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DM of the Rings: Notice

By Shamus
on Monday Mar 12, 2007
Filed under:


I’ve been messing with some completed DMotR strips, re-working and re-ordering some of them. As a result, stuff that was done is now un-done. As a result of that, Monday’s strip isn’t ready. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post it today or no.

But wait! Before you sneak attack me, let me point out that I do have a number of things which may appease you:

I find dice to be irresistibly touchable. Note that if you suffer from a similar condition and you see someone wearing this shirt, you should <strong>definitely</strong> get their permission before touching.
I find dice to be irresistibly touchable. Note that if you suffer from a similar condition and you see someone wearing this shirt, you should definitely get their permission before touching.
First, I’ve added the standard “First / Prev / Archive / Next / Last” buttons you see on most other webcomics. I’ve also updated some of the graphics, and fiddled with the scripts that run this site to fix some long-standing annoyances. There are PHP script changes all over the place, (like the humorous comment counts) so if you see anything amiss please bring it to my attention.

I have created some nice new t-shirt and mug designs. I’m very happy with the result. I went back and made higher resolution versions of the logo and took fresh photographs of the dice using a better camera, and the results look pretty good. The design is the popular “HELP! My dice are trying to kill me”. For those that have commented and emailed for this sort of thing, now is your chance. Check it out, if you’re so inclined.

Since I’m using a cheapo freebie Cafepress account, I can only have one design at a time. So, I’ll leave this one up for a little while and then change it once everyone that wants one has one. I’m thinking two weeks-ish.

A small rant:

I’ve always hated how stores charge $n.99 for stuff. To me this sort of thing carried the implied insult, “We think you’re too stupid to notice that $12.99 is just a penny short of $13. In fact, we’re hoping you’re dumb enough to think you’re paying $12.” Maybe I shouldn’t take price tags so personally. So, flying in the face of decades of consumer merchandising wisdom, the stuff in the Twenty-Sided store is set to an even dollar amount. I figure if you’re reading a webcomic filled with jokes about probability, quantum mechanics, and byzantine rule systems, then you’re probably a smart egg who will mentally add the penny anyway, so it would be a waste of time to try to fool you. I mention this so that you’ll realize this was done in a deliberate attempt to buck a tiresome trend, and not because I was careless.

The final item I have to appease you for your missing DMotR is a totally re-worked version of the very first comic. It’s always been the ugliest of the series, and I’m thinking maybe that wasn’t the best way to welcome newcomers. It really was clumsy and difficult to scan. Comparing the old and the new, I can see I am getting better at this. I’m still just vandalizing the work of more talented people, but at least now I’m doing it with a little style. For comparison, here is the new one and below is the original:

Lord of the Rings, D&D campaign

I also updated Our Dearly Discarded and As Simple as Calculus, although the changes are pretty minor.

Comments (23)

  1. karrde says:

    Considering how much time the world waited for volume 3 of the original, I think we can wait a (little) while for the rest of DMotR.

  2. Mordaedil says:

    The world waited any longer for the 3rd movie? I think you might be on drugs.

  3. Lawbag says:

    it hit me in the face like a wet slap

    it looks much better

    be nice to have both versions on the same page please as way of looking back?

  4. Geberal Ghoul says:

    “A small rant:

    I've always hated how stores charge $n.99 for stuff. To me this sort of thing carried the implied insult, “We think you're too stupid to notice that $12.99 is just a penny short of $13. In fact, we're hoping you're dumb enough to think you're paying $12.”

    Actually the reason for this is shop owners wanting to keep salespeople honest. Before sales tax, if I wanted $5 for a shirt and the salesperson wanted the $5 for himself he count tell the customers that’ll be $5 and put it in his pocket, but for $4.99, he had to go to the register to make change,. This practice was originated in the NY/ Philidelphia markets and spread from there as these were also the largest wholesale markets as well as major train depots.

    Now stop wasting your weekends on the computer and get outside for a change. :)

  5. Mike says:

    Feel free to redo all of the strips if you like. I’ll enjoy reading them.

  6. Harvey says:

    Love the new 1st comic. Definitely an improvement.

    There is a typo in the second-to-last speech balloon, though:

    “…wanted to go through though this…”

  7. Rebecca says:

    I have a strange urge to get a coffee mug. I should probably do some actual role-playing first. It just seems extra dorky to have to explain that I read a LOTR webcomic about role-playing every time I use the mug.

  8. Michael McHenry says:

    I have to offer an opinion to the contrary. I liked the old comic – it had a more classic look to it. I’d wager you have more readers that bought most of their comic books 10-20 years ago than readers familiar with the more modern look you use in the new version.

    Some of the text changes were obvious improvements (“I /get/ to be a ranger”), but overall I thought the original dialog was grittier. The stuff actual players say isn’t edited and perfected for the joke.

    I can’t blame you for wanting to make it better, though. That’s all nit-picking. Keep up the awesome work. I bet whatever you’re working on is worth the wait.

  9. J. Catbird says:

    Just remember: Han shot first.

  10. Zack says:

    I have to agree with Michael, I actually prefer the original. The new comic has more vivid pictures showing that you have gotten better at finding the “correct shot”. (Though not sure I liked Aragorn being all shadowy in the new one)

    But I actually liked the dialog and flow from the original comic. It was well designed and the script felt more like a gaming group rather than a set up for a joke. Despite its density it managed to get the same message across in fewer frames without being confusing.

    Your comics are wonderful, stop trying to perfect the old ones and keep making new ones. *grin* The old ones were good enough to make all of us laugh the first time around, and that is all that matters.

  11. Steve says:

    Monday post put Steve in touch with inner Half-Orc.

    Steve hate new numbers on posts. Steve hate being ripped off for extra penny by borgeois industrial-military complex-like Twenty-Sided dotcom for lousy tee shirt. Steve adamantly opposed to revisionist editing and “re-imagining” of products to hide paucity of inspiration in original and allow director second chance at immortality at expense of artistic integrity. Steve especially hate new dialog and think it not scan as well as first version. Steve like new pictures though. Not enough to make up for late comic snafu. Never let happen again.


    PS :o))))))))

  12. Selki says:

    I’m afraid I prefer the original too. The new version has slightly better flow in a couple of places, but it’s also a bit gimmicky and distracting. Overall, the first version is tighter and I prefer its pictures and yellow-text background boxes.

  13. Kacky Snorgle says:

    I do agree that the updated comic #1 looks better than the original, but it also doesn’t match the rest of the series in style terribly well now. Unless you’re planning to redo the whole seventy-odd comics in the new color scheme, it’s an odd choice…. And I hope you’re not, because we’ll *never* get any new episodes at that rate. :)

    Speaking of colors, shouldn’t Gandalf’s speech bubbles in the new “Dearly Discarded” be yellow? (Pick, pick, pick….)

  14. Rachel says:

    FWIW, I was able to get around the “one design” CafePress thing by putting different designs on different types of Ts (they have several marginally different ones: white vs. different colors vs “fitted” vs organic, etc.) Some may have slightly different base prices, but it’s an idea.

  15. Andre says:

    I think the code to show the dice image for 20 comments is broken or something. It didn’t show the first time I loaded the page, but when I selected the “view image” option from the drop-down menu it showed up fine.

  16. *NOD* I preferred the original as well. The curvy banners of the revision just grate on me I’m afraid.

  17. Huckleberry says:

    Just to chip in: I also think that the original dialogue had a more natural flow to it. Though I can see you had lots of fun with the new design!

  18. Mana Gement says:

    The site redesign is beautiful! (Thanks especially for the “first” and “most recent” navs and they hysterical comment counts.)

    Insert another vote for the original version of Strip #I. I think the new one is very shiny, and I appreciate that you’re artistically happier with it, but it loses much of the “guys at the table” feeling that hooked me in the first place. Perhaps offering a link at the bottom of the first one (and any others that you significantly edit) along the lines of:

    “At fan request, here’s _the_original_edit_ of this strip.”

  19. Mana Gement says:

    Even better, hang your early work on the web with pride, as the other web artists do, and link to the new and improved version, like when a popular anime series gets a high-budget redo of The Good Bits so everyone can geek out on it all over again. (It’s called an OVA? I’ve only heard of these peripherally, but the concept makes sense.)

    Check out the first strips of Unshelved or Goats. Your start was of spectacularly high quality.

  20. karrde says:

    [mutters to self…]

    was talking about the book, not the movie…

  21. Yahzi says:

    Erm… I prefer the old one, too.

    At least restore the original dialog… or we shall be forced to call you “Mr. Lucas.”


  22. Chrystalline says:

    Note – another way to get around the free shop limitations is to have multiple free shops. That’s what I did, before I started getting enough sales to pay for a premium shop: http://chrystalline.livejournal.com/47189.html

  23. Joe says:

    There is of course another aspect to the .99 thing…people always expect it nowadays, and everyone automatically adds the cent/penny on, but what far fewer people consider is that not every purchase you make always rounds to .99. If its anywhere over 1.50 in the original price, the shopkeeper can put it to x.99 and watch people assume his/her only reason for doing so was to try and fool the stupid people into getting the wrong price, instead of wasting their brainpower on comparing it to other similar products. I believe the method can actually raise quite a lot of revenue.

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