Traveller Store CotI Features New Posts Mark Forums Read Register


Go Back TravellerRPG.com > Citizens of the Imperium > Other Versions of Traveller > T20 - Traveller for the D20 System

T20 - Traveller for the D20 System Open discussion on the D20 version of Traveller!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 25th, 2005, 01:40 PM
RickA RickA is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 199
Gallery : 0
RickA Citizen
Send a message via ICQ to RickA
Post

I read some discussions here about how hard it is to make money as a jump 2 free trader.

My group is on the Broad Side of a Barn adventures, a little jump 2 scout ship. With way too many crew (7 people!) who are working without wages (their recompense is a cut of profits) they've made a ton of money over operating expenses in 6 jumps. Just buying and selling speculative cargo with a character aboard who has an automatic + or - 3 on the buy/sell chart almost guarantees that you will make good money flying around the galaxy.

Soon the merchant will have an automatic + or - 4 on his roll, meaning they will make even more money on every transaction.

Is this what you guys see as well? Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I don't know what it could be.
__________________
:: Rick Aucoin ::<br /><a href=\"http://www.concillium.net\" target=\"_blank\">www.concillium.net</a>
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old April 25th, 2005, 05:09 PM
far-trader far-trader is offline
Noble
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Regina Subsector aka SK, Canada ;-)
Posts: 13,724
Gallery : 12
Visit far-trader's Blog
far-trader Citizen
Post

Greetings RickA and Co. and a belated welcome aboard

Quote:
Originally posted by RickA:
I read some discussions here about how hard it is to make money as a jump 2 free trader.
Well those discussions mostly are about the case of a trader not being able to make a profit under the per jump (not per parsec) rate for freight and passengers if the ship is more than J1 capable. As you are finding, in other cases you can make big profits.

Quote:
Originally posted by RickA:


My group is on the Broad Side of a Barn adventures, a little jump 2 scout ship. With way too many crew (7 people!) who are working without wages (their recompense is a cut of profits) they've made a ton of money over operating expenses in 6 jumps. Just buying and selling speculative cargo with a character aboard who has an automatic + or - 3 on the buy/sell chart almost guarantees that you will make good money flying around the galaxy.

Soon the merchant will have an automatic + or - 4 on his roll, meaning they will make even more money on every transaction.

Is this what you guys see as well? Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I don't know what it could be.
If you and the group are having fun then you're not doing anything wrong If on the other hand you mean are you misinterpreting the rules or doing it in a way I (for one) would find "wrong" or are there things wrong with the adventure as written, well that's another story entirely and one that needs more information.

First off I find it unrealistic that a ship in that condition and devalued to that point is eligible for a 40 year mortgage. More realistically for me is a 10 year mortgage when it reaches the final depreciation block and is valued at a mere MCr4.2578. That means a monthly payment of Cr70,963. Can your crew cover that doing speculative trade [img]smile.gif[/img] Quite possibly but not so easy.

So let's say they can. You still have expenses. About Cr18,000 monthly for life support if bought in bulk.

Let's not forget fuel, which brings up a problem with Broad Side of a Barn in the adventure. It is described as having a fuel purifier which is good. Even this ship saves money with one. Problem is the cargo hold has not been corrected in the adventure stats to reflect it's inclusion. Your 20tons of cargo space just shrunk to 13tons to make room for the 7ton TL11 fuel purifier plant. That means less speculative cargo each run. The good news is you can buy unpurified fuel and only have to pay Cr4,400 a month for it and purify it yourself. Running to the GG will add a week of down time and most worlds with water will have local regulations so you won't usually skim for free.

You should of course be budgeting for routine maintenance, that's another Cr1,330 a month. The good news is that will reduce your annual maintenance budget to only Cr2,218 a month.

Lastly don't forget the berthing fees. Let's put aside Cr600 a month to average that.

Total expenses per month, Cr96,911. A far cry from the adventure's idea. An idea which seems designed to be made to almost work with freight revenue rather than being based on business. The goal being to keep the player's hungry so they have to adventure. That model fails as you have found when the player's speculate well. That's why my model should be used instead.

Now then, let's look at revenue. Noting that you are reduced to just 13tons of cargo space let me first note the nature of that cargo space. It's not all cargo space on a Scout/Courier. Have a look at my posts for the T20 type S here:

INSIDE - The Type S Scout/Courier

While that description refers to my T20 deckplans a similar situation exists for the CT type deckplans in the adventure. The attic space is narrow and low, half height at best, with no direct external access. It is mostly designed to house additional sensors and electronics, and of course the fuel purifier. The lower cargo hold, not forward as labled since it won't fit forward, volume is better suited to cargo but again still too small for major or minor lots. Finally there is the empty commo bay in the rear which would make a nice hold except for the small access hatch, again no major or minor cargo will fit. Rather than using the empty air/raft bay for junk/parts storage as stated in the adventure I'd put that in the commo bay and use the air/raft bay for cargo. It has a nice sized hatch and you can use it as a cargo airlock. As you can see however true cargo options on this ship type are very limited. It is NOT a merchant ship. No major or minor cargo, incidental lots only, and not easy to load. So in most cases of speculative cargo (all the ones where the size of the lot is a x5 or x10) the crew can't even consider it.

Of all the rolls they may get each week in port (up to 8 on the table) only the ones that have no multiplier will be possible for them to carry. Further I don't think they should be able to break up any of those incidental sized lots so whatever the size roll if it all won't fit they can't take it. That is going to further limit the chance of them finding any speculative cargo they can carry, never mind if it's got good profit potential.

Finally let's address your crew broker. There has been discussion that crew broker rules are broken. How can the character know the market of an alien world on their first visit? How can they do better against a local broker of the same skill? I'd suggest that the DC for the attempted bonus be increased by 5 for non-local brokers as a circumstance penalty. This will encourage even players with broker skill to hire a local broker (even Broker-1) as an aid (combined skill check) to avoid the penalty, at a cost of 5% of the final value of course. And that fee is due whether the purchase or sale proceeds.

Further there may be an argument for making all broker rolls an opposed check. You don't think you're the only one smart enough to negotiate the price do you? I'd use a local broker with total mods (rank plus stat) of 20 at Class A starports (attempts +4 bonus), 15 at Class B starports (attempts +3 bonus), 10 at Class C starports (attempts +2 bonus), and 5 at Class D starports (attempts +1 bonus).

But of course this is just the way I see it. You are free to make your own call with the goal always being to have a good game with good friends.
__________________
Dan "far-trader" Burns

Original material in this post may be employed for personal non-profit use with the origin noted. Any other use is subject to permission from the author. Contact me through the private message feature of this board.

Fund Rare Bard Rants - Donate your unused rants today!

Musings of an old Trader... (my CotI Travellog) updated - May 3 2012
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old April 25th, 2005, 08:15 PM
RickA RickA is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 199
Gallery : 0
RickA Citizen
Send a message via ICQ to RickA
Post

Hmmmm, you make good illustration of some issues.

My crew isn't using the actual floorplan in the module, we're using the "scout courier type s" found on this site http://www.travellerrpg.com/cgi-bin/...der_catalog&s=

Working that over a bit it seems they have about 20 tons of cargo space.

Carrying speculative cargo... lets address that. I've been viewing speculation as a simple process in which the crew is visiting planet XYZ. They find someone with 50 tons of fertilizer for sale. The crew buys 20 tons of it from the grateful seller and flys it to another world. On that world they test the market to find out if anyone wants to by fertilizer. Sure enough, they find a desperate buyer and sell their 20 tons for over double what they paid for it.

That's the way it has worked on almost every leg of the trip. That "Take 10" on the broker roll and get an automatic +/- 3 is a nice feat/skill combo. But, hey, that's why you have a Merchant aboard, right?

Expenses. Well, they buy unrefined fuel at cr100/ton. That's 2400cr per jump I believe (don't have the numbers right in front of me). Since they buy lifesupport in bulk they get a nice 10% discount on that. Add in the cost of monthly maint and they are expensing less than cr10k/jump.

They made in profit cr260,000 on one jump alone, transporting construction equipement from Endpoint to Galik.

Now, your point about it being silly that a 150 (?) year old scout ship having a 40 year mortgage on it... good point. Very good point, lol. That ship has already sailed though in my game, I'm stuck with that mortgage rate.

Captain of the ship is hoping to save up about 5Mcr for down on a nice 200 ton trader and get out of the ol' Broad Side of a Barn. I figure that would be an endgame goal for my group. And at the current rate... she'll be there after another couple of months of play. (And only taking that long because the 7 players are splitting the costs of spec cargo and the profits, giving the "ship" 10% of the profit or standard haulage rates, whichever is lower).

Hmmmm. It just seemed like they were pulling down a lot of coin, and I suspect the reason is the unopposed skill check on brokerage.
__________________
:: Rick Aucoin ::<br /><a href=\"http://www.concillium.net\" target=\"_blank\">www.concillium.net</a>
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old April 25th, 2005, 08:17 PM
RickA RickA is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 199
Gallery : 0
RickA Citizen
Send a message via ICQ to RickA
Post

Oh, and on your opposed roll suggestion. I like it, but wouldn't every merchant worth his stripes take 10 on that roll and get the auto +/-?
__________________
:: Rick Aucoin ::<br /><a href=\"http://www.concillium.net\" target=\"_blank\">www.concillium.net</a>
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old April 25th, 2005, 08:50 PM
far-trader far-trader is offline
Noble
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Regina Subsector aka SK, Canada ;-)
Posts: 13,724
Gallery : 12
Visit far-trader's Blog
far-trader Citizen
Post

On the Take 10 I don't allow it for NPC's, just roll and let the dice dictate [img]smile.gif[/img] For PC's yep they should if it works for them and they have the Calculating Eye feat to enable it.

Sounds like you have a plan for the creds that makes everyone happy so I wouldn't worry too much.

Yes the official T20 deckplans are ok if you don't look too hard. Again though that "cargo" volume is without the fuel purifier installed so the 20tons of should be 13tons if it's a TL11 unit.

I don't like mixing TLs on ships (units can't interface is my referee fiat for it) but if you wanted to be kind they could have a newer, smaller model installed for a little cost. Book price, no discount, take a week to do. On the up side they no longer have an iffy purifier to worry about.
__________________
Dan "far-trader" Burns

Original material in this post may be employed for personal non-profit use with the origin noted. Any other use is subject to permission from the author. Contact me through the private message feature of this board.

Fund Rare Bard Rants - Donate your unused rants today!

Musings of an old Trader... (my CotI Travellog) updated - May 3 2012
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old April 25th, 2005, 08:53 PM
far-trader far-trader is offline
Noble
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Regina Subsector aka SK, Canada ;-)
Posts: 13,724
Gallery : 12
Visit far-trader's Blog
far-trader Citizen
Wink

Evil thought [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]

A third party could buy the player's mortgage from the lender and if it were a demand loan they would have the player's over a barrel. Buy out the loan now or renegotiate [img]graemlins/file_22.gif[/img]
__________________
Dan "far-trader" Burns

Original material in this post may be employed for personal non-profit use with the origin noted. Any other use is subject to permission from the author. Contact me through the private message feature of this board.

Fund Rare Bard Rants - Donate your unused rants today!

Musings of an old Trader... (my CotI Travellog) updated - May 3 2012
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old April 26th, 2005, 02:02 AM
RainOfSteel RainOfSteel is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 2,670
Gallery : 0
RainOfSteel Citizen
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by RickA:
I read some discussions here about how hard it is to make money as a jump 2 free trader.

[...]

Is this what you guys see as well? Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I don't know what it could be.
RickA,

The strict analysis of a ship's profitability usually does not include any form of speculative trading.

Further, most of the real work in analysis is based on the CT:Book 2 model (that I've found). The T20 model is based on CT:B2, but has extensions to heighten profitability. (If anyone has some links to posted analyses done in CT:Book 7, MT, TNE, T4, or GT, can you please post it?)

The real tough part in T20 is the cargo and passenger availability charts. I created a random generator for this. It turns out that when going from Higher TL worlds to Lower TL worlds, there are plenty of cargo lots and passengers to ship (that trip is frequently quite profitable). But trying to climb back up the TL ladder by travelling in reverse doesn't work out so easily (the short time I spent looking at this side indicated there were substantial problems). Priority Cargo and Double Occupancy helps out alot (but there is no rule covering the acceptability of Double Occupancy to traveller single passengers; which is somewhat interesting). Hazardous and Security Cargo can create a lot of trouble if their activation is played straight out of the book.

CT:Book 2's speculative trading system is widely acknowledged as radically broken. The speculative trading rules in T20 are based on CT:B2, and so they are equally broken.


It is my belief (and the belief of several others), that the entire CT:B2 and T20 trade models exist not as a representative model of the actual conduct of interstellar trade (although it's effectively the only system available for actual discussion of the subject, and so there is a conflict where these broken and admittedly non-general models are applied to the general case), but rather as a "system" that leads to shorting the PCs of available cash. The speculative trade system is supposed to come with (although it isn't really mentioned) "complications", provided by the GM.

If you're really going into long-term economic trading by the PCs, you might want to take a look at CT:Book 7.

The CT:B2 and T20 speculative trade systems, run without complications tossed in by the GM, and with a good Broker skill manipulating the AVT, are a license to print Imperial Credits.
__________________
RainOfSteel may = RoS
--------------------
"The quality of the crate matters little. Success depends upon who sits in it." ~ Baron Manfred von Richtofen
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old April 26th, 2005, 03:03 AM
BetterThanLife's Avatar
BetterThanLife BetterThanLife is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 3,134
Gallery : 0
BetterThanLife Citizen
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by RainOfSteel:


The CT:B2 and T20 speculative trade systems, run without complications tossed in by the GM, and with a good Broker skill manipulating the AVT, are a license to print Imperial Credits.
I thought that was the Forgery Skill. [img]smile.gif[/img]

In all seriousness, I have never managed to consistently get that kind of mileage out of Spec cargo. Yes you can get the good haul occasionally, but there are an awful lot of things like Grain on the list. Further it is difficult, even with a 20 ton hold, in some cases to carry a full lot.

I personally have never used an old Scout Ship as a Merchant with a Mortgage. If there was a Scout Ship it was a detached duty one. I can't see any bank giving a 40 year mortgage on a surplus Scout/Courier.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old April 30th, 2005, 02:03 PM
RickA RickA is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 199
Gallery : 0
RickA Citizen
Send a message via ICQ to RickA
Post

Fuel purifier issue. I looked into this one, and the ship simply doesn't have one. Increases their chances of a misjump from DC21 (imposible) to DC19 (1 in 10!).

Come now, no bank would ever finance a vessel of any sort that had a 1 in 10 chance of misjumps, eh? Why is this even an option in the books?

But, that does explain why the ship has 20+ tons of cargo space available. And my guys have had one small misjump already (got there in 3 days instead of a week) and I've got the Darwin's World adventures stashed away for the BIG misjump eventuality. Heh,heh,heh,heh...
__________________
:: Rick Aucoin ::<br /><a href=\"http://www.concillium.net\" target=\"_blank\">www.concillium.net</a>
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old April 30th, 2005, 02:47 PM
far-trader far-trader is offline
Noble
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Regina Subsector aka SK, Canada ;-)
Posts: 13,724
Gallery : 12
Visit far-trader's Blog
far-trader Citizen
Post

Well imo and imtu part of the fine print of any commercial ship loan includes many caveats, one of them being a requirement to only use refined fuel. Use of unrefined fuel is cause for calling the loan and seizing the assets (ship and all it's cargo, yes even the speculative cargo bought by the crew or it's factors). So, ships trading off the mains (away from class A and B ports) need to have a purifier installed to insure refined fuel.

Further a big part of any loan (and this is the book rule not just mtu) is a sound business plan and "fly around gambling on speculative cargo and adventuring" is not a business plan no matter how well it works

Of course, again, whatever is making the game fun should not be dropped in favor of (somebody else's) "rules" without due consideration.

Oh, also never say impossible in front of the players, they'll always find a way [img]graemlins/file_22.gif[/img] For example the misjump issue. Even using refined fuel they may jump too soon and close to a planet (for any number of sensible, i.e. insane, reasons) and that increases the odds a lot. No doubt one of them is going to think about that savings of a couple days next time they are behind schedule and consider attempting to initiate a misjump on purpose
__________________
Dan "far-trader" Burns

Original material in this post may be employed for personal non-profit use with the origin noted. Any other use is subject to permission from the author. Contact me through the private message feature of this board.

Fund Rare Bard Rants - Donate your unused rants today!

Musings of an old Trader... (my CotI Travellog) updated - May 3 2012
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

This website and its contents are copyright ©2010- Far Future Enterprises. All rights reserved. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises .
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.