Thursday, November 6, 2008

Re: Greyhawk Corruption

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Greyhawk Corruption (Was:What to do with evil?)
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 01:42:37 -0500
From: Robert Underwood
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Dracos said:

>Really? Assassins and Thieves in charge of the greatest city in the
>Flanaess is what gives Greyhawk its flavor?

Actually I think that you will find that it is Thieves and Merchants that run Greyhawk.

>I find if oppressive and unjust. It offends my personal sense of Ma'at
>and changes Greyhawk from a "Free City" to an "Apparently Free City".

Hmmm... I think if you compare that you will find that Greyhawk is a free city. Look around the Flanaes. There is Rauxes. Chendel is very ordered, and buildings are allowed little varriation from what city planers want to see. Also, do not go to the Pale looking for freedom.

But I suspect that the appaletion "Free City" refers to the fact that Greyhawk is part of no country other than itself. That is how the term is used historically.

>If people get sent to the labor camps for minor offenses just because
>Greyhawk is low on labor, and if fines are increased to finance
>operations (or so I've read COG box set, GHTaB. etc.), while at the same
>time the thieves guild sucks up more and more revenue from the city, it
>seems certain to me that Greyhawk is headed for disaster.

Being sentenced to labor is nothing unusal, even today. Think chain gang. I find that the fines are much more just than the system that we have today. A beggar might pay only a silver or two in fines, while a rich man convicted of the same crime would pay hundreds, ifnot thousands, of gold. Fines are not increased to pay city expenses, only the peoples constables were created for revune purposes. Yet they serve to let the Watch concentrate upon serious crime.

>For Pete's sake! The Mayor's gambling house is the most crooked in town.
>(IMC the PCs found out and blackmailed the mayor. Now *that* was funny.)

IIRC the Wheel of Gold is a legitimate gambling establishment. Anyhow a casino will always make money. The odds are always stacked in favor of the house.

>I'm sure that the victims of the above mentioned extortion will rest
>easier knowing that their misery is only a small part of Greyhawk's

The extorted do rest easier knowing that they will not be pillaged at night. Even if non-guild thieves rob the place they can complain to the guild. The guild will not repay the losses, but they do try to find the thieves who made them look bad.

>Instead robbery will be committed in a government regulated way. I'm not
>impressed by these fringe benefits.
>I don't think the population would be either, if they knew about it.

Government robbery = taxes. The population does know about thieves running the city. Org Nenshen and Bakluni are known members of the thieves guild. Gasgal gained some repute as a thief befoe becoming a politician. Arentol, the former guilmaster, was also well connected in the government.

>How would this make the city prosperous?
>If the money disappears once it gets to the city, who, aside from the
>thieves, benefits?

Actually the thieves only take part of the imense amount of wealth passing through the area. Taxes are kept low to keep the caravans rolling through. Every buisnessman expects to take a hit now and again. Wealth draws thieves, con-artists, and huxters.

Two parting shots. First, if you do not like the city, then do not use it. Also "To Protect and Serve - the moto of every extortion ring" R. Asprin.

That's only my oppinion, I could be wrong.

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