Laws

Kingdom and Barony law has generally arisen from mutual agreement between players over the course of hundreds of games. The laws and punishments listed here are created by club members, and are not an official part of the rules. If something different comes up on a game, we recommend either rolling with it or pausing to check in with the GM – what they say goes for that game.

Different regions will have different laws, often influenced by their religious Path. For example, a Freedom-aligned Duchy might avoid imprisoning people, whereas a Might-aligned Earldom may focus more on punishment than rehabilitation.

Who the law applies to

There are many different species of creature in our game world, and people from different nations. Games also take place outside the Barony Van Heusen.

Races

The law only applies to creatures which are considered ‘legally protected races’. In the Barony Van Heusen, the following races are automatically considered to be legally protected races:

Other species are automatically assumed not to be legally protected unless specifically stated otherwise, for example:

Acts which would be crimes if performed against a member of a legally protected race (e.g. murder or theft) are normally not crimes if performed against a member of an unprotected race unless they have achieved citizenship. However, there are potential consequences:

If a member of an unprotected race commits a crime (e.g. a non-Barony citizen Goblin murders a Human), then anyone is free to pursue whatever justice they desire (i.e. the Goblin may not be brought to trial, but could be summarily executed), though all other aspects of the law must be followed (e.g. if the Goblin took refuge in a Barony citizens house and the house was damaged in killing the Goblin, this would be considered Property Damage). If the crime is significant then the Barony may send a patrol to investigate the crime and administer appropriate justice.

If a member of an unprotected race is a victim of a crime (i.e. a Human murders a non-Barony citizen Goblin), then effectively no crime has been committed (i.e. the Human will not be brought to trial). However if this crime causes repercussions, then the perpetrator may be held accountable for their actions (i.e. if the Human murdering the Goblin caused a Goblin horde to invade the Barony, then the Human could be held accountable for this).

Citizenship

The law applies to all Kingdom citizens in the Barony Van Heusen, which means they must obey the law but are also protected by it. It is generally assumed that any member of a legally protected race born in the Kingdom is a citizen, and members of legally protected races living in areas conquered by the Kingdom are given the option of becoming citizens.

Citizenship of the Barony Van Heusen is granted in the following cases:

Records of Kingdom and Barony citizenship are held by the Temple of Order.

Non-citizens must still obey the law when in the Barony and receive protection from it; however if a Kingdom citizen commits a crime against a non-citizen the punishment may be lighter, and if a non-citizen commits a crime against a citizen the punishment may be harsher.

Guilds

Guilds can apply and enforce their own by-laws on members. Sometimes these are very different to or much harsher than Barony laws (e.g. the Gladiators have the right to allow fights to the death and the Bladesingers have the right to kill anyone that leaves the Bladesingers). This is effectively because joining the Guild is construed as consent to its punishment regime.

Defenders

If an individual commits a crime under the orders of a Defender then the responsibility for that crime is passed to that Defender.

If a Defender commits a crime under the orders of a senior Defender then the responsibility for that crime is passed to the senior Defender.

Trials for crimes committed by the Defenders are usually held at a Military Court.

Defenders may also be guilty of Military Crimes like Dereliction of Duty.

Where the Law Applies

Outside the Barony

Barony law only applies in the Barony.

However Barony citizens committing a crime outside of the Barony can be prosecuted for that crime upon their return to Barony.

Other regions will have their own law and have full responsibility for prosecuting crimes committed. Lack of familiarity with local law may be a mitigating factor at the prosecuting region’s discretion.

If you are a Barony citizen then the Barony may attempt extradition.

Outside the Kingdom

If a citizen commits a crime outside the Kingdom of Exiles, Kingdom authorities may choose to prosecute them for it anyway. However, this often depends on any local laws and relations with the nation in which the crime was committed.

The Kingdom of Exiles recognises some nations and groups as being legitimate, whether these nations are friendly/allied, neutral, or hostile. Other nations will have their own law and have full responsibility for prosecuting crimes committed.

Barony citizens should particularly consider with care the law of consequence: they may be held responsible for action they provoke from the other nation.

Unclaimed lands

Some lands are not recognised by the Kingdom as being owned by another nation or group, although they may still be settled by people who have not made an official agreement with the Kingdom.

If you go into unclaimed land, Barony citizen or not, there are no laws to follow, but equally no laws to protect you. If someone wants to try and enforce rules or punish you for something you’ve done, that’s up to them. Of course, the Barony may choose to respond to this potential ‘threat’.

If an organisation authorises an expedition into unclaimed lands, they get to set and enforce restrictions on members of that expedition, which will usually include following Barony law. Authorised Barony patrols can exert Barony law on any unclaimed lands.

War

At various times hostile nations will be at war with the Barony. Therefore they can be engaged as enemy forces and killing them is not a crime.

Nations currently at war are as follows:

Crimes

The following is a non-exhaustive list of crimes in the Barony. Please remember that due to our Code of Conduct we do not do any roleplay around sexual offences.

Crime Maximum Punishment Minimum Punishment Notes
Bribery Prison Sentence Fine
Extortion Prison Sentence Barony Service
Follower of a proscribed path (Anarchy) Death Exile
Fraud Prison Sentence Fine This includes impersonating an authoritative Guild member.
Grievous Bodily Harm Prison Sentence Barony Service This includes Torture.
Kidnapping Death Prison Sentence
Knowledge of proscribed miracles (Anarchy) Death (No Resurrection) Death This includes knowing rituals and/or instant-casts or having/using items.
Knowledge of proscribed spells (Darkness) Death (No Resurrection) Death This includes knowing rituals and/or instant-casts or having/using items.
The punishment for this crime is still Death, but is under review. Originally all known Darkness casters were Drow, hence the death penalty.
Knowledge of proscribed spells (Demonology) Death (No Resurrection) Exile This includes knowing rituals and/or instant-casts or having/using items.
Knowledge of proscribed spells (Necromancy) Death (No Resurrection) Death This includes knowing rituals and/or instant-casts or having/using items.
Member of a proscribed guild (Brethren) Death Prison Sentence
Member of a proscribed guild (Dark Blades) Death (No Resurrection) Death
Member of a proscribed guild (Dark Druids) Death (No Resurrection) Death The punishment for this crime is still Death, but is under review, due to differing factions within the Dark Druids coming to light and diplomatic engagement being possible in rare cases.
Member of a proscribed guild (Shadow Masters) Death (No Resurrection) Death The Illuminati have been given permission to kill all confirmed Shadow Masters.
Member of a proscribed guild (Temple of Anarchy) Death (No Resurrection) Death
Member of a proscribed guild (Temple of Chaos) Death (No Resurrection) Death
Member of a proscribed guild (Temple of Death) Death (No Resurrection) Death
Murder Death (No Resurrection) Death
Perjury Prison Sentence Fine
Property Damage (Petty) Fine Caution This includes Arson.
Petty property damage is for breaking items of limited value e.g. smashing a window.
Property Damage (Grand) Prison Sentence Barony Service This includes Arson.
Resisting Arrest Death Barony Service This can be performed summarily by a Defender. Death is reserved for if they are resisting with lethal force.
Summoning/Controlling proscribed creatures (Demons) Death Exile
Summoning/Controlling proscribed creatures (Undead) Death (No Resurrection) Death Controlling undead as a means of self defence is acceptable.
Theft (Petty) Fine Caution Petty theft is for stealing items of limited value e.g. a loaf of bread.
Theft (Grand) Prison Sentence Barony Service
Therianthropy Death (No Resurrection) Death Turning someone into a Were-creature.
Treason Death (No Resurrection) Death
Trespass Prison Sentence Fine
Vampirism Death (No Resurrection) Death Turning someone into a Vampire.

Attempted Crimes

Attempted crimes may have a less severe punishment than for the actual Crime. For example if an individual is caught plotting someone’s murder then they may be given the punishment of a Prison Sentence rather than Death.

Accessory to a Crime

Being an accessory to a crime carries a penalty up to the maximum penalty of the crime itself. Generally being an unwitting accessory should be treated less harshly than being a knowing accessory.

Punishment may be waived/lessened if the ‘victim’ gave their knowing consent to the act without coercion (e.g. participants in a duel).

Punishments

As the Barony is Justice-aligned, sentences tend to involve elements of punishment, rehabilitation and giving back to the community. Typical punishments include:

Punishment Notes
Caution The perpetrator is given a Caution, this is held on record and will count against them if they commit any other crimes.
Fine The perpetrator must pay a set fine. Failure to do so would result in a Prison Sentence. Where the perpetrator is known to have limited assets, this punishment may be replaced by Barony Service.
Barony Service The perpetrator will be ordered to do work for the good of the Barony. This may involve being conscripted into the Defenders and/or the patrol system. If the perpetrator fails to attend Barony Service, or is not working correctly/hard enough, this punishment will be replaced with a Prison Sentence for the remaining term.
Prison Sentence The perpetrator is sent to a Barony run prison, where they will remain for the entire sentence. If they escape prison, then the punishment is Death.
Exile The perpetrator is ordered to leave the Barony immediately. If they re-enter the Barony, then the punishment is Death.
Death The perpetrator is executed, and then resurrected. For more serious crimes, this process may be repeated several times. The criminal is responsible for the cost of their resurrection.
Death (No Resurrection) The perpetrator is executed and their body destroyed so it cannot be resurrected.

Public punishments like sitting in stocks can be used too; we tend to avoid corporal punishment such as lashes because some players aren’t comfortable roleplaying that kind of institutional violence, especially during a game.

Escalation

If an individual is found guilty of multiple crimes, either at the same time or over a period of time, the punishment may be escalated to a more serious punishment. For example a person convicted of Theft (petty) may be given a caution for the first offence, a Fine for the second, Prison Sentence for the third etc.

Combination

Punishments may be combined. For example the sentence could be a 6 month Prison Sentence followed by 6 months of Barony Service.

Asset Seizure

If an individual is found guilty of any crime the court has the right to seize some or all of their assets on behalf of the Barony.

Some of this will be given to the Treasury for costs incurred for the trial and apprehending the criminal. The remainder will be distributed as the Barony sees fit.

Enforcing the Law

Not everyone has the authority to arrest someone, decide their guilt and sentence them to a punishment. In general:

Note that patrols don’t specifically have the right to arrest or punish people unless they are sent on a mission by someone with the right authority – being sent on a mission by a random farmer probably wouldn’t give you the right to kill people, but being sent on a mission by a Defender Captain usually would.

Hot pursuit

If the suspect of a crime flees across an internal border (i.e. from one region to another within the Kingdom), any authority already on their trail may claim Hot Pursuit and continue enforcement of the law. Having made an arrest, they must present themselves/prisoner to local authorities. If this is a cause of conflict, the region entered has authority, and any problems will need a resolution between the two Lords.

If the suspect of a crime flees across an international border, any authority already on their trail may request the aid of that jurisdiction to capture them. This can mean the other jurisdiction will perform the capture themselves, or they may grant permission for those on the trail to continue their pursuit. Pursuit cannot continue without the jurisdiction’s permission. If this assistance is a cause of conflict, the nation entered has authority and any problems will need a resolution between the two Lords.

Resources

Some players have put together IC and OOC resources on Barony law. Feel free to use those shared here, but remember that they are not an official part of the rules and what the Character Ref or GM says goes.

Barony Law for Patrollees (PDF)

A Condensed Handbook Concerning the Content and Application of the Laws and By-Laws of the Barony Van Heusen in the Kingdom of Exiles for the Aid of Patrollees, aka Barony Law for Patrollees, is a handbook written by the Temple of Order to assist with the application of the law to the highly chaotic world of patrolling. Written by Claire F.

PR-010-B: Authorisation of a Patrol
Forms for patrollees. Written by Claire F.
PR-021-B: Record of a Patrol Trial
Forms for patrollees. Written by Claire F.
PR-022-A: Summary Record of Patrol Matters of Law
Forms for patrollees. Written by Claire F.