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angelman2

Contraband needed!

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Hey all,

I’m writing a little encounter for my smuggler player to use as a vehicle for some exposition and flavor, and I need all y'alls help. The smuggler (a Weequay) will have to smuggle something past customs upon his person (at the most in his personal luggage, although “in his pocket” would be preferable). But, I cannot for the life of me think of anything worth smuggling!

The PC will be doing this as a favor to a friend, helping smuggle something through a spaceport customs checkpoint (where the friend’s face is well known and destined to be thoroughly checked) and onto the friend’s ship. The point here, as such, is not the contraband itself but I need it to be something worth everyone’s while nonetheless. For story reasons, the contraband should preferably be something that an Outer Rim hinterland colony would have great use for (i.e. this is a mercy mission of sorts)… a couple of blasters won’t be critical enough, and drugs is out of the question. Death Star plans and other military intelligence is also quite useless to the dirt farmers. I was thinking perhaps some sort of exploration gear or medical equipment or something, but I cannot come up with anything that needs to be smuggled past customs.

Help?

Now, I’m making much too big a deal out of this, but it bugs me. What small, restricted/prohibited item(s) could a backwater colony need? Does any canonical item come to mind? Anything from Gadgets & Gear that I might have overlooked?

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated :D

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A valuable piece or pieces of electronic hardware?

Hinterland planets would probably have need of droid motivators, or processors or something the like. something they can't produce.

Doesn't have to be illegal to be smuggled. Customs could just be rediculously pricy - maybe the item is stolen and would be flagged in any routine export.

Just some mind mapping for you.

Otherwise, this is a tough nut.

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I think the route of "it doesn't have to be rare/illegal/expensive normally" is probably the best way to go here. The problem isn't that the medicine/electronic equipment is illegal, it's that the local Governor has the monopoly on it and as a result the tariffs on it are prohibitively expensive.

"What's that in your cargo, citizen?"
"Moisture vaporators, sir."
"Very good. As soon as you pay your tariff of 10,000 credits per unit, you can proceed."
"10,000 credits per unit tariff? Vaporators cost 500 credits each!"
"On the Core Worlds, absolutely. But Governor Hatch has the right to set his own tariffs. Of course, you could simply purchase a vaporator from Governor Hatch's cousin once you arrive on the planet for 2,500 credits and avoid this tariff."

Replace with whatever contraband you feel like, of course. But it doesn't have to be illegal or restricted to be worth smuggling in.

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All  good suggestions. Some sort of questionable fertilizer serum, perhaps... or a pest-control critter. Something stolen (a batch of big-pharma priced medicine) or some experimental tech/hardware/(or even software).

I also very much like the governor monopoly thing, seeing as a major theme in this campaign is to figure out what the heck the local moff is up to. (I'm playing a prelude kind of campaign to DarkStryder where the rebel operators are trying to -- among other things -- figure out what Moff Sarne is cooking behind the scenes). The moff could easily have tested some chemicals/medicines on his unwitting population, and now the Kathol Outback colony wants in on the "sweet deal", or whatever. Hm...

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Seeds:  there is a plant that would grow really well on this planet, helping the farmers increase their output by double.

But maybe it was banned because it would grow *too* well, like kudzu vines, and take over.

Maybe the farmers don't know that, or maybe they are in such a tough economic situation they don't care.

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Something that people/farmers on the Outer Rim would need to smuggle on a person through customs inspection.

Super Fertilizer. A single vial can increase the yield of a single field 10 fold. Usual tariff is 300%.

Super Medicine. There is a terrible virus outbreak and the medicine was acquired under unusual circumstances. It was supposed to be reserved for the Imperial Army/Navy, but it is being 'redistributed' by some smugglers with a heart of gold. 

Edited by GM_Needs_A_Xanex
Spelling.

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3 hours ago, angelman2 said:

For story reasons, the contraband should preferably be something that an Outer Rim hinterland colony would have great use for (i.e. this is a mercy mission of sorts)… a couple of blasters won’t be critical enough, and drugs is out of the question. Death Star plans and other military intelligence is also quite useless to the dirt farmers. I was thinking perhaps some sort of exploration gear or medical equipment or something, but I cannot come up with anything that needs to be smuggled past customs.

- Your Agridroids are breaking down? You know, J-999 Wardroid main processors are interchangeable with Type-5 Agridroid processors, heck, the 5's will actually run better as the 999's processors are both faster and self-sealed. Of course all J-999 wardroid components have been restricted ever since that incident on Hydra-Sequintus. 

 

2 hours ago, angelman2 said:

figure out what Moff Sarne is cooking behind the scenes). The moff could easily have tested some chemicals/medicines on his unwitting population, and now the Kathol Outback colony wants in on the "sweet deal", or whatever. Hm...

What? Sarne? Psssht… nah that's... umm... totally not him..... totally… not... umm....

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On 1/22/2020 at 8:40 AM, angelman2 said:

Now, I’m making much too big a deal out of this

Oh, not at all. A logically sound plot device can really sell the adventure to players.

For my first session, players were about to collect on a series of smuggling runs. The actual caper was incidental -- functionally nothing more than to kick start in media res -- but I wanted it to hang together. Basically, exploit a trade route customs accounting error that assigned the same code to two mechanical items with values/tariffs an order of magnitude apart. Get on the books with the cheap stuff, switch on the right planet, show the stamp of approval at dropoff and sweet-talk away from a receipt inspection.

On that note, AEinhorn has it right: the law is whatever TPTB say it is, so if X good is prohibited or restricted in Y system, a black market emerges.

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If it needs to be small then I'd suggest plans of some sort.  Going along with some of the other ideas, perhaps a formula to make fuel from an indigenous plant, fuel that otherwise would be vastly expensive.  Or a formula for a cheap pesticide.  Han and Chewy smuggle water to Rampa because the government has a monopoly on water.  Something that the planetary government doesn't want the citizens to have easy access to.

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As mentioned above, the contraband needs to be something that is of critical use to beyound-the-outer-rim colonists, so military intelligence doesn't quite do it. (Although, the smuggling of such items would be very cool and tense in another scenario!). After some thought I think I will go for the super seeds idea. Moff Sarne has had experimental crops seed invented to feed his growing military behind the Empire's back, ('cause he's that kind of guy), and while it would be difficult to use said seeds under Moff Sarne's nose in the Kathol Sector, it could make or break a hinterland colony out in the Kathol Outback. It think this could work out fine :)

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On 1/24/2020 at 3:30 PM, angelman2 said:

As mentioned above, the contraband needs to be something that is of critical use to beyound-the-outer-rim colonists, so military intelligence doesn't quite do it. (Although, the smuggling of such items would be very cool and tense in another scenario!). After some thought I think I will go for the super seeds idea. Moff Sarne has had experimental crops seed invented to feed his growing military behind the Empire's back, ('cause he's that kind of guy), and while it would be difficult to use said seeds under Moff Sarne's nose in the Kathol Sector, it could make or break a hinterland colony out in the Kathol Outback. It think this could work out fine :)

So, just to play devil's advocate, why does the government of this hinterland colony care if someone brings these seeds on planet, how would they even know what they were, and how does a hinterland colony have an effective enough government to have effective customs control?

Unless I misunderstood, and you are smuggling them out of the high pop, tightly controlled, sector capital.

Edited by RickInVA

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4 hours ago, RickInVA said:

So, just to play devil's advocate, why does the government of this hinterland colony care if someone brings these seeds on planet, how would they even know what they were, and how does a hinterland colony have an effective enough government to have effective customs control?

Unless I misunderstood, and you are smuggling them out of the high pop, tightly controlled, sector capital.

Yeah, my bad. The PCs are smuggling the stuff out of a Gandle Ott aka. "Little Coruscant". I just need it, for story/set-up reasons, to be a shipment going out to the Kathol Outback.

(Basically, it's about name dropping some places and setting up some culture stuff before the PCs finally heads that way in act two [during a jury-rigged & heavily addapted version of Friends Like These that sees the PCs go into the Kathol Outback looking for allies instead of to Vlemoth Port & Kowak]).

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