The people have spoken, and our latest Patreon Poll has come to a close. With Aristocrat now taking care of affairs of state, the Heroes have gone through a rigorous hiring process to find a replacement NPC. I hope you will all join me in welcoming Drow Priestess to the team! She certainly looks happy to have landed the job. (Better luck next time, Cultist and Vampire Spawn!)

As you might have guessed from our short-list of candidates, today’s comic is all about untrustworthy allies and backstabbing henchmen. If there are any Critical Role fans out there, a certain squid is the archetypal example. This mess generally follows the pattern of 1) party meets creepy critter; 2) party falls for creepy critter’s sob story; 3) party decides to invite said monstrosity to tag along.

“Oh don’t worry,” they’ll say. “We’ll keep a close eye on them.”

But then the inevitable happens. The second that the illithid / adorable goblin / succubus-with-a-heart-of-gold gets half a chance, it’s all maniacal cackling and long live the king.

Now I’ll be honest here: I’m of two minds on this one. Even though she might err on the side of drama, Wizard has a solid point. Redemption arcs can be a lot of fun. If you put in the work and appeal to your press-ganged ally’s self-interest, you might just turn them to your cause. And watching a bloodthirsty little monster charge your enemies is a hoot and a half. On the other hand, it begins to strain credulity when the black-hearted servants of evil start integrating into society like it ain’t no thing. Especially if you’re in a setting that handles anti-monster prejudice, asking a “tame” hill giant to play nice back in town probably isn’t ending well.

Where do you guys come down on this one? Are evil monsters generally irredeemable, or are they just a pat on the head and a job offer away from fighting for the good guys? Sound off with tales of your own “unconventional allies” and sudden but inevitable etc. down in the comments!


ARE YOU AN IMPATIENT GAMER? If so, you should check out the “Henchman” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. For just one buck a month, you can get each and every Handbook of Heroes comic a day earlier than the rest of your party members. That’s bragging rights right there!