How to Avoid Becoming a Murder Hobo


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The murder hobo has been a problem for RPGs for years. These characters have no purpose or reason aside from killing people, taking their stuff, and then buying better tools to kill more people with. While we all admit these characters are a problem, we don't always have a suggestion for ways to fix them. That's where this little guide comes in. It might seem simple for more RP-heavy players, but with three simple steps you can turn one of these homicidal vagabonds into a legitimate character.

Fleshing Out Your Character or How To Avoid Becoming A Murder Hobo

Grand Lodge

These are excellent questions for any character. Thanks for asking them. I have a document with similar questions that each character concept starts with. While I decide on the mechanics I'm also deciding on how they fit into the campaign. Background/motivations evolve alongside the race, class, feat, and spell choices. Sometimes it makes it easy to decide between several options if the way the character's story is trending makes those choices obvious.

I'm updating my document to reflect some of the inspirations your guide has given me.


xebeche wrote:

These are excellent questions for any character. Thanks for asking them. I have a document with similar questions that each character concept starts with. While I decide on the mechanics I'm also deciding on how they fit into the campaign. Background/motivations evolve alongside the race, class, feat, and spell choices. Sometimes it makes it easy to decide between several options if the way the character's story is trending makes those choices obvious.

I'm updating my document to reflect some of the inspirations your guide has given me.

I'm glad that you found my piece helpful!

I've got to say that I rarely come across characters like this for the reason that I like to engage other people in RP whenever I can. So even if they start out blank slates they tend to have something in place by the end of the first session just through sheer banter. It's entertaining to me when that happens, but I know that not everyone is as lucky as I am in this instance.

Shadow Lodge

Quick, someone copyright "murderhobo" as a verb as well as a noun and possibly an adjective.


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That murderhoboing murderhobo just murderhoboed a murderhobo!

I feel like this would be a very awesome way to bring the Smurfs back, not going to lie.

On topic: well-written murderhobos are actually fun.


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kestral287 wrote:
On topic: well-written murderhobos are actually fun.

Seconded

Now the easiest way to avoid murderhoboing is for the adventurer to have a home/guildhall/keep. Something that they care about and would be willing to defend regardless of alignment. Then all the GM has to do is threaten it.


Yeah, I'm waiting for Part 2: How To Do "Murderhobo" Well. ;D


Buy a house?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Ah, but then you won't be a hobo!


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm waiting for Part 2: How To Do "Murderhobo" Well. ;D

Idk about well, but I did write up a character to intentionally be a detached murderhobo for a PF in space campaign and he was very well received.

Backstory:
BackStory(Rick Savage):
Rick was born over 50,000 years ago in the previous universe on Earth in the great country of the USA. He raised in a military family that he saw rarely do to his academy schooling. He joined the US (space) navy as an officer after getting his Ph.D. in both near-light propulsion and xenobiology. Major Rick Savage became well known for his dangerous habit of leading his troops from the front whether he was fighting xenos or rebel groups. Without fail Rick followed orders and enforced orders. Rick(LN) never had moral qualms on his exterminatus missions or when executing soldiers who did have moral qualms (The US always framed these actions as “pacification”. They only killed those “resisting”. Everyone was considered “resisting” though. But this is why the rebels were not just destroyed from orbit). That was until the exterminatus of sector X-1738-ii when his dangerous habit finally caused misfortune. The rebels intentionally bated and lost a foothold to US forces because they had it rigged with explosives. This flung Rick down into the warrens of the planet. Heavily wounded, Rick was nursed back to health by Sgt. Victoria Williams, one of the supposed “hostages” killed by the rebels. During this time Rick got to know Victoria and Victoria got to know Rick. Victoria explained what happened on this planet and the qualms of the rebels. Rick then put his mind to finding answers to these problems, because these problems were causing Victoria trouble and he had come to care for her. When Rick was finally restored to health, he had Victoria sneak him into the rebel base where Rick then destroyed their planetary defense cannons, which although useless in this conflict, was the reason for US military action. The intel on the planet said these cannons could be used to destroy cities on other planets. Which they could do, provided an accurate targeting system, which they did not have. With the main threat destroyed, Rick was able to “negotiate” a rebel surrender. Using his authority as an Officer, he was able to prevent the US forces from killing the rebels anyways. The propaganda film crew decided to run with the situation and casted Rick as a hero who saved the hostages and brought peace and democracy to the sector. To reward their initiative, that film crew was assigned to a new warp shipped that would explore the farthest reaches of space, which blew up shortly after exiting the space station, killing all on board.

Rick(LG) went on to end the entire rebellion, minimizing casualties and being praised as a hero. Eventually all the praise for his “humanitarian efforts” began to rub off on Rick and he began to take pride in it. He and Victoria had a private wedding followed by a honeymoon on the front lines against a new group of Xenos. Victoria’s skill with languages turned out to be invaluable. She and Rick were able to negotiate a peaceful surrender. The now non-combat xenos went on to burden social welfare programs. Xenophobia was still legal and prevented the Xenos from working in the industries that sprung up around the precious resources on their planet. Unbeknownst to them, Rick and Victoria were making a lot of people angry.

Victoria gets killed though due to political corruption and conflicts. Rick is devastated, but goes on a quest for vengeance (CG) to purge the filth from the organization. As he goes deeper into the mystery he falls into despair, realizing just how broken the system is. He falls off the deep end and begins killing everyone involved and their families in his anguish and rage to quench his need for vengeance (CE). A mountain of corpses later, Rick just gives up and goes numb. All hope is lost. He's captured and sent to prison. After enough time Rick's loses himself. He doesn't forget who he was, he just never thinks about it. Rick begins to act as an echo of himself, living in the moment(TN). He realizes that prison is boring and escapes. He knocks out 8 guards in the process and kills 2. Once Rick escapes, he begins life as a Mercenary and behaves in much the same fashion that he does now. This leads to security detail on the wormhole generator station. Which is attacked by a rival corporation and during that conflict, Rick is thrown through the wormhole. He reaches near present time, some 20-ish years ago and ends up on a planet(Talumarth) with Nivan and some humans. Rick spends his time gathering parts to restore a ship into working order. In his gallivanting he has many sexual encounters with the human females of the planet. It was a way to kill time for him. Eventually he manages to make a working ship, but it only goes at near-light-speed, which was Rick's PhD thesis (highly regarded at the time, but was replaced by warp technology do to energy efficiency problems). He makes his way to Junker’s station in a week his time, but 20 years-ish actual. During that time Canan's mother dies in childbirth and is raised by a Niven. She never knew who her father is and is unlikely to ever find out.

Sovereign Court

Off the cuff, this seems like the sort of thing where if you need it spelled out for you, you're already beyond hope.

That said, hopefully I'm wrong and there are some folks out there who will have the lightbulb pop above their head by reading your guide.

Shadow Lodge

Hmm wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Buy a house?
Ah, but then you won't be a hobo!

That reminds me of the time when our party had to win over some hobos, and had to reassure them that we were not, nor did we intend to become, property owners.

I don't think they were murder hobos, though. Mostly seemed involved in sewer-based sporting events.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm waiting for Part 2: How To Do "Murderhobo" Well. ;D

The answer is to play a character with motivation, personality, a connection to the world and party, and who feels real.

You don't necessarily need a place of permanent residence to avoid this trope. A wandering paladin seeking wrongs to right, or a druid spreading nature in the vein of Johnny Appleseed is still a perfectly valid way to do it. Mostly you need a reason to adventure BEYOND just killing things because plot says so. Are you trying to amass a fortune to buy a house and retire? Do you want to become a nobleman so you can have political power beyond your sword? In short, I guess what I mean is that characters need goals beyond buying a bigger, shinier magic sword to commit more monster genocide with.


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I think this one question can help flesh out a character if you get the players to give a serious answer.

Ok, your character comes across 10,000 gold. This is enough for you to buy a house in a decent city or town and live a year or two unemployed. Why is it that you instead plan to go and upgrade your great sword and armor to +2?

A lot of bad answers can come up like "to kill better," or "if I retired I wouldn't be able to play my character." That's why I suggest asking this at character creation so that it's on their minds while they make their back story.


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Step 1: Buy property.

Step 2: Build house

Step 3: Murderate the dungeon.

Sheesh you people over complicate this.


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Or just knock out people and take their stuff than you are a Mugger Hobo.


Ultimate Campaign has prices on homes and they're pretty cheep at higher levels. That should stop the hobo part.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Ok, your character comes across 10,000 gold. This is enough for you to buy a house in a decent city or town and live a year or two unemployed. Why is it that you instead plan to go and upgrade your great sword and armor to +2?

If taking a couple of years off ever seems like a good idea, it may be a sign that the campaign, not the character, is lacking.

Although if you were warned in advance that this was going to be a sandbox campaign with no urgent problems to solve, then you could bear that in mind during character creation and make a character who is driven to hunt down evil, fight for the sake of fighting, map the world, or similar.


I dunno, adventuring is a dangerous business, so unless a character has a real driving goal I foresee retirement after "hitting it big" as a pretty likely occurrence.


If you look at any Paizo adventure path, you'll find the motivations are built in from the start, usually connected to campaign traits. Maybe you're saving your home city. Maybe you're helping your childhood friend travel to the other side of the world and free a kingdom. Maybe you've made an enemy of a cult of necromancers.

These situations allow a variety of more grounded 'Bilbo'-type characters to keep on adventuring until the story is done, even though they'd rather be living a life that doesn't involve them getting stabbed on a daily basis.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
I dunno, adventuring is a dangerous business, so unless a character has a real driving goal I foresee retirement after "hitting it big" as a pretty likely occurrence.

Point well made here. This is why often a character needs to have goals beyond "make enough money to open my own smithy" or "buy a plot of land and raise a family."

I've been in a half dozen campaigns where characters have achieved personal goals by level 7 or 8 that seemed absolutely ridiculous at level 1. Redeeming a shamed noble house and becoming politically powerful again is something you can likely do by level 10 or so. Becoming upwardly socially mobile to gain title and land is also pretty easy for the most part. That's when you might need to great creative and form friendships with other party members to help them achieve THEIR goals, or when the people you're tied to (the kind if you're a noble, the general of you're a high ranking soldier, your goddess if you're in the clergy, etc., etc.) might need to give you a shove to get you to finish the mission.

Additionally characters should be getting new goals as they grow in power. I had a half-orc alchemist/gunslinger whose only goal was to leave behind a life of crime and dishonor for a new identity as a hero. In time he ended up forging a new nation and ruling as the six-gun king. That wasn't the goal when the campaign started but hey, needs be when the devil drives.

Grand Lodge

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm waiting for Part 2: How To Do "Murderhobo" Well. ;D

I personally think my half-orc alchemist falls into that category. He loves to murder evil people, and states it as open fact to most people he meets. He's a half-orc from Lastwall who decided that in order to earn the approval of the humans there, he'd have to become skilled at what the country existed for (as he understood it): Murdering evil people. He expressly wants to do it in as unlawful a manner as possible, and so has a chip on his shoulder about those who try to hide behind laws to veil their wickedness. He developed a composognathus tumor familiar after studying a compy the party killed while exploring, poking its body and saying "What a fascinating creature, you will help me murder evil people!"

He constantly vexes his superiors, and stuns the party when he's the one that solves the intricate problems or identifies an obscure monster, despite his strange mannerisms.


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The problem with stopping after you hit it big is that you can afford a small house of your own and feed yourself (10gp/month) for 80 years (9600 gp) with the wealth you have by level 5 (10,500 gp).

That's if you completely retire and don't even bother to be a blacksmith or fix wagon wheels or something.


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DominusMegadeus wrote:

The problem with stopping after you hit it big is that you can afford a small house of your own and feed yourself (10gp/month) for 80 years (9600 gp) with the wealth you have by level 5 (10,500 gp).

That's if you completely retire and don't even bother to be a blacksmith or fix wagon wheels or something.

Yeah, adventuring for money always seemed like a silly idea in PF. It's an obvious starting motivation, but you're set for life very early on.

In games with less of a power (and thus loot) curve it can make sense, especially if you're encouraged to waste it in one fashion or another. The average sword and sorcery protagonist comes away from the story with a pouch of gold, enough to keep the wine flowing in the taverns for a few weeks and he doesn't carefully horde it to buy better gear for the next mission.


Matthew Downie wrote:

If you look at any Paizo adventure path, you'll find the motivations are built in from the start, usually connected to campaign traits. Maybe you're saving your home city. Maybe you're helping your childhood friend travel to the other side of the world and free a kingdom. Maybe you've made an enemy of a cult of necromancers.

These situations allow a variety of more grounded 'Bilbo'-type characters to keep on adventuring until the story is done, even though they'd rather be living a life that doesn't involve them getting stabbed on a daily basis.

This is my preference. Have the motivations tied to what's actually going to happen in the campaign, rather than have characters who were generic motivated to "adventure" and then wandered across the hooks for this specific game.

Obviously doesn't work in a pure sandbox or something episodic like PFS, but those styles aren't my preference either.


Neal Litherland wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm waiting for Part 2: How To Do "Murderhobo" Well. ;D
The answer is to play a character with motivation, personality, a connection to the world and party, and who feels real.

And why can "kill more monsters" not be a motivation?

Why can "guy who likes hunting and killing monsters" not be a personality?

Why can "these people help him find and kill monsters" not be a connection to the party?

These are serious questions.


Dedicated monster hunter is a valid option for a character, but I wouldn't want to play in a group where that was used all the time. You need alternative options.

As a concept it might benefit from some more nuance. Would this character be willing to participate in an adventure with little apparent prospect of monsters? To go on a diplomatic mission, or investigate the cause of a mysterious plague, or to find evidence of an accused man's innocence?


kestral287 wrote:
Neal Litherland wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm waiting for Part 2: How To Do "Murderhobo" Well. ;D
The answer is to play a character with motivation, personality, a connection to the world and party, and who feels real.

And why can "kill more monsters" not be a motivation?

Why can "guy who likes hunting and killing monsters" not be a personality?

Why can "these people help him find and kill monsters" not be a connection to the party?

These are serious questions.

I'd like a clearer definition of monsters and reasons to pick out one monster over another.

In a world which is mostly civilized and monsters are fairly rare and always a danger, that's more viable. In a standard D&D world with lots of things that can be considered monsters that might not be a threat to anybody we're back in the "Go kill the orcs living in that valley because they're monsters territory".
Or if orcs don't qualify as "monsters", then what happens when the party does need to fight a particular batch of orcs.


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"A monster is whatever I'm being paid to kill" - fighter/rogue with a personality based on Jayne from Firefly.


Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
"A monster is whatever I'm being paid to kill" - fighter/rogue with a personality based on Jayne from Firefly.

I guess. Purely mercenary characters and stories don't hold a lot of interest for me.

Edit: Also falls into the trap of "I just got paid enough money to live out the rest of my life in luxury. Guess I'll invest it in gear so I can risk my life for even more money."


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That's not a trap though.
That is exactly the thought process of a career merc who's been in a lot of battles.
He only knows how to fight and survive to fight again. He knows that if the fighting stops, he's got nothing to do. He knows that having the best equipment means being able to handle harder (better paying) jobs. He says "One day I'll retire and live in a cabin and fish all day" but really he doesn't want to because fighting is all he's good at and he can't imagine a time when he hasn't got someone/thing to kill.


Anime and martial arts films have many examples of characters who fight/kill because that's what they're good at. They don't know how to live any other way.

If you want to go all deep and meaningful you could say the char is afraid to change because he doesn't think he can.


Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

That's not a trap though.

That is exactly the thought process of a career merc who's been in a lot of battles.
He only knows how to fight and survive to fight again. He knows that if the fighting stops, he's got nothing to do. He knows that having the best equipment means being able to handle harder (better paying) jobs. He says "One day I'll retire and live in a cabin and fish all day" but really he doesn't want to because fighting is all he's good at and he can't imagine a time when he hasn't got someone/thing to kill.

Yeah, but the traditional career merc isn't shooting up the pay scale in the same way a PF character is.

It's not to long from I'll be able to "retire and live in a cabin and fish all day" to "I'll be able to buy a private tropical island."


Dotting to read later


thejeff wrote:

Yeah, but the traditional career merc isn't shooting up the pay scale in the same way a PF character is.

It's not to long from I'll be able to "retire and live in a cabin and fish all day" to "I'll be able to buy a private tropical island."

If you want to play a money-oriented character it's not that hard to find excuses to keep playing them. As they get richer, their ambitions can grow. "I should be living like a king! I should actually be a king!" Meanwhile, your wealth is all tied up in the items that keep you alive so you never actually find yourself with 100,000gp in cash. Or if you do, hopefully by that time the campaign has provided you with some kind of motivation that makes it hard for you to just stop, like Han Solo joining the rebellion.


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I think there is a major misinterprentation between the concept of murder hobo.
The fighter in Journey quest---> Murderhobo
The assassin in no country for old men ---> Murderhobo
Jayne in Firefly, a million manga chars....
Dediceted Killers but not murderhobo.
Heck the inquisitor class is a designated killer, as is the slayer,
but a murderhobo is the one that goes in guns blazing if he sees a kobold family sitting down for a picknick while the rest of the party debates how to barter with the family for a much needed information.


Dot.


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Helikon wrote:

I think there is a major misinterprentation between the concept of murder hobo.

The fighter in Journey quest---> Murderhobo
The assassin in no country for old men ---> Murderhobo
Jayne in Firefly, a million manga chars....
Dediceted Killers but not murderhobo.
Heck the inquisitor class is a designated killer, as is the slayer,
but a murderhobo is the one that goes in guns blazing if he sees a kobold family sitting down for a picknick while the rest of the party debates how to barter with the family for a much needed information.

There's much argument about that. I don't personally like the term, but some claim it applies to any character that travels around killing people, which does cover most adventurers.

I think "murder" is a much more restrictive term than "killing" and the vast majority of what characters I've played have done doesn't fall under "murder".


Matthew Downie wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Yeah, but the traditional career merc isn't shooting up the pay scale in the same way a PF character is.

It's not to long from I'll be able to "retire and live in a cabin and fish all day" to "I'll be able to buy a private tropical island."

If you want to play a money-oriented character it's not that hard to find excuses to keep playing them. As they get richer, their ambitions can grow. "I should be living like a king! I should actually be a king!" Meanwhile, your wealth is all tied up in the items that keep you alive so you never actually find yourself with 100,000gp in cash. Or if you do, hopefully by that time the campaign has provided you with some kind of motivation that makes it hard for you to just stop, like Han Solo joining the rebellion.

I'd rather just start with the other kind of motivation.


I find characters like Han Solo with normal human motivations who are hesitant to put their lives on the line for some grand cause more relatable than, say, the blandly heroic Jedi from Phantom Menace.

But my advice for gamers would be to work out what the deal is for the campaign in advance. Is the campaign about saving the world, about defeating an evil tyrant, about building a kingdom, about exploring the land and killing monsters? Once you know, you can make a character who's interested enough in that theme that they'll have a motivation to stick with the story.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't know, seems to me that retiring and setting up a home is more dangerous.

Sure, it will start out all idyllic, a nice house out in the country with beautiful scenery. Maybe you are on the edge of a small town.

Then the neighbors find out that you used to be an adventurer. Suddenly everyone is agitating for you becoming mayor, sherif, or someone else who's job it is to protect the community. The local bandit hears your name and decides to spread it to every bandit gang in the world before coming knocking to show how tough he is. The country side starts having problems with stolen cattle, which of course turns out to be either a hive of anghegs or maybe even a dragon setting up a new lair.

Pretty soon you are facing all sorts of dangerous foes without a group backing you up.

No thank you, much safer adventuring!


Matthew Downie wrote:

I find characters like Han Solo with normal human motivations who are hesitant to put their lives on the line for some grand cause more relatable than, say, the blandly heroic Jedi from Phantom Menace.

But my advice for gamers would be to work out what the deal is for the campaign in advance. Is the campaign about saving the world, about defeating an evil tyrant, about building a kingdom, about exploring the land and killing monsters? Once you know, you can make a character who's interested enough in that theme that they'll have a motivation to stick with the story.

Yeah. Doesn't have to be blandly heroic.

Solo works fine, but despite his protests, he really isn't motivated by money past the first movie. His backstory is, but his actual in story motivations aren't.
That doesn't bother me at all. Unlike characters who really remain mercenary for any significant part of their in-game careers.

It's an easy motivation for a GM to work with - "You've been hired to ...", but it's a boring one.


kestral287 wrote:
Neal Litherland wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm waiting for Part 2: How To Do "Murderhobo" Well. ;D
The answer is to play a character with motivation, personality, a connection to the world and party, and who feels real.

And why can "kill more monsters" not be a motivation?

Why can "guy who likes hunting and killing monsters" not be a personality?

Why can "these people help him find and kill monsters" not be a connection to the party?

These are serious questions.

Because it creates a two dimensional character lacking any type of real back story or motivation.

Let's compare that to a hunting enthusiast today, to find something marginally similar. The modern hunting enthusiast doesn't merely want to go kill more animals. He does it because it's a connection to his past; he and his father went out hunting every Saturday morning during season, so he loves doing it as a connection to his dad. The hunter looks forward to being able to share that same experience with his son, one day. He loves the beauty of nature and the thrill of the hunt. He loves the visceral nature of providing meat for his family in a fashion far more ancient than visiting the supermarket.

The RPG character who just wants to "kill more monsters" has less development than the average cartoon character. While it might be fun for someone to play such a character, it's entertaining for the rest of the group for about five minutes.

Edit for further clarity:

It's so easy to just take a few minutes and explain "Why" the character wants to kill more monsters. Was his grandfather a famed monster-hunter that has legends told about him, yet he disappeared 30 years ago on one of his hunts? Did monsters ravage the characters homeland while the character was a child, causing a deep seated hatred of all things monstrous? Does he believe in absolute racial superiority, only condescendingly accepting other humanoids, but wanting to exterminate any other type of monster?


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All this looks like WRONGBADFUN to me and that just rubs me the wrong way. Since my latest character has been accused of murderhoboism because i killed a wizard for his spellbook i took great interest in reading the blog post.

But all it comes down too is wrong bad fun. And thats fine if the character you want to create are tropes. But maybe just maybe... we dont want to play like you? Maybe my character has legit in game reasons for feeling slighted and thinks he can take that item .It doesnt make the game any worse because a character thinks that way.


Gallyck wrote:

All this looks like WRONGBADFUN to me and that just rubs me the wrong way. Since my latest character has been accused of murderhoboism because i killed a wizard for his spellbook i took great interest in reading the blog post.

But all it comes down too is wrong bad fun. And thats fine if the character you want to create are tropes. But maybe just maybe... we dont want to play like you? Maybe my character has legit in game reasons for feeling slighted and thinks he can take that item .It doesnt make the game any worse because a character thinks that way.

True, though it's going to make your character's life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" when his sociopathic behavior has the normal consequences.

@Neal Litherland -- I like those three questions. I may try running them by my normal gaming group, and see what types of responses they engender.


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I actually have a character who is a proud murderhobo. Though due to his actually having a backstory he may not qualify by others definition. He grep up in Absalom as a nerd reading tales of the pathfinder society while all the other little elves were learning how to use swords and bows. He married his childhood sweetheart and they joined the pathfinder society after he finished his apprenticeship and is very loyal to them, even giving his life once (he got better) on a mission. With a +16 initiative he often goes first and kills opponents without letting them take an action. So he technically fits the murder and hobo parts, he jokes about being a murderhobo in game and is well aware of the reputation of the society.

Silver Crusade

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For PCs: Don't play a sociopath.

For GMs: Have natural and realistic consequences for sociopathic behavior.


Mikaze wrote:

For PCs: Don't play a sociopath.

For GMs: Have natural and realistic consequences for sociopathic behavior.

I.e. sociopathic murderers tend to be shunned by society once anyone identifies them and in the modern world police/military would be sent to arrest/kill them. In an overwhelming fashion, having virtually no chance at beating them and result in death or capture.

And remember, a little divination magic can go a long way at finding out whodunnit.


Claxon wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

For PCs: Don't play a sociopath.

For GMs: Have natural and realistic consequences for sociopathic behavior.

I.e. sociopathic murderers tend to be shunned by society once anyone identifies them and in the modern world police/military would be sent to arrest/kill them. In an overwhelming fashion, having virtually no chance at beating them and result in death or capture.

And remember, a little divination magic can go a long way at finding out whodunnit.

I prefer not to take that approach, since it lets the one player who wants to play the sociopath derail the whole campaign. Or turn it into PvP.

It's a metagame problem. It's player behavior. Deal with it on that level.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While having a connection to the world can be a very good thing, It can if taken to extremes be as destructive to a campaign as anything else. One of the worst things that can happen it for 'special snowflake' back stories of one or more characters to overwhelm a game. Having a complex and compelling backstory is fine, but generally a little bit of game time spent highlighting those aspects of a character goes a long way.

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