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DM of the Rings XCVIII:
Ooooh! Shiny!

By Shamus
on Wednesday May 9, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Grima is dead. Oops.
Gandalf and Aragorn want the Palantir.

Never share loot with NPCs. Their pack will always contain everything the DM wants them to have, so it’s a waste to give them anything more.

Comments (90)

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  1. Scarlet Knight says:

    But wait,there’s more! Order now & get the Mordor Tabernacle Choir’s lastest CD containing such hits as : “Bard to the Bone”, “Sympathy for Morgoth”, “Stairway to Shelob”, and of course, “Ring of Fire”! Act now! Palantirs are standing by!

  2. Isoyami says:

    about bad LoTR musik.

    You keep your Ramones. I’ll keep my Lords of the Rhymes. ;) :P



  3. brassbaboon says:

    Gandalf as druid is an argument I’ve heard before, and there’s enough there to make it a plausible one.

    But no more plausible than Gandalf as wizard or Gandalf as sorcerer. All of them apply, as does Gandalf as fighter due to his swordplay which was the equal of anyone in middle earth.

    If we really want to define Gandalf in D&D terms, we’d probably need to create a custom prestige class that is part druid, part wizard and part fighter. Call it Eldritch Warrior and give him a collection of divine and arcane spells, with fighting skills similar to a ranger.

    But no matter how you define it, he’s not going to rate very high in the level system of D&D.

  4. jabbers says:

    I want to see how much magic Gandalf will need to convince somebody to climb up the out side of a beacon, slip past a guard, and then light what they are standing on. I think one extra spicy fireball with chili sauce would do the job much better.

  5. jabbers says:

    “The palantir is not cursed. It's just a communication device. Unfortunately Sauron is waiting to pick up on the other end and having a telepathic conversation with him is not a good thing. Prior to Sauron obtaining a palatir they were used regularly to communicate between Arnor and Gondor.”

    I wonder if he gets telemarketers.

  6. rosignol says:

    I wonder if he gets telemarketers.


    Sauron? Yes. Where do you think the Nazgul came from?

    (little-known fact: the 7 rings for the dwarves were originally a special on QVC)

  7. Tola says:

    I wonder if he gets telemarketers.

    He IS a Telemarketer. And he’s seling slavery.

  8. Ant. says:

    Probably the best webcomic ever. Keep up the good work.

  9. Zudrak says:

    Great comic. I, too, detested PJ’s version of Saruman’s demise and subsequent omission of “Scouring of the Shire”.

    That said, every time we watch RotK and Saruman lands on the spiky water wheel, I crack my wife up by impersonating Austin Powers in one word:


  10. Keldin says:

    I have to add my two cents to the magic issue — this is one of many issues that has divided role-playing from literature — the reduction of magic from something, well, MAGICAL, to something pedestrian and mechanical. A great example of this is Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. While I understand his reasons behind his plot and atmosphere development, there was an aura of mystery and wonder in the first couple of books, as the story wears on there’s no thrill when magic gets used anymore.

    Anyone familiar with D&D rules just categorizes spells and similar effects into dull, bureaucratic pigeonholes by reflex. I admit doing so myself (so Gandalf chases off the Nazgul with a light spell. Oooh, I’m shaking in my spaceboots!) but I still think it’s sad.

  11. Cynder says:

    Ooooh, so THAT’s what it’s called!!!

    …I’ve been calling it an Balenthia!!

    …and I JUST realised those two words aren’t even alike.

    Go figure. <:(

  12. SandallE says:

    @ Scarlet Knight (#57):
    I loved the music in the animated LotR movies much better than the new stuff. Decades later I still catch myself singing, “Where there’s a whip There’s a way!”.

    And for those of you whom haven’t seen “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” by Leonard Nemoy, check it out.

  13. Aragorn says:

    HELP! the comic went blank! i tried refreshing its just black!!! :(

  14. Robin says:

    Trying to define Gandalf in D&D terms is as silly and meaningless as trying to define him in football terms.

    “He can throw fireballs — he’s a quarterback.”
    “No, he stopped the balrog from coming forward — he’s a defensive lineman.”

    First of all, Gandalf is an angel — one of the Maiar. You cannot make him fit *any* character class.

    More importantly, the magic, history, culture and languages of Middle-Earth form a self-consistent, logical whole. This alone makes it incompatible with the rules for D&D.

    • WJS says:

      That’s just ridiculous. D&D is far closer to LotR that football is, and pointing out that if you want to create a Gandalf analogue in D&D he shouldn’t be a high level wizard is a perfectly sound observation, nothing like your silly rambling about quarterbacks and linemen.

  15. Biggus says:

    About the “Gandalf was a 5th-level Wizard” (or whatever) debate: in Unfinished Tales it’s stated that Gandalf and the other Wizards “were forbidden to reveal themselves in forms of majesty, or to seek to rule the wills of Elves or Men by open display of power”. This explains why Galdalf is a Maiar (angel/ demigod/ lesser deity) but only appears to be a relatively low-level caster. As far as I can remember, he never uses his full power except when he fights the Balrog (Saruman of course does break the prohibition).

  16. Shawn says:

    RE: trying to conceive of Gandalf in D&D terms:
    Comments #53, 56, 79 and 80 really get at the heart of the issue, in my view.

    What they said, taken together, needs only a brief addition, in my opinion.

    But first, I want to make a related point:

    D&D Elves, even, are not like Middle Earth elves (well, at least the Noldar). And I am not talking about the fact that they are shorter and more often have brown hair in D&D. Elves are intrinsically magical beings — even the movies get at this where they show a brief shot of Frodo, who is slowly becoming a wraith, seeing Arwen in the ‘wraith world’ as a radiant being of light.

    As others have said, D&D is NOT based on middle earth in any significant ways. It is based on books that took a lot of ideas from Middle Earth, and it then added some more Tolkien content of its own.

    My final point about Gandalf is that he was primarily a shepherd, a teacher. To him, helping and convincing others to do wonderful things was FAR better than him doing them himself. Whatever your personal feelings about Christianity may be, Tolkien was a devout Catholic, and he a C.S. Lewis had a ‘pact’ to incorporate Christian teaching and philosophy into their fiction. Lewis did it in a much more visible way. But Tolkien scholars almost uniformly agree that Gandalf was, in an allegorical sense that was not to be taken too literally, symbolic for Christ.

    As such, in responding to a reviewer’s comment from above, it WAS much preferable, for example, to him to get a hobbit to commit an act of bravery and heroism to light a beacon than it was to launch a fireball at it himself.

    • Hellknight says:

      Shawn, you state that But Tolkien scholars almost uniformly agree that Gandalf was, in an allegorical sense that was not to be taken too literally, symbolic for Christ.
      I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you here. Tolkien himself made it verry clear that LotR did not, in whole or in parts, contain allegory, be it christian or otherwise. Any such references found are applicabilty, and not allegory.

  17. ERROR says:

    Hold on. Is the guy’s name Grima or Wormtongue? Or are they two different people?

  18. Serenitybane says:

    Lmao “It’s Mine.”
    That made me laugh so much :)

  19. Serenitybane says:

    And ERROR.. His full name is Grima Wormtongue. =P

  20. Trae says:

    Because that’s a totally inconspicuous name.

  21. Willowe says:

    “It’s mine, my PRECIOUS”

    I never thought Aragorn would argue with Gandalf. Hahaha

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