Laurel and I just celebrated our 7th anniversary. For those of you unfamiliar with the big list o’ traditional anniversary gifts by year, that’s the copper anniversary. She got some cool steampunk jewelry. No points for guessing what I got.

Now I don’t know about you guys, but I believe that adding a new d20 to the herd should be about more than plopping an icosahedron into a box. That’s your fictional life on the line. You’ve got to lay down the ground rules. You’ve got to let that uppity little platonic solid know who’s boss. And in my house, that means giving ’em a tour of “the hole.” And trust me, if you’re a d20, you don’t want to wind up there.

Case after plastic case of repeat offenders line the dark corridors of that purgatorial desk drawer. I let the new meat talk to the old-timers. Just for a night, you understand. Just to let them get acquainted. If they’re smart, they listen.

“What you in for, pops?”

“Blew the Warden’s kill shot. It was the last round of the final battle. The bard wound up getting the KO.”

“And you guys?”

“We thought it would be funny to roll double-1s with advantage. Warden can’t take a joke!”

“How ’bout you old man?”

“Death saving throws are a part of the game. It ain’t my fault. Ain’t my fault….”

Sure they come in talking a big game coming: I’m my own die. I roll what I want, when I want. But by time they roll out of the hole, chased by cries of, “I want to talk to my rules lawyer!” and “What edition is it?” they start singing another tune. I’m proud to report that my scared straight program has a 95% success rate. And I’d like to hear about another corrections program with that kind of recidivism rate.

How about you guys? Are you the warden of your own dice jail? Or maybe you go with the shaming technique? Whatever your strategy, let’s hear about the ways you discipline your errant dice down in the comments!


THIS COMIC SUCKS! IT NEEDS MORE [INSERT OPINION HERE] Is your favorite class missing from the Handbook of Heroes? Maybe you want to see more dragonborn or aarakocra? Then check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. You’ll become part of the monthly vote to see which elements get featured in the comic next!