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ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:39 pm
by Moppy
Can obviously work it out from the maintenance cost but I wonder if anything was written about it? How common is it?

Do we risk “breaking” the character generation rewards if we make ships too easy to obtain?

One imagines you might (1) charter and get crew with it, or (2) you might show your space pilot license and get just a ship, or (3) you might hire an automated ship with robo-drive that uses robo-slap if you even think about touching a control. Do we feel roboship is more or less expensive? It should be less expensive as you don’t need a pilot, but pilots are nosy and annoying so it might be an upgrade to do away with such a troublesome flight control system.

Given how FTL communications latency affects everything do we feel that they will be able to use a pooling system? Ship locations are tracked when they jump via transponder. You can see which are available in your system, can pick one up, and return it to any A or B star port on an established trading main. Using the logic that mains should be busy enough for it not to matter where the ships are, and not need “ship hire depots” in selected systems. Plot hook there for a band of specialists to find the ones that have vanished and a ship design hook for some kind of “patrol cruiser with a repair bay” and an unarmored 200-dt renter.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:38 pm
by Rikki Tikki Traveller
I envision starship rental is more like Leasing a house. Say a month-to-month or minimum number of months Lease, with full background checks etc.

I have implemented the idea of Licenses. One that i have is a "Ship's Master" license (thank you David Falkayn). Requires Piloting-1, Navigation-1 and Engineering-1. You must have these three minimum skills to operate a ship. If one person meets those requirements, they can get a Ship's Master license and are technically authorized to operate a ship by themselves (minimum crew requirements may prevent that but the skills needed by the other crewmembers become less important).

Ever tried renting an Airplane? Its about the same cost (say a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320), so should have the similar restrictions on who and when it can be rented/leased.

Starships are not like Post Horses, so not just anyone can walk up and take off.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:46 pm
by AnotherDilbert
You need more collateral than a driver's license to take temporary possession of a MCr 50 piece of self-moving machinery.

A charter with crew might be possible, but not cheap.

Take a Marava for example: It costs about kCr 300 per month to operate, I would assume it can be chartered for perhaps MCr 0.5-1 per month.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:35 pm
by Moppy
I don’t believe this system prevents the use of a security deposit. What do we feel is a reasonable amount? Usually such a deposit is a deterrent to encourage careful use, and the owners insurance will cover repairs or theft. It usually does not approach the purchase cost of the item (except for small items like hand held power tools).

For “Space pilot license” we can similarly replace that with a masters certificate, and reconsider the question. (By the way the term and qualification comes from ships today, not originally from scifi).

How would robo-ship be affected? Assuming robo-ship can operate the ship, which it can in Mongoose rules, we no longer require qualified humans on board.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:39 pm
by Pyromancer
The Traveller universe runs on reputation and social standing. So to rent a starship, you not only need money, you need references. You need reputable people to vouch for you. A noble title and a TAS membership would be helpful, too.

As for the original question: I don't think it breaks character generation if you make ships easy to obtain. Depending on campaign, I just give the player characters a ship at the beginning, and some published and popular campaigns do this, too.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:48 pm
by ShawnDriscoll
Moppy wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:39 pm
Do we risk “breaking” the character generation rewards if we make ships too easy to obtain?
I never think of them as rewards.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:31 pm
by Old School
No reasons charters wouldn’t be available, but owners will take safeguards. I could see destinations limited to a pre approved list, enforced by computer security on the astrogation equipment and jump drive. Also reasonable restrictions on the nature of use, enforced by loss of a sizable security deposit and possible criminal charges if violations are discovered. All crew members mist be pre-approved by the lessor if a crew isn’t provided.

All reasonable requirements that a prudent ship owner would take, but not the kind of thing that would lend itself to an adventuring party.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:49 pm
by Sigtrygg
Before you start a campaign you and the players must decide if they are likely to have a ship at the start, or even if they even want a ship based campaign.

If the players want a technothriller Mission Impossible/Altered Carbon/Mercenary/whatever type campaign a ship is not necessary to the action. If you then make them play a Firefly/Dark Matter/Killjoys/Expanse based setting because that is what you want to run you will lose players rather fast.

On the other hand if the players want the aforementioned ethically challenged merchant type campaign then a ship is a must - so what do you do if no one gets one as a mustering out benefit?

In my longest running campaign the players have had the chance many times to own a ship in some way - they get rid of it as soon as they can. They want planet of the week adventure and are quite happy to pay passage, earn passage by working passage, use patron provided transport, or use a captured ship for a few weeks. They don't want mortgages, they don't want to bother with the trade system, they want adventure.

In my Culture campaign one of the players actually has the ship as a character - horses for courses.

If you want to mine ideas for a ship based campaign and are willing to dip into other games I recommend taking a look at how Coriolis handles the ship as an intrinsic part of the setting.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:03 pm
by Condottiere
No partying.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:10 pm
by Condottiere
And airplanes don't jump.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:59 am
by Saladman
ship rental
Why do you want this in the first place? What are you trying to accomplish by adding it?
ship rental costs
I would handle it as a charter. Figure the owner has a mortgage, operating costs, crew costs since he wants it to not disappear, then a profit. And profit is likely to have a slight premium over a standard freight lots and passenger run. Not going to do the math since it depends on the ship, but it could get expensive pretty quickly.
Do we risk “breaking” the character generation rewards if we make ships too easy to obtain?
Ships are already easy to obtain. Take on the mortgage. Any player group that agrees they want a ship should have a ship. Unless the GM doesn't want them to have a ship for campaign reasons, in which case they should just come out and say so.

If you mean "should I not make ship shares meaningless" then... don't make ship shares meaningless. You could go the Drinax route and let them trade in for minor upgrades to another ship, or let them represent more general favors to be called in. Probably shouldn't replace them with cash.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:43 am
by Linwood
I doubt rentals would come with weaponry. Certainly not missiles.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:12 am
by paltrysum
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:38 pm
I have implemented the idea of Licenses. One that i have is a "Ship's Master" license (thank you David Falkayn). Requires Piloting-1, Navigation-1 and Engineering-1.
No Astrogation-1? Can’t get far without it.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:45 am
by Condottiere
Astrogation zero should be fine; and pilot zero.

What you might have are various classes of licenses, for different ship types and tonnages.

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:58 am
by Moppy
Modern masters cert for a large ship is basically pilot 1+, navi/astrogate 1+, admin-1+, legal-0 (maritime), medical-0 (first aid and basic extended care) and engineering-0 (firefighting and damage control, not fixing engines) and several years experience.

The skill system doesn't really have sufficient granuarity but I don't think it matters. They do have expert programs to boost or provide competence in fields like caring for a casualty for a couple of weeks that wouldn't normally in medical-0 (basic first aid) and are below medical-1 (qualified nurse).

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:13 pm
by Rikki Tikki Traveller
paltrysum wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:12 am
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:38 pm
I have implemented the idea of Licenses. One that i have is a "Ship's Master" license (thank you David Falkayn). Requires Piloting-1, Navigation-1 and Engineering-1.
No Astrogation-1? Can’t get far without it.
Depending on the system you are using the Navigation skill used to be the Astrogation skill. I obviously meant Astrogation if that is the system you are using (sorry - old-school moment)

Re: ship rental - costs and problems. Do we break char gen if ships are too easy to get?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:25 pm
by paltrysum
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:13 pm
Depending on the system you are using the Navigation skill used to be the Astrogation skill. I obviously meant Astrogation if that is the system you are using (sorry - old-school moment)
D’oh! The fault is all mine. I was at work and skimming and the Navigation didn’t register. Oops.

Yes, fine requirements list there.