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View Full Version : The logistics of being a CE murder hobo.



Talakeal
2012-07-17, 09:48 PM
Ok, so, in my experience a lot of players want to play complete psychopaths who kill anything that looks at them funny, don't obey any laws or social mores, and simply take whatever they want.

Of course, as a DM, this means I come into conflict with the players constantly, but I am thinking, what if instead of fighting them, I simply embrace the concept and design a campaign around that?

How do you think this campaign would work out? How do the PCs not get crushed by "bigger fish?" What use would they have for the treasure they collect? How would they acquire basic supplies such as food and other necessities, let alone maintain their gear and find access to all the components they need to cast spells and craft magic item?

I imagine they would be able to survive for a while as raiders, but eventually they are going to run out of sites to plunder that havenít taken precautions, right?

Is leadership out of the question? How do you raise an army when you are the type who thinks it better to kill your minions than give them a share of the plunder?

WarKitty
2012-07-17, 09:58 PM
Monster campaign might be good for this. Somewhat less gear-dependent, and they can go hide out in other monster areas where CE hobo is more acceptable.

newBlazingAngel
2012-07-17, 10:10 PM
Give them more underlings than they can kill and turn them into conquering warlords.

Have an evil employer who lets them do whatever the hell they want so long as they give 5% of their profits to them in exchange for protection from the law.

Make the entire world full of people like them, effectively dissolving society and replacing it with a 'hunter gatherer' system, with the only settlements being small and protected by the strongest of the strong.

Fatebreaker
2012-07-17, 10:26 PM
Let them play dragons?

-------

Are you familiar with Skaven (http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/landingArmy.jsp?catId=cat440022a&rootCatGameStyle=)? They're from Warhammer. I'm not saying to play Skaven, but their social order might appeal to your players.

Skaven society is treachery and murder mitigated by enlightened self interest.

Put the players as mid-ranking members of some organization. This organization is EEEEEEEVIL, and does EEEEEEEVIL things. You can fill in the details according to whatever you and your players would enjoy. The goal of the players is to somehow advance up the organization without getting killed while still accomplishing the overall goal of the organization. That goal should be something your players would want to do.

Now your players can be as terrible as they like. Make two "bigger fish," the opposing forces who they're expected to kill anyway, and the upper levels of the EEEEEEEVIL organization, who they are also expected to kill anyway.

Let them take a lot of undead minions, so they don't have to pay them or even care about them. Now their minions are property, not people, and no player tolerates abuse of his property.

Have other NPCs in the organization above and below them, and on a peer level as well. These are potential pawns, patrons, or dupes in the great backstabbing gala. They must balance their murder-fest with plots and schemes to implicate their rivals, or at least not be blamed for the death of their superiors whilst simultaneously claiming the newly-vacant positions!

The secret bonus objective is to murder the other player characters and take their stuff!

This actually sounds rather fun. Good luck, Tal!

SowZ
2012-07-17, 10:50 PM
Well Chaotic Evil isn't always Chaotic Stupid. If they wander into a town as level threes and start hacking away at the city guard, yeah, they will die. But a campaign where they gather groups of bandits or monsters and raid villages/lay siege to towns, maybe start out as highwaymen hitting up caravans, that could be interesting. At low levels, BEING the bandit group usually reserved for a low level encounter would be cool. At mid levels, being warlords working for the interest of some evil nation wanting their enemies villages sacked could work. And at high levels they could establish an empire of their own.

For freedoms sake, they could be given a certain amount of money from the evil empire they are elite soldiers in and sent into some kingdoms land with the mission to cause havoc however possible. Like dropping commandos behind enemy lines. If they have to start out as bandits they can. If they even do some jobs FOR people in the towns they are sabotaging to gain trust, sure. If they try and assassinate local leaders or murder important figures, great!

They might even run into a couple ally commando units for some plot hooks.

When they get to a decent level, they may enlist monsters and start the town burning. There is still a story and motivations that are realistic beyond rape, pillage, kill. But it is still a chaotic evil burn fest in disguise.

Devils_Advocate
2012-07-18, 05:48 PM
Skaven society is treachery and murder mitigated by enlightened self interest.
It sounds to me like they're looking for something more orc than drow, if you see what I mean.

(I mean involving less enlightened anything.)


How do the PCs not get crushed by "bigger fish?"
Well, you could make them the biggest fish around.


What use would they have for the treasure they collect? How would they acquire basic supplies such as food and other necessities, let alone maintain their gear and find access to all the components they need to cast spells and craft magic item?

I imagine they would be able to survive for a while as raiders, but eventually they are going to run out of sites to plunder that havenít taken precautions, right?

Is leadership out of the question? How do you raise an army when you are the type who thinks it better to kill your minions than give them a share of the plunder?
Hey, that's their problem. If they're so completely incapable of working with anyone else that they're unwilling to leave even one town untouched so that they can use it as a supply depot and unwilling to recruit more manpower to deal with heightened defenses, then let them deal with the consequences.

That may sound contrary to your stated goal of taking their approach and running with it, but really, it's not. Catering to an unconventional playstyle does not necessarily mean handing the players the solution to every unconventional problem involved on a silver platter. I'm not using "deal with the consequences" to mean "take their punishment"; at least, not necessarily. I'm just saying that it's okay for them to face unique challenges that require a bit of creativity to solve. And if they fail to show the requisite creativity, that's not really your fault.

You could even warn them up front "Just FYI, you guys are probably eventually going to have to become a bit strategic about all of this in order to keep it up. If you go killin' and rapin' and lootin' all over the place, people are eventually going to take countermeasures against you. Just a heads up".

The Glyphstone
2012-07-18, 05:56 PM
Have you tried just giving them what they want?

Let them all roll Level 99 Greater Deities, and then have the campaign take place on an infinite flat plane. To the north lies an infinite supply of nubile young maidens chained to posts. To the west lies an infinite number of orphanages filled with crippled children and old people who can't run away. To the west lies an infinite large heap of newborn kittens and puppies. To the south is an infinite-sized marketplace where all the shopkeepers sell any item or artifact in existence for 0GP and only have 1 HP each.

Erik Vale
2012-07-18, 06:35 PM
Because the would just be borring.

But yes, have them play monsters or in either a post apocalyptic/skaven/orc based world.

Maybe then they may start trying to enforce law, and then you can send bigger fish to give them some of your frustration.:smallamused:

Mike_G
2012-07-18, 06:40 PM
No reason they couldn't go into some towns for supplies, so long as they behaved themselves there.

Pirates needed friendly ports to restock, even though the navies of every civilized nation were against them.

Have a few "free cities" where the only law is "don't mess with business in the city." They would be happy to take stolen jewelry or Silver Flame paladin armor with the holes still in it. You could buy or sell slaves, necromantic items, bound souls, virgin hearts, all manner or things that decent people would be against

The city guard would be tough, the laws lenient but the punishment severe, and stuff would be expensive, but it's the kind of place a high level evil NPC might want to found.

Talakeal
2012-07-18, 06:43 PM
Have you tried just giving them what they want?

Let them all roll Level 99 Greater Deities, and then have the campaign take place on an infinite flat plane. To the north lies an infinite supply of nubile young maidens chained to posts. To the west lies an infinite number of orphanages filled with crippled children and old people who can't run away. To the west lies an infinite large heap of newborn kittens and puppies. To the south is an infinite-sized marketplace where all the shopkeepers sell any item or artifact in existence for 0GP and only have 1 HP each.

Well, the power gamers in my group like to advance. They want to see a toy, take the toy, then move on to a bigger toy. They do this constantly. If I just start then with all the toys they could ever have they would just be bored.

newBlazingAngel
2012-07-18, 06:46 PM
Still though, why not run a campaign where they can be the murder hobo? Or even better, ask them, just this once, to play good characters.

Gavinfoxx
2012-07-18, 06:50 PM
Still though, why not run a campaign where they can be the murder hobo? Or even better, ask them, just this once, to play good characters.

Have you READ Talakeal's threads? Like, dozens upon dozens of people have told him to stop interacting with his group of 'friends', who are more accurately described as 'this group of psychotic people that he associates with all the time'.

The Glyphstone
2012-07-18, 06:51 PM
Well, the power gamers in my group like to advance. They want to see a toy, take the toy, then move on to a bigger toy. They do this constantly. If I just start then with all the toys they could ever have they would just be bored.

Okay, make them Level 1 Demigods then, and replace the infinite kittens with an infinite number of Greater Deities who are unconscious and stabilized at -9 HP. Every time they kill a deity, they gain a level and a Divine Rank and an artifact of their choice.

newBlazingAngel
2012-07-18, 07:00 PM
Have you READ Talakeal's threads? Like, dozens upon dozens of people have told him to stop interacting with his group of 'friends', who are more accurately described as 'this group of psychotic people that he associates with all the time'.


No I have not. I am basing my advice on what has been given to me here.

Fatebreaker
2012-07-18, 07:00 PM
Have you tried just giving them what they want?

Let them all roll Level 99 Greater Deities, and then have the campaign take place on an infinite flat plane. To the north lies an infinite supply of nubile young maidens chained to posts. To the west lies an infinite number of orphanages filled with crippled children and old people who can't run away. To the west lies an infinite large heap of newborn kittens and puppies. To the south is an infinite-sized marketplace where all the shopkeepers sell any item or artifact in existence for 0GP and only have 1 HP each.

I choose to throw post-chained nubile maidens at cripples and old people. Then I play with a puppy.


It sounds to me like they're looking for something more orc than drow, if you see what I mean.

(I mean involving less enlightened anything.)

Man, I'd totally play a dumb-orc treachery campaign for laughs.

"I'z digz da big 'ole, 'n' puts a sign up wot sayz "Not big 'ole!" Dat'll get 'em!"

Talakeal
2012-07-18, 07:01 PM
Have you READ Talakeal's threads? Like, dozens upon dozens of people have told him to stop interacting with his group of 'friends', who are more accurately described as 'this group of psychotic people that he associates with all the time'.

This thread isn't really about my current group, which is going to disolve sooner rather than later. I am just brain-storming about future campaigns and what do do when I run into the same types of conflicts.


I choose to throw post-chained nubile maidens at cripples and old people. Then I play with a puppy.



Man, I'd totally play a dumb-orc treachery campaign for laughs.

"I'z digz da big 'ole, 'n' puts a sign up wot sayz "Not big 'ole!" Dat'll get 'em!"

LOL

Devils_Advocate
2012-07-18, 07:07 PM
I'd hazard a guess that they do want challenges rather than a complete lack of challenge, Glyph. Like most players?

Consider Nethack, for example. Mostly killing things and gathering equipment, but still hella hard.

Actually, it might be easiest to just advise them to play Nethack, come to think. Except that that way Talakeal wouldn't get to DM for them.

I think that there's a World's Largest Dungeon thing that's kinda like that, though. Though I dunno if it's for the edition that group uses or even if they want to use a particular system or what.

Talakeal
2012-07-18, 07:09 PM
I'd hazard a guess that they do want challenges rather than a complete lack of challenge, Glyph. Like most players?

Consider Nethack, for example. Mostly killing things and gathering equipment, but still hella hard.

Actually, it might be easiest to just advise them to play Nethack, come to think. Except that that way Talakeal wouldn't get to DM for them.

I think that there's a World's Largest Dungeon thing that's kinda like that, though. Though I dunno if it's for the edition that group uses or even if they want to use a particular system or what.

No, most power gamers in my current / former group don't really want challenge either. They do, however, seem to want the illusion of challenge to boost their own ego.

Gamer Girl
2012-07-18, 07:21 PM
How do you think this campaign would work out? How do the PCs not get crushed by "bigger fish?" What use would they have for the treasure they collect? How would they acquire basic supplies such as food and other necessities, let alone maintain their gear and find access to all the components they need to cast spells and craft magic item?

I do this type of game all the time. I just love 'Evil Campaigns.' And I can say they work out great. Though most players need to loose a couple character to 'get' things, but I'm a killer Dm anyway.

In general there is no reason the 'bigger fish' need to even notice the PC's.

Why would you think a Evil Game would not have stores? After all Evil Stores are fun. For example an Evil Store(Evil Mart) does a bait and switch, except the customer is the bait to feed their pet monster..hehe. Plenty of 'semi retried' big fish would run stores too. And in my game I have things like ghost shopkeepers and the infamous Empty Shop(it's just four empty walls and a illusion shopkeeper that can make illusions of items. Payment is teleported away and the item is then teleported to the empty store).

And you can always have 'poor towns' for players to get basic stuff. You could just have them slaughter for stuff, but it often works better if you 'teach' the players that they should keep the 'good poor folks' alive.



I imagine they would be able to survive for a while as raiders, but eventually they are going to run out of sites to plunder that havenít taken precautions, right?

It's actually way more fun to raid the protected sites.



Is leadership out of the question? How do you raise an army when you are the type who thinks it better to kill your minions than give them a share of the plunder?

The same way evil overlords have done from the start of time. Really, pick any Evil Overlord...they kill minions all the time! And you don't 'share' with minions anyway. Folks will still follow a charismatic leader, no matter how evil they are(How many examples would you like...)

Emmerask
2012-07-18, 07:31 PM
Ok, so, in my experience a lot of players want to play complete psychopaths who kill anything that looks at them funny, don't obey any laws or social mores, and simply take whatever they want.

Of course, as a DM, this means I come into conflict with the players constantly, but I am thinking, what if instead of fighting them, I simply embrace the concept and design a campaign around that?

How do you think this campaign would work out? How do the PCs not get crushed by "bigger fish?" What use would they have for the treasure they collect? How would they acquire basic supplies such as food and other necessities, let alone maintain their gear and find access to all the components they need to cast spells and craft magic item?

I imagine they would be able to survive for a while as raiders, but eventually they are going to run out of sites to plunder that havenít taken precautions, right?

Is leadership out of the question? How do you raise an army when you are the type who thinks it better to kill your minions than give them a share of the plunder?

In my experience though such a game gets boring REALLY fast and most of the time ends in pvp where one or more of the players get really upset afterwards.
For a oneshot or really short campaign (3 or so adventures) it works though.

The Glyphstone
2012-07-18, 07:41 PM
I'd hazard a guess that they do want challenges rather than a complete lack of challenge, Glyph. Like most players?
.

You have definitely not read Talakeal's other threads. His players are not most players, they're more like players from Bizarro World.

Oracle_Hunter
2012-07-18, 07:55 PM
This thread isn't really about my current group, which is going to disolve sooner rather than later. I am just brain-storming about future campaigns and what do do when I run into the same types of conflicts.
So, what I envision is for your PCs to do some Scarface-style grimy rung climbing.
Have them roll characters and put them out in the street with 1st level equipment and such. Make this an anachronistically large city and wait for them to start knocking over small merchants and attacking city guards. Immediately after that, have them be recruited by a low-level gang boss who "likes their style" and gives them some suitably evil jobs with the promise of phat lewt (e.g. magic items, IC benefits like blackjack and hookers). Run this until they decide to knock over the current boss and take over his operation -- and let them.

After they control the low level organization they should be approached by a guy who subcontracted with their former boss who offers the PCs a more advanced but still murderous job. Offer greater loot and you should be able to keep them on the hook until they decide to murder that guy and take over.

Rinse and repeat.

For variation, they can be approached by a third party who wants to pay the PCs off to whack their current boss. The PCs can either accept the inducement, kill the bribe-maker for their boss, or both and you just run the story from there. Likewise, they can be targeted by a rival for reasons they supply.
Now, the reason nobody decides to stomp on the PCs this whole time is two-fold. One is that the city is CE -- a "take care of yourself and screw your neighbors" sort of place that is "ruled" by warlords/crimelords who only care that they get what's theirs. As long as their vassals bring them loot, they're happy; if the vassals fail, the vassals die. Since each vassal has his own vassals to look over the PCs are never going to need to worry more than one rung above themselves -- and there will be plenty of rivals on their own level that they can "team up" if they prove sufficiently bright.

Any money they get can be used to buy favors from above (i.e. their current boss) and basic supplies can be stolen or purchased as normal. If you stuff this city with enough "candy" the Players won't even bother to leave since it'll mean leaving a lot of their fun stuff behind and will likely result in them getting eaten by a grue.

Gavinfoxx
2012-07-18, 08:06 PM
Okay. So you are going to be getting a COMPLETELY NEW GROUP, right?

So, you are going to do this right. The first time anyone shows any behavior that people on this forum would classify as 'insane and very disruptive', you kick them out of the group,, right?

You are going to stop gaming with weirdos, and break the cycle of a single madman being in your game, and causing everyone else sane to leave, leaving you with, inevitably, a bunch of madmen?

Erik Vale
2012-07-18, 09:00 PM
So, what I envision is for your PCs to do some Scarface-style grimy rung climbing.
Have them roll characters and put them out in the street with 1st level equipment and such. Make this an anachronistically large city and wait for them to start knocking over small merchants and attacking city guards. Immediately after that, have them be recruited by a low-level gang boss who "likes their style" and gives them some suitably evil jobs with the promise of phat lewt (e.g. magic items, IC benefits like blackjack and hookers). Run this until they decide to knock over the current boss and take over his operation -- and let them.

After they control the low level organization they should be approached by a guy who subcontracted with their former boss who offers the PCs a more advanced but still murderous job. Offer greater loot and you should be able to keep them on the hook until they decide to murder that guy and take over.

Rinse and repeat.

For variation, they can be approached by a third party who wants to pay the PCs off to whack their current boss. The PCs can either accept the inducement, kill the bribe-maker for their boss, or both and you just run the story from there. Likewise, they can be targeted by a rival for reasons they supply.
Now, the reason nobody decides to stomp on the PCs this whole time is two-fold. One is that the city is CE -- a "take care of yourself and screw your neighbors" sort of place that is "ruled" by warlords/crimelords who only care that they get what's theirs. As long as their vassals bring them loot, they're happy; if the vassals fail, the vassals die. Since each vassal has his own vassals to look over the PCs are never going to need to worry more than one rung above themselves -- and there will be plenty of rivals on their own level that they can "team up" if they prove sufficiently bright.

Any money they get can be used to buy favors from above (i.e. their current boss) and basic supplies can be stolen or purchased as normal. If you stuff this city with enough "candy" the Players won't even bother to leave since it'll mean leaving a lot of their fun stuff behind and will likely result in them getting eaten by a grue.

I'm going to try this. It's a good idea.

Kjata
2012-07-19, 04:26 AM
Still though, why not run a campaign where they can be the murder hobo? Or even better, ask them, just this once, to play good characters.

How is that "even better?" Although, I like the sound of a murder hobo game, I think it would be interesting.

Of course, one of my first campaigns had me playing a murder hobo. I was chaotic evil, and stupid, but I don't feel like I was chaotic stupid. I never killed any important NPCs, people in broad daylight, etc. I was basically an aggressive thief who wold occasionally stalk people home who I felt insulted me.

Knaight
2012-07-19, 04:37 AM
This thread isn't really about my current group, which is going to disolve sooner rather than later. I am just brain-storming about future campaigns and what do do when I run into the same types of conflicts.

You probably won't run into these types of conflicts again, on account of how the impetus for said conflicts is a group of people in which the group dynamic is completely and utterly screwed at pretty much every level. I don't know what happened the first time around, but odds are deliberately trying to recreate a horrible experience would still yield something better.

The Glyphstone
2012-07-19, 07:57 AM
You probably won't run into these types of conflicts again, on account of how the impetus for said conflicts is a group of people in which the group dynamic is completely and utterly screwed at pretty much every level. I don't know what happened the first time around, but odds are deliberately trying to recreate a horrible experience would still yield something better.

Unless one or more of the current group sticks around to join the new group, of course. Then it's the same self-perpetuating cycle.

Slipperychicken
2012-07-19, 09:51 AM
The PCs are outlaws. This means they will probably live out of town, and have a very hard time buying goods (only people willing to trade with them are black market, and they charge huge markup, and are hard to find without connections).

They might ally with a shifting alliance of criminals in an attempt to cripple law enforcement. "Rebel" plot, except the "rebels" are simply criminals, who routinely do all kinds of unspeakable atrocity, and the "government" are the good guys. Of course, the criminals will backstab and bully them, sometimes turning them in to the law enforcement authority.


A scenario where almost everyone acts like a muder-hobo (everyone who doesn't gets killed/raped/dismembered in short order), and it's even expected of the players. They might play in a completely lawless, war-torn region filled with wandering violent bands just like them (kind of like the more lawless regions of Africa or Afghanistan), totally lacking in infrastructure (it's hard to buy anything, even ammo. Food must be stolen and starvation is rampant), whose people are long accustomed to trauma and violence. If they piss off a faction, that one will go after them. If they ally with a faction, that one might not bully them as much (higher-ups will always abuse their power), or might even supply weapons in exchange for service. Anything goes, and anything the PCs think up will be turned on them, and no-one can be trusted for long. There are no goals, no thoughts about the future, everyone's used to dying before they hit the age of 25. Everyone takes what they want... but that means, of course, there's not much left to take (Everything valuable has been looted, everything destructible has been destroyed. People have the bare minimum for survival, live in shacks, often go naked, starve, die of malaria, are helpless against the violent marauders anyway, and are used to it).


Be sure to enforce standard hobo-problems, like saves against exposure, thirst/starvation, disease, "bigger fish" bullying them. Bullying not mean death right away. Roll a d% to see if they a) settle with taking everything of value (possibly some minor humiliation if the PCs are really weak), b) move on/"it's not worth my time" or c) straight-up shoot the PCs because they're bored. Let the world become like the PCs, and show just as much mercy as the PCs did.

CET
2012-07-19, 10:42 AM
People have already given excellent advice for the various outlaw/warlord/intrigue murder hobo campaigns (I'm using the skaven idea at some point), so I won't try to add to that.

Instead: Dungeon crawl.
Classic dungeon crawls are perfect for murder-hobos. When you're five dungeon levels down in the underdark, everything you meet is hostile anyway, and there are no 'towns.' I'm picturing a sort of survival-splatterpunk game here, where in addition to killing everyone else for their loot, you have to kill them for food and access to water. Any time you need something, you have to find something that has it, and take it from their shredded corpse. Sometime other entities might bargain with your PCs (do this quest and I will trade you X for the macguffin that you bring back), but double-crosses are fair game.

Driderman
2012-07-19, 11:25 AM
Set them in a classic "points of light" setting, where singular city states and lone fortresses are the rule and nations are the exception. These city-states are all highly competive with each other, possibly in all-out war, and will pretty much turn a blind eye to any and all atrocities that benefit them while hurting their rivals.
They will also gladly endorse and reward major acts of homicide, robbery, etcetera that are perpetuated on their neighbours and should the players run afoul of the authorities in one city, they can simply run off to the next one, assuming they haven't burned that one down already.
In worlds of fantasy, assuming there's no "Magical Cell Phone Network", information travels slow and your (hopefully) highly mobile murder-hobos will have a headstart most of the time, at least until they become so infamous that people recognise them on sight. But you'd have to be REALLY remarkable to be recognised on sight, unless somebody's specifically looking for you and worlds of fantasy very rarely have organised law enforcement of the level of moderne police/Interpol.
Should they somehow manage to reach this level of power and infamy, make sure there ARE consequences. Nothing sucks more if you're the bad guy and nobody cares.

Other potentially rewarding settings for murderhobos would be:

-Kingdoms in civil war:
Who's going to uphold the law and protect the peasants, or their own holdings, when the pretenders to the throne have gathered all nobles and levies in a massive and long-lasting war of attrition? The murder-hobos might even throw their lot in with one of said claimants, and use their murder-hobo prowess to facilitate a smoother succcession.

-Monster Realm: Somewhere beyond the sea/mountains/big crack o' doom/whatever, neighbouring but inaccessible, lies the Monster Realm, a land populated by all sorts nasties of both demi-human and decidedly non-human variety. Most of these chaps all have the "always chaotic evil" note in the Monster Manual entry, respect only the rule of might and can be, at least temporarily, gathered under the banner of a strong enough warlord/Łbermage/religious figurehead to wage war on the realms of Man.
Also, lots of these beasties have some whopping loot tables on their own, if inter-racial or inter-tribal warfare and politics among the CE-oriented is a bit too complex.

For lots of playroom for murder hobos, combine as many suggestions as possible. Just, always remember that being a murder-hobo is not without consequences and if the players have become so mighty a threat that nations or states cannot deal with them themselves, they might well cut a deal with a lesser evil to get rid of them. I mean, how bad is yearly tribute to a dragon for it's entire lifetime, if the alternative is a band of bloody madman carving a gory path through your realm? Subjects and vassals have a tendency to demand stability of their lords, after all.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-19, 12:27 PM
Ok, so, in my experience a lot of players want to play complete psychopaths who kill anything that looks at them funny, don't obey any laws or social mores, and simply take whatever they want.

Perfectly valid, but is going to result in conflict with...basically any organization they meet.


Of course, as a DM, this means I come into conflict with the players constantly, but I am thinking, what if instead of fighting them, I simply embrace the concept and design a campaign around that?

The modern day heist movie can provide some guidelines. Attention to backup plans, avoiding notice, blending in, etc, etc are ways that a PC should embrace to enhance odds of survival when he's chaotic evil. Also, lying. Lots, and lots of lying.


How do you think this campaign would work out? How do the PCs not get crushed by "bigger fish?"

Avoid them, lie to them, steal from people they don't care about, bluff that they're the bigger fish, and, if all else fails, run from them or beg for mercy.


What use would they have for the treasure they collect?

They could use it, or spend it. Or, yknow, sell all the stuff, then come back and rob the place later.


How would they acquire basic supplies such as food and other necessities, let alone maintain their gear and find access to all the components they need to cast spells and craft magic item?

It's D&D. Those things are all trivial.


I imagine they would be able to survive for a while as raiders, but eventually they are going to run out of sites to plunder that havenít taken precautions, right?

Depends how smart they are. If they never change up their strategy...well, people are going to prepare for that in fairly short order.


Is leadership out of the question? How do you raise an army when you are the type who thinks it better to kill your minions than give them a share of the plunder?

Killing off minions has a modifier. And, the leader taking the lions share of the treasure has a lot of precedent behind it.

kardar233
2012-07-21, 03:22 AM
As a common player of the CE murder hobo's cousin, (the LE civilization-toppler living in a mansion) I'd say that a good thing to do might be having them on a very big fish's long leash.

Maybe a powerful red dragon is getting seriously paranoid about people stealing from his hoard so he stays there all the time. Unfortunately that means he can't really demand tribute from the surrounding empires if he can't leave his horde to go terrorizing, so he outsources. Hire a group of CE murder hobos to do what they do best; pillage, murder and generally make life horribly unpleasant for those idiots who reneged on their payments.

Start it off light but make things get serious quickly. Make screwing up have real penalties. If they lose a PC because they didn't plan properly, they'll have to run and leave all the guy's items behind. After the first few times they come back from the dead, the elite law enforcers are starting to be issued Thinaun weapons to get rid of these guys for good. Pull no punches. Play it almost like Shadowrun, if anything.

But if your group contains any of the "Oh yes, I have a very good plan" Lawful Evil types, don't try the bigger fish strategy. I'd be working on a way to kill that elder dragon by 7th level, at the latest.

Rainbownaga
2012-07-21, 08:43 AM
Make them true CE murder hobo psychopath demon worshipers.

You know that cult that just kill stuff and sacrafice maidens to serve their evil demon-gods and inevitably bring them into the material plain to be convieniently killed by the heroes?

The demons they worship take joy in the bloodshed. They ask for specific individuals as 'sacrifices'. The quest is to bring that person in alive.

At first the town is fairly small. They can take what they want but there's not that much good stuff and if they attract too much attention they might get overwhelmed.

As they gain levels they get their toys from the demons and bands of traditional adventurers start to track them down. And you have the "bring hell to earth" plot. (What's a balor going to do with a paladin's +2 keen flaming burst sword?)

At high levels you get to plane-hop and fight your way around the wheel to domination of the multiverse. (Imagine what kind of loot you could get from fallen solars, let alone the fun in leading an army of demons and maybe becoming demon princes themselves?)

Kadzar
2012-07-21, 04:30 PM
But if your group contains any of the "Oh yes, I have a very good plan" Lawful Evil types, don't try the bigger fish strategy. I'd be working on a way to kill that elder dragon by 7th level, at the latest.I don't think you can truly call yourself a Lawful Evil Planner unless you start making plans for the downfall of everyone you meet as soon as you meet them. When or if you ever do so is a matter of circumstance. :smallamused:

kardar233
2012-07-22, 02:20 AM
I don't think you can truly call yourself a Lawful Evil Planner unless you start making plans for the downfall of everyone you meet as soon as you meet them. When or if you ever do so is a matter of circumstance. :smallamused:

I don't start planning it at level 7. I start executing it at level 7. Thermobaric explosions are fun things to work with.

Ask me sometime about the time I killed the entire High Elf court in Warhammer with me, an assassin, an enchanted gem, a vial of dragon's breath, one of hydra poison and two favours from very important people.

Incom
2012-07-24, 11:19 AM
I don't start planning it at level 7. I start executing it at level 7. Thermobaric explosions are fun things to work with.

Ask me sometime about the time I killed the entire High Elf court in Warhammer with me, an assassin, an enchanted gem, a vial of dragon's breath, one of hydra poison and two favours from very important people.

So how did you kill the entire High Elf court in Warhammer with you, an assassin, an enchanted gem, a vial of dragon's breath, one of hydra poison and two favours from very important people?

Of course, you just need a bigger fish. Something not easily killed, like something Tarrasque-esque but more evil?

newBlazingAngel
2012-07-24, 06:41 PM
Yeah, I'm pretty curious about this as well.

Erik Vale
2012-07-24, 06:49 PM
God knows its going to be either a really good or a really bad story.

Eldan
2012-07-24, 07:11 PM
I played a game like that. It was somewhere between post-apocalypse, stone-age hunter-gathering and bronze age sword-and-sorcery.

There were no cities or towns, only villages. There were no paladin orders, only village priests. There were no armies, there were raiding bands.

"Adventurer", in this setting, was almost a social group on its own. Villages would bribe them in food, ale, song and wenches to slay monsters for them, bring down local shamans gone bad, raid rival villages or end curses, while trying to do their best not to anger them in any way, as that would often end in burning and pillaging.

The party consisted, interestingly enough, of an orcish lion totem barbarian/fighter, a halfling whirling frenzy barbarian/desert sun swordsage and a human rogue/barbarian. All were built independently by the players at home, but they worked well together. At level 5, they were pretty much the biggest non-monster fish around.

We played this campaign as a sort of breather between our much more involved and RP-heavy Planescape campaign. Whenever we had enough of debate, we'd take out the adventures of our barbarian crew, go slay some monsters, hack our way through hordes of low-level mooks and make stupid jokes. It worked pretty well.

Toofey
2012-07-28, 07:23 AM
Maybe I'm being overly simplistic, but it seems to me like it would involve killing people and being homeless.

Slipperychicken
2012-07-28, 09:24 AM
Maybe I'm being overly simplistic, but it seems to me like it would involve killing people and being homeless.

But to attempt the thing, you need the details. You need to know your goals, your means, your obstacles, your resources, your timing, and so on. These elements are required for any operation to succeed, however small or intuitive-seeming. Even the humblest of tasks, like preparing dinner or going to work, need these things.

For getting to work, you can't just say "well, I'll go to work and work there and that's that", you need to know the following: What you hope to accomplish by going to work (goal), where you need to be to attend work (location), when you need to wake up/when you want to arrive at this place/travel time (timing), whether to eat breakfast prior to leaving the home, how to dress, whether you need gas in your car before leaving (preparations), when you need to return home (more timing), and infinite other details. Not to mention the crucial preparation of getting a job in the first place:smalltongue:

Mr.Bookworm
2012-07-28, 08:12 PM
Violence: the RPG (it's a free 32-page PDF, written by Greg Costikyan) sounds like exactly the game you want.

It will also hopefully encourage them to rein in the murderhoboism a bit.

Beleriphon
2012-07-28, 09:30 PM
Have other NPCs in the organization above and below them, and on a peer level as well. These are potential pawns, patrons, or dupes in the great backstabbing gala. They must balance their murder-fest with plots and schemes to implicate their rivals, or at least not be blamed for the death of their superiors whilst simultaneously claiming the newly-vacant positions!

The secret bonus objective is to murder the other player characters and take their stuff!

This actually sounds rather fun. Good luck, Tal!

So, its Paranoia?

Toofey
2012-07-28, 09:30 PM
no... I really think it would just be a matter of not having a home and killing people.

It sounds like you're overthinking things man. You gotta live in the moment. Making breakfast isn't a thousand movements. It's making breakfast, however many 'strokes' it takes.

Gnomish Wanderer
2012-07-28, 09:43 PM
no... I really think it would just be a matter of not having a home and killing people.

It sounds like you're overthinking things man. You gotta live in the moment. Making breakfast isn't a thousand movements. It's making breakfast, however many 'strokes' it takes.

It sounds like you're oversimplifying things, man. :smalltongue:

As for how to actually do this to a group of players, it really dpeends on how sandbox you want to make it. Turning it into a structured campaign would take some planning to help you figure out what kinds of niches are available for them to hide in and get support from, but as a sandbox you can just let them go to town in your game world and see what consequences you can bring without ruining their fun. It sounds like a worthy challenge ^.^

Toofey
2012-07-28, 11:32 PM
Oh, I was thinking more as a player.

I think if you were dming it would be important to make sure that the players were actually down for 'this' and then find out what they're expecting from 'it'

in this case you would have to feel out, do they want it to be realistic and be hiding from authorities whatnot, are they wanting to go straight rampage, Are they down with the character spiraling out of control and inevitably dying.

Are they going for Gore, funny, what.

Dming is always more of a pain.

Gavinfoxx
2012-07-28, 11:56 PM
Actually... what's going on is that this guy is the DM, and he always, for the past 20 years, has had players that we generally consider insane.

Not joking... not exaggerating... look at some of the older threads he's started.

He thinks that all players are inevitably like this, and is trying to plan in-game solutions for inevitably antisocial players, rather than planning to remove antisocial players from the game and his presence, like we have been suggesting.

Knaight
2012-07-29, 12:12 AM
Violence: the RPG (it's a free 32-page PDF, written by Greg Costikyan) sounds like exactly the game you want.

It will also hopefully encourage them to rein in the murderhoboism a bit.
I'd note that it is full of profanity and horrific descriptions. It's completely hilarious, but it's good to know what you're getting into when you read it.

Menteith
2012-07-29, 12:20 AM
Have the players form a cult dedicated toward releasing and then backstabbing and consuming the Worm that Walks. That way they can unilaterally screw over people on a whim while staying in character, have a clear goal that they're working towards, and be completely, utterly evil.