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Old 07-06-2017, 11:46 AM   #11
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
And... working out the trade details on my current game... it looks like there is no way (without fudging the numbers) for my group to make a profit. I'm still trying to figure out how to best tweak things to keep the feeling of a run-down old ship, barely making ends meet... but still not going bankrupt in a single month.
From what I recall, the numbers were set up so that an efficiently designed freighter will be marginally profitable running as a liner. This means that ships with PC-like features (such as weapons) or schedules are generally unprofitable in routine trade.

The solution is non-routine trade: you can assume that jobs that actually require a PC-like ship will have commensurate pay.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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I haven't done the analysis, but it's entirely possible that SS2's basic balance isn't set so that you can keep flying on the proceeds of typical legitimate trade while paying for a ship loan. Thus impelling the PCs into hopefully-higher-paying adventure or at least adventurous corner-cutting.

(It's also worth asking if you've over-designed the players' ship and they could make ends meet in something with a higher payload ratio or cheaper components.)
So, I'm basically running Traveller Jump drives, so each jump is a week of travel time. And given the time needed to search for new cargo, a typical month might be 2 jumps and 2 weeks on the planet. This only gives a chance to make money on 2 cargo trips.

They have about 400t cargo. At $10 per ton, per parsec, per day (so x7), they are making 56k per jump-2 trip. Two trips per month gives them 112k, not even half of the 250k upkeep cost.

They might be able to get a job for a shipment 6 parsecs away (three weeks travel) which would net 168k, but we are still below the point of making money.

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If you don't want to change the overall numbers, you can fudge the running costs pretty well just by shrinking the debt on the ship. Say that they got a great (and probably skeevy) deal or had some way of making a bigger down payment. If (as is typical) the ship procurement is in the backstory this is particularly easy to slip by.
But even w/o the loan payments (I AM using T:IW idea of backers that take a % of profits based on downpayment instead of loan payments), they can't cover the basic maintenance cost.

I guess I could just let them miss a few "tune-ups" and lower the ships HT each month. I'm not sure how the rules for the routine maintenance that the crew does interacts with the required paid maintenance for cheap ships. Can the crew put in extra shifts to repair the lost HT?
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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So, I'm basically running Traveller Jump drives, so each jump is a week of travel time. And given the time needed to search for new cargo, a typical month might be 2 jumps and 2 weeks on the planet. This only gives a chance to make money on 2 cargo trips.

They have about 400t cargo. At $10 per ton, per parsec, per day (so x7), they are making 56k per jump-2 trip. Two trips per month gives them 112k, not even half of the 250k upkeep cost.
Note p27: "Many operating expenses only accumulate when the ship is actually being used." A ship in liner operations would be jumping every 8 days (so 3.8 times per month on average), and freight rates would also be based on 8 days per jump (so 64k x 3.8 = 243k); as that's still unprofitable, either your ship is poorly optimized or freight rates need to be adjusted for the setting.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Why would maintenance be based on how much your loan is? This should be based on the base price of the ship giving the cheap ship 500k and very cheap 1 million. Add in the loan payments and you end up with 900k and 1.16M monthly cost for these.
It's not. It's based on the base cost of the ship. The 1% per month for the *LOAN* is based on how much you financed. The problem is that when I wrote this out quickly I applied the multiplier to the wrong column in the spreadsheet I used and didn't catch the mistake. I also just realized that the monthly maintenance for a Very Cheap is 4%, not 5%. Let me fix that.

Of course, the maintenance costs go down when you're spending time in port. It looks like the desire is for a Traveller style campaign where ships spend about a week in port for every week of travel, meaning that maintenance costs will be about 1/2 what I calculated because stuff doesn't really break down when it's not in use (I mean, to an extent; mothball something for 10 years and it'll have breakdown issues but that's different than leaving it for a week).
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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But even w/o the loan payments (I AM using T:IW idea of backers that take a % of profits based on downpayment instead of loan payments), they can't cover the basic maintenance cost.
Then you need to adjust shipping rates or spaceship charter rates to compensate. The best way to do so is to have "adventuring" style shipments or chartered routes offer more money. That way the PCs aren't trying to compete against "Bulk Shipping LLC," but rather they are using some shipment of goods or people to supplement the income they are making for their adventuring missions. I mean, if an important NPC wants to charter the ship to go to Dagobah they either may not be filling all the cargo hold or all the guest cabins, meaning that a PC may be able to pick up some goods or passengers to head in that direction to make a little extra money along the way.

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I guess I could just let them miss a few "tune-ups" and lower the ships HT each month. I'm not sure how the rules for the routine maintenance that the crew does interacts with the required paid maintenance for cheap ships. Can the crew put in extra shifts to repair the lost HT?
I'm not sure what the rules do with it, but for me I'd have the maintenance costs accumulate until they are either paid or a maintenance or repair roll is failed, at which point there is a breakdown and the cost to fix it is going to be much bigger than if the monthly maintenance costs had been paid.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Then you need to adjust shipping rates or spaceship charter rates to compensate. The best way to do so is to have "adventuring" style shipments or chartered routes offer more money. That way the PCs aren't trying to compete against "Bulk Shipping LLC," but rather they are using some shipment of goods or people to supplement the income they are making for their adventuring missions.
Also salvage opportunities, side jobs, stringer work and so on. The appeal of this kind of thing is doing whatever it takes to keep flying, right? Usually that probably means trying to get paid more than once for same run. You might have a no-questions-asked passenger, so you can pick up some speculative cargo to sell when you deliver Mr. Nobody, you also have a standing contract with UCLA to collect soil specimens from planets you visit, you happen to "find" some salvage that doesn't have a thing to do with a trail of destruction that was definitely not left in the wake of a passenger you certainly did not transport, and finally you can sell an article about your adventure to JTAS.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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So, I'm basically running Traveller Jump drives, so each jump is a week of travel time. And given the time needed to search for new cargo, a typical month might be 2 jumps and 2 weeks on the planet. This only gives a chance to make money on 2 cargo trips.

They have about 400t cargo. At $10 per ton, per parsec, per day (so x7), they are making 56k per jump-2 trip. Two trips per month gives them 112k, not even half of the 250k upkeep cost.

They might be able to get a job for a shipment 6 parsecs away (three weeks travel) which would net 168k, but we are still below the point of making money.
As noted by ericbsmith, you shouldn't be paying maintenance for time your ship is sitting in dock waiting for a job. (Though you would be paying berthing fees.) That puts you on the brink of break-even, which means some bonuses could push you over, not too broken. Except you're only looking at upkeep, not other fees, so probably still pretty broken.

You haven't, that I can see, published what your ship design is. So I can't really do anything to look at why you've got 50M worth of ship with 400t of cargo capacity. You might want to compare that to the Anthem-class light freighter in the book, which boasts almost 25% more cargo at just over half the price. That might be your problem, there... This suggests that either your ship is way overdesigned for a tramp freighter, or your setting has considerably more costly space travel than the SS2 baseline, and thus you should increase the rates accordingly.
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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
I guess I could just let them miss a few "tune-ups" and lower the ships HT each month. I'm not sure how the rules for the routine maintenance that the crew does interacts with the required paid maintenance for cheap ships. Can the crew put in extra shifts to repair the lost HT?
Probably not without replacement parts. It's extra cost, not yard maintenance time, isn't it?
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:00 PM   #18
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Can the crew put in extra shifts to repair the lost HT?
Generally no, though if you've got a qualified mechanic you can pay that person to do labor instead of hiring someone at a yard (assuming your crew is being paid appropriately for their skills, this is unlikely to save you money, as it means either additional crew or overtime, either of which is likely to cost you as much money as you save on yard costs, but fiction is full of implausibly skilled mechanics working at low wages).
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

Actually, the ship cost 44M (22M cheap), but I've been using 50M as an example to pad out additional costs (crew wadges, berthing fees, etc.).

Here is the ships (a version of this was previously posted in the Traveller forum):

Code:
TL:10; SM: 8; Shape: streamlined

Front						
[1]	$2M	Armor, Adv. Metallic Laminate (dDR 10)
[2]	$1M	Habitat (4 cabins, 4 lowbirth, 1 sickbay)
[3-6]	-	Cargo (200t)
[core]	$2M	Control Room (C-8; S-7; 4 Stations)

Central						
[1]	$2M	Armor, Adv. Metallic Laminate (dDR 10)
[2]	$1M	Habitat (4 Cabins, 1 lux. cabin)
[3-6]	-	Cargo (200t)					
						
Rear						
[1]	$2M	Armor, Adv. Metallic Laminate (dDR 10)
[2-3]	$0.6M	Fuel Tanks
[4]	$0.3M	Engine Room (1 workstation)
[5!]	$20M	Jump-2 Drive
[6!]	$1M	Reactionless Engines, Standard (1G)
[core]	$10M	Fusion Reactor (2 power)
						
Features:						
Artificial gravity	$1M
Fuel Processor		$0.3M
Gravitic Compensators	$1M
						
dST/HP: 70
Hnd/SR: -1/5
HT: 13
Move: 1G / c
LWt: 1000
Load: 395t
SM: 8
Occ: 26
dDR: 10
Range: 2x
Cost: $44.2
And yeah, this is based on the "Hero-class" ship from T:IW
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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overtime.
Only if you pay them hourly instead of shares or salary (or if they are robots or slaves).
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