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onebadveggie

Taking away a "Reward"?

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So I've been thinking about how to work around this, and just wanted to hear some other ideas.

Basically at the end of our first campaign, the crew I'm gming was able to steal a couple of cargo haulers of spice. Now what was supposed to happen was that some Imperial were supposed to confiscate the spice, but a player asked if he could make a skill check to deceive the Imps into believing it was supplies and bribing them. Seeing as this particular character was combat based and I assumed the check would be difficult, I allowed it. And of course he succeeded. Not wanting to impede his moment of victory I allowed it to happen.

My next idea for a campaign is to send them to Teth while they hide out from the Hutt that they stole the spice from and they get involved in some Alliance espionage. I don't necessarily want the players to keep what's probably tens of thousands of credits worth of glitterstim, so what are some scenarios where they could lose it that wouldn't upset them?

Edited by onebadveggie

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I would probably ask them some more questions about what the intend to do with it. Something of that quantity and illicitness would be very difficult to flip without attracting a lot of attention, so I don't think it's a problem for them narrative-wise to hold on to it for a bit while trying to sniff out a buyer.

 

In that time, there could be some complications:

  • Have the imperial come by asking for more bribe money, maybe repeatedly until the party has to deal with him/her in a more permanent fashion.
  • If the PCs intend on keeping it, ask them what they're going to about storage. Running it on a ship risks lots of inspections, same for warehouse storage. It could be fun for them to try and bury it somewhere pirate-esque like.
  • If it's being kept on a ship, maybe some of it is being stored a little too close to the life support system and gets sucked into the air processor. Everyone then has an unintentional good(?) time.
  • You could play on their moral strings a little by having an adventure taking place near a hospital/recovery centre where they get to see up close the effects of glitterstim addiction.

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What's wrong with keeping it? If they don't have a character who knows how to sell illegal stuff, they'll probably never be able to sell it off. They know what it's worth (by looking up the street value in the book) but no dealer will buy off them. At least no where near their asking price. New guys show up with a load of illegal goods? I'd bet everyone thinks they are Imperial Narcs. They need to make contacts and earn trust before they could unload the goods and make what they think it is worth. In the meantime, they are traveling around with a bunch of illegal goods in their ship for months. One slipup and that could spell trouble, ranging from Hutts (or other gangers) trying to take it by force or the Imperials continuing to sniff around.

 

A bunch of drugs is only a reward if you make it easy for them to sell them at a high price. ;)

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Is there anything the party's been wanting but couldn't afford?  I'd give them the opportunity to trade the spice for that.  They earned it fair and square (as you said, a non-face succeeded on a difficult social roll) and it's unreasonable for them to not get -anything- out of it.

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I don't see this so much as a problem as an opportunity for further storytelling. A ship full of narcotics is only worth money if you can find the right buyer and it's not like finding a buyer and delivery should be easy. There are a few ways you can prevent PCs from becoming millionaires overnight.

  • Due to the value of the item, finding a buyer should be an incredibly difficult skill check. Be sure that the check includes some of those handy red dice so that on a Despair, the repercussions are most dire (Imperial Security is waiting for them, etc.). Net disadvantages mean that knowledge of the buy has permeated out to the galactic underworld who will target the barge for a pirate raid.
  • If the PCs succeed on finding a buyer, said buyer would rather keep his money and take the ship by force.
  • Making storing it a costly venture, such as paying a lot of money in bribes to corrupt portmasters.
  • The Rebellion can pressure the PCs to donate the profits from the spice sale to the cause.
  • Someone offers a pricey but non-liquid asset that's worth more than the spice itself. Perhaps a large homestead, a hidden base or a luxury starship. Something that doesn't make them more powerful, mechanically, and opens up the game for more problems and more stories.

Also, look at the PCs' Obligations and Motivations and see if you can directly tie this process to one or more of those. 

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Well here's some thoughts and ideas...

1) the area they store their spice turns out to have a secret back door and unknown to them their spice is being slowly swapped for something like flour or rations that if they don't bother to regularly check have an imperial patrol catch them by surprise and check their storehouse leaving them aware they're in serious trouble but when the imps ask them about the ration packs they get a chance to avoid the trouble but now want to find out who stole from them!

2) turns out it wasn't all spice as some glitterspice spiders hatch and if allowed to nest begin to produce webbing composed of glitterspice!

The original owner wants their stock back would your players give them the spiders or the spice?

3) turns out the storehouse isn't as secure as they thought!

Due to a leak during an unseasonal downpour a significant portion of their spice is ruined and the owner of the storehouse having taken his/her cut has gone into hiding... I wonder who let those bounty hunters know where they are?!

Did these help?

Edited by copperbell

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If the PC's attempt to sell that much spice on the blackmarket, it's bound to raise some eyebrows. Local spice dealers won't appreciate their customers buying from 'out of towners', and especially won't take kindly to being undercut (seeing their profits suffer). Offended criminals could very well attack or try to rob the PC's for disrespecting their turf. In the end, having tens of thousands of credits worth of spice sounds amazing but it will be a pain, and dangerous, to sell it. After all, if drug dealers are robbed its not like they can go to the police for help.

 

Secondly, if people or children overdose on the spice the PC's are selling, then the locals could revolt against the PC's including the local authorities. Also, whoever owns the spice, since it is such a huge amount, would probably also have the resources and underworld contacts to send several bounty hunters after the cargo haulers to retrieve the ships and cargo.

 

One easy way to resolve this quickly is to provide, or allow the PC's to find, a fence who will purchase the cargo haulers and spice at a much discounted price (since the merchandise is 'hot') and for 'no questions asked'. This will allow you as a GM to reward the PC's with a more manageable amount of credits, and allow the PC's to avoid any unpleasant 'underworld entanglements'. Does your PC group already have a ship of their own? Perhaps this is how they can buy one or modify the one they own.

 

I once had my group come into the possession of three X-Wings. The PC's were all talking about how they were going to spend their 'cut' of the money when they sold the three X-Wings. But, selling rebellion X-Wings on the open market proved to be more difficult, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous than they thought. In the end, they settled for selling the X-Wings at a 50% discount each to a fence just to get the X-Wings out of their hair, 'no questions asked'. The PC's then ended up buying a nice ship for the group and modified it a little. My group was happy with the compromise since they got a nice new ship and avoided any 'imperial entanglements'.        

 

I agree the best thing to do is talk to your group and see what they want to do with the spice. That decision could spark dozens of adventures. 

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So I've been thinking about how to work around this, and just wanted to hear some other ideas.

Basically at the end of our first campaign, the crew I'm gming was able to steal a couple of cargo haulers of spice. Now what was supposed to happen was that some Imperial were supposed to confiscate the spice, but a player asked if he could make a skill check to deceive the Imps into believing it was supplies and bribing them. Seeing as this particular character was combat based and I assumed the check would be difficult, I allowed it. And of course he succeeded. Not wanting to impede his moment of victory I allowed it to happen.

My next idea for a campaign is to send them to Teth while they hide out from the Hutt that they stole the spice from and they get involved in some Alliance espionage. I don't necessarily want the players to keep what's probably tens of thousands of credits worth of glitterstim, so what are some scenarios where they could lose it that wouldn't upset them?

Maybe you should just allow the PCs to throw the most awesome party ever. It can be talked about for years to come and they get a free Boost dice whenever they encounter someone who was there.

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Man, I hope the Hutt cartel that owned those haulers full of spice doesn't come looking for them....

 

Also, a score like that is surely going to attract attention from other unsavory sorts.  

 

The true reward here is a good story, not a pile of credits.  I've warned before about keeping the players hungry and what happens if you don't, and I feel you're right to be concerned.  If you can spin up a story around this cargo that makes it more costly to deal with than it's worth, you'll get your "money's worth" out of that plot line. 

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I wish when I ran my Edge game, that I had seen Breaking Bad. If I ran a another game about dealing drugs and guns, I would do it differently.

Make distribution the bottleneck. They have all these drugs, but are they going I personally deal them to people on street corners? Their goal is likely to find someone who wants to buy a bunch of it, but just make people not want to touch that much product. There's probably already established individuals in the spice trade that folks aren't going to want to tread on.

I haven't read it personally, but Lords of Nal Hutta might have some advice on that front.

If one of the PC's, months from now is yelling at a Rodian, "SAY MY NAME!!" Then you've done well.

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The pirates catch up to the party and damage their ship ready for boarding, the crate is blown open in the fight releasing the spice and glitterstim spiders onto the ship.

The spice gets pulled into the ventilation system and circulated around the ship, once the hallucinations start the party realise what is happening and switch off the lights inside the ship (glitterstim is activated by light).

Glitterstim spiders drain the lifeforce out of their victims and weave webs sharp enough to sever fingers.

Space fight, damaged ship, darkness, hallucinations, vampiric spiders, razorwire, pirate boarding crew.... I'm sure there is a story in there somewhere and the more manageable reward can be found on the pirate ship. There's also a risk of addiction if you like to inflict things on you pc's.

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Don't take away a reward -- add "fun" to it. All of the above ideas are fantastic solutions for your dilemma.

 

I personally like that the stolen spice had an owner who won't take it too kindly that the stuff is gone. Of coruse, we don't know the particulars in the stolen hauler scene. The owner may be dead. But I'm sure he reported to someone above him in the spice food chain. There's always a bigger fish.

 

A shipment that large, though, doesn't just get stolen or disappear without someone noticing. When the PCs try to fence or distribute it, that knowledge is going to spread through the underworld like crazy. Suddenly the PCs are going to become very popular with several factions of bad guys and even some groups of good guys who want the spice disposed of. Later on in the campaign, their actions with the spice now could cause unwanted consequences with some of the people they'll want to ally with. Imagine being blacklisted by the Rebel Alliance. Imagine some lone, surviving Jedi hunting them down because he thinks they were responsible for a bunch of spice-related deaths on the planet he's been hiding on.

 

And...

 

Jeez, mulletcheese, you've created an absolute horror story of a scene! Can you imagine, not being the PCs in this case, but being PCs who have "randomly" come across a derelict ship in space only to discover the nightmare you've described? Perhaps the PCs are drawn to a weak distress signal from the derelict vessel. This may turn into an encounter for my campaign... Thanks!

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Who did they steal the spice from, and exactly how much of it are we talking about?  No Hutt worth his salt is going to let tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of credits of...ahem...product...out of his sight without some kind of GPS tracker on it.  And when said Hutt finds out that the shipment was stolen?

No good roll should go unpunished.  And in this case, the players are going to have to decide what to do with the stuff, and fast, before some Hutt's team of 'Recovery Specialists' shows up.  And, naturally, they can't leave any witnesses....

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