Wednesday, April 13, 2011

L is For Law


Fifteen years in the academy

He was like no cadet they'd ever seen

A man so hard, his veins bleed ice

And when he speaks he never says it twice

They call him Judge, his last name is Dredd

So break the law, and you wind up dead

Truth and justice are what he's fighting for

Judge Dredd the man, he is the law


With gun and bike he rules the streets

And every perp he meets will taste defeat

Not even Death can overcome his might

Cause Dredd and Anderson, they won the fight

When the Sov's started the Apocalypse war

Mega-City was bombed to the floor

Dredd resisted, and the judges fought back

Crushed the Sov's with their counter-attack


Respect the badge - he earned it with his blood

Fear the gun - your sentence may be death because...



And you won't fuck around no more - I AM THE LAW

I judge the rich, I judge the poor - I AM THE LAW

Commit a crime I'll lock the door - I AM THE LAW

Because in Mega-City... I AM THE LAW

In the cursed earth where mutants dwell

There is no law, just a living hell

Anarchy and chaos as the blood runs red

But this would change if it was up to Dredd

The book of law is the bible to him

And any crime committed is a sin

He keeps the peace with his law-giver

Judge, jury, and executioner


CRIME - The ultimate sin

Your iso-cube is waiting when he brings you in

LAW - It's what he stands for

Crime's his only enemy and he's going to war

CRIME - The ultimate sin

Your ISO-cube is waiting when he brings you in

LAW - It's what he stands for

Crime's his only enemy and he's going to war

Thank you Anthrax for that little bit of homage to Judge Dread.

In games, its often useful to know some of the basics of how the justice system works. In the 3.5 era, Atlas Games published Crime and Punishment. A nice hardcover the provided 3.5 mechanics for a variety of things that might come up in dealing with lawbreakers.

In books I'm reading at the moment, C. J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake stars in five books. I've just received book 4, Revelation, from good old Some of the things that make Matthew a good lawyer, the trust others put in him, his dodged determination to discover the truth of things, his innate curiosity,his relatively corrupt free methodology of handing issues, and his friendship with others who reinforce those good things about him, make him an individual that others seek out time and time again.

When I was a younger man, Bard Games, a company that produced the Atlantis Trilogy, had three handbooks for use with AD&D; The Complete Spellcaster, the Complete Alchemist, and the Compleat Adventurer. That last book had a class called the hunter, and under that, several variants including the bounty hunter.

This individual was one that had its own material including how much to charge, how to capture your prey, and other neat little bits. It wasn't necessarily the first time I had seen such a use, as one of the Best of Dragon magazines had a NPC version, but that Hunter version by Bard Games was neat.

And further in terms of hunting down the villains of a setting, the Clone Wars is filled with various Bounty Hunters. They make a quick way of throwing out a group of individuals that can toss a monkey wrench into things if a situation gets out of control.

The Law is something that most players in a hard core fantasy setting aren't necessarily going to worry about, but on the other hand, it's not something that needs to be the end if they are captured. For example, what about a campaign variant around the Dirty Dozen? Here the characters are captured and 'executed' and can either work for the state that captured them, or be sent to their death for real. It's a trick used by both Raymond Feist in his Demon War series, and also used in the Warhammer setting for the trilogy Blackhearts.

The Law should be something that even as its worst, can be turned into another adventure.