Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Old Courthouse

 A landmark of the slums of Wizard City, the Old Courthouse is a broken monument to the bygone era of justice and equity. It was the site of The Last Jury Trial of Wizard City, and since the implementation of the Secret Police has fallen into disrepair and disregard.

Since its abandonment, it has become a home for disaffected youth and a mecca for the orphans of wizard couplings. These orphans have a special relationship with magic, inherent to the transgenerational legacy of stuffing weird spells in one's brain. A number of developmental issues tend to emerge, including various degrees of preemptive brain maturation, enigmatic growth spurts, mutanous osteogenesis. and elevated frequency of Tower Syndrome.

The Courthouse is not without its institutions, however. It is the primary hangout of the Dirty Rascals - the children's criminal gang led by the ruthless 12-year old Sam (see epithets below). It is also the site of The Rascals' Court, in which disputes among wizard children are settled since none of them can get justice or recompense from the Secret Police or the Suit Courts without an adult.

These children, though never having seen any real court proceedings, have still ended up emulating it within their own orphan-gang society. It's not uncommon for issues among the children to be taken to The Rascals Court, presided over by the Girl Who Knows All The Rules - Sam (also known as 'Her Horror', 'Sam Wham', and 'Big Mean Gavel Girl'). Trials and hearing go about much how one is accustomed in a soap opera crime drama: with virtually no pretrial arrangements such as discovery and disposition, with a superabundance of surprise witnesses, and with absolutely no restrictions on entering the well.

The Jury is composed of fellow orphans (or if the guilty party is an adult, abducted people from the nearby neighborhood). The Court Reporter is typically the youngest member of the gang (and is just learning how to spell). The Bailiff is an eleven year old child's brain inside of a two-ton XK-9000 Bruiser Mo-RON battlesuit. The Prosecutor is always prepared.

ORPHANS

d12

Their Nickname Is...

Their Parents Were...

Someone Wants Them For...

Their Sole Possession Is A(n)...

1

Squid

Two secret police persons, who have no idea who each other or the child are.

Repeatedly insulting their religion.

Pair of oversized shoes.

2

Shortsword

The trophy wife of a powerful businessman and a guy who sells shampoo door to door.

Being a gambling cheater prodigy.

Spell that conjures small throwable rocks into their hands.

3

Mouse

Indefinitely jailed for violation of hat dress codes.

Burning down a street food stall.

Heirloom scabbard that is one half to a legendary sword.

4

Flue

Wizard furries.

Being in the wrong time at the wrong place.

Flash Bomb.

5

Digs

Really more interested in getting a dog instead.

Stealing a critical component of a doomsday weapon.

Snowglobe that is actually a scrying device for an important governmental building.

6

Thorn

Obliterated in a timeline paradox of their own creation.

Being witness to a quintuple homicide.

Picture of their loving parents with a strange shadowy figure in the background.

7

Damn

Steeve. This clone came out a little undercooked.

Their beautiful flowing hair, which some rich heiress intends to scalp and make a wig out of.

Old rusty trumpet.

8

Jules McKinley IV

Killed violently and dramatically by a cruel villain, fueling a lust for vengeance that will no doubt resolve itself dramatically.

Being the long lost heir and sole survivor to a tremendous fortune and/or royal dynasty.

Strange die with 13 congruent sides.

9

Glory

International spies executed for their role in smuggling industrial espionage.

Making a pastry made of children.

Cool-looking scar that glows in the dark.

10

Killy Kill

Ghosts, somehow...

A very delicate task that requires tiny tiny childrens’ hands.

A pet alligator that snarls at liars.

11

Lil’ Red

Slain by the orphan’s own hands.

Their blood! It holds the cure to a plague from the future!

‘Broken’ pocketwatch which ticks when danger’s nearby.

12

Dog

A college student and a professor in the Venoms Department..

The dimensions of their body, which would make the perfect doorstop for their foyer.

Mean Attitude

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Suit Court

If there's one thing that's been learned in Wizard City jurisprudence, it's that proving beyond reasonable doubt is 100% impossible when wizards are involved. In Wizard City, there is always a reasonable doubt. Thus was thrown out the jury trial in criminal proceedings in favor of instituting The Secret Police, the Office of Intellectual Property, and The Dean.

Civil proceedings, however, do not require reasonable doubt. In fact, they only require the disregard of most doubt. Say... 50% of the doubt? A much easier standard to achieve when wizard matters are involved.

And so the institution of the Civil Court was preserved. And it has evolved into what is now called The Suit Court - where one brings any sort of litigation involving MONEY. Where fortunes are broken and stolen! Where slaves are made of men and men are made free!

Though, BEWARE! 
For it is in the Suit Court that the judging of suits and the judging of suits shall take place.

Make sure your suit is iron and your suit is ironed.
That your facts are crisp and your pants even crisper!
For in one misstep of either will your hard-earned gold be forfeit.
And the loser of facts and fashion may become indentured.

THE SUIT COURT

The Judge is accompanied by a Court stenographer and a host of bodyguards duty-and-money-bound to 'protect the sanctity and integrity of the Judge's person and mind'. Often pulled from the Secret Police as cushy prestigious late-stage career options, these Dread Bailiffs are trained to detect the faintest whiff of enchantment, of anything of a magical nature which may compromise the mind and body of the Judge. They will tackle you if you approach or cast at the Judge without permission, hence dirtying your suit, and drastically hurting your chances.

Your case in court will be judged on the presentation of your outfit first and the facts of the case second. 
The more expensive, the more dignified, the more presentable your outfit, the greater the chance the Judge will rule in your favor. Hence, the worse your opponent's outfit is: the dirtier, the creasier, the more splattered with ketchup from lunch, the worse their chances.

The Court does not recommend sabotaging your opponent's clothes with 'childish food fight antics', 'paint explosions', or 'accidental projectile vomiting'. But it's not like this is a criminal proceeding: the Secret Police aren't going to throw you into a volcano for strategically spilled milk. And sometimes things beyond anyone's control happens! The Bailiffs aren't responsible for your safety during recesses. They certainly aren't responsible for what happens just outside the courtroom...

(Note: Your lawyer's outfit is just as important as yours is. Both must be presentable!)

All clothing being equal, however, it then comes down to facts, precedent, and logic. As argued by your lawyers.

You must merely convince the Judge with argument: that you have been dealt some great injustice and that your opponent's arguments have no merit. There is no jury to coerce. Only one rather old wizard.

After facts have been presented and final arguments have been made, the Judge will deliberate and a ruling will be issued. Typically judgements impose fines upon either the defendant or the accuser: amounts of spell-gold to be paid in lump sums or payment plans, to be negotiated by the Court Accountant (an underrated position in terms of power).

Judging Criteria
  • Cleanliness and Crisp
  • Confidence and Correct Fit
  • Complementary Colors, Designs, and Patterns
  • Complementary Outfits Between Lawyer and Defendant / Plaintiff
  • Thread Count
  • Exoticness of Fabric Materials
  • Style and Coherence With Present Fashion Trends
Typical Fines:

Theft: Value of the Items + dX% Interest
Murder of a Loved One: 1000 spellgold x Age of Victim (in Years) x dX
Intellectual Property Violation: Estimated Value of Theft + 100% Interest, and Recommended to Patent Police for Criminal Proceedings.
Injury to a Person: Cost of Medical Treatment at Victim's Doctor of Choice + Lawyers' Fees
Injury to a Person Resulting in Lost of Work Hours: Cost of Medical Treatment at Plaintiff's Doctor of Choice + Lost Productivity Costs to Plaintiff's Employer + Lawyers' Fees.
Injury to a Person's Property: Fraction of Item's Value proportional to Damages.
Inability to Procure Liquid Assets: Indenturement until Debts Paid.

Judges


Judge Lawstab:
All dX's are 3d4's.
  • Lawyer, tinker, tailor, mage. A quadruple threat in his heyday. 
  • Keeps his outfit traditional - wizards robes and pointed hat. Magical and potentially very deadly ties.
  • Smokes a pipe in court. Aggressively punctual with the smoke rings.
  • Gives no fucks - sassy and sarcastic. Will call attention to non-clothing-related details in the case that are particularly egregious.
  • Carries the Staff of Law, which strikes those who attempt to charm or Fear him with clothes-incinerating fire.

Judge Taff:
All dX's are 1d10's.
  • Rotund robber baron. Made his fortune in textile manufacturing.
  • Wears magic tailored suit that is somehow flattering. Magic likely involved.
  • Smokes cigars in court. Huge fan of exotic tobacco.
  • Susceptible to bribes, particularly extravagant ones. Deflects critique of corrupt rulings by declaring subjective nature of suit judging.
  • Nasty cough. Demands court grinds to a halt while he has coughing fits. During this time he is not paying attention while he coughs into a filthy handkerchief.

Judge Hathaway Press:
All dX's are 1d20-4's. If the result is negative, then Plaintiff must pay Defendant. If zero, Judge dismisses the case at conclusion.
  • Wears robes pressed so smooth and crisp that it forms an impenetrable magic barrier on her person.
  • All the lawyers are scared of her. For good reason.
  • Will examine clothes literally under a microscope for perfection.
  • Mean. Snarky. Critical. Perfectionist. Will destroy the unprepared.
  • Professor of Law. Two PhDs.
  • Will berate the finest flaws in your suits for hours. Down to the last unwanted microscopic crease.


Lawyers

All lawyers will argue for Defendants and Plaintiffs both.

Mr. Suit: 
  • Is a living, breathing, animated suit. It's hard to beat that! 
  • Keeps himself meticulously clean, though he can be a bit old-fashioned.
  • Makes snappy concise arguments that get right to the point. 
  • Fighting a reputation that he can't keep up with the times what with the fashion scene evolving and his literal being being tied to this particular suit.

Ms. Darling Reed:
  • Darling of the court. Most of the Judges like her, treat her like a daughter.
  • Keeps up with the latest fashions. Employees a tailor to make new suits for nearly every trial.
  • Rhetoric that tries to impress: bombastic, far-flinging, extravagant, dramatic.
  • Frequently enters the Well without asking and is given leniency by the Bailiffs and Judges to do so. Because they like her.
  • Expensive.
Carl McGoo
  • Not a great lawyer. Which is to say, he dresses like an academic: oversized suit, checkered pattern. Pants don't match. Ugly tie. A doom to your case.
  • Might get pity points from the Judge.
  • Will defend you for a ham sandwich.
  • Stutters when he gets nervous, which happens in court a lot.
Dexter Vox
  • Young, snappy, and attuned to the personalities of the judges. The hot new lawyer on the scene.
  • Perfect hair.
  • Employees seamstresses and tailors which he may or may not be dating.
  • Not that great at arguments. Most devolve into talking about himself. Never prepared to actually talk about the case.
  • Tries to keep all attention on him (and not his clients).

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Black Crater

The Black Crater is a landmark within Wizard City. It itself is the product of a magical mishap the approximate size of six city blocks. To this day, nobody is exactly sure what happened, though it has now resulted in site of pilgrimage for those visiting whispering prophecies of the Pit of Portents and/or those wanting to throw things down the bottomless pit.

The entire desolation is a spongy black-as-soot waste. Nothing grows in it. Nothing can be built on it. Anything spending inordinate amounts of time standing still in the Black Crater simply sinks into the ground at a pace of 4cm / hour. This has given rise to the speculation that the Crater is in fact a portal to another dimension, and that might be true.

MAGICAL MISHAPS

d20

There Is A(n)...

And It’s...

And On Top of That...

1

Mystical Vortex locally randomizing space and time.

Coming this way!

Some kids are poking at it.

2

Familiar giving out their master’s secrets like candy at a parade.

Minding its own damn business.

The Secret Police are keeping everyone at a distance, secretly.

3

Street brawl running in reverse.

Got the same physical properties as a game of freeze-tag.

The Wizard Police are here, and they’re definitely making it worse.

4

Thing which really shouldn’t have consciousness that has very recently obtained it.

Definitely your problem now.

Some stock brokers are already trying to cash in on the phenomenon before the markets adjust.

5

Plague going round. Rather quickly.

Melting! Melting! Aaaaaaah it’s melting!

Someone decided this was a great place to have a raging party.

6

Mathematician who is mathing way too hard.

Going to sound way dumber when people describe it later.

It’s drawing the attention of some opportunistic gangsters.

7

Glitch in the matrix.

Broken through the quarantine.

Some construction workers are carrying a fragile piece of glass across the street.

8

Big bloody orb of flesh floating mid-air.

Clearly edible.

For some reason, everyone is glowing now.

9

Animated Object that has illegally self-actualized.

Attacking the city!

Someone called the bomb technicians and they don’t know it’s a prank.

10

Ooze.

Slowly vaporizing.

Magical possibly-time-traveling insurance agents have come to pre-emptively assess damages.

11

Remarkable admonishment that there are more dimensions out there than we can perceive.

Infinitely more confused about this situation than you are.

The medieval equivalent of a school bus full of children is careening straight for it.

12

Fiend, Fey, Monstrocity, Undead, Elemental, Aberration, or quite possibly all of the above.

Your responsibility by some outstandingly impossible Butterfly Effect / Rube Goldberg mechanism.

There has already been a religion established to worship this particular thing… And it’s not a very nice religion.

13

Spot where Gravity is evidently having a time-out.

On the cusp of a groundbreaking philosophical conclusion.

Some dumb wizard is already trying to get high off of it.

14

Very Naked Wizard.

Chaotic Stupid

The acid rain is coming in early today.

15

Screaming Book.

Leaking magic like a 1982 Toyota Pickup on its last legs.

The Fire Brigade is here. Shit.

16

Explosion

Continuously Exploding

It’s about to explode!

17

Adorable Puppy

Broken through the sound barrier.

An overconfident wizard is about to go apeshit on this thing.

18

Evil Twin.

Really, really pathetic. Really.

There’s a reward for capturing it alive.

19

God.

Going to talk your head off. Possibly literally.

Magic doesn’t work for some reason!

20

Combination of two of the above.

(Reroll twice)

Simultaneously doing two things: (Reroll twice)

Oh look! There’s another one…

(Reroll everything an additional time)