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A question suggested by

Steffan O'Sullivan
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"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
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Has an NPC who was NOT intended to be a villain ever become so hated by the PCs that they tried to kill him/her/it/them?

Why did they hate the NPC?

Did they succeed in killing them?




Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 2
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Pete
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All the time?

Pete (has players who don't trust anyone)
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Chapel
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There wasn't an npc, be it good or bad, that my parties wouldn't kill at the most in-opportune moments.

shake
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Geoffrey Burrell
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There was a NPC named Gregori in Pathfinder's King Maker module who fits the parameters.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Yes there was. In my early days of GMing the fantasy genre, I had a couple of D&D players in my game. (I was probably running GURPS, but it may have been TFT.) At that point I had no concept of the bizarre warped concept of fantasy that D&D creates, so I was playing an NPC as a pretty realistic medieval nobleman who was not going to take any lip from commoners even if they did aid him in his quest.

The commoner PCs wanted the loot; the nobleman NPC, a paladin type, said it was going back to the rightful owners. A fight ensued, and the NPC won, leaving two wounded PCs. He did staunch their bleeding before he left, and told the nearest monastery where to find wounded adventurers who needed healing, but left them not a penny of the loot.

They swore vengeance against him, and spent the next session trying to track him down. They never did find which kingdom he belonged to, alas.

It was years before I understood that D&D players, at least that batch in the 1980s, had no concept of medieval hierarchy that didn't suit their desires.
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Chapel
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sos1 wrote:


It was years before I understood that D&D players, at least that batch in the 1980s, had no concept of medieval hierarchy that didn't suit their desires.


Hey, I resemble that remark!
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Rebus Carnival
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I don't think hate has anything to do with it. They have butchered hirelings for sport as far as I can tell. I usually have weapons confiscated at the gates so we can get through a quick dialogue before the slaughter begins anew.

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William Hostman
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I've had that happen... several times. None particularly memorable.

More memorable was the opposite... redeeming the villains.

(A PC pursued a romance with King Mark of Cornwall... and made him an ally of Arthur in a Pendragon game. Another PC prevented Mordred's rebellion...)
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Peter Robben
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And here...
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Yes, most notably an innocent WFRP boatman who had a habit of helping them out and turning up in every port. They thought he MUST be chaos or a spy or some such if he kept on crossing their paths...
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Pone McPoneface
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I had a Boot Hill campaign scenario where the players were hired by a sheep rancher to protect his land from a rival and encroaching cattle rancher. The sheep rancher had a legal deed to the land that his stock was grazing on and the rival rancher was acting illegally, ultimately trying to force the sheep rancher off the land.

What the NPC sheep rancher did not know, and neither did the players, was the 'cattle rancher' was a leader of big time criminal gang and the cattle ranch was his effort to establish a legitimate base and life for his exploits, which also extended into real estate development and investment in the nearby town.

The players decided to take a heavy handed approach to the cattle rancher and underestimated his resources, especially in the number of skilled gunman. Things began to fall apart with the first confrontation ending in a gunfight in which several innocents were killed and 1 of the players being seriously wounded. Though, the players did take out several of the cattle ranchers men in the exchange.

Unfortunately, the sheriff and local judge were on the payroll of the cattle rancher and the party ended up in big trouble, declared outlaws, and had 2 of their core members killed in a subsequent ambush and forced to flee the territory with a bounty on their heads.

The players were convinced they were set up by the sheep rancher and took upon themselves to revisit his ranch and killed him in cold blood, which kind of surprised me at the time as they took the loss of their characters with such emotion.

Though, as a GM, it did allow for the campaign to take an interesting turn as a party of outlaws with a bounty on their head. Gave me new material and storylines to work with to conclude the campaign.
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Mario Silva
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plezercruz wrote:
All the time?

Pete (has players who don't trust anyone)
ditto
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Chapel
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sos1 wrote:
.

It was years before I understood that D&D players, at least that batch in the 1980s, had no concept of medieval hierarchy that didn't suit their desires.


I had to think on this for a few minutes. And my theory is those kids who played D&D in the early 80's probably got their concept of high fantasy medieval authoritative feedback structures from Robert E. Howard.

Crom.

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Brian M
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Not that I can think of. Most of the people I played with would befriend everyone they could. As a GM, if I wanted to be sure of fights I needed to use either real scumbags or mindless undead or something like that.
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Pandora Caitiff
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Has an NPC who was NOT intended to be a villain ever become so hated by the PCs that they tried to kill him/her/it/them?
Yup. Our NPC "handler" who was the link to our supervillain boss.

Why did they hate the NPC?
I can't actually remember. I think he was just an annoying killjoy. Although it might have been because he was a bit hands-on and controlling about how exactly we carried out tasks.

Did they succeed in killing them?
We did. We planned it all out when the GM was on a toilet break, and when we were next alone with the NPC and not in immediate danger, we all drew automatic weapons and shot him repeatedly. The GM looked stunned and said something like, "well I guess he's dead then. I'm not even going to roll."
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William Hostman
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MWChapel wrote:
sos1 wrote:
.

It was years before I understood that D&D players, at least that batch in the 1980s, had no concept of medieval hierarchy that didn't suit their desires.


I had to think on this for a few minutes. And my theory is those kids who played D&D in the early 80's probably got their concept of high fantasy medieval authoritative feedback structures from Robert E. Howard.

Crom.


Arnie's Conan is not Howard's Conan...

Howards would have stabbed them in the back, so as not to lose the weapon...
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Michael Daumen
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In an Ars Magica campaign, where several of us took turns GMing, I deliberately set out to play a jerk mage for a PC. At some point I realized he would make a great villain, so it wasn't a one-sided decision.
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We've had more than a few cases where the patron has become a hated NPC even though he was not intended to be so and had been honest about what he knew up front.

The worst case though was a PC who became an NPC when the player went on nights. He was the only healer, so the GM agreed he could accompany us as an NPC. As time went on, he became more and more demanding that other players behave according to the strictures of his god. This hadn't really been the case when the player was in control. Anyhow, he eventually became so demanding that we hated him and he wound up getting killed when he demanded full shares of treasure after only healing after combat. One of our greedier players took exception and decided to try to kill him. His plan was to either get rid of the guy or die trying and come back as a cleric. He succeeded, but only barely.
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No, the players aren't so kill-crazy in the campaign I'm running, it being Traveller, the end result is that some of them would die too.
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Adam
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Tempe
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AaAaAaAaAaAaA! Oh no! You shanked my Jenga ship!
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Like most of the rest of you, it was a "Mr. Smith" that wound up going from mission giver to villain / hated rival. This happened in my Palladium RPG campaign. The NPC merchant Bernard Blim sent the PCs to recover his merchandise from the Sphinx that was the actual owner. The PCs did not appreciate having been duped. I took their hate and ran with it, eventually deciding that Blim was an incarnation of Toth, who did not yet recall that he had started existence as one of the Old Ones, but who was starting to realize he had forgotten -something-. Sadly, it never fully played out; would've been a blast to run if it had.
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The D&D 3 adventure, the The Sunless Citadel, had an infamous kobold named Meepo. He wasn't a grand villain so much as a petty opportunist. He'd beg for his life, promise to help (and occasionally would), then try to run when convenient. Wasn't above filching a few choice items from the PCs if possible.

I was hoping to keep him around as a lovable screwup for a while. Unfortunately the party members did not agree, and he got run through with a bunch of pointy things.
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Has an NPC who was NOT intended to be a villain ever become so hated by the PCs that they tried to kill him/her/it/them?
Oh yes!

Why did they hate the NPC?
Because he was just... so good... and so annoying! Gah, he might be a helpful font of information, but they would rather do anything than ask for his help.

Did they succeed in killing them?
Not yet... though plans are in the works... so someday...
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Doug Hook
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"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
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Somewhere along the line early (1st level) in the current Pathfinder campaign we picked up a Monk who is still with the party (now 6th level). Since there are now 5-6 PCs on any given day. We don't need the extra muscle of the GM grandstanding with his own character. Being the only Lawful Good in the group I can't willing let him die and won't let the others do him in "by accident."
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