I have a cosmos where FTL travel is via an alternate dimension. The problem is when you return to our universe, you find yourself at the right destination, but a completely different parallel world from where you started.You can't control which parallel universe you end up in, so you can never go home and never go back. never going back means there are a lot of morally questionable people attracted to this kind of travel, and my main character finds himself working for grifters after having fled some crimes himself. I need some really nasty con games that you could play on entire planets and civilizations that could be carried out by a small number of people on a ship that everyone knew would disappear forever and was filled with potentially questionable people. I'll give my thoughts, but I'd love to here what people have to say.
Here's what I've already thought of:
- Fake mineral/colony surveys - Hey, everybody! there's this great new colony world full of life and resources. You really want to send your colonists to a paradise, right? And did you know we were on a different version of your world where they found a huge deposit of gold under...someplace. Shall I tell you where to find it?
- fake technology - Doctor physicist! I don't pretend to understand what this thing does, but the guy I bought the design from said it converted lead into rhodium. He promised me I'd be rich! Why are you laughing?
- Fake disasters - I'm so sorry, everyone. There's a supernova, and this whole system is going to be destroyed in about a week. I have a little space on my ship, for anyone with enough money to buy a seat. I'll drop you off somewhere safe.
- Fake ideology - I see your world is still only half communist. We're idealists ourselves and are thinking about nuking your rivals for the glory of the proletariat! Do you want us to? Do you not want us to? We hate the imperialist swine, but if they give us a mountain of money, it supports the galactic cause...
- fake disease - We've planted Aldebaran plague on your planet: give us money or we unleash it and everyone dies.