When e speak of morbid and what we Bergen folk do, espesialy to poor player charecters.

Do the Order ever use physical punishment for braking the Code of Hermes. I know fines and similar things are comon to do instead of a Wizards Martch, but is torture ever used, as it was not uncommon in the rest of the middle ages and it can give a good operurity for roleplay as it usualy stir up quite a few emotions.

I doubt it. Most magi are too proud to allow themselves to wilingly submit to torture. If there is information that they're looking to get from a Magus, there are more effective means also. If it were suggested that a magus were to be tortured as punishment, they might as well just wizard's march him and torture him to death instead, because that wizard would likely go down swinging rather than submit.

Now then, having said that, there are many Mysteries that perform ritual torture and bodily mutilation and mortification. In these cases, it is willing, and the torture is to reveal or be proven worthy of mystical power, not be humbled and harmed for someone's sense of justice.

Maybe we should distinguis between torture and mutilation. Torture being more focused on the process and mutilation being more "goal"-oriented - "off with it! .... Oh no you don't - no buts, I don't care 'bout what you might kno', just lean forward and 'tis will be done with! OoooOh, what pretty a 'and you 'ave there ". Concerning torture I'm not certain that it was as widespread as the stereotypical inquisition dungeon would have us believe. Mutilation on the other hand (lol "hand"; I made a funny - and is apparently way to tired to write) is an ingenious punishment when you really don't see any sense in locking people up except when waiting for the judgement/punishment - having to make room for locking people longterm is so impratical. If the crime was to little to warrant death then just cutting the fella a bit to pieces was a splendid alternative... And even made great educative examples!

I agree that few (non-psycotic) magi would willingly submit to torture nor mutilation - but maybe, depending on your view on the Bond the removal or killing of your familiar might feel the same to a magus as losing ones hand?

I think that losing one's familiar, especially if the magus has to kill it himself, is as close to torture as Tribunal punishments get.

Yes, poor familiar, I must say, from what I have read, I think most magi would take their familiar under their arm and head to the hills rather than killing it.

When we are speaking of hands, losing one or both would be rather nasty for a Magus, is that ever just as an alternative to killing him or her?

Indeed! "Extremely painful" and "emotionally scarring experience" is what the HoH:TL has to say on this punishment, which by the way requires the active participation of the magus himself. It is also the worst punishment next to death.

I don't think, within the standard Ars-frame, that a magus would ever be punished with anything else rembling mutilation nor use torture on sodales (put what about troublesome mundane colaborators...).

That being said, I could think of several interesting plots involving overzealously hopplites....

Ah hopplites, yes are they not usualy Flambeu and that house can be quite a bit oversalous yes. I remember one ARS game, the covenant was alot more afride of the Flabu eforcers then of the Quesitor himself.

I have always been a believer in the principle of never making an enemy, and then leaving him alive. The problem with any punishment of a being as powerful as a magus that he does not consent to as fair is that he then takes offence, and then takes revenge.

That is the entire reason for punishment being decided only at tribunal, shared responsibility, the offended magus cannot revenge himself on every other mage without them noticing and declaring him outlaw. One on one punishment, say a quaesitor declaring a punishment on the spot, is more dangerous - (one of the 3rd edition published adventures had a plot point of a quaesitor misusing her authority, and the 3rd edition loch legean tribunal has a completely biased corrupt quaesitor in charge) for that reason.

To go to the extreme, a wizards war of one magus declaring he will try to kill another for whatever offence is a MAJOR step, because if they weren't an enemy trying to destroy you before they are now. (It was a fun theme to a previous game, having a faked declaration of wizards war sent to a player, and watch him try to nuke the alleged sender, while the real one watched from the sidelines as both sides were weakened)

It was at tribunal I was thinking. I dont think it is wise to jump another Mage and try to torture him or her, especialy since chances are, that even if you are more powerful than him, the other agus have a old mentor out there that will be upset hearing aboute it. I was wondering if the Order ever used torture as an punishment one could get for a crime, at tribunal.

I can't imagine a Tribunal routinely handing down torture as a punishment for several reasons. The democratic nature of the Tribunals makes it dangerous, for one thing: if you propose my torture when I break the Code, all I need is 51% of the magi at the next tribunal on my side to get you tortured. It doesn't leave a lasting message save hate for you. Torture was, and is, used in hierarchical structures where those at the top who hand out such punishment don't have to worry so much about receiving it. All magi need to be concerned of an opposing power-block forming in their tribunal.

Also, it would be quite difficult to enforce as punishment. Mentem magic to stop the pain...

(Unless it includes mutilation, of course)

That said, I can see it coming up in unusual situations. If, say, I break the Code and get some mundanes angry with the Order, and another magus deals with that by confessing to my crimes and taking the punishment - I can see a Tribunal punishing me in part by visiting whatever punishment he suffered on me, public flogging or whatever it was. But that's an unusual situation.

Thanks for the information. The only places I can see it happening is in situations where the magus get a choice between torture and having a march after him or her. I dont thin it would happen often as only possible punishment as holdin onto and torturing a mage that is non coperative is rather hard, I can see the fireballs flying. Also any damage braking the skin s extremly dangrous in the dirty enviroment of the middle ages.

We have had a few sucsessfull stories where torture have happend. One was a charecter I made for a congress playing and it turned out wery nice. In it the charecter`s mentor had gotten the punishment of torturing his apprentice, aka the charecter, and the charecter was rather resentful towards the Order and to a certin degree his mentor to. It gave a nice depth to the charecter.

In another story there was an Flanbeu that was good frinds whit a I think Ex Misk. The Ex Misk was dragged to Tribunal and had a Wizards martch after her. Now the Flambeu was her frind, but he belived that if she ha first betrayed the Order, he might as well take atvantage of the situation, so he begun to experiment whit a few of his more nasty Ignem spells when he caouth her. Then a few other charecters managed to prove that the Ex Misk had been framed and a mercere was sendt at one hell of a speed to stop the Flambau, he found him and stopped him, the Ex Misk was still alive, though badly burned and needed to be healed magicaly to survive, however it was a nice twist to the relationship between those two charecters, mutch resentment, terror and in the end forgiveness, and the Flambau had to live whit having tortured his inocent friend.

In another game a tremere ended up getting the choice between a martch and public whipping, and the sense where he stood calmly acepting the punishment was quite nce and drametic. Hum...looking at the above I have wery law braking players and a moribid sense of running a story...hum...oh well.

I still really don't see torture as a possible punishment in any normal cirumstance (hermetic or mundane) - if you exclude sadistic reasons - it simply doesn't make sense to use as a punishment. Because in torture the goal is to inflict pain and whereas a powerful person who might have the power to deem someone to torture, it wouldn't make sense to use it unless the person with that power is a sadist.

Mutilation on the other hand is a very obvious punishment, and though it might be extremely painful, the infliction of pain isn't the main goal.

And in line wiht Chaomancers post, the Order isn't ruled by few powerful men that might if the felt like it rain sadistic punishment on people. The Order might have an elite with much influence, but no one has such an influence that they might act on sadistic whims against there sodales (what they might do to mundanes is another story...).

Nevertheless the theme of torture, which Hagazussa has also reafirmed, is a very powerful theme to use - thus it make interesting scenes (if not trivialized).

I remember in another game to have had a scene where I got all the players out of the room. Then I played through a torture scene with one of the players and afterward included her (the player - now playing one of the NPC torturers) in making the torture scene for the next and so on untill all had been tortured - the last of the players getting the full "attention" of the 5 or 6 of us. It was very powerfull and interesting - and I must note the surprising endless imagination on the subject...

I really like your example idea!

Torture do have its uses, somtimes it can create fear of doing the crime in question, however I to belive the Order would usualy use fees and such and torture would be real. However I can imagine it being used like I said instead of a martch, or even to make a paticularly heinous criminal have a harder death.

Mutilation is bad, and I dont realy see the Order using it mutch, thouh cutting of a Magus`s hand would be one hell of a punishment and would seriously hamper his or her magic. But torture must not be overused, for if it is it is trivialised, but used corectly it can have powerful effects on both the charecter being tortured, the frinds of the victim and the ones doing the torture. However one need mature players to get the right effect of this, or else it is just, yeah sure, my charecter hurts so what, where is my xp.

I agree that scenes of torture is for mature roleplayers alone.

On the other issue I think your still missing my point - cohersion or obtaining of information or confession is instrumental to what torture is, therefore it's not the most appropriate thing to use in most contexts involving punishment, and punishment alone. Torture isn't the physical acts alone (that's mutilation) - it's the intentions of inflicting pain and degradation with a certain goal. Often to get said information or confession.

In terms of punishment the term torture is only fitting if the punishment implies an "education" of the person in question; to force him to confess to the crime itself or to accept the crime being a crime. I don't see the Order as being enough "totalitarian" (in lack of better words in a hurry) in its views that it'll apply punishment to force the person to "corection". The Code is to no-nonse to need that. If you don't follow the rules you'll be cast out and you'll be killed - and that's all. Very simple. If it's not big enough an issue and we can forgive you, you might have to compensate other parties or we might midly sanction you by taking ressources as well as apprentices or familiars. To use torture, pain and degredation, to "educate" simply isn't needed among respecting sodales.

You may be right, however I would find the behave or wil will do x horrible things to you quite a motivator to behave :smiley: and torture in the sense of pain as punishment have been used through the ages, however yes, if a magus broke the law enough to warent somthing like that, he or she would most likely just be martched and killed.