Normal punishments tend to involve either fines, imprisonment, amputation or execution, but not all crimes are going to be bad enough to be executed for, and imprisonment is often a waste of resources. Here are thirty punishments for those who get out of line and get caught and convicted.
Many, perhaps most fantasy lands are monarchies, which can be ruled well when the monarch is a clever and able man or woman devoted to his or her people. But what happens when the monarch is ill, or is tyrannically cruel, or a young child, or is otherwise blatantly unfit to rule? How can he or she be dealt with without risking civil war as powerful nobles fight for the crown?
A lot of what adventurers do is illegal, from fighting and carrying weapons in towns, to robbery and tomb raiding. Sooner or later, many of them are going to be arrested and find themselves up before a judge.
In the Cosmic Era, the proliferation of arcanotech, cyborgs, robots, parapsychic threats, black market weapons, new illegal drugs constantly hitting the market, all backed up by large organized criminal syndicates, the average police officer doesn't stand a chance.
Moonlight shines down on the tranquil scene of a slumbering inn along one of the many roads that cross the land. Trees sway gently in the night air, and the stars twinkle brightly. All is quiet as the PCs snore away, a fine tendril of smoke curlsrnunder their door. The tavern is on fire! This is particularly bad news if the PCs own any horses - the screaming they hear is probably from their mounts! Panicky people are rushing about with buckets of water, trying to tame the flames. The fire fighting effort is not very coordinated as everybody is either hungover or still drunk, including the PCs. Hurry!