I was struck, today, by the thought that ultimate rogue is really the revolutionary. I had this thought while reading the excellent Young Stalin, by Simon Sebag Montefiore. What a lot of people don't know about Stalin is that he began his Bolshevik career as a kind of Marxist-Leninist version of Robin Hood, with the Caucasus Mountains as his Sherwood Forest and his revolutionary comrades as his Merry Men. Except that rather than rob from the rich to feed the poor directly, he did it in a far more attenuated fashion: robbing the rich to feed the Bolshevik revolution, which would (come the revolution) result in food for the poor in the long run (except that it didn't, but we won't go into that). Most famously, he organised the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, in which he and his gang stole around £1.7 million in broad daylight, killing 40 guards and civilians and wounding 50 more. The money was used to fund revolutionary activities throughout Russia - although it seems to have had a negative effect on Bolshevik popularity in Georgia, at least.
The picture painted of Stalin's young life is hugely romantic. He was head of a band of brigands, revolutionaries and gangsters, roaming the Caucasus, with a woman in each town, a glass of wine in one hand, a sabre in the other, having a roaring good time - and fermenting revolution on the way. It gives one a sense that being a Bolshevik was probably a whale of a time.
Being a revolutionary is extremely game-able - perhaps more so even than the standard murder-hobo routine, because these are rogues with a cause. Their chaotic money-making schemes, carefree adventuring and casual murder has a purpose. The players have to make careful plans, engage in all manner of derring-do, and roam about looking for adventure, just like they always do, but at the same time they have to think about how to help The Cause. A number of "revolutionary sandboxes" randomly themselves:
- Genuine Robin Hood style outlaws: "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen..."
- Druids and rangers protecting some natural wilderness from exploitation through terrorist action
- Cyberpunk Marxist-Leninists undermining the capitalist system from within
- Religious fanatics in a quasi-counter-reformation, avoiding the inquisition while trying to convert the world from sin
- Suffragete-style campaigners trying to bring about Rights for Women/Men/Trolls/Ferengi/Werewolves/whatever
- Psionicists in a land where WIZARDS HAVE BANNED PSIONICS