Armed city guards came into the tavern quickly, and efficiently blocked all the exits. He announces to the chosen that they have just been inducted into the city guard and are hereby ordered to serve their city.
Tymas, the well built swordsman from Northern Yasten, took another sip of his ale. The small tavern had quickly filled up since he had came in and most conversation continued to revolve around the escalating attacks around the city. Tymas took another sip of his ale. It was almost time to find another trade caravan to hire himself onto. Barbarian invaders may not be good for trade, but they sure were good for mercenaries. Tomorrow he would start looking for somebody that was hiring, tonight he would enjoy his last night in town.
Just as he finished his drink a large commotion from the door gathered the entire taverns attention. Armed city guards came into the tavern quickly, and efficiently blocked all the exits. Following the head sergeants direction, all the people in the tavern were lined up against the wall facing the center. One tried to resist and was quickly taken down by the guards and left on the floor unconscience. Nobody else resisted.
The sergeant goes around the room pointing at all the men in the room that are of fighting age. He announces to the chosen that they have just been inducted into the city guard and are hereby ordered to serve their city. They are then ushered outside where they see other people being escorted out of other places of business.
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? Responses (7)
Kinda reminds me of russian world war two tactics. You fight the enemy or your 'countrymen' will shoot you. What's to keep you here fighting for the city, though? It could be as simple a thing as they are 'gaurding' your family in the local jail, but that requires a well-established character. Maybe they know something you don't yet.
Assuming a walled city, perhaps it has been surronded and only the scouts from the city guard are aware of it. With the attacking forces still a good distance away, but blocking all exits, some people may try to escape before the fighting. The city gaurd could be preventing an exodus into the brutal arms of the barbarians by forcibly inducting everyone.
What ever the reason for the gaurd's actions, the fight will soon be on.
Oke, so I am 'enlisted' in the city guard.... now what?
This might be a very decent way to start a adventure, but it is not a adventure by a long shot. It is not even a adventure hook.
With the comment of Agar, there is a start of a adventure hook though.
Most PC's I have GM'd would bristle against this type of plot. It might seem like a convenient way to have an 'escape' plot or something similar, but I think there are more subtle means to accomplish this.
Honestly, just the characterization of Tymas allows this some life. Although the actual plot is a great way of getting players to hate a location, Tymas could very well develope into an NPC, fighting for the player's help in ending the pressgang-like activies of the guard.
So from the other comments we have established that Tymas' perspective is not the one we want the PCs to share for a number of reasons. Perhaps the players could be inside the city on some sort of espionage mission and gradually come to know or befriend him and learn that most of the city guard has been pressed into service. That would then make assaulting the city much more of a moral dilemma.
This has potential in that it creates a number of interesting questions. How common is forced conscription? What is the motivation?