There’s nothing I love more than a good geeky “who would win” argument. I know all the words to Ultimate Showdown. The Spider-Man vs. Hulk bit is my favorite part of Hot Girl in the Comic ShopI remain faithfully subscribed to the terminally nerdy r/whowouldwin subreddit. And way back in undergrad when I was an RA, my mandatory once-per-semester informational bulletin board was used for a tournament of fictional characters. (I believe the finals came down to Gandalf vs. the Ninja Turtles.) But where so many of these arguments boil down to esoteric lore and arguments about canonicity (e.g. “Do Pokédex feats counts?”), we TRPGers enjoy a rare privilege. We don’t have to rely on mere argument. We can actually put our dudes in a head-to-head battle and let them sort it out themselves.

I am of course talking about the much-beloved tradition of the meatgrinder (aka the Cheese Grinder). And when it comes to a ‘grinders, there’s no story at play. No precious narrative to keep our contenders from going at it. You just build a big mean ball of stats and let ’em loose in an arena. Whether it’s a battle royale, a formal tournament, or just challenging your table to a bragging-rights contest, it’s all about smashing PCs together until one reigns supreme.

It’s funny though. When I sat down to write this blog, I asked my intrepid illustrator if she’d ever participated in such a thing.

“Hahaha. No.”

“Why not though?”

“That’s not my favorite part of the game.”

And if I’m being honest, it’s not mine either. It takes a rare breed to sort through several hundred feats, esoteric spell interactions, and spreadsheets worth of magic items to produce a contender. And even though I’ve privately thought, “I bet my guy is the strongest in the party,” I’ve never actually pulled the trigger and issued any challenges. Therefore, for today’s discussion, I hope to live vicariously through you lot. Have you ever run your characters through a ‘grinder? What did you build, and did it emerge victorious? Tell us your tales of triumph and defeat and mindless PVP down in the comments!


NEW WARLOCK PRINT! We’re edging closer to the complete set! With “Warlock” now available on our Etsy store, only “Monk” is left in the queue for d20 Class Prints. I have it on good authority that Laurel will be working tirelessly to knock that one out before New Year’s. So come one come all! Get your shopping done early, grab some of our limited edition D&D X-mas cards, and make a geek in your life happy!


ARE YOU THE KIND OF DRAGON THAT HOARDS ART? Then you’ll want to check out the “Epic Hero” reward level on our Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Like the proper fire-breathing tyrant you are, you’ll get to demand a monthly offerings suited to your tastes! Submit a request, and you’ll have a personalized original art card to add to your hoard. Trust us. This is the sort of one-of-a-kind treasure suitable to a wyrm of your magnificence.