Thursday, January 10, 2013

You've heard of "murderhobos," but what about...


A note for the kids: this image depicts Charlie Chaplin in his film "Modern Times."
Perhaps Chaplin's most famous film is "The Tramp."
Thus, I give you...Charlie Chaplin as "The Torture Tramp"!

And what about "fire-lighting freeloaders"?? Ok, that last one is a stretch. But I'm particularly proud that I came up with torture tramps.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. Someone came up with the term "murderhobos" as a wry commentary on what many D&D characters seem to be: belligerent wanderers who travel here and there, killing things in order to take their valuables.

Well, if you've been reading the OSR blogosphere for any amount of time, and played the early editions of the game, you know how often the matter of torture can come up during play. So, players are also folks who wander around, kick the ass of various creatures, and often hold sentient survivors hostage and subject them to torture (or at least the threat of torture) until they give up the information a party of adventurers desires.

As for fire-lighting freeloaders, if you're an old-time gamer, you know how often lamp oil was used to immolate foes! You also know how burning down buildings in a town comes into play. Yes, arson is quite the convenient way to cover up your tracks!

So, I hope torture tramps takes on a life of its own in gamer parlance, just like murderhobos!

The original torture tramp gets a dose of his own medicine!


  1. As much as I like Torture Tramps (what a great name for a band!), Fire-lighting Freeloaders quite accurately describes how my first time running the Village of Hommlet went.

    1. Trust me, I speak from experience with both the torture and fire angles. I've set my share of buildings on fire, but never did any "Reservoir Dogs" style torture.

  2. I believe both of those deserve their place in the game. "Torture Tramps" and "Fire-lighting Freeloaders" get thumbs up from me.


  3. I had been gaming for over a decade before I even heard of the term 'murder hobo', and now, less than a year after that, two more great names. At this rate , I should be able to write an entire book full of them within the next decade or so...