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Old 04-03-2021, 11:41 AM   #11
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
I've never seen anyone try to take 15-point Immunity as a "Can get away with murder" advantage, and I'd certainly require an implausibly good justification if anyone tried that in a game I was running. The diplomat John mentioned from the THS game was effectively spending the 20 points to be the Serious Accredited Diplomat of the party, making him the point man in dealings with local authorities and so forth.

One could argue that the base cost for Diplomatic Immunity (before the extra 5 points for Diplomatic Pouch Privileges) in modern-day games might often be less than the 15 point version, depending on your employer's attitudes and the state of their relations with the host country. (And note that, by the Vienna Convention, diplomatic immunity only applies in the country where you're an accredited diplomat.) Your employing nation will at minimum be very annoyed if you embarrass them, and is actually free to waive immunity and hand you over to local justice if they're annoyed or embarrassed enough. Or they may prosecute you under their own laws. Or they may recall you, or the host nation may expel you, and you may find that you've just terminated your career, or at least screwed up your promotion prospects.

Going by the Wikipedia entry, yes, a few diplomats have literally got away with murder -- but others have suffered actual consequences. I think I've even heard of cases where diplomats who'd behaved like idiots suffered worse consequences after recall than they would have under the host nation's justice system; murderous dictators can be very annoyed at losing face. So perhaps a diplomat with few special connections, from a law-abiding country that values its squeaky-clean image, should be paying just (10+5) or even (5+5) points for Diplomatic Immunity. Heck, some may not even have useful Diplomatic Pouch Privileges.

I've not seen other forms of Legal Immunity come up at all in games, which actually makes me think I've not tried hard enough. Hmm...
Clandestine operatives in enemy territory would have legal immunity from the patron government if not from the nation they are operating in. That is they probably would be immune to extradition even if they break the law in the process as long as they don't break the Patron's law. This probably would only rarely include "License to Kill" unless it is an actual time of war.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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Heck, some may not even have useful Diplomatic Pouch Privileges.
That should only really happen if either a) the "diplomat" doesn't actually have a diplomatic passport or b) the host nation does not respect the diplomatic privileges from the diplomat's nation.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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That should only really happen if either a) the "diplomat" doesn't actually have a diplomatic passport or b) the host nation does not respect the diplomatic privileges from the diplomat's nation.
Or if the country the diplomat serves is extremely strict about not using it except for official purposes.
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Old 04-03-2021, 01:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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Or if the country the diplomat serves is extremely strict about not using it except for official purposes.
Depending on how you're defining 'useful'. Only using the diplomatic pouch for its official purposes is a big problem if your campaign doesn't actually have any interest in the diplomat's job. It might barely be any constraint at all if the proper use of the pouch aligns with the focus of play.
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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Or if the country the diplomat serves is extremely strict about not using it except for official purposes.
That's a Catch-22: it can't know whether the pouch is being used for official purposes or not because it can't know the contents of the pouch without looking inside. So the only way to deny the pouch restrictions against search . . . is to outright deny the pouch restrictions against search.
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:00 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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That's a Catch-22: it can't know whether the pouch is being used for official purposes or not because it can't know the contents of the pouch without looking inside. So the only way to deny the pouch restrictions against search . . . is to outright deny the pouch restrictions against search.
I agree. Carrying something with a giant radiation signature would likely be noticed but a diplomatic pouch would let you walk a gun through a metal detector because all they get to know is you have metal and it's very important.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
Or if the country the diplomat serves is extremely strict about not using it except for official purposes.
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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
That's a Catch-22: it can't know whether the pouch is being used for official purposes or not because it can't know the contents of the pouch without looking inside. So the only way to deny the pouch restrictions against search . . . is to outright deny the pouch restrictions against search.
I thought ravenfish was referring to a diplomat serving country A being strict about using the diplomatic pouch not that country B, the country in which country A has posted said diplomat, had any strict rules about diplomatic pouches.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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Depending on how you're defining 'useful'. Only using the diplomatic pouch for its official purposes is a big problem if your campaign doesn't actually have any interest in the diplomat's job. It might barely be any constraint at all if the proper use of the pouch aligns with the focus of play.
With how players think vs. how career civil servants think, I should think that constraints are almost inevitable.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

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I thought ravenfish was referring to a diplomat serving country A being strict about using the diplomatic pouch not that country B, the country in which country A has posted said diplomat, had any strict rules about diplomatic pouches.
Same here. I can easily imagine policy being "We're trying to avoid embarrassments, and also we've had incidents where people who should never have been in the service used the diplomatic pouch to smuggle drugs. The only things we'll put the official seal on are cases carried by our official couriers, and they have to be inspected by our security people at both ends of the trip."

Which is no problem if you're a classic cultural-attache-hem-hem, but a problem if you're a junior trade official trying to get their superhero mask and utility belt into Latveria.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:38 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Legal Immunity

I’m now also imagining Legal Immunity taken with a Requires a Skill Roll limitation. (Administration? Law? Fast Talk?) Your Immunity is frankly questionable, but argue hard enough and it works.

Benefit of Clergy seems to have devolved into an interesting slightly limited version of the advantage by the Renaissance...
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