For those of you unfamiliar with the long and gory history of commoners and house cats, I refer you to the succinct explanation from this forum post:

The gist of it is that, on a successful hit, any damaging attack deals a minimum of 1 HP damage. Average commoners have 4 HP, an attack bonus of 0, and an armor class of 10. A cat has 2 HP, but a total attack bonus of +4, AC 14, and gets three attacks as a full round action.

That’s the 3e D&D explanation. If you’re morbidly curious, you can even check out the math over here. The natural enmity between commoners and cats extends further into the past though, with AD&D cats posing a similar three-attack threat to any dirt farmer unlucky enough to be born with a wimpy d4 hit die. Given that kind of brutal damage output, you begin to see why poor Commoner had to cough up his monthly protection tuna.

Happily, the Handbook’s own Commoner has left those dark days behind. Life is hard for any small business owner, but when fate has dealt you a single rank in Profession (cook), the razor thin margins of a medieval meat market stall get even thinner. Add in the local awakened cat mafia, and Commoner’s choices were down “sign on with the Heroes” and “starve.” At least he’s got superior cookware now. And so long as he can put up with the company, there are few better safeguards against extortionist felines than a protective layer of adventurers.

All of the above leads us to a somewhat obvious observation: adorable kitties killing grown-ass humanoids is ever so slightly absurd. And that of course brings us to the question of the day. Have you ever encountered a monster whose stats seemed a little off? What was it? Did you adjust the numbers or play it as-written? Let’s hear about your favorite unbalanced critters 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. Twice 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.