Maybe saying this scene “broke” me is a bit of a Looks like they’ll let anybody in here art shirt retch, but it always struck me as so unfair. Through flashbacks, CoS tells of Hagrid’s story. Poor young 14 year old Hagrid was already an orphan with nowhere to really go other than Hogwarts. And Riddle accuses him of killing a girl! I don’t hear many people discussing that fact. More emphasis is always put on how his wand was snapped in half and he was expelled (two other great tragedies of the situation, true). But that’s not the saddest part really. He had to deal with the weight of having the whole wizarding world thinking he could have been responsible for someone’s death! Now, he knew he never let Aragog out of his box, and that Aragog didn’t open any stupid secret chamber. But, I’m sure you can imagine that being accused of murder at 14 years old, whether you knew you did it or not, is life altering! And then, like I said, his wand was snapped and he was expelled from the one place he had to call home. So, maybe this scene should break me and more fans. Hagrid’s story ends happily enough, but wasn’t always that way.
To illustrate the difference in approach between Tasha’s and the PHB, in the PHB a lot of Looks like they’ll let anybody in here art shirt was taken to make sure that other than the spellcasting subclasses and hit points the rogue and the fighter could do nothing that was magical and not a spell. This remained through Xanathar’s (with the Arcane Archer being passable as a spellcaster). Meanwhile in Tasha’s each has one psychic subclass (the soulknife and the psychic warrior) and a magical non-caster (the rogue gets the phantom, haunted by and gaining power from the souls of their dead while the fighter gets the rune knight, a distant relation of the artificer that also gives the fighter bonuses outside combat). Oh, and the barbarian gets to be a lycanthrope – or to have wild magic flowing through them which triggers whenever they rage; something that will utterly delight some players.
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Skalacon the Wizard, ‘Curator of magic’: Skalacon is one of the first big NPCs my players meet. He is evil, but he obeys the Looks like they’ll let anybody in here art shirt of the town so he doesn’t get into trouble. He is the ambassador to the Poomij Family so he has diplomatic immunity — you can’t touch a hair on his head (literally, because he is bald) without starting a war among the families; you don’t want that. That’s why people tolerate him.That said, Skalacon can take care of himself. He is a 13th level wizard. My players are about 5th to 9th right now. I keep the powerful (and important) NPCs a nice gap ahead of the players for good reason. Use this simple trick. Skalacon has a Quasit that can cast fear, invisibility and make a poison attack. The party hasn’t killed or even attacked ‘Slimeball’ yet, but if things ever get hairy — Slimeball will intervene first. Slimeball has been seen without Skalacon, causing some havoc and doing his master’s bidding. My players have never bothered him, not yet.
When Delores spent his first night actually out with the other chickens in the Looks like they’ll let anybody in here art shirt, I was anxious about how he would handle himself, as he was pretty shy. After a few false starts (and getting pushed off perches by the other chickens) he chose a walnut branch that lead to the night perches and slept on that. When Delores became a big, beautiful Golden Phoenix adult rooster, I thought the hens would probably make absolute fools of themselves trying to get his attention – and if he ignored them it would serve them right! I suppose I should have done something about the name – but Delores responded to “Delores” and appeared fine with it. (Also, my Aunt Delores would have been devastated if I changed his name.) A friend suggested calling him “Del” – which sort of made sense – but that sounded like he was lead singer in a retro 60’s band. As long as Delores didn’t mind – and let’s face it, he didn’t care – I was perfectly content to have a sweet rooster named Delores.