Crowdforging the laws of the Emerald Lodge

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Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Please have a look at the draft I have produced below. Anythig I miss - anything I should add? The are also discussed by all EL members on our own board. I just posted it there before posting it here. Happy to get input from non EL members as well and to improve it.

Some people might not like the style - but that part is non negotiable. My background is as a GM for TT games. As such I have to balance RAI and RAW (Rules as Intended and Rules as Written). Please read them as RAI. I have a strong dislike of Rules Lawyers who pervert RAI by finding loopholes in RAW. I have written these rules in a way that should leave me enough room not to be hold hostage to RAW arguments or to act in cases not covered. I hope in all these cases RAI is still obvious.

But please point out when you feel RAI isn't well enough defined or isn't fair and RAW could be improved.

You might notice the term 'Free Settlers'. This got in there through some remarks by Bluddwolf. I would like that a new company is formed - Free Settlers. This company will allow people who don't want to be forced into the rigours of a settlement to more or less play their own style and only have a very lose affiliation with the Emerald Lodge.

I'm currently looking for a leader of this company (could come from the outside) and will draw up rules that still need to be added to the laws of the Emerald Lodge. No bandits, criminals, evil worshippers are allowed and anyone who brings the Emerald Lodge in dispute will be kicked out. But apart of that I would like this company to be a company of independent people.

So this would not solve Bluddwolfs problem - but that is mainly because I can't see the Emerald Lodge sponsoring bandits. But maybe another settlement creates something similar and is allowing bandits in their fault.

The number allowed in that company should never grow to more as half the number of all other companies in EL.


The Law of the Land – Emerald Lodge of Pharast in the year 4712AR
These are the Rules of the Land around the Emerald Lodge
The Lands of the Emerald Lodge
Unless otherwise specified these laws apply to all lands that are closer to the settlement of Emerald Lodge as to any other settlement that isn’t abandoned. This laws also apply to the lands directly surrounding the towers called The Emerald Seven – which are: Baron’s Folly, The Moonshine Mill, The Nameless One, The Missing Hero, Thod’s Vigil and the Wandering Merchant.
Crimes and Justice
Any crime done inside these lands will be followed up by Theodum – or in his absence – Thod. Any victim of a crime should bring his or her grievance forward to Theodum or Thod at the first opportunity and they will investigate if a crime has been committed and if the crime needs to be followed up.
Crimes tend to be grievances against members of the Emerald Lodge or guests of the Emerald Lodge. Explicitly named are the crimes of murder, banditry and thievery. But we all know that criminals can be inventive to find other ways to pursue grievances of our members or guests– so this list surely is not complete and we will add other crimes as they are committed and come to our attention.
Many aspects need to be considered when a crime is being investigated and a judgement is done – these include the proximity to our settlement, the severity of the crime, if the perpetrator is repentant or not and if a perpetrator offers repayment for damages done.
Not every grievance is a crime and in most circumstances an apology of the perpetrator towards the victim will suffice. We try our best to be just – and both victim and perpetrator have to follow our judgement. We reserve the right to place a bounty on the head of unrepentant perpetrators or a perpetrator who is unwilling to give his victim the repayment for the damages he has caused. These laws apply in the same way to Lords or peasants. Before our laws both are treated equal.
Any repayment should never be higher as the damage done to a victim. Any victim trying to benefit or falsely accusing another person might find himself on the other side of the law him or herself.
If you feel unjustly treated by Thod or Theodum then you have the right to appeal to the Decemvirate. Current members of the Decemvirate are Abathan, Baron, Bellows McGurk, Deianira, Diltig, Flitwyck, Kaleigh, Pinki and Smendor. Three or more of these members can overturn any ruling made by Thod or Theodum. Any new ruling will have to be done by the majority of the Decemvirate – with Thod or Theodum deciding when no majority is reached.
No further appeals are possible.
The Growth of the Lands
What grows in our lands or what you can dig out of the ground belongs to nobody. But any druid will tell you that wanton harvesting of plants will leave only a barren land and this would mean all of us will suffer.
We are proud that our lands only offer the best quality of wood, herbs and gems. Only a land in equilibrium with itself can produce resources of the best quality. We therefore declare it a crime to harvest resources of inferior quality. Sometimes you only notice after the harvest that you collected inferior goods. We don’t persecute you should this happen – contrary – we will reward you if you bring this to the notice of the Decemvirate. But stop your gathering as soon as you find any goods with questionable quality.
The rule of not harvesting inferior raw materials applies to everyone – members of the Emerald Lodge as well as Free Settlers, Gatherers or Visitors.
Members of the Emerald Lodge have unlimited rights to gather in our lands. We expect that most of the materials gathered will be used for the betterment of the settlement and you are urged to deliver any resources not to be used by yourself to Larelai – our quartermaster. In return Larelai will give you materials you need yourself or refined goods as well as weapons, armour or other crafted goods.
Free Settlers are allowed to gather up to 500 raw materials each day. They can keep all they gather. The quartermaster will always accept donations for the betterment of the settlement from any Free Settler – she will also be happy to trade any goods she has in surplus against any goods that the free settler has gathered, refined or crafted.
Gatherers are members of other settlements or unaligned wanderers who want to harvest our lands. You are allowed to harvest in our lands up to 200 raw materials each day. In exchange we ask for a monthly token amount of 1 copper piece that covers a gatherer licence. In addition we ask for a donation of 10% of all the materials you have gathered.
The license to gather rare materials Tier 2 is 1 silver piece per month.
The payment and donation should be made to the quartermaster. You will find the quartermaster during office hours at the bank. Outside office hours payments should be made to any member of the Decemvirate or at the first possible opportunity.
Visitors. Merchants or Diplomats without a license don’t have any gathering rights in our lands. We don’t mind if you pick the occasional flower or have a lucky find of a gem. But if you want to gather more as 10 raw materials per day then apply for a gatherer license.
We trust all gatherers to pay their dues, not to exceed their quotas and to donate generously to the upkeep of the Emerald Lodge. Please don’t misuse this trust as offenders will be placed on the list of criminals and will be referred for judgement to Theodum or Thod.
Criminals in our lands
Anyone who has not committed a crime in our own lands is welcome as a visitor and has the same rights as any other visitor. We don’t hold any crimes that you have done in other lands against you. This does not mean that we give indemnity to everyone coming to our lands.
Other settlements who feel that we harbour a criminal and prevent justice against him or her should contact Theodum, Thod or the Decemvirate. They will allow in severe cases that you can hunt down the criminal in our lands.
Don’t go hunting for criminals in our lands without asking first. Otherwise you might risk to commit a criminal act yourself.
There is no lynch justice in our lands. And this applies also to our own members.
Visitors and facilities
At the moment every visitor is allowed free use of our bank, our crafting facilities as well as our training facilities.
The use of the bank is not allowed to hide ill-gotten gains from criminal activity or to store armour or weapons for an army or a war. Store these items elsewhere.
Smallholdings and Camps
We welcome visitors, merchants and gatherers from all places of the River Kingdom. Anyone is therefore allowed to erect a smallholding or a camp in our lands. Please be aware that there is only limited space for such a structure.
The last free space in an area will always be reserved for a true member of the Emerald Lodge. Please also be advised that a smallholding or camp under no circumstances should be used as a staging ground for a war or as hideout for bandits going into the lands of our neighbours.
Monsters and bandits
Monsters and bandits are a danger to everyone in our lands. Therefore everyone in our lands has the rights to kill monsters or bandits and take their ill-gotten spoils as reward for making our lands a safer place.
But please take care that what you think is a bandit is not a merchant or visitor instead. Mistakes do happen – but we don’t want to place any overzealous paladin on our criminal list because of a mistaken identity. This would just be a tragedy.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Clarification: Lands around Tower mean the Tower hex itself and not anything else. I originally wanted to write something 'as far as an arrow flies' or similar and was aware it might be misleading.

There also is the issue of hexes the same distance from settlements. These I see as shared / up for discussion. This might be especially important for our Northern Border with Golgotha.

And yes - we claim half the Spire hex / claim it is shared.

Goblin Squad Member

Do you have a settlement license that Brighthaven can purchase for its gatherers?

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Could do - no problem. Remind me if I don't come back straight away or suggest a price as you know better how many of your settlement would want to gather.
Just getting Theodum up to gatherer level 3 in Essence Gatherer / Plant Gatherer / Midden Digger to allow him to get to rank 7 Dowser. Don't play enough with him as I spend too much time on boards - so best to be gone again.
Oh - and got 13 new pages - including some Umbral Leaves 1/1 that are new.

Goblin Squad Member

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I would be willing to head such a company of Free Settlers, were I chosen for the task.

Goblin Squad Member

Thanks for sharing Thod. I like your RP rationales, that helps me better understand the implications and consequences of the position when I must consider new situations.

Question 1, if you claim no one owns the nodes in your land, including EL, and you allow peaceful visitors unlimited travel, under what rationale do you limit harvesting and demand licensing fees?

Question 2, do husks fall under the same rules as nodes?

Goblin Squad Member

The core of your harvesting rules follow an idea I'm floating in our League territory and law discussions. As long as we're not getting strip mined I don't think we care too much. Should we adopt such a stance and end up getting to a saturation point where we need all the resources up to the inferior rating we would have to revise our policies, but it could be a good start.

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith, I think I can answer your second question. I'm pretty sure Thod considers looting husks under the category of theft. Not everyone agrees on that, but I think it's fair to say that that is Thod's opinion, one I don't disagree with myself (I make an attempt to contact a husk's owner before looting it. My opinion might be very different if they didn't have the owner's name on them).

As for the first question, obviously he should explain his own rationale, but by the mention of druids, I imagine it's simply seen as a necessary method of conservation. But don't take my answers, of course.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Capitalocracy wrote:
I would be willing to head such a company of Free Settlers, were I chosen for the task.

Capitalocracy - you have been top of the list of candidates I wanted to approach.

You are hired :)

The job comes with a free choice of Tier 2 Armour and Tier 2 weapon (that we can supply - can't promise what I can't make).

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

About the unlimited travel: I regard traders of any kind as a net win for us - even if they just use our place as meet-up. Often something also gets traded to us - and be it just a scrap of paper for Theodum.
Similar is for crafters - we are not 100% self-sufficient and it is useful to have good relationships with them as they might produce something we can't.
Allowing bandits to be treated as visitors might be more controversial. But they lose their status quickly if they don't behave in our lands. I hope it isn't now attracting them in hordes.

The only negative 'travellers' I could see are foreign armies. But the way our lands are shaped this is something we have to live with - as long as they just march through.

So that leaves husks. Under these circumstances the chance is very, very high that any husk belongs to one of our members or a valued visitor who accidently ran into some monsters. And no - I don't want to open these up as I interpret this according to the 6th River Kingdom Freedom as stealing. I know other people are of different opinion and don't mind when they rule differently in their territory.

Husks are not nodes - husks have a name and belong to someone. If you help someone to regain his husk because he is too weak then I would hope you are rewarded for it - but it is for the husk owner to give to the helper and not for the helper to take.

Why do I charge for gathering? Earlier I explained that I see merchants and crafters as net win for us. Gatherers more likely compete with us. The reason to allow them (for a fee) is because I believe that there is enough left for us and them. But the gatherer has a much higher benefit as we have. So a small donation/fee seems valid. It also might help to pay for bounties should we get bandits poaching on gatherers. Hopefully only a very small amount of it (or nothing) would go into bounties - but I'm prepared to set them up with gatherers are attacked. And the fee is also a reminder that you are on our lands and not yours.

The part about not allowing inferior raw materials to be harvested is to avoid strip mining. My calculations are that you optimize total resource harvesting as long as you never take too much to go to inferior materials. Time will tell if that is right.

Goblin Squad Member

Thanks for the responses. And to clarify, I am not trying to attack your position. I am just providing the feedback I thought you were asking for...developing policy positions is what I do for a career and I love my job.

Would the following two statements be true?

While no one owns the nodes, you support stewardship of the land. Charging for licenses is your implementation of Kaitiakitanga, a way to create some limits, while providing a means to help support the stewards.

So would it be accurate to say that in EL lands, husks always belong to the "dropper" unless ownership is explicitly transferred. Taking another's belongings is theft. Thieves are handled as described in the OP.

Can you define "inferior materials"?

Why is there nothing about PBR Tuesday?!

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Yes to both questions and thanks for sharing Kaitiakitanga - hadn't heard about it but it looks close enough to describe it.

Maybe my stance on husks originates from me being mainly a gatherer. My only death in PvP (often) was at Baron's Folly. But I still die occasionally while gathering. It always is misjudging the balance between going stealth / leaving a node vs which monsters are close by.
All these death are preventable - but it would mean taking more time, checking out what monsters actually are next to a node, being more careful, less adrenaline.
Off course it tends to be the tough monsters that have better perception and which you think are still far enough away. So in this case you always feel the husk is still yours - you just need to go back and take the remaining 75%.
PvP players might see it differently as the husk is your reward. But I reckon well over 95% of husks in our area are not from PvP. And I think I write in the area of bounties / taking down criminals that in these cases the loot is yours. Need to reread what I wrote - but if you kill a (player)-bandit then his husk is yours. Not sure I make it clear this applies for player-bandits and monster-bandit.
But again I ask for caution as you shouldn't just kill everyone who has killed at least once somewhere else in this wide and large region.

Will be back tomorrow to answer any other questions.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

GripGuiness wrote:


Why is there nothing about PBR Tuesday?!

What is PBR ??

Damn - wanted to log out ... But not answering a question - I'm asking one.

Goblin Squad Member

PBR = Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. The finest beer in America in 1893. Not so good now.

Thank you for having confidence in me, Thod. I will do my best not to disappoint.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

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Forencith of Phaeros, TSV wrote:
While no one owns the nodes, you support stewardship of the land. Charging for licenses is your implementation of Kaitiakitanga, a way to create some limits, while providing a means to help support the stewards.

<happy dance>

I've learned a new word! And it's a good word, for an important concept, too.

<squirrels it away for future use>

(Yes, I'm weird, I know.)

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Deianira wrote:
Forencith of Phaeros, TSV wrote:
While no one owns the nodes, you support stewardship of the land. Charging for licenses is your implementation of Kaitiakitanga, a way to create some limits, while providing a means to help support the stewards.

<happy dance>

I've learned a new word! And it's a good word, for an important concept, too.

<squirrels it away for future use>

(Yes, I'm weird, I know.)

Not at all, I promptly did the same thing!

Goblin Squad Member

Thod wrote:
Yes to both questions and thanks for sharing Kaitiakitanga - hadn't heard about it but it looks close enough to describe it.

Thanks again for the clarifications. That is all I saw that seemed ambiguous

Thod wrote:
Maybe my stance on husks originates from me being mainly a gatherer.

My only suggestion would be to relate it to the River Freedoms. Perhaps you can simply say that in light of your claim on the land, you see all dropped belonging as being "held" by you, and under your protection...and it is your choice to release them back to their original owner. This justifies why you feel you "have it" and as such, have power over it. I think it is difficult to misconstrue the intent or function. The only argument I can see is whether you have the power to enforce it (a question that anyone who makes a claim needs to consider; of course, the inability to enforce it does not mean you cannot claim it as your position).

Goblin Squad Member

Thod wrote:


Could do - no problem. Remind me if I don't come back straight away or suggest a price as you know better how many of your settlement would want to gather.

I like the 1cp token fee, Thodd. Bascially welcoming people to gather (but not strip mine) in exchange for a formal recognition of EL's claim to the area. And Cheatle responding with a top-level solution that removes bureaucracy plus prevent hypothetical incidents from unlicenced gathering.

Nice moves on both sides!

The 10% donation i'm less enthusiastic about from two purely practical perspectives: bookkeeping and having to find the quartermaster.

Typically I would gather in those hexes either as part of travelling (Thornkeep-Riverbank or similar), or i would just touch into them as part of gathering in the 'greater Keepers Pass district'/Hammerfall. In either case, EL would not be where I bank my goods or go to sleep at night, nor would most the stuff in my bags be from EL lands.

The 'neutral good' solution would be that I conscientously promise to at semi-regular times donate an amount of goods I think is appropriate, and we'll discuss it if you feel cheated.
The 'lawful evil' solution would be that I note the 10% is a request and agree to your terms as written.
You can pick either, but my suggestion would be the NG one.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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I'm absolutely fine with the 'neutral good' solution. Actually I would encourage it from a practical point of view. You also should be able to ask whenever you are in EL if any other EL member will accept your donation if the quartermaster isn't around.
This works on trust and goodwill. Sometimes I get more - sometimes I will get less.
The most important part for me was to put a claim on these lands and to ensure people are aware you are welcome to gather but it isn't free.

I think the 10% compare well with the real world like 30% at the apple app store.

This leaves how we deal with 'non-payments'. I'm sure some of these people will just be stupid enough to boast about it in whatever semi-private channel and someone reports it - or they do it too blatently obvious, etc.

It is like speeding on the roads. The police never will catch everyone - but they make an example of the ones they catch and these ones have to pay or even in really bad cases lose the driver licence.

So these characters will become meaningful targets to be hunted for PvP. This would be some PvP that even EL members will be able to participate - but I'm fine if 'mercenaries' take down offenders for a bounty.

This kind of PvP I can offer will never be enough for hardcore PvP players. But I see it as some opportunity to provide them with a little bit of PvP and also to make it clear that I'm not opposed to PvP in general but rather opposed to PvP that opresses the defenceless who hasn't done anything wrong.

Cheatle in a clever move just started to negotiate an indemnity insurance for all his citizens and maybe no Brighthaven gatherer hunt I can offer to Golgothans.

But I'm sure some Brighthaven members will 'accidently' misread the map and step too far north and I won't be able to help them in this case.

It is a fine balance to protect your own people and to enhance their game play but at the same time not to smother the game style of a competitor. I can't promise I will always get it right - but I'm heartened by the responses here so far.

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