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Need a lawyer


Yoshi
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in 3.0 there was the Savage Species book that had anthropomorphic animals. I'm sure there was a shark in there....

 

sorry, I couldn't help it. Maybe because I'm sitting at the DA's house right now...

 

for a real answer...sorry no idea.

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I highly recommend going to Drive-thru RPG and buying the download for Judges Guild's "The City-State of the Invincible Overlord". On pages 76-79 are a myriad of charts and tables covering crime, trila and punishment, all the way to methods of torture and execution. Very inspiring for any urban campaign.

The same charts are re-printed in the JG "Ready Reference Sheets" from the same source.

 

Happy Litigating!

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I guess most of such people should be simply Expert NPC class with appropriate skills.

Most of them are not adventurers indeed.

 

Professional Bard advocate, who oneself is not lawful, can be an interesting character.

 

In most fantasy setting for D&D and d20, courts are somewhat tied to clergymen of lawful deity or deities. So, it is possible that lawful clerics and/or cleric with lawful deities may be involved in trials. But I guess they tend to be the judges or prosecutors than to be advocates. They will use spells such as Zone of Truth to make sure people talk true. It is possible that the entire court is covered by strong Hallow spell with 1 year long Zone of Truth. They may use various divinations, too.

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What is this "Zone of Truth?" Sounds like administering truth serums in our own times. Compelling the truth is a bizarre way of having a court of law. I guess it works in this current incarnation of D&D, but it is a dull roleplaying experience to me.

 

I'd go with the charts suggested by Steven Page, and then go from there with maximum roleplay, and not even bother with dice until really called for.

 

If you're going to bother with dice, why not just spin the wheel like in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome?

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From 3.5 SRD

 

A Zone of Truth:

Creatures within the emanation area (or those who enter it) can’t speak any deliberate and intentional lies. Each potentially affected creature is allowed a save to avoid the effects when the spell is cast or when the creature first enters the emanation area. Affected creatures are aware of this enchantment. Therefore, they may avoid answering questions to which they would normally respond with a lie, or they may be evasive as long as they remain within the boundaries of the truth. Creatures who leave the area are free to speak as they choose.

 

It's not so different from swearing on a bible. Some people will just ignore the oath they take and lie anyway (making your Will save) and everyone else will be evasive, use legalese and jargon, or just refuse to speak.

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This is an interesting subject.

 

I'm running a 3e Greyhawk campaign at the moment and have just introduced a Lawyer to act as a thorn in the side of the party Paladin. The town the party are in have a civil watch and an elected mayor. The Paladin captured a rogue who was out working and took him to the watch. The Wizard in the party cast detect thoughts and told the Paladin what was going on. Basically - the watched would be bribed by the thieves guild and failing that the guilds pet lawyer would get him out on a technicality.

 

Well, it transpired that the Paladin had made an unlawful arrest and the use of detect thoughts in the watch barracks was also against local law. The rogue went free and is suing The Paladin and the party for assault and wrongful imprisonment. The watch may sue for invasion of privacy.

 

I'd suggest high skill ranks in Knowledge - law, Bluff, sense motive and diplomacy would be a good place to start with a Lawyer class.

 

I'm against the use of truth spells in court as it takes away the fun of roll playing.

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Well, here's what I've put together so far, the courtier class from Rokugan with the right skills would make an excellent lawyer, and found a brief section on trials in one of the Freeport books.

Biker Drew, that is a cool story.

 

I will look into the Judges Guild supplement and hopeful have enough to start writing

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  • Reaper User

Check out the WFRP Companion for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition from Green Ronin/Fantasy Flight Games pages 61-70. There's a detailed treatment of the mechanics and mechanisms governing trials in the high middle ages to early renaissance period.

 

Alternatively check out Crime & Punishment which is already d20 based:

 

http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG3223.php

 

One thing to consider: depending upon the nature of the law in your campaign, the Paladin as one of the upper classes and/or part of the ecclesiastical strata is not bound by common law. In the middle ages through the age of reason, common law only applied to the commoners and serfs/vassals and even freemen/yoemen didn't have the law on their side unless the beef was between two commoners. Aristocrats were held to high law and ecclesiasticals were held to religious law. Generally all's you could do was have a constable or other authorized vassal of the presiding lord arrest and detain the offender so he/she could face a tribunal of his social peers. Usually a few gold crowns would change hands, wrists were slapped, and ultimately the offender would walk free usually with an axe to grind against the accuser.

 

We Americans are pretty spoiled by our democratic system. Here we're all unique and special little snowflakes with all kinds of rights and privileges so impartial systems favoring the wealthy and well heeled are unfamiliar and scary to us. True the wealthy and famous of our society do have some measure of special status in the eyes of the judicial system but every now and again celebrity gets bitten when they misstep.

 

So while the wronged thief has no legal footing to take action against the socially better Paladin, he does have other means of evening the score, i.e. the thieves guild, assassins, a smear campaign to discredit the paladin, planting evidence & implicating him in a more serious crime. You name it, there's a sneaky underhanded method to bring about the paladins destruction.

 

Or if you prefer a more democratic and evolved system of law in your games, drag the offending Paladin before a local magistrate and line up a bunch of bribed witnesses, wronged family members, and maybe even a few others "wronged" by the paladin's self righteous vigilantism.

 

Regards,

 

>>ReaperWolf

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The Warhammer FRP books are fantastic, and we've enjoyed a campaign of that game. For medieval justice close to that on Earth, that's probably your best bet on source material.

 

I have no advice on the whole business of compelling the truth with magic, and paladins and crusaders are too similar to Al Quaeda for my tastes in roleplaying.

 

I hope you find what you need and your group has a good game.

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Check out the WFRP Companion for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition from Green Ronin/Fantasy Flight Games pages 61-70. There's a detailed treatment of the mechanics and mechanisms governing trials in the high middle ages to early renaissance period.

 

Alternatively check out Crime & Punishment which is already d20 based:

 

http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG3223.php

 

One thing to consider: depending upon the nature of the law in your campaign, the Paladin as one of the upper classes and/or part of the ecclesiastical strata is not bound by common law. In the middle ages through the age of reason, common law only applied to the commoners and serfs/vassals and even freemen/yoemen didn't have the law on their side unless the beef was between two commoners. Aristocrats were held to high law and ecclesiasticals were held to religious law.

Point of fact: Privelege means "Private Law", representing that the aristocracy and other "upper classes" (clergy, nobility, scholars, ((this would include wizards in a fantasy setting))) had different laws than most people. As Nixon said, when the president does it, it isn't a crime.

 

One thing you should give serious thought to is how the courts feel about the use of magic, especially divinations, in the courtroom. My opinion - a sensible magistrate would ban them on the gorunds that a judge cannot discern properly the difference between a barrister casting "zone of truth" and a casting of "enchant person". Since the judge could never be sure the "Divination" spell wasn't actually an "Enchantment" and that there was foul play involved, Divination spells would be suspect as much as anything.

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I've been giving this some thought, and nto only do I think that it's reasonable for a magistrate to ban magic in the courtroom for the aforementioned reasons, I think it also reasonable that a kingdom might band specific enchantments, illusions, and divinations used within in boundaries or upon its citizens. The list would include but not be limited to Charm Person, Geas, Scrying of all kinds, and Illusions like Disguise Self or any type of illusion that masks a zone. I know if I'm a noble that gets to write the laws and my family has a habit of being sneaky, Illusions that aid enemy spies, listen in on us, or cause us to serve others against our will (trickery and guile is one thing, but *magic*???) would be banned.

 

If you're trying to tie the PCs up in the legal system, evidence of them having used an illegal spell could make for an interesting charge. If you;re going the other way, the PCs might investigate claims of illegal scrying/enchantments from enemies of the Patron.

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