Justice for all?

Wednesday, 13. October 2010

It’s an interesting question to see how most storytellers implement justice for player characters. Players have a tendency of killing everything in sight that might or might not be an opponent, and then usually walking around like they own the place. When questioned about the carnage, a simple response of “We saved you all” or “They were the enemy.” tends to get them off mostly scott free, particularly if you’re in some sort of authoritarian society and are friend with those in power.

Likewise, a similiar situation exists if you’re running campaigns of forces of good versus forces of evil. Picking off the opposing side is usually the right thing to do. These are fun campaigns to play from time to time, but also can get stale relatively quick.

A more interesting problem is that of settings in semi-modern or modern setting with a good amount of forensics to determine who did what, and a government that wants things relatively calm. Do you have them argue it out in court cases, or simply on the run? They’re going to have to do a lot of work to stay ahead of authorities, particularly of they did a good job of stepping on toes.

Futuristic settings can vary wildly as well. In an outlaws type setting, nearly everyone is charged with something or another and virtually everyone friend and foe is on the run from someone. It’s a feature of the setting. In anything less than this, the players are going to have to work real hard to stay ahead of those that would seek to bring them to justice for havoc caused.

How do you handle such situations with your players?

(On a side note, I’ve been absolutely killed this week in between work and travel trying to keep up with everything.)

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