These are my house rules for generating the sorts of small cargos my PC's would encounter. (Some are not that "small"... ;-)
This work is not original. It has been built on the work of others who, over the years, have explored the potential nature of trade goods in the Imperium.
It is aimed at assisting the referee to determine the sorts of flotsam and jetsam-type cargos, the break-bulk leftovers, the surplus goods and clearance items that are the stock-in-trade of free traders across the empire.
You are free to use these tables to randomly generate cargoes for your PC's to deal with. Some will be out of their price range, possibly requiring some financial dealings to cover costs. Some will be small-fry cargoes, requiring your players to be creative in their choice of trade routes in order to garner worthwhile returns. Some will be cargoes that land them in trouble with pirates or the authorities or just with their buyers; some may help them get out of trouble by raiding their contents.
Whatever happens, I encourage you not to use the results blindly (although some unusual and interesting adventures often arise from situations unforeseen by the referee!) but to use the random results to stimulate your imagination. Above all, do not let the game become bogged down in accountancy (unless your players Really, Really like that stuff) but use this system to generate adventure situations.
For some designers notes and copyright information, please see Acknowledgements and Copyright.
This system groups together the various cargoes that might become available to player characters, depending on the Trade Classifications pertaining to the world they are currently on. There are seven basic trade classifications that help determine cargo type, plus some extras that are treated differently:
|The Big Three||Industrial World (In)|
|Resource (Non-Industrial) World (Ni)|
|Agricultural World (Ag)|
|The Oddities||Vacuum World (Va) and Asteroid Belts (As)|
|Water World (Wa)|
|Desert World (De)|
|Fluid Ocean World (Fl)|
|The Remainder||Barren Worlds (Ba)||Use the Unprocessed Substances section of the Resource World tables|
|Ice-capped Worlds (Ic)||Treat as Vacuum Worlds (1D, roll 1-3) or Resource Worlds (roll 4-6)|
|High Population (Hi)||These trade classifications simply affect market prices,
primarily via the General Purchase Price Modifiers
Use the current world's UWP to determine all the Trade Classifications that apply to the world. On the World Type table below, choose a column that corresponds to any one of those applicable Trade Classifications and roll to determine the specific origin of the available cargo. Once this is done, proceed to that World Type table.
For example, Roup (Regina/Spinward Marches 2007) is classified as Hi In Wa. These trade codes indicate the Roup is a High Population, Industrial Water World. If the referee determines that the PC's find a cargo, he may roll on either the Industrial or Water (World) columns of the World Type table. The High Population classification will affect the purchase price of manufactured goods and raw materials. In our example, the referee rolls a 7, and proceeds to the Industrial World tables to determine the specific goods.
Note that although the tables favour locally-produced items, it is possible to find a cargo that is not specific to the world type; this could represent a local factor who is on-selling cargo that originated off-world, or highport shipments that never even made it dirtside.
|Roll (2D)||Industrial||Resource||Agricultural||Vacuum||Water||Desert||Fluid Ocean|
Most worlds will have some type of cargo available, even if the goods are just transshipments. The General Cargo table is a useful alternate table for any world, and for unclassified worlds.
|Roll (1D)||Cargo Type|
The following purchase price modifiers apply to all cargoes, in addition to what is listed for an item:
|World Type||General Purchase Price Modifiers|
|High Population (Hi)||-1 for manufactured goods, +1 for raw materials|
|Non-Agricultural (Na)||+1 for agricultural produce|
|Non-Industrial (Ni)||-1 for raw materials|
|Poor (Po)||+1 for manufactured goods|
Additional price modifiers are listed at the end of each category.
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