Thursday, April 26, 2012

IMTU Financing

I don't agree with the rules in ISW174 Financing. I know its a fiction and an adventure but its doesn't make sense. I've crunched the numbers and it really doesn't make sense.  My first draft of this post was a lot of criticism and if your reading my posts miraculously and are still reading then I'll save you some time by getting to the point.

I did most of the Heavy Lifting already.

  • I've come out with a Income and expense template, I'm just detailing it right now. The main point is that: don't use the financing system in ISW174, 
  • don't use the Pricing for Ships as is, and 
  • don't use freight and passenger costs. 

I'm a BIG FAN, but really who wants to run another adventure where you lose equiity and your business fails. Its very depressing and impossible.

First - Shipping GOT cheaper. 1MW: $200k ratio is not that great for Sci-Fi improvements in energy production. Make that 1MW for $40k. Basically bring the costs of Hull, M-Drives, Sensors, and Power Plants to 1/5. This is the main source of costs in ship building.

Ships are not designed to last 200 years. thats overbuilding, they stopped doing than ever since they had the tech to model stresses on computers.

Here are some Fast and Loose Rules:

  • Bring down the cost of all ships to 20% (cost/5). The default HT is 10. 
  • Depreciation is to 1/10 of the cost in 30 years. 
  • Applying Rugged (UT15) to ship is increasing the EMass and DR by 50%, and the "quality" of the m-drives and powerplants improve to match this new mass. The ship has +2HT bonus. 
  • Applying Expensive (UT15) to the ship increases the quality of all materials, technology and techniques. The ship's Emass is 1/3 lighter (recalculate Accel), quality of the automation reduces all non-command, non-passenger, and non-medical sections manpower requirement by 1/2.      

Cost of Freight and passengers is according to the costs and limitations of the supply. So it costs around $8,000 to $15,000 for every dton of freight depending on the ability of the merchants to find business.
Freight is not just found in Lots at the Spaceport, there are brokers who do their own speculative trade and will pay for service of moving goods.

Brokers Do the speculative Trade, not the Ships.
Having an Advanced Party doing all the research and expensive, time consuming, and very specialized lead generation is impractical. But there are a lot of specialists who just need your ship for the ride, Let the brokers speculate and you just move the goods. There will be interesting mix arrangements since the Brokers may have their own team, equipment, and "baggage" make THAT a source of interesting adventures.

If the Brokers make so much money why not operate a Ship?
Not enough money to have an expensive credit sucking ship as an unproductive asset. Second, they need to stay on world to conduct their business and they usually stay a year or two; sometimes they stay permanently. I'm using BPOs manner of comparison and they really fit well to the logistical costs of an operation that moves abroad. In this case its an operation that tries to enter into new markets. Billions of people who have the quality of life and income as that of the Imperium.

Assume the Banks/Financiers got the ship at a rate Only a Bank or Financier can... or a Pirate. I know there is a lot of complicated terminology here, my wife is in finance and she laughs my attempts. But she does agree that Payment plan is a simple catch-all term to what the Entrepreneurial Terrans merchants.

The payment plan, discussed in a previous post, has already the magical and mysterious margins the Financiers/Banks know, a secret the players are free to speculate to no end. You don't know how much they backers are getting, you just know its enough that they are willing to let a stranger ride the spaceways with MILLIONS of their money with the promise that he/she will return to make a profit in the next 4-8 years.

4-8 year business with ships that last 200 years: See what's strange with that. Don't get into costs that you don't need to take. Try explaining that to a client: "The great news is that our ship is so well built that it can last 200 years, the bad news is that we have to pass that cost on to you".    

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