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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:02 PM
jawillroy jawillroy is offline
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Default The Free Trader Benefit

Okay, I know the CT basic text like the back of my hand: First benefit gives you the ship with a 40 year mortgage; subsequent benefits get you 10 years of the mortgage paid off.

Now, supposing you roll the benefit twice. That's 10 years your ship's been in service. Wouldn't it be armed? Wouldn't the computer's program set be more robust? I don't see a ship surviving ten years of service, OTU or otherwise without packing some kind of heat.

Those ten years of payments add up to eighteen and a half million credits and change.

Do you think it would be reasonable to allow a PC to cash some of that in for ship's weapons and programming?

For that matter, if you totaled up the down payment and those ten years payments and deliver them as cash, you get just short of 26mcr. Might it be reasonable to allow that as an architect's fee & down payment on a better ship?

How have you-all handled this? Speaking as a longtime solitaire player and GM who has occasionally had RL players, but not nearly enough to run into this problem short of just giving them a brace of pulse lasers...

I await all agog.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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I'm hitting the road in a few or I'd hunt up my previous proclamations on this for you. It's either here on CotI or some other Traveller forum. I'll post links or my take when I get back this weekend.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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Thanks! I glanced 'round here before I posted, but it's a needle in a haystack and I clearly missed it. Safe travels!
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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Cool Because I can...

Well, my reading of Supplement Four: CotI (the book, not the being we know) the Pirate, Belter and Noble just get a Starship.

Free and Clear...sorta....still have Fuel, LS, Salaries, Miscellaneous Expenses. Why do I say that, not just because I have one coming but because the Scientist can get a Lab Ship and it clearly states that it, like a IISS Type-S Muster belongs to the Patron Organization and comes with duties, and the basic expenses.

Now, again but this time I speak as Referee and Player.

The Ship should be large enough to hold the Crew (the Party) and Passengers (NPCs) and let them defend themselves with in the Limits of the Master's Social and Standing and the Precedents of Imperial Law.

But that's just me, I think all Nobles should be stuck...I mean get a Fief and let some folks just be rich if they want, but if you want to Play the Moot game, well, here ya go... Now keeps the Imperium Safe from Harm.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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In my setting free traders are somewhat rare. Each of them has a name and
a short background history, and they are only sold when the owner has up-
graded to a bigger or newer ship, has retired - or died.

Therefore all used free traders for sale in my setting are armed, although of-
ten with outdated missile racks, have all the software required for operating
in their region, cargo handling equipment, and so on.

On the other hand, all of them have their unique quirks. These may be tech-
nical ones (after some repairs the airlock opens only when the light in the
galley is turned off ...) or "social" ones (the previous owner forgot about
some debts he has on Ahn Doa ...).

So, each ship is unique, with unique advantages and disadvantages (including
business contacts and reputations on the planets of the setting's region). To
find out about them is the first task of characters planning to buy a ship.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Cool The Work is never done...

Once again I feel I am going to have to put this in the Personal AAB, rust your ideas rock there, must be cool....shopping for the Starship is part of Muster....oh, yes great fun....

"Sorry guys and gals....*sighs* and vargr...but Argu has been bought two days ago.....your Broker tells you he reaaalllly tried to hold on to it but you weren't here..." *hunkers down in bunker and preps for 'Incoming!'*
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawillroy View Post
Okay, I know the CT basic text like the back of my hand: First benefit gives you the ship with a 40 year mortgage; subsequent benefits get you 10 years of the mortgage paid off.

Now, supposing you roll the benefit twice. That's 10 years your ship's been in service. Wouldn't it be armed? Wouldn't the computer's program set be more robust? I don't see a ship surviving ten years of service, OTU or otherwise without packing some kind of heat.
I don't know the CT basic text well and I'm just going by what you stated.

subsequent benefits get you 10 years of the mortgage paid off

Not your ship has been in service 10 years, has all kinds of damage and systems about to give out, and can barely fly at half its normal maneuver and jump rating. And not 10 years of service spending the entire time in the ship yards upgrading all systems. They are possibilities.

So your question: Wouldn't it be armed? A: possibly, possibly not. Q:Wouldn't the computer's program set be more robust? A: possibly, possibly not. Not too helpful, I'm sorry. Depending on where a ship flies, there may be no need for wasting money on weaponry or advanced computers and systems. Not every ship flies into dangerous territory.

The ship could be 60 years old, just new to your character? Does CT state? Could the reduced mortgage represent the character receiving an older and more damaged ship?

Any reason the 10 years of the mortgage being paid off couldn't be done in one lump sum? The ship could still be brand new? The reduced mortgage could be obtained via contacts, credit rating, savings and favors accumulated by the character during their career and "cashed in" when mustering out.

You could create a table to roll on for determining possible problems or upgrades that a used ship might have.

(I won't say where some of these non original ideas come from because I'd probably start a war and get shot)

Last edited by CosmicGamer; July 10th, 2008 at 02:58 PM..
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rust View Post
In my setting free traders are somewhat rare.
The thing is, when I try to come up with inexpensive and versatile ship designs that can virtually guarantee that their payments will be made, I keep coming up with a Type A... so IMTU they're relatively common. Relatively, because ships aren't all that thick on the ground: My primary empire is a little larger than a subsector, and I've guessed it has a commercial starship population of one or two thousand. so I agree that almost every ship's going to have individual quirks, histories, reputations, and so on. It makes sense, then, that you should just wave in a basic arms package... but going by what you say, it's good to limit it pretty severely.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicGamer View Post
Now your ship has been in service 10 years, has all kinds of damage and systems about to give out, and can barely fly at half its normal maneuver and jump rating. And not 10 years of service spending the entire time in the ship yards upgrading all systems. They are possibilities.
LBB1 and 2 are pretty explicit that a ship with the 40 years paid off would be 40 years old, but I think that's a little overly limited. It's perfectly possible - especially if you get lucky in speculation - to pay off huge chunks of that 40 year hitch in a few years of scamming. So it might not be that old.

CT never did go into much detail on how ships age, but I always figured that keeping up on annual maintenance resulted in a constant replacement of Them Things What Go Bad, so ships IMTU have tended to be pretty robust. If I wanted to be persnickety about a ship's age, I suppose I'd add to the chance of a ship's drives and other systems failing, but I don't think I'd have a ship plinking along at .5G. And halving a J-1 ship's jump capability makes for a pretty short game...

I've often figured that a new captain of a Free Trader might have been the old captain's first officer, who bought into the ship's company and ended up being able to buy the Old Man's interest in the ship when he cashed in his chips, but more often than not I'd treat it as a new ship if he didn't get extra instances of the benefit.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus Thornwood View Post
Well, my reading of Supplement Four: CotI (the book, not the being we know) the Pirate, Belter and Noble just get a Starship.

Free and Clear...sorta...
Yep. Sorta. They all have some sort of limits - some of 'em are regular millstones.
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