For those of you that aren’t familiar with the archetype, you can check out the White-Haired Witch in all its glory on the PFSRD. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the trope, you can read up on the Japanese hair monsters who inspired it. And if you’ve ever found your super-cool character concept being mocked mercilessly by the rest of your party, you might sympathize with Witch in today’s comic. You might also sympathize with the following story.

So no shit there we were, doing righteous battle against something called a *squints through glasses* lifespark elite flesh golem. Silly names aside, the thing was big and mean and dressed up like a nightmare scarecrow. More worrying however was its +1 scythe. A size large two-handed weapon is bad enough in Pathfinder, but when you tack on that x4 crit, you’re looking down the barrel of a real PC killer. Even without the benefits of power attack, the thing crit for 8d6 + 44 points of roll-up-a-new-guy damage. In other words, it was destined to be a black day in Magnimar.

We’d walked into this creepy clocktower dungeon expecting trouble, but figured the serious fight would come at the top of the structure. Ya know. Where a boss chamber ought to be. We were off our guard when the golem made its entrance. My barbarian meat-tank was on the other side of the room when this gruesome thing charged Laurel’s elven rogue. And let me tell ya: 6th level Dex rogues in leather armor aren’t so great against scythe crits. It cut her in friggin’ half.

We managed to fell the the thing a round or two later, but there’s no coming back from that. Our elf was dead, and we still had a most-of-a-dungeon to go.

“Wait,” says our druid. “We’re in a big city, right? We should be able to find a scroll of reincarnate no problem. We’ve got the gold, and I shouldn’t have too much trouble activating it.” We immediately set about this plan, bundling up the body of our fallen comrade and hurrying away into Magnimar’s mercantile quarter.

All this while, poor Laurel has been quiet. She grew up playing with with My Little Pony beneath her dad’s gaming table. Her first campaign was at 11 years old. The girl had a lifetime of gaming under her belt, but in all that time she’d been extremely lucky. This was her first ever character death. Her beloved elven rogue was stone dead, and it was a MAJOR LIFE EVENT for the player.

We managed to track down that scroll without much trouble. We threw our cash at the magic merchant, grabbed 1,000 gp of rare oils for good measure (reincarnate is expensive!) and set about performing the ritual. It was a heart-touching scene as our druid made contact with the departed elf’s spirit, pleading with her to come back. The rest of us watched with baited breath.

“Go ahead and roll it,” said our GM.

The d100 tumbled. The chart was consulted.

“Dwarf,” declared our GM. “You come back as a dwarf.”

We immediately lost our shit. You see, Laurel’s elf was a vain fashionista. She’d played her as a snob from day one. More importantly, the party druid was this elf’s adopted brother, and he also happened to be a dwarf. The pair had major sibling rivalry, and the traditional elf/dwarf tension had been a theme throughout the campaign. So for the rest of us, it was pure poetry when our supermodel, fashion-conscious rogue with a faux-Parisian accent came back with mutton chops and a plus size figure.

“Maybe you can sew some of your old clothes together.”

“Do you have Scottish accent now?”

“I bet your palette changed. No more wine for you! Only beer!”

Mostly we were just relieved to have our rogue back. The tension had broken, a mood of hilarity prevailed, and we all thought we were just taking the piss. Imagine our collective surprise when we noticed Laurel trying desperately not to cry.

You see, when you have a a strong vision of your character, it’s tough to watch your partymates undermine it. But more importantly, when you happen upon a critical moment in your narrative arc—meeting your deity; delivering an impassioned speech; experiencing your first PC death—it can be a tough pill to swallow when your friends turn that moment into a joke.

Never fear though! The group sorted itself out between sessions. Laurel got a re-roll on the reincarnate table, and the adventure continued with a halfling rogue. But for me the lesson remains clear. Friendly banter is a good thing. Jokes are fine. But don’t trample on other players’ special moments. They’re hard enough to come by.

Question of the day then! Have you ever had to deal with your fellow PCs mocking your character? Was it all in good fun, or were there some genuinely hurt feelings? Conversely, how important is it to learn to laugh at yourself and roll with the punches? Tell us all about the cracks in your character’s self-serious self-image down in the comments!


GEEKY GREETING CARDS For the holidays this year, Laurel just threw some brand-spanking new limited edition D&D X-mas cards onto her Etsy store. We’re also rocking our ever-popular d20 Class prints. We’re only missing “Monk” and “Warlock” at the moment, and I have it on good authority that Laurel will be working tirelessly to knock ’em out before New Year’s. So come one come all! Get your shopping done early and make a geek in your life happy.


GET YOUR SCHWAG ON! Want a piece of Handbook-World to hang on you wall? Then you’ll want to check out the “Hero” reward tier on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Each monthly treasure haul will bring you prints, decals, buttons, bookmarks and more! There’s even talk of a few Handbook-themed mini-dungeons on the horizon. So hit the link, open up that treasure chest, and see what loot awaits!