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35

There are a number of fascinating assumptions on sovereignty and justice in this question. A sovereign entity is one who, in the normal course of events, holds or can enforce a monopoly on force. Justice has always been pragmatized to respect sovereignty. This answer is written from a historical/realistic perspective. Consider the institutions of high and ...


32

Supernatural poker face The first option seems to be: give immunities to important liars. But there are two problems on it: a) Being immune to Detect Lies makes you automatically suspect of being a liar, just as someone with his face covered seems to be a criminal. b) As more and more of your NPCs have that immunity, it won't be credible, especially if it ...


29

An interesting villain has: Motivations for doing what he does. There's this cliche, "nobody thinks of themselves as evil." That's not true for all settings, but I think it is fair to say that very few villains are just evil for the sake of cackling. So you should figure out what's driving your bad guys. Shades of grey. The degree depends, again, on the ...


28

I think a good question should be "why are they going off-map?". You're running a sandbox campaign, so you're generally waiting for the characters' own motivations to lead to the next adventure. These motivations can be one of several things: they can be hunger for adventure, gold or power - in which, case, you're in control, since you determine where these ...


27

This depends a great deal on the setting. Many settings include mundane means for neutralizing magic. In this case, you can pretty much assume that every town has access to some means of imprisoning casters, assuming they have enough knowledge to make it work. In D&D (as of at least 3rd edition) spell casters needed the ability to speak and move ...


24

There are a few games with reasonable economics: Runequest (2nd or 3rd ed, not the Mongoose versions) and Pendragon (all editions). Fantasy Wargaming, for all its derision as a game, has decent econ research. Later versions of Chivlary & Sorcery also do reasonably well at it. Several supplements for Hero System also have decent price lists. There are ...


23

Mounts have several advantages and several disadvantages, especially for adventurers. Here's one Texan's perspective on going horsed vs not. Advantages Ability to carry a lot more grub/gear/loot than you can yourself Keeps you from getting tuckered out from long marches (the horses may get fatigued, but you're still semi-fresh for a fight) Faster ...


21

Looking at the cleric as a bundle of resources for a moment: Both wells and clerics generate water. A well accesses underground aquifers* and can generate larger and smaller volumes of water depending on local circumstances. Furthermore, most liquid intended for human consumption is vaguely alcoholic as a purifying measure. A human will consume 3-4 liters ...


20

Dungeon World is an award-winning modern RPG with an old-school feel. Yes on adventuring for fun, profit, and personal goals. Yes on class-based system. There are eight classes, with the barbarian forthcoming. Not rules heavy. You can make new rules, but, in general, fudging rules is not necessary. There are distinct spells, but they're also open to ...


20

Back in the day, evidence was not as important as now. A lot of law was based on the person with the higher title being more honourable, so a landowner would win his case against a serf, for instance. Maybe your characters could try to get the support of a higher-ranking person if they want to convict, say, a knight? Consider the amount of corruption in the ...


18

Most everybody else is focusing on the cleric creating water; I'll focus on the military tactics then. Especially since I played not too long ago in a 3.5 campaign that heavily used -- in my opinion -- rather clever and realistic tactics that made use of spell casters. Basically, it all boils down to one simple principle: Think of offensive mages as siege ...


18

Three basic techniques come to mind: keep a "Big Enough" map keep the edges really unpleasant keep the central areas really interesting A couple more are more "corny" but can work... a literal barrier at the edges Wrath of the Gods at the edges End of the world at the edges Have your players agree not to go off the map Some expansion on these ...


17

Medieval peasants and most tribal cultures... Typically, children under age 1 were nursed by mothers who nursed them frequently whilst doing other work. Children aged 1-2 might still be nursing, or might already be transitioned to the next group... Ages 2-4 were supervised by aunts and grandparents, and had as much play as they would ever see; the basic ...


16

Things I would emphasize in an Iron Age setting: Lack of information. In medieval settings, while peasants might know rather little of anything beyond the next town over, scholars at least have a pretty good idea of "the big picture". Just one example: Maps of the continent you're on exist, and while usually being pretty bad as far as scale is concerned, ...


15

The cheapest source of metal minis I know is Mega Minis, which does reproductions of a lot of old Grenadier minis plus a ton of new stuff. They go down to $1, $1.50 apiece. EBay sometimes has big collections of old minis, albeit not necessarily pewter. The condition of those can be a bit of a crapshoot. One Monk paper minis just went free, so that's about ...


15

I make my own: this is a lot easier than it sounds -- be advised that I'm a bit of a craft-klutz, and one of the reasons I don't collect minis is I have no confidence at all that I could really paint them well enough for my taste. So, actually, I don't make minis, but I make counters. First, I buy a batch of appropriately sized, good quality mini bases (I ...


15

It's quite possible to buy miniatures for much less than $1 apiece. I wrote an article on this topic for Kobold Quarterly, which I'll summarize. Caesar Miniatures produces cheap fantasy and historical miniatures for $11.99 per 35 or so, or around 35 cents apiece. These cover the basics: dwarves, elves, humans, orcs, goblins, skeletons, mediaeval infantry, ...


15

Childhood is a modern invention. In medieval times, children were treated as little adults. So, the idea of "play"? That's a modern invention, too, and especially a Western one. In medieval times, children were expected to work as soon as they could. In some non-Western cultures today, the same applies. The child gets involved in cooking and caring for ...


15

The system/setting that springs to mind is Savage Worlds and Hellfrost. As per your criteria: Fast paced Combat in Savage Worlds is specifically designed to be quick, and mostly resolves one way or the other within 5 rounds. It also deals with larger numbers of opponents without a great deal of slow down in how things are calculated, and minimises the ...


15

Evidence was definitely not so important as today, but witnesses were. As Dakeyras noted, their status was important. Word of one noble was about as important as two or three townsmen and more important than any number of peasants (if someone of higher status didn't back them). Question is, whether you want to emphasize "medieval", "fantasy" or "crime ...


15

Thanks for the clarification. basically, as much as i appreciate all the answers so far, it would really help me to get to the source of them, why is it how it is, what is the cause, what led that people to develop their system how they did? and how will that natural development be different in my world, when fantasy is involved. What it boils down to ...


14

I'm the PR flack for 13th Age, and although the game won't be right for everyone, I hope you have a chance to try it and see if it meets your needs. We're looking at running more games at cons and local shops. Here's how 13th Age stacks up against your requirements, in my opinion. YMMV. Fantasy Knights and Sorcerers take on Dragons for fun, profit or ...


14

Ars Magica has a system that allows for dynamic spell casting within their own framework. But spontaneous magic (as it calls it) is rooted into the existing system and it is not a light one. Mage: The Ascension, despite its numerous flaws, had an interesting system for creating magical effects. Again, it was derived from a few magical skills that one could ...


13

Medical practice as we now thing of it was not extant until the 17th Century; the various providers of medical treatment included a variety of individuals with various titles. Some of the trends Laech, Physicker, Leech: Generally, a practitioner of Roman medicine. Leaches, salves, ointments, unguents, and caurterization, perhaps some stitching of ...


13

Unless you are only going a short distance riding is far preferable to walking unless one of the following circumstances is present. You require some amount of stealth or sneakiness for the duration of the journey. Horses are loud, carts are louder. The entire trip is through an uncharted or very dense forest that would make mounted transportation ...


13

Well, you have a range of different options. Change Your Game Metaphor Does this happen 'all the time' with your group? Not all RPG campaigns are dependent on the "we all work together in a happy little party" model. I always like to bring up Amber Diceless Roleplaying, one of the early games, in which each player being largely opposed to the others was ...


13

It will depend on the technology level of the world as well as the logistical connectivity of the village to the rest of the world, if the villagers don't travel or have access to good ore then they're not going to have as many tools unless merchants brave the far reaches of the unprofitable areas of the kingdom/empire/etc. As technological levels increase ...


13

The things that we take for granted that would be different on a flat earth or discworld are: The horizon would be weird – there wouldn't be one. Eventually things would just get so far away that perspective would make them too small or they'd just fade into the atmospheric haze. What's on the other side of the disc? The sort of players I know would try to ...


13

Noting that I don't like Pratchet's writings I have read, I've not read Diskworld, so my familiarity with it is very low, and so this is answered more generically... So I'll base it upon a thick plate, and presume gravity is present and works close to normally, but always perpendicular to the world-plane. no coriolis forces on non-spinning worlds storms ...


13

You have a variety of choices. Tell the party which areas you have stuff prepared for, and let them pick from those; if you have more than 3-4 choices, this generally won't feel like rail-roading. Come up with a story about an ancient blessing on the kingdom keeping out the more ferocious monsters. If the party wanders out of the area, hit them with ...



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