This is a simple 101 guide to roleplaying as a Hobo. A few things need to be mentioned before we start. There is another guide on the forums on How to Roleplay a Homeless Person and while polarbear did a good job I feel it's lacking a lot, and is not comprehensive enough nor based on IG situations etc that could help future Hobo Roleplayers, which is why I'm doing this. Another thing that needs to be mentioned is, if all you want to do is earn some quick cash, then reading this guide is not for you. You might as well select a new skin, run up to random people with /me is homeless. and ask for money, this guide is intended for those legitimately looking to start their character development off as a hobo, or spiral down the social ladder and end up as one. I base this entire 101 hobo guide on my personal In Game experience over the past few months roleplaying as a hobo for the majority of the time.
By Wikipedia definition, a Hobo is: a migratory worker or homeless vagabond—especially one who is penniless. Basically, in layman terms what that means is, a Hobo is a homeless person roaming around begging or trying to earn money any way they can. But, Hobo is so much more than just a term, it is a lifestyle, so to understand what a hobo is, one first must understand what a hobo does.
Here is a list of things a Hobo can do:
Hobo's might be drug addicts, and therefor end up spending every penny they earn on drugs.
They might be sex addicts, spending all their money trying to get laid, on $20 hoes and what not, underaged prostitutes, you name it. They may even catch a disease here or there, or in desperate occasions, make love to dead animals when under the influence and out of their minds.
Hobo's might just be homeless people with drinking habits, make a few bucks and head to the bar to drink their sorrows away, then once drunk, get out and land themselves in trouble.
Hobo's could even be bible thumpers, religious freaks of sorts, preaching to those they run into.
Hobo's might be car jackers, they can be hostile and dangerous. Not all of them are firnedly and harmless.
Hobo's could be gambling addicts, beg for money then end up gambling it all away, maybe take out loans and be in debt to loan sharks, always beat down for money. The worst type of hobo is the gambling addict mix with drug addict type, that's a recipe for disaster, and constant concussions.
Hobo's can in general be vile, evil little creatures of the street. They can be a gangs eyes and ears in rival gang territories, whoever goes near a homeless man sitting in a corner smelling of piss and shit anyway? Lots is said around these beings as they go unnoticed by the general public.
On the other hand, a Hobo can simply be a nice fella down on his luck, trying to make ends meet, asking around for any type of work, everything from mowing lawns to wiping down windshields, and in return, finding kindness in the most unlikely places, like how MS13 helped Trevor, my character out after he hung around their hood for 3 weeks sleeping under cardboard boxes. They ended up feeding him daily, giving him a corridor in their complex to sleep in when it rains, they even spotted him some crack for when he needed to numb the pain.
Hobo's need to have different characteristics and traits, flaws and such. They can't all be one of the same. The most common type of hobo you see around LSRP is the one running around with a beggar like skin, going from one person to the next asking for money. While that's fine to do, once in a while, it is not a realistic portrayal of what hobos do/are nor how they act. Develop a unique set of traits for your hobo character to have, maybe he's a cripple, mine for a long tim used crutches to get around, that made him a super slow character, it also gave him props he could use, crutches to whack people with or trip them over, he used them for so much more and it was funny to see people interact with them, like young kids kicking the crutches out from under him and watching Trevor fall as a result.
Perhaps your Hobo is slightly blind, maybe he is rabid, or stinks violently, maybe he has turrets syndrome and yells out randomly hilarious things at the most awkward moments. Find a flaw, something that makes you unique.
My character, Trevor, for the longest time had a mangled up leg that was healing super slow, he also had a crack addiction and as a result of this combination, he would sit alone scratching as his leg wound constantly, the scab would never heal, and that's how his nickname came about, why people began to call him Scab.
Being homeless, a hobo, can be extremely lonely. As a result it's nice to be somewhere with familiar faces, to spark up conversations. Or...why not talk to yourself? Sing for people? Have an imaginary friend? Key is get creative in developing your hobo and most importantly, stick to it, be consistent. Trevor only got help a month and a half into his journey, he was offered treatment to get off crack, he was offered surgery for his knee, he was given new clothes and a room to rent, along with a job, as a result of his kindness as a hobo with nothing to his name.
Hobos, and homeless people in general, never run...they have no reason to run. They're not running to work, or are in a hurry to get somewhere. They don't exactly eat and drink often enough to have the energy to run around to begin with. Alright sure, if all hell breaks loose, people are shooting, cars are flipping over and bodies are pilling up, then don't just casually walk away, run like a motherfucker, but only in serious situations.
Be nice to the ladies.
It's true, ladies are more likely to pay more (i was told by my friend Rufus Hicky and it was true). If you're really friendly, and humble, and just down right polite to the ladies in game, they're more likely to give you more. A simple warm smile, offering to open a car door for them, moving out of their way and avoiding eye contact, that sort of thing. Some may even offer you a home to stay in like one chick did for Trevor (he'd spy on her while she showered but hey, he was at least friendly)
Stick to safe zones
You're a hobo, you're homeless, and you're given money by random people all day, to most criminals in the city you're a walking piggy bank waiting to be smashed and robbed. If you stick to the safe zones as much as possible, it works. Hang around at the mall, Pershing square, linger around the banks or the car dealership. Be smart about it though and don't annoy people or cops will gladly find you and write you up.
Make it known you're homeless around the server, make sure people know you're a hobo by utilizing your /ame right. Constantly take a certain route and build a routine of sorts where you spot regular people, being familiar helps you stay out of trouble if thats what you want, and gets you help from regulars who see you.
Make Contacts & Pay Attention
Being a hobo means you get a first hand look into the workings of the underworld. So much goes on right before your eyes that if you pay attention, you can start remembering nick names, faces, stash spots and more, and utilize that to your advantage one way or another. Trevor for example hung around Ganton, got to hear a lot of nicknames and when approached by youngens who wanted to take his money, simply mentioned a couple of the nicknames he heard, stating they let him stay here. Seconds later the youngens were laughing with him and sharing a joint... Making contacts also means knowing who the dealers are, who their suppliers are, where they hide their stash and how they operate. If you're going to go down that route and need drugs for example, you could easily knock off one of your dealers.
Trevor spent weeks buying a small amount from a rolling 20's dealer known as Raven. She was a young girl in her teens, and he took advantage of how careless she became after having dealt with him a few times. He found the perfect moment, and new her routine of getting drugs, that he managed to rob her, right at idlewood, where thee were banger son the corner and nobody even noticed, he got away with almost quarter of a kilo of drugs as a result. All because he paid attention.
There are things you really should never do while roleplaying a Hobo, simply because it's not realistic or just right down silly and embarrassing for yourself. When I see people do this, it puts me off and I instantly label them as individuals who can't RP, of course that is my own personal opinion and everyone maintains the right to rp a hobo however the hell they want.
- Do NOT run around with a cell phone as a hobo. Come the fuck on people.
- Do NOT beg someone, get a few bucks, then run off without any further roleplay.
- Do NOT be rude to ANYONE that pays you, even if it's 1$. BE GRATEFUL ALWAYS.
- Do NOT drive around in a car or bike of your own constantly (unless you live in your car, and even then you shouldn't be constantly driving around as gas is technically expensive. you should get your rp for living in your car down and describe what people would see in your car that reflects that so they know)
- Do NOT go into stores or clubs/businesses that you have no place being in as a hobo.
- Do NOT confront police or act like a retard. Even mentally unstable hobo's have the common sense not to land in jail. In the extreme case you plan on playing a permanently handicapped character, allow people to help you, take you to the hospital etc to seek treatment and go from there. Don't use that as an excuse to annoy people in game.
- And last but not least, DO NOT be completely out of the loop and RP unrealistically, giving your hobo athletic features and abilities while using a phone and driving around in a rancher only to park up and beg people for money claiming to be homeless and broke like this person does. It's just embarrassing. (yeah, this guy ali in the ss was actually claiming to be broke, stating he was rich once, still has his car, his home, his phone which he was on 24/7 and good looking clothes + health, muscular body, stood 6'5" tall, yet had no means of making money so he resorted to begging people at the mall. if i saw someone like that irl, i'd call him a con/scammer and call the cops, you should too IG!)
Look, it's true, nobody can RP a hobo forever, it eventually gets repetitive and it truly is a lonely character to play. Even though there's an amazing variety of RP to be had and a wealth of things to do, you just can't be a hobo forever. So use it as a stepping stone, Trevor did, he now utilizes all he learned while living on the streets to do what he does better, he has real life (ig) experience, and knows how to deal with most situations like that. He knows where to get whatever he wants, he knows who to get it from, he knows who to avoid, and so forth.
So, being a Hobo shouldn't just be about changing your skin and begging for a few grand, while you're welcome to do that, consider using the Hobo character to better improve your own characters development. Either start off as one, or spiral your characters life out of control and become one. Either way, the key is to have fun and make sure others are having fun with you too!
I hope this helps some of you who are looking to RP as hobos out there. If you have any questions etc that you think I might be able to answer, please don't hesitate to ask! Happy RPing!