Adventuring is about more than adventuring. When you spend your free time inhabiting a fantasy persona, it’s only natural to wonder what Tormog the Mighty gets up to when he’s not decapitating kobolds. That might include such pastimes as crafting, communing with familiars, running a rumor mill, ordering about a cadre of peons, or even leading a kingdom. Suddenly you’ve got more to worry about than keeping watch and hunting for your next magic item. You’ve got responsibilities, and the character of play changes radically.

The real trick is gauging your party’s interest in this shift. Some people love nothing better than busting out the graph paper, calculating time and material costs, and micromanaging their brand new gelatinous cube-based sanitation department. If you’re one of the people who helped make Matt Colville the proud owner of a “top 100 of all time Kickstarter,” chances are you know what I’m talking about. (And if you’re into 5e and haven’t heard about Strongholds & Followers, you should go and give it a look.) For other players, the shift in style is an unwelcome intrusion. This conflict of interests in not easy to navigate.

I remember a particularly impatient rogue from a few years back who suffered from this dilemma. It was a hex crawl game, and we’d been tasked with mapping our kingdom’s unsettled wildlands. After coming across the standard set of haunted ruins we busied ourselves by cleaning up the site, fortifying the citadel, and making the place ready for settlers. By the time we’d finished renovating the ancient elven bath house, the rogue was ready to burst.

“I heard there was a dungeon nearby. Have you guys heard that rumor? I’ve heard that rumor. We should probably go and do that. Like a family. Like we used to.”

We needed to show off the new digs to our king though, so we decided it would be best to set up a tournament for the purpose. We sent out the call, painted some landing strip illusions on the ground, and waited for Hippogriff One to arrive.

“Seriously guys. There’s a dungeon. Can we please explore the dungeon?”

Intrigue followed. Questing knights poured in from all quarters. Our resident fighter disguised herself as a mystery knight, the better to surprise her disapproving mother by winning the tourney and making a grand reveal.

“I guess I’ll learn how to make poisons,” said the impatient rogue. “Yay.” It was a sarcastic sort of ‘yay.’

This all leads me to my question of the day. When you’ve got a group that’s split between entrepreneurial players—the sort that are eager to start businesses and manage kingdoms—and others who just want to get back to adventuring, how do you go about pleasing both sides? Is this an irreconcilable difference, or can you make the business owners and the impatient rogues happy in the same campaign? Let’s hear your ideas it in the comments!

 

ARE YOU AN IMPATIENT ROGUE? If so, you should check out the “Henchman” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. For just one buck a month, you can get each and every Handbook of Heroes comic a day earlier than the rest of your party members. That’s bragging rights right there!