D&D General How much trouble are the Slave catchers in for taking A 4 year old Crown Prince whose mother was A Escaped Slave?, which legally makes him a slave

JMISBEST

Explorer
There is nothing reasonable about this. They did not have reasonable grounds.



See, a special birthmark is an old trope used in literature a lot. And it's usually to indicate royal or an otherwise "special" bloodline. But in slaves? Why would the slavers memorize birthmarks?

This is SO unlikely it strains credulity. Here is what you should do:

Skip the birthmark entirely. It's stupid, it doesn't work. Instead, have a mark applied to ALL slaves - a brand, a tattoo, something like that. This mark was hidden on the boy by his mother. BUT the mark also had something magical about it (in case of tempering), something the mother did not know about - and neither did his guards (more on them later) know about it. So a routine border check, which the guards thought would be no trouble, revealed the prince to be a slave, and he was captured.

You've already spoken below about a spell. Again, you don't need the birthmark.



Again, WAY too convoluted, and not believable either.

  • This is WAY too much trouble for slavers to capture a young boy.
  • Are they slavers or "the authority" (you spoke of "arrest" earlier)? If they are the authority, they don't need these shenanigans
  • A naive 4 year old is not listened to by his guards in matters such as this. If there is violence (muggings etc) they will protect their charge, not spread out.
Its a birthmark that always appears on the foreheads of male members of his mothers family, it has nothing to do with his mother being a slave, after all since it only appears on male members she wouldn't have it

As for how did they realize by the birthmark that his mother is or was, by which I'm referring to the fact that they don't know she's dead but they know that because she escaped 17 years ago that theirs a good chance that she is dead, a escaped slave, which means that since they don't know his fathers a king they class him as a slave

Back to the subject of the birthmark I would guess that theirs a registry of birthmarks that can be used to identify escaped slaves and even though it couldn't be used to identify his mother, since only male members of her family get it, it could be used to identify a male descendant of hers, and in this case it was used to identify a male descendant of hers

You did say that him bearing a birthmark that looks a lot like the 1 that all male members of a family that has been entirely slaves for close to a millennium isn't reasonable grounds to detain him and find out if he's the child of a escaped slave

After all even though being a slave snatcher doesn't require a high INT, but having a high INT helps, they will all have A INT stat that's high enough for them to all to realize that since he's only 4 years old he can't be a escaped slave, but he could be the son of a escaped slave

To that I say that it seems like you've overlooked the fact that different countries have different opinions of what is reasonable grounds to detain someone because by the laws of his mothers homelands they did have reasonable grounds
 
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Bagpuss

Hero
To that I say that it seems like you've overlooked the fact that different countries have different opinions of what is reasonable grounds to detain someone because by the laws of his mothers homelands they did have reasonable grounds

Yeah but I bet the USA had reasonable grounds to detain a certain prince recently, but you don't go causing diplomatic incidents over it.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
This means that The slave snatchers didn't snatch the 4 year old to check if he was a escaped slave, rather they had reasonable grounds to arrest him

No, they really didn't. You cannot have reasonable grounds for arrest if you don't have jurisdiction. The laws of his mother's homeland are irrelevant if the boy isn't in his mother's homeland at the time.

They may have felt they could get money for the kid back in the slaver country, but that's not "grounds for arrest". That's "motive for kidnapping".
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Like are the adventurers supposed to stop the slavers?

If so, then the elaborate backstory about why the slavers think a prince should be enslaved doesn't matter. They're slavers - they deserve death.

Stop trying to find a way to justify slavery and let the players kill them
Note that the very first sentence of this thread is “I've had A Idea for A Unique DAD Character but I've got a question.”

OP is a player. They often come up with elaborate and convoluted backstories for their characters based on dreams they have, and then come to the forums asking questions like “how much did The King mess up by marring his Nine Year Old Daughter who is secretly a Thousand Year Old Succubus (which in Succubus years is the equivalent of a Very Intelligent 6-Month Old) to the Seventeen-and-a-half Year Old Prince of a Small But Wealthy Country who is also A Thief?”
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Note that the very first sentence of this thread is “I've had A Idea for A Unique DAD Character but I've got a question.”

OP is a player. They often come up with elaborate and convoluted backstories for their characters based on dreams they have, and then come to the forums asking questions like “how much did The King mess up by marring his Nine Year Old Daughter who is secretly a Thousand Year Old Succubus to the Seventeen-and-a-half Year Old Prince of a Small But Wealthy Country who is also A Thief?”
Ok that make more sense now. The thread that is, not the backstory, that is rubbish.
 

JMISBEST

Explorer
No, they really didn't. You cannot have reasonable grounds for arrest if you don't have jurisdiction. The laws of his mother's homeland are irrelevant if the boy isn't in his mother's homeland at the time.

They may have felt they could get money for the kid back in the slaver country, but that's not "grounds for arrest". That's "motive for kidnapping".
He was in his mothers homeland, he wanted to see it, somehow his father agreed and in case anyone tried to kidnap the 4 year old crown prince they disguised him

Unfortunately no one, not even his father, knew that his dead mother was a escaped slave, and since they are now in his mothers homeland they have the jurisdiction to arrest escaped slaves and their children

Sadly for the 4 year old, which will end badly for the slave catchers, the slave catchers got a good enough look at his birthmark for their jurisdiction to give them enough reasonable grounds to detain him on suspicion of being the son of a escaped slave
 

Gorbatchev was a public figure. The 4 years old prince, much less and he probably didn't command a lot of interest. It's possible he didn't know about the mark. However, the OP confirmed that they used a spell to confirm his runaway slave status... but the odds of the guards recognizing the birthmark of a random slave when stopping him are very low in the first place. I am puzzled.
Crown princes are public figures. Particularly when they are young and cute and have prominent birthmarks (“It’s a SIGN!”).

The UK went gaga over the birth of William’s firstborn, and in medieval times, the king’s role is even more important.

In msny monarchies, the Crown Prince is literally considered to be the gods’ representative on earth.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Note that the very first sentence of this thread is “I've had A Idea for A Unique DAD Character but I've got a question.”

OP is a player. They often come up with elaborate and convoluted backstories for their characters based on dreams they have, and then come to the forums asking questions like “how much did The King mess up by marring his Nine Year Old Daughter who is secretly a Thousand Year Old Succubus (which in Succubus years is the equivalent of a Very Intelligent 6-Month Old) to the Seventeen-and-a-half Year Old Prince of a Small But Wealthy Country who is also A Thief?”

Threads like this make me appreciate backstories like: "I hit things with a big sword. About five percent of the time I hit them twice."
 

Still doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
Back to the subject of the birthmark I would guess that theirs a registry of birthmarks that can be used to identify escaped slaves and even though it couldn't be used to identify his mother, since only male members of her family get it, it could be used to identify a male descendant of hers, and in this case it was used to identify a male descendant of hers
Why would there be a registry of birthmarks? Apparently this is a family thing, so are there really that many slaves with birthmarks that setting up a registry is warranted?

Again, how many resources does this nation allot to recapturing slaves? We have independent, roving bands of slave catchers that will put out elaborate charades to catch a single suspected slave. They are equipped with magical items that allow them to detect whether some one is a slave or not (how does that even work? What happens if the law changes? Does the item stop working?). Now we have a registry of slave birthmarks that is apparently easily accessible by this 7-man strong band of roving slavers.

And this sophisticated country, with widespread magical items to detect slaves and a registry of slave birthmarks somehow never noticed that the Crown Prince of another nation had the birthmark of a slave?
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Why would there be a registry of birthmarks? Apparently this is a family thing, so are there really that many slaves with birthmarks that setting up a registry is warranted?

Well, birthmarks don't have to work like they do in our world. Maybe they are distinct and reliable genetic markers, and in the same way that aristocracies carefully track family trees and marriage ties, this society has a developed a "registry" of birthmarks.

Birthmark forging would likely be a thing, too.
 

JMISBEST

Explorer
Still doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Why would there be a registry of birthmarks? Apparently this is a family thing, so are there really that many slaves with birthmarks that setting up a registry is warranted?

Again, how many resources does this nation allot to recapturing slaves? We have independent, roving bands of slave catchers that will put out elaborate charades to catch a single suspected slave. They are equipped with magical items that allow them to detect whether some one is a slave or not (how does that even work? What happens if the law changes? Does the item stop working?). Now we have a registry of slave birthmarks that is apparently easily accessible by this 7-man strong band of roving slavers.
I'll admit I didn't think of how unfeasible the idea is, but the most likely answer is that theirs so many escaped slaves and catching them can be so problematic that theirs a entire guild of freelance government sponsored slave catchers that operate both inside and outside the country

Theirs also the fact that the countries police force has a entire division devoted to catching all escaped slaves, and their children, that are still inside the country and the secret service has a entire division devoted to catching all escaped slaves, and their children that manage to get out of the country
 

Note that the very first sentence of this thread is “I've had A Idea for A Unique DAD Character but I've got a question.”

OP is a player. They often come up with elaborate and convoluted backstories for their characters based on dreams they have, and then come to the forums asking questions like “how much did The King mess up by marring his Nine Year Old Daughter who is secretly a Thousand Year Old Succubus (which in Succubus years is the equivalent of a Very Intelligent 6-Month Old) to the Seventeen-and-a-half Year Old Prince of a Small But Wealthy Country who is also A Thief?”
Then the character, who I can't make out if they are supposed to be the child or the guard, or completely uninvolved in the situation, should kill the slavers.
This isn't complicated. Slavers should die.
 

JMISBEST

Explorer
Well, birthmarks don't have to work like they do in our world. Maybe they are distinct and reliable genetic markers, and in the same way that aristocracies carefully track family trees and marriage ties, this society has a developed a "registry" of birthmarks.

Birthmark forging would likely be a thing, too.
Didn't think of the genetic markers idea but its a very good idea, but since the birthmark only appears on male family members is it still classed as a genetic marker?

In my opinion the best example of the kind of birthmark I'm talking about is The Brand of The Exalt from Fire Emblem Awakening, the 2 differences being that only males get it and it never fails to appear
 


Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
No, they really didn't. You cannot have reasonable grounds for arrest if you don't have jurisdiction. The laws of his mother's homeland are irrelevant if the boy isn't in his mother's homeland at the time.

It was mentionned in the OP and reiterated that the kid (at 4 years old) somehow mounted an expedition to leave his country and enter, under a false identity, the jurisdiction of his mother homeland. I am having trouble to understand why the bodyguard would go with this strange plan, but at the time of arrest, he's clearly in his mother's country, under their juridiction.

I have also trouble suspending disbelief at his father the king allowing his son to... wander (can a 4 years old plan a trip, really, or even understand the concept of foreign country?) in another country under a false identity. If he wants to take his son to see his mother homeland, he could just take him on an official trip, with a certain measure of diplomatic immunity expected to prevent any legal claim against them.

He's apparently the crown prince of the Kingdom of low collective wisdom.

@OP: to help us understand the campaign premise, could you clarify who the PC are? The prince bodyguards? Some people hired to get the prince back? The slave-catchers?

[I could see a campaign with law enforcement officer of a corrupt country that arrest the slave/crown prince, who are betrayed by their own country, which realizes he has a lot to gain from exploiting their neighbour's stupid move by claiming the boy was abducted by outlaws, say that really he should have entered under his true identity for the country to protect his guest accordingly, and mount an expedition to "free him" and appear as good neighbour, saviour of the poor crown prince, at the price of setting up a team of slave-catchers... So the PC would hunted by both country A and country B. But it could really be cut short if the PC just (sensibly) give back the crown prince to the autorithies in his own country and explain the truth... and I have trouble imagining players actually condoning child slavery and nabbing the boy in the first place.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
He was in his mothers homeland, he wanted to see it, somehow his father agreed and in case anyone tried to kidnap the 4 year old crown prince they disguised him

Oh, for pity's sake! The kid is four years old. He likely can't even read yet!

A king can't say no to a four year old? And they can't find a better way to handle the situation than to send him guarded by people so incompetent that low-level characters can get past them to steal the kid?

Alternatively, that four year old, who can't even read, can manage to finagle enough resources to sneak away against his father's wishes? When everyone involved is likely to be executed when the king finds his heir gone? And, these people who go are so incompetent that the kid gets snatched from them, but they are clever enough to have gotten the kid out?

This is contrived to a point past sensibility.
 
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JMISBEST

Explorer
Oh, for pity's sake! The kid is our years old. He likely can't even read yet!

A king can't say no to a four year old? And they can't find a better way to handle the situation than to send him guarded by people so incompetent that low-level characters can get past them to steal the kid?

This is contrived.
I didn't think of that either, but the most likely reason is that the slaves catchers/Thieves, all had A Above Average INT, the princes guards all have A Low INT, this allowed the slaves catchers/Thieves to outsmart the guards and the slaves catchers/Thieves superior knowledge of the area allowed them to evade pursuit
 
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JMISBEST

Explorer
Oh, for pity's sake! The kid is four years old. He likely can't even read yet!

A king can't say no to a four year old? And they can't find a better way to handle the situation than to send him guarded by people so incompetent that low-level characters can get past them to steal the kid?

Alternatively, that four year old, who can't even read, can manage to finagle enough resources to sneak away against his father's wishes? When everyone involved is likely to be executed when the king finds his heir gone? And, these people who go are so incompetent that the kid gets snatched from them, but they are clever enough to have gotten the kid out?

This is contrived to a point past sensibility.
Being A Future King the odds are he's got reading abilities that are very advanced for his age and its likely that he enjoys reading the kind of childrens stories that most children his age enjoy having people read to them

2 very good examples of books that I used to enjoy people reading to me at that age were The Topsy and Tim Books and The Puddle Lane Books
 

What is the most important point of this story?

The Crown Prince of Westlandia is kidnapped at a young age?
The child has a birthmark that distinguishes a bloodline?
The child has a family history of escaped slavery?

How does the most important point relate to the potential character, if this is important to a character's history?
 

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