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  • Writer's pictureMark S. Cookman

20 Punishments for Minor Crimes

This is the next step in our legal series this week. We've looked at Laws and we've looked at Law Trials. Now we will turn our attention to punishments. Below I have listed some minor (in the medieval sense of crime and punishment) punishments that might be levied against law breakers in a fantasy realm. You know your world the best so if 1000 Gold is far too much for a minor crime, then change it to a better number. In fact, all of these are just suggestions to get you thinking about the punishments for crimes in your world.

When you consider creating punishments, you should keep three things in mind. First, if punishment is meant to be a deterrant to crime, then the punishments for various crimes must be well-known. Additionally, there will be those in the area (village, town, county, etc.) who have suffered minor punishments for crimes in the past. Second, consider that there may be two different punishments for the same crime depending upon whether one is a citizen or a visitor. As mentioned briefly when we talked about Laws, remember that some laws may only apply to outsiders. Such laws probably carry stiff fines as penalties, or perhaps forfeiture of property. Third, remember that life is both hard and boring, and there is no such thing as cable TV. Nothing cheers up downtrodden peasants like a hanging or a flogging, because it's tangible proof that someone has it worse than they do. Public punishments have been a form of entertainment for thousands of years.

Here is a short video clip illustrating my last point. . .

Finally, below is the list of 20 Punishments for Minor Crimes. As always, it is my hope that you and your players can improve your own rpg sessions from the ideas listed below. Tomorrow's topic will be 10 Prisons You'll Likely Die In. Until then, Happy Gaming!

  1. 1000 Gold Piece Fine

  2. Public Shaming in the Stocks for Two Days

  3. Public Caning

  4. Forfeiture of Property

  5. Indentured Public Service for One Week

  6. Public Flogging

  7. Loss of a Hand or Foot

  8. Branded as a Thief

  9. Non-lethal Poisoning Makes Vicitim Sick for 3d4 Days

  10. Magically Cursed to Clumsiness (All DEX based rolls at Disadvantage for 1 week)

  11. Public Treatment Like an Animal (chained to a stake, no allowed to stand, fed scraps, etc.)

  12. Tied to a Stake and Publicly Mauled by Dogs

  13. Pay a Five Times Recompense to the Victim

  14. Loss of a Finger or a Toe

  15. Stretched on a Rack for 1d4 days

  16. Magically Transformed into a Jackass for Three Days

  17. One Week in Jail

  18. Public Hypnosis

  19. Magically Transformed into Naked Classical Statuary for One Week

  20. Forced to Make a Public Apology

#rpg #dnd #DnD #dmadvice #gmadvice #crimeandpunishment

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