Mustered Out on Mertactor


Buying Cargo

It’s another quiet day for much of the party, while Max runs around trying to find a cargo to take on the journey.

“It ain’t going to be so easy,” Max says over breakfast. “Noctocol is another of these shitty exotic atmosphere chemical worlds. So it’s going to be tough to find something that they’ve got here that they’d want there. I’ll give it my best shot though.”

“I also need to make the next instalment on the ship as well as it’s due in four days. We don’t want to fall out with Hortalez already.”

Max is gone all day, as is Arvor who is still looking for mail.

Once again, everyone meets up for a late dinner to discuss how they got on. There are a few long faces among the attendees:

“I struck out,” says Max sadly. “Spent the whole day haggling over some more Ruthenium and some processed oil, but couldn’t get him down below wholesale. I had to pass on it, so we’ll be shipping 20 tons of empty space.”

“I didn’t manage to find a mail contract either,” Arvor adds. “A couple of days isn’t usually long enough to track them down.”

“I’m also missing one low berth passenger as well,” Autumn adds. “No problem with high passengers though – we were really over-subscribed.”

“That ain’t too bad, girl,” Max replies. “High passengers are where the money’s at.”

He turns to the other members of the party.

“At least my not finding a cargo solves any debate on what we’re doing with the party funds,” Max adds. “I’ve paid out for all of the expenses of the ship for the next month and we’re still fine. So everyone can take the rest of their initial investments back and, after the money for the tickets, we still have Cr.395,679 in the kitty, which is not too bad.”

The party members drown their sorrows for the rest of the evening, but have another early night knowing that it is departure day the following day.


So, just to clarify, on top of the 100k and 50k that Will and Arvor received back already (from the payment from Jeri for the other 50% of the first cargo), everyone gets the rest of their donation back to personal accounts, which was:

Taeva 25000
Grim 15000
Arvor 55000
Jie 25000
Max 142500
Will 42500

Please let me know if there is anything that anyone wants to do before departure, otherwise I will move things on tomorrow.


Ok, right this second, we have a chance to start fresh.

Everybody put in 15k to the investment pool (that’s all Grim has until we get another “payout”). This 90k, along with what Max has left, will be added to our profit on Talchek to form our new “pool”. Then we make a deal: nobody can (to use poker terms) “raise” or “call” except Max.

This means nobody cries “babyshoes” (poor) and nobody plays “daddy warbucks” (rich). We’re all in the speculative trade together as equals. Does this sound like a way to head off any impending arguments?

Then, if we need more cash, everyone, after a vote, will put in whatever the poorest can afford? Again, nobody raises the pot, nobody calls the table?

If, on their own personal initiative, someone has extra cash they want to invest, they can buy ship shares from the bank. These shares would not confer any extra voting power, nor ANY CASH BENEFIT ptior to the sale of the “Princess”. Done and Done.

The only favoritism shares confer is that Taeva gets the Captain’s cabin. And a prettier uniform. Deal?

So, everybody starts again as equals, the guys who put in more cash recently get more cash out now, nobody is boss, no one can raise the stakes to bankrupt any one else, and everybody gets an equal payout.

By having Max give us back our current investments and not having him ask for anymore cash, Nick is giving us an opportunity to reset; let’s take it.



Ahhh, Ian’s rant totally trashes Will and Max’s derivative reinsurance scheme that had Max “unable to find cargo” leading to defaulting on payments and allowing us to repo the Princess in Elixabeth and have the lot of you transferred to debtor’s prison. Nick was all set with the Prison Planet adventure. Oh well.



(I was ranting? Way Cool! I’m usually so reserved.)


To modify Grim’s ‘rant’-I thought Max said we didn’t actually need to put anything in at present ie the 15k each would be superfluous.


I would modify it further.

In real terms Max and Taeva are investors-for which there is normally a payout.Both characters were lucky/ unlucky enough to roll benefits which were not usable in terms of any real utility to themselves (unlike high cash rolls, attribute boosts, implants, items, vehicles etc), and what you seem to be saying is that that is still the case.

That is simply not fair-it means there is no payback for those characters, especially where we have taken care to ensure that those who have made a cash injection have actually been paid back thier investment. Whereas Max and Taeva get nothing, in fact. If the ship decides to pay them back their investment (esssentially buying their shares over time) that would work. To say “We’re having your money and that’s it.” is not really acceptable- nor would it be in reality.

So pay a premium on any payouts to initial investors or pay the shares back. Max isn’t a charity either.


The Hard Line would be do it legally. ie there are 13 (or maybe 15 if everyone gets an automatic share), and divide up all profits on ashare basis. With 300k left in kitty, Max and Taeva getting 2/3 of this that would reduce fund to 100k. If people want to cheat Taeva and Max (which is how in reality it would appear), then she is quite happy to insist on this legalistic route.

If on the other hand we all want to be reasonable and agree an operating procedure which compensates her and Max while keeping everyone happy that is fine too. You seem to forget that these Gilts and Bonds provided by Taeva and Max represent a considerable amount of money. While these were not readily cashable into credit notes they are ideal for investment purposes. I have no doubt that if ship buying was not on the agenda Nick would have allowed us to translate them into investment bonds as per the Dilletante rules-a 7 mill fund would give Teava a safe monthly payout of 7.5 K PER MILLION (45k per month for Taeva); even if Nick had downgraded the value a bit this would still translate into a considerable sum of easy money. In cahracter terms these Bonds represent considerable effort (legal and otherwise) by Taeva and Max over the last 12 years. To simply say “Thanks for the loan Taeva and Max” is not adequate.

So in short, while Grim approves Grims operating principles, IN ADDITION they need to provide some return for her and Max. My suggestion is that everyone takes a flat salary per month (Autumn is separate) between 1.5 and 3k per month. It is probably easier from a records point of view to pay this quarterly rather than monthly.

In addition we should specify a shares pot which is of minimum value in year 1 (eg 130,000 with 13 shares). A portion of trade profits should go into this each month and at end of year must make up the difference. At the AGM this is paid out on a share basis. The value of this pot should increase annually (to prevent artificial suppression and Max/ Taeva not getting a reasonable return). Max could probably do some models.

Of course at any time the crew can vote to up the value of the pot. I would say the vote needs to be unanimous to downgrade it however (or give Max and Taeva a veto on downgrading it).


I am not interested in being seen as a cheat.

I am not interested in moving forward as an employee of Taeva.

If that is how she sees the situation, I am out.


And Taeva isn’t interested in giving a permanent gift worth a considerable sum of money with no return.


As I said I’m happy to be reasonable . If Arvor isn’t so be it.


It’s a pickle for sure. Both Ian and Steve make good points. I would suggest that in the real world, Taeva and Max would together hold 99.9999%(or so) of the shares of Pink Princess Enterprises LLC, their investment being in the millions (~5.7M Cr per share) compared to even wealthy Will’s original mustering out benefit of 90k. Such is the luck of character gen.

And Steve of course is correct: without “compensation”, those benefit rolls are “useless” (except in a useless “one day when we all retire and sell the ship” sense). However, if we value their capital investment as in the real world, Dom is right; the rest of us are mere employees. Which might be fine or not, mostly depending I think on the players of the uber-wealthy (Steve in this case as Max of course is an NPC (and so we know HIS player is definitely out to screw us :) )). The sense of an equal band of brothers goes out the window as the rest of us beg Taeva for a Cr or two or ask to borrow some ammo for the privilege of defending her ship :).

Taeva and Max as millionaires (albeit with huge debt) and the rest of us as bitches would certainly be realistic and I would certainly play in that situation because I doubt it would affect the fun in any way with this group of players. But I also sympathize with Dom—the band of brothers approach is perhaps more appalling to all but the most economically fastidious of us.

Keeping with the ITRW armchair economic analysis, it might be argued that T and M need us. While they have millions tied up in those ship shares, those assets are useless without a ship and without the capital to fund trading (ignoring M’s cash). Crew of course they could get anywhere. Our value is therefore in being people they know and maybe even like, as well as being a ready source of cash. What’s that worth? No idea.

So, how to keep everyone happy and feeling like their hard won mustering out benefits are being fairly utilized? Maybe it’s an individual thing. For my part I’ll play as an employee because that’s “realistic”, but I admit I’d rather be a brother.


That should of course be “appealing”, not “appalling”. Stupid spelling correction!

I should also add that it seems to me that, in an economic sense, Steve’s request for some sort of compensation for his benefit roll of ship shares is eminently reasonable and he certainly doesn’t appear to be advocating slavery for the rest of us.

I suppose that one possible approach might be for Taeva to sell her “excess” shares for cash and give her the trust fund instead. Max can be ignored as the issue here (if there is one) is PC equality. And while we’re on the issue of PC equality, Will demands Grim’s stats or the equivalent thereof. It is blatantly unfair that Ian cheated on char gen and got away with it! Clearly Nick is playing favourites!


Seriously though, what if we’re all hand-waviumed to equal shares in the ship but Taeva breaks out her Dilettante trust fund? Who knew she had such a rich uncle?


To be honest Will I think my suggestion of a workaround is totally reasonable. An investment pot hardly screws everyone: it just means Taeva and Max’s annual payouts are bigger.

To clarify on salaries everyone gets the same-1.5k, 3k whatever we decide (except Autumn who is paid as per her contract).

The investment shareout is completely different from the operating procedure (Will is Captain, everyone pretty much votes on most stuff)

As always Dom suggests Taeva want’s to boss everyone around/ is Evil incarnate when she doesn’t/isn’t: she’s an entrepreneur who wants some payout on her investment rather than contributing it as a gift with 1/6 of her savings being given to everyone (including Arvor). This isn’t even consistent with the way we have been operating-where people DO get paid back.

I would say this was normal investment. The ship itself is a Company-with its own operating procedures and Captain. The only power I would suggest is a veto for Taeva/ Max on DOWNGRADING the value of the annual shareout pot-that is a safeguard against characters/ players keeping the payout artifically low to prevent Max/ Taeva getting a reasonable annual payout.


But if someone else want’s to suggest some method of returning the investment over time/ realising a profit on it that’s fine too.


Sorry Steve, I wasn’t suggesting anything unfair or unreasonable about your suggestion. Communicating in writing is always difficult. My bottom line is I’m in under any system. Just want as many of us as possible satisfied and thought the trust fund idea might keep everyone happy. Whatever you guys want is fine with me.


I didn’t think you were Will.

I just think we need to agree something where Taeva/ Max get payback: neither are big charity contributers, and suggesting that they MUST be isn’t reasonable.


@Taeva: "As always Dom suggests Taeva want’s to boss everyone around/ is Evil incarnate when she doesn’t/isn’t: "

I haven’t actually said that anywhere as far as I can tell. I don’t appreciate having words put into my mouth.

What I do believe, since you ask (not), is that you and I are both leader types (as personalities), but you are passive aggresive, whereas as I am more willing to confront directly. These are just personality types, so I am not making a moral judgement here (re: evil, slavery etc).

That said, I make a personal judgement of it not being desirable to me to play as the employee of any particular player character if I feel so inclined. The DM is entitled – that is the social contract of the game. Another player – I feel I have every right to reserve that decision.

@Taeva “she’s an entrepreneur who wants some payout on her investment rather than contributing it as a gift with 1/6 of her savings being given to everyone (including Arvor). This isn’t even consistent with the way we have been operating-where people DO get paid back.”

As far as personal investment – it should be recognized that any “over the top” contribution by any player at any point would (in a detailed financial system) also have been painstakingly calculated such that they earned a full proportional ROI, which would have led to a swift amortization of Will’s money into a far more significant share than he has to date. People merely getting “paid back” is insufficient compensation, and equally unfair to them as overlooking your shareholders’ rights.

What you describe as being a “gift with 1/6 of her savings being given to everyone” is EXACTLY what we have been doing all along. There has been NO payback to anyone for extra contributions – just a return of the loan. The fact is, you have ownership and title, so when the day comes, and the ship is sold, you get back your initial investment like we all did when we loaned the kitty.


Second Jay here. I am good with whatever works for the group. I was not ranting per se, really just bandying about ideas trying to get this settled while we’re at an opportune moment.

As far as PC statuses, in Nick’s lsst game I played both an employee and an owner at different times and had no problem with either.

Whatever we all come to as a decision works for Grim ;-)



The Ship and Our adventuring company are separate concepts.

For Taeva – if you want a share of the profits commensurate with your number of shares in the ship, that is fine by me. However, these are not the profits we (the adventuring band) are accruing overall. These ship profits are accrued from carrying passengers, mail and cargo, and are considered after all operating and salary costs are deducted.

All adventuring profits should continue to be divided amongst all group members equally.

Trade profits should be divided amongst the investors proportionately – with perhaps (as per someone’s suggestion) a level cap on contribution. The contribution of trade goods to the ship is paid as cargo at standard cargo tonnage rates.


BTW – in case people are overlooking this – Steve did frame the debate as one about being cheated. His words, not mine. And that is principally where my objections are coming from.


Holy Crap!! I just found out how to type in colors!! Neat.

Anyway, I for one do not give a flying fart how we split up the imaginary game cash that doesn’t exist. Let me know when it’s over and if there is anything I can do to help.



I’m fine with pretty much anything-as long as there is return of investment. The investment here is for 30 years (ie long after we actually stop playing)), rather than the 1-2 jumps we have experienced so far.

I would like my benefits to be actually that: a benefit. This is not unreasonable. They are not freebies for everyone else (though I don’t object to others benefitting from the cheaper payback loans).

I actually think people should have been payed back an extra %- but as we were all paid profits in addition no-one was too bothered.

Taeva doen’t care a D@<? about being a Leader-she first suggested Will as Captain I believe.

Dom-your comment a couple of posts ago about NOT serving under Taeva triggered this. It somewhat pissed me off (see my response) as I had never even suggested this, nor actually commented in any way at all about ship shares/ payback.You seemed to be being confrontational/ provovative when there was no need, and promoting an argument when there was no need for one by dictating and pointing the finger at Taeva (again).


@Taeva – here is exactly what I posted that you say set you off:

As a question of balance – characters who got more “ship shares” up front, and did not invest as heavily in the kitty to build up our overall finances are now much better off in terms of ship shares.
It does not seem so fair to Max, Will and (least and last) myself who have received no credit for the injections of extra floating cash at crucial times.
Regardless of how this is handled, it won’t make any difference to me right now, but if someone gets heavy handed about their ownership rights, I could see myself getting pissed off. Just saying.

Please note that I did not say I was. I said “IF…”, and spelled out the condition. If you are saying that is what got your back up, then I don’t know what to say.


As long as revenues from general adventuring, and profits from trade and speculation are not considered when the ship’s profits are reckoned, then I am good with things as they stand. Will as captain, Taeva as “owner aboard”, rest of us as crew. Our adventuring company is a separate venture, and has its own finances and leadership structure (apparently a participatory democracy).


Ok, just thought I’d see where everybody stands in regards to the Princess’s new profit sharing plan ;-)


Now, on to the serious business: who showed Russ how to write on the board with different colored crayons? My head already hurts when I read his posts :-(

Oh, @ Jay, just to be clear, Nick didn’t help make Grim a superman with Dex equal to Arvor’s (starting) and Int/EDU up there with Will’s. Nope, that was me hacking the dice roller during CharGen! Must’ve pissed Nick off too: he’s been spending a lot of time knocking Grim out with high damage rolls, lol! Really though, I played a very average character last game (his average stat was 7) whos best skills were Lawyer 2 and Broker 2, so I think I’m due a superhero. Besides, did I mention I keep getting knocked out (Nick?), lol!

Anyway, Grim has 15k, he wants to invest it. What does he do? Buy .033 ship shares or follow Jie to her Broker on Collace to invest in toilet paper futures on some planet populated by semisentient assholes? (Hey, I can actually see a few hands going up, wait those are just fingers…hey!). Just teasing!

In reality, if it makes it easier for all concerned, maybe we should just pay everyone salaries per Steve’s suggestion re:Taeva and Max, then just make Taeva’s and Max’s bigger. Then, as Arvor suggested, we could keep “trade” and “adventuring” revenues separate, with trade money going into the ship’s general coffers and adventuring money being divided equally? Then, if we decide to pay “dividends” from the trading coffers they’d go out at the percentages corresponding to ownership?


(p.s. Russ can you teach me how to use colors? Please?)


I’m with Ian. Except on that toilet-fingers thing.


I agree with Ian, colors areCool. And also about the money thing.


hah! Now we can blind fellow players


Been reading Hussite history Nick?


Having lived in Prague, I know my Hussite history!

This is one of the Avenger/Mongoose writers who was obviously reading his as well!


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