I know this is not gaming related, but it was such a tasty bit of trivia I had to post it. I was reading an article about the Somali pirate issue over at foreignaffairs.com and they mentioned an obscure section of America’s constitution as a possible solution. Privateers!
Here are the key sections of Article 1 that defines Congress’s powers:
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water
The key section is the “letters of marque and reprisal” tidbit. For those not willing to read the wikipedia entry, a “marque” is a government document that allows private individuals to man ships and wage war on enemy vessels, in the vein of Captain Kidd and Sir Francis Drake. Historically it was quite a lucrative profession.
Actually, I was mistaken. This is a great adventuring hook for a modern campaign. A naval campaign with the PCs as modern-day privateers, protecting the high-seas. Reality in a game just makes it more fun.
The American constitution, more than just free speech!
Trask, The Last Tyromancer