A Better Mold – Chapter 7, Act 2, Strip 40

Well, the band’s back together! And Biff seems to be in better shape…she’s upright, and moving nearly unaided. It’s not all you could ask for, but it’s a lot more than could be said of her a short while ago.

Mopey also seems to be in a decidedly good mood. She’s waving…which is not necessarily a friendly gesture, but is readily interpreted that way. Usually, she wouldn’t risk that sort of misconception, so she’s really letting her hair down right now. *

But, immediately upon re-unification, the team is attacked…Gregory even saw it coming, and he probably wasn’t the only one. It’s important to give players a little bit of challenge right from the start, so even the early, lowest-level encounters should be interspersed with a miniboss every now and then. Fortunately for Gregory, it’s not his problem primarily – with Mopey’s return, he’s been relegated to the second rank in the combat formation again.

Typically, since the first encounter featured slimes, a miniboss mightd only have been some larger, differently colored slime…but I’ve decided to create a more universally applicable one. Since popular lowest-level encounters feature slimes, rats, bats or goblins, I’ve combined all of those into…uh…a combination. It’s a bit of a stretch, as far as natural evolution is concerned, but in a fantasy world it could easily be the result of some vile experimentation by some disciple of the black arts, couldn’t it? Or, alternatively, the result of some disciple of the black arts being careless when disposing of the experimental residue in his lab.

And it’s definitely larger and more dangerous than any slime, bat, rat or goblin on its own, while being vaguely related to all of these – in fantasy RPG logic, that qualifies it as a boss and leader of such. I don’t think that that logic is derived from observations of real-life leadership structures, but it does charm one with its elegant simplicity.

More on Mon…uh, Thursday.

* Metaphorically speaking. Physically, she can’t do that anymore…but don’t remind her of that, that would definitely sour her mood immediately.

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