Intrigue Question

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Intrigue Question

Postby jaypinjp » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:23 pm

I will be mentioning something in one of the books, so SPOILER ALERT!

Okay...I am running a campaign and am writing a trial into my game. Basically one of my PC's (maester character) has been wrongly accused of a crime. The party is going to defend him acting as character witnesses. So I have a couple of questions....

1. If I remember correctly in one of the novels, during Tyrion's Joffrey trial, people were called as witnesses. I cannot remember who served on the jury but I remember the deck being stacked against him. How many NPC's should I have on the jury? Should I just have random citizens or the accusers serve on the jury? I can't remember how GRRM wrote that in to the books.

2. In the case of the examination where a "lawyer" would be cross-examining the PC's, what would be the best way to run the Intrigue? The PC's would be trying to convince a jury, not the lawyer "cross-examining". I was planning on treating the trial as a Complex Intrigue, but I was hoping for some advice/recommendations on how to run it.

Thanks!
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Re: Intrigue Question

Postby Flagg » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:40 pm

IIRC, there is no "jury". The presiding lord listens to the arguments and makes a judgement. It's all on him. In the cases of a lord being put on trial, an assembly of other lords is convened to decide their fate (by majority, I suppose).
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Re: Intrigue Question

Postby Lamech » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:34 pm

So there are a couple ways to run a trial depending on the circumstance

1) Impartial Judge: The two lawyers (or whoever the main speaker are) attempting to win "against" each other, but the effects of defeat are applied to the judge. Secondly use dispositions to and from the judge to determine DR and bonuses. (So if someone is affectionate toward the judge they get +5 to persuade, but if the judge is neutral to the foe they still have 4 DR.) Depending on the strength of evidence one side may offer bonuses to defense similar to awkward circumstance, and some methods of winning a case may be difficult as well (bribery for example will carry a big penalty as would intimidation.) The jud

2) Biased Judge: Same as above, but now the judge is supporting one of the sides. However the judges-team scoring victory affects the general public. (They believe the defendant had a fair trial and can reasonably be hanged, let go, or whatever.) The defendant scoring victory affects the general public, the judge-team or both. Note unless the intrigue victory prevents it the judge-team can always "switch to combat", but it might look really bad.

3) Pre-trial intrigues: Sabotage the case of the other side! Winning intrigues against witness can sway the odds by getting better witnesses! You can gain a bonus to your intrigue defense if you have good evidence. (Those awkwardness bonuses again.) Similarly you could convince, incite or charm the judge ahead of time each granting you decent advantages in the actual trial.

Note on complex intrigues: A complex intrigue might be used to fabricate enough evidence wholesale to get the person arrested and on trial at all, but I would still make them use a standard intrigue to defeat the defendant. A particularly large complex intrigue might provide the prosecution with bonuses to their intrigue defense though.
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Re: Intrigue Question

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:55 am

jaypinjp wrote:
1. If I remember correctly in one of the novels, during Tyrion's Joffrey trial, people were called as witnesses. I cannot remember who served on the jury but I remember the deck being stacked against him. How many NPC's should I have on the jury? Should I just have random citizens or the accusers serve on the jury? I can't remember how GRRM wrote that in to the books.

Feudalism knows no 'jury of ones peers'. Lowborn characters, even minor nobles are judged by whoever holds the right of pits and gallows on the land where they committed their crimes. High-born lords who hold the right to judge themselves get a 'jury of their peers' but on that is not subject to strict rules, but rather everybody that can be convinced to join the process and share responsibility by the party bringing the accusations or by the defence.
2. In the case of the examination where a "lawyer" would be cross-examining the PC's, what would be the best way to run the Intrigue? The PC's would be trying to convince a jury, not the lawyer "cross-examining". I was planning on treating the trial as a Complex Intrigue, but I was hoping for some advice/recommendations on how to run it.

There might not even be a cross-examination allowed.
All the usual tricks lawyers pull today, especially in the US, would probably grounds for a duel of honor or for being tossed out of court outright.
Most of the work of showing the character to be innocent would probably have to be done by intrigue and behind-the-scenes maneuvering if you do not dare to risk decision by combat.
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Re: Intrigue Question

Postby Flagg » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:39 am

A good source for inspiration might be the trial of Titus Pullo on Rome:

The accused was brought forth, an advocate for each side gave a speech before a judge, and then the matter was decided on the spot. In this particular case, it was a foregone conclusion - he was to be found guilty regardless of what was said, but the law demanded that people go through the motions. I imagine many trials in Westeros are identical in this respect. Tyrion's "trial" at the Eyrie certainly would have been had he not opted for trial by combat.
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