This week’s seed is for the Serenity / Firefly based roleplaying game from MWP. The Cortex system which supports the game has come a long way since this game’s release and its subsequent discontinuation, but the heart and soul of the game live on undaunted.
The characters have done a job and rightfully expect payment. That payment, due to an absurd chain of events turns out to be made, apologetically, in the form of tons and tons of small, high-tech components.
Planting the seed
In order for this seed to take off in a fun direction, the characters should be in no position to refuse the delivery of the ‘payment’ and likewise in no position to dispose of it for any sort of profit. It would be best for them to be on the receiving end of a chain of bad luck that affects their employer as well as themselves. The seed takes root, when it occurs to the players that one of the fastest ways for this all to work out is by hiring people who can dispose of the problems associated with the ‘payment.’
The details are simple. The payment is a truly massive amount of very useful, but highly taxed and regulated processors and related electronic components. Their shipment, possession, and marketing do represent a legal problem, but they are subject to a very rigorous import/export duty and other taxes which will essentially nullify any profit they might generate(and in some regions actually become a loss) unless someone with the right sales expertise, licenses, connections, permits, and/or black market connections can assist them.
This could amusingly put the characters in the position of having to recruit and interview professionals with this expertise and make contact with vendors with the right papers and contacts, any one or all of whom may be more interested in gouging them than helping.
What is going on
What can be fun about this is that this is a chance to focus on the reasons why characters choose to live away from the oppressive bureaucracy of the central planets, without it being a life or death, oppressive situation. Not unlike Mal and the nutrient bars, it is just a problem that should be easy to solve, but somehow… things just don’t go smooth. There never, ever needs to be anything happening which directly targets the characters, but the suggestion that there might be graft, greed, or trickery in some of the dealings to offload the payment can set the players off on a prevention planning spree which will make your head spin.
Additionally, this is a great opportunity to introduce the characters to younger versions of themselves. Trying some troupe style play and recruiting players to play alternate, younger versions of their fellow players’ characters may wind up being the stuff of legend in your campaign.
Snags which can complicate the sale include:
an aggressive customs inspector who is already tracking this shipment for an earlier tax violation
a light-fingered loader whose attempts to fence part of the shipment leads the authorities to come down on the characters
- a former business partner who thinks that this shipment is hers
- a former business partner of the former business partner who is adamant the shipment is his
- an import inspector who wants to hold the goods for random quality testing
- a sudden recall on a similar product but no one in the PC crew knows enough to explain the difference to potential buyers
- an incident during transport which blanks the chips, unbeknownst to the characters
- all of the above…!?
- Saturday Seed ~ 110 (Outbreak Undead) (runeslinger.wordpress.com)
- ‘Firefly’ Reunion: Our Five Favorite Villains (splashpage.mtv.com)
- Robichaud’s mastermind (ancientscroll.pl)
Darken others' doors: