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As far as I can tell, a great deal of the FFG Star Wars systems are designed around players having a relatively limited amount of money. As a GM, that's all well and good, but I'm worried about the huge discrepancy between the value of 'player money' vs 'ship money'.

As an example of what I mean, just one starting ship can cost 160000 credits, whereas players start with a measly 500 credits. If my players turn around and immediately try to sell their ship, even if it was interstellar robbery and they got only a tenth of its actual value it'd still be 16000 credits, a whopping 32 times their intended starting amount.

That's not even touching upon the possibility of boarding and stealing other ships to sell, which in a criminal game could very well happen somewhat frequently.

I'm not particularly interested in narrative shortcuts or ways to prevent the player from doing this. I suspect that any narrative mechanism or 'in character' solution would be railroading or immersion breaking.

I'm mostly interested if there's any RAW mentions of handling this issue, or suggestions in the rule books, and if not, suggestions to change the rules that people have tried and which work well in practice.

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Obligation

As part of their Obligation, each group starts the game with a starship.

"Character Creation", Edge of the Empire p. 99

Obligation is, loosely put, the reason why your characters are going out to have dangerous space adventures instead of opening up a droid repair shop. A duty they follow, a debt they owe, a past they're trying to run from. As the plot demands it, or through their own choices, characters can acquire additional Obligation during the course of play. Most characters will start play with only one type of Obligation, but nothing stops characters from acquiring multiple Obligations of different types.

The reason you can't just pawn your initial starship is that it's not yours to pawn. It's there to answer someone else's desires, as expressed in your starting Obligations.

If your players express an interest in hijacking and selling off other starships, you can tell them up front that if they can actually manage to board one, subdue any relevant crew without causing major internal damage, slice the controls, and slip whatever civilized net might try to stop someone from taking a tremendously valuable piece of stolen property into space, they're not going to be able to get any actual credits out of one without also taking a commensurate amount of Obligation.

Because honestly, at some point in that whole process there's an Obligation-worthy event, like maybe the ship's original owners putting a bounty out on them, or owing a favor to the black-market shipyard for fuzzing the original chain of ownership so the ship could get sold off in the first place.

Now, I say "a commensurate amount of Obligation", but I should also emphasize that when you leave character creation there's no longer a fixed mathematical relationship between Obligation and credits or XP: "The GM must also determine the value of the Obligation. There is no direct correlation between Obligation and the value of credits or specific services." (SW:EotE p.310) It's just probably going to take less Obligation to cash in on a boosted light freighter than if you somehow heisted a corvette on your own initiative.

This isn't a cheap trick you use to pull the rug out from under the players, it's making use of a game mechanic you're supposed to use in scenarios where players want more resources - though usually it's by giving them a physical thing they need when they don't have the credits or can't find an appropriate place to spend them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer, though if I was going to provide them with an accurately commensurate amount of Obligation for the amount of money they stand to gain, wouldn't that be, like, 640 Obligation for 160k using the standard values described in the book for Obligation-> Credits? It doesn't seem to make very much sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Onyz
    Jul 10, 2023 at 10:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Onyz Yeah, things change up a bit after character creation, as far as Obligation goes. I've added some clarification. \$\endgroup\$
    – Glazius
    Jul 10, 2023 at 20:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm interested: What does money buy in this game? Can it buy power? Can someone just buy amplifying cybernetics, fantastically superior weaponry, or a well-trained dinosaur or something? That is, does having a lot of money actually wreck the game somehow? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 10, 2023 at 22:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Notable items of personal power are all in the ballpark of 10k. Stolen lightsaber? 10k. Cortosis weave (lightsaber armor)? 10k. Cybernetic limbs or a brain augmentation? 10k. In-atmosphere vehicles are tens of thousands, space-capable ships are one or multiple hundreds of thousands (and can fit some hefty weapons) and the heftiest civilian-grade ship you can grab is over three million. It's not just as simple as trading over the money - there's local rarity to contend with and possibly the illegality of what you're about to buy - but money can get you a lot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Glazius
    Jul 11, 2023 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Glazius Very helpful, thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Onyz
    Jul 11, 2023 at 16:15

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