Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Law Enforcement in the Yellow City.

There was a thread on the Yoon-Suin Reddit today asking about what the response to a disturbance would be, and what was law enforcement like?  My players had the same question. So I thought - why not publish that?  Enjoy!

It bears remembering that only the Slugmen's lives are protected by the law, and only they are allowed to own property (as in real estate).  Crime against slugmen by non-slugmen are seen as an attack against the system, and are *not* tolerated.  Slugmen care far less about crimes against non slugmen…  However, this doesn't meant that the city is in a state of near anarchy.  This is in part due to a number of semi – formalized institutions and individuals that help maintain some kind of order.  These can vary a lot from district to district, and the system is *far* from perfect... but the city runs.  Factors that maintain order include: 

  • Slugmen Magistrates.  Slugmen Magistrates usually deal with commercial/tax related issues, and formal dispute between Slugmen Houses.  However, some of them are... meddlers and will insert themselves in human disputes/crimes, frequently dispensing fines.  Some are also asked by humans to resolves disputes between themselves.  Slugmen magistrates who perform this do so because of a sense of civic duty, because they are bored, or because they are hoping for bribes (some are corrupt, some aren't).
  • Slugmen in general.  As they go about their business they frequently are accompanied by guards, and this has a temporary but effective crime suppression effect.  This lead many slugmen to believe that there is less crime than there actually is.
  • Slugmen House:  Even the feeblest House employs a few dozen guards and stout servants, who keep an eye out in the immediate area around the House's compound.   These guards also look out for each other in their private lives – a guard's family having trouble will normally have no difficulties finding a dozen colleagues to assist them.
  • Holy Men in general:  Somewhat similar to slugmen, perhaps less noticeably so.  Will also act as magistrate between poorer humans.
  • Some cults in specific:  Some cults have their followers and holy men act as informal police forces.  The "Toadies" (followers of the Justice Toad) are infamous for this, but there are a number of others.  The followers of the Bull of Battle patrol the Pointed Dock District with near military discipline.  Armed followers of the Patron of Bakers (the "Rhinoes") will intervene if asked to.  The followers of Meti, the Sword Sage, take a dim view of those who abuse violence for their own gains, etc etc.  Even the holy men of Garlock can keep crime down, as hated criminals make great sacrificicial victims that few will mourn.
  • Club Men stables sometimes help put crime down as many fighters have humble origins and some want to "give back" to their communities.
  • Thief Takers – private individuals or small gangs who are hired to deal with specific thieves to get goods back or capture the suspect.
  • Bounty hunters of all kinds.   More than one crimelord has been stopped by one of the Council Houses putting a 10 000 ruppee bounty on his/her head to make the problem go away.  Smaller bounties are frequently put up by various individuals.   Assassins may also be hired privately.
  • Rent Collectors.   In some districts they have some order-maintenance activities on top of their rent-collecting duties.  Rent collectors are rarely liked, but they do have the ear of the slugmen house and thus have a certain authority. 
  • Hired Mercenaries – sellswords can be hired to patrol an area for a time.
  • Protection Rackets – some of these are semi legitimate and actually *do* protect the area.  The "Old Comrades" mentioned was such a group.
  • Local Tough – a man/woman (perhaps with a few followers) asked to take care of a problem. Mostly in poor districts.
  • Local street gang – sometimes the devil you know is the best you can get.  Again in poor districts.
  • Angry mobs. Public execution by a riled up populace do occur.


  1. Thanks for this! I'm going to have to print it up and paste the page in my copy of the book. I wonder if I can make it appear inconspicuous?

    1. you are very welcomed, and thank you for the high praise!

      The Yellow City is a strange place - it's both very wild *and* very constrained at the same time.

      A Slugman PC can take advantage of this "social power" but there are limits - can be challenging to GM, but it's feasible. I wonder if I should write about that...