You guys remember Laurel’s oracle? The one with the creepy Dark Tapestry powers who liked to heal his enemies? Well today’s comic is about him.

Dude’s name was Bridgen Lyralis, and he was all manner of unlucky. When the party found him he was wandering the halls of the megadungeon, bereft of memory and sanity. He was cursed to never reach the surface, his only companion a non-magical and equally frightened rabbit named Mr. Sandwich. Dude was plagued by periodic blackouts, voices from beyond the spheres, and a rampant case of (wholly justifiable) paranoia. He eventually retired from the party, became a kraken lich in thrall to THEM, and got dead’d by none other than Laurel’s replacement character. Not exactly the happiest character arc. Of course, none of that is why I call the character unlucky.

As a bad-touch cleric, Bridgen was all about the save-or-suck spells. I’m talking murderous commandfeeblemind, and (thanks to some shenanigans involving the juju mystery) dominate personDude cranked his spell DCs through the roof, did his best to target weak saves, and in general made all the smart decisions when it comes to the save-or-suck playstyle. Unfortunately, the enemies always seemed to make those saves, and the frustration was very real.

If you’ve ever played such a character, you know how lame it can be when your target makes its save. You basically just spent your turn erasing a spell slot from your character sheet. By itself, that makes the experience worse than swinging and missing with a sword. Then there’s the in-game implications to consider. By failing to bend your target to your will, the fiction is saying “goblin dork #3 has greater willpower than me.” The very nature of saves means that you didn’t actually roll the die and miss. The target heroically resisted, placing them in the active role of the scenario. This all combines to mean that, even if your spell does what it’s supposed to do and single-handedly wins the combat a third of the time, the other 66% of play feels like absolute butts.

And so, as something of a swan song for Bridgen, I turn to you with this question of the day. If you’re going for a save-or-suck build, how do you cut down on the feels-bad? Is there a good way to debuff without setting yourself up for disappointment? Tell us all about your most epic mind-control moments and worst stretches of even-the-kobolds-save-against-my-spells bad luck down in the comments!


EDIT: For serious though you guys. If you want to vote on race and class for the new girl, it’s going to be the poll on Patreon this month. The “Quest Giver” tier and higher get to vote.


GET YOUR SCHWAG ON! Want a piece of Handbook-World to hang on you wall? Then you’ll want to check out the “Hero” reward tier on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Each monthly treasure haul will bring you prints, decals, buttons, bookmarks and more! There’s even talk of a few Handbook-themed mini-dungeons on the horizon. So hit the link, open up that treasure chest, and see what loot awaits!