As you may or may not know, we release a weekly Roll20 token over on Patreon. When a certain fancy half-orc lady came up in the queue, our patrons were all like, “Who’s that girl?” So we put it to the usual vote in our monthly poll. Since Handbook-World has long since met its bard quota, we threw a number of interesting options at the wall to see what might stick. And wouldn’t you know it, like Miss Gestalt before her, the new girl found herself dealing with a dead tie. “Vampire Hunter” and “Noble Scion” both garnered exactly 36 votes.  With the age old question of elegant lady or killer queen too close to call, we’ve decided to split the difference. I therefore hope you will all join us in welcoming Van Helscion to Handbook-World. (Many thanks to a certain clever gamer and friend of the comic for suggesting the puntastic name.)

With introductions out of the way, what do you say we talk about Van Helscion’s aesthetic? Similar to adorabolical monsters and tiny tough guys, elegant and refined PCs are all about the secret badass trope. Sure you’ve got lace and brocade and opera glasses, but you’ve also got a dragon-scale corset hiding underneath the ball gown. Your airs and manners conceal a mean streak, while your elegant coiffure conceals a derringer or two.

This is the kind of character that excels at sesquipedalian loquaciousness. That uses the most obnoxiously posh English accent. She quirks an eyebrow at vulgarity, gasps at impropriety, and then stabs you through the heart with her secret garter belt stake. It’s all about looking too fancy to ever consider violence, and then bringing that violence home with aplomb.

I talked about my own brush with this kind of character back in “Courtly Dress,” but what about the rest of you guys? Have you ever rolled up a courtly dandy rather than a grizzled soldier? An effete fop rather than a burly barbarian? And did you manage to use that guise of respectability to your advantage? Tell us all about your noblest adventurers and most fashionable monster hunters down in the comments!


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