Accidental Theft

Say a Redcap delivers a package to a magus [name: Tim] addressed to them, half a dozen vis & a magic item. It's later revealed that the magus has the same name of a different magus who was the intended recipient of the package.

What's the expected response in this situation? Can Tim claim he had been deprived of magical power and call for Tim to be punished as befitting a high crime?

If the second magus can prove that they did nothing to influence his becoming the recipient of items not intended for himself and had no reasonable cause to assume the items weren't, in fact, meant for him (such as if the letter attached to the package described the Tim it was intended for in a way that wouldn't apply to the Tim who received it) then no, the "accidental thief" would not be punished under most peripheral code rulings. As with quite nearly every single other possible legal predicament that can come up in this game short of undeniable proof of dealing with demons, however, politics will probably play a big role in how it goes down in court, especially if the actual recipient Tim is willing to immediately relinquish any of the delivery that remains to its intended recipient Tim.

Really, the person who is most likely to be punished for this is the Redcap, and that's only if there's proof he did it on purpose.

If the magic item isn't meant for Tim (recipient), then a Tribunal would probably find Intended Tim's claim to the magic item greater, and Recipient Tim would be compelled to hand it over.

Oh, that's a certainty. But having to cease the usage of an item you didn't intend to get and were thus basically borrowing is hardly a punishment. :mrgreen:

It is doubtful such an occurrence would happen, magi would know the magi of a covenant, and I would guess the sender would know to whom and where to send the package. Also, if using Mark Shirley's naming guide, formerly hosted on, the name of the magis, their lineage and residence is clearly known. There is also room for a nickname in the formal name, in the event two magi share the same name, pater and House.

What if the package's contents were used before the intended recipient found out? How difficult could this be were the package to contain a single-charge item of some note?

The item's significance is of no relevance to a Tribunal except insofar as it potentially being so significant that the magus should've known better than to use it carelessly, in which case it bring other charges unrelated to the misplacement. This is of course assuming a neutral Tribunal; maybe one of the politically-minded members has a way to use the item's importance against the receiving magus. But that's moving into the Realm of Speculation.

If it's my saga, anything misdirected to a player maga is going to be intended to be too useful/inconvenient to give up. Otherwise, why bother with the story hook at all? My thinking is that one of the following is true:

  • Sender is estate of player's parens, intended recipient is magus whom player has vendetta/beautiful enemy-ship/other rivalry such that transfer of ownership raises huge ego issues or would give power to an antagonist of the covenant
  • One of the items also has mundane value to someone who happens to be marching on the covenant with his sizeable army right now to claim it, and "I gave it to that other guy" is not an excuse he wants to hear
  • Item is key to other issue covenant needs to solve ("this opens the dwarven mines!" or "this will negate the faerie queen's glamor!" or whatever) but that would require continuing to "borrow" the item long beyond the time expected for return

Otherwise, the worst that happens is that the whole event ends up being "here's your stuff back plus some vis for interest," which is not that interesting.

There is no such thing as accidental theft. Its either theft or an accident. More correctly, a mistake not an accident.

Yes here it's one mistake; not one accidental theft.

I read one Manga with one literal accidental theft; on Rinne, one character was charged with the issue to bring the extra payment from the other world clercks (pshichopomps), then by accident the wallet was changed by a demon that wanted to make one surprise to his enemy with pyrotechny. More funny to read directly than to be explained on second language...

Anyway, that would be one accidental theft.

Magus Sender has erred; he did not address his outgoing package well enough, considering that there is more than one Magus Tim. It should have been addressed Magus Tim the Elder of House Species of Placename Covenant, or some sufficient identifier. He should suffer no penalty, he's just careless.

Magus Redcap has erred; knowing that there is more than one Magus Tim he could have returned it to the sender, if known, or opened it in the presence of Magi Tim for identification, or found a reasonable way to identify the proper recipient. He has also been careless, and that's all, but that may cost him in his House.

Magus Tim the Wrongly Identified has erred; having received the package he seems to have kept it. If there was any identifying letter or note, he's stolen it as soon as he realizes the mistake and does not act to correct it. If he realized the mistake, he's culpable. If not, he's foolish. Proving the case could be difficult.

I don't see how this could easily happen.

Deficient Intellego has the right idea; it's an accident, and it'll be deemed theft if Tim decides he wants to keep it after it's been clarified that it wasn't intended for him.