D30 Local Magistrate Table
China is a centralised empire: the emperor sends out magistrates to rule the various provinces in his name. The magistrate is a lonely person who must perform day-to-day governance, mete out justice, oversee tax collection, road repairs, and churn out reports for the bureaucracy in the capital, and who changes location every three years to avoid becoming enmeshed in local politics.
These magistrates are hence quite lonely individuals. Some of them are over zealous, some others spend their time reading poetry whilst ignoring the local bumpkins. Some of them are incorruptible, some others amass bribes...
So whenever your PCs arrive in a new city, you may want to roll on this table to have quick and fast ideas for the behaviour of the local magistrate. This is especially useful if the PCs have ran afoul of the laws of the Empire.
D30 | Local magistrate is...
01 | ...a very thorough investigator. He explores all paths, interrogates all witnesses irrespective of their social class, and keeps all suspects in gaol during the investigations.
02 | ...incorruptible.
03 | ...exaggeratedly social and friendly.
04 | ...a bookworm obsessed with antiquity. For each case, he'll try and find a similar case in the annals of the district, and try and align his verdict on the earlier one(s).
05 | ...obsessed with the chivalric stories from the Rivers and Lakes. Should the PCs behave in a chivalrous way, the magistrate will highly respect their opinion.
06 | ...disgusted with having been assigned to this backward district. He keeps complaining about the weather/the food/the local dialect.
07 | ...a womaniser. Should the party include a female PC, the magistrate will try and sleep with her.
08 | ...gay and openly interested in the most handsome male PC.
09 | ...crazy about alchemy. His private quarters within the yámen are full of dangerous substances.
10 | ...convinced that murderers do not act by their own volition but because they are under the spell of evil spirits. In case of a murder, he will do his utmost to find an exorcist.
11 | ...only interested in complex cases and bored by straightforward ones.
12 | ...extremely wealthy and uses his wealth to further his peculiar interest or obsession (roll a second time to determine it).
13 | ...fascinated by yìqi and by the world of the Jiānghú (see p9 of The Celestial Empire). If the PCs are Rivers-and-Lakes types, he'll constantly be pestering them to hear their stories from the Rivers and Lakes.
14 | ...mostly interested in the mastery of the four pastimes. Anything else bores him. Should one of the player characters show interest in any of the four pastimes, the magistrate will become very friendly to him.
15 | ...a bigoted Buddhist.
16 | ...a good practitioner of wǔshù. Should one of the player characters be well versed in martial arts, the magistrate will try and challenge him to a fight.
17 | ...a superstitious Daoist.
18 | ...an austere Confucianist. He'll make the life of any religious PC miserable.
19 | ...a gambler.
20 | ...formerly from the Green Forest (see p9 of TCE) and lives in the terror of being exposed.
21 | ...a glutton.
22 | ...extremely distrustful of the world of the Jiānghú. If the PCs are Rivers-and-Lakes types, he'll make their life in his district miserable.
23 | ...extremely poor and always saving money on everything.
24 | ...from an ethnic minority. It's almost impossible to understand what he says.
25 | ...involved in local politics, being allied with a local clan against another local family, and always trying to take advantage of his position to hurt the interests of the latter.
26 | ...very distrustful of adventuring types. He'll try to indict the PCs.
27 | ...an active, young judge, carrying out the investigations by himself.
28 | ...stern and aloof.
29 | ...ever expecting to collect bribes.
30 | ...eager to get rid of the case. As soon as he gets someone who seems to be the culprit, he closes the case.