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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Case of who done it and false accusations

    So, in my campaign I've got a part where one of the members of the party is accused of killing someone. The person happens to be a person that party member had a "fight" with the previous night. There's also a "witness" who says she saw him leaving his tent.

    Thing is the witness is actually the one who did it and is putting the blame on him. This is not taking place in a town or anything, it's taking place at a ferry dock, where they are waiting overnight for it.. so there are some guards.

    I'm at a loss of how to actually resolve the issue..

    Edit: also it hasn't happened yet in the campaign, they haven't even gotten to the ferry dock yet
    Last edited by Railak; 2020-09-23 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Adding some stuff

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    It's your basic investigation. So you have to figure out who the interested parties are (the PCs, the guards, the actual murderer, the friends/relatives/associates of the victim), what authority they have (can the guards arrest the PCs? can the refer the case to some higher authority?), and what the standards of proof/evidence are (what alibi does the PC have? what kinds of magic are or aren't allowed as evidence?). Then you set up the basic scenario and let the PCs figure out what to do. Maybe they prove the other guy did it. Maybe they cover up the evidence. Maybe they just leave, because they're confident the case won't follow them. Maybe they prove their innocence and move on with their lives.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Batcathat's Avatar

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    Nov 2019

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    I'm a little unsure of what you're asking, are you wondering how the investigation and/or trial should work?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

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    May 2006
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    Wandering in Harrekh
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    Male

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    Are you one of the players or the DM? What's the party makeup?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    I'm the DM, and if the party doesn't run/fight, then one member is going to be taken into custody.
    We've got; fighter, wizard, monk, and a druid
    The fighter is the one that's going to be accused. (Level 5)
    I can get to the part where the party investigates and learns that she's lying, but how does the friends/party of the accused prove his innocence? Oh yeah I got to mention she plants the dagger in his stuff too.
    The only thing I can think of is getting her own group to turn on her.. but they won't speak to the party.. and it's because of campaign reasons not just what happens here.
    Basically she's part of an evil organization, that operates in the shadows, so most guards or people don't even know what they are. The party is going against this organization. The current situation puts them in a place where neither side can attack the other since it's all out in the open, there'd be too many witnesses, since it's also a fairly crowded place with many commoners as well.

    So in the campaign the person who gets killed drunk wanders into the party's camp and tries to pick a fight with the fighter. No weapons just a fist fight. A guard comes and takes the guy back to his camp. Later a different group invites them to drink and spend time with them. The woman sneaks into his stuff when he's away, plants the dagger, then joins them in drinking and asks the fighter to share his bed. In the morning the party notices the crowd, the guard who broke up the fight/escorted the man away only wants to question the fighter at first.. then a couple other guards come up whisper in his ear and then they try to officially arrest the fighter. The woman had told some guards that the fighter had left in the night and came back with a bloody dagger, and that she had pretended to be asleep.

    I haven't really come up with much of a reason for her to murder the one guy aside from to blame it in the fighter to cause issues for the party. Though it could easily be she killed him because the guy was too aggressive with his advances that night.


    Nevermind, I figured it out, I wouldn't really say I forgot, but I overlooked the fact that every member of the organization has a hound. The hounds bark at anything that gets close to camp, and attack any outsiders who enter.
    Last edited by Railak; 2020-09-23 at 03:56 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Prime32's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    If the guards have access to a cleric of lv5 or higher (or a lv1 cleric and a 375gp scroll), they can simply ask the corpse what happened. This is such an amazing tool for murder investigations that the guards are likely familiar with it, though there might be some red tape involved in actually using it (at the very least, contacting a local church and waiting for a cleric to prepare the spell).

    A competent murderer is likely to take countermeasures against such forensics, like attacking from behind or destroying the victim's throat so they can't speak. However, the more steps they have to take, the more likely that they'll slip up and leave behind clues.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2020-09-23 at 06:18 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Buufreak's Avatar

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    Jan 2014
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    Intersex

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    Have you tried gathering the other 9 remaining players around a cafeteria table and giving them 120 seconds to argue before they jettison the most suspicious individual?
    Baamaa lyh ayd so telg.

    Buu's Combat Tracker

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    The level 2 cleric spell Zone of Truth clears this up real quick.
    1. Cleric casts it asks did you stab that man? No.
    2. Did you awake in the night and leave? No.
    3. Have you seen this dagger prior to it being found in your belongings after the murder? Nope.


    This exposes a lie in her testimony and leads the party to investigate her.


    Or the parties rogue/ranger/scout that was on watch duty states. He neither left nor reentered the camp and I was awake and on watch during this time. Perhaps it is a counter lie? Have 2 eye witnesses contradict each other.


    Have the simpleton of the group ask the party in the presence of guards the following question "Why is the dagger still bloody?" The fighter knows to clean a blade, or at least wipe it off and could have done so at the scene of the crime as there are no other witnesses. The evidence actually contradicts it self. The lady friend had already left. There were no witnesses at the actual murder so the fighter hasn't been pressed for time at any point. Let the guards come to the conclusion the incredibly damning evidence is just too obvious. I mean "Why is a bloody dagger mixed in with the fighters only clean shirt?"

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Remuko's Avatar

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    Oct 2016
    Location
    New York
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    Quote Originally Posted by Buufreak View Post
    Have you tried gathering the other 9 remaining players around a cafeteria table and giving them 120 seconds to argue before they jettison the most suspicious individual?
    Wasn't me, I was in Electrical doing tasks! I saw Red vent!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Batcathat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    Default Re: Case of who done it and false accusations

    A classic crime show trope is to make the real criminal think you have some evidence against them and then catch them in the act when they try to get rid of it. Maybe try to convince everyone there's a second witness and set a trap for the murderer trying to get rid of the "new witness"?

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