Register Register

Author Topic: How should I handle legality and licensing in a game?  (Read 460 times)

rogueranger1993

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 75
  • Life always happens when you're making other plans
How should I handle legality and licensing in a game?
« on: 10 February 2019, 22:22:00 »
My player has been enjoying a bit of a buying spree after a big casino win, and it brought up the issue of how to handle the legality levels of certain items and the government licenses stated in the legality ratings table to be needed in order to legally operate some equipment. No real issues yet, but it does have me wondering how to handle it in future.

For the record, the character is an ex-LCAF MechWarrior who has joined up with a mercenary outfit. My question is, how should I handle the legality of different equipment items when the character is trying to find/buy them, and how should I determine the level of 'license to carry' a character has? I've thought of using the character's Equipped trait to determine the level of licenses they initially carry, but is that a good idea? And how would I go about having them gain access to better licensing for heavier equipment?

1. Incoming fire has the right of way.
2. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
3. Always remember that your weapon was built by the lowest bidder.
                                   - excepts from Murphy's Laws of Combat

Daryk

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 11158
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: How should I handle legality and licensing in a game?
« Reply #1 on: 10 February 2019, 22:51:42 »
The Equipped trait is a good starting point.  As far as later in the game, it should be part of whatever contract their unit negotiates.

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 9701
  • Flogging will continue until morale improves
Re: How should I handle legality and licensing in a game?
« Reply #2 on: 11 February 2019, 00:20:18 »
Supposedly this is all handled by the Equipped trait.

If they don't have the legality then they need to procure the items on the black market(rules found in the Compendium).  Appropriate Contacts or Streetwise highly encouraged.

In fairness this does cause weirdness once game play goes on for a while.  Planets, Cities, and Units can have their own laws and their own availabilities for gear that the character might otherwise be able to gain.  Mercenary contracts have little to do with any of these considerations.

My advice is be a bit more stringent working toward being more generous as it causes fewer long run problems finding your happy medium this way.

guardiandashi

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4115
Re: How should I handle legality and licensing in a game?
« Reply #3 on: 12 February 2019, 01:42:31 »
I believe they address this partially in the companion but as a general rule, the equipped trait constitutes the general level of licenses, permits and wavers that the character has managed to acquire as to what gear they can legally own. If they don't have the equipped trait to own the gear, they need to have a good explanation as to why they have it or they are going to have issues.

to use an example in the USA its ok in general for citizens to have pistols, shotguns, and certain types of rifles.  having full auto guns, machineguns, or other heavy weapons in most cases is illegal.

on the other hand if you get the proper permits and such you might be able to possess restricted /illegal weapons.  also in some cases your job will allow you to have/use weapons that are otherwise illegal, if for instance you are police/swat, or military, and it is "issued" gear where you don't actually own it, but it is assigned to you.

now some jurisdictions might have overriding rules that would consider the weapons illegal anyway, contraband, or other.  The only question is what they do about it, for instance do they check it, (kind of like a coat check, or in back to the future III the gun check at the party in the old west town, confiscate it, or other....

one of the better tricks to get around that I saw was in a novel where the main character had a lock box keyed to her retina scans, but was wearing contact lenses that changed her retina patterns for scan purposes that matched her current (false) identity.  she also lied to the guy about the case being booby trapped.

things like that, and diplomatic courier containers, on the other hand might allow you to smuggle some things into some jurisdictions.

rogueranger1993

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 75
  • Life always happens when you're making other plans
Re: How should I handle legality and licensing in a game?
« Reply #4 on: 12 February 2019, 17:08:00 »
Thanks for the help, guys.  :thumbsup:

I honestly kind of suspected that using the Equipped Trait for this might have been intended, but it was never truly clear to me whether it was or not. Irregardless of that lack of clarity, I was usually using Equipped as a way to determine what items a character could own/purchase legally in a general sense, mainly because it gives the trait greater purpose than just being an XP sink during character creation to get better starting gear, and then having no other function (as an aside, the expansions to the Vehicle trait in the Companion were a nice way to give that trait more gameplay value as well, which was much appreciated!) I just figured I'd take the opportunity to ask about a general opinion now that I've finally got a new RPG going after nearly four years without having ANYBODY to game with, period.

Just as a general guesstimate, I can see most players having an Equipped trait of up to +2 or +3 at most; RP-wise, this is the level where most civilians or mercs would likely be at in terms of licensing. Mechanics-wise, those levels seem like a bit of a sweet spot between the amount of XP spent, and the amount of equipment that is legally available to the character. Some players may splurge on the trait to get access to the very best gear, but that is going to take a lot of XP that could be used to level skills or buy other traits that may be more useful during the course of the campaign.

1. Incoming fire has the right of way.
2. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
3. Always remember that your weapon was built by the lowest bidder.
                                   - excepts from Murphy's Laws of Combat

 

Register