to six it rises by Cr425,000!

Middle and basic passage and freight rates are similarly wonky: a more-or-less consistent upward curve from one to four parsecs travelled, then abruptly flattening out between four and five parsecs before spiking from five to six. Low passage doesn't flatten out from four to five, but it does have the spike from five to six.

What in the hell is going on here? Why does a six-parsec trip, only 20% longer than five parsecs, cost nearly ten times as much? Why does a five-parsec journey, 25% longer than four parsecs, only cost 10% more? Who wrote this table, and where did they learn math?

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:24 am
by arcador
There might be other factors involved, obscure to the end result.

Maybe the TLs of the drives are different, resulting in higher supply, construction, operation and maintenance cost, going in non-lienar progression. Maybe the 6-Jump drive is significantly difficult to obtain (accounting not only the price) and is rare for a non-military Imperial vessel to possess one, [edit: this is actually not true - while the progress from 4 to 5 is easier].

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:27 am
by AnotherDilbert
I believe the costs are vaguely related to the cost of the ship, hence the cost to produce the service.

The table should be exponential since each increase in jump performance makes the ship more expensive and capable of carrying less payload, or for a ship with constant payload it becomes exponentially bigger and more expensive.

Example: A TL 15 freighter with 1000 Dt payload:
J-2: 1600 Dt, cargo 1000 Dt, MCr ~295
J-4: 2800 Dt, cargo 1000 Dt, MCr ~785
J-6: 8300 Dt, cargo 1000 Dt, MCr ~3 120

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:48 pm
by phavoc
This issue was raised when the rules were being designed. AnotherDilbert is correct - the reason for the cost changes was the pricing of the ship and it's operating costs. V2 of the rules radically changed the costs of the underlying machinery for ships, thus the extremely high pricing.

Basically due to the cost you will rarely see J-6 ships, especially passenger and freight for normal commerce. That was done by design (there are disagreements if it was the best way to go or not).

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:57 pm
by Hakkonen
phavoc wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:48 pm
This issue was raised when the rules were being designed. AnotherDilbert is correct - the reason for the cost changes was the pricing of the ship and it's operating costs. V2 of the rules radically changed the costs of the underlying machinery for ships, thus the extremely high pricing.

Basically due to the cost you will rarely see J-6 ships, especially passenger and freight for normal commerce. That was done by design (there are disagreements if it was the best way to go or not).
That makes sense, but doesn't account for the curve flattening out between 4 and 5 parsecs.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:39 pm
by phavoc
Somewhere in the forum is a thread (or two) that explained why. If I recall correctly the person who came up with the tables goes by Aramis on the FFE boards. This was done to bring it in line with T5 rules. But don't quote me on any of this. It's been a while since the discussions were had! :)

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:24 am
by Condottiere
It's a zero sum game.

The further you jump, the more volume is devoted to get you there in a week.

That means per tonne, there's more costs in terms of maintenance, operating, personnel, depreciation and presumably mortgage that have to be covered.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:33 am
by AnotherDilbert
phavoc wrote: This was done to bring it in line with T5 rules.
T5 does not differentiate for length of jump, freight always costs kCr 1 / Dt / jump.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:02 am
by phavoc
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:33 am
phavoc wrote: This was done to bring it in line with T5 rules.
T5 does not differentiate for length of jump, freight always costs kCr 1 / Dt / jump.
Hey! No quotes!

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:14 am
by Hakkonen
Condottiere wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:24 am
It's a zero sum game.

The further you jump, the more volume is devoted to get you there in a week.

That means per tonne, there's more costs in terms of maintenance, operating, personnel, depreciation and presumably mortgage that have to be covered.
You're implying that the costs given on the table are per jump; is this explicitly stated anywhere? I can't find it.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:43 am
by AnotherDilbert
Yes, the costs on the Passage and Freight Cost table on p207 is per unit (passenger, Dt) per jump.

No, it is not clearly stated anywhere. I believe it was discussed here on the forum during beta at least once.

Search for posts by AKAramis, e.g. viewtopic.php?p=882540#p882540

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:27 pm
by phavoc
Aramis had provided some background on the logic used. It wasn't universally agreed to, but it ended up being in the book. Fortunately it's easy enough to replace with something you feel is better suited for your gaming.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:23 pm
by Condottiere
Jump drives and bunkerage scale.

Thousand tonne hull, fifty thousand per year; jump six drive one hundred fifty five tonnes, two thirty two and a half thousand. Payload two hundred tonnish, a thousand credits per year per tonne.

Jump one drive, thirty tonnes, forty five thousand per year. Payload eight hundredish, one hundred twenty five credits per tonne per annum.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:55 pm
by arcador
I still can't decipher some entries in the table:

The low jump between J4 and J5 for the most entries;
The more expensive low berth passage than the basic passage for J5 and J6.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:40 pm
by RogerMc
The idea that every ship charges exactly the same price for passage and freight is kind of ridiculous.

Even if we accept the MGT prices as the basis (and I am convinced that the J6 values are very wrong) surely some randomiser like a T5 flux roll (2D-7 x 10% to give a value from 50% to 150% of base) should be applied to simulate supply and demand?

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:26 am
by AnotherDilbert
RogerMc wrote: The idea that every ship charges exactly the same price for passage and freight is kind of ridiculous.
Agreed.

RogerMc wrote: Even if we accept the MGT prices as the basis (and I am convinced that the J6 values are very wrong) surely some randomiser like a T5 flux roll (2D-7 x 10% to give a value from 50% to 150% of base) should be applied to simulate supply and demand?
Yes, but at the end of the year you will find that the rolls have evened out, so that on average you have received the average price and all the flux rolls gave basically no effect in the long run.

The freight system is a very crude system for Free Traders (and not major trade routes) that still involves a lot of dice rolls. I don't think we need more dice rolls unless we let a computer roll.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:37 pm
by RogerMc
[/quote]
Yes, but at the end of the year you will find that the rolls have evened out, so that on average you have received the average price and all the flux rolls gave basically no effect in the long run.

The freight system is a very crude system for Free Traders (and not major trade routes) that still involves a lot of dice rolls. I don't think we need more dice rolls unless we let a computer roll.
[/quote]

In which case a much more abstract system like CT Merchant Prince had for trade would be better (and more realistic - how on earth can a broker on a pop 2 TL 4 planet have a warehouse full of basic common electronics or whatnot?).

If I ever finish my Traveller 40K rules adaption I'd go for a SOC as wealth/influence mechanic and just assign difficulty levels based on assumed cost and availability for each item rather than counting every credit or whatever the 40K currency is called.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:39 pm
by Sigtrygg
It's possible because that broker on the TL4 pop 2 world took the electronics from a previous trader in exchange for his previous warehouse goods. You can not consider a world in isolation if it is part of a multi-world polity...
Or it was impounded because the trade ship that brought it to this world had outstanding debts...
Or the merchant ship that brought it was re-possessed by a skip tracing team, the broker got the cargo as thanks...
Or the merchant that dropped it off was planning to come back for it, but never returned...
I could probably do a 6 by 6 matrix of these.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:27 pm
by RogerMc
Simple solution: stick with the CT default values for passage and freight and multiply by jump distance.

Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:37 pm
by AnotherDilbert
Much too good for J-2 and J-3 ships. There would be no J-1 traders if you could get twice the income for a modest investment in a J-2 drive.