The Obsidian Monolith Campaign for Numenera 03 - Law & Order in Charmonde

Here is what I came up for my Obsidian Monolith campaign with regard to how the peace is kept in Charmonde. You can hear more about this on episode 6 of Game Master's Journey.

TM and © 2014 Monte Cook Games, LLC

TM and © 2014 Monte Cook Games, LLC

Articles in This Series

01 - The Town of Bonespir
02 - The Windmill in the Woods
03 - Law & Order in Charmonde
04 - Heroes of Bonespir
05 - The Machine of the Emols
06 - The Town of Delirium
07 - Exploring the Obsidian Monolith

Companion Episodes of Game Master's Journey

OM 01 - Preparing for an Adventure
OM 02 - Laying the Foundation for your Campaign
OM 03 - Location, Location, Location
OM 04 - Prepping and Running a Numenera Session
OM 05 - The Town of Bonespir
OM 06 - The Windmill in the Woods
OM 07 - Connecting Adventures Together
OM 08 - The Village of the Culovas
OM 09 - The Machine of the Emols
OM 10 - The Conclusion of the Campaign

Actual Play (Audio)

Session 01 Part 1 - The Town of Bonespir
Session 01 Part 2 - The Windmill in the Woods
Session 01 Part 3 - Inside the Windmill
Session 02 Part 1 - The Swarm from Hell
Session 02 Part 2 - Numenera Hunters
Session 03 Part 1 - The Order of Tianma
Session 03 Part 2 - Bugbusters
Session 04 Part 1 - The Man They Called Zain
Session 04 Part 2 - Madame Saydle's Wondrous Soup

Actual Play (Video)

The YouTube playlist includes the first session and sessions 8-12.

Law & Order in Charmonde

The peace is kept in Charmonde by a few different military/policing forces.

The Queen’s Guard

Armalu’s guard is an elite fighting force. They are tasked with patrolling and defending the Empiternal House. They also protect the queen when she leaves the palace (something that hasn’t happened in living memory). The most elite among them serve as the Queen’s bodyguard and are nearby at all times. New recruits are usually promoted up from the highest ranks of the City Guard.

The City Guard

The City Guard of Charmonde keeps the peace in the city proper. They patrol the streets 28 hours a day, and there are guard posts located throughout the city, usually near major intersections. Charmonde is a city of law and order. Every street has an alarm bell on each block that can be rung by any citizen (they are high enough up to prevent access by children). Ringing a false alarm is a very serious offense in Charmonde and is harshly punished. The City Guard can respond to an alarm in all locations in the city within 5-10 minutes.

Due to the lack of a city wall, the City Guard has many more members than most cities the size of Charmonde would have. In addition to patrolling the city, the Guard also are garrisoned in each of the four fortresses around the city. Each member rotates between patrolling the city and manning one of the four fortresses. In this way all are familiar with the defenses of the fortresses and with the city itself. It also prevents rivalries forming between the “city defenders” and “fortress defenders” (which used to happen in the past before this system was implemented).

The Navarene Army

Being the capital of Navarene, there is always a large amount of the Navarene Army stationed there. They are garrisoned at the four fortresses, and while they’re there, they do drills along with the City Guard stationed there. Many members of the Guard were once in the Army. The two groups get along well with an air of friendly competition between them. Members of the Army also assist in patrolling the city, and it’s arranged in such a way that each Army member has done this at least once early in her career. In this way if Charmonde is ever besieged, members of the Army stationed there know the city well enough to help defend it if needed. Members of the Army are never promoted directly to the Queen’s Guard; they must first serve in the City Guard. There have been a few times in the past when an especially esteemed officer in the Army served in the City Guard only a short time as a formality before advancing to the Queen’s guard, but this is the exception, not the rule.

Crime and Punishment

Queen Armalu is known as being both shrewd and ruthless, and the system of law within Charmonde reflects this. A citizen is considered innocent until proven guilty by Court and Council. The Court consists of government officials who have been appointed to their position by the Queen herself. The Council is an elected body, with members theoretically coming from all walks of life. The Court and Council are intended to check and balance one another, but in reality the Court has more power. There are no lawyers in Charmonde; the accused is expected to offer his own defense. Facts are valued over oratory or legal trickery. However, in cases where the accused is not up to the task (mentally incompetent, etc.), a friend, family member, or official who is involved in the situation may represent him.

In important cases of national or city security, the Court of Charmonde does have access to numenera devices that can ascertain the guilt or innocence of the accused, as well as extract information. These are only used when absolutely necessary, however, because these machines are not completely understood, and each use could be their last. Also they tend to permanently damage the subject, especially if she resists the treatment. The most stubborn subjects can be killed by the machines, but not before the needed information is obtained.

There are a variety of punishments intended to fit the crime. These range from fines to community service, imprisonment, maiming, slavery, and death. As opposed to a list of crimes and punishments, punishments are decided more on a case-by-case basis. Precedent is kept in mind, but does not entirely limit the punishments that can be meted out. Queen Armalu can, of course, give royal pardons, but this happens very rarely.