So I’ve been thinking about running courtroom drama in fantasy games again, and I simply can’t respect anything that involves a skill or stat check. I’ve decided to go with the following system of proofs based distantly on some forms of medieval jurisprudence. The courts should be weird and impersonal, utterly incomprehensible to laymen and tend toward cruelty - at least that’s my take. Obviously there are all sorts of weird trials by ordeal and combat in any proper fantasy game, but if someone decides they need a lawyer and manages to get a fair trial I’ve concocted the following for criminal trials (fantasy civil trials I think need to be settled by judicial champions fighting mounted on pigs and armed with cudgels - to either encourage or discourage players from getting into contract disputes, also as a job opportunity).
In a Trial by Proof a Full Proof will convict the party of the offense. A Full Proof can made up of two Half Proofs and one of these Half Proofs in turn can be made of two Partial Proofs.
Witness Testimony of Priest, Deity, Noble or Cat
Witness Testimony by Commoner
High Magical Evidence or Spectral Witnesses (Requires pomp and flash)
Dying Declaration of Victim
Circumstantial, Character or Documentary Evidence
Low Magical Evidence (Shown by testimony)
Hearsay Witness (Witness is testifying to past statements of others)
I like this system because it gives players something to do (run around finding evidence and witnesses) rather then reducing the trial to having to make up a functioning fantasy set of laws (really impossible) or roll a lot of dice.
I’m curious if anyone has any other Partial or 1/2 Proofs that might be especially intriguing and hookish - as general categories not specifics to a particular case or crime.