Monday, September 20, 2010

Revising Trade Chrome.

Trying to streamline the way I handle Law & Speculative trade. Sort of a second draft.

Latest addition:
Typically, any offworlder put "through the system" - arrested and arraigned, whether released or sentenced - is considered "persona non grata" on that world: more than one judge will have told a defendant, "You're free to go, spacer. But don't set foot on this world again, or I'll know about it." Future attempts to pass customs that fail a law check will result in an arrest. Many spacers, to avoid the hassle and risk of imprisonment, will likely happily avoid a world where they've accrued a rap sheet.

Starport customs:


A general law check must be made whenever attempting to move cargos IN or OUT of extrality. A roll of Law + indicates no particular scrutiny: Law - indicates that the cargo has been flagged for customs, and will be subject to further checks. If a ship has been flagged for alert following a patrol inspection, this law check is skipped. Note: one success avoids the rest of the process.

Further scrutiny may be avoided via bribery, if reactions allow and law levels are appropriate. (See below.) Note: again, success here avoids the rest of the process.

If no bribe is attempted, or if a bribe fails, then check law for each specific cargo, applying Admin skill. Each cargo that passes, may go through customs. Each that fails is blocked. If a critical failure occurs (natural 2s) or the failure follows an attempt at bribery or forgery, or if the cargo is plainly illegal (laser rifles delivered to a law-9 world) the character will be placed under ARREST.

Blocked cargos for import must remain on shipboard.
Blocked cargos for export are impounded, and cannot be removed or refunded.

(Or rather, shifting blocked cargos requires the sort of effort that adventures are made of.)

BRIBERY

If trouble with customs is foreseen (either due to high law level, or if the cargo is plainly illegal) a bribery attempt may be made.Mainly, the procedure is an embellishment of the LBB1 rule:
  1. Roll reaction of the customs officials. If negative, no bribe is possible.
  2. If a bribe is possible, the attempt may be made. The amount paid is equal to the bribery roll x10 for Bribery-1; x100 for bribery-2; x1000 for bribery-3, x 10,000 for bribery-4 and so on.

    Note
    : The bribing character need not use his skill at maximum: a character with bribery-4 may elect to use bribery-1. A character attempting a bribe without the skill or ABOVE his skill may do so with the no-skill modifier of +5.

  3. If a bribe is attempted, but fails, subtract the level of bribe attempted from the customs law roll. Hence, a casual attempt to bribe brings slight additional scrutiny. A major bribe brings major scrutiny. If the bribe attempt is reported (2D for 3-) the player will be placed under ARREST.

Patrol ships: if a patrol vessel is encountered, it will order the ship to heave to and be boarded: this will involve a customs check at the law level of the world in question (if the searched ship is known for criminal acts elsewhere, especially piracy or skipping, this should play out differently, but let's assume an otherwise clean ship here). If the customs check fails (including any attempts at bribery) the ship is flagged for alert by Starport customs. Critical failures (natural 2s) and failed efforts to bribe Naval Officers will result in ARREST.

ARREST:

If arrested, the suspect will be held in custody for (2D+Law)/Admin days.

Officials, if their reaction is good, may be bribed for release: the cost should higher than the procedure above: N x cr. 100 for Bribery-1, N x cr. 1,000 for Bribery-2, etc. (Judges are expensive.) Failure will result in an additional charge, with an additional sentence/fine.

At the end of this period, the suspect will be charged, or released: Roll Law+ for release, with admin as a modifier.

If the suspect is charged with a crime, he will be imprisoned or fined:
(2D-7 + law - admin) = years imprisonment or (2D-7 + law -admin) x 10,000 in fines.

LAWYERS: The player can add a lawyer's skill to assist in his defense: Fee = 10% of total fines per level of legal/admin.

NAVAL ARREST results in cold sleep transport to the nearest naval base, followed by ((2D + 2) - admin) years imprisonment in a Naval Brig.

Typically, any offworlder put "through the system" - arrested and arraigned, whether released or sentenced - is considered "persona non grata" on that world: more than one judge will have told a defendant, "You're free to go, spacer. But don't set foot on this world again, or I'll know about it." Future attempts to pass customs that fail a law check will result in an arrest. Many spacers, to avoid the hassle and risk of imprisonment, will likely happily avoid a world where they've accrued a rap sheet.

The Short Version:

Patrols:
Customs check at planetary law level. (Law + admin)
success = no scrutiny
If fail, check reaction; if negative, no bribe possible; failed bribe = NAVAL ARREST
If miss law check = FLAGGED
Critical miss (natural 2) =
NAVAL ARREST

Starport customs:
General law check:
success = no scrutiny
fail = FLAGGED

If FLAGGED:

Roll reaction:

If negative, no bribe possible.
If positive, the attempt may be made (see below).
If attempted bribe succeeds, no scrutiny.
If attempted bribe fails, roll law for each specific cargo (- the level of bribe attempted) + admin
Check for report of bribe: if reported =
ARREST.
If no bribe attempted, roll law for each specific cargo, + admin
Each cargo that passes law roll clears customs.
Each that fails is blocked.
If a critical failure occurs
= ARREST

Blocked cargos for import must remain on shipboard.
Blocked cargos for export are impounded, and cannot be removed or refunded.

ARREST:

Initial custody = (2D+Law)/Admin days.
Bribes for release, where N= bribery roll: N x cr. 100 for Bribery-1, N x cr. 1,000 for Bribery-2, etc. (Judges are expensive.) Failure = additional charge, with an additional sentence/fine.
Trial: Roll Law+ for release, with admin as a modifier.

Sentencing: (2D-7 + law - admin) = years imprisonment or (2D-7 + law -admin) x 10,000 in fines.

LAWYERS: Fee = 10% of total fines per level of legal/admin.

Naval Arrest: Cold sleep to Naval Base, + ((2D + 2) - admin) years in a Naval Brig.

6 Comments:

Blogger Craig A. Glesner said...

Other than the base high law level (one would think that if a world has a low law level this would be reflected in their Customs checks or even lack thereof.

Other wise seem fairly consistent and logical.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Festeria said...

Thanks! I need to edit it down a bit more, but I think it's about there. Basically, I don't really want to change anything about the way LBB1-2 handle these things, but just nail down some consistency for handling routine customs stuff, and the range of expenses.

It makes sense for a tiny bribe to work in some cases, but once it's known there's contraband, things should get really expensive, no?

7:04 AM  
Blogger Festeria said...

One thing I'm wondering: the fines to clear blocked or impounded cargo. Is that gilding the lily? I'm wondering if I shouldn't just cut that and say, "blocked cargo is BLOCKED, if it's onworld it STAYS and you're out of luck, if it's on shipboard you have to try selling it elsewhere." Whaddayathink?

7:53 AM  
Blogger Craig A. Glesner said...

It depends if you are trying to be nice to your players or not. Nice you leave them a chance to get a cargo unblocked.

Now if you want to go for a more realistic approach, once a cargo is blocked, it is blocked. "Too bad, so sad. Next, now serving number six."

5:27 PM  
Blogger Festeria said...

I've been testing this system, and it's pretty workable. It plays as a very natural outflow of the game overall, not as a huge inconvenience but a method to "keep you honest."

What's odd is that so far, It hasn't yet put me in a position where I felt I had to get a cargo "unblocked." (I've lucked out with not having a cargo trapped onworld, just a matter of time I suppose.) Cargos have been blocked on shipboard, but you just carry those somewhere else.

What has happened is that my intrepid captain has been more circumspect about the places he brings his ship. He's got admin-2, but no bribery: so he'll happily visit worlds law 7 and below (because he's fairly certain he won't get hassled there) and he'll visit the really high law worlds (13 or 15!) because he's relatively sure even he can manage to bribe his way through. Law 8-12 he's much less comfortable with, and he won't go those places if he has a choice.

He's on a well developed main, so he's able to avoid high risk ports for the most part. It's been rare that he's been tempted to take his ship into a C-system.

So really, I feel pretty okay with taking the hard-line "Too bad, so sad" approach as a baseline, and let any exception be the realm of PC roleplay.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Craig A. Glesner said...

Good to hear, glad it is working out.

4:36 AM  

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