A couple of threads ago, or on another website far far away, I brought up the question “How do PCs keep their ill-gotten riches in a society with corrupted officials just waiting to pounce on that steel dagger or bag of silver coins?”
People offered bribery, but that’s short term and dangerous.
The option that piqued my interest was pretending to be, or actually (illegally) becoming, a noble.
This thread is about how to achieve this endeavor.
Here’s the skeleton of an idea: Take an obscure son or daughter, raised on an estate outside the city, perhaps even sent to a distant master of the Way for many years, who’s become the sole remaining heir to a failing noble house, and replace the heir with an impersonator. Subsequent savvy “investments” in trading ventures restore the house’s fortunes, effectively laundering money from wherever it came from: criminal enterprises (high end thievery, caravan heist), repatriation of treasure from a ruin of the ancients, and moneys amassed by the Veiled Alliance.
You can do so many cool things with this!
Money laundering is a modern concept that may have no equivalent in the ancient world. Money laundering is a particular type of financial crime that came about due to government regulations.
It’s difficult to believe that the ancients would even consider these things to be a crime.
In many places there were many laws about “what is legal business, who can do some business” etc. If I good remember, during XX Dynasty, in Egypt, only Phoenicians had give loans with interest (usury?). Rest of population had legal give loans only as equal change. But this was great business, so propably many non-phoenicians also made loans with interest, but in “shadow economy”. If the level of apparent wealth was significant - it was necessary to explain to the pharaoh’s bureaucracy why you are so rich. And whether the officials believed it.
The earliest known case of money laundering is during the Han Dynasty. In China was many regulations about trade and manufacturing, who where can, who and where cannot, so many traders tried to avoid laws and next “legalize” this wealth by fake-business.
This was in ancient world easier (money laundering), but had place
The easier form of laudering by adventurers are… trade houses. Players have to faster find representants of TH than templars find big wealth of players, and get a fake contract or something similar (after birbes ofc, but peace with bureaucracy is more worth than interrogation, investigation and other doing by templars). Other options are contacts with aristocrats - they also can give fake-papers on your fun things.
Yeah, ‘robber barons’ were arl real thing, right?
Though, Pennarin has a point: how do you keep the Templars from taking your nice stuff?