2300 Ship Shares

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aiglos63

2300 Ship Shares

Postby aiglos63 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:12 pm

In the rules, nearly all the career classes can result in a PC getting ship shares (only Army and Marines don't). However even the cheapest ship like a Thorez is almost prohibitively expensive to run. Not because of mortgage payments but because of the cost of crew salaries and supplying the crew and passengers every month. The PC owners of a ship will be unable to adventure like in the French Arm adventures (particularly Kaefer Dawn) as they will be unable to take months off because of all the costs of running a ship.
Mongoose really need to produce a Players Guide in which they lay out how a ship can be financed and still allow the PC's to adventure in 2300? Perhaps the GM will have to have NPC's chartering a Thorez all the time to get the PC's to where the adventures are, and to finance the ship and crew while the PC's adventure. This does seem a bit false if you ask me.
What would people use instead of ship shares in mustering out benefits if running ships is not practical?
rust
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Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby rust » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:25 pm

Since most of my settings are colony settings I tend to use any
ship shares as colony shares for real estate or expensive equip-
ment on a specific colony.

If the characters want or need a ship they have to do with an
old ship with no mortgage left or to convince a bank of a good
business plan that is sufficient to pay for all expenses and the
mortgage, plus a little profit. This requires a steady and reliable
source of income, in my settings usually a long term trade con-
tract with one of the colonies. Add some government subsidies,
grants from foundations and thelike, and it is quite possible to
stay in the business and even go adventuring now and then.

Still, for pure adventuring and other kinds of gallivanting around
known space a small old ship with some quirks, but no mortgage,
is probably the best choice, especially if it can be bought for the
total of the characters' ship shares. All they need to do then is to
make their adventures at least somewhat profitable.
aiglos63

Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby aiglos63 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:24 pm

Thats all fine, but if you play by the rules that does not work. Assuming you have around four to five PC's with some Army or Marines PC's, you will be lucky to have more than 25 ship shares. Now the cheapest and most useful ship is the Thorez, but even the oldest of them is leess than 80 years old. Using the old ship rules in the Traveller core rule book you will probably get an average of another 25 ship shares or 42 at most. That leaves you with between 50 and 37% of the ship still to pay for every month, a minimum of 22,500Lv a month. Add to that the cost of life support of 32,000 a month and at least 30,000 a month in crew salaries (probably nearer 40,000) and you are looking at at least a minimum of 85,000Lv a month in bills.
That kind of money will not allow much time for adventuring as even a month or two out will need an earning power of nearly 190,000Lv from the adventure to keep everything going and support the PC's according to their Soc score. Even the starting Life Support costs of 32,000LV is horrendous considering the cash from mustering out benefits in 2300 is quite a bit less than in the Core rules.
Gm fiat is all very well, but then ship shares should have an alternative in the mustering out benefits table, otherwise they become a bit meaningless.
Colin
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Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby Colin » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:34 pm

Typically, the balance of that mortgage would be held by a foundation, corporation, or government, and so the ship would be required to attend to their needs a certain amount of the type, often by being roving troubleshooters or high-value couriers. Since the PCs are the crew, crew costs are not a major issue. Any NPC crew members will have to be paid, but even their salaries are partially paid by the owner foundation/corporation/government. PCs would only be responsible for the portion of the salaries that they "own" by virtue of their ship shares.

It would not be typical for a PC group to wholly-own their ship, or even to have a multimillion Lv mortgage, unless they are millionaires themselves.
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Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby Captain Jonah » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:09 pm

Its worse than that by a long shot, sorry.

The Thorez is not viable for players making money, it is a courier, as Colin says large companies and governments use them.

Every take off from a world is going to use up to 12K in fuel, a glide landing maybe a few thousand. Every jump to another system will cost you 30 or 40 thousand in fuel bought at frontier costs and most colonies are not going to let you park for a week using a solar still to crack the river water.

Aside from life support costs being stupid which we have covered elsewhere and not paying more than a minimum low skilled crew you are looking at the following.

Income (allowing for three runs a month, 6 LY per run and no more than a few days on each world).

Passengers. 8 at 3K per trip if all high (doable) or 72K a month.
Cargo. 62Dtons at 750 each per trip (Colin needs to explain this but I’m assuming that its a typo and not 750/Dton/LY which is insane). 139K a month.

Fuel costs. 24 days of power plant use at 3K per day. 72K
Maint. 10K a month
Mortgage. Say 22K as you mention.
Docking charges. 1.8k if you land or 18K for orbital doc per system. Landing and taking off uses up 16K in fuel every time though. Three stops where you land each month and thats another 52K. Or sneak off and spend a few days refining your own river water but that limits you to two jumps a month which lowers your income from 240K to 160K. So if your idea is to spend a week on each colony world refining local river water into your own fuel then you can make a small profit. If the locals don’t arrest you for stealing the water instead of buying fuel at the port.
Crew salary is more like 40K for a full crew if you are carrying paying passengers.
Life support costs. Well we argue about these a lot but regardless of what you set them to the ship costs 250k a month without even covering life support.

The Thorez is a terrible ship for players who are paying their own way as traders, sorry. Its an adventurer craft for problem solvers who have the bills paid by the head office. Unless you are working for someone or you are being chartered then without an unber Broker to do speculative trades you cannot break even. The costs are just too high. Even owning the entire ship outright and making every run fully loaded leaves you no more than a small monthly profit, that is with old age and enough ship shares to buy it outright. A few less high passengers each trip and you make a loss on the month.

If you want to make money hauling cargo and people you need a larger and far less expensive ship to run. That means non interface. Fuel costs landing and taking off are a killer.

2300 is a very different trade game to OTU Traveller. If you want to make money trading you need a bigger non interface craft, you need offices and reps on every colony to pre book loads, in short you need to be running a business.

If you want players independently running a small(ish) capable craft they need to be navy on detached duty hunting pirates or explorers doing independent follow up surveys or corporate/national security in a detached duty Q-ship/frigate hunting Manchu raiders or independent pirates or Bugs left over from the war.

Or just go for a more trade friendly game and switch the costs to the main rule book ones where fuel is 500Dton etc.

A final note. Cheap is relative. Ship shares are % based so the ships cost is irrelevant. What counts is the ships ability to make a profit and small, cheap interface capable ships cannot do that. Having 25 shares in a Thorez makes a loss. Having 25 shares in an Anjou with supporting business makes a profit. The price of the ship is not a factor.
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Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby Lemnoc » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:40 pm

rust wrote:Since most of my settings are colony settings I tend to use any
ship shares as colony shares for real estate or expensive equip-
ment on a specific colony.
This is a good idea.
Colin wrote:Typically, the balance of that mortgage would be held by a foundation, corporation, or government, and so the ship would be required to attend to their needs a certain amount of the type, often by being roving troubleshooters or high-value couriers.
Yes. I've found that whatever flavor of Traveller—and particularly 2300—giving characters full access and control of a ship is less than ideal. They either end up wrecked or stranded, broken down, or burdened by mortgage, trade tradeoffs, and similar kinds of bookkeeping and limitations.

Seems what characters really want is freedom, autonomy, and knocking about with limited amounts of time spent worrying about where to park. Being a pilot is sexy; owning the plane not so much.

In the opening chapters of Moby Dick Melville spends some time describing the nutty ownership of whalers and whale shares. And the skipper and crew were among them. Loved that, made sense to me in a ragtag sort of way, adopted it as more or less a policy. It creates dozens of colorful Patrons of various sorts and demand capacities.
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Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby mattman » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:07 pm

Lemnoc wrote:
rust wrote:Since most of my settings are colony settings I tend to use any
ship shares as colony shares for real estate or expensive equip-
ment on a specific colony.
This is a good idea.
Colin wrote:Typically, the balance of that mortgage would be held by a foundation, corporation, or government, and so the ship would be required to attend to their needs a certain amount of the type, often by being roving troubleshooters or high-value couriers.
Yes. I've found that whatever flavor of Traveller—and particularly 2300—giving characters full access and control of a ship is less than ideal. They either end up wrecked or stranded, broken down, or burdened by mortgage, trade tradeoffs, and similar kinds of bookkeeping and limitations.

Seems what characters really want is freedom, autonomy, and knocking about with limited amounts of time spent worrying about where to park. Being a pilot is sexy; owning the plane not so much.

In the opening chapters of Moby Dick Melville spends some time describing the nutty ownership of whalers and whale shares. And the skipper and crew were among them. Loved that, made sense to me in a ragtag sort of way, adopted it as more or less a policy. It creates dozens of colorful Patrons of various sorts and demand capacities.
I've been struggling with this very topic recently while preparing a Traveller campaign for next year.

I'm confused. Are you saying, in your experience, that it's good to have "strings attached" and referee control and hooks over their ship or is it better for the game to let the players own it outright?
Last edited by mattman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
rust
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Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby rust » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:16 pm

aiglos63 wrote: Now the cheapest and most useful ship is the Thorez ...
Captain Jonah has explained the problem with the Thorez very well,
all I would like to add is that it tends to be a bad idea to buy a Lam-
borghini to start a trucking company. :wink:

On a more serious note, please consider that you are not bound to
use only the already published starship types, you can also use the
starship design system to create a ship that fits your character's in-
terests and introduce it into your setting as an old type which can
be had for comparatively little money.
Lemnoc
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Re: 2300 Ship Shares

Postby Lemnoc » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:50 am

mattman wrote:I'm confused. Are you saying, in your experience, that it's good to have "strings attached" and referee control and hooks over their ship or is it better for the game to let the players own it outright?
I don't know if I would call it "strings attached," but IME when PCs own their ship outright, things tend to get real stupid and go off the rails real quickly. Usually any realistic accounting of how the ship is managed and maintained, repaired and refueled, etc., is the first thing to be jettisoned. And usually rightly so. If they wreck the ship or spoil its economics (doing what's otherwise called "adventuring") it is pretty much game over.

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