This month’s Patreon poll asked, “Which unlikely duo is forced to work together?” After the votes were tabulated, our winning duo was clear. This meant that 1) Thief and Summoner would have to wait to work out their differences, and 2) I would have to write a Witch / Horsepower script. That presented me with something of a challenge. Here were two characters with nothing at all in common. They’ve never met each other, much less established a relationship. If you think about it though, that is exactly the sort of interaction you get all the time in-game.

When you’ve got a diverse set of characters running around a world, it’s only natural that unexpected combinations will pop up. You’ll get these bizarre situations in which the drunken pirate captain and the awakened corgi paladin meet in the tavern. That goblin pimp you improvised (and immediately regretted) way back in session one is now the last aid and refuge for the deposed queen-in-hiding. These characters that shouldn’t have anything to do with one another are suddenly in the same room together, and now you’ve got to figure out how they get along. Happily, this is great fun.

Take today’s example. Once I began brainstorming concepts my consternation gave way to amusement. I found myself giggling at the image of Witch and Horsepower chained together in a in Sakaar style tag team match. Or maybe they would need to save the princess / save the princess’s royal tears? What if they had a mutual enemy? A mutual obligation to attend the annual heroes and villains mixer? Maybe they both use Mane ‘n Tail?

My point is that you shouldn’t look at oddball pairings as a challenge; think of them instead as a source of inspiration. Reaching into the grab bag of available NPCs and pulling out a pair of disparate weirdos is exciting! Even if you run the risk of getting “orange juice and toothpaste,” you can just as easily wind up with “hot wings and blue cheese.” And trust me when I say that it’s worth the risk.

So here’s the question of the day: What is an unexpectedly awesome combination of characters that entered into one of your games? Let’s hear your best stories of mix ‘n match PCs and NPCs down in the comments!


REQUEST A SKETCH! So you know how we’ve got a sketch feed on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon? By default it’s full of Laurel’s warm up sketches, illustrations not posted elsewhere, design concepts for current and new characters, and the occasional pin-up shot. But inspiration is hard sometimes. That’s why we love it when patrons come to us with requests. So hit us up on the other side of the Patreon wall and tell us what you want to see!