[PoD] Ships as spoils of war

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cunningrat
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[PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby cunningrat » Thu Nov 04, 2021 3:46 pm

I am running "The Borderland Run" as part of a PoD campaign, and my group is about to get attacked by a mercenary ship. It'll be a tough fight but they're likely to win. Knowing my players, they will want to take the ship afterwards if possible.

I find myself wondering what the various parties' responses are likely to be. It's not quite piracy. Would taking the ship affect the group's standings with the Imperium or the Hierate?

The merc company that the ship belonged to is going to be pissed, of course.

What would other merc companies think about the event? Are they likely to treat it as something that's just not done, or are they likely to think that's part and parcel of the mercenary life?

Are there any other major groups you can think of that might have a strong opinion one way or the other?

[EDIT: assume the merc company in question has a neutral reputation.]
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Bill Sheil » Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:17 pm

I would think that if they attack first and are not acting on an Imperial bounty or warrant then under imperial law they may be entitled to claim the ship as spoils of war. Doubly so if the attack is outside of imperial/Hierate space or if it is an illegal attack (counts as piracy).

There may also be a "ransom" convention in such circumstances where the mercenary company would pay fort he return of the ship (also promise cessation of the ticket). Taking a ransom might work for both parties as the costs of repairing an maintaining a ship could be substantial.
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adzling
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby adzling » Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:52 pm

The main thing stopping this sort of runaway power grab in our PoD campaign is lack of crew.

My players are having real issues finding enough competent crew to keep their existing 5 ship fleet going, let alone add more ships.

Assuming your players have conquered this challenge then there's always an errant critical effect that destroy's the jump drives/ renders them inoperable long enough for the system defence boats to respond.
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby cunningrat » Thu Nov 04, 2021 6:21 pm

adzling wrote:
Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:52 pm
The main thing stopping this sort of runaway power grab in our PoD campaign is lack of crew.
You misunderstand. I'm not really concerned about them having that ship in their arsenal. It's not a problem yet, and if that becomes a problem I have quite a few things in my kit-bag to ameliorate it. (Lack of crew, jump-drive malfunctions... worse comes to worst, I can have Petyr Vallis (an Enemy of one of the PCs) make an appearance, with the accompanying fireworks.)

What I wanted to know was what repercussions the action might have in the galaxy at large, or at least in their theater of operations.
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 04, 2021 9:09 pm

If you're worried as to whether this will be seen as an act of piracy, it would depend on who would care.

If you're operating under a letter of marque, and that ship and it's crew is either a pirate or operating under a flag of a polity that is at war with the nation that authorized the letter of marque, you get to keep it, as long as you give the Crown it's due.

The Crown may decide to purchase it, or it's compulsory, but you may get a chance to purchase it back.

Or it goes on auction, I don't recall exact details how that was worked out; usually the Crown likes the treasure bit.
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby adzling » Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:06 pm

cunningrat wrote:
Thu Nov 04, 2021 6:21 pm
You misunderstand. I'm not really concerned about them having that ship in their arsenal. It's not a problem yet, and if that becomes a problem I have quite a few things in my kit-bag to ameliorate it. (Lack of crew, jump-drive malfunctions... worse comes to worst, I can have Petyr Vallis (an Enemy of one of the PCs) make an appearance, with the accompanying fireworks.)

What I wanted to know was what repercussions the action might have in the galaxy at large, or at least in their theater of operations.
I doubt the empire or hierate would concern themselves with one lost 400 ton mercenary cruiser.

Of course there would be exceptions in the case of the captain, mercenary force or mission being important to the empire/ hierate.
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Garran » Fri Nov 05, 2021 3:10 am

IIRC, the mercenaries in The Borderland Run are hoping to cash in on headhunting a specific NPC, and it all occurs in 'neutral' space, so there's no "long arm of the law" on the part of any of the greater powers. A couple of Hierate clans have an interest, but per their usual practices, it's essentially fair game no matter who wins.

So no, there's unlikely to be any response from either of the major powers, and if they *did* look at the situation, the mercenaries would be the aggressors. Claiming the ship as spoils (or salvage) is fine.

The mercenary company might not like losing a ship, but they're ultimately in it for the credits; they'll cut their losses if that looks like the better option. (Clever PCs might also use the captured ship as leverage to cut a longer-term deal with them vis a vis the Drinax project...)
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:53 am

Unless there's still a mortgage on it.
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Garran » Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:13 pm

The mercenaries are the ones who took out the mortgage, so they get to answer for it - especially since they lost the ship while undertaking pirate activity. Hope they had really good insurance!

Aside from that, it's a PoD campaign and this is occurring in the Trojan Reach. The provenance of ships and mortgages there is rather dubious to begin with.
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adzling
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby adzling » Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:14 pm

Garran wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:13 pm
...Hope they had really good insurance!....
at an eye-watering cost no doubt!
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:43 pm

I don't think banks willingly completely write off debts.

They could pass it to a Repo outfit.
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adzling
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby adzling » Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:46 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:43 pm
I don't think banks willingly completely write off debts.

They could pass it to a Repo outfit.
And that repo outfit would go after the title holder on the ship, the mercenary outfit.

No way the repo firm would risk their own ships by sending them into the Reach to try and track down a stolen vessel that may or may not still exist.
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby cunningrat » Sat Nov 06, 2021 4:02 pm

adzling wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:46 pm
No way the repo firm would risk their own ships by sending them into the Reach to try and track down a stolen vessel that may or may not still exist.
I would bet that there are repo outfits that do operate inside the Reach, on a "bounty hunter" basis --- purely because the reputable repo outfits that operate within the Imperium would not touch the Reach with a 10-foot pole.

That might be an interesting premise for a short Traveller campaign, actually. "The Repo Men".
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adzling
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby adzling » Sat Nov 06, 2021 5:03 pm

running a repo firm desperate enough to operate in the reach does sound fun!
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Garran » Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:43 pm

They'd still be going after the merc outfit - they're the ones who owe the debt, and who have other known ships to repossess.

Plus, with PoD, you have a relatively easy time altering a ship's signature if you want to. Drinax can certainly handle that itself (especially with the Scholar's Tower tech), along with various other worlds that may be friendly to the PCs by that point (or just not care one way or the other), so the ship really can disappear if this becomes an issue.

(Depending on the PCs' reputation and who holds the debt, I could see the comic twist of someone approaching THEM to go collect on it. That would certainly fit the tone of PoD.)
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Re: [PoD] Ships as spoils of war

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 07, 2021 8:30 pm

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