Burnin Down the House

Discussion on game mastering Fading Suns. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Leviathan of Maddoc
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:33 pm

Burnin Down the House

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Mon May 23, 2016 4:19 pm

As many times in the past our players have rented a house in the city they are working in. In this game there's a strong likelihood that they are going to be attacked in that home by people with explosives or flame guns. If, or more likely, when this fight comes to their door it's going to do a lot of damage to the home. There is no real insurance in the Fading Suns world, so who pays for that damage?

If the players are renters from the local Count does he shoulder the expense of fire damage or broken windows? Will he players be expected to shoulder the cost? If it goes to trial the Court of land disputes would be the Count's courtroom. Would the PCs be expected to file suit against the party that damaged the home to receive compensation? If the PC's left the County would the Reeve's Guild be on the line to collect the damages as the rental agents of the home?

Danos
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:53 pm

Re: Burnin Down the House

Postby Danos » Mon May 23, 2016 9:42 pm

Depends on the rental agreement. Did they put down a deposit? Did they sign or swear to return the property in substantially the same condition, free of animal dung or waste? Under Roman law, the tenant was responsible for damages, but the landowner was liable for damages to tenant belongings in the event of a house collapse.

I guess what it really boils down to is, how strong is the rule of law in your campaign universe? In my campaign, the party would expect to be hounded by Reeve debt collectors, or Scraver legbreakers, depending on who they rented from. If the law won't help, the Scravers will. For a cut. Or an enterprising Scraver could buy the judgment from the original landowner, and then follow the party seeking to collect. If the landowner is a noble, the Reeves would probably be the bigger threat.

Seize assets. Have the authorities at the spaceport impound their ship for unpaid debts. Refuse permission to leave the planet until outstanding debts are paid. When you travel to Barbados and some other countries (I first encountered this in Barbados), you have to pay to exit the country. In Fading Suns, I imagine that the authorities check their wanted posters. If the damages are expensive enough, maybe Muster bounty hunters get involved.

Or maybe the noble who owned the property will forgive the debt in exchange for a service. Make it a plot hook. Just a thought.

Leviathan of Maddoc
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:33 pm

Re: Burnin Down the House

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Tue May 24, 2016 4:05 pm

They didn't even look at the rental agreement before signing. Not foolish players but excellent Noble Roleplay. The renter doesn't have assets much in the way of assets but his family owns land in the valley. Do you think the Courts could place a lien against his family for damage to the house?

I hadn't thought about a deposit, mostly I was excited that someone was creating a base of operations for the game, but in a world without insurance almost any property rental would involve a substantial deposit.

Danos
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:53 pm

Re: Burnin Down the House

Postby Danos » Fri May 27, 2016 5:53 pm

I doubt the family would be liable, even if the noble in the party signed a lease that promises their assets. Only the noble who is assigned to the fief can do that, and usually they can only assign the profits from the fief - the land itself belongs to the Prince, or the Empire. The family could disown someone who brings them into disrepute, but I think more likely they would simply owe a debt. I know there was an indebted disadvantage in 2nd edition, I can't recall if that made it into the new edition or not.

A judgment lien that follows the noble could be fun. Reeve debt collectors would be a constant nuisance. If the party ever won a prize ship, they could discover that they are not the legal owners, as the ship is awarded to whoever they owe the debt to. If they get good loot, like a wireblade, the Reeves could try to seize it for the debt. The possibilities are endless.

Leviathan of Maddoc
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:33 pm

Re: Burnin Down the House

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Tue May 31, 2016 10:53 am

Better yet a debt to the Reeves guild could open the door for an adventure for the Players to pay off their debt by collecting a larger debt that the Reeve's don't have the resources to accomplish.


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