Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SirSprinkles

Keeping the Party Hungry

Recommended Posts

I need some ideas on ways to cut down my party's massive funds! They have been stockpiling for ages and are absolutely loaded. The only member with a Debt Obligation has paid it off (well, left the party.) However, the major money-maker for the group has been killed off, so they can't get buckets of money anymore. I might just have to run a campaign to drain their pockets a little. Suggestions to lighten my players' pockets?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of amputated limbs works wonders... Basically damage to them or their ship costs a bucket load to fix, either in time or credits. So bang their ship up a heap, give it a crit or 2, then put them under preasure to get moving or get to another objective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The important part is to weave it into the narrative so they don't start to think of it as arbitrary punishment for success. There has to be a villain who costs them money, and if they take the risk to go after him or her, that's what costs them more money: Ammunition is spent and the ship is damaged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they fly around the galaxy in a ship?

 

That's a pretty expensive prospect, especially if their ship gets damaged. Also remember that if they're travelling around a lot, prices for everything fluctuate depending on the nature of the local systems.

 

For example, Ord Mantell is a popular, busy destination which probably has a number of starports and competition which brings prices down.

 

So staying on Ord Mantell might be 100 credits per day in docking fees. A planet which is either more remote, or is more upscale, might be 1000 credits per day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would give them exactly what they want. A high risk high reward mission that is going to cost a lot of credits in equipment and will likely cause a lot of damage that needs to be repaired. When they go to collect their reward one of a few things will happen. 1) The person hiring them is assassinated before they pay. 2) they were hired by the empire who decides to pay them considerably less. 3) They are betrayed and are met by armed imperial/rebel/hutt gaurds who capture them and confiscate their equipment and cargo. The idea would be to not only have them spend considerable resources on the mission and to loose their payment but to give them some clues on who or what is responsible so they can go after them latter if they choose.

 

assuming the party has been around long enough it is not unlikely they have made some enemies who would love to set them up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Narrative wise there is nothing like having to buy a new ship to drain money, have a ship failure result in a crash landing on a Jungle or Swamp world which makes their ship unrecoverable.  Maybe a bounty hunter pays off some shadowport techs to disable a system on the players ship and install a tracking beacon.  The players drop out of hyperspace to deal with the issue when they are ambushed by the Bounty hunter who shoots their vessel down to the swamp world below, where the ship proceeds to sink into the muddy waters(even amphibious characters can't see and breath mud) forcing the players to grab only what they can carry fast and get out.

 

Players are then forced to find a way to hunt the hunters while avoiding local dangerous plants and wildlife and steal the bounty hunters too small for smuggling vessel and escape the planet, now down a cargo(new obligation if they were transporting it for someone else) their old ship and whatever they may have had to leave behind. Plus a potential new Nemesis in the Bounty Hunters left stranded on the swamp world below.

Edited by Greymere

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, if the party isn't doing anything with their wealth, then it's not a problem.  If they have a million credits in the bank, but are still using basic blaster pistols and wearing padded armor, perhaps you might want to suggest some upgrades.  If they've already upgraded everything and they still have hundreds of thousands of credits left in the bank, then it becomes more of an issue as they've shown a willingness to use the credits.  At this point, a homestead or capital ship might be a worthwhile direction to send the party.  The trick when managing party resources is to create money sinks that will allow the players to continue to make measurable progress towards bigger and bigger goals without wiping them out completely on the way there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hull trauma is an excellent investment opportunity for wealthy PCs.  Surely they've made some enemies in their travels, and even if not, flaunting wealth in the wrong locale can certainly attract the attention of those out for a quick buck.  

 

My point is that wealth creates stories.  

Edited by themensch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask them what they want to do with all of their creds. Put the buying power in the players hands and construct an adventure around it, Some of these suggestions sound like they want you to force your PCs to spend credits just because they have too much, which doesn't sound very fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a narrative standpoint there really shouldn't be a deterent to removing credits from players for whatever makes the campaign more balanced or enjoyable, if players are attached to credits more so than their characters, XP and Obligations and Motivations the focus is likely in the wrong area anyhow.  Unless the focus of the campaign is to become filthy rich in which case it sounds like the campaign is over grats reroll and start over.

 

I definitely wouldn't advocate making flush with cash players into paupers, but removing excessive amounts of credits as a means of driving the story shouldn't be viewed as punishing players since it is being done for the sake of a more enjoyable play experience.

 

Look at Lando, he lost his ship in a sabacc match and his Tibanna Gas mining operation to the Empire, would you say his story felt less heroic as a result?

Edited by Greymere

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I let my players spend it.

So far they bought quite a stretch of land that they want to turn into a mining company (huge investment now for a steady low income for years to come), hired workers, bought droids, vehicles, set up buildings and defences ...

They even went on a pleasure cruise for 200.000 Credits per person.

 

They even bought a CR90 corvette and modded the hell out of it (i let them sacrifice cargo and passenger space for extra Hard Points) to get a ship that can take more punishment than their freighter.

Not for travelings/adventures sake, but in order to be able to take vengeance on pirates and smugglers their own size.

 

They feel like little kings in their domain and know their limits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at Lando, he lost his ship in a sabacc match and his Tibanna Gas mining operation to the Empire, would you say his story felt less heroic as a result?

 

Yes, yes, I would.  The heroes of the story were Han (the guy to whom he lost the ship), Leia and Luke.  None of whom were involved in the final assault on the rebuilt Death Star.  Lando was even characterized as a liar and a cheat when he was introduced in the second movie.  At best, he was a second-tier hero (in the context of the movies) who had gotten burned from getting in bed with the wrong people in an attempt to save his own skin -- hardly heroic.

 

On the point of the topic, I realize that all conflict arises from loss or perceived loss.  However, all I'm suggesting is that the players get something beneficial out of the loss and that their character progression isn't grossly altered through the course of it.  For example, if a player has put every credit he has gotten and every experience point he has earned into his ship throughout the course of a campaign of over a year, to blow up that ship would be catastrophic.  One might as well simply put the character inside it when it does go, since the character is equally broken.  I guess what I'm saying is when talking about altering, removing, destroying or damaging -large- party resources, make sure to provide the party with a means of recouping the loss eventually.

 

When it comes to ships or large piles of credits, put them in impound or freeze their accounts -- don't destroy them or drain them completely.  Leaving open the possibility of recovery gives the players hope as well as a solid plot hook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to say it, but letting them get that much cash in the first place was a mistake.  It doesn't have to be, but clearly you want to run a hungrier campaign for the grittier, more desperate feel.  Taking away something the players are used to is always difficult.  They're naturally going to resent having to pay attention to credits more than they have before when it was just rolling in.

A lot of the ideas above are great ways of divesting PCs of extra cash.  Where do they have all that cash?  Is it safe?  Do they have credit sticks and chips sitting around their ship?  Is it in a local bank?  Is it in Imperial funds?  The Star Wars universe, especially in the Outer Rim, doesn't have the ubiquitous unified secure banking system that 21st Century Earth has (quit snickering about "secure" :)). 

If it's on their ship, a skirmish damage the ship, causes a minor hull breach, and a good lot gets sucked into the void (including some personal items perhaps, nothing too arbitrary or vindictive, just enough so it's clear the credits were a side-effect of the breach).

If it's in a local bank/money exchange, then have the PCs discover an attempt to rob their bank.  Being on the OTHER end of a heist would make an interesting adventure.

If it's in a local base, environmental disasters can be great equalizers.  Have a tornado or fire or something else similarly devastating hit the neighborhood.  The PCs place is one of a dozen that are damaged, and maybe their favorite tapcaf with a friendly contact is nearly destroyed.  Maybe their chief ship mechanic's place gets flooded.  The PCs might decide to spend that cash on other people.

In fact, dangle an altruistic adventure hook in front of them.  There's something that needs to be done: deliver emergency food or medical supplies, transport refugees, set up care for hundreds of new orphans.  Whatever it is, the local gov't either doesn't care, can't afford it, or is too incompetent/corrupt to get it done in time.  The PCs can hire the transports and experts needed, buy the supplies, etc.  There are many ways of being heroes and this would possibly put them in a positive light in their local community, which might be a little odd for your typical smuggling-type group.  :)

Example: 
Booda, a Trandoshan Hired Gun is part of your group.  He usually walks around with enough hardware to scare away all the local toughs and make swoop gangers watch their language.  He's striding down the street in his normal intimidating manner.  Suddenly a 4-year child runs out and hugs his leg.

"Leebo!  Leave Booda alone!" says a tapcaf owner.  "Sorry Booda," he says as he unconvincingly swats the child's rear with a dish towel.  "You and your crew come by for dinner tonight hey?  We gots fresh nerf roast.  Sela be glad to see you."

Of course once you get them comfortable with this, you threaten it.  *insert vicious GM grin and faux-evil cackle*

Edited by Admiral Terghon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Look at Lando, he lost his ship in a sabacc match and his Tibanna Gas mining operation to the Empire, would you say his story felt less heroic as a result?

 

Yes, yes, I would.  The heroes of the story were Han (the guy to whom he lost the ship), Leia and Luke.  None of whom were involved in the final assault on the rebuilt Death Star.  Lando was even characterized as a liar and a cheat when he was introduced in the second movie.  At best, he was a second-tier hero (in the context of the movies) who had gotten burned from getting in bed with the wrong people in an attempt to save his own skin -- hardly heroic.

 

On the point of the topic, I realize that all conflict arises from loss or perceived loss.  However, all I'm suggesting is that the players get something beneficial out of the loss and that their character progression isn't grossly altered through the course of it.  For example, if a player has put every credit he has gotten and every experience point he has earned into his ship throughout the course of a campaign of over a year, to blow up that ship would be catastrophic.  One might as well simply put the character inside it when it does go, since the character is equally broken.  I guess what I'm saying is when talking about altering, removing, destroying or damaging -large- party resources, make sure to provide the party with a means of recouping the loss eventually.

 

When it comes to ships or large piles of credits, put them in impound or freeze their accounts -- don't destroy them or drain them completely.  Leaving open the possibility of recovery gives the players hope as well as a solid plot hook.

 

 Wait so Lando would have been more heroic by keeping Cloud City and letting Vader have Leia and Chewy?  Really?  He wouldn't have gone on to lead the attack on the second Death Star because working for the Rebel Alliance and being more altruistic and heroic wasn't a stronger motivation for him now than credits?

 

Sorry but being able to redeem Lando and demonstrate all he lost was very much a part of developing the heroic aspects of his character.

Edited by Greymere

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the time in Star Wars, the heroes are outgunned and outmanned by the forces on their trail. A group of heroes flush with cash have a lot more resources than a group of heroes which is struggling to keep their ship in the air.

 

Firefly's a great example of the challenges of sticking to your principles and doing great things when you've got to buy fuel for your ship and have a "powerful need to eat sometime this month".

 

It's not that you CAN'T have a heroic story about heroes with access to wealth. James Bond is as much about the voyeurism of watching Bond live a high-class lifestyle as it is about defeating bad guys. It's just a different kind of story, and that's up to the GM and players to decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firefly as a positive example? Have we seen the same show or am i missing something?

The only good things i remember are the returning of the stolen meds (which they stole in the first place), trying to save a lone survivor (while looting the belongings of his dead comrades) and helping a group of prostitutes against their landlord in a dispute about parental control (while enjoying the services of the ladies).

The rest was simply crimes and running away from the fallout of their own actions.

Highly entertaining for sure, but not my definition of 'sticking to your principles and doing great things'.

In the movie they discover a horrible secret that they use to get the Alliance of their trail.

But again they pursue it for their own benefit, not to change the world for better.

To quote the Operative: [to Mal] You are fooling yourself, Captain. Nothing here is what it seems. You are not the plucky hero, the Alliance is not an evil empire, and this is not the grand arena.

As for keeping the party hungry in games with more cash ... go bigger. Let them hire NPCs and other freighters/fighters to do business for them while they concentrate on other tasks like meeting with crime lords and/or company owners on a more regular basis, change their enemies from back-street bullies to company sharks.

Assassination, backstabbing, inside-information deals, espionage, ... lots of opportunities to up the ante.

Edited by segara82

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "Firefly" show that I watched was definitely a great example of how challenging it can be to stick to your principles and do good things when you've got very few resources and struggle to earn a living.

 

If you've got no money and your ship is about to fall apart and you're starving, it's a lot harder to refuse to smuggle medical supplies that are stolen from somebody who needs them. If you've got plenty of money then you don't need to smuggle stolen medical supplies in the first place.

 

If your morality compels you to help a fugitive on the run from the government, that's a lot harder to do when you've got to make a living.

 

Are you suggesting the crew of Serenity are just greedy, amoral criminals at heart? Did you seriously interpret the movie to mean that they were just looking out for number one and that exposing the truth about Miranda to everybody wasn't their main objective?

 

Anyway, this is not a controversial interpretation of Firefly :) They're rogues but they are trying to do good things, whether they admit it or not. They just have to do it with very few resources, which is what makes it a challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand, whats the matter with letting live the life of the high roller? Thousand dollar a plate meals on Bespin, the champagne room at all the exclusive clubs on Nar Shadaa, rubbing elbows with some of the hottest B or A list celebrities (depending on how wealthy they are) in the galaxy, gambling at the most exclusive tables - let them live it up.

 

. . . and with wealth comes fame. With fame comes notoriety and attention. And tabloids. And groupies (think Elvis and the Memphis Mafia). And relatives that you haven't talked to in 20 years suddenly reappearing with their hand out. And all the darker side of being famous and rich.

 

Weave their status into the narrative, don't take it away.

Edited by Desslok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has your party been using any of their windfall to buy down their various Obligations? I think the game is designed so that the ever-looming spectre of Obligation is supposed to sponge up extraneous funds (though, that said, I don't think that Obligation really 'works' as well as Duty or even Morality do). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what my PCs are playing

1. Wookiee Marauder - The tankiest of the group, and a boss with crits, easily scoring +70 on rolls just because of his main weapon, a modified Vibro-Axe and ranks in Lethal Blows

2. Human Marshal/Doctor - The healer and shooty person of the group. Handy at dual wielding blasters and good with a medpac

3. Togruta Pathfinder - The one I know least about, as that player likes to keep his character sheet, but he has a Lightsabre

4. Gand Scholar - The weakest member of the group, only has a holdout blaster, but the best at Knowledge skills

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My usual style of GM'ing is to give the players ample rewards for all of thier efforts and then find a solid narrative way to take it all away from them. In one game they were doing really well and were the favorites of a Hutt crime lord, so had a really good ship, gear and a reputation that meant they could call in many favours. Unfortunately for them not only was the Hutt actually a conniving son of a hutt, who double crossed them (see the WoTC adventure Tempest Feud!) but behind the scenes a bit player in a previous adventure had taken a disliking to the group and set the empire on them. They were arrested by the empire at the worst possible moment for crimes they did and didn't commit, they had thier ship and all belongings seized and their bank accounts frozen and were all off to a 'Lord of the flies' style prison planet.

After a lengthy series of adventures on the prison planet they eventually stole a prison shuttle and attempted to return to thier old lives, only to discover that a mysterious Bothan, the bit player from before, had secretly either taken over or destroyed all of thier business ventures in an act of petty revenge and criminal maneuvering as he worked to take over the black sun organisation. The players then all vowed to take revenge on this Bothan and have been doing thier best to track him down, they are yet to succeed....

Unusually for me for the current EotE game I am not too worried about the group raising and spending funds, although the group are a bit paranoid that I will take their new toys away. They have found lots of things to spend thier cash on, a new ship with upgrades, shiny new gear and even some cybernetics. However, I am moving them towards the jewel of Yavin adventure where they could potentially make a fortune. If they manage to take care of all opposing parties they may choose to retire thier characters or invest in a business venture and try to go respectable but if they don't get away cleanly no amount of credits will be able to remove the multiple new obligations that they are likely to have on thier plates, and so the fun continues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...