Found on Slacktivist:
The following was stolen from a D&D forum concerning a Forgotten Realms campaign, and adequately sums up how aristocrats should see adventurers in D&D:
"Your Majesty, I beg you to stop a moment and consider for a second treating these individuals like normal subjects. You are the King, the Lord of all you survey. Except, that is enforced milord by your armies of troopers and your wizards and the strength that comes from respect for tradition as well as your place as given by the gods."
"What are these men? These men, sire, are those whom will think absolutely nothing of killing every single one of your guards if you send them onto their group. They will further never rest at that point from hunting you down and killing you because you have betrayed them. They value this perception of gratitude and their own infallibility more than they value your life or the lives of all of your men. Worse, your guards will prove to be meaningless to these assassins. They wield powers that can shake the very foundations of the castle and bring down the walls with such ease as you might consider them an earthquake. Their warriors can slice up dozens of armed men and take hundreds of arrow bolts without dying. They survive fireballs and bolts of lightning from the Heaven and seem to grow stronger as they kill."
"There will be no place in Heaven or ground where you can hide for they will remember your slight and they will, if not strong enough now, eventually return to destroy you even if it is years later. They will consider themselves utterly and completely justified that you are a tyrant and evil along with beyond redemption. Worse, the people will agree with them.
In our world, we are fallible men who sit on thrones of gold with crowns won from ancient conquerors. We placate the gods with gifts and we leave sleeping dragons lying as we resign ourselves to the unnameable horrors that dot our lands."
“These men do not accept that. They wrestle with the dragons, destroy the armies of the humanoids, and by armies I meanarmies, and lay waste to the hosts of horrors both ancient as well as surreal with their weapons that individually match the greatest legends. They are legends already because we the weak and humble humans of the land are now close to being the dominant species because they have cast low demons, eldritch horrors, and wizards thousands of years old without the slightest hesitation. They can be killed but these men simply go forth to the Dark Realms to retrieve their dead. Believe me, majesty, when I say that if they want your crown, they could have it.”
“However, this is not something you should be unhappy about. Merely accept that they are as close to the gods in living form as you are likely to meet. They will gladly help you destroy the Kraken underneath the depths and take the treasures of a forgotten Empire. Tell them to do these things and you may yet keep them from idly laying waste to great hordes. Bury the treasure they bring back for their aid is fickle and you may invite jealousy. Also, do not attempt to take what they feel is theirs for they know nothing of law but their own conscience.”
“Hang me for these words if you think them treasonous, but know they are true.”
I think this covers Dungeons and Dragons (and a number of RPGs) in a nutshell. Now, I wonder how many GMs would actually consider this as a 'in-game' way for people to look at adventurers. Having it common knowledge that 'adventurers' are these strange people who someone rapidly outstrip the common folk by leaps and bounds, perform heroic deeds, carry unspeakable weapons of power, and are gods walking amongst men.
This amuses me to no end.