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  #51  
Old March 28th, 2013, 10:47 PM
BytePro BytePro is offline
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Yeah, the rules, intended or otherwise, optimize the economics for J-1 routes ... with larger jumps being the domain of those who can afford it (even at a loss) - akin to forcing the financially weaker ones out of the game with 'price fixing'...

Why would anyone bother (at least for any duration)? Well, the big boys would be in a position to monopolize control of extended trade... Independents, who somehow manage the more expensive ship (probably not by direct acquisition), must rely heavily on speculative trade to make margin. Governments, who wish to control their trade - or at least take control from megacorp lines - would be left subsidizing.

CT, at least, seemed to present this meta-game/in-game rationale.
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  #52  
Old March 28th, 2013, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Vladika View Post
Wil, you can really "screw the Empire" using your own subsidized ship.
I don't allow subbies to accept charters. They have a fixed route which they MUST run. Deviate from the route, and they issue a Repo-on-sight notice. This is based upon the handling in TTA. They may have some time off-route in the contract. That time, they can accept chartering for...

The subsidizer usually isn't the 3I, but one or more of the served worlds, for whom the investment is as a capital development project; one can reasonably expect part of running the route is carrying goods purchased by a factor (who is actually only "paying" the crew's share of the costs, since the funding source is the financing world). The subsidy may be handled, however, by the IMoT.
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  #53  
Old March 28th, 2013, 11:25 PM
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Meaning high risk, and commensurate bribes... and likelihood of eventually being 'asked' to transport without asking too many questions.
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  #54  
Old March 29th, 2013, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
I don't allow subbies to accept charters. They have a fixed route which they MUST run. Deviate from the route, and they issue a Repo-on-sight notice. This is based upon the handling in TTA. They may have some time off-route in the contract. That time, they can accept chartering for...

The subsidizer usually isn't the 3I, but one or more of the served worlds, for whom the investment is as a capital development project; one can reasonably expect part of running the route is carrying goods purchased by a factor (who is actually only "paying" the crew's share of the costs, since the funding source is the financing world). The subsidy may be handled, however, by the IMoT.
Traveller Adventure, March Harrier runs a contract that allows it to depart from its assigned route 30% of the time, and that time appears to be cumulative since the players "built up a credit of 80 weeks" over the previous 5 years - an odd way to handle trade, but there it is.
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Comments made are for the purpose of offering alternative campaign settings for consideration. The writer acknowledges that Traveller is intended to emulate certain common science fiction tropes and that, in the course of emulating those tropes and providing a better playing experience, some liberties must be taken with science. No statement by the writer should be interpreted as constituting a criticism of the game on that basis ... except for that bit about Virus. Dude, really?!
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  #55  
Old March 29th, 2013, 07:36 AM
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If we presume the KCr1/Td per jump to be an imperial price fix, it simply means there is no commercial shipping available as a primary operation, but lines as subsidiaries can actually still move their own stuff further for less by building and operating J3 shipping...
But they can't move other people's stuff, nor can they move passengers. Which means that the canonical jump-4 passenger liners we know of would not exist, because even Tukera wouldn't be able to make a profit on a passenger cabin.

If instead we assume that the game rules for running free traders are aimed at making it fun to play at running a free trader rather than for providing rules for realistic world-building, we can come up with rules that doesn't rely on heavy-handed time-and-place specific regulations to work (not that the ones we have really work) and actually apply in the rest of Charted Space too, making the rules useful outside the Imperium too, which I think would be kind of nice.

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...and then reduce operational losses for empty space by selling the cargo haulage at a loss as a "fill the space" rate within the price fix. (In other words, if you've 900 tons of cargo space, and 840 ready to go, sell the 60Td of cargo space to lose only Cr650/Td "empty" instead of Cr1650 per ton.)
Won't work. The loss in revenue from the extra four days you spend selling the space to others, reducing the number of jumps you can make per year would result in a greater loss than you gain. Better to jump with those 60 dT empty.

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There are good reasons sociologically to want to keep traders slow - not the least of which is that localized traffic is actually better for the neighbors, since they won't be bypassed.
There's also good reasons sociologically why governments would support and encourage trade so that they get more in tariffs and taxes. Reasons why Imperial member worlds would strongly resent megacorporate attempts to restrict local trade.

The Imperial price fixing was never the canonical answer. It was fanon aimed at explaining how per jump pricing could possibly work, and it 1) doesn't explain it, and 2) has a slew of unhappy ramifications, starting with an Imperium strong enough and ubiquitous enoug to have an enforcement apparatus that can make free traders toe the line even when jumping between worlds with no Imperial starport personnel at all (Class E starports). Which contradicts other statements we've seen about how remote and weak the Imperium is.

It also contradict a couple of canonical examples of prices charged that differed from the canonical rates.


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  #56  
Old March 29th, 2013, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rancke View Post

It also contradict a couple of canonical examples of prices charged that differed from the canonical rates.


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I've seen no such examples set within the 3I.
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Archduke of Sylea (CORE 2118)
Duke of the Third Imperium (SPIN 0534)
Count Terra (SOLO 1827)
Count Gorod (REFT 1302)
Count of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2232)
Viscount of Adabicci (SPIN 1824)
Marquis of the Solomani Rim (SOLO 0606)
Marquis of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2410)
Baron of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2231)
Knight of the Iridium Throne (CORE 1434)
Sir William Hostman (OLDE 0512)
Sir William Hostman (DAGU 0622)
Knight of Deneb (REFT 2239)
Knight of Deneb (Spin 2532)
SEH w/Diamonds for Extreme Heroism - Battle of Boughene
MCG - Battle of Boughene
TAS: William Hostman (CORR 2506)
TAS: Bearer (DAIB 1326)
IMTU ct+ tm++ tne tg-- tt+ tmo+ t4- t20+ to ru+ ge+ 3i+ c+ jt au ls pi+ ta he+ st+
Wil Hostman 0602 C539857-9 S A724
OTU: 95% 3i an+ au+ br- cpu± dt± f+ fs++ ge± ih- inf± j± jf+ jm+ jt+ ls- n= nc+ pi+ pp-- tp+ tr+ tv- vi-- xb+-
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  #57  
Old March 29th, 2013, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
I've seen no such examples set within the 3I.
"Baseru wants the cargo carried for no charge. If pressed, he is willing to pay up to Cr500 per ton for the shipment of the goods.

In any case, he has a better deal. A previous client of his demounted and stored a set of demountable fuel tanks, with a total capacity of 50 tons, in his warehouse and has not returned for them for over 12 months. His price: Cr18,500 (that's the standard price for a year's storage). They would cost Cr50,000 new. If pressed, he's willing to turn them over to the group in return to carrying the; the crew's share of the transport of 120 tons of cargo at standard rates would be Cr60,000, and Cr50,000 (more or less) is a fair return to salvage from this disastrous situation[*]. Besides, the crew has reasons to want to leave the area."
-- The Traveller Adventure, p. 44
[*] Tukera has snapped up practically all freight and passengers for the next several weeks.
Please note that I'm not saying there aren't some very hinky aspects to this. For one thing, the Marsh Harrier has to do TWO jumps to get from Natoko to the Patinir Belt, yet the standard rates are supposedly only for one jump. For another, the crew seems to be able to exclude the subsidy holder from the barter deal altogether.

I can't find my copy of Alien Realms at the moment, but one of the adventures features someone giving the PCs a cheap passage from Jewell to Emerald (Made economically feasible by violating the hell out of the canonical passenger accomodation rules, BTW).


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