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The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:40 pm
by Danke Dave
Hello,
I've recently ran my players through The Lustrian Bubble adventure and I have a few questions about the events that follow and the fallout for their actions. In the Marienburg book, it says that Marienburg itself has several courts with various powers and responsibilities. My question is, which court (or courts) would my players have to deal with during the fallout of the market collapse? I know the Handelsrechtbanken (Trade/merchant) is directly connected to the 'Change and has the authority over all matters trading, but I am also under the impression that the High Court would also be a part of this due to the severity of the matter. In addition, one of the accused players is a litigant who recently gained admission to the Litigant's Guild, would the Guild Court also put a case against their own new member to cover themselves? And I am well aware the court is inquisitorial in nature, I just want to know which Courts the Pcs would pass by in the course of the next set of adventures.

Thanks in advance!

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:10 pm
by hallucyon
Danke Dave wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:40 pm
the fallout of the market collapse
What exactly do mean by this? Can you describe the situation shortly?

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:40 pm
by Sword of Solkan
IIRC, the scenario’s very heavily inspired by the events of the South Sea Bubble - so I’d suggest mirroring that. Perhaps the inquiry’s therefore conducted by Marienburg’s Board of Directors rather than through the court system.

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:07 am
by Danke Dave
hallucyon wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:10 pm
Danke Dave wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:40 pm
the fallout of the market collapse
What exactly do mean by this? Can you describe the situation shortly?
During the adventure The Lustrian Bubble, the players participate in a pyramid scheme taking place in Marienburg. To be brief, they find a note giving information about a ship returning from Lustria with ample amount of treasure to be sold on the market, and use that information to quickly buy the stocks that the ship Captain sold many months ago to finance the expedition. As the ship hasn't been heard of or expected the return, the stocks themselves were cheap, so the PCs bought as many as they could. Later rumours spread of the ship returning and the price of the stock skyrockets, the PCs sell, and they make themselves quite a pretty penny. A large stock holder sells all their shares at once, and promptly crashes the entire stock market in the next hour. An investigation takes place where the PCs are interviewed one at a time, and several of them admit to corrupt trading.

Marienburg has several courts with different jurisdictions, and I was wondering which court(s) would deal with this matter.
Sword of Solkan wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:40 pm
IIRC, the scenario’s very heavily inspired by the events of the South Sea Bubble - so I’d suggest mirroring that. Perhaps the inquiry’s therefore conducted by Marienburg’s Board of Directors rather than through the court system.

I actually read quite a bit about that previous to running the adventure, it was well worth it! By now I have completed the adventure, and looking back that suggestion would have been really cool but I went with the High Court. I'm sure the PCs will get themselves in worse trouble in the future, so I will have plenty of chances to play around with the various courts/powers that be.

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:00 am
by hallucyon
Danke Dave wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:07 am
Later rumours spread of the ship returning and the price of the stock skyrockets, the PCs sell, and they make themselves quite a pretty penny. A large stock holder sells all their shares at once, and promptly crashes the entire stock market in the next hour. An investigation takes place where the PCs are interviewed one at a time, and several of them admit to corrupt trading.
Your player characters' action are most likely perceived as nothing short of economic sabotage to topple the Directorate. This is a very serious criminal charge that can be adjudicated by the High Court solely.

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:08 pm
by Orin J.
hallucyon wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:00 am
Danke Dave wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:07 am
Later rumours spread of the ship returning and the price of the stock skyrockets, the PCs sell, and they make themselves quite a pretty penny. A large stock holder sells all their shares at once, and promptly crashes the entire stock market in the next hour. An investigation takes place where the PCs are interviewed one at a time, and several of them admit to corrupt trading.
Your player characters' action are most likely perceived as nothing short of economic sabotage to topple the Directorate. This is a very serious criminal charge that can be adjudicated by the High Court solely.
...would that even happen? i don't think the 'change in marienburg works like the modern stock market. for one i doubt you could simply divest your shares of a endeavor to rout the market even if you were a major investor on it. it's mostly still a commodities trade, not shares. it might hurt investments related to the expedition certainly and probably cause some calls for investigation, but most of the market would be unaffected unless the sales somehow revealed that several investment backing institutions weren't able to pay out their holdings they're bonded to.

really, it's a little scary how much of modern economics depends on fiat to prop the market up. the old world has lots of economic problems, but it at least doesn't have this one.

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:00 pm
by Danke Dave
Orin J. wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:08 pm

...would that even happen? i don't think the 'change in marienburg works like the modern stock market. for one i doubt you could simply divest your shares of a endeavor to rout the market even if you were a major investor on it. it's mostly still a commodities trade, not shares. it might hurt investments related to the expedition certainly and probably cause some calls for investigation, but most of the market would be unaffected unless the sales somehow revealed that several investment backing institutions weren't able to pay out their holdings they're bonded to.

really, it's a little scary how much of modern economics depends on fiat to prop the market up. the old world has lots of economic problems, but it at least doesn't have this one.
I'm not an economist, but I would have to agree that much before would have had to happen to crash it. While the 'Change does trade quite heavily in physical goods, the adventure resolves around the concept of future shares:

"A future-share is a stake in something that doesn't exist yet, such as the possible cargo that a voyage or exploration might bring back, and buyers gamble that it will be worth more than what they paid for the share. Sea-captains use them to finance expeditions. Say that a captain needs to raise 150,000 guilders to pay for two ships, crew and supplies, so he sells 10,000 future-shares in the expedition at 15 guilders each (or, more likely, creates 10,000 shares, sells 7500 of them at 20 guilders each and keeps the rest). When he returns his cargo will be sold and the revenue divided between the shares' owners. If it makes more than 150,000 guilders in total, they win. If it's worth less, they lose; and if the expedition is lost at sea, they lose everything. It's a high-stakes game, but the fact that a single ship's cargo of spices, salt or silk can fetch up to 200,000 guilders makes it worth playing"

In the end I just sent them to the High Court. Overall a good adventure despite it's logistical flaws and let me rope some of the PCs into debt for having their cases won,

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:13 pm
by Orin J.
that still wouldn't break the market, but it would probably result in the investors making a claim for debtor's prison i guess.

well, if it works for your game that's really all that matters in this case.

Re: The Lustrian Bubble fallout

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:43 am
by Whymme
Orin, you would be correct if people would only invest in the options with money they can afford to lose. However, ‘savvy’ investors and people seeing an opportunity might borrow money to buy shares, or use money that they have now, but would only need in a month’s time - buy the options now, sell them at a profit when the money is needed. People (and businesses) could go bankrupt that way.

And the chaos could spread further. Enough people borrowing money with a bank and being unable to return it might cause the bank to collapse. Likewise if the bank would have decided to use the money that people have trusted it with, to buy the options.

And even the people that lost large amounts of money that they could afford to lose will see the repercussions. They have a bit less to spend now; others may notice it and lose their trust in those people or families. Or in the financial system - economics is much based on trust, and a scandal like the Lustrian Bubble might make people lose trust in the system. At the very least, people would be less eager to invest in other seafaring expeditions, and that might hurt several industries and sectors; sailors, boat builders, traders, and so on.

OK, these are worst case scenarios. But don’t say that they cannot occur in non-modern societies. We had the South Sea bubble and the Mississippi bubble in the eighteenth century, and tulipmania before that. In all three bubbles people had lots of their capital invested in what amounted to be hot air, and the collapse of the bubbles had real world consequences.
So it would be possible in the Warhammer world as well, especially in Marienburg, which would be the Old World’s center of financial innovation. And consider that it’s an RPG world, so anything leading to drama is more likely to happen than in the real world :-)