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An Introductory Guide to the Trade System

Before you begin trading, you will need the following items:

  • a spaceship with an installed cargo hold
  • a trade permit
  • some money to buy commodities

Please note that each ship comes with a small amount of 'free' cargo space which is designed for carrying spare parts for emergency repairs. In theory, someone could use this cargo space for trading, but the space available is so small you wouldn't make much money that way. You will want to buy a cargo hold as soon as possible. To get a cargo hold installed on your spaceship, please refer to the spaceship upgrades page. It covers all the details of how to configure your spaceship's module slots, purchase modules, and install them.

Creating a Trade Permit

A trade permit is a simple object that can be created by any ship owner. First create an object with the words “Trade Permit” somewhere in its name. For example:

@create My Trade Permit


@create Trade Permit for Starship Karella

Next, set a property on the permit with the database reference number (dbref#) of your spaceship:

@set trade permit=.account:<ship dbref#>

For example:

@set trade permit=.account:22435

You may also set an account name:

@set trade permit=.accountname:Starship Karella Trade Account

You can set a description on the permit, too:

@desc trade permit=This is a laminated “smart card” used to authorize commodity trading. This one belongs to the Starship Karella.

the dbref account number identifies which ship will be able to load cargo from the trade station. If you have a ship that can't land, and you have to send shuttlecraft down to do your trading, then the trade permit must have the dbref number of the shuttle, not your ship. Also, the trade permit and the ship must belong to the same owner. However, any player can use the permit to buy goods and load them onto the ship. That means if you are a ship owner, you can make several permits and give them to your crew members, then those players will be able to trade using your ship.

Buying and Selling Goods

Once you have your ship ready, your permit ready, and a little extra money to buy trade goods, you can begin. You must navigate your ship to one of the spaceports where a trade station is installed. On planets with breathable atmosphere, you can simply park your ship next to the trade station, get out, and start buying or selling.

The trade station has these commands (remember to not type single quote marks, brackets, or < > symbols):

  • LIST: Shows a list of all the commodities traded at this station, along with the price of each, how many of each the station has in stock, how many you have to buy or sell, and how much cash you have on hand.
  • BUY: The format of the command is 'buy <amount> <commodity name>'. For example, 'buy 20 food'. Anything you buy is not automatically loaded onto your spaceship. It's held at the station, but is marked as belonging to your ship's account. You can see what's being held by using the LIST command.
  • SELL: if works exactly like buying. You have to transfer goods from your spaceship to the trade station first - they still belong to you until you issue the SELL command and are paid for them. Example: 'sell 20 food'.

After buying some goods, your next step is to get them onboard your spaceship. You must go to your ship's control room (or any other room where you have the transfer command enabled). Then use the following command to transfer your goods:

'transfer <amount> <commodity> from station'

For example: 'transfer 20 food from station'

The reverse should also work: 'transfer 20 food to station'

These instructions work for all trade stations where there's an atmosphere. Some of our stations, at places like Mars and New Philadelphia, make it a bit more complicated. They have a loading crane out on the spaceport grounds, and a trading center inside the terminal. You must park your ship next to the loading crane in order to load or unload cargo, and go into the trading center to buy or sell commodities.

How Do I Make Money at This?

Buying and selling goods at a single station won't get you anywhere. You have to buy at a low price and sell at a higher price. That means you will have to travel! Each trade station produces or consumes certain goods, which means the amount in stock will change over time, which in turn affects the price. A high level of stock makes the price lower, and a low level of stock makes the price high. Simple supply and demand. Over time you will learn which stations produce certain goods, and which stations consume the same goods. Those will be your profitable trade routes. The stock levels – and prices – are also changed by players buying and selling. Running too much cargo can temporarily kill a trade route, making it unprofitable for a while until production and consumption have a chance to catch up.

A Final Note

Furscape is a roleplay MUCK first and foremost. The trading system will give you another opportunity to interact with other players, whether they're your shipmates, pirates trying to rob you, or people at your next stopover. Additionally, the larger your ship is (and therefore the more profitable your ship is), the more active players you will need in order to move it through space.

Have fun!

space_trading_system.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/26 04:16 by hagalaz