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8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 10:07 AM
This is a strange case for me

So I have a Paladin travelling around with some people, and a thief randomly takes my wizard pal's spellbook. Having recently played the roguelike Pixel Dungeon and the method for dealing with thieves in that game still in my mind, I get on my horse and dash after the thief, warning her if she didn't yield, I would impale her with my lance. I impaled her, and she survived (somehow) and now everyone is mad at me, including myself. for attacking an unarmed person. First off, how do I make amends (she's still alive, I don't know how) and avoid doing this kind of stuff in the future? I covered up why I attacked earlier by saying that my character has on and off episodes of PTSD from his previous adventures from losing close friends (he''s pretty high level) but that doesn't change the fact that I dishonorably attacked someone.

lacco36
2016-03-18, 10:13 AM
Would he be able to take it back without harming her? Would he be able to trip her? Tackle her? Race in front of her and stop her with blade at her throat? Show her that his horse can catch up with her at any time at any place?

And the most important question from my point of view is - would a paladin value a spellbook more than a life of a person, whose motives are unknown to him?

Strigon
2016-03-18, 10:31 AM
Think of it this way: what would a police officer do in this scenario?

Chances are, they won't shoot the guy on the spot. They might chase after the guy and tackle him down, try to pin him, try taking the purse back, if things go especially poorly they might taze him.

Your best options - after warnings - are nonlethal. Grappling, stun abilities, immobilization and the like. Lethal attacks should only be used when someone's life is at stake - as long as a death can be avoided, it should be avoided.

Piedmon_Sama
2016-03-18, 10:54 AM
I had a longer reply here but I think I might have totally misunderstood your post. Is the Rogue an NPC or a fellow PC?

Delwugor
2016-03-18, 11:10 AM
First the easy part, find out what indemnity is for deliberate injury. Then you pay 10xindemnity
2x to the thief
3x to the local authorities
5x to the local church

Now the difficult, Penance of Shame
Until completed you have the following restrictions

You can not wear or display the heraldry of your house and paladin order. Symbol of your deity is still allowed of course.
You can not speak louder than a whisper, laugh or sing any joyous song.
You can not issue any commands to anyone.
You can not purchase or accept any luxury, at all. You eat grool, drink water and sleep on the dirty floor. You get no treasure or adventure money.
You can not use your favorite weapon in battle.
You can not use lay hands nor any paladin power to benefit yourself, only others.


Penances

You have to risk your life to help out an innocent, poor or downtrodden person who you don't know. You can not receive any thanks or honor for this, you can not mention your name to the person, though you can praise your deity to them.
1 week of working to clean up a poor area, not something noble like volunteering at a food pantry or free repairs, nope. You clean the area, clean out their "waste pit", remove refuse and garbage, all those nasty jobs no one will do for the poor and no one else will either.
Every night that week spent in prayer at the church.
For the next month you have to clean the church every day before and after services.
You have also dishonored your adventuring group, so you will take care of all camp needs for them when travelling for one month. Cook, clean, pitch tents, gather firewood, etc.



You may still go through the Penances of Shame while travelling and adventuring, just spread out during a longer period and different towns or locations.

As you can tell, I love it when a Paladin messes up and has to face the consequences.

Mordar
2016-03-18, 11:11 AM
Think of it this way: what would a police officer do in this scenario?

Chances are, they won't shoot the guy on the spot. They might chase after the guy and tackle him down, try to pin him, try taking the purse back, if things go especially poorly they might taze him.

Your best options - after warnings - are nonlethal. Grappling, stun abilities, immobilization and the like. Lethal attacks should only be used when someone's life is at stake - as long as a death can be avoided, it should be avoided.

This was my thought as well...but it highlights what can be a real problem depending on the system. Non-lethal options are sometimes *VERY* hard to implement without a specific build.

Still, a lance is a bit much. Maybe a ride-by smack in the head from the hilt of a sword would have been more in order...

Didn't there used to be a rule about using lethal weapons in a non-lethal fashion? Or was that just a house-rule option in 3e?

- M

Segev
2016-03-18, 11:16 AM
My understanding is that, in 5e, you actually can decide at the point you reduce somebody to 0 hp whether you're trying to kill them or not. If you choose not to, it's "non lethal" damage that has incapacitated them. So spear that rogue with your lance! Clearly, you actually just bashed her on the noggin with the side of it to KO her.

edit: Woops, general RP, not 5e forum, my mistake.

In that case, yeah, look to your nonlethal options. In 3.5, you could take a -4 to hit to deal nonlethal.

I would suggest picking up some deliberately non-lethal techniques or tools (e.g. a net), but honestly... you've got Lay On Hands for a reason. If the malefactor is running and won't heed you when you tell him to halt lest you resort to potentially-lethal force, at least you can heal them for the damage you dealt once you've incapacitated them.

Strigon
2016-03-18, 11:28 AM
This was my thought as well...but it highlights what can be a real problem depending on the system. Non-lethal options are sometimes *VERY* hard to implement without a specific build.

Still, a lance is a bit much. Maybe a ride-by smack in the head from the hilt of a sword would have been more in order...

Didn't there used to be a rule about using lethal weapons in a non-lethal fashion? Or was that just a house-rule option in 3e?

- M

In 3.5, you can take a penalty to deal nonlethal damage. Can't speak for any other editions, though this is the general roleplaying forum, so it could be literally any system.

In any case, if you can't take the penalty and still hit, or your system doesn't have good support for nonlethal options, look into immobilizing the enemy; many systems have consumables that will stun, lock up, or otherwise prevent an enemy from moving. It's a bit expensive, but if you're going for a good character you can't very well put such a small monetary loss higher than a life, even that of a criminal.

wumpus
2016-03-18, 11:29 AM
I had a longer reply here but I think I might have totally misunderstood your post. Is the Rogue an NPC or a fellow PC?

A PC I could understand the question. How can you call yourself a PC if you avoid violence with an NPC?
[reason for my sarcasm]Most of my games were played when I was much younger. Still not sure if my characters now would avoid violence if it was an option. Certainly not for a full-BAB character. I'd only expect a blaster-type wizard to respond with direct [arcane] violence in such a situation, but expect arcane force (and not a negotiation where the thief could get something other than avoiding further loss) would be on order.[/end reason for sarcasm]

Piedmon_Sama
2016-03-18, 11:36 AM
Uh, okay? Just asking because stealing from a fellow PC is a foul move just below attacking them, really just as bad. Seemed weird to me if someone was playing a Rogue and stole from a party member only for everyone to get mad at the Paladin for attacking her. But seems like that's not what the OP was describing so nvm.

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 01:21 PM
I had a longer reply here but I think I might have totally misunderstood your post. Is the Rogue an NPC or a fellow PC?

It's a PC. I guess this is her way of joining the party or something? But the thing that matters is that I impaled her trying to get something back for my friend.

It makes you feel kind of like a jerk.

shadow_archmagi
2016-03-18, 01:29 PM
It's a PC. I guess this is her way of joining the party or something? But the thing that matters is that I impaled her trying to get something back for my friend.

It makes you feel kind of like a jerk.

That's the sort of thing that she should really discuss with the party ahead of time rather than have her character be introduced as an enemy of the party and then just hope everyone obeys the metagame and lets her in.

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 01:35 PM
So my plan is to atone for my actions and hand over some gold for compensation. I'm also going to use lay on hands

Mordar
2016-03-18, 01:49 PM
So my plan is to atone for my actions and hand over some gold for compensation. I'm also going to use lay on hands

Skip the gold...heal the thief and "look after her" for a while...serve as a bodyguard or mentor until you feel you have atoned.

Grinner
2016-03-18, 02:08 PM
Honestly, this is really stupid. Not your actions specifically, but the whole scenario. Why did the thief take the spellbook? The reaction to your actions isn't entirely unprecedented or without reason, but it's still weird. Traditionally, the punishment for such a crime would be to cut off a finger or a hand or something. However, with modern values likely being at play plus the presence of regenerative magic, that's probably not a useful tactic.

We also don't know if your character has powers to enforce the law. If he doesn't, the thief would have to be brought in by a law enforcement official and brought before a judge.

With nothing useful to say, I'm just going to leave this here:


Chapter 4: Combat

Somewhere out there is someone who had loving parents, watched clouds on a summer’s day, fell in love, lost a friend, is kind to small animals, and knows how to say “please” and “thank you,” and yet somehow the two of you are going to end up in a dirty little room with one knife between you and you are going to have to kill that human being.
It’s a terrible thing. Not just because he’s come to the same realization and wants to survive just as much as you do, meaning he’s going to try and puncture your internal organs to set off a cascading trauma effect that ends with you voiding your bowels, dying alone and removed from everything you’ve ever loved. No, it’s a terrible thing because somewhere along the way you could have made a different choice. You could have avoided that knife, that room, and maybe even found some kind of common ground between the two of you. Or at least, you might have divvied up some turf and left each other alone. That would have been a lot smarter, wouldn’t it? Even dogs are smart enough to do that. Now you’re staring into the eyes of a fellow human and in a couple minutes one of you is going to be vomiting blood to the rhythm of a fading heartbeat. The survivor is going to remember this night for the rest of his or her life.

Six Ways To Stop A Fight
So before you make a grab for that knife, you should maybe think about a few things. This moment is frozen in time. You can still make a better choice.


Surrender. Is your pride really worth a human life? Drop your weapon, put up your hands, and tell them you’re ready to cut a deal. You walk, and in exchange you give them something they need. Sidestep the current agenda. Offer them something unrelated to your dispute, and negotiate to find a solution.
Disarm. Knife on the table? Throw it out the window. Opponent with a gun? Dodge until he’s out of bullets. Deescalate the confrontation to fists, if possible. You can settle your differences with some brawling and still walk away, plus neither one of you has to face a murder charge or a criminal investigation.
Rechannel. So you have a conflict. Settle it a smarter way. Arm wrestle, play cards, have a scavenger hunt, a drinking contest, anything that lets you establish a winner and a loser. Smart gamblers bet nothing they aren’t willing to lose. Why put your life on the line?
Pass the Buck. Is there somebody more powerful than either one of you who is going to be angry that you two are coming to blows? Pretend you’re all in the mafia and you can’t just kill each other without kicking your dispute upstairs first. Let that symbolic superior make a decision. You both gain clout for not spilling blood.
Call the Cops. If you’ve got a grievance against somebody, let the police do your dirty work. File charges. Get a restraining order. Sue him in civil court for wrongful harm. You can beat him down without throwing a punch.
Run Away. The hell with it. Who needs this kind of heat? Blow town, get a job someplace else, build a new power base. Is the world really too small for the both of you? It’s a big planet out there.

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 02:21 PM
Skip the gold...heal the thief and "look after her" for a while...serve as a bodyguard or mentor until you feel you have atoned.

Good idea, thanks for the advice

Mr Beer
2016-03-18, 02:25 PM
Adventurers are widely known to be hyper-violent, quick to be offended, suicidally brave and puissant on a scale that runs from 'dangerous' right up to 'demigod'.

If you hook up with a group of such people and then steal a key component of their daily armoury, being mildly impaled is the absolute best case scenario any such thief should expect. This idiotic action deserves a violent response.

Now OTOH a paladin should be the goodest of the good, so fine, subdual damage next time. This time, heal the thief so they don't die of sepsis and tell them the next such offence will see them handed over to the authorities in chains.

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 02:28 PM
Adventurers are widely known to be hyper-violent, quick to be offended, suicidally brave and puissant on a scale between that runs from 'dangerous' right up to 'demigod'.

If you hook up with a group of such people and then steal a key component of their daily armoury, being mildly impaled is the absolute best case scenario any such thief should expect. This idiotic action deserves a violent response.

Now OTOH a paladin should be the goodest of the good, so fine, subdual damage next time. This time, heal the thief so they don't die of sepsis and tell them the next such offence will see them handed over to the authorities in chains.

Alright, I'll remember this, thank you

Segev
2016-03-18, 02:29 PM
Adventurers are widely known to be hyper-violent, quick to be offended, suicidally brave and puissant on a scale between that runs from 'dangerous' right up to 'demigod'.

If you hook up with a group of such people and then steal a key component of their daily armoury, being mildly impaled is the absolute best case scenario any such thief should expect.

I just love these kinds of discussions for enabling phrases like "mildly impaled" to be written in complete seriousness.

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 02:34 PM
I just love these kinds of discussions for enabling phrases like "mildly impaled" to be written in complete seriousness.

Three words

Critical Existence Failure (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CriticalExistenceFailure)

Piedmon_Sama
2016-03-18, 02:40 PM
Adventurers are widely known to be hyper-violent, quick to be offended, suicidally brave and puissant on a scale between that runs from 'dangerous' right up to 'demigod'.

If you hook up with a group of such people and then steal a key component of their daily armoury, being mildly impaled is the absolute best case scenario any such thief should expect. This idiotic action deserves a violent response.

Since the Rogue IS a PC I'm defaulting back to my first response, which was basically this.

I'm confused why you even feel bad. You acted reasonably, in-character; if the other players are upset just tell them you don't know what else the Rogue's player could have expected you to do and you don't see why you should have to carry the Idiot Ball for her sake.

This sounds like a misunderstanding. Possibly something the Rogue's player and the Wizard's player or the Rogue's player and the DM worked out beforehand? In that case ask them to let you in the loop next time.

CharonsHelper
2016-03-18, 02:40 PM
It somewhat depends upon the area the thievery took place. If it was out in the wilds or anywhere at all dangerous - I'd impale the thief twice if need be!

The wizards needs his spells to survive. The wizard needs the spellbook for his spells. IE - kill the thief jerk!

Dangerous area = battlefield situation. Even in the modern day a soldier wouldn't hesitate to shoot someone who, in a battlefield situation, grabbed their mortar launcher and took off. This is a very comparable scenario, only the spellbook is less easily replaceable.

Elderand
2016-03-18, 02:45 PM
I had a longer reply here but I think I might have totally misunderstood your post. Is the Rogue an NPC or a fellow PC?

It shouldn't matter which it is. Not for in character reactions at least. Well asside from the betrayal and such.
OOC stealing from another party member is **** move and should result in the player being shunned for such.
But of course nothing is ever that simple.

As for the OP, want to know how to stop yourself, simple. Run the scenario with yourself acting in the real world. Would you run up and stab a guy who just grabbed and run away with a friends bag or phone? Of course not, that's a completely insane thing to do.

This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5Ye_dAge-4) actually makes a fair point that RPG due to their design encourage you to play a completely insane sociopath.

Bohandas
2016-03-18, 02:47 PM
Combine your choice of the following

-Verbal warning
-tanglefoot bag
-lasso
-sleep arrow
-trip attack
-net
-bolas

Strigon
2016-03-18, 03:24 PM
It shouldn't matter which it is. Not for in character reactions at least. Well asside from the betrayal and such.
OOC stealing from another party member is **** move and should result in the player being shunned for such.
But of course nothing is ever that simple.


It absolutely matters. For example, let's say this thief was a PC, and stealing the wizard's spellbook is how they got introduced to the party. The party then gets it back, hires the thief because they seem skilled, everyone's happy.
On the other hand, if the thief gets killed immediately, then the player has to roll a new character minutes after introducing the last one. Not fun, and not good.

Stealing from another PC - in general - is very bad. But the problem is never the character being played; it's the person playing the character. Unless you're in a PvP game, killing a PC is never something that should be done lightly.

UncleWolf
2016-03-18, 03:27 PM
I stumbled upon this thread through accident and I feel I should post as I am the one who is running the encounter with the thief. (Note, the thief is an encounter, not a party member)

From a purely D&D point of view, what 8bit's character did wasn't outright bad. After all, most thieves are evil and generally chaotic and killing a thief who is stealing something very important to another party member isn't too unreasonable. It wouldn't have been my first choice of a reaction, but it wasn't a surprising one. Nor was it a bad choice necessarily. Not what I would have expected a Paladin to do right off, but I've seen worse and have dealt with worse.

However, the only reason the thief is still alive after her impalement is because I had rolled randomly for what she was, and got a Half-Dragon Vampire. If she were anything that wasn't undead, she would be killed by that blow. Now, before everyone says that all vampires are evil, that's not how I run them. Certainly she isn't a good person(she is a thief after all), but she's neither cruel nor evil. She stole something valuable because it looked valuable and she needs the money.

Now, all of this aside, I feel that perhaps the opening of this thread and the location of it is somewhat misleading. This isn't a structured roleplay in this case. It is in the FFRP section of this site. Regardless of the system(or lack of one), if 8Bit feels he needs help asking for suggestions on how to prevent this again or on how to seek penance in-character, that is up to him. As the one running the encounter, I didn't feel the need to force such a response from him.

Piedmon_Sama
2016-03-18, 03:34 PM
It absolutely matters. For example, let's say this thief was a PC, and stealing the wizard's spellbook is how they got introduced to the party. The party then gets it back, hires the thief because they seem skilled, everyone's happy.
On the other hand, if the thief gets killed immediately, then the player has to roll a new character minutes after introducing the last one. Not fun, and not good.

Stealing from another PC - in general - is very bad. But the problem is never the character being played; it's the person playing the character. Unless you're in a PvP game, killing a PC is never something that should be done lightly.

It's a mistake to try and set up cute little setpieces like you've seen on TV in games, IMO, because of things like exactly what transpired. Unlike most stories, you can never predict how players will act---that's part of what's so unique and challenging and fun about RPGs. But it also means you can't rely on genre conventions to enable things to go smoothly.

Segev
2016-03-18, 03:54 PM
Yeah, I don't see why the party is upset with the OP, given what the DM's told us. Somebody tried to steal a life-preserving essential tool from a valued party member who, without it, becomes more liability than help in a highly dangerous field. The paladin called out to them to return it and surrender; they did not. The paladin attacked them, as they were warned he would.

The paladin is under no obligation to allow somebody to get away with risking the party's survival just because his only countermeasure is potentially lethal to that "somebody." Don't screw with people who can kill you if you don't want to risk your life. It stopped being an overreaction when the thief made it a choice between "do nothing and let him get away" or "use lethal force."

Deathkeeper
2016-03-18, 04:12 PM
As someone who posts in the thread being discussed and has been reading it, I should point out that there is no party. There are two characters and an NPC.
But far more importantly, I didn't get any sense that the player of the Mage was upset (just that her character was surprised at the sudden use of lethal force) nor from Wolf. I encourage you to say something next time if you feel that there's Out of character animosity.

UncleWolf
2016-03-18, 04:14 PM
Likely because this occurred in the middle of the street, likely in front of witnesses, in a city with law enforcement that would bring down the hammer if they were informed of someone outright killing a thief in broad daylight via mounted charge over a tome(not a spellbook).

Anti-Eagle
2016-03-18, 04:15 PM
Paladin sees a thief steal from a party member.
Paladin warns and threatens thief.
Thief ignores Paladin.
Paladin acts on threat.

Seems like a pretty reasonable chain of events on the Paladin's side. I don't see the problem here.

Slii Arhem
2016-03-18, 04:38 PM
Paladin sees a thief steal from a party member.
Paladin warns and threatens thief.
Thief ignores Paladin.
Paladin acts on threat.

Seems like a pretty reasonable chain of events on the Paladin's side. I don't see the problem here.

Edit for context:

Paladin sees a thief steal something from a person he just met on the street that day.
Paladin immediately begins charging his horse at the thief, shouting a warning mid-charge.
Thief quips something to Paladin and continues to run from the man on a horse charging at her.
Paladin impales the (at least visibly) unarmed and defenseless thief through the torso from behind.

This in a major city where there is law enforcement to deal with thieves, rather than immediate vigilante justice. Most of the time, anyway, this is a city with adventurers living there after all. :smalltongue:

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 04:47 PM
As someone who posts in the thread being discussed and has been reading it, I should point out that there is no party. There are two characters and an NPC.
But far more importantly, I didn't get any sense that the player of the Mage was upset (just that her character was surprised at the sudden use of lethal force) nor from Wolf. I encourage you to say something next time if you feel that there's Out of character animosity.

I was trying to frame the post as a situation in D&D so I could use that and put it into the context of what was happening

Strigon
2016-03-18, 05:37 PM
It's a mistake to try and set up cute little setpieces like you've seen on TV in games, IMO, because of things like exactly what transpired. Unlike most stories, you can never predict how players will act---that's part of what's so unique and challenging and fun about RPGs. But it also means you can't rely on genre conventions to enable things to go smoothly.

I never said it was a good idea to do that, only that it was a bad idea to kill the PC.

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 06:21 PM
I guess I should have framed it as the literal event and posted it in the FFRP section

I don't know how the Nexus really works

Slii Arhem
2016-03-18, 06:31 PM
I guess I should have framed it as the literal event and posted it in the FFRP section

I don't know how the Nexus really works

Thankfully, there is a guide (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?166066-FFRP-Central-All-players-start-here!) for that you can reference, and an OOC thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?474868-OOC-49-Titles-49-Off) that you can ask any pertinent questions in.

Everyone who starts out in FFRP starts on a bit of shaky ground. The important thing is to dust off and keep going if you're enjoying yourself.

goto124
2016-03-18, 09:09 PM
I just love these kinds of discussions for enabling phrases like "mildly impaled" to be written in complete seriousness.

Well, she did survive getting impaled!

In a somewhat similar incident, my character got stabbed in the back by another PC. She kept the knife inside the flesh of her back.

Just a suggestion :smallamused:

(The stabby PC became her boyfriend, but that's unrelated.)

Nightcanon
2016-03-18, 09:44 PM
It shouldn't matter which it is. Not for in character reactions at least. Well asside from the betrayal and such.
OOC stealing from another party member is **** move and should result in the player being shunned for such.
But of course nothing is ever that simple.

As for the OP, want to know how to stop yourself, simple. Run the scenario with yourself acting in the real world. Would you run up and stab a guy who just grabbed and run away with a friends bag or phone? Of course not, that's a completely insane thing to do.

This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5Ye_dAge-4) actually makes a fair point that RPG due to their design encourage you to play a completely insane sociopath.

Poor comparison. Of course one wouldn't shoot a thief for taking a mobile phone in a contemporary western society, but in a pseudo-medieval society an armed member of the upper classes quite possibly would ride down and kill a thief who stole from his party.

Nightcanon
2016-03-18, 09:58 PM
I stumbled upon this thread through accident and I feel I should post as I am the one who is running the encounter with the thief. (Note, the thief is an encounter, not a party member)

From a purely D&D point of view, what 8bit's character did wasn't outright bad. After all, most thieves are evil and generally chaotic and killing a thief who is stealing something very important to another party member isn't too unreasonable. It wouldn't have been my first choice of a reaction, but it wasn't a surprising one. Nor was it a bad choice necessarily. Not what I would have expected a Paladin to do right off, but I've seen worse and have dealt with worse.

However, the only reason the thief is still alive after her impalement is because I had rolled randomly for what she was, and got a Half-Dragon Vampire. If she were anything that wasn't undead, she would be killed by that blow. Now, before everyone says that all vampires are evil, that's not how I run them. Certainly she isn't a good person(she is a thief after all), but she's neither cruel nor evil. She stole something valuable because it looked valuable and she needs the money.

Now, all of this aside, I feel that perhaps the opening of this thread and the location of it is somewhat misleading. This isn't a structured roleplay in this case. It is in the FFRP section of this site. Regardless of the system(or lack of one), if 8Bit feels he needs help asking for suggestions on how to prevent this again or on how to seek penance in-character, that is up to him. As the one running the encounter, I didn't feel the need to force such a response from him.

If you are running this game, then I feel that this partly on you. If an 'encounter' under your control steals from the PCs and receives a threat of deadly force unless he surrenders, then it is your choice that he doesn't surrender, that the local environment permits a mounted charge rather than facilitates escape through the trees/ amid w bustling market-day crowd, or whatever. If an NPC chooses to attempt to steal from an adventuring party, they must be aware that deadly force might result. I think it is entirely reasonable for 8-bit's Paladin to issue a warning, then act on it, and if that makes it harder to play the subsequent encounter as you had intended it to go, it's up to you to modify it.

BootStrapTommy
2016-03-18, 10:12 PM
Edit for context:

Paladin sees a thief steal something from a person he just met on the street that day.
Paladin immediately begins charging his horse at the thief, shouting a warning mid-charge.
Thief quips something to Paladin and continues to run from the man on a horse charging at her.
Paladin impales the (at least visibly) unarmed and defenseless thief through the torso from behind.

This in a major city where there is law enforcement to deal with thieves, rather than immediate vigilante justice. Most of the time, anyway, this is a city with adventurers living there after all. :smalltongue:Except possession is 9/10ths of the law, a fact even more relevant in a pseudomedieval society. As a result, the use of force to protect possessions would likely not be looked down upon in any fantasy setting where Sherlock Holmes Wizards aren't commonplace.

8BitNinja
2016-03-18, 10:39 PM
I stumbled upon this thread through accident and I feel I should post as I am the one who is running the encounter with the thief. (Note, the thief is an encounter, not a party member)

From a purely D&D point of view, what 8bit's character did wasn't outright bad. After all, most thieves are evil and generally chaotic and killing a thief who is stealing something very important to another party member isn't too unreasonable. It wouldn't have been my first choice of a reaction, but it wasn't a surprising one. Nor was it a bad choice necessarily. Not what I would have expected a Paladin to do right off, but I've seen worse and have dealt with worse.

However, the only reason the thief is still alive after her impalement is because I had rolled randomly for what she was, and got a Half-Dragon Vampire. If she were anything that wasn't undead, she would be killed by that blow. Now, before everyone says that all vampires are evil, that's not how I run them. Certainly she isn't a good person(she is a thief after all), but she's neither cruel nor evil. She stole something valuable because it looked valuable and she needs the money.

Now, all of this aside, I feel that perhaps the opening of this thread and the location of it is somewhat misleading. This isn't a structured roleplay in this case. It is in the FFRP section of this site. Regardless of the system(or lack of one), if 8Bit feels he needs help asking for suggestions on how to prevent this again or on how to seek penance in-character, that is up to him. As the one running the encounter, I didn't feel the need to force such a response from him.

So I wasn't doing anything bad (besides attacking an unarmed person)?

Then why was everyone pissed off? I get why the vampire is, with a lance being where her intestines used to be, but the scholar following me seemed pretty angry for trying to retrieve her property.

Coidzor
2016-03-18, 11:43 PM
Use your words, attempt parley, and don't go for lethal takedowns except where necessary/appropriate.

That would cover 90% of it.

Kane0
2016-03-19, 12:09 AM
Stop thinking about the mechanics of what you want to do. By all means consider how something will be done, but dont justify your actions with mechanocs ('i didnt want to take the -4 for nonlethal' is an argument i've heard before).

CharonsHelper
2016-03-19, 12:14 AM
This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5Ye_dAge-4) actually makes a fair point that RPG due to their design encourage you to play a completely insane sociopath.



Ha - I guess I was that quiet kid a bit. No more bully problems. (teacher problems though :P)

Slipperychicken
2016-03-19, 12:18 AM
IC: If someone tried to purse-snatch one of my friends, I'd probably run the guy down too if I was armed and on a horse. Besides, you gave him ample warning; that's all you can really be expected to do in the heat of the moment. In those days, no court in the world would have convicted you. They'd probably have congratulated your selflessness and courage, in running down the thief for the sake of a stranger. If the thief got away, it's unlikely the wizard would have ever seen his spellbook again. What's the sheriff going to do? Put up a wanted poster three days later, while the thief is gambling away his loot and your wizard gets eaten by a random encounter?


OOC: Your group has not done enough to teach your new player about tabletop gaming etiquette, the new player did something stupid as a result, and now they're pinning the fallout on you. It's a crummy situation to be in, believe me, I've been in exactly your position more times than I want to admit. I've seen more than a few games crash and burn because of this. As a player with little leverage, the only thing you can really do is try to educate your new player about tabletop norms, and bend over backwards to not split the party in-game.

UncleWolf
2016-03-19, 09:07 AM
If you are running this game, then I feel that this partly on you. If an 'encounter' under your control steals from the PCs and receives a threat of deadly force unless he surrenders, then it is your choice that he doesn't surrender, that the local environment permits a mounted charge rather than facilitates escape through the trees/ amid w bustling market-day crowd, or whatever. If an NPC chooses to attempt to steal from an adventuring party, they must be aware that deadly force might result. I think it is entirely reasonable for 8-bit's Paladin to issue a warning, then act on it, and if that makes it harder to play the subsequent encounter as you had intended it to go, it's up to you to modify it.

I believe you've missed my point. I mentioned that 8bit didn't do anything wrong as a player in the encounter, and his PC, while having done something that was mildly surprising, wasn't entirely unexpected either. Of course I was prepared for the thief to be simply killed off, and if that had been the case, would be the end of the encounter with no hard feelings. I have no qualms about allowing encounters I have planned and start to run be waylaid by such events as no plan ever survives contact with other players and their PCs.

That isn't to say there wouldn't be consequences of course, be they physical, mental, or moral, but those simply arise as the result of the choices made and shouldn't be railroaded into. Such is the nature of Freeform RP in the sub-forum that this took place.

In this case, I simply made an encounter that was based on a Greyscale Morality for a PC with what appeared to be of a Black and White morality mindset. It is through such conflicts that characters grow and change, and in my opinion, perform best. All in all, I'd say that 8Bit performed admirably despite being quite new to the way encounters and roleplay work there. He didn't have to have his character feel remorse or be stopped nor did he have to ask for advice about how to improve. I'd say regardless of the IC results, the encounter did more than its fair share of a job well done.

As for the morality of the setting itself, it isn't a pseudo-medieval one. The city this happened in is more along the lines of Camelot smashed together with New York and a Warhammer 40k Hive City(it's all a rough approximation, but even so that's the best description I can provide) with the laws and moralities of the people and enforcers leaning towards a militarized New York more than anything else. What the PC attempted to do was the equivalent of just gunning down a purse snatcher who didn't use force and was unarmed.

Now, did I care what sort of "laws" were broken IC? Not really. I simply wished to provide an encounter where the PC might be morally conflicted with how to react and he and 8bit did great. 8Bit? You did nothing wrong. The other PC simply reacted because of what it all looked like given the circumstances. Neither I nor the other player are mad at you or your PC. It's just how the PCs themselves reacted.

Ashen Lilies
2016-03-19, 09:08 AM
So I wasn't doing anything bad (besides attacking an unarmed person)?

Then why was everyone pissed off? I get why the vampire is, with a lance being where her intestines used to be, but the scholar following me seemed pretty angry for trying to retrieve her property.

If someone I just met pulled out a gun and shot a thief, I'd be pretty upset, even if the thief had just stolen my purse. The other character reacted that way because that's how that character's player thought their character would react in that situation. You did nothing wrong OoC, your character just did something another character disagreed with, which is a natural consequence of roleplaying. :smallsmile:

Slii Arhem
2016-03-19, 09:08 AM
Except possession is 9/10ths of the law, a fact even more relevant in a pseudomedieval society. As a result, the use of force to protect possessions would likely not be looked down upon in any fantasy setting where Sherlock Holmes Wizards aren't commonplace.

I'm just going to continue to add context if you don't mind! The Nexus setting used in this site's Freeform (not mechanics based, nor usually GM to player, but rather player to player) is not generally a pseudo-medieval society! It's actually more akin to planescape, where there can be a Nexus (namedrop) of all realities and a melding and fragmenting of all cultures.

What this means is that the high-science-and-magic (except where it's not), pseudo-metropolitan city they were in has power-armored, presumably jackbooted military police to handle such situations. However, I will agree on one point. The paladin as a character acted well within character, for a medieval knighted noble/crusader type. That set of morals just does not gel with the ones of the situation he's found himself in, which is why the lady he was walking with who had her book stolen was appalled when he ran the thief through, and why the thief could be a vampire and not be automatically considered irredeemably evil for it.

It's a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (Starring Dolph Lundgren) situation. Only with better special effects. :smalltongue:

dps
2016-03-19, 11:01 AM
So I wasn't doing anything bad (besides attacking an unarmed person)?

I don't even see that as bad, personally. If the thief was unarmed, they should have armed themselves before stealing from an armed party. The only question for me would be about whether or not your Paladin is a member of an order that has a specific rule about it. If the do, they should also have rules about what you should do to atone for it (small "a" atone; since your Paladin didn't fall, capital "A" Atonement isn't necessary); your order doesn't have a specific rule about it, no problem.


Then why was everyone pissed off? I get why the vampire is, with a lance being where her intestines used to be, but the scholar following me seemed pretty angry for trying to retrieve her property.

I can't think of any good IC reason that anyone other than the vampire should be ticked off. At a guess, they're actually upset OOC because the thief was a PC.

goto124
2016-03-19, 11:05 AM
As far as the other PCs were concerned, the thief stole the wizard's life support system.

ThirdEmperor
2016-03-19, 12:23 PM
If someone I just met pulled out a gun and shot a thief, I'd be pretty upset, even if the thief had just stolen my purse. The other character reacted that way because that's how that character's player thought their character would react in that situation. You did nothing wrong OoC, your character just did something another character disagreed with, which is a natural consequence of roleplaying. :smallsmile:

This.

As another participant in the Nexus, IE, the general series of threads this is all taking place in..

It's not that your character's reaction, 8bit, wouldn't make sense in a standard D&D world. Or even a more medieval time period. The whole concept of the setting means that he did come from one, before ending up in the Nexus. Nobody's upset or shocked that he acted as a D&D char generally would.

It's just that this game world is not a 'standard' D&D setting and killing thieves isn't generally acceptable in the Nexus. So, in character, people are shocked and trying to calm this down.

Deathkeeper
2016-03-19, 12:24 PM
As far as the other PCs were concerned, the thief stole the wizard's life support system.

Except there was only one other PC, 8bit's, and there was no particular reason to think that the tome was nearly so important. Nothing in the posts even suggested that she was a mage and it was at all special besides personal/monetary value.

8BitNinja
2016-03-19, 12:30 PM
So as far as I know, the conflict is resolved for now. I'm not against more input, just that I'm pretty sure the current situation is done.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-03-20, 08:35 PM
As a general answer to this thread's topic, you could always...not attack people? Perhaps attempt to apprehend perpetrators of nonviolent property crime and have them pay restitution to their victims rather than abruptly executing them in the street? I understand Paladins are limited in their capabilities compared to, say, Wizards, but you're strong, heavily armored, and mounted. There are definitely ways to deal with people other than "run them through with my lance".

8BitNinja
2016-03-21, 12:55 AM
As a general answer to this thread's topic, you could always...not attack people? Perhaps attempt to apprehend perpetrators of nonviolent property crime and have them pay restitution to their victims rather than abruptly executing them in the street? I understand Paladins are limited in their capabilities compared to, say, Wizards, but you're strong, heavily armored, and mounted. There are definitely ways to deal with people other than "run them through with my lance".

How often would you say death by tackling is?

Drynwyn
2016-03-21, 01:38 AM
Got to point out that in this SPECIFIC case, a high-level wizard's spellbook is not just a Valuable Thing- it's an incredibly powerful weapon, likely containing at least a half-dozen spells capable of causing massive casualties if used in a civilized area. Stealing it is not the same as stealing a coin purse.

And offering a chance to yield, then following through on your threats, seems... pretty reasonable, honestly.

Angelmaker
2016-03-21, 03:03 AM
Think of it this way: what would a police officer do in this scenario?
.
The whole situation is totally unclear.

What would a police officer do, if the thief in question was able to turn into a tank at the blink of an eye? Because that's the situation in a fantasy game. If i'd live in a world, were 1) shapechanging and magic existed, 2) my "high-level" wizard friend's spellcasting book got stolen which can be worth multiple tens of thousands of gold pieces ( assuming the thief has means to circumvent my wizard's friend theft protection meaning thief is hig level too ) and 3) the thief didn't stop even after being warned of being impaled if he didn't stop, then yes, i'd attack too! If the thief's too stupid to stop? His bad. I HAVE to assume that if the thief shows NO CONCERN WHATSOEVER to respond to my threat then he has some kind of means to deal with me. ( teleportation, shapechange, mind control, immobilization spells , etc. Pp. Even alchemical items or poisons or other mean trickxs.)

Obviously, i don't know which system this took place in but in D&D this is pretty much true. There is no good reason why a paladin should be punished by this line of reasoning, unless his code specifically forbade such an action. I'd not let a paladin fall for this. But then again, i have never played one or had a paladin as a player, so i don't have much exoerience with this.

Satinavian
2016-03-21, 03:27 AM
So as far as I know, the conflict is resolved for now. I'm not against more input, just that I'm pretty sure the current situation is done.

You reacted in a way that seemed appropriate, but everyone is shocked. Including the person you wanted to help.

Obviously you don't understand the cultural values of the strange place you are in. Try to rectify that. Try to learn about local law, appropriateness of violence and how people handle thiefs and other criminals. Coming from a feudal society it should not be a completely foreign idea that not every social class is allowed or expected to punish wrongdoers themself (serfs usually aren't). Only if you understand the place you can find the correct position for yourself. Something where you can do good and right without coming into conflict with the foundations of order and society.

It is one thing to oppose an evil regime. But doing your own thing just because you don't know local laws and customs and don't care and your culture is better anyway, is the way of Chaos, not something a paladin shuld do.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-03-21, 07:43 AM
How often would you say death by tackling is?

Well while that happens suspiciously often in real life I imagine it's avoidable even when wearing a significant amount of plate. Generally speaking you have to TRY to kill someone, although accidents do happen.

Democratus
2016-03-21, 08:07 AM
Sounds like the situation played out perfectly.

Later on, an NPC can ask about how they all met.

"First time I met ol' Pally here, he impaled me on a lance. Perfect start to life long friendship."

NPC reaction, "..."

johnbragg
2016-03-21, 08:19 AM
As for the morality of the setting itself, it isn't a pseudo-medieval one. The city this happened in is more along the lines of Camelot smashed together with New York and a Warhammer 40k Hive City(it's all a rough approximation, but even so that's the best description I can provide) with the laws and moralities of the people and enforcers leaning towards a militarized New York more than anything else. What the PC attempted to do was the equivalent of just gunning down a purse snatcher who didn't use force and was unarmed.


WEll, if it's a militarized New York, then Bernie Goetz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Goetz) is a relevant example. Goetz got a LOT of public support in New York in the 1980s. Crime and public safety was a much bigger problem then, but if you have people with PC classes running around, public safety is going to be a problem in your setting too.

goto124
2016-03-21, 09:55 AM
Also, in a land of PCs, "mildly impaled" is a thing :smalltongue:

Slipperychicken
2016-03-21, 10:30 AM
Also, in a land of PCs, "mildly impaled" is a thing :smalltongue:

Not even a bad thing, unless you want everyone sporting a set of broken ribs, bleeding internal organs, and missing most of their teeth halfway through the first quest-line. It's hardly the image that comes to mind when you think of fantasy adventure.

Segev
2016-03-21, 11:23 AM
I will note that it is perfectly reasonable for the thief to fail to think, "I should stop and put my hands up," in response to an armed knight charging her down with a lance, even if he's telling her to halt in the name of justice. She has limited reason to believe that he'd actually stop, or that he even could.

However, dropping the (doubtless somewhat heavy) book or even tossing it behind her with a "here! take it!" as a distraction to run away better would have been smarter, I think. Anything demonstrating a willingness to at least try to comply as safely as possible would justify some ire at the knight for his continued violence, but when the thief just mocks and keeps running...following through on the threat is natural.

And yeah, I get that the DM is saying the paladin did okay, here. I think there's a miscommunication between the player and the DM.

8BitNinja
2016-03-21, 01:24 PM
I saw "how would a police officer react?"

If I was a cop and saw a guy running down the street with an ICBM, I would probably shoot to kill

Unless the perso n in question was the military, but still, running with an ICBM raises red flags

Running with anything the size of an ICBM is amazing

Segev
2016-03-21, 02:09 PM
I saw "how would a police officer react?"

If I was a cop and saw a guy running down the street with an ICBM, I would probably shoot to kill

Unless the perso n in question was the military, but still, running with an ICBM raises red flags

Running with anything the size of an ICBM is amazing

And what would you do under similar circumstances if you saw him not with an ICBM, but with what you knew to be the stolen Football (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football)?

FocusWolf413
2016-03-21, 02:13 PM
Play Club Penguin or Poptropica instead.

8BitNinja
2016-03-21, 06:42 PM
And what would you do under similar circumstances if you saw him not with an ICBM, but with what you knew to be the stolen Football (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football)?

Probably

Why does football have a link? Do some people not know what a nuclear football is?

Coidzor
2016-03-21, 07:52 PM
Probably

Why does football have a link? Do some people not know what a nuclear football is?

I think clarification is helpful these days, especially since the spectre of global thermonuclear war isn't in the cultural cachet as much these days.

Piedmon_Sama
2016-03-21, 08:29 PM
I know what it is! It was just in a major motion picture! The White House Movie, with Jamie Foxx and Magic Mike!

Piedmon_Sama
2016-03-21, 08:30 PM
I'm a millennial, gotta love me!!!

8BitNinja
2016-03-21, 09:19 PM
I think clarification is helpful these days, especially since the spectre of global thermonuclear war isn't in the cultural cachet as much these days.

That's true, we aren't getting ready to blow the commies to kingdom come anytime soon, but if Worms was right, and Russia is the leading power of the Warsaw Pact...

"With thier leader blown to kingdom come, the enemy, they turned and ran"- Wormsong '95

NUKE THE COMMIES

Malifice
2016-03-22, 02:48 AM
It's a PC. I guess this is her way of joining the party or something? But the thing that matters is that I impaled her trying to get something back for my friend.

It makes you feel kind of like a jerk.

Your Paladin deployed lethal force (running a fleeing thief down with a lance)... to recover a friends book?

And now that same thief wants to hang around with you after you speared him with said lance? Or conversely your Paladin (and the Wizard) want to hang around with that guy after he stole from them?

Why?

And neither the thieving or the lancing broke any laws of wherever you happen to be? Thieves dont get hung or flogged and random spearings are totes cool?

I dont even know where to start with this.

AMFV
2016-03-22, 10:03 AM
I would recommend doing some reading on escalation of force and the law of land warfare as it pertains to that. Determine what your order would want and find a set of rules that matches that. Remember that Paladins are lawful, they shouldn't be forced to snap judgements in a situation that would be fairly commonplace. I will note that very few EOF procedures allow lethal force to result from theft. Arguably that's theft of a weapon and so lethal force might be justified, but I would set up the EOF procedures first, not least because you could point out the matter if it comes up again. In that your Paladin is following his procedures.

8BitNinja
2016-03-22, 10:36 AM
Your Paladin deployed lethal force (running a fleeing thief down with a lance)... to recover a friends book?

And now that same thief wants to hang around with you after you speared him with said lance? Or conversely your Paladin (and the Wizard) want to hang around with that guy after he stole from them?

Why?

And neither the thieving or the lancing broke any laws of wherever you happen to be? Thieves dont get hung or flogged and random spearings are totes cool?

I dont even know where to start with this.

The scenario ended, the thief just ran off after we came to an agreement. She is done with her life of crime and we have our stuff back

Leewei
2016-03-22, 10:37 AM
It somewhat depends upon the area the thievery took place. If it was out in the wilds or anywhere at all dangerous - I'd impale the thief twice if need be!

The wizards needs his spells to survive. The wizard needs the spellbook for his spells. IE - kill the thief jerk!

Dangerous area = battlefield situation. Even in the modern day a soldier wouldn't hesitate to shoot someone who, in a battlefield situation, grabbed their mortar launcher and took off. This is a very comparable scenario, only the spellbook is less easily replaceable.

I 100% agree with this. In the Old West, horse thieves were hanged. Someone without a horse to get around was vulnerable and quite likely to die if away from a town. The wizard's situation is similar. Theft of a spellbook cripples the character, and is rightfully seen as enemy action. Unless there is a very compelling reason to keep the thief around, I'd bind them, heal them when convenient, and drop them off at the next town to be hanged as a warning against other would-be thieves.

Such a thing would certainly be Lawful. Would it be Good? The alternative is to afflict some underserving, honest folk with someone who will steal from them and make them miserable, much like she did to their protectors - the other PCs. You don't have to be preachy about it, and you can certainly feel miserable about doing so, but your duty is to see to it that she is hanged.

As you drag her toward the nearest town, make it clear that you don't like what you're being forced to do. Beg her to give you her best reason to show mercy. Make it clear that without a reason to believe she will not repeat her terrible mistake, she is doomed, and everyone would be better off without her.

Also, make sure your wizard pal starts to trap his spellbook. If the thief decides to make it a repeat performance, discuss the matter with the DM. PvP really doesn't work well in tabletop games, and this sort of thing is really only fun for the misanthropic player. Being able to trust the people in whose hands you are placing your life is a pretty basic requirement.

8BitNinja
2016-03-22, 10:41 AM
I 100% agree with this. In the Old West, horse thieves were hanged. Someone without a horse to get around was vulnerable and quite likely to die if away from a town. The wizard's situation is similar. Theft of a spellbook cripples the character, and is rightfully seen as enemy action. Unless there is a very compelling reason to keep the thief around, I'd bind them, heal them when convenient, and drop them off at the next town to be hanged as a warning against other would-be thieves.

Such a thing would certainly be Lawful. Would it be Good? The alternative is to afflict some underserving, honest folk with someone who will steal from them and make them miserable, much like she did to their protectors - the other PCs. You don't have to be preachy about it, and you can certainly feel miserable about doing so, but your duty is to see to it that she is hanged.

As you drag her toward the nearest town, make it clear that you don't like what you're being forced to do. Beg her to give you her best reason to show mercy. Make it clear that without a reason to believe she will not repeat her terrible mistake, she is doomed, and everyone would be better off without her.

Also, make sure your wizard pal starts to trap his spellbook. If the thief decides to make it a repeat performance, discuss the matter with the DM. PvP really doesn't work well in tabletop games, and this sort of thing is really only fun for the misanthropic player. Being able to trust the people in whose hands you are placing your life is a pretty basic requirement.

I'll put C4 or something on it to make sure if it happens again, the thief won't win

But then I'll lose the book

Segev
2016-03-22, 10:43 AM
I'll put C4 or something on it to make sure if it happens again, the thief won't win

But then I'll lose the book

Fire trap (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/fireTrap.htm) and similar spells and effects can be placed on spellbooks. In fact, I think that's what the spell was originally invented for back in AD&D.

And I hotlinked "Football" because I wanted to be clear I was referring to the nuclear one and not, say, a rugby ovoid or a soccer ball or a pigskin. :smalltongue: The link added clarity for any who needed it without forcing me to write one of my more pedantic, lengthy, and sesquipedalian treatis-length posts.

Vinyadan
2016-03-22, 11:15 AM
I did not read the whole thread, but can't you buy a rope to make a lasso, or a pair of bolas?

The whole deal is weird, however. Stealing a wizard's spellbook is like stealing an arsenal. It's not enough to allow an immediate kill, especially if the thief is on foot and unarmed, while the pursuer has weapons and a horse, but it also isn't something to take kindly. The only reason why I wouldn't be OK with your character's actions is that he's a paladin; had he been non-good, well, it would have been overkill, but it was something you could expect.

I think that players should all be informed about each other's preference about character conflict. I also think it's worth occasionally breaking the role simulation to allow for everyone to have fun. If this was a quest/character hook, maybe your DM should have informed you.

Malifice
2016-03-22, 11:19 AM
IC: If someone tried to purse-snatch one of my friends, I'd probably run the guy down too if I was armed and on a horse. Besides, you gave him ample warning; that's all you can really be expected to do in the heat of the moment. In those days, no court in the world would have convicted you.

I'm a lawyer IRL and for some free legal advice, please dont shoot an unarmed thief in the back as he runs away from you. The same applies should you find yourself in the middle ages and are not an agent of the Crown or wealthy enough to pay the mans family (and the courts) off.

:smallsmile:

And even should the act be lawful (a lot to assume here - the Paladin could be a knight with some level of authority in the area he finds himself and not some religious fanatic from another nation or under the authority of a different leige) it most certainly is not good to attempt to kill someone for the alleged crime of theft. Its highly doubtful that the penalty for theft is execution without trial in any but the most savage and brutal (ie CE) lands.


Paladin sees a thief steal from a party member.
Paladin warns and threatens thief.
Thief ignores Paladin.
Paladin acts on threat.

Seems like a pretty reasonable chain of events on the Paladin's side. I don't see the problem here.

Ah, the Paladin. Examplars of charity, honor, mercy and justice - which of course translates into running a fleeing unarmed man down and stabbing him in the back, without recourse to trial by his peers.

AMFV
2016-03-22, 11:24 AM
I did not read the whole thread, but can't you buy a rope to make a lasso, or a pair of bolas?

The whole deal is weird, however. Stealing a wizard's spellbook is like stealing an arsenal. It's not enough to allow an immediate kill, especially if the thief is on foot and unarmed, while the pursuer has weapons and a horse, but it also isn't something to take kindly. The only reason why I wouldn't be OK with your character's actions is that he's a paladin; had he been non-good, well, it would have been overkill, but it was something you could expect.

I think that players should all be informed about each other's preference about character conflict. I also think it's worth occasionally breaking the role simulation to allow for everyone to have fun. If this was a quest/character hook, maybe your DM should have informed you.

To be fair stealing a weapon is typically considered enough to use lethal force by almost every law enforcement agency. I think that the chief problem was that the scenario was not a good meetup scenario, since it's likely to result in at the least suspicion, and at the most death.

Malifice
2016-03-22, 11:28 AM
To be fair stealing a weapon is typically considered enough to use lethal force by almost every law enforcement agency.

No its not mate. Only the probable use of the weapon.

Simply pilfering a glock from the armory wont do it. Grabbing a cops gun and not dropping it when ordered is signing your own death sentence though.

Vinyadan
2016-03-22, 11:43 AM
I saw "how would a police officer react?"

If I was a cop and saw a guy running down the street with an ICBM, I would probably shoot to kill

Unless the perso n in question was the military, but still, running with an ICBM raises red flags

Running with anything the size of an ICBM is amazing

Beside the visually interesting scenario, there are a few problems. The ICBM is, of itself, harmless - you need structures to use it. The guy running around can be stopped easily by anyone with a bike. He can't use the ICBM immediately, can't go far, can't hide, he unlikely has a way to transport it away... Yes, it is kind of merciful to try and stop him without going for the kill, because, in such a scenario, he may just jump into a manhole and disappear. But, as long as he does't jump on a vehicle, I wouldn't try to kill him.

The book, however, was harmless, and would remain so for 8 hours minimum, the paladin was on a horse, was probably no cop, and, being supposed to be a paladin, shoul have acted mercifully and not have used more violence than needed. The part were he is a paladin is what makes me think it's not the same as the situation depicted in Hunter of ICBM Runners®, now available on VHS and DVD.



Why does football have a link? Do some people not know what a nuclear football is?

Where I live, we call it "button purse".

Strigon
2016-03-22, 12:23 PM
I saw "how would a police officer react?"

If I was a cop and saw a guy running down the street with an ICBM, I would probably shoot to kill


But a spellbook isn't an ICBM. Granted, it can cause colossal damage in the wrong hands, but it's not exclusively a WMD.
Besides, not everyone can get an ICBM. Spellbooks, and the spells they contain, are far more common. If you see someone with an ICBM, you know you've stumbled onto something big. If you see someone with a spellbook, it could easily be petty theft. Unless you're in a world where magic is as strictly controlled as ballistic missiles, a lost spellbook isn't likely to be a big threat; anyone with the power to actually use it could probably get one just as easily through legal channels, it would just cost more/take more time.


Essentially, with an ICBM, whether the thief was going to use it or sell it off, it's going to be a huge problem. There is no way this will blow over quietly. But a lost spellbook - unless it's a high-levelled spellbook - isn't likely to be a threat to a country. The two aren't nearly comparable.

Slipperychicken
2016-03-22, 12:48 PM
Your Paladin deployed lethal force (running a fleeing thief down with a lance)... to recover a friends book?


It's both the friend's entire livelihood, and a potent weapon. The spells in that book and their effect on civilians would make a RL terrorist's jaw drop. It's not a nuke, but even some basics like suggestion or fireball grant an incredible ability to do harm.

Strigon
2016-03-22, 12:53 PM
It's both the friend's entire livelihood, and a potent weapon. The spells in that book and their effect on civilians would make a RL terrorist's jaw drop. It's not a nuke, but even some basics like suggestion or fireball grant an incredible ability to do harm.

But they require a Wizard of appropriate skill to use.
And such a Wizard probably has a spellbook of his own.

Malifice
2016-03-22, 12:56 PM
It's both the friend's entire livelihood, and a potent weapon. The spells in that book and their effect on civilians would make a RL terrorist's jaw drop. It's not a nuke, but even some basics like suggestion or fireball grant an incredible ability to do harm.

Or he was stealing it to raise money for his sick mother.

Anyways, its an alignment thing, and these discussions invariably depress the crap out of me.

Leewei
2016-03-22, 01:14 PM
But they require a Wizard of appropriate skill to use.
And such a Wizard probably has a spellbook of his own.

Unless the game has some immediately obvious physical quality that shows a person is a wizard, the thief may well have had the capability to use it. Given the consequences of the book falling into the hands of someone willing to do at the very least steal from her fellows, mercy is something the thief should be begging for, not presuming.

Digressing a bit: I love the modern world, with its safety, convenience, and due process. I absolutely do not advocate vigilantism, capital punishment for petty crimes, or any other of a number of horrors from the middle ages. The games we play generally do not take place in this world, though. The stakes are enormously higher, the utility and irreplaceability of the item she took, and what it did to the survivability and odds of mission success go far beyond simple theft of literature.

The thief supposedly wants or is destined to join the party. Her first act was one of enmity, and running her down with potentially lethal force was entirely justifiable. Everyone in the party relies on each other for their lives, and quite possibly for some greater cause. Stealing a spellbook goes well into the realm of threatening all of the PCs and their cause. Treat her harshly unless she gives you a very good reason not to. Don't gloat, don't preach, but make it very clear that actions have consequences, and the spellbook has an apparent value greater than her life.

Vinyadan
2016-03-22, 01:43 PM
To be fair stealing a weapon is typically considered enough to use lethal force by almost every law enforcement agency. I think that the chief problem was that the scenario was not a good meetup scenario, since it's likely to result in at the least suspicion, and at the most death.

Luckily, that's not true. There are a few important details: first of all, law enforcers don't have special killing rights. The kill will be deemed acceptable in cases in which they are supposed to have considered the killing necessary according to some well set principles, which apply to all citizens. Secondly, there's the definition of weapon: a car is much more dangerous than a knife. Third, there's the problem of how possible it is to use the weapon: if I go around with a hunting rifle in its container and it is stolen, the thief cannot be killed just like that, because the weapon isn't dangerous until it's out of the envelope. Fourth, even if I stole a fully loaded, action ready AK-47 and didn't show any intention to use it, I wouldn't be killable, unless the situation were such, that simply taking the weapon could be reasonably read as an intention to use it.

Unless you are at war, which is when everything turns arbitrary. Or in a land with an unusual legislation. Or on a ship, or other in conditions in which law administration belongs to a very small group.

Anyway, I fully agree with everything else you said.

8BitNinja
2016-03-22, 04:31 PM
Honestly, if a terrorist had a nuclear football, I'd call Jack Bauer

Bohandas
2016-03-22, 04:37 PM
And the most important question from my point of view is - would a paladin value a spellbook more than a life of a person, whose motives are unknown to him?

Or, for that matter, the law of the land. Paladins are also supposed to be paragons of order and probably shouldn't be doing this kind of stuff without a deputization or letter of marque or something unless legal government in the region is either absent, overwhelmed, or corrupt.

GanonBoar
2016-03-22, 04:43 PM
This is a strange case for me

So I have a Paladin travelling around with some people, and a thief randomly takes my wizard pal's spellbook. Having recently played the roguelike Pixel Dungeon and the method for dealing with thieves in that game still in my mind, I get on my horse and dash after the thief, warning her if she didn't yield, I would impale her with my lance. I impaled her, and she survived (somehow) and now everyone is mad at me, including myself. for attacking an unarmed person. First off, how do I make amends (she's still alive, I don't know how) and avoid doing this kind of stuff in the future? I covered up why I attacked earlier by saying that my character has on and off episodes of PTSD from his previous adventures from losing close friends (he''s pretty high level) but that doesn't change the fact that I dishonorably attacked someone.
IMO, depends what kind of Paladin you are. I'm going to use 5e terminology for a sec so please forgive me if you use a different system, but if you're a law-abiding or generic Devotion Paladin then go all in. Atonement, Penances, the whole shebang. If you're like the Vengeance Paladin and ultimately just want to destroy evil, then just don't care.

In all fairness, it isn't really your fault. If someone steals something and then refuses to return it even when you warn her that you will resort to violence, if you resort to violence it's their fault. Personally, I would try to knock the thief out and not outright kill her, but I'd still attack her. The person playing that PC can't expect you all to be fine with their character stealing something from a fellow party member. That kind of thing needs to be worked out OOC beforehand so you can make a situation that lets you RP to your heart's content but that everyone is happy with and won't result in such outcomes.

And even if you do try to atone, I wouldn't apologize to the thief. Apologize to your deity, church, and pantheon for this crime. The thief doesn't deserve it if they were the one that stole something.

AMFV
2016-03-22, 08:35 PM
Luckily, that's not true. There are a few important details: first of all, law enforcers don't have special killing rights. The kill will be deemed acceptable in cases in which they are supposed to have considered the killing necessary according to some well set principles, which apply to all citizens. Secondly, there's the definition of weapon: a car is much more dangerous than a knife. Third, there's the problem of how possible it is to use the weapon: if I go around with a hunting rifle in its container and it is stolen, the thief cannot be killed just like that, because the weapon isn't dangerous until it's out of the envelope. Fourth, even if I stole a fully loaded, action ready AK-47 and didn't show any intention to use it, I wouldn't be killable, unless the situation were such, that simply taking the weapon could be reasonably read as an intention to use it.

Unless you are at war, which is when everything turns arbitrary. Or in a land with an unusual legislation. Or on a ship, or other in conditions in which law administration belongs to a very small group.

Anyway, I fully agree with everything else you said.


All they need to use deadly force is a belief that there is risk of immediate harm to others. But somebody stealing a rifle is a pretty indicator of that. And if I cannot stop him short of killing him, that's what I would I do, and I guarantee you, it would not get me in any trouble. Because, that's a pretty clear sign of intent to harm somebody in the near future.

If you're being pedantic the call is always on the officer, they are allowed to use deadly force when they believe that there is imminent danger to themselves or others, theft of a powerful weapon, definitely counts as imminent danger. If you stole a car and were driving erratically in a neighborhood, deadly force would likewise be authorized. If you stole a car after threatening somebody, deadly force would be authorized. In the case of a car theft, this is less clean cut since the purpose of a car is not intrinsically violent.

Stealing the AK is demonstrating intent to use it. Period.

Vinyadan
2016-03-22, 09:48 PM
All they need to use deadly force is a belief that there is risk of immediate harm to others. But somebody stealing a rifle is a pretty indicator of that. And if I cannot stop him short of killing him, that's what I would I do, and I guarantee you, it would not get me in any trouble. Because, that's a pretty clear sign of intent to harm somebody in the near future.

If you're being pedantic the call is always on the officer, they are allowed to use deadly force when they believe that there is imminent danger to themselves or others, theft of a powerful weapon, definitely counts as imminent danger. If you stole a car and were driving erratically in a neighborhood, deadly force would likewise be authorized. If you stole a car after threatening somebody, deadly force would be authorized. In the case of a car theft, this is less clean cut since the purpose of a car is not intrinsically violent.

Stealing the AK is demonstrating intent to use it. Period.

Eh, I wrote a lot of stuff earlier, but I now think you are right, as long as the belief has some decent base. The only point I could make is that weapons can also be sold, but telling someone stealing a weapon for personal use from someone stealing it for selling it is pretty much impossible, if the weapon isn't divided in parts or in a crate. I do think that our countries have some different laws concerning weapons, because for us it is pretty much impossible to steal a ready to use weapon, unless you get one from an officer.

Malifice
2016-03-22, 11:54 PM
Stealing the AK is demonstrating intent to use it. Period.

Im a lawyer IRL, and this is not true.

Someone stealing a weapon (and even having one in their hands) is not in and of itself enough of a reason for that person to be shot dead out of hand. You have to demonstrate a reasonable belief that there is an immediate risk of harm to others, and that you used reasonable (possibly lethal) force.

Someone standing 20m away from me with a knife and I have a drawn firearm, I cant just gun them down. They approach me, ignoring warnings, and I form the reasonable view that they pose an immediate threat to me or others, then they are fair game. I better be prepared to defend my actions as objectively reasonable to a jury of 12 of my peers though.

In my own jurisdiction (Australia) this is expressed as: "A full acquittal (from the charge of murder) is achieved if a jury finds that a person accused reasonably believed (to an objective standard - not his own subjective belief) that they were threatened with imminent death or serious bodily harm and, if so, that the force they used in response was reasonably proportionate to the perceived danger."

In the USA it is expressed as: "A person is privileged to use such force as reasonably appears necessary to defend him or herself against an apparent threat of unlawful and immediate violence from another."

There is no way that this person in the OPs example (even if we classify a spellbook as a 'weapon') presented as an apparent threat or posed an immediate risk of harm to anyone, nor can it be said that the force used in response (running him through from behind with a lance while mounted as he ran away) was reasonably proportionate.

8BitNinja
2016-03-23, 02:28 AM
A police officer and a pally are two different things, I think some people forgot that.

Malifice
2016-03-23, 03:20 AM
A police officer and a pally are two different things, I think some people forgot that.

Its in the context of 'Both are lawfully empowered to enforce the law'

If this Paladin does not have a lawful mandate from the local authorities, why wasnt he charged with attempted murder?

Mutazoia
2016-03-23, 04:32 AM
If violence is your last resort, you are not resorting to it soon enough.

If violence is not solving all of your problems, you are not resorting to enough of it.

Remember, pillage THEN burn.

Strigon
2016-03-23, 08:22 AM
Its in the context of 'Both are lawfully empowered to enforce the law'

If this Paladin does not have a lawful mandate from the local authorities, why wasnt he charged with attempted murder?

I think the metaphor went down the drain when people started saying "well, if the pally is a cop, then the spellbook must be a lethal weapon".
I meant it as a simple thought experiment; OP asked "what else could I have done?", and I answered with "what else would a police officer have done?". And then everyone took it and ran.

Leewei
2016-03-23, 09:44 AM
There is no way that this person in the OPs example (even if we classify a spellbook as a 'weapon') presented as an apparent threat or posed an immediate risk of harm to anyone, nor can it be said that the force used in response (running him through from behind with a lance while mounted as he ran away) was reasonably proportionate.

The spellbook is an item not only of great intrinsic value, but of enormous utility to keep the party alive, and to allow them to achieve their missions. Bringing up morality in a tabletop RPG occasionally may keep things fresh, but wrangling with modern values while dealing with a fantasy medieval world gets old real fast. The thief went on the side of the monsters when she selfishly acted to cripple the party wizard.

The best analogy I can come up with is the Old West frontier. Horse thieves were hanged there, not because horses were weapons, but because someone who had their horst stolen was very likely to die. The thief engaged in the same pathological disregard for the lives of the party when she performed her act. From the paladin's perspective, her action may well have been just the first of many enemy actions to sabotage them or their mission.

D+1
2016-03-23, 09:46 AM
So I have a Paladin travelling around with some people, and a thief randomly takes my wizard pal's spellbook. Having recently played the roguelike Pixel Dungeon and the method for dealing with thieves in that game still in my mind, I get on my horse and dash after the thief, warning her if she didn't yield, I would impale her with my lance. I impaled her, and she survived (somehow) and now everyone is mad at me, including myself. for attacking an unarmed person. First off, how do I make amends (she's still alive, I don't know how) and avoid doing this kind of stuff in the future? I covered up why I attacked earlier by saying that my character has on and off episodes of PTSD from his previous adventures from losing close friends (he''s pretty high level) but that doesn't change the fact that I dishonorably attacked someone.

Get off your high horse. :) But seriously, yes it's not exactly Marquis of Queensbury to take down a thief by lethal force, but you CANNOT overlook the fact that the thief did actually commit a crime. So I'd say what your character should do is...
apologize (I'm sure you've done so already) and promise to never do it again
pay or provide for full and complete healing of wounds inflicted
give the injured thief some additional compensation of money or a potion or something (a healing potion would be appropriate I think)
obtain an atonement from the appropriate religious organization.

And then TAKE THE THIEF TO PRISON FOR THE CRIME, which has not been excused just because of the paladin's overreaction. Unless the victim of the theft is willing to settle for a similar compensation - apology, promise to never do it again, return of the property, payment of additional compensation in the form of a new spell perhaps. Obviously the thief has no atonement issues but really it needs to be established that the thief is actually getting off easy. Theft from party members is typically a worse crime than theft from strangers. The party members have taken you into their trust and by stealing from them IN ANY FASHION you betray that trust as directly as if you spit in their face - in addition to committing the crime itself. In a great many cases, were the alignments of the other party members closer to neutral then the thief would be fortunate to have escaped alive at all! Not in danger from the paladin but from the other party members. Simply being a thief gives a thief character no rights to a copper piece of extra treasure nor any other PC's property. Taking anything from other party members has consequences and any thief character needs to be aware that they take their very LIFE into their own hands when they commit such betrayals.

The paladin's reaction is excessive, but understandable. If that's how the PALADIN reacts to theft within the party - how will the other party members react who do not have such behavioral restrictions? Yeah, the thief is LUCKY not to have been justifiably killed.

Segev
2016-03-23, 10:24 AM
The "it's just a book" or "only a wizard could use it" arguments keep ignoring two or three essential facts:

1) If it's just a book or only a wizard can use it, there's no incentive for a random thief to steal it; therefore, it was stolen for specific purpose, and that purpose is probably reasonably dire.

2) Stealing a wizard's spellbook is akin to stealing supplies from a camp in the wilderness: you may not be murdering them right now, but you're putting them in great danger of starving to death. Or, perhaps, it's akin to stealing a doctor's supplies (all his medicines, his tools, etc.). It's at BEST expensive to replace, and he can barely do his job and make a living without them.

The third fact is smooshed between the two, centering around the point that anybody stealing a wizard's spellbook is doing so because they know how important it is and have a definite use for it; either they're hired to target that spellbook, or they, themselves, plan to use it. And if they had to steal a spellbook, then they wanted something in it pretty badly that they're sure they couldn't have gotten without risking the ire of a highly dangerous spellcaster they've just given exquisite reason to devote all their active resources to the most efficient hunt for the malefactor possible.


In short: there's no "innocent" reason to steal a spellbook in a mugging, and it almost certainly wasn't random. And the harm done by it is much higher than, say, stealing a coinpurse or jewelry or other easily-fenced goods.

And even then? "You can't stop me without killing me" shouldn't be a reason to compel somebody to let you go, morally or ethically. If somebody is willing to force it to that point (when they're in the wrong), the guy who is being forced to choose to let them go or kill them is much more easily absolved of guilt for choosing to kill them. He still has to weigh it in his conscience whether he thinks it worth it, but you don't get to bully somebody just because their only recourse is to "suck it" or kill you, and killing you is somehow more unacceptable than your bullying.

Democratus
2016-03-23, 10:41 AM
Its in the context of 'Both are lawfully empowered to enforce the law'

If this Paladin does not have a lawful mandate from the local authorities, why wasnt he charged with attempted murder?

Because the world of D&D is like the sensationalized wild west. Killing happens all the time and the local sherif doesn't want to bother with a thief who was subsequently brought to heel. That's a problem that took care of itself.

8BitNinja
2016-03-23, 02:00 PM
Get off your high horse. :) But seriously, yes it's not exactly Marquis of Queensbury to take down a thief by lethal force, but you CANNOT overlook the fact that the thief did actually commit a crime. So I'd say what your character should do is...
apologize (I'm sure you've done so already) and promise to never do it again
pay or provide for full and complete healing of wounds inflicted
give the injured thief some additional compensation of money or a potion or something (a healing potion would be appropriate I think)
obtain an atonement from the appropriate religious organization.

I already did so

AMFV
2016-03-23, 02:13 PM
Im a lawyer IRL, and this is not true.

Someone stealing a weapon (and even having one in their hands) is not in and of itself enough of a reason for that person to be shot dead out of hand. You have to demonstrate a reasonable belief that there is an immediate risk of harm to others, and that you used reasonable (possibly lethal) force.

Taking a lethal weapon from somebody else is certainly justification for that. If not try stealing a firearm from a police officer, and see how that works out for you. It would definitely not be unreasonable to suspect that.



Someone standing 20m away from me with a knife and I have a drawn firearm, I cant just gun them down. They approach me, ignoring warnings, and I form the reasonable view that they pose an immediate threat to me or others, then they are fair game. I better be prepared to defend my actions as objectively reasonable to a jury of 12 of my peers though.


If you're a Police Officer it is extremely unlikely that a case as clear cut as this would go to an actual court room.



In my own jurisdiction (Australia) this is expressed as: "A full acquittal (from the charge of murder) is achieved if a jury finds that a person accused reasonably believed (to an objective standard - not his own subjective belief) that they were threatened with imminent death or serious bodily harm and, if so, that the force they used in response was reasonably proportionate to the perceived danger."

In the USA it is expressed as: "A person is privileged to use such force as reasonably appears necessary to defend him or herself against an apparent threat of unlawful and immediate violence from another."

There is no way that this person in the OPs example (even if we classify a spellbook as a 'weapon') presented as an apparent threat or posed an immediate risk of harm to anyone, nor can it be said that the force used in response (running him through from behind with a lance while mounted as he ran away) was reasonably proportionate.

This is true of persons, not necessarily law enforcement officers. General people do not have an obligation to protect the well-being of others. Paladins do, police and soldiers do. You are treating this as though the Paladin was a civilian, which is not entirely accurate.

8BitNinja
2016-03-23, 06:42 PM
This is true of persons, not necessarily law enforcement officers. General people do not have an obligation to protect the well-being of others. Paladins do, police and soldiers do. You are treating this as though the Paladin was a civilian, which is not entirely accurate.

A Paladin is an Errant Knight, Church Militant, and a general Soldier of the Faith

none of these say Civilian

Calling a paladin a civilian is like calling the Soldier from TF2 a civilian, he gets not happy

Democratus
2016-03-24, 07:32 AM
A Paladin is an Errant Knight, Church Militant, and a general Soldier of the Faith

none of these say Civilian

Calling a paladin a civilian is like calling the Soldier from TF2 a civilian, he gets not happy

Depends on the government for that locality. In a theocracy the church enforcers can said to be government officials. Otherwise their jurisdiction is somewhat limited.

Satinavian
2016-03-24, 09:48 AM
Not really.

All those arguments of civillian/police, deputization and so on rely on the pretty modern idea of the [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_on_violence"]. It is a core foundation of pretty much all modern legal codes but it is absent from most medieval ones.

While the city where this happened might be modern enough to use it, but the paladin seems to come from a world where per law every free man is allowed to use violence to protect his rights. There was a time not long ago where something like a police simply didn't exist, where criminal investigations were a private matter, where city guards were responsible for manning the wall and preventing fires, not for fighting crime. The https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feud was actually a legal method to settle matters in the HRE until the dawn of the 16th century and was aknowledged even after that.

Bohandas
2016-03-24, 11:33 AM
I think the metaphor went down the drain when people started saying "well, if the pally is a cop, then the spellbook must be a lethal weapon".
I meant it as a simple thought experiment; OP asked "what else could I have done?", and I answered with "what else would a police officer have done?". And then everyone took it and ran.

How about if we ask what Batman would do.

8BitNinja
2016-03-24, 03:01 PM
How about if we ask what Batman would do.

I'm more of a Superman fan

let the fan wars begin

Lord Magtok
2016-03-24, 03:06 PM
I'm more of a Superman fan

That would explain the murderous tendencies, then. :smalltongue:

Strigon
2016-03-24, 04:13 PM
How about if we ask what Batman would do.

Well, then we'd have to get into debates about which Batman, and the answer would almost certainly involve a gadget a Paladin doesn't have, and the fact that - in the universes I'm familiar with - Batman doesn't kill anybody at all. Whereas most Paladins will eventually decide "You know what? Enough's enough; you're dead."

8BitNinja
2016-03-24, 09:40 PM
Well, then we'd have to get into debates about which Batman, and the answer would almost certainly involve a gadget a Paladin doesn't have, and the fact that - in the universes I'm familiar with - Batman doesn't kill anybody at all. Whereas most Paladins will eventually decide "You know what? Enough's enough; you're dead."

And Batman's morality is not one of a Paladin

Malifice
2016-03-25, 01:18 AM
Taking a lethal weapon from somebody else is certainly justification for that. If not try stealing a firearm from a police officer, and see how that works out for you. It would definitely not be unreasonable to suspect that.

Context is important mate. Youd better hope a jury of 12 of your peers viewed your lethal force as a reasonable response to a threat.

If he grabs a cops gun and is holding it by the barrel (for example) there is no immediate threat. Draw a gun on him and demand him to drop his weapon, sure. But if he refuses (but doesnt otherwise attempt to operate the gun) then you are going to be in some strife if you gun him down.

You cant shoot someone for theft. You can only shoot them if they pose an immediate threat to your (or someone elses) life.

Holding an M16 by the carrying handle isnt a lisence to be shot. If your hand goes to the pistol grip then blam.

AMFV
2016-03-25, 09:51 AM
Context is important mate. Youd better hope a jury of 12 of your peers viewed your lethal force as a reasonable response to a threat.

If he grabs a cops gun and is holding it by the barrel (for example) there is no immediate threat. Draw a gun on him and demand him to drop his weapon, sure. But if he refuses (but doesnt otherwise attempt to operate the gun) then you are going to be in some strife if you gun him down.

You cant shoot someone for theft. You can only shoot them if they pose an immediate threat to your (or someone elses) life.

Holding an M16 by the carrying handle isnt a lisence to be shot. If your hand goes to the pistol grip then blam.

Stealing a gun from somebody != walking around armed. Not even remotely similar. As a lawyer you should recognize that distinction in context, if a person steals a gun from somebody, then it would be reasonable to assume that they intend to use it for nefarious purposes. Since the function of a gun is to kill or maim, that would imply that the nefarious purpose is to kill or maim, ergo threat to others. The issue is that if he takes the weapon and starts to flee, then it's entirely reasonable to assume that he is going to use that weapon against somebody else.

Malifice
2016-03-25, 01:47 PM
Stealing a gun from somebody != walking around armed. Not even remotely similar. As a lawyer you should recognize that distinction in context, if a person steals a gun from somebody, then it would be reasonable to assume that they intend to use it for nefarious purposes. Since the function of a gun is to kill or maim, that would imply that the nefarious purpose is to kill or maim, ergo threat to others. The issue is that if he takes the weapon and starts to flee, then it's entirely reasonable to assume that he is going to use that weapon against somebody else.

And again, I disagree. Stealing a gun in and of itself is not enough for the defence of self defence.

They need to be about to immenently use it. Simply stealing it isnt enough. Guns are expensive you know. Its entirely reasonable that they were stealing it to sell it, or even simply attempting to disarm you.

I can assure you If I was on the prosecution and your only defence to gunning someone down was 'he stole my gun' I could get the jury rejecting that argument pretty quickly.

Segev
2016-03-25, 08:54 PM
D&D is usually not set in a civilization with modern western standards of jurisprudence. "Old West" enforcement is more common, as is "arabian nights" or "medieval town." All of which tend to recognize that if somebody steals, they're risking being beaten up or killed by their victim if caught. Thieves have surprisingly few rights in most of history.

Strigon
2016-03-26, 08:20 AM
D&D is usually not set in a civilization with modern western standards of jurisprudence. "Old West" enforcement is more common, as is "arabian nights" or "medieval town." All of which tend to recognize that if somebody steals, they're risking being beaten up or killed by their victim if caught. Thieves have surprisingly few rights in most of history.

But as a Paladin, you're held to a higher standard.
In this case, the thief wasn't about to get away, and the spellbook couldn't immediately be used. Which means that forgoing all attempts at stopping them beyond a verbal warning is in a grey area at best. If the thief was getting away, or actually risking someone's life, then you could make the argument for immediate use of lethal force, but the fact is that nothing would have been lost had the Paladin tried a nonlethal approach first - which means the Paladin should have used a nonlethal approach first.

A Paladin is a paragon of both Law and Good - and not even in that order. Just because something can be justified Lawfully, it doesn't mean a Paladin has any business doing it.

AMFV
2016-03-26, 10:12 AM
But as a Paladin, you're held to a higher standard.
In this case, the thief wasn't about to get away, and the spellbook couldn't immediately be used. Which means that forgoing all attempts at stopping them beyond a verbal warning is in a grey area at best. If the thief was getting away, or actually risking someone's life, then you could make the argument for immediate use of lethal force, but the fact is that nothing would have been lost had the Paladin tried a nonlethal approach first - which means the Paladin should have used a nonlethal approach first.

A Paladin is a paragon of both Law and Good - and not even in that order. Just because something can be justified Lawfully, it doesn't mean a Paladin has any business doing it.

It was pretty clear that the thief was about to get away. What nonlethal approach would you have had the Paladin use? He shouted at her to stand down, while pointing out that if she didn't he would be forced to use lethal force, she didn't stop and continued to flee. The Paladin doesn't know if she's armed, and so closing to melee distance is now extremely dangerous.

The nonlethal approach was the shouting, that's why he did that. Another class wouldn't have had to shout necessarily to be seen as appropriate in the eyes of the law. Also "being held to a higher standard" does not equal being held to our modern one necessarily. In which case "Shout-Show-Shove-Shoot" would be appropriate. He shouted, he showed that he was able and willing to use lethal force, he started moving towards her with clear intent (in this case that would be shove), then he "shot" that's everything perfect, this is not an unclear situation, and I have training on this particular sort of thing and how we deal with it in the modern world.

Now if the Paladin had effective nonlethal options (which ironically the wizard should have), then it would be a different story, but because the Paladin lacks said options then he acted appropriately given the scenario and the tools at hand.

hamishspence
2016-03-26, 11:43 AM
D&D's not exactly modern - but it's not exactly medieval, either. Some, possibly even most, towns may have legal codes that don't have a "killing thieves caught in the act is Justifiable Homicide" proviso.

Shooting a fleeing pickpocket in the back might qualify as problematic - especially on a crowded street where doing so might endanger bystanders as well.

"Riding down fleeing thief and hitting them in the back with huge melee weapon" sounds very like Sandor Clegane "The Hound" in Game of Thrones. In this case it wasn't a thief, but a kid accused of hitting a prince.

Vinyadan
2016-03-26, 12:22 PM
I actually can't think of a medieval city in which you had the right to kill a thief. Even in a case of self defence, in England, you didn't have the right, but you had a ground to be pardoned.

In case, I'd like to be informed. But the Middle Ages were all but lawless, were law could reach, and those who had the power to judge and command fines and punishment made it a big deal.

AMFV
2016-03-26, 06:33 PM
Again the point is that the Paladin did not simply have any other options. There were no nonlethal resolution methods available to him, at least none that I can think of. Where he wouldn't have potentially been putting bystanders into more danger.

johnbragg
2016-03-26, 07:18 PM
Again the point is that the Paladin did not simply have any other options. There were no nonlethal resolution methods available to him, at least none that I can think of. Where he wouldn't have potentially been putting bystanders into more danger.

Well, he had the option of letting the thief get away.

That of course risks that the spellbook gets into dangerous hands etc etc. But that's a possibility. Compared to the certain risks that happen when you ride a horse at full charge in a (crowded?) populated area. (I think the OP said they were in a town, so I'm assuming a mildly bustling street, at the least.)

AMFV
2016-03-26, 07:33 PM
Well, he had the option of letting the thief get away.

That of course risks that the spellbook gets into dangerous hands etc etc. But that's a possibility. Compared to the certain risks that happen when you ride a horse at full charge in a (crowded?) populated area. (I think the OP said they were in a town, so I'm assuming a mildly bustling street, at the least.)

So it's injuring one person, or letting a weapon that could kill multiple people in the hands of one person of unknown intent who has shown a desire and willingness to violate the law. That's a pretty easy choice.

Elderand
2016-03-26, 08:15 PM
Again the point is that the Paladin did not simply have any other options. There were no nonlethal resolution methods available to him, at least none that I can think of. Where he wouldn't have potentially been putting bystanders into more danger.

Did the paladin have arms and hands? If yes then he could have grappled/punched.

Saying there were no nonlethal options is patently false.

JoeJ
2016-03-26, 08:21 PM
So it's injuring one person, or letting a weapon that could kill multiple people in the hands of one person of unknown intent who has shown a desire and willingness to violate the law. That's a pretty easy choice.

That "weapon" can't be used by most people, nor was there any reason to think the thief even knew that it was anything other than a fancy, and probably valuable, book. Even if they had known what it was, there wasn't the slightest bit of evidence that they would be able to make use of it.

And if this "weapon" is so dangerous, shouldn't the paladin have been concerned about an unlicensed wizard even having it to begin with?

johnbragg
2016-03-26, 08:25 PM
So it's injuring one person, or letting a weapon that could kill multiple people in the hands of one person of unknown intent who has shown a desire and willingness to violate the law. That's a pretty easy choice.

If the "one person" is the thief, then you miss the point. The point is that you're endangering bystanders in the path of your horse.

If the thief weren't a half-dragon vampire, you'd have a decent shot at killing her just by trampling her with the horse.

Dangerous police chases are not controversial mostly because the person being chased might get hurt. It's because random bystanders in the way get hurt.

goto124
2016-03-26, 09:30 PM
This discussion took so long, the thief already got away :smalltongue:

Malifice
2016-03-27, 06:29 AM
Again the point is that the Paladin did not simply have any other options. There were no nonlethal resolution methods available to him, at least none that I can think of. Where he wouldn't have potentially been putting bystanders into more danger.

Im assuming its 5E so his options included:

1) Non lethal damage (smack the thief over the head with his lance).
2) Grab or push over the thief (what I would have done) with a Strength athletics check
3) Use the intimidate or persuasion skill to convice the thief to stop.
4) Hold person or abjure the thief to stop

Among probably a few others.

Morty
2016-03-27, 06:36 AM
This is not D&D of any sort, and the book wasn't a spellbook. Haven't you seen the several posts that explained it?

Malifice
2016-03-27, 06:40 AM
This is not D&D of any sort, and the book wasn't a spellbook. Haven't you seen the several posts that explained it?

The OP:

So I have a Paladin travelling around with some people, and a thief randomly takes my wizard pal's spellbook.

Wizard, Paladin, Thief. 'Spellbook' clearly mentioned.

What game is it?

Morty
2016-03-27, 08:04 AM
Posts that provide context which was omitted from the original post:


I stumbled upon this thread through accident and I feel I should post as I am the one who is running the encounter with the thief. (Note, the thief is an encounter, not a party member)

From a purely D&D point of view, what 8bit's character did wasn't outright bad. After all, most thieves are evil and generally chaotic and killing a thief who is stealing something very important to another party member isn't too unreasonable. It wouldn't have been my first choice of a reaction, but it wasn't a surprising one. Nor was it a bad choice necessarily. Not what I would have expected a Paladin to do right off, but I've seen worse and have dealt with worse.

However, the only reason the thief is still alive after her impalement is because I had rolled randomly for what she was, and got a Half-Dragon Vampire. If she were anything that wasn't undead, she would be killed by that blow. Now, before everyone says that all vampires are evil, that's not how I run them. Certainly she isn't a good person(she is a thief after all), but she's neither cruel nor evil. She stole something valuable because it looked valuable and she needs the money.

Now, all of this aside, I feel that perhaps the opening of this thread and the location of it is somewhat misleading. This isn't a structured roleplay in this case. It is in the FFRP section of this site. Regardless of the system(or lack of one), if 8Bit feels he needs help asking for suggestions on how to prevent this again or on how to seek penance in-character, that is up to him. As the one running the encounter, I didn't feel the need to force such a response from him.


Edit for context:

Paladin sees a thief steal something from a person he just met on the street that day.
Paladin immediately begins charging his horse at the thief, shouting a warning mid-charge.
Thief quips something to Paladin and continues to run from the man on a horse charging at her.
Paladin impales the (at least visibly) unarmed and defenseless thief through the torso from behind.

This in a major city where there is law enforcement to deal with thieves, rather than immediate vigilante justice. Most of the time, anyway, this is a city with adventurers living there after all. :smalltongue:


I guess I should have framed it as the literal event and posted it in the FFRP section

I don't know how the Nexus really works

I also feel like pointing out that neither wizards nor paladins or thieves are exclusive to D&D.

hamishspence
2016-03-27, 02:19 PM
"Half-dragon Vampire" is rather on the powerful side for a pickpocket - though in a non-D&D game the power level may be lower.

Some fiction portrays even exceptionally nice characters as being not shy about breaking arms when they catch pickpockets in the act:


Tales From the Five Hundred Kingdoms - The Sleeping Beauty

(After character (Siegfried) has warned young pickpocket off)

Siegfried: "I've only discouraged the young and less skilled. Now the most skilled will think I am a challenge. And I will have to break some bones. That probably will discourage the rest. It is difficult to ply the trade of thief with a broken hand, and weighing the odds of small profit from me against high probability of not being able to cut purses for a month, they will leave me a—"

(Grabs adult would-be pickpocket, breaks the man's arm with one hand, and drops him; all without turning around and barely breaking his stride)

Siegfried: "—lone. Well, that took less time than I thought. This must be a very sophisticated city."

8BitNinja
2016-03-27, 10:18 PM
It was pretty clear that the thief was about to get away. What nonlethal approach would you have had the Paladin use? He shouted at her to stand down, while pointing out that if she didn't he would be forced to use lethal force, she didn't stop and continued to flee. The Paladin doesn't know if she's armed, and so closing to melee distance is now extremely dangerous.

The nonlethal approach was the shouting, that's why he did that. Another class wouldn't have had to shout necessarily to be seen as appropriate in the eyes of the law. Also "being held to a higher standard" does not equal being held to our modern one necessarily. In which case "Shout-Show-Shove-Shoot" would be appropriate. He shouted, he showed that he was able and willing to use lethal force, he started moving towards her with clear intent (in this case that would be shove), then he "shot" that's everything perfect, this is not an unclear situation, and I have training on this particular sort of thing and how we deal with it in the modern world.

Now if the Paladin had effective nonlethal options (which ironically the wizard should have), then it would be a different story, but because the Paladin lacks said options then he acted appropriately given the scenario and the tools at hand.

I had no effective nonlethal options, my lance did not have a jousting cap on, and I had no merciful weapons

JoeJ
2016-03-27, 10:29 PM
I had no effective nonlethal options, my lance did not have a jousting cap on, and I had no merciful weapons

You left your fists at home?

johnbragg
2016-03-27, 11:45 PM
You left your fists at home?

Not sure the rules of the system, but IRL, I don't think punching someone from horseback is effective. And without the horse, I don't think he catches up to the thief.

JoeJ
2016-03-28, 01:33 AM
Not sure the rules of the system, but IRL, I don't think punching someone from horseback is effective. And without the horse, I don't think he catches up to the thief.

Feet, then. Whatever system this is, surely there's some way to pummel, grapple, or otherwise subdue somebody without using lethal force?

goto124
2016-03-28, 02:39 AM
my lance did not have a jousting cap on,

Turn your lance around and use the blunt end? :smalltongue:

Deophaun
2016-03-28, 03:32 AM
The problem with moderately impaling a thief is the "moderately" part. If you are going to impale someone, do it completely so that they aren't around to tell their side of the story and get you all conflicted with their "nuance" and "extenuating circumstances" and "empathy." This is basic Murderhobo 101, kid.

johnbragg
2016-03-28, 09:22 AM
Feet, then. Whatever system this is, surely there's some way to pummel, grapple, or otherwise subdue somebody without using lethal force?

What I'm saying is system-independent, because it relies on real-world Newtonian or even Aristotelian physics.

I'm going to use D&D speeds because I can recall them instantly. Thief stole the Thing and ran 30 x 4 = 120 feet. The Paladin begins reacting when the thief is up to 120 feet away. If the paladin chases on foot, he matches the thief's speed, and the thief is able to maintain a constant lead on the paladin, at best. (Assuming that a sneaky type does not in fact move *faster* than a big bulky smashy type.) And very likely, the sneaky type will be more able to end the chase by hiding or blending--or enlisting local law enforcement against the big brute who's trying to mug him, allowing the thief to get away--than the smashy type will by cornering the thief.

So chasing the thief on foot is not likely to recover the Thing.

So the paladin uses his horse, which has a movement of 50. 50 is more than 30, so the mounted paladin closes the gap on the thief fairly easily. (Not sure how paladin and horse avoid collisions in the semi-crowded street, but they do.) But now the paladin is riding a horse who is moving at about 30 mph, about the speed limit of many American cities. Jumping out of a car at that speed carries a serious risk of injuring yourself, and the same would be true of jumping off of a horse. Either the paladin, the thief or both are liable to end up with a broken neck.

As in most modern theft situations, the realistic options are 1. Allowing the thief to escape or 2. A violent strategy that risks injuring yourself or 3. A violent strategy that risks killing the thief.

IF the sage is not happy with the paladin's actions, next time the paladin will allow the theft to proceed and the sage can take it up with his or her insurance company. HArd cheese if that is not a thing in a pseudomedieval militarized New York setting.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-03-28, 10:43 AM
As a thought, running someone down with a horse is nasty and likely to result in serious injury, but significantly less likely to be fatal than charging them with a lance. Even hemming the thief in with the horse to give the victim or local law enforcement time to catch up would be good. Also, since this was not in fact a D&D rule-based setting, tricks like holding the lance sideways and at a downward angle to tangle the thief's legs and trip him are also legit.

Really though, we can argue about what could have been done for 50 pages, but I think the real question here is "why would you respond to a property crime with lethal violence, and how can it not occur to the character to try something else first?"

johnbragg
2016-03-28, 11:20 AM
Really though, we can argue about what could have been done for 50 pages, but I think the real question here is "why would you respond to a property crime with lethal violence, and how can it not occur to the character to try something else first?"

Because if you don't, pretty soon you won't have any property. "Something else", in this thread, means "something less likely to recover the property."

A lance is a tool. It is designed to impale people. If you try to use it in a real situation, there is some chance that you will miss. (And in this case, do not recover your friend's property.)

If you try to use it in some other improvised fashion, like swinging it as a 10 foot long club or holding it backwards or using it as a tripping weapon there is a bigger chance that you miss completely.

This is becoming like one of those discussions of a police shooting littered with contributions like "why didn't he just shoot him in the hand/leg?" Because that's highly likely to fail.

I don't think anyone plays a roleplaying game, and chooses a martial-type class, for the opportunity to role-play a crime victim filling out a police report. There's a reason there are no RPGs based on being a noncriminal civilian in New York in the 1980s.

JoeJ
2016-03-28, 11:22 AM
What I'm saying is system-independent, because it relies on real-world Newtonian or even Aristotelian physics.

I'm going to use D&D speeds because I can recall them instantly. Thief stole the Thing and ran 30 x 4 = 120 feet. The Paladin begins reacting when the thief is up to 120 feet away. If the paladin chases on foot, he matches the thief's speed, and the thief is able to maintain a constant lead on the paladin, at best. (Assuming that a sneaky type does not in fact move *faster* than a big bulky smashy type.) And very likely, the sneaky type will be more able to end the chase by hiding or blending--or enlisting local law enforcement against the big brute who's trying to mug him, allowing the thief to get away--than the smashy type will by cornering the thief.

So chasing the thief on foot is not likely to recover the Thing.

So the paladin uses his horse, which has a movement of 50. 50 is more than 30, so the mounted paladin closes the gap on the thief fairly easily. (Not sure how paladin and horse avoid collisions in the semi-crowded street, but they do.) But now the paladin is riding a horse who is moving at about 30 mph, about the speed limit of many American cities. Jumping out of a car at that speed carries a serious risk of injuring yourself, and the same would be true of jumping off of a horse. Either the paladin, the thief or both are liable to end up with a broken neck.

The paladin is skilled in using that lance, right? So he's probably an experienced jouster, because that's how you learn. An experienced jouster knows how to fall off a charging horse without getting hurt. In the real world today plenty of people still do that, either as entertainers or for sport. And I've seen stunt men in movies dive off a charging horse to tackle somebody on the ground, so why shouldn't a professional fantasy adventurer be able to do the same thing?


As in most modern theft situations, the realistic options are 1. Allowing the thief to escape or 2. A violent strategy that risks injuring yourself or 3. A violent strategy that risks killing the thief.

If there's really no way to tackle the thief you need to ask whether stopping a property crime is worth killing somebody.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-03-28, 01:15 PM
Because if you don't, pretty soon you won't have any property. "Something else", in this thread, means "something less likely to recover the property."

A lance is a tool. It is designed to impale people. If you try to use it in a real situation, there is some chance that you will miss. (And in this case, do not recover your friend's property.)

If you try to use it in some other improvised fashion, like swinging it as a 10 foot long club or holding it backwards or using it as a tripping weapon there is a bigger chance that you miss completely.

This is becoming like one of those discussions of a police shooting littered with contributions like "why didn't he just shoot him in the hand/leg?" Because that's highly likely to fail.

I don't think anyone plays a roleplaying game, and chooses a martial-type class, for the opportunity to role-play a crime victim filling out a police report. There's a reason there are no RPGs based on being a noncriminal civilian in New York in the 1980s.

That's not what was going on in this scenario, though. It was clarified earlier in the thread that the character in question was a D&D character transported to a different setting (and society) entirely. I can get behind the fact that the character in question was confused and disoriented and otherwise had extenuating circumstances, but the question posited was "How Do I Not Immediately Resort to Violence?", and I'm attempting to answer that. In the abstract a bit, now, since the original situation was resolved IC, apparently.

Regarding your other points, police do not shoot people unless they or others are threatened (or feel threatened, which is a politically-charged legal fuzzy area in America right now so I won't address it on these forums). You will never see a police officer so much as tase someone without at least claiming that the suspect appeared to be using a weapon in a threatening manner. It's a basic principle of escalation of force. Generally speaking, private citizens are held to this as well - in some jurisdictions, victims of crimes (even violent ones) always have an obligation to retreat, while in others lethal self-defense is legalized under terms of being or feeling threatened. Neither of which was the case in this scenario - no one was being threatened, or attacked, except for the thief himself. Certainly not the medieval armored vehicle who did the attacking.

Now, none of that necessarily applies to an armed medieval warrior, but the expectation of a comparable escalation of force is why the characters around the scenario in question were shocked and appalled, and applying that principle to your in-character thought process is - I feel - a good basis for avoiding awkwardness like that in the future (as well as a loss of powers if the forces of Law and Good that grant Paladins their blessing decide to be soft on property crime today).

8BitNinja
2016-03-28, 01:26 PM
It was a FFRP game in the Nexus setting, but I said earlier...


I was trying to frame the post as a situation in D&D so I could use that and put it into the context of what was happening


I also feel like pointing out that neither wizards nor paladins or thieves are exclusive to D&D.

All of these exist in real life

Even if you don't believe magic exists, you can't deny that there are people who claim to use magicks

johnbragg
2016-03-28, 01:37 PM
That's not what was going on in this scenario, though. It was clarified earlier in the thread that the character in question was a D&D character transported to a different setting (and society) entirely. I can get behind the fact that the character in question was confused and disoriented and otherwise had extenuating circumstances, but the question posited was "How Do I Not Immediately Resort to Violence?", and I'm attempting to answer that. In the abstract a bit, now, since the original situation was resolved IC, apparently.

The answer to that is, effectively, "Let the thief get away." To modern societies, and to the pseudo-modern society which OP is in, the thief's life is more important than the stolen property. The paladin made the opposite choice, that his ally's property was more important than a criminal stranger's life.


Regarding your other points, police do not shoot people unless they or others are threatened (or feel threatened, which is a politically-charged legal fuzzy area in America right now so I won't address it on these forums). You will never see a police officer so much as tase someone without at least claiming that the suspect appeared to be using a weapon in a threatening manner. It's a basic principle of escalation of force. Generally speaking, private citizens are held to this as well - in some jurisdictions, victims of crimes (even violent ones) always have an obligation to retreat, while in others lethal self-defense is legalized under terms of being or feeling threatened.

This is all true. What is also true, is that except for cars and cell phones (which have been designed with theft-recovery features), stolen property is rarely recovered. (We're prosperous enough that this isn't a problem. In societies that aren't, like the Old West with horses or the pre-Civil War South with runaway slaves, or illegal drug markets, or the possibly apocryphal Islamic cultures that chop off hands for thievery, theft is a more or less life-and-death matter and is often treated as a capital offense.)

In a modern society, if the paladin had, as someone suggested, tackled the thief from horseback or smacked him or tripped him with the lance, that's an assault charge of some form or another.


Now, none of that necessarily applies to an armed medieval warrior, but the expectation of a comparable escalation of force is why the characters around the scenario in question were shocked and appalled, and applying that principle to your in-character thought process is - I feel - a good basis for avoiding awkwardness like that in the future (as well as a loss of powers if the forces of Law and Good that grant Paladins their blessing decide to be soft on property crime today).

True. Not sure what the point of roleplaying a martial character in a setting where solving problems through violence is basically not allowed, but it's not my game.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-03-28, 02:46 PM
The answer to that is, effectively, "Let the thief get away." To modern societies, and to the pseudo-modern society which OP is in, the thief's life is more important than the stolen property. The paladin made the opposite choice, that his ally's property was more important than a criminal stranger's life.



This is all true. What is also true, is that except for cars and cell phones (which have been designed with theft-recovery features), stolen property is rarely recovered. (We're prosperous enough that this isn't a problem. In societies that aren't, like the Old West with horses or the pre-Civil War South with runaway slaves, or illegal drug markets, or the possibly apocryphal Islamic cultures that chop off hands for thievery, theft is a more or less life-and-death matter and is often treated as a capital offense.)

And I'll agree that this is a matter of social mores depending on the needs and conditions of the society. Laws and social customs are generally tailored to suit environmental and practical needs, rather than the other way around. If you're living in a kill-or-be-killed wasteland/dystopia, the thread's topic probably isn't a question you need to be asking in the first place.

(You still weren't legally allowed to shoot horse thieves to death just for being horse thieves, no matter that the territorial authorities would hang them, although defending your pastureland was another story tied up with frontiersman mentality.)


In a modern society, if the paladin had, as someone suggested, tackled the thief from horseback or smacked him or tripped him with the lance, that's an assault charge of some form or another.

And that's true in many cases, monopoly on violence, etc. However, if the Paladin could prove he was protecting himself or someone he had an interest in protecting, or if he was an actual law enforcement officer within his jurisdiction, he'd likely not be charged with a crime, and almost certainly not convicted of one, because he used minimal, as opposed to lethal, force.


True. Not sure what the point of roleplaying a martial character in a setting where solving problems through violence is basically not allowed, but it's not my game.

Wacky misunderstandings like this one, clearly.

Leewei
2016-03-28, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the additional background information. The encounter taking place in a city, rather than the wilderness, is important to the discussion. The PCs should have been yelling for the guards.

Also, in a lawful city, weapons are usually restricted. Swords are peace-bonded, lances are capped, and all sorts of other things are legislated. If someone has a ready sword or lance in a medieval city, they're either authorized to use it (sensible for a paladin), or are going to get in trouble.

What in the heck was that thief thinking, approaching a heavily-armed group, intent on stealing something when it was obvious they had the means to kill her, or to capture her and hand her over to the guard for a public execution? For that matter, how was she able to approach close enough to get at the wizard's belongings?

A paladin from the urban setting described would, in character, know what options he has to restrain or subdue someone from horseback. Simply kicking the thief with a armored boot would be sufficient. Make sure the player knows this. Also, lily-white paladin paragons of law and good really don't mesh well with dark urban fantasy. Judge Dredd-type zealots do, though, and the paladin's actions would be very suitable for that character concept.

8BitNinja
2016-03-28, 04:27 PM
Not sure what the point of roleplaying a martial character in a setting where solving problems through violence is basically not allowed, but it's not my game.

Violence is an appropriate way to resolve conflicts in this game. I just got done killing a dragon before I ran outside

Leewei
2016-03-28, 04:34 PM
Violence is an appropriate way to resolve conflicts in this game. I just got done killing a dragon before I ran outside

Just in time to see a half-dragon vampire thief running away with the wizard's book? That'd make your character's reaction very understandable.

Malifice
2016-03-28, 11:58 PM
most thieves are evil and generally chaotic

So 'most thieves are evil'...


Now, before everyone says that all vampires are evil, that's not how I run them. Certainly she isn't a good person(she is a thief after all), but she's neither cruel nor evil. She stole something valuable because it looked valuable and she needs the money.

...But this one wasnt evil because she was 'only stealing because she needed the money'

Isnt this... why most thieves steal?

Surely theft is (generally) neutral (and probably also chaotic in the absence of anything else)?


However, the only reason the thief is still alive after her impalement is because I had rolled randomly for what she was, and got a Half-Dragon Vampire.

Hehe. I would love to see that chart.

8BitNinja
2016-03-29, 12:03 AM
Surely theft is (generally) neutral (and probably also chaotic in the absence of anything else)

So theft is chaotic

Why didn't you just say that?

hamishspence
2016-03-29, 01:18 AM
This is all true. What is also true, is that except for cars and cell phones (which have been designed with theft-recovery features), stolen property is rarely recovered. (We're prosperous enough that this isn't a problem. In societies that aren't, like the Old West with horses or the pre-Civil War South with runaway slaves, or illegal drug markets, or the possibly apocryphal Islamic cultures that chop off hands for thievery, theft is a more or less life-and-death matter and is often treated as a capital offense.)

In books like Cityscape - a point is made of how societies that execute people for petty theft tend to be evil societies.

And slavery is treated as evil enough in general, that we can safely assume executing runaway slaves purely for running away, is evil.

Malifice
2016-03-29, 01:24 AM
So theft is chaotic

Why didn't you just say that?

Because thats not what I was saying.

A thief could not be chaotic. Stealing is (generally speaking) breaking the law, but so is murder etc and one can be a LE or NE murderer.

'Evil' implies something more than simple theft or property crimes surely? In DnD (and Im aware this wasnt DnD) 'evil' implies physcial harm to others, causing suffering and killing. Murder, rape and grevious bodily harm are evil - theft and destruction of property dont really hit the same note.

Robin Hood was a thief. He was famous for it in fact. He wasnt evil.

'Chaotic' implies a disrespect for established traditions and order. While many thieves would fit within this group, more than a few wouldnt.

Not that it matters though. If the thief broke the law by stealing (which is wrong), your character almost certainly broke the law himself by running him down on horseback and impaling him. Unless the local laws of the land where you reside make such a thing lawful. Two wrongs dont make a right after all.

Place yourself in the same position in real life. You're walking down the street and steal someones book of blueprints they use for a job. Its quite valuable to the right person, and potentially dangerous in the right hands. You cant read it and dont know what it contains. A policeman spots you and attempts to arrest you. You panic and run away. He hops on a horse, rides you down and shoots you in the back as you flee.

He (the policeman) almost certainly goes to prison in that example for attempted murder. And he's a cop in that jurisdiction, not some arguably deputised knight who is probably not even in the correct (i.e. his lords) legal jurisdiction.

Just visualise it man. You resorted to lethal force far too swiftly and without any real provocation. This was A FFRPG - you could have improvised anything if you wanted to (grabbing the thief, tackling him, lassoing him with some rope cowboy style, calling a 'hue and cry' to get the rest of the town after him, intimidating him to stop, donging him over the head with the flat of your sword, etc).

Any reasonable DM would have let you do it. That said, apparently this NPC was determined after the fact to be a 'Half dragon-vampire' by virtue of a random roll after the fact, so its equally likely that whales and bowls of petunias could start arbitrarily falling from the sky at any given time in the campaign youre in also.

8BitNinja
2016-03-29, 03:00 AM
Because thats not what I was saying.

A thief could not be chaotic. Stealing is (generally speaking) breaking the law, but so is murder etc and one can be a LE or NE murderer.

'Evil' implies something more than simple theft or property crimes surely? In DnD (and Im aware this wasnt DnD) 'evil' implies physcial harm to others, causing suffering and killing. Murder, rape and grevious bodily harm are evil - theft and destruction of property dont really hit the same note.

Robin Hood was a thief. He was famous for it in fact. He wasnt evil.

'Chaotic' implies a disrespect for established traditions and order. While many thieves would fit within this group, more than a few wouldnt.

Not that it matters though. If the thief broke the law by stealing (which is wrong), your character almost certainly broke the law himself by running him down on horseback and impaling him. Unless the local laws of the land where you reside make such a thing lawful. Two wrongs dont make a right after all.

Place yourself in the same position in real life. You're walking down the street and steal someones book of blueprints they use for a job. Its quite valuable to the right person, and potentially dangerous in the right hands. You cant read it and dont know what it contains. A policeman spots you and attempts to arrest you. You panic and run away. He hops on a horse, rides you down and shoots you in the back as you flee.

He (the policeman) almost certainly goes to prison in that example for attempted murder. And he's a cop in that jurisdiction, not some arguably deputised knight who is probably not even in the correct (i.e. his lords) legal jurisdiction.

Just visualise it man. You resorted to lethal force far too swiftly and without any real provocation. This was A FFRPG - you could have improvised anything if you wanted to (grabbing the thief, tackling him, lassoing him with some rope cowboy style, calling a 'hue and cry' to get the rest of the town after him, intimidating him to stop, donging him over the head with the flat of your sword, etc).

Any reasonable DM would have let you do it. That said, apparently this NPC was determined after the fact to be a 'Half dragon-vampire' by virtue of a random roll after the fact, so its equally likely that whales and bowls of petunias could start arbitrarily falling from the sky at any given time in the campaign youre in also.

This makes sense

Satinavian
2016-03-29, 03:32 AM
I actually can't think of a medieval city in which you had the right to kill a thief. Even in a case of self defence, in England, you didn't have the right, but you had a ground to be pardoned.

In case, I'd like to be informed. But the Middle Ages were all but lawless, were law could reach, and those who had the power to judge and command fines and punishment made it a big deal.
Don't mix up "punishing a cought thief with death" which would in most cases not be allowed (and even then might be completely OK if it was in your own house, your "sacred home") and "using potentially deadly force to hinder a thief to get away with his booty after he ignored your threat to do exactly that". You would be hard pressed to find a medieval city where this would not have been allowed - provided you are allowed to wear weaponry legally. Which often was heavily restricted to certain citizens.


Because thats not what I was saying.

A thief could not be chaotic. Stealing is (generally speaking) breaking the law, but so is murder etc and one can be a LE or NE murderer.

'Evil' implies something more than simple theft or property crimes surely? In DnD (and Im aware this wasnt DnD) 'evil' implies physcial harm to others, causing suffering and killing. Murder, rape and grevious bodily harm are evil - theft and destruction of property dont really hit the same note.
Theft is "using your own abilities and skills to actively harm others and further your own goals". In addition it usually involves breaking/damaging things and distributes items from people who have it because they put effort in getting them specifically to those that have them because they were in reach, in tendency reducing the value for the peoson in question.

The only two reasons that is not an example of pure Evil in the D&D-context are metagaming. In a game about seeking treasures in dungeons this shold be ok. And all the iconic criminal heroes from fiction should be valid character inspirations without lifting the common ban on evil characters. But it really doesn't improve the consistency of the D&D alignments to tag stealing as chaotic but not evil.

Malifice
2016-03-29, 05:26 AM
Theft is "using your own abilities and skills to actively harm others and further your own goals". In addition it usually involves breaking/damaging things and distributes items from people who have it because they put effort in getting them specifically to those that have them because they were in reach, in tendency reducing the value for the peoson in question.

The only two reasons that is not an example of pure Evil in the D&D-context are metagaming. In a game about seeking treasures in dungeons this shold be ok. And all the iconic criminal heroes from fiction should be valid character inspirations without lifting the common ban on evil characters. But it really doesn't improve the consistency of the D&D alignments to tag stealing as chaotic but not evil.

Maybe in your world mate, but dont try and palm it off as DnD morals.

'Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master.'

A person who steals from the evil kings men and distributes it to the poor is good (but also likely chaotic). Theft is a property crime. 'EVIL' in DnD terms involves direct harm to the person (torture, murder, rape, slavery) and not simply property crimes like breaking a persons stuff or stealing it. Stealing is at worst selfish (and even then not necessarily so). Youre drawing an incredibly long bow to try and frame 'harm and suffering' as it is used in a DnD context as including theft.

No-one would ever call a car thief or shoplifter 'evil'. Knowlingly stealing the money needed for a life saving operaton from a disabled child and we enter the realm of evil.

Your average street urchin who picks pockets to stay alive? CN is the most appropriate alignment. When that urchin starts killing people and taking their stuff, then we can talk about an alignment change.

Satinavian
2016-03-29, 05:51 AM
Maybe in your world mate, but dont try and palm it off as DnD morals.I didn't. I wrote explicitely that D&D tags it differently and why. And that i think that makes the D&D alignment system even more contradicting.



A person who steals from the evil kings men and distributes it to the poor is good (but also likely chaotic).Because the overall harm he does is negligible compared to the overall good he does and there is no obvious better way. Not because the theft is good.


No-one would ever call a car thief or shoplifter 'evil'.I would (provided that is the most alignment-defining thing about the person). In most modern societies you don't need to steal cars for survival, only for additional luxury. Harming others without need and for personal benefit. Should be clearly evil. Still low scale and petty for a defining moral trait but why should it not be evil ? Scale alone is not an argument.


Your average street urchin who picks pockets to stay alive? CN is the most appropriate alignment.Yes. But only because the alternative (starving) is worse than the damage done by stealing and because no reasonable altenative exists. What the morally best action is depends always on alternatives.


And harm is not only bodily harm.

Also i said "theft shoul be evil" not "thiefs should be evil". There is rarely a single activity determining ones alignment.

hamishspence
2016-03-29, 06:40 AM
"Calling the hue and cry" was more usual than "running the thief down on horseback" I would guess.

johnbragg
2016-03-29, 08:08 AM
Not that it matters though. If the thief broke the law by stealing (which is wrong), your character almost certainly broke the law himself by running him down on horseback and impaling him.

That's not as certain. (Obviously, by word of GM it's true in this campaign). But it's not a universal or near-universal rule of moderately organized societies. The prohibition against deadly force against a fleeing suspect only dates in the US to 1985 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_v._Garner), which ruled on a case from 1974. So within the lifetime of some older posters, it was not considered unreasonable to shoot a fleeing burglar.

A few weeks ago, in Florida, a homeowner rushed home because her burglar alarm went off, confronted/was confronted by a burglar who may or may not have been armed, and shot him. Police say it's up to the State Prosecutor whether she faces charges or not.


Unless the local laws of the land where you reside make such a thing lawful.
I don't think we can just assume that lethal force against lawbreakers is not lawful in a given society.


Place yourself in the same position in real life. You're walking down the street and steal someones book of blueprints they use for a job. Its quite valuable to the right person, and potentially dangerous in the right hands. You cant read it and dont know what it contains. A policeman spots you and attempts to arrest you. You panic and run away. He hops on a horse, rides you down and shoots you in the back as you flee.

"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes." It is not so very long ago, if every TV show and film noir movie is a guide, that "Police! Stop or I'll shoot!" was standard police practice. Fleeing from law enforcement in some-to-many societies is effectively a capital crime.


He (the policeman) almost certainly goes to prison in that example for attempted murder. And he's a cop in that jurisdiction, not some arguably deputised knight who is probably not even in the correct (i.e. his lords) legal jurisdiction.

That happened in Memphis in 1974, except without the horse. From wikipedia:


Hymon acted according to a Tennessee state statute and official Memphis Police Department policy authorizing deadly force against a fleeing suspect. The statute provided that "if, after notice of the intention to arrest the defendant, he either flee or forcibly resist, the officer may use all the necessary means to effect the arrest."


Just visualise it man. You resorted to lethal force far too swiftly and without any real provocation. This was A FFRPG - you could have improvised anything if you wanted to (grabbing the thief, tackling him, lassoing him with some rope cowboy style, calling a 'hue and cry' to get the rest of the town after him, intimidating him to stop, donging him over the head with the flat of your sword, etc).

I"m arguing from realism. If the system is narrative-over-realism, and/or Rule of Cool, then my arguments that less-lethal options were unlikely to work (you're the flipping protagonist, if you try to do The Thing, The Thing works) do not stand and I withdraw them. Player is shamed for trying to kill a plot hook. :smallcool:

johnbragg
2016-03-29, 08:21 AM
TLDR: The Paladin did nothing wrong, IMO. The player is guilty of trying to kill a plot hook, and is shamed.

hamishspence
2016-03-29, 08:46 AM
this occurred in the middle of the street, likely in front of witnesses, in a city with law enforcement that would bring down the hammer if they were informed of someone outright killing a thief in broad daylight via mounted charge over a tome(not a spellbook).

Seems pretty clear that the paladin is not "law enforcement" and that "mounted charge" is a bit of an overreaction in a crowded street, for a civilian - even an armed civilian.

Elderand
2016-03-29, 09:23 AM
TLDR: The Paladin did nothing wrong, IMO. The player is guilty of trying to kill a plot hook, and is shamed.

The paladin did plenty wrong because he is a paladin.

If your first reaction as a paladin when spotting a thief is to run them through you're playing a paladin wrong.

hamishspence
2016-03-29, 09:32 AM
They did give a "stop or I'll run you through" warning. Still way excessive for a seemingly ordinary pickpocket, in a city.

Vinyadan
2016-03-29, 09:44 AM
Don't mix up "punishing a cought thief with death" which would in most cases not be allowed (and even then might be completely OK if it was in your own house, your "sacred home") and "using potentially deadly force to hinder a thief to get away with his booty after he ignored your threat to do exactly that". You would be hard pressed to find a medieval city where this would not have been allowed - provided you are allowed to wear weaponry legally. Which often was heavily restricted to certain citizens.


Actually, I am pretty sure that I did not mix them up. The problem is that a lot of argumentation about the Middle Ages is being flung around, without ever specifying what/where these allegations actually refer to.
In the meantime, I have made some more research. In the Visigothic Kingdom, a thief found at night in the act of removing stolen property could be killed without fear of repercussions. The same was true for a thief acting in daylight defending himself with a sword. This appears to depend on how dangerous the thieves were in such conditions: in the night, you could not see what they were carrying (blades?), while a man defending himself with a sword was openly dangerous, and made it impossible to catch him in a bloodless fashion. However, there is no indication of the right to kill a thief, if he isn't defending himself with a weapon and it's daytime. (Interestingly, a caught thief could not be kept in your home, and each day in which you kept him would warrant a fine, not because you were violating a right of the thief, but because it was an offence to the judge. There also is no indication of where the thief is found, at home, in the fields, near cattle...)
In the Codex Iustiniani (4.3.2) you are allowed to kill a robber to escape danger, where robbery has previously been defined as rapine with violence. You could kill a thief in your house at night, but not one during the day (if he wasn't a robber or defending himself with a weapon), and only if you had shouted out before. If you killed someone you could have caught, your action was explicitly unlawful. Jewish law also only allowed the killing of a trespasser during the night.
If you have examples of cases and places in which you could kill people running away with stolen stuff, I will mark them down. The most interesting for me would be sentences. Right now, the only blanket statement I could find was from Anglo-Saxon law before Edward I, where those who ran before judgement was passed became outlaws and, as such, their killing was actually a positive action.

I am also having a couple of problems with the meaning of "caught": caught as "found", or caught as "taken and held"?

johnbragg
2016-03-29, 11:01 AM
The paladin did plenty wrong because he is a paladin.

If your first reaction as a paladin when spotting a thief is to run them through you're playing a paladin wrong.

This may be true, I am bad at paladin.

hamishspence
2016-03-29, 11:08 AM
I'd say, even in a low fantasy medieval game when you are only playing a "good knight errant/hedge knight" charging through the streets impaling cutpurses/bag snatchers with lances, is likely to raise a few eyebrows.

Leewei
2016-03-29, 12:17 PM
TLDR: The Paladin did nothing wrong, IMO. The player is guilty of trying to kill a plot hook, and is shamed.

QFT.

If the player did something the GM didn't anticipate, the GM should do a better job of making the player understand how the world works. The GM should also do a better job with the city setting. If the city has good law enforcement, the only people who will have a warhorse and a lance will be authorized to use them while in the city. Someone attempting to burglarize associates of this sort of person gets what they deserve.

8BitNinja
2016-03-29, 02:37 PM
The paladin did plenty wrong because he is a paladin.

If your first reaction as a paladin when spotting a thief is to run them through you're playing a paladin wrong.

Alright then, violence will no longer be my first option

Segev
2016-03-29, 05:19 PM
Regarding "stealing from the evil king's men to give to the poor," the reason why this is so often and easily dismissed as neutral-to-good behavior is the context that is implicitly understood but rarely directly brought up: the Evil King's Men are likely forcibly taking their wealth from "the poor." They are, explicitly or effectively, enslaving the populace against their will.

The "hero thief's" actions are more akin, in that context, to the hero who rescues the princess from the dragon's lair. Or, if you want to be a touch more analogous, the hero who raids the Evil Vizier's house to steal the deed to the orphanage back after he had it stolen in order to gain possession of the land that was discovered to be right over a motherload of magicanium (a rare and valuable material that also makes people who grow up near it 15% more likely to be adventurers).

In other words, the "hero thief" is almost invariably taking something that was stolen in the first place, and giving it explicitly or implicitly back to those from whom it was stolen/extorted/fraudulently-or-violently-taken.

The "neutral" examples of thievery tend to be life-and-death (or chronically nearly-so) situations with an emphasis on how much good the stolen items do for the recipients, how desperate the recipients are for that boon, and how little it actually hurts the rightful owner(s). This is what tends to excuse people like Aladdin in fiction where he's meant to be sympathetic and not reprehensible: he doesn't steal from people who will truly miss it (in theory), and he's doing it to survive with no other prospects. Notably, it takes a lot of justification to make it neutral; the "thief hero" who is in it for himself has to have a number of redeeming qualities and standards about from whom he'll steal, how much, and what he'll do with his stolen goods before it's neutral behavior.

And, of course, it's nearly always chaotic (because it's rarely called "theft" when done lawfully). It's a little inconsistent, but the underlying nature of it is pretty obvious on a case-by-case basis, even if it's hard to write a blanket rule.

Malifice
2016-03-29, 09:05 PM
That's not as certain. (Obviously, by word of GM it's true in this campaign). But it's not a universal or near-universal rule of moderately organized societies. The prohibition against deadly force against a fleeing suspect only dates in the US to 1985 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_v._Garner), which ruled on a case from 1974. So within the lifetime of some older posters, it was not considered unreasonable to shoot a fleeing burglar.

That's in the USA which is considered somewhat of an outlier among common law jurisdictions when it comes to shooting people. The case you cited was actually the USSC striking down Tenessee legislation that purported to permit the use of deadly force against fleeing suspects. The majority found the proper rule (at common law) is the use of deadly force is only allowed only when a suspect poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm.

There were some constitutional issues as well, but I'm no expert in US law.


A few weeks ago, in Florida, a homeowner rushed home because her burglar alarm went off, confronted/was confronted by a burglar who may or may not have been armed, and shot him. Police say it's up to the State Prosecutor whether she faces charges or not.

Again the USA - and in particular Florida which has those crazy 'castle' laws. Those laws reverse the onus of proof when you shoot someone on your own property. It's up to the State in the case you refer to prove that she (the shooter) wasnt acting reasonably, and not the other way around.

See here (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html)for a sumary.


I don't think we can just assume that lethal force against lawbreakers is not lawful in a given society.

Im not assuming it. What the Paladin did could very well have been lawful in this scenario. Heck, it could have been some frontier town where anything goes.

8BitNinja
2016-03-29, 11:57 PM
That's in the USA which is considered somewhat of an outlier among common law jurisdictions when it comes to shooting people. The case you cited was actually the USSC striking down Tenessee legislation that purported to permit the use of deadly force against fleeing suspects. The majority found the proper rule (at common law) is the use of deadly force is only allowed only when a suspect poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm.

There were some constitutional issues as well, but I'm no expert in US law.



Again the USA - and in particular Florida which has those crazy 'castle' laws. Those laws reverse the onus of proof when you shoot someone on your own property. It's up to the State in the case you refer to prove that she (the shooter) wasnt acting reasonably, and not the other way around.

See here (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html)for a sumary.



Im not assuming it. What the Paladin did could very well have been lawful in this scenario. Heck, it could have been some frontier town where anything goes.

I live in America, where deadly force is permitted if someone tries to steal from you. I assumed, because of my real life knowledge of local and national laws that I was allowed to kill them.

Coidzor
2016-03-29, 11:59 PM
Regarding "stealing from the evil king's men to give to the poor," the reason why this is so often and easily dismissed as neutral-to-good behavior is the context that is implicitly understood but rarely directly brought up: the Evil King's Men are likely forcibly taking their wealth from "the poor." They are, explicitly or effectively, enslaving the populace against their will.

The "hero thief's" actions are more akin, in that context, to the hero who rescues the princess from the dragon's lair. Or, if you want to be a touch more analogous, the hero who raids the Evil Vizier's house to steal the deed to the orphanage back after he had it stolen in order to gain possession of the land that was discovered to be right over a motherload of magicanium (a rare and valuable material that also makes people who grow up near it 15% more likely to be adventurers).

In other words, the "hero thief" is almost invariably taking something that was stolen in the first place, and giving it explicitly or implicitly back to those from whom it was stolen/extorted/fraudulently-or-violently-taken.

The "neutral" examples of thievery tend to be life-and-death (or chronically nearly-so) situations with an emphasis on how much good the stolen items do for the recipients, how desperate the recipients are for that boon, and how little it actually hurts the rightful owner(s). This is what tends to excuse people like Aladdin in fiction where he's meant to be sympathetic and not reprehensible: he doesn't steal from people who will truly miss it (in theory), and he's doing it to survive with no other prospects. Notably, it takes a lot of justification to make it neutral; the "thief hero" who is in it for himself has to have a number of redeeming qualities and standards about from whom he'll steal, how much, and what he'll do with his stolen goods before it's neutral behavior.

And, of course, it's nearly always chaotic (because it's rarely called "theft" when done lawfully). It's a little inconsistent, but the underlying nature of it is pretty obvious on a case-by-case basis, even if it's hard to write a blanket rule.

Well said. :smallsmile:


The paladin did plenty wrong because he is a paladin.

Ahh, yes, the crime of knowingly and willingly being a Paladin. :smallamused:

That violates Article XFS000135 of the Hextorian Immigration and Safe Conduct Act of 1354, that does. The entire Article, too. And Article XFS000136 for doing it without a license. And Article XFS000137 for doing it without having declared it at Customs...

8BitNinja
2016-03-30, 12:03 AM
Ahh, yes, the crime of knowingly and willingly being a Paladin. [/COLOR]:smallamused:

I'm so guilty, please don't take me to prison

(Rolls every type of diplomacy check just to see if one will work)

Malifice
2016-03-30, 01:25 AM
I live in America, where deadly force is permitted if someone tries to steal from you. I assumed, because of my real life knowledge of local and national laws that I was allowed to kill them.

Whoah. Dont quote me as saying you can kill people in the USA for theft. Just to be clear, deadly force is not permitted in any US jurisdiction I know of simply because someone steals something from you.

In some US States you have what is known as 'castle laws' or 'castle doctrine'. The name is taken from the saying 'a mans home is his castle'.

These laws generally make the use of deadly force against unlawfull trespassers in your home much easier for you to get away with in court.

For example in Florida:


(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using or threatening to use defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used or threatened was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses or threatens to use defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

The above law imposes a legal presumption that you always hold a reasonable fear of imminent death anytime a person is unlawfully on your property. Normally (if you gun down someone) you have to prove that you held a fear of death or immediate serious harm from the intruder to justify your use of force.

This law above means (in Florida) you no longer have to prove your actions were justified in response to a deadly threat, the deadly threat is presumed the instant someone is 'unlawfully and by force' on your property (regardless of why they were there, and what threat they pose to you).

The general rule outside your home is: (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html):


A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

So you can only use deadly force outside of your own home (within the State of Florida) to prevent imminent death, great bodily harm or to prevent an imminent 'forcible felony'.

Forcible felony is defined in Florida law to mean: treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

They're all crimes with an element of violence or aggravation to them. They include 'robbery' but dont include theft.

Robbery is defined (in Florida) as: “the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear."

So again, its theft + violence. Theft alone doesnt cut it, and you can only use force to prevent a robbery from happening, not after it has already happened and the robber is getting away.

So please dont go around gunning down any thieves because of my post earlier!

Well... not in Florida anyways!

hamishspence
2016-03-30, 01:25 AM
If the city has good law enforcement, the only people who will have a warhorse and a lance will be authorized to use them while in the city.

"Authorised to use them" doesn't mean they won't get into trouble for using them in a way that endangers bystanders.

In real life, a motorcyclist is "authorised to use their bike" but a motorcyclist who pursues thieves at high speed through crowded streets can expect to get in trouble - especially in places with good law enforcement.

Or, as Q puts it

"May I remind you that you have a licence to kill, not to break the traffic laws" :smallbiggrin:

Deophaun
2016-03-30, 01:39 AM
Whoah. Dont quote me as saying you can kill people in the USA for theft. Just to be clear, deadly force is not permitted in any US jurisdiction I know of simply because someone steals something from you.
You try telling that to Charles Bronson. He'll laugh and shoot you in the face, and it may or may not be in that order.

Malifice
2016-03-30, 01:40 AM
You try telling that to Charles Bronson. He'll laugh and shoot you in the face, and it may or may not be in that order.

Its OK. Chuck Norris will protect me.

8BitNinja
2016-03-30, 02:02 AM
@Malifice: I was thinking of the Stand Your Ground laws.

Probably not an appropriate context

Malifice
2016-03-30, 03:09 AM
@Malifice: I was thinking of the Stand Your Ground laws.

Probably not an appropriate context

Its cool mate, I was just worried I gave you the wrong impression about the law before!

8BitNinja
2016-03-30, 04:02 AM
Its cool mate, I was just worried I gave you the wrong impression about the law before!

No, don't worry, I was just thinking of a different law

Satinavian
2016-03-30, 05:37 AM
Actually, I am pretty sure that I did not mix them up. The problem is that a lot of argumentation about the Middle Ages is being flung around, without ever specifying what/where these allegations actually refer to.Yes, i know. I tend to have to remind people of this all the time. My first association is usually 10th century central and eastern Europe, German, Slavic, Baltic tribes and early feudal kingdoms. But people are very different. Still, early English Anglo-Saxon law is probably not very far off.


I am also having a couple of problems with the meaning of "caught": caught as "found", or caught as "taken and held"?I meant caught as "taken and held", someone you have power over. The distinction i wanted to make was between "punishing a thief" on the one hand and "using force to defend/retrieve your property" on the other. It's only the latter i argue was often allowed, not the former. There is a reason, the right to bear arms and the right to appeal to a court were combined for so long that the Sachsenspiegel still discusses exceptions (which had become the new normal by then). The right to bear arms was in many places combined with the expectation that you would use those weapons to defend your rights. I also mentioned the legal institution of the feud in the Holy Roman Empire which (while several emporers tried to get rid of it and became incriesingly complicated) displays an understanding of rights to violence which is pretty unfathomable for many modern readers.

tl;dr
I don't argue "it was allowed to kill thiefs"
I argue "It was allowed to use deadly weapons to not let the thief get away with your stuff"
It was never about handing out punishment to thiefs. And the difference is still important in modern law.

Democratus
2016-03-30, 08:03 AM
Unless the Paladin took a vow against lethal violence, he did nothing wrong.

It's up to the player to decide what is and is not appropriate for his character. There are bloodthirsty paladins and there are beatific paladins. Both of them are still Paladins so log as they adhere to their own code.

johnbragg
2016-03-30, 09:02 AM
@Malifice: I was thinking of the Stand Your Ground laws.

Probably not an appropriate context

Stand Your Ground means you do not have a duty to retreat, not that you have a right to pursue.

Elderand
2016-03-30, 09:22 AM
Unless the Paladin took a vow against lethal violence, he did nothing wrong.

It's up to the player to decide what is and is not appropriate for his character. There are bloodthirsty paladins and there are beatific paladins. Both of them are still Paladins so log as they adhere to their own code.

Except not.

Bloodthirsty paladin that shoot everything that seems even remotely threatening on sight aren't paladins at all. At least not the paladin that existed up to 3.5.

Democratus
2016-03-30, 09:45 AM
Except not.

Bloodthirsty paladin that shoot everything that seems even remotely threatening on sight aren't paladins at all. At least not the paladin that existed up to 3.5.

That's the very epitome of the Paladin from pre-3.5. It's where the term "Lawful Stupid" came from. Paladins were bloodthirsty vengeance machines who judged all around them that weren't absolutely lawful at all times.

Players decide what their Paladin is like. This is a case of a DM not liking a player's interpretation of their character and trying to enforce his displeasure.

hamishspence
2016-03-30, 09:52 AM
This isn't pre-3rd ed though - it isn't even D&D. And it's not the DM specifically, but the players in general, that are reacting badly to it:


I get on my horse and dash after the thief, warning her if she didn't yield, I would impale her with my lance. I impaled her, and she survived (somehow) and now everyone is mad at me, including myself. for attacking an unarmed person.

we don't know what the in-game fallout yet is other than irate players (any D&D-style power loss, any accusations from local law enforcement, etc).

Elderand
2016-03-30, 09:56 AM
That's the very epitome of the Paladin from pre-3.5. It's where the term "Lawful Stupid" came from. Paladins were bloodthirsty vengeance machines who judged all around them that weren't absolutely lawful at all times.

Players decide what their Paladin is like. This is a case of a DM not liking a player's interpretation of their character and trying to enforce his displeasure.

Do you not realize that the term lawful stupid was coined explicitly because that's not how paladin are at all?

Democratus
2016-03-30, 10:00 AM
Do you not realize that the term lawful stupid was coined explicitly because that's not how paladin are at all?

It was coined because that is how many Paladins were.

8BitNinja
2016-03-30, 05:47 PM
This isn't pre-3rd ed though - it isn't even D&D. And it's not the DM specifically, but the players in general, that are reacting badly to it:



we don't know what the in-game fallout yet is other than irate players (any D&D-style power loss, any accusations from local law enforcement, etc).

The law enforcement doesn't care for some reason

johnbragg
2016-03-30, 06:03 PM
The law enforcement doesn't care for some reason

Just as a rundown, who are the actors and who DOES care?

1. Law enforcement is apparently indifferent. (Indicates that legally, there's no problem with what the paladin did--either because vigorous reactions to crime are acceptable, or maybe because "no harm no foul"?)
2. Half-dragon vampire thief is salty.
3. Scholar PC is mad?

I know the GM has posted in the thread, but I can't remember his/her position on all this. IS there anyone else whose opinion has to be taken into account?

EDIT: OK, I found it. GM has given the all-clear. Scholar PC's player isn't mad either.

So the questions of
1. Why exactly is law enforcement cool with this and
2. Why is Scholar PC all mad
are left to be resolved through further exploration and roleplaying. Huzzah!

8BitNinja
2016-03-30, 10:22 PM
Just as a rundown, who are the actors and who DOES care?

1. Law enforcement is apparently indifferent. (Indicates that legally, there's no problem with what the paladin did--either because vigorous reactions to crime are acceptable, or maybe because "no harm no foul"?)
2. Half-dragon vampire thief is salty.
3. Scholar PC is mad?

I know the GM has posted in the thread, but I can't remember his/her position on all this. IS there anyone else whose opinion has to be taken into account?

EDIT: OK, I found it. GM has given the all-clear. Scholar PC's player isn't mad either.

So the questions of
1. Why exactly is law enforcement cool with this and
2. Why is Scholar PC all mad
are left to be resolved through further exploration and roleplaying. Huzzah!

The Scholar PC isn't mad anymore, we're hanging out like best friends at a temple now

Nerd-o-rama
2016-03-30, 11:10 PM
"Forget it, Jake, it's Nexus RP" is my current impression of the IC reaction.

8BitNinja
2016-03-31, 09:35 AM
I am slowly finding out that nexus is really weird.

I am confused about the world both IC and OoC

ThirdEmperor
2016-03-31, 01:14 PM
"Forget it, Jake, it's Nexus RP" is my current impression of the IC reaction.

thread done. shut it down.

truth has been found.

8BitNinja
2016-03-31, 01:24 PM
thread done. shut it down.

truth has been found.

*Draws circle of post protection*