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Old 01-04-2020, 06:57 PM   #11
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

It depends on the rule set you're working with, so you should specify the spaceship construction ruleset. That said, let's look at the important routes.

I'm going to start by looking at J6 because, well, you can get an awful lot of J6 couriers for the price of a single battleship, and information matters a lot.

I started by putting a station at every subsector capital. This isn't necessarily ideal for long distance routing, but its probably preferable for local routing and there are political factors. This gives us stations at:
Code:
		1105 Jewell	1910 Regina 	3110 Aramis
		1116 Frenzie	1719 Lanth	2716 Rhylanor
				2124 Lunion	3124 Mora
0732 Iderati	1537 Mertactor	2036 Glisten	3235 Trin
We have direct links between Frenzie and Lanth, and between Glisten and Mertactor.
There are only two of those worlds that are within J6 of each other (Frenzie and Lanth) so we'll put a direct link there and then start trying to build more links.

Add a link at 1705 Efate to link Jewell, Regina.
Add a link at 2512 Kinorb to link Regina, Rhylanor, and Aramis.
Add a link at 1413 Denotam to link Regina and Frenzie
Add a link at 1815 Ghandi to link Regina, Lanth. Ivendo
Add a link at 2319 Ivendo to link Lanth, Lunion, Rhylanor, Fosey. Ghandi
Add a link at 2621 Fosey to link Lunion, Ivendo, Rhylanor, Mora, Tivid
Add a link at 2627 Tivid to link Lunion, Mora, Fosey, Edenelt
Add a link at 2228 Persephone to link Lunion, Ffudn
Add a link at 2733 Edenelt to link Tivid, Trin, Ffudn
Add a link at 2334 Ffudn to link Glisten, Edenelt, Persephone.

This gives us a total of 11 capitals, 10 waypoints, 28 routes.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:29 PM   #12
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

Since this is a GURPS board, let's specify GURPS TRAVELLER for the rule set for building ships. Later on, it would be a simple matter to use say, CT (and since many of the other rules sets have conversions for CT to their rules, I think that would make for a good start. Right now, I'm digging through my own computer to determine how much of my PDF's are using of the Hard drive space, how much videos are using, and see what that might imply for "digital information traffic".

I would imagine that if things cost by the Megabyte or Gigabyte, that the consumers would use the least expensive possible and still get the information out. I can't imagine using a 4K video standard if 1K is sufficient, etc.

That might help determine just how much revenue the data cores can generate.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:58 PM   #13
J Crocker
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

In-game, the xboat network was introduced as a communication system in response to the Civil Wars period - yes, it costs a lot to run, but it's still cheaper than having yet another frontier admiral march on Capital and take the throne, or try to splinter off part of the Imperium. As a way to defray operating costs, it accepts messages from citizens and corporations. How much the xboats rely on that income or the amount of the subsidy in your Traveller universe is left to the reader as an exercise.

One of the 'secrets of the Imperium' is a spoiler if you haven't read it - there is really a secret network of jump-6 couriers using downscale merchant companies as a front, and it's used by the nobility to keep the Imperium running as smoothly as possible. So the xboats aren't about to get jump-6 ships any time soon, that would cut into the advantage of the secret courier network.

Not to metagame it, but it sounds a lot like the old US Pony Express system. That was never a money-maker, but it was deemed a link necessary enough that it was worth the cost. Plus I think the 'rule of cool' was exercised when they wrote this - it sounds like it would work, looked useful as an adventure hook, and it added a little depth to the Imperium.

Any routes that actually turned a profit, I would expect the scouts to jump for joy over. A lot of the routes, I wouldn't think the scouts would ever hope for such a thing. But those are the routes where the communication aspect would be even more important.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:28 AM   #14
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

Ok - I was able to find what I was looking for. While the information has me scratching my head a little, it does appear that there is an error for the TL 12 Xboat with Jump 4, 100 dTons hull.

The data I was looking for was under the "Communications" module, where each module grants 50 Terabytes of information storage. With 3 modules, the total becomes 150 Terabytes of information. Oddly enough, the "Errata" needs to take into account the fact that the storage space is 50 at TL's 8-10, but goes up by x10 per TL thereafter. Consequently, the storage space is actually (per the rules) 1500 Terabytes.

So, what would be a good price per unit of memory per parsec of journey?

For reference? A copy of the book "GURPS TRAVELLER" is about 30 Megabytes in size. I largely suspect that data courier work is going to be a self-sustaining business.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:31 AM   #15
hal
 
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Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Crocker View Post
In-game, the xboat network was introduced as a communication system in response to the Civil Wars period - yes, it costs a lot to run, but it's still cheaper than having yet another frontier admiral march on Capital and take the throne, or try to splinter off part of the Imperium. As a way to defray operating costs, it accepts messages from citizens and corporations. How much the xboats rely on that income or the amount of the subsidy in your Traveller universe is left to the reader as an exercise.

One of the 'secrets of the Imperium' is a spoiler if you haven't read it - there is really a secret network of jump-6 couriers using downscale merchant companies as a front, and it's used by the nobility to keep the Imperium running as smoothly as possible. So the xboats aren't about to get jump-6 ships any time soon, that would cut into the advantage of the secret courier network.

Not to metagame it, but it sounds a lot like the old US Pony Express system. That was never a money-maker, but it was deemed a link necessary enough that it was worth the cost. Plus I think the 'rule of cool' was exercised when they wrote this - it sounds like it would work, looked useful as an adventure hook, and it added a little depth to the Imperium.

Any routes that actually turned a profit, I would expect the scouts to jump for joy over. A lot of the routes, I wouldn't think the scouts would ever hope for such a thing. But those are the routes where the communication aspect would be even more important.
For what it is worth, I've read Agent of Imperium and my takeaway of it is that it is NOTHING like the Third Imperium from Traveller. If you want, we can always discuss THAT topic in a new thread. ;)

None the less - Jump-6 ships aren't all that secretive in the original Traveller Universe - as a Jump-6 model ship was disguised to look like an ordinary ship as early as the Classic Traveller game universe.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:32 PM   #16
Mike Wightman
 
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Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Except the actual rules for mapping them don't make any sense, and trade routes aren't jump 4.
And neither are the xboat routes.

Canon is pretty specific about this.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:33 PM   #17
Mike Wightman
 
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Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
I'm assuming you get this from GURPS TRAVELLER FIRST IN. By chance, have you come across any other information from prior publications? Otherwise, I'm going to start looking for stuff in my PDF's I've purchased from FAR FUTURES in the way of CT, MT, T4, and possibly T5. TNE is largely about the Traveller universe after the Civil war, so I tend to avoid looking there for anything of substance.

It just seems an oddity that X-Boat services are part of the Scout Services branch.
Nope, I get it from classic Traveller canon which is what the GURPS Traveller ATU was meant to conform to.

If you want to know how the Third Imperium setting works go back to the original source material.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:43 PM   #18
hal
 
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Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

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Originally Posted by Mike Wightman View Post
Nope, I get it from classic Traveller canon which is what the GURPS Traveller ATU was meant to conform to.

If you want to know how the Third Imperium setting works go back to the original source material.
Good advice and one that I've been engaging in as of recent. ;)
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:49 AM   #19
malloyd
 
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Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Good advice and one that I've been engaging in as of recent. ;)
FWIW the X-Boat net as a part of the IISS goes back at least to Book 6 Scouts page 6.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:23 AM   #20
hal
 
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Default Re: What is the Business Model for the X-Boat Routes?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
FWIW the X-Boat net as a part of the IISS goes back at least to Book 6 Scouts page 6.
Thanks. I'm also looking to find any other articles on the X-Boat, and will start to pull those up when I get the chance.
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