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Athreeren
Acolyte

41 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2022 :  14:37:57  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
As all D&D worlds, the Forgotten Realms are a world where one can spend a hundred years reaching level 1, then become a power that can threaten the gods in a matter of months. Iím reminded of an adventure where the author addresses what to do if the PC decide to be murder-hoboes: at this level, thereís nothing that the town can throw at the adventurers that could realistically stop them, so itís better to deal with the problem outside of the table. So it would make sense to deal with those dangerous bands of killers before they become a threat, and I would expect the powers in place to attempt to control the power progression of adventurer bands and mercenary companies.

One way Iíve heard of to do so is the company charter, but I am not sure how they work: which cities and states provide charters? What authority or respect does it grant the holders, especially outside of their liegeís kingdom? Do the charters limit the number of members? What happens if the company splits? What are the implications of adventuring without a charter in the countries that provide them? Which obligations come with a charter, do chartered companies have to pay taxes or to accept missions from their lords?
And where such charters arenít common, how are adventurers seen by people who havenít heard of them?

bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
234 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2022 :  01:42:56  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cormyr was the big highlighted place for Adventuring Characters....at least in 1e and 2E. As they are "uncool" they were just dropped starting with 3E.

"Adventuring companies are strictly regulated in Cormyr, due in part to the risk inherent in having well armed and magically capable strangers roaming the countryside. Adventurers may not gather, while armed, in groups of more than five in any place save public markets, inns, and taverns. Those who violate this law are immediately disarmed, stripped of any goods, and face either imprisonment or exile. The exception to this rule is for those adventuring companies with a royal charter. "

"A charter may be obtained from the Lord Commander at High Horn, the Warden of the Eastern Marches in Arabel, or the Royal Court in Suzail. A basic charter costs 25 gp per year, while a gold-leaf foil charter personally signed by the queen costs 1,000 gp, with an annual tax of 300 gp. Chartered companies cannot number more than thirty persons, and members of the company must wear their badge at all times when armed in Cormyr. Violations of local laws can result in the company charter being revoked. Adventuring in Cormyr is a privilege, and not one to be taken lightly. For those willing to abide by the laws, however, there are great rewards to be had."

For the most part, only a couple things written by Ed Greenwood even mention the Adventuring companies in Cormyr. Just about anyone else writing about Cormyr does not mention them.

The "default" is that Adventurers are seen by common folk as "dangerous strangers".
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2276 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2022 :  02:15:57  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Starting gold amounts to at minimum 10 gp after buying starting gear, and they expected players pay 300 gp upfront to start as adventurers in Cormyr? No wonder why people though they were uncool.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 14 Jun 2022 02:16:27
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2022 :  05:04:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Starting gold amounts to at minimum 10 gp after buying starting gear, and they expected players pay 300 gp upfront to start as adventurers in Cormyr? No wonder why people though they were uncool.



Starting gold was higher in 2E.

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Athreeren
Acolyte

41 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2022 :  08:57:51  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

Adventuring companies are strictly regulated in Cormyr, due in part to the risk inherent in having well armed and magically capable strangers roaming the countryside.



That is so obvious that I wonder how charters are not the norm everywhere outside of small towns that face regular attacks by monster races or are near cursed lands (in which case the town might even welcome anyone wanting to take over the town, as long as they value their gold more than the nutritional value of the inhabitants). In medieval times, most professions would be heavily regulated by guilds; but for that one, which is the most likely to cause chaos in town, there are no adventuring guild regulating the profession? I'm starting to think that every kingdom outside of Cormyr deserves their murder hoboes.
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1115 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2022 :  14:58:46  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren

quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

Adventuring companies are strictly regulated in Cormyr, due in part to the risk inherent in having well armed and magically capable strangers roaming the countryside.



That is so obvious that I wonder how charters are not the norm everywhere outside of small towns that face regular attacks by monster races or are near cursed lands (in which case the town might even welcome anyone wanting to take over the town, as long as they value their gold more than the nutritional value of the inhabitants). In medieval times, most professions would be heavily regulated by guilds; but for that one, which is the most likely to cause chaos in town, there are no adventuring guild regulating the profession? I'm starting to think that every kingdom outside of Cormyr deserves their murder hoboes.



Adventurers in "civilized areas" are not free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want and not expect some consequences. For arcane casters that make arcane casters look bad, you have The Starflame that will warn various governments and groups of the individual. A few times where you can't buy spell components or training, you should get the hint.

And then there is the fact that the larger trade centers are going to have merchants that care about areas for the goods they produce that is a source of great profit for that merchant. They will certainly hire other adventurers to either have a talking to or outright eliminate any adventure group that is causing a disruption to their supply chain. There are very likely adventuring groups that specialize in hunting down other adventuring groups. Taskor the Terrible was a historical figure who specialized in killing other wizards for a fee, as an example.

Then you have the truly rich and powerful like larger communities who can either send their own security forces to take care of these disruptions or can hire mercenaries to address the situation by either arresting them for trial for the crimes they committed in their area or eliminate them. This may even be the way that some mercenaries keep a positive cash flow when there isn't a larger threat that they will get hired for. And, if those mercenaries decide to not follow through on the contract, there is the Conclave of Ravens to police them.

So, really, any groups that continually go around and kill/destroy stuff in civilized areas will get taken care of. One way or another.


"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
710 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2022 :  23:36:13  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Besides the reprisal mechanism, wholesale murdering also kills those who provide basic services like food, housing, manufacturing and maintenance. Killing farmers gains you what? 2 xp or 1 co in return for no food or contact with other villagers? Never mind more complex services.
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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
234 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2022 :  02:07:00  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren

That is so obvious that I wonder how charters are not the norm everywhere outside of small towns that face regular attacks by monster races or are near cursed lands (in which case the town might even welcome anyone wanting to take over the town, as long as they value their gold more than the nutritional value of the inhabitants).



Other then Ed, and maybe a few others, most Realms stuff...like all D&D stuff is written from a Fantasy Lite Cool Game point of view. That is "This setting makes no sense now go do some mindless combat, oh and buy our stuff!".

Really though the problem is ONLY Cromyr has endless Epic level War Wizards and Purple Knights(in 2e/3e ish). So if an adventurers started problems in Cromyr they will face a lot of powerful foes. PLUS, ALL the good Epic level Mystra Chosen spend nearly ALL there free time in Cromyr watching and nitpicking EVERY little thing in that country. Someone in Cromyr steals a loaf of bread? KHELBEN BLACKSTAFF HIMSELF will teleport right over to blast you for 1000 points of siver fire damage.

Other places don't have that. Most of the rest of the Realms only has very low level NPC guards and such.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2022 :  02:50:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren

That is so obvious that I wonder how charters are not the norm everywhere outside of small towns that face regular attacks by monster races or are near cursed lands (in which case the town might even welcome anyone wanting to take over the town, as long as they value their gold more than the nutritional value of the inhabitants).



Other then Ed, and maybe a few others, most Realms stuff...like all D&D stuff is written from a Fantasy Lite Cool Game point of view. That is "This setting makes no sense now go do some mindless combat, oh and buy our stuff!".

Really though the problem is ONLY Cromyr has endless Epic level War Wizards and Purple Knights(in 2e/3e ish). So if an adventurers started problems in Cromyr they will face a lot of powerful foes. PLUS, ALL the good Epic level Mystra Chosen spend nearly ALL there free time in Cromyr watching and nitpicking EVERY little thing in that country. Someone in Cromyr steals a loaf of bread? KHELBEN BLACKSTAFF HIMSELF will teleport right over to blast you for 1000 points of siver fire damage.

Other places don't have that. Most of the rest of the Realms only has very low level NPC guards and such.



And this was aptly demonstrated in the Cormyr trilogy, where the Chosen swept in, saved Azoun a few times, destroyed the Devil Dragon and the ghazneths, and made sure everyone happily lived ever after.

Oh, wait, my bad. NONE of that happened. Cormyr's king was nearly assassinated, and then fell in battle to a dragon whilst the nation's armies were devastated, without a single Chosen in sight.

We must be thinking of two different Cormyrs.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4141 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2022 :  04:54:48  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Starting gold amounts to at minimum 10 gp after buying starting gear, and they expected players pay 300 gp upfront to start as adventurers in Cormyr? No wonder why people though they were uncool.



Charter was only 25gp a year...not 300.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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paintphob
Acolyte

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2022 :  17:13:45  Show Profile Send paintphob a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden
Charter was only 25gp a year...not 300.



From the Cyclopedia of the Realms (page 34), in the OGB,
"Such charters customarily cost a thousand pieces of gold, a further tax of three hundred gold pieces a year (payable upon the anniversary of the issuance of the original charter, late penalty of twenty gold pieces per day thereafter, up to ten days later."

That information was repeated in the Gold box, the Cormyr supplement, and Volo's Guide to Cormyr.

I thought I had read somewhere that it was not unusual for a noble or merchant to pay for the charter, with the party then having to pay the noble/merchant back with a cut of any treasure found, but I have not been able to find that reference.
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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
234 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2022 :  01:59:53  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
We must be thinking of two different Cormyrs.



Well, there is the Ed Greenwood one.....and the other one. And yea...that silly Cormyr books where a mechanical thing poisons the king....gee, bet that half was written by Jeff Grubb. You know where like 12 EPIC level clerics can't save the king from poison. Not to even mention a 20th level king being immune to dumb bites, plus have a good poison save.

I'm thinking of the OTHER Cormyr where plenty of the beyond Epic Chosen are in Cormyr with nothing better to do then be in the everyday lives of some low level adventures.

There are Three Realms :)
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Athreeren
Acolyte

41 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2022 :  03:07:56  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
We must be thinking of two different Cormyrs.



Well, there is the Ed Greenwood one.....and the other one. And yea...that silly Cormyr books where a mechanical thing poisons the king....gee, bet that half was written by Jeff Grubb. You know where like 12 EPIC level clerics can't save the king from poison. Not to even mention a 20th level king being immune to dumb bites, plus have a good poison save.

I'm thinking of the OTHER Cormyr where plenty of the beyond Epic Chosen are in Cormyr with nothing better to do then be in the everyday lives of some low level adventures.

There are Three Realms :)



To be fair, the book does explain why magic isn't enough to save the king. But not why sending the victims to the Astral Plane, where there metabolism would be interrupted, is not the first recourse when traditional means of healing are failing. It is really difficult in D&D to find a method to properly assassinate a rich and powerful person, a method that would take all possible counters into account. At least Cormyr: a novel gave it a good try.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2022 :  04:47:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red


I'm thinking of the OTHER Cormyr where plenty of the beyond Epic Chosen are in Cormyr with nothing better to do then be in the everyday lives of some low level adventures.




So apparently there's a Cormyr where the Chosen are hanging out, and they let the king die and the army get destroyed, while mucking about with low-level adventurers. Gotcha.

Odd that I've never read about this one, despite reading damn near everything FR.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4141 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2022 :  05:15:20  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by paintphob

quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden
Charter was only 25gp a year...not 300.



From the Cyclopedia of the Realms (page 34), in the OGB,
"Such charters customarily cost a thousand pieces of gold, a further tax of three hundred gold pieces a year (payable upon the anniversary of the issuance of the original charter, late penalty of twenty gold pieces per day thereafter, up to ten days later."

That information was repeated in the Gold box, the Cormyr supplement, and Volo's Guide to Cormyr.

I thought I had read somewhere that it was not unusual for a noble or merchant to pay for the charter, with the party then having to pay the noble/merchant back with a cut of any treasure found, but I have not been able to find that reference.



Right you are.

Looking at my own campaign notes I had changed the price to 25gp per member per year...what time does to our brains and the establishment of "what is" eh?

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Cyrano
Acolyte

United Kingdom
21 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2022 :  13:00:56  Show Profile Send Cyrano a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it's fair enough to ask 'if my PCs start murdering people, what resistance can they expect to face?" but parts of the original post read a little bit more like "How can I use the fictional rules of the setting to force my players into the kind of game I want".

If players are more interested in indiscriminate killing than collaborating on the story you're trying to provide for them, then I think having a Session 0 style discussion about expectations is going to be more effective than looking for a rule to make them stop. The Cormyr chartered company lore is interesting but, to me, looks much more like a motivation for players who are interested in roleplaying within a society where 'adventuring' is a thing, and not a straitjacket for players who would otherwise be killing everyone.
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1115 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2022 :  14:29:18  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am more of a "let 'em live with their decisions" kinda GM. I had one group get some bad information (series of bad die rolls including a crit failure) and they unintentionally became pirates. Once they discovered their error through the course of game play, there were some intense gaming sessions where they worked to get themselves out of that predicament. Of course, that wiped out just about everything I had already planned for them but I think it ended up a more enjoyable campaign.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Athreeren
Acolyte

41 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2022 :  19:50:19  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cyrano

I think it's fair enough to ask 'if my PCs start murdering people, what resistance can they expect to face?" but parts of the original post read a little bit more like "How can I use the fictional rules of the setting to force my players into the kind of game I want".

If players are more interested in indiscriminate killing than collaborating on the story you're trying to provide for them, then I think having a Session 0 style discussion about expectations is going to be more effective than looking for a rule to make them stop. The Cormyr chartered company lore is interesting but, to me, looks much more like a motivation for players who are interested in roleplaying within a society where 'adventuring' is a thing, and not a straitjacket for players who would otherwise be killing everyone.



My point was rather the consistency of the setting, as adventurers can very quickly become powerful allies of the people in power or a threat to them, and I am surprised that so little is done by the authorities to maintain control over the situation for as long as possible (similar to super registration acts in comic books).

Edited by - Athreeren on 17 Jun 2022 03:55:51
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Cyrano
Acolyte

United Kingdom
21 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2022 :  10:37:10  Show Profile Send Cyrano a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren


My point was rather the consistency of the setting, as adventurers can very quickly become powerful allies of the people in power or a threat to them, and I am surprised that so little is done by the authorities to maintain control over the situation for as long as possible (similar to super registration acts in comic books).



I suppose the setting sort of shows how this works: powerful individuals of good and neutral alignments tend to retire from the adventuring life and become part of civil society. Judges, generals, scholars and so on.

Even evil individuals need to live in some kind of society. Wizards need spell components, safe places to store books and equipment. Warriors need medical aid, repairs to weapons and armour.

Perhaps the answer is simply that however powerful adventurers get they need people, both practically and psychologically. The cost of becoming a Nietzschean murder-hobo far outweighs the temptation, for the majority. In this context, things like the Cormyryean charter are more to prevent nuisance than to control the power progression of nascent demi-gods.
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2207 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2022 :  04:18:23  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren


That is so obvious that I wonder how charters are not the norm everywhere outside of small towns that face regular attacks by monster races or are near cursed lands (in which case the town might even welcome anyone wanting to take over the town, as long as they value their gold more than the nutritional value of the inhabitants).

Because it's meaningless, unless one's territory is large enough.
Most large countries theoretically could, but unlikely.
To do so, the rulers in question should be able to push measures that will stop all the local aristocracy from using those adventurers as deniable muscle for hire... and willing to discard this capability for themselves.
Cormyr was in an iron hand of a control freak Vangey, backed by a powerful throne. Also, they got that weird balance of power thing with arming disloyal nobles and disarming loyal peasants. And enough of a regular army so that this did not end catastrophically in a year or two.
Amn? Sembia? The local oligarchies obviously like the "deniable muscle" part.
Tethyr (restored)? They immediately had too many problems that require adventurers to solve and were not in a very good position to rock the boat in general. Besides, they swept the brigands away early on, and most newcomers presumably were the people who liked their new order. The ever-fresh thorns in their sides were Knights of the Shield, Zhents and Eldreth Veluuthra. Who theoretically could use adventurers as a very convenient cover, but they were not in position for such bold activity at this point, and Haedrak III proved very, very good at running intelligence.
Thay?
Rashemen? Aglarond? Probably not a big problem for them, either.

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban


And then there is the fact that the larger trade centers are going to have merchants that care about areas for the goods they produce that is a source of great profit for that merchant. They will certainly hire other adventurers

...constantly, as high profile guards, and as such will have connections.
quote:
Then you have the truly rich and powerful like larger communities who can either send their own security forces to take care of these disruptions
Then there's Ravens Bluff with its own 9 whole knightly orders full of adventurers, not counting various retainers of specific nobles or merchants. And so on.
In general, deterrence is much easier than active enforcement of something like Cormyrean charters.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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