Accounting in Traveller

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sinmaan
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Accounting in Traveller

Postby sinmaan » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:20 pm

TAS

Among the benefits, a character can gain a TAS membership. In addition to the general advantage of being a citizen of the galaxy, each member receive a high passage every two months.

Is this a jump-1 high passage? And those passages can be accumulated right?

Given the difficulty to communicate over long distance, how is TAS keeping track of what passage is used and when?



SHIP MORTGAGE

So its basically the norm for players to get a loan to purchase a ship. How do they keep track of made payment? But how difficult is it for the money loaner to track those who do not pay their debt?

Are they using bounty hunters? (Actually it could be a good campaign)



MEDICAL FEES

During character creation a pc could lose stats caused by accident or aging. But from what I understand, a pc can always recover lost attributes for a $5000 fee per points.

So essentially, lost attributes points are but a temporary fee?

And again, how are medical facilities tracking
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby rust » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:00 pm

sinmaan wrote: Given the difficulty to communicate over long distance, how is TAS keeping track of what passage is used and when?
The easiest way to handle this would probably be to use passage
vouchers which can be turned into passages on each world with a
TAS representation and to require each TAS member to carry an
electronic identification chip where the vouchers handed out to the
member are recorded.
How do they keep track of made payment?
Probably in a similar way, with an electronic chip where all the pay-
ments made to any of the original bank's corresponding banks on
any of the worlds visited by the ship are recorded. If this electronic
chip is an integral part of the ship's papers which have to be shown
at each Imperial starport to identify the ship and its legal owner, it
is not really that difficult to track a ship - especially if the starport
refuses to service any ship whose captain cannot prove that he ma-
de his mortgage payments (because then the bank becomes the le-
gal owner, including the responsibility to pay starport fees and such).
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:15 pm

Each TAS member carries an electronic record of their activities with them, likely with their personal comms, and is likely to have a world to which they routinely return - typically the world where they obtained their TAS membership. While they are offworld, the TAS accumulates high passage tickets in the character's account in the TAS hostel. On return to that world, they can collect all the high passage tickets that they have accumulated there.

An alternative is for the character to leave an itinerary of worlds he intends to visit with the TAS, and they forward messages to that world, along with instructions to the local TAS hostel to give the character all due high passage tickets. The local TAS hostel gives the character his tickets, then sends back to the originating TAS for recompense.

Branches of the TAS also send out to all other branches in the sector a list of all its new members, issued every year, to synchronise its membership annals. That probably includes the lists of those invalided, who have gone missing or just plain killed in the course of the year.

There is just so much potential for theft, forgery and fraud. But then, that's to be expected.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby dragoner » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:22 pm

There is a computer network that gets updated, seems to be the fundamental way of tracking things.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby Greylond » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:07 pm

sinmaan wrote: MEDICAL FEES

During character creation a pc could lose stats caused by accident or aging. But from what I understand, a pc can always recover lost attributes for a $5000 fee per points.

So essentially, lost attributes points are but a temporary fee?

And again, how are medical facilities tracking
Not going to repeat the excellent answers about the other points, but Medical Fees. One clarification, as a GM I don't allow Stat Loss from Aging to be "recovered" except for cybernetics to offset them.

As for Debt tracking in general? Look at how often Mail is available for cargo. I figure that data on accounts is shared at the Starport level for the Sector where a character operates. And Account Status/Payments information don't take up that much data space. Sure any Starport might be up to a month behind on some account data, but I can see a Ship's Owner having a "Certified Data Stick" as part of the Ship's Ownership's Papers and the Account Payment Information is updated with every payment.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby CosmicGamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:32 am

Most of this is a MTU/YTU situation however here are quotes from the SPinward Marches book
Large transactions may use hard currency or bearer bonds, or may
involve letters of credit.

Operating a financial system over several parsecs and with a lag of
weeks is a problem. Faith in the value of the Credit allows cash to be
used, which simplifies the problem of electronic transfers between
institutions that might be weeks apart by fast courier.
sinmaan wrote:Given the difficulty to communicate over long distance, how is TAS keeping track of what passage is used and when?
As others have said something you receive and not tracked by each individual TAS.
sinmaan wrote:So its basically the norm for players to get a loan to purchase a ship. How do they keep track of made payment? But how difficult is it for the money loaner to track those who do not pay their debt?
IMTU, A ship is quite an investment and the computer, transponder, and other key systems are designed such that they need codes entered at certain intervals. The system is not perfect but it does makes ships more difficult to steal. The codes are provided at the time payments are made. All Star Ports of a certain class or higher and all Scout and Navy bases have a branch of the Imperial Bank that can handle ship payments. Proper authorities can seize ships if the transponder indicates that it's behind on payments.
sinmaan wrote:Are they using bounty hunters? (Actually it could be a good campaign)
IMTU, beyond what I said above, everybody that receives a transponder signal that indicates something is "off" might be weary of them. Is it a ship seized by pirates? They may very well report the ship hoping there might be some reward for the information.

Discussions about bounty hunters and chasing criminal comes up often and I have an answer in MTU document that is aplicable here:

Traveling round trip to follow and track down someone and then return with them is not cheap. Also take into consideration that only sometimes is the bounty hunter successful so the successful bounties need to pay for all the expenses of "getting their man" and cover the cost of some failed attempts too.

To me, it's more likely bounty hunters don't go jumping around and just study all the "wanted posters" and hang out at their local star port looking for any matches.

Some star ports will have facial recognition and other means for checking anybody coming and going against the latest database of wanted people.
sinmaan wrote:...are but a temporary fee? And again, how are medical facilities tracking
IMTU, it wouldn't be the medical facility that tracks this. The credit would have been financed through the Imperial bank.

The general concept I have is that if for some reason financial info is in doubt, then you better have cash because they may not know what you owe but they also don't know if you are credit worthy.

As the Spinward Marches book says:
Since there is no faster–than–light communication system other than sending a message aboard a starship and waiting at least a fortnight for an answer, electronic banking is not widely used
Other options include the possibility IYTU that information can travel about as fast as people. At least in systems with enough traffic, the records should be fairly up to date.

IMTU l use a credit device that people carry around with them and it holds their financial info. It's kind of an electronic letter of credit. If you lose it, it will take a long time for the Imperial bank to verify everything and issue a new one.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:32 am

sinmaan wrote:Given the difficulty to communicate over long distance, how is TAS keeping track of what passage is used and when?
By the time you get around to travelling some where, the X-boats would have paid a visit already. So you're not a mystery to anyone.


sinmaan wrote:During character creation a pc could lose stats caused by accident or aging. But from what I understand, a pc can always recover lost attributes for a $5000 fee per points.

So essentially, lost attributes points are but a temporary fee?
My characters die off during character generation if they don't have the 1D6 x Cr10000(? I don't have the book with me) to bring up an aged or injured stat.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby Captain Jonah » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:50 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
sinmaan wrote:During character creation a pc could lose stats caused by accident or aging. But from what I understand, a pc can always recover lost attributes for a $5000 fee per points.

So essentially, lost attributes points are but a temporary fee?
My characters die off during character generation if they don't have the 1D6 x Cr10000(? I don't have the book with me) to bring up an aged or injured stat.
Medical bills during character creation are paid out of mustering out benefits or exist as a debt at the start of play.

Page 37 of the main rules:

Medical Debt
During finishing touches, you must pay any outstanding costs from
medical care or anagathic drugs out of your Benefits before anything
else. Any debt left is hanging over your character at the start
of the game.
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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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby sinmaan » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:06 pm

Is it then possible to end up with no leftover cash to purchase gear?
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby CosmicGamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:20 pm

sinmaan wrote:Is it then possible to end up with no leftover cash to purchase gear?
Yes
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby sinmaan » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:28 pm

Is there a minimum gear set a pc starts with?
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:47 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote:
sinmaan wrote:During character creation a pc could lose stats caused by accident or aging. But from what I understand, a pc can always recover lost attributes for a $5000 fee per points.

So essentially, lost attributes points are but a temporary fee?
My characters die off during character generation if they don't have the 1D6 x Cr10000(? I don't have the book with me) to bring up an aged or injured stat.
Medical bills during character creation are paid out of mustering out benefits or exist as a debt at the start of play.

Page 37 of the main rules:

Medical Debt
During finishing touches, you must pay any outstanding costs from
medical care or anagathic drugs out of your Benefits before anything
else. Any debt left is hanging over your character at the start
of the game.
I prefer player characters to not start off as welfare cases that have characteristics at level 1. Those go into the NPC pile.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby CosmicGamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:24 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:I prefer player characters to not start off as welfare cases that have characteristics at level 1. Those go into the NPC pile.
As a GM NPC's are my chance to play a character and I don't want your rejects!
A a player, come on, give me a real challenge and not some guy I can kill with a sneeze!
:)
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:31 pm

CosmicGamer wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote:I prefer player characters to not start off as welfare cases that have characteristics at level 1. Those go into the NPC pile.
As a GM NPC's are my chance to play a character and I don't want your rejects!
Ha ha! Good one.

As a GM, I use failing NPCs as just good characters for a scene. My players aren't killing off NPCs that they meet. Traveller is not played like... (Oh heck, I don't even watch those kind of movies) Resident evil or Matrix.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby phavoc » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:17 pm

sinmaan wrote:TAS

Among the benefits, a character can gain a TAS membership. In addition to the general advantage of being a citizen of the galaxy, each member receive a high passage every two months.

Is this a jump-1 high passage? And those passages can be accumulated right?

Given the difficulty to communicate over long distance, how is TAS keeping track of what passage is used and when? [\quote]

Easiest way to track it would be via their portable ID card. The credits built up on it would be readable by another TAS facility, and then incremented/decremented as necessary. They might build up for 2 years and when the pop into TAS on a planet the local system looks up when they were last updated and then updates the record.

As far as passages, it's typically a Jump-1 High Passage. Multiply the number of the jump to get the number of passes required. So a Jump-6 trip would consume 6 tickets, a Jump-3 would consume 3, etc.

sinmaan wrote: SHIP MORTGAGE

So its basically the norm for players to get a loan to purchase a ship. How do they keep track of made payment? But how difficult is it for the money loaner to track those who do not pay their debt?

Are they using bounty hunters? (Actually it could be a good campaign)
Payments are made at your local system banks, and the payments get put into the normal datastream for distribution throughout the Imperium. While some slack is obviously offered for ships on the frontier and away from planets, banks and corps still expect to get their pound of flesh every month. Just because you are away from the bank for a few months is no excuse not to setup pre-payments.

If a bank calls your loan, it would broadcast your ships info/starship identification through the X-boat network, which would eventually make it to all worlds. Docking at an Imperial facility could get your ship seized by the port authorities, or system authorities if you are caught in space. It would be common to run any ships paper against the stolen ship database.

And yes, depending on the value of your ship, they might hire bounty hunters to retrieve the ship. But most likely it would be a result of freelancers finding and catching you more by luck than by tracking you.
sinmaan wrote: MEDICAL FEES

During character creation a pc could lose stats caused by accident or aging. But from what I understand, a pc can always recover lost attributes for a $5000 fee per points.

So essentially, lost attributes points are but a temporary fee?

And again, how are medical facilities tracking
Assuming one was injured in the military, medical fees should be paid for by the government, up to and including limb replacement or cybernetic replacement. Just don't expect them to give you super-arms or legs. They would make you whole again. Beefing up the stuff would be on your dime.

Smaller militaries or local ones might be less inclined to cover you, but advanced medical treatments should be pretty common, and unless the government was totally corrupt or outside the norm, they would pay to put their soldiers back together, or else they wouldn't get many good ones to sign up any more.

Medical bills would be at the time of the service/operation. If you were injured on someone else's ship insurance would pay. Military injuries would not incur any costs. Only if the PC was in a pure civilian role should there be some question of who would pay. But for the most part it should always be covered by your employer or the government.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby CosmicGamer » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:49 am

phavoc wrote:for the most part it should always be covered by your employer or the government.
This is covered on page 37. Not well, in my opinion. For example someone working as a scout has the same chance of getting medical bills paid for by their employer as a drifter and rogue.
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby Greylond » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:28 am

Yea, apparently the IISS isn't a very good employer... ;)
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:26 pm

Greylond wrote:Yea, apparently the IISS isn't a very good employer... ;)
That’s why you find all those grizzled old one armed peg leg scouts in spacer bars telling stories of fantastic treasures in return for drinks. :wink:

Still the columns should be:
Army, navy, marines, agents, nobility, scouts
Scholar, Entertainer, Merchant, Citizen
Rogue, drifter

I can see no way that the military services, the scouts or the noble families are going to say ”Sorry, we know you are a good soldier/sailor/scout/family member but because you lost your leg in a climbing accident off duty we are not going to use the vast resources we have, state of the art medical facilities, auto docs, clone facilities etc we are going to retire you rather than spend a few credits in medical costs”.

Or perhaps add a modifier, +1 for ranks 3-4 and +2 for ranks 5-6. Meaning that all of the careers will put more effort into medical care for the more senior and experienced people.
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!

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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby sinmaan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:32 pm

But....

All this to say that characteristics lost during character creation are not a "real" issue as one always has the option of paying 5,000 credits per point lost to have it "repaired" one way or the other.

Sure 5,000 credits is a decent amount of money, but never as crippling on a character as a stat reduction (considering an average of 7....).
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Re: Accounting in Traveller

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:52 pm

sinmaan wrote:But....

All this to say that characteristics lost during character creation are not a "real" issue as one always has the option of paying 5,000 credits per point lost to have it "repaired" one way or the other.

Sure 5,000 credits is a decent amount of money, but never as crippling on a character as a stat reduction (considering an average of 7....).
Its a bit more severe than that.

A roll of 1 on the injury table is:

Nearly killed. Reduce one physical characteristic by 1d6,
reduce both other physical characteristics by 2 (or one of
them by 4).

Taking 1-6 of one stat and reducing both of the others by two each is savage. Worst case that is 10 points of character loss and Cr50,000.

This has the potential to happen every time you fail a survival roll and have to roll on the injury table. Also failed survival rolls can lead to stat damage even without an injury roll.

I don't have a problem with starting with debts as long as the game has the potential to clear then fairly quickly with money or an adventure, "Find our missing shipment of medical supplies from that wreck and we clear your hospital bills".

In the end its down to the Ref and players. Starting the game massively in debt (that you cannot pay back) due to unlucky events and medical bills is, to me, out there with keeping the players begging for money and so poor they can barely make each months mortgage. That is what real life is for. Traveller is for adventure and fun not mugging people for credit sticks to buy enough fuel to leave the system.

Side note. I have run and played in games where everything not nailed down would be looted but that was due to player choice not dire need. Taking the weapons, boots and money from enemy goons after an ambush was just for a bit of bonus money. I don't want to end up playing 1st level D&D Traveller where we are selling second hand clothing or weapons to make ends meet.
Last edited by Captain Jonah on Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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!

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