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zilvar

Things you've learned the hard way

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My players try to steal every single starship or fighter they come across. 

 

They even wanted to steal the tyderium shuttle in Mos Shutta in the beginner box.  I have to find ways to creatively destroy other ships, or remind them that killing others and taking their ships is piracy, and even if the owner is dead, there is a good chance that a bank or larger corporation may own the ship.

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Let them steal the ships. With each one their bounty (obligation) makes them more the prey.

There are plenty of car thieves IRL that never make it onto most wanted lists. Starships get stolen, and the guys that steal them are not terribly likely to attract a bounty if they're smart about what they take.

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I've learned that uttering the words "This is NOT a Dark Side campaign!!!!!!" is merely a suggestion rather than an ultimatum.... *reminded that one of his players is keeping the pickled lekku of the last twi'lek that stole from him... oh and was a pc character too....*

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I've learned that uttering the words "This is NOT a Dark Side campaign!!!!!!" is merely a suggestion rather than an ultimatum.... *reminded that one of his players is keeping the pickled lekku of the last twi'lek that stole from him... oh and was a pc character too....*

 

This is so metal

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Let them steal the ships. With each one their bounty (obligation) makes them more the prey.

There are plenty of car thieves IRL that never make it onto most wanted lists. Starships get stolen, and the guys that steal them are not terribly likely to attract a bounty if they're smart about what they take.

 

 

Last 7 words are the most important here. Sure, the guy jacking a '97 Toyota is not likely to end up on a Most Wanted list.

And a rundown Cloakshape is likely an equivalent to that.

 

But if we're talking Freighters, or even Cargo Vessels... Those represent 100,000+ Credit investments by someone. Its no longer boosting a car, its Piracy. Which, historically, is a crime much more aggressively prosecuted than grand theft auto. Especially if that freighter belonged to a company and not just a random guy. Because companies love their money.

 

Take into account the Imperial stance on Piracy is very aggressive - Well, you might be able to steal a ship, but good luck finding someone to take it from you for any reasonable sum of money. Most are likely not to want that sort of heat.

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Let them steal the ships. With each one their bounty (obligation) makes them more the prey.

There are plenty of car thieves IRL that never make it onto most wanted lists. Starships get stolen, and the guys that steal them are not terribly likely to attract a bounty if they're smart about what they take.

 

Until somebody accidentally steals the presidents car.  Make one of the ships belong to somebody important.  Bobalux the Hutt is none to keen on having the ship he just bought for a  job stolen right before his men went on a run, thus totally spoiling the job.

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We had a shipjacker in the D20 Star Wars game I was in. Stole a ship off a cruise liner we were on. Found out later that it belonged to The Black Sun. The shipjacker's response was to destroy the console he'd looked up the information from and then proceeded to strip the ship of everything he could to destroy any serial numbers and possible trackers on the ship. Then dumped the ship and blew it up.

 

The police might not put effort into catching a car thief that has stolen one car, but steal a dozen, a hundred... and someone's bound to take notice. That's a lot of cases closed in one arrest, which looks good on their record. That's a bigger fish for some prosecutor to put away, which looks good on his record. So, yes, obligation would start to rise the more ships one stole. It doesn't have to be a Bounty Obligation, it could be Criminal, or heck, even a Family/Dependent Obligation could grow larger as someone takes an interest in you and yours...

 

And, as others noted, a hot item can't be sold to just anyone, which means taking pennies on the dollar in value from the Fence who will then either scrap it for parts, or recondition it to strip its old identity out before selling it off.

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Unfortunately ship-stealing syndrome has wrecked the economy of more than one d6 game I've run (first EotE coming up soon). I had to get creative about the heroes not being able to track down where an NPC's ship was located or being so pressed for time (outrun the Empire) that they didn't have time to slice the lock and get onboard.

 

I tried one of the ideas mentioned above an had a stolen ship be the property of a major crime lord. The heroes didn't worry because they know I'll never hit them with odds they can't prevail over (the heroes are the heroes after all). If they try to go shipjacking in the next campaign I'm going to have to reluctantly bring the hammer down to prevent massive PC credit inflation early in the campaign.

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Let them steal the ships. With each one their bounty (obligation) makes them more the prey.

There are plenty of car thieves IRL that never make it onto most wanted lists. Starships get stolen, and the guys that steal them are not terribly likely to attract a bounty if they're smart about what they take.

 

Until somebody accidentally steals the presidents car.  Make one of the ships belong to somebody important.  Bobalux the Hutt is none to keen on having the ship he just bought for a  job stolen right before his men went on a run, thus totally spoiling the job.

 

 

 

The thing is identifying a specific ship as being one that was stolen isn't easy unless its a rare model, or has some very rare mods on it. Otherwise a little paint and a transponder change and all hope of identifying a ship as a stolen one is gone

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Let them steal the ships. With each one their bounty (obligation) makes them more the prey.

There are plenty of car thieves IRL that never make it onto most wanted lists. Starships get stolen, and the guys that steal them are not terribly likely to attract a bounty if they're smart about what they take.

 

Until somebody accidentally steals the presidents car.  Make one of the ships belong to somebody important.  Bobalux the Hutt is none to keen on having the ship he just bought for a  job stolen right before his men went on a run, thus totally spoiling the job.

 

 

 

The thing is identifying a specific ship as being one that was stolen isn't easy unless its a rare model, or has some very rare mods on it. Otherwise a little paint and a transponder change and all hope of identifying a ship as a stolen one is gone

 

 

The trick is, how hard is the transponder code change? How much will that cost? When completed, how good is it? Can the law still see through it with a high enough roll or enough time researching it?

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When my players decided to scrub the Transponders on the Krayt Fang, they were allowed to do it for 10k credits, but also it was quite clear they were no longer welcomed around tatooine, and we asked to go somewhere else FAR AWAY

 

often ultimatums work better.  And if they really like shipjacking, have a crime boss contact them into stealing a BIG ship, then double cross them.

 

"The is a Star Destroyer being worked on in one of my shipyards.  I always wanted a star Destroyer of my own"

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I akin starship theft to the wild west act of horse theft. Considered a heinous act.

Now people take my comment as if an ironfisted tyrant said it, rather than with a grain of salt. If the players want to steal EVERY ship, there should be some repercussions to that. If everytime the krayt fang (or the players ship) docks a starship is stolen, someone will accuse the party. TROOPS said it best: all suspects are guilty. Period. Otherwise, they wouldn't be suspects.

Jamwes and Dramar like this

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This is the first ship that the players wanted to steal, and it just so happened to belong to the imperial sympathizer cousin of one of the characters. It was bound to happen

Of course it too the wind out of my 'the Dragon will chase them down in his starfighter and there will be an epic battle' plans... :). Next time, Tu'la'loo... Next time

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I'd let my players attempt it, but it shouldn't be any means ever be even remotely easy, especially not enough to happen more than once every blue moon.
I mean for one ships tend to be registered and changing that should be an expensive and time consuming chore in itself, their owners are going to be pretty attached to them meaning very likely bounty, selling them will be even more difficult as not many people will beither A) looking for a starship let alone capable of affording one and B) possibly wary of buying one without proper documentation of it's history given the Empires strict punishments for piracy. Lastly let's not forget that most are going to be in starports which are bound to have things like maintence crews or droids, cameras, etc that could just as easily catch them in the act and get them a record or at least evidence for bounty hunters to follow up on later.
I don't like saying no to my players and so I don't think it should be impossible for them to get away without consequence, but such an event should not be easy, and should require a large investiment of time and money as well as a clever plan.

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The rules already allow Streetwise checks to be used to find buyers/sellers of 'hot' merchandise. There are going to be Setback dice at times, but Street Smarts can peel those back. Any non-unique starship can easily be stripped for parts even if it's not going to be flown again. IRL, this is where the profits are often found, and selling to a chop shop can probably offset many of those Setback dice if you've already made a connection (and if you're regularly stealing starships, why wouldn't you make such connections).

 

I find it bizarre that gamers have more of a problem with(mostly) non-violent property crimes just because they might net characters a hefty bundle of credits than they do with the wanton violence that so often comes up when PCs meet the first traces of resistance. There's always ways to bleed off credits - damage to a starship will cost 500 credits per HTT, and other equipment wears out too.

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Things I've Learned The Hard Way:

 

It doesn't matter how cool the character concept is, or how well acted they are, if the player is never around to be part of the game.

 

"Your characters must all have a compelling reason to oppose [the Big Bad]" does not guarantee two players will not openly try to join the villain.

 

My Mon Calamari version of Solid Snake should probably invest in better armor, so that he doesn't go down the first time a minion returns fire.

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The rules already allow Streetwise checks to be used to find buyers/sellers of 'hot' merchandise. There are going to be Setback dice at times, but Street Smarts can peel those back. Any non-unique starship can easily be stripped for parts even if it's not going to be flown again. IRL, this is where the profits are often found, and selling to a chop shop can probably offset many of those Setback dice if you've already made a connection (and if you're regularly stealing starships, why wouldn't you make such connections).

 

I find it bizarre that gamers have more of a problem with(mostly) non-violent property crimes just because they might net characters a hefty bundle of credits than they do with the wanton violence that so often comes up when PCs meet the first traces of resistance. There's always ways to bleed off credits - damage to a starship will cost 500 credits per HTT, and other equipment wears out too.

The problem is this game is more narrative than mecahnical (the mechanics not covering all of the potential circumstances that may arise) and there's sometimes as a GM when it's, I would think, expected that some items just can't be bought or sold no matter your check lest a player be able to walk into any run down town anywhere and buy lightsabers a plenty just because they happen to be really good at negotiating.

It's not so much about non-hostile credit gain, I'm all for that and my players have started smuggling or doing basic transport when they traverse between systems for missions do to it, it's more to prevent random munchkining that breaks immersion and removes common sense to the game, ie as long as our negotiate skill is good enough we can find a random buyer for an entire starship on a backwater planet with a primitive civilzation, in short there are situations that make no sense for any check to even be made to begin with.

I mean even stripping parts you need to find a port to land, have a buyer or at least as ship that can hold onto those parts, etc. Realistically I can't imagine anyone being okay with any moderate size ship just leaving, someones bound to be looking for you if it occurs. Thus I don't believe it should ever just be "a negotion check" as that removes nearly all narriative aspect from such a big gain and makes it come down to dice and numbers, not my nor my groups cup of tea.

Edited by Dark Bunny Lord
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From a GM perspective:

Never expect your players to follow the plan you have.

Never expect your players to figure out that the big bad has some major flaws that they can use to overcome him if they would just think and not just try to beat.

From a player perspective:

Pacifism is a foreign undefinable word to quite a few people I have played with.

In my mind what diversion is (usually explosives or blowing something up) and what my fellow players what a diversion is (hand waving and yelling) don't equal out to the same thing. 

Never expect my fellow players to follow the plan they made.

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