Ships cost an Insane Amount

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Chuckhazard
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Ships cost an Insane Amount

Postby Chuckhazard » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:04 pm

I know I've seen a thread about this somewhere, but can't find it.

Basically... WOW. My players just bought a yacht. 50.5Mcr, they had scratched up 48 shares bringing it down to 26Mcr. That leaves them with a monthly payment of 145k/month after maintenance and life support.

Their cash assets come to about 350k. Anyway I'd like to reread the existing discussion on the matter before deciding how to proceed.

thanks,
Chuck

EDIT:

Oops! I was searching for any terms, not all terms. No wonder I couldn't find anything. These are all relevant:

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... hip+shares

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... hip+shares

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... hip+shares
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Postby phavoc » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:20 pm

Yeah, they are expensive. One thing you can do to offset that is give them a used ship, maybe one with a few "quirks" that can lead to extra adventure nuggets. Like they have an 80yr old ship with a new drive, but parts are hard to find... their drive breaks down in a system and the only person who has that part needs a job done first...
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Postby rust » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:22 pm

My favourite Traveller settings started under the GURPS Traveller rules,
where starships are somewhat less expensive (e.g. a Mongoose Traveller
Far Trader costs 51 million Credits, a GURPS Traveller Far Trader costs
37 million Credits) and characters have more opportunities to start with
a lot of money and / or equipment, so I reduced most starship prices and
costs to the GURPS Traveller level when I adopted Mongoose Traveller for
my settings.
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Postby Chuckhazard » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:25 pm

I looked at the 10 shares for taking an old and beat up ship... but the issue is mostly one of style: The player with the most shares has 20 something yacht shares and is playing a corporate exec. I don't want to shame the poor guy by having him show up at the country club in a beater :P

After reading through those threads, I've decided to make shares worth 1Mcr each, so they nearly own the ship, and can get a shiny one :)
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Postby alex_greene » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:31 pm

Or you could - and this sounds like heresy, but bear with me, because this makes sense - you could just give them the ship, and keep the whole finance thing running as a mere background element that occasionally crops up as a motive to take the latest Patron's job.
Last edited by alex_greene on Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby phavoc » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:33 pm

alex_greene wrote:Or you could - and this sounds like heresy, but pay attention - you could just give them the ship, and keep the whole finance thing running as a mere background element that occasionally crops up as a motive to take the latest Patron's job.
Socialist!!!

:o
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Postby alex_greene » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:35 pm

phavoc wrote:
alex_greene wrote:Or you could - and this sounds like heresy, but pay attention - you could just give them the ship, and keep the whole finance thing running as a mere background element that occasionally crops up as a motive to take the latest Patron's job.
Socialist!!!

:o
Nope. Referee of a group of people who hated maths classes, and don't want to become accountants just to keep track of their ship's payments. I've left out the expletives and colourful adjectives they use to describe numbers-heavy gaming. :)
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Chuckhazard
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Postby Chuckhazard » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:36 pm

alex_greene wrote:Or you could - and this sounds like heresy, but bear with me, because this makes sense - you could just give them the ship, and keep the whole finance thing running as a mere background element that occasionally crops up as a motive to take the latest Patron's job.
Well this is more or less what I've done. They have an easily manageable payment but still don't own the ship outright, so the mortgage company can eff with them if I want.

Also, they all worked really hard to roll that many ship shares, so I have to make it look like they're worth something.
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Postby Chuckhazard » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:37 pm

rust wrote:My favourite Traveller settings started under the GURPS Traveller rules,
where starships are somewhat less expensive (e.g. a Mongoose Traveller
Far Trader costs 51 million Credits, a GURPS Traveller Far Trader costs
37 million Credits) and characters have more opportunities to start with
a lot of money and / or equipment, so I reduced most starship prices and
costs to the GURPS Traveller level when I adopted Mongoose Traveller for
my settings.
Interesting; I don't have any gurps books but I know someone who does. I'll take a look.
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Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:44 pm

In regard to MgT, expensive, yes. Insanely so? Not sure, when you think about what these ships, even the basic ones, can do the price is probably pretty fair. Remember that when (if) they finally pay off that huge mortgage, the characters will be very rich.

Depending on the campaign background, and the interests of players and GM, there is a lot to be said for a "loaned" ship, from the scouts, or a merchant company, or a world govn, or family owned etc. That also allows more oppurtunities to swap to a different star ship, to suit the plot.

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Postby alex_greene » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:46 pm

Chuckhazard wrote:
alex_greene wrote:Or you could - and this sounds like heresy, but bear with me, because this makes sense - you could just give them the ship, and keep the whole finance thing running as a mere background element that occasionally crops up as a motive to take the latest Patron's job.
Chuckhazard wrote:Well this is more or less what I've done. They have an easily manageable payment but still don't own the ship outright, so the mortgage company can eff with them if I want.
Only as a push element in the story.

Example: They land on a world, you as Referee tell them that it's been three weeks since your last payment was due, you had a slight misjump and you've got the cash to keep things sweet. The mortgage guy, though, has just broken up with his boyfriend so he wants to ruin somebody's day, and your guys are just the job.

Two hours after he slaps the default notice on the ship, orders Dock Control to landlock her and tapes up the exterior hatches with forfeiture & asset seizure tape, he's found brutally murdered. Guess what? Your player characters are in the middle of a huge adventure.
Chuckhazard wrote:Also, they all worked really hard to roll that many ship shares, so I have to make it look like they're worth something.
Again, it's an arbitrary thing. You could begin the game by telling them that the characters lost most of their ship shares to a swindler. They're in an adventure to get the papers back from that crook. They do so, and find themselves the majority owners of the ship at the end of the day with something like 85% ship shares in their portfolio, all of it genuine.

My point being, you don't have to remain consistent from one story to the next, as long as overall the characters and you the Referee continue to have fun. If it stops being fun, you don't have to play the game - not, at least, as written verbatim.
Last edited by alex_greene on Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rust » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:46 pm

Chuckhazard wrote:
Interesting; I don't have any gurps books but I know someone who does. I'll take a look.
If possible, I would recommend to take a look at the GURPS Traveller Far
Trader supplement, which describes a merchant vessel's operations and
finances.
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Postby iainjcoleman » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:14 pm

Lots of good answers so far, and I think they're definitely worth considering, but personally I think a lot of problems with ship shares can be solved by simply making them worth 5% rather than 1% of the ship's price.
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Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:40 pm

iainjcoleman wrote:Lots of good answers so far, and I think they're definitely worth considering, but personally I think a lot of problems with ship shares can be solved by simply making them worth 5% rather than 1% of the ship's price.
Don't you think that makes things a little too easy?

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Postby Chuckhazard » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:49 pm

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:
iainjcoleman wrote:Lots of good answers so far, and I think they're definitely worth considering, but personally I think a lot of problems with ship shares can be solved by simply making them worth 5% rather than 1% of the ship's price.
Don't you think that makes things a little too easy?

Egil
perhaps on a case by case basis... my players were aiming to get as many shares as possible. They amassed 48. I don't think that's normal but at 5% that would be outrageous... two ships!

I don't know what's "normal" but it seems a more normal group would start with 10-20. 5% sounds a bit more reasonable.

My goal was to make my players ship share benefits look valuable, while still keeping full ownership a little out of reach. If they had wanted a ship that cost less than the 50mcr yacht, I would have made the shares worth less :D
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Postby Galadrion » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:07 pm

I tend to go with a bit more of a numbers-heavy approach -- I actually use the formula for a fixed-rate mortgage, and each ship share amounts to 1% of the cost of the ship as a down payment. The players don't have to bother with the numbers, though; I run the calculations myself and keep track of the outstanding balance, equity, and other numbers which the financial institution would naturally track. I've actually had a couple of different groups approach me in that capacity looking to renegotiate the loan...

Your mileage may vary. I don't find it to be much of a problem to run such calculations, and I find I can use the results to push the adventure when it needs the occasional prod. In addition, it allows the players a bit of flexibility sometimes -- I recall one particular group which had refinanced the ship twice (both times paying off a fairly large chunk of the remaining principle) so that they had almost reached the point of clearing the debt, when they decided to arm the Type A... heavily. Two triple turrets, six plasma guns... they bounced their debt almost back up to the original amount! But they had a good record (very good!) and a reasonable relationship with the bank, so they got the loan. Paid it off, too, in about half the time it had taken to almost clear the debt the first time.
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Postby CosmicGamer » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:08 pm

As always, I prefer solutions that don't modify the existing rules. (most my games are 'pick up' groups online so I like standardized rules)

The phrase in the book is "The standard terms for a ship mortgage..." [is] "...40 years". pg 137.

Page 136 says "Many ships serve for decades or even centuries..."

It also indicates that the ships cost only goes down 1d6 shares/% for every 10 years the ship has aged!!

The point is that ships hold their value pretty well and there is no reason you couldn't go with a non-standard loan for say 80 years or more. I can especially see these extended terms if the ship is corporate owned.

To the OP, perhaps they take the company 'public' and get additional inverters. There could be silent partners that take a portion of the profits or vocal partners that may provide guidance and missions for the characters.
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Postby alex_greene » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 pm

I think my point here is that while the ships may cost an insane amount, so what? I've never let it bother the characters or their players.

As Referee, you are well within your rights to have your characters come across a ship of the desired type, floating adrift in space somewhere. Maybe some pirate Captain stashed a ship away in mothballs in a cavern on some asteroid, and got killed, taking the secret with her.

No papers, no ID, no mortgage to worry about. Some basic repairs, a lick of hull paint and new flag of convenience reg papers to some port in neutral space somewhere, and the characters are away with their new ship and no mortgage payments.

In the end, it doesn't matter if a ship's design cost "an insane amount." What matters is that the characters have the ship, and for the most part they choose where to go and what to do with her.
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Postby justacaveman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:54 am

I make ship shares 5%, but I limit characters to no more than 5 ship shares each. Usually they end up owning about 1/2 the ship. This keeps the payments down but gives me opportunities to mess with them etc..
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Postby Dave Chase » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:50 am

Lately I have Ship Shares equal to the cost of a Cargo Module or about 3 MCr.
That is trade in value of the ships share and if you are in the Imperium proper.

Cash value is about 1 MCr but few banks will give out actual cash for a ships share. They will give out a credit line of that much.
In the Imperium proper, again.

Most ship yards (or places that sell space ships and small craft) rarely give full value to a ship's share on a new ship. They will always (most always) give full value of a share on a used ship or small craft.

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