Ships cost an Insane Amount

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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DFW
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Postby DFW » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:57 pm

Speaking of insane costs, I just posted a new Type S that would be a great muster out ship for use by small/medium parties...

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... hp?t=43822
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Postby Ector » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:48 am

Yes, it is fairly clear that in those science fictions, though there must be some economic somewhere, they are not an important part of a military or political setting.
I've never said they have to be an important part. They just have to be :)
Ector, you've already been schooled on this point earlier. You should probably reread the thread so you don't keep making the same incorrect statements over and over.
So you call your words about your millionaire friends risking their lives "schooling on this point"? :) Come on. They spend most of their lives making money.
I just realised that "StarWars/D6", "DS9" and "Renegade Legion:Legionnaire" are marketed under a false label. They claim to be RPGs but they can't be since they have no rules to properly simulate business, the typical elements of the military background and similar elements necessary for the typical characters to get "in the role"
You may laugh if you wish, but, actually, Star Wars is so "cartoonish" that it's virtually impossible to roleplay somebody there. What do you know about Obi-Wan's personality? He's a "vanilla hero". There is nothing to roleplay.
Yes, there are modern and futuristic settings/campaigns where money doesn't matter, but most such settings involve "superheroes" that are supposed to have "enough money for all their needs". James Bond, for instance, has everything he needs from the government. But I don't know such superheroes in the Traveller universe.
You mean to tell me we've been playing Traveller for all these years, and all the fun we've had has been FAKE?
No, I mean to tell you that with little "accounting" you'd get much more realistic world, and, therefore, would get much more fun!
Unless the players tell me that they want those background data and that their characters wish to get involved in this part of the setting, I would never bother them with that stuff. They want their characters to experience adventures, and bookkeeping is not exactly known for being adventurous.
Please ask yourself: do you and your players want their characters to be realistic at least to a minimal degree? Isn't it obvious that playing Traveller without money cannot be realistic?
Playing with money is still far from "bookkeeping". I suspect each of us earns some money and spends it without bookkeeping :) You may reduce the details to the absolute minimum, if you wish, but if your characters "always have everything they need" without money, the game becomes childish.
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DFW
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Postby DFW » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:18 am

Ector wrote:So you call your words about your millionaire friends risking their lives "schooling on this point"? :) Come on. They spend most of their lives making money.
One made his 1st million in Insurance by the time he was 20. The 2nd, worth $150 million by age 24 during the internet boom of the 90's. Consider yourself schooled, twice. ;)
Last edited by DFW on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby locarno24 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:21 am

suspect that the bookkeeping part of that job would still not be very ad-
venturous ...
Try Call of Cthulu if this is your problem. That setting includes books whose keeping is a very adventurous activity indeed.


An RPG is a roleplaying game. As with any game, the aim is fun. Playing the role requires, as noted, some degree of consistency in actions - that is, doing what your character could reasonably be expected to do.

However, it's still a role. It's not a reality playing game, otherwise I'd just go and get a second job in the evening and get paid for it with real money, not imaginary credits.

A greater internal consistancy and deeper background provides a more immersive setting (as Rust said). However that doesn't all have to be thrown at the players, any more than I wish to see Jethro Gibbs filling out his expenses claims after catching the murderer. It's perfectly acceptible to flick between the cool scenes, provided they don't jarringly contradict the bits you know must be there, even if you don't see them.

Also, bear in mind that a roleplaying game must include provision for playing the role badly. I play the game of chess extremely badly but no-one has complained that I am not therefore allowed to find it fun.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Postby Ector » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:24 am

DFW wrote:One made his 1st million in Insurance by the time he was 20. The 2nd, worth $150 million by age 24 during the internet boom of the 90's. Consider yourself schooled, twice. ;)
Thanks for the schooling, teacher-san! :D
Still, I really doubt they're adventuring all the time, or even most of the time. Their primary activity is some serious work, adventuring is just for a fun and change, right? And most Traveller characters are professional adventurers that make money in advnentures instead of spending. Hope you'll finally see the difference.
It's not a reality playing game, otherwise I'd just go and get a second job in the evening and get paid for it with real money, not imaginary credits.
Right. But the "virtual reality" of RPGs is much more pleasant and friendly for us than the "real reality". It's assumed that Referee (or GM/DM/whatever) should provide interesting adventures with the good rewards, and avoid killing PCs unless they do something really stupid. The "virtual reality" isn't very "realistic", but it should be realistic enough for us to believe in it.
Last edited by Ector on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DFW » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:28 am

Ector wrote:Still, I really doubt they're adventuring all the time, or even most of the time. Their primary activity is some serious work, adventuring is just for a fun and change, right?
They both stopped working within a year of making their millions. The only "work" they do now is the occasional business investment. The rest of the time is spent playing in exotic countries and collecting new girl friends. Must be nice! Oh well, maybe next life time...
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Postby AndrewW » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:47 am

Ector wrote:Yes, there are modern and futuristic settings/campaigns where money doesn't matter, but most such settings involve "superheroes" that are supposed to have "enough money for all their needs". James Bond, for instance, has everything he needs from the government. But I don't know such superheroes in the Traveller universe.
Could be working for Imperial Intelligence and have a nice budget to draw upon.
Ector wrote:Please ask yourself: do you and your players want their characters to be realistic at least to a minimal degree? Isn't it obvious that playing Traveller without money cannot be realistic?
Wasn't about playing Traveller without money, just perhaps offering some things for free such as a ship.
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Postby Somebody » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:52 am

Most Traveller characters make money adventuring??? I have my doubts. Some of the big published adventures definitly do not involve making money

+ Arrival:Vengeance (GDW)

The group tours the dying 3. Imperium aboard an old AHL "liberated" (with the Archdukes consent) from a Domain of Deneb storage facility in a last-ditch effort to safe the Imperium from collaps

+ Scout Cruiser (QLI)

A rescue/recon mission to a remote scout base that has failed to check in

+ Vampire Fleets (GDW)

The players are on a mission to help the humans on Promise rebel against the AIs that are controlling it. No payment involved

+ Hard Times and Assignment:Vigilanty (GDW)

Dealing with aiding one of the post-Rebellion pocket empires against pirats and helping them consolidate/stabilize their assets. The main motivation here is "light a candel against the coming night"

+ Knightfall (GDW)

Deals with chasing after a Precursor artifact. Trade and money do not enter in the scenario in any big deal

+ Merchant Cruiser (QLI)

This one deals with trying to establish a new market against other companies. The groups ship carries trade samples to demonstrate to the customers at the end of the journey in a "trade fair". Again we are not dealing with running costs etc

+ The Guilded Lilly (various)

Hunting down the source of new starships in the TNE era the group finds a virus-infected shipyard and has to stop virus from spreading through the new ships offered through a Guild-front

+ The forgotten war (QLI)

A small trader is activated as a fleet auxillary during the fifth frontier war

...


============

To each his own playing style. But don't claim "it's my way or the highway". If you like a "high simulation" approach to RPG fine. But it's not the be all and end all of roleplaying, just one option. Claiming otherwise will get you quite a bit of opposition

It's like eating. If you want to be a vegetarian - well that is your choice. But if you run around pestering non-vegetarians how BAAAD their lifestyle is and that they must convert you might end up with your Tofu-Sausage inserted in the wrong body orifice
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Postby rust » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:31 am

You could add some of the Mongoose Traveller adventures.

In Type S the characters get a starship for free if they manage to repair
it, in Crowded Hour the characters have to deal with a crashing passenger
liner, in Windermann Incident their problem is a terrorist attack on an air-
ship - three excellent adventures where money is hardly mentioned at all.

I have not yet seen Fiddler's Green and Project Steel, but knowing the sty-
le of the author I very much doubt that money is really important there,
either.
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Postby Ector » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:36 am

Somebody wrote:Most Traveller characters make money adventuring??? I have my doubts. Some of the big published adventures definitly do not involve making money
The published adventures don't include money for two reasons:
1). Each Referee treats money rewards in his own way.
2). Money rarely affects the adventure itself. It's just a motivation and reward for the characters.
To each his own playing style. But don't claim "it's my way or the highway". If you like a "high simulation" approach to RPG fine. But it's not the be all and end all of roleplaying, just one option. Claiming otherwise will get you quite a bit of opposition
I've realized that one thing can be really called "my playing style": I see absolutely no sense in playing one mission/scenario. I'm always playing a campaign, and my characters are getting paid after each mission.
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Postby rust » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:44 am

Ector wrote: 1). Each Referee treats money rewards in his own way.
I treat money rewards by never using them. 8)

In my settings the characters have a steady income, based upon their
professions, and the rewards they can get are aimed at improving the
roleplaying options of the characters, not their purchasing power.

For example, they can get more influence, contacts and allies, better
access to valuable equipment and such, but not just money. Most of
the really important things cannot be bought with money anyway, and
my settings are about achievements, not about shopping tours.
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Postby Somebody » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:48 am

Ector:

Most of the listed adventures don't even have an OPTION for trading since the ships involved are not tradeships. This has nothing to do with "different treatments of money". They simply don't need this fact. Ships are provided for the characters, motivation has little or nothing to do with money or monetarian gains. Of those listed only one has an explicit monetarian component mentioned (In MC the chars will get a bonus) but most don't offer any money past "regular employee payment" (If at all)

And most of those are not "short adventures" but rather full blown campaigns with independent playing blocks. I.e Arrival is five-six different scenarios (Each faction + the start), HT/Assignment are a total of seven full-blown scenarios etc.
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Postby Captain Jonah » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:27 pm

Many of the clasic adventures suffer from a cronic problem of the, patron hires your group for Cr100 a day, sort. Sorry mate that don't pay the fuel in the free trader.

Whether it is by noble stipend, trade, an employers expense account, you need money to operate in traveller. You can run games without a single ship involved but players still need to eat and sleeping on park benches gets old real quick (or so I heard :D )

The problem seems to be some sort of stigma against players having money. Why?
Any half way decent ref with a group of players who make even a modest effort at role playing characters can come up with many reasons to adventure. Having some unknown bloke in a trenchcoat at the starport bar offer you cash for some work in a back alley is just not needed :shock:

If players want to make money trading and that is fun to them then where is the problem. All that happens when they get rich enough to have no real worries about paying the mortgage then you simply move the game up a notch and roll in stuff they cannot buy out of. Doesn't matter how rich you are, there are plenty of people waaaaaay richer than your players can ever be and they can become the bad guys as the game ramps up.

Higher level games are fun, more fun as far as I am concerned, than those hired for Cr100 a day, begging on the streets type games.

Let the players make a bit of money and go with the flow. Hey let them build up a fleet if they work hard enough, then just drop a war on them :twisted:
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !
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Postby Ector » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:17 am

rust wrote:I treat money rewards by never using them. 8)
Nothing to write home about, for sure.
In my settings the characters have a steady income, based upon their professions, and the rewards they can get are aimed at improving the roleplaying options of the characters, not their purchasing power.
Money DO improve their roleplaying options. Without money, they cannot roleplay a dead broke character, forced to enlist as mercenary, or a former kid that have dreamed all his life about a personal starship or about his own battle dress.
For example, they can get more influence, contacts and allies, better access to valuable equipment and such, but not just money. Most of
the really important things cannot be bought with money anyway, and
my settings are about achievements, not about shopping tours.
There are things that cannot be bought with money, and there are things that cannot (and should not) be gained without money. By neglecting the money you make your world less interesting.
Most of the listed adventures don't even have an OPTION for trading since the ships involved are not tradeships. This has nothing to do with "different treatments of money". They simply don't need this fact. Ships are provided for the characters, motivation has little or nothing to do with money or monetarian gains.
You seem to argue that classic Traveller adventures didn't involve money. All I can answer is the following paragraph from GURPS Traveller (written by Loren Wiseman, one of the GDW founding fathers):
"Mercantile wheeling and dealing was designed into the original Traveller games, and remains one of, if not the most, popular pursuit for characters. The Beowulf mentioned on the original game box was a free trader, intended as a rough analog to the tramp steamers of the late 19th and early 20th century - a small merchant ship, eking out a living transporting cargo and passengers from world to world."
Moreover, the second most popular type of campaign, according to Loren Wiseman, was the mercenary campaign, where characters were fighting for what? For money. Now it should be absolutely clear that your attitude to money isn't appropriate in the Traveller setting.
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Postby Somebody » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:00 am

Ector:

Check up the listed adventures. LKW may say one thing but the written material for MegaTraveller/TNE/T20 clearly negates what he said. Besides what is appropriat and what not is not yours to decide.


As for the rest: I always dreamed of roleplaying a dead broke character. After all that is an experience I missed in real life and must now roleplay. Will do so right after I roleplayed

+ Being a minstrel that was raped by the parish priest
+ Being run over by a car and forced into a wheelchair
+ Being forced into a militia as a child soldier
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Postby rust » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:06 am

Ector wrote: Without money, they cannot roleplay a dead broke character, forced to enlist as mercenary, or a former kid that have dreamed all his life about a personal starship or about his own battle dress.
Dead broke characters and characters forced to enlist as mercenaries
are of very minor interest to me, and the guy who dreamed of his own
starship or battle dress can just as well get it without money, for exam-
ple as a reward for some outstanding service.
By neglecting the money you make your world less interesting.
Hardly. The real world was quite interesting and adventurous before mo-
ney was invented, and I am not convinced that the introduction of money
made it considerably more interesting.

As for the Loren Wiseman quote, it is a part of the description of the usual
campaign types for the Third Imperium setting. Had Loren described the
usual campaign types for a Star Trek setting, money would not even exist
at all. So, what usually happens in other settings is rather irrelevant for
how I run my campaigns.
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Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:48 am

Somebody wrote:Ector:

Check up the listed adventures. LKW may say one thing but the written material for MegaTraveller/TNE/T20 clearly negates what he said.
Quoting MT and TNE as examples of not supporting a mercantile campaign are, perhaps, not the best example. One blew up the Imperium hence stopping most if not all trade and the other lot were trying to restart trade in the ruins the last lot left behind :D

Many of the published stand alone adventures for all of the Traveller versions focused on the adventure and left money on the sidelines. Player campaigns on the other hand which include many adventures and the time between them do tend to involve money. It depends on how you run your games but sticking your players in a rundown wreck of a ship and then deliberately preventing them from making money to improve their situation is cruel. The great Traveller Adventure starts with the players ship having been trading for 5 years and with a year off the subsidy allowing them to wander and follow the adventure without a mortgage to worry about. They still do a lot of deals along the way though.

Me I prefer to have money around as a solid part of the game. Like Starships, trade is part of what makes the game. Play Star trek if you want a universe without money :D
Mind you they never explain how all those star fleet types who don't use money get on with everyone else, ask a ferengi for credit because you don't use money :twisted:
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !
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Postby DFW » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:58 am

Captain Jonah wrote: Mind you they never explain how all those star fleet types who don't use money get on with everyone else, ask a ferengi for credit because you don't use money :twisted:
If you're a Star Fleet guy and you know you'll be heading dirt side on some non Federation planet, you just replicate some local currency before you beam down. :P
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Postby Somebody » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:59 am

Actually both MT and TNE would allow for trade based adventures, MT being the easier one. Or for merc based ones.

As for money the key event here for me was the first and last "Classic" adventure I mastered: Twilights Peak

The "adventure" forces the players to trade so they can gain money to fix the damaged J-Drive (down to J1) of their TL15 Typ A2. The players took one look at the trading rules, one look at the map, found out that their was ONE planet where they could do the repairs and stated flat out: "Let's skip the trading stuff. We all know the action is at Fulacin"
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Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:10 am

DFW wrote:
Captain Jonah wrote: Mind you they never explain how all those star fleet types who don't use money get on with everyone else, ask a ferengi for credit because you don't use money :twisted:
If you're a Star Fleet guy and you know you'll be heading dirt side on some non Federation planet, you just replicate some local currency before you beam down. :P
And I thought the Ferengi had a bad reputation :D
Tends to ruin the concept of money and bankrupt anyone not on the Gold pressed Latinum standard though. One of the things about star trek I always found funny, replicators and Holodecks, humanity is extinct :twisted:

Somebody. I like your players, no messing around with sub plots lets go kill stuff :D
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !

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