The Well-Adjusted Murderhobo

I have yet to meet a player who has not, at one point or another, taken part in Murderhobo behavior. As a kid who taught himself D&D at the age of 8 reading the 2nd edition Player's Handbook, I built a lot of dungeons with 10' x 10' featureless square rooms housing treasure chests guarded by orcs, and as a player never payed for an inn, a hot meal, or any type of service that a normal person would use. All my income went to implements of murder. But given that verisimilitude can be fun (to a point) and that OSR characters will often find a lot of treasure and have nothing to spend it on other than carousing or buying magic items from the inexplicably present economy built around dungeon crawling, let's give them a reason to care about the things that make us living, breathing people and not cardboard cutouts of munchkins murdering our way through a series of backdrops. If you'd like to apply some simple modifiers to NPC reaction rolls to incentivize this, here are a few suggestions.

Sleeping Rough
Camping in the wilderness takes a toll on health, but also has social consequences. Foul-smelling, armed, anti-social outsiders are not likely to be welcome in civilized areas.

Tattered, Bloodstained Rags
Blood stained armor and torn, dirt-stained, travel-worn clothes are bound to put normal folk such as peasants off, attract attention from guards, and prevent patronage of nicer establishments.

Possession of Filthy Lucre
Treasure comes from somewhere, and in all likelihood it falls within the lands of some noble somewhere. While this isn't something I normally pay much mind to, this excellent post from the Coins and Scrolls blog gives a lot of reasons it could redefine the way the campaign even works. It should also probably get the locals wondering what kind of dangerous, dishonest folk come by such riches by means of violence, and make them reluctant to interact with them.

Making Friends and Influencing People
Conversely, if characters take the time to integrate and participate in a community, it pays dividends. Friends, discounts, gifts, business opportunities, and adventure hooks are all possible rewards in addition to improved interpersonal relations.

When using the normal 2d6 Reaction roll, apply the following modifiers when dealing with NPCs:

Appearing bedraggled and smelly from sleeping in wilderness/dungeons without bathing and taking rest in a home or inn
Being covered in remnants of blood and gore from self/enemies or having obvious scars and disfigurements from poorly healed or neglected wounds
Wearing heavily damaged clothing or armor
Being known or suspected of mistreating hirelings or other associates
Selling large amounts of goods by obscure/illicit methods, or being known/suspected to be in possession of property of recently slain civilized folk
Having a substantial investment in the local economy (1,000sp minimum)
Having a positive relationship with several well-known locals
Of course, even a 1-point shift on a Reaction roll can have quite the effect, so effects should probably not stack beyond a +/-2. These modifiers are meant only to make PCs consider aspects of roleplaying and take them into account rather than spending every available coin on weapons and drink if they wish to interact with civilization at all, not to create nightmares of math for everyone involved.


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