Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Scum and Villainy
The Black Market is the lifeblood of the fringe of the galaxy. It is through the Black Market that smugglers, shipjackers, pirates, and other criminals make their livings. The Black Market is the name given to the thousands of channels by which illegal goods are trafficked; this covers the fences that sell the items to buyers, the credit launderers that make sure dirty money looks clean, and the crime lords that organize and protect the members of their organization that engage in illegal commerce. The Black Market is the only way to obtain illicit items, and any character who wants to obtain something secretly must deal with the Black Market in some way.
The Saga Edition Core Rulebook lists the basics of dealing with the Black Market, but in a Fringe Campaign Gamemasters might want to make the Black Market a more significant feature. The following section outlines some more in-depth methods of involving the Black Market in a campaign. However, Gamemasters should be careful in making the Black Market more complicated than it needs to be; if the heroes need to buy items on the Black Market and you do not wish to consume a large portion of a gaming session dealing with the finding of contacts and haggling over items, just use the basic rules presented in the Saga Edition Core Rulebook.
Finding a Black Market Agent Edit
Agents of the Black Market do not make themselves known easily, as they would be quickly swept up by the authorities. At its most basic, finding a Black Market agent requires a Gather Information check, with a skill DC based on the Restriction of the item you are trying to obtain. Hunting for a Black Market agent requires one to traverse back alleys and seedy cantinas, asking the right questions and trying to find an illicit dealer without getting reported to the authorities, or taking a blaster bolt to the back.
Even searching for the Black Market can be dangerous. A failed Gather Information check shouldn't just result in a delay; it could also result in an encounter. If the heroes are snooping around and asking a lot of questions about the Black Market, local crime lords may get the wrong idea and send a few thugs to deter the heroes from inquiring further. On the other hand, if the heroes are careless, they might find themselves on the wrong side of the law, with law enforcement officials closing the net around them to arrest them on suspicion of dealing in illegal goods.
Selling on the Black Market Edit
The Black Market can be used by the heroes not only to obtain illicit goods but also to sell them. If the heroes are smugglers, shipjackers, or pirates, they may need some way to pawn off their prizes, and the Black Market is an excellent place to do so. The heroes can find the Black Market in the same way that they would to buy from the Black Market, but instead of making purchases they can make sales, using the same Black Market cost modifiers to determine how many credits the heroes make off their goods. The value of the goods is still halved as normal, before applying the Black Market modifiers (Which should compensate for the reduction in value from selling the item).
Black Market Adventures Edit
Gamemasters wishing to use the Black Market in an adventure have several options available to them. The most obvious method is to have either criminals working with the Black Market or law enforcement officials seeking to shut down the Black Market targeting the heroes and confronting them. Aside from combat encounters, the Black Market can be a good source for Skill Challenges; for example, a fence might be willing to sell an item on behalf of the heroes, but only if the heroes can make a Use Computer check to disable an electronic lock on a Spacer's Chest the fence has in his possession but has been unable to open.
Additionally, the Black Market can be used as a lure to draw the heroes to a particular planet or locale; if the Gamemaster wants to set an adventure on Nar Shaddaa, hinting that the heroes may have better luck in finding the Black Market safely on Nar Shaddaa should be a big incentive to travel to the urban world.