Laws For Our Kingdom


Hey everyone. My group and I just finalized the laws for our kingdom, and I was hoping to get some feedback from the forums regarding any potential improvements/oversights that we need to address. Our Kingdom is currently neutral good in alignment, and the way our laws are worded specifically alienate certain types of creatures (mainly undead). This is intentional of course because we've currently been suffering from a small vampire infestation, and it was decided by my group that the undead had no place in our current kingdom.

Anyway, please look over our laws and let us know what you think. If you see anything we should change/improve upon, or if you find something that we've overlooked, please let me know.


Treason-Providing assistance, comfort, or information to enemies of the Kingdom, and acting directly against its interests.
[Sentence]-Death, imprisonment of a term to be set by the presiding authorities, or exile.

Murder-Killing of another person without justification. All murders pertaining to nobility must be dealt with by the crown.
[Sentence]-Imprisonment of a term to be set by the presiding authorities, or death.

Kidnapping-Unlawfully seizing and carrying away a person by force or fraud, or seizing and detaining a person against their will.
[Sentence]- Imprisonment of a term to be set by the presiding authorities.

Theft-Unlawful removal or destruction of property. This includes larceny, robbery, vandalism, fraud, tax evasion, and corruption.
[Sentence]-Two payments of equal value for the removed/damaged property, once to the victim and once to the crown, and one of the following:
a) Up to 10 years of indentured servitude in service of the victim. The accused can choose instead to pay the value of years of labor instead. Should the accused not be able to pay the first part of the sentence, the value of that fine is also to be added to the term of servitude.
b) Imprisonment of a term to be set by the presiding authorities.

Assault-Physical harm to any person or persons.
[Sentence]-Payment of any medical treatment required by the victim, and a matching payment to be made to the realm (anyone not able to pay must enter indentured servitude to work off their debt) as well as one of the following:
a) Up to 5 years of indentured servitude in the service of the victim.
b) Imprisonment of a term to be set by the presiding authorities.
c) Death (reserved for repeat offenders or serious offenses).

Slavery-The ownership of any sentient creature above primal intelligence, whether by magical means or otherwise (with the only exception being indentured servitude, which will always be determined by the presiding authorities).
[Sentence]-All slaves will be confiscated and granted their freedom, as well as one of the following:
a) A fine of up to 30,000 gold pieces to be paid to the crown.
b) Up to 10 years imprisonment or exile for repeat offenders.

Neglect-The mistreatment of any sentient creature. This includes, but is not limited to, abandonment of dependent parties, malpractice, or abuse.
[Sentence]-Confiscation of said dependent parties, as well as one of the following:
a) A fine of up to 5,000 gold pieces to be paid to the crown.
b) Up to 10 years imprisonment for repeat offenders.

Avoidance of Punishment-Violating exile, resisting arrest, or escaping indentured servitude or imprisonment.
[Sentence]-Increased severity of previous punishment, or death.

Attempted Crimes-If it can be proven that an individual attempted to commit a crime but was unsuccessful, they may be tried as if they had, indeed, committed the crime.

Necromancy-The summoning and/or creation of undead without a valid permit.
[Sentence]-Destruction of said undead, imprisonment of a term set by the presiding authorities, or death.


The Rights of All:
The First Right
All living people have a right to live and work within the kingdom regardless of race so long as they obey the law including direct orders given by the presiding authorities. Any interference with this right is to be considered, by law, the crime of theft (removal of one’s ability to live and work is akin to stealing their wages).

The Second Right
All living people have the right to speak their minds and gather in public or in private as they see fit, so long as they obey the law including direct orders given by presiding authorities. Any interference with this right is to be considered treason.

The Third Right
All living people have the right to bear grievances in open or meetings private meetings with the presiding authorities. Any interference with this right is to be considered treason (preventing members of the kingdom from bearing grievances harms the kingdom on a fundamental level).

The Fourth Right
All living people have the right to basic property. A man’s home and his possessions may not be taken without authority of law. Any interference with this right is to be considered, by law, the crime of theft.

The Fifth Right
All living people have the right to bring crimes to the attention of the presiding authorities for investigation. If in the course of that investigation the presiding authorities determine that a crime has been committed, further action will be taken. Interference with this right is to be considered treason.

The Sixth Right
All living people have the right to bear grievance against another in the form of juris macto. Both parties must agree to the duel and both parties must have a second to represent their interests. There must also be a member of the presiding authorities to attend the event. The seconds meet and decide the terms and time/location of the duel. All duels must happen on public land. The seconds must agree to weapons for the duel and the means of its conclusion (wounding, death, submission, first blood, incapacitation, etc). Once agreed, these options are presented to both the presiding authorities and the duelers. If the seconds cannot come to terms they can instead request arbitration from the presiding authorities. Anyone can reject a duel, and duelers are not responsible for any harm done to their opponent during the course of the duel. Any dueler caught cheating in said duel, or attempts to deceive the presiding authority, automatically forfeits both duel and life. Duelers may also nominate champions in their stead, although such champions must be presented in a timely fashion.

The Seventh Right
All living people have the right to free will and freedom of form. Magic cannot be used to forcefully alter an individual’s personality or ability to think for themselves, nor can it be used to change their appearance if they do not desire it. Any violation of this right will be considered assault.


Terms of Office/Elections
Whenever a seat on the council becomes vacant (either due to death, resignation, conviction of a crime, etc.) the presiding authorities may elect a temporary replacement to hold the office until an official election can be conducted. In such a case, the election must occur within two months of the councilmember’s position becoming vacant, during which time the people may nominate a representative to participate in a campaign to claim the open position. If this representative is the same individual that the presiding authorities already nominated as the temporary replacement, then no election will be necessary and the temporary replacement will be automatically sworn in as the new councilmember. However, if the people’s representative is not the same nominee that the presiding authorities elected as the temporary replacement, an election must be held to determine which one among the two of them will become the newest councilmember. Each citizen above the age of 14 will be allowed one vote, and at the end of the election, the representative with the most votes will be declared the winner. If the votes end up becoming a tie, then the ruler of the kingdom will decide the final outcome. Any attempts to fix, alter, or cheat the election process will be considered treason.

Positions of Authority
The Ruler-The ruler has full authority to make any decision, or overrule any previous decision, in proxy for any member of the presiding authorities.

The Heir-The heir to the kingdom has full authority to act in the ruler’s stead, although the heir cannot overrule or make any decisions in proxy for any member of the presiding authorities. If the ruler is removed from the throne, the heir is then appointed as the new ruler for the kingdom, and must subsequently select a new heir for the realm. Only a majority vote from members of the presiding authorities can bring the heir up on charges. If convicted of a capital crime (or deemed incompetent to rule by the presiding authorities), the heir can be removed from their position, exiled from the kingdom, imprisoned, or be put to death.

Presiding Authorities-The presiding authorities act upon their offices and are only answerable to other members of the council (the heir and ruler included). Only a majority vote from members of the presiding authorities can bring a councilmember up on charges. If convicted of a capital crime (or deemed incompetent by the presiding authorities), the councilmember can be removed from office, exiled from the kingdom, imprisoned, or be put to death.

Nobility- The title of a noble can only be granted by the ruler of the kingdom (or by the heir if the ruler is absent). Nobles are responsible for maintaining their lands, providing for their people, and collecting taxes for the crown. Only the ruler can terminate a claim of nobility, although the heir does maintain the authority to suspend a noble’s title if the ruler is absent.

I love the second right. You can speak your mind until someone with authority tells you that you can't.

The seventh; better hope you aren't an enchanter doing charm monster. After all, the law regarding slavery seems to indicate a person as any sentient being with above primal level intelligence. And virtually any charm or enchantment spell (or maybe by a stretch, even some illusion spells) would be a magical means of altering a person's personality or ability to think for themselves.

Do you have any conjurers or clerics? Because you might be interested in allowing in a representative of the deity who patrons the nation to serve as a consultant in the judiciary--so long as that representative is Lawful, of course.

Otherwise, I suppose you find something useful if you refer to how countries build their constitutions, and otherwise refer to the ever-popular vague 'law of the land' when it comes to specific crimes. You've got most covered, though.

Bradley makes a good point--what constitutes altering a person's personality or ability to think for themselves? Should we classify all [Mind-affecting] spells as so?

But--if you want the GM to be burdened with the answers, gate in a friendly Archon or angel and let him decide. Divine law from those two is usually both Lawful and Good.

Not bad.

The purpose of the seventh right is to preserve the individual freedom and to also avoid potential corruption. For example, when writing our laws, it occurred to me that enchantment magic (namely charm or domination spells) could cause a huge problem in regards to how criminals are handled.

My main concern is that charm magic could 'technically' be used to force someone to confess (or in some cases, admit to a crime they did not commit). Other problems included charming a citizen to sell their house or give up their life savings (things of this nature).

While I understand the law does hamper enchantment magic for PCs, this has yet to be an issue for my current group. However, this isn't to say that exceptions can be made (for instance, the 'sleep' spell is classified as mind-effecting, but if the spell is being used to sedate someone who is in a lot of pain, then it is excusable).

Also, while I realize the second right might seem a little strange, it actually serves two purposes: the first being that citizens are granted a great degree of freedom in our kingdom, yet at the same time, should any gathering start to prove dangerous (basically on the verge of a riot), then the presiding authorities have the right to disperse the group in order to avoid any potential escalating violence.

I could easily see your second right conflict with the first River Freedom. The first River Freedom being freedom to say what you want.

I understand what you're trying to accomplish. I'm not even saying I disagree with them. I tend to be good at poking holes in things like this. It's why my players have a love/hate relationship with me in my campaign. It's great until I twist their intentions and demonstrate some conflict with the people their trying to rule.

First off, are you a player or GM? And where in the adventure path are you? I could use some spoiler information or variations to events to demonstrate some issues.

My suggestion would be to say that one has freedom of speech so long as said speech does not become hate speech or libel. In other words, so long as free speech does not harm others. Of course, this can become very subjective (as it does in real life) and the rulers and those in power will inevitably err on the side of restriction when it comes to their own reputations and position.

Also, I would agree that mind-controlling magic should be seen as a crime (in the Harry Potter books it is one of the three forbidden forms of magic - the other two being the spell that kills outright and the spell that inflicts torturous pain outright). However, I think exceptions should be spelled out in the law in the case of self-defense. In other words it would be okay to inflict pain, mind-control, or death in circumstances where an aggressor is threatening lives (as in the case of a goblin attack or bandits or an intruder in one's home). As soon as some creature tries to violate the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of another sentient creature then all bets are off - you should be able to use whatever force or power is needed to restrain, stop, or annihilate them. The law should spell this out.

In my game, my PCs made a deal with a priest of Hanspur (using theVenture Capital idea) and they sweared to honour the Six River Freedoms in their kingdom.

It was a bit of a puzzle when the time came to write a code of laws!

You mention tax collection and tax evasion, but not taxes themselves. Historically that's one of the most contentious areas of law, and economically it's going to define what is and isn't possible in the kingdom as well as how powerful monied interests are.

Second is property ownership. Land and magic items are most likely the most valuable items, so having a registered deed with a history of ownership would be typical. The owner of a piece of land would typically have rights to things like ruins and any loot therefrom.

Creation of new magic items would also likely be regulated, or at least registered due to the enormous value, and inevitable thefts or court disputes over ownership. How do you treat the ownership of something so easily carried away?

Okay, to answer a few questions:

1) I am currently one of the PCs, and we are near the end of book two in Kingmaker (not sure where exactly, but the GM says we are nearly done).

2) My group and I (along with the GM) all agreed that we did not need to write extensive 'criminal law'. In other words, cases of 'self-defense' have some pretty basic assumptions (such as using any means necessary in order to defend our lives). Therefore, by adopting this method, all my allies (myself included) maintain the ability to use enchantment magic, necromancy, etc.

3) In regards to 'tax laws', I have to be honest: I didn't want to write them (and to be fair, I'm pretty sure no one does). However, our kingdom does assume that there is a law that expects citizens to pay their taxes.

4) The laws I created were meant to handle problems in 'broad strokes'. I'd really like to avoid writing out page after page of legal documentation that dictates how magic items of extensive value need to be registered in order to establish proper ownership. Essentially if such a problem did arise, then the issue would be declared as 'theft' and thus investigated accordingly.

As a basic law system, it's pretty good. Much of law systems are based on precedent and evolve over years. I don't know how much your GM messes with you and ad-hocs extra stuff. It sounds like a moderate amount, based on some of what you've said. I'd say you should make sure you have good, trustworthy NPC leaders. But it sounds like your leaders are elected by a popular vote, not appointed. That puts things in an interesting twist.

As a GM running Kingmaker, I'd also say to be sure you take into account who you're ruling. Are your people more from Brevoy or the River Kingdoms? People from Brevoy tend to be a cross between Game of Thrones and Russians (from James Jacobs). I've interpreted that as kind of harsh people in a feudal house system. The northerners were pirates and raiders whereas the southerners were a taldan military expeditionary force. Makes for awkward allies to say the least. The River Kingdoms are full of a motley group of people that fled from other lands (such as Galt), often criminals or people struggling to survive. They tend to be a very independent people that are very protective of their freedoms, yet also will do whatever is necessary to survive. Rulers come and go in many of the River Kingdoms, lasting a generation of two. A few are stable, quite a few are not.

All in all, I think you've done well. You have a good, basic legal system. My own players have been playing things by ear much more so. I switched the position of Royal Enforcer to something more akin to a judge, replacing the stat modifier with something Wisdom or Intelligence. I thought there should be a judge or prosecutor represented.

Grand Lodge

Indentured servitude to the victim: This has problems stamped on it in big red letters in triplicate.

1. We get prisoner abuse from disinterested 3rd parties (such as prison guards), what do you think is liable to happen when a very interested, impassioned and in all likelihood righteously grieved person will do? Don't say "but then that would be assault and so would be punished", crimes of passion exist, and to give fertile soil to such crimes is irresponsible.

2. Some people do not have the time/resources to deal with an indentured servant, much less one with criminal proclivities. Food, bed, lodging and monitoring of activities can all be rather difficult for the widowed blacksmith with five children who caught a thief stealing some of his horseshoes to suddenly have to take said thief on as a hand.

3. The reverse of point 1, where the criminal turns against the one to whom their service is obligated.

My players banned all will o' wisps and tooth fairies ...

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