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Your group of adventurers is known far and wide to be the strongest group by a considerable margin. You're also known to be a bit unpredictable.

  • Statistically, say from a Dungeon Master's perspective, your group is 10X stronger than every other group the same size and having the same skills on the planet.

  • When I mean the group is a bit unpredictable I mean they generally don't break the laws and don't commit crimes. However if their safety is at risk, they will not hesitate to break the law in order to protect themselves and eliminate obstacles in their way. If you're familiar with common RPG character alignments, this group would have to be considered a bit more chaotic than Lawful Neutral.1

Further...

  • This is a medieval high-fantasy setting with RPG-like elements.
  • Magic exists.
  • Your reputation always precedes you.

Question: Whether a common hamlet or a large city, how would the average person in the street feel upon hearing you'd just entered town?


1A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount to her. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. (easydamus.com)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by L.Dutch, JBH, Mołot, RonJohn, Renan Apr 2 '18 at 11:39

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Is an "adventuring party" something like the Bolsheviks? Or what? What's a "power rating" outside the context of electrical appliances? "The" government? Is there one government for all those countries and continents? Nowadays, "commonfolk" very much prefer to be referred to as "citizens", and legally we are all commonfolk -- privileges of the nobility having been abolished a long time ago. Ah, an BTW, what on earth is an "adventurers' guild"? There has never been anything like this ever, and I for one cannot imagine how it would work -- a guild was basically a local legal cartel. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 2 '18 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if you're trolling but I'm going to answer anyway. As you can see in the tags, this is a medieval fantasy setting. Ignorance with the term "adventuring party" escapes me. Power rating is just a term to gauge the strength of a group and this is beyond the lore of the said setting. It's just a way to explain the power gap between the second strongest and the strongest group in this question. Each country has their own "government". By "commonfolk" I mean the people in general if you are too lazy to answer specifically. $\endgroup$ – Bwrites Apr 2 '18 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ I am not trolling. It is obvious from the question that you have a certain setting in mind where the question makes sense, but you have not explained it. Since you have not explained it, nobody can answer the question. Ah, and before you go to the "vaguely European medieval" route, please consider for a moment that in an actual European medieval context there were no "adventuring parties", the closest being either a "free company" (that is, mercenaries) or a band of highwaymen. Mercenaries never undertook dangerous missions (bad for the the bottom line), and highwaymen were criminals. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 2 '18 at 7:17
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    $\begingroup$ Please try to make the question not opinion based. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Apr 2 '18 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ Right, read my comment again. The people will not respond based solely on a reputation for strength. They will respond to the party's reputation for how they use that strength. Tell us that reputation and we can answer the question. Without it, the Q is primarily opinion-based. Also, note that each bullet basically represents a separate question. Please don't expect us to give you so much perspective. Limit the number of bullet points as much as you can. Remove the "Etc." bullet or the question will be closed as too broad. Remember, SE sites are not discussion forums. $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 2 '18 at 8:46
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The normal idea of an adventuring party is to amass wealth and/or glory and eventually have your own kingdom complete with army etc, this works both for RPG and real life.

So your party would be viewed as a national threat by many and as a challenge to other parties paid to put a stop to you.

Having got to that stage where you are 10 times tougher than anyone else you should be thinking of taking over a kingdom or something similar. Going in to business for yourself in other words. Recruiting an army to do the dirty work and sitting back on your laurels enjoying the good life while watching for assassins. If you crave the excitement, go into empire building.

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The reaction of NPCs to an extremely powerful group like this would be something like this :

  • "The Average Joe" NPC. Wants a quiet life and no trouble, Will try to stay out of the way of your group avoiding them entirely if at all possible and minimizing contact the barest possible extent. Probably politely wary if obliged to come into contact.

  • "The Corrupt" NPC. Will try and ally to you or use your group to his/her own advantage. Typically such characters have to be more motivated by greed and/or lust of power than anything else and will risk more-or-less anything to get it.

  • "Only Room For One Ego Around Here" NPCs. Basically up for a fight and keen to deal with you only if it makes them look good. Depending on the details will either try to look (in public) like your best friend for PR reasons or will look for an excuse to start a fight on their own terms when they think they can win. Maybe both.

  • "Fan Boy" NPCs. Will actually seek to ingratiate themselves to you, aid you (not necessarily successfully) and inform you. Depending on the egos of the players own characters these can range from an amusing and useful slave, to an irritating nuisance that is best dealt with with a boot up the backside. Fan Boy characters can be useful to e.g. steal small trinkets for themselves as mementos or to sell to other fan boys, but if the trinkets turn out to be more important than they seem, well a quest may follow to get it back.

  • "Government" NPCs. Will try to (a) tax you, (b) enlist you and (c) forget you, in that order. Actually will have forms to fill in and actually will ask you to prove your identity despite the sheer insanity of asking your group for this. Officials all think that "the might of the State" is behind them, if not actually in them and will act as if they're doing you a favor letting you breath tax-free (even if it's not tax free). Government-type NPCs offering "a project that might interest you" will like as not mean "a suicide mission no one we employ is daft enough to undertake".

  • "Honest Businessman" NPCs. You're powerful. You're bound to have valuables. This NPCs job is to remove the valuables from you without even thinking about a sword or an axe to do so (unless it's selling you one). Occasionally a useful source of quests as in "Well, for a small finders fee I can point you in the direction of an X people like yourselves would doubtless find fascinating, yer Honors.".

However the reaction of normal player groups who are nowhere near as powerful as your super-group would be deeply resentful. Super-groups in a multi-player RPG world are generally toxic in my limited experience of these things. At best they're an anomaly everyone else has to work around, and at worst they're the idiots that wiped out all your hard grind and set you back to zero. Super-groups and super-players need constraints in games in my opinion or they take all the fun out of it. In a magic setting I'd suggest that if they get too powerful they "irritate the Gods" who prevent them interfering with their believers - something like that.

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(This answers answers a previous and now sadly no longer extant form of the question. I will let it here as is, in the hope that some readers may find it useful.)


The Great Heathen Army

(This is an illustrative example. Note that this setting has already been used pretty well by Harry Harrison and John Holm in their alternate history novel The Hammer and the Cross.)

And so it came to pass, around the middle of the 9th century, as it is written in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, that the famous (and unfortunately mythical) viking robber Ragnar Hairy Breeches was captured and killed by king Ælla who threw him in a snake pit. Three of Ragnar's sons, White Shirt, Ivar the Boneless and Björn Ironsides, put together a terrible force of one or maybe two thousand men to revenge the ignominious death of their father.

(For comparison, the mercenary force of which the retreat from Persia forms the subject of Xenophon's immortal Anabasis -- written in the 4th century BCE, 1300 years before the Great Heathen Army landed on English shores -- famously numbered 10,000 soldiers.)

  • From the point of view of the lawless norsemen, the force assembled by the three wolf cubs was an adventuring party; participants participated in the hope of rape, pillage and plunder, and of course immortal glory.

  • From the point of view of the English, the force was an instrument of divine punishment and remonstration for their sinful ways; plus, of course, an object of fear and hatred.

  • Although it was by far the strongest adventuring party / band of criminal robbers in western Europe, nobody heard of it outside Denmark (where they came from), England (where they did their gruesome business), and the neighbouring Ireland (which they coveted) and Normandy, because the 9th century. There was no press, no television and no Internet in the 9th century, and news travelled slowly if at all. To understand just how difficult was to become famous outside a small area, consider that of all the Roman emperors the only one whose fame made it to the confines of China was a certain "Cesar", which is not helpful given that all Roman emperors took the name (or, later, the title) Cesar upon becoming emperors.

The great and fearsome adventuring party landed in East Anglia in 865 CE, and for 14 years marauded and rampaged through the four English kingdoms, sometimes doing battles, sometimes reaching agreements with various kings, sometimes extorting eye-watering amounts of money from fearful rulers, always feared, always hated, until, after losing the battle of Edington in 878 CE, they graduated from gruesome robbers to responsible soldiers and signed a treaty with king Alfred of Wessex and established a great Danish kingdom in England, known as Danelaw. Danelaw prospered, and in its turn became the target of other bands of adventurers / blood-thirsty viking robbers, until the last remnant of Danelaw was merged into a united England in 954 CE.

When I say that "they" signed a treaty with king Alfred I mean that one of their leaders, a certain Guthrum of unknown descent, signed the treaty and was recognized as King of the Danes by Alfred. For the essence of a band of blood-thirsty heathens is that they have no discipline, no law and no loyalty; so the mighty Great Heathen Army, drunk with the strong wine of invincibility, soon fragmented into hostile fragments.

  • At first, the ordinary people viewed them with terror and hatred, fueled by the gruesome acts of violence performed by the rampaging adventurers, and of course by their foreign (yet comprehensible) speech and pagan religion. But after some years, when the grisly murderers began to understand the advantages of having a stable economy to feed and clothe them, the conquered people became accustomed to their lawful Danish rulers, and the English language acquired a few thousand Norse words and, in order to facilitate communication between speakers of two related, but yet different, languages, decisively engaged on the path towards the dramatic reduction in morphology which is its most striking aspect.

  • Some kings fought with them, sometimes winning and usually losing. Other kings paid them to go away, not having read Kipling, who clearly explains "that if once you have paid him the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane". Yet other kings tried to reach agreements with them, which were usually broken by the uncultured Danes. In the end, of course, the adventurers became statesmen, and noblemen, and merchants, and commonfolk: for viking is an occupation for young men, and after years and years of rape, pillage and plunder and insecurity and murder-death-kill, most members of the adventuring party yearned for the pleasures of domesticity.

  • The composition of the great heathen adventuring party was never constant. Some of them had their fill of plunder and went back to their distant icy shores, others heard of the exploits of the great army and joined; the army split into pieces, and recombined; leadership was never uncontested, so that after a decade of fighting the only commander from the seed of the famous Ragnar was his youngest son Halfdan Ragnarsson, while the greatest part of the marauding band listened to Guthrum Son of Nobody.

  • Their fame extended north into Scotland (which was not yet Scotland), west into Ireland and east into Normandy, and never went further than that. No, they did not become known and famous all over Europe, much less in Asia or Africa. It's not their fault, for they were fierce warriors and murderers and robbers and rapists, it's the fault of the lack of communications in the Middle Ages.

  • I still have no idea of what an adventurer's guild may be or how it could possibly work.

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I get the impression from the tone of your question that adventuring parties are considered to be a normal and accepted part of society in your setting, if this is the case, then they could well be the equivalent of sports teams in the real world, with fans eagerly following their exploits and arguing over which party is the best. In such a case, the uber-party you describe would be extremely popular, drawing large numbers of (potentially fair-weather) fans with their unprecedented success, much like an undefeated real-world sports team - except, in this case, they might be more analogous to a team with multiple, back-to-back undefeated seasons, given how far you've placed them above any potential competition.

Of course, if they're really that dominant, some fans are likely to be growing bored with them (would it really be that interesting to watch a professional sports team play against a little-league team?) and there may be calls to have them broken up so that others can have a chance or to investigate them for unfair practices (mapping doping scandals to rumors of deals with various Dark Powers, perhaps?).

On the alignment question, you can also draw a (sad) parallel with high-profile sports players in the real world often being allowed to get away with crimes that would be considered quite serious had anyone else committed them. As long as they remain popular, there's a good chance they could get away with the occasional murder, at least figuratively and quite possibly literally.

The Powers That Be might recognize them as a threat and support a breakup or investigation of the party as a way to maintain the existing social and political order, or they might not, since you say that nobody else is aware of just how far they are ahead of everyone else, so TPTB may believe that an army would be sufficient to stop the uber-party if they started to get too far out of line.

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