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DM of the Rings CXXIX:
While You Were Fighting

By Shamus
on Wednesday Aug 1, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Gandalf makes his tardy and overly verbose return!
Legolas has simple goals. Which are never fulfilled.

During combat, it’s rude to make other players wait by using the bathroom, stepping outside for a smoke, or getting something to eat. Wait until the fight is over to do those things. When the DM says, “While you were fighting, here is what the NPCs were doing…”, that’s your cue that it’s safe to leave the room for several minutes.

Comments (94)

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  1. Al Shiney says:

    I know Damien’s “rouge/Ninja” in post #54 was a typo, but I can’t help wondering if this wouldn’t be an awesome character to play … deranged former-Geisha turned stealth warrior, sort of “Pretty Woman” meets “Kill Bill”.

    Hey, wait a minute … I yell “dibs” on the copyright!

  2. Lukelightning says:

    deranged former-Geisha turned stealth warrior, sort of “Pretty Woman” meets “Kill Bill”.

    Hey, wait a minute … I yell “dibs” on the copyright!

    Heh, like the “deadly femme-fatale geisha ninja” thing hasn’t already been done to death.

  3. Caius says:

    Player rule number 1
    NPCs are good if they give you items
    Player rule number 2
    They need not be alive to do this

  4. Tola says:

    Aragorn can't roleplay for crap.

    He’s tried, he honestly has. There’s Caradhas(spoiled by EVERYONE, DM included, going out of character), and more recently with the Dead. But given the bloody BOOK of a backstory he’s been given, which he understandably hasn’t read(200 pages?!), is it any wonder he’s playing it by ear most of the time?

  5. Tola says:

    Actually, it’s true of most of the characters…they’ve been given little reason to get emotionally involved. They don’t care much about their characters, they don’t care much for the situations(especially as they’re being forced about by the DM), they don’t care at all.

    And I don’t blame them.

  6. Terran says:

    I think comment #67 is my favourite. My sides hurt. Caius, I think *you* now need to make a shirt…

  7. RogerR says:

    In reposponse to the “. . .in fact, the Tolkien universe is almost completely devoid of Clerical spellcasters anyway, so Healing proficiencies become a LOT more important.”

    To the best of my recollection, notable healers were strictly limited but did include Elrond. Something stirs in my memory about him being the greatest healer in Middle Earth.

    Clerical healers from AD&D never existed in Tolkien, as there existed no patron deities to grants spells. The Valar wouldn’t have gone in for the ‘worship’ claptrap. Only the followers of Morgoth would accept such adorations.

  8. Matthias says:

    Player rule number 3
    There is no such thing as enough XP

  9. Jillzmom says:

    The rouge/ninja posting reminds me of a Conan book that was obviously only proofread by Spellcheck. Conan was attacked by a pack of rouges, instead of a pack of rogues. Perhaps they were Avon ladies in disguise.

  10. I like how 5 people think they got the first post and the one that did didn’t boast “First Post”.

  11. Jochi says:

    Tala —

    I mostly agree with you — and I learned this game from others who were coming straight from Monopoly or Risk. Power Gaming, Monty Haul and you-vs-me mentality was all they knew. (The hobby got better.)

    I was just quoting Shamus. That’s the title of the first page of episode CCXXVIII. Funny then, and funny now.

    And yes, part of the joke is that this DM didn’t think about the player, he handed him a character he is not ready to play and has no desire to play. Now, GIMLI’S player could pull it off — but he was cast in the role of sidekick along with Legolas.

  12. Jochi says:

    Gimli’s player was probably cast in a secondary role because he came to the campaign late. The plum roles were already all gone.

    Part of the problem with letting/forcing the GM to create the setting, the story AND the characters. The game works best if the players CRAFT their characters and CHOOSE their roles.

    Not that that’s any secret.

  13. Cenobite says:

    Lukelightning @ 66:

    Absolutely agree. Done to death.


    (This was a hard list to find. The original page has been deleted off Wikipedia.)

  14. comicshorse says:

    Missed out the brother and sister in ‘Zatoichi’.

  15. Scarlet Knight says:


    Best version: “Berk Breathed’s ‘Night of the Mary Kay Commandos.'”

  16. Terran says:

    We just broke down and picked up the core rules.

    Shamus…this is *your* fault!

  17. leon666 says:


    i just wanted to be populaqr i am sorry

  18. Medium Dave says:

    “Denethor has an heir? I kill him.”

    You are the uncrowned king.

    “Can’t be too careful here.”

    Mark my words.

  19. the grandaddy says:

    last post! great strip shamus, but pleeeeeease, once you finish with dmotrings, do a star wars dm. i look forward for you’re view of the anakin/palpatine relationship

  20. Jindra34 says:

    grandaddy never say you have the last post.

  21. damien walder says:

    I really have to stop typing in the dark. Rouge on a Rogue – actually just a disguise for my Ninja, yeah, that’s right. Rouge is the new black.

    Thanks, everybody. I guess it’s a good sign that no Electra references surfaced (especially after two stinky movies), and praises to the Outland/Bloom County plug.

    I love this webcomic…

  22. TalrogSmash says:

    So, how much trouble is the party in when their best healer is the ranger?

  23. Robel says:

    Pure gold! :D
    Also, you guys with the first post are really lame. Especially those that write “omg first post, i OWNED joo!” and you`re actually the third or something…

  24. Mythias says:

    Man I wish my players would get distracted AFTER the fighting… We once broke for an hour and a half to eat TOAST when we were supposed to be fighting a red dragon. (If I recall correctly, we were actually in the middle of someone’s turn, and about three turns away from killing the thing when the dwarf jumps up and exclaims “I want toast!”)

  25. barnee says:


    … or not…

  26. pirate34 says:

    second last caption, vampire legolas, I mean seriously, he should be burning in all that sunlight

  27. Luke says:

    Anybody else notice Gimli in the last panel?

  28. Lilly says:

    Why do I read all of Gandalf’s posts in his voice? But none of the others get their actors voices?

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