The value of "big things" in EP: from M-Type asteroid and cluster habitat to warship.

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chasseurnoir chasseurnoir's picture
The value of "big things" in EP: from M-Type asteroid and cluster habitat to warship.

Hi everyone,

Firstly, sorry for my bad english (French from france ), but your ideas are the best on the internet about EP.

I finished a campaign of Rogue trader with my group, and one of the topics my GM has put forward is the resources management (ships, planets, raw materials...).
EP haven't include this kind of aspect in the game because it is based on the Firewall gameplay. And, in fact, Prices and Rep values are based on small scale objects or favors. The biggest cost is Expensive (20 000 creds) or Expensive + and so on...
I 'm GM of a non-firewall campaign and most of my players are Extropians. They are going to gain a lots of creds and favors, and obviously, they will reinvest it. For example, they cleaned up a M-type Asteroid from pirates who inhabited it and they asked a scum swarm to mine it. The swarm will take 30%-40% of the asteroid resources (one of the PCs was an asteroid miner).
So I ask your opinion about the value of "big things" in tens, hundreds or thousands of thousands creds. Which "big things"?
I permit to stun you with a little list:

-a M,C,S-type asteroid (poor/average/rich in material)
-a mined asteroid for making a beehive hab
-a ship (from antimatter courrier and "shipyard"-vessel to destroyer and factory ship, scum barge and mining ship.
-a hab of 1 000 inhabitants (beehive, cluster, torus, O'neill and hamilton cylinder and so on)
-a hab of 10 000 or 100 000 inhabitants
-a bigger hab ...

Thank you in advance.

Let's make a contract

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Premier, quoi type du

Premier, quoi type du campaign a tu? Les considerations economiques pouvez assister ton histoire. Par example, si j'ai voudrais une histoire tres mobile, je ne permettre pas les sentinels a accumuler beaucoup d'argent. Mais si je voudrais une histoire mercantile, il est different.

First off, what kind of campaign do you have? Economic considerations can drive your story. For example, is I want to tell a very mobile story, I'm not going to let the sentinels accumulate a lot of capital. But if I'm okay with a mercantile story, it's different.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

chasseurnoir chasseurnoir's picture
Don't worry about the

Don't worry about the translation (which is awful, thanks to google translate), I understand very well english :)

jackgraham wrote:
First off, what kind of campaign do you have? Economic considerations can drive your story. For example, is I want to tell a very mobile story, I'm not going to let the sentinels accumulate a lot of capital. But if I'm okay with a mercantile story, it's different.

About my campaign, this is a non-Firewall campaign. The PCs are lead by a Seed AI (Amon-Rah) who wants the characters to help him to understand the Fall by collecting data all around the Rimward. They have to deal with a Ozma project-like group, the Transverse project. The Transverse project use experimental titantech and all that kinky stuffs.

Anyway, PCs can do whatever they want, They use their network and work with people they know. I make scenarios and missions in fonction of it, and I insert some scenario about the investigation on Transverse project. Pcs have to gain money for their individual or collective projects and their antimatter courrier ship (enhance it, enlarge it, pay antimatter). The campaign is based on physical move, not egocasting (egocasting is for their inter-scenaric individual missions or others) because the seedAI have his core conscious in the computronium contained in the vessel. PCs could chose to Sell the antimatter drive and make more money.

The settings could seems badass but Amon-Rah is a good mecen, and I think that the PCs will have to deal with the Exsurgence. So, Amon-Rah use PCs as gloves.

I want to show you that I have a very particular way of playing by letting the Pcs whatever they want. The SeedAI is just a GM voice ingame.

Let's make a contract

NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
If a 2 tonne car costs 10,000

If a 2 tonne car costs 10,000 credits, a 10,000 tonne ship is going to cost way more than 50 million credits.

If iron from an M-type asteroid can be sold at 50 credits per tonne and the mine operator can operate at a 20% cut, then 100 million tonnes of iron is going to net about a billion credits.

A hab with 100,000 people whose share of all "stuff" on the hab averages 100,000 credits, it's worth about 10 billion "book value" (but keep in mind a large portion of that is privately owned).

Looks like you're going to be dealing with wealth in the high hundreds of millions to billions.

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
NewtonPulsifier probably has

NewtonPulsifier probably has it about right. We don't even include prices on them in Core, because they're assumed to beyond the usual economic reach of PCs. We don't say what antimatter fuel and general upkeep cost, either, but they should be high. Antimatter is the type of thing that in the basic game, governments set up secret factories to produce. So you may have to tweak the economics of the setting a bit just to enable them to regularly gas up.

Two suggestions:

1. If the PCs own the ship, they're almost certainly bound into some type of financing agreement. Either a bank actually owns it, or they owe a massive debt of rep favors to some anarchist faction. Hunting secrets for an AGI usually isn't very profitable, so maybe they should have trade/merchantile missions as cover, e.g., they're really on Mars to dig up secrets, but they've got some Earth artifacts, rare coffee, and a pure platinum ingot the size of your torso to deliver. The cargo both provides a cover story and pays the operating costs of the ship. And if they ever lose their cargo, it could be quite a complication. If you have access to the old Traveller manuals, they contained a good discussion of the economics of running a starship, which, with a little thought, could be adapted to EP.

2. If the AGI owns the ship, you don't have to explain how they're making mortgage payments on the ship, but you still have to explain how they're getting antimatter at each stop. Does the AGI have a network of catspaws who routinely show up with a crate full of antimatter, or is the arrangement more circuitous? Even to a powerful AGI, an antimatter courier is an extremely valuable asset. What precautions will it demand that the PCs take to safeguard its property, and how pissed will it be if they lose it?

Sounds fun!

BTW, my awful French is mostly my own. I know it's awful. No need to blame Google. :)

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

chasseurnoir chasseurnoir's picture
First of all, Thank you,

First of all, Thank you, JackGraham et NewtonPulsifier for your advices,

I did my calculations about all of that and here is my results :

-for a WARship of 3005 tons for 767m long (this one http://eclipsephase.com/warship ). It will cost 50 millions credits without the fuel (antimatter)

-for a cargo ship of 10 000 tons (empty), 300 meter long, 70 meter large and 80 meter tall ( 1,680,000 cube meter of internal capacity) with a standard propulsion, which can accommodate 20 000 persons as a scum barge (if we considere, according to the core book, that the poorest people have 100 cube meter of personal space and the scum barge are usually overcrowded), it will cost 5 millions credits, without all the shared equipments encountered in the scum barges.

-for the ship of my PCs, completly empty of fuel, it will cost 1 million credit because the ship is for the transportation of 4 people (the PCs)

-I'm ok with the "50 credits for one ton of metal (copper, iron, nickel, and so on)

-I'm ok too with the habitat wich cost 10 billions of credits. But I thought much more about a cluster habitat. For the core of a cluster habitat, the first module, which will host the plasma reactor, life support, hydroponic culture, resleeving facility, one habitat module for 50 persons, and neutrino transmitter. it will cost 100 millions credits.

jackgraham wrote:
NewtonPulsifier probably has it about right. We don't even include prices on them in Core, because they're assumed to beyond the usual economic reach of PCs. We don't say what antimatter fuel and general upkeep cost, either, but they should be high. Antimatter is the type of thing that in the basic game, governments set up secret factories to produce. So you may have to tweak the economics of the setting a bit just to enable them to regularly gas up.

I totally agree with you ! I'll make sure they sold the antimatter vessel and will slow down the campaign. Or... one of my PCs have a special ability to interact with TITANs artifacts. Maybe I will put a TITAN artifact which is an Alcubierre Drive to speed up the travel if necessary. Just my opinion, but I like to put TITANs artifacts in PCs' hands.

Let's make a contract

Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
There's also the question of

There's also the question of what constitutes a "ship." I am currently in a salvage-oriented game where the players' ship is basically a spine with a few fusion rockets and whatever other modules they decide to strap to it; a highly minimalistic "orbital tug."

Such a craft would be significantly less expensive than a vehicle built from the ground up with passenger transport in mind.

boomzilla boomzilla's picture
jackgraham wrote:If you have

jackgraham wrote:
If you have access to the old Traveller manuals, they contained a good discussion of the economics of running a starship, which, with a little thought, could be adapted to EP.

Yes. I highly agree with this. As he mentioned, Traveller is good, and there are also several excellent GURPS sourcebooks on spacecraft construction/operations. GURPS Transhuman Space, for instance, has some very detailed rules for building and running "hard sci-fi" spacecraft. Also, the Atomic Rockets website has some excellent advice for realistic spacecraft building.


athanasius athanasius's picture
i suggest to introduce also

i suggest to introduce also political concearns: owning an amat ship means have an huge weapon of mass destruction, 2 tons of antimatter is a very big boom! i think amat ships are very well regulated, noone sell amat to foreign ships, it's a military resource that only BIG powers have (Saturn, Jupiter and Consortium), for refuel you must have agreement with one.

The money are less a concearn having a seed AI, it can design nano for upgrade the ship and cannibalize scraps for evry purpose, it's the magic of new economy, for very huge objects the problem is more simple:
- owning habitats and life support is the power of consortium, they don't sell
- ships are built for money or favor, bilions of that for new ones (if not why scum don't upgrade all the old systems of theirs?)
- asteroids are linked to mining rights but as seem on martian belt if you can strip one it's ok if you are the first to land on it (automated mining from consortium, i'v read about it)
- exstropians sell and buy evrything at their home but their rules can be make void by others powers or by force (you must pay for have police on extropia) if you are too far away

You can adapt evrithing to let's your game run but i suggest to bend the rules only as little as needed: is more simple to sell uprated life support to scum than strip asteroids for metal if you have cheap ships for make money or capitalize frozen couscences for workforce in your new habitat for create a new power player....