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D&D General How common are adventurers?

How Common are Adventurers

  • A dime a dozen: The world is just lousy with them.

    Votes: 6 6.8%
  • Not Unheard Of: Few people choose adventuring but it is common enough to not be considered "weird."

    Votes: 47 53.4%
  • You Do What, Now?: Adventuring is a rare vocation, one possibly viewed with suspicion or at least in

    Votes: 30 34.1%
  • Special Snowflakes: The PCs are effectively the only people in the world without real jobs.

    Votes: 3 3.4%
  • Nonexsitent: Not even the PCs count as "adventurers." Nobody does that.

    Votes: 2 2.3%

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
In your campaigns, whether homebrew worlds or published ones, how common are adventurers in the world. i don't just mean classed NPCs, but actual adventuring groups or individuals) outside the PCs.

As a corollary, how common is it for your PC group to interact with other adventurers?
 

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Undrave

Legend
I'd say it's fairly common at low level, simply due to the lure of all that PHAT LOOT! But as you go in level there's fewer and fewer ones.

In my campaign we, a 6th level group, recently encountered a group of level 1 wannabe adventurers... the party's Paladin, our leader, then hired them to go on a sidequest we didn't do and asked them to go meet us at our base of operation afterward. The side quest, to recover a signet ring, was completely superfluous because we just stole the map we were supposed to get in exchange for the signet ring! AND the guy who asked us was probably thrown in jail, or executed, for corruption not long after (it's complicated).

In a following session we ALMOST hired a Goblin and Bugbear bandits we had defeated to track that party down and see who would come up on top, but we ended up killing the Bugbear and employing the Goblin for something else.

All in all, an hilarious event.
 

I'd say it's fairly common at low level, simply due to the lure of all that PHAT LOOT! But as you go in level there's fewer and fewer ones.
yeah, adventuring tends to have a harsh Darwinian 'thin out the herd' process about it...

I'd think adventurers would be more common in a 1E or 2E world than a 5E one... because 5e has all those non-adventurer 'monster' type humans at the back of the MM. In 1/2E, those roles had to be filled by adventurer types.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
I really like to have other adventuring parties out there for the PCs to interact with, as rivals, enemies, or possibly allies. They're more interesting than monsters or helpless peasants. My main influences here are superhero comics which are indeed lousy with other superhero teams.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I mean, should I pick one campaign in particular to answer this question? I've done all of these but the last one over the years (unless you stretch the last one to mean "Call of Cthulhu Investigators", which means I've done them all).

Right now in my campaign set in the FR the entire world is just littered with adventuring groups. Just lousy with them all over the place, to the point where it's becoming a running gag that other adventuring crews might be in the same dungeon looting the same stuff. In the game I'm running set in Mystara there are almost no adventurers - the PCs are unique in their willingness to go off and fight monsters that are terrorizing the area they're in. In my 13A game it's somewhere in between - there are other adventurers out there, but they're not nearly as successful as the PCs, and the PCs have on occasion had to step in at the behest of one of their patrons to clean up the mess some lower level adventuring party has made.
 

I tend to have each large city have an adventurer's guild. There are advantages to joining (and some disadvantages as well), and the guilds tend to react badly to adventurers who don't join up after a short time in their territory. Mostly they are there for adversaries (as a whole if the PC's decline to join, or a place for rivals if the PC's join) and to encourage the players to think of noncombat solutions (usually too many high-level guild types for the PC's to just "kill the guild"). Also, I usually have a guild bar and a higher-end guild social club (where the wealthy can smooze with higher-level guild members).
 


Ringtail

World Traveller (She/Her)
I would say it depends on the world.

For example, I'd say a standard High Fantasy world such as Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms would probably be in the 'Not Unheard of' category by default, with variation based on personal preference.

Golarion from Pathfinder has a world-wide guild called the Pathfinder Society that is all about adventurers and their best exploits are published in serialized magazines/journals. While I don't think Golarion is "lousy with them" they are definitely more common than other places and are probably well known.

While not D&D, I imagine Warhammer's "Old World" is very much a "You do what now?" That setting and that game is much more lethal than D&D. I think the concept of someone who just adventures in Warhammer is so foreign many would just consider them dangerous vagabonds. Homeless guys with swords. (Basically brigands) Though Warhammer does have lots of adventurous professions like Road Wardens, Witch Hunters and Caravan Guards.

Personally in my own worlds I like a mixture of 'Not Unheard of" and "You Do what now?" depending on the tone of the game I want to run.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Every world is different, but in general I run games with “adventurers” being not unheard of, but not quite common.

But also, what is an adventurer?
Someone who actively goes out in search of fame and fortune at great personal risk without some sort of moral obligation. You know, adventurers. We have them today, too. It happens that in most D&D worlds the dangers are much larger, and so are the rewards, but its essentially the same thing as going big game hunting or searching for sunken treasure ships or swimming solo across the Atlantic.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Someone who actively goes out in search of fame and fortune at great personal risk without some sort of moral obligation. You know, adventurers. We have them today, too. It happens that in most D&D worlds the dangers are much larger, and so are the rewards, but its essentially the same thing as going big game hunting or searching for sunken treasure ships or swimming solo across the Atlantic.

Yeah, I know all that. My point was that the thread doesn’t clarify, so it could be referencing specifically dnd PC level adventurers, or simply people who go out into the world seeking adventure.

But your definition is off. Someone with a moral obligation is still an adventurer, nor does adventuring require profit-motive.
 

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