Ships cost an Insane Amount

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Captain Jonah
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1758
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Postby Captain Jonah » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:59 pm

In answer to the first point raised. Yes ships are expensive if you look at them from a person in the street scale. From the point of view of Free Traders who deal in millions a year they are not so expensive.

Ship shares, a share in a ship. Most people switch these to a fixed value, I use Mcr1 myself. As a % of value they make no sense. 5 ship shares as 5% of a Free Trader is Cr1,783,350. The same shares in a Fat trader are Cr4,859,100. Settle on a fixed value. The origional poster said his group had an incredible 48 shares, well done them. Mcr48 buys the Mcr50 ship close enough for a ref to fudge the extra as a slight discount. Cash sir, sold.

For ships that cannot trade for income then alternative sources of income can be sorted. A monthly stipend from the nobles family perhaps.

With a fair stash of shipshares why not get two or three ships. Nothing in the rules against it. Grab a Fat Trader with a few shares and then the Yacht with the rest. Float a small haulage company, find a decent route and hire some crew. Between adventures some of the players can do the cargo runs, once some nice juicy adventure arrives you have some income from the frieght runs to offset the yachts lack of income.

Set up a subby run with the merchant, less outgoings, more net income and as you have the yacht to adventure with no worries about the subby being tied to a fixed route.

I like doing the math, math is fun, math is good, math is your friend. Complex finances take a bit of work but when done properly (and presuming we don't have a new ref who seems to think we should be begging somewhere) give groups the independance to go adventure. All these adventures that fudge events to force you to take an adventure, you are stranded, you are broke, trade has been bad etc. Offer adventures that draw people in, getting draged into an adventure against your will is fine from time to time but is no fun if every adventure starts that way. Usualy thats time to dump the ref, though that mostly means me reffing again. Sigh. :roll:

The Rules As Writen are a framework, it is the Ref who fills that framework and makes the game enjoyable for players. If you as a ref want your players to have a ship, make it possible.

Traveller was, is, and hopefully always will be about Travellers travelling and finding adventure. A ship is an extra member of the party. If you want to play sci fi without ships go play another game. :D

Oh and before someone says why would you adventure if you have a small fleet of ships making money hauling cargo. Well because: Its reliable reports of an ancient base, a friend/ally is in trouble, the pirate scum threaten my company, the guy who saved my life 20 years ago called in the favour etc etc. Being rich means not worrying about a mortgage payment, I am still a Traveller.

HAVE STARSHIP. WILL TRAVELLER.
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 !
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Postby rust » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:08 pm

Captain Jonah wrote: If you want to play sci fi without ships go play another game. :D
Ah ... I originally intended to stay with Traveller for a few more days ... :(

The setting I am currently working on has only starships owned and ope-
rated by non-player characters, the player characters are planet bound
and can only book a passage or perhaps charter a ship now and then -
more likely "then", because they could hardly afford it at the beginning
of the campaign.

Traveller does this kind of campaign just as well as "starhopping", and an
unexplored planet is big enough to provide challenges even for a long cam-
paign.
Chuckhazard
Weasel
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:19 pm

Postby Chuckhazard » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:16 pm

rust wrote: Traveller does this kind of campaign just as well as "starhopping", and an
unexplored planet is big enough to provide challenges even for a long cam-
paign.
My players caught me by surprise on this one. I had a similar plan, wasn't even going to touch starships for a few months, do a bunch of planetside development.

Character creation, they took focused on ship shares. First session they were going over starship combat rules. Didn't even have a ship yet (while they do "have" a ship, its impounded! They're going to do at least some of my planetside adventure, dammit! :P)
kristof65
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:04 am

Postby kristof65 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:19 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:Oh and before someone says why would you adventure if you have a small fleet of ships making money hauling cargo.
Based on my experience, that should be the more likely of the true adventurers. I'm self employed as a sub-contractor, I work my butt off just to make ends meet - I don't have time to "adventure". But the millionaire owners I've worked for throughout the years always seem to be off on some new trip or adventure.
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Postby rust » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:30 pm

Chuckhazard wrote:
Character creation, they took focused on ship shares.
This is why I replaced all ship shares with colony shares for this setting,
no chance to escape into space this time ... :twisted:
Captain Jonah
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1758
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Postby Captain Jonah » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:42 pm

There is plenty of scope for planet based adventures. Stuck waiting 6 days for the cargo to arrive, starport controllers on stike for the weekend etc. From my point of view you may be on the planet and have time to do an adventure but you have the choice to do it or not because you can leave once the delay is gone. Planetary adventures are part and parcel of Traveller. Its the being forced into them with no options all the time bit I hate.

kristof65 I agree with you 110%. I role play to do things that I cannot do in real life. Flying between the stars, seeking adventure on new worlds. All good enjoyable entertainment. What I don't want in my Role Playing is hard up, money in short supply, transport broken down, client canceled order, mortgage due, no choices. I have real life for that stuff, RPGs should be fun.

Rust. Compulsory colony shares. Are your players convicts by any chance, world called new australia :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 !
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Postby rust » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:51 pm

Captain Jonah wrote: Rust. Compulsory colony shares. Are your players convicts by any chance, world called new australia :twisted:
No, the planet is called Pandora, which could be understood as a warning
that there might be some nasty surprises beneath the water world's calm
ocean surface ... 8)

Which leads to this setting's replacement for starships: Submarines. Con-
sidering the comparatively low speed of a sub, a water world is a very
big place, and the "aquatic space" has to offer at least as many challen-
ges as "outer space" - underwater volcanoes, seaquakes, nasty native
creatures, and so on.
Subzero001
Stoat
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:17 pm
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Now what abut the time to build said Yacht?

Postby Subzero001 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:38 am

Where in the books does it give a build / rebuild of ships in time?

Thx
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Re: Now what abut the time to build said Yacht?

Postby rust » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:58 am

Subzero001 wrote:Where in the books does it give a build / rebuild of ships in time?
The Classic Traveller adventure Trillion Credit Squadron had detailed rules
for this, and they could easily be adapted to Mongoose Traveller. If you
need such data, I would recommend to get the Trillion Credit Squadron
PDF, with a price of only 3 USD it is currently quite inexpensive.
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Re: Now what abut the time to build said Yacht?

Postby BP » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:29 pm

Subzero001 wrote:Where in the books does it give a build / rebuild of ships in time?

Thx
Hello, Subzero001. From the Main book (Core), page 105, in the inset at the bottom right, gives construction times an average of 1 day per 1 MCr. But, it also states this varies widely.

Page 143, under Repairs, has 1-6 weeks (1d6) per point of damage for repair of structural damage.

Quality of the Starport can be used to adjust the times. Using dice to determine time frames is one easy out.

If you want to add detail - consider that testing and paperwork ('flight' certifications) can affect time.
Captain Jonah
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1758
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Postby Captain Jonah » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:37 pm

May want to house rule this one a bit.

Roughly 1day per Mcr1 gives 36 days for a mass built Free Trader, doable with proper tech and it being a stock design. Maybe double that for non stock ships.

For repairs, 1-6 weeks per point of structure is what the rules say. This means you can build a Free Trader in 5 weeks and take longer than that to repair one point of structure. If its modular for a fast build it should be the same for repairs, pull apart the sections replace the beams and braces that are damaged and glue it back together.

I would sugest 1-6 days rather than weeks and use rules for reducing work time with extra skill/cost. Double the cost to reduce to half time, make higher engineer skill roll etc.

For a scary though. An Imperial Battleship goes into combat and gets heavily damaged (1000 structure smashed), the ship is still intact so it flys to a repair dock which then takes 1000 structure times 1-6 weeks (ave 3.5) equals 67 years of repair time. Even if you repair each section seperately its still 13 years. :shock:

Wow those Imperial Labour unions are on a go slow.
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 !
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:51 pm

Yep, I wouldn't use the rules myself (and in fact, don't)... ;)

The structure time isn't unreasonable for common damage to most craft in the main book (which only goes upto 2000 tons/40 points), but it doesn't scale well at all. Unfortunately, I don't recall any additional rules in High Guard.

This sort of thing I handle as referee judgment, myself. But, for those who need rules, the MGT ones are fast and easy. Personally, I'd base construction time on hull size, drive ratings and TL.
Ector
Shrew
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:19 am

Postby Ector » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:27 am

rust wrote:
Ector wrote: The adventurers shouldn't start the game rich, should they?
In one of my settings the characters got a nice ship entirely for free, but
it was the only supply ship for a few distant frontier colonies - if the ship
did not arrive in time to deliver provisions, pharmaceuticals, vital life sup-
port system spare parts and thelike, many people would die.
If they really had to deliver the supplies, and couldn't refuse, then it actually wasn't their ship :) You could give them a subsidized ship with the same results.
the rule you are citing is for PCs to get part time temp work. NOT a rule on a full time job with a company.
I've checked the rules - there is nothing about "part-time". Looks like it's supposed to be the normal monthly salary. It's absolutely ridiculous, though.
most of the Imperium citizens don't live on worlds with an oppressive dictatorship that has total control of the economy and stifles enterprise. Most people in the 3I come from high tech worlds that are "Rich" by the definition of someone coming from a low tech dictatorship...
OK, looks like my comparison with cars wasn't vivid enough. Let's take another one: can everyone afford an ocean ship in your country? I guess not, and that's normal. Could everyone afford a ship in XVII century? Certainly not.

I'm trying to say that starship should be extremely expensive, and the mortgage was issued on purpose. The game is balanced so that a good trader could make a profit exceeding all the costs (mortgage, maintenance, berthing costs etc.), but a bad trader cannot. If the players don't want (or cannot) trade, they can earn money by recruiting as mercenaries or taking some dangerous missions, but they have to earn the money some way - or lose the ship. That's realistic and makes a wonderful stage for any adventure.
If you give them the ship without mortgage (by increasing their shares or any other way), they will be free to do the most craziest things they can imagine, and, ultimately, they shouldn't agree to do the dangerous missions if they really roleplay their characters. Yes you can turn the Galaxy against them, but you cannot do this regularly.
Ector
Shrew
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:19 am

Postby Ector » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:28 am

Why not? I see it as being totally up to the players and GM. Unless the whole objective of the players is to become rich - then game over. For some people it's not about the money it's about the adventure.
A modern yacht owner is probably the worst possible candidate for serious adventuring risking death: while he may volunteer just for a change, his spirit is easily broken in harsh situations.
Look, it's Traveller, not D&D, and the only thing the adventurers get from their adventures is money and reputation, not "experience". And if they are already rich, the game turns into farce.
Yes ships are expensive if you look at them from a person in the street scale. From the point of view of Free Traders who deal in millions a year they are not so expensive.
Absolutely true. Remember, the rules were tested with the mortgage in mind.
Ship shares, a share in a ship. Most people switch these to a fixed value, I use Mcr1 myself. As a % of value they make no sense. 5 ship shares as 5% of a Free Trader is Cr1,783,350. The same shares in a Fat trader are Cr4,859,100. Settle on a fixed value.
Converting ship shares into cash is forbidden by the rules (Core Rulebook, p.36):

Ship shares represent contacts, credit rating, savings and favours owed that a character can put towards ownership of a space vessel. Characters can pool their ship shares towards the use of a vessel, but cannot trade ship shares for cash. It’s very unlikely that the characters will be able to own anything other than the smallest starship outright at the start of the game, so most Traveller crews end up working to support the mortgage on their spacecraft.

Converting shares of one ship through cash into shares of another ship is violating the rules twice, since PCs are getting either 5 shares of the "professional" ship or TWO shares of any other vessel.

If you're following the rules, your PC are NOT going to get 90% ownership of Far Trader. And that's normal.
Somebody
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1359
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:18 pm

Postby Somebody » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:44 am

I can think of quite a few adventures that do not need the "poor trader struggling" background to work in Traveller.

Actually the "poor trader" is the one that needs the most work on part of the referee to WORK since most freighters can make payments by just carrying cargo/passengers at fixed cost between worlds either all by itself (I.e the Typ A, A2) or due to government payments (Typ R, Typ M) So this scenario either involves the GM throwing the "problem of the week" at the characters or it will soon turn into "Business 101" with the players spending their time on a safe route, making a small profit on a good month and a black zero the rest and after a year or three (in game) doing some minor speculativ trade to slowly build a nest egg.

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

As for the rules: There is no passage in the rules that says "The GM is forbidden to give the players a starship". Neither does it say "Just because they have ship shares do they get a starship". Ship shares are just that. Part ownership of a ship (or multiple ships).

There is IMHO no reason why a group DURING play couldn't decide "Hey, let's sell our individual shares and use the money to buy a ship". Can't be done during Chargen (That's the part of the game and the ONLY part IMHO where that rules apply) but during play, sure they could. After all that is how it was handled when the concept was introduced (and explained in a lot more detail) in the TNE rules
User avatar
DFW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Postby DFW » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:15 am

Ector wrote:I've checked the rules - there is nothing about "part-time". Looks like it's supposed to be the normal monthly salary. It's absolutely ridiculous, though.
It's a subtlety of the language. Due to context, it denoting a "salary" would be impossible.
Ector wrote:OK, looks like my comparison with cars wasn't vivid enough. Let's take another one: can everyone afford an ocean ship in your country? I guess not, and that's normal. Could everyone afford a ship in XVII century? Certainly not.
I'm sorry but you don't understand what I mean by "too expensive" within the context of a market based economy. It has ZERO to do with an average person buying a starship...
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Postby rust » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:18 am

Ector wrote: Characters can pool their ship shares towards the use of a vessel, but cannot trade ship shares for cash.
There is a way to do it with "general" ship shares by using the Commer-
cial Entity rules from Merchant Prince, by investing the ship shares in a
company - each ship share gives a value of about 125,000 Credits this
way - and then withdrawing that money from the company later on, al-
though at a severe loss.
User avatar
DFW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Postby DFW » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:22 am

Ector wrote:Look, it's Traveller, not D&D, and the only thing the adventurers get from their adventures is money and reputation, not "experience". And if they are already rich, the game turns into farce.
I'm friends with at least 10 millionaires. 2 that I'm closest to LOVE to adventure in Africa. Always coming back beat up, often with a broken bone or two. They lose money and gain to NO public recognition. For them it is the challenge, pure and simple. Another friend who is worth over $100 million loves to off road MX across the worlds largest deserts in search of ancient trinkets, in the SUMMER months. Again, just for the adventure.
Captain Jonah
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1758
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:00 pm

Ector wrote:
Ship shares, a share in a ship. Most people switch these to a fixed value, I use Mcr1 myself. As a % of value they make no sense. 5 ship shares as 5% of a Free Trader is Cr1,783,350. The same shares in a Fat trader are Cr4,859,100. Settle on a fixed value.
Converting ship shares into cash is forbidden by the rules (Core Rulebook, p.36):

Converting shares of one ship through cash into shares of another ship is violating the rules twice, since PCs are getting either 5 shares of the "professional" ship or TWO shares of any other vessel.

If you're following the rules, your PC are NOT going to get 90% ownership of Far Trader. And that's normal.
Not sure where your confusion is coming from here. At no point have I talked about selling ship shares and in fact I don't allow that. What I am talking about and what others who support this idea are talking about is giving a ship share a fixed value of Mcr1 or a bit more. This FIXED value is used against the purchase price of a ship not used as a sale value. No one has ever talked about selling shares for cash, we are talking about giving them a fixed value when used to buy ships. Also many refs use some flexibility here with regard to the ships that can be bought under named "ship shares", most of us seem happy to use the "Free Trader" 5 ship shares for either a Free Trader, a Far Trader or a Fat Trader.

No one starts owning 90% of a ship unless the ref wants them to and if the ref wants his players to own a ship outright then that is what happens. The group mentioned a long time ago here that worked out 48 ship shares performed an incredible feat :shock:
They should be rewarded not picked on. :D

As regards the questions about income for the average Imperial citizen. Who or what is the average citizen. Cr500 per month is mentioned but what is this, could it be the Imperialy mandated minimum wage, is it perhaps the level of benifits paid to those without work or any prospect of ever having work. Hi tech rich worlds and hi Ind worlds are going to have a limited number of unskilled jobs as the bots will be doing them far more cheaply. A Waiter on a starship pulls in Cr2000 a month for room service and being polite to the grumpy nobles.
The lowest pension that can be had for someone who has worked and retired is Cr833 / month so someone on Cr500 a month isn't on a pension or even in much of a job.
The bulk of the Imperial population is on those high Pop hive worlds, how many people on those worlds have actual jobs, how many are on the Imperial welfare payment of minimum monthly income. I suspect a awful lot of the people on these worlds and therefore a significant % of the Imperial population is on this low income because they have no jobs not because this is what the average Imperial job pays.
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 !
User avatar
DFW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Postby DFW » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:08 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:A Waiter on a starship pulls in Cr2000 a month for room service and being polite to the grumpy nobles.
In addition to the Cr2000/month they are getting the equivalent value of double occupant passage for the entire month + medical. So, it works out to even more...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 55 guests