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somethingrandom
2016-10-12, 09:19 AM
I am planing for a game I plan to GM soonish and there is a good chance the players will end up wanting to buy/sell things on the black market so I can be somewhat prepared I am hoping for suggestions on how they might try to find it. If it is relevant it is a fantasy setting run using pathfinder.

RazorChain
2016-10-12, 09:26 AM
Streetwise roll? Ask around?

Final Hyena
2016-10-12, 09:51 AM
One thing to consider is that black markets are usually spread out, but connected. By that I mean you generally have one person who will deal with a specialised area of contraband. Getting involved in that market generally requires someone within it (seller or consumer) to trust you enough to let you in. This might be an issue if you have a typical group of adventures who move around a lot and have anywhere from no reputation to a valorous fame.

If your guys are connected to shady types then ask them. Are they connected to guards and guilds, ask them. If all else fails bribing random people should eventually get you somewhere.

If they get desperate they could try to paint it black.

Grod_The_Giant
2016-10-12, 10:35 AM
I am planing for a game I plan to GM soonish and there is a good chance the players will end up wanting to buy/sell things on the black market so I can be somewhat prepared I am hoping for suggestions on how they might try to find it. If it is relevant it is a fantasy setting run using pathfinder.
Depends. Could be anything from a single Knowledge (Local) roll to an extended series of sidequests to build trust with local crime lords, depending on how big a deal you want it to be.

Segev
2016-10-12, 11:05 AM
Yeah, the first thing you need to do is decide whether you want this to be a simple matter they can just check on doing and be done with, or the seed for a side quest.

Storm_Of_Snow
2016-10-12, 11:14 AM
Some guy in a tavern tries to sell them something - maybe the PCs have to buy it in order to get any further, which also gives you a nice plot device :smallamused:.

gkathellar
2016-10-12, 12:16 PM
Generally, it makes sense to ask in places where legality can get muddy, or in less reputable parts of the sin industry. Bars, pawn shops, brothels, low-rent auction houses, etc. Individuals may know somebody who knows somebody.

Mark Hall
2016-10-12, 12:45 PM
In Pathfinder, I'd probably go with the Gather Information function of Diplomacy. DC higher than 10 (or everyone would know it), but might be lower than 20 (the point where 1st level characters get less likely to be able to learn it).

More generally, finding the Black Market is going to be a matter of finding someone who knows how to find the black market. Going to a pawnshop and asking "Do you know of any place where you can find more... unusual... merchandise?" is the usual RPG trope for it. You might also try looking for a bar and trying to score drugs, etc. In AD&D, I'd probably let thieves do it pretty easily... listen for the Cant, ask a few questions, pass a few silvers, and they can find a couple contacts for things like that.

Segev
2016-10-12, 01:14 PM
If you want it to be a full-on side quest, then you set up your black market in town, know who the contacts are, what they know and how to find them. And then you let the players go looking. A functional black market will have activities they can find.


If you want it to be just something they take care of in a few minutes to an hour of play-time, let them roll Gather Information, and give them "better" contacts the better they roll. (Or, if they fail, just have them unable to find it. It's not like it's an adventure-stopper.)

Also, you could just rule that your party rogue has connections already. He knows where to go and what names to drop and he can hook them up.

There's a PF feat somewhere - or maybe it's a Rogue Talent - that explicitly gives black market connections, and is used to abstract the process of getting cheap/illegal equipment on short notice.

kyoryu
2016-10-12, 01:15 PM
Ask them what they're doing to find the black market.

If that sounds at all reasonable, figure out what skill/mechanic to use, and roll appropriately.

Flickerdart
2016-10-12, 02:02 PM
I am planing for a game I plan to GM soonish and there is a good chance the players will end up wanting to buy/sell things on the black market so I can be somewhat prepared I am hoping for suggestions on how they might try to find it. If it is relevant it is a fantasy setting run using pathfinder.

There's basically two ways to find a black market:

The right way: The PCs get friendly with a guy that knows a guy. After they do the requisite favours to show that they're the right kind of people, the guy vouches for them, and sellers become willing to admit they carry goods of a certain illicit nature.

The wrong way: The PCs start asking around, attracting the attention of the local constabulary. They probably also attract the attention of a guy that knows a guy, but that guy is too smart to stick his nose out when the cops are on the prowl. Unless there's a great reward that makes the risk worth it - for example, the PCs want to fence some poison, but the poison merchant is really interested in cockatrice venom, so he would ask them to get it for him and only then buy their other poisons as well.

shadow_archmagi
2016-10-12, 03:07 PM
Four options, depending on what you're going for in your game.

Option 1, AKA "I hate thinking about shopping and want to spend like five seconds on this":
PC: "I'd like to sell these illegal goods on the black market"
DM: "You sell the illegal goods on the black market. Great job!"

Option 1B:
PC: "I'd like to sell these illegal goods on the black market"
DM: "Roll [skill] and beat [number] to sell them without a problem. If you fail by [number] then the guards attack."

Option 2, AKA "This should be one session"
PC: "I'd like to sell these illegal goods on the black market"
DM: "Shifty Dan, who you saved from bees last session, says that all crime in this town is controlled by John Crime, who invented it. He'll only buy your illegal goods once he respects you."

OPTION2A, AKA "Videogame RPG plothook"
DM: "He'll only respect you if you can complete this arbitrary quest I had planned, like killing a bear. Yeah, sure, there's a bear he hates!"

OPTION2B,AKA "Bioware social quest"
DM: "He'll only respect you if you can get four of his capos to vouch for you. Each capo has a different quirky trait that you'll have to take advantage of, like one likes loud noises and one had a girl break up with him and soforth."

OPTION3, AKA "Major part of the campaign"
PC: "I'd like to sell these illegal goods"
DM: "There's actually 40 different fences in this city. Each of them specializes in a different type or types of goods, with some overlap and competition. Every time you earn the approval of one, you'll be able to buy or sell a new thing, so probably by June or so you'll have accumulated enough to actually sell most of what you take in."

Final Hyena
2016-10-13, 05:37 AM
OPTION2A, AKA "Videogame RPG plothook"
DM: "He'll only respect you if you can complete this arbitrary quest I had planned, like killing a bear. Yeah, sure, there's a bear he hates!"
You may mock all you want but it had to be done, he was unbearable!

gkathellar
2016-10-13, 06:40 AM
Option 2, AKA "This should be one session"
PC: "I'd like to sell these illegal goods on the black market"
DM: "Shifty Dan, who you saved from bees last session, says that all crime in this town is controlled by John Crime, who invented it. He'll only buy your illegal goods once he respects you."

OPTION2A, AKA "Videogame RPG plothook"
DM: "He'll only respect you if you can complete this arbitrary quest I had planned, like killing a bear. Yeah, sure, there's a bear he hates!"

OPTION2B,AKA "Bioware social quest"
DM: "He'll only respect you if you can get four of his capos to vouch for you. Each capo has a different quirky trait that you'll have to take advantage of, like one likes loud noises and one had a girl break up with him and soforth."

All I know is that you've earned this capo's approval, funny man. I'll vouch for you in front of John Crime any day.

Corsair14
2016-10-13, 06:47 AM
Could be as simple as some towns in the real world where there is an area of town where the guards do not go(unless off duty). Should be easy enough to ask a random panhandler.
-Make contact with the thieves guild, there is a reason for thieves cant after all.

Flickerdart
2016-10-13, 09:35 AM
DM: "Shifty Dan, who you saved from bees last session, says that all crime in this town is controlled by John Crime, who invented it. He'll only buy your illegal goods once he respects you."
Is it bad that now I want to run a campaign with this exact situation.

Bohandas
2016-10-13, 10:17 AM
Gather information check or ask the cleric of Olidammara

Kitten Champion
2016-10-13, 10:32 AM
Option 2, AKA "This should be one session"
PC: "I'd like to sell these illegal goods on the black market"
DM: "Shifty Dan, who you saved from bees last session, says that all crime in this town is controlled by John Crime, who invented it. He'll only buy your illegal goods once he respects you."


What's unfortunate for Mr. Crime is they didn't decide to label unlawful acts as "pulling a John" like he wanted.

Segev
2016-10-13, 10:36 AM
What's unfortunate for Mr. Crime is they didn't decide to label unlawful acts as "pulling a John" like he wanted.

Though he's reputedly one of the most frequent patrons of Ladies of the Evening.

MrZJunior
2016-10-13, 12:11 PM
Stand out in the middle of the street and shout at the top of their lungs "Hey, I wanna buy some crack!"

gkathellar
2016-10-14, 01:19 PM
Is it bad that now I want to run a campaign with this exact situation.

I think it's a demonstration of character, really.

Bohandas
2016-10-15, 01:31 AM
Check the sewer. The fantasy mafia always operates out of the sewer. It's like, a rule or something.


DM: "Shifty Dan, who you saved from bees last session, says that all crime in this town is controlled by John Crime, who invented it. He'll only buy your illegal goods once he respects you."

This is hilarious

Verbannon
2016-10-15, 01:57 AM
My players once had this problem. They helped a city stop a smuggling ring. Then gathering up all the illegal items, found the list of smugglers contacts and went to sell the smuggled loot themselves. Though they were arrested because the captain of the city guard was assisting with the smuggling busting, told them selling it would illegal and had no problem arresting the party.

The players were shocked and angry for being arrested, reasoning that the human hearts and pixie wings had already been harvested so the bad evil thing had already been done and the city owed them for their help.

My players are idiots though. But maybe yours could just beat up a smuggler and steal his contacts.

Kami2awa
2016-10-15, 03:19 AM
Well it's a fantasy setting, so why not have it be an actual place? Run by goblins, naturally. For some reason, the usual laws don't apply there - maybe at the centre is a temple to a Chaotic deity. Not necessarily a very nice one, either. Finding it is not easy - it exists in a street that isn't on any maps, and, by the layout of the city, shouldn't actually be there.

A realistic, non-fantastical approach to this is to have it be a micro-enclave of another land, with different laws, within the same city, existing for diplomatic convenience or other reasons.

Alternatively, you could take the Lord Vetinari approach. The black market is an actual place. There are adverts for it everywhere, including special offers (Buy Two Cursed Amulets, and Get a Third Free!!!*). You go there, and for a small registration fee, buy and sell all the illegal stuff you want. The ruler of the city knows exactly who goes there, and who buys what, and gets a rather large cut of each deal. Illegal dealing *outside* the black market is punished severely, mainly by the black marketeers themselves. Do you have a permit for that Hellforged Blade, sir?

*Subject to the following terms and conditions...

Bohandas
2016-11-20, 11:54 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhy8Gup67r8#t=01m01s (mild adult situations)

D+1
2016-11-20, 12:16 PM
I am planing for a game I plan to GM soonish and there is a good chance the players will end up wanting to buy/sell things on the black market so I can be somewhat prepared I am hoping for suggestions on how they might try to find it. If it is relevant it is a fantasy setting run using pathfinder.Thiefy characters should always know how to contact fences for stolen and illegal goods.

Madbox
2016-11-21, 05:57 AM
To sell stuff on the black market, just stand in an alley in a trench coat and ask any passerby "Hey, wanna buy something?"

To buy, talk to the thug who will inevitably show up and demand a cut since you were trying to sell on his turf. If he doesn't have it, a few silver should jog his memory about who he knows that might have it.

Stealth Marmot
2016-11-21, 09:20 AM
Ask around?

Hello sir? I am looking for the Black Market? Where can I find it?

GungHo
2016-11-21, 01:46 PM
Check the sewer. The fantasy mafia always operates out of the sewer. It's like, a rule or something.
I know, it's like the people who write that stuff have never actually been in a combined sewer.

Traab
2016-11-21, 08:28 PM
Have your wizard or other frail looking fellow wander dark alleys looking like an easy mark. Capture the next cutpurse or brigand that tries to steal from him, force him to show the way to his fence. Work from there.

eru001
2016-11-23, 09:02 PM
as they walk though a seedier section of town reward successfull listen checks with chunks of conversations such as

Guy 1: So I was down at the Cut and Purse last night...
Guy 2: Ya know youse should really stay away from that bar, the guard doesn't really go there.
Guy 1: Yeah yeah, but listen, you shoulda seen the merch Scaly Eddie was pushin, said it all Fell off the back of a barge.
Guy 2: Really now?
Guy 1: Yeah, I didn't know them lizardfolk had gills.
Guy 2: Gills?
Guy 1: Yeah, gills, see. How else was he supposed to get the stuff that fell off the back of a barge? Them canals is deep?
Guy 2: Whatsamaddawidya? That stuff didn't fall off no barge? It was stolen you moron.

Mystral
2016-11-24, 04:38 AM
I am planing for a game I plan to GM soonish and there is a good chance the players will end up wanting to buy/sell things on the black market so I can be somewhat prepared I am hoping for suggestions on how they might try to find it. If it is relevant it is a fantasy setting run using pathfinder.

The black market is not an actual place. It is most likely comprised of normal merchants that do a little buisness on the side, as well as the local criminal gang via some street patsies. Perhaps in the backroom of a bar.

They should propably go to the seedier parts of town and ask some people how they might sell some "merchandise" that they "obtained". Have some social rolls ready and be prepared to be background checked. Maybe use some sense motive to sniff out the shady traders.

Bohandas
2016-11-30, 06:19 PM
Ah yes. That's a good point. The old pawnshop that's also a fence/WeBuyStolenGold.

LokiRagnarok
2016-12-01, 03:22 AM
To go in a slightly different direction: I would assume some of them know someone who does some stuff that is "technically illegal" but not very frowned upon in the society (eg "light" drugs, visiting brothels, illegal gambling, ...). Ask/make that person put you in touch with their dealer, then go from there.