I’m honestly impressed that Barbarian’s salon is equipped for pet grooming. It probably costs a premium what with the scratching and biting and potential for contracting vampire / lycanthropy. But hey, that’s what a d12 hit die and a good Con save are for.

Any dang way, you know how I mentioned way back in “Animal Cruelty” that I always wanted to try a “you’re all animal companions” campaign? My group finally got the chance. It’s a 5e game, and we all wound up rolling awakened dogs using the fabulous Animal Adventures supplement from Steamforged Games. Laurel is playing a corgi warlock, or “corglock” for short. I’m running a cane corse fighter with a heavy dose Rome, and it’s been all manner of fun mixing gladiator with pit dog tropes. Growling our threats, barking curses at my enemies, and greeting newfound acquaintances with a polite butt-sniff have all been amusing. But as you may surmise from today’s comic, that kind of RP is also a bit of a tightrope.

When you’re an intelligent animal trying to get along in polite society, there’s this constant negotiation between animalistic behaviors and humanoid ones. Should one expect to be served at ye olde inn, or is it better to drink your water from a nice puddle? Do you sleep in the stable? Is it polite to lick oneself in mixed company? Hell, even the old if a dog wore pants meme is liable to reenter the conversation.

This mess isn’t just limited to awakened animals though. As our own Magus demonstrates time and time again, catfolk PCs have to decide how cat-like they want to be. Centaurs may have to reconcile themselves with beast of burden duties. Last time I contracted lycanthropy back in Ravenloft, I immediately switched over to dramatic irony mode leading up to the first full moon. (You know what I could go for? A nice rare steak. And hey, it’s a pretty nice night out. Does anyone fancy a stroll in the fog? We can chase carriages if you’re feeling frisky.)

So in the interest of better worldbuilding, what do you say we swap stories of the animalistic adventures we’ve enjoyed across the multiverse? When you’re playing an awakened animal or a beastfolk type character, do you like to be treated like any other PC? Or do you prefer for the campaign world to be full of surprised NPCs shouting, “You can talk!?” Let’s hear all about the balance between man and beast in your own games down in the comments!


EARN BONUS LOOT! Check out the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. We’ve got a sketch feed full of Laurel’s original concept art. We’ve got early access to comics. There’s physical schwag, personalized art, and a monthly vote to see which class gets featured in the comic next. And perhaps my personal favorite, we’ve been hard at work bringing a bimonthly NSFW Handbook of Erotic Fantasy comic to the world! So come one come all. Hurry while supplies of hot elf chicks lasts!