About the Author
Mass Effect
Final Fantasy X
Batman:Arkham City
Borderlands Series
Weekly Column
Champions Online
World of Warcraft
DM of the Rings
Good Robot
Project Frontier

DM of the Rings CXII:

By Shamus
on Wednesday Jun 13, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


The King of the Dead cuts a deal.

The rulebooks explain that undead have very low charisma scores, but they offer nothing in the way of explanation as to why the other people at the table are so lacking in it.

Comments (105)

1 2

  1. Caitlin says:

    “Is there someone else we could talk to?” LOL an NPC with some sense.

  2. Browncoat says:

    very nice.

    I note the DM sneaking in a MP reference right under his players noses. I laughed.

  3. Evrae says:

    “Can’t ethereal”
    Best line ever

  4. Carol Elaine says:

    Hi Shamus, just wanted to say that I’ve been following DM of the Rings almost from the beginning and I love it. I’ve never played any sort of D&D or RPG, but many of my friends have and even I can appreciate it.

    Thanks for the great work!

  5. James says:

    So now Aragorn gets buckets and buckets of… ectoplasm. And skulls. Try spending that at the bars and brothels…

  6. Knastymike says:

    Heh, I love that Legolas and Gimli have become barely-leashed dogs!

  7. Roxysteve says:

    Not as funny as that idiot Aragormless saying “Shake on it?” then following up with “Fair enough”.

    Imagine. “So you guarantee this car for 7 years or 100 000 miles?”


    “In writing?”


    “Fair enough”.



  8. Roxysteve says:

    [Shamus] I love the sense of menace on panel 3. I realise you meant it as a total failure on the part of the King Af All Bones to make his diplomacy or bargain checks, but I read it in a more…Call of Cthulhu framework.

    “We have a deal. Heh. Heh. Heh.”


  9. The Sponge says:

    Loving the strips, as always. The plethora of people attempting to comment with nothing more substantial than “first” irritates me, though… to the extent where I’ve stopped looking at the comments anymore.

  10. Jeremiah says:

    Great as always. Legolas and Gimli growling in unison makes me giggle.

  11. Jp says:

    Why was my comment removed? I was clearly NUMBER ONE. Great Job By The Way

  12. Shamus says:

    A rule I made a while back: If you’re going to FIRST POST, you have to have something useful to say besides FIRST POST. This is to fix the problem where the first five comments were all people trying to claim FP and nothing else.

  13. MarkB says:

    Actually, since he’s clearly manifested, he’s incorporeal. :p

  14. Martin says:

    First I was an LotR fan (thirty odd yrs ago)Then I discovered D&D then AD&D. Now I am an old fart, but I think this strip is genius.

    Well Done Shamus!!

  15. kenderweasel says:

    MP reference just slayed me – keep up the good work Shamus!

  16. Osvaldo Mandias says:

    Gimli’s a dwarf, yes, yes, I know, but he still looks unusually small in panel 2 compared to the gigantic ghost just behind him and to the viewer’s right. Is that an artifact of stitching together shots or is that a flaw in the moviemaker’s magic?


  17. Jeremiah says:

    I wonder what kind of “stuff” they’re actually going to get from the dead guys.

  18. scldragonfish says:

    MarkB Says:

    June 13th, 2007 at 11:31 am
    Actually, since he's clearly manifested, he's incorporeal. :p

    OOOOKAY! Anal Retentive Much!?

  19. Romanadvoratrelundar says:

    “Anally retentive” needs no hyphen.

  20. Shamus says:

    Osvaldo: Probably a bit of both. The shot of Gimli is a composite of 3 different images.

  21. Wtrmute says:

    Shamus: Just because you asked for it, I got only half the page when I first loaded. Yes, the first two panels, then a lot of whitespace, and your comment at the end of it. But it looks like the connection’s a bit funky on my end, and reloading the page did the trick, so never mind. :-P

  22. Isoyami says:

    Haha! Brilliant. I also loved the shot of Gimli and Leggylass growling like leashed dogs. Grrr.

    In the second panel, Gimli does look even shorter than usual. I think its just the way the frame was stitched together, with Leggo in the foreground, Aragorm in the middle ground and Gimli way in the back background.

    And I was so expecting the Green Ghost King to go: “The elf wants to kill us *again*? We’re already dead! Bwahaha!”

    (Insert creepy screencap of the GGK dislocating his jaw and laughing maniacally (sp?). That one always gave me the shivers, hehe.)

    Nah. This version is a lot funnier. And the very very last screencap of Aragorm going: “Shake on it” made me giggle. :D

    P.S. I heard rumor of the DM slipping a Python quote in there somewhere? It must have been hiding behind the tree, cause I didn’t spot it. =\

  23. Roy says:

    Gimli's a dwarf, yes, yes, I know, but he still looks unusually small in panel 2 compared to the gigantic ghost just behind him and to the viewer's right. Is that an artifact of stitching together shots or is that a flaw in the moviemaker's magic?

    I interpretted that ghost as being in front of him, just that we can see Gimli through the ghost.

  24. By the way, Shamus, I really appreciate removing the first posters. They make me not want to read the rest of the comments, which is unfortunate.

  25. Da Rogue says:

    I always just made fun of the first posters…

    “First Post!, I mean Second,… er… ¿20th?”

  26. Ryan says:

    I’d just like to say that I really like how you’ve “hidden” the comics. I like to save up reading them for the end of the week, but I also like to check the site for other updates. Now that they are not fully posted on the main page, I can scroll through today’s/yesterday’s posts without worrying about my attention prematurely wandering towards DMotR.

  27. Roger says:

    I’m impressed Aragorn’s player made it through all the backstory to figure out what to do. Maybe he did get the Cliff’s Notes version after all.

  28. Jacob says:

    “Is there someone else we could talk to?”

    “No. Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.”

    /me ducks

  29. Donna says:


    you’re awesome and I love your sense of humor. I’m also very greatful you’ve removed the first posters. It’s a stupid thing to take pride in. The comments should be all about YOU and your brilliance and humor and just plain wonderfulness!

    (yeah, even I’m getting sick now, but you really do ROCK)

  30. Aaron says:

    Just when I thought this couldn’t really get any funnier, you’ve gone and proven me wrong. The MP reference is awesome!! The last panel has got to be the best though. I snarfed water on my screen when I read it >.

  31. Aaron says:

    Bah only half my post came through. The other half said Warning! DO NOT attempt drinking while reading this comic. May cause electrical equipment failure, lung failure, or a party foul.

  32. Scarlet Knight says:

    Oh, I kinda’ miss the FIRST posters. It was sort of a traditon, and they were enthusiastic. How about we keep the first ‘first’ poster & throw away the ersatz first posters?

  33. DocTwisted says:

    33rd Post!

    Shamus, This one was magical in how funny it was in such a small space. Does it mean we won’t see Leggylass putting an arrow through one of the ghosts’ heads?

  34. lorin says:

    love it! and why have high charisma when you can have high dex or strength or any of that other seemingly important stuff?

  35. jperk31260 says:

    I wonder how that stuff thing is going to work. Aragorn’s
    character surrounded by rusted ruined old weapons and armour or Aragorn surrounded by disappearing Ghost who have no stuff and nothing except fear to give.

  36. Stranger says:

    “So to lift the curse you want our aid in battle and all our stuff? I guess we have a deal.” *whispered* “Not like we HAVE anything, heh heh heh . . .”

  37. Ineti says:

    I’m sensing the GM is setting up the players via the King of the Dead.

    “So we have to agree to give you our stuff.”


    “Suuuure, we’ll give you our stuff.”


    -The Dead army fights, then dissipates into the mist-

    “Hey…where’s the stuff?”

    GM cackles.

    Great work, Shamus!

  38. gahazakul says:

    Im thinking that the setup is:

    “Its a deal then. All our belongings and we fight for you. Meet us outside after you collect our posseions”

    -Ghosts dissipate-

    “Well, weres the loot?”

    -rumble, rumble, rumble; skulls begin to rain from the cieling-

    “Sweet zombie Jesus, save us!”

  39. melchar says:

    LOL! Loved the strip – and if you -do- give them the ghost’s ‘stuff’ then there will actually be a reason for the scene with all those skulls from the ‘extended version’ [well, a better reason than P.Jackson had, IMO]

  40. Keldin says:

    I also see a (parapharased)Princess Bride quote “I don’t mean to be rude, but . . .” Isn’t that what the Man in Black says when Inigo is trying to hurry his climb up?

  41. Marmot says:

    The “Can’t. Etheral.” line was the cream of the cream. I’ll count it into my all-time favorites!!!

  42. mookers says:

    Roger Says: I'm impressed Aragorn's player made it through all the backstory to figure out what to do. Maybe he did get the Cliff's Notes version after all.

    I thought this comic was the Cliff’s Notes version :D

  43. Destroy Gundam says:

    I’m left wondering if Lego-lass was growling because he wanted to kill the ghosts or because Aragorn called him a chick again.

  44. The PCs are lacking in Charisma because they’re usually not bards or sorcerers. And no saves depend on charisma so it’s usually a pretty safe dump stat. So when they go around the place behaving like magpie-gorilla hybrids, it’s ROLEPLAYING.

  45. Roach says:

    I’ve been following this comic for a while. Brilliant job.

  46. Tsetut says:

    You do know that Can’t Incorporeal showed up in Order of the stick episode 292, about 57 weeks ago, just over one year. Its not like the joke is in any way new.

  47. Zaghadka says:

    Hmm. Any chance 90% of that “stuff” is cursed? (*wicked laugh*)

    I thought Stonergorn was the one who pictured the battle of Helm’s Deep as a great big game of Nethack. He should know better.

  48. Woerlan says:

    Aragorn seemed to be able to grab the Mountain King’s face jsut fine in the movie. I guess the sword allows him to manipulate ethereal creatures.

  49. kenderweasel says:

    It’s still funny even if your being picky

  50. Ward Hall says:

    Technically speaking, the line from OOTS was: “I can’t shake hands, I’m incorporeal.”

    Much of the humor of Shamus’s version lies in its brevity.

  51. Joshua says:

    “The PCs are lacking in Charisma because they're usually not bards or sorcerers. And no saves depend on charisma so it's usually a pretty safe dump stat. So when they go around the place behaving like magpie-gorilla hybrids, it's ROLEPLAYING.”

    And the sad thing is, Charisma is more valuable in 3.0 and 3.5 than it used to be. Paladins used to have to have a 17 or better in Charisma, which had virtually no in-game benefits, unless your DM was a knob and actually used the NPC Reaction Roll charts.

  52. andy says:

    Nice job Shamus, strip rocks.

    Think the click through is a good idea, and I for one am all for you, as owner and moderator of this site, removing comments where you see fit (Including first posts!)

  53. Nogard_Codesmith says:

    Oh man Shamus! the fortune cookie at the end makes this comic gold… actually, its better than gold. its platinum!

  54. TalrogSmash says:


    As someone once pointed out “of course the Simpsons already did it, they’ve been around for like 20 years”. Now apply to rpg humor and keep it to yourself.

  55. Chris says:

    i just stumbled on to this from a posting on techreport.com about online comics. http://www.techreport.com/onearticle.x/12632
    great work keep it up.
    i was disapointed after hour of reading there was no more next button on this comic. i eagerly await more.

  56. anachronist says:

    57th (approximately). Take that, ya wannabe firsties.

    About Charisma being a dump stat: I dunno… just about every character I have played needed high Charisma for skills like Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, etc., not to mention magic in some cases. I admit I do find it frustrating when my low-Cha fellow party members mess up a negotiation where I could have succeeded.

    It wasn’t until Gimli’s “horse f***ers” DMotR episode a while back that I was inspired to say deliberately stupid things when *I* rolled a 1 on a Diplomacy check. Thanks Shamus. -A

  57. Ithelog says:

    Shamus, do you mind if I compose for my personal use comic album from your work?

    Actually, I would prefer buying that as ready made album once the serie is completed, but I guess that you are that much at the edge of violation of copyrights that any book print company wouldn’t take the risk and you making money out of it might be the drop causing copyright holders to interfare.

  58. Raved Thrad says:

    Is it just me or does everyone in this encounter, PCs and NPCs, all have low charisma scores? :D

  59. brassbaboon says:

    In the old Unearthed Arcana rules, when they introduced the Illusionist class, they made Charisma their primary attribute. For example, bonus spells were based on charisma. The only character I had with a decent charisma was my Illusionist, who eventually became my most powerful character. Now I have to convert him into a 3.5 character if I want to keep playing him, and that creates a dilemma. Do I keep his stats the same, and make him a sorcerer so that he maintains his spell-casting benefits, or do I switch his scores so that his intelligence is replaced by his charisma since “illusionist” is now a wizard sub-class and depends on intelligence as their primary attribute?

    Any thoughts?

  60. Nefke says:

    Loot-loving Pcs…it´s the GM´s duty to get back at them eventually ;) I´ll wait and see :P

  61. Jeff says:

    “Oh, I kinda' miss the FIRST posters. It was sort of a traditon [sic], and they were enthusiastic. How about we keep the first “˜first' poster & throw away the ersatz first posters?”
    Meh, they deserve nothing. If they truly belonged, they’d be fighting for the 20th post so they’d have a nat 20.

  62. Naughty Girl says:


    *dies in a fit of giggles*

  63. Stranger says:

    Re: #61

    Don’t give them MORE ideas!

1 2

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *


Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>