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Old 07-15-2019, 11:54 AM   #21
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
There also might be something that isn't exactly the same as a sumptuary law. Suppose the military gave out swords as a decoration or a symbol of rank? Perhaps in that case the generic "sword" might not be forbidden (because to do so would be a sumptuary law) but a sword identified in a particular way (because it is trademarked).
Speaking of which, a trick people use nowadays to get a right to carry a pistol: since government award pistols come with a carry permit covering specifically this item, people who have no rank but enough money sometimes bribe the officials to be awarded such a gun under for fictional merits.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:19 PM   #22
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

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One detail that may escape American audiences is that carrying a weapon is almost never a *right*. Pretty much every prince ever would claim the authority to regulate or forbid weapons to anybody if they wanted to, and few political theorists would disagree. If they are not doing so, it's a liberty they are allowing, not a right inherent to you.
Carrying weapons is a claim to sovereignty. There's a lingering assumption in parts of the US that the people are sovereign.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:24 PM   #23
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

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Carrying weapons is a claim to sovereignty.
No, it's a claim of the right to engage in at least some classes of violence without prior approval. Sovereignty is an unlimited right, but you can easily have a limited right.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:10 AM   #24
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

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And in a particularly grim setting, you could be required to present your weapons upon request. Any refusal to do so is seen as unreadiness to defend the territory, and thus treason. Any attempt to do so is seen as brandishing a weapon in the presence of a civil authority, and thus treason.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:03 AM   #25
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

A real life data point - around here, between October and January, it is common to see people walking around in the fields or hiding in vegetation or camouflaged blinds carrying either shotguns or rifles. They're hunting of course. If they're hunting deer, elk, or upland game birds they need to be wearing hunter orange; waterfowl hunters are usually wearing full camo outfits because ducks and geese won't come near enough to shoot if they can see you.

At other times of year, it is not unusual to see families out target shooting. Whereas hunters usually use shotguns or bolt action rifles, target shooters can be shooting off anything - semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s are pretty common.

Since coyote season is open year round, coyote hunters don't need to wear anything special (except during modern firearm deer season, when hunter orange is required), coyote and racoon hunters can hunt at night (except, again, during modern firearm deer season), and AR-15s are common coyote hunting weapons, an RPG character in a campaign set in the modern American northwest could walk around with some serious firepower once out of city limits and claim to be a coyote hunter. Of course, unless he is on public land or has prior permission he is likely to run afoul of the heavily armed landholders, who usually take a dim view of trespassers.

Legally, you can open carry your firearm in town, but people notice. You might have to explain yourself to the police. An open carry pistol is not too unusual - I see it somewhat regularly. I have yet to see anyone open carrying a longarm around town.

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Old 07-16-2019, 12:48 PM   #26
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One thing often overlooked is in most times, weapons and armor are EXPENSIVE. The line from the Russell Crowe Robin Hood about "arriving home wealthy men" when they ambushed the French ambush of the party carrying the crown home highlights this. A knight's suit of armor + sword = a lot of wealth for a commoner. One of the reasons it took a lot of peasants to support one knight. Even in our modern era of mass production, a well build weapon still costs a fair amount and is a common target for home burglaries. More so if you are known to be a weapon collector.

In most settings, someone openly displaying a nice set of armor and/or weapons should expect at least some consideration from the local thieves guild as a target.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:44 PM   #27
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

In my own fantasy setting, there's a difference between what's considered a "military" weapon (swords of broadsword or larger size, shields, many longarms) and a "civilian" weapon (hunting spear, short bows, short sword, rapier, pistol). Status and Rank also play a factor.

In more modern games, well, I'm in the US so it depends strongly on when and where. I've gone the Highlander route (of a sword under the trench) a few times, but a .38 in a coat pocket or concealed holster is typical for city folks, and shotguns are fairly common (and cheap). Rifles are either hunting or military, and you just don't go deer hunting with an M60 GPMG if you want any venison to eat...

Sci-fi games, pistols abound, though in some places sonic stunners and electrolasers are tolerated while other things (particularly conventional and most lethal energy) are deemed unsafe for shipboard/station use and reserved for SW type games. Energy rifles are like modern rifles, too: hunting or autofire military.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:34 PM   #28
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

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If a person walked into a tavern in real-life medieval Germany wearing a full suit of chainmail and calmly ordered a drink... folk would be very nervous. Doubly so if he was wearing a sword. The presence of these things would be threatening. Unless he was dressed as a soldier of a local lord; now he has a reason.
That would depend on a lot of things such as whether the tavern normally serves armsmen. The possibility that he has a reason might make one nervous. The reason might be a nasty one (such as extorting from the manager) or an acceptable one for an armsman (they are looking for someone on the run, they are here to stop a brawl, or whatever) but in either case the sooner they are gone the better. If they are here because someone is making trouble then obviously we want them to finish their job so we can get back to are drinking. On the other hand if they are just here for a drink and it is normal to wear a sword on patrol in that baron's fief than they are welcome-after all they probably get better pay.

By comparison if I saw a gaggle of cops drop by Starbucks carrying pistols and Billys I would think they were just cops. However if one of them had a shotgun or a sniper rifle I would think something nasty was going down in that neighborhood. Cops normally carry pistols and billys. And if armsmen on a given fief normally have a sword when they go drinking that might not be a problem. Looking at it, though it might be a good idea for them to tie down their swords with twine (or put them in a rack the way Samurai used to) before making an order for obvious reasons.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:39 PM   #29
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

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In general, I think it goes like this...

1) If people are carrying practical weapons or wearing practical armor, the perception is that they are expecting to use them.
True for impractical weapons as well, just it's assumed they'll be used for something other than violence. Weapons and armor are heavy and annoying to carry, people aren't going to carry them around for no reason at all.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:11 AM   #30
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Default Re: The rights and consequences to bear arms in RPGs

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That would depend on a lot of things such as whether the tavern normally serves armsmen. The possibility that he has a reason might make one nervous. The reason might be a nasty one (such as extorting from the manager) or an acceptable one for an armsman (they are looking for someone on the run, they are here to stop a brawl, or whatever) but in either case the sooner they are gone the better. If they are here because someone is making trouble then obviously we want them to finish their job so we can get back to are drinking. On the other hand if they are just here for a drink and it is normal to wear a sword on patrol in that baron's fief than they are welcome-after all they probably get better pay.

By comparison if I saw a gaggle of cops drop by Starbucks carrying pistols and Billys I would think they were just cops. However if one of them had a shotgun or a sniper rifle I would think something nasty was going down in that neighborhood. Cops normally carry pistols and billys. And if armsmen on a given fief normally have a sword when they go drinking that might not be a problem. Looking at it, though it might be a good idea for them to tie down their swords with twine (or put them in a rack the way Samurai used to) before making an order for obvious reasons.
The problem with comparison to modern law enforcement would be the very real possibility that you have multiple groups of "cops" who might or might not suddenly throw down with one another for reasons not in the public domain - that would definitely make people nervous. I would suspect that the normal setting approach would be for each retinue to have their own drinking establishment and people only to worry if they saw several sets of livery at once...
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