Jump to content
LMasterList

Legally claiming a pirate ship

Recommended Posts

Ever wonder how the Millennium Falcon's ownership was handled so haphazardly? Can you picture Han or Lando going to register the handover after each sabacc game? Still, as a GM, there's no way I'm handling things that easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given how ingrained gambling is in Star Wars, I would not be surprised if there was a form specifically for a ship getting lost in a bet. There are also probably a lot of very strict laws regarding gambling debts and paying up, laws which apply everywhere.

Qui-gon threatens to take the bet with Watto to the Hutts, and that shuts his objection down real quick. I imagine the same would apply in Imperial space. You gamble and lose? You pay up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 12:32 PM, Mark Caliber said:

Another possible route is to claim the wreck as 'salvage.'  "We found it that way . . ."

Another 'legal' complication is that the ship could be impounded as the courts try to track down the last legal owner or their heirs.

Was going to mention this. If the pirate's legally owned their ship, I could see it being given to the PCs if the Empire or local government doesn't seize it themselves.

On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 12:32 PM, Mark Caliber said:

I am reminded of an interesting Police Policy fact:  If you call in your privately owned vehicle (POV) as being stolen, then later locate that POV and take possession of the vehicle without the aid of the police you can (and probably will) be arrested for Grand Theft Auto if the cops find you in your own car.

So boosting a pirate ship could be . . . bad.

Never heard of such a policy to arrest a victim for a crime if they forgot to update the police. Chew their rear? Sure. Held until you prove you are who you say you are (the rightful owner and victim). Sure. Arrested? Nope.

This brings up another issue. If you show up with a ship saying it was a pirate's, there could be an Imperial seizure law that says the Empire gets any property used for or gained by crime. So, if the PCs are honest, the Imperial bureaucrat may just say thanks and seize it from you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sturn said:

Never heard of such a policy to arrest a victim for a crime if they forgot to update the police. Chew their rear? Sure. Held until you prove you are who you say you are (the rightful owner and victim). Sure. Arrested? Nope.

Yes, actually.

Take it from the perspective of the Law Enforcement Officer (LEO).

They drive around with a list of stolen vehicles.

When a LEO locates a vehicle on this list their assumption is, "This vehicle is being operated by the thief."  That LEO will then proceed on those assumptions.

Since Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a felony, the operator of that vehicle is treated as a felony suspect, even if that suspect it the lawful owner.

Will it be cleared up eventually?  Sure.  But you do risk a felony arrest for 'stealing' back your own vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Take it from the perspective of the Law Enforcement Officer (LEO).

Take it from me, an LEO.

Your first post said "arrested".  Your second post said, "treated as a felony suspect", which is something different.

I think the disagreement between us may simply be semantics of detained vs. arrested. You arrest someone when you have probable cause to charge them with a crime. There is NO probable cause to arrest someone for taking their own property. There IS reasonable suspicion to detain the driver until you figure out they are not the suspect, but the actual victim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Sturn said:

Take it from me, an LEO.

Your first post said "arrested".  Your second post said, "treated as a felony suspect", which is something different.

I think the disagreement between us may simply be semantics of detained vs. arrested. You arrest someone when you have probable cause to charge them with a crime. There is NO probable cause to arrest someone for taking their own property. There IS reasonable suspicion to detain the driver until you figure out they are not the suspect, but the actual victim.

I am taking my information from LEO's.  (You included).

Sure we may be talking in circles and coming to similar conclusions.  In my locality, felony suspects are usually arrested first and they let the DA sort through the evidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not being an LEO, REO Speedwagon, or ELO (Electronic Light Orchestra), I would expect there to be penalties for reporting your vehicle as stolen and then turning up in said vehicle also. In addition, penalties for not reporting stolen goods to the police, when you were the one reporting the theft and therefore were aware they were stolen, seems like an issue as well.

I do think the Empire would have ways of claiming stolen goods for themselves as well, especially where the owner no longer has claim, such as insurance proceeds being distributed. That gives the GM wiggle room to have some fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/25/2019 at 11:32 AM, Mark Caliber said:

 

I am reminded of an interesting Police Policy fact:  If you call in your privately owned vehicle (POV) as being stolen, then later locate that POV and take possession of the vehicle without the aid of the police you can (and probably will) be arrested for Grand Theft Auto 

Not in my state. I'd love to read that statute.

Edited by 2P51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s more that a cop might arrest you for possession of stolen property, obviously being unaware that you are the rightful owner. I don’t think it is common for the BOLO report on a stolen vehicle to include the name of the rightful owner. And every car thief in the world is going to claim “this is my car man” while he is getting cuffed. Obviously it will be cleared up eventually. But it is wise that if you ever report a possession of yours stolen and later recover it yourself you should inform the police that you found it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I would add here is that not all local authorities will handle the situation the same.  I would argue that the further from the core you are the easier it would be to "legally" take the ship.

This may require some smooth talking and maybe some greasy-palms (bribery).

Leave it all up to the players, but adjust according to their choices the character of the bureaucrat.  You can even play it off like you're at the DMV and dealing with their frustrating procedures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, sithlord78 said:

The only thing I would add here is that not all local authorities will handle the situation the same.  I would argue that the further from the core you are the easier it would be to "legally" take the ship.

This may require some smooth talking and maybe some greasy-palms (bribery).

Leave it all up to the players, but adjust according to their choices the character of the bureaucrat.  You can even play it off like you're at the DMV and dealing with their frustrating procedures.

Within the Republic and Empire, local authorities are not involved in tracking & regulating ship ownership. That falls under BoSS, which is a galaxy-spanning organization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Within the Republic and Empire, local authorities are not involved in tracking & regulating ship ownership. That falls under BoSS, which is a galaxy-spanning organization.

BoSS, I'd say, is easy to do away with if and when a group finds that its odd Spacing Guild/ComStar identity clashes with OT Star Wars themes. It's entirely off-screen unless I'm missing some reference in the cartoons, and doesn't contribute much beyond some ubiquitous monolith of power that diverts attention from Jedi and the Empire, and makes it really hard to boost a ride. (Did it originate with WEG or Del Ray?)

At any rate, I think Sithlord's plot ideas are way cooler than "you can't because of shadowy licensors who see all!" ☺️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm ok with it being BoSS (which I think is from WEG?). But who says BoSS can't be bribed or charmed? In Solo we see an Imperial officer (?) being bribed like it wasn't the first time.

On the frontier, BoSS reps may not be a large organization. It could be a single Imperial BoSS agent working with local hired hands out of a shack near the starport. Or, the world is so far off the beaten track that the Empire simply funds local officials to do the BoSS work for them and submit reports, gaining them a return fee.

Edited by Sturn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it really depends on where you go with the ship.  Outer rim world somewhere, no one is going to bother checking the BoSS registry unless they are given a reason to.  Somewhere with an Imperial presence they might make sure the ship name given matches the one the transponder gives out.   

Core worlds would be a different matter.

Also I wouldn’t rule out there being groups out there that offer a very expensive service to slice new transponders on to a ship.  The Millennium  Falcon was suppose to have multiple transponders and a few Legend books have it being a semi common practice.

I personally have it as you can get a new transponder and registration in BoSS, but it’s a very costly service both in credits and obligation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How I would play it:

You go to the imps and they, after confirming that this was a ship indeed used for piracy, thank you for your service to the empire and say the ship is yours. HOWEVER.

"The ship will need to be impounded to make sure no illegal contraband remains on board."
While stripping the hold and crew compartment of anything valuable, they would remove any weapon systems that would be considered military grade, as well as downgrading the hyperdrive if it exceeds civilian standards. Maybe even the shields and armour of your feeling mean.

After a week they get what's left back.
Forcing the players to sell the old ship to get the new one back up to spec.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wonderduck said:

How I would play it:

You go to the imps and they, after confirming that this was a ship indeed used for piracy, thank you for your service to the empire and say the ship is yours. HOWEVER.

"The ship will need to be impounded to make sure no illegal contraband remains on board."
While stripping the hold and crew compartment of anything valuable, they would remove any weapon systems that would be considered military grade, as well as downgrading the hyperdrive if it exceeds civilian standards. Maybe even the shields and armour of your feeling mean.

After a week they get what's left back.
Forcing the players to sell the old ship to get the new one back up to spec.

The perfect opportunity to attempt a bribe given that you have encountered an "agreeable" official.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×