i forgot to add a zero in my calculations...
I did the cost of operations of all the merchant ships in ISW and the Gupr Traveller Book that has been converted to Fourth Edition. I wanted to know if the ships made sense with the prices given. They did... not exactly.
The expenses I considered are the following:
- The ship.
- The equipment for the ship: Robots, Small craft and vehicles.
- The supplies equal to the life support x 365days.
- The equipment for each personnnel which is a smart skin suit and 200lbs of electronics and tools.
- The Total Cost of Ownership for Manpower.
- The financing to pay for operating for one year.
- The linear depreciation of the ship: 100 years replacement rate
- The linear depreciation of all equipment: 3 years replacement rate
- Annual Maintenance Cost.
Below is how much the margins are IF we use HT8 ships. Prices are in ISW179 under freight. This assumes the merchants fill 100% of Hold and 100% of revenue comes from Cargo. I think you just have to charge what your willing to make not the freight prices. This is probably a more real cost per dton of operation. Given the risks it would be normal that ships charge +80% margin over every dton. $15,000 per dton of freight... almost 9x what is supposed to be charged in the books.
Space ships are expensive and so is the service they provide.
Space ships are expensive and so is the service they provide.
|100Dton J-2 Courier||Branch||$2,900||-81%||$14,500|
|200Dton J-1 Merchant (Beowulf)||Branch||$1,900||-138%||$9,500|
|200Dton J-2 Merchant (Marava)||Branch||$3,100||-94%||$15,500|
|200Dton J-2 Merchant (Hero)||Branch||$3,100||-94%||$15,500|
|400Dton J-2 Merchant (Akkigish)||Branch||$2,000||-25%||$10,000|
|400Dton J-2 Merchant (Lightning)||Branch||$4,100||-156%||$20,500|
|1000Dton J-2 Freighter (Karl Marx)||Branch||1500||6%||$7,500|
|2000Dton J-2 Liner (Sharushid)||Line||$2,150||-34%||$10,750|
|2000Dton J-2 Freighter (Sharushid)||Branch||$1,100||31%||$5,500|
|10,000Dton J-2 Freighter (Sharushid)||Main||$942||33%||$4,710|
Problem with Passenger Costs
in ISW179 the passenger costs are listed, but if you check the table and costs passengers are very expensive. Its is much cheaper to haul passengers as Cargo through Low Berths.
The Importance of Space Ports.
Infrastructure in star systems allow visiting ships like Freighters and Liners to easily dock when they jump into system. This cuts their travel time to a day as the Port is anchored near the outermost gravity well. If 1G accel ships all had to travel in system, they would take about 9 days to do so every jump. Note that this allows freighters to jump more which allows them to move freight and passengers faster. You will notice it in the jumps per year's effect on the cost per jump.
A Character must make a Merchant or Profession (Mariner) roll to get financing for a ship, this action takes 3 months; failure means the character can try again in the next fiscal year. The character can make a loan upt 100x their starting assets (note that assets are 80% the character's starting wealth), which is taken as collateral. Characters with no assets cannot be given loans.
Relative to the Characters collaterial, if the loan is less starting assets, there is a corresponding bonus to the roll. x70 Starting Assets is equal to +1, x50 is a +2, x30 a +3, x20, +4, and x10 is a +5. the margin of success greater than 5 brings down payment rate by 1, a critical success by 2.
The default rate is 12.5% payment plan; the Character pays 12.5% of the amount loaned every year. A Character who has Financing skill can roll to bring down the payment plan by 1 on a success, 2 on a margin of success better than 5, or 3 on a Critical Success. Complimentary skills like Market Analysis, and other indirect methods the players can think up can be used to iimprove the odds of the financing roll. Reputation also helps get better financing rates.
The smaller the payment plan, the longer the character will be paying. Note that the only advantage is that the character has a better cashflow in the year with a small payment plan. So ideally the character still would pay his Financers as soon as he can so that he can own the ship.
The Character keeps the payment plan till he pays up the total cost of the Original Amount Loaned/Principal.
Conclusions and Realizations.
- Get rid of ISW200 Starship Operating Conditions Costs. A blanket 1/5 cost to all ships and those made using the ship creation system. All Ships Default at HT11.
- Passengers Costs are now more expensive, will follow the rates I figured. Maybe x2-x5 for extra margins. Migration in Vilani Space is expensive, unless your in a Box.
- Make it clear all Prices are really Suggested Prices, players are free to haggle and research the real cost of a good. But they should be aware of all the Barriers of Trade so that they don't get so heavily influenced by the Anchor Effect once they figure out how much things are worth. I have not computed Corruption as a Cost to Doing business in my calculations.
- Speculative Trade is now a Side-Business, if you look at HT10 ships they are the primary business. That is more math by the way and the cost of each action is 5days and many difficult rolls.
- No ship ever gets Full, these are rare exceptions, and that's where margins come in, to compensate for that reality.
- the cheapest way to travel is to be part of a Ships Crew.
- More Jumps more business, the idea is to keep moving along. The buffers are the 10 days travel rate and 7 days jump (ISW179). That is 21 jumps a year. The business does better if one meets all requirements far earlier. if the ship can jump even 1 more in a year the profits are up at least 5%, plus all the opportunities that opens up when the PCs arrive. Ideally when the ship jumps in, they use the Microboats (JTAS 40 foot cargo containers) and their 6Gs (the TL9 would be around 4Gs) to get the goods in system with the sealed 40ft cargo containers. the primary role is to get the advance party on planet (about in 2 days vs the 1G ship which will take 9 days), and the pilot keep going back and forth as the ship nears the planet. As soon as the ship is near the frontier world, they can start quickly loading in the next shipments of goods and jump out in a few hours.
- Owners make 12% more now that they don't have to pay financiers, OR they can use the ship as collateral to trade up. A merchant can look forward to getting something like the Lightning class or a Karl Marx.
Tech Level: 10
Hull: 100-dton Streamlined Cylinder hull, dDR 10 armor.
Systems: 3 Maneuver Drive, 3 Jump Drive, 20 Fuel Tanks, 0.5 Fuel Purifiers (3.2 dtons per hour; 13 hours to full), Small Bridge (upgraded computer systems), Model-0 Sensors (Scan 14), 3 Hardpoints, Vehicle Bay (One 6-dton capacity; for Micro-boat), 4 Fusion Power, 4 Staterooms, 1 Workshop, 1 Sickbay, 2 Common Area, 40 Cargo.
Statistics: Emass 134 tons, Lmass 384 tons, Cost M$7.6 (HT 8; $38M), SM +8, Asig +8, Hull dHP 25, Life Support 8, sAccel 1.6 G, Jump-2 (2-parsec range), Top Air Speed 740 mph.
Crew: Command Section (3 officers), Engineering-Maintenance-Life Support-Cargo Service Section (1 officer, 1 petty officer). Total 4 officers, 1 petty. Staff occupy double occupancy staterooms, the petty officer in the bunk room.
Passengers: 3 double occupancy.
200Dton Old Trader
Tech Level: 9
Hull: 200-dton Streamlined Cylinder hull, dDR 10 armor.
Systems: 4 Maneuver Drive, 2 Jump Drive, 20 Fuel Tanks, 1 Fuel Purifiers (2.5 dtons per hour; 13 hours to full), Small Bridge (upgraded computer systems), Model-0 Sensors (Scan 14), 3 Hardpoints, Vehicle Bay (One 6-dton capacity; for Micro-boat), 12.5 TL9 Fusion Power, 22 Staterooms, 1 Workshop, 1 Sickbay, 49 Cargo.
Statistics: Emass 134 tons, Lmass 384 tons, Cost M$7.5M (Original $75M), SM +8, Asig +8, Hull dHP 25, Life Support 44, sAccel 1.4 G, Jump-1 (1-parsec range), Top Air Speed 740 mph.
Crew: Command Section (3 officers), Engineering-Maintenance-Life Support-Cargo Service Section (2 officer, 4 petty officer, 14 crew), 2 Medical Section (1 officer, 1 petty), 1 Passenger Service (1 petty officer), 2 Pursers (1 Officer, 1 Petty officer), 5 Security Section (1 officer, 5 crew). Total 4 officers, 1 petty. Staff occupy double occupancy staterooms, the petty officer in the bunk room.
Passengers: 10 double occupancy.
New Ship Enhancements.
Common areas provide about for additional living space. Common eras are furnished with collapsible and modular furniture for recreation. An amount of common areas equal to the total ships occupants divided by 5. Passengers can have a separate Common area for security and comfort reasons.
2 Dton (12sqm or 120sqft of space)
0.5 ston per 1 Dton
$0.01M (not yet modified cost)
Life Support Equivalent as a Bunk Room