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Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Details of the worlds of the Imperium (and beyond).

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  #1  
Old June 15th, 2006, 09:18 PM
Mickazoid Mickazoid is offline
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Hi folks!

I was wondering if anyone had any insight on the underlying calculations for determining the trade routes of a sector.

I have tried to compile Anthony Jackson's 'nroute' without success, but have also begun reverse-engineering it in hopes of understanding his coding approach (which looks quite solid).

So - anyone else with any rules or references to existing canon for determining a sector's trade routes by analyzing the existing UPP data?

Thanks for your ideas!
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Old June 15th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mickazoid:
So - anyone else with any rules or references to existing canon for determining a sector's trade routes by analyzing the existing UPP data?
Thanks for your ideas!
There's some material on trade routes in GT: Far Trader p.18-19. IIRC some of the material on Anthony Jackson's website is based on the GT: Far Trader book.

Mike
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Old June 16th, 2006, 01:23 AM
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In the original 1977 version of LBB3 there was a table for generating commercial starship jump routes routes between worlds.
</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">World jump distance
pair J1 J2 J3 J4
A-A 1 2 4 5
A-B 1 3 4 5
A-C 1 4 6 -
A-D 1 5 - -
A-E 2 - - -
B-B 1 3 4 6
B-C 2 4 6 -
B-D 3 6 - -
B-E 4 - - -
C-C 3 6 - -
C-D 4 - - -
C-E 4 - - -
D-D 4 - - -
D-E 5 - - -
E-E 6 - - -</pre>[/QUOTE]Compare the starports at neighouring worlds up to the jump distace shown, then roll a die. If the number in the table is equalled or exceeded then a jump route exists.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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Sigg - NICE! I'm gonna have to see if I've still got my 1977 version, but this does wonders in the meantime [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old June 16th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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I don't know why they cut it from later editions.

I've always found it a useful tool for homemade subsectors.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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It could probably do with some DMs based on the relative population of the worlds involved and their trade classifications...

hmm, something to think about over the summer
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Old June 16th, 2006, 10:48 AM
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Folks,

We need to remember a few things about the table Sigg kindly provided.

First; the results from using the table will change every time it is used. Mickazoid could take a map of the Marches, a D6, and roll up trade routes, then I could take a map of the Marches, a D6, and roll up trade routes with the result being that two completely different trade route maps.

So, the table is for your personal TUs only. It will produce results specific to the time and place of it's use, results that cannot be easily shared with others.

Second; the table produces trade routes that do not make any economic sense. Much like the later communications/X-boat link table it inspired, the trade routes table ignores nearly all of the factors produce trade in the first place.

The table only takes in account distance and starport rating. Because CT's sysgen does not couple a starport's code to population, government, or law level and only loosely couples TL to the starport code, the table ignores and mutes those factors that heavily influence trade in the first place.

For example: Tenalphi/Lunion with a population under 100 has 53 chances for a roll to produe a trade route out of a 120 chances while Spirelle/Lunion with a population numbering in the 100s of millions has only 30 chances out of 120.(1) That makes no economic sense whatsoever and it due to the table's reliance on starport code only.

Tenalphi may very well the sole source of some exotic, one-of-a-kind item IYTU but even the Imperium's only source of natural cocktail umbrellas is no going to have more trade routes than a rich, democratic, Terra prime world of 100s of millions like Spirelle.

While 'odd' route results can provide a GM with lots of adventure ideas, having the majority of trade routes described as 'odd' defeats the purpose of having any trade routes at all. When the majority of routes must be handwaved away as 'exceptions', no route can be treated as exceptional. More importantly, with the majority of routes being exceptions, there is no underlying economic 'logic' your players can employ within your campaign sessions.

GT:FT is not for the math-phobic and its assumptions, as Aramis has patiently explained and finally proven to his harshest critics, are somewhat different from the Traveller trade assumptions that proceded it. However, GT:FT does produce trade routes that make economic sense.

It is often overlooked, but Far Trader does have a basic trade system. A single number relating to a world's economic 'power' or 'muscle' can be easily produced. Comparing that number to the numbers of the systems around that world is also easily done. That comparison will then suggest trade routes for YTU, trade routes that will have some underlying logic to them.


Have fun,
Bill

1 - Five starport codes (A, B, C, D, and E) at a range of four parsecs gives us 20 "targets". Rolling a D6 for each target results in 120 possible outcomes. Eah target number then indicates the number of successes; a target of 1 mewans six out of six succeed, 2 means five out of six, 3 means four out of six, etc.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sigg Oddra:
It could probably do with some DMs based on the relative population of the worlds involved and their trade classifications...

hmm, something to think about over the summer
I was thinking the same thing when I saw you post this again [img]smile.gif[/img] I figure the Book 2 Trade DMs might help model it. Why wait for summer

DMs for Destination World of Trade Pairs:

If Population 4- : DM-2
If Population 8+ : DM+1
If Red Zone : No Route
If Amber Zone : DM-3
TL : DM(source TL - destination TL)


Another thing I wondered about was using it as a pair requirement. That is for any pair of worlds you have to establish a link both ways for a route to exist, one way trade doesn't cut it for a route. For example a A-E pair one parsec apart would have to roll 2+ twice to have a trade route, not just once. With appropriate DMs applied.

All that might help make it a little more sensible, and even make it a little more probable that MTU and YTU for the same systems will have the same routes. Not 100% identical but a lot closer.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Looks good to me Dan [img]smile.gif[/img]

How about including the trade classifications somehow? Industrial worlds should have more chance of having trade lanes with other worlds, probably rich and agricultural as well.

Planetoid belt systems would be good sources of raw materials for Ind. worlds etc.

Do this right and we could end up with a much simpler version of Far Trader for CT...
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Old June 16th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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While I agree it would be good, nothing simple and elegant leaps out at me for including trade codes.

It'd be nice but I think for CT it might be more detail than needed. While mickazoid is doing this for an automated application where any level of detail is easy I think it'd be nice to keep it manageable for dice and paper use as well.

The idea of simple CT version of Far Trader sounds very cool, I'll keep thinking [img]smile.gif[/img]
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