Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Checklist for Determining a Free Trader's Route

1) Get a map of the subsector or general area you want to run cargo and passengers in.
  a) there isn't a lot to worry about here. Honestly you can get a paper print out map in the starport lounge. Go ahead. Why are you so paranoid, like every item on my lists is a crisis? Geeze. (1)

2) Eliminate the Restricted worlds. (2)

3) Are you planning on running contraband? Eliminate the B starports. they have a low volume of traffic compared to the A ports and nearly as good technology to spot shady stuff.

4) Are you skipping? Eliminate the A starports. Too many law men there. Too many AIs checking paperwork.

5) Doing anything else illegal? Avoid Zaonia unless it's in their interest too (trust me!)

6) Got a Free Trader? Make sure you can land on a size 8+ world and make orbit again (ask your referee). If not eliminate all size 8+ worlds.

7) Have you got a fuel refiner? If not eliminate systems with a D starport or worse.

8) Have you got a bunch of gun bunnies in your crew? Avoid planets with Law 6 or higher.

9) Eliminate anything else that looks shady, like that Garden world with the population 0. WTF ate the people?

10) Best to avoid the worlds on the main travel routes. They will have 5000 ton merchant ships from megacorporations to ply the trade lanes. They laugh at your 200 ton midget tramp freighter junk heap.

11) With the worlds left find one with at least one commodity you can truck somewhere else and unload at a high profit at another world.

12) Now find a planet where you an unload your prize commodity that's close enough to make two trips a month. That is a couple of adjacent planets. After all jump tapes cost a grand per parsec, navigators cost more and the clock s ticking on your mortgage, life support, salaries, and maintenance costs.

(1) Really I'm not screwing with you this time. Just take a fucking map!

(2) Worlds only count as restricted if there's a ship there to enforce it.

(3) Alternatively find the right palms to cross with credits.

(4) Yeah, I can't think of a reason to hit an A port if you're running unless you need jump drive maintenance or repair and you're sure you're ahead of those damn warrants and subpoenas.

(5) If you plan to screw with Zaonia you obviously have not read this blog in a while.

(6) Even I wouldn't stoop this low which is saying something. I would make up stuff like rocket powered sleds or pressor beam fonts to get your ship in space though.

(7) Everyone should have a fuel refiner. For the cost and volume they'd pay for themselves in no time. In situ resource utilization. Read up on it.

(8) High law level doesn't count if they can't find your weapons.

(9) Reading up on a world might provide an innocuous reason for it being mostly empty. Then again people putting out travel information can lie. So can people providing subsector maps.

(10) The exception to this is of course the hot cargo beloved by free traders. A huge corporation doesn't always have everything slated to ship ready when it's time to ship. You don't keep a bazillion credit ship grounded waiting for a crate of fine wines. Of course if the wine belongs to the subsector potentate you make damn sure you stick that wine on a ship you hire to ship it.

(11) Finding that commodity may be an adventure in itself. Face it. It's going to be an adventure. The ref didn't draw that map up for nothing.

(12) The nice people at the bank will expect you to have a couple of trade items lined up and figured out when you apply for your loan. See #11 above? Do it but don't breathe a word of it to the suits. They don't want to hear you have to brave the Canyon of  Grizzantularillas to get those fire gems you're moving.

Happy Trading!