Content of the article: "SURPRISE! We’re murder hobo’s now!"
I'm a DM running a homebrew campaign for 4 newish players of varying experience. They are several sessions in and working well as a team, just starting to roleplay etc. And I decided to spend two days of prep time putting a new chapter together for their story (they killed BBEG from their taster campaign last session). They are a fighter, sorc, warlock, and a rogue all lvl 2.
Their mission is to take a magic neckless to a lost temple on an island, to do that they will need to charter a ship and a friendly NPC pointed them in the direction of the nearest city with a docks. Surviving a small goblin raiding party on route to the city they arrived and began making enquiries. They asked the guardsmen on the city gates where they could find maps and a ship (so far so good) and he pointed them to the rusty bucket tavern where the sailors congregate. Everything was progressing as planned and the two females in the group started approaching sailors in the tavern to make enquiries about passage. The first group approached were drunk and made some suggestive remarks to the ladies (nothing excessive) and were more interested in playing dice. This is where things took a turn.
The team's Goliath fighter took issue with one of the sailors asking one of the ladies to sit on his lap and punched him in the face. No big deal I thought, I'd even planned for a bar brawl later in the session so thought we can just bring that forward. The girls in the group start to try and talk the sailors into calming down but they roll badly on pursuade and the sailors keep punching the fighter (mostly missing). The fighter see's he's surround and draws his battleaxe. The barkeep pleads for peace and patrons start spilling out of the tavern, the fighter switches tact and tells the sailors they better do what he says or things will get bad for them (and then rolls low on intimidate). The sailors (who only have a small fishing boat which would be no good for the long voyage) refuse and tell the fighter where to go, but he's having none of it, deciding that of they're not gonna help then they're useless anyway. He attacks the sailors with his battleaxe killing one in the first round, the others respond in kind drawing weapons and fighting back causing some damage (causing second wind and stones endurance both to be used). The sorc uses sleep to put 2 of them down and the fighter manages to grapple then pin the captain down. One more unlucky sailor is killed by the rogue who only wanted to wound him but crits on a sneak attack shot with his bow. At this point the group again tried to pursuade the captain (and then bribe him) to use his ship. Having just had two of his crew killed in cold blood he is less than enthusiastic and tells them as much. The fighter decides that stabbing him again might change his mind.
The guy starts screaming for help and the barkeep again pleas for no more killing as the city guard arrive (called by the fleeing patrons) who demand that the group surrender. The rogue throws down his bow and the Spellcasters surrender but the fighter refuses to put down his weapon fearing the repucussons that will come for the murder and torture of a group of fishermen. A guard tries to take his axe and he lashes out, wounding the guard. One guard leaves for reinforcements and three more rounds of combat take place with all party members now fighting the guards and the sleeping sailors who are beginning to wake up. 2 out of 3 guards are killed before reinforcements arrive, the fighter is on 3 HP with no more healing and the group finally decided to stop the rampage when faced with 7 more city guard.
I called the session there with them all being arrested and now have no idea what to do with the next session as by all rights they should be executed for the murder of the innocent fishermen and then the city guard send to investigate. Everyone in the group is having a "well that escalated quickly" moment of remorse and one has asked me if we can just write off that session.
TL;DR my normally chilled out group went 0-murder hobo in one round of unarmed combat and I literally don't know what to do next.
So that was my day.
- Schrödinger’s PC, or How to Handle Players that Drop In and Out
- Party stole from and killed the guards of a powerful government official. Need to show them that their actions have consequences.
- The Bitcthy Banshees and Zentha’s Freedom
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