Tablets of Passage
Golden tablets with the seal of the ruler that issued the pass and the seal and name of who it was issued to. About the size of your palm of solid intricately etched gold. The holder of the tablet is backed by the authority of the king to make any required purchases on credit or enter any place they deem necessary. A very powerful token indeed.
For important tasks that the king requires accomplished he may issue a Tablet of Passage. With this Tablet, the owner need just present the pass at any establishment and no money will be necessary, no toll need be paid, and they are allowed entrance to any place they require. A detailed receipt is required by the owner of the tablet and the king expects the 'bill' to be sent to him. The premise of the Tablet is not a free ride and liscense to steal from merchants, but is used in time of need with the bill to be paid by the king upon reciept. The king requires payment to be made and will accept no charity from the merchant. It is a manner of honor and to develop trust with the merchants so they are happy to supply what is needed when asked. Merchants throughout the land will honor this tablet, even if they are not in the king's province (if they are allowed by their own ruler). As far as entering they can enter house, jail, or protected area. Anything that usually requires a special pass or prior permission to enter, a similiar reciept is made stating the need for entrance (if not secret) but at least the time and location that they required entrance to. Then it is sent by runner and each of the parties retain a reciept.
The reciept is made in triplicate, one for the merchant, one for a runner that brings it to the king, and one for the Tablet owner. The Tablet owner and the king have a preestablished set of code symbols to put on reciepts to confirm that they were truly used by the Tablet owner making false reciepts a very dangerous thing to do. Those that have tried to make counterfeit reciepts and have been caught have never faired very well.
-There are very few actual tablets in circulation and usually only issued in time of extreme need.
-Those that recieve the tablets have earned the king's complete trust and so even if they have recieved one in the past and have since returned it, they still recieve great respect from those that knew.
-Current Tablet holders and past tablet holders still recieve preferential treatment, although most holders are humble enough try to resist it as best they can this is not guaranteed.
-The requirements for the Tablet holders required them to make some very large purchases in the next kingdom. Time to pay the debts so the shipments of gold are split up. Now they need some extra trustworthy guards to go with them and protect the king's interests.
-One of the Tablet holders has started making some very odd purchases and has been visiting, by force, some other odd establishments. The king needs somebody to go check on him.
-A set of the King's tablet codes has been stolen or is missing. The king now needs a few extra people to go double check on all the reciepts from that code set that he has been recieving. Problem is that person is very busy purchasing goods and services from all over back out of the way places to establish a new church so the trail quickly grows.
-A Tablet long thought lost is now suddenly being used again and it has the correct codes. Need to go investigate what happened for the king.
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? Responses (6)
An excellent way to tie in all sorts of adventures for the players to wander about the land. Perhaps some of the adventures, like checking receipts, could be used for lower level characters, then they could build up till someday when the players are the tablet bearers themselves.
Although not intrinsically powerful nor in any way magical this is potentially quite powerful, depending on how much respect there is for the king and his laws.
I certainly wouldn't risk putting this into the PCs hands way too much scope for abuse (or do I just have a jaded view of PCs).
Nonetheless, it does have a kind of logic, just the sort of thing a king might give to a trusted agent, kind of like a royal pass or official identification
The most feared words in a Traveller game...
'I have an Imperial Warrant and I'm here to help.'
How could I have missed this little gem?
I know I voted on this one on Citadel Version 1
This is a nice submission, a great item for medieval RPGs
Long, for a pre-2004 sub! A nice little ticketing system.