Hi, I’m Tyler Magruder, or sorryjzargo as I go by on the internet. I am going to hopefully complete a 30/30 this month. If you don’t know what a 30/30 is, it is a blog series where you write one blog a day for a month (on months with 31 days it is called a 31/31). If I miss a day, I will make it up, but hopefully I won’t miss any days and can call this a success.
If you play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) (or any other tabletop roleplaying game) or are familiar with the game, you probably know what “murderhobo” means. For those unfamiliar, a murderhobo is a type of character that is a morally ambiguous wanderer and solves most of his/her problems through violence alone. This explains it a little better: http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Murderhobo
Last night, I was over at a friend’s house and we decided to start playing a Pathfinder/D&D game. I was chosen to be the Dungeon Master (DM). I had zero prep ahead of time, so I thought it would be a good idea to play a murderhobo game simply because it’s easy to do on short notice. My players agreed, but one insisted that they start with absolutely no equipment or gold. I agreed. Two of the players made level 2 characters and the other player used a character he made beforehand.
The party was: an orc barbarian, a kobold rogue and a gnome bard, all dressed in loincloths. The only item I let them start with was a baby carrier for the orc to carry the gnome around in. They started in a forest near a town, so their first decision was to head for the town. When they were close to the city, they heard a rustling in the bushes, so the kobold tried to ambush whatever it was. She fumbled, but it was only a baby deer so the orc punched it to death. So the party reached the town, all dressed in loincloths and the orc carrying a bloody deer carcass over his shoulder.
The guards at the gate immediately raised their weapons, but the gnome talked him down. With exceptional Diplomacy and Bluff skills, the gnome established himself as the face of the party. The gnome asked the guard if the militia required any assistance. The guard told him that the town blacksmith owed them some swords, so he would pay him 10 gold if he convinced him to deliver. The gnome said that he’d do his best and they immediately entered the city and Gathered Information regarding the blacksmith’s whereabouts.
They found the blacksmith’s house quickly, and the gnome had the orc throw him through the upstairs window. He snuck downstairs and signaled for the orc to break through the front door and surrounded the blacksmith.
This was where the game could have become murderhobo. Instead, my players defied my expectations.
Using the orc to back him up, the gnome Intimidated the blacksmith, convincing him to not only finish the weapons, but to skip town once he was done. I reluctantly agreed, and in a quest intended to give the players a few gold pieces, they acquired an apartment, a smithy and all his belongings.
This led me to dubbing the players “businesshobos.” Like murderhobos, they are morally ambiguous, but instead of resorting to violence to solve their problems, they use their impeccable business sense. For the remainder of the campaign, they relied on their money, their status and their Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate skills to worm their way out of dangerous situations or to resolve situations in their favor.