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Old 11-10-2023, 02:53 PM   #11
DeadParrot
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Default Re: Why would Scouts not receive retirement pay?

I consider pretty much any of the 5x7 Black Book format publications as part of 'Classic Traveller'. Book 6 Scouts(if I had a physical copy) would fit in the Black Traveller Box next to books 1-5 and a couple of supplements. And it still refers back to the first three books.

Nothing in Book 6 changes my mind that the no retirement/no pensions aspect of Scouts was something to make Scouts different from the other 3 government services. The Merchants are (mostly legal)civilians and Others are Han Solo/Harry Mudd types.

In play, I never found the lack of a Scout pension to be a big deal. If the game turned into Accountants in Space, a pension was normally a rounding error on ship finances. If it became Adventurers in Space, the person/organization hiring your group usually paid well enough that again, the pension was a rounding error, although maybe a couple of digits more significant.
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Old 11-11-2023, 03:23 PM   #12
thrash
 
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Default Re: Why would Scouts not receive retirement pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Depends on exactly how they 'mustered out' :) Might explain the ships, too (You know, when I left the scouts... there was this one ship just sitting there that no-one was using, so I rescued it).
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrash View Post
So, the free fuel and free maintenance are active-duty scouts "paying it forward" off the books towards their own (potential) retirement?
I'm starting to warm to this idea. Some additional points to consider:
  • Scouts have the highest (worst) survival number but the lowest reenlistment number. Essentially, anyone can continue to be a scout for as long as they choose or until it kills them, whichever comes first.
  • Their enlistment roll is moderately high (tied for third with merchants), however, so they do have at least some standards, especially compared to "others."
  • Unlike the other named services but like "others," scouts have no opportunity to learn the Administration skill, which indicates "experience with bureaucratic agencies...."
  • Jack-of-all-Trades, however, is the most commonly received skill (after the required Pilot).
  • Scout bases exist on ~29% of all worlds, which implies a fairly large (or at least widespread) establishment. All scout bases can provide fuel. Those at class B (but interestingly, not A or C) starports can provide free maintenance to surplus scout ships on reserve duty.
The picture that develops is of a decentralized, informal, volunteer organization of adrenaline junkies and polymaths -- more akin to mountain search-and-rescue clubs and ski patrols than Starfleet. The service owns considerable assets in bases, ships (active and reserve), and personnel (ditto), but perhaps the dangerous nature of the work weeds out the bureaucratic empire-builders.
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Old 11-13-2023, 08:49 AM   #13
thrash
 
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Default Re: Why would Scouts not receive retirement pay?

So, the answer to my original question appears to be that the reserve scout ship is the scout service retirement plan. Not everyone leaves the service with it, but enough do that the expected value (no down payment, no mortgage, free fuel and maintenance) is higher than the pensions (+ chance of TAS membership) in the other named services.

The anomaly is the merchant service, which has both a chance of obtaining a ship (down payment + chance of increased equity) and a pension. I'll address this in a separate post.

On a meta-game, out-of-context level, I infer that Mr. Miller et cie. thought that this was "fair." Scouts and merchants both have a chance at a ship, which is a prerequisite for some kinds of campaign.* Free traders come with a lot of restrictions that reserve scouts don't, so the lack of pension for scouts is a bit of balance.


*My experience in the early days of Traveller was that the first priority for any party that didn't start out with a ship was to obtain one by any means, fair or foul. Shipless campaigns were possible but not favored and required a level of self-discipline from the players.
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Old 11-13-2023, 02:51 PM   #14
Celjabba
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Default Re: Why would Scouts not receive retirement pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrash View Post
So, the answer to my original question appears to be that the reserve scout ship is the scout service retirement plan. Not everyone leaves the service with it, but enough do that the expected value (no down payment, no mortgage, free fuel and maintenance) is higher than the pensions (+ chance of TAS membership) in the other named services.

The anomaly is the merchant service, which has both a chance of obtaining a ship (down payment + chance of increased equity) and a pension. I'll address this in a separate post.

On a meta-game, out-of-context level, I infer that Mr. Miller et cie. thought that this was "fair." Scouts and merchants both have a chance at a ship, which is a prerequisite for some kinds of campaign.* Free traders come with a lot of restrictions that reserve scouts don't, so the lack of pension for scouts is a bit of balance.


*My experience in the early days of Traveller was that the first priority for any party that didn't start out with a ship was to obtain one by any means, fair or foul. Shipless campaigns were possible but not favored and required a level of self-discipline from the players.
The adventure 0 (Imperial fringe) even state :
Quote:
If, after all character generation has been performed, no scout has a scout ship, one of them should be arbitrarily given a scout ship in order to further the adventure.
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Old 11-17-2023, 07:30 PM   #15
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: Why would Scouts not receive retirement pay?

And Scouts attracts the type that expect to make the big find that means they get a ship. Since the random roll for gaming purposes is to decide which scouts get ships and in the game world it would be some sort of you are one worth lending one to. So made a big find, was heroic, really good at schmoozing whoever has the authority.
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Old 11-18-2023, 10:56 AM   #16
thrash
 
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Default Re: Why would Scouts not receive retirement pay?

One thing I like about these kinds of questions is that they cause me to go back and actually read the rulebooks, including the fine print.

In this case, I noticed that while Supplement 4 talks about retirement, it doesn't quote or refer to the retirement pay table from Book 1. Instead, the mustering out tables include this note:
Quote:
Individuals with gambling skill or who have retired are allowed a DM of +1 on [the Cash Benefits table] (the DM is not cumulative). [emphasis added]
If I were going to house-rule a solution, I would use this for Scouts and Others, and the full-on retirement pay table for Flyers and Sailors, who should have the same benefits as the Army. (Barbarians would still not be able to retire.)
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