In case anyone wants to get into a paladin alignment debate, please see here, here, here, or (more generally) here. It’s a popular topic. What I’d like to talk about today, however, is far less controversial. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s the most universally beloved of of all PC activities. I am talking of course about that favorite hobby of heroes the world over: annoying the shit out of NPCs.

Just look at Necromancer’s face! She knows exactly what she’s doing to Paladin’s blood pressure. And if deriving pleasure* from a date with Fighter is actually possible, you know it’s got to be good. By way of illustration, let me hit you with an anecdote from my own megadungeon game.

Over the years my players have fought a great many monsters. Everything from liches to volcano gods to b̶e̶h̶o̶l̶d̶e̶r̶s̶  ocular tyrants has stood to oppose them. That was business as usual though. These creatures were all evil antagonists, but the PCs didn’t really hate them. That honor goes to the closest thing my campaign has ever come to a true BBEG: a particularly odious town councilman named Sirus Craddock. It all started when the party, having dealt with one too many monster attacks in their own backyard, volunteered to build a city wall. According to their proposal they’d pay for half the cost out of pocket. Local government would pay the other half, and the cause of adventurer/civilian relations would would take another step towards a brighter future.

Cue Craddock: “Why do you suppose we’ve been attacked? Hmmm? These fools stir up the things that lurk in that dungeon. Is it any wonder when monsters follow them home? I vote nay on this self-serving wall, and instead propose a new tax on the so-called ‘adventuring shops’ that do business with these rabble-rousers.”

My players’ fury burned with the fire of a thousand suns.

For three IRL years worth of adventuring, my players took it as their solemn duty to ruin Craddock’s life. They defeated his proposals. They campaigned to elect his political opponents. They built their “spite wall” entirely out of pocket, crashed every date he had with the local rich widow, and became philanthropists for the express goal of showing off their higher-than-yours net worth. And if that sounds like overkill, I can assure you they looked every bit as smugly self-satisfied as Necromancer whenever Craddock shook a fist and cursed their names.

What about the rest of you guys? Have you ever taken it as your noble quest to spite a particular NPC? What did they do to deserve you ire, and how did you go about annoying them to death? Sound off with your tales of angry cabbage merchants and irate deans down in the comments!

*The Handbook of Erotic Fantasy sequel to this comic lives here as of 12/20/19.


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