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Handling Profit Factor and Ship Purchasing: (Detailed game)

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Hi all,
New user and first time poster, I had a walk in gamer join my game last week who asked me to post these rules somewhere for his group. I figured their was nowhere better than right here: A few things to bear in mind, I run a very detailed game in what is best described as a vicious campaign only environment for very experienced gamers (Multiple mega meta-class?) so I don't imagine these options will be much use to everyone but if anyone has any detailed rules they use please let me know about them that relate to these, it's all about idea bouncing at the end of the day to find the right balance and I am sure there are things I have not thought of or new takes on my own that could do with improvement.

1. Ship Points and Profit Factor: 10% of total Ship Points value is burnt/deducted from Profit Factor.

Ideally I want it so that our players will require a number of ships to be able to even think about starting certain objectives in the campaign but they won't have the resources, (ie. Enough food to last the journey, spare parts to handle repairs in deep space and enough fuel to make the return trip.) this was a rule I introduced after the first session I played when I saw how quickly profit factor could potentially rise.

Ships are rare and in high demand in the expanse, with practically no large ship yards in the expanse and port wonder being the last call for state of the art facilities, the amount of rogue traders and naval forces all vying for this limited supply, means that demand is high. As with all major objectives, players must spend profit factor to make profit factor. I removed the one ship per session from the acquisition section and simply replaced it with the simple system of; if the players want a ship they are going to have to sacrifice for it. With their almost unlimited funds they could afford to make their own shipyard and produce them in time but that is an achievement based route which will pay off in a many years time, whilst well worth the effort, as the rules stood I did not want my party returning to drydock at every opportunity to buy a new ship plus I wanted to keep my players out in the void for long periods of time, making returning to civilisation a special event to be cherished and looked forward too, so if they want a ship now they must pay for it and be prepared to hand over a sizeable chunk of their dynasty in promisary notes, percentage of future profits and using up valuable influence favours to wrestle the ships away from other rogue traders and naval fleet pursers.

Simply deduct 10% of the completed ships SP value from the player's profit factor.
ie. Alexis wishes to buy a new Dauntless class light cruiser, it has been stripped of all of its weapons and only has essential systems, it has a SP value of 55 so if the group wishes to buy this ship they must hand over 6 points of Profit Factor to purchase it. (I always round up the cost.) This will also make commerce skills alot more valuable to the party giving opportunities for a good haggler to drive the price down and get a better deal by reducing the cost of burnt profit points.

2. Components. 1:1 SP value to burnt Profit Factor.

Standard components I run the basic way but archeo and Xeno tech, if I ever make any available will be set at a minimum of a 1:1 ratio of burnt profit factor to ship points value. It says quite clearly that entire dynasties fortunes have been made on the finding of one or two of these and as the demand will be even higher it merely represents their value. If players can gain multiple profit factor for salvaging archeotech they should expect to pay even more for purchasing these super rare and valuable components.

3. Availability.

Components and Munitions can be run a number of ways depending on what is being asked for but ships in the expanse are a different matter, I generated a finite number of ship dealers with which to have my players interact with belonging to the various factions and then a definitive list of what ships they currently have in stock, then make them take the standard influence/acquisition roles to see if the trader is willing to part with them to the party, failure would indicate they are in reserve for more influential rogue traders of members of their affiliation group. ie. (criminal, underworld,navy etc)

The ability to interact with each dealer would be based on the groups current standing with that particular dealers affiliation, ie. A renegade group of pirate players are not going to be able to purchase a ship from a Navy dealer and vice versa, this does allow the players the opportunity to use intermediaries which should be established in a role play environment but I would still make them burn profit establishing this NPC as a front for their operations to make purchases on their behalf. Players with exceptional standing with a dealers affiliation should probably be given a discount for above and beyond reputation which can be taken from the burnt profit points.

What ships are available by dealer type is pretty much upto you but a merchantile dealer won't have combat ships available and a pirate won't have fresh off the line navy ships available, just like a blacklisted rogue trader won't be able to buy goods from port wonders mercenary guild, as stated this is for a detailed game but I like to have my players have a fixed list of what is available and what is not, ie. their is a reserve fleet Grand Cruiser for sale in the Navy Yard on Port Wonder but it is and I quote "in reserve for "special" customers only and not for the likes of you.". If nothing else it just adds another level of things the party must add to it's to do list.

If players want free ships that do not require any burnt profit factor then tell them to capture them in space, making them work for it is always my preferred option forcing them to use well thought out tactics instead of a blow everything up approach.

4. Influence.
The kind of funds available to players certainly opens alot of doors but should never open all of them without more than just a standard dice roll. Role playing should always have the highest effect but as profit factor also represents a groups influence be sure to impress upon them that favours represented in this way are not unlimited, a group can choose to burn profit factor to call in favours to secure a deal when needed, granting a bonus or complete success at your discretion. (ie. Alexis wants to make a trade deal with some ministry officials, she just happens to be owed some favours from a ministry official, She can burn 1 Profit Factor points for a +10% bonus to the role and ask this official to put in a good word and grease the bureaucratic wheels or burn 3 Profit Factor points and have the official take care of everything but the official will say quite clearly that this means the debt is paid in full and not to bother them again.


Hope some of these idea's help some GM's deal with over profitted parties and keep the XP to PF ratio balanced, all input, thoughts and comments are welcome.

Kind Regards,


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