Josh Peters
▶ Stars Without Number
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

Well, it's that time for me to consult the hive mind.

How much would a newly discovered course rudder sell for on the open market?

500K per hex? A million? Would the government or a major corporation simply snap them up the way large tech companies buy out smaller innovators?

Wesley Marshall
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

I don't know if one could come up with a hard rule for something like this. You'd have to take into account the wealth and nature of the system that would buy the rudder, and take into account the nature of the system the rudder would connect to. A wealthy, non-xenophobic system should probably be able to pay a lot for a rudder that allows them to expand their trade possibilities. A poor, relatively isolated system might be even more desperate for such a rudder, but might only be able to pay in terms of produce and indentured servants (ugh). (My 2ยข, and it might not be worth that.)

Martin Bentley
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

What does it get people? A rutter that allows for a short cut to a hostile system is valuable for defence. One that leads to an undeveloped system rich in resources will be of interest to people who care about those. A rutter to a hellworld, well, who cares, unless you can use it as a staging system.

Josh Peters
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

Ok, let me rephrase: how much have new course rudders sold for in your games?

Martin Bentley
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

Not really come up. My players are more likely to try and steal them. :P

Josh Peters
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

+Martin Bentley One group just captured three secret course rudders from a slaver captain they captured (the ship was destroyed). The commercial value of the rudders is relatively low, though their value to naval intelligence is quite high.

Martin Bentley
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

Well, if the PCs know that, the obvious next step is to make contact with naval intelligence, and make a deal. There is no way that that can go wrong, after all....

The PCs need to consider if making a quick buck selling them to the Bureau of Naval Intelligence or using the knowledge themselves serves them better. The BNI will need to decide what they can do with the new rutters, and make an offer based on that. Does it allow them to wipe out a nest of dangerous pirates? Do the systems give them the chance to outflank an enemy? What they are willing to pay will be commensurate with their advantage. And they might decide that it is better to just tie up any loose ends and get them for free as well....

Calum M
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

I would say that if the new course was to a new and commercially exploitable system then exclusive ownership could be worth many millions if not billions.

If it was a new course to a previously discovered system perhaps not so much, but if it offered significant advantage then a significant ammount.

I think the thing to keep in mind is that drilling/plotting a new course poses a significant risk to ship and crew, therefore anyone wanting to plot new courses must weigh reward verses the cost of a ship... so the reward would need to be in terms of fractions of ship-value for a going concern to take on the risk

Timothy Whitworth
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

My players have bought routes before. A Rudder to somewhere already known retails for 5,000-20,000, somewhere uncontacted for 50,000, and my players bought a route to an uncolonised earth type planet for 500,000

Josh Peters
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

+Timothy Whitworth amazing. Is your setting a busy, and roughly TL4 sector? I'm considering higher prices, since my sector is less developed in terms of interstellar travel. So about 50,000 for a known route, or a shortcut, 200,000 or more for an uncontacted planet route, and over a million for an Earth-like world for colonization.

Timothy Whitworth
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

I think my sector is quite quiet, a planet's space navy is rarely more than a half a dozen ships, there are three cruiser class ships in existence (two bulk freighters and a troop ship with a few fighter bays). But with quiet comes undeveloped - only seven tech 4 or above planets.

Timothy Whitworth
2018-09-02T23:23:34.674Z

I will say one more thing - I've set these courses prices up for my players to expand, and I want them to see more of the sector I've designed. If I was setting it up for them to sell, I might have priced it differently.