Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Pitchfork, D&D and the Justice of the Mob

Some angry mob eye candy found on Wikipedia.
The word lynching has an interesting history, but that's not what this post is about. Lynch mobs are a strong trope in (old) horror movies and literature. Be it Frankenstein or Dracula, depending on the version you're reading or seeing, both were overpowered by angry townsfolk at some point. Why not have something like that in D&D? Something fast and simple, maybe?

Easy Lynch Mob Recipe

You'll need more than 13 really angry townspeople, but not more than 100. Add torches and pitchforks. Mix with other agrarian tools as desired. Use with a breeze veterans, if available. It's not necessary, but good for the flavour. The number of agitated people is the percentage to resist any magical or spell-like attempts to influence the crowd. Reduce percentage by spell level multiplied with 3 (multiplied with 4 against spell-like abilities).

Serve at night and near the next local vampire or evil wizard. Enjoy!


  1. I've been thinking for a while now that the ideal 'funnel' adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG would be one in which the PCs are part of a lynch mob storming the castle/manor of Dr Frankenstein/Dracula. The many of the 0-level mooks will die, but weight of numbers (and player ingenuity) should win the day, and the newly minted Level One PCs should have some fighting experience, some experience of stealth and traps - at least by watching people die, which should make some Fighters and Thieves. And at least on of the mob will have been driven by righteous anger at the unholiness of the Evil, and another will be curious as to the content of the library - giving the party a Cleric and a Magic User.

    And if the big bad escapes, well, there is your campaign villain, but otherwise, there are always the big bad's patron or secret brotherhood to worry about.

  2. That sounds like a great idea! And not only for DCC. A perfect initiation rite, so to say. With protecting the mob just a little bit, it would be more likely for them to survive. Not all of them, but enough to build a crew of adventurers from scratch!

    And even if they loose, it could be a decent start for a campaign. The survivors would have to flee, leaving everything they knew behind. This way you'd also get a campaign villain and some old scores to settle in the future.

    My initial thoughts for giving the mob some power, was to give low level adventurers one more fighting chance to tackle the big bads. And giving a groups cleric some purpose other than being the heal bot.

    At the same time it could be a tool for a DM to give some "misbehaving" (or even just visiting, there are always fanatics around that don't like strangers or are happy for a scapegoat...) mid level adventurers a nasty (well, not too nasty, I guess) surprise.


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