Sometimes stories just happen in my head—usually revolving around some of the characters in the world sambear has been building for over 20 years. I’ve learned a lot about characters’ backgrounds because I essentially overhear conversations they have with others, or read letters they’re writing.
Last night, for some reason, a dreadfully disturbing character presented himself and wouldn’t get out of my head until I finally shared the vignette with Sam. The character—I’ll call him Hunter for now—isn’t useful to the game, the plot, etc. I have no desire to have him show up, ever. His situation does, however, call up some legal issues for the main characters in the game.
A murderer walks into court and confesses—brags, even!—about his crimes in front of everyone. He is magically proven to be telling the truth. The royals happen to be people who are more than proactive, and if they’d met this guy on the road a year or two back (before being wrangled into politics), they most likely would have killed him without much worry. One of them is, after all, a paladin. They have to turn him over to the legal system, though, because they know that once they start making exceptions about such things they won’t really have a rule of law at all. Then there’s the issue of figuring out whether or not he’s insane or just terribly deluded, to know whether or not he is competent to stand trial. The fact that he’s an admitted serial killer who targets a politically tempestuous population is difficult—especially since there’s absolutely no evidence that he’s ever actually committed a crime in this particular country. It’s a young country, with a brand-new “making it up as we go along” legal system, so who knows how a ruling on jurisdiction will fall out?
I realize all of that is probably too boring for words to anyone else, especially those who prefer hack ‘n slash games. We’re playing a very high-level game with a lot of intrigue, politics, and big issues, though. After your characters get up near 20th level (I’m no longer certain of levels at all in this game, and we’re largely playing diceless), the challenges have to change.
I find myself curious about what would be decided, how much political fallout there would be, and whether or not it could be finessed reasonably well.