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  #11  
Old January 3rd, 2018, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
Yeah, but some guidance on expected pay per skill level would be nice.

I'm peeking at rules in The Traveller Book, since that's what I have handy. Considering crew in other versions make between 1000-6000 per month for skill-1 (+10% per +1 over that), and considering that an "ordinary level" of subsistence costs 200 per month, I'd set up a structure like this:

Salary (Cr) per Month
Skill Level"Unskilled" Labor / TradeCommon SkillUncommon SkillRare Skill
0200300450600
1220330495690
2242379594862
32664557721164


Divide by 30 to get daily wages.

<snip>
Hmm, I don't mind the breakdown of unskilled/common/uncommon/rare, but I think your chart is a bit short, partially because of ordinary living cost in CT is Cr200 food + Cr200 lodging, and partially because it doesn't cover crew salaries.

I have a whole thread I threw out there for skill certification and a considerably more robust compensation for a 'guaranteed' level of performance, but I'm getting the vibe that this isn't your view or many others, and it certainly is a departure from the 'basic +10%' sort of compensation from the LBBs.

So for these purposes let's just assume that ship crew costs are predicated on uncommon/rare skills per your definition and that someone with a common Skill-2 should be able to do a bit better then ordinary and have enough to at least have some disposable income.


Salary (Cr) per Month
Skill Level"Unskilled" Labor / TradeCommon SkillUncommon SkillRare Skill
02003005001000
12203305501100
230040010002000
340060015003000



Of course, this is just an exercise based on CT costing- this should probably be adjusted for CE, and further adjustments if the SOC minimum living sort of rules are in play.
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  #12  
Old January 4th, 2018, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
Mercenaries during the early years of the Congo problem were getting $500 a month or so into Swiss Bank Accounts, with pilots of attack and transport aircraft getting about double that. Mercenaries hired by China during the years 1937 to 1941 were getting roughly $250 to $500 dollars a month in gold, while the American Volunteer Group (a.k.a. The Flying Tigers) received a bonus of $500 in gold for every confirmed kill.

You are not going to waste the money hiring mercenaries that have skill level "0". Assume that mercenaries are out of work Veterans who like the idea of fighting, and pay them on par with monthly pay of ship crewman. Medics for mercenaries should get a bit more than what is listed for ship's crew.

I would assume that your basic Private-level mercenary is going to run you a 1000 Credits a month and go up from there. Remember, unless hired for a long-term contract, the mercenary has to cover the cost of the times when not being hired. Remember as well that you are buying the loyalty, and it lasts only as long as paid. See the example of the Swiss Mercenaries during the 15th and 16th centuries, and also the Italian Condottieri.

Also remember that in the past, mercenaries have sold their services to the opponent if offered enough money to switch sides. Sir John Hawkwood was regarded as exceptionally honest for never switching sides when under contract to an employer. However, when the contract expired, he was open to the highest bidder, whoever that might be.
See that the wadges for mercenaries are not mine, but taken from CT:LBB4...

In any case, I guess most of those mercenaries are either cadres or (relative) elite units, so few of them would be privates if cadres, and elite units are likely to get more pay.

And for pilots and other specialists, I'd expect them to be considered officers. And those are the base wadges, while highly specialists or reputation (probably tied to skill) people would be expected to have bonus.
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  #13  
Old January 4th, 2018, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Hmm, I don't mind the breakdown of unskilled/common/uncommon/rare, but I think your chart is a bit short, partially because of ordinary living cost in CT is Cr200 food + Cr200 lodging, and partially because it doesn't cover crew salaries.
Oops! I misread the FOOD AND OVERHEAD costs in The Traveller Book.

So double everything in my chart.

Regarding crew salaries, I think you should have to pay more to get an NPC to leave their family behind and get on a starship for months at a time with no specified date of return. Sure, the type of person who goes, "What, you're going to pay me extra to do that?!" is rare (and are called Travellers).
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Old January 4th, 2018, 01:21 PM
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Out of curiosity guys, how do you define unskilled, common and rare for skill choices?

Does that relate only to starship or complex operating system skills, or to every skill in whatever list you're using?

The US military currently has 2.083 million members in it's regular and reserve components. Out of a population of 323 million, that's approximately 645 military members per 100,000 head of population.

Looking at a couple of other nations for comparison, with population and military no's in the millions, we get:

NationPopulationMilitary#/100k
China13694.653339
France66.8360.387579
Georgia4.9280.035710


So I go back to my original question? How common is common, how rare is rare, and how in demand is an astrogator in the labour market of a safe region such as a main in the Spinward Marches versus a collection of independent systems outside of a major interstellar power?
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Last edited by Ulsyus; January 4th, 2018 at 01:41 PM..
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Old January 5th, 2018, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by McPerth View Post
See that the wadges for mercenaries are not mine, but taken from CT:LBB4...

In any case, I guess most of those mercenaries are either cadres or (relative) elite units, so few of them would be privates if cadres, and elite units are likely to get more pay.

And for pilots and other specialists, I'd expect them to be considered officers. And those are the base wadges, while highly specialists or reputation (probably tied to skill) people would be expected to have bonus.
I tend to go with what information I have from my reading and background in military history over what appears in the rules. Rules covering things like how much does it cost to hire someone or what the cost of things are I view as guidelines. I view the list of payments in Book 4, Mercenary, as very low, unless you assume that the hiring group is paying for things like food and housing, and even then, I still view them as low, especially towards the higher grade.

A gunner on a ship is paid 1000 Credits per month, along with all of his food and housing being paid for over and above the 1000 credits a month. That is the same remuneration as a Sergeant Major on the Mercenary table. To me, that does not sound anywhere near correct. A starship Steward is paid 3,000 Credits a month, while the Colonel commanding a unit, say at least 2,000 men or so, is paid 2,000 Credits a month. That does not sound correct at all.

Then there is the question of who is equipping the unit. Is the hiring group doing it, or is the unit expected to supply its own equipment? If the latter, then the cost of hiring the unit should be a lot higher, as the unit has to allow for recovering the initial cost of purchasing whatever equipment is needed and also recovering the cost of lost equipment. How much does just the combat equipment for a Grav Armored Combat Company or Battalion cost?

If you are hiring NPCs, then you are hiring to get skill that your group does not possess, or skills at a higher level than your group possesses. Looking at the ship crew cost, I would use that as the starting point and increase accordingly. If you want a highly skilled pilot, then you pay him the 6000+ Credits a month. If you need a supply expert, then you pay the Ship Steward rate as a minimum. If you want someone with combat skills, you start with the 1000 Credits a month for a Gunner or Ship Security and go from there. Someone with the equivalent of a Sergeant Major's experience should run you about 4000 Credits a month. Remember, that type of NPC represents someone with several terms of experience, with a fairly wide range of skills, especially if using extended character generation.

However, as this is Cepheus Engine, it does allow for whatever the Game Master decides to do. I am just expressing my views, based on my background. In the end, it is up to whatever the person running the game decides.
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Last edited by timerover51; January 5th, 2018 at 12:53 PM.. Reason: Correcting Word
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Old January 5th, 2018, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulsyus View Post
So I go back to my original question? How common is common, how rare is rare, and how in demand is an astrogator in the labour market of a safe region such as a main in the Spinward Marches versus a collection of independent systems outside of a major interstellar power?
I dunno. How does a referee set a DM for a task? Use your judgment.

Is the skill they need to hire common in this system?
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Old January 5th, 2018, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
A gunner on a ship is paid 1000 Credits per month, along with all of his food and housing being paid for over and above the 1000 credits a month. That is the same remuneration as a Sergeant Major on the Mercenary table. To me, that does not sound anywhere near correct. A starship Steward is paid 3,000 Credits a month, while the Colonel commanding a unit, say at least 2,000 men or so, is paid 2,000 Credits a month. That does not sound correct at all.

Then there is the question of who is equipping the unit. Is the hiring group doing it, or is the unit expected to supply its own equipment? If the latter, then the cost of hiring the unit should be a lot higher, as the unit has to allow for recovering the initial cost of purchasing whatever equipment is needed and also recovering the cost of lost equipment. How much does just the combat equipment for a Grav Armored Combat Company or Battalion cost?
I think those are really good points that 51 makes. Were arbitrary values put in the table in an initial draft and then just not revised? Detail can be list in editing. If not, then it's really up to the ref to rectify it.

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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
I dunno. How does a referee set a DM for a task? Use your judgment.

Is the skill they need to hire common in this system?
Well, at the end of the day it has to make sense. If it's cheaper to hire a weapons officer skilled in the preparation of high energy weapons, the operation of integrated firing solution systems, and the maintenance of their weapon station is cheaper than the guy who knows how to make dinner and keep passengers happy, then the likelihood of being able to defend against corsairs and raiders may be somewhat compromised.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulsyus View Post
So I go back to my original question? How common is common, how rare is rare, and how in demand is an astrogator in the labour market of a safe region such as a main in the Spinward Marches versus a collection of independent systems outside of a major interstellar power?
That's why I suggested making it for needed training/education. Unskilled labout would be those Jobs where you don't need a specific training to perform them (from pizza delivery to shop keeper of cargo hand, to give you some examples).

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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
I tend to go with what information I have from my reading and background in military history over what appears in the rules. Rules covering things like how much does it cost to hire someone or what the cost of things are I view as guidelines. I view the list of payments in Book 4, Mercenary, as very low, unless you assume that the hiring group is paying for things like food and housing, and even then, I still view them as low, especially towards the higher grade.
As I don't have much of this information, I tend to use the information available in the game itself.

As for the military wadges (about RL ones I have no idea), in LBB4 they are in the section about you hiring as merc, so I guess they are the money at hand you receive as pay, so yes, I guess you're assumed to be lodged, equiped and fed aside from this wadges.

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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
A gunner on a ship is paid 1000 Credits per month, along with all of his food and housing being paid for over and above the 1000 credits a month. That is the same remuneration as a Sergeant Major on the Mercenary table. To me, that does not sound anywhere near correct. A starship Steward is paid 3,000 Credits a month, while the Colonel commanding a unit, say at least 2,000 men or so, is paid 2,000 Credits a month. That does not sound correct at all.
A gunner in a ship (or any crewmember, for what's worth) is expected to live a "space nomad" life, and I guess this is paid too, while most people you might hire are not so expected, having a (more or less in case of mercs) permanent base where to have a more "civilized" life.

And never forget about the shares they receive, that can be quite profitable depending on the contract.

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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
Then there is the question of who is equipping the unit. Is the hiring group doing it, or is the unit expected to supply its own equipment? If the latter, then the cost of hiring the unit should be a lot higher, as the unit has to allow for recovering the initial cost of purchasing whatever equipment is needed and also recovering the cost of lost equipment. How much does just the combat equipment for a Grav Armored Combat Company or Battalion cost?
According the tickets shown as examples in LBB4 this wil ldepend on the ticket itself. In any case, this is likely to be accounted for in the cost of hiring the unit...

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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
If you are hiring NPCs, then you are hiring to get skill that your group does not possess, or skills at a higher level than your group possesses. Looking at the ship crew cost, I would use that as the starting point and increase accordingly. If you want a highly skilled pilot, then you pay him the 6000+ Credits a month. If you need a supply expert, then you pay the Ship Steward rate as a minimum. If you want someone with combat skills, you start with the 1000 Credits a month for a Gunner or Ship Security and go from there. Someone with the equivalent of a Sergeant Major's experience should run you about 4000 Credits a month. Remember, that type of NPC represents someone with several terms of experience, with a fairly wide range of skills, especially if using extended character generation.
BUt some times you need to hire someone for specific Jobs or tasks, not permanent crew members of mercs, and it was about this I was mostly talking.

If you need to hire a crew for your ship or troops for your merc unit, I guess you can simply use the costs given in other (non CE, as we're told there are no such wadges specified on it) Traveller versions.

What I mostly talked about was those not so covered, from hiring a lawyer to help you in a local law problema, to a private eye to keep an eye on someone, or a cargo handler to help load/unload your ship, or simply a tourist guide for a R&R trip, just to give you some examples.

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However, as this is Cepheus Engine, it does allow for whatever the Game Master decides to do. I am just expressing my views, based on my background. In the end, it is up to whatever the person running the game decides.
Really true, as in any RPG.
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