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Old 03-25-2021, 11:18 PM   #11
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Some ideas for contraband

Hi Phiwum,
I did not see if the smugglers are good guys or bad guys. These are bad guys.
Here are two ideas for contraband:

- slaves. Many cultures find owning another sentient being abhorrent. On the other hand other cultures do not. Slavery is often easier when the subjects can be viewed as different. So, say they are smuggling halfling slaves from or through an area against slavery to an area that supports it.

- body parts needed for alchemical potions. I would expect every culture would have a problem with their own being the target of body part scavengers. Try getting a shipment of elves toes (for the toenails) and centaur hooves through their woods.
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:23 PM   #12
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Some ideas for contraband

If you are looking for contraband for good guys:

- information or books or fliers. On topics that threaten the evil overlords. Say info calling for rebellion, or recruitment, or how to escape, ...

- religious material. Whatever religion the bad guys are, this would be info to convert their following to the religion of your heroes. Or also religious artifacts that would inspire them.
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:26 PM   #13
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Some ideas for contraband

One last idea. You said no magic items, but what about cursed magic items. These things are such a pain it may be owning one (or many) to be illegal.
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Old 03-26-2021, 12:24 PM   #14
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Some ideas for contraband

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
Hi Phiwum,
I did not see if the smugglers are good guys or bad guys. These are bad guys.
Here are two ideas for contraband:

- slaves. Many cultures find owning another sentient being abhorrent. On the other hand other cultures do not. Slavery is often easier when the subjects can be viewed as different. So, say they are smuggling halfling slaves from or through an area against slavery to an area that supports it.

- body parts needed for alchemical potions. I would expect every culture would have a problem with their own being the target of body part scavengers. Try getting a shipment of elves toes (for the toenails) and centaur hooves through their woods.
It's a good question whether the smugglers are good guys, bad guys or indifferent profit-driven guys. Both these suggestions are good, but what sort of heartless bugger would enslave halflings?

ETA: Seeing your suggestion for the good guy smugglers, I understand better. The smugglers are definitely bad in the sense that the smuggling is not in the interest of Dran. Whatever they're smuggling is for the good of the orcish warlord and bad for Dran.

But that doesn't necessarily mean they're amoral enough to go slave trading. That's a whole other step in badness. I'm not ruling it out, of course. It would draw the morality lines in a thicker black ink, which is sometimes useful, especially in the context of rumors. The PCs have already unwittingly allied with amoral gargoyle hunters at this point, in the mistaken belief that the gargoyles are allied with the orcs. (I'm glad that my player doesn't read this forum.)

Last edited by phiwum; 03-26-2021 at 12:30 PM.
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