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the cost of fines or length of jail time


Okay been trying to look but can't seem to find anywhere that describes how much the fines are or jail time for killing civilians or law officials at.
Reason is for precaution for my group because there are gonna be situations I can see them not stepping down to a threat and respond with action and slaying some lawman who suspicious of strangers or some cult who trys to collect payment on the group and are considered legal in certain towns where u are breaking the law by killing them even if they struck first etc etc.

Can anyone give me some advice on what seems to be good for the fines and/or jail time for killing civilians or lawmen?

Edit-sigh I forgot to add corrupt. Not just normal citizens and lawmen but corrupt citizens and lawmen that they can't provide proof of.

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Until they escape.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Murder is most likely a capital offense.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Theres no rule around this, its a setting question. Usually as coridan said, unjustified murder in mideval society is a capital offense. You dont get fined for killing someone, you get hung.

Fines: more money than the characters have which causes them to be arrested to go to debtors prison.

Sentence length: until the players figure out a way to free themselves from prison.

Sentences for capital offense (i.e. murder, treason, etc): Death.

Further, if your players are fighting in a situaiton like this in the first place either they win and go free (perhaps being pursued to fight again) or they loose and die. It is unlikely they will be arrested willingly and ever actually face a punishment. It is death or nothing.

Redneckdevil wrote:

Can anyone give me some advice on what seems to be good for the fines and/or jail time for killing civilians or lawmen?

What are the circumstances of the culture? If they kill a civilian or officer of the law, it may also be possible to tell them that according to the laws of the land they are now responsible for supporting the deceased individuals family (Imagine getting 20-30 relatives, wives, and children dumped in your lap).

Money is not enough, time also has to be spent with them. ^^

If it is a more ordinary setting I would say that they have to go up on trial for their deeds. If they refuse they will become wanted criminals. Sentence for a murder? Depends on how good a lawyer they get, but estimate anything from 5 years to life, or possibly even banishment (think about how England deported prisoners to Australia).

My advice? Talk with your players about the kind of game you want to have.

Also, is this a way to control the characters or the players?

I edited the original because I forgot to add the word corrupt.
Reason why I'm asking is because they have arrived in a town where the local church is doing very seedy things like pretend to give money to the poor but are muscling the shops. Basically a mafia wearing a priests robes. Problem is the church is "legal" and have basically paid off several lawmen and even most of the nobles in that city to turn a blind eye.
With that in due, the church is gonna eventually sends some acolytes to the pcs place of business and demand tribute and if not are gonna smash the place up. I already know a few of players when presented with this are gonna bare arms and charge and try to slay them. Lawmen will show up and see dead acolytes. If the players don't think to hide the bodies (which the law will already know that the acolytes where there and watching the place), what shoukd the punishment be since the lawmen are dirty and will side witb the surviving priests or if none or alive, the guards will be forced to take action.
Their word which they are strangers in a town against the word of a well liked but corrupted church already established and very connected in town.

How coukd I handle this so I can get ideas on how to handle other situations in the future because this is basically unknown grounds to me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Unless they are nobility in medieval society death means death. The normal rules didn't always apply to nobility.

darkwarriorkarg wrote:

My advice? Talk with your players about the kind of game you want to have.

Also, is this a way to control the characters or the players?

Neither, basically as a learning experience. I wanted to show the players that their are things in the world bigger than they are (atm) and that u can't just wave a sword and slash thru everything to "win". I wanted to show that sometimes u have to bow ur head until ur strong enough to actually win the fight when u have the tools for it.

So hence why I wanted to know about fines and jail time because its not game over like a hanging is and they chave the oppertunity to learn and even grow hatred towards something or feel resentment for doing something.

Why are your PCs running a shop personally?

Sure there are downtime rules for purchasing a shop a nd generating income from it, but the normal assumption is that the players are off adventuring and have someone else running it.

Are the PCs "starting a business" to see find out first hand what the "priests" are doing? Seems a bit stupid on the part of the priests. Why would they perform an immediate shakedown on dangerous looking people from out of town.

Claxon wrote:

Why are your PCs running a shop personally?

Sure there are downtime rules for purchasing a shop a nd generating income from it, but the normal assumption is that the players are off adventuring and have someone else running it.

Are the PCs "starting a business" to see find out first hand what the "priests" are doing? Seems a bit stupid on the part of the priests. Why would they perform an immediate shadown on dangerous looking people from out of town.

We are setting up a guild hall for adventuring. Right now its small and the memebers are few whereas the church is big and many members. The church main goal is gold and expanding its power and this guildhall would be a target for "tributes" as well as any other place of business.

Depending on the society, large amounts of money CAN be substituted for a death penalty (or any other penalty). Usually these sorts of things happen in clan-based societies where a single murder could cause clan wars; so the exchange of property in lieu of 'justice' is a way of avoiding wars.

OTOH, you run a protection racket, you runs the risks. If the PCs take down a few acolytes trying to muscle them, along with a few corrupt guards, the remainder of the town may rally around them and then it's mob justice time - with the temple on the pointy end. This really depends on the power level of the players, power level of the town guards and priesthood overall, of course.

The thing about the nobility of the town, though, unless they're tied up intimately with the priesthood (i.e. lots of nobles are priests too), they may well turn a blind eye or turn against the priests. Peasant uprisings are BAD news for nobles, because revolts seldom stop once they get rolling. Kicking out the priests may well be the only way to stop it before it goes too far.

As for your motivations ('learning experience'), remember that adventurers are supposed to be the heroes of the story. You could easily as well land an ancient dragon in front of them and have it take all their stuff ('or else'). There's little point to exposing them to extortion unless you want them to take down the extortioners. If this is not the story you want to tell, rethink your approach.

Look at this from the other side. Your group is setting up an adventurer's guild (read: Mercenary Safehouse). The acolytes walk in and say:

"Hey, nice place you got here, be a shame if something happened to those racks sharp swords and obviously battle-worn armor <gulp>. Um, well, we just stopped by to say our temple sells healing potions at a discount! Kthxbye!"

Because any priests main stat is going to be Wisdom. You don't casually try to extort money from professional killers. Not to say you might not try, but you don't go about it the same way that you extort from a greengrocer or cobbler. Instead, you get your corrupt noble to convince town council that their business is 'undesirable'...then one of your more charismatic priests steps up to 'help' the adventurer's guild in return for 'favors'.

Helic wrote:

Look at this from the other side. Your group is setting up an adventurer's guild (read: Mercenary Safehouse). The acolytes walk in and say:

"Hey, nice place you got here, be a shame if something happened to those racks sharp swords and obviously battle-worn armor <gulp>. Um, well, we just stopped by to say our temple sells healing potions at a discount! Kthxbye!"

Because any priests main stat is going to be Wisdom. You don't casually try to extort money from professional killers. Not to say you might not try, but you don't go about it the same way...

If I was a player this is exactly what I would expect.

Yeah if you don't want to execute them or let them have a chance to suceed if they fight you need to spell it out before it happens. show or inform them that direct resistence to the corruption wont work. Lay the ground work for them getting leverage on the corrupt. Slip them the name of the alchohalic expaladin guard who though jaded is hoping for redemption and will help from the inside. Drop the hint that secrecy and puttking on masks resiting the corrupt might be the way to go, zorro, robin hood, batman and so on.

Silver Crusade

Sometimes people just want to go all 'Walk the Line' on corruption though.

Punishments in the medieval expy era actually depend on a lot of factors. Cultural ones.

Rule of law is a recent thing.

If the society is norse, they might actually be able to get away with outright killing them for disparaging them and then payign wergeld. (Next time you play Elder Scrolls, realize this is how their system works. People are assigned dollar values that their deprivation as well as the insult of killing them carries).

If the evil church is the corrupt church of thor, then well they might ask for exhorbinant fees per acolyte or else its 'on'.

If its more of a medieval system, the church might have a hierarchy that can be called on. If the city runs on judges and the like, then again, it depends on the system. Older systems used to favor 'get the hell out of here,' 'physically punitive,' 'horrendously brutal,' or insulting punishments as they generally didn't have the where-withall to maintain large prisons.

IE: Kick the bum out, burn him at the stake, etc.

I also doubt a medieval style city would let 'strangers' buy property in the city without vetting them somewhat (might be spies, barbarians hiding within our walls, etc). So if they own land, they have a stake in the city, and no matter how corrupt the church is, the other landowners won't want to give up their 'we get to kill those what try to start crap with us' insurance and there is probably some legal recourse for it.

Even a corrupt system isn't going to just assume 'acolyte good, other bad,' as an acolyte could use that to mess with non-church personnel on the 'protected list.' It could also result in people from outside the town arriving causing huge issues.

Good points.
Here's the background. The party decided to creat a guild hall for mercenarys. We placed it in tamran. They are excited about the oppertunitys of a guild hall and even are thinking of v reative ideas to protect it against thieves guilds and enemies. We decided to do the mercenary group so that we can have an immersive way to do all the pathfinder modules and a place where they can have their characters and alts stay. Think of the manga fairy tale.
They just got to lvl 2 and are getting rdy to leave and do kobold king module and I was gonna have them come back and eventually have their alts do mask of the living god. Was gonna have the church show up early to forshadow the event and such.
Sadly most of my group will think with their heads but there's one who plays a character who Iddon't helieve will back down threaten in the slightest hence why I wanted to know of fines and jail time.

So you have your Natsu... and it's Fairy Tail ;-)

Ahhhhhhh yeah Falcons Hollow. Make the lumber consortium guy on the take. Dont go in for traditional extortion. The acolytes visit and tell the pcs the cut they are expected to pay on any merc job they take. Then have them hired on to do the actual extorting. if they kill any one beat them lock them up for a few days raise the percent cut they owe and they need to bring in the money the guy they killed would bring in.

Some societies will go for a weregeld. My recommendation is that such weregeld be in the ballpark of 3x the annual income of the NPC in question. So for a total peasant who earns 1 sp/day, this is around 100 gp. For a skilled worker who earns 1gp/day, that's around 1000 gp. These are also typical ransom amounts. Accepting a weregeld is also a face-saving way of satisfying honor when you KNOW it is going to be extremely bloody to take down an opponent or group. Even law enforcement, when they know that taking down a group is going to cost them 2-3x their number or more will sometimes take a weregeld.

Sounds ripe for a campaign side-trek to the Chelish Slave-Mines!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If its a medieval setting just keep yelling "TRIAL BY COMBAT!"

Beats the executioner's axe. I'd rather suffer a full round than a coup de grace.

Silver Crusade

KitsuneWarlock wrote:

If its a medieval setting just keep yelling "TRIAL BY COMBAT!"

Beats the executioner's axe. I'd rather suffer a full round than a coup de grace.

Man, I'd one up that. Especially if the church is just corrupt in that city.

Obviously, my attack on your acolytes is potential blasphemy. We should let your church leaders decide! Lets send letters to Dragon-Rome!

And then watch the corrupt priest's pants change color.

Jokes aside, that was actually a thing in the late middle ages. People accused of bogus civil crimes would make supposedly blasphemous statements just so they'd be brought before the Inquisition. The Inquisition, unlike the civil authorities, was generally concerned with whether the fellow actually committed a crime (it had this strange desire for this magical thing called proof), and the blasphemy tended to be dealt with by a penance.

So essentially, you had to wear a hair shirt for a month, but the Duke didn't get to steal all your property. AND the Church (and his superiors) started looking at the Duke with hairy eyeballs since now they knew he tried to rip someone off.

Like I said earlier, it depends on how the culture work, how the religious hierarchy works, and so on, but generally a city won't operate well with legal systems that are blatantly corrupt, and the church won't stay 'well loved' for long if they go around extorting people. The common folk are the guys running the businesses, paying the taxes, and getting laid off when their boss can't afford to pay them anymore thanks to buying a solid gold hat for the local corrupt religious leader.

Corrupt lawmen will result in a city where the powers start developing their own methods of protection and enforcement. And then you get situations where well, the corrupt cops waddle up, and get politely dissuaded by the fact the local mercenary group out numbers and outright scares them into thinking to go elsewhere for cash.

People, even thugs generally don't want to die. An adventurer's guild is generally more like a collection of badasses, and therefore the local crime folks will probably try to either get them to leave subtlety (like say punitive taxes, lots of screwball old regulations, a halfling tax, or something), as opposed to going to the mattresses and risking 1.) Getting their own operation thrown out of whack (leaving them vulnerable to turks in their own organization, outside actors, or the genuine law enforcement), and 2.) Getting whacked personally (that whole don't want to die thing).

In the situation where they send nimrods A, B, and C to collect, and nimrods A, B and C rapidly assume room temperature, they're more likely to attempt to make pals, allies, or 'well, those three guys should have known not to mess with guys like us, huh?' with the adventurers, while waiting for that moment of weakness to pounce.

The whole situation is like that Monty Python skit where two toughs try to exort a British Army base commander.

Good points, but it seems like my situations a little bit different. The church wouldn't be nimrods tryingvto shake down a newly and small mercenary agency when they have the law in their pockets and have more "armed" people as well. Its the church of razmir in the module "mask of the living god" and I'm trying to forshadow and enhance the situation.
The church is well loved by most of the normal people because they give food and shelter to the homeless and needy. Yes the church shakes down local businesses BUT since the town has a theives guild that I added and of course ur normal con and woukd be robbers and theives, they give protection. You pay ur "tithes" and ur business is safe. The only time ur business woukdnt be safe is from the church and that's only if u don't pay ur tithes, if ya don't ya will get beaten up, shop broken up, or in the extreme case burnt to the ground.
They have the numbers. They coax the homeless and needy to join them with promises of riches and also adventurers, mercs, and other unsavoury characters as well. They have a very heavy handed and dangerous brainwashing ritual which churns out followers who would die for the cause. A good hit of nobles and lawmen are associated with the church, either thru corruption of being paid off or actually do worship the deity and see the church doing nothing wrong but following the tenants of their "legal" faith.
Straight up mafia, straight up lawful evil.
The church is gonna hear about the riches coming in, and since they have the numbers and the law in their pockets, they are gonna try to shake the guild as well to exert their dominance and also to gain yet another sourse of cash flow. Yes it it was just numbers, I woukd see the church being a bit cautious, but having the numbers and the kaw on their side as well and notto mention the peoples respect then its a no brainer bc what is the guild gonna do? Buck up? They would have the law deal with it.
So it woukd be very logical to happen so I was wondering how to deal with already established corruption for now and for later situations.

I lime the suggestion of paying 3x what the one person would make in a year. Lets say some acolytes do end up dead, well that would be 300g fines for each paid directly to the church. If can't pay then what u can't pay will be bail money or give a time limit on when it needs to be paid.

Wanting to get my players to dispise the church and try to think up ways to handle it, let them stew and realize that their are bigger fish in the sea than them....but when the oppertunity comes up to take them down, I want them to jump on it first chance and really relish the victory over said establishment.

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Oh, one more thing, and this is a general life rule, but one that applies to any organized crime full of people who don't like dying:

Never pick a fight with somebody crazier than you.

Speaking objectively, adventurers are axe-crazy loonbags. These are people who deliberately seek out horrible monsters so they can hack them to pieces and take their stuff. And they do this without an army of hundreds backing them up like any sane soldier would do.

If I was running this cult, you know what I'd do? Hire these maniacs to go kill something that should get them all killed. Preferably something that's troublesome to the cult and obviously evil. Because this is win-win. If they fail, they've probably weakened the target and then died, so you don't have to pay them. If they win, you've publicly used the adventurers to take down something nasty, good PR for your cult. Repeat until adventurers are dead, dead, dead.

And yes, it may backfire to the point where the adventurers are strong enough to take down the cult and realize that your cult is the bad guy, but that's arrogance for you.

Silver Crusade

Ah, Razmir.

Again though, the businesses probably employ those self-same 'normal' people. Unless the majority of people live as subsistance farmers out in the plains, in which case, not to be blunt, but why would the cult even give a toss about their opinions? They wouldn't have any money.

Protection rackets, also ironically enough are actually about protection. Organized crime has a lot in common with the feudal system in this regard. If you're paying protection money to Don NonPlayerChar and someone does mess with your place, they will supposedly come out and kick that guy's face. Or else they lose face (it makes them look like they can't protect their own area). An organized crime racket that isn't respected by someone, is not one that 1.) Keeps membership (why should I be in the guild when they can neither compel my loyalty or help me), 2.) Keeps cohesion (where's that control if we can't stand up to anyone). Also systems aren't monolithic. Not every lawman can possibly be corrupt 24-7, or else people will notice, 'everyone loves super fun cuddly Razmir,' be damned.

Think of a protection racket like an evil version of an insurance company or like them treating people as serfs in their 'kingdom.'

How far up does the 'law' go in this case? City state? Kingdom? Nation? There's usually a higher authority you can go to. The party might look for these and they might start seeing 'invincible trees' and railroading if they can't get in contact, also other people probably have tried it (did they get killed on the road? Thats going to stir stuff up).

But you say the system is corrupt and they have nothing to fear so...they do begin issuing fines and the like, there's no reason not to make those fines tremendously and illogically punitive if they think they can get away with it.

Personally, I wouldn't have Mooks A, B, and C show up and get violent, I'd have them have to deal with kindly grandpa D who's got the crappy job of enforcing the new taxes the council just voted in, including stuff like the Longsword tax, the wearing armor in town tax, the having more then fifteen hit point taxes, sales tax, voluntary mandatory compulsory razmiri orphans need creepy masks tax (think of the children!) and the like.

You want to make them hate the corrupt folks instead of just the situation? Hit them in the pocket book. Interfere with them. Work your way up to the violence.

Maybe the law says everyone has to wear masks, or else they can't do business in the market. This is a lot more annoying then 'if you don't wear a mask, Chubso and Ubso will attack you.' Put a tithe on their adventuring. Have a little 'adventuring chaplain' be assigned to their guild from the cult who follows them around sprouting razmiri crap and pointing out how property they find belongs to the church (oh, that gold necklace the skeleton had is actually ours under the 'The Dead Totally Donate to Razmir' edict.)

On the issue of fines, like I said, if they're corrupt, make them punitive. If the church knows how much the adventurers have, then have the bail or fine be more then they can reasonably pay, then tack on 'interest' or added fees.

You could even demand ridiculous penances instead. Like shaving them. Or making them wear signs. The party might go along with those at first too, which might build the sense of anger and resentment. Like: Tordek, we can't pay 7,000gp for that priest you slapped, just wear the 200lb yoke of shame for a day. It also lets the players see the effects on the community if other folks end up with this stuff as opposed to just the old hat of 'bob's in jail, and bill's in jail and oh yeah old tom's in jail, and man we need more jail.'

I was thinking about having their first encounter with the church, is have a few acolytes show up and talk about the wonders of razmir and ask for a donation to the church. If none is givin, then have the acolytes subtly change their tune and subtly threaten the players, and if then none is given then have the acolytes show their ass and gauge the party and either rough up the building if not that many are there or if a good hit are, have them walk away telling the party they will see what happens when u try to stand against the church or try to anger rasmir etc etc.

If you are going doing the fake religious mafia they should be a little more subtle. Instead of starting out with direct threats and assaults they should introduce themselves and seem friendly and helpful. Maybe arrange for some service that the players don’t really need. When the refuse then have other people stop doing business with them. When asked why the other people are no longer willing to work the players let them find out that in order to do business in this town you have to hire the right people.

Also the threats should seem more supernatural instead of the more mundane violence. Mysterious fires starting for no reason, strange sounds coming from unoccupied rooms, Doors opening all on their own are all good starting points. When the parties shop starts developing a reputation for being cursed then they can offer to take care of the problem. They come in and perform a fake ritual and tell the players it has to be done every month or the problems come back. All this requires are a couple of 0 level spells and maybe a few metamagic feats.

All these things should be witnessed by the general public and become common knowledge. Any business will fail if it does not have any customers. The idea is to make it so the customers are afraid to do business with you if you are not paying for the protection. If the players can’t recruit because everyone is afraid of the curse they will have to deal with it. Violence used against player characters is not that effective and a smart organization will realize this. Intangible threats are a lot more effective and probably easier to setup.

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