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"any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:33 pm
by Nog
The last modifier when rolling on the Purchase/Sale Table is "any DM from the supplier" - the text then adds "some especially rich or powerful suppliers can demand high prices." I really can't make sense of this line :(

Does this "DM from the supplier" mean
1. an adhoc modifier decided in special cases by the GM, or does it mean
2. some modifier specified somewhere else in the tables (e.g. the DM to find a supplier, +6/+4/+2 from the Starport class - 1/previous attempt in the same month)?

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:39 pm
by AnotherDilbert
The process seems to miss a step: Detailing the found supplier.

In the absence of such a process, the "any DM from the supplier" sounds like it is up to Referee discretion.

An easy to find supplier might have a negative DM (higher purchase price), and a difficult to find supplier might have a positive DM.

Be careful not to make speculative cargo be too profitable...

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:41 pm
by BigDogsRunning
I've always viewed that as being the skill of the broker on the other side of the transaction from you. Absent that component, the deck is always stacked in the players favor, and it is far too easy to turn a few thousand credits into millions in a very short period of time.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:48 pm
by Nog
BigDogsRunning wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:41 pm
I've always viewed that as being the skill of the broker on the other side of the transaction from you.
Ah, this makes sense! So I guess I can just roll D6-2 for the other broker's skill, and use that as a "penalty" to the player's roll.

I also find it interesting that this is one of the few cases in which only the skill plays a role, characteristics do not.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:09 am
by AnotherDilbert
Nog wrote: I also find it interesting that this is one of the few cases in which only the skill plays a role, characteristics do not.
I believe you can safely assume that when you roll 2D and add skill you can also add a characteristic DM. The question is just which...

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:13 pm
by Old School
The most common use of the broker skill is the price on trade goods, which is a 3D roll. Ive never seen anything to indicate a characteristic DM can be added as well. A high broker score is already overpowered if you don’t give the other party in the trade a broker score as well. I usually go with the concept the other side in the trade is or is represented by a competent professional and give the roll a -2 DM to represent the broker 2 skill on the other side.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:13 pm
by Nog
Old School wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:13 pm
The most common use of the broker skill is the price on trade goods, which is a 3D roll. Ive never seen anything to indicate a characteristic DM can be added as well.
If I am not mistaken, a characteristic DM was added in the first edition of Mongoose Traveller: the higher of INT and SOC. The fact that such a DM was present in the formula, and is now absent, suggests an explicit willingness to remove it. This also answers the question:
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:09 am
... a characteristic DM. The question is just which...

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:00 am
by DickTurpin
There are a few checks that use a 2D6 roll with Broker skill and a characteristic:
Negotiating a Deal: Average (8+) Broker check (1D hours, INT). [Presumably a mission payment or contract rather than trade goods]
Finding a Buyer: Average (8+) Broker check (1D hours, SOC).
Finding a Supplier: Average (8+) Broker check (1D days, EDU or SOC).

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:10 am
by AnotherDilbert
My reasoning leans on this clarification:
viewtopic.php?f=89&t=119108

Key finding: "skill" is not just skill ranks, but the entire DM you would at this moment use on a skill check, even if you are not rolling a skill check:
Nerhesi wrote:
Mon May 02, 2016 4:20 am
a) Your skill is not just how well you're trained in something. Your inherent ability (Characteristic DM) and augmentations (Skill wire, bio-augments, etc) and situational modifiers are all key factors in how well you do something. This applies to both offensive (Gunnery) and defensive (Piloting) skills.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:50 am
by BigDogsRunning
I'm just surprised that people still have the myopic approach of "It doesn't make any sense, but that's what's written in the book, so that's how it works". The whole purpose of the rules is to be a tool to help adjudicate a (fictional but we're presuming it follows recognizable rules) situation in a game.

It is the writer's best effort at that time, but mistakes and oversights happen.

If you look at a rule in the book, and it doesn't make any damned sense, why not do something that does make sense instead?

(edited for clarity)

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:42 am
by steve98052
When a ship arrives at a new port, I'd make a few rolls. The first would be the number of brokers, but only for worlds with a World Trade Number large enough to justify any brokers and small enough that the number of brokers isn't effectively unlimited. The additional rolls would be for the honesty and skill of each broker the players visit.

If the players happen to visit an honest broker of high skill, they're likely to get a win-win deal. "I can give you a great price on this load of vacc suit boots. But that's because the boot company screwed up and made way too many. You'll probably have to go a long way to get a decent sale price for them, but if you're going as far as Glisten you can make a bundle. Otherwise, you probably want these ground car wheels. They look overpriced, but some weird microbes two jumps spinward turned out to have a taste for the ordinary tires, and they'll pay a lot for these things."

If they visit an honest broker of low skill, they'll get a fair deal, but no particularly useful tips.

If they visit a dishonest broker of high skill, the broker will try to read the characters' broker. On success, the dishonest broker will guess whether they'll be back or not. If the party are on a long one way trip, the broker will try to scam them as thoroughly as possible. If they're rich enough, the broker might try to scam them even if they're on a regular route, if it's a big enough take. But if there's no big money to be had, the dirty broker will give a deal to build trust for a bigger scam later.

If they visit a dishonest broker of low skill, they'll probably get a mildly bad deal.

On subsequent visits to the same world, the player characters can choose to visit the same broker, in which case you look up their previously rolled honesty and skill, or find a new one, in which case you roll again. If they watch patterns, they might get a feel for whose advice seems valuable (honest, skilled), whose apologies for advice that turns out false ring false (dishonest, skilled), and where they get better deals through strong negotiations (lower skilled brokers, honest or not).

Note that they'll never encounter truly poor brokers; a bad broker isn't going to stay in business for long. The closest to that will be worlds where they find trade goods in spite of a low World Trade Number.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:58 am
by Nog
BigDogsRunning wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:50 am
I'm just surprised that people still have the myopic approach of "It doesn't make any sense, but that's what's written in the book, so that's how it works". The whole purpose of the rules is to be a tool to help adjudicate a (fictional but we're presuming it follows recognizable rules) situation in a game.

It is the writer's best effort at that time, but mistakes and oversights happen.

If you look at a rule in the book, and it doesn't make any damned sense, why not do something that does make sense instead?
For several reasons.

First, it might not make any sense to me, but still be correct. To most people on today's Earth, the fact that time in orbit runs more quickly than on the ground makes no sense. But it's still true (relativity at work!), and without adjusting for this fact GPS would not have nearly the precision it has. If I pay someone for game rules, I expect him to make better game rules than I could make up myself.

Second, game rules are interconnected. If I change X, then either I also change Y and Z (and thus A, B, C ...) or I risk breaking more stuff than I fix. Because even the most simulationist rules will deviate from reality here and there (e.g. to make PCs more "heroic"), I assume that the current deviation is the best that can be achieved: any "local" improvements I might make will engender significatly greater problems elsewhere. The assumption is based on the fact that if I pay someone for game rules, he should be better at finding a "sweet spot" in the game parameters than I am.

Third, an rpg game is at least in part a community. Think of this forum! The more you depart from the published game, the less you will benefit from the community. Adapt the game, and you'll have to adapt every supplement you use; you'll have to painfully explain the changes in the rules and their ramifications to your fellow players; and so on. If I pay someone for game rules, I want my return maximized.

Summarizing, buying a game is like buying a car. I pay for it, it should work. I should not be required to fix it. If it seems I should put my hands into the hood to tinker with the engine, I'm probably mistaken, and only expert help will convince me otherwise. A car that betrays this assumption is a bad car; whoever sold it to me is a cheat who won't see my money again; and anyone who says "car makers are humans, so it's normal for cars to be broken, just fix them!" is not giving good advice, in my opinion.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:28 pm
by steve98052
It would be nice if Mongoose had a standard way to find errata for its publications, such as a downloadable errata sheet for each book on the web page describing the book. That would eliminate a lot of confusion, and save their staff the trouble of repeatedly answering questions that would be answered in errata.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:42 pm
by Nog
steve98052 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:28 pm
It would be nice if Mongoose had a standard way to find errata for its publications, such as a downloadable errata sheet for each book on the web page describing the book. That would eliminate a lot of confusion, and save their staff the trouble of repeatedly answering questions that would be answered in errata.
Oh yes!
Good errata -> Move customer base three steps towards Haven.
The small but successful Atlas Games does it for Ars Magica, and I can testify it helps customers a lot and engenders significant loyalty to the line.

Re: "any DM from the supplier"?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:38 pm
by Condottiere
If a rule is incompatible with a specific situation, the Dungeon Master is not bound to follow it, just appear to.