D&D allows players to create any character of their choice. Sometimes, players choose murder hobo, a character playing style that solves everything violently by attacking and killing everything and everyone they face in the game rather than using strategies to solve the problems.
These characters may become a headache for other players and Dungeon Master. Let us now discuss murder hobos in detail and other related queries.
What Is a Murderhobo in Dungeons and Dragons?
Murder hobo (sometimes referred to as murderous cretin) is usually a slang or derogatory term that describes a player or character that always resolves issues with violence. The term murder hobo is a combination of the words murder and hobo used for specific characters in tabletop games. It is a contraction of the older term “murderous hobo.”
The murder(ous) term is used for these characters because they solve everything with violence/killing without using strategies or other skills. These characters are usually prompt to start violence even when there is no need. The term hobo comes from an American slang that means a homeless person or a homeless traveling person in the game. Usually, a murder hobo has no attachments to the game world and its storyline or rules.
Murderhobo is characters that kill NPCs indiscriminately for fun and no reason in the game. They do not follow any quests, dialog, backstory, trade, world-building, etc. They use violence for fun or to loot money, items, food, and weapons.
Murderhobo describes a spectrum of possible character types, ranging from traditional wandering mercenaries to traveling serial murderers who recklessly slaught NPCs at the extreme. Murderhobo is not a player. It is the playstyle of a character or a player.
Some players suggest that the murder hobo is not a player or character. It is the playing style of your player or character in the game. Sometimes, the noblest Paladin is typically described as a murder hobo because it kills things for money during its voyage.
Many new players might become murder hobos because they enjoy the power and freedom to kill anyone or behave brutally to relieve stress. However, other characters and Dungeon Master (DM) do not like these characters because many players play D&D by following the rules of the game to complete their quests and adventures, run businesses, craft magic items, etc. in the game, and murder hobo-style characters ruin it for them by not following any rules and acting violently and mindlessly in the game.
Why Do People Play Murder Hobos in D&D?
Some people play murder hobos in the game because of the following possibilities:
- These players do not care much about playing diplomatically by trying to create alliances or playing the game according to the storyline and rules.
- Some players may get bored playing D&D by following its rules. So, they may choose the murder hobo play style to act violently in the game.
- Some people do not want to create a connection with other people and want to loot them by killing them to earn more XP and gold coins or points.
- In D&D, players gain XP by killing others and looting them. Some people use the murder hobo play style to create more and more people to achieve the maximum reward. They think there is no reward for playing nice.
- Some players adopt the murder hobo style because other players earn fewer rewards and progress slowly by playing according to the storyline or rules of the game.
Why Do Some Dungeon Masters Hate Murderhobos?
Some Dungeon Masters hate murder hobos because they must ensure that players play the game according to the rules mentioned in the guidebooks, and murder hobos do not follow any rules, which annoys some DMs.
Murder Hobos Ruin the Storyline: They do not follow the gameplay and ruin it for others because they play mindlessly by killing and robbing everyone.
Murderhobo Is Low-Brow Gaming: Murder hobos do not follow the rules and ethics and play the game their way. They do not spend any coins on purchasing items from the shops. They kill the shopkeepers and their families to loot everything from the shop to create a toxic environment in the game.
Murder Hobos Ruin the Game Fun: They are disruptive characters that murder and rob everything. Playing with murder hobos is not fun for the other players or the game. The whole goal of playing D&D is to have fun, enjoy yourself, and assist others in having fun, yet they destroy the game for those who choose to pursue their mission.
Murder Hobos Make It Impossible to Craft a Narrative: Party members may not receive new quests from NPCs because murder hobos kill them in the game. There is a chance that players would not be able to buy goods from the stores because murder hobos kill the shopkeepers. Also, it may be monumentally frustrating for other players at the table if you are not playing the evil campaign.
As a DM, How to Deal With Murderhobos in the D&D Game?
There are a few ways to deal with Murderhobos in the game:
Let Them Suffer
The first method is to let them suffer the consequences of their actions. The town guards or rangers may come after them to hunt them down because of their brutality in the game. They may also get shot or killed during combat.
Let Them Face In-Game Consequences
They would face mistrust, followed by contempt and rejection, from people. Local shops would charge extra from them or refuse to do business with them if murder hobos do not kill the shopkeepers.
You can circulate their posters in the town with rewards for either killing or handling them to the local authorities.
Talk to Murder Hobos
As a DM, you may talk to them to ask why they become murder hobos and listen to their points. Talk to them and convince them to leave the play style of a murder hobo by giving them offers or explain them the consequences they may face. You may kick them out of the game if they refuse to change.
How Do I Get My Pcs to Not Be a Bunch of Murderous Cretins (Murder Hobos)?
You may convince PC not to become a murder hobo or bunch of murderous cretins in D&D by telling them the following things:
Killing is wrong: You may tell your PC that killing is sinful in your religion, and you may face the consequences of doing it. If the PCs are good, lawful, or neutral characters, you may question their actions and threaten them with alignment change.
Killing is sinful: NPCs are friendly characters in the game, and killing them for no reason should be forbidden. Killing NPC might traumatize other NPCs and villagers. Other NPCs might shun the murder hobo PC. A priest may gently advise the PCs to choose a higher, more compassionate path.
Killing is against the law: Killing is against the law, and you may face severe punishment and a fine for doing so. The local guards and clerics would arrest you and send you to jail or might give you death punishments.
Killing is displeasing: No one in the game likes to get murdered by someone. Battlefields get filled with the blood of dead and injured soldiers. Many NPCs would cry, weep for help, or use their hands and fingernails to protect themselves. Their death might leave their family alone to survive, and if their corpse remains unburied, it might induce sickness or nausea.