Private War
rating: 0+x

Basic Information

A fringe libertarian concept that explores the logical consequences of denying the state a monopoly of physical force.

Private War is a state of ongoing and declared hostility between two or more persons - much as two states might declare war on one another. As with war between states the rules and conventions to be observed in a private war depend on the standards of the community the parties belong to.

Private war can also be found in pre-modern societies that lack a strong central state and in feudal societies where physical force is the perogative of some or all of the monarch's peers as well as the king himself.

Types of Private War:

Specific Private Wars:


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Can be a good surprise for PCs - a society in which people are openly killing each other in the street and the local law enforcement stands by doing nothing because they're at war with one another - but comes down hard on casual violence.
  • Might be a feature of a cyberpunk dystopia: a mega corp that wants to eliminate competition might engage in open warfare.
    • Likely in fact, given that Multinational Corporations with good reason to regard nation states as peers rather than masters are a common trope in cyberpunk.
  • The complicated rules of kanly from Frank Herbert's Dune are a good case study in establishing formal Private War in a sci-fi setting.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License