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Jegergryte

The Murder Hobo Bubble

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An interesting read, but I don't agree with the conclusions.

 

This article treats the "evil" races as static. They just sit there going about their thing until murder hobos show up. Once word of an old man hiring people to wipe out goblin camps got around the goblins would form raiding parties and kill the old man. Even as NPCs, some life needs to be breathed into their actions and reactions.

 

Speaking of "evil" races, this article assumes that goblins are evil just because. However, they aren't doing anything that is evil. Just going about their existence, selling salt, and keeping to themselves. (Traditional fantasy tropes are that evil races do things that are actually evil, such as raiding villages and killing all humans on sight. The evil needs to be justified in their actions to warrant murder hobos slaughtering them in the name of good.) Which I suppose is all fine and dandy the first time the murder hobos go out to kill a bunch of goblins. However, groups of murder hobos get away with killing everything because it is evil. At some point they will see the wealth the old man is acquiring from their actions. They will realize that they are being played by investment bankers. And really, is there anything more evil than investment bankers who play with other people's lives? The bubble will burst because the murder hobos will kill the real evil, the old man.

 

That said, it's a great idea for a game. I'd love to play it out and see how long it takes for the murder hobos to realize they are nothing but tools of investment bankers and what they would do to rebel against it.

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To be fair, in old school D&D, the Evil Monsters were pretty much static. They hung out in one room in the dungeon waiting for a party to come along and fight. The Evil Monsters in the next room over never heard the commotion, they never came to investigate the noise, there was never any thought to a basic ecosystem or even why they were there beyond warm bundles of hit points.

 

That said, I love the idea of The Old Man manipulating a team of murder hobos to clear out land for his much bigger machinations. What was a series of bog standard kill everything in sight adventures slowly takes on a much more meta plot. Brilliant!

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Original D&D actually had a great adventure series U1-3 that countered alot of the static monster encounters and everything is what it appears to be elements.  From haunted houses that aren't really haunted, dirty politicians in on the money, a tribe of nearby monsters scaring the locals by there mere prescence never mind these monsters were peacful fleeing an even bigger group of nasty monsters.  The encounters were such that occupants would respond to a commotion in the rom over and often send 1 guy running to go get help from the leaders in other rooms, women and children monsters going about their daily routine.  Basically if the party went the whole Murder Hobo route by the end of the series without help with were likely to miss out of allies or additional potential rewards.

 

Mind you even then the game developers recognized that most players from habit took the Murder Hobo approach which was what made the adventure stand out for its original design

Edited by Greymere

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Speaking of "evil" races, this article assumes that goblins are evil just because. However, they aren't doing anything that is evil. Just going about their existence, selling salt, and keeping to themselves. (Traditional fantasy tropes are that evil races do things that are actually evil, such as raiding villages and killing all humans on sight. The evil needs to be justified in their actions to warrant murder hobos slaughtering them in the name of good.) Which I suppose is all fine and dandy the first time the murder hobos go out to kill a bunch of goblins. However, groups of murder hobos get away with killing everything because it is evil. At some point they will see the wealth the old man is acquiring from their actions. They will realize that they are being played by investment bankers. And really, is there anything more evil than investment bankers who play with other people's lives? The bubble will burst because the murder hobos will kill the real evil, the old man.

 

That said, it's a great idea for a game. I'd love to play it out and see how long it takes for the murder hobos to realize they are nothing but tools of investment bankers and what they would do to rebel against it.

 

If you replace Goblins with Tuskin Raiders you've pretty much summed up a good part of the plot of the SW book Kanobi. 

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Original D&D actually had a great adventure series UK1-3 that countered alot of the static monster encounters and everything is what it appears to be elements. 

 

I never played the original D&D stuff, but I did play the Caves of Chaos as part of the D&D Next Beta. (My understanding was that this was effectively a reprint from the original.) In that you slaughter women and children monsters and there are notes that any scouts or patrols would send a runner to alert the rest of the cave's inhabitants. I'm sure most people glossed over that and just played monsters to the death.

 

Actually, after slaughtering the first cave of women and children the players rewrote their character background to be pro-non-monster. Basically playing racists in order to justify the slaughter. Modern sensibilities didn't jive with old time slaughter. At least not without more role playing to build up how evil those creatures really were.

 

"Droids ain't people" is one of the running jokes at our table ever since we played Debts to Pay. It was a simple slogan we devised to facilitate our slaughter of droids who may or may not be sentient slaves fighting for freedom. During Caves of Chaos we changed it to "Monsters ain't people" to keep our slaughter continuing without any moral qualms. These days anything we want to fight and slaughter is plugged into that phrase from "starfighters ain't people" to "tax collectors ain't people."

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