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Handling looting

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So in the beginner game I had a group that killed the stormtroopers and got a nice upgrade to gear (and now expect to just loot everything forever).

 

The real game allows me to have them find only damaged items, so there is still a credit cost at least, but it feels kind of cheap to just do this.

 

Anyone have any other ways for reducing the flow of better items?  Just not have NPCs with better stuff?

 

 

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Consider that, when you kill a stormtrooper, you're killing a soldier of the Empire.  Consider that their weapons are logged and marked "IMPERIAL PROPERTY".  What shopkeeper is going to want to buy heavy blasters marked "IMPERIAL PROPERTY"?  What will he do with them?  Even black marketeers realize that goods like that are near impossible to unload and either won't buy them or will do so for a tiny fraction due to the difficulty of making a profit.

 

Its important to remember that we can use all manner of in game penalties to condition actions we don't approve of.  Use the above situations if they try and sell them off.  If they try and use them, maybe they short out a LOT, backfire, overheat, they need high quality reloads and repairs to maintain peak efficiency - the kind of stuff you can't find in an  out rim world.  You might also offer to let them acquire them to take on more obligation.  This could lead to them being tracked by a branch of the Imperial Security Bureau and facing off against far worse than some plain old stormtroopers. 

 

You have options - don't let your players ever get content or settled where they are.  If you don't like what they've acquired, find a way to make them nervous or downright scared about it so they don't do it again!

Edited by kelann08

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So in the beginner game I had a group that killed the stormtroopers and got a nice upgrade to gear

Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie spend most of the second half of A Hew Hope running around with blasters they looted from Stormtroopers they defeated. So good on your players for embracing the genre!

Ineti likes this

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Anyone have any other ways for reducing the flow of better items?  Just not have NPCs with better stuff?

If you don't want them to loot, don't give them the opportunity. Either don't give the NPCs the swag, or interrupt their looting with another in-game problem.

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So in the beginner game I had a group that killed the stormtroopers and got a nice upgrade to gear

Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie spend most of the second half of A Hew Hope running around with blasters they looted from Stormtroopers they defeated. So good on your players for embracing the genre!

 

 

And that gear was gone before the movie ended. Notice that Luke and Han weren't in the armor anymore and Han was back to using his own weapon when they ran to the Falcon. So, there's a difference between obtaining something for momentary use and taking things to expect to use permanently or make profit off of.

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If they want to keep them, just let them know that those kind of weapons will stand out and if anyone inspects them they're going to be easy to identify as stolen.

 

So if they're willing to take the extra heat that comes from killing Stormies and stealing their guns, let them have the reward of better weapons (they're gonna need them)

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I think it's an easy question (from a certain point of view). Consider the tech level of the Empire and even the rebels. You *know* they can track those weapons or at the very least they can scan for them at any near distance. If your players are among scum and villains, nobody will care. If they dare go into imperial installations or get boarded by imperial agents, I would think those weapons would be HIGHLY incriminating.

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Encumbrance. And what kelann0 said.

 

Most gamers gloss over encumbrance because (insert reason here) and it can lead to the problem of looting everything in sight. So let them know that carrying three or four blaster carbines, a suit or two of armor or whatever is going to add Strain and/or Setback dice to their actions. Not to mention odd looks and potential interference from people seeing them carting all this cr*p around. Make sure that you never just give them a free pass, reward them for being smart by letting them gather and sell stuff but don't always let them make it to the fence without any trouble. Getting ambushed by a gutter gang or some local or Imperial fuzz once or twice will break the habit of the "Take All the Stuff" mentality and keep them focused on the basics.

The truth is that characters early on tend to be underfunded so collecting gear to gain some credits is a reasonable solution. As characters progress and gain more wealth they are less likely to bother with the little things so don't get too concerned.
 

Edited by FuriousGreg

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I think it's an easy question (from a certain point of view). Consider the tech level of the Empire and even the rebels. You *know* they can track those weapons or at the very least they can scan for them at any near distance. If your players are among scum and villains, nobody will care. If they dare go into imperial installations or get boarded by imperial agents, I would think those weapons would be HIGHLY incriminating.

Scanning for the serial numbers of items at a distance is NOT part of Star Wars. It is a setting with 70s/80s leaning towards most tech. Sure, you have spaceships and blasters, but those are just reskinned automobiles and firearms. Heavy duty NSA style surveillance isn't really fitting.

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Looting in Star Wars is something that people deal with regardless of system.  Even over the WEG D6 boards that are still active we get questions about what to do about looting.  And there are a number of issues, some of which have already been established. 

 

1. You're taking Imperial property, killing Imperial troops can get you run up on all sorts of charges, most of them deal with life long imprisonment or immediate unceremoneous execution. 

 

2. Where are you going to unload these stolen goods?  You're not going to get base cost for them because anyone you sell them to will have to have the connections to fence them without getting caught.  This means you're going to have to make connections with very dangerous characters or run the risks of fencing them directly.  If you fence them directly you can run afoul of a sting operation to catch gun runners.  Alternatively when you cut out the middle man, the middle man will be upset for getting cut out.  The middle man may come looking for you so he can get his cut. 
 
In short, there are all sorts of adventures (or misadventures) in selling these goods.

 

3. Similar to #2, unless you're fencing them instantly (which has problems in itself), then you're going to be keeping a small stash of illegal goods on your ship.  You are subject to boarding and search by imperial customs at pretty much any port.  Actually... you're subject to search any time you run into a customs ship or planetary patrol.  Illegal goods on your ship can get you into all sorts of trouble.

 

4. How long does it take to completely strip a dead body of its armor.  Yeah, in video games you just have to click a button and you've got all the things.  Or, if its an FPS, you just pass the body and you get all the things.  In an rpg, you've got to take time rolling the dead body over, unlatching armor, unhooking releases, and detatching seals.  Can you imagine slipping a body glove off of dead weight?  Now you're going to do that with a small squad of troopers?  Yeah, that's gonna take some time.  While you're taking all this time to do so reinforcements are on the way.  Further, can you imagine the commotion that it would raise if you were taking all the clothing and gear off of five or six unconscious cops in your neighborhood?  Maybe the Empire is hated on your block and maybe it isn't.  But you can bet someone is going to report it.

 

5. Encumbrance.  And there's enough said about that at the moment.

Edited by bandersnee

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then you're going to be keeping a small stash of illegal goods on your ship.

Smugglers keeping illegal goods on their ship? INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!

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then you're going to be keeping a small stash of illegal goods on your ship.

Smugglers keeping illegal goods on their ship? INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!

 

 

Much like starting a land war in Asia?

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I agree with the previous post on his list of considerations, but I also want to point out that this game is about playing criminals and hovering in criminal circles in criminal locales. **** near every group in EotE is going to pick up some hot loot at one point or another, and the setting is one that encourages it. None of the obstacles lodged above are insurmountable and few are even going to be significant so long as the characters stay on the fringes of society (the Edge of the Empire if you will).

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[Jayne is walking menacingly towards Mal with a large gun]

Jayne: Six men came to kill me one time. And the best of 'em carried this. It's a Callahan full-bore auto-lock. Customized trigger, double cartridge thorough gauge. It is my very favorite gun.

[he holds the gun out to Mal]

Mal: [exclaims in Chinese] You offering me a trade?

Jayne: A trade? Hell, it's theft. This the best gun made by man. It has *extreme* sentimental value. It's miles more worthy 'n what you got!

Mal: What I got? She has a name.

Jayne: So does this. I call it Vera.

Mal: Well, my days of not takin' ya seriously are certainly comin' to a middle.

bandersnee and Cilionelle like this

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Also keep in mind that eventually, basic gear should be overshadowed by custom modded gear. 

 

... if that's not a comfort, then blow their stuff up when they roll Despair.

Edited by Doc, the Weasel

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It is funny. When I read the subject header “Handling looting”, I was expecting a different topic. I though the only difference between handling and looting was if the mark was alive or dead when you acquired the goods.  :D

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I agree with the previous post on his list of considerations, but I also want to point out that this game is about playing criminals and hovering in criminal circles in criminal locales. **** near every group in EotE is going to pick up some hot loot at one point or another, and the setting is one that encourages it. None of the obstacles lodged above are insurmountable and few are even going to be significant so long as the characters stay on the fringes of society (the Edge of the Empire if you will).

Certainly they aren't insurmountable. What it does is offer you a number of obstacles to structure your adventures around. It may deter some more hesitant players, but if they insist on looting, then you should at least make it a little more problematic than droping the swag off for cash at the next swap meet. The point of handling looting players is to make it more than just "free money." It requires effort to smuggle the loot, find a way to sell the loot, and evade authorities in the process. If this is the way they want to spend their games, then it's fine. Some people may find it worth the effort. Others will not. It's not the GMs role to say, "NO!" but to handle the activity in an appropriate way in game. Edited by bandersnee

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The other factor with looting things like Stormtrooper armour (especially ST armour), is how it fits. --"Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?" It's also extremely recognizable, especially if it is the really well-polished kind. People will certainly recognize it, whether worn or not. However, I for one would not stop my players from looting the armour if they see fit. However, encumbrance and the ability to fence the goods (or alternatively disguise it enough if they choose to wear it) can put a damper on things.

 

The stormtrooper carbines are actually halfway decent, and could be taken if someone wants to take them as their "ranged heavy" weapon which they'd further modify. Further to this, the E-11 Carbine was also popular amongst Alliance troops, and might be the AK-47 of the Galaxy in many respects. I'd say the armour would be more the issue rather than the weapon itself.

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WHen I was running "long arm of the Hutt" the players defeated the bounty hunters in the Lylek Den and then thought about turning in the airspeeder (it was a rental) for the deposit.  I had them make a simple knowledge role and told them without proper ID or a way to get pass the ID Security (Rentina, voice, palm) it was not going to be possible.

 

My favorite line from the buyer when they try to sell looted weapons "Hey, this has BLOOD on it!"

 

A GM who thinks ,and lets the players know they cannot get away with some things, can keep it in check

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First off I would take into consideration the encumbrance of the items. The Threshold for this is on pg 152. If you get too high it is going to cause some problems. If they are carrying a normal load for their character they probably won't be able to carry much extra stuff.

 

Next I take into consideration how long it takes to take the items or get the armor off the body. In that particular situation my players got ambushed by more storm troopers because they took too long. I felt it was reasonable to think that the stormtroopers who had just been killed probably radioed in that they were in a fight. 

 

I'd also bet the armor of someone you just cleaved, stabbed, shot, and/or blown up is probably damaged. 

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I've never seen players try to loot armor, but grabbing a blaster carbine/rifle and grenades off of a fallen stormtrooper isn't something that should be at all difficult to accomplish in a few moments.

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I've never seen players try to loot armor, but grabbing a blaster carbine/rifle and grenades off of a fallen stormtrooper isn't something that should be at all difficult to accomplish in a few moments.

 

Its not so much about difficulty as it is about making sure the PCs don't focus on looting everything in sight.  The sidebar on page 151 of the core rulebook talks about keeping the players "hungry".  Letting them get all the best gear and items from slain soldiers and bountyhunters makes that very hard to do.  You have to get creative about preventing them from being better armed than what you pit against them without letting things escalate to PC Death Star vs. NPC Death Star.

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 PC Death Star vs. NPC Death Star.

 

10/10 would watch

 

Dibs on manning the computer that controls ALL OF THE TURBOLASER BATTERIES!

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For looting imperials: It's imperial property, its tagged with serial numbers, some even logs fires shot and communicate if they can to the holonet; this goes for some blaster pistols, imagine the information overload if this was done with stormtrooper rifles? Still, the imperial stormtrooper rifles is not something you'd want anyone see you with, carrying it casually... bad idea.

 

Looting armour? well, if you blasted the poor trooper with one shot, I'd maybe let you use it, but I would considered it Sundered at least once, if not twice. If many shots were fired, it'd be more or less useless as protection. Of course different with brawl attacks.

 

Also remember Encumbrance, they'll start dropping stuff quickly once they get lots of setback dice to agility and brawn related checks, and when they lose their free manoeuvre each round. Oh yes.

Reydan likes this

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