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DM of the Rings CXXXIII:

By Shamus
on Friday Aug 10, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Aragorn comes up with a different plan. No not really.

The best sort of player revolt is when they refuse to listen to your advice, but end up doing what you wanted them to do anyway.

Comments (105)

1 2

  1. DiscountNinja says:

    Shamus, your Primus Postum was almost as funny as the comic =D

  2. Browncoat says:

    Nice first post, but I expecto’d that. (hee hee)

  3. Creslyn says:

    Oh so true. Perfect screens for Gandalf at the end there too.

  4. lisa says:

    *pout* you’re not the boss of me, stupid NPC!

    he’s like a toddler with a title…

  5. Mattingly says:

    When the DM’s pet NPC agrees with you, he’s up to something.

  6. imhyper says:

    i hope sam and frodo have finished star wars…

  7. Culinte says:

    The 5th frame is an absolutely perfect expression on his face. I’m going to have to re-watch the show to see what the real context was. Excellent!

  8. roxysteve says:

    Culinte Says:
    The 5th frame is an absolutely perfect expression on his face. I'm going to have to re-watch the show to see what the real context was. Excellent!

    My money would be on a grab from the section where Gandalf is telling Pippin that their imminent death is not so bad.


  9. Kaz says:

    Last night I ‘linked’ a friend this hilarious story, and then I ended up going waaayyyyy back to the beginning and reading the whole darned thing over.

    It’s a miracle I didn’t wake up everyone on the block, because by 2am I could barely breathe any more for laughing. So just in case anyone was wondering, yeah… it’s still hilarious the second time around.

    Thanks, Shamus!

  10. BlueFaeMoon says:

    Shamus, I’m gonna be sad the day this strip ends. But what a great time it’s been. Thanks!

    “Primus Postum” just about killed me. What a brilliant class clown you are. :)

  11. Knastymike says:

    I swear, I read that as “Primus Possum” first and expected a rather ugly marsupial.

  12. Wraithshadow says:

    Have it your way, king?

    Now I’m half-anticipating Sauron’s spokesman to show up with the Burger King’s face.

  13. scldragonfish says:

    ‘I think you should have a cheesebur…’

    ‘Shut up, I’ll order it myself. I want a..CHEESEBURGER.’

    ‘A wise decision my King.’

  14. Scarlet Knight says:

    Well, I didn’t expect the Potter Post! FUUNNNY!

    I can imagine a scene spliced from Hildago with cowboy Aragorn crying,”Mount up pilgrims! It’s time to ride!”

  15. Backburner says:

    Less than 20th?

    Great first post.

    Gandalf “An NPC wizard’s words do not railroad, they lead the PCs to precisely where they need to be.”

  16. theblacknecro says:

    Shamus I’ve read this comic from front to back in three days and I have to tell you, I’ve laughed more in those three days than in the past year (could be a sad commentary on my life but meh ;) )

  17. Zudrak says:

    I know we’re getting close to the end of this, but I’ve sure enjoyed “the ride”. Nice work again, Shamus. Hilarious!

    How’s about “GM of the Stars” next? You could tackle the Star Wars RPG with 6 movies. Actually, whatever you do is cool with me.

  18. Caitlin says:

    Hilarious as always and my favorite first post so far.

  19. MCyn says:

    Aragorn’s face in the 4th panel alone was more than hilarious. Combining that with the potter post just about did me in.

  20. Caius says:

    It takes a true genius to railroad the characters into railroading themselves.

  21. Midrealm_DM says:

    As the time for the end of this epic draws nigh, I am forced to wonder what will happen next, that is after the game is complete.

    I was wondering the same thing as Zudrak, perhaps all of the players would join up once again to play Star Wars. After all, (DM of the Rings XLI: A New Hope) our DM said he would run the campaign when this one was finished.
    And the other players seemed interested in playing as well.
    If it came to be, I wonder, would our Middle Earth DM be the DM or a player.. I can’t imagine a campaign where one of these other guys was trying to DM.
    P.S. Would they force Legolas to be princess Leia?

    As always, your story is superb and hilarious.
    It’s funny because its true. >;p

  22. Rollie says:

    I know it’s been said already, but “Have it your way. King.” Had me giggling like a schoolgirl.

  23. J-rahm says:

    NOONE EXPECTS THE POTTER POST!!! Our Primus Weapon is surprise, surprise and silliness. Our TWO…

    Wait, Python quotes are banned aren’t they? I take it back. ;)

    My particular favorite here is Aragorn’s look in panel 4. ‘Until he cries like a little girl’ indeed…

    Oh, just saw the YouTube video of Aragorn to ‘Eye of the Tiger’. I almost forgot how cool he was in the movies – Shamus’ ScreenCap Kungfu is most impressive…

    And as a DM, I tend to set up an environment, give the NPCs their personality and agenda, and let the interaction work itself out. I’ve had groups slaughtered, groups barely make it through, and groups fired and replaced by an NPC group that actually cared about what was needed to be done… Little railroading though – if they wanted to do something else, I’d let the previous situation resolve itself to its natural conclusion in the background.

    I’ve been told I’m an evil DM…

  24. NeedsToHeal says:

    I like the title of this strip!

  25. Al Shiney says:

    Although Shamus is too polite to say it, I am not … all you “Please do Star Wars next” people, take a look at # 5 posted here (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1267).

    Terminus Postum on this subject, please?

    If I had dentures, they’d have come out and smashed to pieces on my monitor with the first post … too funny! Hmmm, is that a premonition for the next series? NO, stop that! Let the artist announce it in due time!

    “Castle Sauron” … and hilarity ensues.

  26. Marmot says:

    Ahahahaha, incredible! One of the best comics AND first posts of late! In particular Gandalf’s “Have it your way. King.” cracked me up :)

  27. Cenobite says:

    “The best sort of player revolt is when they refuse to listen to your advice, but end up doing what you wanted them to do anyway.”

    Yep. It’s a total win-win situation. The players are left with the illusion that they have successfully thwarted the will of the DM and remain in perfect control of the campaign. Meanwhile the DM laughs softly to himself while re-adjusting the settings on the brainwashing laser satellites.

    Not that any government would actually do such a thing…

  28. Al Shiney says:

    Apologies for the double post, I did my sign-off line too early.

    Notice that the “Have it your way” smirk on Gandalf’s face is the same as on Obi Wan’s in Ep IV’s “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”. I think Gandalf pulled out a can of Force whoop-ass on the weak-minded Viggo here.

  29. Gary's Friend Mike's Friend Jim says:

    Don’t know how much you know about superhero gaming, Shamus, but doing the X-Men trilogy as if it were a bunch of Mutants & Masterminds players might have some comic potential.

  30. leviathan says:

    A co-worker sent me the link to this, cuz he knew what a lotr fan i am, and i have read through all the comics and i don’t remember the last time i have laughed so hard. These comics are the best thing to start my day of work, puts a smile on my face every time. Thx Shamus for all the work you do to make others happy!

  31. Jindra34 says:

    Is it bad that i almost passed out laughing at this comic?

  32. Tsetut says:

    Why is Colin still allowed to post freely? Also, I know its been mentioned before but “Have it your way king” was really funny, just like the harry potter thing. I cracked up laughing.

  33. Sewerman says:

    Please, Please, PLEASE make them lose this campaign! I can’t wait to see Stareagorns face when you say: “Sorry, all your forces are defeated, and Sauron has the ring”.

    And Gandalf compaining: “If you would only have listened to me” ….Hehehe :)

  34. roxysteve says:

    Al Shiney Says:
    Although Shamus is too polite to say it, I am not … all you “Please do Star Wars next” people, take a look at # 5 posted here (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1267).

    Terminus Postum on this subject, please?

    I followed that sorta-link and got the following:

    5 Gary Says:

    August 7th, 2007 at 11:29 am
    I'm to lazy to learn how to “unsubscribe” in my RSS feed so I'll probably keep ready this too :P.

    Whatever piece of wisdom you were attempting to convey, it was lost on me.


  35. roxysteve says:

    [Shamus] Did you get paid for that viral fast-food plug, by the way?



  36. Eric the vengeful says:

    I never knew you loved potter! Great comic and also dnd,today 2 for tuesday!

  37. Armagrodden says:

    One way to have short-term success in railroading a campaign would probably be to have a hated GM-PC advise the players to do the exact opposite of what the GM wanted them to do. Their natural disobedience would keep them on rails and convinced that they’re masters of their own destinies (at least until they figured it out).

    Steve – I think Al Shiney meant #5 within Shamus’ post, rather than the comments.

  38. Al Shiney says:

    Quite correct. Shamus’ item #5 in the “The Next Webcomic” post that says:

    “5. The next webcomic will be roleplaying satire. It will not be Star Wars.”

  39. Nushi says:

    I know that feeling so well! GREAT COMIC

  40. -Chipper says:

    “Primus Postum!”

    Isn’t that some sort of coffee substitute?

    I like the way this strip continues the last one’s theme of the players getting the next move right, while still completely missing the big picture.

  41. Mirage says:


    I have to agree, the look on Gandalf’s face in 5 and 6 is the most appropriate I’ve seen in the strip so far, context wise. Loved it!

    I thought I would throw the link below in. I read them in one sitting and laughed so hard, I fell out of my chair. They so remind me of my gaming days …



  42. -Chipper says:

    “Why is Colin still allowed to post freely?”

    What’s the big deal? He (or she) is just popping up to say hi & let us know she (or perhaps he) is still enjoying the comic. There’s no abuse of anyone, no rudeness… just a wave to the crowd.

    Hi Colin.

  43. Reminds me of that SNL sketch several years ago. “Strategery!”

  44. Nogard (Bible-thumper) says:

    Damn… now i want a whopper with extra pickles!

    Fantastic strip today, and the fortune cookie rings true, as this very thing just happened in my campaign.

    oh, and a Harry Potter first post reference FTW!

  45. Tuccy says:

    Hilarious as ever, both the comics and first post :D
    I’m really looking forward to the ending of the saga in your RPG, esp. the meeting with Black House… Err, Barad-Dur PR manager :)

  46. Namfoodle says:


    Colin only ever says “Pimp!”, and then someone always posts something about him posting freely. Not sure if the complainer is the same every time or not.

    I fear it is an inside joke, and we are on the outside.

    I’m too lazy to search all the forum posts and try to figure it all out. I don’t recall a Colin ever getting busted for a flame war or anything, but who knows?

  47. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    YAAAY HARRY POTTER!!…..o good post to bro

  48. Jack - Jack ? sparrow? nah... says:

    Castle Sauron, [YOU MEAN MORDOR!] right… Castle Mordor.
    This is so cool :)

  49. wow, Gandalf getting pushed around, the DM is going soft :D

  50. Vrym says:

    “Oh, just saw the YouTube video of Aragorn to “˜Eye of the Tiger'. I almost forgot how cool he was in the movies – Shamus' ScreenCap Kungfu is most impressive…”


  51. Jindra34 says:

    Namfoodle: Its become the new first post deal i think.

  52. Eric Towers says:

    Re #35, Tsetut: “Why is Colin still allowed to post freely?”

    He doesn’t. He posts “Pimp!”. Haven’t you been paying attention? :-)

  53. Maverick says:

    LETS HIT IT!. ROFL! keep them comming shamus, keep the comming

  54. Drow64 says:


  55. Drow64 says:

    How do you post an image here?!?

  56. Jindra34 says:

    Drow: I think only shamus can.

  57. DamoJO says:

    The comic is as brilliant as always, whats more I cant believe I look forward to the First Post now, they always annoyed me in the past.
    Shamus is cool

  58. Zaghadka says:

    Please, oh please, make Aragorn [b]die[/b] in this version of the story.


  59. Matthias says:

    @ 36

    That should be easy enough … get a screencap or two from the prologue of the 1st movie with Sauron wearing the ring.

  60. Jim says:

    I have to rewatch the movies again. I never noticed how many stupid faces Viggo makes!

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