Monday, December 15, 2008

The Laws

Countries have laws. That's how you make people behave because, seriously, half of them are savages. How you uphold these laws depends on your available resources. With magic, it's kind of easy; just make sure anyone who enters your country accepts a law spell, binding them to the laws of the country, with unlawful actions resulting it automatic penalties upon the lawbreaker.

That being said, what can laws cover? Murder and thievery, of course, at least as applied to lawful citizens of the territories. You'll want to make sure people feel safe in your country, otherwise you might have trouble getting citizens to want joining your country. If you want to establish global or specific taxes, that's entirely in your right. You also want laws which establish your system of beliefs, so that like-minded people prefer your country to allies' or rivals'.

Of course, nobody is forcing you to have fair laws; if you want thievery and murder to be legal (at least against people who aren't YOU), then by all means make them legal. If you don't want goody-two-shoes entering your country, then make it illegal for goody-two-shoesians to do so. Or tax the heck out of them; who said you had to be fair? You're the king (or president, dictator, comrade, what have you), and whoever finds it a good idea to argue with you will find themselves quite acquainted with the meaning of "full extend of the law".

Perhaps more importantly, however, you want to consider the laws of neighboring states; should one of them have strict beliefs regarding certain aspects, you should at least acknowledge them, otherwise no alliance would be possible. With conflicting laws, you will have to actually pick your allies, and it's never possible to satisfy everyone. Enemies will grow of former allies, and wars will be forced upon pacifists, stuck between enemies fighting over trivialities; war is never pretty, but it rarely gets worst than good people fighting for no reason than upholding arbitrary laws.

Yes, laws are important, even when there are none. They define the country and, ultimately, they define the people who live within it, from the humble peasant to the mighty rulers. It's what you believe in, it's the laws you decide to obey that show who you are, and determine your overall experience - be it as a noble paladin or cunning rogue, you will obey the laws, or suffer the consequences.

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