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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 8th, 2002, 01:55 PM
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After ~3 years on my shelf, I've finally taken a close look at GT Far Trader, mining ideas for my ever-in-progress House Traveller. Rating cargo and passenger prices per parsec rather than per jump is eminently sensible and will definitely be adopted, but I'm confused/curious how the given 'average rates' were arrived at, specifically wrt passengers: at Cr1750/parsec for Middle Passage, a jump-1 free trader dare not take on commercial passengers, as life support costs (per CT/MT) will cause it to LOSE Cr250 per passenger per trip.

Now, figuring this couldn't possibly be the actual case, I assumed GT uses different (i.e. significantly lower) costs for life support, but can't actually find reference to such anywhere (having done a more-than-cursory search through both FT and the GT rulebook). So what gives? Am I missing a reference, or does this system just give the royal shaft to j-1 merchants (and if so, on what justification -- after all 2 decades of Traveller canon have shown j-1 merchants as being VERY common, and they can't ALL be operating at a loss)?

Sorry if this has been asked and/or answered many times previously. In such a case please feel free to just point me to an archive listing.
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Old July 8th, 2002, 03:37 PM
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I've not checked the rules, but I think that it might be fairly realistic that some traders might not find it profitable to run passengers on Jump-1 ships, unless the economy of scale means they will at least break even.

And perhaps it's the difference between losing 1750Cr if you leave a state-room empty or losing 250Cr if you put someone in it- your losses will be much less, perhaps for some traders that's as much as they can hope for.

Of course then it makes more sense to take someone on and make them Work for their Middle Passage- the life support costs would be balanced out by having an extra engineer on for a single trip.

Just some random thoughts.
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Old July 8th, 2002, 04:26 PM
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But in that case people wouldn't build j-1 ships with passenger staterooms in the first place -- they'd use the space for more revenue-generating cargo hold. Consider, the Type A Free Trader has 6 passenger staterooms: as cargo hold this space could generate up to Cr16,800 (24 dtons @ Cr700 apiece) for freight. As passenger space you'd get somewhere between -Cr1500 (all MidPsg) and Cr9000 (all HighPsg). Obviously no one would build such a ship with staterooms (unless they didn't care about making money).

And yet, per 20+ years of Traveller canon Type As, including their passenger staterooms, are all over the place. The book's author has proven to have a very solid grasp on Traveller canon and (I trust) wouldn't let such a conflict/gaffe slip by unnoted, so I'm assuming there MUST be some other explanation (my guess still being some downward adjustment of the life support costs that I've managed to overlook).
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Old July 8th, 2002, 05:40 PM
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I'll risk saying it again (well first time here I guess) trying to apply CT canon to the systems that came after will usually flop. A radically different system (anything beyond the LBB for sure) results in your needing to make some new assumptions. I don't know why this isn't done except that if the newest "Traveller" doesn't have all the same stuff working the same way I guess people complain.

For example, re a recent TML debate about why the xboat is so poorly conceived, since in GT you can easily fit a maneuver drive etc. into the hull and do away with the tenders etc. I pointed out that in my LBB 2 version there is just barely room for a J4 in 100T of hull. In fact the powerplant only has fuel for 1 week, there is only 1 stateroom, and no cargo. It is a very tight design, and needs all the canon support.

Anyway, MCTU house rule has long been that the fares/freight rates are per parsec, this makes sense to me...

"Lets see you want me to haul your cargo across 2parsecs, I can do it in one jump, so that's cr1000 per ton and it gets there in a week. Hmm, or you could let that free-trader do it for you in two jumps, it'll take him three weeks and he'll charge you cr1000 per ton for each jump. I think if you pay me cr2000 per ton you get a real deal since I get it there in 1/3 the time for the same cost."

Anyway, as to GT I can only speculate that perhaps the life support cost is included in other costs (like berthing fees) or was never considered (seems unlikely) or the ships cost a lot less to operate (i.e. lower mortgages etc.).

Another MCTU house rule, middle passage is cr8000 single, or cr4000 each based on two sharing (double the life support cost) but may bumped by a single mid passage ticket.
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Old July 8th, 2002, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by T. Foster:
I'm confused/curious how the given 'average rates' were arrived at, specifically wrt passengers: at Cr1750/parsec for Middle Passage, a jump-1 free trader dare not take on commercial passengers, as life support costs (per CT/MT) will cause it to LOSE Cr250 per passenger per trip.

Now, figuring this couldn't possibly be the actual case, I assumed GT uses different (i.e. significantly lower) costs for life support, but can't actually find reference to such anywhere
pGT:FT68-72 has the costs for outfitting a ship. The life support systems are assumed in GT to be real sealed system rather than the leaky ones in CT, and in theory require nothing more than the annual manintenance to keep going. Additional provisions cost CR6 per person per day, with the fresh stuff costings 2x to 6x as much. A two week journey on middle passage is probably Cr 60, plus the cost for the annual maintenance.
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Old July 10th, 2002, 12:49 AM
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Aha! Thanks for connecting the dots for me, that's just what I was searching for.

Just in case there are any other potential system-combining heretics out there who might be curious, I did some quick calculations on the viability of various CT designs under the FT rules.

Type A: With a full manifest of freight (@Cr700/dton), High Passengers (@Cr3500 each), and Low Passengers (@Cr350 each -- I doubled the FT rate to account for the fact that CT low berths are 4x the size of GT low berths) and with a minimal crew (no gunners, no one with skill levels over 1) the Type A can just barely scrape by with a profit of ~Cr3000/trip, jumping to ~Cr6500/trip with skimmed fuel and the crew working on shares. Living in constant fear of that one disastrous trip that will send you plunging into the red -- sounds like Traveller to me!

Type A2: Still a money loser, which I suppose is good, if for nothing more than to maintain canon. At j-1 it loses approx. Cr75,700/trip (as opposed to losing Cr49,700/trip in CT). At j-2 it still loses, but only ~Cr15,200/trip -- skimming fuel and forgoing crew salaries can actually get this loss below Cr10,000/trip.

Type R: With a government subsidy (split gross income 50/50, govt pays mortgage, owner pays operating expenses) the owner of this ship does fine, making approx. Cr75,400/trip with a full manifest of cargo and High & Low Passengers. The government takes a massive loss on the mortgage -- losing close to Cr125,000/trip, but even in CT the government was eating ~Cr71,900/trip so this is still 'close enough' to canon for me.

With MT ships the Type A is in big trouble because it has 2 fewer staterooms and 12 fewer low berths than in CT, as well as requiring more fuel (note to self: design a better Type A for MT). The MT Type A2 is the opposite, though, as its lower pricetag (MCr41.07 vs MCr66.175) actually allows it to show a modest (~Cr36,000/trip) profit at j-2 (it still loses ~Cr23,750/trip at j-1). The lot of the MT Type R (MCr67.5 vs MCr100.3, with identical cargo and passenger capacities) is similarly improved.

This proves to me that the systems are at least roughly compatible enough that I no longer have any qualms about adopting these rates for my House Traveller. I hope I didn't bore everybody else too much (but hey, that's the joy of message boards -- you can skip the boring stuff!).
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Old July 10th, 2002, 12:53 AM
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