Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More thoughts on bigger-scale trade

So, about trade: found this nugget from MWM on CotI:


"Marc (if I may), was the CT LBB2 trade system with it's per jump rates and the rest supposed to apply for any and all trade in the game, or was it really meant to be just for player characters operating a jump-1 Free Trader?"
- far-trader

Although I want the systems to define how the whole world works, I also understand that they can’t. The trade system was intended to define what a typical Free Trader could expect to make, and skewed slightly hard, to encourage supplemental activity to make up for the losses that Trade seemed to generate.


Which is pretty much how I work it - this is the trade available to a Free Trader, using the term to refer to the class of independent merchant as opposed to the ship type. It means that a different kind of trade is needed in order to support bigger ships, or rather, that bigger ships aren't needed or appropriate for this class of trade. Build yourself a thousand ton freighter, and try to run it like a free trader... you'll have empty holds an awful lot.

Subsidies provide for the next rung up, mainly by allowing a ship to get by on empty holds, providing service on otherwise unprofitable routes.

It seems that there ought to be competition for service on the really profitable routes, no? I don't know quite how I want to organize that. It may be that your Free Trader types are tolerable competition - unless they set up a regular route, in which case they might run up against the big shots.

Perhaps a shipping line receives a privilege, or a license to serve a given route - and absent that, cargo and passengers won't be assigned? 

Or rather, a privilege to serve a given port?

The usual interpretation of starports as being Imperial territory would tend to argue against this, though: so, any ship has access to a port (unless there's a restriction); there's an implication that cargo and passengers will come and go as freely. But the big fish - with access to planetside manufactures, for instance - will have other deals arranged. 

For example, factories:

If a merchant or cartel intends to keep a factory onworld, it needs to have the permission of the local government, OR needs to be sufficiently powerful that the government can't.remove the factory. If there's no government, then the factory needs to be sufficiently powerful to provide its own protection.

NOTES from wiki:
Factors in Europe: " the Factor(s) and his officers rented the housing and warehouses, arbitrated trade and even managed insurance funds, working both as an association and an embassy, even administering justice within the merchant community"


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