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Hey, let's have a discussion about banking in EotE. Guys? ...Guys?


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#1 Col. Orange

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:47 AM

Just finished an adventure from the d20 Scum and Villainy book yesterday (as usual, it did not go remotely as the author had planned).  I'm trying to avoid spoilers for any that want to play it, but we… angered a group that was in control of the local HoloNet relay at a shadowport.  They monitored every communication that passed in or out of the port.  Our GM concluded that, given this, it’d be a snap for them to engage in a little identity theft and access our accounts.  His reasoning was sound, but I argued against it on the grounds that if it were feasible for them to access our bank accounts, there was nothing to stop them (or a talented PC slicer) from doing the same to… well, everyone using that HoloNet relay.  I was trying to argue that it wasn’t that it wasn’t realistically possible, just a terrible idea because of the repercussions it’d have for the game.

 

As an alternative I suggested that, rather being capable of breaking banking guild encryption, they could simply notice that we were attempting to contact the bank (through our cred-chips) and simply not pass that signal along.  That way we were effectively broke (and thus cornered and desperate) but neither could they clear out our accounts, should we ever get free.

 

But it’s bugging me.  I’m not sure he was wrong.

His reasoning for why they didn’t do this constantly was that powerful people and organisations would notice and take action, and the less powerful who couldn’t threaten them would simply avoid using that shadowport at all (messing up trade, thus angering those same powerful groups).  (We argued that they’d only need to do it once, for one huge score that’d set them up for life, enabling them to hire legions of mercs to protect them from any repercussions.)

 

But if they were able to sort, recognise and eavesdrop on every communication (bloody impressive, that;  though the port's popultation was only 4000) it doesn’t seem too outlandish.

 

Ideas?  Opinions?  (Both in terms of impact on the game’s background and the game’s balance, really.)


Edited by Col. Orange, 04 November 2013 - 08:10 AM.

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#2 machinebede1

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:34 AM

Depends on the type of credits. If your playing in the empire's time period Imperial credit accounts are heavily encrypted and monitored. You hack imperial credits you get visited by the Empire. If your dealing with local credits it could be easier or harder. You mess with some banks they might result in anything from all out war down to a hefty bounty that attracts hunters the likes of IG-88, Fett, or Bossk. You know the ones that don't mind disintegrations.

Or as in your case the system doesn'thave great banking laws and thus credits might not be worth as much as bartered goods would be. Too bad you took payment in credits instead of ice sculptures or heads of cattle.

It all really depends on where you are and how realistic your game is. It would ptobably be easier to transfer easily traceable credits that tie you to wanted criminal elements.
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#3 Internutt

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:38 AM

This is why I've kept credits as physical money. I figured that being rogues outside the system, they and the people hiring them would have an easier time paying under the table with physical money rather than traceable digital funds.


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#4 Col. Orange

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:03 AM

Or as in your case the system doesn'thave great banking laws and thus credits might not be worth as much as bartered goods would be. Too bad you took payment in credits instead of ice sculptures or heads of cattle.

 

I get what you mean, but I find managing money is one of the dullest parts of gaming (I prefer games that make wealth abstract, but realise you can't do that with a "you're dirt-poor and desperate" kinda game).  Going from A to B, negotiating the worth of your goods only to convert it back into credits so I can buy a new coat seems... tedious.  I'd rather skip to the heist/investigation/faceoff/deal-gone-bad part of the story.


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#5 Col. Orange

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:06 AM

This is why I've kept credits as physical money. I figured that being rogues outside the system, they and the people hiring them would have an easier time paying under the table with physical money rather than traceable digital funds.

 

In Cyberpunk 2020 (Wildside supplement, I think) they talked about how the only people still using hard currency were criminals, edgerunners and other "shady" types.  Fits EotE, and helps paint the PCs as "dangerous" people.  I like that.


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#6 machinebede1

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:06 AM

Physical credits of which currency? Republic credits didn't work on Tatooine is an example. Exchange rates can vary quite a bit from the inner core to outer rim.

#7 machinebede1

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:09 AM

Personally I prefer to stick with Imperial credits. One base currency and virtually unhackable.

#8 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:45 AM

I'd agree with you. 'Breaking into' the encryption of a bank is going to be really hard - because if a bank doesn't think its encryption is good enough, it's not going to allow remote banking, and its reputation for accuracy and security is ultimately all a bank has to trade on.

 

That said, it's easy enough to stop a communications exchange you control placing a call to destination X, even if you can't read what the communication would have said. 'Blocking' someone's credit acount - unless they've had the sense to forward some creds to a local bank in advance - should therefore be quite doable.

 

Slicing into someone's account isn't - I should be clear - that hard. But the key is never going to be slicing through the security by brute force, but by using their own details, cloned off a signal, or obtained by deception, or similar techniques. The weak spot in computer security is nearly always people being sloppy, as it is today.


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#9 Col. Orange

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:26 AM

Slicing into someone's account isn't - I should be clear - that hard. But the key is never going to be slicing through the security by brute force, but by using their own details, cloned off a signal, or obtained by deception, or similar techniques. The weak spot in computer security is nearly always people being sloppy, as it is today.

 

As soon as we knew what we were up against and what they were capable of, we stopped using our chips.  GM had us roll d100 to see how much hard currency we had in our pocketses (our Pilot rolled 1 :lol:).


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#10 kinnison

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:57 AM

The InterGalactic Banking Clan (IGBC) usues heavy encryption method for secure credit transactions.  it can be sliced, but if you are caught you often will upset the IGBC, with the full might of the Empire behind them.

 

Not to mention if everyone was able to hack it, it would practically ruin the whole economy due to inflation.

 

I tend to stay away from the number crunching part of the game.

 

But as far as the OP topic, instead of ID theft, which if found out would make NO ONE want to use the holonet at the shadowport, an easier more simpler method would be just block any inbound or outbound transmissions of the players.


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#11 Kirdan Kenobi

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 12:48 PM

One of the things that makes RPGs fun is character progression. Fortunately in Edge, characters get a couple new skills or talents every session (or every other session at minimum) to play with. But money is another factor--buying new toys adds to the fun of the game, so I find it a jerk move when the GM severely limits or attacks the players' money in any way that can't be overcome.


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#12 Internutt

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:18 PM

Physical credits of which currency? Republic credits didn't work on Tatooine is an example. Exchange rates can vary quite a bit from the inner core to outer rim.


That's only because Watto was a local dealer. Had they gone to a larger dealer or found a smuggler/trader they could easily have exchanged for another currency and avoided the hassle of the pod race/ridiculous bet.

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#13 Dex Vulen

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:53 PM

The way I like to view it is if you managed to slice a bank, any bank, all sorts of people would be looking for you.  The banking clans, The Trade Federation, The Hutts, The Empire, everybody.


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#14 Diggles

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:04 PM

I always imagine that the Outer Rim would be like Old West (American), where only valuable materials serve as the currency.  I'm sure Starwars is old/smart enough to have learned the Gold Standard lesson....your currency should be an actual commodity, not worthless paper.



#15 Deve Sunstriker

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:01 PM

Considering the size of an entire galaxy, what makes a stupid chunk of metal any more valuable than a pile of paper (or credsticks)? Belief?

 

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#16 Diggles

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:10 PM

Considering the size of an entire galaxy, what makes a stupid chunk of metal any more valuable than a pile of paper (or credsticks)? Belief?

 

"Do you think that's air you're breathing now?"

 

uhm because its rare, took time and energy to dig up out of the ground and cant be made in mass....and is actually useful and serves a purpose (make stuff with it).  Whats with the dumb comment anyways?  You realize that other scifi settings use stuff like this, ie...Ferengi from StarTrek

 

paper/digital money is pretty young by human standards and still not used in many places on Earth



#17 Col. Orange

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 06:28 AM

I tend to stay away from the number crunching part of the game.

Amen.


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#18 Col. Orange

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 06:36 AM

I find it a jerk move when the GM severely limits or attacks the players' money in any way that can't be overcome.

 

I understand, but I certainly don't begrudge him the right.  It made for a tight, desperate game.  If he hadn't, it wouldn't have felt like the odds were stacked against us.  In other adventures the odds have been worse, but they've never felt worse.

Pitting yourself against the universe?  That's what you, me and every other player out there sign up for every time we game.  :)


Edited by Col. Orange, 25 June 2014 - 09:01 AM.

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#19 Echo2Omega

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 06:10 PM

That is the back story of the Slicer in the group I play with.

The hacked the imperial banking networks and made a copy. We are talking about billions of credits. Identical in every way all the way down to the serial numbers.

 

What is the difference between:

 

50 credits

and

50 credits

 

Can you tell the difference? No....neither can the banks.



#20 Gorefiend

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:08 AM

Physical credits of which currency? Republic credits didn't work on Tatooine is an example. Exchange rates can vary quite a bit from the inner core to outer rim.

 

Actually it has been mentioned that the money Qui-Gon had with him was digital, whilst the local economy uses Hutt money, which are metal coins (one of them the Peggat, worth about 40 Credits, is made out of gold)






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