Thursday, February 18, 2021

Forget Adventuring, Become a Broker!

 In the article High Finance by Terry McInnes from JTAS #13 

"After a character has reached his late 50's or early 60s - an age when rough and tumble adventuring loses its appeal, he may wish to . . . settle into the brokerage business. Cargo brokers help ship captains get increased prices for their goods and charge a percentage of the final price for their services. Brokers also arrange the sale of goods by planetside farmers and manufacturers to ship captains who invest in these cargoes for resale to another world."

Cargo Brokering. Wow. You can make an absurd amount of money with this little technique, all without the wear and tear of adventuring. I ran the numbers, keep reading and you'll see.

So you're sure this cargo isn't illegal on this world, right? Ohhh-kay.
The general process is this: the Referee determines the number of captains per week who may want to contract with the broker. This is presented in the article as always being a non-zero number. Perhaps this should be modified by the starport rating of the world the PC works from.

Friday, February 12, 2021

More on Skills - Steward Skill

Ah, the Steward. The Dump Stat of Traveller skills. Even less popular than Jack of All Trades. Why is this skill here? Here's the skill description from TTB:

The individual is experienced and capable in the care and feeding of passengers: the duties of the ship's steward.

The responsibility for the welfare of passengers aboard a starship falls on the ship's steward. Although anyone can be hired as a ships' steward, this skill represents training in the various duties necessary, and serves as an advantage when attempting to get such a job.

Referee: Steward skill represents a general awareness of cooking, personal care and attention, and other areas of experience which will make passengers and crew happy and content with their conditions of passage.


As given, this does not tell the player much about what the Steward lets you do, or how it can lead to adventures. But it can, and like every other skill, it should.

What does the Steward skill do? The Steward skill turns NPCs into revenue, or into adventures.  


Friday, January 15, 2021

How much room is there on a planet?

Talavera, the capital of the Empire of my Church and Empire setting, is a large planet with vast oceans. The UPP is A-969835-F, and 947 million people. But how much room do they actually have for a billion people?

Size 9: 9,000 mile diameter

Hydro 9: 90% of the planet is oceans

I had an initial idea of a densely populated island, where the buildings reach high into the sky to make room for nearly a billion people.

Then I did some math. What I found was, to say the least, not that dramatic.

Talavera has 25,446,900 square miles of land area. Spread 947,000,000 people over that and you get a population density of 37.215 ppl/mi^2.

According to this table of population densities of countries, that's less than Norway or Sweden. Neither are the sorts of places you think of when you think of dense populations. China, at 378 ppl/mi^2 is ten times denser. 25 million square miles is several times the size of Russia.

I did up a table to compute the square miles of surface area on planets in Traveller. By taking the Size code and cross-referencing with the Hydrographics code, you can find the land area of any planet of normal parameters. It may be water, it may be ice, it can be some other kind of liquid.

Here is a sample of the table, including a few Earth examples for comparison. The entire table, in MS Excel format, is available here.  The long and short of it is this: any planet is going to have plenty of room for exploration, or to hide something or someone. Even a Size-2 planet with Hydro-5 has space near to the size of Russia to work with.

Of this area, only a scant percentage is going to be inhabited, unless A) the population is in the Billions or above and B) most of the planet is covered by liquid or ice. A planet with only a few million people is going to be 90+% uninhabited.

What might go on in the frontier areas of a lightly populated world? Possibly a lot.  Share your ideas in the comments.
 
Size Code Diameter Radius Total Area Hydrographic-5
0 500.0 250.0 785,398.2 392,699.1
1 1,000.0 500.0 3,141,592.7 1,570,796.4
2 2,000.0 1,000.0 12,566,370.8 6,283,185.4
3 3,000.0 1,500.0 28,274,334.3 14,137,167.2
4 4,000.0 2,000.0 50,265,483.2 25,132,741.6
5 5,000.0 2,500.0 78,539,817.5 39,269,908.8
6 6,000.0 3,000.0 113,097,337.2 56,548,668.6
7 7,000.0 3,500.0 153,938,042.3 76,969,021.2
8 8,000.0 4,000.0 201,061,932.8 100,530,966.4
9 9,000.0 4,500.0 254,469,008.7 127,234,504.4
10 (A) 10,000.0 5,000.0 314,159,270.0 157,079,635.0










Russia

6,601,670
China

3,600,950
Canada

3,511,023
USA

3,531,925
Brazil

3,266,584
Australia

2,947,336





Texas

261,231
California

155,779
New York

47,126



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Putting more High Tech into Traveller

Fantastic Technology for Traveller? Why Not?

It has been observed over the years that the Classic Traveller Technology seems dated. Like stuck in the 1970's dated. We all know about the computers. Someone I know recently compared the CT equipment section to a 1970's hardware store.

Well what should be done about this? Simple: Add More! Add in anything you like. If you see it in another sci-fi property, put it in.

Really? Won't that wreck the game, or make it silly or something? With very few exceptions, no it won't 'ruin' Traveller. I say the opposite – that it will make Traveller even better.