Roleplaying a Guardsman
Guardsmen are simple folk, with simple minds. They all share some common traits, such as mistrust for that which is unknown to them, and the love for the forests of Yew. The word "civilian" is here used as a common word for anyone not a member of the Militia. If you wish to join in the righteous defences of Yew, then read this, and learn it by heart, for then you shall be known as a guardsman.
Guardsmen are very territorial, and do not allow any civilians to enter
Guardsmen do not make friends
with civilians that ride horses.
"Pah! They think they are so damn good... snobs!"
Guardsmen do not make friends with civilians that use magery before their eyes, or that have a spellbook in their hands. "Curse those witches!"
Guardsmen always stick together. If one guardsman is attacked, all guardsmen do their best to help. It is their strength in numbers that give them power to withstand the superior taintling armament.
Guardsmen speak Britannian and no other tongue. (read it all)
Guardsmen are simple folk, and therefore cannot ride horses. This privilege is for the officers alone.
Guardsmen take pride in their uniform, and would never break the uniform of their respective rank.
Guardsmen titulate their superiors "sir", would never lay hand upon them, nor question their authority.
Guardsmen protect the bodies of fallen innocents (players that are blue).
Guardsmen collect taxes when seeing someone around the Yew forests or in the meadow.
Guardsmen offer escort anywhere within the zone of protection to citizens that pay their taxes, are law-abiding and treat the guardsmen with respect.
Guardsmen always move in groups of at least two when possible. "There's safety in numbers."
Guardsmen love ale and fine food, and will be more pleasant in their ways if they are given this.
Guardsmen do not focus on skills, and would never do an action for the pure benefit of "raising a skill". Especially not macro. If you are caught doing this, you will be thrown out.
Guardsmen possess little gold, as they spend most of their gold on armour, food, ale, gambling and donations to the Militia.
Guardsmen would never touch or hold a mage-book, as they are considered items of witchcraft. Reagents (or herbs) may be collected from the bodies of fallen enemies or from the ground, in order to appease the men of the church.
And finally, Guardsmen have fun, try not to ruin the fun for others, and defend Yew for all that it's worth!
Taxing is more than just saying "30 gold pieces, please". We don't really OOC care for the tax. It is rather an excuse to get some contact with the common wayfarer! Be a little inquisitive, and find out what they are doing in Stonekeep. The trick lies in asking the right questions. Also, try to share a bit of your character along the road. Get to know people, where they are going, and what business they have. Even non-roleplayers can learn from this.
The basic tax is 30 gold pieces per person, increased to 60 if they ride a mount or visibly carry a spellbook. 100 if it's a mounted mage. If the person does not have any gold ask for bandages, food, ale or whatever they can offer. The taxes are used to keep the Kings roads safe, and for road maintenance. You didn't think all those roads kept themselves, did you? Here's an example of a good way to tax:
Guard: "Hail, stranger!"
G: "Could I have your name?"
V: "I'm Johny II"
G: "On the way to Vesper, ehh Johny?"
V: "No. I gonna visit that new cool orc dungeon."
G: "Uhhh. Alright. Have you paid your taxes yet?"
G: "The Guardsmen Militia collects a tax of 30 gold crowns for all passing the road."
V: "Don't got any gold on me."
G: "Any other goods then?"
V: "Sure got some bandies. Here"
G: "Thanks. Wish all civvies were like you..."
G: "You need any help in the dungeon?" *sips an ale*
V: "No thx"
G: "So Johny... Where are you from?"
V: "Sweden. You?"
G: "Never been there... Isn't that some sort of taint tribe?"
G: "Uhhh nevermind. Myself I'm from Yew, just up at the Miller's."
V: "lol you mean like that..."
G: *the guard fingers his sword but stays steady*
V: "I started in trinsic."
G: "You got any parents there? I've always wondered how it's like down there..."
And so it goes on. This is part of the fun: You can pick any guy off the street and have a good time with him. If he's a bright enough fellow with adequate English skills and maybe a chunk of humour he's bound to enjoy it at least as much as you do. Try to make the taxing part an interesting interaction, and to present it in a way that it won't get refused.
Show them that you are roleplaying before you start talking about the taxes, tell them about what the duties of a guardsmen are.
Look at the person you are speaking to, greet them friendly, and thank for the tax if you've received it. Not all guardsmen react alike, some have better manners than others, but they are at least moderately polite to the people they are out to protect.
From time to time, there is someone refusing to pay taxes at all. Here, the guardsmen have two options, either to ask them to leave Stonekeep or to jail them. If they are roleplaying, they should be taken to the jail if they cannot be convinced, and spend 10-30 minutes there.
Some cities within the Zone of Protection pay taxes to the Militia. Most do so on a weekly basis. The citizens of these towns will still pay toll when passing Stonekeep, however.