Saturday, August 22, 2009

Praktas - The Bounty Hunter Guild

Game Date: 8/22/09

Drew Baker (Bryan) - Human Fighter (Tempest style)
Damakos Redhorn (Rick) - Tiefling Rogue (Brutal style)

Okay, so maybe we're a bit nuts here, a bit D&D obsessed... we were already having a busy gaming day, with an LFR game in the morning, and a Tantris game in the evening. But we had a couple of hours between sessions, and I knew this one thing would only take about 20 minutes. So I had them take the test to become members of the Bounty Hunter Guild.

Some background info:
Trasa does have town guards, but they spend most of their time preventing crimes. They do not have the resources for city-funded criminal investigations. If someone must be found, they generally rely on the Bounty Hunter Guild. Bounty Hunters in Trasa work with the full support of Trasa's government. Rewards are usually posted by the families of murder victims, people who've had treasures stolen, and so on. Sometimes rewards are posted by groups or organizations, sometimes a collection is taken up to pay a bounty, and in rare cases, for serious crimes, Trasa's government itself might post a reward. But most of the time, bounties are posted by those who can afford to pay a reward. For this reason, justice in Trasa is often considered to be a rich person's luxury, even though Trasa's actual courts are extremely fair.

Not just anyone can post a bounty on anyone - To post a bounty in Trasa, the fugitive has to be accused of breaking a law in Trasa. The purpose of the bounty hunters is to retrieve these fugitives so they can get a fair trial in court. Of course, most fugitives do end up being found guilty, since the truly innocent ones are more likely to trust the courts than to run.

Bounty Hunter Guild Rules:

1. All bounty hunting within Trasa must be done by guild members. Otherwise it is vigilantism, which is illegal in Trasa.

2. You must register for a specific bounty before you are allowed to actively pursue their capture. You may not register more than three bounties at a time. If you happen to encounter a fugitive whom you are not currently registered to capture, it is still permissible to detain them and collect the reward, provided you do not interfere with another guild member's capture. (See rule #5.) However, if a guild member frequently collects bounties without having registered for them first, the member might be investigated.

3. All reward amounts posted are for live capture. If bounty is killed, the reward is halved. If dead, the hunter must bring in the corpse (or at least head) as proof. There are spells to confirm identity, lest a hunter attempt to deceive the guild with a fake corpse.

4. Bounties should only be killed in self-defense, and excessive force should only be used as a last option. Many fugitives will later stand trial in the Trasa Court, so a hunter who kills is acting as judge, jury, and executioner. If a hunter appears to have an unusually high kill rate, they will be investigated by the guild.

5. Stealing another hunter's captive is called "Carrion Hunting", and is not tolerated. The guild tries to distribute hunts so that multiple hunters are not hunting the same fugitive at the same time. If another member's captive escapes, you may assist the recapture, because apprehending the criminal is always more important than the distribution of the reward. In such a case, Guild Council will decide how the reward is to be divided.

6. While within Trasa's city limits, you must not break any of Trasa's laws while pursuing your prey. If your hunt requires you to visit another city, you must follow that city's laws while there. Many of the areas between cities are considered lawless, but the Guild rules always apply on any bounty.

Failure to comply with the above rules may result in expulsion from the guild. The Trasa Bounty Hunter guild complies with all of Trasa's laws, and will not protect its members from prosecution.

- Jordan Darkwynde, Head of Trasa Bounty Hunter Guild

Joining the Guild:
It usually costs a total of 5000 gp to join the guild. It costs 1000 gp to take the test, and if you pass, you pay the remaining 4000 for the Bounty Hunter License.

You must pass test to get the license. If you fail the test, the 1000 is non-refundable. You can retake the test as many times as you want, as often as you want, but it costs 1000 each time.

The license itself takes the form of a magic glowing tattoo of dagger on your wrist (right or left is your choice, as is tattoo color). The tattoo gives off a small amount of light, so the guild recommends you wear a wristband over it. If a wrist tattoo isn't appropriate for your character (like if he has no arms, or doesn't have normal skin), alternative locations and/or identifiers are available.

If you quit or are expelled from the guild, you must have the tattoo removed at your own cost (done by guild wizard, 1000 gp). Ex-members who display the tattoo will be hunted and arrested. If you are unable to pay for the 1000 for the tattoo's removal, the guild will either burn it off (100 gp), leaving disfiguring scars, or cut off the hand above the tattoo (free).

Guild test:
First there is a written test, followed by some physical challenges and skill tests. In total there are 10 skill checks. Some skill checks have two skills listed; the applicant may choose which one to roll. One time during the test, you may spend an action point to reroll a low roll. You must keep the second roll. If you roll a natural 20, you get 5 additional points. (Points for style)

Once I add up all the results, I divide the total by 2 (rounding up), and that is the final score. You must score 70 or above to pass. Higher or lower scores can have some additional bonuses:

100+ - Perfect score, and they will waive the 4000 membership fee, for the honor of having such a skilled hunter.
91-99 - They charge you half price on your entrance fee, 2000 instead of 4000.
86-90 - They give you 10% off your entrance fee, 3600 instead of 4000.
70-85 - Passing. Still have to pay the full entrance fee of 4000.
60-69 - Fail, but will let you retake the test once for half price (500)
Under 60 - Flunk, must pay the full 1000 to retake test.

In addition to passing the test, you also get 1000 xp to represent the following weeks of guild training. This is a one time bonus (i.e. you couldn't repeatedly leave and re-join the guild for xp).

Quick Breakdown:
01. Written Test (History/Insight)
02. Basic Fighting (Athletics/Acrobatics)
03. Endurance Fighting (Endurance/Heal)
04. Defense from Magic (Arcana/Religion)
05. Sneaking and Hiding (Stealth)
06. Open Lock (Thievery/Dungeoneering)
07. Searching (Perception)
08. Information Gathering (Streetwise)
09. Convincing (Diplomacy/Intimidate/Bluff)
10. Forest Tracking (Nature)

You are taken into a room, where you sit down at a desk. (If both, mention someone standing over them making sure they don't cheat.) You are handed a sheet of paper filled with general knowledge questions, as well as questions about Trasa's laws and Bounty Hunter lore. Some are multiple choice, some are fill-in-the-blank, and some are True/False. You are given a quill and some ink, and 15 minutes to fill out the test. (History or Insight Check)

Your tests are taken away and graded. You are then led down some stairs and into what appears to be a training room. It is a large, open room, filled with fighting rings, training mats, attack dummies, and archery targets. You see many guild members sparring and practicing their skills. Some members are watching you from a distance, sizing up the fresh meat. You overhear a pair of guild members placing bets on your performance.

Your trainer stands on a balance beam, and instructs you to stand on the other end. Then he raises his fists, and instructs you to attack him unarmed. The two of you fight for a while, having to maintain your balance while trading blows. (Athletics or Acrobatics Check)

Then he gets you off the beam, and continues to test you, mixing boxing and wrestling. He is much more skilled than you are, and easily avoids your attacks, but he doesn't seem to be trying to win so much as studying your level of skill. He changes his fighting style often, and at one point gives you a choice of fake weapons so he can test your armed fighting skills. You fight for a very long time, until it seems to be a test of your stamina as well as your fighting skill. He is clearly trying to see how long you can last. (Endurance or Heal Check)

Then he picks up a wand and starts casting spells. The spells are harmless, causing pain but no damage. He is testing your ability to avoid them, negate them, or counter them. (Arcana or Religion Check) Finally he declares that part of the test is over.

Next, he takes you into a long, dimly-lit room, with several columns at 10-foot intervals. Every 15 seconds the room's lights come on, and stay on for 5 seconds before going out again. At the far end of the room is a large chest. The instructor hands you a lockpick, and a pair of noisy metal boots to wear. You have to walk from one side of the room to the other, making as little noise as possible, then figure out how to turn the lights off for good, and open the chest. Whenever the lights come on, you must hide behind the nearest column as quickly as possible. (Stealth Check) When you reach the chest, the lights stay off. You must use the lockpick to open the chest, or find another way to open it. (Thievery or Dungeoneering Check) You struggle with it for a few minutes, finally opening the lock.

Inside the chest is a drawing of a man's face. The trainer asks you, "When we were in the training room earlier, and you saw the other guild members training, where was this guild member standing?" (Perception Check)

He leads you up some stairs, then leads you back outside the guildhouse. "You're almost done. Now you just have to tell me my name. Ask around the West side of Trasa until you find out. (Streetwise Check) Eventually you will find the right person to ask, but you still have to convince them to part with the info. (Intimidate, Bluff, or Diplomacy Check)

Then come find me. I will be hiding in the forest outside Trasa's Western gate." (Nature Check) You follow his tracks, and find him hiding up in a tree. He leads you back to the guild house to tally up your score.

Damakos passed on his first try, with a score of 85. Drew failed on his first time, with a 62. His score was high enough to rate a half-price retest, and he passed the second time, with a score of 86.

XP Rewards:
1000 xp each, as a result of the six-week training period that follows membership.

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