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Old 04-01-2020, 01:12 AM   #1
kirbwarrior
 
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Default Messenger Immunity

I went into Legal Immunity assuming this was there and realized I was thinking of Bardic Immunity. So, what level of Legal Immunity would this cover?;

You are a messenger, one who is qualified to run across the land, sometimes even across multiple countries. Guards or similar will not stop you and your messages can not be read through (if written, this advantage applies to both oral and written messages). Only once your message has been sent can others do something about it, but not to you, only to the person the message it was delivered to and the message after it's been delivered and given a chance to read. This includes reactions to the message; "Don't shoot the messenger". However, this only applies to external affairs, you can still be punished for spying or otherwise taking advantage of your situation.

The idea is that this is a widely accepted form of information exchange that everyone knows about and even country leaders can be punished for getting in the way off. It's effectively a TL4 secure connection. I also might just be missing something or thinking about something the wrong way. Any thoughts? My guess is the price is about 10pts with a limited version of "diplomatic pouch" that might just round down. I'd love to hear a way to make this more 'generic', too.

Thank you ahead of time.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Messenger Immunity

Diplomatic Immunity is 20 points, and Bardic Immunity isn't that strong. The Bards have to obey a code, act in a way, to maintain this immunity. I agree with 10 points.
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Old 04-01-2020, 09:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Messenger Immunity

For an internal messenger, carrying high priority state material like a Queens Messenger, or a Mongol gold tablet carrier. Or the guy carrying the new issue of cords for the really important stuff that can't be carried by cable or radio. Or just your ordinary runner or dispatch rider:

Diplomatic Immunity: Only becomes relevant when carrying messages to a diplomat outside the country. And only when agreed between the countries. SOE agents taking stuff in and out of France for instance don't count for that: if they get caught they go into a Deep Dark Hole (I rather wondered myself at the German government's weird propensity to send trained assassins to Dachau with a lot of desperate potential rebels around them). But in peacetime even someone carrying something meant to go to a spy will be ignored. Certainly the courier will. The Case Officer will probably be sweated for a few hours and released even if his asset goes to a Deep Dark Hole.

Low Level Legal Immunity: You are an exception to traffic law the way emergency vehicles are. No LEGAL advantage if you do a felony (your advantage is that you have an excuse to be elsewhere quick and there is always another agency that wants you to be). Only applies to those who know your ID. If you are in plain clothes you don't get it until you give your password. If it is an esoteric military specialty, only someone with heraldry, Savoire-faire military, etc will give this to you. Or at least they won't until they get a phone call from someone important.

Security Clearance: Probably not enough to know what you are carrying but enough to handle that sort of thing.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Messenger Immunity

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Originally Posted by DangerousThing View Post
Diplomatic Immunity is 20 points, and Bardic Immunity isn't that strong. The Bards have to obey a code, act in a way, to maintain this immunity. I agree with 10 points.
That makes sense, the prerequisites required to be a runner are pretty harsh (just to show you're capable requires Running and Hiking 16+ with No Nuisance Rolls on HT checks to lose FP or something similar). Now seeing that, I realize that Wealth and then either Status or Rank would definitely make sense (I can't see them being paid merely average).

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
For an internal messenger, carrying high priority state material like a Queens Messenger, or a Mongol gold tablet carrier. Or the guy carrying the new issue of cords for the really important stuff that can't be carried by cable or radio. Or just your ordinary runner or dispatch rider:

Diplomatic Immunity: Only becomes relevant when carrying messages to a diplomat outside the country. And only when agreed between the countries. SOE agents taking stuff in and out of France for instance don't count for that: if they get caught they go into a Deep Dark Hole (I rather wondered myself at the German government's weird propensity to send trained assassins to Dachau with a lot of desperate potential rebels around them). But in peacetime even someone carrying something meant to go to a spy will be ignored. Certainly the courier will. The Case Officer will probably be sweated for a few hours and released even if his asset goes to a Deep Dark Hole.

Low Level Legal Immunity: You are an exception to traffic law the way emergency vehicles are. No LEGAL advantage if you do a felony (your advantage is that you have an excuse to be elsewhere quick and there is always another agency that wants you to be). Only applies to those who know your ID. If you are in plain clothes you don't get it until you give your password. If it is an esoteric military specialty, only someone with heraldry, Savoire-faire military, etc will give this to you. Or at least they won't until they get a phone call from someone important.

Security Clearance: Probably not enough to know what you are carrying but enough to handle that sort of thing.
The bolded is a large thing I'm going for. Even in non-peaceful times couriers will be let through (if war is happening, it's safe passage for hearing from enemies, if war is likely then it's a sign of weakness to stop them). Security Clearance is a good point, the messenger will know any message they must repeat and will have some inkling on anything else.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Messenger Immunity

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However, this only applies to external affairs, you can still be punished for spying or otherwise taking advantage of your situation.
Note that Diplomatic Immunity is as sweeping as it is because if it was in any way accepted that foreign powers were allowed to punish the diplomat, for anything, whether that is spying or abusing their position, what's stopping them from just saying he was spying or abusing his position?

If you want your Messengers to have any practical protection at all, you need to think carefully about who is allowed to accuse them of any crime, whether that's spying, abusing their position or something else, and who judges such accusations.

Because otherwise, every noble or other figure with law enforcement powers can potentially get away with imprisoning, torturing and killing any Messenger who fails to do what they say. They'll just maintain he was spying and even round up a few witnesses among their retinue.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Note that Diplomatic Immunity is as sweeping as it is because if it was in any way accepted that foreign powers were allowed to punish the diplomat, for anything, whether that is spying or abusing their position, what's stopping them from just saying he was spying or abusing his position?

If you want your Messengers to have any practical protection at all, you need to think carefully about who is allowed to accuse them of any crime, whether that's spying, abusing their position or something else, and who judges such accusations.

Because otherwise, every noble or other figure with law enforcement powers can potentially get away with improsoning, torturing and killing any Messenger who fails to do what they say. They'll just maintain he was spying and even round up a few witnesses among their retinue.
Ah. You're right. Hmm... I do know there are already a few guilds (Mercenaries' and Task Mage's) in the setting that have sweeping power through the continent. While I'm not certain there would be a guild in particular about messengers, but adding a Bardic guild or putting it into the task mages (which makes sense, Payload is a common spell) could help. The task mages in particular would make sense to make sure no one is abusing their position and has hunted down them down, even putting up bounties (mercenaries are ruthless).
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Note that Diplomatic Immunity is as sweeping as it is because if it was in any way accepted that foreign powers were allowed to punish the diplomat, for anything, whether that is spying or abusing their position, what's stopping them from just saying he was spying or abusing his position?

If you want your Messengers to have any practical protection at all, you need to think carefully about who is allowed to accuse them of any crime, whether that's spying, abusing their position or something else, and who judges such accusations.
On the flipside of that, one reason nations tolerate Diplomatic Immunity, or equivalent things like Status of Forces agreements being so sweeping is that they know genuinely serious non-political crimes will get punished by the home state of the diplomat. They can't arrest you for murdering one of their citizens for fun, but they can be reasonably confident your own government *will*. PCs tend to want * Immunity to let them get away with stuff, but that's actually unrealistic - if it did that, nobody would recognize it. You need to establish not only who does the policing, but ensure said policing is actually fairly strict and effective.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Messenger Immunity

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbwarrior;2316987



The bolded is a large thing I'm going for. Even in non-peaceful times couriers will be let through (if war is happening, it's safe passage for hearing from enemies, if war is likely then it's a sign of weakness to stop them). Security Clearance is a good point, the messenger [I
will[/I] know any message they must repeat and will have some inkling on anything else.
If he carries a truce flag it's probably a varient of Diplomatic Immunity. If he is just a Runner a sniper can get him and that will not interfere with things like calling a break to clean up other than adding another corpse to pick up.
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Messenger Immunity

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Note that Diplomatic Immunity is as sweeping as it is because if it was in any way accepted that foreign powers were allowed to punish the diplomat, for anything, whether that is spying or abusing their position, what's stopping them from just saying he was spying or abusing his position?
Diplomatic immunity is basically a promise by the hosting country. The worst penalty usually applied would be revocation and expulsion, and that is usually only done in such extreme situations that the country being represented goes along either out of agreement or embarrassment. You don't violate immunity lightly because all countries might start thinking of withdrawing representatives for their safety, weakening your diplomatic options.

On the other hand, if a hosted diplomat has become problematic, you could send a polite message to the other country telling them how much you'd hate to see your relations to become soured over a matter such as this.
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
PCs tend to want * Immunity to let them get away with stuff, but that's actually unrealistic - if it did that, nobody would recognize it. You need to establish not only who does the policing, but ensure said policing is actually fairly strict and effective.
That could depend on the setting and corporation. For instance, it might mean being cut off from that country and a new identity in secretive groups, or even actual appearance change and a slap on the wrist in more supernatural situations. But yes, generally speaking this is important.

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If he carries a truce flag it's probably a varient of Diplomatic Immunity. If he is just a Runner a sniper can get him and that will not interfere with things like calling a break to clean up other than adding another corpse to pick up.
It does't quite feel as good as Diplomatic Immunity, but the combination of it working in any country and the partial Security Clearance probably works out to the same 20pts.
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