Campaign of the Month: January 2014
Greyhawk 937 CY: The Age of Steam
Criminal Code of Greyhawk City
Criminal Code of Greyhawk
For major offenses in the city, a person is tried by a Judge of Greyhawk (ex-lawyer from Guild of Lawyers, Scribes, and Accountants), one of eight such judges elected by the Directors. Three Directors might sit in judgment of a major crime, but two of these judges may be objected to and substituted (once). Convictions can be appealed (once) if the judge permits, which always occurs with a capital crime. The appeal is heard by three judges, often including the Lord Mayor, Nerof Gasgal.
Minor crimes are tried by magistrates from the Guild of Lawyers, Scribes, and Accountants, with one magistrate trying each case. Appeals are very rare and available only from the Lord Mayor.
Punishments range from hard labor for two weeks to two years, with fines of 1-20% of the convicted person’s worth, up to 1,000 gp. The DM has free reign in running and wrapping up court cases.
Victims must be “people,” which are considered to be humans and demihumans of all sorts. Monsters such as mind flayers, dopplegangers, or lizard men are not considered people.
Humanoids have very limited civil rights in Greyhawk, the limits of which vary from judge to judge. Some intelligent beings have a shadowy existence with regards to the law; a centaur could be regarded as a “person” by one judge and a “monster” by another. Manufactured creatures such as golems and minor undead are always considered property. Familiars are either persons, monsters, or property, depending on the creature, its ability to speak intelligently, and the judge.
A list of major crimes (and, in parentheses, the corresponding numbers for possible sentences) appears here. Crimes are left somewhat vague to fit the DM’s style of play in the Greyhawk campaign.
Arson (1, 5-7, 9)
Assault, grievous (3, 6-11)
Banned religious worship (1, 2, 4, 9)
Blackmail (1-2, 4-10)
Bribery of city official (5-11)
Burglary (3, 7-11)
Burglary of/damage to city property (3, 6-11)
Counterfeiting Greyhawk coinage (3, 5-9)
Embezzling (2, 4-10)
Fraud, includes lying to City Watch (2, 4-10)
Impersonation of city official (7-11)
Importation of dangerous controlled items or creatures (2, 9)
Incitement to riot (2, 6-9)
Magical interference with the integrity of the person (2, 3)
Manslaughter (2, 5-$)
Mass murder (1)
Murder (1, 4)
Possession of an unlicensed monster (10)
Rioting and affray (2, 7-11)
Robbery (3, 7-I1)
Tax evasion of 50+ gp (10-11)
Tomb robbing (2, 6-I1)
Sentences for Major Crimes
2. Permanent exile and banishment.
3. Mutilation (loss of hand, tongue, eye, etc.)
4. Hard labor for life.
5. Hard labor, 1dl0+10 years (often more for long-lived demihumans)
6. Hard labor, 1d6+6 years.
7. Hard labor, 1d4+4 years.
8. Hard labor, 1d4 years.
9. Enormous fine (90-95% victim’s true worth).
10. Heavy fine (60-80% victim’s true worth).
11. Standard fine (25-40% victim’s true worth).
Assault, minor (no broken bones)
Blasphemy against a priest
Blasphemy against/desecration of a temple
Dangerous conveyance of a vehicle in a public place
Dangerous navigation along riverfront (includes unauthorized landing)
Disturbance of the peace (excessive noise, light, smell)
Public drunkenness and disorderly conduct
Offenses against public propriety
Use of an unlicensed weapon
Receiving, possessing, or fencing stolen property
Slander or libel
Slavery or procurement of slaves
Smuggling (avoiding city taxes )
Solicitation Without Guild License
Tax evasion (50 gp or less)
Trespass, violation of privacy, and unlawful entry into city
Unlawful hindrance of business
Use of magic in a public place without due cause
The following weapons are permitted to be carried openly through the streets of Greyhawk, though they should be tied to one’s belt or placed in a scabbard when possible: dagger, dart, sling, staff, staff sling, club, knife, hammer. Swords and axes are allowed if in a scabbard or leather head case (for an axe). Polearms, spears, and pikes are banned, period.
“Assassins’ weapons” like poison and garrotes are banned as well.
Citizens and visitors cannot bring private armies, militias, or personal guards into the city without a license. This prevents attempts to overthrow the government or spread havoc on a wide scale. Mercenary guards for caravans are licensed by the city through the Union of Merchants and Traders or the Guild of Mercenaries.
Magic is strongly controlled in Greyhawk, and cannot be cast freely in public places. Nondamaging spells like charm, slow, or hold, which can be used to capture villains are allowed. Damaging spells with limited areas of effect (such as magic missile are allowed only in desperate selfdefense.
Mentally intrusive spells like know alignment and ESP are frowned upon (except as used by proper authorities hunting lawbreakers), and “mischievous” spells like invisibility are also disliked. Spells damaging a wide area (for example, fireball ) bring a prosecution for property damage and any other applicable side offense. Of course, spells cast to aid city officials or prevent the destruction of a large part of the city will be better regarded. It’s up to the judges.
Smuggling is a way of life in Greyhawk, but some items are strongly banned and looked down upon by many, even criminals. Evil magical items, dangerous monsters, cursed items, poisons, and any other items or creatures that could conceivably bring harm to the city’s inhabitants in a significant way are cast together as dangerous contraband, and possession of any of this material is a major crime. Of course, the Guild of Assassins manages to get around this law in various ways, so long as none of the guild members displays any of these items openly and foolishly.
This occupies and odd place in the city. There is a guild of Prostitutes that operates under the strict rules of the city government in relation to health and welfare of the members. It is a fairly new creation used to curb the illegal prostitution. Illegal prostitution is still alive and well because it makes everyone (including prostitutes) more money, although at expense of the workers well being.
The guild is under fire from some crime families who want it to fail. And these families have been active in making it not worth a girl’s time to be in the guild. But the guild still struggles toward respectability even though the lower prices, higher pay and other factors keep the illegal trade alive despite the deplorable condition in some illegal systems.