It’s been a while since we last saw Her Majesty, Queen Scratchypaws of the Demon Web Pits. Ever since she and Demon Queen had their tussle, swapped bodies, and summarily freaked out about it, Handbook-World has gone on unaware of the change. Judging by the expression of Woolantula the Servile, that state of affairs might not last much longer. We’re coming up on Devil’s Night after all. The walls between worlds grow thin once more, and the one year anniversary of this story arc draws nigh!

While we wait for plots to develop, let’s talk about the unfortunate fate of our favorite catgirl. When she first took up her rapier, learned to cast spellstrike, and embarked on the adventuring life, Magus couldn’t have known that she would one day occupy a throne of darkness. How she reacts to this unforeseen eventuality is very much down to personal preference though.

For some players, a strong vision of character is an essential part of the experience. You guys remember that time our illustrious illustrator found her beloved fashionista elf reincarnated as a dwarf? It was very much a BAD TIME for her. She tends to build characters with a strong visual design in mind. Messing with that vision messes with her essential enjoyment of the game.

I’ve heard my share of tales from other players though. Race-swapped, sex-changed, turned into a vampire, battling against a reversed alignment… All of these can and do happen over the course of a campaign. And if you’re the kind of player that loves a rod of wonder, wild magic sorcerers, or crit fumble deck, encountering the random and the unforeseen is the essential enjoyment of the game.

I contend that we’re all operating on that continuum. On one end of the the line is “my vision of the character.” On the other is “what happens to them.” Go too far in one direction and you wind up with the “Deck of Too Many Things.” In your quest for the new and the unexpected you’ve accidentally annihilated the status quo. The game is an unrecognizable morass of disconnected components. Better start over. Go too far in the other direction, however, and you become a hypocritical Wizard. Bad stuff can’t possibly happen to you! Your character is your precious baby, and risking their safety is unacceptable. Congratulations, your game has become a joyless exercise in risk-free power fantasy. Better start over. As you can see, there’s a reason that GM screens and the phrase “I’ll roll in the open” both exist.

So for today’s discussion, I propose we give this continuum some serious thought. Do you prefer a GM that gently nudges you back to the status quo, or would your rather bow to the power of random chance? Is there some “essential quality” about your character that you will not change? How high do you turn the randomness nobs on your own game? And have you ever requested help from the GM to nudge a storyline one way or the other? Tell us all about your own bizarre fates, unexpected character developments, and eventual returns to normal down in the comments!


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