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Well of course you can always get yourself a credit from a bank and buy one, but both the interest and the payment of said credit being due every month make this a pretty big gamble.

Since finding all too many guides on specifically this didn't prove that easy, I figured I post this question here. What ways do you guys prefer or use, and how exactly do you go about them in each one? How do you lead a group of new characters to getting themselves one of these highly expensive pieces of aircraft?

The ones I can think of off the top of my head would be these:

A: Have them find and maybe restore an abandoned ship.

B: Give them an illegal job that involves stealing or hijacking one and for all the employer cares, keep it.

C: Confront them with some very weak opponent who has one, easily enough for them to take it off his hands.

D: Give them the opportunity to work several times for one particularly generous employer who adds a few ship parts (%-offs, don't know the English term) to every reward.

E: Do nothing and hope they steal one and somehow manage to get away with it.

And these five were even just basic ideas, with no specifics on how to go about it exactly. If you tried out some of those, I hope you respond with the troubles you encountered doing so and if you have some more ideas to add, all the better.

Mainly though, I'd like to know which way you think is best and why. How does that one specific way make it easier on the GM?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Wibbs, SnakeDr68, BESW, SevenSidedDie, Sardathrion Mar 21 '14 at 7:40

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It's worth noting that the mortgage repayments are designed to serve a specific purpose in Traveller: By keeping the player characters barely above bankruptcy, they're given a strong motivation to take any unusual and risky job that pays well - which is to say, a mortgage gives you a ready-made all-purpose hook for drawing them into interesting and risky adventures despite their misgivings. It's fine to want to avoid that, but be aware what you're giving up. – GMJoe Mar 20 '14 at 1:23
up vote 5 down vote accepted

For legal ship acquisition that doesn't involve dropping MCr on a down payment and taking on a loan, you could have a Patron hire the party and provide them with a suitable ship. The arrangement would be similar to a scout getting a detached duty Scout/Courier, but you should use the setup to provide missions to your players. Due to the slow travel times of communications, the party should have plenty of down time between requests to pursue their own goals.

And of course, their patron will be irate if they wreck his ship. Clever crews might even save up money and do repairs "off the books" to make it look like they're not taking the ship into more danger than they're cleared for. :)

Salvaging old ships, buying barely working wrecks or winning them in card games are all possibilities too. Characters discovering that they've inherited a 40 year old free trader from a deceased relative will have some adventures trying to recover the ship and refit it to spaceworthiness, not to mention the troubles they'll encounter when they discover their new ship is on several watch lists for smuggling....

Piracy is tricky unless you can jump to a well-equipped low Law Level world (preferably beyond the Imperial border) to get your ship's transponder replaced. But then you might run into problems with having a non-Imperial registration. These are all problems that can make for good Role Playing possibilities though, so they're only problems for the players, not the GM. :)

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I think you've got some great ideas there, and should use them all in different situations. They're all believable, depending on your campaign. "Easier on the GM" is a relative term, but you probably don't want to use the same method twice.

The most interesting question we can ask here is not "How do the characters get the ship", but rather "What sort of drama will follow, due to the way in which they obtained the ship?" Drama is always good for the GM and the game (even if it doesn't feel that way to the characters!)

If they decide to steal a ship, for instance, the most likely outcomes are that they will pick up a new enemy, or they will have to become fugitives. Both of those are great sources of content for continuing campaigns; they bring their own NPC enemies with them (for instance, an angry mob boss, or the long arm of the law, or having to hide out in a remote and dangerous sector), so the pursuant storylines pretty much write themselves.

My advice is to occasionally present one of these opportunities without specifically laying out all the steps for them, and let the players decide on a plan themselves. When they do, ask yourself what sort of complications will arise from that. These complications give you fodder for future adventures and conflict, which will add to the excitement and realism of your game.

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Get a credit, use the interest and the payment of said credit to keep them working real hard :-)

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Here's a few other options

  1. Have the PC's Patron own an old ship and have him transporting the PC's (or hitching a ride with them to relive his "glory" days) in his ship for the first few missions. Once the PC's get a handle on your game (or come to love him), have him killed by a NPC who wants the ship (or something on the ship) for some unknown reason. The PC's inherit the ship and also have an adversary who are now after them.

  2. One of the PC's won the lottery/game show/etc. and won A BRAND NEW SPACESHIP. Of course, there's a little matter of taxes/fees/etc. that now need to be paid....

  3. During a mission, the PC's are trapped. Out of the blue, a spaceship comes to the PC's rescue. When they arrive on the ship, they find it mysterious empty, with all systems on automatic. Why were the PC's rescued? Is the ship sentient? Who is their mysterious benefactor.

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