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DM of the Rings CXVII:
I Didn’t Know I Knew That

By Shamus
on Monday Jun 25, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Aragorn can sail a ship? Who knew?

Comments (124)

1 2

  1. dragonbane says:

    h0ll0wone: I think he likes to scream at us…

  2. MOM says:

    How surprising to me that your readers share your interest in D&D, LOTR, AND Veggie Tales (readers take note: Veggie Tales are quoted at Shamus’ house as often as MP- not necessarily by the kids).

  3. Darkenna says:

    h0ll0wone, dragonbane: No more rhymes now, I mean it.

    Scarlet Knight: He certainly is a son of a… ; )

  4. Dez says:

    Is Aragorn actually looking at the DM in panel 4….?

    Great work Shamus!


  5. Deacon Blues says:

    “If you get the right omnibus collection of Silly Songs you will also witness the existential angst of “Oh Where Is My Hairbrush?” and the sheer artistry of the Argentinian Sombrero Song, not to mention the now-legendary crisis engendered by “Everybody's Got A Water Buffalo”, which caused the temporary banning of “Larry Sings A Silly Song” from Veggie Tales until a massive write-in campaign had it reinstated.

    You guys with no kids miss out on all the good stuff.”

    Well, actually, RoxySteve, the temporary banning of “Silly Songs With Larry” came in the wake of “The Song of the Cebu”, and caused it to be replaced for one episode with “Love Songs With Mr. Lunt”, as chronicled in The End Of Silliness? “The Water Buffalo Song” was in fact the very first Silly Song With Larry.

    And you’re right – the folks without kids miss out on all the good stuff… :)

  6. Scarlet Knight says:

    Now that Aragorn has a ghostly crew, can we call him the Dead Pirate Roberts? Ho ha! *chortle* Get it? Dead pirate…oh, never mind….

  7. TalrogSmash says:

    “…anybody want a peanut?”

  8. TalrogSmash says:

    and on a MP note

    sailing away
    its fun to charter an acountant
    and sail the wide acountancy…

  9. oldschoolGM says:

    “Is it too late for me to choose my animal companion”

    HAAHH! Oh, if I had a nickel…

  10. hikari says:

    Of course, technically, Legolas can sail as well. Hell apparently he’s even something of a shipwright.

  11. Jaja says:

    Animal companion:

    Parrot: way too common
    Monkey: Sooo yesterday

    Howsa bout a poodle? ‘m sure Legolas wouldn’t object…speaking of which, I must plea for an end to the references to other movies, simply because I DON’T want a persisting mental image of dear Leggy going “I’M THE KING OF THE WOORRRLD!!!”

    Then again, I’m sure no one here really WATCHED Titanic, as no TRUE gaming enthusiast would go that far…

    right? right?
    (And no I certainly DIDN’T cry at the end)

  12. inq101 says:

    Burn the ships? The players are missing something here.
    1) Ships cost a LOT of money, therefor can be classed as loot.
    2) Even if you can’t sell them, they can carry lots of loot.
    3) Ships give you the option to go looking for pirate treasure.

  13. Phil says:

    I must confess I’ve never seen a player say “I can’t do that, I don’t have the skill”. Players think they should be able to do anything (sailing a ship is easy, right?) and it’s usually the nasty meanie of the DM who insists on the embarrassing details of whether or not your character actually knows how to do it!

    Meanwhile, who could ever see Legolas as a pirate? Oh, hang on… :)

  14. Medium Dave says:

    Pirate Larry rules. The whole “never been to Boston in the fall” is obviously a clue to where the real treasure is. Being a contractor on the Big Dig! Arrrrrr.

  15. Browncoat says:

    76 inq101 Says: June 26th, 2007 at 3:07 am
    Burn the ships? The players are missing something here.
    1) Ships cost a LOT of money, therefor can be classed as loot.
    2) Even if you can't sell them, they can carry lots of loot.
    3) Ships give you the option to go looking for pirate treasure.

    You seem to be overly obsessed with “loot” and “treasure”. Don’t forget money, riches, gold, lucre, boodle, booty, dough (“mmm…I’m a dough-nut”), graft, goods, items, moolah, pilage, plunder, prizes, spoils, swag, and, of course, bling.

    Am I the only one that misses when the term was “bling-bling”? Now it’s just one bling, and I think it’s lost something intangible there.

  16. superfluousk says:

    Oh, a pirate I was meant to be
    Trim the sails and roam the sea!
    We’ll fight you in the harbor.
    We’ll battle you on land.
    But when you meet singing pirates…
    They’ll be more than you can stand?

  17. Sissa says:

    What will he teach the parrot?

    “Polly wants loot!”

  18. Rolld20 says:

    Aw, nuts, I *live* in Boston, even in the fall.
    I guess I can’t be a PWDDA. :(
    May as well go kiss that chipmunk now…

    Nice screen caps for Arrragorn, Shamus. :D

  19. Nanja Kang says:

    In the next comic, maybe Capt. Jack Sparrow could make an appearance? Hmmm, maybe throw some PotC in the mix… yeah. It’s niiiiice.

  20. Sammi says:

    Uh huh. Backstory. This is what happens when the DM gives you a character rather than rolling your own. I mean, I have NEVER completely forgotten that I took some random skill by this far into a campaign. Never! Really! Just don’t ask my GMs about that….

  21. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Sissa Says:What will he teach the parrot?”
    What every good parrot learns:”Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!”

    Browncoat: Besides gold the ship is probably loaded with lots of loot that pirates have: wheat & barley & other grains, salt for your meat & cinnamon sweet, & RUM ! Rum ’til ye float!
    (sorry for mixing songs, but piracy so so fertile, it’s hard to choose just one source!)

  22. roxysteve says:

    Deacon Blues Says:
    The Water Buffalo Song” was in fact the very first Silly Song With Larry.

    Only if you watched them in a sensible order. Who would do that?

    You’re right about the Cebu thing, though Archibald actually wasn’t as obviously distressed by that one as “Water Buffalo” (which engendered a full-on attack upon the hapless cucumber).

    DB’s very angryI hope he doesn’t catch meIt’s very hard to run withA sombreroOn my head.


  23. roxysteve says:

    So, ‘br’ tags not recognised either.


  24. Elven Mistress says:

    I have just read all 700 (well it feels like it) of these comic pages in the correct order and despite the serious, kidney-hurting laughs they have provided me you, dear wonderful writer, and the rest of you campaigners have persuaded me why I was right to turn down every invitation I have ever had to play this type of tabletop game. I would done a bad, bad thing and been incarcerated for 1st degree murder a long, long time ago. And that too would have been a bad, bad thing.

    Keep the cartoons coming. I love them so much!


  25. Joe says:

    love this comic. read all of them, love all of them, big fan of the lotr films. the exdended editions even more so. : D

    last! woo!

  26. Matis says:

    Oh my God….
    I haven’t played D&D since ….1970. Damn. But even with that mere year or 2 of playing is like a freakin Berlitz to this site. Thanks for the “kidney hurting” laughs and look forward to many more panels. BTW, although I laughed, how dare Jaja besmirched this site with anything even remotely associated with Celine Dion
    Keep it up.


  27. KGrape says:

    superfluousk (#80)
    We could all prevent scurvy if we could just find an orange.
    (or something to that effect)
    Great reference. :)

  28. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    You know what I’m surprised I didn’t see?

    Aragorn: Legolas, send a warning shot.

    Legolas: A warning shot? Are you sure? I can hit them from here.

    Aragorn: I know, but…

    Legolas: We have a whole army of ghosts.

    Aragorn: Just give the warning shot!

    Legolas: Okay, okay!

    DM: The arrow pierces the helmsman in the throat and he slips over dead.

    Aragorn: LEGOLAS!!

    Legolas: What? I rolled badly.

    Aragorn: Now we’ll have to kill them all and we’ll never find where they buried the treasure.

    Legolas: Gimili tripped me! It was an accident.

    Gimili: Oh, aye, it’s the dwarf’s fault sure.

  29. Browncoat says:

    @ Matis (#91)–I have to claim “Bad Form” for linking Celine Dion on a geek culture page. Nevertheless, I did go to it. I managed to watch 40 seconds, and when I saw the percussionist, the thought came to my mind, “I need more cowbell!”

    Now I have to wonder. . .what are Canadian geeks like, eh?

  30. Jaja says:

    Matis: Am afraid the besmircher is guilty as charged! Will solemnly vow to refrain from mentioning *her*, i.e. C.D., and other similar blasphemous pop-star entities from this day on so as to protect the sanctity of the blessed geek culture! (At least here anyway…now where did i put my ‘Streisand’s Greatest Hits’ album?)

    KIDDING!!!!! :)

  31. Scarlet Knight says:

    Bilge Rat: thanks for “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate”. I was looking for a chance to download it. Now, if only Jimmy Buffet can learn it before his next Canadian show, I will be truly happy …

  32. David V.S. says:

    They need to read the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates.

  33. Saruman says:

    Arrragormless, you have a woman’s hands!!!

  34. Librain says:

    Pirates are so better than ninjas

    “I’m not arrogant, I really am that good.”

  35. Librain says:

    Woot! 100th! (even if I did have to cheat a little to get it)

    I truly fear Aragorm as a Pirate King, he will sneak up behind you and set fire to your children, slaughter your women, ravish your elves, pillage your goats, plunder your bilges and sink your village.

    Viva la revolution! Gimli for king! With the lovely queen Leggylass by his side, he shall bring peace and prosperity!

    “I’m not arrogant, I really am that good.”

  36. eccles says:

    This might have been asked 100times before, sorry if so – but is it possible to reverse the date order on the page at http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?cat=14 ?
    Its just starting to get a little long :-)

  37. Roxysteve says:

    Saruman Says:
    Arrragormless, you have a woman's hands!!!

    I’ll bet those hands have never felt the lash of the cat or a decent rope burn as they reef the mains’l in a hurricane and save the ship from a watery grave!

    Or something along those lines.

    Aye Aye, Cap’n Rum.


  38. Roxysteve says:

    eccles Says:
    This might have been asked 100times before, sorry if so – but is it possible to reverse the date order on the page at http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?cat=14 ?
    Its just starting to get a little long

    I say “Nay!”

    Top-quoting is for internet geeks and those who cannot muster the wherewithal to master the scroll bar or mouse wheel. Let the order stand for ever as a monument to the numerically inclined!

    C’mon. It’s just about 100 entries, and due to peter out by 150 or so. Even I can find the latest one in seconds.


  39. eccles says:

    Steve: Top-quoting is for internet geeks and those who cannot muster the wherewithal to master the scroll bar or mouse wheel.

    *raises eyebrow* its not top quoting, that’s email. And unlike long content pages that might *gasp* require the scrollbar, I’d say the majority of people are only going to be interested in the newest entry…. so why make them scroll if its not necessary. Its not being lazy, its just good interface design to present the thing that most people are going to want straight off….
    Anyway, it was just a thought :)

  40. Scarlet Knight says:

    It this where Aragorn sings:
    “I am the very model of a modern Numenorean,
    I've information on the elves all through the Silmarillion,
    I know the kings of Gondor, and I quote the fights historical
    From Doriath to Gondolin, in order categorical;
    I'm very well acquainted, too, with the Queen Galadriel,
    I understand geneology, going back to Earendil,
    About my weapons I'm carrying dear Anduril ““
    Which is put together from the shattered pieces of ol' Narsil!”

  41. mocking bird says:

    If they did become pirates, would Lego-lass be Mister Prostitute?

    Sail away where no ball and chain
    Can keep us from the roarin’ waves
    Together undivided but forever we’ll be free
    So sail away aboard our rig
    The moon is full and so are we
    We’re seven drunken pirates
    We’re the seven deadly sins

  42. Zosete says:

    “Swab the hoosegow!”

    Maybe it’s just because I like all piratemehearty jive, but this strip made me laugh like mad, even though english isn’t my first language and i’ll need to look for the meaning of those words. I envy the fun you angloreading natives would have enjoyed understanding it inmediately…

  43. MD says:

    Actually, while I suspect the last panel may use real nautical terms it looks to me like it is in fact gibberish (although if there is in fact a way to, for example, ‘prime’ a sail I could be mistaken). Possibly Aragorn is doing his best to run the fleet aground (there presumably being no reefs on the Anduin), or trying to actually role play, or maybe he just got carried away with his new idiom. Everyone loves a pirate after all.

  44. Cynder says:

    I totally forgot that Aragorn could actually sail a ship XD Proves how much I was paying attention… :P

  45. Doug says:

    MD is right – Aragorn is talking total gibberish, obviously in a well-meaning attempt to get into the swing of things. :)

  46. Jesska says:

    “Swab the Hoosegow”


  47. “I mean, if it's fun for you, go for it, but a chracter's success at negotiations shouldn't depend on the players ability to sweet-talk any more than the outcome of a round of combat should depend on the player's actual physical skill with a sword.”

    Except that what “should” occur if we’re 100% strict about roleplaying becomes boring and unfun. Yes, fair enough, if your party hates negotiation just make some rolls. But while a player should certainly get bonuses from their Charisma and their skills, and while a DM can certainly take that into account with giving advice about what to say or answering questions, the best campaigns are when someone really does use all their skills. So someone who really knows how to use a sword should, within the parameters of their character, be EXPECTED to describe the intricacies of their sword motion. And someone who can sweet talk should be EXPECTED to come up with a badass speech. Doing so encourages your players not to view their character as a pile of statistics but as a living person who they step into. The best player speeches grow the character as much as they bail the party out of jail ;) .

    “I would expect this to mean that he once knew, but it has been so long since that part of the backstory occurred that he's since forgotten.”

    Well, probably not “forgotten”, but “Has become so rusty as to only get a circumstance bonus”.

  48. Scott says:

    Way too late to make a difference now, I imagine, but ‘corsair’ actually means ‘pirate’. The corsairs would be the former occupants of the ships, not the ships themselves. They might be referred to that way, but it would be as shorthand for ‘corsair ship’. Same way something like “Captain, we’ve got pirates coming up to starboard!” means there’s a ship full of pirates approaching, not some pirates swimming after you.

  49. serenitybane says:

    The lines you give aragorn make me laugh every time. These are just too funny!!!!

  50. Michael says:

    The seven habits of highly effective pirates:

    1. Decide what you’re going to steal.
    2. Figure out how you’re going to steal it.
    3. Write down your schedule.
    4. Determine how everyone in the group will share the wealth.
    5. Listen to everyone’s complaints, and then address them.
    6. Use every else’s skills.
    7. … Don’t got one for this :-).

    (1 to 6 are serious pirate translations of the first 6 habits)

  51. joesolo says:

    id bet as soon as the hugge battle finishes outside minas, hes gonna try and sell the ships. or set fire to them by accident.

  52. me says:

    the ghosts…..hollowed out the crew?


  53. Spencer Collins says:

    Almost a segue to the Parrot Sketch.

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