Players' Guide: Legal Code of Waterdeep

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Players' Guide: Legal Code of Waterdeep

Postby Jiriki » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:17 am

The following is the legal code adhered to by the city of Waterdeep. There may be technicalities or other minutiae not discussed here; this is just to cover the basics.

Legal Authorities

The Lord's Court is chaired by the Open Lord, attended by at least two Hidden Lords and Two Magistrates.

* The Lords
** Open Lord (Piergeiron the Paladinson)
** Twelve Hidden Lords

* Twenty-six Magistrates ('Black Robes')
** Three Magistrates are always on duty at the Palace
** During Daylight hours, a Magistrate is on duty at each city gate.
** Magistrates are always accompanied by at least six City Guard.

Four Plaints

* First Plaint (Crimes Against the Lords)
Treason, impersonation, forgery of official documents, destruction of city property, assault, willful disobedience of edicts, and blasphemy against a government official.
* Second Plaint (Crimes Against the City)
Poisoning of wells, murder, spying, sabotage, fraud, fencing, unlawful dueling, bribery, unlawful entry into the city, vagrancy, littering, brandishing weapons without cause, and reckless piloting, driving or riding.
* Third Plaint (Crimes Against the Gods)
Defiling a Holy Place, theft of temple goods, tomb-robbing, assault of a religious person, public blasphemy against a god or priesthood, and disorderly conduct at worship.
* Fourth Plaint (Crimes Against Citizens)
Arson, rape, bodily harm, magical assault, forgery, slavery, robbery, burglary, theft/killing of livestock, usury, property damage, assault, hindrance of business, and excessive noise.


* Each of the four Plaints are divided into four levels of offenses, Severe, Serious, Lesser, and Minor.
* The Lord's Court hears all cases of Severe offenses.
* Magistrates may pass sentence immediately, for all but Severe Offenses, though most sentences are conditional on supporting evidence of witnesses. Any such sentence may be appealed to the Lord's Court within two days.


* Sentences include - instant death, death upon conviction, exile, mutilation (loss of hand or fingers, branding), hard labor, imprisonment (dungeon), imprisonment (light work in the castle), fine (payable to the city), or damages (payable to the injured party)
* Perjury is punishable by exile from the city.
* Death sentences vary by station
* Commoners and Soldiers - hung from castle battlements
* Nobles - Beheaded by the sword
* Death sentences may be commuted to exile into Undermountain

Additional Notes

* Slavery is illegal in the city. Slaves brought into the city are considered freed.
* Selling slaves within the city is forbidden and strictly policed.
* Weapons may be worn openly and used in self defense. Brandishing a weapon in other situations is a crime.
* Waterdhavians expect debts to be paid even if that means a debtor must serve a form of indentured servitude to the creditor or the city.
* Duels are legal only in specific places, but must be marshaled by a member of the Watch or a Magistrate and are rarely to the death.
* Lords, Magistrates, Guards, Heralds, and members of the Watch are exempt from challenges to duels.
* Lords forbid most duels involving heads of guilds, noble houses, or priesthoods.
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