Adventurers and heroes must be a motley crew to be around. Why would any self-respecting town put up with them? They never (or hardly ever) bathe. They likely are covered in blood and guts. They move around from place to place never setting down roots. They loot bodies, tombs, and ruins and then want to sell things they find so they can buy new, shinier things. (And I really love the ones who try slaughtering townspeople in the name of justice or some other ideal and then don’t want to pay the consequences for their actions when the local constabulary takes offense.)
On a grand scale, they destroy political careers, economies, and evil plans regularly. Governments get toppled, cities destroyed, and monsters are unleashed only to be stomped on. Innocents are slaughtered, wars started, and racial animosities grow wild.
So why do they get asked to do anything? Oh yeah… Because they save people sometimes. They stop worlds from ending on occasion. And rarely they’ll even do something because it’s the right thing to do and not the quickest, easiest, or gets them the most loot.
Who are these heroes? Sometimes they’re just regular folks thrust into extraordinary circumstances asked to do insane things. Other times they’re power-mad crazies simply trying to increase the size of their treasure hoard or the number of people they can boss around. A few are trying to make their mark on the world or make that one big score so they can retire from the adventurer’s life and live a quiet life. And others I’m sure are just along for the ride.
So why do our characters do what they do? Motivations and consequences seem to sometimes take a back seat, so I thought I’d investigate my own characters for a bit.
I have a character in each of the two campaigns we’re playing in. On the one hand, I have a half-elf sorcerer who really doesn’t have a clue how he got where he is and is simply trying to help out the best he can despite the fact that at least one of his teammates dislikes him strongly for being a “half-breed” (darn those racial purity pogroms). On the other hand, I have a fighter – a war veteran – who has chosen to continue fulfilling the duty he feels towards his country. His motives are quite clear. The other one… eh. Not so much.
Have they done anything particularly disturbing while adventuring? Sure. They participated in more than a few battles where innocents (and not-so-innocents) were killed in horrible ways by horrible creatures. It often seems that any time “heroes” are near, they attract insanity. Places are destroyed. People are killed. Strange events spontaneously happen.
So perhaps those townspeople should be afraid the next time our characters are near. Unless of course they want the monster to eat them, the bad guy to win, or those horrible events to happen. 🙂
What horrific things have YOUR characters done lately? Should they be banned from civilized places?!