Murderhobos.

Mist

I'm With HER ♀
20,775
7,228
117d 23h 27m
Post your best and/or worst murderhobo stories, or ideally, how to turn the tables on problematic murderhobos.

Pretty much every campaign I ever tried to run ended up with a 2 or 3 person party consisting of some kind of fighter/rogue hybrid with some kind of arcane spellcaster who spent the entire campaign abusing flight, invisibility, teleport, etc and assassinating every major NPC, power rival, or person who had something they wanted.

To the point that the only really successful campaign I ever ran ended up with the party spending a large chunk of the first half of the campaign as personal fixers/assassins for a young empress beset by political rivals. The tables turned mid-campaign when said empress was herself deposed in a stealthy coup and they had to spend the latter half of the campaign dealing with the consequences of the political instability they created in the world making way for even bigger bads to appear.
 

Chanur

Not Soygen
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I like this guy for handling these kinds of things. I had a lot of trouble with murderhobos when I used to GM.

 
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Mist

I'm With HER ♀
20,775
7,228
117d 23h 27m
I like this guy for handling these kinds of things. I had a lot of trouble with murderhobos when I used to GM.

Oh yeah that reminds me, make sure there are occasional other groups of murderhobos in the game world.

At one point in the above mentioned campaign, they loot a pendant with the symbol of the god of Greed and Games on it, and it ends up being a cursed item inducting them into a world-wide highlander style contest with other bands of NPC murderhobos in the game world, who then always seem to show up at inopportune times for the rest of the campaign.
 
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Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
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The way Mist is handling it is correct. Its a story driven solution and she is adapting to her players instead of just hand of god denying them. That video is like the worst shit every outside of his suggestion to not tie XP rewards to outright killing, which I have been doing in my homebrew Scifi game for years. If you have a group of murdery players, then thats the group and you need to build around that.
 
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Hatorade

A nice asshole.
5,882
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The way Mist is handling it is correct. Its a story driven solution and she is adapting to her players instead of just hand of god denying them. That video is like the worst shit every outside of his suggestion to not tie XP rewards to outright killing, which I have been doing in my homebrew Scifi game for years. If you have a group of murdery players, then thats the group and you need to build around that.
Ehhhh I follow rule of fun but sometimes your group destroys all your hard prep work one to many times by killing some one innocent or at the very least clearly harmless you have to reign it in.
 
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Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
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I am a firm believer that the GM is there to facilitate fun, not play god. And honestly, having the law hunt the characters down is more interesting and less heavy handed than simply having innocents be the MMO equivalent of unkillable because GM reasons. Strong characters can level a town and its guards, but someone hired those guys and usually reminding the players of that is all it takes. And if its always one guy gakking random innocents, then that guy is the problem and you either stop inviting them or keep nuking their characters for being murderers until they get the hint.

If all your hard prep work can be completely sunk by one or two off the rails actions, then usually its a sign that as a GM you have invested too much in your story, do not really understand your group well enough, or just plain suck at improvising (possibly due to an underdeveloped world). It can be a combination of those, as well. In 30ish years of being a GM in numerous games the biggest thing I have learned is that the players will NEVER follow the script how you want, so loose outlines with intended goals where they work it out for themselves is the best way to go. It requires a little more prep work, but its way more interesting than running the table top version of a rail shooter.
 
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Soygen

The Dirty Dozen For the Price of One
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Can someone please explain to me what the hell this is about?
 
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j00t

Vyemm Raider
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53d 16h 39m
Murderhobo is a term for adventurers that tend to solve every problem with bloodshed.

It's a common problem for players who are used to video game rules. You rarely can progress in a video game without killing things. A bunch of games even keep track of how many kills almost like a high score.

A lot of DMS struggle with transitioning the mentality of those players, but using consequences that make sense (lawmen or bounty hunters coming after them, ruining their rep so people won't hire them, etc) and using milestone exp instead of per kill exp can do a lot, as well as just outright telling the players they are being disruptive to the narrative.

Sometimes players just don't know of any other way to play, so giving them some training wheels by helping them make decisions, or giving them significantly better rewards by keeping the bodycount low can really make a difference.

But sometimes as a DM you have to make concessions and understand that's what your players WANT to do, so give them a sandbox world where they CAN be murderhobos
 

Pancreas

Molten Core Raider
821
555
11d 19h 7m
I let my players do as they wish and respond accordingly. Current campaign. They walk into a bar in the docks of the first city. They start asking for information and the locals are not really talkative. So one player fires an arrow over three bar keeps shoulder to intimidate. Barkeep whistles then ducks down a trap door behind the bar.
Patrons scatter into the street and alleys
Two big half orc bouncers approach the group and tell them to leave.
Group wants to fight. Half orcs are unarmed and proceed to grapple and drag the players outside into the open dock area where the commotion alerts city guards.

Guards show up wearing decent armor and start beating the players senseless. Literally put a boot on the cleric's head as I shackled him.

The gnome druid had shape shifted before the orcs showed up and shape shifted back once his friends were caught. The guards questioned him and were going to let him go until he asked "where are you taking my friends?" Guards are like, "wait you're with these guys?" And proceeded to arrest him too.

Eventually they will get more powerful which will attract more powerful enemies. If they want to start an all out war with the world at large I am fine with sending assassins, and cadres of mages to kill them evey chance I get until the families of the victims and cities run out of resources.

They can become pure evil for all I care.
 
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Ritley

Naxxramas 1.0 Raider
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I haven’t played in a long time, but a big part of it is understanding what the players want out of the game. Don’t create a political intrigue campaign where there’s only a few fights in between navigating the political realm if all the players actually want to do is go fight some bugbears and get loot. It’s a two way street
 

Chanur

Not Soygen
<Gold Donor>
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Oh yeah that reminds me, make sure there are occasional other groups of murderhobos in the game world.

At one point in the above mentioned campaign, they loot a pendant with the symbol of the god of Greed and Games on it, and it ends up being a cursed item inducting them into a world-wide highlander style contest with other bands of NPC murderhobos in the game world, who then always seem to show up at inopportune times for the rest of the campaign.
This is my favorite solution for murder hobos. Revenge.


On that note, if your party starts misbehaving, don't throw a crusading paladin at them, or a bounty-hungry rogue. Go for a Ranger who got their family killed in the party's collateral damage. I went full Punisher on them.


I only made him one level higher than them, a low threat encounter by the book's standards. He could have killed them all off in a single night, they were out in the wilderness and weren't making guard rounds. But I decided to go easy on them and do it one PC at a time.


He came in stealthy during the night, with daggers tipped in lethargy poison. He chose the party wizard first, who's fireball set off the fires which killed his family. The party had perception with -4 due to unconscious, against the Ranger's expert Stealth, so he easily made his way in. Twin Takedown, Quickdraw, Quickdraw. 4 attacks: one critical, two hits, and one miss. Stage 4 poison, unconscious. Dragged him away and tied him up to a tree. Interrogated/Tortured him, then killed him. Left his head on a pike in the middle of their camp. They failed every single Perception check to wake up.


The party was joined by a new Fighter belonging to the dead character's player. The next few sessions were pretty interesting. They learned the importance of having someone standing guard while they sleep, sleeping in padded armor, and setting up an Alarm spell. The ranger let them stew in their fear and paranoia for a while. Eventually they thought he might be gone, so off they went on their next adventure.


The ranger shadowed them, and waited until they were tired from a difficult fight to strike again. Cytillesh oil on four javelins. All targeted on the flatfooted and low hp cleric. The result? Dying 2, with plenty of poison. The Ranger ran away, and the party's Barbarian tried chasing him, but one good Stealth and he's gone. The rest of the party couldn't heal the Cleric, and couldn't cure the poison in time; the cleric died.


The party was joined by a Champion. It's been three sessions since the cleric's death, but they know the Ranger's still following them. They're trying to save up for a teleport.


So is he.
 

Locnar

Trakanon Raider
1,300
1,578
27d 20h 25m
You need stronger NPCs if the players think they can just murder everyone they meet. And if they are going to act like criminals then eventually agents of law need to show and bring justice on them.
 
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bigmark268

Blackwing Lair Raider
270
1,268
15d 13h 41m
Quick rundown. Yada yada got into it with a masked lord of waterdeep. They wound up killing him and assuming his identity. Also aquiring all of his belongings and holdings. I blame the paladin. But it worked well. One of the guys had to move. So since he couldn't play he held down the fort.
 
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Arden

Trakanon Raider
1,104
559
22d 15h 30m
The vengeance angle can work, but sometimes it gives the players the impression you are pissed because they are acting like murder hobos so you're going to "teach them a lesson."

I personally prefer the super high level monk in rags approach. Sure, you can get away with bullying and murdering your way through life for a little while, but there's always someone bigger and stronger, and they don't always look like you expect them to. Usually only takes a couple broken necks before they become a little more cautious about picking fights with everyone they meet.
 
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Hateyou

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Literally murder one of the players that keeps doing this. When he doesn’t show up to the next session the other players will know his actions were not the correct actions. Bonus points if he is in your deep freezer for the next gathering.
 
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Arbitrary

Ssraeszha Raider
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200d 3h 47m
Is the game not comprised of your friends and by extension people you want to spend time with in a collective activity?
 

Hateyou

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Is the game not comprised of your friends and by extension people you want to spend time with in a collective activity?
I don’t play d&d but I can imagine some friends that could be shitheads to game with. There are some things I don’t do with certain friends. I have some good friends I could go camping with, drinking, fishing, watch sports, but I don’t even really mention board games or video games to them. They’re just not into that, and that’s ok. They play golf seriously and they know I’d be a shitty person to take golfing and never offer, and that’s ok too.