Criminal Organizations of the Frontier

Gargoyle2k7's picture
Gargoyle2k7
January 31, 2009 - 7:42pm
Outside of the Star Devils and the Malthar's Syndicate, are there any organized criminal groups on the Frontier?  Any one create new ones for their games? 
Long live the Frontier!
Comments:

Will's picture
Will
January 31, 2009 - 7:57pm
Yes. There's this large one we like to call the United Planetary Federation....Laughing

Seriously, I've never used organized crime syndicates....I've usually had the crime organized by megacorps and governments.

Just like real life....

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 1, 2009 - 5:05am
My campaign has the Star Devils seeking refuge in a sector "west" of the Frontier map. They have a whole slew of systems (well, a minor slew...nothing UPF or Rim grade anyways) populated with citizens that support their "government".

And MalCo is very much alive and well in my campaign too, the Malthar resurfaces several decades following the events of Dramune Run.

Of course the biggest kick in my campaign is something Will alludes to. I have an upstart dictator who wrests control of a UPF world and secedes, and eventually decalres war on the UPF by ransacking major systems with a very impressive yet mysteriously "funded-by-whom" fleet of warships. This happens right about the time that the UPF is beefing up their own supply of warships, expanding their might against a possible third sathar war and takes a lengthy time to resolve. Eventually the dictator nabs the major UPF worlds and the rest fall in line once he is in power. The third Sathar war arrives later and the worms get ripped from the get go, and soon pirates opt to avoid the threats of this strong militocracy society who begins serching out the sathar homeworlds. And this is where the Malthar comes in...there's this sudden need for illegal hardware by former UPF loyalists who dream of one day reclaiming the Frontier.

It's a faux Star Wars plot without all the copyright infringements.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

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jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 1, 2009 - 7:16am
Zebs says that in 25PF a small pirate fleet under Hatzck Naar raided Cassidine and the first Common Muster was call. In 22PF Hatzck Naar was defeated in Timeon system and the muster dismissed.

I'm not sure if its scripture(in the official literature) or tradition (GM creation) but I've treated the Star Devil's band as survivors of that action. Certainly room for some creativity with this. Kind of in the vien of Black Beard here on earth, lost treasure, lost ships, lost hide out, artifacts left over from this. Or you could go another route- Son of Hatzck. or simply create another band of pirates that likewise escaped destruction or a militia captain who stepped into the vaccum created by the destruction of the pirates and started his own band- wait wasn't their a Lt. Commander from Truane's Star who did that? What was his name? Oh yeah, Jamison.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 1, 2009 - 12:11pm
I've built up a new pirate organization for my campaign as well.  However as the campaign is just starting I don't want to give away any details.
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Gargoyle2k7's picture
Gargoyle2k7
February 1, 2009 - 4:38pm
OK, the way I see it, there are basically three kinds of criminal organizations: pirates, terrorists and organzied crime.  Pirates are going to be small groups, gangs at best.  Their main crime is piracy; attack ships, board and loot.  Terrorists are groups with some agenda; political reform, religious extremism, abberrant behaviour, etc.  Terrorists cause death and destruction to get their message accross.  Organized crime are groups that set up a network of operatives to conduct various illegal activities; smuggling, slavery, drug manufacture and trade, protection and extortion rackets, and so on.  Organized crime can be a small crew of smugglers to a vast interplanetary cartel, with contacts in government and industry.  Clandestine and covert activities conducted by a government, even if outside that goovernment's own mandate of law, is considered espionage or intelligence, not crime per se.  Cults may or may not conduct illegal activities, depending on the nature of the cult and/or the target(s) of their actions (thus, the Anti-Satharian League is not a criminal organization, as such, although their methods sometimes covert).  The cadres and cults that I would consider "criminal" by the above logic would include: Free Frontiersmen Foundation (its goals are overthrow of government), the Kratar Liberation Corps (terrorists with a racial agenda), and the Investors (control of government through covert means).  So, this now expands the list to five groups: the Star Devils, the Malthar's syndicate, the FFF, the KLC and the Investors. Jedion's "Sons of Hatzck" is an interesting idea, possibly a large pirate ring of several smaller gangs.  Outside of the Malthar, I still don't see anything like the Mafia, the Yakuza or Star Wars's Black Suns and Hutt cartels, no organized crime groups.  I'm working on this.   More to come...
Long live the Frontier!

Gargoyle2k7's picture
Gargoyle2k7
February 1, 2009 - 5:13pm
I'm researching criminal organizations, and I came to realize that it might be best to define crime on the Frontier.  Some are obvious: murder, rape, theft, etc.  But there are others that aren't quite so obvious.  What about torture?  We could say that torture is illegal in the UPF, but no direct evidence is given to that effect. Additionally, as has been shown recently by the last US president, what exactly consists of torture?  Smuggling is illegal, of course, but what is considered illegal contraband by the UPF?  Certain drugs, surely, some weapons technology maybe, and lifeforms in certain cases for certain purposes (the chukkah the Malthar had smuggled, for instance).  Slavery: is it illegal in the UPF?  I would hope so, but it isn't clear.  If it is, there are possibly still individuals or small groups that practice such heinous activities, just like our world today.  Crimes make criminals, but not all criminals engage in all criminal activities.  More later...
Long live the Frontier!

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
February 2, 2009 - 6:20pm
For SF we could add on crimes of body chop shops, and I'm not talking about vehicles. Cybernetics would be in wide use, and some of these cybernetics are expensive. Expensive enough for small time criminals to want to steal parts. Or illegal cybernetic modification, what city is going to want powerful cyborg criminals with weapon implants roaming around? Illegal cloning as well which would be a step above the use of a holo-screen to impersonate officials.

Or even cloning for the purposes of slavery, think about it. Always wanted to have your way with some popular celebrity? Well for the right price you can have their DNA hijacked and cloned, and have your own version of a pleasure slave of them. A criminal organization would get big amounts for the trade and production of that.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 2, 2009 - 8:15pm
you also have the possibility of poor star systems turning a blind eye to pirate activity providing a safe haven as long as the governor gets his bride the pirates can operate quietly out of that system. If a UPF ship turns up and catches them, (treaties and system soverignty requires that they get turned over for local prosecution), then the gov will swear that they'll get prosecuted most severely while he drags his feet about a trial waiting for the UPF ship and any other witnesses leave so that  kangeroo court can be held and since no witnesses, case dismissed. He'll even make noise to the UPF captain about wanting to outfit the pirate vessel as a militia ship for anti-piracy patrols- if its turned over to him the pirates will end up with it soon enough.

@ Gargoyle: you left out corporate crime

@ Sargonarhes: I found the idea of body chop shops from Shadow run really distastefull and that more than any other thing in the setting turned me off to the game. It's just to gruesome, gritty and dark and for me the game should be fun not shocking. I'd prefer to keep cybernetics really cutting edge and  rare not commone like wrist watches which would be more in keeping with the frontier feel. Maybe bringing in cybernetics after 2 campaigns when a long running PC has been shot up and he gets a opportunity to be the test bed for some cutting edge new tech kind of like the 6 million dollar man.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
February 3, 2009 - 11:52am
Sargonarhes wrote:
Or even cloning for the purposes of slavery, think about it.


Sapes.

Gargoyle2k7's picture
Gargoyle2k7
February 7, 2009 - 11:14am
w00t wrote:
Sargonarhes wrote:
Or even cloning for the purposes of slavery, think about it.


Sapes.

In my reboot/retool of the Frontier, one of the new races was a genetically engineered labor race, once considered property.  They have since been granted their freedom, though they still harbor animosity toward their creators.  So, yeah, the whole idea of slavery, in any form, is on my mind.
Long live the Frontier!