The motivations of the character are a set of numerical traits which define different emotions. Each of these may sway or influence the behaviour of the character. This may cause the character to act against what may otherwise be their best-interests, but likewise can spur the character on to completing an action that might otherwise exceed their capabilities. As such, the Motivations are not really positive or negative, but the player may well consider them an obstacle more often than a boon! This will become particularly apparent when the Host uses them to prompt the player to a more emotional reaction to the circumstances of the story – and may well inspire a few of the crimes on which the law-codes centre.

As a numerical trait, each of the motivations can have a value between 1 and 5, the higher the level, the more in thrall to that emotion the character is. Should the player wish to spend points and alter the level of a specific motivation, within these boundaries, they may do so, at the cost of the new level x2 in DP to increase, or the new level x 3 to decrease. However, motivations are prone to change (particularly to increase) during the course of the game. The relative strength of the motivation at different levels may be interpreted as follows:

●●●●● Overwhelming 10 DP to increase from level 4
○●●●● Intense 12 DP to decrease from level 5
8 DP to increase from level 3,
○○●●● Strong 9 DP to decrease from level 5
6 DP to increase from level 3,
○○○●● Moderate 6 DP to decrease from level 5
4 DP to increase from level 3,
○○○○● Mild 3 DP to decrease from level 5


As can be inferred above, each character automatically begins with one point in each motivation. The player should then distribute a further four (4) points as appropriate to the character’s emotional make up. The six Motivations comprise:


Cowardice (arga)
The character fears for their life and health, avoiding risky situations where there is a potential for injury or fatality. An accusation of being ‘arga’ made against a freeman is a weighty insult in the Lombard laws, and the accuser must either say that they spoke in anger and buy off the insult (Rothari No. 381) for twenty solidi, or else if they hold to the accusation prove it true by ordeal by combat – the camfio.

Fury (aistan)
A state of rage. If cowardice was the ‘flight’ response, then fury is the ‘fight’. Lombard law accepts that being enraged can make a person say things they did not know to be true (such as accusations of cowardice, witchcraft or harlotry), and allows composition to paid for the insult should the accuser calm down and concede that the accusation itself was false. Fury can burn hot or cold, and calculated actions performed with malicious intent may also be counted here

Covetousness and avarice, the desire to take from another what might be rightfully theirs.

A high libido, wandering eyes and wandering hands. In the gendered society presented in the laws, accusations of harlotry against a free woman are tantamount to accusations of cowardice against a free man (Rothari No. 198). Again the assumption that the accusation was made in fury rather than based on actual knowledge is accommodated in the laws, with the option to buy off the insult for twenty  solidi, or prove its truth against the accused woman’s guardian through trial by combat.

The counterpart to greed, and the uncharitable desire to cling on to what is considered one’s own, to offer less than something is worth when buying, and demand more when selling. The miser is in love with their wealth, and if the laws of Aistulf addressing the duties of a merchant may be read in this way, may stop a person from spending their wealth on the things (horses, arms and armour) that law and society insists they should have (see Aistulf No. 3).

The religious instinct also appears in the laws, mostly as a motivation to legislate and to seek justice. Nevertheless, piety may also lead to certain behaviours, that could put a person on either side of the law.