Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 10:26:31 -0600
From: Michael Maley
Subject: Re: Corruption (was Re: Request)
Leonard Erickson wrote:
>> I am forced to wonder with only slow X-boat traffic, how the Third Imperium
>> can maintain it's control of out-lying systems/subsectors? Surely the
>> Imperial Navy isn't so large they can police everywhere? From the Adventure
>> modules I've seen, there hasn't been a lot of 'corruption' on the local
>> government scene, as compared to what I think it probably should be; after
>> all, power corrupts and everyone wants a piece of the pie.
> Keep in mind that as long as the local government pays its taxes on
> time and adheres to the (rather small number of) Imperial laws, the
> Imperium doesn't *care* about how local affairs are handled.
> Heck, several government codes pretty much institionalize what other
> types of government consider "corruption".
> Being corrupt and being under Imperial control are disjoint properties.
> that is, one has almost no effect on the other.
> You have to get to the point of legalized slavery or "open" support of
> pirates before "local corruption" conflicts with Imperial law.
> Heck, that may be how many pirates work. They are actually
> (unofficially) supported by the local government. Say the mainworld in
> one hex acts as a haven for pirates operating in adjoining hexes. As
> long as the pirates don't take any ships in the "haven" system, and
> don't boast too much, both the government and the local businesses will
> cheerfully buy the cargoes and charge for supplies and repairs without
> asking too many questions.
> But getting back to more "traditional" forms of "corruption", try
> things like these.
> Next time the PCs land on a planet with a "xxx Bureaucracy" type
> government (or any of several other types) with a High Law level,
> and they have to deal with some clerk, have a list of the official
> fee schedule for "bribes" of various sorts posted on the wall!
> You'll have fun drawing up the possible "special services" fees and
> shock a few players. Especially when they find out that the fees are
> fixed. No paying more and you get laughed at for trying to pay less.
> In fact trying to pay more may get you in trouble.
> At lower law levels, bribes, if part of the system, will be more
> Just remember that "bribes" are *normal* in some cultures. Just as much
> as they are forbidden in others.
> Leonard Erickson (aka Shadow)
> firstname.lastname@example.org <--preferred
> email@example.com <--last resort
That's exactly how I do have pirates operating in my campaign. Corruption also played a hand in my wife's pirate character development. He mother was a popular (and expensive) grav dancer from the Beyond sector - and mistress to several businessmen, government and military types in the Spinward Marches. She took her main payment in stocks for various Imperial corporations, which after several years made her vary rich. She also used a liaison with an Imperial Admiral to get her oldest daughter, Bette Noire, illegally into the Imperial Naval Academy, which Bette graduated with honors.