Mark S. Cookman
20 Types of Law Trials
Today, we will continue the legal theme with a look at law trials. Law is defined as a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Individual laws might be endlessly disputed, but the concept of Law is basically the same to everyone. If you do something wrong and you get caught, then you are going to be made to pay for it in some way. Different societies and cultures may have vastly different laws and courts from those that your PC's might be familiar with. Below are twenty examples of law trials that range from the mundane to the supernatural. It is my hope that you might use these as inspiration in your own games, perhaps when your PC's (or their followers) run afoul of the law. Here are 20 Types of Law Trials. Happy Gaming!
It is an overcrowded, open courtroom trial with an overworked local magistrate dispensing justice on a variety of different cases.
The matter will be determined in a trial by combat on the field of honor at high noon against an iron golem. Weapons will be provided to insure a fair fight.
The case is tried before the entire town council in a secret, closed session held in the middle of the night. The council members will serve as both judge and jury.
The trial is conducted by a tribunal of five mages who probe magically into the issue.
The case is heard in an open forum by a royal magistrate who rides a circuit. He is a paladin of justice and serves as judge, jury, and executioner, as required.
The closed trial is overseen by three clerics of the God of Law; they will know the truth.
The open trial is held in the town square and everyone is entitled to vote at the end with a white or black stone tossed into a barrel.
The trial is by invitation only. It is held within the great hall of an esteemed Law College. The dean sits in judgement of the proceedings; the council on both sides are esteemed legal minds; and the jury is comprised of the best law students at the school.
The closed trial is held within the walls of a noble estate high in the mountains. Once per year, the seven nobles of the justicar council gather to hear the cases put before them.
The case will be determined in the ancient way. If the accused can carry the five - 100 lb stones across the thirty foot long bed of coals without faltering, then she is innocent.
The case is heard in an open courtroom with an elected Justice of the Peace presiding. The jury is comprised of 13 random townspeople selected by drawing lots.
The case is tried in the basement of a large sea-side inn. Sitting in the magistrates position is the Bandit-King, Le Roark. Sitting as jurors are representatives of the five criminal families that control the port.
In the Court of the Grove, the High Druid sits in judgement. The jurors are representatives of the 15 major species, both animal and humanoid, that live in the area. Hundreds of creatures of all sorts live within the Grove and are privvy to the open proceedings of the court.
The case will be heard in the undersea court of the Sea Elves. The Baron, himself, will preside over the affair, but the verdict will be rendered by 13 of his loyal subjects unfamiliar with the events of the case.
No place is the rule of Law so intense as it is in the Court of the Archfiend Dispater, deep within the Iron City of Dis, right in the middle of the Second Plane of the Nine Hells. Dispater, himself, sits in judgement, while the jury box is filled with nine giggling spined devils. The trial is open to all who want to attend, despite this non-diabolic attendance seems slim.
The open trial is being held in the lower courts of the cloud city. The storm giant elders council will judge the proceedings. Many storm giants are in attendance, but only a handful of other races are here.
The trial will be held in the Temple of the East Wind, an ancient monestary dedicated to the platinum dragon, Bahumet. The Grand Master of the temple will adjudicate the open proceedings. A pool of 50 monks will compete in contests of body, mind, and spirit to determine the best nine member jury.
Logic, mathematics and cold, hard reason are the coins of trade in the Court of Primus in the center of Nirvana. Primus sits in judgement of the cosmic misdeed in an open trial within the Great Modron Cathedral, itself. Primus has created 13 pentadrones with no knowledge of the case to serve as jurors.
The case is heard in the double-wide alley behind the warehouses next to the harbor. The Were-Rat elder sits as judge, while a mix of rats and rat-like humans occupy the jurors box. Hundreds of rats and were-rats are in attendance under the full moon.
The case is heard on the deck of the flag ship. A tribunal of the three ranking captains sits in judgement of the accused. The case is closed to all but those with business before the court.
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