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[40k] Trading game

Mortisnotrem

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In the grim darkness of the far future there is only...... trade :D

I want to design a game with Sandbox feel and trading focused. I will probably use the Rogue Trader system. Give my players a Letter of Marque or make them Chartist Captains. In both cases recently... So basically they will make contracts, trade routes and soon they will start to climb the ladders of Sector Merchant League. This idea came to me with the EVE Online actually. Have some questions for you to understand how trading works within Imperium. ( checked out the books and internet )

1) How to make a market with the real feeling. Want my players to check current prices and make them think. Creating a living economy is a very hard it seems because it involves the creating the supply-demand balance, and presence of trading routes, how often they are used etc. to create a realistic feeling.

2) How can one make contracts with Forge Worlds. Mechanicus is most likely rich. But i assume their wealth comes from their offering of high quality products to Chartist Captains. Am i wrong:

3) How do you think the market works? From space ports which are trading centers? Is Auction House present ?

4) How to reduce my work of multiple currency issues? Within Imperium almost every world has its own money system sometimes single world has multiple... Administratum officers ( often corrupt ) have money exchange bureaus etc. ( where did i read it, i dont remember :/ )

My questions may seem a bit stupid. But these questions are not answered by "fluff" so in this case, i have to interpret these problems to make them work. So basically i need your opinions :) Please share them if i am not bothering and boring you too much :D Thank you in any case for looking at my post :D Cheers!
 

Xenon

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forge worlds are run by the adeptus mechanus, if one of the players is of their order it will make it easier for them. the forgeworlds are primarily home to the industrial tools to make things, and those production lines are made from lost technology.

the real advantage, is that starships are rare, and letters to allow trade are more rare. so there are limited numbers of ships hauling goods, and the time between port is long so every ship matters. but risk is also high- the warp is dangerous, and the xenos are often hostile. plus the other traders have more ships and may have gotten there first.

the first trick of the rogue trader system, is that you have a very abstract trade system, and your ship gives bonuses to the results of missions. figure what the mission will reward, then add the ship bonus- a well-built ship can get large bonuses indeed, moreso if it focuses in one type. then you have the trade rolls, which are opposed % rolls, comparing margin of success. in the end, this improves your money attribute, which improves the type and quantity of goods you can deal in.

how the market works will depend greatly on the type of world. a hive world is very different from some distant colony, after all. and that also impacts the goods needed- you could have a good profit just selling food to a hive world, and exporting conscripts or colonists or whatever people can leave.
 

Ka_ge2020

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In the grim darkness of the far future there is only...... trade :D
Well, if you can suspend disbelief about interstellar trade in general. :D

Give my players a Letter of Marque or make them Chartist Captains.
Check out your favourite 40k wiki on "Merchant Charters." AFAIK there's a little bit more information in them on the different types of Charter than you're going to find in FFG's Rogue Trader, or at least AFAIK.

Quite how you see this working is another matter. For example, I'm a big fan of the idea that the Merchant Fleet is primarily responsible for tithe redistribution around the Imperium. Much of the "free trade" takes place with the Civil Fleet. Of course, you're going to find many disbelieving that because of the idea that civil ships are rare, which is tied up in the whole ridiculously-sized "bigger than Star Wars" ship thing that 40k has going on.

Regardless, 90% of the shipping in the Imperium can be chalked up to the Merchant Fleet. That leaves 10% to be split between the other two Fleets (Civil, Military). Quite how many civil ships there are out there is going to depend on how you distribute that remaining 10%, but it can vary from anywhere in the realm of 30-3,000 civil ships.

(Personally I prefer a lot of civil ships--just much smaller than the ones that you typically see, but no smaller than a couple of hundred metres in length. The Imperium does things big, but that doesn't mean that everyone does it that way. ;))

1) How to make a market with the real feeling. Want my players to check current prices and make them think. Creating a living economy is a very hard it seems because it involves the creating the supply-demand balance, and presence of trading routes, how often they are used etc. to create a realistic feeling.
Check out GURPS Traveller Far Trader, IIRC. It's section on trade might interest you, though it doesn't quite fit the... scale of the 40k universe. I would use it as starting point anyway. Just regard the volumes of goods available as the fraction of the "Gross World Product" that is available for off-world sales and which isn't comprised of the tithe redistribution.

Next get the worlds of your sector and join them with trade routes (like the used to do with Battlefleet Gothic sector maps). Set up major, minor, and feeder routes. Have some established Charters--you know, the standard stuff. Machines to agriworlds, food to hive worlds--all the ridiculousness that you come to expect with the 40k universe. Apply Far Trader rules and, well, that's mostly it.

2) How can one make contracts with Forge Worlds. Mechanicus is most likely rich. But i assume their wealth comes from their offering of high quality products to Chartist Captains. Am i wrong:
Personally I would make Forge Worlds a little bit rarer then they seem to be in the background materials (i.e., 10%) and instead differentiate between them and "industrial worlds." The latter would be more inclined towards trade.

As to Forge Worlds themselves? I would imagine that any such Charters would be incredibly competitive to get a hold of, and most likely are hereditary charters. I would want it to be a small campaign itself figuring out how to get such a Charter.

Another possibility is the idea of a "temporary charter," or the idea that the Adeptus Terra gives out this short-term charter to the highest bidder. Perhaps the Adeptus Mechanicus uses something similar. (Of course, this is just made up and there is nothing of the sort in the 'fluff.')

3) How do you think the market works? From space ports which are trading centers? Is Auction House present ?
This is one of the few instances where I would recommend getting medieval on its ass. And Traveller. Star ports either in orbit or on the surface as conclaves. No real corporations, but definitely corpus--partnerships etc.

As above, I like the idea of "auction houses" where they bid for contracts and cargo, but really it's whatever answer you want to pull out of your derriere when it comes to the 40k universe.

4) How to reduce my work of multiple currency issues? Within Imperium almost every world has its own money system sometimes single world has multiple... Administratum officers ( often corrupt ) have money exchange bureaus etc. ( where did i read it, i dont remember :/ )
Simple. Have an Imperium-wide "credit" that doesn't actually have to be a cash economy but based upon the Adeptus Administratum evaluation of a world's worth. Of course, people don't actually like to work in this currency, but there is an exchange rate to local currencies.

* * *

More details can be had, but as you identify you're in the realm of speculation and trying to get the Imperium to work. At that point all the black humour or whatever that is normally identified with the setting isn't going to do you too much good. :D ;)
 

Asklepios

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If its going to be 40k, I'd be inclined to make it as 40k as possible, and showcase the weirdness of the setting.

Multiple currencies should be a fun thing to be explored, rather than a gaming inconvenience. I can certainly see Administratum enforcing an Imperial "Throne Gelt" across a Sector, but then the competing Bureaurcracy of the next Sector along insisting that isn't legal tender, and a Merchant House that has made money buying and selling currency entering the picture.

Re: the madness of 40k, it'd be fun to have different sorts of worlds operate vastly different economies. Examples:

- A Shrine World might believe itself to be above "filthy commerce" but be pragmatic enough to realise that the food and basic resources that the Ecclesiarchy sends to them don't allow any sort of level of luxury. They won't trade, as that's beneath them, but there's an understanding that if you tithe certain goods to this Cardinal, then in an entirely unrelated occasion the Church will give its "blessings and devotions" to your righteous cause in the form of "Crusade coffers" placed at your discretion.

- A Feral World might have considerable resources, but the Governor needs more than just cash to get at them: he needs guns. You fix him with guns, and he'll fix you with Promethium. Or you could cut out the middle man, approach the tribal leaders and prove to them that you are "Of the Gods" in a trial of fire and combat, and recieve their offerings.

- A Forge World might have to dedicate its entire output to the Munitorum, but manufacturing has a certain amount of wastage, and they need someone to take on the waste disposal contract. They have no budget, but you can pay them to take their waste away. And they can arrange that the waste contains a lot of tech-salvage...

A fun way to run this campaign might be to have it on the relatively lawless Eastern Fringes, with a Trader ship that doesn't hold any charter at all, but is running illegal jobs while dodging the Imperium's gaze. A sort of Firefly 40k...
 

Pyromancer

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In my WH40K universe, interstellar trade on a rogue trader level mostly relies on barter. This also makes it more tangible for the players. A good deal doesn't simply add a few zeros behind the number beneath the "wealth" entry on the character sheet, a good deal means you get precious (and sometimes even useful) things.
 

Mortisnotrem

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Well, if you can suspend disbelief about interstellar trade in general. :D


Quite how you see this working is another matter. For example, I'm a big fan of the idea that the Merchant Fleet is primarily responsible for tithe redistribution around the Imperium. Much of the "free trade" takes place with the Civil Fleet. Of course, you're going to find many disbelieving that because of the idea that civil ships are rare, which is tied up in the whole ridiculously-sized "bigger than Star Wars" ship thing that 40k has going on.
I, on the other hand envision the "merchant fleet" as, well merchant fleet :D about the tithe distribution always interpret them as having an obligation to carry the tithe to where they must be sent when the tithe collection time comes. Administratum will direct the most possible ship to the planet which must pay the tithe to collect the tithe.

On the other hand i like the idea of corporations :D I like to mix some sci - fi specific thing ( like corporation example ) to the 40k medieval darkness :D

About the 40k weirdness and madness, i think this will work good with the tabletop aspects but on a RPG, where you want to feel the setting it works as a handicap. It does not help to answer the question of how the Imperium of Men actually works so i tone down this kind of werid nonsense to horrific true darkness aspect. Ofc YMMV as always :D
 
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