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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: House Rule - Hot Goods and "Not Very Wanted" Crew rss

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George Krubski
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This thread is inspired by a number of sources, but the timing is because I'm trying to solidify some thoughts around THE BLACK MARKET. There are two separate, but related, thoughts:

1) Hot Goods - Also know as "Wanted Gear," theoretical Gear that would be contraband or illegal, and therefore seized by the Alliance under certain circumstances.

2) "Not Very Wanted" (NVW) Crew - These are Crew who are Wanted but currently have no Bounty against them.

I'm going to address these ideas in reverse order, because I think #2 will lead to greater discussion, and that discussion could help inform talk about #1.

So...

The first NVW Crew introduced was The Middleman, in BLUE SUN. Although most of us consider this to be a bit of an oversight, GF9 addressed it thematically in their FAQ:
Quote:

Question: Why doesn’t The Middleman (the
only Wanted Crew in the BLUE SUN Expansion)
come with a corresponding Bounty Card?

Answer: The Middleman does not have a Bounty
because although his suspicious activity has
attracted the attention of the Alliance - they will
take the opportunity to detain him for questioning
if possible - but he hasn’t crossed anyone to the
point that a Bounty has been issued. He is just
the middleman...


One could argue that this single card was an oversight. However, KALIDASA introduces a number of NVW Crew - a Busker, two Barkeeps, a hald-dozen Mudders, and Holder.

So we now have an interesting question: Should these Crew have Bounty Cards? It's tempting to say that it's an oversight, but given the consistency across products otherwise, what if it's intentional? After all, most of these folks have the Mudder keyword, so there's a de factor
minor bounty from Magistrate Higgins.

If bounty cards are eventually introduced, a Mudder one might undercut the current Mudder keyword ability. Further, it would create the disturbing notion that the Mudder Barkeep is really the most wanted guy in the 'Verse, sought by the Alliance, Magistrate Higgins, and whatever body places a Cortex Alert on fun-lovin' barmen. Talk about Shepherd Book having secrets!

It's not unreasonable to apply "The Middleman Standard" to Mudders and even the Grifter Barkeep. That leaves Holder, and it's tough to know if he's offended anyone, since he has fewer lines than the average Gun Hand.

Let's assume, for a moment, that this is intentional game design. We now have 3 "classes" of criminal:

TRUE WANTED are crew with a Warrant tag (who will be actively picked up by the Alliance) and a Bounty (meaning someone's willing to pay cashy money to get their hands on them).

NOT VERY WANTED, who are Warrant only, and in some bit of trouble with the law.

SHADY FOLK are not actually Wanted in that they have no Warrant, but someone has posted a bounty (or, more properly, Cortex Alert) for them. The currently applies to only the Scrappers and Enforcers... incidentally, a number of cards roughly equal to the Not Very Wanted Crew (10 vs 11).

So where does all this go?

For my custom design purposes, I'm tentatively taking the approach that Not Very Wanted is intentional game design rather than an aberration or oversight. Now, I'm not sure how much use I'll actually make of the idea in practice, but it's there.

And that leads to the second part of my thinking: Wanted Gear.

Assuming I introduce "Wanted" Gear and even Ship Upgrades in THE BLACK MARKET, which category should they fall into?

I'm thinking "Not Very Wanted": They would have a Warrant on them, cause you to be an Outlaw Ship and could randomly be seized by Harken, just like Wanted Crew. But The Operative doesn't much care about them (or maybe he does?) and there are no Bounties on Gear.

This differs a bit from the approach some others have taken, most notably Bill's take on Star Wars stuff. I think that's okay, though. To me, it's reasonable that the authorities would want to collect lightsabers or Artoo-Detoo, but it's hard to imagine what Gear would exist that would inspire a separate Bounty when you can walk away from an encounter with the Alliance with your Vehicle-Mounted BFG and stack of grenades intact.

Okay, maybe The Lassiter... But that would likely be a Private Bounty.

So, what do folks think? I've rambled on quite a bit. Does it make sense? Why or why not?
 
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Roger BW
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Yeah, given the stuff that's already out there and doesn't get you arrested, I'd use this category sparingly and I certainly don't see Gear Bounties making sense.
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George Krubski
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Thanks, Roger. I know it's a lot of text for a seemingly simple conclusion... I needed to talk it through and see if it made sense!

I would envision only a handful of relevant cards.
 
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Carl Hanson
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I'll echo that this seems to make a lot on sense. And you are right, you would have to come up with some pretty unique Gear to make them more "illegal" than Burgess's Laser or the Vehicle Mounted BFG. They would almost have to fall into the "state secrets" category and I'm not sure how much you could beat that drum before it wore thin.
 
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Fred Buchholz
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gwek wrote:
Thanks, Roger. I know it's a lot of text for a seemingly simple conclusion... I needed to talk it through and see if it made sense!

I would envision only a handful of relevant cards.


I would envision a "bounty" on certain "named" gear (maybe 2x its value.
Some thing like "Vera" I think Jayne would want returned. So if he is not in a crew but in a discard pile you could "return" the gun for double it's price. Probably too complicated but on just a "few" items like this would add some spice. Maybe you can only pick up "gear bounties" at the Black Market (since these are brought up in conjunction with that variant)? That would allow it to be limited and someone would really have to go out of the way to acquire one.
 
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George Krubski
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I HAVE wondered what happened to the dude that Jayne took Vera from...
 
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Carl Hanson
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gwek wrote:
I HAVE wondered what happened to the dude that Jayne took Vera from...


I can imagine what happens to folks who try to kill Jayne and fail. I don't imagine that he will be a problem in the future.
 
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George Krubski
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Hey, Dobson lived.
 
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Ralph Stratford
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Another reason for the Blue Sun and Kalidassa Wanted Crew not having Bounty cards could be that they may be dealt with in a future update of the Bounty Deck, but not necessarily in the same way as the current bounties.

For example, the Middleman may be Wanted by a Contact for some grievance he has caused them, a Contact that may just have a few Alliance connections to get them added to the wanted list (perhaps Badger?). Thus the bounty is delivered to Badger for the reward. And the reward may not be cash, maybe the reward is you permanently become Solid with Badger (and if you happen to have any Warrants they are always removed for free) and maybe you get to choose to take any Job from his discard pile (or perhaps get a free Deal Action when you hand in the bounty).

For Mudders, it could be the Mudders Bounty works like a Cortext Alert and you deliver the Mudders to Londinium. You are paid more than handing them over to Magistrate Higgins, but the consequence is that you now can no longer deal with Magistrate Higgins in any way (and if you have any of his Jobs they are immediately discarded and if you are Solid you lose that status). It sort of deals with making Mudders bounties because you have to make a choice based on consequences.
 
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Carl Hanson
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gwek wrote:
Hey, Dobson lived.


I would say that he is the exception that challenges the rule. I doubt that there is a huge population of people in the Verse that survived being shot in the face and dumped on a hostile planet.
 
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Jay Johnson
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I don't really understand why Mudders are Wanted by the Alliance. Is it just the notion that they have broken their indentured servitude/slavery and the Alliance is corrupt/immoral enough to support the institution of slavery?

I almost wonder if the main purpose of them being "Wanted" is to serve as cheap fodder to have on board to shield more valuable Wanted crew in the event of an encounter with the Operative.
 
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George Krubski
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I think you're right on both counts. Mechanically, Mudders serve as Wanted shields and also serve to be add a broad number of crew with Tech skill.

Thematically, these are folk who've legally entered into a business contract, ran away from it when they found it wasn't to their liking, and are now hiding on the likes of Silverhold and Regina. Seems like the civilized thing would be to enforce their contract.
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Drew Ricketts
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Firedrake wrote:
.... I certainly don't see Gear Bounties making sense.

i definitely DO think wanted/bounty gear makes sense. we did a military assault rifle ...



(based on the starship troopers rifle to go with the armour :-P )

and the thought is its like contraband, if the alliance see you with one of these there going to react hard (like some firearms are legal for private ownership in the uk... specialist military weapons... not so much) we could see other military tech falling into this catagory
 
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George Krubski
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I think there are two elements to it. The idea of "Wanted" Gear (ie, Gear that has a Warrant badge, makes you count as an Outlaw, and can somehow be removed from play by the Alliance) makes sense.

I'm not so sure about actual, active Bounties on Gear, though. Yes, the Alliance will collect your assault rifle if they spot it, but are they going to pay someone a few thousand bucks to steal it from you and turn it in?

Over in his Star Wars pack thread, Bill addresses the difficulties of assuming that a bounty on Gear would be similar to a bounty on Crew. For Star Wars (with the implication that the all-powerful Alliance WOULD pay coin to have things like lightsabers and Artoo handed over to them), it makes sense. Not so sure about the Alliance.
 
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Drew Ricketts
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yeah i was thinking wanted for small stuff (military personal weapons, cortex links with hacking packages, tech with serials removed...) so meet the alliance cruiser - roll a d6 to see if spotted, and if yes, then yoink the alliance take it...

I see Bounties being more be for big or secret stuff, so if someone decided to do an active ship mounted weapon, then yes i could see the alliance paying bounties on those (as they seem VERY illegal in the verse)or some sort of genetic, biological or psychic tech ... so Bounties would be for the very, very top secret military and/or goverment tech
 
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Dave Rowley
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I'd like to see a version of the Alliance Assault Rifle that is only usable by an Alliance Player.

I may do one if that's OK?
 
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Drew Ricketts
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Go for it! Do you want the image I used?
 
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Dave Rowley
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How about PM me?

Ta muchly.
 
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