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knasserII

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I'm looking for ideas on things the PCs could smuggle. And I want it to be something other than the clichéd drugs. For one, it's a cliché so tired I'm surprised it's still upright, for two, I really don't see why the Empire would honestly care that much and personally, I have lost friends to heroin so the whole "let's play drug smugglers" has never been that super-appealing to me.

But I'm struggling to think of that many things other than this that would make valuable / interesting / dangerous contraband. I'm trying to think of things that the players would have to get past the authorities and not coming up with much.

What have your groups smuggled or any suggestions?

Peace and coolness!

K.

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Weapons.  These could go to struggling colonists facing the threat of bandits or to criminal elements seeking an advantage over their competitors.

 

Technology.  Outlawed tech, controversial medical/genetic breakhtroughs, "dangerous" computer programs, or droids used for "inventive" purposes could all be turned into unique story elements.

 

Flora/fauna.  Exotic pets and plants?  Pit-fighting creatures?  Harvesting plants?  There's a lot here.

 

Personnel.  Sneaking peoples across space sectors can be lucrative business.  Remember what Han and Chewie's cargo was in the first SW film?  Yeah...

 

Anyway, just a few thoughts, amigo.  Hope this helps!

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To certain areas, you can take a large quanity of what is considered common to flog it elsewhere. The most classic example is water to Tatooeine, which probably has a great value there but little value elsewhere.

 

There isn't too much I have to add to the above list; but there are probably exotic spices and flavours (I am not talking star wars "Spice", I'm talking food ingredients) that would be very valuble off system, and a rarity outside high class venues.

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Medical supplies would be a good one, especially if it's bacta that was initially stolen and now has to be moved without the authorities catching wind of it. That would leave few easy places to smuggle it to, and could put the characters in the middle of a desperate situation.

 

Music, literature, or just about anything else of cultural importance would be a good one to smuggle into a world that is blockaded by the Empire. A planet might be able to grow its own food, but if they're cut off from the holonet the characters could make a killing selling bootleg music from a galactically famous artist.

 

Booze. Famous, expensive, heavily tariffed liquor could be just the thing to make a Hutt's next gathering really stand out.

 

Counterfeit luxury items are another thing that gets smuggled a lot in real life. Maybe they could be selling knock-offs of something very expensive (the Kamperdine jacket from Far Horizons, for example), or some Zeyd-cloth robes "just like the Emperor wears". 

 

Smuggling individuals is also a high-value idea. There are numerous worlds, especially old Separatist ones, that the Empire has under guard. A wealthy individual looking for a child not seen since the Clone Wars would be an interesting smuggling opportunity as well as a good story hook.

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Droids, i bet those imperials don't like people dealing in astromechs.

 

Ship parts, bet those those are taxed heavily especially fighter parts.

 

Pretty much anything that you'll need to fight a war is probably taxed and watched.

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There's the classic Han/Chewie trope of smuggling the actual ships themselves to places.

 

Spices, chemicals, and raw materials jump to mind.  Basically anything a manufacturer needs to produce a final product that is, itself, illegal would also be highly restricted.  Tibanna gas comes to mind for a SW equivalent.

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Money/valuables is another common one. Ever see Goldfinger? He was smuggling gold because he acquired it in one country where it was cheep to buy and selling it in another country where it was expensive. The return on investment was worth the cost of smuggling. As for money, ever see The Wolf of Wall Street? He was smuggling money because banking laws in one country made money safe from being confiscated from another country.

 

Edited to add: Surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet, Jedi artifacts. I'm sure the Empire would want to confiscate and destroy any lightsabers or Jedi holocrons that they come across.

Edited by Jamwes

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Remember in Firefly, the initial episode it turned out they were smuggling nutrition/immunization bars, and it became real hard for them to see them when they discovered they were stamped with an Alliance insignia? 

 

That's an idea. Official Imperial supplies, intended to be given as aid to a struggling planet, but stolen. They'd be branded with insignia and intended destination in a way that selling them on the open market would be impossible, and they'd be looking to sell to either a desperate colony or someone with the right kind of "food mint" that could remove the branding.

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To be more general: Stolen Merchandise in general.  It's often unwise to sell stolen goods where they were stolen, so they get shipped off to a distant area where the authorities are unlikely to make the connection.

 

If your players are up for it, this actualy makes quite an interesting and distinct group - Smugglers who refuse to touch the drug trade.

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Spice, Weapons, Alcohols, Medical Supplies, Spin Sealed Tibanna Gas(for Turbolasers), Components for Military grade Starships/Vehicles, Higher function Droids, Endangered or Restricted Flora/Fauna, Smuggling people etc.. and that's just potentially things you might smuggle from Imperials.

 

Keep in mind some local systems also further restrict common legal goods or place high tariffs of such common and inane goods coming and going, and part of being a smuggler is not that all your cargoes are restricted somehow but that you may be trying to avoid those common tariffs.  You could be delivering a crate of Green Tea to a world that might charge a 300% surcharge, because the local government is in bed with the in system Hot Cocoa industry.  That crate of Green Tea sold at 100% markup on the black market for the right buyers may still be very profitable to the smuggler.  Maybe an aphrodisiac is restricted on an animal or peace loving world because its source requires the mass harvesting/butchering of a docile semi intelligent water mammal on another world and objects to the manner it is made.  Easy to be creative without requiring every cargo to be spice.

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How about religious artifacts? Jedi artifacts, back in the 70s and 80s there were a few movies that were parodies of Star Wars like Spaceballs or Ice Pirates. The were funny movies but had pretty original ideas. Hell I read today that Ford is in talks for being cast in the Blade Runner sequel and if i remember correctly they were after androids and android part. To add levity to the story though dont forget to have the ship get space herpies.

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I'm looking for ideas on things the PCs could smuggle. And I want it to be something other than the clichéd drugs. For one, it's a cliché so tired I'm surprised it's still upright, for two, I really don't see why the Empire would honestly care that much and personally, I have lost friends to heroin so the whole "let's play drug smugglers" has never been that super-appealing to me.

But I'm struggling to think of that many things other than this that would make valuable / interesting / dangerous contraband. I'm trying to think of things that the players would have to get past the authorities and not coming up with much.

What have your groups smuggled or any suggestions?

Peace and coolness!

K.

Hard currency.  One of the first things insurgencies grab is cash, look at ISIS knocking over the central bank of Mosul and getting $500 million in greenbacks, one of their first moves last year.

 

Explosives.  German demo troop, nothing the proper application of HE can't fix in this world.  Also tightly controlled by the Empire I'm sure.

 

Spare parts.  Military ships are gluttons for spare parts.  F-16s have  roughly a $15,000 a flight hour maintenance cost.  I'm sure pushing X-wings abuses the hell out of them.

 

Information.  Knowledge is power.  Plans for Imperial battle stations aren't bad either....

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