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My PCs are going to go to Vor Rukoth, the Turathi Empire Capitol in the Eberron setting. It is a huge city, and everybody there is Evil.

I cannot really find out what the behaviour of citizens would be. The majority there are lawful evil tieflings, warlocks and there are a lot of slaves. Is there any framework of how this city operates, or how lawful evil cities operate at all in Eberron? For example, should be any fights in the streets or should it be like Baldur's Gate or something? Would a seller be rude, warm or indifferent depend on the class of the customer? Should the inns be like normal inns?

Note: I know that the most are up to me, but I have no idea what is the framework of a lawful evil society. I know there are rules, but would be considered normal to them if a noble slay a slave in the middle of the road?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've tagged this [dnd-4e] since the Vor Rukoth supplement showed up only in that edition. Please correct that tag if it's not the edition you're playing with. I've also edited this question to be specifically about portraying Vor Rukoth, since that's your actual issue, and asking about portraying lawful evil cities in a generality is impossible to answer. (They don't all work just one way.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 23:56

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To some of your questions...it depends on the rules of the city.

The key point for a Lawful Evil being is that they are utterly self-interested while operating within the limits of a code of conduct.

Self-Interested is easy. Everybody wants what is best for them and them alone, regardless of whether or not it hurts someone else.

The Code of Conduct (Laws) is where it gets complicated. What are the laws of the city? To answer this takes a little extra thought.

The key point to remember is that the leaders of the city are also Lawful Evil, and thus they like Order and Getting what they Want. Thus, laws will be constructed in such a way that the city will operate in an orderly fashion, but everything is built to benefit the leaders of the city the most.

To give an actual in-universe example (albeit from Faerun, not Eberron) that is fairly well fleshed out...we'll take a look at the Duergar City of Gracklstugh.

The Duergar are honorable and they follow their laws. If a Duergar merchant agrees to sell you something, and you pay him for it, he won't accuse you of stealing it later. If they make a promise, they will keep it. But only the letter of the promise...not the spirit. If a Duergar promises to escort you safely out of the city, that does not mean he won't lead you into an ambush the moment you are out of the city.

Additionally, the Duergar enforce their laws with absolute ruthlessness. Duergar who break the law are either forced into labor, forced to pay a heavy fine, or executed. Non-Duergar who break a law can be executed on the spot by any Duergar who witnessed the crime, or immediately and permanently enslaved if that is found to be more useful.

This is a fair model for what to expect in a Lawful Evil Civilization, though the details depend on the exact beings making the rules. In essence, think about the Totalitarian States you find in fiction, and assume all of the citizens are fully onboard with the State's policies. Anything with an Orwellian Government is a good model to look at. And for the leaders...look at Darth Vader, President Snow, and Delores Umbridge. All three are (generally accepted) examples of what Lawful Evil looks like. You obey the rules, society will function in an orderly fashion, or I will destroy you.

So, to address a few of your points specifically (bear in mind this is a single take on how a Lawful Evil organization would work)....

Fighting in the streets is likely not permitted, and rioters and gangs would be dealt with harshly. After all, their actions are damaging the productivity of the city or the city itself, which means less money going to the leaders of the city. Anything you do that disrupts the smooth and orderly operation of the city is going to be highly illegal.

Merchants could run the full gamut from polite to rude...but they are going to try to rip you off as best they can within the limits of the law. That happy smile might very well be the grin of a used car salesman knowing he's selling you a piece of barely operable scrap metal. Inns would be the same way. And they may very well have to rip you off in order to keep up with the heavy taxes imposed by the government.

In short, I would expect a society with a very active secret police, and a populous that is as selfish as they can possibly be without breaking the law. And I would assume (given your mention of slaving) that you have to walk a very fine line in that city to not do something that ends with you in shackles.

And the laws would be designed in such a way that as long as profit and order were not disrupted...you're fine. For example: it might be illegal to distribute certain drugs within the city, as that harms the productivity of the citizens. But it could be perfectly legal to produce them for sale elsewhere.

For one last example: If you offended someone in a Chaotic Evil society, they'd just murder you in the streets. If you offended someone in a Lawful Evil society, they'd provoke you into breaking an obscure, possibly unfair law, then laugh as the government executes or enslaves you.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer doesn't seem to address Vor Rukoth. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 23:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe There is very limited information about Vor Rukoth itself, and the OP was asking if there was a framework for how Lawful Evil cities operate. The best framework I could give was to look at LE cities that were actually detailed out and use them as a base for reference. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question was since edited to focus on Vor Rukoth. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe I still think my answer is valid, based on this: "or how lawful evil cities operate at all in Eberron?" The examples I gave are not based in Eberron but I clarified that as a disclaimer. I am focused on providing a generic framework for how a lawful evil city operates, because there is no specific information that I could find detailing the specifics of Vor Rukoth...and am thus answering the 'framework' end of the question instead. If the question were edited to not ask for a 'framework for lawful evil cities, and truly focused only on Vor Rukoth' then I would delete this answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 14:37
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A lawful evil society will not be as chaotic as you assume (thus the lawful).

A merchant might be more likely to low-ball you or lie to you about a product's origin. A merchant is still a merchant, so they will be warm if it's in their interest, they just may not be genuinely happy to see you. They'll always act happy to see you ;)

Justice might be a little more harsh.

Citizenry might show open animosity towards outsiders, but the lawful nature of the civilization will keep anyone in check.

Law and order will exist, just the laws themselves will very. Conflicts will arise more from clashing morality than outright attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer doesn't seem to address Vor Rukoth. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 23:51

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