What’s this? A new running gag? It may have been a while since she brought home that aurumvorax, but methinks we’ll manage to squeeze some additional comedy juice from Ranger’s adopt-a-critter schtick. Who knows what our silent protagonist might glom onto in future? Perhaps a rust monster next time….

Of course, if your sympathies lie more in line with Inquisitor, then you might have some personal experience with this scenario. Say you’ve been gaming with the same group for a few months. You’re having fun, the party seems to gel, and this might finally be your chance to commit to a long-term, level 1-20 game. That is invariably when it happens.

“Hey guys,” says your buddy the monk, arriving for session with a shit-eating grin. “These are my friends Abby, Bob, Carl, and Dolrak Drakebeard. I told them about our game and they’re super-excited to try out D&D for the first time ever.”

And here they come tromping down the basement stairs all bright-eyed and ready to play. There were no prior discussions. It’s as if Dolrak et al. materialized from the aether. And because your GM is an absolute pillock he says, “OK I guess. I think I can make this work.”

So there you are, wedged into the corner of a card table in a 9-person instead of a 5-person party. And Abby has some gnarly BO. And Carl is playing your exact same ranger build. And your hopes of a long-term 1-20 game wither and die there on the battle mat, for 9-person groups are ever so slightly unwieldy, especially when they arrive all Thorin-and-company unannounced.

My friends? I’m not saying you should form a closed-off clique and defend it against all comers. Expanding your circle of acquaintance is a good thing. Adding new faces to the table can reinvigorate a campaign and introduce fun new dynamics. But for the love of Gygax, clear it with the rest of the group first. Even if you’re a GM, giving your players the courtesy of a heads-up is good social policy. After all, as Ranger is discovering in today’s comic, some adorable murder chickens and excitable catgirls just belong in different parties… metaphorically speaking.

So how about it, gang? Have you ever been thrust into the uncomfortable situation of entertaining a drop-in? Did it work out alright, or was it the impolite imposition that I’ve painted here? Tell us your tale of sudden arrivals and unexpected guests down in the comments!


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.