Moonshire, Black Markets and Smuggling? Do we need it in Pathfinder Online?


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

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Distilleries hidden deep in 'Hideouts' located in the wild Hexes, producing high-grade moonshine.

Smuggling rings bringing contraband such as poisons, narcotics, moonshine and the like into Lawful Settlements.

So-called 'Black Markets', hosted by high-rep Evil Companies and Factions, where Bandits and immoral Merchants can get together and trade booty for goods, or make compacts for safe passage for specific caravans.

Do we need or want these things in Pathfinder online? If we do, how should we go about the creation, use and destruction of these things?

I know I'd love to be able to be a brewer in the game, producing the Mead, or Beer, or Ale, as a nice little side-line business for my adventuring character, or as the 'business front' for my crafting character.

Alcohol might serve as a Development Index resource in addition to the old uses as an ingredient for a molotov cocktail or plain old social lubrication.

But the concept of Smuggling also appeals to me, especially if there's a risk that your wagon can be converted to have hidden 'areas' on it where contraband can be stashed and need a trained badge to attempt to locate. A settlement that bans specific items could become a proverbial gold-mine for the smuggler with the moxy and the gear to get the goods inside the city walls.

Bottles of high-grade alcohol that the local taverns can use to spike their own drinks to get their patrons drunker faster and divest them of more coins, poisons for PCs looking to eliminate the competition in an untraceable manner, illegal narcotics (Which would be fascinating if there's an addiction mechanic involved), so on and so forth.

I can see an infamous 'Black Market' being less a game-mechanic and more an in-game 'invitation' by powerful PC factions to come to Hex "X", to a specific land-mark, and bring your goods, your coins and your slaves. Held every real-life month, the Black Market is the scourge of the Settlements, where stolen goods are traded, broken down and remade, 'slaves', NPCs stolen from PC Settlements, are branded, broken and disseminated throughout the Bandit Clans and Evil PC Settlements, and wealth taken from sacked settlements and raided caravans is traded for goods the Bandits and Raiders can't easily manufacture themselves.

Finding the Black Market without an invitation could be grounds for slavery or death for the unfortunates in question, but assuming you could get back to the Settlement and let the Factions know what's what, it could become a huge player-driven event as the Settlements unite to deliver a killing blow to the Bandit Clans and Evil Trade-Companies, but this is a collection of some of the most prolific and powerful Bandits and Raiders in the game, and they won't go down easily, or without payback at a later date.

Goblin Squad Member

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I think smuggling would be a much more meaningful way to allow people to sabotage settlements than simply trespassing.

It could be kind of cool to see the conditions in settlements generate demand for certain items from the populous that might generate certain negative conditions if sold to them.

For instance some drugs could raise morale but at a high cost to civilization and corruption.

Goblin Squad Member

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Maybe drugs that could cost civilization and corruption, but also function like real drugs.

Lets say a Drug that might boost one or more stat/skill but if too many are taken back to back or on a regularly bases they cause those same stats and others to drop for a certain amount of time if you stop taking those drugs. The penalty perhaps will last a few days to be detoxed from them if you don't take the drug during that time.

Goblin Squad Member

I would see smuggling as two different things combined.

It can be used to bring 'toxic' substances such as illict drugs or illegal substances into a Settlement and toggle a 'disseminate' function, selling the items to NPCs which grants the Smuggler/Seller gold, but lowers the development indexes depending upon the type of toxic substance involved.

Alcohol might raise morale but lowers work-ethic and causes social disharmony.

Specific drugs might cause the work-ratio of a Settlement to drop, or cause NPCs to have episodes necessitating the PCs to contain them until their psychotic episode passes, or they stop screaming about spiders under their skin, which could cause rumors of vermin outbreaks within the Settlement to spread.

Very skilled Smugglers might even be able to bring monsters into the city, dropping a nest of dire-rats next to the Settlement's grainary, depositing a Hydra's egg down a sewer entrance, or even smuggling a tribe of Goblins in several wagons and letting the Goblins run amok while they steal from the merchant stalls in the confusion.

Flipping that around, Smuggling also allows Good PCs to bypass Evil Settlement Checkpoints.

Need your Paladin Platoon to get past the gate-guards so you can launch your assault on the temple of Lord of Corpseapopolous, High Necromancer Fullskucker? Everybody stashes their religious symbols and holy icons in the smuggler's wagon, has a spell cast on them to disguise their alignments and has a friendly infiltration-focused player give them disguises, and they can just march on in as the tight-lipped mercenaries protecting the merchants who are coming to deliver a shipment to the High Necromancer.

Maybe a Settlement is in dire need of a specific component or reagent, but the Controlling Faction is being dicks and artificially holding back the release of said item so they can jack up the prices and make a fortune off the PCs unlucky enough to be unable or unwilling to leave their home.

In come the wagons loaded with bundles of kindling and animal hides, in which is secured the item needed that can be quietly handed out to other players who ask for bundles of 'Lucky Oak' or 'Pixie-Wolf Hides', and thus the population can totally side-step the Controlling Faction, make their items and the Controlling Faction has just pissed on and ticked off all of their allies for nothing.

Goblin Squad Member

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The simplest form of black market is simply evading settlement tax by trading privately just outside the trading hall.

Smuggling will de facto be in the game, but trying to avoid bandits rather than customs officials.

The idea of goods to sabotage settlements is nice, and should be considered when they get around to implementing espionage/sabotage.

Goblin Squad Member

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I certainly hope there will be smuggling, and for it to either hurt a settlement's DI or improve it, especially during times of war.

Smuggling does not have to be just a negative act. You can be running a trade blockade and bringing supplies to a settlement under siege.

Goblin Squad Member

Agree with randomwalker on the timing; some big patch down the road where they include all sorts of subterfuge and espionage, including disguises, assassins, smuggling... Would be pretty awesome.

Goblin Squad Member

HalfOrc with a Hat of Disguise wrote:
Very skilled Smugglers might even be able to bring monsters into the city, dropping a nest of dire-rats next to the Settlement's grainary, depositing a Hydra's egg down a sewer entrance, or even smuggling a tribe of Goblins in several wagons and letting the Goblins run amok while they steal from the merchant stalls in the confusion.

Doesn't involve smuggling. But if they ever implement Gladiator type Arenas in Settlements. I could see certain businessmen capturing/raising monsters and selling them to Settlements to be fought in the Arena.

Goblin Squad Member

It does if you've got to get the monsters past the settlement's security ...

Goblinworks Executive Founder

How can we make customs inspections or other methods of preventing smuggling fun?

Goblin Squad Member

That's an interesting question.

There's the obvious answer of having it be a simple check vs check between the Smuggler (Smuggler 'Badge') and the Guard (Spot 'Badge') with the quality of the items involved tipping the balance either for or against detection if the two have equal-ranked badges.

Then again that would lead to the 'Cold War' of stacking bonuses ontop of bonuses to try and get the single best result you could.

Maybe it's a case of the Smuggler having to invest in the transportation medium, nominally a wagon or a 'cargo-mount' of some kind, false bottom on the wagon, false bottoms on the saddle-bags of the mounts, hidden compartments, and the Guard, upon choosing an 'inspect' function, can do a little mini-game like what was done in the original Mass Effect game when they went searching for resources on the planets. Rapping on the cart with the pommel or butt of their chosen weapon and listening for hollow spaces, etc.

With a short time-limit, it prevents the Guard from standing there and locking the merchant down for hours on end, which can be a problem in any situation, and would be really aggravating if you weren't a smuggler and everything was on the up-and-up to begin with!

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Would those solutions be fun after doing them for an hour? Would they be sufficiently interesting that they aren't outsourced to AutoHotKey?

Goblin Squad Member

HalfOrc with a Hat of Disguise wrote:
With a short time-limit, it prevents the Guard from standing there and locking the merchant down for hours on end, which can be a problem in any situation, and would be really aggravating if you weren't a smuggler and everything was on the up-and-up to begin with!

I would agree, just make a it a branch of a simple perception check. 30second tops. Otherwise it could become a different kind of "toll" to be allowed passage.

Goblin Squad Member

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Moonshire = Moonshine right? Or is that your special flavor of Moonshine? Thread title threw me into thinking you were a night-hobbit in disguise instead of a half-orc!

Goblin Squad Member

T7V Wexel Daventry wrote:
Moonshire = Moonshine right? Or is that your special flavor of Moonshine? Thread title threw me into thinking you were a night-hobbit in disguise instead of a half-orc!

It's supposed to be 'Moonshine', and it's why I shouldn't be posting at weird hours when taking flu-medication.

Goblin Squad Member

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Cool typo though. Very good name for a settlement or POI. Would make an awesome name for a hex governed by a shrine of Ketephys.

Goblin Squad Member

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Actual support for criminal activities, and corresponding support for law enforcement could create a rather deep and complex relationship between crime and law enforcement.

I think it would be rather cool if you could actually go into other player settlements and build hidden buildings that produce some kind of negative effect on a settlement. In this context of this discussion a black market for the sale of stolen or illegal good is ideal.

Law Enforcement players could in turn have tools for tracking down and shutting down the black market.

If you really want things to get complex, stick a Thieves Guild into this category and make it the only way to get the best Rogue training along with providing a variety of 'illegal' services.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Setting up a second trading hall that was secret but had lower taxes would be the closest to a black market I can imagine.
It's one of those ideas that's really cool but is hard to implement in a satisfactory way.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

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T7V Wexel Daventry wrote:
Moonshire = Moonshine right? Or is that your special flavor of Moonshine? Thread title threw me into thinking you were a night-hobbit in disguise instead of a half-orc!

I was thinking it might be a little-known corner of the River Kingdoms full of halfling wereterriers.

~~~~~~~

As far as moonshine, though... unless there's alcohol prohibition in the area, I don't see why that should need to be hidden or smuggled. I doubt alcohol prohibition would work well in a frontier where you need a way to make water safe to drink. Even kids drank '[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_beer]small beer[/i]' in frontier America. I would think suffering frequent bouts of diarrhoea would bring down morale a bit.
Maybe you can hire enough acolyte clerics to purify some water, but unless they also knew to sanitize everything it comes into contact with, they couldn't store it for long.

Goblin Squad Member

Pax Keovar wrote:
unless there's alcohol prohibition in the area, I don't see why that should need to be hidden or smuggled.

taxes, monopoly situation (legal or illegal), embargo...

Goblin Squad Member

Certain types of alcohol could have extreme effects on development Indexes.

Beer, Ale, Mead Wine and specific Spirits might not be so bad, but as you increase the alcohol content, the alcohol might negatively affect Development Indexes as alcoholism and the side-effects of drinking increase.

Don't forget, alcohol is technically a depressant. It might mellow people out, but in large doses it can cause a variety of short- and long-term problems. Specific alcohols might be banned because they affect the Development Indexes in a way a controlling faction may not like.

Weak Alcohols might make it easier to relax (upping Morale Development Indexes) and loosen morales (upping Crime Development Indexes) and provide a good source of trade (upping Trade Development Indexes) and gold from tithes/taxes.

Stronger Alcohols might have a relatively minor increases to the Morale Development Index, but have a much higher cost in terms of the Crime Development Indexes. Meaning that you've got to increase taxes on them to lower their introduction into the Settlement, or ban them altogether.

Yet these 'stronger' Alcohols might be an excellent form of currency, or can be used by individuals to barter with NPCs such as Orcs, Hobs and Bandits, to whom a rising Crime Development Index is a boon, not a curse.

Just some random thoughts bouncing around in my head.

Goblin Squad Member

Two quick thoughts (maybe already mentioned...I've been skimming)...

1. Black market items would arise if there were outlawed items. That is, if we are allowed to outlaw certain items using the settlement governing UI (i.e. pass laws against specific items/goods), then items such as poison might make it onto a "banned in this settlement" list and thereby become a hot black market commodity.

2. Reselling of looted items from a corpse (killed and looted by bandits, for instance) that might be unique enough for the original owner to identify it on an auction house might be the content for black markets where items are sold person-to-person to avoid public scrutiny and identification. For instance, you ambush and kill a party of people carrying very specific "powered" gear (a sword of flaming goblin slaying, etc.). If all that gear ends up on your settlement's AH for sale the next day (and every time following your raids, the same occurs), you might be tipping off your selling point and bringing unwanted attention to it and your settlement. If you sell such items more covertly, especially if the selling point is moved frequently to avoid detection, then a black market might be just what you need.

Goblin Squad Member

HalfOrc with a Hat of Disguise wrote:
such as Orcs, Hobs and Bandits,

And the very next poster is Pax HOBS ...

If thought I had to call your name three times in a row for you to appear, or is that just Beetlejuice?

Goblin Squad Member

HalfOrc with a Hat of Disguise wrote:
HalfOrc with a Hat of Disguise wrote:
such as Orcs, Hobs and Bandits,

And the very next poster is Pax HOBS ...

If thought I had to call your name three times in a row for you to appear, or is that just Beetlejuice?

Hobs uses a third part client that alerts him any time his name is used, anywhere on the internet. Hobs is the NSA!

Goblin Squad Member

I hope there is a reason to bring in black markets into the game. They would be a lot of fun for both sides.

However with the example Hobs gave about reselling, I saw he mentioned Auction Houses. I sorta hope they never enter into the game. I never really liked the auctions I've seen in other MMOs. The pricing just got ridiculous and it also got to the point where you could only get certain items through the auction.

But if Auction Houses are implemented, make them at least Local only with a short time limits. No days on the market.

Goblin Squad Member

Banesama wrote:

However with the example Hobs gave about reselling, I saw he mentioned Auction Houses. I sorta hope they never enter into the game. I never really liked the auctions I've seen in other MMOs. The pricing just got ridiculous and it also got to the point where you could only get certain items through the auction.

But if Auction Houses are implemented, make them at least Local only with a short time limits. No days on the market.

This isn't so much the auction house format's as the other game systems' shortcomings. For example, materials needed to craft things being more valuable than the crafted items because you need to do that crafting to level your skill. I think local auction houses will also cut out a lot of that problem. I actually prefer to have auction houses in game; it tends to cut down the number of people spamming chats with trade requests.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

If there's an illicit market, why would it operate in a settlement? Wouldn't a POI make more sense, possibly partially hidden? If items are banned in a hex, yet there remains a market for them, there will be an emergent black market as long as the game allows individuals to trade without a building between them. If there is a black market building but using it gets you Chaos points, people will likely hand-trade a lot anyway.

How would illicit item smuggling be tracked? Could the game look in your inventory (and the inventories of any pack animals or wagons you control) and check it against a banned items list? Possessing the items in a hex where they are illicit could get you a few Chaos points per hour (or every 15, 30, etc. mins). Trading the items there woulld get you further Chaos points, but thereafter the new owner begins accruing them. There could be a licensing system in the settlement so its own members could be allowed to possess a certain amount of the item without going Chaotic, and a separate license which allows some trade of that item.

I think poisons would be a prime example, since it would be so easy to cause great harm with them. If we are able to create heraldry for a settlement or mastercrafters are able to put maker's marks on items it might be possible to recognize whether gear was taken off the corpse of a slain settlement member, and thus illicit within that settlement's territory. Nevermind items like strong drink which may allow a person to harm themselves, poison and goods stolen or looted from your citizens are the tools and evidence of direct harm to your people.

Goblin Squad Member

I see two ways a 'Black' or Illegal/Illicit Market could function.

a) Within the Settlement.

First of all, the items need to be smuggled into the Hex itself, meaning that they have to get past the Border Guards, then the Settlement Guards, then random passer-by PCs and to the 'Smuggler' Building, which could be a privately owned tavern, a warehouse or even Stronghold itself if the Controlling Faction, or a member of the Controlling Faction, is involved directly.

Then you'd have to sell the items without arousing suspicion.

Obviously, pre-arranged 'codes' such as 'A barrel of Three-Striped Salmon' might be code for 'a crate of skooma', enabling specific items to be bartered openly without giving Guard or simply nosy PCs any visual clues.

This has the advantages of protecting the Smugglers and their Buyers from being targeted by hostile Bandit-Clans and random Monsters, but has the supreme disadvantage of being surrounded by other PCs who might be able to attack you on sight if you're fingered by the Guards and get the Criminal Flag.

b) Within a Wild Hex.

More likely than the first option, a Wild Hex might have a very specific Hideout where the Smuggling Ring sends out coded letters to known and trusted buyers, who make the trip every RL Month to trade and barter the illegal goods, side-stepping border controls to trade outside of the Hexes in the relative safety of a 'hidden stronghold' that some randomly wandering twit isn't going to find easily.

The downside is that the Buyers then have to find a way to smuggle the goods back into their own settlement, or through a Hex that has strict Contraband laws and strong border-patrols, but for a price there may be Merchant-type PCs who specialize in smuggling who'll be willing to get the goods inside your doors using their own heavily-modified wagons.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

I don't see how this would work inside a settlement. If the items are against the law to possess or trade, then a more Lawful settlement will not want an illicit market operating within its territory, causing them corruption. If the settlement is on the Chaotic side of the spectrum in the first place, they need not make the item illegal and could just sell it in the normal marketplace.

Looking at the settlement size from the videos, I really doubt we'll have individually-owned structures. There might be instanced neighbourhoods or inn rooms, but if there are hundreds to thousands of players per settlement, and building space is limited (as it must be when you hit the hex borders at least), there just wouldn't be space for non-instanced player housing.

Goblin Squad Member

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Here is my two cents:

Smuggling into a city makes sense, we need not worry about that point at the moment.

This said, what would be the end result/goal of smuggling? I think we have also stated these aspects fine. I will however bring up a major point. The presence of smuggling/black markets inside a settlement would have a profound effect (big or small) on the corruption. The more smuggling going on, the more consumption enacted, the more corruption. This is a needed side-effect, and is expected.

So how to combat this? How can it be fun to combat this?

Let me play out a scenario:

The people of brighthaven are paying extravagent labor taxes to fund the war effort against the goblin armies to the north. Average Joe needs a little releif stronger than the local tavern so he gets a skooma operation set up to supply him and his buddies. They develop a shop/warehouse/meeting area (in-game mechanic may or may not be necessary, will discuss later) and the smuggling op. goes in. Morale rises, but so does Corruption. The Pally PCs in charge notice the corruption increase and start to sniff around town to find out why. Eventually a friendly rogue tips them off on the skooma trade and the pallys take action.

At the borders the NPC guards will have the stereotypic check vs. check. This should be easy enough for a normal smuggler to get past, and really should only make it a little interesting for beginners in the trade and to provide some EXP gain. The real beauty is after.

I'm talking raids people. The Pally's catch wind, have their PC/NPC rogue buddies stakeout the meeting location/storehouse and when there is a deal going down BOOM all parties involved get the hostile markings, and the pallys swoop in and have a little heave-to and try to shut down the operation.

This would be fun, sanctioned PVP that would keep operations not only more realistic for both sides, but also more impacting. For starters, the lawful settlement would have a serious problem on their hands if they leave it alone for long, much like having unguarded borders. Also, it would cause the rise of a serious, worthwhile police force as well as worthwhile smuggling guilds with an array of bruisers to spies. Finally this will help contribute to the Rep system. Get caught smuggling your rep will drop, conversely lead/follow a raid on a smuggling op and your rep goes up.
This would not be hard at all to do with the existing system,

Goblin Squad Member

I'm confused as to why getting caught smuggling would lower your rep. If anything smugglers should get a rep boost by succeeding at smuggling using the systems provided in game, and take no loss, other than profits, for getting caught.

Goblin Squad Member

Hark wrote:
I'm confused as to why getting caught smuggling would lower your rep. If anything smugglers should get a rep boost by succeeding at smuggling using the systems provided in game, and take no loss, other than profits, for getting caught.

Ah, there is a simple reason for and against. You said the against, so I will say the for. Much like the response to my alignment question we see the issue of breaking the local laws. Smuggling would be against the law and thus lower your rep.

In order for it to have a "positive" effect one of two things would need to happen.

First is a seperate reputation status. One for the people who benefit from your types of actions and one for the others. This is way too complex and kind of stupid in my opinion

Second is the development of inverse society. A negative rep would thus give you bonuses with other negative rep players and in negative rep settlements/PoIs (which should be a thing if they are not, because nations can obtain bad rep as much as individuals do)

Goblin Squad Member

Reputation is an existing in game mechanic that describes how well you play within the games rules, and generally play nice with others. The entire scenario you describe is everyone playing by the rules and generally having a positive gameplay experience, so there shouldn't be any cause for Rep loss unless the Pally jumps the smugglers without giving them a chance to surrender.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, but those rules are supposed to be player driven, and often players can clash on such things no?

Goblin Squad Member

Breaking laws does not lower reputation, it gives a hit on the Law/Chaos axis (towards Chaos) and gives you a Criminal flag which opens you up to PvP from others. It also increases the Corruption of the settlement each time the law is broken.

Reputation is basically a meta-game score which tells you how much that player has been playing in ways that GW nudges us away from (i.e. killing outside the systems they have in place, making promises to others via contracts that you break, etc). It's meant as a deterrent for people who like to constantly kill others without much meaning, while still allowing us the occasional kill outside the systems when it's necessary.

Goblin Squad Member

I think part of the confusion with this is there are really two whole separate systems being discussed here, and we need to separate them before we can isolate their prospective functions and play value.

First, we have smuggling, which would be a system of disguising goods and items to look less valuable in order to sneak them past observers.

The second is illicit goods (drugs and such). The general ideas I see so far is that drugs are a sort of potential risk/reward item that can be sold to PC's/NPCs/Settlements for money, but in exchange has negative or unpredictable effects on their buyers.

Smuggling:
At its core, smuggling looks to be about hiding valuable items from casual inspection. While drugs could be smuggled, the base system should most simply function as some sort of skill test between a smuggler and an observer.

I imagine a system in which a thief uses skill 'smuggle' on a selected item, say 'glitterrock', and locks it to look like granite resource. Or, this could easily apply to make sacred wood look like common oak. In either case, the item shows in any inventory as the mundane. Depending on the system's ability inspect another persons inventory, one would then 'scan' the item with a perception skill, and if successful, would see the item for what it really is. That test could further be modified by the target's own skills (sleight of hand, bluff, etc).

This would be a great system for merchants in general traveling in dangerous areas; merchants might find it advantageous to disguise valuable goods as less so - bandits unable to decipher the goods true nature may not want to risk the rep hit to take goods as less valuable (some might take all items regardless, but then that's a whole other problem).

Illicit Goods:

This one is more complicated. When looking at these as potential options, the first thing is deciding who the target is. NPC's and PC's are a huge difference here, and from my look at ideas so far, It seems NPC's would be the better option. Namely, because the nature of illicitly goods (and drugs), in the real world is that they provide a 'feel good' effect for their users with almost always negative downsides. Temporary buffs are better handled by potions, randomized or not. But you can't replicate the effect of a 'drug' in a game world because it's effect simply doesn't translate into the virtual space, at least not in anyway meaningful for an individual player in the game.

What COULD be useful, however, is the economic balance illicit goods play into social systems. By using NPC 'drug users' as an end point, thieves can build black markets around creating items that are then sold back to the 'game system' for in-game currency.

In order to make that interaction viable to the player community, ultimately, those NPC's that are buying illicit goods must be linked to community settlements which effectively gain that gold. The end result is that illicit goods markets could be created at an individual level, but are consumed at the settlement level.

Advantages have been discussed already, and particularly I like the ideas of having settlements that consume these items receive a bonus amount 'tax revenue' or some other economic bonus, but have various effects impact on there development indexes and settlement stats.

The net effect is the seller gains gold AND the settlement 'may' gain gold, but loses development capacity. Some settlements (particularily chaotic ones), might benefit from the gold in place of settlement indexes, but most will want to prune the markets; in contrast the sellers are at war internally with the settlement to personally profit - which they may then use that influence to control the settlement (ergo, organized crime).

As for the exact system of running a black market, first we have to break it down into it's components. Looking at it from a logistical chain, what you have from end to start is

[settlement - NPC 'buyer' - PC 'seller' - PC 'transport' - PC 'supplier' - PC manufacturer - PC Organization]

Looking at this system, the best places I can see for meaningful human interaction are at the following junctions: a) the selling of drugs to NPC's, b) the transport of goods and c) the manufacture of those goods.

both b and c are in effect already covered by the current proposed systems (merchant travelling - b), and POI harvesting (c). One simply might slot in the ability to make a 'hidden distillery' instead of a logging camp at a given point of interest, which might output some lumber for cover, and then produce moonshine which is then attempted to be sold. Transport is already covered.

This leaves the a, the link between PC seller and NPC buyer. How I imagine this system could work is similar to the proposed assassination system mentioned in the blog. 'Black Merchants' would choose appropriate skills and could then spend their time trying to stealthy 'sell' the items to NPC's within a settlement. Each sale could be broken down into a sort of 'social combat mini game' where a seller barters with the NPC OR just simply a cast time and skill check.

The most entertaining way I can think of doing it is tying the appearance of NPC buyers to a vulnerability window, similar to the PVP time, in which during that time NPC buyers become available, and NPC guards are down. You now have a sort of hide and seek period within the settlement where the sellers try to offload their goods to targets within a time constraint while the good enforcers try to hunt them down. The time restriction helps control the flux of goods, and creates reasonable boundaries for success and failure for both sides.

Summary

To summarize the illicit goods market system then, players and companies could construct black market POI generators, that mask their production unless discovered, transport those goods to settlements (possibly smuggled), and then sell them to NPC's during a vulnerability window in which they are trying to deliver goods while avoid being captured by guard police. The rewards are gold, influence, rep and ability to influence a settlement, risk is loss of those plus death - the usual.

Wow...sorry for long post. Thoughts

Goblin Squad Member

Good ideas, though I don't see why the settlement would get rep/money. It would boost a settlements morale, sure, but it would reduce the amount of work the people on the drugs will do. Conversely they could be drugs that boost productivity but at the same time reduce morale. I can see why a settlement would want to use those drugs, but it would have to be a chaotic, neutral, or evil. LN and NG would be 50/50 and Lawful Good would be no on the use.

Goblin Squad Member

Money I could see if it was gov't issued, but then it wouldn't be an acutal black market

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