Author Topic: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition  (Read 1983 times)


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An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« on: November 08, 2018, 03:47:13 PM »
I'd like to briefly discuss my thoughts on Zalanthan criminals. This is in no way vaguebooking about how someone else is doing it wrong. There are as many individual motivations in the world as there are people. This is just how I generally try and approach criminality. Feel free to discuss your own approaches. The conversation is more important than a singular point of view.

First and foremost, you must remove modern, Western concepts of crime from the roleplay world of Zalanthas.

In the modern world, the vast majority of criminals are just opportunists. All their needs are met by social programs and safety nets. Very few individuals make up a professional criminal underclass. Mostly it's drug-driven, or greed. The person who steals your iPhone from the shopping basket has almost no relation to the rinther who steals your dagger. One of them wants an iPhone. The other one wants to stay alive and eat for one more day.

The perception that most rinthers are criminals is not far removed from the truth. In such a rigid caste system with few ways out, anyone who can't get lucky enough to shed their accent and the ways of the alleys is going to have their upward mobility severely hampered. Consider also that most PC's are going to be between 20-30 years old, meaning their life of crime is already set. They were born into criminal ways in the same fashion that a 'da' is born into House Kurac and they're equally unlikely to go take up another trade as that same 'da' is to go join House Kadius.

There's no concept of "rehabilitation". There's no ACLU. If you get caught stealing or mugging, you're going to have a bad time. Deprivation, torture, or death is the norm. The dungeon is valuable real estate for the templars. It's not wasted on petty thieves with no information, no connections, no value. So the smart thief builds up that "secret bank" of knowledge for when/if they do get caught.

All of this means a rinther criminal has extreme motivation to be good at what they do. There's no loafers in the successful criminal world. Everyone puts in work. If they are connected, they may get a little bit of a break by managing underlings, but if they're not then they've got to keep stealing to stay alive. They may manage the risks ... a thief who just scored big with a bag of rubies may not want to risk lifting a thirty sid dagger. But he knows he's going to run out of money eventually and all he has bought is some time before his next score. The clock is ticking for him in a way that it wouldn't be for your average Zalanthan.

A GOOD criminal knows that every theft is a transaction. You're paying in risk for goods, the same as someone else would pay in sid. They'd make the risk count.


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 03:56:09 PM »
You have a very strange view of modern criminals. Social systems fail people and families every day. There's no doubt people who do it SOLELY out of greed but it's a gross mischaracterization to say most criminals aren't desperate and ALSO opportunists.
My thoughts.

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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 04:14:04 PM »
As a Criminal Justice student....there's a shit ton of reasons people commit crime in the modern day.

I will give you, a lot of it is drug related. I don't know about saying a lot of it is just greed based. Maybe greed is a part of it but someone just being greedy doesn't mean they are going to go out and steal from Walmart.


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 04:21:54 PM »

Ugh. Derailed from the beginning. Fuck it.

I did say at the very beginning:

There are as many individual motivations in the world as there are people


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 05:35:10 PM »
Yeah systemic poverty, class warfare and systemic racial injustice are all RL reasons for theft and crime and proliferating it among certain races and locations.  I'm not saying your RP take is wrong, just that these are also very real world scenarios as well.  What discussion do you want to see happen here?  I'm not sure what the question/topic is.


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 05:51:52 PM »
Nah. Too late for discussion of the RP and Zalanthan world. People are going to be distracted by the throwaway reference to the real world.

Was just something I was thinking about and thought I'd put up for discussion. I'll think twice next time.


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 01:41:40 AM »
Rebellion is another, imo, major aspect of being a criminal in Zalanthas.

You can have a criminal, who targets people not because they're hardened criminals in the traditional sense, or have no other choice, but because they have no other means of striking back against whoever or whatever they feel, is oppressing them. The criminal subculture is, technically, the only "free" aspect of society for almost anyone, no matter where they're from.

Allanak, Red Storm, Tribal, it doesn't really matter, they all have their own culture, status-quo, rules and demands of people. There are going to be people, in any and every one of those groups, who simply don't want to play ball. The only real option for most, is criminal subversion, as openly being a rebel will get you killed in record time, for a variety of perfectly ic, and some not so perfect ooc, reasons.

I tend to feel, no matter how desperate or greedy a criminal mind is, they're all, to some degree, people rebelling against a culture or system, that placed them in their situation to begin with. It is, imo, why you may see hardened criminals who are loyal to their city, but aggressively and without apology, victimize those who sit square above them within it, or why they can embrace their culture, but still cheer between themselves, when the Templar/noble/lawperson, is struck down, or otherwise falls victim to the lower classes.

From criminal, to destitute poor, to lower class, to middle, and so on, that sentiment diminishes, as quality of living improved. Its why, generally, if I'm going to play a for life criminal, I like them to be younger and start as destitute poor, or some other fringe aspect of society (tribal, etcs), so as to be able to hang onto that bitterness, longer.

The more comfortable a criminal gets, the harder it becomes to justify them being so hungry for "more", which in turn, makes it harder to hang onto their distaste for <insert society/social/economical/political aspect>, ultimately making them non-criminals, or worse, legitimate entities working for "the man".

That is, imo, a big negative, but only because "the man" already has most of the pc pop, the staff, and most of the ooc crusaders, on his side. The game needs more criminals, more subversives, and more people to act the foil, to the AoD/Garrison/Templars, who more or less just stomp all over the upstart criminals, because they have so very, very much, on their side, from an ooc stand point.

Being, and staying a criminal, is a lot more complex, than simply wanting to loot apartments and buy posh shit. It's a really, very intricate and important part of the games anti-society, and could really stand to have more presence in the game.

Tons of pcs pick pockets, or rob apartments, but very few play the hungry, embittered and driven criminal personality, to the hilt. To go that far, is, at current, essentially asking for the global task force of justice, to single you out, before you can flourish.

Elves are perfect examples, but due to ooc considerations, rarely have the means and opportunity, to flourish for very long, which is, imo, rather unfortunate, as the game is STARVED for criminal business enterprise, rebellion, and anti-society activities, to give the pro-society types, lasting competition and rivalry.

Also, Miradus is the devil, so lets miss the obvious thread point, to show him how smart and righteous we are!
"Mortals do drown so."


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 01:52:45 PM »
Criminality isn't exactly functionally meaningless in armageddon. But without a basic legal system and without any sort of social stigma it starts to morph into "Enemy of the establishment." Because it's not really criminal when you're committing crimes for templars.

And yes, definitionally that means Guild bosses co opted by the templarate arn't really criminal either.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 01:59:32 PM by tapas »


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 02:05:47 PM »
There is a basic legal system, or a theoretical system given there are a set of laws in ever port of civilization, but because "corruption", it comes down to Templar whimsy. The game could have, a more interesting time, with a requirement for trials, mock or otherwise, wherein players need to politic, bribe and manipulate things, for a favorable outcome.

A psi could have so much fun, with that kind of setting.

It'd certainly make, being a slick criminal, much less of a social black hole, and give Aides and other high status commoners, not to mention their noble superiors, more ways to fuck with each other, that don't come down, exclusively, to apartment stealth kills, that are a spectacle for nobody.

It'd kind of be like the Arena, but for non-combatants, I suppose? And if they lose, they go to the REAL Arena, for double the spectacle!

Lower status commoners, would still have to eat the shit they're shoveled, unless they have a friend in some higher office, willing to do them a favor, or they're indebted to enough to said "friend", that keeping them out of trouble, is worth not losing out on the repaid debt... and even increasing it, significantly.
"Mortals do drown so."


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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 11:53:38 PM »
I tend to think of it as a broader cultural trend. That behaviour criminalised by 'Nak isn't viewed as deviant by 'rinthers; it's just regular day-to-day survival which a 'Nakki has little idea about.
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Re: An Understanding of Criminality - Zalanthan Edition
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2019, 01:27:54 AM »
When a large proportion of the population considers theft to be a good thing, it certainly puts a whole spin on criminality.