Poor Cleric. The burden of being the group’s “rules guy” is a heavy one. It happens to be a feeling I know all too well. Scouring FAQs and errata for correct rulings is often a thankless task. And worse, when those lesser mortals gathered around the table manage to catch you in a bad ruling, you may be disbarred from practicing rules law entirely.

Today’s story comes courtesy of a peculiar draconic chamber. The party was questing for 12 sigils of power, and they knew that the latest one lay shrouded behind a runic circle. All they had to do was break the plane of the circle, sketch the suddenly-extant sigil, and be on their merry way. Unfortunately, four huge dragon statues were arranged about the perimeter of the room. It didn’t take my players long to guess what might happen when they disturbed the circle. It emanated conjuration magic after all. And for those of you keeping score at home, that’s exactly the sort of magic that might 1) summon a sigil into being, or 2) replace dragon statues with actual dragons.

Being high-level adventurers, the party did the intelligent thing. They prepped for the fight. This mostly involved the wizard getting a good night’s sleep and memorizing four wall of force spells. The party’s intent was to wall off the dragon statues before triggering the summons. It was honestly a good idea. The only problem was the dragons themselves. These were powerful beasts, long-lived and redolent with magic. In other words, two of the four had access to dimension door, meaning they could bypass the force walls with ease.

Suddenly, it was go time. The wizard cast his spells. The party crossed the circle’s boundary, causing both the sigil and the dragons to spring into being. The designated scrivener started scrivening. While the sigil was being copied over to parchment, everyone else had great fun taunting the dragons through their transparent barriers. There were many moonings; several birds were flipped; I couldn’t wait to wipe the smirks from their faces.

“Two of the dragons begin casting,” I said. “Laying claws upon their companions, they prepare to dimension door into your improvised force cage. That will end the casters’ turns of course, but the other two dragons—”


It was the party wizard. He’d made good progress copying the sigil, and was just one round away from completing the job. “What age category are these alleged dragons?”

I flipped through my notes. “I suppose I can divulge that information. They’re in the Old category.”

“And what caster level is an Old dragon?”

I furrowed my GM-ly brow. “They’re 9th,” I said.

“Aha! Then would you be so kind as to explain to the court how a 9th level caster is able to dimension door a huge creature?”

I looked at my stat blocks. I looked at the battlefield. He was right! In Pathfinder 1e, you’ve got to hit Caster Level 12 before you can begin teleporting the big boys.

As I said, there were many moonings. Several birds were flipped. My players finished copying the sigil, ignored the dragons that were suddenly in their midst, and simply teleported out of harm’s way on the following initiative pass. Both my dragons and I were left to rage impotently. I doubt I’ll live that one down any time soon.

So in the spirit of today’s comic, it’s confession time! When have you YOU biffed a rules call? Did you manage to catch it mid-session, or was it only something you realized after the fact? Help Cleric (and me!) to feel a little better by sharing your most grievous rules-sins 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. Twice 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.