Save Your Village From Murder Hobos – 5 Quick Tips

Save Your Village From Murder Hobos – 5 Quick Tips

How do we protect villagers from Murder Hobos? We planned some great roleplay in town, but then the party decides they don’t like being sassed and suddenly we’re rolling for initiative. Here are a 1d4+1 ideas, inspired by Dragon Magazine #109, on how we can help commoners save themselves.

1. Find (or Become) a Protector

Given the reality of their world, commonfolk would seek the umbrella of someone strong enough or who has enough resources to repel bandits, invaders, and most dreaded of all, the player characters.

If you like irony, imagine a character hook where the PC’s goal is to become powerful enough to defeat adventurers currently bullying their friends and family.

2. Level-Up

Given a frontier living of danger without safety net, beef up commoners’ stat blocks to reflect their hard existence. Whether its regular militia training, past encounters repelling gnolls and trolls, or simply hardier stats, upscale your NPCs so they can defend themselves better against the hobos.

I took this approach for my Murder Princess campaign and made the average NPC level 7, with in-game reasons for this, and it worked great.

3. Rivals

What’s attracted the characters to this region has likely attracted other mercenaries and vagabonds. Use these to create rival adventuring groups to distract the party, or as thugs villagers could hire to enact some retribution.

4. Don’t Anger the King

Speaking of retribution, should the party cause damage, they’ll be made to pay for it, even if the King must send an army after them. More likely, kings and leaders of regions afflicted by aggressive hobos will send special forces to deal with special opponents. Assassins, balanced strike teams, and perhaps a call for divine intervention.

Kings also make laws that get backed up with enforcement and consequences. Flesh out your legal system a bit and factor in how a world would deal with occasional wild cards that typical guards cannot handle alone.

5. Get Off My Lawn!

Retired adventurers looking for a peaceful life in the lands they helped save won’t take kindly to disruption. They will escalate to epic levels if charm diplomacy fails. Time to get the band back together….

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Use these five ideas, perhaps in combination, as good in-game reasons why the PCs can’t just roll roughshod through your villages.

How do you keep commoners safe in your campaign? Hit reply and let me know, or join the discussion thread here.