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Peak Dragon's Dogma 2 is only recruiting the freakiest pawns in the realm, like my best friend Frog Nasty

 Dragon's dogma 2 frog nasty.
Dragon's dogma 2 frog nasty.

When I started my Dragon's Dogma 2 playthrough, I modeled my main pawn after the creature I know best in this world: my cat Riley. In real life she's a short, wide-faced buffoon with a knack for napping, but for the purposes of serving the Arisen, videogame Riley is a beefy beastren mage who manages healing on the battlefield. I was happy with my choice of main companion until I started recruiting pawns created by other players and realized just how freaky you can get with the Dragon's Dogma 2 character creator.

Like, lugging my cat around is cute and all, but I could've been more creative, like the Arisen who designed my favorite pawn. His name is Frog Nasty, and he's been in my party for the majority of my 20 hours with Dragon's Dogma 2. Frog Nasty (pictured with me above) is a tall, lanky fella with unpredictably angular features, a receding hairline, rosy red cheeks, and a sickly green complexion. He's a work of art, and a master Thief.

I picked up Frog Nasty because he was the first pawn to make me laugh, but as Dragon's Dogma fans probably could've predicted, I quickly got attached.

Frog Nasty is always the first to spring into action when a gang of goblins accost us on the road. In combat, he's more proactive and deadly than the Warrior and Archer pawns I've paired with him. He overwhelms small enemies with dual blade combos, yanks harpies out of the sky with a grapple hook (that move alone makes me want to switch to Thief myself), and true to his moniker, he's the only pawn I've seen leap onto large monsters of his own volition. When the dust settles, his nasally announcement that the coast is clear is as healing as a Mage's magick.

Our strongest bonding moment came during a fight with a griffin that ambushed our ox cart. Frog Nasty was struggling to get a decent hit on the beast hovering out of reach, so when it finally touched the ground, I used a neat Fighter ability to launch Frog Nasty upward with my shield. He landed dead center on the griffin, which promptly abandoned the battle with Frog Nasty still hanging on. I thought he'd eventually let go, but he just hung on tight, soaring away until the pair was just a speck on the horizon. My favorite pawn had been kidnapped! Except, a moment later Frog Nasty appeared behind me and greeted the party like nothing had happened.

The downside of making friends in Dragon's Dogma 2 is that, inevitably, you have to say goodbye. When you recruit another player's pawn, their stats are frozen in time, meaning after an in-game week traveling together, poor level 8 Frog Nasty was just too weak to hang in a fight. With a heavy heart, I released him with a gift, but not before remembering to set him as a favorite pawn.

I'm glad I did, because a few real days later, a stronger, faster, and maybe just a little bit taller level 31 Frog Nasty came strolling out of the ether. Since we'd last crossed paths, his Arisen had bought him new armor, a pair of ice knives, and a sack to cover his alarming face. Of course, the first thing I did was throw that sack in the garbage—Frog Nasty's face is meant to be paraded through towns, not hidden.

Recently, I've paired him up with a new face on the block: a Sorcerer named House M. D. If you're familiar with the hit medical drama starring a curmudgeon diagnostician with a bad leg, then you'll know just how faithfully their Arisen captured Hugh Laurie's visage. He's a slim, handsome chap with a terminal case of five o'clock shadow and a "straightforward" personality.

dragon's dogma 2 pawns
dragon's dogma 2 pawns

I can see from House's character sheet that he used to be a mage, but has since become a sorcerer—a transformation that I've chosen to interpret as a mirror to the TV doctor's slide into bitter darkness. Because House is a much higher level than me, he actually cost a lot of rift crystals to recruit, and I can't say he's really living up to his price tag yet. He's zapping ogres well so far, but I've yet to see him whip out the High Flagration (flamethrower) spell I know his Arisen taught him. Oh well, you can't tell House what to do.

While I wish I could go on about all the other certified weirdos I've traveled with in Dragon's Dogma 2 so far, the pawn pickings in this pre-release period have been disappointingly regular—mages named Jake or Garrett and a lot of normal-looking women with their pants mysteriously unequipped. Maybe I've just been unlucky in the pawn lottery, or maybe that's just what you get with a player pool of mostly journalists and influencers. The freak ratio is off, but I'm confident that you, dear readers, will remedy this in record time once the floodgates open.

Until then, I'd like to personally thank someone I've never met, but who has improved my Dragon's Dogma 2 experience immeasurably: the creator of Frog Nasty. I hope you enjoyed the bundle of flowers I sent home with him.