Fair prices for player character's employment

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IanBruntlett
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Fair prices for player character's employment

Postby IanBruntlett » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:11 pm

Hi,

I'm new to this so I'm not sure what constitutes a fair price for player character's services.

Some things might be a one off payment. Others might be a daily/monthly rate for all the characters. Still more might be a daily/monthly rate per character employed.

Any examples gleefully welcomed.
GypsyComet
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Postby GypsyComet » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:58 pm

I don't have the book handy, but the crew position salaries under ship economics might be a place to start.
tneva82
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Re: Fair prices for player character's employment

Postby tneva82 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:04 pm

IanBruntlett wrote:Hi,

I'm new to this so I'm not sure what constitutes a fair price for player character's services.

Some things might be a one off payment. Others might be a daily/monthly rate for all the characters. Still more might be a daily/monthly rate per character employed.

Any examples gleefully welcomed.
Well The Rulebook suggests using cargo prices as guideline, ie roughly 1000-2000 credit per ton of cargo space available for a week. Idea is likely that why wouldn't players just haul cargo to get money than take worse paying job which is riskier as well(mortages don't wait afterall).
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Zemekis
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Postby Zemekis » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:08 am

I use a more skill-based approach.

Depeding on the type of work (blue collar/white collar) I start with a basic salary of 2000 to 4000 (assuming someone has at least Skill 0) and the go with: basic salary + (skill hired for)*2000 Cr.
As a monthly salary of course.
That's the rate my players pay all their ship hands and they throw in a bonus from time to time (Of course someone with Broker 4 will probably want a hefty share in speculative trading besides his already high salary).
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Postby exiledblue » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:44 pm

Its a tough one.

If its a survey mission or rescue mission to an uninhabited world for example you will need to factor in the costs of fuel and life support, wear and tear on the craft plus on top fair pay for the mission.

It has to be enough that the characters find the job worthwhile instead of trading.

If a ship has gone missing then the pay may be a percentage of the cost of the ship - say 5% if they find it and bring it back in one piece. If they dont bring it back but discover what happened to it then the payment may be 1% or so.

Survey Missions may have a set pay rate with an addition for future profit. You find a new world with a rare mineral on it (or other commodity) you get a base rate plus a percentage (could even be low .01%) of future profits from mining etc.

Or the contract specifies that finding valuable minerals, ancient sites etc etc gives a better return over the basic survey rate.

Most travellers can make a decent profit just from just trading so you will need to dangle a good stick to entice them.
Kilgs
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Postby Kilgs » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:31 pm

In the older Traveller adventures, it really fluctuated a lot. Sometimes to the point of idiocy.

I know one adventure had the players getting a 750,000cr part for their ship for a week of dangerous work. Another one had them being paid 100cr to go hunting Slonths or something.

I would figure out whatever they might make through trade for that time period and multiply it by at least 3. Unless it sounds like a cake run. But you need to give them incentive to take it.
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Postby Zemekis » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:07 pm

Prices for player characters...sorry I misunderstood that at first.

It is hard to give a flat-out price. Just comparing it to what players would make with trading will lead to unrealistic sums.
My players have a character with Broker 4 onboard. So they make an average of 300-400% profit of whatever they buy and sell. (Last trade run gave them 4MCr.)

So paying prices for hiring them can not that high. Even if they were to assasinate an arch duke, they (or the potential killer) would hardly get that much money.
However, payment is not always about the money. It is about contacts, allies, rivals, favours and other non-tangible payment. A refuge can hardly be measured in credits. Neither do contacts in naval intelligence or a friend within the subsector administration.
To call in a favour from someone up high may be a life-saver.

Esp. people at the upper tier of nobility tend to stick to their agreements as it might otherwise interfere with their social status.

So I usually pay them 10kCr. to 80kCr. each week a character plus some non-tangible payement.
aspqrz
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Re: Fair prices for player character's employment

Postby aspqrz » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:16 am

IanBruntlett wrote:Hi,

I'm new to this so I'm not sure what constitutes a fair price for player character's services.

Some things might be a one off payment. Others might be a daily/monthly rate for all the characters. Still more might be a daily/monthly rate per character employed.

Any examples gleefully welcomed.
1 Cr is generally accepted (I think its actually explicitly stated in MongTrav) to be worth US$2.50 at current prices.

So, at the current US minimum wage of $6.55 an hour, assuming a nominal 40 hour work week, that would be approximately 105 Cr a week in purely nominal terms (there are good reasons why comparing wages across more than a decade or so is increasingly [and rapidly so in many cases] meaningless ... I can explain if you really care 8) ) or 420 Cr per month.

The US Average wage (according to US government figures) was $40,405.48 in 2007 ... which translates to 16162 Cr per annum, or approximately 1347 Cr a month (according to the "Standard of Living Table" on page #87 of the Core Rules, that's slightly above a "Good" standard of living).

The problem is that, in and of themselves, wages are meaningless ... unless you compare them to prices of goods and services ...

So, you really should compare Traveller prices to see what's what.

A current small car, US, such as a Chevy Cobalt, base model, goes for $15,660 = 6246 Cr ... and a Traveller Ground Car (Core Rules) is around 6000 Cr, which seems fair.

Other prices are more problematic.

A Comm (page 90) of TL8 (there are no TL9 ones listed, and the TL10 one is obviously a Blackberry or IPhone), goes for 150 Cr ($375) in the first instance and $500 or 1250 Cr in the second, both of which are grossly overpriced.

I can pick up a prepaid Mobile phone with audio and a camera, for A$29 (around US$18 or around 7 Cr) and a fully featured 3G (video) phone for under A$100 (c. US$60 or around 24 Cr) ... a Blackberry Storm (supposedly crap, according to some reviews) lists for US$499 ... Cr 200 more or less ... so you'd be best to ignore the Core Rulebook prices for them (in fact, Blackberry equivalents will probably sell for the equivalent of 7 Cr at TL13/Average Imperial :wink: ... with flashier ones [greater range, tridee "touch air" keyboards, projecting Tridee displays with neuro-optical interface and ghu knows what will probably sell for the Cr 200 :wink: )

Does that help or hinder?
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rust
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Postby rust » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:54 am

For my setting I went the opposite way. :D

After reading through various equipment lists, I arbitrarily decided that
the average monthly income of a colonist on Enki II would be 2.500 Cre-
dits.

Of this, about 1.000 to 1.500 Credits are spent on taxes and other regu-
lar monthly expenses (somewhat high, but it is a hostile planet, with the
colonists living in domed habitats), and that the colonial government in
return would provide basic life support, medical services, and thelike -
European style social services, so to speak.

This leaves the average colonist about 1.000 to 1.500 Credits to spend
each month, a comparatively good sum for a high tech economy where
much of the work is done by machines and robots, I think.

From there I worked out the prices of goods and services, with locally
available goods and most services at "normal" prices, everything impor-
ted between 20 % and 50 % "above normal", and luxury goods (like re-
al meat, for example) at least 100 % "above normal".

Comparing my results with the values given in Mongoose Traveller, I
think that the 2.500 Credits per month are not far off the average month-
ly income of an OTU citizen, too - as far as there is something like an
"average income" in such a diverse economic situation.

Twice the average monthly income, 5.000 Credits, therefore should be an
acceptable payment for a character's "normal" services, with 10.000 Cre-
dits a good payment and 15.000 Credits "top money".

Just some thoughts ... :)
tneva82
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Postby tneva82 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:35 am

rust wrote:Twice the average monthly income, 5.000 Credits, therefore should be an
acceptable payment for a character's "normal" services, with 10.000 Cre-
dits a good payment and 15.000 Credits "top money".

Just some thoughts ... :)
Hopefully you are offering deal for characters without freighter then. Or atleast ones who have already paid mortage off.

Otherwise they are going to say bugger off. We'll make more money by trading goods and we NEED that money to pay the mortage. We don't want to get into legal trouble by skipping mortages because we took jobs which doesn't pay enough to pay off mortage! ;-)

For example bare MINIMUM my group could accept was 267k credits for month(that's 6 players). And that's just to cover up mortage. Then comes running expenses for ship, living etc. Not to mention bit of a surplus would be nice to get.

Actually precise sum is 292,655 credits per month+fuel. Fuel costs 33000 credits per load. So I guess you need to be willing to shell out 200k for 2 weeks worth. If it doesn't interrupt trading too much less.

Not greed but simple neccesity. Banks won't accept "customer didn't pay more" as excuse when mortage is not paid in full.
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rust
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Postby rust » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:51 am

tneva82 wrote: Hopefully you are offering deal for characters without freighter then. Or atleast ones who have already paid mortage off.
Yep, for two reasons: At least in my setting only a minority of characters
owns a ship and has to pay off a mortgage, and only a minority of poten-
tial patrons would even consider to pay a character's ship mortgage for
him if they can hire another person for far less money.

Remember, for about 400,000 Credits per month the patron can just as
well import a couple of true experts from another planet, high passages
and a nice success bonus included.
Therefore the situation would have to be very unusual indeed for some-
one to be forced to hire a freighter crew and pay their mortgage, too.
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Postby Zowy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:45 pm

If your group has a ship, then you need to have muti-system "adventures" in order that the spaceship gets chartered allso. That can cover alot of play types. Allso when something goes wrong on a small popularion or low TL world. The players being, "right here, right now and they have a ship", is what counts most when you don't have time to go get real experts.
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Postby phild » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:24 pm

I was thinking about this the other day also, and just hit on a fairly simple proxy measure.

1 credit is roughly = £1 sterling. Well for some items anyway!
Most PCs are experienced professionals of one kind or another, excepting those who took a long-term Drifter career or were underwhelmingly promoted.

As such, I would expect the minimum rate for a semi-skilled worker to be 100Cr per day, a moderate professional rate to be 250Cr per day, and any decent Consultant worth his salt will be looking at 400Cr per day, pushing up to 2000+Cr per day for real experts or hazardous jobs. And this excludes expenses.

Then again, just use the Standard of Living chart. A PC should be looking to clear 1-2KCr per month, after expenses, for a reasonable standard of living, and few PCs will be expected to be working 24/7/365. Given travel time, it's likely to be 1 job per month (1 week there, 1 week on the job, 1 week back, 1 week looking for next job).
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Postby AndrewW » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:43 pm

phild wrote:Then again, just use the Standard of Living chart. A PC should be looking to clear 1-2KCr per month, after expenses, for a reasonable standard of living, and few PCs will be expected to be working 24/7/365. Given travel time, it's likely to be 1 job per month (1 week there, 1 week on the job, 1 week back, 1 week looking for next job).
That would assume one would need to travel offworld which may not be the case at all.
Merxiless
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Re: Fair prices for player character's employment

Postby Merxiless » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:13 pm

Working in a Profession, you are making Cr 250 X Effect, per month.

So, if you are just starting out, Profession-0, you'd need to roll 2D for 9+ to get Cr 250, 10+ for Cr 500, 11+ for Cr 750, and 12+ for Cr 1,000.

Seems to me like this is menial Gig work, or similar, just starting out in your life odd jobs, part-time jobs, or piecework (as in a journalist writing short stories, or articles for e-magazines).
Essentially, this is the Working Poor, considering P. 92 of the Table clearly shows Standard of living Social level 5, Low at 1,000 Credits per month. But at that cost, your food and meals are covered.

So at Profession-0, You cannot afford an apartment, and meals. Such things have a combined cost of Cr 400 for the month, even at Soc 2.

Considering page 92 suggests you could get a fast food meal for Cr 2-3, And In our modern-day fast food is conveying 1600-1800 calories, this would seem to be a starvation diet, given you need 1,600-2,400, and 2,000-3,000 calories a day on average.
Call it 3.3 Credits a day, 30 days a month = ~100 Credits for Starvation level diet. This means then that the most Dive level Ghetto apartment might cost 200 Credits or a basic starter one bedroom studio is 300 Credits a month, which matches the "Cheap Hotel" in paragraph 1 on page 92.

I am assuming here for both, you'd get fresh water supply, and some kind of hot water heater, microwave or stove, trash removal once a week, A TV or internet or what passes for same on a moderate to High TL world, at least a beer fridge, and some cheap put-it-together-yourself Particle board / chipboard / low density fiberboard (LDF) furniture.

Now my take on this is that you could for example, have a Player Character work TWO jobs to TRY to make ends meet. But really, you'd need the support of Parents, or some other setup, 2 or three characters you trust sharing a tiny apartment, just to get going, unless you joined the Military or went to College, or started a career with the Regular rules.

The Text in MgT2, says "...there are a huge range of potential specialties for this skill, one for every possible profession in the universe."

Someone with Profession 4, could relatively reliably make around 750 Credits a month, and in rare cases, up to 2,000 Credits per month.

The most basic Starship Crew positions are Gunner, and Marine, paid at 1,000 Credits per Month. A Steward is getting 2,000 Credits a month.

In my setting, Cr 1 = USD $2 This matches pretty closely with what someone in the US Coast Guard in making as a Junior Enlisted, Rank E-1, at age 18, USD $2,000 a month, for various Base pay, Subsistence, Basis Allotment for Quarters, and Variable Housing AAllownace. the real process is complicated, beyond what I intend here, just saying it is in the ballpark.

Profession-1 would need to roll an 8+ to get Cr 250 or more.
The Campaign that I run, is basically multiple worlds of Corporate Worker Drone poor, struggling at temp jobs. Like Serving on a ship, if you get a job, you get a basic Apartment, and food at the Jobsite cafeteria. You can't afford to quit once you get a decent job, or you will essentially starve. Ther money you get from your profession earnings is money to burn or bonuses on top of everything else. Roughly 50% of the time, you have nothing left at the end of the month.
Legions of homeless, and criminality is pretty high, since law levels on frontier worlds are generally low.

Traveller jobs on Free Traders, there are dozens of applicants, and only 1 or 2 get picked.

Those people that are Travellers are a rare breed, flying among the stars, making piles of money, that the other 95% can only dream of.
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Re: Fair prices for player character's employment

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:19 pm

GDP varies a lot between worlds.

Salaries will be much higher in a Rich TL-15 world, than a Poor low tech world.

See GT Far Trader for specific GDPs.


Examples: Mora, Trin, Glisten, and Rhylanor (the dominating HiPop HiTech systems in the Spinward marches) varies in the kCr 15-21 per capita per annum.

Regina (a MidPop MidTech system) has a GDP of about kCr 9 per capita per annum.

A HiPop pre-space tech world like Louzy (or current Earth) might have a GDP of about kCr 2.5.

A LowTech (TL 5-) world like Beck's World might have a GDP of about Cr 500.

A normal worker will make something like that or a bit less per year.


From that we can infer that starship crew are quite well-paid, especially bridge crew.
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Re: Fair prices for player character's employment

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:16 pm

There's a hierarchy of professions and jobs, which may vary for each society, and thereby compensation for the same profession, whether actual or comparative, will vary.

I remember in college one of my classmates telling me that he planned on becoming a medical doctor, and relocating in some Midwestern locality, where he'd get a signing bonus and free housing; I was pretty sure I wouldn't want him in any insurance network I would be a part of.

A well run nationalized health service may provide few opportunities for medical professionals outside of it, except for exceptional individuals who could go into private practice, and attract a well heeled clientele.
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Re: Fair prices for player character's employment

Postby PsiTraveller » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:11 pm

A shipboard player also costs an extra 1000 to 1500 for stateroom life support costs, and 1000 in flat rate life support cost, in addition to their salary (Core book pg 145). That has to be calculated into the pricing structure, in addition to the mortgage payment. It adds up.

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