Friday, July 26, 2013

Interlude: The Declaration

Today's post provides some suggestions for dealing with the government's response to the actions of piratical PC's.


Interlude 47: The Declaration
In a Skull & Bones campaign, it's pretty likely that the PC's are going to make some enemies. A previous interlude, "The Assassin," provides a possible course of action if the foe in question is an individual who feels wronged by them. On the other hand, if they have managed to anger an entire government, the consequences are even more dire. This interlude suggests some ways in which the PC's can find themselves wanted by the law.

Wanted Posters
The most common example for this kind of persecution is, of course, the wanted poster. It includes a few common elements.
  • The name of the individual or organization that posted it, along with the date
  • The name of the pirate in question, along with any known aliases
  • A picture of the individual, if available
  • Detailed descriptions of the character, including height; weight; eye, skin and hair color; any scars, deformities or other distinguishing marks; etc.
  • A list of his/her crimes--this is a good opportunity to review the known business of the PC's from previous adventures
  • A list of known associates
  • The reward for this character's capture
In this way, such a poster not only ties into previous deeds of the PC's, but also can create a sense of competition among them as to who has the highest bounty and why.

A Royal Declaration
Should the PC's really become a thorn in the side of the powers that be, they could find themselves facing official persecution on the orders of a head of state. Such a declaration is likely to include the following details.
  • An introduction
  • A list of offenses, each starting with the word Whereas...
  • A statement of desired action and/or the reward for it, starting with the phrase Therefore be it resolved that...
  • The signature of the sovereign in question, along with a list of his/her royal titles
  • Details about when this declaration was written

GM's with a flair for making props could soak a sheet of printer paper in coffee, allow it to dry, and the use it to print the documents to give them an authentic feel.

These declarations should, naturally, have some negative effects for the party. For one thing, ordinary citizens could now become their enemies, given the possibility of reward. The same can especially be said for existing associates, who might betray the PC's if they think they can do so without putting themselves in harm's way. It should become increasingly difficult to make landfall in civilized areas, perhaps requiring the PC's to find a new vessel and/or use disguises. If this should all be a misunderstanding, the PC's might need to work to clear their names. Depending on their nature, of course, they might delight in these developments, especially as the amount of the reward offered increases to keep pace with their continuing deeds.

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