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Legally claiming a pirate ship

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So, about to plan a mission and one of the first things that happen will be that the party will be boarded by pirates, now if my party survive I want to allow them the opportunity to board the pirate ship and take it over (it will be better than the party's ship)

 

So if they are successful in going murder hobo and securing the ship, I am wondering how they can legally in the eyes of the bureau of ships and services (BoSS) transfer it to them...

 

I'm thinking it would require a couple of fees, administration fee, and a ship inspection fee (and obviously a inspection) and some sort of proof that the party are not in fact the pirates, but can anyone else think of something I may have missed?

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In one of the legends material, there's a mention of a system where killing pirates or slavers gets you to keep their possessions.  I believe it's in the Heir to the Empire, when Han and Lando is at Karrde's base

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I see this being handled a couple of ways.

First, blow a whole in the ship (preferably in a way that looks like some type of accident), tow it to a port somewhere and claim found it adrift and call it legitimate salvage.  If you off'd the entire crew, no one's going to be able to contest it.  As you said, you'll have to pay a few fees for registration/bureaucracy but that's about it.  Oh, and you'll need to patch the whole in the ship.

Second, grease the palms of someone in BoSS to re-register the ship under your name.  Comes with the difficulty of finding a BoSS agent who won't report you.

Third, pay a skilled slicer to alter the transponder and register the ship as your own.

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8 hours ago, LMasterList said:

So if they are successful in going murder hobo and securing the ship, I am wondering how they can legally in the eyes of the bureau of ships and services (BoSS) transfer it to them...

It can be even simpler than you suggest.  If the PCs can easily show via whatever facts they were victims of piracy, the Empire could just have an open letter of marque type thing on pirate's ships and bounty on pirates themselves.  Throughout history regardless of government type piracy is not looked on favorably.

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3 hours ago, TalosX said:

I see this being handled a couple of ways.

First, blow a whole in the ship (preferably in a way that looks like some type of accident), tow it to a port somewhere and claim found it adrift and call it legitimate salvage.  If you off'd the entire crew, no one's going to be able to contest it.  As you said, you'll have to pay a few fees for registration/bureaucracy but that's about it.  Oh, and you'll need to patch the whole in the ship.

Second, grease the palms of someone in BoSS to re-register the ship under your name.  Comes with the difficulty of finding a BoSS agent who won't report you.

Third, pay a skilled slicer to alter the transponder and register the ship as your own.

https://tenor.com/view/legal-neimoidian-starwars-neimodian-gif-5713048

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On another way, don’t forget the Empire is an awful dictatorship with legion of corrupted bureaucrats.
If you came to the BoSS with a ship known for multiple acts of piracy, you could be arrested and detained as a pirate yourself. May be the bureaucrat was simply corrupted and want to get a bounty, maybe he was genuinely believes that anyone had affairs with pirates (and especially those who are able to defeat them) are members of the underworld and must be neutralized by the Empire.
As admiral Piett said: "Bounty hunters, we don't need their scum!". You can replace "Bounty hunters" with "Sumgglers", "Tramp freighters captains", any kind of "poor guys"....
This can came with a Disaster.

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9 minutes ago, Ali Mesratep said:

On another way, don’t forget the Empire is an awful dictatorship with legion of corrupted bureaucrats.
If you came to the BoSS with a ship known for multiple acts of piracy, you could be arrested and detained as a pirate yourself. May be the bureaucrat was simply corrupted and want to get a bounty, maybe he was genuinely believes that anyone had affairs with pirates (and especially those who are able to defeat them) are members of the underworld and must be neutralized by the Empire.
As admiral Piett said: "Bounty hunters, we don't need their scum!". You can replace "Bounty hunters" with "Sumgglers", "Tramp freighters captains", any kind of "poor guys"....
This can came with a Disaster.

Let all the human PC's handle this and claim it was a 'nasty, brutish alien race. Can't remember the species as they're all back stabbing scum.' Grease their palms... done...

Other PCs of non-human or droid slant stay at the cantina until registration is complete

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8 minutes ago, ExpandingUniverse said:

Let all the human PC's handle this and claim it was a 'nasty, brutish alien race. Can't remember the species as they're all back stabbing scum.' Grease their palms... done...

Other PCs of non-human or droid slant stay at the cantina until registration is complete

True !

In Star Wars, a good score in Deception or Charm* can be as useful (more useful?) as  a good score in Piloting or Ranged [Light].

* Skulduggery, Negotiation, Knowledge (underworld) etc.

Edited by Ali Mesratep

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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.

 

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.

Tread carefully.

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The BOSS probably has some form for salvage rights in the event a ship is acquired through legal, but violent, means. Assuming the pirate ship isn’t stolen and/or the original owner isn’t around to claim it.

I imagine there being a limited period where the original owner of a stolen ship can claim it if it is recovered from the thieves. Possession is 9/10ths of the law in Star Wars most likely. It could be an interesting one session adventure where you go to court vs the original owner to claim the ship.

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1 hour ago, BadMotivator said:

The BOSS probably has some form for salvage rights in the event a ship is acquired through legal, but violent, means. Assuming the pirate ship isn’t stolen and/or the original owner isn’t around to claim it.

I imagine there being a limited period where the original owner of a stolen ship can claim it if it is recovered from the thieves. Possession is 9/10ths of the law in Star Wars most likely. It could be an interesting one session adventure where you go to court vs the original owner to claim the ship.

I would wonder why a controlling Empire would support the idea of possession being "9/10ths of the law" when it leads to disorder and chaos. Far better to demand that any such captured vessels are turned in for a prize fee and the vessel goes up for auction to legitimate licensed buyers. Until that process occurs, the vessel is still regarded as a pirate ship.

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Unless it's an Empire in a civil war who would like to keep the 'self starters' happy, as opposed to making new rebels.....

I honestly could see this run in either way, but in Solo it didn't look like the Empire was interested in 'ownership' disputes. Speeding though!.....and they're on you like stink on poodoo....

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I played an Entrepreneur once who specialized in making things legal, or at least making them look legal. The party was attacked by a guy, and we were about to off him, but I got him to sign over his ship before he died. Actually, he did die, but I pressed his thumb up against a data pad with a contract signing the ship over to us. In this case, I used Knowledge (Education) to formulate a legally binding contract. The fact that the guy was dead when he signed was beside the fact...

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Considering piracy is, Rebels aside, the main thing the whole Imperial Fleet exists to combat I highly doubt it would be a real issue. If a pirate is causing trouble and the group decides to take their head to the Empire, they'd probably have no problem with the players keeping the pirate's ship, especially since it means they probably don't have to pay them. If the group is actually registered as bounty hunters it's even easier to just claim pirate ships as spoils, that kind of thing is to be expected from bounty hunters.

Of course, the issue can be avoided entirely if the group has black market connections, in which case they can easily just sell the ship and use the money to buy another ship that is squeaky clean. If the group mainly operates in Hutt space it's not a problem at all, save the possibility that the pirate was working for someone and the group just royally pissed them off. The only way I could see the ship being an problem is if the players were dumb enough to steal the pirate ship and then fly it straight to say, Coruscant without notice.

Edited by immortalfrieza

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7 hours ago, immortalfrieza said:

Considering piracy is, Rebels aside, the main thing the whole Imperial Fleet exists to combat I highly doubt it would be a real issue. If a pirate is causing trouble and the group decides to take their head to the Empire, they'd probably have no problem with the players keeping the pirate's ship, especially since it means they probably don't have to pay them. If the group is actually registered as bounty hunters it's even easier to just claim pirate ships as spoils, that kind of thing is to be expected from bounty hunters.

If the pirate vessel is armed or otherwise outfitted in a manner that makes the ship illegal, then it would still be illegal for the new crew to own/operate it. Bounty hunters would have more leeway as long as they are following the rules of the IPKC.

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On 1/26/2019 at 10:21 PM, HappyDaze said:

If the pirate vessel is armed or otherwise outfitted in a manner that makes the ship illegal, then it would still be illegal for the new crew to own/operate it. Bounty hunters would have more leeway as long as they are following the rules of the IPKC.

Yeah, when the ship is taken to be inspected by BoSS agents they will attempt to find all restricted modifications and order them removed at PCs expense before they can let it be released, I will roll perception checks for the agents on each item and anything that is missed the PCs get to keep, (fully expect the boarding tube that the pirates will have to be discovered really easily)

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43 minutes ago, LMasterList said:

Yeah, when the ship is taken to be inspected by BoSS agents they will attempt to find all restricted modifications and order them removed at PCs expense before they can let it be released, I will roll perception checks for the agents on each item and anything that is missed the PCs get to keep, (fully expect the boarding tube that the pirates will have to be discovered really easily)

Oddly enough, there are many non-Restricted vessels that mount Restricted weaponry as standard kit. Sure, we can butt-pull an explanation, but the truth is that FFG had no intelligent design in using the Restricted designation.

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53 minutes ago, BadMotivator said:

Restricted also doesn’t mean it’s illegal on every planet. Perhaps it just needs a special license or it’s only illegal in most planets, but BOSS doesn’t care about it

Again, FFG had no idea what they were doing with their "Restricted" rules.

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12 minutes ago, BadMotivator said:

Aye. Everyone should view Restricted as meaning “this item may potentially be subject to local or galactic regulations. The nature of which is up to your DM”

It doesn't even mean that. Why has the Empire not Restricted the sale & ownership of X-wing Starfighters or MC80 Star Cruisers? The Restricted label is applied so haphazardly that it's totally meaningless.

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On 1/27/2019 at 10:13 AM, LMasterList said:

Yeah, when the ship is taken to be inspected by BoSS agents they will attempt to find all restricted modifications and order them removed at PCs expense before they can let it be released, I will roll perception checks for the agents on each item and anything that is missed the PCs get to keep, (fully expect the boarding tube that the pirates will have to be discovered really easily)

Or the player could just strip the ship of these things in advance before the players turn the ship in for BOSS inspection, if they've got the time, then put them back on afterward.

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This happened with my players in a game where they took a pirate ship after there was an attempt to be boarded (mainly with characters getting locked into rooms with pirates). The pirates had a bounty (Good use of destiny) and the bounty office settled the fee with the cost of the ship and the players paid a 5000 (silhouette x 1000) credits transfer fee. 

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