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What are the Geneva Conventions in Forgotten Realms?

So, in a world with magic, demons, and multitudes of gods granting actual powers, *War* could take many disturbing turns. But it is to be expected that the major forces of the 'civilized' world would still agree on what can and cannot be employed in an act of war.

If the major powers of the Forgotten Realms were to agree on rules of engagement, what would they be?

- is all Necromancy detestable?
(A lich scouring the country side with a swarm of zombies is likely not tolerated, but one of the ruling top Red Wizards of Thay is a lich.)

- how about demon summoning?
(Is it okay to use some friendly mephits as helpers in your lab? How about as city cleaners?)

- are Clerics protected during battles?
(in the same way that medics are supposed to be down here)

- Gas attacks (Cloud Kill, Death Fog etc.) are banned, perhaps?

- is mind control considered taboo?
(Dire Charm and Domination to make one kill their comrades)

- is there a limitation on the 'calibre' of weapons used for peacekeeping?
(no greater than +2 enchantment; or non-lethal damage only for city patrol)

- how about biological warfare?
(Contagion, Mold Touch)



  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,870
    I don't think anything within the core rules would get banned in such a convention. For example both Necromancy and the knowledge needed for conjuring outsiders are rather easily to come by. Many 'civilized' countries actually support and sponsor the research of the Art in all its forms and shapes.

    However, I could imagine that the use of mythals and similar artefacts of immense power would be regarded as too "inhumane" for warfare uses.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Remember that it took a not insignificant effort for the Geneva convention to come about, and even now it is not always observed or adhered too. And it didn't exist for Many Many years of war prior to that. Who is to say that such exists in The Realms?

    Also keep in mind that gods of a given sphere of influence, say necromancy, are not going to hold their acolytes to any restriction that would preclude their sphere of influence. That would be absurd. Nor that such regimes don't exist and rise to significant power (see Thay).

    I could see the more "Goody" types subscribing to their own moral code, and that by and large society would gravitate more towards those types of government simply because they are more likely to harbor and help those less fortunate and therefore foster communities. However, that is by no means to say that evil leaderships don't exist.

    You yourself mention Thay. There is a whole series of books whereupon there is an undead war of sorts that happens in Thay. So the deed may not be popular, but it is done. And Drow use undead all the time in attacking the surface, not to mention slavery and other more 'evil' acts. Then there are Orcs and everything that they get up too.

    At the end of the day, conventions of war only exist when leaderships of all parties agree to them. Sometimes that means that larger communities come together and force everyone to play nice. I think that happens 'by and large' in the realms, however not in all cases. It comes down to who has the largest stick in the local area.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I would guess there really are no generally accepted conventions. Many groups, governments, religions, individuals may have codes or guidelines of some sort they choose to adhere to for their own beliefs or reasons.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    The closest you'll find in the Realms would be the Mythal of Silverymoon that restricts spellcasting.

    A general rule of thumb among villains though is 'try not to eat too many babies, or it'll lose its effect'. Its often considered bad taste to eat more than 1 baby daily, and none of the respectable villains will have you over for tea if you do so habitually. You can always hang out with Neb, but his jokes get real old real quick. And the bugger hasnt got a clue how to bake a decent crumpet, let alone brew tea!

  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    It really, really, really depends on the area.

    The nations of the Forgotten Realms are so different from each other and don't really have a reason (AKA, NUKKKKESSS) to agree to any sort of 'civilized' rules that bind them all.

    In general, you'd probably find the attitude of most people towards that thing is 'It's bad if it effects me (and my family/friends/group)'. Bob uses dire charm on some dude five towns over? 'Well, that sucks for that dude.' Bob uses dire charm on your brother? 'NO ONE SHOULD USE CHARM SPELLS ON ANYONE ARGH THAT IS HORRIBLE AND TAKES AWAY FREEDOM AND IS REALLY BAD I STAND AGAINST THIS'.

    I'm guessing most good aligned people would probably be more 'Well, that sucks for the dude, and it's horrible!' but the average commoner isn't going to go on a crusade over it. An adventurer might be more 'I will prevent everyone from being dire charmed!', but that's a pretty heavy promise to make, and to carry out.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,279
    Just a pint of history:

    IRL , before the 17th century , the general idea was that the state had the right to use its people for its defense , recruiting civilians for war and even sacrificing them if necessary. That is, even your own people could lose their lives because of war, and the state wouldn't do much about it.

    Only after the 17th century that governments came up with ideas to protect the weak, the children, the old, the soldiers, the civilians... and so on.

    In Faerun, there is another factor : Gods are quite active in people's lives. So I'd say that good nations will often fight "fair" , whilst evil nations will commit the worst crimes.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    As a Dungeon Master, let me weigh in and say that there ARE a few "Geneva Conventions" that exist in fantasy warfare, and ARE considered taboos, but you are thinking too small.

    1. Gods shall not take corporeal form and enter the battlefield personally, unless defending against similarly dangerous opponents to prevent catastrophic destruction.

    2. The use of magic should not obliterate huge swathes of the natural terrain or effectively "salt the earth;" such usage is reprehensible and calls for retribution.

    Obviously, Abeir-Toril has broken both of these laws, but when that has happened, there HAS been retribution and consequences. In one of my campaign worlds, the gods have an accord they have all agreed to not to interfere TOO directly in the world's affairs, and the flow of the Aether (magic) itself was stemmed back after mortals engaged in some extremely destructive wars and disastrous experimentation. Your mileage may vary.

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059

    1. Gods shall not take corporeal form and enter the battlefield personally, unless defending against similarly dangerous opponents to prevent catastrophic destruction.

    This is a very good point and reminds of a thing that happened in ToEE:

    Near the end you get to defeat the followers of the God Iuz, who upon defeat summon the said god, who promptly wipes the floors with you (There has been reports of a lvl 9 party putting up a fight against a god, but except for engine glitches you *will* die by his hand.)

    After that Iuz' enemy St. Cuthbert enters the fray; beats up Iuz a bit and, basically, says "Lets leave the kids alone".

    They resurrect everyone and leave to Gods-know-where.

    ToEE was sooo awesome!

  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,033
    Basically the Realms do not have a Genova Convention. It's more a perpetual Cold War state where everyone knows that if they go too far there are people or groups out there who are more powerful than they are and will retaliate.

  • CoM_SolaufeinCoM_Solaufein Member Posts: 2,603
    It's anything goes in the Forgotten Realms!

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    You can pick all good/neutral allowed spells. But don't expect evil nations, like Thay would sign it. Then there are major villains, external forces etc. Do you expect an invading alien army or 'cthulhu on Earth' to abide by such a pesky convention?

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,290
    edited August 2014

    You can pick all good/neutral allowed spells. But don't expect evil nations, like Thay would sign it. Then there are major villains, external forces etc. Do you expect an invading alien army or 'cthulhu on Earth' to abide by such a pesky convention?

    That's it in a nutshell. The evil nations would never cooperate. Nor would monster hordes.

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