I prefer a different solution based on the fact that torture doesn’t work. If you need a book to tell you so, a quick search online finds Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation by Shane O’Mara. But there are countless other sources that will tell you the same thing.
There are only four kinds of people who claim that torture works:
All of them psychopaths: no empathy, no friends, exploitative, power hungry.
Back in 2016, I said how I handle torture in my games:
Torture: I ask the players what they want to hear. Then I say that this is exactly what their victim is saying after the maltreatment. And if they want to go into the details, I tell them I don’t want to hear about it. Ugh!
That’s it. Whatever you want to hear, that’s what victims of torture tell you. When you think they are lying, they will confess to lying and tell you something else, trying to guess what you want to hear, anything to make it stop.
And if you want to talk about it at my table, I shall be happy to never play with you again. Uuuugh.
I think anybody who who has read anything about concentration camps in Germany, Armenian death marches in Turkey, the Spanish police torturing the separatist activists, the French soldiers torturing their prisoners in Algeria, the US torture prisons, the torture of prisoners in the Near East, the Russians torturing rebels in Chechnya, the torture of prisoners in China, and on and on and on, should know that it doesn’t work like it does in American TV. 🤮
Anyway, I’m with Judd: please think outside the torture box. Just do something else instead.