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In Moot Member Blogs [SBRD] Trade and Commerce Rules Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #27 New August 16th, 2013 12:22 AM
[SBRD] Trade and Commerce Rules

Following an excellent suggestion by Hans Rancke, I reviewed the trade rules in GURPS Interstellar Wars and agree with his assessment that these retain the simplicity of the LBB2 trade and commerce rules, but with some problems fixed and a few common sense changes. The IW rules did take out a few things that I wanted to retain, and also did not include any application of the Broker and Trader skills from CT. Our final Trade and Commerce Rules presented below are a mix of LBB2, GURPS IW, MT Hard Times rules on scarcity, used goods, and TL differences, and a bit of my own to make them all work together.

Freight and Passengers

After a starship has landed/docked at the starport and decided on its next destination, it may begin seeking freight and passengers for that destination. One roll for freight and one roll for passengers may be made each day, representing responses to listings made on the port's public information system. Note, however, that once any freight or passengers have been found and accepted, those customers will expect the ship to depart within one week, so this imposes a time limit on seeking additional freight and passengers.

The actual rolls for tons of freight and numbers of passengers depend on a calculated Bilateral Trade Number between the two worlds, which is a complicated process that I intend to automate with database macros, and will not reproduce here. Broker skill is a modifier for Freight, while Steward skill is a modifier for Passengers. The GM may impose additional modifiers for intangibles based on roleplaying, such as local reputation.

Players may also seek to supplement the port listing process through roleplaying efforts of their own, such as networking to find freight or passengers, or placing paid advertisements.

Freight is simply goods being shipped from one port to another. The ship does not buy or sell these goods, but only transports them as directed. Freight which is hazardous or requires special handling, or that which requires extra efforts for pickup or delivery, may be charged at above the standard rates. Also, in situations of scarcity of transport such as may often occur in the frontier campaign setting, ship-owners may often allow prospective shippers to engage in bidding to see whose freight gets shipped, and at what price. Standard delivery time for freight is seven days plus ten days per two parsecs of distance along the expected route, counting from the date of acceptance of the freight.

Base rates for freight are per ton, per parsec. The base rate for freight shipped on major and minor routes is Cr700 per ton per parsec; on branch routes it is Cr800 per ton per parsec. (At this time, all shipping within the Deep is considered to be on branch routes.)

Passengers in this system are divided into Low Passage, Standard Passage, First-Class Passage, and Luxury Passage. Obviously the Low is the same as CT, and Luxury would be High Passage, but there is nothing in the book to distinguish the services expected for Standard and First-Class. I may make something up, or just revert to CT's Low-Middle-High divisions. Passenger rates are per jump rather than per parsec.

Speculative Trade

The speculative trade rules are very similar to CT, and depend on determination of availability of goods for purchase based on the trade classification of the source world, followed by determination of the price being asked by the seller. At the other end of the line, the ship seeks to find a buyer and determines the sale price based on the trade classification of the world where the goods are being sold. The goal is obviously to buy low and sell high, making predictions based on world trade classifications.

Broker skill can help with finding sellers and buyers, while Trader skill helps with influencing the transaction prices. The GM may impose further modifiers based on roleplaying actions such as going out to find buyers and sellers outside the public listing system.

An initial check of the port's listing system may allow transactions to be concluded the first day in port. Further rolls may be made for every five days spent in port, or as a result of roleplaying actions. Brokerage services may be hired to assist if the ship does not have its own Broker, or if the ship prefers to keep its transactions private (sales through the port system are public records).

Rolls to Locate Available Goods

Initial Check of Listings: Three rolls for types of goods available, plus one additional roll per level of Broker skill of best Broker used.

Per Five Days: One roll for type of goods available, plus one additional roll per level of Broker skill of best Broker used.

Rolls to Locate Buyers for Ship's Goods

For each type of Speculative Cargo carried aboard ship, the roll to find a willing buyer is 8+. DMs are: -4 if no Broker used; +(Broker skill)2 of best Broker used; + double the Price Modifier for this type of goods on this world.

This roll is made once for each type of Cargo on the initial listings, then once per five days' effort thereafter.

Following the roll to locate a Buyer, go to the Final Price Table to learn what that potential Buyer is willing to offer; offers that are too low may be declined.

Standard world trade classifications are as follows; the GM may also designate other worlds with these classifications to fit the setting. In general, if a world's description lists a particular trade good as a major export, that world will have at least a -2 DM for that product on the Speculative Goods Table:

Ag: Agricultural: (Atmo 4-9) and (Hydro 4-8) and (Pop 5-8). These are worlds that tend to export agricultural goods.

Na: Non-Agricultural: (Atmo 2-3) or (Hydro 2-3) or (Pop >=9). These are worlds that need to import agricultural goods.

In: Industrial: (Pop >=9). These are worlds that tend to export manufactured goods.

Ni: Non-Industrial: (Pop <=6). These worlds lack the population base for industry and tend to import manufactured goods.

Ex: Extreme: (Atmo <=1 or >=A) or (Hydro <=1) or (Climate Frozen or Infernal)

Ri: Rich: (Atmo 5,6,8) and (Hydro>=4) and (Pop 5-8) and (Law 2-A).

Po: Poor: (Atmo 2-5) and (Hydro <=3).

Un: Uninhabited: (Pop=0). No buyers or sellers.

Here is the Speculative Goods Table we will be using. It is copied directly from GURPS Interstellar Wars, with a few modifications by me. See note * below re Fair Use.

Rolling for Type of Goods: This is a d6-d6 roll, in which 1d6 determines the first number and a 2nd 1d6 determines the second number. DMs to the first number are: -1 if Ni, +1 if In; 2nd number -1 if Na, +1 if Ag. Broker skill may be used to influence the final result to a more preferable type of goods.



Stacking Price Modifierss: It is always the GM's option based on specific circumstances as to if and how Price Modifiers will stack if more than one Price Modifier applies to a particular type of goods on a particular world.

Rich: Rich worlds will pay extra for luxuries and novelties from offworld; the modifiers in this paragraph do not apply to goods already available onworld. Luxuries and novelties may include artwork, handicrafts, gemstones, spices, pre-recorded media, pharmaceuticals. Certain other goods may qualify as luxuries or novelties if they are of sufficiently high quality or novelty as opposed to similar goods already available onworld: wood, wood products, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beverages, textiles, toys, games, sporting gear, entertainment devices, meat, fish, vehicles. Qualifying goods gain a +4 DM for purchase or sale price in addition to modifiers for other applicable trade classifications.(Where this classification is applied to a Trade Station rather than actual Rich world, the DM is only +2.)

Poor: Poor worlds prefer to buy only necessities, which will vary according to the particular world. Any goods not deemed a necessity will have a -2 DM on sale price in addition to modifiers for other applicable trade classifications. Note this is for sale price only; such goods are not any cheaper to purchase on Poor worlds.

New Colony: New colonies need many goods for construction, expansion, and safety and are willing to pay a premium for such goods out of necessity. What goods these are will depend on the particular colony, but in general may include: computers, firearms, ammunition, pharmaceuticals, tools, manufactured goods, precision instruments, electronics, electronic parts, vehicles, grav units, grav parts, machinery, mechanical parts. All of these are of course subject to reason; items that are of little use on a particular world will not sell well. Qualifying goods gain a +2, +3, or +4 DM for purchase or sale price in addition to modifiers for other applicable trade classifications. Where items are in high demand and truly scarce, the Scarcity modifiers from Hard Times may apply as well.

Tech Level Difference: Where a TL difference in manufactured goods makes them more or less valuable, the difference in TL may be used as an x10% modifier on base price before rolling for final sale/purchase price. This depends on there being some use for the product locally on sale transactions; low tech worlds will not pay for high tech goods that they cannot use, and where the same type of goods are also available at the lower tech level, some roleplaying may be required to convince the buyer of why he should pay more for higher TL versions. The GM may impose limits on TL modifiers where extreme results would break the system.

Scarcity vs Need: Where goods are perceived by the buyer as being very scarce, although the buyer's need for the goods is great (for example, combat weapons and ammunition on a colony world threatened by Reavers), the base price may be adjusted accordingly before rolling for final purchase/sale price. (In situations of abundance, the GM may apply the same principle in reverse.)





Go to [SBRD] Reavers' Deep - Table of Contents

* Note re Fair Use: the table reproduced is less than 1/3 of the source page, and has been modified for use in this campaign, so that referring players to the original table is not an option.
Views: 1091 | Comments: 3


RSS Feed 3 Responses to "[SBRD] Trade and Commerce Rules"
#3 August 28th, 2013 02:07 AM
Fritz_Brown Says:
Right. I was just looking at a bit for background, and it would be a J-1 -> J-3, or it becomes a J-2 -> J-2 -> J-2. I was wanting to figure out the "offer" for the story. There might be logistics difficulties with that idea, anyway, but it helps to know.
#2 August 27th, 2013 10:33 PM
SpaceBadger Says:
Per jumped parsec, but only as reasonable - established routes, etc - not like a New York cabbie going five miles out of the way to run up the fare!
#1 August 27th, 2013 08:51 PM
Fritz_Brown Says:
The Cr800/dT/parsec price - is that "as the crow flies"? Or is that per jumped parsec? IOW, if there is a freight to be moved from A to B, but A and B are j-3 apart (with nothing in between), so the route has to go through C (j-1), D (j-2), and E (j-2), before getting to B (j-1), is the cargo moved at: Cr800*3? or Cr800*6 (1+2+2+1)?
 


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