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Crime and Punishment in Age of Worms


Age of Worms Adventure Path


Now I know I'm about three years behind everyone else in running this but that means any snags should have been sorted.
And I tried searching the boards but searching is off at the moment.
Anyway here is the question...

I am sure the PCs will go in blazing and try to kill Filge. I do plan to have the PCs arrested for B&E if possible. And even murder.

So what crimes has Filge commited?

Being a Necromancer isn't a crime in itself, surely?
Is Animating Dead a crime? Could have Filge bought his corpses for research from hanging of criminals or sold on by impoverished families?
Burke and Hare, the famous graverobbers, were charged with theft as grave robbing wasn't a crime as such. So the best I can think off is Filge is guilty of receiving stolen goods.

Any thoughts anyone?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'd suggest to look (and ask again) in the Forum that contains the "Age of Worms" treads.

Look Here: Paizo Age of Worms Boards


Oliver von Spreckelsen wrote:

I'd suggest to look (and ask again) in the Forum that contains the "Age of Worms" treads.

Look Here: Paizo Age of Worms Boards

I have been through the boards previous but saw nothing which helped. Searching is off on the boards at the mo' so that idea was out. There was a few bits about PCs being arrested as Filge was a pal of Smenk but that was about it.

I posted in General Discussion as the question just doesn't arise in the AoW AP but applies in any adventure.

I found nothing specific to answer my question. If I have missed something please post the link.


Spacelard wrote:
So what crimes has Filge commited?

I would say Filge is residing at the observatory illegally as nothing in the module indicated Smenk owned it.

The PCs could point out that several of the skeletons in Filge's possession were recently dug up from a nearby farmstead, which would mean Filge was in possession of illegal materials (exhumed bodies).
I would also say unless he has some kind of proof that the other corpses were legally obtained no one is going to assume they were and charge him with exhuming and defiling dead bodies.
I would say animating the dead without some kind of authorizition would definetly be a crime and in most places practicing necromancer would most likely be a crime too.

those are some ideas anyway.


Polevoi wrote:
Spacelard wrote:
So what crimes has Filge commited?

I would say Filge is residing at the observatory illegally as nothing in the module indicated Smenk owned it.

The PCs could point out that several of the skeletons in Filge's possession were recently dug up from a nearby farmstead, which would mean Filge was in possession of illegal materials (exhumed bodies).
I would also say unless he has some kind of proof that the other corpses were legally obtained no one is going to assume they were and charge him with exhuming and defiling dead bodies.
I would say animating the dead without some kind of authorizition would definetly be a crime and in most places practicing necromancer would most likely be a crime too.

those are some ideas anyway.

As I read it the Observatory was abandoned and I have no idea about squatters rights in a fantasy game!

I can't see being a practicing necromancer being automatically a crime. Yep you may be creepy and cut up bodies but is that a crime? The best *real world* analogy would be the Vatican's stance with da Vinci and his anatomical drawings. Was da Vinci doing anything criminal?

Is posession of exhumed body parts illegal? Aren't there spells where the components involve body parts? What about magic items which incorporate body parts such as Hand of Glory, Hand of the Mage?

I agree animating the dead without authorization would be morally wrong but would it be criminal? If that makes sense! It has an EVIL spell descriptor, but you can't make *being evil* a crime.
"Hey I just found them lying in the ground abandoned..."
I can see the Priests of Pelor or Wee Jas wanting to stomp Filge as what he has done *is* morally wrong.

Thanks for the imput, it all helps!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

Moved to Age of Worms forum.


I guess it depends on where you are running the game. If you are in Greyhawk check and see if there are any laws in Greyhawk materials. Otherwise, I would just make the laws up as you see fit.

Sometimes I think D&D worlds in general are governed by mob justice, what the local populace sees as immoral will generally be illegal. In a place like Diamond Lake which is a pretty rough town I could see graverobbing NOT being a crime.

Of course if you dig up the remains of someone influential, they can certainly can twist the arm of the authorities of the garrison to do something.

I will begin running this campaign myself in a few weeks so if I come up with any hard rulings I will share them. :-)


Most casters that are known to be necromancers in D&D are, at best, ran out of town. Many times heroes are requested to get rid of them. Sometimes the heroes are not even requested they just show up at the right time, and they are often given praise for their vigilante actions, so if you go by tradition D&D a blind eye will be turned unless Smenk can influence the sheriff to get involved. If you dont want to follow the way most D&D adventures treat necromancers you will have to make up your own laws.


Hi!

Could you first tell us in which world you are playing? I can answer for Greyhawk, but not for Eberron for instance.

I disagree with some of my esteemed colleagues: nothing indicates that Filge is squatting (look at the letter Belabar sent him; he is supposed to be invited), and being a necromancer isn't a crime (in Greyhawk city). Only practicing harmful magicks on the street and using illegally procured bodies is.

The trick is proving that Filge KNEW that the bodies brought by Mr. Albino -I-forgot-his-name-but-he-is-ugly were illegally procured... In fact, one of the main levers Belabar could use on the players to sent them into Dourstone mine in TFoE is that they entered the old observatory crossbows blazing and can't prove anything against Filge ("Breaking and entering, assault, hmm... Let's make a deal!").

See my thread on TFoE for more info on that: TFoE some new plot tweakings .

Also, don't forget that Belabar (Filge's friend) has much more pull than the heroes, and that the law in Diamond Lake is eminently corruptible (Say hello to Sheriff Cubbin!).

Just my piece... ;)


Smarnil le couard wrote:

Hi!

Could you first tell us in which world you are playing? I can answer for Greyhawk, but not for Eberron for instance.

I disagree with some of my esteemed colleagues: nothing indicates that Filge is squatting (look at the letter Belabar sent him; he is supposed to be invited), and being a necromancer isn't a crime (in Greyhawk city). Only practicing harmful magicks on the street and using illegally procured bodies is.

The trick is proving that Filge KNEW that the bodies brought by Mr. Albino -I-forgot-his-name-but-he-is-ugly were illegally procured... In fact, one of the main levers Belabar could use on the players to sent them into Dourstone mine in TFoE is that they entered the old observatory crossbows blazing and can't prove anything against Filge ("Breaking and entering, assault, hmm... Let's make a deal!").

See my thread on TFoE for more info on that: TFoE some new plot tweakings .

Also, don't forget that Belabar (Filge's friend) has much more pull than the heroes, and that the law in Diamond Lake is eminently corruptible (Say hello to Sheriff Cubbin!).

Just my piece... ;)

Set in Greyhawk.

I normally wouldn't make quite a fuss but it has the makings of great roleplaying. I am guessing that the "establishment" might sell on the bodies of criminals to necromancers (punishment even after death) or even "unclaimed" bodies at a morgue. If I *was* a necromancer I would at least try and aquire by test material from legite sources.
I can't see, other than he *may* have aquired the bodies illegally, what crime Filge has commited to warrant B&E and assault, possible murder.


Spacelard wrote:
Smarnil le couard wrote:

Hi!

Could you first tell us in which world you are playing? I can answer for Greyhawk, but not for Eberron for instance.

I disagree with some of my esteemed colleagues: nothing indicates that Filge is squatting (look at the letter Belabar sent him; he is supposed to be invited), and being a necromancer isn't a crime (in Greyhawk city). Only practicing harmful magicks on the street and using illegally procured bodies is.

The trick is proving that Filge KNEW that the bodies brought by Mr. Albino -I-forgot-his-name-but-he-is-ugly were illegally procured... In fact, one of the main levers Belabar could use on the players to sent them into Dourstone mine in TFoE is that they entered the old observatory crossbows blazing and can't prove anything against Filge ("Breaking and entering, assault, hmm... Let's make a deal!").

See my thread on TFoE for more info on that: TFoE some new plot tweakings .

Also, don't forget that Belabar (Filge's friend) has much more pull than the heroes, and that the law in Diamond Lake is eminently corruptible (Say hello to Sheriff Cubbin!).

Just my piece... ;)

Set in Greyhawk.

I normally wouldn't make quite a fuss but it has the makings of great roleplaying. I am guessing that the "establishment" might sell on the bodies of criminals to necromancers (punishment even after death) or even "unclaimed" bodies at a morgue. If I *was* a necromancer I would at least try and aquire by test material from legite sources.
I can't see, other than he *may* have aquired the bodies illegally, what crime Filge has commited to warrant B&E and assault, possible murder.

The B&E might be hard to justify, but he does attack them on sight. Of course if they kill him they have to prove it. It also would have to be proven that the PC's were the ones to kill him, unless someone sees them go there.


Well, why in the first place do you want Filge to do something wrong?

As the module is written he didn't, and that's ok. The point is, you have a golden opportunity to teach your players the second most important lesson for the future well-being of their characters (after "when in doubt, run away"): "not all targets are legitimate".

Most of the players are so used to kill anything necromantic in sight (all necromancers want to rule the world, right?) that they will probably go in gung-ho and smear Filge all over the place, without stopping to consider if he did something illegal. But this sort of behaviour, which would be fine far into the wilds, isn't appropriate in town. It's important to teach the players the difference, if you don't want them to storm the Greyhawk arenas later, or Alhaster's palace, or whatever suits their fancy.

Let them sink themselves in deep, if they can't tell the difference between a goblin cave and a town house, and use that to drive them to do Belabar's bidding in the next module.

And, to answer Wraithstrike, attacking on sight a band of armed goons who broke into your house to wreck it ISN'T wrongdoing. It's called legitimate self-defense in my book. Believe me, I'm a lawyer. With a Xth level priest of Heironeous, god of Justice, in town, the proof that the PCs were behind the deed is just a Speak with Dead away, unless they dispose of the corpse or mutilate it (gross!). Even in this case, they were pointed to Filge by Belabar's goons, who could use the information for blackmailing them. Bwaawahahahaha!


I was intending to run Filge as the wounded party and the PCs in the wrong. He was going to produce the papers saying that he procured the bodies through a legite source in Greyhawk (the city) and be shocked to hear that Kullen had "stolen" the Land's bones.
Then throw the Law at the PCs.


Spacelard wrote:

I was intending to run Filge as the wounded party and the PCs in the wrong. He was going to produce the papers saying that he procured the bodies through a legite source in Greyhawk (the city) and be shocked to hear that Kullen had "stolen" the Land's bones.

Then throw the Law at the PCs.

I see... That suppose that he has the time to open his mouth, and that your PCs are inclined to hear him out.

In the case where Filge got those papers in advance and could produce them, what do you intend to do to your B&E PCs? And how are they going to recover the Land skeletons to complete the exploration of the cairn? Why would Filge agree to give them if he has got ownership papers?

If they paste him without a second thought, let me suggest that Belabar would be the one to produce those papers (forged; Filge in fact doesn't give a damn where he gets his bodies, he is too nuts for that) to make his blackmail file on the PCs airtight.

From memory, the Old Observatory is quite remote; there is only vague rumors about the presence of someone, nobody knows Filge is here. If your PCs don't alert the whole town with flash-bang magicks, bringing down the sheriff and/or the garrison on them, it's most probable that Belabar or his goons would be the first to go to the murder scene (after all, Filge was called in for a definite task, and it would be logical for Belabar to contact him to get a report on his progress and bring him supplies and food on a regular basis, maybe daily, at worst twice a week).

Here, two possibilities: if there is enough evidence to point to the PCs, he would probably keep the body as blackmail material against them, to knee-jerk toward Dourstone mine. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose by ratting them to the authorities (the presence of Filge is supposed to be a secret; if the cultists knew about it and his reserach, Belmabar would be toast).

If there is no evidence, Belabar would probably think at first that the cultists are the culprits. In this case, he would also try to cover up the murder to avoid unpleasant questions from the authorities ("why would evil cultists attack your secret guest, Mr Smenk, and what are all these... things?"). Depending on how the PCs found out about Filge in the first place (most probably by bribing one of Belabar's goons), you can or not rule out that in the end he learns the truth.

Yours,


Just a thought, what if no one knows that the characters were the ones who actually broke in and killed Filge?

I think B&E would be a weak charge (unless there is some sort of records office in Diamond Lake showing who owns what, if the Observatory is abandoned perhaps trespassing makes more sense as the building reverts back to "city" control) while murder would be a different story.

As far as breakeing and entering in real life, laws vary from state to state. In New Jersey you have a duty to retreat from home invaders until and unless you are cornered (I know its ridiculous), while I would imagine in the western states matters are probably different.


Dennis Harry wrote:
Just a thought, what if no one knows that the characters were the ones who actually broke in and killed Filge?

Well, we do hope they don't paint their names on the walls... But if they leave a corpse, they are open to a speak with dead, and they most probably left behind them a possible witness : the guy who told them where to find Filge.

Dennis Harry wrote:
I think B&E would be a weak charge (unless there is some sort of records office in Diamond Lake showing who owns what, if the Observatory is abandoned perhaps trespassing makes more sense as the building reverts back to "city" control) while murder would be a different story.

In fact, there is such a records office, the one with Dietrik Cicaeda. Because Belabar is the one to invite Filge, we can assume that he bought the Old Observatory (IMC under an assumed name, "Rebbala").

Dennis Harry wrote:
As far as breakeing and entering in real life, laws vary from state to state. In New Jersey you have a duty to retreat from home invaders until and unless you are cornered (I know its ridiculous), while I would imagine in the western states matters are probably different.

Yeah. In other countries (mine for instance), killing an intruder by night is automaticaly considered a case of self defense. Greyhawk sourcebooks don't go into such legal niceties, so we can assume whatever suits best our campaigns. I would just say that Filge can be considered cornered: the PCs will meet him on the last floor of the observatory, with no means of escape.


My characters would do something like hide the body to avoid a speak with dead spell, they can be pretty thorough when they actually bother to think.

The funny think is one of the players IS a Necromancer so it would be a tough argument for them to make that Filge has no rights solely for "being" a Necromancer :-)

I agree that such an approach to handling intruders makes sense, the US well lots of things don't make sense here...


Dennis Harry wrote:
My characters would do something like hide the body to avoid a speak with dead spell, they can be pretty thorough when they actually bother to think.

Let's hope they do think before bragging about their deed in town... ;)

Dennis Harry wrote:
The funny think is one of the players IS a Necromancer so it would be a tough argument for them to make that Filge has no rights solely for "being" a Necromancer :-)

Ohhh, nice soul-searching case coming! Is your necromancer the vile type, or one who refrain from "evil" spells and gets grumpy everytime he comes across another necromancer giving a bad rep to the profession?

Dennis Harry wrote:
I agree that such an approach to handling intruders makes sense, the US well lots of things don't make sense here...

Ooops, sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that NJ law was inferior in any way, I just wanted to underscore that there is many ways to handle such a situation, all of them valid and making some sense. So we can pick whatever suits us.


Dennis Harry wrote:

My characters would do something like hide the body to avoid a speak with dead spell, they can be pretty thorough when they actually bother to think.

The funny think is one of the players IS a Necromancer so it would be a tough argument for them to make that Filge has no rights solely for "being" a Necromancer :-)

I agree that such an approach to handling intruders makes sense, the US well lots of things don't make sense here...

In the UK you can report someone breaking into somewhere and have to wait 24hrs for a response! I was attacked in the street one day, by a t@sser with a bottle, when I reported it to the police the response was "Oh, your not hurt,"


Oh its ok, NJ law IS inferior! :-)


Dennis Harry wrote:
Oh its ok, NJ law IS inferior! :-)

I really freaked my players last weekend.

I sent various emails during the week as the party rested up in the cairn after a pasting from the Mad Slasher and Swarm. They were like a little story for each PC. The upshot was that the players thought that one character was the Faceless One and ended up Sleeping him for questioning. The FO had made a guest appearance after removing the face of a potential employer.
I was accussed of being an evil DM...


My players just beat up Kullen and his gang in the Feral Dog. They knocked Rastophan and Kullen out (using 4E rules here) and the PC mage threatened to kill Kullen if the other two didn't surrender.

The group has already started talking about taking their magic items, which is kinda funny since they are all being charged with assault, as there are lots of witnesses. The mage may also be charged with issuing a death threat if she doesn't go quietly.

Essentially, they will all end up in the slammer for a night to sleep it off. Then Kullen's group will be mysteriously let go early the next morning before the PC's awaken. This is Smenk flexing his muscles.

The cleric PC will be bailed out by his family, and he will be resonsible for bailing out the other PC's.

I don't want my group running around killing people in town later on, so I'm glad they decided to knock these guys out rather than kill them.


Pop'N'Fresh wrote:

The cleric PC will be bailed out by his family, and he will be resonsible for bailing out the other PC's.

I don't want my group running around killing people in town later on, so I'm glad they decided to knock these guys out rather than kill them.

Sure, there should be consequences for such rash behaviour. As I said earlier, they should learn the difference between a dungeon and a town square.

But are you aware that "bailing out" is a very modern notion, that had absolutely no equivalence in medieval times (and even nowadays, is nowhere as widely used as in the USA)? You didn't say in what world you are playing, but it's sure that there is no such thing in Greyhawk.

Of course, you could : 1) rule that bailing out is the latest money-making scheme introduced in the Greyhawk legal system by Gloreddin Bakanian (from memory), the infamous head of the Greyhawk Revenue Service; 2) swap bailing out with a good old palm greasing, which sheriff Cubbin is known to be very fond of.

See ya,


Smarnil le couard wrote:
Pop'N'Fresh wrote:

The cleric PC will be bailed out by his family, and he will be resonsible for bailing out the other PC's.

I don't want my group running around killing people in town later on, so I'm glad they decided to knock these guys out rather than kill them.

Sure, there should be consequences for such rash behaviour. As I said earlier, they should learn the difference between a dungeon and a town square.

But are you aware that "bailing out" is a very modern notion, that had absolutely no equivalence in medieval times (and even nowadays, is nowhere as widely used as in the USA)? You didn't say in what world you are playing, but it's sure that there is no such thing in Greyhawk.

Of course, you could : 1) rule that bailing out is the latest money-making scheme introduced in the Greyhawk legal system by Gloreddin Bakanian (from memory), the infamous head of the Greyhawk Revenue Service; 2) swap bailing out with a good old palm greasing, which sheriff Cubbin is known to be very fond of.

See ya,

Or you could treat it like good ol' fashion weregeld. Make it payable in sheep and cattle!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dennis Harry wrote:
I will begin running this campaign myself in a few weeks so if I come up with any hard rulings I will share them. :-)

Send us an e-mail when you do; I've been running this myself, and I've picked up a lot of good tips and ideas from the folk here. Be good to give something back to the next wave of DMs.


Just to let people know Filge survived.
The players were appalled by the Slay-mate in his bed who ran to him screaming "Daddy"...
When captured he showed the receipts for all the bodies, "I bought them from the morgue in Greyhawk..." and explained that the party just killed his daughter "She died of the Red Death twenty years past and I just couldn't be parted from her."
He now works in Greyhawk making pies...

The Land skeletons, he pleaded all innocent and claimed he didn't know they were stolen and this was the reason to dump Smenk in the mire. After all it was Smenk's employees which lead the party to Filge in the first place.

And I noticed, with regard to casting Animate Dead illegal, that the priestess of Wee Jas had it on her spell list.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Spacelard wrote:

Just to let people know Filge survived.

The players were appalled by the Slay-mate in his bed who ran to him screaming "Daddy"...

O.o Good lord, it's a wonder he did survive after your players discovered that little gem. Most people assume necromancer = necrophile anyway, and when you add in the creepy pedo vibe, it's surprising they didn't lynch the dude. That said, he survived in our game, too, and went on to become a valued (though not necessarily by all) party member.

Spacelard wrote:
And I noticed, with regard to casting Animate Dead illegal, that the priestess of Wee Jas had it on her spell list.

Indeed, what is the law regarding magic? Assault? Magical assault? I have investigated a few setting-specific sources that are able to shed varying degrees of light upon the situation. If you are running a homebrew campaign setting, you have my great respect, as well as, fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you look at it, the full burden of determining the law of the land.

Forgotten Realms - It is this setting, I am sorry to say, about which I can offer the least information, as I lack access to Waterdeep: City of Splendors, which is said in the Overload to describe the Daggerford area. What little I am able to infer about the role of magic in the setting as it might apply to this situation comes from FR p 92. "Any mage not well known by the local people is regarded as a dangerous unknown quantity until he shows by action, word, and manner that he means no harm." Taken alone, this sentence would strongly indicate that there would be no love for Filge in the local militia, as the macabre presentation of his tower could hardly be construed as "meaning no harm." As we read further, however, we discover, "The local people are careful not to give offense, and the local authorities quietly observe any such person with as much discretion as possible." This line suggests that the town guard and perhaps even the citizenry could become quite angry with the PCs for meddling in the affairs of an unknown mage, whose wrath the town could suffer if he escaped and chose to lash out indiscriminately. Nevertheless, in FR, where the scales are often very slightly tipped towards good, I would conclude that the PCs would be granted more benefit of the doubt in this setting than in others. Waterdeep itself "...generally produces stronger good wizards than evil wizards." (FR 178)

An interesting encounter could occur, though, if they have unwittingly interrupted another agent's (Melinde, perhaps?) investigation of the situation. As for Filge's situation re: previous encounters with the law, recall that he is outcast from the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, with whom one must have membership if one wishes to practice arcane magic in Waterdeep. As "going to Daggerford" is said to be synonymous with "lying low outside the city (of Waterdeep) (FR 127), I could definitely see crafty Smenk spinning the situation so he's helping his old chum Filge get out of Waterdeep for a while until things cool down, and generally make like he's doing Filge a favor, rather than the other way around.

Eberron - Breland, particularly Sharn and its surrounding environs, is a more "modern" setting, and does therefore have a slightly more accessible legal system. Much can be learned from Sharn: City of Towers chapter 4 - Law and Order. We learn that unknown adventurers making bold claims don't always get the guards' attention right away, or at all. The guards are just as likely to think the PCs have had too much to drink. We also learn that a not insubstantial number of them are on the take, making bribery extremely commonplace and almost expected. In fact, there is a handy table at the bottom of page 128 in aforementioned book that can help a group play through the Diplomacy/Bluff negotiations that are sure to ensue when trying to argue their side of the story. It presents modifiers based on race and appearance, and could be a handy starting point even for those DMs not running their game in Eberron. Those engaging in armed assault are fined and have their weapon confiscated. Murder punishments depend on the victim; "The murder of a city councilor likely results in execution; the death of a goblin gambler probably never reaches court." (S:CoT p127) One would probably find Filge somewhere in between, a reviled necromancer, yet possibly important to the rich and influential Balabar Smenk.

Filge himself is not entirely in the clear, incriminated, in the eyes of Brelish law, not by his small undead army, but by the substances he possesses. Most addictive substances, including Absentia, Dragon's Blood, and Dream Lily, are considered contraband. Since Filge is played up as a bit of a druggie-type, what with his strange injections and all, it's quite possible he would have these on or near his person. Diamond Lake, of course, has its own opium den, so one might gather it is a bit more lax on that rule in particular, but he could be fined. The poison coating the points of the crossbow bolts would also be considered contraband, according to the "What's Illegal in Sharn?" sidebar on page 129. These illicit goods are usually taken away, and the offender is charged twice what the items are worth. Interestingly enough, "Animate Dead" doesn't make the list of restricted spell scrolls, and it is explicitly stated that undead are considered property with no legal protection, implying a certain level of acceptance of the creation and keeping of zombies and other mindless undead.

Continuing on the topic of magic, the Galifar Code of Justice is fairly strict about what is and is not acceptable. Any spell that can harm or permanently incapacitate, from Magic Missile to Flesh to Stone, is deemed armed assault, with especially harsh treatment for those who carelessly use fire magic. Temporary incapacitation via spell is simply assault. Unlike in the Forgotten Realms setting, it seems Eberron provides legal possibilities for the tolerance of Filge's actions, with the exception of aforementioned contraband. Of course, if the elf corpse isn't just telling tales to boost Filge's ego, and some or all of his "dinner guests" are indeed his own murder victims, the law might have something quite different to say to him, especially if the mage-corpse was in particularly high standing in the Esoteric Order of Aureon. It's a bit odd that Filge was accepted into the Order in the first place, as specialist necromancers are not invited, and two of the available specialist schools are his prohibited schools! Perhaps he used deception to gain entry to the wizards' circle, and it was being "unmasked" as a necromancer that forced him out of the organization. Filge seems to flaunt his necromantic nature, though, so this may remain one of life's mysteries. In any case, the PCs may have an uphill battle in Eberron for purposes of proving Filge's guilt and their innocence.

Greyhawk - The most detailed account of legal proceedings in the Free City of Greyhawk, to my knowledge, can be found in "The Adventure Begins," a 2nd Ed supplement. As I have found no major contradictions in the latest offering featuring that locale, Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, I thus conclude that little of the law has changed in a meaningful way in the transition between editions. Whatever the legal outcome in this setting, be assured it may be quite drastic if the PCs get the town officials involved. Filge, though unpleasant, is a person, and protected by law. His undead are protected as his property. However, even from this point forward does the law become somewhat open to interpretation. According to page 67, importation of dangerous controlled items or creatures can result in enormous fines or banishment. How does this relate to the statement that undead are protected under the law as property? How does the law define "dangerous'?

Possession of an unlicensed monster, on the other hand, only results in a heavy fine. Are his zombies licensed? (And how would you like "Licenser of Monsters" to be your job title? Presumably someone has to do it...) How he came by the corpses is of great importance, as well. Tomb robbing can get an offender fined, sentenced to hard labor, or banished, likely depending on the station of the victim and what specifically was taken. The law probably doesn't smile upon those that take the whole body. The text block in WC describes Filge as stitching and sawing, though, so maybe he just takes an arm here, a leg there... Since the Land skeletons were provided for him, Filge at least has plausible deniability of knowledge/guilt...for that particular grave robbing, at least. Anyway, if Filge has provably murdered even one person, the best he can hope for is hard labor for life. If all the dinner guests are his victims, then he is a mass murderer, and the only sentence can be death. Now, bear this in mind if the PCs kill Filge; they, too, could be subject to hard labor or death.

Of course, bribery of any city official is theoretically punishable by fines or labor, but Smenk and many others have been getting away with it for years. If a member of the town guard is already in Smenk's pocket, though, and the PCs try to make a bribe to smooth things over, they could find themselves convicted for what is a part of every day life in Diamond Lake and the Free City. "Citizens and visitors cannot bring private armies, militias, or personal guards into the city without a license." (TAB, 68) This raises several questions. Do Filge's zombies constitute an army, even though they are "programmed" to passively sit at the dinner table? Are his skeletons considered personal guards? If yes to either of these, does he have a license that allows him to maintain these forces? Again, PCs should be careful with accusations here, or they might find themselves under scrutiny, as people begin asking questions as to why these armed-to-the-teeth individuals have been traipsing about town without supervision. Smenk, of course, has no shortage of his own lackeys and thugs, but he's not too proud to be a hypocrite if it means gaining leverage over the PCs. Diamond Lake is not, in fact, exactly identical to the Free City, so DMs may feel free to give leeway where they see fit.

Speaking of the Free City, let us consider for a moment the Guild of Wizardry. Membership is open to wizards of any race and alignment, and one gets the impression that it takes a lot to get them to care all that much about anything "ethical." This makes me wonder: what did Filge do to get himself kicked out? Leave his Villain Manifesto lying about (villains are notorious for leaving their Top Secret Plans right where heroes can find them...)? Fail to pay the paltry 100 gp dues, when he somehow had enough funding for all those scrolls of Animate Dead and permanent castings of Magic Mouth? Maybe it was politics, or maybe they just figured out he was a crazy SOB. The point is, if the PCs can somehow get Filge put on trial in Greyhawk, it's likely that his past misdeeds will come to light. If he's allowed to remain in Diamond Lake, his Smenky-poo will bail him out of all but the most dire situations, and it's unlikely that anyone but the PCs will notice or care.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I realize these analyses probably raised as many questions as they answered, but I hope they are of some help to those navigating this stage of the game now and in the future. I absolutely adore this AP, and it fills me with utter glee to know that years later, people are still agonizing over the fate of Filge. Addressing the legal and moral issues that encounter presented really shaped the campaign from that point forward in our game. I know some people plow right through Filge's little tower, and that's okay too, but it's fun to hear about instances where it turned into something more.


Thanks for the imput Courtney!, I deliberatly made Filge to look worse than he is and the slay-mate was perfect. Filge has a bit of background from his days in Greyhawk and his wife and child died during the Red Death which was part of his motivation to take up necromancy. Maybe Mrs Filge will make an appearance later...

I see Filge as misguided and easy to manipulated, a tragic person. His necromancy is driven to work out how the body works, he takes a scientific approach to his work. Being thrown out of the guild was motivated by professional jealousy and misunderstanding his love of his work.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Spacelard wrote:

Thanks for the imput Courtney!, I deliberatly made Filge to look worse than he is and the slay-mate was perfect. Filge has a bit of background from his days in Greyhawk and his wife and child died during the Red Death which was part of his motivation to take up necromancy. Maybe Mrs Filge will make an appearance later...

I see Filge as misguided and easy to manipulated, a tragic person. His necromancy is driven to work out how the body works, he takes a scientific approach to his work. Being thrown out of the guild was motivated by professional jealousy and misunderstanding his love of his work.

Eeee! Mrs. Filge!? That's awesome, yet oddly hilarious. Do you think Filge is his first name or his last name? In our game, it was his first name; something terrible had happened in his past that made him want nothing to do with his family, even the name. I saw someone else had run AoW in a more contemporary setting, and his name was John Filge. I thought that had a nice ring to it, too. :3 I know what you mean about the misunderstanding, it's really no wonder necromancers are so frequently evil, everybody just projects the absolute worst motives onto them and assumes they're always doing something despicable. That, and channeling all that negative energy.

Filge in our game has changed a fair amount; he can sense when others are on death's door, and rather than pushing them through, he tries to pull them back, sometimes even at the cost of his own life force. (Yes, Filge has now cast one of the few necromancy spells in existence with the Good descriptor.) He's gone from standing in the back and halfheartedly firing off a crossbow bolt every couple rounds, to interposing himself between his nearly-dead ally and a fearsome enemy, even though the ally in question serves Pelor and has given Filge nothing but distrust and thinly veiled threats throughout the entire adventure. Filge has a girlfriend. (Awww...) Filge has a cohort. (...huh?) I knew something had shifted at a certain point. Back in TFoE, we were getting Filge's perspective on an issue, and the druid commented sarcastically gee, what a good idea to ask the necromancer to guide us in matters of morality. By the time we reached Prince of Redhand, that same druid was asking, in complete earnestness, "What do you think, Filge? This is a tricky ethical issue, and I want to get your opinion on this."

Still, just because Filge is a great character, doesn't mean all his actions are justified. Depending on your take on how animating the dead works, he was either living with a simulacrum of his daughter fueled by negative energy, a pleasant lie that let him ignore the terrible truth, or had bound a portion of her soul to her physical form, never letting her truly rest in peace. A cute little dolly that looks like his daughter, or a cold prison from which she cannot escape? Great options.

We also have to consider where he is emotionally that it was more important for him to have a table full of zombies stroking his ego than it was to have them guarding his tower. Sycophantic dinner guests rate higher than his continued survival, apparently.

I like that you've made him scientific, too; in our game, the DM wrote in the Deity section of Filge's character sheet "Filge is a man of Science."


Courtney! wrote:


Eeee! Mrs. Filge!? That's awesome, yet oddly hilarious.

I decided that I wasn't going to have him as a stereotypical "evil" necromancer from day one. I think Da Vinci was charged with necromancy by the Catholic Church over his anatomical drawings and that is what I saw Filge as doing, a "scientific" examination of the human body.

The animation of his dead daughter is his (misguided) way of bringing her back, her death hit Filge hard, it broke his heart.
I haven't quite decided what to do with Mrs Filge. One possiblity is have her as a ghost, a very nagging ghost.
I have a bit on how I opened the adventure path in TFoE tweakings thread (I think) and it explains my take on the Faceless One which you might like.


The angle I used was this: the Cult of the Green Lady is like a faction of the Church of Wee Jas, and they are responsible for the care of the bone yard (perform funeral services, burials, etc.). And there have been instances of grave robbers digging up bones looking for treasure (one of the town rumors is that someone hid 100gp in a fake grave). So I played up the clerics of the Green Lady as being a bit fanatical, and their position of influence is such that the local rules & regulations within Diamond Lake are much more strict that elsewhere (like the Free City).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
DMR wrote:
The angle I used was this: the Cult of the Green Lady is like a faction of the Church of Wee Jas, and they are responsible for the care of the bone yard (perform funeral services, burials, etc.). And there have been instances of grave robbers digging up bones looking for treasure (one of the town rumors is that someone hid 100gp in a fake grave). So I played up the clerics of the Green Lady as being a bit fanatical, and their position of influence is such that the local rules & regulations within Diamond Lake are much more strict that elsewhere (like the Free City).

Gahh, more strict than the Free City!? Getting fined half your worldly wealth is getting off easy for crimes there. You're lookin' at months to years of hard labor for even fairly "run-of-the-mill" infractions. Death or banishment comes up more frequently than I would have anticipated, too. I figured Diamond Lake would be more relaxed in its enforcement of laws than the Free City, so long as you "know someone" or are willing to grease a few palms. DL officials are probably content to let the cultists do their "patrol the graveyard" thing because it's cheaper than hiring guards with the city's money, but I wouldn't guess that those same officials would be too keen on letting those odd death-fixated cultists too heavily shape the status quo.


Hi ! I did reply earlier, but somehow my post got swallowed by the Incredibly Bad Machine.

Spacelard wrote:

Just to let people know Filge survived.

The players were appalled by the Slay-mate in his bed who ran to him screaming "Daddy"...
When captured he showed the receipts for all the bodies, "I bought them from the morgue in Greyhawk..." and explained that the party just killed his daughter "She died of the Red Death twenty years past and I just couldn't be parted from her."
He now works in Greyhawk making pies...

Oh my... Nice creepy idea, but he would have to explain himself QUICKLY before getting beaten into the ground.

Spacelard wrote:

The Land skeletons, he pleaded all innocent and claimed he didn't know they were stolen and this was the reason to dump Smenk in the mire. After all it was Smenk's employees which lead the party to Filge in the first place.

And I noticed, with regard to casting Animate Dead illegal, that the priestess of Wee Jas had it on her spell list.

Just one question: if Filge got (obviously faked) receipts for the Land skeletons, why did he relinquish them to the PCs, who badly need them to placate Alastor’s ghost? Did they reach an agreement? Maybe something like “you do not ask too many questions about my zombified dinner guests and my receipts, and I give you what you came looking for and forget about the B&E” ?

Congrats to Courtney for her well documented legal niceties post. Indeed, law in Greyhawk City is very harsh (if you are not a licensed thief, that is). It’s partly because the authorities are more concerned with raking in fines and getting free labor than in real justice (observe the lack of imprisonment without forced labor and the propensity to exile offenders to better confiscate their goods).

But this lack of concern for justice also means that the Directing Oligarchy doesn’t really care about what happens beyond the walls of the city. I picture the Oligarchs as medieval “ultra-liberals”, mostly preoccupied with trade and the free flow of trade and riches (toward Greyhawk) without “unnecessary” regulations. In fact, most of them are members of the Merchants’ Guild or of the Thieves’Guild, or are close to them. In the villages, hamlets and towns included in the Domain of Greyhawk, they almost exclusively intervene to raise taxes, patrol the roads and catch bandits. As in Diamond Lake, justice and law in those villages are dispensed by the local bailiff/governor appointed by the Directing Oligarchy (think about it as a mix between feudality and bureaucracy, or maybe good old Far West). Unjust? Yeah. But cost-efficient from the City point of view…

It help explaining why Diamond Lake legal system is so corrupt, and why the cemetery protection was left without fuss to the Wee Jas cultists. Governor Lanod Neff is more concerned with getting rich from the taxes he manages to raise, minus the ones he send to Greyhawk, than in investing in community services.


Smarnil le couard wrote:

Hi ! I did reply earlier, but somehow my post got swallowed by the Incredibly Bad Machine.

Spacelard wrote:

Just to let people know Filge survived.

The players were appalled by the Slay-mate in his bed who ran to him screaming "Daddy"...
When captured he showed the receipts for all the bodies, "I bought them from the morgue in Greyhawk..." and explained that the party just killed his daughter "She died of the Red Death twenty years past and I just couldn't be parted from her."
He now works in Greyhawk making pies...

Oh my... Nice creepy idea, but he would have to explain himself QUICKLY before getting beaten into the ground.

Spacelard wrote:

The Land skeletons, he pleaded all innocent and claimed he didn't know they were stolen and this was the reason to dump Smenk in the mire. After all it was Smenk's employees which lead the party to Filge in the first place.

And I noticed, with regard to casting Animate Dead illegal, that the priestess of Wee Jas had it on her spell list.

Just one question: if Filge got (obviously faked) receipts for the Land skeletons, why did he relinquish them to the PCs, who badly need them to placate Alastor’s ghost? Did they reach an agreement? Maybe something like “you do not ask too many questions about my zombified dinner guests and my receipts, and I give you what you came looking for and forget about the B&E” ?

The players didn't give Filge much choice over that Land skeletons, Filge surrendered when he ran out of spells and all his undead were, err, dead! When he found out that the PCs were only there because of the skeletons Filge told the PCs all he knew for his freedom. I took a risk in all this as I dumped the handy give the game away note which Smenk sent to Filge. Keeping that around waiting to be found is Chaotic Stupid.

The party are now heading to Greyhawk and I plan to run the Mad God's Key. The book stolen from the library by Vecna Cultists will be...Kyuss Scrolls? Chronicles of Chan? The TRUE identity of the Faceless One?
Also why *five* graves at the Land farmstead?
Smarnil have a look in the TFoE tweekings for more!

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