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Old 01-09-2019, 06:42 PM   #22
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe

Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
So the answer is that there is no actual grain for crystals trade between Agraria and Industria? Agraia just has to manage without crystals until someone figures out some triangle or more complicated trade with through Transhippia or Diversieconomia? Possibly involving multiple ships?

Now I am thinking that this is how a lot of planets lose tech or die off in the Long Night or the Rebellion. Not because of being nuked or all the trade starships being destroyed, but just because there just aren't any profitable trades involving their planet any more.
If I were pressed to explain how the Gravity model works...

There is absolutely NOTHING to imply that you can't have a container filled with break bulk goods, with a multitude of different things contained within. Today's tractor trailer trucks can be anywhere between 4 to 8 dTons in size. Think of just how much stuff you could pack into a tractor trailer. Is it always going to be uniform in what it carries? Likely answer is no.

A factory that puts out say, 5,000 units of TV's per month, may ship out those 5,000 units of TV, but it also has to receive all of the packaging, the raw materials for the consoles, the electronics etc - all before it can ship what it makes out.

So clearly - if a world is an assembly point but gains the other stuff through trade, those other things will "balance" the value of what is being manufactured on that world itself. So, I might have to trade my raw materials to Industria and perhaps Agraria. I want foodstuffs from Agraria. Agraria wants some of my stuff, and they in turn mix it with plant byproducts that Industria wants as packaging for their TV's. So - it is in reality, a three way trade cycle, but when all is said and done, trade between NonIndustria and Agraria along with Industria - will have a three way balance.

So - the biggest flaw if you will, is that it may very well be unlikely (unless here is a need to equip a new battalion) to ship out a LOT of M1 Rifles, but if there is - chances are good as well, that due to the unrest, goods at Agraria may rise in value.

The entire "Beast" that is the economy is rather complex. Years from now, some bright person is going to talk about the disruption of the late 20th Century that continued right on into the 21st. Why?

Corporations live and die by the bottom line. If the profits do not suit the stock holders enough, it can happen that the stock value drops. Another competitor can then offer to buy the stock of the now wavering corporation, and if the stock holders agree to the price - totally dismantle the otherwise healthy corporation.

Problem is - the more you trim your bottom line and remove people from the payroll, the more you impact on someone else's business. When they have to chop people off their payroll, those who lost their jobs can't participate in the economy as they once did. It becomes what is known as a negative feedback cycle until one of two things happen (actually three):

1) it stabilizes and further losses are stemmed.
2) it destructively destabilizes and destroys the system
3) it recovers from where it was heading, and returns to a healthier state

So, your scenario for the dark night or rebellion - would seem to be based off option 2 above. However, GURPS TRAVELLER and other incarnations that end up simplifying the "game mechanics" are going to have some flaws somewhere due to over-generalization.

This is why on one hand, I LIKE the idea from MERCHANT PRINCE, and I largely suspect this is why Marc Miller retained that game mechanic for his T5 system. It has to be specified up front however, that much of the earlier days of CT's trade system of monolithic goods per dton is probably unrealistic.

Note that in FAR TRADER, the value of goods per dton is variable and it isn't detailed SPECIFICALLY as to what the good are per se. 600 rifles is SPECIFIC. 600 Rifles at retail, is valued at near half a MCr in value. Now, a shipment with 50 rifles, 40 stereos, 20 mopeds, 500,000 rounds of ammunition, and a bunch of crates filled with clothing will have a much lower overall value per dTon than 600 rifles.

Does that help?
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