Ship Shares Options /Income

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
Okay, so my Traveller group has a fully paid off Type A2 Far Trader, not at all ironically named the IMS Windfall.
The ship is owned outright by one player who rolled an insane 4 6's on the Merchant Material Benefits Table.
However, several of my players have quite a few ship shares. Off the top of my head, there's something like 20 ship shares outstanding. And that's 20 million credits unaccounted for. And none of the players had a career in common, meaning that the group had no logical reason to apply their shares to the 'Windfall'.
So what are my options regarding these shares?

The options I've thought of thus far include:
- Allowing players to buy into 'Windfall LIC' as shareholders. The main argument against this is that there is no way that other players would be able to buy enough of a percentage to effect the captain /owner's decisions in any way. Even at age-depreciated value, the ship is still worth MCr 60, so MCr 20 worth of stock is only 1/3 the outstanding.
- The players have ship shares as investment money in megacorps, subsidized trader holding companies, or other investments. If that's the case, how much income does one ship share yield per year?
- The players could apply their ship shares, on an MCr 1 per share basis, to upgrades on the 'Windfall'. Perhaps 'buying off' some of the physical problems aboard [she's got a dicey maneuver drive that could use a fix]. But that would remove one of my plot hooks.

Any thoughts about this, folks?
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Could depend on the career they received the ship share from.

Smallcraft (I think five million worth), laboratory module, ship upgrade or refit.

Traveller Aid Society membership.
 

Baldo

Banded Mongoose
ottarrus said:
- The players have ship shares as investment money in...

What about using the "Building a Base" rules in the Drinaxian Companion? A private space base is great for plot devices, and a useful Money Sink for those Travellers with too many MCrs :lol: ...
Or alternatively, give your players shares in the Consortium Board of Siduri Station (JTAS 04).
 

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
Condottiere said:
Could depend on the career they received the ship share from.

Smallcraft (I think five million worth), laboratory module, ship upgrade or refit.

Traveller Aid Society membership.

Baldo said:
ottarrus said:
- The players have ship shares as investment money in...

What about using the "Building a Base" rules in the Drinaxian Companion? A private space base is great for plot devices, and a useful Money Sink for those Travellers with too many MCrs :lol: ...
Or alternatively, give your players shares in the Consortium Board of Siduri Station (JTAS 04).

All great ideas, but ship shares are specifically NOT directly translatable into cash money.
As for some of the suggestions:
- I'm not seeing what a small craft would do for a free trader crew. That's 22 tons of cargo, minimum, out of a cargo hold that only has capacity for 63 tons.
- Ditto for a lab module. I could take the campaign in scientific directions, but the ship's crew isn't really focused towards that.
- The TAS membership isn't a bad idea. Their only access to it as of now is via an NPC crewman.
- As for building a base, they're both new to Traveller so I'm not sure if I want to introduce money sinks into the game just yet.
- But investing in an independent starport company isn't a bad idea either.

There are some old CT-era articles in JTAS about investing in the stock market that could give me some mechanical guidance on how to adjudicate investments... I might look those up too.
 

NOLATrav

Banded Mongoose
Ship Shares that go unused provide a pension boost of Cr1000 per year, each. (Pg 46 under “Ships with Benefits”)

I would suggest using them for upgrades/repairs to Windfall. You don’t have to sacrifice a plot hook, just make that particular repair not possible until after you set the hook and the players bite. Could be lack of parts, too low a tech level, etc.
 

Arkathan

Cosmic Mongoose
Remember that the Merchant is going to be old, and have quirks.
Don't forget to roll on that table.
Any negatives to drives, sensors, or that... smell... in the cargo hold, have to be replaced with new (I use hull tonnage for the cargo bay as the cost of ripping that out.
Those repairs can be rolled into the mortgage, or as a new equity loan, and the ship shares each convert directly to MCr1 towards paying off the loan.
 

RogerMc

Banded Mongoose
I'd allow the ship shares to upgrade the ship and buy off quirks but at a rate of 500,000 rather than 1MCr per share.

For instance adding a couple of turrets, upgrading sensors, a medbay, a jump net etc - basically anything that appears in High Guard that doesn't require a major redesign.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Major system replacements are fifty percent cost for removal, one hundred fifty percent cost for installation.

No need to be stingy.
 

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
RogerMc said:
I'd allow the ship shares to upgrade the ship and buy off quirks but at a rate of 500,000 rather than 1MCr per share.

For instance adding a couple of turrets, upgrading sensors, a medbay, a jump net etc - basically anything that appears in High Guard that doesn't require a major redesign.
Arkathan said:
Remember that the Merchant is going to be old, and have quirks.
Don't forget to roll on that table.
Any negatives to drives, sensors, or that... smell... in the cargo hold, have to be replaced with new (I use hull tonnage for the cargo bay as the cost of ripping that out.
Those repairs can be rolled into the mortgage, or as a new equity loan, and the ship shares each convert directly to MCr1 towards paying off the loan.
NOLATrav said:
Ship Shares that go unused provide a pension boost of Cr1000 per year, each. (Pg 46 under “Ships with Benefits”)

I would suggest using them for upgrades/repairs to Windfall. You don’t have to sacrifice a plot hook, just make that particular repair not possible until after you set the hook and the players bite. Could be lack of parts, too low a tech level, etc.

The Windfall has her quirks... a bad maneuver drive [-2 Pilot] and, yes, 'that smell' :D As one NPC put it [and a phrase I freely admit I picked up as a US Army enlisted man] "Oh for the Emperor's sakes! Are you guys boiling farts in there?"
She's also got a good reputation among independent shippers and the 'off the main' starports.

'That smell' wouldn't be a complete replacement of the cargo hold, but a VERY thorough cleaning. And by that I mean ripping out the wall paneling and pressure washing everything down to bare metal and then refurbishing everything. I figure it'll take 2 weeks, minimum, and probably about half a million credits once you figure in HAZMAT disposal costs, new paneling, salaries [a very nasty job in Rekall suits is kinda pricey by the hour...], recertification, etc. OTOH, 'that smell' will be replaced with 'new ship smell' for a couple weeks anyway.
The drive is gonna be WAY more expensive than that, and probably take more than a month of downtime. I figure this as being a problem that can't be fixed solely by the ship's engineer... the drive has to be take apart pretty thoroughly at a shipyard. And then, of course, there's the recertifications.
And BOTH jobs are separate from and in addition to a ship's annual maintenance.
Of all the upgrades you guys have suggested, the EASIEST ones to do will be installing and calibrating another turret. Everything else [computer, sensors, etc.] would be more significant downtime.
And remember, all this downtime means the ship is a net loser so far as income goes. She's still taking up berth space [*ching*], paying salaries [*ching*], accruing maintenance hours /fees [*ching*], and otherwise not fulfilling her function of making her owner money. And I don't know one player character ship captain that would be willing to 'go have a planetside adventure' while his baby is in parts spread all over the tarmac....

BTW, THANKS for finding the ship share pension boost. That really should be more clearly stated.

You guys are being very helpful. THANK YOU. Keep 'em coming.
 

RogerMc

Banded Mongoose
Was thinking more in terms of upgrades that have already happened and been paid for previously.

Otherwise the concept of a ship share makes no sense.

An asset worth 1 MCr which can only be spent on starships and not sold or exchanged for anything else and which 'unspent' only generates a rate of return of 0.1%?

Rather it is a pure abstraction.

Personally I much preferred the 1st edition system where instead of getting a quarter of a merchant ship you got 5 ship shares to be spent on a free or far trader or 2 ship shares to be spent on another ship - this eliminates the rather game breaking possibility of starting with a ship you own outright where a few weeks simple trading with no mortgage will generate huge profits and enable you to quickly buy combat armour, gauss rifles etc and roll over most opponents in published scenarios.
 

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
RogerMc said:
Was thinking more in terms of upgrades that have already happened and been paid for previously.

Otherwise the concept of a ship share makes no sense.

An asset worth 1 MCr which can only be spent on starships and not sold or exchanged for anything else and which 'unspent' only generates a rate of return of 0.1%?

Rather it is a pure abstraction.

Personally I much preferred the 1st edition system where instead of getting a quarter of a merchant ship you got 5 ship shares to be spent on a free or far trader or 2 ship shares to be spent on another ship - this eliminates the rather game breaking possibility of starting with a ship you own outright where a few weeks simple trading with no mortgage will generate huge profits and enable you to quickly buy combat armour, gauss rifles etc and roll over most opponents in published scenarios.

Well, my players are new to Traveller and as we started the campaign, I asked them what kind of campaign they wanted. The two things they definitely didn't want was either a Merchant or a Mercenary campaign.
What I've decided to do is put them in a sandbox subsector and use the Windfall as transportation and the occasional plot harpoon. We presume that the ship is making expenses plus a small profit until the scenario calls for them to be in debt or repairs. The ship is more of a plot device than a business venture.
I also agree with you that a .1% return on an investment is rather ludicrous. I'll probably up that to 1% [Cr. 10,000] per year per share. That ought to keep them in Gauss rifle ammo... lol!
 

NOLATrav

Banded Mongoose
ottarrus said:
I also agree with you that a .1% return on an investment is rather ludicrous. I'll probably up that to 1% [Cr. 10,000] per year per share. That ought to keep them in Gauss rifle ammo... lol!

Yeah it's pretty anemic. But ostensibly it is in perpetuity.

Cr10,000 per year seems a better fit. Yoinked!

Sounds like you're off to a great start. An A2 is a really cool ship and blowing away the "accountants in space" aspect is going to lead to a lot of fun that might have been missed otherwise.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
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