Crime and Punishment
Author Keith Baker
Series Campaign Style
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003
A ruined nation has no organized leadership. It could best be called chaotic neutral, as each different band of refugees will have a different attitude. Good survivors may hope to recreate the former civilization, and are more likely to provide shelter to the weak or helpless. Evil refugees may seek to build a tyrannical powerbase in order to become warlords. Or they may simply be driven by fear and selfish greed, taking whatever they need to survive with no thought for the needs of others.
There’s no way to predict what you’ll run into. And in many ruined civilizations the refugees will need to keep moving in order to survive, constantly fleeing from the force that devastated the realm. As a result, even if you find trustworthy allies, you may not be able to locate them the next time you pass through the region.
If a refuge community does call for a trial, it will typically use some simple form of trial by ordeal, or the leader of the community will hear pleas. As with a traditional society, both Diplomacy and Bluff can be employed in this situation; the leader has ultimate authority, and if you manage to shift his attitude to helpful, odds are that he’ll let you go regardless of evidence.