Change ships or borrow money

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Red Bart
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Change ships or borrow money

Postby Red Bart » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:10 pm

Are there any rules for changing into a new ship? Lets say the players have a mortgaged ship that they already operated for a couple of months but want to go with another ship (either smaller or larger). Do they just switch mortgage? Do they have to pay for the new mortgage or for the dissolution of the old one? Can they sell the old ship to make a profit (which can be rather large if done well)?

And if the players want to borrow money to make their ship "work"? For example because they have a ship but no (or not much) money left for trade. Do you as a GM allow that? Against what rate? What skill checks do you require?
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby F33D » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:35 pm

I handle borrowing the same as irl. Do they have good credit? A business plan that YOU would loan money on? The other question has to do with finding a buyer etc.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:17 pm

Not aware of rules specific to changing ships. It would be situational and role played.

The process would take a considerable amount of time. It is a huge investment and all the "paperwork" would need to be verified and that takes time. For example, just sending out a request for the payoff amount of the current mortgage and verifying there are no other outstanding liens.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby Red Bart » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:22 pm

Against what percentage would you lend money to the players?

How do you handle selling the ship money wise? If they'd simply sell the ship back, they'd have a 120% gap to fill (minus the mortgage payments made already). That's rather a large bill to be stuck with.
captainquirk
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby captainquirk » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:33 pm

Let them get some money from a loan shark... a nice friendly guy like Jabba the Hutt
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby Captain Jonah » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:05 pm

The problems with this can be many or few and depend on the ref.

Biggest problem being they don't own the ship in any way, the ship is owned by the bank, the players have use of it while paying back the loan. Muck that up and the bank takes the ship. Also a ships mortgage is for far more than the ship is worth to start with and the total price paid over those 40 years is way way more than the 40 year old ship is then worth.

From day one of a ship mortgage you owe more than the ships worth in repayment alone, never mind the interest. By the time the ship is 20 years old you have just about paid back enough to sell the ship for a profit but not much given that you are now selling a 20 year old ship with previous owners being tramp merchants or Travellers :lol:

Most banks are going to ask some very pointed questions of anyone who wants out of a ship mortgage after only a few months. The players are going to need to make a very good case to go up in size after so short a time, going down in size is an admission that they got the figures wrong in their business plan and what bank is going to trust them after that.

They can however think laterally. They want another ship, why.

Is the existing ship making a loss, if so can they move routes, bring in an NPC broker to up the income, sign the ship over to a subsidy run etc.

Is the existing ship making money but not enough, that is a better case and if you need a larger or second ship because you have more business than you can handle banks will be more interested. Make a very good business case, renegotiate the existing mortgage to cover a larger ship after returning the small one to the bank or expand the mortgage to include a second ship.

Hire on bank recommended NPCs to crew the smaller ship and set it to fixed business runs so it is no more than a jump or two away from the bank and have its entire profit go to the bank as regular payments against both ships. This frees you up to take the second ship away on speculative trades (or adventures) returning every so often to make lump sum repayments.

Done properly a chunk of the larger ships monthly will be coming from the fixed traders profit unless you are going for something very large.

Or do it the other way round. A subsidised fat trader or liner doing a fixed run can often clear enough profit to pay the mortgage on a 200Dton ship allowing you freedom to run speculative trades and wander with the smaller ship.

Without more details about the case its hard to give exact answers but for skills you would need the following.

Advocate. Legal being very important, 1000 page documents and legally binding contracts and all that.

Admin. The bureaucracy on this one is going to be immense.

Broker. Deal negotiation

Science Economics. You need to make a business case and it needs to be a good one.

Diplomacy. Friends and influence in high places or Streetwise for the lower places to oil the cogs

A Face man. High Soc if in the OTU, a Noble or such like. Someone with a very good reputation who can front your deal.

Skill checks are dependent on what you are doing. Also this is the sort of thing that is going to be arranged over weeks so any skill check is going to have a huge extra time bonus.

I would suggest that 6 weeks of work be required for each skill if at 0 and drop a week for each skill level above that to a minimum of 2 weeks time. Make each week an 8+ skill and stat, cancel out the extra time due to the complexity of the task. Each week a roll is made next weeks gets easier by 1, fail and the roll goes up by one. Get to the end of the weeks (two rolls if skill 4) and that task is done, getting down to 2+ will remove any remaining weeks. Run out of time with failed rolls and the whole deal falls through and must be started again elsewhere since the original bank will not want to waste time with incompetents a second time.

Characters bringing two skills to this, for example the Face is also the broker will need to take each separately, they will bo them at the same time but spending time being the face reduces the time spent sorting the deals out so a Face/Broker would do a week of SOC and then a week of Broker taking as much as several months to complete the deal.

Hiring NPC advisors should be both expensive and allow only the use of the base skill since the banks are going to be dealing with people they know are advisors and not part of the crew.

For example to do all the Admin, the players have an admin 2 with +1 Stat. They will need 4 weeks of work and the first weeks roll is 5+, make that and next weeks is 4+ etc. Mini adventures to earn brownie points with the bank, recover a skipped ship for the bank, rescue the bank managers wayward daughter from that annoying cult etc etc or Attending the right parties, using diplomacy, getting on the good side of powerful sector nobles who can drop a good word on your behalf for an extra +1 on some of the rolls.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby Hopeless » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:51 pm

Hmm depends on the situation as much as the skills, available funding, patronage and so on.

For example had I had the character career history be turned into an actual scene Dr Jan Van Zeeman accepts as part of his contract with the Fulacin Government the deeds to his lab ship that has undergone various modification along with the maintenance costs often as part of missions his research team undertakes.

However the near destruction of his lab ship courtesy of a suspected Imperial plot blamed on the Theocrats except Van Zeeman personally knows the villain responsible isn't a Theocrat agent but the action spurs his uncle to call in a few favours with the Scouts so he gets an application to join the scouts lending his considerable talents for a tour knowing full well the debt will take years to repay.

His uncle is murdered and although left the deeds to his mining vessel the Government threatens to seize the ship to repay debts that Van Zeeman's lawyer Layla Braun believes to be fraud intended to secure the ship for reasons unknown.
Thanks to the help of the former scout Wulfgar he and Van Zeeman sets up the mortgage with Layla's help so they can retain the ship but to fulfill his late uncle's last wishes they have to use the mining vessel for a trip to the mining colony at Kinorb.

This would have involved Van Zeeman approaching the bureaucracy with Layla's help and with Wulfgar's help they raise the minimum funds needed to retains the deeds to the ship and believe they can keep up the payments as Van Zeeman's lab ship is about ready to launch and has yet to decide whether to return to Fulacin to return to his lab ship or have them join them at Kinorb.

Now the important part is the story, why are they looking for a new ship?

Have they found a replacement and are just looking for the means to repair it into a working shape?

What they need to understand is that if they haven't spent the time working off the debt for their existing ship, do they understand that undertaking the mortgage on a replacement ship is going to be tough enough without using the existing ship as part of a downpayment?

Do they have a patron?

What is the story behind their existing characters?

Whats your plans for their adventures?
Is getting a new ship necessary?
Can it be turned into a subplot so they can get a new ship but will understand there will be adventures and plots that involve their new ship which they'll need to uncover and resolve?

I guess what I should be asking is whats happening in your game that brought this up?

Sorry if its not much of an answer but there's usually more to this than skill rolls and knowing why your players are looking for a new ship might explain why their existing one isn't good enough for them... after all the fact they have a ship should be great but if they do need to upgrade shouldn't that be part of their adventure rather than treated as a skill challenge because the greatest challenge I see here is how you deal with not just them getting what they want but how they deal with what you get from letting them get a new ship and mortgaging them to the hilt and beyond doesn't feel like the adventure you want to play.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby dragoner » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:52 pm

The Death Ship -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_Ship


Insure the ship to the gills and then wreck it. :twisted:
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby Hopeless » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:54 pm

dragoner wrote:The Death Ship -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_Ship

Insure the ship to the gills and then wreck it. :twisted:
There's a book called the Prison ship thats about an expendable raiding ship crewed entirely by convicts who are sent out to raid enemy territory knowing full well that if the enemy comes after them they've got little chance of survival and the captain of the ship in this book is a court martialled officer who was sent here to die because he knows one of his superiors is in collusion with the enemy and he doesn't realise he's using their ship to transport information that will allow a successful invasion of the border area he's about to leave as long as they take the ship intact and part of the plan is that he has a couple of the prisoners' in on the plan knowing their only chance of surviving is if they hand the ship over to the enemy... fortunately for the "Captain" his First Officer is a Cyborg who makes Spock look positively cheerful! :!:
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby F33D » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:08 pm

Red Bart wrote:Against what percentage would you lend money to the players?
With 20% down payment, the same rate as in Main Rule book.
Red Bart wrote:How do you handle selling the ship money wise? If they'd simply sell the ship back, they'd have a 120% gap to fill (minus the mortgage payments made already). That's rather a large bill to be stuck with.
Then, they are "under water" and can't sell it.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby dragoner » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:29 pm

Hopeless wrote:
dragoner wrote:The Death Ship -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_Ship

Insure the ship to the gills and then wreck it. :twisted:
There's a book called the Prison ship thats about an expendable raiding ship crewed entirely by convicts who are sent out to raid enemy territory knowing full well that if the enemy comes after them they've got little chance of survival and the captain of the ship in this book is a court martialled officer who was sent here to die because he knows one of his superiors is in collusion with the enemy and he doesn't realise he's using their ship to transport information that will allow a successful invasion of the border area he's about to leave as long as they take the ship intact and part of the plan is that he has a couple of the prisoners' in on the plan knowing their only chance of surviving is if they hand the ship over to the enemy... fortunately for the "Captain" his First Officer is a Cyborg who makes Spock look positively cheerful! :!:
The Death Ship is by B Traven, I recommend it to anybody, it is a great book; filled with all sorts of ideas. It's about merchants though, not the military. IMO, a prison ship as described in traveller would just jump away, avoiding both situations one or two.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:32 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:Advocate. Legal being very important, 1000 page documents and legally binding contracts and all that.

Admin. The bureaucracy on this one is going to be immense.

Broker. Deal negotiation

Science Economics. You need to make a business case and it needs to be a good one.

Diplomacy. Friends and influence in high places or Streetwise for the lower places to oil the cogs

A Face man. High Soc if in the OTU, a Noble or such like. Someone with a very good reputation who can front your deal.

Hiring NPC advisors should be both expensive and allow only the use of the base skill since the banks are going to be dealing with people they know are advisors and not part of the crew.
Like buying a house and using a real estate agent, I'd think it common to go through a specialized, lets call it ship broker. Both for finding a buyer for the players ship (unless a trade in is allowed) and finding a ship that is of suitable specs and price for the players.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:57 pm

Part of what I mean by role play is not that every aspect of the transactions need to be played out but that how the situation is handled is based on many things that have occurred during the game and also where (some unpopulated low traffic asteroid vs the sector capital) and so on.
Red Bart wrote:How do you handle selling the ship money wise? If they'd simply sell the ship back, they'd have a 120% gap to fill (minus the mortgage payments made already). That's rather a large bill to be stuck with.
It's impossible to give one answer to fit all situations but how about this for starters.
1) Have the current ship appraised. The appraisal has nothing to do with the mortgage.
On the side of being realistic, there is also no linear relationship between age and value as, like a car, the value drops off as soon as it is flown off the lot. Maybe something like:
Less than 5 year old. Loose 1d6+6% value (7-12%)
After 5 years and up to 10 years old. Loose an additional 1d6+6% (7-12%. Total 14-24%)
Every 10 years after. Loose an additional 1d6+6% (7-12%. Total after 40 years, ship value reduced by 35-60%)
Obviously you can vary this to your liking or throw it completely out.

On the side of the RAW. See page 136. A ship loses 1d6% value every 10 years. So a 40 year old ship would be reduced in value by 4d6 or a mere 4-24%!

Use whatever value and adjust for what damage has been incurred, what maintenance has been overlooked, what upgrades were added, current location (demand) and so on.

I guess you could even use both figures. The first representing the trade in value and amount left after paying a broker, fees, taxes and whatever else. The later representing the purchase price with markup for profit, broker costs, fees, taxes, and so on.

2) What is the current liability. Assuming either no penalty for early payment or a flat fee added to the amount of principal owed, use an online remaining balance calculator such as http://www.pine-grove.com/online-calcul ... ulator.htm
Red Bart wrote:Against what percentage would you lend money to the players?
Annual interest rate, based on the RAW, if my calculation is correct, is very close to 4%. You should know the original loan amount and monthly payment. For the link I gave, "Remaining Balance @ Period" would be the number of months already payed on the mortgage.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby tneva82 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:16 pm

Red Bart wrote:Are there any rules for changing into a new ship? Lets say the players have a mortgaged ship that they already operated for a couple of months but want to go with another ship (either smaller or larger). Do they just switch mortgage? Do they have to pay for the new mortgage or for the dissolution of the old one? Can they sell the old ship to make a profit (which can be rather large if done well)?
I don't see why they can't try to sell the ship. People buy house on loan these days and sell them too to move in bigger apartmets later while still paying the original loan. Problem would simply be logistical burden of selling(it's not exactly same as selling bunch of raw metals!) + of course value of ship decreases as it's used.

Then they can either buy new ship with what they have or try to get more loan to get bigger/better ship.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby Greylond » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:49 pm

Easiest way I've seen of "Switching" ships in Traveller was long ago in a CT game. We captured a Pirate Ship, repaired it enough to get back to a Starport and sold our Free Trader. Made barely enough profit to finish repairing the one we captured and then we went back out hunting more pirates. :)
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby Saladman » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:09 am

The simplest way out of a full 220% mortgage might just be to sign the ship over to the bank. (Run it by them first, of course, so they're not surprised.) The bank gets the ship to sell again, in exchange for coming out ahead on whatever payments have already been made.

Then you're free to buy a different ship on the open market. Possibly with no down payment or ship shares, but someone trusted them with a very valuable piece of hardware on credit once, it shouldn't be impossible to do it again.

Or, to be cautious, combine the two (sign over one and buy another) in a package deal with your bank. Expect to face some of the pointed questions already pointed out above, and the bank may expect to make a little extra on the deal for their trouble, but again, it shouldn't be impossible. The bank wants ship owners to make enough to make their payments, so working with the owners on a ship they have a plan for over one they don't should be in the realm of the possible.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby Jak Nazryth » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:16 pm

Red Bart wrote:Are there any rules for changing into a new ship? Lets say the players have a mortgaged ship that they already operated for a couple of months but want to go with another ship (either smaller or larger). Do they just switch mortgage? Do they have to pay for the new mortgage or for the dissolution of the old one? Can they sell the old ship to make a profit (which can be rather large if done well)?

And if the players want to borrow money to make their ship "work"? For example because they have a ship but no (or not much) money left for trade. Do you as a GM allow that? Against what rate? What skill checks do you require?
I will be doing something similar when I restart my game around March. My players will be selling their ship shares to a former player (Now full time NPC) and trade shares from a 300 ton compnay owned ships, to a 200 ton ship owned 100% by the 6 P.C.'s with full control of their ship and destiny.
My advice is to keep it as simple as possible. There are plenty of good replies and advice on banks, values, mortgages, types of ships, etc... but IMO don't bog down your game with too many layers of reality. Remember, this is a RPG and your TU to boot. Ship shares per the rules can mean a variety of things, money, favors, leads on good deals, knowing the right person, a whole list of things. As a GM I would simply allow your players to trade the ship shares from one ship to the other. You can allow them to use their skills to help improve their situation, or screw it up if their dice rolls are horrible. But I would also use this as a plot hook. Make the person or institution involved in both ships. "You give us full controlling interest on the shares of your old ship, for the shares of your new ship." Perhaps you can make a mini-adventure. "If you do this for me, I'll swap the shares you have, plus award you 1 extra share in the swap." and make the reward vs risk of the mini adventure worth the swap and extra ship share.
If the players want to add weapons or other improvements, simply add that into the cost of the ship, which after ship shares are deducted will simply mean a slightly higher monthly payment. The same thing happens with the purchase of a house. I've done it twice myself. If you want something new for a house, new wood floors or modern insulated windows for instance, you agree to the price of the house, then add the cost of improvements to your overall loan. So for an extra $30/month (spread out over 20 years) I got new windows and wood floors. Same thing on a ship.
But back to my original statement. Keep it as simple as you can without the ship swap becoming an outright gift from you.
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Re: Change ships or borrow money

Postby hdan » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:22 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:My advice is to keep it as simple as possible. There are plenty of good replies and advice on banks, values, mortgages, types of ships, etc... but IMO don't bog down your game with too many layers of reality. Remember, this is a RPG and your TU to boot. ... Keep it as simple as you can without the ship swap becoming an outright gift from you.
I second this advice. I would do something very simple and hand-wavy, like have your players search for a buyer using the usual merchant profit rules or some other technique of your devising. To keep things easy, have the buyer assume the mortgage after putting down enough cash to cover the down payment, modified by some dice rolls and role playing. Even better if the payout is in ship shares. Maybe ITU the Imperium doesn't tax ship transfers, but does tax conversion of shares into credits? (Sort of a Capital Gains Tax arrangement, designed to encourage merchants to keep trading and not just cash out their multi-MCr equity in their ships?)

Or you could have your players gamble for it. Worked for Han Solo. :)
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