Slayer's Code

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The code

  • Go where you are needed, help where you can. Slayers have far more freedoms than just about anyone else in their societies. This is justified by their heavy duties – they are expected to slay monsters so terrible that they could slaughter entire villages with ease. While Slayers can refuse to help others, they are only expected to do so either when those asking for help could easily accomplish the task on their own – or when the threat is so terrible that the Slayers would be overwhelmed, in which case they are often asked to find someone who can deal with it. Obviously, few Slayers like to admit that they cannot deal with a challenge…
  • Don’t tarry where you are not needed. Slayers are a rowdy lot whose mere presence disturbs peaceful communities. Thus, whenever Slayers have dealt with any threats to a community, they are expected to move on. Certainly they can stay long enough to recuperate from injuries and to partake in any celebrations in their honor, but after that they will hit the road again. The only locations where adventurers tend to stay for longer periods are monster-infested frontier regions or communities located next to a really big dungeon.
  • Own only what you can take with you. Slayers are forbidden from owning any land, houses, or other non-mobile property. All they can own is what they (and a pack horse or two) carry with them. While in the case of some really successful Slayers this still makes them fantastically wealthy, this and the other rules prevent them from becoming threatening to nobles, merchants, and other members of the local power structures, and their disruption tends to remain purely temporary.

If you stop living by these rules, then you are no longer considered a Slayer by society, and thus the rest of society will no longer allow you your freedoms and privileges.

How does the rest of society treat Slayers?

  • Pay them what you can, appropriate to what you ask of them. Slayers deserve generous rewards for their deeds, which benefit all. Of course, not everyone can give equal rewards – if a poor, remote village can only give free food and a place to stay, Slayers will still be obligated to help them by their rules. However, if you are a noble or a rich merchant and need a Slayer’s help, you are expected to give generously – and the more dangerous the task, the higher the reward should be. There is a pragmatic reason for this – if you develop a reputation for stinginess, Slayers will come up with all sorts of reasons to avoid you, and that will be very bad for you and everyone around you when you really need them.
  • Do not bar their way. Unlike many members of society, Slayers can go where they will and visit any village, city, noble fief, or even a war zone (though some specific areas might still be restricted – they don’t have to be admitted to the King’s Castle just because they want to see it!). What’s more, the property they carry with them may not be taxed or confiscated on a whim of the authorities – again, such actions would make other Slayers very reluctant to visit such a place, to its ultimate detriment when it faces the next monster attack. Of course, this doesn’t prevent innkeepers, craftsmen, merchants and the like from suddenly raising their prices drastically when their customer is a Slayer, but at least in theory nobody forces the Slayer to accept those prices.
  • What they find, they keep. Many monsters amass considerable treasures in their lairs, and if the Slayers manage to kill those monsters, the treasure is theirs, no matter how much you claim that the treasure originally belonged to you or an ancestor. If it really did belong to you originally – especially if it’s an important heirloom – you may offer them a “reward” for its safe return, which Slayers are generally expected to accept (smart people will negotiate this in advance – it might even be sufficient to tell them about the location of the lair…). Again, trying to stiff Slayers over this is unwise. After all, they managed to retrieve the item in question despite dangers that you were too afraid to deal with.
  • Fight the Monsters, not thy kin. Slayers are supposed to fight the enemies of civilization, not nobles, merchants, and other members of the local power structures, ensuring their political neutrality. However, in reality this part of the code often gets blurred, as Slayers are often too useful not to use in political machinations, and thus they get swept up in politics regardless of their intentions and wishes. Furthermore, many ambitious nobles and others with grand aspirations resort to using monsters and fell magics in their schemes, which do make them legitimate targets according to the code, for consorting with the enemies of civilization – although proving that might get tricky.

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Slayer's Code

Roerth aronlondon