The Criminal - Part II
Picking up from last month's issue, the second part of the Criminal Character Spotlight highlights some of the troubles and conflicts criminal characters have to deal with as a detriment on their lifestyle and other key aspects of criminal identity, such as organizations, independents and infamy.
Constant Danger, Constant Risk
The criminal has many enemies. Be it dangerous business rivals or the lives that they’ve afflicted in their unlawful interests, but few of these enemies will ever be as expansive and as powerful as the government authority. You may select to evade your rivals’ turf, but no matter where you are on any civilized system you stand on an encompassing government’s turf, and more over, you intend to defy their order in that law-regulated space. Most governments are suitably equipped to deal with you and overwhelmingly staffed against you. It’s almost imperative that a criminal not get caught in the act, because once you do, the heat is turned up and the fuzz will begin their hunt. Remember to leave no traces of your dirty work!
With so many factions disliking you, the primary means of protecting oneself is to maintain anonymity and detaching themselves from their crimes as a name and identity are leads to be followed, and altering these things is a costly endeavour, even in Star Wars. Not to mention that these forgers are criminals themselves and have a tendency to be extremely cautious of whom they do business with. There are few lengths that some criminals would go to in order to protect their identities and in extreme cases, you’d never meet them, never learn their real names and deal business only by means most detached and cunning.
This can bring one to a life of paranoia and immense caution, because even governments work secretively to trace you down and carelessness may bring a criminal to drop an incriminating line in the ear of an upstanding citizen or incognito lawman. You never know who might be listening and you can never be truly certain who those surrounding you truly are. This lifestyle isn’t easy, because by majority statistic, you are an outcast from a government and law-abiding society. People believe that your way of life is wrong and bad, and will put effort into bringing you down.
When a brazen criminal proudly brandishes their identity to affix to their crimes, they’re either eager to do some prison time or know that they have the means to protect themselves against their enemies. In doing so, the criminal’s reputation doesn’t only become known in the underworld, but also to the public and especially in locations of their activity. With every claimed crime, this infamy grows greater and it will gradually make it harder for the criminal to move on governmentally controlled worlds. Infamy isn’t all negative however, as your reputation brings opportunities and strikes fear into your victims, making them less likely to be a hero after hearing all about your darkest deeds in news sources.
Infamy adds an extra layer of difficulty and complexity to the criminal’s lifestyle, often forcing them into the inconveniences of lurking in the shadows and being unable to buy your own milk and eggs on the corner store, because your face decorates its wall on a wanted poster or going to your average doctor after having fallen badly ill, because they’ve probably heard about you in the morning news. Overcoming these problems is particular to the criminal, but the fact is that the infamous criminal’s life will rarely be one of great comfort or convenience, even if that isn’t impossible to achieve. In the same way, this adds difficulty into portraying your infamous criminal character due to the risk of presenting this character in public roleplay.
An infamous criminal has the potential to have bounties attached to their name, which may produce interesting roleplay for bounty hunters and your criminal, but it may be wiser to avoid this if you're more keen on not having your character caught and locked up--or worse. Always seek to coordinate considerately with those accepting roleplay hooks of this nature, because you automatically put your character in potential life-threatening danger or long-term confinement. If you want to keep your character, there are always story-related opportunities to pass through these consequences, all of which are naturally dependent on creativity. However, it is unadvised that one should put an open bounty on a character that they don't want jailed/killed without specifying that those are your intentions, lest you undermine someone else's character.
Organized and Independent
In similar fashion to business vocations, criminals come either independent or connected to underworld organizations. These organizations have a tendency to be difficult to separate from as a consequence of mistrust and rival businesses that you may join(or probe you for information); these can be risky and lock a character down in them. Where as independent criminals may work hard to keep themselves from being tied to down to any organization, due to the various repercussions that it would bring to their independence and the ramifications it would present on dealing business with rival organizations.
Criminal characters may stick to one or have tried both at some point in order to determine where they best fit in the underworld society. Both aspects of criminal life presents different roleplay opportunities. Independents may find that they need to actively pursue credits, where as organizations tend to bring the credits and business to them. Not to mention that organizations with a larger staff roster may provide plenty of internal roleplay, while the independent crew might find themselves with less--not that that should diminish its appeal, as going out into the community to look for jobs may result in a rewarding experience with plentiful interaction.
A life of crime is an uneasy and unsteady one, and sometimes a lonely one to portray. There will always be obstacles in your wake, but those who thrive in the underworld have the potential to walk out with fat, bloated pockets. Be it means of survival or the constant pursuit of wealth, the life of crime has something to offer everyone and anyone, be that a jail cell or mountains of wealth. Criminal activity can take place anywhere and everywhere, and at times we may never noticed that it happened at all. However, the line is drawn in lawless territories of the galaxy, because crime by definition cannot be without restrictions by the authorities against those activities. As such, it may be considered typical commerce and the way of life, where the strong, wealthy, and numerous have the resources to maintain control, thereby making themselves the individuals you don’t wish to cross in lawless territories, because nothing stops them from taking you down without repercussion.
With this much adversity within criminal activity, it comes as so no surprise that spice is a popular underworld market, because some criminals are going to need some drug-induced comfort when the paranoia gets harshest. It’s a challenge to roleplay for sure, but a welcome one.