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The Lex Gasgana


Based on a Code of Law developed by a sage, Peter Gasgano, the Lex Gasgana defines a list of crimes, a list of punishments and gives guidance on how they should be applied. It is intended to guide law enforcement officers (known as Magistrates) so that consistent judgements and penalties can be applied across the land - while still leaving room for social and local considerations.

However, the framework is limited and every nation should issue a Legal Charter to define their moral and philosophical stance.


Crimes against the Person
Public InsultName Calling, Libel, Defamation, Slander.
AssaultPushing, Shoving, Punching, Kicking, Minor Fight
WoundingAn assault with weapons that causes physical wounds
KidnapIncludes wrongful imprisonment and similar crimes.
Rape -
KillingUnintentional killing
MurderDeliberate killing
Crimes against property
HousebreakingEntering someone's property without consent.
TheftTaking something that isn't yours.
ArsonBurning something that isn't yours
Damage done to Crops -
Injuring or killing Animals -
Crimes against Society
Public DisorderAnything from swearing in church to urinating in the street
Threatening BehaviourThreats of Violence
Affray Mass public disorder – Street Fights, Riots etc
Tax Evasion -
Non-Appearance at a court -
Perjury -
Oath Breaking -


1RestitutionRepayment of value of item stolen. Public Apology. Etc
2CompensationExtra payment to the victim for trouble caused (cash, labour, hiring a bard to apologise)
3Community workMinor work carried out, unsupervised, in the community. Repairing local roads, weeding the park, painting the town hall, cleaning grave stones. etc
4FineNormally Cash – paid to the court, state as a penalty.
5StocksPublic Humiliation - put on public display along with details of the offence. May well be pelted with rotten fruit ….
6FloggingCorporal Punishment – normally up to a dozen lashes. Often left on public display for an added element of humiliation.
Punishments below this line should only be handed out by a Senior Magistrate.
7IndentureContracted to an employer for a fixed period (often years) paid a minimal wage while the rest goes to meet fines, compensation etc. However, the punishment allows the convict to live with their family, albeit in very poor conditions.
8Hard LabourThe closest we get to prison. Mainly for debtors we don't trust. Supervised labour, often in a mine, quarry or galley – for a fixed period. The convict is generally chained and lives at their site of their work, in very basic conditions.
9BrandingLast Chance Saloon. If a person with a Brand is found to be responsible for a serious crime it is exile or the death penalty next.
10ExileStay out of the land. Even setting foot here is worth the death penalty.
11Death PenaltyNormally by Sword or Axe.

Notes: Start with lower level penalties and work upwards. We do not send people to prison, remove limbs or disfigure them as a form of legal punishment. more


Give careful thought to the crime that you try an offender for. Sometimes more than one crime has been committed at the same time; the mugger who knocks a man to the floor and steals their purse has committed assault and theft. Sometimes there might be three, four or even more crimes to be considered.

Your primary role is not to punish a criminal, but to heal the harm that has been done to the community and discourage any repeat performance. That doesn't mean to say you should let an offender get away unpunished - just that any punishment should be proportionate and appropriate, and work in favour of the community rather than against it.

Community Service might be more appropriate than a fine, for a peasant or young person. Although, that might not be an appropriate penalty for a businessman or noble. You can stack punishments as well. A suitable penalty for a youth who steals a loaf of bread as a first offence might be an apology and community work. For a hardened pickpocket, it might be restitution, compensation and a fine.

Indenture, Hard Labour, Branding, Exile and the Death Penalty should only be handed out by a senior magistrate as they are either severe or cannot be appealed. However, a branded criminal who is killed during the prevention of a crime, will be considered to be a legal application of the death penalty.


Example Charter

pathfinder/campaign_systems2/people/lexgasgana.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/16 14:49 by johnb