Whilst reading through Twitter this morning, I noticed a tweet from @BigJackBrass, who posted that he’d received this message in an email:
Obviously a con, it inspired me to write a patron encounter in the same style as the supplement ‘76 Patrons’ for the Classic Traveller / Cepheus Engine RPG systems. I’ve tried to write it in the same style as many email-cons and excuses used to steal your money that do the rounds. If you do receive any emails like this, please deal with them in the same way that do all your rubbish – bin it!
Patron Encounter – We Offer Loans
The players are catching up with some well-needed downtime at the starport bar mulling over where their next pay cheque is going to come from, when a well-dressed gentleman walks in and orders a drink. Noticing the players, he lightly steps over to them and engages them in conversation. ‘I am Mr Goodner Grouser, legitimate and reliable loan lender from Vijitha Fernando Financial Investment. We offer loans on clear and understandable terms and conditions at a 3% interest rate. From 5000Cr to 450MCr, Imperial Credits only. We offer business loans, personal loans, term one loans, Air/Raft loans and loans to pay off bills, BG/SBLC at low rates also available’. He hands the players his business contact card for the players to consider whilst he smiles expectantly at them.
1. Mr Grouser is actually a genuine lender from the well-established Vijitha Fernando Financial Investment company. As it has to comply with the Vilani Financial Conduct Authority, he explains in clear terms and ensures that the players are fully aware of the fair and reasonable rate that they will have to pay their loan off at. The players now have cash in the bank so they can purchase some cargo to trade with.
2. The patron is a front for a popular daytime holo-vid show ‘I’ll buy that for a credit’ and the whole conversation is being filmed from a hidden camera. Grouser will attempt to confuse the players with cringeworthy jokes that only regular watchers of the programme will understand. At an appropriate point, he take off his disguise and reveal himself as Zeremy Beazle, presenter of the programme. The players receive a small amount of cash (1000Cr) for being good sports.
3. Mr Grouser is a small time con-man who is way above his ability to pull off a convincing con. He found some papers that were left in a bin outside some offices and is using them to try and obtain securities, on the promise that funds will be transferred to the players account shortly. It is upto the players how they deal with Grouser.
4. The patron is actually a grifter named Danny Pez; he works with a professional grifter group who con people out of high-value items in return for small loans. Danny can put the cash up as a ‘convincer’, but uses distractions and deception to stop the players from reading the small print on the documents they are going to sign. The documents actually sign the players starship over to Danny and after leaving them, goes to the starport to steal their ship.
5. As described in 4, but the players realise minutes after Danny Pez leaves they have been conned, resulting in a furious chase across town to apprehend Pez before he leaves with their starship and stranding them planetside.
6. During discussions, Grouser states that he has a one-time offer that he is only making to his newly-found friends (the players). He has a client, a Prince whose linage can be dated all the way back to the time of the Second Imperium who is looking to transfer a sumstantial amount of funds to the players, if they are willing to share their bank details and assist him with moving some money between worlds. This is obviously a con and Grouser is simply looking to try and access the players account details to steal money.