Scum & Villainy

What Law There Is

On the surface, it might seem as though a life of crime is the life of choice for the average hero. However, it is the job of the authorities- the police, planetary security, customs, and so forth- to discourage this sort of thinking by enforcing laws, catching violators, and meting out punishments according to the severity of the offense. In the broadest sense, the severity of a crime is classified as a Citation, a Misdemeanor, or a Felony (Although the specific terminology and distinctions of severity vary widely in different jurisdictions and eras).

Criminal Offenses

Law enforcement is tasked with preserving the peace, responding to emergencies, investigating crimes, and apprehending suspects. Once in custody, the suspect moves through the justice system, which holds trials for the accused, sentences the guilty, and incarcerates or otherwise punishes convicts.


Citations (Also called petty offenses, summary offenses, or infractions) are minor violations that rarely involve anything but a fine. Citations include traffic, parking, and safety violations, disorderly conduct, unauthorized possession of licensed goods, and unauthorized sale/transport of legal goods. ("Sale" includes possession of quantities too large for personal use, and "Transport" applies to any quantity that is carried from planet to planet without proof of ownership, customs records, and so forth.)


Misdemeanors are the lowest offenses that might involve incarceration, but courts tend to suspect or defer such sentences, especially for first-time offenders. Minor Misdemeanors include theft/criminal mischief (Such as fraud, slicing, or destruction of property) with less than 100 credits in damages, harassment, brawling, unauthorized possession of restricted goods (Including most controlled substances), and unauthorized sale/transport of licensed goods. Major Misdemeanors include assault, theft/criminal mischief with less than 1,000 credits in damages, stalking, trespassing, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice (Including interfering with or making false statements to peace officers), unauthorized possession of military goods, and unauthorized sale/transport of restricted goods.


Felonies are serious crimes that result in incarceration barring a substantial mitigating factor, and law enforcement officers pursue Felony suspects aggressively. Minor Felonies include aggravated assault, theft/criminal mischief with less than 10,000 credits in damages, burglary, robbery, kidnapping, causing an accidental death, unauthorized possession of illegal goods, and unauthorized sale/transport of military goods. Major Felonies include theft/criminal mischief of 10,000 credits or more, racketeering, murder, sexual assault, arson, and unauthorized sale/transport of illegal goods. Capital Felonies include treason, piracy, terrorism, armed rebellion, and aggravated murder involving multiple victims or a government official.

Law Enforcement

The role of law enforcement depends on the circumstances under which they learn of a crime. If a law enforcement officer directly observes a crime in progress, of course, the officer intervenes quickly to preserve the peace and apprehend the suspect-or to call for backup.

Calls for Help

From the point of view of the criminal, the best way to avoid trouble is be far away before law officers reach the scene. As a Swift Action, any Comlink can use a short emergency code to contact local dispatchers that can send one or two patrolling Security Officers to investigate.

Although response times vary considerably from planet to planet, Security Officers usually appear 1d4x10 rounds after dispatch reports a crime in progress. Multiply these times by 5 for areas with no regular security presence (Such as frontier or wilderness areas), multiply by 2 for lightly patrolled areas, multiply by 1/2 for heavily patrolled areas, and multiply by 1/5 for areas with a constant security presence (Such as near major government facilities).

If a major crime is in progress (Such as a bank robbery, hostage situation, or open blaster fire) or if the first officer on the scene calls for backup, multiple units are dispatched, increasing the chances of an early response. Roll 1d4+1 to determine the number of units deployed, then determine the response time for each unit separately.

In a serious emergency, officers can call for a crisis response team of Security Experts with heavier armor, better weapons, armored vehicles, and so forth. Because these teams don't patrol the area regularly, they have a typical response time of 2d10+10 minutes, modified as above.

Reasonable Use of Force

If a law enforcement officer catches a criminal in the act of committing the crime, the officer's job comes down to one primary task: arresting the perpetrator and any accomplices.

Although willing to chase a criminal as far as equipment and endurance allow, the officer prefers not to endanger the lives of civilians in the process (A limitation of that criminals are certain to exploit). If the crime is particularly severe, though, the officer might feel compelled to bring the suspect down by whatever means available.

Even so, law enforcement officers are not interested in killing the suspect. Instead, they utilize the Stun settings on their blasters, or, if they are close enough, employ Stun Batons to subdue subjects long enough to put them in Binder Cuffs. Nevertheless, the intent to use minimal force might be cast aside within the first few seconds of an arrest procedure. In encounters with law enforcement, officers start with their weapons set to deal normal damage, but they switch to Stun immediately unless a suspect is visibly threatening with deadly force. Particularly peaceful worlds might only use nonlethal weapons, but corrupt or tyrannical regimes rarely use Stun weapons unless rounding up dissidents for "Questioning".


If the suspect is no longer on the scene when the officers arrive, the officers begin an investigation by interviewing the victims (Assuming they are still able to communicate), interviewing any witnesses, and collecting any other available evidence. A successful DC 15 Gather Information check provides a reasonably accurate description of the perpetrators (Or, at least, how they appeared when they were seen), and a successful DC 20 Perception check reveals clues that the perpetrators might have left behind. If the area is monitored, the officer can access local camera records with a DC 15 Use Computer check (Or at least request those records from the cameras' owners).

Armed with this information, the investigating officer files a report with their superiors, and together they determine the case's priority. Citations and minor Misdemeanors are the lowest: the officer might take no further action for a few days while they address other cases, and they will devote at most one day out of a work week to following up on the case. (Of course, if the descriptions and clues lead to an obvious conclusion, the officer might try to wrap up the case as quickly as possible.)

In the case of larger crimes- major Misdemeanors and minor Felonies the officer might spend a little time juggling their workload to follow up on the case within the next day or so. The officer pursues the case as much as possible during working hours, and might make a few "Off the record" inquiries when they are off duty, and continues to do so until a more important case comes up.

When the crime is particularly serious- major Felonies or capital crimes the case is assigned to an Inspector who drops everything to try to catch the perpetrators as soon as possible, perhaps even calling in assistance from other officers or agencies. The Inspector distributes descriptions of the suspects to patrol officers, security checkpoints, and starports. Other officers monitor known hangouts and question the suspect's family and friends. The lead investigating officer and their subordinates spend every waking hour working on the case until they capture the suspect or have exhausted all leads... or until an even bigger crime occurs.


The presumption of innocence until proven otherwise is a fine concept for advanced societies (Such as that of The Galactic Republic). However, on less civilized worlds (Such as on The Outer Rim), the policy is often to arrest any potential suspect and sort out the guilty from the innocent later. In most cases, though, the job of law enforcement is to bring a suspect into custody, while the justice system builds a case against the suspect. Those who resist arrest might need medical attention, but unless the suspect is dying, such attention might not be given until after the suspect is searched, processed, and locked up.

Processing an arrested suspect begins with searching the suspect for hidden weapons or evidence, followed by establishing the suspect's identity by comparing his or her image and description (Including fingerprints, voice prints, and retinal scans, where available) to any computer records to which the arresting officer has access. This also establishes whether the suspect is wanted for other crimes elsewhere; many high-profile cases are solved when the prime suspect is arrested on a lesser charge somewhere else.

While the criminal is examined for signs of infectious disease, showered- or maybe just hosed down- and issued prison clothing, their personal belongings are inspected, logged, and divided into two categories. Potentially dangerous items are placed in a secure locker or otherwise put out of the suspect's easy reach, while anything that could be evidence is tagged and put into a separate locker. Anything left over- clothing, small personal items like jewelry or keepsakes, and so forth- are placed in a labeled storage bin, to be kept until such time as the suspect is released.

Law enforcement officers avoid leaving prisoners unattended until they are locked in a cell, and never remove Binder Cuffs without first securing the prisoner in some fashion.

The Justice System

The accused has two options. If you plead guilty in exchange for a shortened sentence or reduced fine, skip to "Sentencing," below. Otherwise, the accused might try to convince the judge or jury of his or her innocence during a trial. During a trial, the prosecution and the defense (Either the accused character or his advocate) make opposed Persuasion checks. Each check represents 1 hour until the end of the first day (8 hours), then each check represents one day until the end of the first week (5 days), and then each additional check represents one week in court.

The prosecution has a Persuasion modifier of +10, adding 5 for every step of the crime's severity above minor Misdemeanor. (High-profile cases are assigned to the most experienced prosecutors.) The Gamemaster should apply appropriate modifiers on each Persuasion check based on the quality of evidence available. For example, the defense might gain a +2 bonus if it has an alibi verified by several witnesses, and the prosecution might gain a +2 bonus for finding trace evidence (Such as DNA or fingerprints) linking the defendant to the scene.

If the defense wins the opposed Persuasion check by 5 or more, the Attitude of the court moves one step toward Helpful. If the prosecution wins by 5 or more, the Attitude of the court moves one step toward Hostile. The court normally starts with an Indifferent Attitude; the courts of a tyrannical government (Such as The Galactic Empire) might start as Unfriendly, and the courts in a corrupt system (Such as on Nar Shaddaa) might start as Friendly- assuming that the accused has bribed the right people behind the scenes. (The court's starting Attitude is adjudicated by the Gamemaster.)

The outcome is determined by the court's final Attitude:

Helpful: If the court's Attitude ever becomes Helpful, the defendant is acquitted of all charges.

Friendly: If the court's Attitude is Friendly for three consecutive checks, the defendant is acquitted of the most serious charge or charges; if there are multiple charges, the defendant is convicted on the least serious, automatically receiving the minimum punishment possible.

Indifferent: If the court's Attitude is Indifferent for three consecutive checks, the result is a hung jury or mistrial. The defendant might be tried again on the same charges, but the skill of the prosecution is reduced by 5 points with each retrial, if the matter is pursued at all.

Unfriendly: If the court's Attitude is unfriendly for three consecutive checks, the defendant is convicted on all lesser charges; if there is only a single charge, the defendant is convicted but receives the minimum punishment possible.

Hostile: If the court's Attitude ever becomes Hostile, the defendant is convicted on all charges.


The penalties for committing crimes vary, depending on the severity of the crime and the defendant's prior record.

During sentencing, the convicted criminal (Or their representative) can attempt to convince the judge or jury to reduce the sentence by making a Persuasion check (DC 10 for Citations, plus 5 per additional step of severity and per each prior conviction), a DC 25 History check, or both. If either check succeeds, reduce the penalty by 50%. (In the case of Misdemeanors with fines and mandatory incarceration, the judge can remove the mandatory incarceration.) If both checks succeed, or if either check succeeds by 10 or more, reduce the penalty by 75% (Or remove the mandatory incarceration and half of the fine for a Misdemeanor).

If the defendant pleaded guilty (Thereby skipping the trial), the sentence is automatically reduced by 50%, and it is reduced by 75% if either the Persuasion check or the History check succeeds. If the result of a trial yields the minimum punishment possible for a given charge, the punishment is automatically reduced by 75%.

CRIME                                 1ST                       2ND                    3RD+

Citation                               200cr fine           500cr fine           1,000cr fine

Misdemeanor, Minor          500cr fine           1,000cr fine        2,000cr fine
                                            1 week                 1 month               2 months

Misdemeanor, Major          1,000cr fine         2,000cr fine       5,000cr fine
                                            2 months             5 months            1 year

Felony, Minor                     2,000cr fine        5,000cr fine       10,000cr fine
                                            1 year                   2 years               5 years

Felony, Major                     5,000cr fine,       10,000cr fine      20,000cr fine
                                            5 years                10 years              20 years

Felony, Capital                  20,000cr fine, lifetime incarceration or execution


Once someone is found guilty of a crime, that character can expect to be sent off to a prison facility at the earliest convenience of the authorities. Prisons in Star Wars are highly secure, with mechanical and electronic locks on the cells and doors, one guard for every twenty prisoners, and full medical and recreational facilities to keep the inmates healthy and manageable. They are often located on the same planet on which the trial was conducted, though some planets abhor prisons and instead have "Rehabilitation Centers" where criminals are taught to become productive members of society. At least, this is the case in Republic prisons.

During the reign of Emperor Palpatine, prisons are dirty, overcrowded, understaffed, undersupplied, and isolated. Imperial prisons are sometimes entire planets, which serve as dumping grounds for convicted criminals. Virtually no guards remain, and the prisoners are left to fend for themselves in impossibly harsh conditions. The only way to escape the prison planet is to hijack a supply Starship or sneak aboard as a stowaway. Incarceration in an Imperial prison is commonly viewed as a death sentence; many convicts perish at the hands of other inmates or succumb to the harsh conditions of the environment.

Forced Labor

Worse even than Imperial prison planets are the labor camps set up by the Empire, such as the infamous spice mines on Kessel. A character remanded to any sort of forced labor camp works until he or she dies or somehow escapes.

Conditions are often barely tolerable, with high gravity, extreme temperatures, toxic atmospheres, or even mild radiation being an everyday fact of life. Prisoners who succumb to these environmental Hazards might be beaten until they return to work, or executed in the most expedient way possible.


Spice is an illegal substance that possesses extreme narcotic qualities. Spice comes in several forms and is mined from various worlds, including Kessel. Spice is unique in that it has mind-altering properties that produce limited telepathic abilities. Spice is highly addictive, as well, and can lead to paranoid delusions and other mental illnesses.

Spice is mined on Kessel, where it is produced by energy spiders that live deep within the asteroid. Spice mining is extremely dangerous business, and many miners are killed in mining accidents. As a result, being sent to the Spice mines of Kessel is similar to incarceration, but it also includes a heavy dose of forced labor.

Spice smuggling is both lucrative and highly illegal. Customs agents looking for Spice are extremely vigilant, and are unlikely to turn a blind eye without a significant bribe. The Hutts are usually involved in Spice smuggling, and they take great pains to ensure that their Spice smugglers are both well-supplied and closely watched.


A character that consumes one dose of Glitterstim moves -2 Exhaustion Table, and the condition can only be removed after 2 hours of rest. However, for 10 minutes after ingesting the Spice, the user gains 120ft of Telepathy.


A character that consumes Tempest gains the ability to Rage (See below). However, taking more than one dose of Tempest in a 24-hour period immediately moves the use -4 Exhaustion Table; if this moves the user to the bottom of the table, he or she dies. The Condition can only be removed by resting for 8 hours.

Rage: Once per day, a character can fly into a Rage as a Bonus Action. While Raging, the user temporarily gains a +2 Rage bonus on melee attack rolls and melee damage rolls, but cannot use Skills that require patience and concentration, such as Mechanics, Stealth, or Use the Force. A fit of Rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 5 + the character's Constitution modifier.

At the end of it's Rage, the user moves -1 Exhaustion Table. The penalties imposed by this Condition persist until the individual takes at least 10 minutes to recuperate, during which time the user can't engage in any strenuous activity.

Death Sticks

Death Sticks are a kind of narcotic found throughout the galaxy, typically trafficked by unscrupulous crime lords and used to obtain leverage against those who become addicted to the drug. Death Sticks come in a variety of forms, including a liquid form that can be consumed in a drink, and produce a temporary euphoric effect. Unfortunately, the side effects are devastating, as each use ravages the user's immune system and measurably shortens the user's lifespan. Death Sticks are also highly addictive, as the length of the euphoric reaction shrinks with each use, requiring the more heavily addicted users to consume several times the normal amount just to get a sustained reaction from the Death Sticks. Death Sticks are Illegal on many worlds for precisely this reason, as some populations (Including the Balosars) has been seriously impacted by Death Stick use among youths. Recovering from Death Stick addiction is difficult and usually requires medical assistance.

Using Death Sticks

Consuming a Death Stick grants the user a +1 bonus on all attack rolls and a +1 bonus to AC for the duration of the Death Stick's euphoria. During that time, the user takes a -10 penalty on all Use the Force checks and cannot spend Force Points. Death Stick euphoria initially lasts for 1 hour, but each subsequent use reduces the length of the euphoria by 5 minutes. At the end of the euphoria's duration, the Death Stick makes an attack roll at a +10 bonus (Increased by +1 for each subsequent Death Stick use) against your Constitution Score of the user; if the attack hits, the target becomes addicted to Death Sticks.

A character addicted to Death Sticks moves -1 step down the Exhaustion Table every other day they do not use Death Sticks, and the Exhaustion can only be removed by the use of a Death Stick. If a character can go for one week without Death Stick use, his or her addiction can be broken by another character who succeeds on a DC 25 Treat Injury check. This check can be attempted once per day, and other can aid the check using the Help Action.

Nyriaan Spice

One of the most recent contributions of Nyriaan to The Fringe is known as Nyriaan Spice. It begins as a low-lying fungal weed called mire nettle. When properly processed, mire nettle is transformed into a powerful narcotic stimulant that enhances awareness and provides an unparalleled euphoric experience. Natives of Nyriaan have long used mire nettle as a mild intoxicant. Pharmaceutical interests in the medicinal potential of the fungal weed ultimately lead to distilling the active ingredients into a powerful form of spice. Although it has yet to make much of an impact on the galactic drug trade, Nyriaan Spice is gaining a momentum as Black Sun and the Hutt kajidics experiment with it in The Inner Rim and The Outer Rim.

When imbibed, Nyriaan Spice provides an instant Rush, gains advantage on Perception checks and granting a +5 bonus to his or her Damage Threshold for 1 hour. In addition to the usual effect, characters who are Force Sensitivity who are exposed to Nyriaan Spice gain a +5 bonus to Use the Force checks. When the effect of Nyriaan Spice wears off, users lapse into near catatonia, resulting in a -5 penalty to Wisdom for 4 hours.


One of the oldest narcotic agents known to the galaxy, Kryotin is outlawed by every major galactic government since the days of The Old Republic. Even The Galactic Empire seeks to keep the drug from becoming too prominent, especially among the military forces.

Kryotin functions by causing the user's brain to release a sudden rush of chemicals that bring on a state of euphoria and that also make the victim greatly susceptible to suggestion. While some use it for recreational purposes, it can also be used in interrogation and brainwashing. When under the effects, the target gets a -10 to all checks to resist interrogations.