It’s a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing. It’s always a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing. Except when it isn’t. This dichotomy is key.

No one straps on a sword and rides off in search of the unknown because it’s safe. You pillage evil temples and plunder horrible tombs because it’s exciting. No matter how high your Sense Motive skill, you’re never quite sure whether that weirdo in the corner is actually an agent of the evil empire. The difference between Strider and Bazine Netal is what makes walking into the bar interesting, no matter how many times we start our campaigns there. Much like flipping through the pages of a good sword and sorcery novel, we don’t know what new wonders wait on the next page or beyond the next die roll. For my money, this is the point of storytelling. We sit and listen because we want to know what happens next. It’s the element of uncertainty that keeps us coming back.

In the case of our poor unfortunate fawn, we’ve actually got different genre expectations bearing down on us. You’re supposed to help the weak, but you aren’t supposed to pick up a duck in a dungeon either. Both of these things are common knowledge. Figuring out which way the story goes this time is the interesting bit. So no, you should never trust the cute thing. But you should probably give it the benefit of the doubt before you start swinging.

Question of the day then. Have you ever been suckered in by a supposedly weak and defenseless critter? What was it? How dead did it make you? Let’s hear it in the comments!


GET YOUR SCHWAG ON! Want a piece of Handbook-World to hang on you wall? Then you’ll want to check out the “Hero” reward tier on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Each monthly treasure hall will bring you prints, decals, buttons, bookmarks and more! There’s even talk of a few Handbook-themed mini-dungeons on the horizon. So hit the link, open up that treasure chest, and see what loot awaits!