Content of the article: "What patron (god/power/archfiend) would be behind a plague of murder-hobo-ism?"
Attn: If you've ever stolen a homunculus from a hag and named him Birthday Boy, stop reading.
FYI: The campaign is set in the Forgotten Realms.
I'm writing an action/comedy campaign for my group in which they play an all-monster party trying to make a living as underlings in a dungeon. They deal with all sorts of shenanigans with other monsters, but naturally the main part of their job is warding off bothersome adventurers who wander in and act like they own the place.
As time goes on, they discover that something more sinister is behind a sudden rise in adventuring than simple greed or vainglory. Adventurers have become a bloodthirsty scourge, roving the land and brutally killing any living thing caught in their path. They cannot be bought, bartered, or reasoned with—like mindless zombies or marauding madmen, they're out for blood.
The idea is this:
A new and dangerous cult is sweeping the civilized world, promising power and prestige to adventurers as a divine reward for slaughtering monsters…
The Church of Expiation is founded upon the belief that killing a monster earns an adventurer "XP," increasing their power with each kill. In a frenzy of ambition, adventurers across the land have charged into the wilderness, weapons drawn, eager to kill anything in sight in the hopes that it will earn them XP.
The Order of the Grinders seeks to exploit loopholes in church doctrine—establishing XP farms. These horrific places repeatedly slay and revive captive monsters in an attempt to endlessly earn XP. The relative safety of this savage practice has led to the selling of indulgences, which permit those advanced in years or of unable body to deal the killing blow to dying monsters, or even purchase XP earned on their behalf. Purists consider "grinders" to be a heretical sect, and describe the shameful practice of indulgences as "pay to win" for disproportionately favoring the wealthy and exploiting the poor.
As I work to develop the idea further, I'd really appreciate some input!
- What god/power/patron/archfiend would be behind a cult that brainwashes adventurers and would-be heroes into mindless murder-hobos? Who in the cosmology stands to benefit?
- Is the cult simply "wrong," with no divine or diabolical Power behind it whatsoever? Are they simply caught up in mass hysteria, or being manipulated by a mundane ruler seeking to gain power and influence by claiming to dispense glory and riches in the afterlife?
- Who among the forces of Balance would reach out to the PC's (a party of monsters) to defeat the source of this scourge? Would it be an entity of pure neutrality, like Primus, or an archdevil like Mammon who explains this is simply "bad for business"?
What I'm looking for is a compelling, simple, and even comedic hook into existing lore to drive a zany campaign full of situational humor that pokes fun at the worst adventuring habits and absurd fantasy tropes by turning the world on its head and exploring things from the monsters' point of view.
Thanks for your help!
- I’m looking for some feedback on my world building and on my adventurer’s guild.
- How to go about presenting background info for new campaign?
- help creating a plot hook!
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