Barter with the new Debt System from the Carta Galaxia preview

General Uncharted Worlds and tangential matters discussion
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BlckKnght
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Barter with the new Debt System from the Carta Galaxia preview

Post by BlckKnght » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:38 pm

I'm playing in a game where we've struggled to understand how to apply the Barter and Acquisition moves for a while. Just last week I discovered Sean's preview of the rules for the economy that will be in Carta Galaxia (linked from G+ to here). Those new rules seem great, much easier to understand than the old system (while clearly describing more or less the same activities).

So we just tried applying the new rules during our game today, and one question emerged about how Barter should be factored in. It never really made much sense to me that each successive class of cargo would be easier to upgrade than the previous class (upgrading Class 0 cargo to Class 1 is a 2d6+0, while upgrading Class 3 to Class 4 is 2d6+3). Getting more chances to get unique gear from a faction makes sense, but if anything, the basic results of upgrading your cargo should be easier for the lower class cargo.

So I asked my GM to instead use our favor with the agency we're trading with (an individual, as it turned out in our game, though an alternative buyer was a group I had negative favor with). That made more sense to us all, but the discussion derailed the gameplay a bit (we also considered adding the faction favor to the cargo grade, but it didn't make too much sense that way either).

Anyway, I wondered about other people's experiences using the Carta Galaxia preview economic system, especially when it comes to using barter to upgrade cargo. I'm playing the trade-oriented character in my group (Commercial-Starfarer), so it's sort of been up to me and the GM to understand how this stuff works, without the other players being very interested. I'd like to get it all figured out well enough that we can deal with it quickly and not distract from the rest of the gameplay.

AaronGriffin
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Re: Barter with the new Debt System from the Carta Galaxia preview

Post by AaronGriffin » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:52 pm

Remember that class 3 and up are super rare. In a standard market it is difficult to find C2 goods. So there's more upfront difficulty in finding what you want.

But if you want to make the move more logical, instead of +Cargo, you can roll +Difference in cargo classes.

BlckKnght
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Re: Barter with the new Debt System from the Carta Galaxia preview

Post by BlckKnght » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:44 pm

AaronGriffin wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:52 pm
Remember that class 3 and up are super rare. In a standard market it is difficult to find C2 goods. So there's more upfront difficulty in finding what you want.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Isn't the whole point of the Barter move that you don't need to seek out a specific local cargo? You just find a buyer for your foreign cargo and say "What can I get for this?" On a 7+ (assuming you can work out any complications), you just automatically get a local cargo of a higher class, up to 4.

The description in the book says "To barter, a character must approach a market with the cargo of foreign goods they wish to trade." Unlike with acquisition, you don't need to worry about finding the seller of the cargo you'll get in return, they'll find you.
But if you want to make the move more logical, instead of +Cargo, you can roll +Difference in cargo classes.
Hmm, I think I always assumed that the class of cargo you'd get would always be one higher than the class you gave up. But now I see that it is left unspecified what class you receive, so I guess it's up to the GM? I'm not really sure how using the difference as the modifier in the roll would work.

I sort of feel like there should be two parts to Barter. The regular Barter move should keep all the 10- outcomes and I think should be rolled with -Cargo +Favor (with the agency that most directly controls the market). This is a commercial activity where you are just trying to make a good deal and increase the value of your trade goods, and will often be incidental to why you've come to the specific planet or system. The -Cargo means that it gets harder to make simple deals the more exotic the goods are, and you're more likely to run into delays and red tape when dealing in high-grade cargo or to wind up dealing for something dangerous or illegal. Being a regular in a particular market customer makes getting a good deal easier (thus +Favor). Selling luxury goods in a market where you don't know anyone is asking for trouble.

The other use of Barter is to be seen as somebody with resources. It's only represented in the 13+ result of the Barter move, where you get an offer for something unique, instead of another cargo. I'd suggest that should be a separate move, something like:

Sentient of Means
Whenever you offer a grade 1 or higher cargo to an appropriate market roll +Cargo before you Barter. On a 13+, you catch the attention of a faction or other agency who offers you a unique item or service which you can roll to Acquire, if you are interested (perhaps after selling them your cargo for Favor). On any other result, or if you still have your cargo after dealing with a special offer, roll to Barter as usual.


Anyway, thanks for your input. It's entirely possible that I've been misunderstanding the Barter move and so my proposed revisions of it won't make sense. If that's the case, please let me know!

zmook
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Re: Barter with the new Debt System from the Carta Galaxia preview

Post by zmook » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:01 pm

Class 2 & 3 Assets are rare and "almost never available for sale". Cargo is a type of Asset. But my reading of the Barter move does not suggest there should any particular difficulty upgrading a class 2 cargo to class 3.

I figure Cargo is an exception as a type of Asset (it's the only one one that has a Class 4, for one thing) and the limits on availability aren't really meant to apply except as specified by the Barter move.

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