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Illegal Q&A

Obrodo

Head of Illegal
#1
Hello! I've been getting a few pms about illegal roleplay on LSV, and I'm opening this thread for people to ask any question they may have. As it is mothers day, and I am a cook, I'll be busy for the next 13 hours or so, so I'll let this thread fill up and answer as soon as I get home.

Ask away!
 

Bozo

Firestarter
Management
Founder
Day 1
#3
Is there a possibility of harvesting and selling organs via black market?
Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: We don't want the game to become a senseless murder-fest so this won't be something you'll do by killing random people, tearing out their various organs and selling them to the OTM (the Organ Teller Machine). These would almost certainly be events with specified targets and conditions with participants likely learning about the availability of the opportunity through their contacts.
 
#4
- Will there be options offered for the more subtle crime groups? E.g.: guns and weed it's nice when you're a street gang, but if you aim to create more of a crime syndicate working with embezzlement, money laundering, illegal tax schemes, large-scale cons, ... would there be options? Note that "no" and "not for now" are perfectly acceptable, I know how complex it can be to enable such RPs ^^

- What sorts of "realism standards" will be enforced on illegal factions? Some of us might remember the infamous "a woman can't lead a crime syndicate it's not realistic your faction has to shut down" episode :p Will there be some margin of manoeuver compared to RL situations, or will it be more stringent?

- What sort of tools would the LSPD be given, when facing illegal factions? Some servers have no tools whatsoever except catching illegal people doing illegal stuff on the moment, others tried to enable some more interesting things with CIs and such, and others even attempted to go further with scientific police tools, security cameras that were usable, etc. I know some of this would need features to be developed and won't be available now, but in general: what sorts of tools should illegal factions expect to face?

- Illegal lifestyles could sometimes be a major problem on other GTA servers because of server population. Realistically, someone who's reasonably successful and sells drugs to an established network in a safe turf can make up to 4-10k a month depending*. However, if there are a crazy 300 people online, and a massive 20% of them consume drugs (much more than IRL), it's still "only" 60 customers. They won't buy from you every single day, and you're probably not the only dude selling cocaine in town, so cut it to 20 customers per month, 100 per dose, 2000/month. It's not bad, but far from great either - especially since it requires 300 people online and 20% of them consuming cocaine. Most servers relied exclusively on player interaction for illegal people to make money, and admins kept saying it was "very viable" because their characters were the sources of all drugs and all weapons (so they sold massive bulks to all gangs in town and made a ton of cash). So the question is: will there only be money made from player-to-player interaction, or will people involved in an illegal activity be considered to partaking in it even while offline, like other players, and receive an appropriate and corrected amount of money?

* My sources are from investigations led in Marseilles, France, so it might not apply to the USA!

- Speaking of, most servers had this system where an admin's character was the source of all guns and drugs on the server at some point, instead of an NPC. Which led to... obvious problems. Will the weapon & drug deliveries handled differently, be it through NPCs, or crafting (for drugs), or reselling legal weapons (for guns - it's the most common type of street gun you can find: one that was bought legally) or other such things?

- I saw there were different types of bank accounts, does that mean there will be some money laundering necessary for gangs that start having some success?
 

Obrodo

Head of Illegal
#5
Will there be options offered for the more subtle crime groups? E.g.: guns and weed it's nice when you're a street gang, but if you aim to create more of a crime syndicate working with embezzlement, money laundering, illegal tax schemes, large-scale cons, ... would there be options?
Those options will be there, but that depends on if someone is willing to be the victim of that RP. I believe if it can be rp'd it should be allowed to an extent. If you can Illegal tax another business and get away with it, by all means go for it if they are willing to go along with the RP. Victims are harder to manage than the RP itself.

What sorts of "realism standards" will be enforced on illegal factions? Some of us might remember the infamous "a woman can't lead a crime syndicate it's not realistic your faction has to shut down" episode :p Will there be some margin of manoeuver compared to RL situations, or will it be more stringent?
If you want to play a political gangster, go for it, I've seen it before. You want women to lead the mob though, lets be realistic. Women leading crime organizations is a huge thing, but in some factions is not realistic. If it falls into the category of realistic, I'm all for it. Leading something that's NEVER had a women leader, or having an Irish guy lead the Yakuza or something, that wouldn't fly.

What sort of tools would the LSPD be given, when facing illegal factions? Some servers have no tools whatsoever except catching illegal people doing illegal stuff on the moment, others tried to enable some more interesting things with CIs and such, and others even attempted to go further with scientific police tools, security cameras that were usable, etc. I know some of this would need features to be developed and won't be available now, but in general: what sorts of tools should illegal factions expect to face?
For this, I haven't really spoken to Legal staff much about what they will and will not have in regards to PD. What I personally want, bugs, phone bugs, tapping phone calls, seeing wire transfers, along with the normal cameras and CI's. As for what's in it right now, I couldn't tell you at all. These are things I definitely want to see, as even my Supplier team isn't immune to being caught by making mistakes.

[ReplyQUOTE="TopinambourSansSel, post: 1244, member: 56"]Illegal lifestyles could sometimes be a major problem on other GTA servers because of server population. Realistically, someone who's reasonably successful and sells drugs to an established network in a safe turf can make up to 4-10k a month depending*. However, if there are a crazy 300 people online, and a massive 20% of them consume drugs (much more than IRL), it's still "only" 60 customers. They won't buy from you every single day, and you're probably not the only dude selling cocaine in town, so cut it to 20 customers per month, 100 per dose, 2000/month. It's not bad, but far from great either - especially since it requires 300 people online and 20% of them consuming cocaine. Most servers relied exclusively on player interaction for illegal people to make money, and admins kept saying it was "very viable" because their characters were the sources of all drugs and all weapons (so they sold massive bulks to all gangs in town and made a ton of cash). So the question is: will there only be money made from player-to-player interaction, or will people involved in an illegal activity be considered to partaking in it even while offline, like other players, and receive an appropriate and corrected amount of money?[/QUOTE]

Well, I do hope selling drugs isn't your only source of income. A system has been being worked on by myself and a couple others to be able to sell off items to "NPC" like players who would buy them for a set amount. Like car parts, since I don't plan on implementing crafting in the Illegal side of things for a long time, if ever. This would give you a chance to remove those items you don't have a use for. Car parts, jewelry that you stole, car stereos, wallet with certain items in them, ID's from robberies, stuff like that. You bring a wallet with an ID in it, along with a couple cards, maybe you get a little extra. There will be ways aside from standing around and waiting for your buyer to buy again to make money.

- Speaking of, most servers had this system where an admin's character was the source of all guns and drugs on the server at some point, instead of an NPC. Which led to... obvious problems. Will the weapon & drug deliveries handled differently, be it through NPCs, or crafting (for drugs), or reselling legal weapons (for guns - it's the most common type of street gun you can find: one that was bought legally) or other such things?

- I saw there were different types of bank accounts, does that mean there will be some money laundering necessary for gangs that start having some success?
I assure you, the system I created to supply the server is much different that what's been previously seen. It has the same skeleton system that other servers have used in the past, with a stricter rule set and many more RP requirements, myself included. Smuggling, distributing, and selling weapons/drugs won't be an easy cash grab like it has been in the past. Consequences and decisions will play a big part in how you move throughout the city, resulting in some pretty spectacular RP. Between a slow rolling distribution system, and a newly created task system, it WILL NOT be "Admins show up, spawn weapons, teleport away". It will take more time, and give PD a chance to even catch the big time suppliers moving Illegal items into the city as well. Meaning everyone up the ladder will have to play it smart, and actually do things right or face the consequences themselves.
Altering previous drugs you get can and will be done, definitely. Getting coke, and cutting it down into low grade crack, stuff like that. Maybe getting illegal supplies in the future from a dealer to MAKE Meth/heroin, maybe even seeds from the big guy to grow weed. Allowing the RP of crafting from household supplies could potentially flood the market and I don't want to see that happen again.

As for the bank account thing, you CAN launder money through multiple accounts if you want. Remember, using digital stuff leaves a trace/papertrail, so cash is a better option most of the time. That decision is up to you. You can have a secret bank account where you stash earnings from your deals, and have one where you get your work paychecks and legal transactions to throw off the trail. All of that is entirely up to you.

If I failed to answer any questions well enough let me know, and Ill touch on the subject a bit more!

Is there a possibility of harvesting and selling organs via black market?
Ill answer this as well. With the Focus system, there is a focus into Medical. If you have that mob doctor type who wants to get paid illegally to patch up members after jobs, go for it! The downside to this being, victims yet again. Having a market where you extract organs, and sell them to others players would be a hard one, as over my years of rping, I haven't seen ANYONE undergo a surgery to replace a kidney or something. It's definitely not out of the realm of possibility, and definitely can/should happen, it just has to be implemented correctly. Having it as in ingame event with, lets say, my Cartel smuggler giving you the job, it could DEFINITELY work. Having it as something that happens frequently and you make your money solely on that would be just as Bozo said, a senseless murder fest.
 

Zane

New member
#7
Obrodo... HBG (Hot Blooded Gaming), a SAMP server some years ago, actually used hospital RP as the remedy to injuries etc... EMS would take the patient to the hospital and dispatch a
On on call doctor or nurse to complete the series of medical rp required to heal someone.
 

Bozo

Firestarter
Management
Founder
Day 1
#8
- Will there be options offered for the more subtle crime groups? E.g.: guns and weed it's nice when you're a street gang, but if you aim to create more of a crime syndicate working with embezzlement, money laundering, illegal tax schemes, large-scale cons, ... would there be options? Note that "no" and "not for now" are perfectly acceptable, I know how complex it can be to enable such RPs ^^
Yes. One of the purposes of the Focus system was to facilitate this. On other servers, the moment you offered the ability to do something, everyone suddenly beomes an expert at it. So it was difficult to add the ability to skim ATM's, for example, because everyone who became an expert at car theft when car theft was made available will suddenly become a tech expert the moment you introduce skimmers. Similarly, other servers have a hard time introducing the option to let people make money via tax schemes and embezzlement because they really don't have a way people can get caught. The Focus system makes this possible. It may be something of an oversimplification but, basically, if there's no risk, there's no reward. If we can implement a risk, then we can implement a reward... particularly if it makes things fun.

- What sorts of "realism standards" will be enforced on illegal factions? Some of us might remember the infamous "a woman can't lead a crime syndicate it's not realistic your faction has to shut down" episode :p Will there be some margin of manoeuver compared to RL situations, or will it be more stringent?
It's hard to give a concrete answer but our aim has been to live by, "Reality is a guide, not a goal." FWIW, the specific restriction you listed is an example of a grossly misinformed and ignorant person making ridiculous decisions and even if reality was our absolute goal, that restriction wouldn't happen here. It's actually a case where reality says otherwise so I'm sure how someone so misinformed came to be in charge... In any case, we're far more interested in things being fun. If they stray a little from reality, that's fine. Does your group BELIEVE lizards run the government? No problem. Are you asking to PLAY an actual lizard who runs the government? You're across the line...

- What sort of tools would the LSPD be given, when facing illegal factions? Some servers have no tools whatsoever except catching illegal people doing illegal stuff on the moment, others tried to enable some more interesting things with CIs and such, and others even attempted to go further with scientific police tools, security cameras that were usable, etc. I know some of this would need features to be developed and won't be available now, but in general: what sorts of tools should illegal factions expect to face?
The Focus system! PD will have its cybertrackers sifting digitally available information, may use their techies to electronically gather information. We're implementing both a physical and a medical forensic system for gathering info from crime scenes. The more hands-off approach to the corruption system means PD might cross a line or two when developing their cases. Mainly due to the infancy of our systems, the PD has not yet presented a plan to use CI's and plant undercovers in illegal orgs but I can't imagine there would be any policy that the server would put into place to prohibit it. We'd REALLY like to keep the illegal orgs paranoid but, at the same time, playable. Getting caught by the cops doesen't necessarily mean the end of the org. It could just lead to a payoff...

So the question is: will there only be money made from player-to-player interaction, or will people involved in an illegal activity be considered to partaking in it even while offline, like other players, and receive an appropriate and corrected amount of money?
We've been giving consideration to this for more than just illegal business: letting the IC transactions serve as a representation of the overall business that a person/org/business is doing overall. This would allow us to make certain businesses fit with specific Lifestyles so that they better support people in those Lifestyles.... like a movie studio, for example, being a viable option for a Luxury lifestyle or have some backlot studio get lucky and produce something awesome that leads to a windfall. It also would let us weight certain businesses. On most servers, the weapon trade is the BIG illegal money-maker and that's not really how it works (at street-level, anyway). Drugs make the money. Weapons are used to protect the drug business. We could weight the drug business to make it more lucrative while still requiring IC sales to play a major part of the overall profitability.

I guess this is also an opportunity to discuss drugs somewhat. Many of the drugs on the server will be "social" in nature. You buy them, use them, may get a screen effect but the overall effect is something you'd roleplay. Outside of those are the Big 4: cocaine, crack, heroin and meth. These have game mechanic effects (applying varying bonuses to health or armor) that last a short time. They also have "resistance" and "addiction" values. The more you use a drug, the more resistant you become to it. As you become resistant, you need a larger dose to gain any effect. If you become addicted, you'll need to take the drug just to remain at a baseline (no bonus). If you're both resistant AND addicted, you need more of the drug to maintain your baseline. If you stop taking a drug you're addicted to, you'll start going through withdrawal - your maximum hit points will be reduced until you either break the habit or take your maintenance does. You can pretty easily use a drug without getting to a point where there's a negative effect on your character's overall life but it does require some care and consideration.

- Speaking of, most servers had this system where an admin's character was the source of all guns and drugs on the server at some point, instead of an NPC. Which led to... obvious problems. Will the weapon & drug deliveries handled differently, be it through NPCs, or crafting (for drugs), or reselling legal weapons (for guns - it's the most common type of street gun you can find: one that was bought legally) or other such things?
In reality, no one's buying a homemade "Some Guy's SMG" or basement-crafted "Gary's Gats". Ingrams, Colts, Berettas, S&W, H&K, Glocks, etc. are the guns people want and they're manufactured "somewhere" and, via various methods, these standard, mass-produced weapons become illegal weapons. So when we were conceptualizing how weapons, drugs, etc. come onto the server, we strayed away from having an in-game crafting system where people collect car parts and poof them into pistols...

So, yeah.. ultimately, the weapons come in via characters in-game. The bulk of the illegal markets are controlled IC'ly by player-run characters, though so, unlike what we might have seen elsewhere, you won't see the suppliers taking a direct role in the way the business is handled. I'd also like to emphasize the 's' in 'characters'. There's more than one by design. And they're not friends. They haven't agreed to unwritten (or written!) lists of customers each will deal with. They represent separate, competing interests - each looking to muscle into the turfs controlled by the others via tasks handed down to the player-controlled factions. The downstream customers would benefit from the competition while the upstream markets are put into direct competition with one another. From time to time, opportunities may be presented that will facilitate bypassing the normal channels, as well.

- I saw there were different types of bank accounts, does that mean there will be some money laundering necessary for gangs that start having some success?
Yes! Mostly... At this point, our discussions have not really been about getting that granular but I'm definitely not against getting there. Right now, if an org is pulling in cash via illegal means and they have regular access to a legal means, we're assuming the legal business is a front that has a part in the laundering of the illegally-gained cash. A hacker could learn this (but not without some real-world legwork so don't bother trying to hack every player-run business) or protect against it being learned (so illegal orgs will want someone with the right skills... or hire them, at the very least!) OR they can keep stacks of cash in their safehouses but that presents its own challenges.
 
Last edited:

j.p

New member
#9
I'm completely new to illegal RP and will hopefully be looking to pursue some on this server. So, to put it bluntly, how on earth do you get "into" illegal RP?

EDIT: More so on the terms of creating an illegal faction and doing illegal things than joining an ORG already.
 

Bozo

Firestarter
Management
Founder
Day 1
#10
Obrodo... HBG (Hot Blooded Gaming), a SAMP server some years ago, actually used hospital RP as the remedy to injuries etc... EMS would take the patient to the hospital and dispatch a
On on call doctor or nurse to complete the series of medical rp required to heal someone.
We will have a more involved medical RP. Much of this isn't in play yet but the plans are for our system to work as follows:

No special focus is required for BLS (Basic Life Support) so nearly anyone can rp being able to clean and bandage a wound that's not life-threatening, ice a sprain, aloe a minor burn, etc. Once you start getting into ILS or ALS, you start to need someone with a Medical focus. Most of the EMT's would be so-skilled. They're people who want medical rp but don't want to be hospital staff. They're the ones who should deal with most serious injuries, especially those that cause script-death. It's important to remember that scrtipt-death is not necessarily an actual death. If help (someone with the equipment AND the skills... like an EMT with an ambulance!) can get to the injured person in time, they can very likely be saved unless someone purposely kills them (usually requiring an emote).

While there are plenty of support people who work at hospitals who are non-medical, the doctors and nurses would certainly have the Medical focus and they are generally the ones characters go to the hospital for. While EMT's will stabilize for transport, they won't actually heal a character (beyond the minimum for rp). At an actual hospital, the character can be healed. Most of the convalescing rp would be up to the player but we put some guidelines in our rules documentation.
 

Bozo

Firestarter
Management
Founder
Day 1
#11
I'm completely new to illegal RP and will hopefully be looking to pursue some on this server. So, to put it bluntly, how on earth do you get "into" illegal RP?

EDIT: More so on the terms of creating an illegal faction and doing illegal things than joining an ORG already.
Creating an org is really not much more than presenting it here: https://forum.ls-v.com/index.php?forums/g-o-general.28/
It's a good idea to look there to see what some of the current presentations look like. Running an org, particularly running a recognized org, is a good deal of work. You're expected to continue presenting your org, through further posts on the thead you've created - promoting yourself and the demonstrating your org's value to the server by showing off your activities, RP, etc. You're advised to ensure you keep sensitive subjects vague (either removing them entirely or blurring them out), obviously.

You might be best served by taking part in an illegal org run by someone who might not be so new rather than jumping in and trying to run one... but that involves either finding them and somehow joining them IC'ly (the methods for which vary from org to org) or by being a part of the group of players that form the org. You can directly message the person who has presented their org showcase to ask them about it. If they're recruiting, they should have some advice for you that will help you make a character that can fit in... so you're not taking the awkward and never-successful path, for example, of making a character with an Italian-sounding name, wandering into some other Italian-named character and saying, "Hey... where's the mafia at?" :p
 

Bozo

Firestarter
Management
Founder
Day 1
#14
Is import/smuggling of bootleg cigarettes and further retail allowed?
Rather than getting granular about each specific crime and giving a yea or nay, I think we'd like to support any different illegal activities and we've talked about smuggling operations. We consider the area on the server an island so most of the smuggling would come in off the water or by air. We'd have to work out specifics with @Obrodo but every market depends on demand.

If the demand exists on the server for a cheaper cigarette, we'd surely facilitate enterprising characters willing to do the rp and take the risk to fill that demand. You'd probably have to put up the money to buy the duty-free stuff and then selling the bootlegs would be up to you. It migth be hard to feel out the market since we haven't uet put cigarettes on the server but you could easily rp complaining about the price, mentioning the duty free option, etc. and seeing who might be interested.