Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Revised House Rule for Customs & Smuggling MTU

In practice, in retrospect, I mainly can't be bothered with this as a system. The basic idea is good for adventure seeds, but the day to day administration of this is too fiddly.

Cargos, leaving or arriving on a planet, must pass through customs. Cargos being shipped for fee are understood to have passed customs, and are not the responsibility of the ship. Brokers assisting in the purchase of cargos can assist with their export due to their familiarity with local law, customs, and officials.

Basic Procedure
1) roll law level +, with admin and/or broker dms, to pass customs unchallenged.
2) if law roll fails, tariffs = (2D-7 + law -admin) x Kcr100 per ton.

Government or Noble permissions and waivers may be available to permit easy passage through customs.

Documents may be forged allowing passage without tariff : these must be prepared in advance.

Bribes may be attempted to bypass tariffs (1% total fines for initial attempt.)

If difficulty with customs is expected or if a cargo has already been rejected for passage, attempts may be made to smuggle it: these should be played out depending on the world's ability to police itself.

A specific cargo refused entry or exit from a specific world may never be passed through that world's customs legally. Other examples ofthe same kind of cargo must be checked separately.

Cargos stuck on their world of purchase may be resold immediately for 50% of their purchase price, or the PC may roll resale normally the next week.


If caught at smuggling, if reported for bribery or forgery attempts, punishment is as follows:
All fines imposed x 10, (cargo and ship subject to seizure if fines exceed available funds)
(2D-7 + law -admin) = years imprisonment.
LAWYERS: The player can add a lawyer's skill to assist in his defense: Fee = 10% of total fines plus 1% per level of legal/admin above 1.


Imperial patrol cruisers perform additional customs spotchecks: If all cargos aboard a ship have passed through customs, they will have appropriate documentation and the boarding will likely be a formality. If there is cargo on board that did not pass through customs and is undocumented, the above process must be applied. IMTU, I assume a general Imperial law level of 9 for such encounters: Of course, brokers are not available on such occasions, although lawyers may be made available onworld should the PC be taken into custody.


Blogger KenHR said...

I like the addition of Lawyers to this system.

Perhaps you could, for the sake of expediting a trial, use a die roll to determine sentencing, with the lawyer providing a DM (not unlike Brokers for trading)? The most effective lawyers would be more expensive that way.

11:29 AM  
Blogger KenHR said...

Err...never mind that comment. That's what you're doing already.

Can I blame lack of coffee this late in the day?

11:49 AM  
Blogger MTU: The Festrian Empire said...

That's pretty much what I had in mind: The lawyer's legal/admin level would be added to the player's own, to modify the roll regarding jailtime.

11:55 AM  
Blogger MTU: The Festrian Empire said...

Ah! Got your comment there.

One gap that I see now, though, is that I don't have a mechanism to see if the lawyer can get our smuggling hero off in regard to the fine: perhaps the lawyer's skill can be subtracted from the initial Tariff roll, reducing the impact of the fine(potentially negating it!) But that's getting a little hairy. Trying to keep this streamlined...

11:57 AM  
Blogger KenHR said...

Maybe use the sentencing roll to determine the fine?

Like this:

2d6-7+Law-Admin-Lawyer = Sentence in years


Subtract lower die from higher die + 5 - Lawyer. This is the fine multiplier.

For example, Jimmy Phan gets caught sneaking some high-end synthetic pharmaceuticals off of the planet Wyhear. He hires a lawyer with skill-1. He rolls 2D and gets a 6 and a 3.

Assuming a law level of 9, this results in a sentence of ((6+3)-7+9-1) 10 years. The fine is (6-3+5-1) 7x the tariff.

I like using dice tricks like this to get the most mileage out of one roll, but such a scheme doesn't really stick with normal CT conventions, so it might not be acceptable in this form. But I think a fine reduction should be tied in with the same roll somehow, if only to save on the wristage.

12:36 PM  
Blogger MTU: The Festrian Empire said...

I'll try to play out your 2-in-1 roll: that could be pretty elegant, once it's firmly in mind.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Craig A. Glesner said...

Remind me to keep my nose clean in this part of space, the fines are fanarking killer here. Wow, KCr 100/ton. Yikes.

Facing those kind of fines, I for sure am going to spend the CrImps on the best lawyer I can find. Seems like it would be cheaper in the end.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Festeria said...

To tell the truth, I'm moving away from this - at least as far as the literal application of it is concerned. It's unwieldy, and it's an example of a kind of houserule bloat I'd like to avoid... I'd want to revisit the rule in light of my more recent interpretations of trade IMTU, as well. This works well in a TU where the big trade is all locked up by big corps. MTU is starting to approach a level where trade between planets is potentially lucrative, but less rationalized.

4:25 AM  

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