As you no doubt recall, our firbolg buccaneer Artificer has exacting standards when it comes to adventuring aesthetics. On board her own ship, that means a commitment to high tech, skulls, and a brass color palate. When it comes to meeting strange new NPCs and running them through, the standards broaden to mean, “No joke characters.”

This is a bit of a personal one for me. You see, my very first Pathfinder 2e character was going to be a leshy. And because I wanted to try all the weird flavors and options I’d never seen before, I wanted to make him an investigator. As I began to describe the li’l guy’s trench coat and adorable fedora, my GM seemed to think it was all in good fun. I did my best Humphrey Bogart impersonation, and the jokes came fast and free.

It’s a rough row to hoe out on the mean streets. This city is overgrown with crime, and it smells worse than yesterday’s fertilizer. If you think any of of these punks will turn over a new leaf, you’ll soon find out their bark is worse than their bite. And no matter how sweet the flower smells, some roses are nothing but thorn.

I could go on, but you’ve already heard my take on puns. We all took a pause from our various Session Zero concerns to participate in the plant-based wordplay. But then I started looking up rules. I started calculating bonuses. Picking starting feats. And the color began to drain from my GM’s face.

“You’re not seriously playing that character, are you?”

“Yeah I am! His name is G. Arden Spade!”

“No, seriously. You’re not playing that character.”

I was a touch disappointed when I realized they were serious. My GM wanted a more dramatic tone for their game. And even if we all know and love the tale of Slappy, those shenanigans can be disruptive in the wrong context. That’s why is respected the request without too much hassle. I switched over to a halfling investigator, and the game went on its merry way.

But as I reflect on my experiences with a joke character, I wonder how the rest of you guys feel? Do you allow joke characters in your games? Do they ruin the mood, or are they all part of the fun? Love ’em or hate ’em, give us your own experiences with gag PCs down in the comments!


Mini-Dungeon Tome II by AAW Games » FAQ — KickstarterMINI-DUNGEON TOME II: This sequel to the best-selling Mini-Dungeon Tome by AAW Games is live right freakin’ now on Kickstarter. And the Handbook’s own Claire Stricklin has a fistful of dungeons in the mix! These bad boys are designed to be grab-and-go, easy to run adventures with minimum prep. So what are you waiting for? Get in here and get delving!


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