The votes have been tallied and our latest Patreon poll has a winner. I hope you will join me in welcoming Pugilist to Handbook-World! (Better luck next time, Investigator! I’m sure your sleuthing acumen will do your goliath tribe proud back home.)

I don’t know about the rest of you kids, but I find Pug all manner of endearing. I mean yes, she is choking the shit out of Fighter, and that’s an inherently likable quality. But even more than that, I admire the grit and and determination it takes for a character weighing 20 + 2d4 lbs to become a reasonable melee combatant. And that applies to both sides of the magic circle.

As hard as it is to rise above your shortcomings in a fantasy world, it can be just as hard for a player to accept that big hit to stats. And when you’re a furious fightin’ kobold like Pug, those disadvantages are considerable. We’ve talked about it before, but applying optimization skills to a suboptimal character concept is a great way to have your cake and eat it too. Especially if you happen to run with a group that tends to pick flavor over power, this strategy offers a way to noodle with the mechanics without overshadowing the rest of the table. More importantly though, you get to feel like the kind of outsider weirdo that we all love to RP.

Think about it. If you’ve been raised among a tribe of ambushers, bushwhackers, and trap-building sneaks, taking on the role of “the big guy” is a bit of a departure. In that sense, becoming a barroom brawler despite your pint-sized physique isn’t just a fight against mechanics. It’s a fight against culture. I think that’s why it’s always so much fun to root for magical girls or the killer rabbit or Henery Hawk. When the small cute thing is the most dangerous fighter in the room, you know that they had to earn that reputation.

Question of the day then! Have you ever used a mis-matched race/class combo? Were you able to overcome the handicap, or was the mechanical disadvantage too much to bear? Let’s hear all about your hard-hitting little guys down in the comments!


EARN BONUS LOOT! Check out the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. We’ve got a sketch feed full of Laurel’s original concept art. We’ve got early access to comics. There’s physical schwag, personalized art, and a monthly vote to see which class gets featured in the comic next. And perhaps my personal favorite, we’ve been hard at work bringing a bimonthly NSFW Handbook of Erotic Fantasy comic to the world! So come one come all. Hurry while supplies of hot elf chicks lasts!