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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:25 pm 
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Nice one PB! Old-school as always!

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:51 am 
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:mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:41 pm 
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pbj44 wrote:
star-adorned pointy hat
:lol:

Old school indeed. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:53 pm 
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:lol: For the stylish sorcerer!

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Can I ask what the edits are, please.

Typos or extra bits added.

I just wanted to get a feel for how much you are still adding to the older posts.

Allan


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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:17 am 
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Hi Allan,

My recent edits were to change the size description for the available map and to add a little more flavor text to the Seddamorra entry within the Geography submission.

You bring up a good point! I will note any text edits in the future, thanks!

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:17 am 
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Freshened and added to the Black Lotus submission. The random effects table that I have added has proven much more popular with my players than simple damage. Since players must have some kind of hope when rolling results, a few of the entries are beneficial.

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:55 am 
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I remember printing out a random magical effect table with 10 000 entries for my D&D game several years ago, but my players hated it. They always wanted me to make up the effects on the spot myself.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:11 am 
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I think the key for success with my use of charts and tables with my group has been with the consistancy of their application.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:53 am 
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That's the thing. If I were playing at PJ's table I'd expect -- nay, demand -- the liberal use of random event tables. I mean if I'm going to play old school then I want that experience in its totality and I want the game to feel like my first gaming sessions when role-playing was new to everybody and there was no such things as a "right way" to play.

But then if I was playing a heavily narrative game and the referee started introducing random events it would slow down the pace of plot development and cause a degree of confusion. So as a player I'd be a little reluctant to see the tables used.

Random tables have their place -- and PJ's random tables are really broad and quirky, which makes them pretty good.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:04 pm 
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Absolutely Ian!

Indeed, random tables of any sort would be a sore distraction in a purely narrative game and I would never be so mean as to inflict them on my crew if that were the case. But with an experimental sandbox style campaign such as my Onderland...ah, what fun!

Right now I am messing about with ideas for Ondish law. Reading about ancient laws, I am intrigued by The Lex Salica of the Franks, where with rare exception there are no death sentences, just different levels of monetary compensation.

Wow, as I am a poor student of history I have never heard of such a thing and can't imagine how that would work out in actual game play!

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:17 pm 
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For you old school fans, this seemed pretty decent: http://www.oldschoolhack.net/

pbj44 wrote:
Right now I am messing about with ideas for Ondish law. Reading about ancient laws, I am intrigued by The Lex Salica of the Franks, where with rare exception there are no death sentences, just different levels of monetary compensation.
Can you reference some good books about it you've come across? :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:46 am 
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Here's the link to what I am reading:

http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/511.html

I snipped an article:

The Lex Salica was a similar body of law to the Lex Burgundionum. It was compiled between 507 and 511 C.E. The body of law deals with many different aspects of Frank society, and through these document historians can discover much about the day to day lives of the Franks. The charges range from inheritance to murder and theft. The Salic law was used to bring order to Frank society, the main punishment for crimes being a fine with a worth designated to the type of crime. The law uses capital punishment only in cases of witchcraft and poisoning. This absence of violence is a unique feature of the Salic Law.

The code was originally brought about by the Frankish King Clovis.[22] The code itself is a blue print for Frankish society and how the social demographics were assembled. One of the main purposes of the Salic Law is to protect a family’s inheritance in the agnatic succession. This emphasis on inheritance made the Salic Law a synonym for agnatic succession, and in particular for the "fundamental law" that no woman could be king of France.

The use of fines as the main reparation made it so that those with the money to pay the fine had the ability to get away with the most heinous of crimes. “Those who commit rape shall be compelled to pay 2500 denars, which makes 63 shillings.” [23] Rape was not the only detailed violent crime. The murder of children is broken down by age and gender, and so is the murder of women.

Paying fines broke the society into economic and social demographics in that the wealthy were free to do as much as they could afford, whereas the fines themselves placed different values on the gender and racial demographics. This social capital is evident in the differences in the Salic Law’s punishment for murder based on a woman’s ability to bear children.

Women who could bear children were protected by a 600 shilling fine while the fine for murdering a woman who could no longer bear children was only 200 shillings. It is also interesting that all crimes committed against Romans had lesser fines than other social classes. In the case of inheritance, it is made very clear that all property belongs to the males in the family. This also means that all debt also belongs to the males of the family.

The Salic Law outlines a unique way of securing the payment of money owed. It is called the “Chrenecruda”.[24] In cases where the debtor could not pay back a loan in full they were forced to clear out everything from their home. If the debt still could not be paid off the owner could collect dust from all four corners of the house and cross the threshold. The debtor then turned and face the house with their next of kin gathered behind them. The debtor threw the dust over their shoulder. The person (or persons) that the dust fell upon was then responsible for the payment of the debt.

The process continued through the family until the debt was paid. “Chrenecruda” helped secure loans within the Frankish society. It intertwined the loosely gathered tribes and helped to establish government authority. The process made a single person part of a whole group.
The Salic Law helps to show the nonviolent side of the “Barbarians”. The Salic Law gave a unique identity and pride to the Franks. Under the Salic law the Franks were able to keep their identity and respect as a society as much of Europe fell under the guidelines of the Burgundian Code.

The Salic Law exists in two forms: the Pactus Legis Salicae, which is near to the original form approved by Clovis, and the Lex Salica, which is the edited form approved by Charlemagne. Both are published in the Monumenta Germaniae.

An example of Salic Law:

Title XVII. Concerning Wounds.
1. If any one have wished to kill another person, and the blow have missed, he on whom it was proved shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.

2. If any person have wished to strike another with a poisoned arrow, and the arrow have glanced aside, and it shall be proved on him; he shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.

3. If any person strike another on the head so that the brain appears, and the three bones which lie above the brain shall project, he shall be sentenced to 1200 denars, which make 30 shillings.

4. But if it shall have been between the ribs or in the stomach, so that the wound appears and reaches to the entrails, he shall be sentenced to 1200 denars-which make 30 shillings-besides five shillings for the physician's pay.

5. If any one shall have struck a man so that blood falls to the floor, and it be proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings.

6. But if a freeman strike a freeman with his fist so that blood does not flow, he shall be sentenced for each blow-up to 3 blows-to 120 denars, which make 3 shillings.

Okay, I admit it: Crime does not pay! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:00 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
The Lex Salica was a similar body of law to the Lex Burgundionum.

The law uses capital punishment only in cases of witchcraft and poisoning. This absence of violence is a unique feature of the Salic Law.


A couple of points:

It is worth noting that the 100 Years War was fought, in a legal sense, over the applicability of Salic Law. Edward III claimed the French throne directly through his grandmother. The French jurists argued that according to Salic Law the crown could not be inherited through a woman -- and thus the Valois line, though only having a cousinly link, were the rightful kings. It is also worth noting that both camps supported the opposite view when it suited them during the period.

Also, by the 1350s in Lyon, the same is largely true. There are very few crimes that are deemed to warrant corporal punishment and almost everything is settled through the courts and the application of a fine. It is to be noted that the fine went to the court and not the victim. It is also to be noted that judicial rights were bought and sold like any other revenue stream.

Corporal punishment for property crimes is largely an invention of the Enlightenment period. Oh the irony.

pbj44 wrote:
The use of fines as the main reparation made it so that those with the money to pay the fine had the ability to get away with the most heinous of crimes. “Those who commit rape shall be compelled to pay 2500 denars, which makes 63 shillings.” [23] Rape was not the only detailed violent crime. The murder of children is broken down by age and gender, and so is the murder of women.


Be wary of drawing this sort of conclusion based on the laws! Just because a statute is on the books doesn't mean that it was a common occurrence. That is, the law wasn't created because the crime was occurring. You need to see the court records in order to know how the society operated under the law -- in other words, to know which crimes were being broken regularly in the society. If court records show that a particular crime in the law books is never prosecuted then it means either:

- nobody was ever going to do that deed even if there was no law against it, or
- the law is an effective deterrent against the commissioning of that crime, or
- the law enforcers ignored that crime.

and I can't see an effective way of determining which is correct!

The court records for 1350s Lyon, still extant by the way, show a city of 16,000 people that was by and large peaceful. Murder is extremely rare as are other violent crimes like rape. Rebellion, and its cousin treason, on the other hand are prosecuted a little more regularly (the city burghers were attempting to gain their emancipation (from a taxation point of view) from the Barronie Lyonnais (in essence, the church who also held secular power in the city)). By far the most common crime is theft, often by using shaved weights during transactions.

It is also no surprise that under Salic law fines were reduced if the victim was "Roman". After all the Franks have only just conquered Roman land in the early 500s. A subjugated people have to be put in their place!

It is a fascinating subject -- and as I've said before, through its laws a society makes itself unique. In other words, if you want your game setting to truly be different from all others -- rather than yet another false-front fantasy setting -- then grab any book of medieval laws. You will soon understand just how alien the medieval person is to us.

BTW, Penn Press -- many great reads there.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Thanks to both of you for the commentary. I found a more complete law from here: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/salic-law.html

However, an interesting passage:
Quote:
Title XXX. Concerning Insults
3. If any one, man or woman, shall have called a woman harlot, and a not have been able to prove it, he shall be sentenced to 1800 denars, which make 45 shillings.
4. If any person shall have called another "fox," he shall be sentenced to 3 shillings.
5. If any man shall have called another "hare," he shall be sentenced to 3 shillings.
The "hare" part I can understand, as this is a common expression in Estonian how to call a coward, but what kind of insult is calling someone "a fox"? :? However, now that I think of it, this particular document doesn't say that it matters whether the accusation is true or not (as in case of the harlot). That seems to imply that calling someone "a fox" or "a hare" must be offensive beyond limits (no proof required).

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