What’s this? The pacifistic robot from The Meatgrinder has also travelled to Aqua Vita? And they’re keeping company with Artificer? The thick plottens! One can only hope that Swash/Buckle have friendly diplomatic relations with their fellow pirates. Of course, our ongoing city-risen-from-the-deep plot isn’t the subject of today’s drama.

We’ve talked about loot distribution once or twice or thrice before, but there’s something afoot today beyond the usual. We’re dealing with special loot here. Plot loot. Loot with an intended recipient and a specific history. I am reminded of my dog.

No, not that dog. I’m talking about my awakened cane corso barbarian/rogue. You see, my big bad Roman war dog was a gladiator by training and by inclination. He loved nothing better than grappling his opponents, ripping their throats out, and sharing the meat around with the rest of the party pack. The image of this musclebound war dog with a muzzle slathered in gore inspired my GM with a bit of homebrew.

Being of a fan of the classics, he set about building me a bit of kit based on Frank Frazetta’s The Death Dealer. It was a magic helm with glowing eyes and bad attitude. With a nod and a wink the my good boy’s gladiatorial showmanship, he made it an Intimidation item, figuring I could use it to strike fear into my enemies.

“So to get the fear effect, I need to roll Charisma (Intimidation)?”

“Pretty cool, right?”

“It’s absolutely cool. It’s super badass. I love it to pieces. Only thing is I’ve got a +0 on the check.”

“But see, it’s a bonus action three times per day. There’s not much of a cost, so it’s just a nice thematic bonus.”

I could feel my minmax hackles rising. I scented optimization on the wind. And I summarily marked my territory all over that poor GM’s tailored item.

“Hey Laurel! Your warlock’s got max Charisma, right?”

And that’s the story of how an awakened corgi got to wear the Death Dealer helm. Her li’l bork became a BIG WOOF, and no enemy could stand before it.

What about the rest of you kids? Have you ever realized your important storyline item would benefit the party more if it was in someone else’s paws? And as a GM, have you ever watched in dismay as the Artifact of the Ancestors got sold off for a bit of cash? Tell us all about your own item distribution mismatches down in the comments!

EDIT: Sorry everyone, the blog was posted in a separate draft than the comic–it’s fixed now!


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 thrice monthly NSFW Handbook of Erotic Fantasy comic to the world! So come one come all. Hurry while supplies of hot elf chicks lasts!