... now with 35% more arrogance!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Yesterday's post about bandits leads naturally to the question "What the heck is a brigand, anyways?"

I don't mean "what's the definition?" Really, "brigand" and "bandit" are synonyms. Based on some historical usage, you could split hairs and say that bandits are normal citizens who turn outlaw because of dissatisfaction, while brigands are an army that has refused to disband after losing their war.

But more important: what is a brigand in the game?"

Bandits are either Neutral or Chaotic. Brigands are always Chaotic, and they have +1 morale. Those are the only differences. That sort of lends support to the position that brigands are more like sore losers than opportunists: the +1 morale could be interpreted either as the effects of military training or their devotion to a lost cause.

This suggests something about the "implied setting" of the LBBs (which Wayne has been writing about on his blog.) If there are wandering bands of warriors who refused to surrender when their leaders surrendered, it suggests recent wars, perhaps unjust wars. Maybe they are the last remnants of a rebellion, or refugees from a recently-conquered province.


  1. In AD&D I believe brigands and pirates (as opposed to bandits and buccaneers) are evil.

  2. Maybe because in the original three folded alignment system of OD&D Chaos is (more or less) assimilated with Chaotic Evil.
    In my eyes, Brigands would be more akin to the "Bloody mummers" of JRR Martin's novels, Bandits are the "Brotherhood without banners"

  3. So Robin Hood vs. the James Gang?

  4. I think less of bandits as Robin Hood and more like a modern gang for whom crime seems easier or more exciting than getting a real job, or because of a lack of real jobs.

  5. True. Although I think Roger's point is that the James gang were mostly ex-Confederates. Part of their reason for turning to crime was a reaction to the Civil War. On the other hand, I don't believe the James Gang had an actual "cause".

    Billy the Kid and his gang, although not ex-soldiers, were a better example, since they were hired for legitimate purposes which included defending their employer's property. When a corrupt sheriff collaborated in the assassination of their employer, he and the other hired hands went outlaw and sought vengeance.