[RPG] How to as players stop being murderhobos?


My group is the classic example of murderhobos. When we come upon a strange creature, rather than trying to understand what it is, we simply kill it and ask questions once it is dead. Or instead of bargaining with a shop keeper, we will just eliminate him and steal whatever it is that we wanted. I have tried to suggest that we maybe want just intimidate NPCs who have been sent to kill us, but we are now so infamous for mass murders (three in the past two days in game) that NPCs think that the solution is to kill us, which then results in us killing them. This then reinforces the idea that we can’t change our ways.

I have tried to help stop this, but it seems like we have dug the pit too far down to stop now. Whenever we go into town we are recognized to be criminals, which makes it harder for us to have good interactions with NPCs.

I would like to stop this because I don’t want to just play a video game where we kill all the NPCs. I would like to play a game where there is more role playing. As well, the other players and the DM are fine with our current situation. The other players don’t “want” to be murderhobos, but they also are fine with it. The other players do enjoy role playing, but the problem is that we are very good at killing and pretty bad at being charismatic. My goal is to become a (somewhat) law abiding citizen, because I don’t particularly want to keep dealing with assassins and mercenaries that have been sent to kill us. (Eventually, a strong enough assassin will probably kill us.)

How do I get out of the cycle?

This is different from this well-known post about how the DM can stop players from being murderhobos. This question is asking how to move from being murderhobos to a life of killing only when necessary, because right now, most civilized people hate us.

(A lot of people are telling me how the DM can fix this, but I am a PC and not the DM, so those solutions do not answer my question.)

Best Answer

Decide as a group what game you are playing.

You wrote:

I would like to play a game where there is more role playing. As well, the other players and the DM are fine with our current situation.

You want to play a different game from the one the rest of the table is currently playing. You want to play Roleplaying Hero Adventure, and everyone else is playing Murder Simulator III. Neither of these is wrong per se, but they are very different games that don't mix well.

So you need to bring this up with your tablemates. Express your concerns, desires, and expectations to the group. "I'm looking for this kind of game, I would have more fun if we leaned more toward this playstyle", etc. It is important to understand that they aren't playing the game wrong, they're just playing it differently than you want to. So just talk about it, and see if you can work something out. If everyone else is really into the way the game is currently going, you may have to find a way to get on board or move on. That's just how it goes some time. No D&D is better than bad D&D. If you aren't having fun and can't find a way to have fun, move on.

Retconning the past is an okay thing to do.

I've read my fair share of internet DM advice, and I often see people fail to consider just retconning what's already happened because "no, the players actions must have consequences!" And to an extent, this is the case. Generally, "save and reset" shouldn't be something the players can abuse, but if all of the players have resolved to completely change the playstyle of the game, I would definitely consider retconning some of the past events.

We've decided we don't want to play Murder Simulator III, but running from the law because we were playing Murder Simulator III is also not the game we want to be playing either. Can we roll things back to before we killed a bunch of people and move forward as good citizens?

This is a perfectly reasonable request, and a perfectly valid reason to roll back time in the universe. The ultimate goal here is fun, and if everyone agrees that starting with clean criminal records would be the most conducive to everyone having fun, I'd be inclined to do so as a DM; in fact, I would find this preferable to implementing some contrived reason why the townspeople and local law enforcement just decide to forgive you. You said in the question, "what I really need is a way to get NPCs to forget about what we did", and there really isn't any way to do this other than the DM coming up with some reason that probably won't make a lot of sense. So just start fresh now that you've got the murder out of your systems.