On Thu, 24 Sep 1998, Brett Lang wrote:

> Query: I a regent of one country has in his army a unit of knights of
> Haelyn, and say he attacks a neighbouring kingdom where haelyn's church
> has worshippers, do you believe the knights would agree with the regents
> orders to Attack? Or would they refuse on the premise that to attack
> would mean killing fellow worshippers?

Knights of Haelyn are dedicated to a god whose perview is honor and noble
war. The question is not: would they attack? the question is would they be
following a regent in the first place? If the regent is one with a
reputation of honorability, and he exemplifies the nobility and honor of
Haelyn, then yes, they would follow him, and yes they would fight for him,
even against other Haelyn-worshipers. Most soldiers will have only the
most limited understanding of why they are going into battle, but they
trust in the honor of their leaders that they are being led into a battle
that, for some reason or other, is worth fighting. Now the Knights of
Haelyn, being probably of higher caste and more knowledgable than your
average soldier, are in a better position to make this decision, but I
would think that they would still make the decision primarily based on
their estimation of their leader, rather than on their estimation of the
conflict. In other words: if I trust in the honor and nobility of my
leader enough to dedicate my life to his service, and he says that we
should go over and fight the people next door, then hey, that's what we'll
do, and right soundly at that.

Also, there's a big difference between killing soldiers and killing
"worshippers." Soldiers in medieval cultures gain a high status because
their honor (read: social contract) necessitates them being willing to
give up their lives in battle. Killing a soldier in a properly defined
battle situation does not carry a social stigma (it is not a religious
'sin') because of this. It's perfectly fine to kill an enemy soldier if
that's what your leader tells you to do, if there is a moral fault in the
situation, the onus falls on the leader, rather than the follower. Now if
told to kill a bunch of unarmed peasants, that is a completely different
story, because it does not occur under the social context of a field of

> Second, how do you-all out there deal with the espionage action:
> Assassination?

As long as it is successful and annonymous, the regent gets away with it.
But I do make the perpetrator do three things. They either have to role
play both the set up, the assassination, and the "clean up" of any details
that would lead back to the originator. If they send a lieutennant todo
their dirty deeds, I give the lieutennant three proficiency checks,
one for the set up, one for the attmept, and one for the escape. The first
check determines whether the lieutennant leaves behind any evidense that
links the attempt to the regent. The second check determines the success
of the attempt. And the third check determines whether the assassin
escapes (perahps in three levels: escapes, is killed, and is capured alive
and ready for magic/torture). I've never had PC's use this, I've only used
it against PC's (I always make the attempt a role-play situation if PC's
are involved, the proficiency check is for NPC's attacking NPC's).

If the attempt can be traced back, this is grounds for sanctions against
the perpetrators. These can include cutting off trade agreements
(stopping all trade routes between or through the two countries), demands
for reparations, and even war. And the last is by no means the least
likely, particularly if the attmept succeeded or came very close to

Next, of course, the PC's will be trying to assassinate but hang the blame
of someone else. Even more proficiency checks (and of course, the more you
make, the more likelihood that one of them is going to fail).

Mark VanderMeulen