Ship Shares, Profit Sharing, and Vessel Ownership

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Greysword
Shrew
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:48 pm

Ship Shares, Profit Sharing, and Vessel Ownership

Postby Greysword » Thu May 21, 2020 10:06 pm

I have a (few) question(s) about starship ownership.

Using Mongoose 2e rules, I reviewed ship shares in the core rulebook and in the historical threads here. So my main question is, what's the deal with ship ownership? What is the standard?

Should all of the players be equal owners of the starship? Is this the main method for profit distribution?

If the game hearkens back to the days of sail, wouldn't it make more sense for the PCs to form a charter or compact for profit and cost sharing instead of a basis of who is on the starship registration? This would allow characters (and players) to come and go during a campaign without disrupting the major assets.

It seems to me that the side bar Ships with Benefits in the Mongoose 2e rulebook (pg 46) outlines the rule that one player should own the ship and anyone else that rolls up ship shares and starship benefits should change them to a pension.

If the players insist on using their ship shares for the starship, should these characters "invest" them to buy ownership in the business charter or team compact instead of the ship, so these ship shares can be used for collective expenses; such as repair parts, upgrades, starship ammo, team vehicles (air\raft, ATV), ship medical supplies, ship locker items (weapons, vacsuits, etc)?

I guess to ask the question that's been repeated a ton, what is the meta-game purpose of ship shares? Is it so the team can collectively pool their shares together to afford a vessel or primarily as a means of profit distribution?

What happens to the PCs that don't have any ship shares? Do they just get a salary or should they have an equal share of the profits, too?

It just seems in reality if someone invests in a starship with their savings, acquired good will, saved favors, and sweat equity; they would have a difficult time just telling another person that they would be an equal owner of the starship simply because they showed up with a small number of ship shares.

Instead, I could see someone offering their ship shares as an investment in the business venture, of which the starship is an asset, even though it's owned by one of the principle partners. Sort of like a group of people deciding to open a furniture moving company and using their friend's box truck as the moving vehicle. The one guy owns the truck, even if it is being used for the whole business and the business is paying for the maintenance, fuel, etc.

This is different if the group doesn't start with a ship, and acquires one in the course of the campaign. In this case, these people are the owners (per the registration), and anyone new that shows up would not be an owner, but could invest in the business venture, as above.

What are your thoughts?
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
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Location: Sweden

Re: Ship Shares, Profit Sharing, and Vessel Ownership

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu May 21, 2020 11:18 pm

Greysword wrote: It seems to me that the side bar Ships with Benefits in the Mongoose 2e rulebook (pg 46) outlines the rule that one player should own the ship and anyone else that rolls up ship shares and starship benefits should change them to a pension.
Not quite, the base is that the group only starts with one ship.

There are several ways of obtaining ships e.g.: Ship shares, Merchants owning Free Traders, and Scouts loaning Scout Ships.

The sidebar details how to handle if one character gets a Free Trader and another a Scout, not ship shares.


If you use ship shares all characters pool their shares, and presumably share ownership in proportion to provided shares but that is not specified.

If the players are not all that interested in detailed accounting, I guess they can treat the ship as a collective party property.

If the player are really into detailed accounting you could distribute ownership according to ship shares, combined with a profit sharing scheme for all employees (themselves) and a base salary.


I don't think there is any standard, you have to make up something that suits your group.

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