A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    If healing magic is relative easily available, healing magic could enable torture by letting someone inflict the same injury on a subject over and over again.

    I don't know what the long term psychological implications of that. A while back I asked if an adventurer that gets regularly healed would have psychological issues being healed from the brink of death over and over again and most people assumed magic would smooth over the rough edges.

    But deliberate torture probably changes things.


    Another thought, after reading Song of Ice and Fire where those on the wrong side of the powers that be can have their hands, tongues, and/or genitals removed by cruel or harsh rulers.

    Some fantasy settings and real world historical societies had facial disfigurements used as punishment fairly often.

    If these amputations are reversible with magic, they are less scary, but this could lead to warlords and princes being likely to issue out these punishments more often.

    They could even set sentences, of a week, month, year, etc "the king's men will restore you tongue in one year, but if you find a spell caster to regrow your tongue before your sentence is up, you will receive a worse punishment."

    It could be pretty unnerving if you walk through a city and one in five of the citizens are missing a body part.
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2022-02-04 at 04:53 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jan 2021

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    If healing magic is relative easily available, healing magic could enable torture by letting someone inflict the same injury on a subject over and over again.
    ...
    I don't know what the long term psychological implications of that. A while back I asked if an adventurer that gets regularly healed would have psychological issues being healed from the brink of death over and over again and most people assumed magic would smooth over the rough edges.
    ...
    If these amputations are reversible with magic, they are less scary, but this could lead to warlords and princes being likely to issue out these punishments more often.
    Part of me believes that you are right and a part of me doesn't.

    It would not surprise me if the princess/noble considers it easy to dole out a severe punishment just because "So what, we can grow it back".
    But a part of me hopes that there is a moral gap to consider. Just because the injury can be healed easily doesn't make the pain less real and severe, and it surely doesn't make the receiver any less angry at his punishers. Hopefully any reasonable ruler realizes that a more severe punishment doesn't necessarily have a more deterring effect on the population.

    But yes if healing magic is that easily available then there is a risk of trivializing severe punishments.

    If you wan't to avoid the implications the solution is already there in DnD 5e for example.
    Most healing magic of the lower grade spectrum don't actually heal scars or "severe" injuries like lost fingers, legs, tongue etc.

    If we look to DnD 5e, sure there are spells that heal Hit Points like Cure Wounds, Healing Words and so on but Hit Points are more a measure of overall toughness rather than actual health, we can deduce this (in my opinion) from the fact that when we reach 0 HP in 5e and older Editions the character doesn't outright die but is knocked unconscious and on the road to death.

    But to heal lost limbs and the like we need the 7th level spell 'Regenerate' which is a whole caliber above the rest.

    So Yeah, Interrogate a guy, he says "Over my dead body", kill him, revivify him and ask "So now you have died, spill the beans".

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Geopol4r's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Interdimensional iceberg.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    This is what I consider to be in a gap of gray area, where this is realistic but not necessary in a campaign. In fact, in any actual setting, I would advise showing this to the players very sparingly.
    When the bombs fell and the guillotine was released, what could the victims do? Where did they put their trust? When armies invaded and famine was loosed, who did people turn to? Put your trust in something that will support you. Decide for yourself.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    One could only be raised a number of times equal to his Con score in the old days. In 3.x it is level-based, so if one would be less than level 1 he cannot be raised. One can also refuse to accept the raise, and the caster still loses the diamond.

    As with any magic, one can always attempt to save vs. Cure spells. They are written as if the character accepts the spell and voluntarily fails the save, but the character is entitled to roll a save if the player chooses.

    The rules allowed this since AD&D specifically to curtail the scenarios presented by the OP; however, this did create an opportunity for a dwarf berserker character mistrustful of magic to perform some comical antics, (and waste a lot of healing spells,) by passively and actively resisting attempts to heal his many wounds.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Repeated deliberate torture with magical healing and/or regeneration inflicting severe psychological trauma is definitely a thing in certain stories (ex. Tokyo Ghoul). How viable such methods actually are is a matter of some debate, since it depends on how the regeneration/healing interacts with neurological development. For instance, does the brain simply start ignoring pain signals from an arm after it has been regrown 100 times? No one really knows.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandamonium View Post
    Part of me believes that you are right and a part of me doesn't.

    It would not surprise me if the princess/noble considers it easy to dole out a severe punishment just because "So what, we can grow it back".
    That is the crux of the issue I had in mind with my original post.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pandamonium View Post
    But a part of me hopes that there is a moral gap to consider. Just because the injury can be healed easily doesn't make the pain less real and severe, and it surely doesn't make the receiver any less angry at his punishers. Hopefully any reasonable ruler realizes that a more severe punishment doesn't necessarily have a more deterring effect on the population.
    Throughout real world history, and even now, governments can rationalize harsh punishments pretty easily.

    I've read philosophy, sociology, an psychology papers on crime and punishment and it seems like we are not very clear on what acts as a deterrent or not and what facilitates rehabilitation tonight. If we don't know with all our vaunted SCIENCE, fantasy rulers with magic have to make an educated guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandamonium View Post
    But yes if healing magic is that easily available then there is a risk of trivializing severe punishments.
    Since you can have societies trivialize harsh punishments WITHOUT magical healing, I think this is likely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandamonium View Post
    If you wan't to avoid the implications the solution is already there in DnD 5e for example.
    Most healing magic of the lower grade spectrum don't actually heal scars or "severe" injuries like lost fingers, legs, tongue etc.

    snip


    But to heal lost limbs and the like we need the 7th level spell 'Regenerate' which is a whole caliber above the rest.

    So Yeah, Interrogate a guy, he says "Over my dead body", kill him, revivify him and ask "So now you have died, spill the beans".
    I'm using a homebrew system with a points buy system, a hybrid of D&D lore and White Wolf's d10 system that I call D&D10.

    Except for Willpower, everything is on on 1-5 point scale. Level 5 magic is not common, Level 5 healing magic is more common than most other level 5 magic.



    ● Prevent infection, stabilize blood loss

    ●● Remove one level of bashing damage per success (roughly equivalent to subdual damage in D&D)

    ●●● Remove one level of lethal damage per success (roughly equivalent to normal hit point loss recovery in D&D)

    ●●●● Recover one lost attribute point per success (roughly equivalent to recovering ability score damage in D&D)

    ●●●●● Regenerate lost limbs, heal one level of aggravated damage per success (aggravated damage is rare damage which resists magical healing)

    PCs and important NPCs have ten health levels. "Normies" have 5 health levels. My setting has no powers which "cure" death though I'm tempted to allow epic quests akin to collecting seven dragon balls cure death.

    There aren't a lot of people with Healing ●●●●● but a single person with this power could easily heal 3-4 amputees every day indefinitely, or 8-9 amputees in a single day after taking several days rest.

    People with Healing ●●● are very common since every army and adventuring party desires healers like this. I am not sure if even a harsh despot would want to use healers like this to facilitate ordinary torture by inflicting normal wounds, healing the person, and inflicting them again. Unless they were cartoonishly evil.

    Outside of revolutionary times, even a draconian realm is not likely to punish severe criminals faster than this rate unless they are cartoonishly evil. If they are cartoonishly evil, they are not likely to want to reverse their punishments. And most but not all, magical healers are empathetic souls so they would probably refuse to work a cartoonishly cruel despot.


    Though on a moral level, sentencing a criminal to six months of body mutilation before reversing IS arguably more merciful than executing criminals.


    On an economic level, a dead person cannot contribute to society while a temporary mutilated person can.


    On a propaganda level, a person with a temporary missing hand or eye is a walking advertisement for the power of the government. Though on a propaganda level, said individual is a a walking symbol of the government's oppression.

    For this to not backfire on the government, they would probably need to give all accidental amputees free healing courtesy of the government, so law abiding citizens that suffered permanent wounds by accident wouldn't be branded as criminals.


    Maybe I don't want to tug on these threads. I never suffered anything like this personally, but after watching real world news reports of Third World contemporary warlords chopping hands off their enemies. Historically, a lot of rulers chopped off noses. I find this scarier than being killed by a warlord.
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2022-01-25 at 05:04 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    So I think there's two things to consider.

    One is that regeneration isn't cheap in any edition of D&D. If a setting has that much magic I'd expect mind manipulation magic or psychic torture or some such.

    Two is that it's already possible to with low tech to put someone in continuous psychical pain without killing them.

    The point of disfiguring punishments was the disfigurements and that consequences were part of the punishment.

    A big part of corporal punishment was the lingering pain while wounds healed slowly and naturally.
    The thing is the Azurites don't use a single color; they use a single hue. The use light blue, dark blue, black, white, glossy blue, off-white with a bluish tint. They sky's the limit, as long as it's blue.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    While it would make a certain degree of sense for people who are relatively important, I don't think it would be sensible to expend the extra effort on ordinary people.

    A normal person gets caught selling short loaves? Just hang them, it's cheap and there are always more bakers. Same covers most crimes to be honest, a medieval justice system works on expedient and quick solutions with minimal paperwork unless the people involved are important. Fines or public shaming/execution, no need to schedule doctors, take care of food and clothing for extended periods, or have appointments booked for followup court sessions years in advance.

    A noble or wealthy merchant gets caught doing something relatively minor but punishable by disfigurement? Then you can allow them to heal it if they ingratiate themselves to the ruler later on as a token of their favour. I can imagine a known flirt among a court getting their nose cut off when the liege gets upset when a pass is made at someone they consider a rival, then getting it grown back in a while when the liege finds themselves softening up to the flirt again, only to repeat the whole thing later on.

    So a notable person might have a brand, be missing an ear or nose in one encounter, then have it back later on. If someone gets punished like that often enough they might choose to have a few fancy prosthetics they can wear instead, IIRC there was a duelist in Italy who had three different noses, one silver, one gold and one wax after his original one got chopped off in a duel.



    A particuarly macabre twist would be for a ruler to have a 'favorite' courtier or vassal that they fall out with often enough that they have multiple copies of their tongue preserved in boxes, the result of whimsically deciding to have them mutilated and then regenerated after deciding it was innapropriately harsh on just as fleeting a whim a few months later.

    I used to joke with my brother about how many vassals I would blind and castrate as the Byzantine Emperor in CK2, with the phrase I wound up using a lot being, 'To be the Emperor, you've got to have balls.' I imagine if I could have healed my vassals some of them would have been blinded and castrated multiple times throughout their lives, including some of the ones I actually liked.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    The 2e Complete Elves had a story about a group of elves who kidnapped the dwarf that killed their parents, and left body parts of his on the front step of his cottage for years, using a Ring of Regeneration to let them grow new limbs to saw off of him.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    It depends on the edition and how many splatbooks are in play, but at least some versions of D&D have it where healing is pretty much exclusively the realm of divine casters. Clerics of good deities might not be willing to help out with schemes like that, and even neutrals draw the line somewhere. Evil clerics might be willing to help you out, but they make for some pretty unsavory bedfellows. Thugs and enforcers are one thing, but actually making an alliance with a servant of an evil deity might not work out well for you in the end.

    Actually, that could be a reason for D&D kingdoms in general to be a bit better than they were in real life - every ruler wants magical healing at their disposal. Either they go full evil and stick a giant "Crusade Me!" target on themselves, or they uphold a certain level of basic human decency to side with the good guys. Of course, that's not to say the occasional cleric of someone like Hextor might not offer to do some dirty work, in exchange for a small favor, of course...

    It doesn't sound like that's the case in your world, but it's an interesting thought.
    When in doubt, light something on fire.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    To be the Emperor, you've got to have balls.
    Castration didn't stop Queen Nzinga.
    The thing is the Azurites don't use a single color; they use a single hue. The use light blue, dark blue, black, white, glossy blue, off-white with a bluish tint. They sky's the limit, as long as it's blue.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    So I think there's two things to consider.

    One is that regeneration isn't cheap in any edition of D&D. If a setting has that much magic I'd expect mind manipulation magic or psychic torture or some such.
    My fantasy setting currently has regeneration be rare but free to cast. Though if realism or game balance requires it, I could always retcon that regeneration spells has an expensive material component.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    Two is that it's already possible to with low tech to put someone in continuous psychical pain without killing them.

    The point of disfiguring punishments was the disfigurements and that consequences were part of the punishment.

    A big part of corporal punishment was the lingering pain while wounds healed slowly and naturally.
    Well even with magical healing, disfigurement would still have pain and consequences because the magical healing would not be applied for weeks if not longer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    While it would make a certain degree of sense for people who are relatively important, I don't think it would be sensible to expend the extra effort on ordinary people.

    A normal person gets caught selling short loaves? Just hang them, it's cheap and there are always more bakers. Same covers most crimes to be honest, a medieval justice system works on expedient and quick solutions with minimal paperwork unless the people involved are important. Fines or public shaming/execution, no need to schedule doctors, take care of food and clothing for extended periods, or have appointments booked for followup court sessions years in advance.
    I agree with the things you said but I will add two counterpoints.

    An executed criminal does not require resources like an incarcerated criminal, but a dead criminal cannot perform any labor. There is not always more bakers.

    Second, people walking around with state inflicted disfigurements could serve as a warning to other potential criminals and act as a deterrent (or it could backfire and be used as justification for rebellion).

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    A noble or wealthy merchant gets caught doing something relatively minor but punishable by disfigurement? Then you can allow them to heal it if they ingratiate themselves to the ruler later on as a token of their favour. I can imagine a known flirt among a court getting their nose cut off when the liege gets upset when a pass is made at someone they consider a rival, then getting it grown back in a while when the liege finds themselves softening up to the flirt again, only to repeat the whole thing later on.

    So a notable person might have a brand, be missing an ear or nose in one encounter, then have it back later on. If someone gets punished like that often enough they might choose to have a few fancy prosthetics they can wear instead, IIRC there was a duelist in Italy who had three different noses, one silver, one gold and one wax after his original one got chopped off in a duel.

    A particuarly macabre twist would be for a ruler to have a 'favorite' courtier or vassal that they fall out with often enough that they have multiple copies of their tongue preserved in boxes, the result of whimsically deciding to have them mutilated and then regenerated after deciding it was innapropriately harsh on just as fleeting a whim a few months later.

    I used to joke with my brother about how many vassals I would blind and castrate as the Byzantine Emperor in CK2, with the phrase I wound up using a lot being, 'To be the Emperor, you've got to have balls.' I imagine if I could have healed my vassals some of them would have been blinded and castrated multiple times throughout their lives, including some of the ones I actually liked.
    Interesting ideas. I imagine a ruler who kept castrating his courtiers would eventually get assassinated.

    But the long-term villains in my main campaign are sorcerer/sorceress nobles from a hostile neighboring nation with lots of Byzantine politics, so this could add fuel to the fire.

    The bad guy nation outnumbers the good guy nation five-to-one. To win, the PCs need to exploit the internal divisions of the bad guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by spectralphoenix View Post
    It depends on the edition and how many splatbooks are in play, but at least some versions of D&D have it where healing is pretty much exclusively the realm of divine casters. Clerics of good deities might not be willing to help out with schemes like that, and even neutrals draw the line somewhere. Evil clerics might be willing to help you out, but they make for some pretty unsavory bedfellows. Thugs and enforcers are one thing, but actually making an alliance with a servant of an evil deity might not work out well for you in the end.

    Actually, that could be a reason for D&D kingdoms in general to be a bit better than they were in real life - every ruler wants magical healing at their disposal. Either they go full evil and stick a giant "Crusade Me!" target on themselves, or they uphold a certain level of basic human decency to side with the good guys. Of course, that's not to say the occasional cleric of someone like Hextor might not offer to do some dirty work, in exchange for a small favor, of course...

    It doesn't sound like that's the case in your world, but it's an interesting thought.
    I am using a homebrew system, but it's based on D&D. In my setting setting divine spell casters need three things, strong Willpower and strong piety. If they have these things, they will eventually develop divine magic power but their divine magic will be based on their mundane skills.

    A pious warrior will develop combat magic. A pious ranger will develop plant and animal magic. To get healing magic, you need a pious doctors. Generally about a third of members of my world's various priestly orders manage to develop divine magic. If a religious order wants magical healers, they need to teach their young acolytes mundane medicine and roll the dice.

    My world has nine deities, each loosely based on one of the nine alignments but there is nothing to stop the evil gods from having magical healers and the good deities are not always good.

    My Neutral Good goddess of family, community, protection, water, and medicine has a radical fringe faction that has a very harsh view on "protection" and sets up police states for the people's own good. They tend to operate in very dangerous areas where people would be more willing to give up their freedom for safety. That group might use regeneration as part of their justice system.

    I also have benign fringe factions following my evil gods where they do good things for the wrong reasons, but that's neither here nor there.

    I am also trying to apply lessons from this article series to make my pantheon less video-gamey and alignment based.
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2022-02-01 at 01:25 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    Interesting ideas. I imagine a ruler who kept castrating his courtiers would eventually get assassinated.

    But the long-term villains in my main campaign are sorcerer/sorceress nobles from a hostile neighboring nation with lots of Byzantine politics, so this could add fuel to the fire.
    Assassination was a recurring issue in my early Byzantine games. Turns out mutilating your vassals makes them try to murder you, though it does also make them bad at it provided you blind them as well as castrating.

    I did manage to make things work anyway, so from a dynastic perspective it worked out fine, any successful assassinations just put a family member on the throne, who then had neutered vassals (figuratively and literally) that were more easily controlled. It just became a way that rulers who were bad at dealing with plots wound up dying in favour of rulers who were actually decent.

    It did turn out to be better to just be an actually good king, but sometimes you get stuck with someone who's only good at being a tyrant, and once you go down that road it can be hard to pull the family back out of it because people aren't inclined to forgive the children of the mass murdering mutilator.



    In any case, a sufficiently wealthy ruler can get away with a lot of things. There's no shortage of sycophants, psychopaths and so on who are willing to enable the worst tendencies of people in exchange for money and influence. A surprising number of terrible rulers wound up dying of natural causes. Picking bad friends to put in positions that are close to you is a potential death sentence, but if you surround yourself with people who are just as bad as you then they are likely to have good reasons to keep you alive and hand over anyone who tries to recruit them to any plots against you.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    Well even with magical healing, disfigurement would still have pain and consequences because the magical healing would not be applied for weeks if not longer.
    I was referring specifically to torture.

    The period of delay until regeneration would certainly be painful, but not extraordinary compared to conventional torture.

    Dismemberment as torture is kind of pointless if the victim is sure they would be regenerated. I suppose cutting off all of the victim's limbs and promising regeneration after they gave in might be a good strategy.

    I think the idea of fixed term punishments sounds like something that might work. But I think people might become relatively blasť about it after they've seen a bunch of people recover. Treat it more like a major inconvenience than a irrevocable loss.

    Although if you're looking for ideas in the mad tyrant department: Maybe a king disfigures everyone in a city for a rebellion, then starts working through who the guilty parties are and healing the rest.
    The thing is the Azurites don't use a single color; they use a single hue. The use light blue, dark blue, black, white, glossy blue, off-white with a bluish tint. They sky's the limit, as long as it's blue.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Speaking of the Byzantines, one of the big reasons the Emperor would go around mutilating rivals is because being mutilated disqualified one for the throne. Cutting off someone's nose meant you could prevent them from ever taking your place without killing them. Until one guy got tricky, overthrew the emperor, and had himself coronated with a gold prosthetic nose (the fact that the army was on his side presumably helped his interpretation of the rules be accepted.) After that they started blinding people.

    So in that case, magical healing might actually mean less mutilation, since chopping bits off doesn't guarantee the guy won't be a problem later. Rulers would be incentivized to just kill them and burn the bodies.
    When in doubt, light something on fire.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by spectralphoenix View Post
    Speaking of the Byzantines, one of the big reasons the Emperor would go around mutilating rivals is because being mutilated disqualified one for the throne. Cutting off someone's nose meant you could prevent them from ever taking your place without killing them. Until one guy got tricky, overthrew the emperor, and had himself coronated with a gold prosthetic nose (the fact that the army was on his side presumably helped his interpretation of the rules be accepted.) After that they started blinding people.

    So in that case, magical healing might actually mean less mutilation, since chopping bits off doesn't guarantee the guy won't be a problem later. Rulers would be incentivized to just kill them and burn the bodies.
    The way my history buff friend explained it to me.

    For a while it was impossible for a disfigured to take the throne, so coup winners would disfigure the heirs of their defeated enemies rather than killing them.

    Then a disfigured kid grew up to manhood and retook the thrown. So they started blinding the heirs of defeated foes. Then a blind guy retook his family's throne, so they started killing them.


    I don't think noble lords and ladies would be punished with reversible disfigurement very often. Whether good or evil, I don't think most smart rulers want to give their vassals and retainers life long reasons to hate them. I expect reversible disfigurement would be mostly for commoners, especially commoners with useful skills.
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2022-02-03 at 04:31 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Dark implications of healing, enabling brutal corporal punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    If healing magic is relative easily available, healing magic could enable torture by letting someone inflict the same injury on a subject over and over again.

    I don't know what the long term psychological implications of that. A while back I asked if an adventurer that gets regularly healed would have psychological issues being healed from the brink of death over and over again and most people assumed magic would smooth over the rough edges.

    But deliberate torture probably changes things.


    Another thought, after reading Song of Ice and Fire where those on the wrong side of the powers that be can have their hands, tongues, and/or genitals removed by cruel or harsh rulers.

    Some fantasy settings and real world historical societies had facial disfigurements used as punishment fairly often.

    If these amputations are reversible with magic, they are less scary, but this could lead to warlords and princes being likely to issue out these punishments more often.

    They could even set sentences, of a week, month, year, etc "the king's men will restore you tongue in one year, but if you find a spell caster to regrow your tongue before your sentence is up, you will receive a worse punishment."

    It could be pretty unnerving if you walk through a city and one in five of the citizens are missing a body guard.
    Overall you're correct. Basic biographical information so you understand where I'm coming from is as follows:

    I've been through SERE 3 in the Army. That's the point where they actually subject you to "Enhanced Interrogation" for the purposes of learning to resist said Interrogation. The first thing you learn is that:

    "Even if you KNOW there are CONTROLS to prevent PERMANENT damage, you're still going to break eventually."

    That means that being healed or not healed doesn't really change anything. Even with Magic there's probably going to be a lot of psychological trauma involved.

    Second thing you learn is:

    "You need to control the information you're providing so that you don't actually GET tortured to the point where you talk straight."

    So, resisting Interrogation in a military (or fantasy tyranny) setting is about providing the appearance of cooperation without actually cooperating. How you do this depends on who the "actor is" meaning state (i.e. Pakistan) vs. Non-state (i.e. ISIS) With certain states you're screwed so you:

    "Deny everything, admit nothing, make counter-accusations."

    With other states (i.e. Great Britain) you're generally good so:

    "Shut up, lawyer up."

    With non-states it varies but generally you:

    "Play Nice, ask questions, question your own beliefs and take their pamphlets to get privileges."

    With magic in play nothing would really change for a victim of torture though.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •