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Desslok

The Rebel Alliance, money and you

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Oh sure, every time you level up with Duty, you win fabulous prizes and all - but that's every 4 or so games. What do you do in the meantime? Now if this were Edge, money coming in wouldn't be a problem, since most games usually result in some kind of monetary pay out at the end. But blowing up Death Stars and knocking over AT-ATs - well, there's not much of sustainable income for that.

 

How do you guys handle it, when your players just want to buy some blaster mods and box of replacement stimpacks? Does the alliance give them a stipend? Perhaps something like some free ranks in Sound Investments based upon whatever Duty tier they are at?

 

Or do you occasionally slip in the "Well, we don't have a mission for you this week. Go ahead and scare up some jobs with your free time if you want" games?

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The alliance provides founding to its cells, not only in form of ships, weapons and men, but as well in good old credits. Besides, we steal, we steal a lot, and we use our underworld contacts to sell the stuff, sometimes directly back to the empire. What we think we need for ourselves we keep, and when we 'find' something that would be useful for the alliance, like assets worth a few million credits in droids we send them to our superiors to distribute those resources among the Alliance forces. 

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First off, I like the variation of Sound Investments.

 

As for how I handle it, I have a basic idea of what my players quartermaster has in stock. I've setup some basic gear categories to keep it straight and handle it like below. This is all just on my side of the screen to keep me on track, it's invisible to the players. Note that my campaign features a Starship exploring unknown space, so shopping trips are few and far between and highly specialized gear or rare items are exceeding difficult to acquire.

 

Some items I consider "Accountable" these are items that I actually keep a hard tracked inventory of. Items like armor, weapons, high end or highly specialized gear, and credits falls into this category. So the Armory has 100 blaster rifles when they start and it stays that way unless the players lose them or acquire more somehow.

 

Some items I consider "Durable" this is things that the base (or in my case, ship) might have have in storage, but not assuredly, or not in great quantity. The players have to make a Negotiation check vs the Quartermaster or Modified Rarity depending on how specialized the gear is and how likely it is to be returned in working order. Long Range Comms, Recon remotes, specialty scanners, night vision gear, some attachments. The players get boosts and reduced difficulties if the item in question is actually applicable to the mission they are about to attempt. (Taking night vision on a night time raid is easier to justify than a diplomatic day time city tour).

 

Some I consider "Durable-expendable."  These items start requiring little to no check to get, but as the campaign progresses, the checks will appear and slowly get worse unless the players make an effort to acquire more of these items. Medical supplies, rations, specialty but not rare equipment, and the like fall into this category. This is more like Duty or Obligation, it pushes role playing when the players hit a new planet. Instead of just sneaking around they have a reason to open up and introduce themselves to the local leadership. "Hi! We're the New Republic! We're here to chase off that mean old Imperial warlord and bring freedom and prosperity to all! .... by the way, any chance you've got a few crates of stimpacks (or the local store-brand equivalent) you don't need? Oh... you need a favor in exchange... well... what kind of favor?"

 

Next there's "Expendable/Mission essential." Climbing gear, cold weather clothing, basic hand tools, basic scanner gear, glow rods. All equipment that there is no reason the ship wouldn't have in stores, or items that I've specifically mentioned they do have, or are vital to mission success or otherwise 100% thematically appropriate. If theres a good reason for the players to pull it, this is all gear that either requires no check, or maybe one fairly easy check for the entire pile. (If they fail the check, a direct order for issue from the Captain will allow an auto-success, as the Quartermaster Droid tends to be a stingy bureaucrat first and foremost, so the check was more an illustration of his obtuseness, but I don't do this too often to avoid tediousness). Of course this extends only to mission parameters, asking for a sub-zero parka before embarking on a mission to a volcanic hellscape ain't gonna fly.

 

Finally there's "Rare and Specialty" gear. High end attachments and highly specialized tools not already on the ships books as Accountable, weapons- especially exotic ones, armor, and so on. These must be scavenged, stolen, salvaged, or purchased. Usually once acquired they become personal gear attached to a specific character, or go into the Accountable inventory.

 

All characters get personal gear as well that is tracked in detail just like normal. Usually this is pretty mundane stuff though.

 

I also want to mention that most gear pulled from ships stores is automatically returned upon completion of the mission or adventure unless specifically noted as otherwise. I'm specifically avoiding the trope of RPG characters walking around with the best statted gear regardless of if it makes sense for them to have it on their person at that given time. No walking around in full battle armor with a heavy repeater everywhere all the time just because it happens to synergize with your combat stats super well, if you just rolled out of bed and are trying to fix a hull breach I want to know why you were sleeping in laminate armor using a heavy repeater as a pillow (and expect some difficulty adjustment to be coming fast for you be so poorly rested). Worf was great with one of those curved sword things, but he didn't walk around with it slug across his back all the time.

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Well, the homestead could work, but we just wrapped up a game that was homestead (well, business) related, so I think we want to go with something different this time. Yeah, the more I ponder it, the more the Sound Investments thing looks ideal - and we don't have an entrepreneur in the group, so I won't be stepping on someone's toes and devaluing their schtick.

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Well, the homestead could work, but we just wrapped up a game that was homestead (well, business) related, so I think we want to go with something different this time. Yeah, the more I ponder it, the more the Sound Investments thing looks ideal - and we don't have an entrepreneur in the group, so I won't be stepping on someone's toes and devaluing their schtick.

 

Well I'm sure you've seen my suggestion before that you give the players an operating budget they can only use to buy mission equipment in other threads.

 

Depending on your group though it might not be a thing. The most surprising thing I've come across in my current campaign is how little money actually matters when you give the players all the normal mission appropriate gear and weapons they need, and put the hunger on things like accurate starcharts, food and water, while calling out gear over-reliance and silliness. I mean, so what if you've got 5 E-webs racked in the armory when the next hyper jump you need to make is long enough that by the time you come out on the other side you'll be down to the last box of field rations and whatever rodents the engineers can bean with a well thrown hydrosapnner.

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Well, the homestead could work, but we just wrapped up a game that was homestead (well, business) related, so I think we want to go with something different this time. Yeah, the more I ponder it, the more the Sound Investments thing looks ideal - and we don't have an entrepreneur in the group, so I won't be stepping on someone's toes and devaluing their schtick.

Maybe you could spin it in such a way that it doesn't feel like a business. But an entrepreneur would be nice. Or a wealthy benefactor who believes in Rebellion.

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Another way to take could be giving the party connections in the underworld that the PC's can sell information/equipment to, it could be fun saying "Sell them now for immediate cash or hand them over the the Rebellion for Duty" thus giving them the choice of immediate cash but that Duty is going up slower as a consequence. This would be a core theme of the campaign obviously, and the players would would need to be into the idea. The consequences of being discovered would be fun to play off too.

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Another way to take could be giving the party connections in the underworld that the PC's can sell information/equipment to, it could be fun saying "Sell them now for immediate cash or hand them over the the Rebellion for Duty" thus giving them the choice of immediate cash but that Duty is going up slower as a consequence. This would be a core theme of the campaign obviously, and the players would would need to be into the idea. The consequences of being discovered would be fun to play off too.

 

Exactly. 

 

And now I am searching a quote from the Ordnance and supply command (OSC) for about an hour, but **** FFG, as they needed to jizz all over the books randomly without legal searchable pdfs nor decently working indices. 

 

Finally found it (AoR, p.162, "The Galactic Economy"):

 

"The Important of Self-Sufficiency" is worth reading as it states that the rebel alliance "encourages frugality in its agents", many reasons given why the alliance prefers agents who do not need hand holding and help to acquire resources to buy themselves basic supplies, gear and such. Imperial credits leave trails, alliance credits are more or less worthless outside of the alliance. "Those agents who repeatedly require new equipment or leave clues to their activities are often sidelined in favor of more resourceful individuals." So basically the Alliance expect their agents to get by with supplied equipment and resources usually, plan missions ahead with some overhead and reserves in mind and simply do not need constant babysitting. 

 

"Ordnance and Supply Command" goes on how the alliance is able to supply PCs with vital equipment for missions, if your PCs have good contacts to this section they can have access to impressive amounts of resources, but gaining enough reputation within the OCS might require "to undertake a number of dangerous missions" for them to gain that trust and reputation. 

 

Does not mean that you do not resupply yourself when the chance is there, but it does mean that you invest your personal credits, imperial and alliance credits, as well and as a group keep an eye out to use sources of supplies outside of the alliance, because the alliance is chronical short on everything, recruits, ships, credits, worlds. They are the underdogs after all and they need all help they can get. Stealing stuff from imperials for the alliance is a not uncommon mission type and I think at least a quarter of all rebel episodes have a focus on that. (They steal a freaking Quasar Fire Escort carrier in one of the later episodes )

Edited by SEApocalypse

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What type of relationship does your group have with the Alliance?

 

Are they full-time regular operatives? If so, then they should be provided with the equipment they need. The downside is that their CO will decide what their needs actually are. Anything that they recover is likely to become property of the Alliance too. This has the advantages that looting and shopping become very unimportant to the game. The downside is that the PCs have less control over what they have on any given mission.

 

Are they independents that simply have an arrangement of mutual convenience with the Alliance? If so, just go with Edge-style play with the Alliance being the ones offering the pay.

 

Are they irregular special operators? This is the tricky middle that's actually the AoR default. For the most part, this will play out like independent operators with the added bonus of getting occasional Duty-based bonuses from Alliance Command.

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And now I am searching a quote from the Ordnance and supply command (OSC) for about an hour, but **** FFG, as they needed to jizz all over the books randomly without legal searchable pdfs nor decently working indices. 

 

Just FYI: FFG can't make PDFs. The license from lucasfilm for RPGs dates back to the Reagan administration, a time before internet and digital content. As such the verbiage is written in such a way that, when applied to modern day, considers PDFs to be categorized as "electronic games" and so they fall under the license for video games currently held by EA.

It's not FFG being jerks, they'd probably be all about selling you PDFs, it's lucasfilms license department being stuck in the cold war.

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Might be time to re-negotiate that contracts with Disney instead of re-selling that RPG licence from publisher to publisher for decades. Though I was indeed not aware that the RPG licence was transferable and has been re-used by so many publishers. Interesting. I was aware that FFG had no licence for PDFs, besides PDFs would only solve a problem which is there because of the bad editing from FFG. ;-)

Edited by SEApocalypse

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Oh sure, every time you level up with Duty, you win fabulous prizes and all - but that's every 4 or so games. What do you do in the meantime? Now if this were Edge, money coming in wouldn't be a problem, since most games usually result in some kind of monetary pay out at the end. But blowing up Death Stars and knocking over AT-ATs - well, there's not much of sustainable income for that.

 

How do you guys handle it, when your players just want to buy some blaster mods and box of replacement stimpacks? Does the alliance give them a stipend? Perhaps something like some free ranks in Sound Investments based upon whatever Duty tier they are at?

 

Or do you occasionally slip in the "Well, we don't have a mission for you this week. Go ahead and scare up some jobs with your free time if you want" games?

In our AoR campaign, we adopted the idea that at the start of every mission, the PCs each receive an amount of "discretionary funds" equal to the group's Contribution Rank times 100 credits.

 

So yes, at the lower end of the Contribution Rank spectrum, the PCs won't be getting very much, which makes sense as they've yet to really prove themselves to be reliable assets and thus worth investing what precious few credits the Alliance has.  And as the PCs improve their Contribution Rank and thus prove their skill and reliability, the Alliance is more willing to fund the group's efforts.

 

On other option we've talked about but not really implemented is in lieu of a new piece of equipment, the PC instead gets credits equal to (3+CR)x500.  It's a bigger pile of credits, but gives those PCs who aren't reliant upon high-end gear something they can make use for covering minor expenses, or simply paying the cost to modify the attachments on their gear and/or ship.

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What type of relationship does your group have with the Alliance?

 

Right now? None - or barely none. They've just signed up and are half way through the bootcamp game. After that, I suspect that they'll be the full time operatives (with the occasional side mission for themselves). So basic gear I'm not so worried about - just about the smaller cool things, mods for gear and that sort of thing. Stuff that's too small to blow their duty on, but cool enough that they'll want to pick up here or there.

 

Really, we'll have to see how things unfold. Even if I go with the Solid Investment-ish stipend, it'll be a month or two real time before they're making more than 200 bucks a go.

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Yeah, that Quasar Fire theft was fun.  Especially since it expanded so much the universe, plus it was the bushwhacked event to get the Empire's attention, among others.

 

That's actually part of the headache for GMs with the AoR.  EotE was really about the jobs, not the operations.  There was a clear measuring stick between success and failure for Edge, while AoR didn't have it.

 

At least, that's part of how I see it.

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I have been working on a mission deck that you send all your mook allies on (if you have any) to procure minor rewards such as stimpacks, grenades, spare parts, etc. The idea works best of the players are some sort of command structure themselves and can choose which troops to send on.

The basic idea, is at th beginning of a session you resolve any current missions. Then draw a new card, assign the troops you want to go on the mission - who are indisposed until the next session, as they take part on that mission.

Each card will have its own flavour text, reward and difficulty which is then modified by contribution rank.

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Okay kids, update time. I went and implemented the Duty Tier (so level 0 and 1 = noob, 2 and 4 = Tested Soldier and so on) = Sound Investments. So they're making a hundred credits stipend a session for now (about halfway through Raw Recruit) and it's not breaking the game. Admittedly we're still pretty low level, but even the constant flow of money in has been harmless. They can buy parts for crafting, cheap mods above and beyond their mission and basically stay in cool new toys enough to make them feel like they're gaining ground. 

 

So yes, I approve of this house rule!

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My players recieved a wage of 500 credits every month. Of course this was subject to availliility, with resources running scarce for the Alliance and just having a ragged supply chain. This was often weived, promised as undelivered backpay or replaced by barter. Occasionally when my players needed discretionary funds they'd make a few Negotiate checks to heckle and wheedle the money out of their superiors. When they reached officer ranks this theoretically reached 1,000 credits a month.

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My players recieved a wage of 500 credits every month. Of course this was subject to availliility, with resources running scarce for the Alliance and just having a ragged supply chain. This was often weived, promised as undelivered backpay or replaced by barter. Occasionally when my players needed discretionary funds they'd make a few Negotiate checks to heckle and wheedle the money out of their superiors. When they reached officer ranks this theoretically reached 1,000 credits a month.

Was that amount after basic expenses?

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My players recieved a wage of 500 credits every month. Of course this was subject to availliility, with resources running scarce for the Alliance and just having a ragged supply chain. This was often weived, promised as undelivered backpay or replaced by barter. Occasionally when my players needed discretionary funds they'd make a few Negotiate checks to heckle and wheedle the money out of their superiors. When they reached officer ranks this theoretically reached 1,000 credits a month.

Was that amount after basic expenses?

 

 

Before. Rebellion has to make that money stretch.

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Any rebel cell of decent size will receive some sort of funding, but it might be intermittent and sometimes not enough.

 

The Rebellion, like any rebellion, will need to have some sort of internal funding. PCs should feel free to filch and steal to fund their operations, selling to the black market. Command will of course prefer they only stole from the Empire or Imperial collaborators, but not every rebel will have those ideals.

 

The very act of selling stolen goods to fund the rebellion will itself offer many nice plot hooks. How do you keep your contact from selling you out to the Empire? You just stole this nice shiny ship which can allow you to do more damage to the Empire, but the food and medical supplies are running low and your troops haven't been paid in 2 months(and their families back home are nearly destitute).

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Remember, the Alliance is short of everything. The fact that a piece of equipment would be useful on an operation, or even essential, doesn't mean that the Alliance has one, or can spare one if they do:

 

"Yes, I'm sure you will need a slicer module to break into the Imperial database. Unfortunately we've only got one, it's on the other side of the sector and the operative who's using it isn't due back for three weeks. I'm afraid you'll just have to acquire one from another source; there's probably one at the Imperial comm station in the Plothook system, I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you borrowed it."

 

Also, Alliance personnel are paid in Alliance credits, which can only be spent at Alliance worlds and facilities. Generally speaking, unless the PCs are part of a regular military unit like SpecForces or the Starfighter Corps,they should be encouraged to be as self-sufficient as possible.

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To me, this is a big part of the game. You're in the rebellion, and this is how it is. On top of the players having to chase down their personal nice to haves, when they wreck or lose an issued vehicle in combat it is going to affect future missions as well. They'll have to make due without, or find a replacement for anything they don't bring back. At least until the Rebellion can find the means to replace it. I'm definitely going to use a narrative approach when deciding when, how and what gets replaced, I think this can add to the fluff of the game and inspire side missions.

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This idea is relevant to my Clone Wars games. The PCs are all young jedi commanders, so they arnt usually geared to the nines, but does the Grand Army give them operating expences? Can a Jedi Artisan afford to do side projects?

Edited by Rakaydos

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So far I've seen people discuss getting money from the Rebellion. But what about making money for the Rebellion? It would make for an interesting story to have a Diplomat PC with a few escort PCs travel to various systems to get donations and sell war bonds. On one world it may be getting a high ranking Imperial Senator to donate a large amount. On another they're trying to sell war bonds to a criminal overlord. A GM can set quotas to be met and reward the group as they meet them, or discipline them as they fail to meet them. Obviously this wouldn't be every adventure they would have but I find it just as interesting to find ways to give as I find it interesting to find ways to get.

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