Welcome Back to the Labyrinth

"We have been away far too long, my friends," Ashoka declared, his face lit by the eldritch green glow of his staff. "But we have finally returned to the labyrinth whence our adventures first began."

"Just imagine the treasures that lie within," said Yun Tai, flexing his mighty muscles. "Wealth enough to live in luxury the rest of our days."

"And arcane artifacts of great power," added Ashoka his words dripping with avarice. "All ours for the taking!"

"Umm...guys?" Nysa interrupted. "Do you hear something dripping?"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Crime and Punishment in Catapesh

If you are running a city-based campaign, as I am, and the player characters habitually wake up naked in jail, you will inevitably find yourself in need of some way of dispensing justice to your merry band of scoff-laws.  It seems almost to be a universal rule that players + cities = trouble; there are just so many opportunities for mischief and it is the nature of players to exploit these to the fullest extent.

The following crime and punishment table is inspired by the one in Judge's Guild's City State of the Invincible Overlord, but has been customized to reflect life in the City States of Lemuria.

The outcome of a trial is determined by a d20 roll on Table 1.  This roll is modified according to the severity of the crime, the magistrate's temperament, bribes, and the character's Charisma score (described on the modifiers tables, below).  Once the outcome is determined, roll on the appropriate punishment table to determine the specific details.

(If subject is charged with multiple crimes, use the modifier for the most serious offense, then adjust it by -1 for each additional charge)

Severity of Crime                                                                        Outcome Modifier
Dueling, Public Nuisance, Drunkenness                                                +2
Bribery                                                                                                   +1
Public Debauchery, Trespassing, Property Damage                              +0  
Theft, Arson, Resisting Arrest, Extortion, Blackmail                                -1
Assault, Rape, Kidnapping, Tomb-Robbing, Piracy                                -2
Murder, Necromancy, Treason, Trafficking with Demons                       -3
Tax Evasion, Smuggling                                                                         -4

Roll      Magistrate's Temperament                                          Outcome Modifier
1          'Hanging Judge'                                                                        -4
2          'Tough on Crime' Crusader                                                      -3
3          Hung Over                                                                                -2
4          Irritable                                                                                      -1
5          Scrupulously Impartial                                                                0
6          Cheerful                                                                                    +1
7          Sympathetic                                                                              +2
8          'Bleeding Heart' Reformer                                                         +3

Bribes                   Charged with Bribery                                   Outcome Modifier
100 gp or more                15%                                                               +1
250 gp or more                10%                                                               +2
500 gp or more                 05%                                                              +3

Charisma                                                                                   Outcome Modifier
Below Average                                                                                        -1
Average                                                                                                   0
Above Average                                                                                       +1

Table 1: OUTCOME OF TRIAL       

Die Roll         Outcome
1 or less         Execution
2                    Dismemberment
3-4                Imprisonment
5                    Flogging
6                    Enslavement
7                    Indenture (roll on Jail table for duration)
8-9                Jail
10-11            Fine
12                  Probation
13-17            Dismissal
18-20            Favourable Judgement


Execution                 Dismemberment       
1. Beheading             1. Hand                      
2. Hanging                 2. Foot                    
3. Impalement            3. Tongue                  
4. Sacrifice                 4. Eye                        

Imprisonment            Flogging (1d4 dmg per ten lashes)
1. Six Months            1. Ten Lashes
2. One Year              2. Twenty Lashes
3. Three Years          3. Fifty Lashes
4. Five Years             4. One-hundred Lashes
5. Ten Years             5. One-hundred and fifty Lashes
6. Twenty Years        6. Two-hundred Lashes

Enslavement to            Indenture to
1. City Work Gang      1. City Work Gang
2. Galley Oarsman      2. Farm Work Gang
3. Mines                      3. Mines
4. Gladiatorial Pit        4. Plaintiff
5. Brothel
6. Plaintiff
7. Overlord
8. Atlanteans

Jail Term                       Fine Amount
1. Ten Days                  1. 10 gp
2. Thirty Days               2. 100 gp
3. Sixty Days                 3. 500 gp
4. Ninety Days              4. 1,000 gp
5. Six Months                5. 5,000 gp
6. One Year                  6. All Possessions

Roll on Jail table for period of probation.  Guilty party may not bear arms or armour, and must report to the gaolers once per week.

Favourable Judgement
The accused is acquitted and receives financial compensation from the plaintiff.  Roll on the Fine table to determine the amount of the award.


John said...

I would bump up arson to be on par with murder and treason, if your cities are built like medieval ones. Cities are a lot less densely packed and flammable today than they were historically, so we tend to forget what a serious crime it was.

Sean Robson said...

Catapesh is built entirely of stone. But feel free to shift things around to suit your particulars.