This is not the first time Barbarian has been defeated by doors. I doubt it will be the last. That’s doubly true if the Anti-Party continue to drag their feet hiring Paladin’s replacement. (Seriously, get it together you guys! Coulda had a whole ‘nother character by now….)

Any dang way, when there’s a gaping hole in your party makeup, it can be hard to spot until the critical moment. For example:

  • Who needs a divine caster? We’ve got wands and potions! What do you mean someone has been blinded?
  • Who needs a rogue? The wizard has knock!  What do you mean the door was trapped?
  • Who needs a front line fighter? The mage can do double duty with buffs! What do you mean “last Friday’s comic?”

For this reason, I think the only truly indispensable role in the party may be “survivor.” No matter how nasty the dungeon or how gnarly the dragon, if at least one of you can walk away, there’s still hope for resurrection and a retry. Just sweep the remains of your former allies into ye old dust pan and scamper back to town. If you’ve got the bodies and the coin, you can always get the band back together for another try.

But perhaps more germane to today’s comic than raw survival is the notion of “the hired specialist.” If the party comes up against an immovable object, there’s no shame in shelling out for the assist. An expert locksmith is one such example. So is an interpreter who can treat with the locals. So is a learned sage who can make the one lore check that the bard happens to suck at. What I’m saying here is that figuring out how to access those skills may be a challenge, but it shouldn’t be one that keeps you from playing what you want to play. If you’re willing to invest the resources (both in questing time and gp) you’ll find a way to make up for any shortfalls.

Question of the day then! When have you been stymied by an obstacle that a “well rounded party” could have bypassed with ease? Did you get around it, or did you have to admit defeat? Tell us your best tales of impassable narrative barriers 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!