Friday, June 12, 2009

A Merchant's Vested Intrested

Credibility. In game theory and business, I learned that one should really have a stake in the transaction, in order to be credible. Looking at the GURPS Traveller I've noticed something odd when I was trying to create the scenario for PCs to enter into contracted service or package delivery- nothing can really enforce them to follow their contract and there is no real way to chase someone down who has breached a contract-short of sending a ship (which is REALLY expensive). In light of a maturing audience and current economic circumstance I've done some thinking to remedy this for the sake of game and business believably.

PCs are entrepreneurs who are severely vested by an enforcer who is capable of physically holding them to an agreement. How can the enforcer do this? By physically holding the ship hostage through a device in the ship that requires the PCs to update every quarter or year (which can be made changed by different contracts and agreements) enforcer's representative office.
How does the Imperium make sure this measure is never tampered?

  1. Exclusive control of military grade and the most sophisticated security measures
  2. Thorough character background check and high character standards (a preventive measure).
Ideally this enforcer would be using the Imperial Scout Service station to allow for updates, and when a full update is needed they have to go to a major Imperial office.

Severe Punishments of Forced Labor and Death would probably be the standard to give greater credibility of such contracts as well as giving the backers due satisfaction and making sure the "character" of such entreps would be sufficient for the task.

I see this as the best way to establish credibility in an interstellar range. A ship that has a verifiable Imperial approval is someone that MANY business will be willing to do work with. Since the pay-off is so high (in millions) for such risks and hazards, it would be only reasonable to have such regulations. Even in the RPG point of view, its actually not a game-killer because its illusory to think that someone will go into business with a credible and unreasonable third party (the Imperial authorities who will enforce it).

I'm currently using my wife's CFA case studies to develop an adventure, of course spicing things up with murphies. My wife is not a fan of RPGs but we both like the problem solving and deductive sleuthing of other businesses quite fun and intriguing. Translating it to RPGs allows me to provide other people and myself with practical skills in a gamer format that makes the pill so much more tasty to (chew and) swallow.

Come to think of it, as a backer the Imperium will see a pretty penny every transaction. No wonder they can afford to maintain fleets if they make money insuring every interstellar deal.

Come to think of it, as a backer the Imperium will see a pretty penny every transaction. No wonder they can afford to maintain fleets if they make money insuring every interstellar deal.








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