Tobias’ backer, James Hines, gave us less backstory to work with than Astoria’s, which meant a freer hand. In his text, Tobias “followed in his father’s footsteps and took up the path of adventuring and seeing the world. He loves to meet new people and help those in need. He’s a sucker for hard-luck cases but rarely helps those who got themselves into trouble. Tobias gets along with everyone but has a dislike for those who have to have a rule for everything. He often insults them muttering under his breath so they hear but can’t make it out, i.e. sotto voce.”

We could’ve followed that guide to the letter and put him in conflict with someone, but I’m not sure any of our established adventurers qualify as a rules-lawyer. Even when Frigg and Syr’Nj or Byron and Sundar clash over rules, it’s just because they’re flouting rules in different ways. It was, I’m pretty sure, Flo’s idea to instead put him next to Bandit. At this point, we’d recently done the AaA where Bandit wonders aloud about whom she might settle down with, so this seemed like an obvious ship tease. It could still be: they’re working together at the end of the series and clearly friendly.

But I was more interested in subverting Bandit’s self-perception, which so far the text and her peers had backed up, that every gnome ever was a good little properly placed cog except for her. Just seeing the design for Tobias made me start to feel like that idea was a little egocentric and self-defeating. I mean, she’s obviously a famous exceptionalist, but she didn’t invent nonconformity.