It’s nice to see Thief and Fighter doing crimes together. Their murderhoboism may be toxic individually, but when taken together their compatible playstyles somehow turn the corner back to endearing. I have no doubt that certain suspicious purple dragons would disagree. From where I’m sitting though, anything that prompts PC tap dancing is a positive.

These may be my favorite moments in gaming. You can plot and plan all you like, but there will come a time when you have to think on your feet. The police have stopped you to ask a few questions. The fae want to know what you’ll bargain with. You’ve been discovered at the scene of a crime you did not commit. This is where the magic happens. In these scenarios the words you say matter just as much as the dice you roll. And that’s because you conjure new plot points with every syllable.

If you adopt a false persona, then you’ve just introduced a hair-brained scheme that you’ll have to perpetuate. If you opt for a bribe, then you’ve entered negotiations, and you might have to give up something. Wanna pretend to be a drunk, act as a distraction, and so let your friends slip by the guards? You’ll have to figure out how to catch up to the party afterwards. All of these situations might look like the same pass/fail social check, but the consequences vary wildly depending on your approach.

Therefore, for today’s discussion, what do you say we get a little practice at the fine art of making shit up? Pick one or more of the scenarios below, then adopt your favorite PC’s persona. How would they talk themselves out of this situation?

  • THE RITZ: “I’m sorry. This district of Capital City is for only the snootiest nobles and richest merchants. I can’t let you folk through.”
  • THE BARD: “What is the meaning of this? How did you arrive in her highness’s bed chamber? And where are your clothes?”
  • THE BILBO: “Unless my ears deceive me, your pockets jingle with 24 platinum pieces and 13 of gold. So then, little thief: Why should I not roast you where you stand?”
  • THE HORSE TRADER: “I’m very sorry you’ve got a Time-Sensitive Quest™. But this is a business I’m running here. No coin, no horses.”
  • THE LINGUIST: The goblin sentry narrows his eyes at your green face paint and false teeth. He demands, “Dar daan maach makhaakaal ot daagaan?” Goblin isn’t one of your languages known, is it? Didn’t think so.

There are any number of ways out of these predicaments, but your chosen approach may or may not lead you into hotter water (or at least more interesting RP situations). All clear? Alright! I look forward to hearing from all your most cunning characters down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Thrice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.