Number of Members:
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Public or Secret?:
Publicly Stated Goal:
Real Goal (if different):
Who doesn't belong:
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The following is inspired by the recent thread on Running
Cities, but it is not limited to urban settings.
PCs are typically among the most dangerous and unpredictable
people in a game world. Many groups have a resident
psychopath who may kill or steal for the fun of it. Even
if there are no overtly crazy PCs, they often apply modern
sensibilities in a game world with different mores. For
example, PCs may decline to give way to a noble on the
street or to pay taxes because the Players find it
philosophically annoying to do so. For these kinds of
reasons, PCs frequently go afoul of the law and they should
not expect to evade it easily.
So, here are some things I have come up with in my game
world to mitigate PCs' tendencies to go wild or take undue
1. Prisons are exceptionally well guarded, even in small
towns. They are never made of weak material like wood--
always stone and metal, maybe magic too, if the locals can
2. Town guards/police/militia are smart. They use magic and
technology to scry or detect criminals.
3. In a world where transportation is expensive (horses,
vehicles) stables are well guarded. There may be a stable
boy, but there are also stable guards. Likewise with other
expensive things--weapon shops, money lenders, etc.
4. Guards hardly ever fall asleep while on active duty.
5. NPCs are not very superstitious. A thin ruse playing on
local fears is not likely to work. An involved ruse might
6. An entire community can be offended by PC actions, not
just the powers in the community. For example, if PCs rob a
temple, they will not just have to evade the town guard.
There may be mobs, hit men and everyday good samaritans to
rat them out.
7. Organized crime usually has some kind of relationship
with local powers. They may have exclusive contracts with
officials over certain kinds of criminal activities.
8. Enemies of PCs can be patient and smart. They can plan
attacks and ambushes. They can wait until PCs are asleep.
I do not believe in placing PCs at the mercy of a game
world. We all know that it is no fun to be deprived of
options, or to have PC behavior be coerced. However, some
limits are necessary.