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  #31  
Old August 25th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycanorukke View Post
I thought one of the prime faunctions of the Imperium was to negate planets/groups pulling these tricks and to standardize things. As long as the ship/cargo stays inside the extrality zone of a starport the locals can't do squat.

Carrying 20 tons of hard porn to Planet Bible Thumper? 10 tons of crack from Arglebargle? Cool - as long as it doesn't void any Impie regs it's fine (of course _outside_ the extrality zone is a whole 'nother story).
But sell it over the phone and have the new owner pick it up from the starport warehouse - it's his problem now and the PC's are in the clear.
Locals could picket the starport when striking, but if they so much as set foot over the X-line they had better get to work.
People who are not allowed to 'strike' (like firemen and police in some areas) call in sick or have work slowdowns to protest some issue, so the entire Starport might be operating at quarter speed ... operating at half staff (a bad case of SPA flu) and landing/handling one starship at a time (for safety reasons) while operating at the highest state of alert (sorry, but under security code red, every ship must be thoroughly scanned and every item of cargo compared to manifest before the ship is allowed to leave the landing field and offload its cargo. The next ship will simply need to wait in a holding orbit until the landing pad is clear.)

If the Starport staff is drawn from the local population, then it will be affected by local issues.

If the Starport is run by all off-worlders, then it may well be the source of local tension ... a starport selling 'porn' on planet 'Bible-Thumper' might have broken no Imperial Laws and still find its extrality line resembling an North-South Korea border crossing.

Last edited by atpollard; August 25th, 2011 at 09:26 AM..
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  #32  
Old August 25th, 2011, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycanorukke View Post
I thought one of the prime faunctions of the Imperium was to negate planets/groups pulling these tricks and to standardize things. As long as the ship/cargo stays inside the extrality zone of a starport the locals can't do squat.
True, but what the locals can do outside the X-line can affect what occurs within.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycanorukke View Post
Carrying 20 tons of hard porn to Planet Bible Thumper? 10 tons of crack from Arglebargle? Cool - as long as it doesn't void any Impie regs it's fine ...But sell it over the phone and have the new owner pick it up from the starport warehouse - it's his problem now and the PC's are in the clear.
Yes, but in speculative trading, IMTU, this could certainly have an effect on price. This provides the REAL fun in a trading campaign. It's also what makes Broker, Trader, and Admin so important.

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Originally Posted by Lycanorukke View Post
Locals could picket the starport when striking, but if they so much as set foot over the X-line they had better get to work.
However, if it is the locals who are working to starport, their regulations may not have any bearing, but cultural norms may cause labor issues (see porn ref , supra). "If you want to unload that filth here, heathen, you'll have to do it yourself, and by-the-way, all the loaders are broken. Sorry it's all in 4dton containers. You can pray for your wretched soul while you unload those 7 containers by hand."

Per Icosahedron's comment of "why wouldn't players know about this stuff," knowing and being competent to negotiate are two different things: I know about tires, I know they go flat, but I can neither tell you when one is going to do so nor how to fix it: if I'm without my spare or AAA, it's a long walk. If I had to put a plug in a flat, that was capable of being plugged, then I could probably do it, if I had the kit.

Thus, if someone with Admin, Trader, or Broker skill is working it, I'm with Icosahedron: it will largely be chrome. If I have a merchant character without such skills, he's going to spot the potential problems, but probably not be able to fix them without help, or will have at least a good challenge in doing so. A IISS, IN, or Marine character will have a lesser ability to spot the problem.

Army, Others, Barabarians, or Scientists, for example, will have the same chance at spotting these problems as I would planning preventtive and corrective maintenance on a jet engine. I know it needs to be done, know it's important, but would probably not even be competent to hire the best person to do it.

In sum, a wealth of adventure opportunities without being necessarily being a morass of intractable problems. That said, as I understand the OTU, one can always "Stay on the Interstate," and travel from one starport to another without trading or engaging in activity that would either cross the X-line or be affected by what is on the other side; great for those "just passing through," but devoid of the fertile stuff of adventure.
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  #33  
Old August 25th, 2011, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
If the Starport is run by all off-worlders, then it may well be the source of local tension ... a starport selling 'porn' on planet 'Bible-Thumper' might have broken no Imperial Laws and still find its extrality line resembling an North-South Korea border crossing.
While the porn example was extreme, how far could the locals push things before someone at the SPA pushes back? Considering the Imperium is a "who's who of megacorp shareholders" they are not going to take to kindly to having their markets affected by some jumped up hicks on planet Podunk. If the planet of teetotallers caused problems for Tukera liners for transpoting alcohol or enviromentalists blocked Sternmetals radioactives shipment - how long before the company specialists showed up to 'facilitate communications and terminate hostilities'?

Granted PC's dont have this level of pull, but the spillover could bring in the big guys indirectly.

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Originally Posted by samuelvss View Post
Yes, but in speculative trading, IMTU, this could certainly have an effect on price. This provides the REAL fun in a trading campaign. It's also what makes Broker, Trader, and Admin so important.
I agree here - even more so that characters with broker may be able to navigate the legailities but not actually sell the stuff. They simply dont have the contacts or know "who's who" on the planet. They may be able to get lucky on high pop worlds or highly desirable (aka illegal) cargo but not so much in other places. So you have to hire a broker - and if you cargo skirts the law bribe him and hope he doesn't tell interested parties.
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  #34  
Old August 25th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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Or the players wake up one morning to find the starport erilly silent due to the lack of locals, because of the porn. Wait, is that an armed mob at the gates? Who is manning the starport defenses (including air defence artillery)?
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  #35  
Old August 25th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
If the Starport is run by all off-worlders, then it may well be the source of local tension ... a starport selling 'porn' on planet 'Bible-Thumper' might have broken no Imperial Laws and still find its extrality line resembling an North-South Korea border crossing.
TTA describes a rather brutal border for Psaydi... more to keep people in than out, really, but still, a cultural boundary requiring permits and interviews to cross.
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  #36  
Old August 25th, 2011, 02:50 PM
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The Zila chapter! That's the one in TTA you should take a look at to see how complicated and frustrating one place could be when trying to ship merchandise purchased on a world to another. It "merely" involves getting 3 documents signed and countersigned but the time and effort involved can stretch to days.

Now not every world will be this way, but there are a myriad government types, and law level can also be used to help determine how fussy the locals are at making sure every i is dotted and t crossed on all the little bits of paper to cover every little lawyer-warning on documents.

Trader, Broker, Admin might be good for some of this, but Legal might be even better to make sure nobody gets scammed or forgets something before lifting off and then finding that next time they stop by they have a big fine or worse waiting for them.
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  #37  
Old August 26th, 2011, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
I was talking about deep water vessels on the high seas out side of a states territorial waters.

I don't know the details, but basically the laws of the flag country basically in effect on any ship on the high seas. How they're enforced is a different matter, but it certainly possible for a party on the ship to be detained and turned over to the authorities even for a misdemeanor, it's more a matter of whether the ships commander will bother vs just telling people to stop being idiots.

But, even then, basically the Commander may have the power of enforcement, but can't make laws wholesale and is himself subject to the laws. But obviously there are details about what can and can't be done on a ship at sea vs delaying it until they reach a land based authority.
Well, if a crewman or passenger lifts the wallet of another crewman or passenger, a theft that's less than a certain amount and not covered by Imperial Law, how would that be covered? What would be the captains' prerogative?

I think that's something best left to the referee. To add humor he may play the captain as a real stickler for rules and regulations, and cite obscure codes dating back to the Sylean Federation, but that had never been taken off the books (the captain may be awarded a comely slave lass if the High Passenger cannot pay for his entire party...), or he may just invoke a fine and perhaps restricted movement onboard ship; i.e. confined to quarters until they reach port.

Or, if he's a real hard-@$$, perhaps even spacing (captain and government depending), which will open a whole other can of worms. What if one system's punishment is seen as barbaric in the eyes of another, yet both are part of the Imperium? What then?
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  #38  
Old August 26th, 2011, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Well, if a crewman or passenger lifts the wallet of another crewman or passenger, a theft that's less than a certain amount and not covered by Imperial Law, how would that be covered? What would be the captains' prerogative?
I would imagine it would be covered. If caught, the passenger should at least get his property back. In theory, the captain could hold the crewman, or contact the authorities at their destination and have the crewman arrested. He could discipline the crewman.

The other question is if the captain did nothing, does the victim have recourse to contact the authorities at the destination and have the crewman prosecuted. I would like to say "yes", simply because there are laws against even petty theft. Shoplifting, for example, is typically quite petty, yet it's prosecuted all the time with perpetrators held by store security for the police.

But, the overall point is that the once in deep/jump space, it's not as if no laws apply. Just like the same laws apply whether you're downtown in a city or in the middle of the desert with no one around. There are different hurdles that perhaps constrain prosecution, but the laws still apply.
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  #39  
Old August 26th, 2011, 01:59 AM
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Ships are extraterritorial. That is, a ship is always considered part of its registered home country.

So, it all depends upon what the laws of the registry world permit the captain. If they grant him permission to hold a hearing, he holds the hearing. If they grant him permission to search and seize, he can do so. If they say he's got to hold the suspect in quarters until turned over at the next port, well, that's what he has to do. And if he doesn't, file a complaint with his registrar world. THEY can pull his registry, or worse...
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  #40  
Old August 26th, 2011, 02:42 AM
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How would a passenger be able to find out a ship's registry? How can they find out whether it is owned by the captain or a bank? I could see the registry being broadcast with the transponder, at least until the Virus.

I could see there being a place for a law office that has bureaus in multiple starports that primarily exist to sue free traders.

"Have you or a loved one been screwed over by a free trader who thinks he can get away with murder? Call Caxon, Kadigashzi, and Ghogzge! Now with offices in 31 starports across the Spinward Marches! And now serving Darrian! No bad free trader is safe from us!"
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