You guys remember the scroll-over text from “Exceptional Mount“? In the admittedly unlikely event that you’ve forgotten a single syllable from any of my precious word-gifts, here’s the recap:

So just to review, this comic has now collected Vincenzo the miniature Shetland pony, Luigi the cat gangster, and now Jameson the jackass. Who the crap is casting ‘awaken’ on all these guys?

Looks like we’ve got our answer. It also looks like we can add Oli and Obie the pigeons to our ever-expanding list of talking animals.

Any dang way, what do you say we get to the subject at hand? On the surface, awaken seems like one of those spells designed to waste your money. Same deal with niche offerings like half-blood extraction, mind swap, majoror renovationAs a GM I can imagine any number of plots that work around this kind of magical weirdness. As a player, however, I’m left to wonder how I’m supposed to use these bizarre (and expensive!) options. The duration offers a clue.

Any time you get a permanent magical effect, you’re no longer a player. You’re suddenly promoted to the rank “sub-GM,” and invested with the awesome power of changing the setting according to your whim. Awaken invents a new NPC.  Renovation creates a dungeon. Malarkey like mind swap, major or reincarnate gives you a re-roll on your character. These effects give you the power to affect setting in a material, well-defined, and long-lasting way. We’re talking about the power to change the world.

If you’re the kind of player who thinks like Arcane Archer, then that’s not going to be your cup of tea. You want the cool new weapons and the flashiest magic tricks, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are combats to fight, and money is a means to efficiently solve the combat equation. But if you’re more like Druid, and if you’re slowly amassing a population of intelligent animals in a bid to create environmental awareness, then you’re playing the game for a fundamentally different reason. You’re world-building just as surely as any GM, and in my book that’s money well-spent.

Question of the day then! Have you ever gone all-in on an expensive non-combat purchase? Was it a spell? Funding for a new orphanage? A partial stake in a small business? Sound off with your favorite major purchases down in the comments.


ARE YOU AN IMPATIENT GAMER? 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!