The people have spoken, and our latest Patreon Poll has come to a close. And in something of first for Handbook-World, there’s more than one of the same class! Please welcome Swash (the Triton with the eye patch) and Buckle (the Dhampir with the tattoos) to the comic! (Better luck next time, Assassin, Artificer, and Psychic!)

Now here’s the thing about Swash, Buckle, and swashbucklers in general. When your character concept is based on boldness and panache, you’re not about smart decisions and careful play. There’s a certain aesthetic of audacity when it comes to derring-do, and players will look for every opportunity to find those moments. That’s why, when I ran my musketeer-inspired dragon riders game not so long ago, I adopted the phrase “Qui Ose Gagne” as the motto of the Corps. I wanted to drive that message home as early as possible in the campaign, so I used the following opening for Session 1. Ahem: 

You all stand at attention. A human paces before you, mustaches bristling. He may be small, but it seems a captain’s voice carries regardless of species: “Your officers have watched you these past weeks, and the Corps has paired you according to ability. To temperament. To chemistry. There are no humans in the Dragoneers. No dragons. There are only partners. It is your honor to serve together, fight together, and if the Corps requires it of you, die together. But you are not Dragoneers yet. If you wish to remove those cadet’s rings upon your forefingers, you must first learn to fly together.”

He tilts his chin towards a crumbling arch of stone; a doorway at the edge of the gaping Faille de Tourbillon.

“This is the Arc de Vol. Your path to the Corps lies through here. Right then. Humans first. Dragons will wait for the count of three.”

It was a flying islands sort of setting, so suffice it to say that the pit in question was fairly deep. But there’s more than a gee-whiz factor in starting a campaign by asking my players to literally jump off a cliff. Everyone in the room knew that we were doing that Dumas thing. Swashbuckling characters positively crave bombast, and it was my goal to give the players what they wanted. But more than that, if you don’t give your resident daredevil opportunities for glory, they will go and make opportunities for themselves. And if that happens, I hope you have plenty of extra sails, chandeliers, and banisters lying around the campaign. Speaking as the GM of a swashbuckling game, trust me when I say that you’re going to need extra.

Questions of the day then! What is the most pointlessly risky stunt you’ve ever performed? I’m talking dueling an entire army over a petty insult. Swimming through kraken-infested waters to win a bet. Maybe you leaped from a tall building rather than take the stairs just because it looked cool. Whatever it was, give in to your swashbuckler impulses and brag about it a little 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.