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  #11  
Old May 24th, 2016, 05:17 AM
Hal Hal is offline
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Containers are available in common standard lengths of 20-ft (6.1 m), 40-ft (12.2 m), 45-ft (13.7 m), 48-ft (14.6 m), and 53-ft (16.2 m). United States domestic standard containers are generally 48-ft and 53-ft (rail and truck). Container capacity is measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU, or sometimes teu). An equivalent unit is a measure of containerised cargo capacity equal to one standard 20 ft (length) 8 ft (width) 9 ft in (height) container. In metric units this is 6.10 m (length) 2.44 m (width) 2.59 m (height), or approximately 38.5 m.
(interfreight.co.za, accessed 23 may 2016)
1 TEU = 38.5 cubic meters, which is 2.75 Td (at 14 per Td).
using GURPS then, that TEU is equal to 2.88 dTons at 1 per 500 cubic feet. Close enough for government work. (Thanks for the TEU measurement - going to prove useful!)
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  #12  
Old May 24th, 2016, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Hal View Post
using GURPS then, that TEU is equal to 2.88 dTons at 1 per 500 cubic feet. Close enough for government work. (Thanks for the TEU measurement - going to prove useful!)
Note that actual containers can also be 9'6" - such are called "High-cube" containers - another 40 CuFt per TEU. And that those volumes are outside measure; interior is usually 4" to 8" less overall.
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  #13  
Old May 24th, 2016, 06:18 AM
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Note that actual containers can also be 9'6" - such are called "High-cube" containers - another 40 CuFt per TEU. And that those volumes are outside measure; interior is usually 4" to 8" less overall.
The idea is to have some sort of handle on what all the trade in Traveller really "means" so to speak. At not quite 6 dTons per "trailer", an Empress Marava with its 49 dton cargo space (excluding the empty turret space) can hold about close to 8 tractor trailer type loads.

That sort of feels like looking at a picture and not being able to comprehend what the scale is, and then seeing that same picture with a man standing next to it.

As it stands now, I'm using Fantasy Grounds 2 with a player over the net trying to hammer out rules that I can use with GT.

For now, we're using something like this in our campaign:

Using GT:IW trade tables and speculative cargo rules, the player rolls against merchant skill with some minor penalties involved based on trade type of world plus one other addition:

If the ship has been at the world within 3 months prior, a cumulative -1 penalty is added (to discourage "liner like" activity). A jump between Lunion and Strouden can take as little as 24 days total (including the time it takes to engage in wilderness refueling at Sharrip's gas giant). So a jump back to Lunion from Strouden, will result (once at Lunion for the second time within 3 months) in a -1 penalty to all activity rolls. Should the player head back to Strouden again, he'd incure a -1 penalty at Strouden (second time within 3 months). Then he heads back to Lunion again. This time, his penalty is -2 (Second time within 6 months). If the captain decides that pickings are scarce, he might chose to head for Adibicci. Since it is his first time there, there is no penalty involved. But should he head back to Lunion again - it will be the third time in 9 months he's been there - and gets a -3 penalty. If he goes to Strouden this time, it has been over 3 months since his last visit, and he's back to a zero modifier for transactions on that world. He needs to pick some place other than Lunion to head to - or he needs to wait until 3 months has passed to drop his penalty back to zero.

That still doesn't help with the "Bidding on freight" issue however.

What I'm thinking of doing is having some sort of reversed process, where the player picks an actual "Value" for his freight services on a given bunch of Freight lots. Perhaps based on the following concept:

"Enemy" NPC captains are generally speaking, also bidding on the freight lots that the player character is bidding on (assuming that there are ships also in port and that the number of ships in port is sufficiently high to take up the slack on what the PC captain isn't bidding on). What an NPC captain will bid for the same lot that the player character is bidding on, will be equal to:

If 3d6 roll is less than 11 - 3d6/10% of the going freight rate.
If 3d6 roll is greater than 10, (3d6-1)/10% going freight rate.

If the going freight rate per parsec is 900 credits, then the player who says he wants 110% going freight rate for a given lot of freight, has to see if anyone undercuts him. At a high competition port, I might have a -1 bonus to the NPC captain rolls (for example). So he bids 110%, I roll 3d6 and get a 12. 12-1 becomes an 11. This in turn becomes (11-1)/10% or 100% going rate. An NPC captain underbid the player character's bid of 110% by bidding 100% going rate. The player character does NOT get that particular freight lot.

So, if the player character captain bids on 6 lots of freight, and only wins 4 of them, he has to decide whether he has enough to lift off with, or say another day and bid on more freight lots. Alternatively, he might bid on high risk lots (fragile or hazmat style freight lots) and take it from there. As GM, I could note that the player is taking food AND hazmat freight, and have him make an admin saving roll to note that transport regulations prohibit the transport of food and hazmat materials in the same lot, and that he has to clean his hold before he can again take food on his ship having once carried hazmat materials in his hold.

Problem is? Are the extra die rolls WORTH it? Therein lies the question.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 07:08 AM
tjoneslo tjoneslo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal View Post
Problem is? Are the extra die rolls WORTH it? Therein lies the question.
This depends upon the focus of the game you are running. For a good comparison, contrast with the number of dice rolls for a single combat between the captain and his enemy.

The problem I've found with the multi-roll situations like this is they are focused on one person. See also Shadowrun's hacking rules, or any of several game's diplomacy rules. So while the Captain is having a time of getting the cargo, the rest of the players are sitting at the table twidding their thumbs and/or discussing the weather (It's raining on Mongo again).

I end up having to split my attention as GM for these kinds of things Captain is negotiating cargo, these two are chasing rumors in a bar, those two are finding extra spare parts and other interesting parts in the junk yard.

For Traveller I prefer this to having a bar fight.
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  #15  
Old May 24th, 2016, 07:59 AM
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<snip good stuff about comparative advantage and two-party gravity model for the sake of brevity>
The two points I mention are excellent observations, I simply wanted to conserve space rather than fully quoting your work.

Comparative advantage was that thing nibbling at the back of my mind that I couldn't articulate. Distance shipped, IMO, is more of a factor in comparative advantage at the scale of LTU travel times, enough that the trade routes generated just don't make sense.

And the two-party nature of the gravity model of trade is why the trade routes fail the "sniff test". The model does not in any way attempt to address the multi-party environment of trade in the LTU. So, as thorough and otherwise interesting as it is, that necessary simplification is a fatal flaw in application.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 08:37 AM
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The two points I mention are excellent observations, I simply wanted to conserve space rather than fully quoting your work.

Comparative advantage was that thing nibbling at the back of my mind that I couldn't articulate. Distance shipped, IMO, is more of a factor in comparative advantage at the scale of LTU travel times, enough that the trade routes generated just don't make sense.

And the two-party nature of the gravity model of trade is why the trade routes fail the "sniff test". The model does not in any way attempt to address the multi-party environment of trade in the LTU. So, as thorough and otherwise interesting as it is, that necessary simplification is a fatal flaw in application.
Question: in your mind - while fatally flawed in that the gravity model is only applied between two worlds, does the fact that the same model is applied between ALL of the worlds, means that what ever is missed by the two world model is caught by the "other" two world models?

It is kind of like when you use MS Paint using the option for the "spray" brush. One click doesn't fill the area in with color. Multiple clicks on the other hand, result in a more solid fill in color. Likewise, might not the two world gravity model between MULTIPLE worlds at the same time catch up the missing "slack"?

If not, then perhaps there should be a way to cut back on what is in the two model version for long distances along the lines of additional modifiers to the BTN value. For instance: World is within shorter distance of another WTN value X (Where X is some value that makes sense to you) - 1 WTN Value. Or maybe there should be another category that counts how many trade partners there are and give a diminishing return value once the BTN reaches a given value.

For instance: Once TBTN (New term that means Total BiTradeNumber) equals 5 x pop (just throwing numbers out for example), further BTN values are discounted in some fashion. So, five BTN partners at 10 would be worth 50 TBTN. A Pop A world can handle that level of Trade, but all other Trade partners now suffer a -1 or -2 or what ever makes sense to you, for their BTN's. This means that all of the fringe trade partners at 6.5 - drop off the radar. The world is just too busy filling the needs of other more important trade partners.

Just thinking outside the box... I don't know what the original author factored into his model nor do I know what effect my suggestions might have overall. It just seems to me, that at some point in time, ANY given world just can't meet the trade needs.

I remember a discussion about where the limits should be. If a world's GDP is at a given level, how can it engage in trade to its benefit if it doesn't somehow become a part of its GDP? GURPS SPACE mentions something sort of like this where the world's Trade volume is based upon a percentage of its GDP (I'd have to reread the rules to be sure exactly how it was meant to be implemented).

Well, time to bring this to a close for the moment.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tjoneslo View Post
This depends upon the focus of the game you are running. For a good comparison, contrast with the number of dice rolls for a single combat between the captain and his enemy.

The problem I've found with the multi-roll situations like this is they are focused on one person. See also Shadowrun's hacking rules, or any of several game's diplomacy rules. So while the Captain is having a time of getting the cargo, the rest of the players are sitting at the table twidding their thumbs and/or discussing the weather (It's raining on Mongo again).

I end up having to split my attention as GM for these kinds of things Captain is negotiating cargo, these two are chasing rumors in a bar, those two are finding extra spare parts and other interesting parts in the junk yard.

For Traveller I prefer this to having a bar fight.
For now, since I'm only running a one on one campaign over FANTASY GROUNDS 2, having the spotlight on one character isn't a major issue. The other fun part is - having the basic "rules" set up, means I can automate the process to some degree.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 01:01 PM
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Question: in your mind - while fatally flawed in that the gravity model is only applied between two worlds, does the fact that the same model is applied between ALL of the worlds, means that what ever is missed by the two world model is caught by the "other" two world models?
As you pointed out, the gravity trade model as presented in GT:FT has been drastically simplified. The SJG publication standard is (or was) "Works with pencil, paper, and three dice. Calculator optional". And doing this by hand comprehensively over anything large than a subsector is... strenuous.

Quote:
...Perhaps there should be a way to cut back on what is in the two model version for long distances along the lines of additional modifiers to the BTN value. For instance: World is within shorter distance of another WTN value X (Where X is some value that makes sense to you) - 1 WTN Value. Or maybe there should be another category that counts how many trade partners there are and give a diminishing return value once the BTN reaches a given value.
In the simplified assumptions of the system rather than introducing another step into the process I would modify the distance table on page 15. Keeping in mind that each -1 to the BTN represents a 10x fall off in trade, instead of 10-19: -2, 20-29: -2.5: 30-59: -3, divide this into smaller bands for each step. For example:
10-14: -2, 15-19: -2.5, 20-24: -3, 25-29: -3.5, 30-39: -4, 40-49: -4.5, 50-59: -5.

This would force trade to be much more local. And it would cut down on the overall amount of trade. I'm quite sure you could statistically generate the exact ranges based upon your idea of how much the local trade should overwhelm the long distance trade.
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  #19  
Old May 24th, 2016, 03:22 PM
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Question: in your mind - while fatally flawed in that the gravity model is only applied between two worlds, does the fact that the same model is applied between ALL of the worlds, means that what ever is missed by the two world model is caught by the "other" two world models?
My estimate is "no", because IMO the two-world model gives too much trade at too great of a distance. The best way I can imagine to handle it would be to drop routes once they decrease due to distance below a certain value if a larger route between closer worlds overlaps.

(I hope that makes sense.)
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Old May 24th, 2016, 04:19 PM
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In other words, beyond a certain threshold, the values approach noise or error.
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