Sunday, May 17, 2020

Taxes and Margins - Ways the GM can simplify his Job

I realize that not everyone enjoys the Books keeping, but the problem with not doing the books is CONSISTENCY that bites us in the ass. Novels and Stories are more demanding about Risks or "If a gun is placed on the mantle in the first act, it must be fired in the third."- (see Chekov's Gun). There is this storytelling problem where the Players note a detail, and if there is no way it fits the world it breaks immersion. 
  1. KEEP it very simple - and push the detail work to the Players. If the players want details they dress the scene - they describe the approach. Make the players do the work of the details.
    1. ask what are the risk? its always what the Players think + what the GM doesn't tell them.
    2. what are the trade-offs? its always what the Players think + what the GM doesn't tell them. 
    3. Reward Immersive and helpful Detail using  -Reward the Pessimistic Analysis. Particularly one that explains why OTHER people don't normally get these deals. 
      1. Example. I typically do Cost-Benefit Analysis and know my walk-away price. Every problem is usually 20% beyond my Walk Away price (after 1d6 man-days of due diligence). I am always faced with the REWORK and Technical Debt dilemma or Taking on something greater than my Walk away price. 
  2. Everything is plus 50-200% of the Book's Price without DUE DILIGENCE. If due diligence was easy then everyone would do it. Make Due diligence not easy - make it 1d6 days or weeks.  
  3. NPC Ship Owner or Patron or Representative. Everything is Behind a Veil. Players only need to their Roles and their Budget.  
    1. Use this to develop models of the Game World. Allows the GM and Players to just jump in. 
  4. If there is Financing the Purchase Price is through the Financing institution. Their margin is built into the price the Players see. 
    1. Players can go directly to the Seller and the GM bases everything from the selling Price. If the Players want to skirt legalities - the GM just notes the RISKS or Technical Debt the players take. 
    2. Make this MORE trouble than its worth AKA Make this itself an ADVENTURE if that's what the players want. 
  5. All the Prices have Tax and Duties built-in. This means players can SKIM if they want, making it Extra Effort if the Players want to Skim off the top -if that's how they want to play the game.  
  6. Build in the Fees. Berthing, Material Handling, and Administration is % of the Passenger Fee and Free Fee already. The cost has been PASSED into the Passenger and the Client of Freight. 
    1. Reduce the Passenger Fares or Freight Costs by 2d6-2 % 
  7. Obligations instead of Costs. The GM can run a game where the PCs are part of something like a Greek Democracy. Administrative Fees and Margin is Waived, they get only the cost of what they consume IF the players can be suborned for defense or Civic Building operations. (been listening to The New Achillies ). Of course, consumables are still under the PCs. 

Take Away. 

I want to run a game, but I don't want TOO much prep because its distracting in this day and age. I need to prevent it from having SCOPE CREEP. I prefer Gdocs where comments can be their own THREAD. Key topics and decisions are not cluttered with discussion in a chat/messenger/channel. I SEE what we are talking about and can Peel back the comments. 

All the Above, pales in to comparison to HOW we organize our game discussions and notes. If the GM and players can schedule like 30mins to 1 hour in the WEEK (or budget it, promise that it will be only X hours) to get their game-related decisions and actions done then EVERYONE in the game will be better off. 

Lesson Learned was 
  1. Statement Sized Gdoc for Players or GM who access with just their Phone. 
  2. Using Commenting system
  3. Hyperlink Ranges and Tables if we can't fit them in the Statement sized doc.
  4. Backup Often. Then back up and hyperlink the back up when it exceeds 20 pages (what would be a 3GB ram phone or device's capability). 

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