Fun fact about brooding lone-wolfishness: That was originally supposed to be Gunslinger’s role. Back when I wrote “Loner” in 2016, I’d imagined Gunslinger as as a grizzled Clint Eastwood type. I thought it would be a funny gag to have this hard-bitten drifter crying a single tear of loneliness, too aloof to attract a party and completely miserable about it. Fortunately for us all, I forgot that I’d approved Laurel’s sketch of a round-faced little halfling in a poncho a few weeks before. That’s why we got Handbook-World’s LFG cutie pie instead. And that means glooming it up in the corner falls to our resident himbo. (Thank you for your service, Warlock!)

Anyhow, I still maintain that this  “The Loniest Wolf” article from the now-defunct TPK blog remains an excellent primer on the subject. But rather than poo-poo the characters lining up to brood in the brooding corner, I thought it might be fun to brainstorm some alternate ways to show off that kind of personality.

  • Dramatic Hints: You have a tragic past. That’s a given. But what if you drop cryptic hints rather than playing it close to the chest? Staring into the middle distance whenever you talk also helps.
  • Internal Monologue: Even if your dude doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, you can still let the other players know what’s going on. Consider pulling a Deckard and narrating your internal monologue.
  • Your Reputation Precedes You: Work with your GM to create the right vibe. How should NPCs react to a badass with a badass reputation? If other characters in the world have heard of your exploits, it goes a long way to making the dark sunglasses and black trench coat vibe believable.
  • Go Lawful: If you don’t care about nothing and nobody, it’s easy to mistake your PC for a plank of wood. A personal code, on the other hand, gives you something to work with. Just ask Mando about his adoption policy.
  • More Gloom: Use thaumaturgy to make your shadowy corner shadowier. Apply darkness / deeper darkness as necessary.

Some of these suggestions are more serious than others. But the point I’m trying to make is that a close-mouthed Geralt of Rivia type is viable. You should be able to make that character work at the table. What’s not cool is using that archetype as an excuse to forego roleplaying. So for today’s discussion, what do you say we come up with alternatives for lone wolf PCs? How do you project personality without betraying your air of unapproachable mystery? Sound off with your own lone wolf strats down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Thrice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.