How common are adventurers?

How Common are Adventurers

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

    Votes: 6 7.0%
  • Not Unheard Of: Few people choose adventuring but it is common enough to not be considered "weird."

    Votes: 45 52.3%
  • You Do What, Now?: Adventuring is a rare vocation, one possibly viewed with suspicion or at least in

    Votes: 30 34.9%
  • Special Snowflakes: The PCs are effectively the only people in the world without real jobs.

    Votes: 3 3.5%
  • Nonexsitent: Not even the PCs count as "adventurers." Nobody does that.

    Votes: 2 2.3%

  • Total voters
    86
I mean, by this definition I've NEVER DMed for adventurers. Fame, fortune and glory are kind of weak motivators IMHO. Of course I run primarily in Eberron, so there are always quite a few individuals running around for that exact purpose on any given adventure, fairly often as allies, rivals or enemies (or my favorite, frenemies), but my PCs would never fit that description themselves.
So you're saying your Eberron campaign is rife with adventurers, but it so happens your PCs are not adventurers?
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
In a world of monsters I think being an adventurer would be a real job! So not unheard of.
I think it depends on the tone you want the setting to have. If adventuring is a normal job, in the sense of animal control for manticores and whatnot, that implies a much more mundane relationship between society and manticores than if slaying manticores is the domain of great heroes and regular mortals can only cower in fear.
 

pogre

Adventurer
I agree with those who have stated it depends on the campaign.

I have a slightly different angle. I love mass combat, big armies, war machines, all the fun! Some of it happens in the campaign world background, and occasionally, the PCs get involved. However, D&D magic makes that a little tougher.

Having adventurers, particularly spell casters, remaining somewhat rare keeps mass combat as a little more viable option. Artillery (mages and the like) should be coveted, expensive, and desperately protected by an army. Castles still matter, even if they are not flying, magical edifices.

I cling to the anachronistic, pseudo-medieval, Euro-centered D&D of my youth. ;)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So you're saying your Eberron campaign is rife with adventurers, but it so happens your PCs are not adventurers?
I’d say that of my Eberron campaign. Well, no, I wouldn’t, because I don’t buy that definition.

But by that definition, absolutely. There are adventurers in the world, and newspapers talk about their exploits, but the party is made up of an Sharn based Inquisitive who can barely manage his own life, a Blood of Vol Paladin from a noble family who has religious and patriotic goals that she is pursuing and who only cares about glory when she’s jousting and has no need of more money, a wizard seeking information on the murderer of his mentor, a firbolg married couple (Bards) who are somewhat seeking fame as performers but who are much mores motivated by other stuff that’s complicated, and recently a Bugbear failed merchant who is basically there because the Inquisitive is his friend.

None of them are going out into the world just to find fame and fortune at great personal risk.

And that’s the most adventuresome party in my group, by your definition.

My buddy’s homebrew game we are all trying to stop a conspiracy between a necromantic cult and a diabolical criminal organization.

So, again, the numbers are very different depending on the definition.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
I treat my adventuring parties as mercenary companies, small elite groups who hire there services out to deal with the many many dangers that threaten the scattered settlements of DnD. Most of the mercenary companies either dont survive the dangers or get hired to do real jobs (temple guard, minions of a dark scorcerer etc) but a few go on to become high level and renowned.

I also tend to give the PCs an employer which changes them from just being freelance adventurers to being legit ‘agents of” eg Agents of the Church sent to recover holy relics, or Agents of the Lord Protector of Highhold sent to the marches to investigate cattle mutilations etc
 

S'mon

Legend
Most of my settings would be at the You Do What, Now? level I think. But in some like Wilderlands adventurers are 'Not Unheard of' while in my Forgotten Realms games where the PCs are expected to Save the World, or at least Save Elsir Vale, it tends more to the 'Special Snowflake' level. Certainly in my Red Hand of Doom game I make a point of emphasising that the PCs are the Heroes of the Vale, and there is probably no one else to save it if they fail.
 

Coroc

Explorer
As the survey proves most of the people think they are more or less rare, but there are others.

Having them crawling around in every corner is as unpractical as having them being one of their kinds.
To many of them make certain economic impacts, them being ultra rare derives the DM of these tools:
"You encounter the remains of a previous party"
or
"The rival party was faster than you the treasure chest has already been emptied"
etc.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
My current campaign is set in what is basically the Age of Sail, so it's overran with nearly every definition of the word "adventurer." Especially those not-too-flattering ones.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
"Adventurer" is just kind of a meta designation from the get go. They could be irregulars, or militia. Heck, there are plenty of games where the PCs are explicitly endorsed by legal authorities as members of broader organizations.

There are related questions we can ask too: are Witchers "adventurers" ? Was Steve Irwin an "adventurer" ? (Hell, was Steve Irwin a Witcher?)
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
As the survey proves most of the people think they are more or less rare, but there are others.

Having them crawling around in every corner is as unpractical as having them being one of their kinds.
To many of them make certain economic impacts, them being ultra rare derives the DM of these tools:
"You encounter the remains of a previous party"
or
"The rival party was faster than you the treasure chest has already been emptied"
etc.
I’ve used both of those before,
One involved a famous dungeon which was originally built as a crypt built to trap a Vampire Lord.
when the PCs arrived the found that the sealed door had been smashed and when they went further they discovered the roof collapsed and covered by a black soot which was the remnants of an explosion caused by earlier raiders who were now ash zombies
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
At my table, the PCs might as well be the only adventurers in the universe.

They’ll be fighting monsters in a dungeon and complain about “whoever gave us this mission should have hired exterminators first. Make our job a lot easier.”
Then the guy with ADHD will look at the others like they’ve lost their mind and say “Did you not listen to the DM?! We are the exterminators!”
 
In the campaigns that I typically run, troubleshooters (what people in-world call professional adventurers / questers / problem-solvers) are somewhere between "not unheard of" and "you do what now?" They are a pretty normal part of the world, and are necessary because otherwise the world would be overrun by monsters, cultists, and evil wizards.
 

Coroc

Explorer
I’d say that of my Eberron campaign. Well, no, I wouldn’t, because I don’t buy that definition.

But by that definition, absolutely. There are adventurers in the world, and newspapers talk about their exploits, but the party is made up of an Sharn based Inquisitive who can barely manage his own life, a Blood of Vol Paladin from a noble family who has religious and patriotic goals that she is pursuing and who only cares about glory when she’s jousting and has no need of more money, a wizard seeking information on the murderer of his mentor, a firbolg married couple (Bards) who are somewhat seeking fame as performers but who are much mores motivated by other stuff that’s complicated, and recently a Bugbear failed merchant who is basically there because the Inquisitive is his friend.

None of them are going out into the world just to find fame and fortune at great personal risk.

And that’s the most adventuresome party in my group, by your definition.

My buddy’s homebrew game we are all trying to stop a conspiracy between a necromantic cult and a diabolical criminal organization.

So, again, the numbers are very different depending on the definition.
So they pretty much all are like the hobbit who notices there is no second breakfast and therefore would prefer to go home instead of doing adventure :p
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
One more for the "You do what now?" option.
By the definition set out in this thread, adventurers are extremely rare (and often fictional) in my games.
- That option was the rarest I could pick without saying that they flat-out don't exist or implying that my PCs would count as adventurers.
 
"Adventurer" is just kind of a meta designation from the get go. They could be irregulars, or militia. Heck, there are plenty of games where the PCs are explicitly endorsed by legal authorities as members of broader organizations.

There are related questions we can ask too: are Witchers "adventurers" ? Was Steve Irwin an "adventurer" ? (Hell, was Steve Irwin a Witcher?)
I don't know if Steve Irwin was a WItcher, but he was certainly an adventurer. He went out into the world to explore and discover and gain himself some fame and fortune. My definition of "adventurer" doesn't mean you can't have additional goals, noble or otherwise, just that your primary driving motivation to go into the wilderness/dungeon/whatever is based on a personal desire for fortune, glory, excitement and/or experiences. So a given Witcher might be an adventurer by that definition (and being a Witcher affords them those opportunities) while another may be is better termed a "crusader" in that their primary motivation is duty as an example. This doesn't mean that crusader doesn't go on adventures, it means their vocation is to crusade against monsters.

A good illustration might be the difference between The Challengers of the Unknown as adventurers, versus The Blackhawks, as agents of the military. Both teams have adventures, but the driving force behind those adventures are notably different. Of course, within those teams, individual characters have their own motivations, but now we are slicing it a little thin for the purposes of this discussion.
 

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