Our latest Patreon poll has produced a winner! Meet Arcane Archer, the latest resident (and first kitsune) to be added to Handbook-World. (Better luck next time, Psychic Warrior!)

In case you’ve never played an arcane archer, let me give you a little insight into the class: they’ve got tricks. In fact, they’ve got A LOT of tricks, so much so that the first version of this comic had AA drawing arrows out of a golf bag. For a guy like me who loves his fluff, this can be a bit of a problem. Give me a wizard and I’ll agonize over his magic missiles. What do they look like? What color are they? How do they reflect his personality? Ask me to roll up a barbarian and I’ll also roll up a table of tribe-specific superstitions and totem animals. (Fear not, my friends. I saw brother Pelican this morning. We will not die this day.) And if you give me an arcane archer, you can be damn sure that I’m going to name his attacks.

Who wants to fire a boring old flaming frost arrow? Give me a vengeful lance of the steam mephit any day. Oh I’m sorry. Was that a straight-from-the-Unearthed-Arcana beguiling arrow? When I shoot it, you better believe I’m shouting, “Amorous embrace of the lusty scorpion!” My particular influences come from anime and Exalted (seriously, look at this name generator), but giving your fanciest moves grandiose titles is the kind of opportunity I can’t pass up.

A quick word of warning though: this mess is inherently silly. I just named an attack “amorous embrace of the lusty scorpion” after all. If you’re trying for a self-serious character, then chances are you aren’t pausing to shout a string of adjectives at your foe. In other words, make sure you’re in the right kind of campaign before you adopt this strategy. If on the other hand you’re down for some lighthearted and extremely tropey fun, then I suggest you practice shouting “massacre of excitable bees” next time you fire a flight of arrows at your opponent. You may not hit, but you’ll definitely be memorable.

So how about it, guys? Have you ever bothered to give a name to your favorite attack? What was it? Let’s hear your best efforts down in the comments!


REQUEST A SKETCH! So you know how we’ve got a sketch feed on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon? By default it’s full of Laurel’s warm up sketches, illustrations not posted elsewhere, design concepts for current and new characters, and the occasional pin-up shot. But inspiration is hard sometimes. That’s why we love it when patrons come to us with requests. So hit us up on the other side of the Patreon wall and tell us what you want to see!