Traveller Store CotI Features New Posts Mark Forums Read Register


Go Back TravellerRPG.com > Citizens of the Imperium > Other Versions of Traveller > Mongoose Traveller

Mongoose Traveller Discussion forums for the Traveller rules from Mongoose Publishing.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #81  
Old February 12th, 2008, 07:21 PM
tbeard1999's Avatar
tbeard1999 tbeard1999 is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Tyler
Posts: 2,705
Gallery : 0
tbeard1999 Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
Isn't the T/E result required to calcuate weapon damage?
Yep. If the T/E system was truly optional, I'd have no problem with it. But the designer has shoehorned it into both personal combat and starship combat and has offered no alternative systems.

So I am not comforted much by the observation that it's possible to design a replacement combat system. Since that is true of *any* RPG system, I guess that we should buy every RPG no matter how horrid?
Reply With Quote
  #82  
Old February 12th, 2008, 09:17 PM
aramis's Avatar
aramis aramis is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Anchorage, AK, USofA
Posts: 28,884
Gallery : 53
Visit aramis's Blog
aramis has disabled reputation
Send a message via ICQ to aramis Send a message via AIM to aramis Send a message via Yahoo to aramis
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Yep. If the T/E system was truly optional, I'd have no problem with it. But the designer has shoehorned it into both personal combat and starship combat and has offered no alternative systems.
And, unlike MT, or TNE, or T4, or 2300, or even T20, I can't just swap out the task system for, say, MT's. WHy? because then I need to replace or massively revise the combat system as well, since it's dependent upon elements of the task system in ways that are not easily replaced.
__________________
~ Aramis
aramis.hostman.us /trav
Smith & Wesson: The Original Point and Click interface!

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+-
Unless there is bold red text, presume my posts to be my personal material only.
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old February 13th, 2008, 08:28 AM
atpollard's Avatar
atpollard atpollard is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Port Richey
Posts: 9,297
Gallery : 43
Visit atpollard's Blog
atpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesomeatpollard Awesome
Default

Hey,
this is supposed to be about the ECONOMICS system,
flog that T/E horse somewhere else.
Reply With Quote
  #84  
Old April 25th, 2008, 02:04 AM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ottawa (Ontario Subsector/Canada Sector)
Posts: 2,289
Gallery : 0
kaladorn Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
For starships, I think I'd use "service life" as a guide to maintenance costs and fair market value. For instance:

<snip>

Basically, a ship will have a chronological age and a service age. Usually, they are the same, but a particularly hard period can increase the service age.
Two points, one dealing with this post, and one dealing with another where you assert that ships should last a very long time because of existing maintenance costs (paraphrase).

Firstly, I'm assuming your maintenance costs are based on the assumption of maintaining original service levels. This might or might not be true. Imagine a nice luxury liner. As it ages, if you kept it up, it might look as good as the day it rolled out. If not, the drapes may get threadbare, the mattresses flat, the lighting may be dodgy in places, and it may eventually be useful only for colonist transport where it used to run first class passengers. My point is that you may, in fact, not have to pay this full maintenance value and the ship may still work fine for a purpose and make 8some money. If you've got it paid off, the profit you can make from it may be more important than keeping it up (based on how long any one person can reasonably operate a ship without retiring or doing something else).

I'm also assuming your maintenance costs don't cover SLEPs which upfit to current tech, just maintenance at existing levels. Some of these SLEPs have a high capital cost (as you suggested). But some, in the real world, do not cost all that much because they use COTS technologies and actually *reduce* ongoing maintenance costs (both because their parts are cheaper and because they are more reliable and robust). So not every SLEP is a money losing proposition. Sometimes, it actually *makes* you money to upfit a subsystem - due to reduced maintenance costs.

So there are several ways to conceive of not following your model that make some sense in the larger scheme. So old ships don't have to bankrupt smaller guys. Past a certain point, it may also be possible to get used, 2nd hand or scrapped parts - if people start scrapping your class, you may be able to get used parts cheap if it was ubiquitous.

===========

Second point: They're phasing out the F-117 after 20 years in 2008. Why? One of the major reasons is it was manufactured using standard parts for F16, F18, F14 and F15 (landing gear, control runs, etc). Since these aren't in production, their parts cost is going up and up. Newer technologies have actually made replacing it *more economically viable*. So a scenario like this could come up with ship classes in the Imperium - new TL makes old TL stuff not worth maintaining. Or maybe changes in large scale purchasing for ship type A mean that ship type B looks more attractive and A gets phased out long before you'd think it should. In this case, it is also that parts got very expensive.

Of course, you've also got restorationists still flying DC-3s and restoring other old warbirds and planes. And they've brought some Hueys back into service because the Blackhawks are all busy and they needed the air transport inside the USA.

So what I'm getting at is that, although I like your model, one can well imagine several fairly different views of longevity and maintenance expenses. I think one tabular view ends up being only one of the possible routes/cost regimes.

=========

One other point about the J-4 vs. J-2 comparison: The game doesn't model the cost premium for cargo or passengers for one jump J-4 vs. 2 J-2s. There may be many passengers and cargos that would pay more for these services (as your analysis says they should). The cost of a ticket should be determined by distance, particulars of destination and source, and the rate at which you need to move between. The J-6 may be much more expensive than 6 J-1s, but if you're getting the news to your corporate HQ that Lucan blew off Strephon's head and all hell is about to break loose, you really will pay the extra premium. (Even for less extreme examples, high speed cargo and passengers should exist and don't in the current system). In fact, some passengers and cargo may not even FLY with slower ships (unless no other option is available).

===============

The other part of cargo costs is competition (you had a reasonable discussion of this): If you're in a 'low trade' TU, your tramp freighter may be the only ship going between A and B that week. If the planet happens to have a glut of people wanting to go (impending war, annexation by the Imperium, you name it), then suddenly you can hike your prices through the roof. At the same time, if you just happen to arrive there the same time as a 2,000 ton freighter on its way through, you may get no cargos unless you drop your prices to below sustainable levels (ie take a loss). In a 'high-trade' TU, there may be so much cargo moving about you don't need to model what cargos you get or passengers very specifically, just what the fluctuation for the week is since there will pretty much always be cargo and passengers far in excess of what a PC ship can take. No worries about being empty.

Someone suggested just rolling % of standard rates. From an RP perspective in a high trade environment, that might make sense. Apply mods based on competition or current campaign events and you'd have quite a workable system that even makes some sense.

You did suggest that cargo wouldn't be carried below cost. I don't necessarily agree. Sometimes businesses elect to take a loss *in the short run*. Competition or a lack of demand may force situations on small ship captains where they have to reduce prices below costs. Can they keep this up forever over the long run? No. But they may be able to endure it for a time (put off that annual maintenance or try to do it on the cheap with aftermarket parts from a boneyard... don't pay the crew fully or on time... dig into the contingency funds hoping for better situation at the next port... etc). So your economic model shouldn't assume that fluctuations below sustainable rates are not possible. They happen quite a lot in competitive environments. And of course, this explains why some companies go belly up - they gamble and they don't get the long run upturn they need to make ends meet. In some cases, I think they hit one of these downturns and they have no idea how to get an upturn, but just keep going hoping a miracle will fall from the sky - this seems to have been the pattern in a few companies that went guts up in the last 10 years that I know of. So I can conceive of it in a TU easily enough. This sort of consideration should be included in an overall model of pricing of services.

=======

Ultimately, I want my PCs to not have to conduct adventures in accounting. I also want to keep their net cashflow enough to let them buy some good gear, sometimes to spend some doing fun stuff, and sometimes having to deal with unexpected expenses. Enough so they can't just retire ridiculously rich (then why would they be out on the fringes?) and enough so that they can afford whatever supports the story - be it being bankrupt and needing to take a dodgy op to pay for a new jump field regulator or be it having enough money to buy some combat gear for a merc operation. I don't think, unless you are really gaming the economic system, not the general RPG flavour of Traveller, the system's detailed economics can dictate player's actual economics.

I agree with your premise that the game world economics should work (because then cargo and ticket prices make sense). It's nice when they do and when some sensible people have put some good thought into things (yours in this thread, Chris Thrash in GT:FT). Ultimately, RPG story reality dictates more about ship expenses and income than anything.

YMMV, thanks for your good ideas.
__________________
"Tell them, that from this place we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness. And we will hold that line, .. no matter the cost." -- Cpt. Sheridan "The Long, Twilight Struggle"

Last edited by kaladorn; April 25th, 2008 at 02:18 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old April 25th, 2008, 02:06 PM
tbeard1999's Avatar
tbeard1999 tbeard1999 is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Tyler
Posts: 2,705
Gallery : 0
tbeard1999 Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaladorn View Post
Two points, one dealing with this post, and one dealing with another where you assert that ships should last a very long time because of existing maintenance costs (paraphrase).
It's been awhile, but I think that my assertion was based on the fact that banks finance starships for very long periods of time (implying that they retain value for a long time) and for very low interest rates (implying that they are virtually risk-free [no way] or that they tend to be far more valuable than the loan balance at any given point [most likely, seems to me].

Quote:
So not every SLEP is a money losing proposition. Sometimes, it actually *makes* you money to upfit a subsystem - due to reduced maintenance costs.
Well, in theory, all SLEPs should provide a net benefit; otherwise why bother? My point (IIRC) was that MGT SLEPs would be cost-prohibitive because (if rationally priced) they would add far too much cost to the ship compared to any reasonable benefit. This is due to the fact that the system for generating revenue is defect IMHO.

Quote:
Second point: They're phasing out the F-117 after 20 years in 2008. Why? One of the major reasons is it was manufactured using standard parts for F16, F18, F14 and F15 (landing gear, control runs, etc). Since these aren't in production, their parts cost is going up and up. Newer technologies have actually made replacing it *more economically viable*. So a scenario like this could come up with ship classes in the Imperium - new TL makes old TL stuff not worth maintaining. Or maybe changes in large scale purchasing for ship type A mean that ship type B looks more attractive and A gets phased out long before you'd think it should. In this case, it is also that parts got very expensive.
I'm sorry...can you remind me what you're replying to? I can't seem to locate my original post.

Quote:
So what I'm getting at is that, although I like your model, one can well imagine several fairly different views of longevity and maintenance expenses. I think one tabular view ends up being only one of the possible routes/cost regimes.
Well, anything is possible. I don't think that I ever maintained that my way was the only way. It's probably just the most reasonable extrapolation I could come up with, looking at the underlying economics (maintenance costs, loan rates, etc.).

Quote:
One other point about the J-4 vs. J-2 comparison: The game doesn't model the cost premium for cargo or passengers for one jump J-4 vs. 2 J-2s.
Agreed. This is a fundamental absurdity in Traveller. Unfortunately, most of the fixes just break the system in the opposite direction.

Quote:
Someone suggested just rolling % of standard rates. From an RP perspective in a high trade environment, that might make sense. Apply mods based on competition or current campaign events and you'd have quite a workable system that even makes some sense.
Personally, I think the best approach is to make a monthly "net profit/loss" roll. Something like 2d6, with a 7 being break-even (i.e., all costs covered, no extra profit). +/-Cr2,000 (or whatever; it could even be a percentage of ship value) for each point more or less than 7. Then roleplay special cargoes.

Quote:
You did suggest that cargo wouldn't be carried below cost. I don't necessarily agree.
I wouldn't have made that statement knowingly. Cargo can't be carried below cost over the long run, of course. But a ship might well take a last minute shipment at less than cost, if that would be more profitable than shipping empty space. Since Traveller imposes no variable costs for shipping cargo, it would always be better to ship at any price rather than shipping empty space. This is not true of passengers, since they do have extra costs.

Quote:
Ultimately, I want my PCs to not have to conduct adventures in accounting. I also want to keep their net cashflow enough to let them buy some good gear, sometimes to spend some doing fun stuff, and sometimes having to deal with unexpected expenses. Enough so they can't just retire ridiculously rich (then why would they be out on the fringes?) and enough so that they can afford whatever supports the story - be it being bankrupt and needing to take a dodgy op to pay for a new jump field regulator or be it having enough money to buy some combat gear for a merc operation. I don't think, unless you are really gaming the economic system, not the general RPG flavour of Traveller, the system's detailed economics can dictate player's actual economics.
Well, the problem is that the current systems make it very possible for PCs to obtain huge amounts of wealth with relatively little effort. And I resent having to come up with ever more creative (and usually obvious) ways to take it away from them. Far better to use a system that works in the first place.

Quote:
I agree with your premise that the game world economics should work (because then cargo and ticket prices make sense). It's nice when they do and when some sensible people have put some good thought into things (yours in this thread, Chris Thrash in GT:FT). Ultimately, RPG story reality dictates more about ship expenses and income than anything.

YMMV, thanks for your good ideas.
And you.

Understand that I am not an economic gear head. I have smart players who know how to operate spreadsheets and who will do cost-benefit analyses. It's hard enough designing challenging adventures for such people; I don't like having to fight the economic rules. And as I noted, I cut Marc Miller a lot of slack because of his accomplishments (and the fact that spreadsheet software didn't exist in 1977). I am less charitable to modern game designers...
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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starship Economics, Book 2 Random Goblin The Fleet 72 June 18th, 2006 05:35 PM
Starship Economics in T20 BetterThanLife The Lone Star 35 October 29th, 2003 07:21 AM
Starship Economics Bob Weaver The Fleet 10 May 6th, 2003 09:57 AM

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 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.