We’ve talked before about my oddball megadungeon, right? It’s got seven players, but there are a total of 14 PCs. Every time the group climbs out of the dungeon and heads back to town, each player gets to select which of their intrepid heroes to bring along for the next delve. This has led to all kinds of repercussions in the game, and not all of them are positive. (Balancing loot distribution for example has turned out to be a ridiculous pain in the ass.) But there is one thing that I absolutely love about the setup: I get to watch an endless procession of bizarre character combinations.

There’s “tactical mind-whammy squad,” with multiple debuffers and summoned critters for muscle. There’s “team holy bro” with nothing but clerics and paladins on board. We’ve got “the brute squad” with its big hit dice and high Strength scores. We’ve got “the squishies” with a stupid amount of spell power. Depending on who shows up to game we might have “adventurer classic,” “the sneaky ones,” and even “two frightened support casters and their band of underleveled NPC cohorts.” That last one is especially entertaining for me as the GM.

As much fun as it’s been discovering these different playstyles, the real pleasure lies in watching new group dynamics develop every session. There’s bad blood between the dwarven barbarian and the ogre fighter. The dragon sorcerer rolls his eyes when the wizard  casts a “strictly inferior, non-draconic” fireball. The paladins and the cleric all serve different gods, and so bring different philosophies to the game. And that last example also happens to apply to Paladin and Inquisitor today. Those guys have VERY different ideas when it comes to serving the gods. These permutations are as unpredictable as they are entertaining, and I think that all of the characters involved have grown and developed thanks to their uncommonly large circle of acquaintance.

So here’s the question of the day. What unexpectedly awesome character combinations have come up in your games? Rival arcanists? Drunken master monk and teetotaler cleric? Perhaps a hulking goliath and a cheery gnome? Let’s hear it 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.


REMINDER: The Handook’s latest con appearance is this weekend!

We’ve got a table at Fort Collins Comic Con. Both the writer & illustrator of this here Handbook of Heroes will be there August 26th and 27th. If you track us down, we’ll have a super-exclusive giveaway for fans who find us! We’ll even make it easy on you by wearing our Handbook of Heroes shirts. And if you’re at Dragon Con this year, keep an eye out. We’ll be doing the same giveaway for any fans who track us down in Atlanta.