# My players have found themselves embroiled in a courtly trial which will decide whether or not the crown prince is…

My players have found themselves embroiled in a courtly trial which will decide whether or not the crown prince is…

My players have found themselves embroiled in a courtly trial which will decide whether or not the crown prince is guilty of faking the murder of his sister and hiding her away for a decade to keep her knowledge of his war-crimes secret. if he is, his nephew (aged 8) will take the crown instead. the players are going to be investigating witnesses and information from a decade old crime.

Very fortunately, they are torn about the outcome they want. Finding discern realities/spout lore a bit broad for my specific purposes, I drafted the following – any feedback would help:

When you question someone to uncover the truth before the court, describe your method of questioning and Roll + the appropriate STAT. On a 10+ your questioning reveals a piece of factual information or uncovers some lie – additionally, the DM will indicate how the information applies to the greater puzzle or illuminates its implications. One a 7-9 you uncover a fact or root out a lie, but it is up to you to uncover its significance. On a miss, your questioning uncovers two things: two truths, two lies, or some combination of both. One of these is accurate, the other is not.

## 5 thoughts on “My players have found themselves embroiled in a courtly trial which will decide whether or not the crown prince is…”

1. I feel like it’s too removed from the fiction & dialog that will actually take place.

I’d recommend a few different moves that reflect the approach their taking.  Like…

When you carefully study someone under questioning, roll +WIS. On a 10+ hold 3, on a 7-9, hold 2. While they are being questioned, spend hold 1 for 1 to ask one of the following and get an honest answer:

– Are they telling the truth?

– Are they hiding something?

– What are they really feeling?

– What would it take to get them to __?

– What are they hoping for?

On a miss, ask one question now and get an honest answer, but their player can ask you a question, too. Answer honestly.  Regardless of your roll, you can’t use this again on the same person in the same situation.

When you make accusation, directly and in public, but without concrete proof, roll +CHA. On a 10+, they pick 1.

– Respond honestly and forthrightly

– Resort to hostility (name calling, counter-accusations, demands for duels, etc.)

On a 7-9, they can pick one of the above or 1 of these instead:

– Return your accusations with stony silence

– Dissemble, split hairs, make excuses, give alibis, or otherwise weasel about

Regardless of their response, making the same accusation again without proof has no effect other than to make you look like a bully or a fool.

When you think you’ve made a connection, tell the GM what you’re thinking and roll +INT. *On a 7+, the GM will either confirm your suspicions or point out the flow in your logic. *On a 10+, they’ll also point out an additional, useful piece of information.  *On a miss, the GM is under no obligation to reply.

2. Jeremy Strandberg is right on here.

Love the accusation options.

3. “additionally, the DM will indicate how the information applies to the greater puzzle or illuminates its implications.”

I wouldn’t do this. Let the players figure it out themselves. There is no “mystery” for them to solve if you do most of the heavy lifting for them. They will enjoy it more if they put the pieces together themselves.

Also the 7-9 result should have an aspect of uncertainty to it maybe cast doubt or create suspicion about the result in some way.

Also do you as GM know the “facts” of the case or are they sort of being improved on the fly by how the questions are asked or answered?

-But yes I agree a custom move is the way to go in this situation! Thanks for sharing!

4. Jeremy Strandberg, congrats for your high-quality and elaborated answer! It’s a great example of using custom moves for improving game experience.

5. Thank you for the response, Jeremy Strandberg! Your suggested moves are a definite improvement to my original idea, which was admittedly shot from the hip. I particularly like your move with respect to questioning and am 100% going to adapt it. I do think defy danger can do a lot of the legwork that the second one covers. I’m a big fan of the third, as well. On this particular end, a version that hews closer to discern realities might work well, also. Still, these take me very far in the drafting process 🙂 my thanks.

+Eric L Eric Lochstampfor ks for your note, also! I have set out the bulk of the facts, but left room for fill ins and player additions. No fact set I could come up with would be as good as the ones my players put together 😉

And thanks to all for they’re responses/comments! I really do appreciate it!