5E What does "murderhobo" mean to you?

Poll: What's a Murderhobo to you?

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  1. #1
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    What does "murderhobo" mean to you?

    Quick poll. I'm interested if some terminology has changed (I'm often behind the times!)


    @Plutancatty here says Murderhobos are "adventurers who wander about, using their supernatural class powers and magic to take what they want from powerless commoners while ignoring the pitifully weak town guards."

    I've always understood the term to mean homeless adventurers who kill orcs and take their stuff for a living (i.e. the default D&D model).

    What do you understand the term to mean? One of these or something else?
    Last edited by Morrus; Wednesday, 13th December, 2017 at 08:45 PM.
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  2. #2
    Personally, I always made a strict connection with "murder", as in not killing people/humanoids/things because they are trying to eat/kill/sacrifice you to their evil god/do weird things with tentacles and then taking whatever they have because, hey it could be useful, but rather actually coveting other people's posessions and murdering-not on the field of battle- them to aquire what it is you want.

    If you were sent out on a quest to raze a village, it isn't stricly murder IMO but more something like pillaging or raiding. Murder entails a civilised context that you dwell in and whose laws you nominally adhere to. At least that's how I see it.
    Last edited by Plutancatty; Wednesday, 13th December, 2017 at 10:10 PM.
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  3. #3
    I would go with number #2 but also add, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

    Murderhobos in my mind attempt to solve all conflicts/difficulties with brute force.

    This means very little social interaction.

    Exploration involves marching up to the front gate rather than trying to find the backdoor. In the dungeon it is ransacking everything and then quickly moving on.

    Commoners are to be ignored unless they are selling something that is useful for killing.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Plutancatty View Post
    Personally, I always made a strict connection with "murder", as in not killing people/humanoids/things because they are trying to eat/kill/sacrifice you to their evil god/do weird things with tentacles and then taking whatever they have because, hey it could be useful, but rather actually coveting other people's posessions and murdering-not on the field of battle- them to aquire what it is you want.

    If you were sent out on a quest to raze a village, it isn't stricly murder IMO but more something like pillaging or raiding. Murder entails a civilised context that you dwell in and whose laws you noninally adhere to. At least that's how I see it.
    I think you're reading the murder part too literally.

    The phrase seems meant to be an exaggeration of what typical PCs do - wander from dungeon to dungeon, killing and looting.
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  5. #5
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    I'll reiterate something I mentioned in another thread... Murder is Evil... if killing is Justified, it's not Murder...

    So, in my mind "Murderhobo" = Chaotic Evil & Homeless

    Terminology is important, and one should expect the next generation of those who read a given term to interpret it literally... perhaps it is time to move past the term "Murderhobo" to inspire the next generation of Adventurers...
    Last edited by Cyrinishad; Wednesday, 13th December, 2017 at 09:12 PM.
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    1&2 combined. A group who think very simplistically - everything in the game is just a bag of hitpoints to be murdered and looted.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Plutancatty View Post
    Personally, I always made a strict connection with "murder", as in not killing people/humanoids/things because they are trying to eat/kill/sacrifice you to their evil god/do weird things with tentacles and then taking whatever they have because, hey it could be useful, but rather actually coveting other people's posessions and murdering-not on the field of battle- them to aquire what it is you want.

    If you were sent out on a quest to raze a village, it isn't stricly murder IMO but more something like pillaging or raiding. Murder entails a civilised context that you dwell in and whose laws you noninally adhere to. At least that's how I see it.
    Well yes, but in the RPG community, the term was coined to describe the sometimes-not-so-morally-pure-even-if-you-have-a-paladin adventuring parties' modus operandi in a somewhat tongue in cheek manner. Particularly in a "kick in the door" dungeon crawl play style where deep plots and characterization are not the norm. The issue with players being more powerful than most of the populace around them, and then abusing that power, has been brought up from time to time, and I suppose the term could be more accurately applied to such. To my mind, the solution to such players is to find out what motivates them (usually riches & magic items, but it could be that they just don't like the campaign or don't really want to play D&D at all) and make the rewards for this behavior much less than the rewards for going into the dungeon and defeating the BBEG.
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  8. #8
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    Kill everything 'evil' that moves, take its stuff, move on. Rinse and repeat.

    While there were/are times I can find this sort of thing enjoyable, I now prefer story, motivation, fighting for a good cause.

  9. #9
    Rootless vagabonds that get by through pillage and slaughter.

    If they are killing the right things, they are hailed as heroes. If they are killing the wrong things, they are regarded as villains. Typically, they don't care one way or the other.

    Often symptomatic of a player group that is disengaged from the world their PCs inhabit either through desire (it can be fun to act out), lack of interest ("Blah, blah, blah. Can I hit it, yet?"), or demotivation ("Every time we get involved in a town, it is destroyed horribly, let's move on!").
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrinishad View Post
    I'll reiterate something I mentioned in another thread... Murder is Evil... if killing is Justified, it's not Murder...

    So, in my mind "Murderhobo" = Chaotic Evil & Homeless

    Terminology is important, and one should expect the next generation of those who read a given term to interpret it literally... perhaps it is time to move past the term "Murderhobo" to inspire the next generation of Adventurers...
    The term was always meant to be used facetiously. Players in RPGs tend to kill a lot of things as they wander the countryside. Murderhobo was a sarcastic descriptor of this core RPG trope. The further we get away from the origin of the term the easier it is to re-ascribe it to actions it did not originally apply.
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