City Watch

Organization

Ranks and Titles

The ranks in the City Watch, from lowest to highest, are Constable, Corporal, Sergeant, Captain, Commander. All PCs start as either Corporal or Sergeant (their choice).

Constables, Corporals, and Sergeants perform the bulk of actual watch duty. Constables have very little latitude in choosing their assignments or duties and as such are frequently stuck with the less desirable ones (such as guarding the city walls at high noon in summer, or patrolling the docks at night).

Corporals and Sergeants have the benefit of seniority and can typically choose their assignments for any given day (although particularly desirable assignments may be under contention from multiple officers…) and can request from their Captain the assignment or reassignment of a small number of Constables if needed to assist with some high-priority task.

Captains are responsible for the day-to-day operations of each Watch Station (one in each district of the city) and typically do not go out on patrol, guard duty, etc. Each Watch Station has between one and four Captains taking rotating shifts to keep things running.

Commanders are nominally responsible for overseeing a group of Watch Stations, but this rank is usually a political appointment and so many Commanders are fairly hands-off or outright absentee.

Duties

Each Watch officer works six days a week (with one day off for religious observance) for an eight-hour shift each day. Shifts are typically 8 AM to 4 PM, 4 PM to midnight, or midnight to 8 AM. At least one shift a week is typically spent doing desk duty of some sort at a watch station. Other typical day-to-day Watch assignments could include any of the following:

  • Gate duty, including inspection of incoming and outbound wagons, collection of any taxes and duties associated with entering or leaving the city (such as the “adventurer’s tax” on foreign or archaic coinage).
  • Wall duty, patrolling the city walls (this duty is sometimes shared with the military)
  • Guard duty, providing security at public offices and temples
  • Patrol duty, in any quarter of the city except the palace compound (which is guarded and patrolled by the imperial guard).
  • Tax duty, assisting the tax collectors in their rounds to city businesses
  • Investigative duty, looking into a particular rumor or crime.
  • Etc.

Appearance and Equipment

The Watch uniform consists of a dark blue tunic, a conical steel helmet, and a truncheon bearing the seal of Viridumar. The truncheon serves as a watchman’s badge of office.

As mentioned in Character Creation, Constables and Corporals typically wear chain shirts, Sergeants and Captains breastplates, and Commanders half-plate armor. Regardless of rank, Watch members carry truncheons (clubs), light crossbows, and either a short sword and buckler or a halberd, plus a set of manacles and a whistle for signaling to other watchmen in an emergency.

Policies and Regulations

Paying or giving gifts to a Watchman in order to influence his actions is considered bribery and is both illegal (for the citizen) and forbidden by regulation (for the Watchman). However, no law or regulation forbids a citizen from expressing their appreciation for a Watchman’s actions. So “Here’s 50 GP to not patrol in front of the warehouse on Squid Row between 9 and 11 PM tonight” is an illegal bribe, but “Thank you so much for staying in this bar for the last two hours – it makes the customers feel safer. Here’s 50 GP to express my appreciation” is entirely acceptable.

City Watch

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