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Skeletor
2009-12-09, 04:18 PM
So I'm playing a former street urchin turned sort of wizardy. Focusing Mostly on Divination Illusion magic and self buffs he's suppose to be a bit of a dashing Rogue meets Merlin sort.


Problem is, My partner (good thieves work in pairs) and I are in a foreign land and just robbed the royal family crypts. 90% of the loot we have is hot and thus we cannot simply sell it and neither of us has any spells to say fast travel 1 country over and sell it.

We need to make some criminal contacts with Smugglers, (perhaps to ship the goods out of the city) or fences to sell to them and let them worry about the melting down and selling of the magical items we don't want/use. So rp wise (not mechanics) how does one get into touch with the criminal element of your typical medieval city?

I want to avoid the typical. Walk into a bar and sit down in the shady corner by the shady lookin guy and sayin. "I hear you can help me move goods, if I need to.." and he tells me about his ship that can do some run in 3 par secs. which is a unit of distance not time..

imp_fireball
2009-12-09, 04:56 PM
Get the attention of the mob in some way.

It's very difficult to tell if said mob is good or evil until you look at the boss's ideals. And it's very hard to get to know the boss.

I'd say, commit some elaborate crimes in a large city (which means basically just stealing stuff) until the mob pays you a visit. :smallwink:

Not exactly a good aligned thing to do, but how else do you get a guild of thieves attention? That's why most realistic rogues are neutral/evil, even though the dashing rogue/lancer is oh so popular of a trope.

EDIT: Ask your GM if you knew anyone from your days as a street urchin. Most of these people would probably be lowlies (like you), or lawmen though.

Asheram
2009-12-09, 05:24 PM
There's always going to the guard as mercenaries, and make them point out the mob for you, otherwise there's always investigating the trade guilds... or wealthy NPC's that aren't in the guilds.

investigate and hope that you see someone going about taking protection money.

Siosilvar
2009-12-09, 05:26 PM
I want to avoid the typical. Walk into a bar and sit down in the shady corner by the shady lookin guy and sayin. "I hear you can help me move goods, if I need to.." and he tells me about his ship that can do some run in 3 par secs. which is a unit of distance not time..

The Kessel run. And 3 parsecs means that Han went closer to the black hole than anybody else had tried.

Megaduck
2009-12-09, 05:38 PM
Wander.

You won't find them. They'll find you.

Go to a prostitute, mention that you're on a 'Friends' turf and you owe them a 'Percentage'.

Go to a seedy gambling bar. Quietly mention to the bouncer that you're looking for some people for a 'business' transaction.

Toss a few silver to the street urchins and mention you're looking for some new 'acquaintances.'

Use some Thieves Cant (http://www.thievesguild.cc/cant/english2cant.php).

Be discrete but be sure you have someplace you can be met predictably. Preferably with a lot of people around so if they take offense at you 'Working' on their 'turf' they can't just 'ice' you. A restaurant or tavern works well for this.

Sooner or later a bland person with a quiet voice will ask to sit with you and then, well, you better have a good story ready.

Asheram
2009-12-09, 05:48 PM
Go to a prostitute, mention that you're on a 'Friends' turf and you owe them a 'Percentage'.

Go to a seedy gambling bar. Quietly mention to the bouncer that you're looking for some people for a 'business' transaction.

Toss a few silver to the street urchins and mention you're looking for some new 'acquaintances.'

Be discrete but be sure you have someplace you can be met predictably. Preferably with a lot of people around so if they take offense at you 'Working' on their 'turf' they can't just 'ice' you. A restaurant or tavern works well for this.

Sooner or later a bland person with a quiet voice will ask to sit with you and then, well, you better have a good story ready.

Oh dear... this is quite correct... I believe that you're better off Not meeting these people. Hang on to the goods instead and pray that they don't steal Your jewels.

Grumman
2009-12-09, 05:49 PM
Use some Thieves Cant (http://www.thievesguild.cc/cant/english2cant.php).
On that note, the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5402) is a fun read.

Skeletor
2009-12-09, 05:56 PM
On that note, the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5402) is a fun read.

Thanks for the link. Will help with some rp for sure.


As to the other suggestions all of them are pretty good. I'm sort of figuring that someone may take offense to us working in their city.

I've considered tricking a good merchant into smuggling them for us. Via a web of simple lies. Not sure I've settled on it yet though, lies can be hard to make believable and my bluff isn't exactly maxed out. The more crazy the lie the harder the dc is gonna be and I'm not looking forward to having to hold anyone hostage while we try to move stolen goods.

Asheram
2009-12-09, 06:16 PM
Thanks for the link. Will help with some rp for sure.


As to the other suggestions all of them are pretty good. I'm sort of figuring that someone may take offense to us working in their city.

I've considered tricking a good merchant into smuggling them for us. Via a web of simple lies. Not sure I've settled on it yet though, lies can be hard to make believable and my bluff isn't exactly maxed out. The more crazy the lie the harder the dc is gonna be and I'm not looking forward to having to hold anyone hostage while we try to move stolen goods.

There's always attempting to act like you're the simple carrier, trying to pass a favor off a merchant.
A thing you can do. Find out a merchants route, send a guy ahead to a small village along this merchants route. Go up to the merchant and ask that he takes this package to your "brother" up there.

Or there's always lodging it under a cart, for most effect, also inside a folded portable hole.

Johel
2009-12-09, 06:44 PM
If you just want some fresh cash and don't care that much about the real value of the stuff, you can still take out the gems and melt the gold. Sure, that jewels will be worth a lot less once reduced into bares but at least you can sell them to any merchant worth its penny.

If you want some fresh cash and are ok to be paid only 20% of the value (or even less), then find street urchins, charm them, give them the less suspicious items and send them to go to the various jewelery in town, with instruction to come back for more. If some return with money and report no problem, that means you've got a few dishonest jewelers. Try to smuggle some more stuff to them and compare the prices. Go to however gives you the most...and get some names out of him, speaking of a "very large shipment". He should contact the local mob to get the kind of cash you're asking + an escort for the deal.

Note that even with good-aligned mob (rare...), you WILL get screwed. Best scenario is you get 20% of the value. Worst scenario is the mob take the treasure, capture you, then sell you to the guard for a reward before smuggling out YOUR loot. Now, try to explain how you lost that kind of treasure...

Megaduck
2009-12-09, 06:52 PM
There are a couple of things you can do.

If you're never expecting to come back to the city again you could try to take the loot and run.

Otherwise fessing up and giving them a percentage might be a good idea. The Thieves guild is a 'Business' and hence they'll do just about anything for money.

If you go to them, apologize profusely and for your mistake you'll probably just be assessed with a penalty fee rather then you're legs broken. You're going to be screwed out of your cash but at least you'll get something.

If you're famous rogue (Ie higher level) or charismatic you might be able to cut a better deal.




If the heist has made a magnificent political splash and is making life hard for the guild, or the guild leader is ruled by a chaotic madman named the mangler you might want to try and get out of town quickly. Or dump it all on the steps of the local good aligned church and let THEM deal with it.

<glances around> *Pets Kuro*

Skeletor
2009-12-09, 06:59 PM
spoken to the DM and he's said there's no large organized crime syndicates in the city. Certainly not on the level that most of you seem to be thinking. So no shadowy powers behind all the crime that happens. Your normal amount of small timers and maybe a couple more powerful gang leaders, but mostly street level stuff.

Almost none of your sectors of crime are tied together. IE smugglers likely smuggle contraband goods for nobles (think cuban cigars) and paintings. He did tell me there's a famous forger who lives in the city and with a good roll I should beable to find him.

Not sure what he has in mind.

tahu88810
2009-12-09, 07:08 PM
This is a bit off topic, but I'm curious: Megaduck, how do you know so much about this sort of thing, if you don't mind me asking?

Johel
2009-12-09, 07:20 PM
spoken to the DM and he's said there's no large organized crime syndicates in the city. Certainly not on the level that most of you seem to be thinking. So no shadowy powers behind all the crime that happens. Your normal amount of small timers and maybe a couple more powerful gang leaders, but mostly street level stuff.

Almost none of your sectors of crime are tied together. IE smugglers likely smuggle contraband goods for nobles (think cuban cigars) and paintings. He did tell me there's a famous forger who lives in the city and with a good roll I should beable to find him.

Not sure what he has in mind.

Then there's no way you can sell a royal treasure to these guys. They'll simply not have the right amount of cash available and, even so, they won't be interested. If they are interested, they'll either betray you to steal the loot or simply to turn you to the guards, in order to be off the hook for some time.


Take out the gems from the jewels.
Melt the platinum, gold, silver and iron into ingots.
Sell the ingots to merchants.
Buy a lot of gems to merchants.
Get out of the city with your feather-weight fortune.
Sell gems one after another as you pass through towns and villages.


If you get 5% of the value, that's not a lot but that's still something... and you won't be hang for royal theft. :smalltongue:

Asheram
2009-12-09, 07:21 PM
Almost none of your sectors of crime are tied together. IE smugglers likely smuggle contraband goods for nobles (think cuban cigars) and paintings. He did tell me there's a famous forger who lives in the city and with a good roll I should beable to find him.

Not sure what he has in mind.

My my... There'll be not as many guards on your tails if they catch "someone else" trying to smuggle the things out of town... (not the actual thing)
Depending on your mood, ofcourse.

Also, thanks Megaduck. :smallsmile: Kuro enjoys being petted.

Megaduck
2009-12-09, 08:39 PM
Iím pretty much with Johel, youíre screwed. Thereís no good way to fence the stuff and itíll be really hot. Youíre best bet is to try and get out of the city and travel a LONG ways to ditch it. The forger might be able to get you a pass or something to get through the gate, or maybe merchants papers. If you use a little bit of the gold to buy something the city produces. Hide the treasure in that, and then go on caravan someplace youíll not only get out of the city youíll make a small profit on the caravan as well.


This is a bit off topic, but I'm curious: Megaduck, how do you know so much about this sort of thing, if you don't mind me asking?

Experience (thought probably not the kind youíre thinking of) and a long study of human nature.

The way I posted to find the criminals is pretty much the same way youíd find anyone. Leave messages in places theyíd be. For criminals that would be places of prostitution, gambling, and begging/petty theft. The part about the restaurant is from my study of prohibition Chicago and the bland person is my imagination at work. :)

For dealing with the guild thatís simply a good way to deal with someone whoís prickly. Never get in their face or challenge their power. As long as youíre not dealing with a madman youíll be able to work with them.

I just used my imagination and filled in the rest. (Iím both a DM and Novelist itís something Iím good at)


Also, thanks Megaduck. Kuro enjoys being petted.

Heís cute.

Skeletor
2009-12-09, 08:50 PM
Got an idea, I know a stoneshape spell, have the forger make some replicas of some famous art statues from stone, create hidden spaces...in the blocks prior and smuggle them out. You could in theory shape stone around priceless loot ya?

BRC
2009-12-09, 08:55 PM
Personally, here is what I would do.

Don't try to fence the stuff now, it's too hot, nobody with an ounce of sense would touch it. If you had some pre-existing connections you might know somebody powerful enough to move it and rich enough to pay for it.

Personally, I would find someplace safe to stash it, someplace nobody but you and your partner know about, someplace it's unlikely to be found. A good no-questions asked bank would be nice, but there are other places you can hide it. Burying it somewhere is always a good option, but the law of narrative causality says that at some point between when you bury it and when you plan to dig it up you will hear about somebody with plans to open a mine/build a castle/do something involving digging a hole on that very spot. Or a flood will come through and make the area inaccessable. But assuming your DM dosn't work that way, burying it in the ruins of a tower on a hill in the woods should work. You and your partner then go off and wait for the heat to die down. Narrative Causality says that there is a 90% of, during this time, one or both of you plotting to kill the other and keep the loot for yourself (My advice, kill him before he kills you). A good way to avoid this is to have you divvy up your shares now (Use the method where one of you separates the treasure into two piles, and the other picks which pile each one gets), each of you hides their share individually, without the other knowing.

Once you get Speak with Dead, it's a different story, but that's besides the point.

kemmotar
2009-12-09, 09:08 PM
Or you could just bury it in a grave (under the actual coffin), take up a job as the local grave digger and live frugally for a time...In case a necromancer comes up to the grave and just randomly happens to choose the particular grave, you can dispatch him and get the good graces of the city...

It's unlikely that he will find the loot anyway, since nobody would expect anything interesting in a random farmer's grave, especially not under the coffin...

Once it's safe and nobody's looking for you skip town...perhaps even do a few heists here and there from time to time...if there isn't any big criminal establishment you probably won't be able to sell the stuff anyway...

Emperor Tippy
2009-12-10, 10:45 AM
You don't.

Sorry but if I was the DM and a player tried to move hot goods stolen from the local royalty and didn't already have some very good and well established local connections, whoever they try to move the goods with will turn them in. Those goods are simply too hot.

Now their are lot's of ways to smuggle them out even with low level magic (putting them in a sack, whacking it with invisibility, and walking through the gates works for most things). Cast Invisibility + Fly on yourself, fly up a few hundred feet, fly over the wall a ways, land, proceed.

Mark Hall
2009-12-10, 11:00 AM
I agree that the best you can hope for, if you want an immediate sale, is melt down some ignots and sell some loose gems... and be careful about the gems, because they can be recognized by cut.

The best starting option is to find largish, heavy things that you can melt and make something you can sell for walking around money... and then start walking away, quickly. It's only a matter of time before someone uses a good chunk of magic to see who stole the crown jewels, and you don't even want to be in the lands of an ally of this kingdom when they put the word out that they want you dead.

deuxhero
2009-12-10, 12:01 PM
Take a havard sack, put the stuff in, slash it, then planeshift to the astral+locate object. when you get powerful enough.

Very risky, but if you are backed into a corner, it's a great way to dispose of the goods.