Simple question about Jumps and fuel

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dzanis
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Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby dzanis » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:41 pm

Hi,

I'm completely new to the Traveller and I just started gming my first game. And I ran across a questions (that i couldn't find answer in rulebook) about Jumps that would be quite significant in terms where characters can travel and where not.

So the standard free trader comes with 22 tons of fuel. Good for one Jump and two weeks of operations. However, that's only for Jump 1. What if players want to get to the planet that is 2 parsecs away (and in middle there is empty hex in map). Can they take another 20 tons of fuel in cargo hold; Jump to the empty hex, then fill the fuel tanks from cargo bay and jump again?
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:08 pm

Short answer Yes.

Longer answer. There are several types of cargo mountable fuel tanks, Demountables which are basically solid fuel tanks you fit into the cargo bay trading cargo for fuel or collapsible tanks which are like fuel bladders you pump full of fuel and can fold away when empty.

Demountables are in your cargo bay till you dock and can take them out, think of them as liquid cargo containers put in the cargo area and all plumbed together to each other and your ships fuel tank.

The bladders fit round a frame you assemble when needed, just pump the fuel into the bladder and transfer it to the ships fuel tank when needed.

The bladder has the advantage that it is tiny (1Dton per 20Dtons of fuel) when not being used whereas 20Dtons of demountable tanks take up 20Dtons empty or full.

However the demountables can be used to directly fuel a jump so you can jump somewhere on main tanks, re plot and jump again using the demountable tanks.

The bladders on the other hand are too delicate and you need to pump fuel from the bladders into the main fuel tank before jumping on. But you can then collapse the bladders down and have 19Dtons of ready cargo space when you arrive if needed.

Cost isn’t that high. They should be covered in detail when Aramis comes out since the CT original was one of the main sources of data. The chapter was (and may well be) called “in search of longer legs” if my memory is working today.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby dzanis » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:09 pm

Thank you so much for this detailed answer. Cost I will make up, but understanding whether Jump-1 ships can travel across those empty hexes in starmap was crucial for me.


If we are on a helpful note, than I have another question: The monthly ship payment - how to settle that. I understand how it's done on a planet with bank's branch or is on X-Boat route. But if players are staying on distant TL 6 planet for extended period of time, it wouldn't be reasonable that they should travel to nearest bank's branch (and what if they had to spend on the road more than 2 weeks each way?), but mortgage payments also shouldn't be msissed. What should I do:
a) assume that in such situations mortgage must be paid in advance?
b) assume that any inhabited planet has bank's branch?
c) assume that they can postpone payments unless arriving on planet with either X-Boat connection or bank's branch (but such permission would be open to abuse...)?


Thanks
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby rust » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:37 pm

The way I used to handle it, a ship requires maintenance,
this maintenance requires a shipyard, and where there is
a shipyard there also is a bank willing to accept and hand
on the mortgage payment. :wink:
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby dzanis » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:50 pm

rust wrote:The way I used to handle it, a ship requires maintenance,
this maintenance requires a shipyard, and where there is
a shipyard there also is a bank willing to accept and hand
on the mortgage payment. :wink:
True, let's say for Starport with rating C or up, but i also have problem with that obligatory shipyard visit :)

I was having hope to have adventure on few backwater planets for a bit longer, and due to fact how long travel takes (a month there and back to some advanced planet with shipyards and whatnot) players will either have to skip payments and shipyard visits or they just cannot spend time on the fringe...

That's again the idea of Traveller in my head :)
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby tneva82 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:55 pm

dzanis wrote:
rust wrote:The way I used to handle it, a ship requires maintenance,
this maintenance requires a shipyard, and where there is
a shipyard there also is a bank willing to accept and hand
on the mortgage payment. :wink:
True, let's say for Starport with rating C or up, but i also have problem with that obligatory shipyard visit :)

I was having hope to have adventure on few backwater planets for a bit longer, and due to fact how long travel takes (a month there and back to some advanced planet with shipyards and whatnot) players will either have to skip payments and shipyard visits or they just cannot spend time on the fringe...

That's again the idea of Traveller in my head :)
Well depending on how much cash they have on board they could pay enough time in advance.

Alternatively they could try to negotiate agreement that they will pay them on X month.

But yeah if they suddenly disappear for a while they will be looked for(though if they can prove that the reason they didn't pay was good probably no big effect). But also seeing how slow communications are probably month or two won't trigger effect yet(provided extending payments are then paid ASAP upon reaching civilisation)
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby rust » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:13 pm

dzanis wrote: True, let's say for Starport with rating C or up, but i also have problem with that obligatory shipyard visit :)
My best advice would be to either give the characters a ship
which does not require mortgage payments or to change the
rules to make them fit your intentions for your setting, per-
haps with yearly instead of monthly mortgage payments and
maintenance.

I would prefer the first approach, mainly because any bank -
which still owns the ship until the loan has been repaid - is
unlikely to allow the characters to take a multimillion credit
asset into the dangerous frontier without a convincing busi-
ness plan which includes regular mortgage payments.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby tneva82 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:20 pm

rust wrote:
dzanis wrote: True, let's say for Starport with rating C or up, but i also have problem with that obligatory shipyard visit :)
My best advice would be to either give the characters a ship
which does not require mortgage payments or to change the
rules to make them fit your intentions for your setting, per-
haps with yearly instead of monthly mortgage payments and
maintenance.
That certainly helps but then question comes how come the player characters were able to get their hands on multi-million ship without ties attached to them.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby rust » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:26 pm

tneva82 wrote: That certainly helps but then question comes how come the player characters were able to get their hands on multi-million ship without ties attached to them.
There are some options, like ...
- detached duty,
- inherited,
- owned by family member,
- equipment for a patron's mission,
- subsidized by colony or corporation,
- stolen,
- salvaged,
... and probably a couple more.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby tneva82 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:50 pm

rust wrote:
tneva82 wrote: That certainly helps but then question comes how come the player characters were able to get their hands on multi-million ship without ties attached to them.
There are some options, like ...
- detached duty,
- inherited,
- owned by family member,
- equipment for a patron's mission,
- subsidized by colony or corporation,
- stolen,
- salvaged,
... and probably a couple more.
Most of THOSE which includes ties...Family members, patron, colony or corporation could take dim view on taking this ship where-ever it pleases the player characters just as easily as bank.

Stolen obviously has the tie that you will have police chasing after the ship(you don't steal multi million ship without police getting interested).

Inherited is most viable but if that's part of every campaign it starts to feel like deus ex machina solution.

To have no ties whatsoever it really needs to be OWNED by the *players* loan free. That already rules out many of the above.

Of course ties can be good plot hooks but again you run into issue that the owner might not be too happy about taking into dangerous not-likely-profitable place ;)
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby Jeraa » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:28 pm

Stolen obviously has the tie that you will have police chasing after the ship(you don't steal multi million ship without police getting interested).
The Imperium itself isn't likely to care at all (a single ship is beneath its notice and isn't worth the time, unless the ship actually belonged to the Imperium, such as a warship or scout vessel). The law enforcement on a single world might get involved, but its likely their jurisdiction ends once you leave the system. They may hire a bounty hunter, but once you leave that system the local law enforcement is most likely helpless to do anything. Should you ever go back there, though...

And you could just give them a 40 year old ship. The mortgage is already paid off, but its a pile of junk. The players got it cheap from a used-starship salesman. The jump-drive may malfunction occasionally, and the doors may stick, and there is an unidentifiable odor coming from somewhere that they can never seem to find, but they've paid for it. It belongs to them.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:39 pm

Jeraa wrote:
Stolen obviously has the tie that you will have police chasing after the ship(you don't steal multi million ship without police getting interested).
The Imperium itself isn't likely to care at all (a single ship is beneath its notice and isn't worth the time, unless the ship actually belonged to the Imperium, such as a warship or scout vessel). The law enforcement on a single world might get involved, but its likely their jurisdiction ends once you leave the system. They may hire a bounty hunter, but once you leave that system the local law enforcement is most likely helpless to do anything. Should you ever go back there, though...
You're joking, right?

Stealing millions of credits worth of ship will lead to a long pursuit, once you take it out of the first system the message will quickly spread along the x-boat routes that the stolen ship is to be stopped and held whereever found.

Yes, you can try to disguise the ship, find someway to change the transponder etc etc, but you are going to be looked for.

If getting away with a stolen ship was that easy, why would anybody ever buy one?

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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby tneva82 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:40 pm

Jeraa wrote:
Stolen obviously has the tie that you will have police chasing after the ship(you don't steal multi million ship without police getting interested).
The Imperium itself isn't likely to care at all (a single ship is beneath its notice and isn't worth the time, unless the ship actually belonged to the Imperium, such as a warship or scout vessel). The law enforcement on a single world might get involved, but its likely their jurisdiction ends once you leave the system. They may hire a bounty hunter, but once you leave that system the local law enforcement is most likely helpless to do anything. Should you ever go back there, though...
Steal millions of dollars items and escape them to other country.

See if you get anybody coming after you ;)

Why you think there's law enforcement if they wouldn't bother tracking stolen space ship worth MILLIONS of credits. No. Scratch that. Worth TENS OF MILLIONS or even HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS(or more...).

Ships are expensive.

Top of that the kind of ships player characters are likely to have tend to have weapons in them(often big ones). Stolen armed vessels aren't something law enforcements generally want around ;)
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby Jeraa » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:08 pm

Sure you can steal multi-million dollar things and flee to another country. But depending on which country you go to, the law in your home country can't do anything. I could commit a crime in the United States, then flee to France. The US authorities couldn't do anything against me. There is no extradition treaty. As far as France would be concerned, I have done nothing wrong.

The same would happen in the Imperium. The worlds of the Imperium are not one big happy family - they are mostly-independent. They may all pay Imperial taxes, but they are still (mostly) free to do whatever they want. Including wars with their neighbors. Law enforcement agents from World A couldn't just go to World B and start arresting people. At best, they could request World B to arrest them, and ship them back to World A. Whether they do that or not could depend on may things - relations between the worlds, the distance and expense involved, any treaties in place, etc.

Imperial agents could, though. But would they bother? Sure, its a multi-million credit vessel. But its not an Imperial vessel. Sending in the navy would be the same as the United States sending in the navy to recover someones luxury yacht. Its not going to happen. Bringing in ships that have failed to make their payments is the job for repo-men or ship trackers, not an Imperial warship. Its simply not worth the Imperiums time or money to recover a merchant vessel that Captain Billy-bob stopped paying for.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby Reynard » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:21 pm

Looking over how starports, bases and ship maintenance works players are very much tied to how far they can go for how long.

Unless what you're doing is that important no one wants to risk having to repair damage from missing monthly maintenance. That means you can't stray too far. Consitering each jump, no matter far the jump cover, costs 1/4 of a month time. This means itineraries must plan to find a starport above a 'D' rating at the end of a month's time.

You think freewheeling ex-scouts have it the easiest but their free fuel and repairs are only at scout bases. Check you subsector maps and see where all those bases are, mark off any with 'D', 'E' or 'X' starport designation. Not many, are there? Looks like your group need to earn cash to pay for all that fuel and maintenance. Those still in the service and operating near or beyond the frontier don't stray beyond their supply line. Go out, do your job for a week or two, come back and get R&R while the ship is in dock. If it's in the budget scouts may stay out longer and incur repairs but that also means the ship's systems may be dangerously faulty.

Traders may be better suited to handle maintenance as they are inheirently in the business to make money. run of the mill traders have established routes which will include handy repair points. More adventurous trader (you guys) take chances for big payoffs that will cover risks taken but you still NEED to plan ahead. You probably gather speculative cargo to carry to each destination then search for rumors of a Big Deal or a possible trade motherlode. Investigation leads to a destination then plans to make the expedition. Travel occurs with fuel, supplies and maintenance in mind. Everything set, go! R&R during enjoying what you earned until it's time to search again.

Mercenaries ( and ex-scouts ususally are part of this, see above) probably have it the worst as they are very dependent on finding well paying tickets. You're not looking for salaried 9 to 5 jobs but you stil have big expenses to cover. More than others you can't wander aimlessly. Jump distances and routine maintanence is even more critical. Rumors and announcements of mercenary work will be very valuable. They need to be soon and close, no chasing wild leads except as a side job when you find enough information to make it worth trying.

In every case things will be kept within a small area and time frame. Those starports become home you visit over and over. Adventures will often be confined to the size of a subsector or two with the Big Adventure planned and exciting. Suddenly the jump engines and their fuel are all the more important.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby far-trader » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:56 pm

Jeraa wrote:Sure you can steal multi-million dollar things and flee to another country...
Except it's not like that at all. It's closer to stealing hundreds of millions of dollars (converting Cr to US$) in New York and fleeing to Omaha. That makes it a federal crime (I think - or in the case of the game, an Imperial crime). Sure, an Omaha Sheriff's office may not get involved, but if they catch you (and they will have wants and warrants on you) they'll hold you for the Feds (Imps). And the Feds WILL be looking for you.

Your take on the Imperium seems a bit off to me. Maybe some YTU is mixed in there, which is fine... BUT.

IF it operated that way nobody would back a ship loan. Period. At least not without some serious fail-safe programs in place to make sure you don't do a runner with the asset.
Jeraa wrote:
Imperial agents could, though. But would they bother? Sure, its a multi-million credit vessel. But its not an Imperial vessel. Sending in the navy would be the same as the United States sending in the navy to recover someones luxury yacht.
I believe Starships are in fact Imperial vessels. Registered and controlled under the "space between the stars" line.

As for the scenario above change that to a stolen, possibly heavily armed, ship cruising around in US territorial waters and deemed a criminal threat with the potential for serious damage to US interests. Yeah, I think the Coast Guard at least is going to be very interested and the Navy isn't going to just watch you sail by and say "not our problem" is it?

In the Imperium you will be flagged and any Imperial assets that stumble across you will order you to heave to under weapons lock. And some (Partrol Ships for example) will be actively looking for you and the rest of the criminals on their list.

It very much is worth the Imperium's time and effort to protect interstellar trade, what's more it's their mandate, again under the whole "space between the stars" line. It is theirs to enforce and control.

EDIT: Essentially, stealing a ship is an act of piracy. You can't tell me the Imperium isn't going to hunt pirates :)
Last edited by far-trader on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby Jak Nazryth » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:01 pm

As far as payments are concerned, you can have monthly, quarterly, simi-annually, and annual payments. Since Traveller ships in the spinward side of the Imperium may go months without visiting even a class C star port, I have incorporated a "bank box" into my players ship. It's basically a black box owned by the lender. It keeps track of payments the players make at non-affiliated institutions outside the Imperium, where the record of a payment may sometimes take months to make it back through non-xboat routes to the lender. The as long as a payment is made, the "bank box" keeps track of such payment, and "reports" all payments to the appropriate branch or lender once the players return to "civilization". If the players miss a certain number of payments, the "bank box" will only allow the astrogator to set a course toward the closest official bank or branch which holds the ships note. At that time this ship will be impounded unless payments are made. The bank-box is incredibly hard to hack, and is triple redundant. Any "failed hacking rolls" will be detected by the bank-box software, which will immediately lock out all course settings except for the one leading to the closest affiliated lending institution.
So far my players have made all their payments on time, so they have yet to discover the disadvantage of not making their payments.

As far as stolen ships, the bank/lender/broker will have their own professional “recovery” teams. In fact the very first adventure my players undertook was one such venture. While their 300 ton armed merchant was being tricked out, they went out on behalf of the shipyard owner to find and “recover” a ship that skipped out on it’s last payments. I agree that in most cases, the Imperium will not actively seek out stolen ships, but they will have a full all points bulletin for any stolen ships, and apprehend them IF and only if they happen to encounter them by chance. Most of the time the Banks will be responsible for their own recovery, which IMTU is backed by Imperial law.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby far-trader » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:05 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:...As far as stolen ships, the bank/lender/broker will have their own professional “recovery” teams.
I have a hard time accepting that, but I'm not saying it can't be that way in YTU :)

The costs vs risks just doesn't sound like it would pay. They would definitely have the number of some very good freelancers though. AKA skip-tracers, bounty hunters, whatever you want to label them. It might even be a good job for a Mercenary Cruiser. They will also have the Imperial Navy involved imo.
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby rust » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:18 pm

Jeraa wrote: I could commit a crime in the United States, then flee to France. The US authorities couldn't do anything against me. There is no extradition treaty. As far as France would be concerned, I have done nothing wrong.
Alas, the world keeps changing - since 2003 there is an extradition
agreement between the EU and the USA, and France would not he-
sitate at all to get rid of a criminal citizen of the USA, provided the
USA promises not to execute him ... :wink:
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Re: Simple question about Jumps and fuel

Postby Hans Rancke » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:34 am

far-trader wrote:I believe Starships are in fact Imperial vessels. Registered and controlled under the "space between the stars" line.
Starships are registered to member worlds. See examples of individual ships in Merchant Prince (the original MP, that is). Otherwise I agree with you.


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