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🦆Outlaw Hunt!🦆 & How to ransom 💰


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Fire season, 1611

The adventurers are mercenaries for an exiled noble establishing a new domain; they are tasked with eliminating the pirates of the zola fel, a band of thieving duck scum.

But then two bold pirates, Dreamwings and Nar Rucker, managed to capture the whole group with the help of a zany pit of quicksand 🤪

For the lay members amongst you, this is from the second Borderlands scenario, Outlaw Hunt 

After activating the bell and on their way to the ducks lair the adventurers faced a (second) quicksand pit. 

The Yerlornan tried to jump it and failed, falling in, neck deep. The Humakti got in (waist deep) and grabbed her, and then the Lhankor Mhy grabbed the Humakti by the legs...

And then stealthy Dreamwings scored 8 damage points on the Lhankor Mhys leg ROFL.

With literally the whole group immobilized, the ducks just had to threaten them a bit with their slings before the backup arrived.

A few minutes later Pinfeather & company got there and helped tie down and disarm the adventurers (which by the way contemplated going 1v6 with their hands tied *several times*)

Anyway the pirates successfully ransomed them to their employer, and the ducks left their lair with 100% of the loot, unscratched and even richer. They should probably get some extra magic from their new roommates at 5 eyes with all the money they brought in!

The adventurers have their clothes, their foci (the ducks were really nice and gave back them magic wands) and very little silver back home they got from a bounty last time. 

They also have -1 CHA and I'm pretty sure everyone laughs at their back in the fort.

You should have seen the faces of my players. Their hopes and dreams of greatness crushed by my ducks while i just kept laughing... Man it was a really nice session, i just wanted to share and while we are at it...

How do you figure out how much ransom is someone worth? Because I'm totally deducing it from the PCs pay!

Edited by icebrand
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  • icebrand changed the title to 🦆Outlaw Hunt!🦆 & How to ransom 💰

 

14 minutes ago, icebrand said:

i just wanted to share and while we are at it...

and you are right 🙂

 

14 minutes ago, icebrand said:

How do you figure out how much ransom is someone worth? Because I'm totally deducing it from the PCs pay!

you have the info in the rules (occupation step 5 creation)

for ONE warrior = 500L  . Do not insult them more by reducing their ransom value, the shame is enough 😉

 

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Depends on your rules set.

RQG specifically addresses ransom /wereguild costs in the Professions section of character generation.

In RQ2 and 3 it depends on three factors: birth status [noble, freeman, whatever], cult and cult rank [Orlanth will usually pay a ransom, Storm Bull or Waha will probably saddle up a large slice of the tribal warband and attempt a rescue instead], and how much the character has banked with the cult or clan.

@French Desperate WindChild is probably good with a 500 L price as a ball park figure if you're just trying to quickly get the episode over with, but you could also consider sums up to 1000 L for Initiates.

And, of course, the everlasting shame of being taken hostage by ducks.... Yeah, boys, you're gonna hear about that one in the barracks ["Saronil! Look out! I think that one's got feathers!" *laughter ensues*]

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7 hours ago, icebrand said:

How do you figure out how much ransom is someone worth? Because I'm totally deducing it from the PCs pay!

Okay, why would anyone pay a ransom for "warriors" captured by ducks?

But anyway, RQG suggests the ransom for "poor" at 250L and the ransom for "free" at 500L (p. 422).  I would put warriors at the "free" level.  

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23 hours ago, icebrand said:

How do you figure out how much ransom is someone worth? Because I'm totally deducing it from the PCs pay!

RQG has good guidelines on this.

As a GM, I would play that the clan with ransom their clan members, for not to do so would be an insult. If the clan doesn't then the bloodline would. If even the bloodline won't then the temple might. If the clan, bloodline and temple don't want to pay an ransom then you must have done something really bad. In that case, the Ransomers' Guild might choose to ransom you themselves, but you would have to pay them the ransom back.

Also note that the life of a Philosopher is worth way less than other people.

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Another thing to bear in mind is if you've had a bunch of people captured and the ransom is too high, you can always send in a raid to get them back. You could end up in a worse position, though. Or negotiate a bulk discount, offer other favours or threats to get the price down, etc. I imagine durulz are used to settling for a slightly lower price, but maybe these ones are fed up of that prejudice.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

As a GM, I would play that the clan with ransom their clan members, for not to do so would be an insult. If the clan doesn't then the bloodline would. If even the bloodline won't then the temple might. If the clan, bloodline and temple don't want to pay an ransom then you must have done something really bad. In that case, the Ransomers' Guild might choose to ransom you themselves, but you would have to pay them the ransom back.

 

There is a great mechanic for this, if you want your family to ransom you, roll Loyalty (Family)... or (Clan) or... You still have to make up for it, but...

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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20 hours ago, Revilo Divad Of Dyoll said:

Okay, why would anyone pay a ransom for "warriors" captured by ducks?

Recently David Scott clarified a few things about ransoms that I had missed or forgotten from RQG. First, there are two types of ransoms:

  1. If you have been captured and someone is ransoming you, they are asking you to pay up. As in: you pay your own ransom, or find someone who will pay it for you. Your captors don't have all day to call everybody in your contacts list -- that's your job as the captive! 🙂
  2. If you have killed or severely maimed somebody, that NPC's family/clan/temple/guild/etc might ask for compensation. This is another form of ransom which is different. In this case, the culprit (as opposed to the victim/captive in the first case) is the one paying.

RQG p64 describes option 2 for most of its boxed text, except for the very last sentence which mentions option 1.

RQG p407 describes option 1 in more detail.

It explains that most captives pay their ransom themselves because they have set aside some funds to that effect. They keep these funds in a "safe" place such as their "home temple" (which @Joerg then picked up to start musing about how many ransoms are stored at a temple, whether that increases the temple's cash liquidity, and so on 😉 ). So if the adventurers get ransomed, they just need to send someone to pick that money up.

However, if they don't have any/enough funds set aside, they might have to indeed call upon their family or community -- generally this includes a Passion roll (Love, Loyalty, etc.) and comes with a life debt towards this group of people... which can be some interesting narrative hook in its own right. Note that Rune-level people and Shamans would pretty much automatically have their temple or community pay their ransom, that comes with the already existing heavy duty of these titles.

For more info see Community Support p235, Rune Priests/Lords/Shamans p276, p280, p359, and some of the fluff text from Vasana on p166.

 

On 4/29/2021 at 7:17 AM, icebrand said:

How do you figure out how much ransom is someone worth? Because I'm totally deducing it from the PCs pay!

Conclusion: those players better have some pile of money set aside to pay the ducks and keep this embarrassing episode under wraps. If not, they will indeed have to drag their patron or community or cult into it (which would require successful Passion rolls... statistically one of them will fail). But asking for an advance from their employer might be easy to obtain -- they might end up working for free for a lot longer than it would have taken to repay the ransoms though. Interest is a bitch and their employer probably sees a good opportunity when it presents itself.

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11 hours ago, lordabdul said:

It explains that most captives pay their ransom themselves because they have set aside some funds to that effect. They keep these funds in a "safe" place such as their "home temple" (which @Joerg then picked up to start musing about how many ransoms are stored at a temple, whether that increases the temple's cash liquidity, and so on 😉 ). So if the adventurers get ransomed, they just need to send someone to pick that money up.

Assuming that you deposit your ransom in actual cows, as per the backstory for the "Cattle Raid" scenario in the Colymar Adventures Book in the GM Screen package you may end up herding those cattle for the temple, still harvesting their milk, and even some of their offspring.

But then, what happens when (not if) disaster strikes your local temple? Your pre-paid ransom may be gone. You might have to wait for your temple to regain the wealth (putting you to work to make that happen), or you might have to accept spells or training you did not mean to acquire in the first place just so that you don't make a total loss.

 

Your status in the clan (or rather your household's status in the clan) depends on whether or not the clan chief, advised by his clan ring, will renew your current holdings to your group in the Sacred Time Remaking of the World. They will probably let one case of needing to pay ransom for you slip without taking a look at your status. Maybe more than once if those times you need ransom happen on clan business. (There is no qualitative difference between having to pay your ransom to get you back out of involuntary guesting with others or having to pay for wounds or deaths you caused. Both will cut into the clan's resources if you don't have your own contribution to offer.) If such occasions pile up, your standard of living may drop from free to semi-free. That might mean you still keep that freeman's holding, but your household's taxation to the clan temple goes up so much that your discretionary spending is gone. (Much like having activated a private health insurance...)

Your household will usually involve your immediate family (or in-laws, other than your children, if your character is the one who married into the household). So, whatever you do, always think of the children.

 

Delivering a ransom to another party may be an activity fraught with danger. Even if the recipient of your ransom is less likely to just take the wealth without acknowledging your payment, other parties who may be potentially unfriendly to your party or their cause don't have much reason not to claim the wealth for their own if you deliver the wealth yourself. It pays to pay the premium for an independent, well-connected middleman to deliver the wealth to the intended recipients. Your party or clan may still provide some of the security to make sure the wealth arrives where it should (that helps keeping the middleman honest, too).

One way I have tried to acquaint players unfamiliar with the concept of ransom is to have them involved in delivering a ransom. Possibly in gathering enough wealth in the short term to get the problem out of the world as soon as possible. It is also a good way to confront them with a (hopefully recurring) villain or at least strong rival in a stressful but peaceful situation.

If it is about bringing a hostage back home, make that your uncle, cousin, older brother, or your rival inside your community. Neener niner, and all that... Imagine you are playing an Ernaldori party from Clearwine constantly in the shadow of the exploits of Vasana, Harmast and Yanioth, and rather than going to Argrath they had to turn towards Clearwine to get out of that pickle with Gunda the Guilty.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Assuming that you deposit your ransom in actual cows, as per the backstory for the "Cattle Raid" scenario in the Colymar Adventures Book in the GM Screen package you may end up herding those cattle for the temple, still harvesting their milk, and even some of their offspring.

But then, what happens when (not if) disaster strikes your local temple? Your pre-paid ransom may be gone. You might have to wait for your temple to regain the wealth (putting you to work to make that happen), or you might have to accept spells or training you did not mean to acquire in the first place just so that you don't make a total loss.

 

Your status in the clan (or rather your household's status in the clan) depends on whether or not the clan chief, advised by his clan ring, will renew your current holdings to your group in the Sacred Time Remaking of the World. They will probably let one case of needing to pay ransom for you slip without taking a look at your status. Maybe more than once if those times you need ransom happen on clan business. (There is no qualitative difference between having to pay your ransom to get you back out of involuntary guesting with others or having to pay for wounds or deaths you caused. Both will cut into the clan's resources if you don't have your own contribution to offer.) If such occasions pile up, your standard of living may drop from free to semi-free. That might mean you still keep that freeman's holding, but your household's taxation to the clan temple goes up so much that your discretionary spending is gone. (Much like having activated a private health insurance...)

Your household will usually involve your immediate family (or in-laws, other than your children, if your character is the one who married into the household). So, whatever you do, always think of the children.

 

Delivering a ransom to another party may be an activity fraught with danger. Even if the recipient of your ransom is less likely to just take the wealth without acknowledging your payment, other parties who may be potentially unfriendly to your party or their cause don't have much reason not to claim the wealth for their own if you deliver the wealth yourself. It pays to pay the premium for an independent, well-connected middleman to deliver the wealth to the intended recipients. Your party or clan may still provide some of the security to make sure the wealth arrives where it should (that helps keeping the middleman honest, too).

One way I have tried to acquaint players unfamiliar with the concept of ransom is to have them involved in delivering a ransom. Possibly in gathering enough wealth in the short term to get the problem out of the world as soon as possible. It is also a good way to confront them with a (hopefully recurring) villain or at least strong rival in a stressful but peaceful situation.

If it is about bringing a hostage back home, make that your uncle, cousin, older brother, or your rival inside your community. Neener niner, and all that... Imagine you are playing an Ernaldori party from Clearwine constantly in the shadow of the exploits of Vasana, Harmast and Yanioth, and rather than going to Argrath they had to turn towards Clearwine to get out of that pickle with Gunda the Guilty.

Next level GMing!

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