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Author Topic: Monster PCs as mercenaries  (Read 1149 times)

Fiverine

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Monster PCs as mercenaries
« on: January 14, 2019, 09:55:38 am »
After an IG incident today I would like to get some clarification and discussion going about monster PCs and whether it is appropriate or legal for them to be hired as mercenaries to help a party. 

IG: Is it a breach of empire law?  If so, does it matter what the monster specifically is, or are all monsters as bad as each other by law?

OOG: Is it something we want to encourage or not?  While it gives monster PCs an option to do more things in the game (which they do need), I saw today that it can cause an awkward situation, especially for people like me who aren't steeped in the lore of the setting. 
A new day dawns for heaven and earth
A first sunbeam is killing the night

Leyoz

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 10:07:01 am »
As someone that is not a lore person I am curious about this as well. Are all the monster races just evil baby eating caricatures? Is there more nuance?

I had considered that perhaps minotaurs were more industrious and organised, from what I see at Sullivan's the trading port. But then I have seen some say they are kidnappers, rapists and human eaters by their intrinsic nature. If that is true, it is all the more reason to consider monster pc options, because a lot of characters would need DM intervention not to kill on sight.

Orcslayer

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 10:09:53 am »
Monsters are evil but tbh just act how you see fit in char if your character thinks this monster should not join the Adventuring party then act against it.

Autarch

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 03:09:07 pm »
If associating with them is against the law then maybe the Laws of the Valstiir Enclave should be updated and clarified to reflect this.

Right now the only thing mentioned that might be relevant to this is, as far as I could tell, that aiding the enemies of the empire is treason. Are monsters the enemies of the empire in this regard? I wouldn't say so.

The only mention of monsters in these laws is that they're a blight on the enclave and that killing them is rewarded but this doesn't really designate them specifically as enemies of the enclave/empire. Only that assaulting and murdering them is generally speaking okay. There's no differentiation between various blights here (other than half-orcs who are mentioned as adventurers providing free service to the empire) so pretty reasonable to assume all monsters are treated equally under these laws.

Considering how the server has things set up regarding monsters however such as that the Shelf on the Valstiir enclave itself hasn't been (or isn't in the process of being) scoured clean of the monsters living and trading there, the boat captain ferrying people back and forth from Sullivan's Trading Post like it's no problem and some of the work order dudes being monsters that give away their location (out in the wilderness where they can be freely murdered by anyone), it seems to me that monsters aren't really a big deal unless they're actively causing trouble and so that hiring them as mercenaries shouldn't be a big deal so long as it doesn't cause trouble.

If it is a big deal after all then maybe these things should be changed to better reflect that. I think it's perfectly reasonable though that people who hire and trust monster mercenaries not to betray and eat them be probably considered completely mad by most but it's not like monsters can't become reputable, like Shark's lizardfolk fellow.

Surfing_Turnip

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 05:08:49 pm »
Given the server's history and the setting, I don't think it'd be illegal to work with monsters. However, you would become party to their actions in legal terms. So if you're hanging around with a minotaur and it eats someone... Yikes. But if you're keeping the beast under control then you're only an idiot.

 :P

Aetrion

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 07:35:31 pm »
Why do we even have monster races in the game if they are effectively unplayable because nobody is allowed to associate with them and there is a huge fight every time there is a quest?

I feel like they should be no more objectionable than mages openly trying to become liches.

Search for Eden

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 07:52:44 pm »
Monsters are evil but tbh just act how you see fit in char if your character thinks this monster should not join the Adventuring party then act against it.

Leyoz

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 08:49:13 pm »
I suppose the point about interacting with monsters is people who have no idea of the lore don't understand what it means to do so. Wikipedia won't tell you how it works here, and it's not a pnp game where you have a Dm explain what your character "knows".

The only monster mercenary.I've seen doesn't really hide their nature, so maybe it works ok.

Solomon

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 09:04:17 pm »
The legality is still a good question to address. There have been trade agreements with the Sullivan, currently a Minotuar, as far as I'm aware (I could be mistaken). And if that's the case, if monsters can be hired for jobs as important as supply and trade, I don't see why they can't be hired as muscle and protection (See Rumor: Mayor Hiring Monsters as Body Guards). It's just ona smaller, more individual basis. But! It's not classified legally yet. I'm sure we'll see some legal precedent coming up soon if anyone gets convicted for dealing with the monster merc.

Due to lack of defined lore, I've been using predominantly Forgotten Realms/AD&D 2e for my Minotuar with some tweaks to match what little is known about the forces at Sullivan's (militant and organized). If there is more defined rules on how the monster should be played I'll definitely adjust to suit.

Search for Eden

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 09:11:57 pm »
Monsters are .. monsters. At a baseline, they do nasty things and are generally not fit for life among more civilized or grey-leaning-towards-light settlements. In fiction, they're usually the footsoldiers or pawns of more sophisticated villains than they for good reason; their base urges can be manipulated by a cunning villain or turned against them by a clever hero.

The monster mercenary in question is fine. It is also fine that he'd want to butt in on big events to get a share of the loot, and get his way by virtue of being a useful and powerful individual. It is also fine that more rigid-minded PCs would refuse to work with him. None of this is a big issue, really. There doesn't need to be a big, ironclad rule allowing or forbidding people from associating with monsters aside from what the player finds in-character for their PC, to me it's far more interesting for there to be diverging opinions and people taking action for or against mingling with monstrosities than everyone be in lockstep whenever an unorthodox situation occurs, which to me feels a bit like where this thread is going.

If your PC has reason to antagonize a monster, they can take action accordingly. The monster has reason to antagonize most anyone too, it's fair game and it should be expected when taking the steps of writing an application for one that justifies being more than a bunch of +4 bonuses on a stats sheet.

For those who are not aware, there is a Forgotten Realms Wiki with extensive lore on most things, from which this server's lore is based upon, and relevant to this particular discussion it has information on the many monstrous races of Age of Netheril: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Page

Fiverine

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 08:46:01 am »
Thank you everyone above for the constructive thoughts!  I had fears I'd start a flame war  ;D

Thanks too Search for Eden for that wiki link. 
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A first sunbeam is killing the night

Dagonlives

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 08:57:17 am »
I.Cly hiring or supporting monster characters would be covered under 'Reckless Endangerment'. 

If you support a creature that eats a baby the next day, you are responsible for the recklessness of supporting said baby eating. 

That law covers alot of laws that aren't specific, but it would be a rather serious crime.  Most monsters are vile creatures that have committed henious acts against mankind and earned their designation for a reason. 

Surfing_Turnip

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2019, 10:34:31 am »
I'd have to disagree with that. We have precedence of inhuman ambassadors with peaceful interactions with Hadrian and nearly everyone, from adventurers to Valstiir, seems to have worked with them at some point. Since none humans were allowed to run in the last mayoral race and half dragons, previously kill on sight creatures, are now allowed to wander around, then merely interacting with monsters would be insufficient. Prosecution would need to show cause.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 02:20:19 pm by Surfing_Turnip »

Dagonlives

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 12:27:26 am »
Non-humans and half dragons are not the same as 'vile monsters.'  If you check the ruleslist, you can see that the only monster race that is actually permitted in Hadrian is Half-dragon.  They are monsters, but have certain exceptions made to them. Nevermind that I think the subrace is awful and shouldn't exist in this campaign. 

I'd rather they remove monster P.Cs entirely to avoid the inevitable result of them being murdered or persecuted for being monsters, or worse yet, being accepted by adventurers.

Surfing_Turnip

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Re: Monster PCs as mercenaries
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 01:00:34 am »
A rule set that was changed a month ago. They've been kill on sight for longer than they haven't been - including circumstances that have affected characters in the past, so you can hardly ignore it. And that's a tangent anyway - you still can't attempt to indict someone when no crime has occurred.


Edited to add: And the 'wreckless endangerment' was killing a lich who had slain an entire Netherese village. That's obviously not wreckless endangerment. If anything, a paladin refusing to aid the cause is betraying their own vows.