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lich101
08-22-2010, 01:16 AM
So I am currently playing in a D&D 4e game it is 75% roleplaying and 25% Combat. Link here (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php/16777-The-City-Watch?highlight=)
My basic summary is we are coppers from Terry Pratchett's Discworld is basically the tl;dr summary.

The situation was a tavern raid. Apparently in this setting we have prohibition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition)set up. Being cops in all we were suppose to use non lethal force meaning basically taking a penalty (-2) or beating them with our truncheons . One of the opening things I did was throw basically a magical equivalent weak bomb at the drinkers at a tavern because they were resiting arrest. It misses all but one basically leaving a messy death killing human rabble. The human rabble was a minion basically a mook/redshirt. This made nearly everyone surrender and those who didnt were bludgeoned to unconsciousness of course those people had actual names. My question to this forum is What Measure is a Mook (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WhatMeasureIsAMook)? Should my character feel guilty over killing one of the nameless. He basically killed an angry drink guy who probably didn't deserve whatever happened to him. Or is this just a game and I am I taking this way to seriously? Either way its an interesting thought

Valar
08-22-2010, 06:08 PM
Hey Lich,
As an "Old School" player, I believe you need to keep "in character". It really doesn't matter if the npc was a nameless redshirt. What matters is, how you see your character and how YOU want to play it.

Scribe of the Realm
08-22-2010, 11:08 PM
Lich,

Have a talk with your GM. You've gone through an encounter that was upsetting instead of enjoyable. Pay attention to those feelings. The two of you seem to have very different expectations. Just what constitutes a reasonable response is part of the game setting, but it is also a matter of personal judgement. It may not be possible to be a hero in a gritty world entirely populated with anti-heroes and victims of circumstance.

Focusing more on the scenario, I wonder why a SWAT team was assigned to do a patrolman's job. It appears that the cards were stacked to bring about a tragic outcome, intentionally or not.

Remember, everyone came into this encounter with the intent of having fun. It fell so far short of that standard that it still bothers you. It may pay to ask a few questions. What went well? What went poorly? What could be done better? Can the lessons of this encounter make the rest of the campaign enjoyable?

Crom on his Mountain
08-23-2010, 05:49 AM
Well, what would you think of a cop throwing a hand grenade into a bar fight?

cplmac
08-26-2010, 12:31 PM
Well, what would you think of a cop throwing a hand grenade into a bar fight?


Actually, there are non-leathal types of grenades that only stun/incapacitate people.

As for the character feeling bad, he was sent there to do a job and the others resisted. Sometimes things happen that aren't intended to. He has no way to know that it would only take a weak attack to kill someone.

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
08-26-2010, 02:01 PM
Lich,
I've killed people in real life. It was me or them each time and each time I was doing my job, a job I really believed in. I'm still haunted by their memories, though.
The reality is that human beings are not meant to be OK with killing (either made that way or evolved that way...or both...depending on what you believe). I read a book by a former Army Psychologist that claims that there are basically two types of people in the world...those that can kill and htose that are haunted by killing. The former can either be criminals or serve their society (police, military, secret service). Your character is either one who has a proclivity for killing and has turned to policing as a way to be accepted in society or is "normal". Either one presents interesting role-playing options.

Crom on his Mountain
08-26-2010, 05:10 PM
Actually, there are non-leathal types of grenades that only stun/incapacitate people.

As for the character feeling bad, he was sent there to do a job and the others resisted. Sometimes things happen that aren't intended to. He has no way to know that it would only take a weak attack to kill someone.

What does that have to do with anything? He didn't use a stunning/incapacitating weapon, he used a lethal bomb. He tossed a fragmentation grenade into a bar fight and if I was running that campaign I'd have his employers (I'm assuming it's the city government) throw him in jail unless the setting specifically makes guardsmen above the law.

Dytrrnikl
08-26-2010, 06:22 PM
From a purely gaming perspective, I think Valar hit the nail on the head. However, if you are having a real-life moral dilemma over the gritty nature of the session, talk with your GM and discuss the issue and try to get it resolved. Now, first, it is a game, and a good role-player can allow his mind to touch on the motives and emotions of their characters, really bring the character to life so to speak. IN this situation, I'd say that, even though you used a low-yield magical bomb or DnD equiv to a frag grenade, it was overkill. I have several family members that are police officers, one the husband of an older cousin in the family having worked his way to Chief of Police in the city in which he lives, always said that like force is to met with like force. So you be the judge if your character was warranted.

cplmac
08-29-2010, 01:00 PM
So I am currently playing in a D&D 4e game it is 75% roleplaying and 25% Combat. Link here (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php/16777-The-City-Watch?highlight=)
My basic summary is we are coppers from Terry Pratchett's Discworld is basically the tl;dr summary.

The situation was a tavern raid. Apparently in this setting we have prohibition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition)set up. Being cops in all we were suppose to use non lethal force meaning basically taking a penalty (-2) or beating them with our truncheons . One of the opening things I did was throw basically a magical equivalent weak bomb at the drinkers at a tavern because they were resiting arrest. It misses all but one basically leaving a messy death killing human rabble. The human rabble was a minion basically a mook/redshirt. This made nearly everyone surrender and those who didnt were bludgeoned to unconsciousness of course those people had actual names. My question to this forum is What Measure is a Mook (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WhatMeasureIsAMook)? Should my character feel guilty over killing one of the nameless. He basically killed an angry drink guy who probably didn't deserve whatever happened to him. Or is this just a game and I am I taking this way to seriously? Either way its an interesting thought


What does that have to do with anything? He didn't use a stunning/incapacitating weapon, he used a lethal bomb. He tossed a fragmentation grenade into a bar fight and if I was running that campaign I'd have his employers (I'm assuming it's the city government) throw him in jail unless the setting specifically makes guardsmen above the law.


Notice that it says that it was a "weak bomb" that was thrown. That is where my statement that he had no way of knowing that it would kill the person. I read the initial post to imply that the character had stronger attacks that could have been used, but chose that specific attack thinking that it wouldn't be leathal. It also says that the tavern patrons were resisting arrest. Depending on how many of them there were as opposed to how large the party is, it could be seen as some form of self defense if the party was outnumbered. Afterall, it is probably not expected for the police to allow themselves to be overrun by a drunken mob.

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
08-29-2010, 06:33 PM
Force is not met with equal force. Force is met with stopping force. If that stopping force is an arm bar and manacles, that is fine. But if stopping force is killing the body, removing the head and burning the heart, that is fine, too.

Richard Littles
08-29-2010, 11:01 PM
My two cents is this, everyone is under the impression that modern legal standards apply in this case. In medieval times, a commoner had no legal rights and were property of whoever sat on the throne. Commoners were killed by authorities all the time and there was nothing their family could do about it. Back then there wasn't a police force, but sheriffs and their posses. Sheriffs were almost always corrupt and would regularly engage in behavior that would be in violation of modern legal standards. That's the historical answer. The other part is that it is up to the DM since he would know the customs and legal standards in place. I would talk to him to see if your character should feel remorse for killing a commoner in a potentially riotous situation.

Crom on his Mountain
08-30-2010, 05:33 AM
Notice that it says that it was a "weak bomb" that was thrown. That is where my statement that he had no way of knowing that it would kill the person. I read the initial post to imply that the character had stronger attacks that could have been used, but chose that specific attack thinking that it wouldn't be leathal. It also says that the tavern patrons were resisting arrest. Depending on how many of them there were as opposed to how large the party is, it could be seen as some form of self defense if the party was outnumbered. Afterall, it is probably not expected for the police to allow themselves to be overrun by a drunken mob.

A 2nd level fighter usually requires more than one hit with a long sword to die, does this make a long sword non-lethal? Bombs kill, that's what they do.


Force is not met with equal force. Force is met with stopping force. If that stopping force is an arm bar and manacles, that is fine. But if stopping force is killing the body, removing the head and burning the heart, that is fine, too.

This went beyond stopping force. Stopping force would have been wading in with truncheons, acting like a police force.

Skunkape
08-30-2010, 12:34 PM
My two cents is this, everyone is under the impression that modern legal standards apply in this case. In medieval times, a commoner had no legal rights and were property of whoever sat on the throne. Commoners were killed by authorities all the time and there was nothing their family could do about it. Back then there wasn't a police force, but sheriffs and their posses. Sheriffs were almost always corrupt and would regularly engage in behavior that would be in violation of modern legal standards. That's the historical answer. The other part is that it is up to the DM since he would know the customs and legal standards in place. I would talk to him to see if your character should feel remorse for killing a commoner in a potentially riotous situation.

I would say that the only thing you character might need to worry about is if whoever sat on the throne was upset about you killing one of his/her commoners more than anything else along with taking into account what your character's alignment was. As Richard says in the above, talk with your DM about the customs that are in place.

tesral
08-30-2010, 05:17 PM
Good points about what is the common law for such a circumstance. I'm all in favor of good role-playing, but there is one thing that needs to be remembered at the end of the day. "Lead soldiers don't bleed."