Breaking an Oath
Any character that either continually tries to avoid fulfilling an oath, or purposely and wilfully goes against it, is declared an oath-breaker and is subject to the following penalties:
- The character loses their entire pool of oath points.
- The character may not swear a similar oath again (or until a sufficient time has passed - as determined by the GM).
- The character gains a corruption point.
However, for the first few minor offences (and only so long as they are minor offences) the GM might prefer to deduct an oath point from the character in question, as a way of warning the player that their actions are contrary to their character's oath (which may, or may not, be intentional).
In addition, it is also feasible for GMs to allow oath-sworn characters to adopt a simple 'live to fight another day' mindset in certain situations (usually when the odds are stacked so heavily against the character that it would be unreasonable to expect him/her act in a certain way), and to rely on their common sense when these situations arise (for example, a character that has sworn an oath to slay beastlings wherever he/she finds them, shouldn't really be punished for choosing the sensible option and not charging single-handedly into an entire legion of the foul beasts).
It's also worth noting that it is not advisable for GMs to continually try to trick their players into breaking their characters' oaths (but that is not to say that such characters should never be forced to make tough decisions as a result of an oath sworn in haste), and to instead view them as invaluable tools for planning future adventures and scenarios, or even to help drive the story forward if things start to grind to a halt. After all, a player who's character has sworn an oath to slay beastlings, is likely to follow up on any leads that offer him/her the chance to do just that!
next up ...Multiple Oaths