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 CXXXIX:
Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy!

By Shamus
on Monday Aug 27, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Sweet we get 2 fite a troll lol.

Comments (125)

1 2

  1. Samir says:

    yeah aragorn vrs souron.. its in the cd box.. extended version, I am glad they did not go with that idea either.

  2. Stardust says:

    Long time reader, first post…

    The 1/3 balrog/troll made me remember one exchange I had with a DM in the very very early days (he really put a lot of work into my characters background):

    Me: So, I am the eldest son of a Lord who vanished in these swamps.

    DM: Yes and your younger brother also disappeared, looking for him in these same swamps.

    Me: Ahh, I have/had a younger brother, were we close in age?

    DM: Yes, very close, only six months between you. You were practically twins in all that you did!

    Me: … erm … who was adopted?

    DM: Adopted? No, you where sired by the same father, Guthar, who is now lost in the swamps.

    Me: Well, ok … erm … who’s the bastard?

    DM: Bastard? No, you have the same mother, the grieving Gwenily, who awaits your triumphant return.

    Me: …

  3. Proteus says:

    Please tell me that after this ends we get to see Dave’s campaign…

  4. Miral says:

    Maybe you were both premature? :)

  5. Aries says:

    ZOMFG TROLL! arm the mods rouse the admin ready the banstick!… wait what not that type of troll?…oh in that case bring me my lucky red dice and troll slaying codpiece the time for battle is at hand.

  6. Matthias says:

    This is going to hurt … really really bad
    I can’t wait

  7. Maverick says:

    ZOMFG TROLL! arm the mods rouse the admin ready the banstick!… wait what not that type of troll?…oh in that case bring me my lucky red dice and troll slaying codpiece the time for battle is at hand.

    Aww, no fight with my banstick? I roused my Mods for nothing…*bans random user* i fell better now ^-^.

  8. Maverick says:


    Shamus get a sodding edit button!

  9. Gryfen says:


    One could say he was 5/16 (or even 10/32, etc) Balrog on his mother’s side, and reasonably round that to 1/3 ;-)

    That would make a lot of mixed-breeding Balrogs. You would think there would be more of them around…

  10. Krys Cthulhu says:

    a comment to stardust…

    I love DMs who don’t plan out things overly well like that… i was playing a campaign were our DM didn’t know the rules as well as he thought, so as long as we made what we were doing sound plausible enough, he was good with it.

    In this manner was one of my fellow players able to kill 15-20 zombies as a level four druid by creating water on the the zombies one round, and blessing it the next.

    Oh, and also, shamus, love the work, long time reader, can’t wait to see how it’s gonna end up!

  11. a bloodthirsty adventuring party indeed :D

  12. Karkki says:

    have you guyd ever read any other books then Lord of the ring?
    theres 1 book from tolkien that is pased on before LOTR cant remeber its name but according to the book there was LOTS of Balrogs

  13. ArcoJedi says:

    In a serious note for those DMs who want to avoid an encounter just like this one… where you are trying to interest and frighten the players but they are not really getting scared just counting their loot already…

    I had a DM that never revealed what the monster was ahead of time. He described in detail the look, sound and smell. At that point you don’t know how strong the monster is, nor how much risk your character might be in. Most of the time, he was making the monster stats up on the spot anyhow.

    It drove the rules lawyer crazy as he didn’t know what to do. But it peaked my interest.

  14. comicshorse says:

    Great idea from ‘Feng Shui’. Any P.C. quoting the monsters stats. or powers cause them to immediately double.

  15. Miggly says:

    Karkki you’re thinking the Silmarillian. It’s kinda like a history book meets the Bible. It details the creation of the world and what not. There are butt-loads of Balrogs and dragons and all sorts of things in it. It’s soooo much harder to read then LOTR, The Hobbit, or any other Tolkien book.

  16. Lord of Fools says:

    I never realised this when I was watching the movie, but isn’t it daylight? And don’t trolls turn to stone in sunlight? At least in the book the impression was given that everything was dark and cloudy… Or maybe the armour makes it immune or something.

  17. Gadush Kraun says:

    These are trolls of Mordor, plus if they were stone statues they wouldn’t get much XP for fighting them would they?

  18. anonymouse says:

    Just getting my 2 cents in right before the end:
    Great work, Shamus! You’ve brightened my days for months now!
    And now excuse me: I have to go get myself some special red dice before our next gaming session…
    P.S.: You guessed it – First Post :-)!

  19. Zippy Wonderdog says:

    One of my best moments was fighting trolls, our group came across a large group of trolls in the underdark and the “plan” was to let them come at us while the wizard rained fireballs, my figter wouldn’t hear off it and charged in to fight the trolls as the wizard let loose with a fireball, one turn and “alot” of Greater Cleaves later my slightly singed fighter was standing over a pile of smoking trolls.
    …. after that the DM threw out the random encounter chart and started looking for something abit more challenging….

  20. Little Gen says:

    Lord of Fools: IIRC Sauron remade trolls in much the same way Saruman remade orcs, so they could endure more light, and besides Sauron had made a great darkness over half the land by then. In the book, that is. I don’t remember if the movie har the Darkness coming over Gondor?

  21. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    In the book, PIPPIN is supposed to take out the troll chieftain so he can save a friend he made in Minas Tirith and then he gets taken out of the fight because it lands on him and he spends the rest of the time trapped underneath.

    I’m guessing that Jackson didn’t feel the book really meant “Pippin flips out and kills the troll.” It must have meant “Aragorn flips out and gets beaten up.”

  22. Ceresk says:

    Personnaly I never found the LotR books to be that great and I agree with a lot of the content that was cut from the film such as Tom Bonbadil, the ridiculous druid guy with his yellow jacket and blue boots who sings all the time ?
    or Saroumane, the great traitorous archmage becoming a pathetic bandit leader taking over the most harmless piece of the middle earth ? And, as in this comic, the fact that halflings, the beings that are “bottom of the food chain” incarnated, should not be able to defeat a troll chieftain after a couple of combats worth of training (I admit thought that, having read the trilogy quite a few years ago, I do not remember exactly how he kills it)…

    A few additions were most unfortunate though … skulls avalanche at random ?

  23. Al Merko says:

    He kills him while he(it) attemts to bite Beregond (Pipins friend from Minas Tirith), who fell uder blow of his club. Pipins sword is called Trolls Bane (one of the Daggers of Westernesse).

    And yeah, PJ gave no importance of light/dark effects on orcs or trolls. Stupid!

    Not to mention the bizarre Aragorn/Olog Hai fight. He gets beaten up like…hm, hobbit.

  24. Belkar says:

    You know, I’m starting to suspect that when this campaign is over, our three heros — who have been complaining about railroading and boredom and the like — are going to do a total 180 and start going on about what a great campaign it was. Particularly if “Dave” and the other guys show up.

  25. Victor says:

    I agree with Belkar on this, they are going to enjoy this too much to complain anymore.

  26. rayson says:

    I just remembered that at the movie, before the gates of moria have opened, they were all in horses. During the battle, the horses are all gone. Why is that so?

  27. superfluousk says:


    Although I agree that having a Sauron/Aragorn duel would have been completely out of line with the books, I can see a couple of reasons why they might have wanted to do so — particularly if the plan was to include Sauron’s beautiful deception form. Yes, we who read the Silmarillion know that Sauron could never take a beautiful form again after the destruction of Numenor. This is a canon fact. He can’t do it.

    However, the fact that Sauron once had a beautiful form, which enabled him to deceive and tempt and mislead the elves and men of the west, is completely lost from the movies, since so much of the expository dialogue and prose gets cut. Putting in some sequence that showed this detail about Sauron — that he could be a clever and cruel deceiver, as well as a big hulking monster with a huge mace who has a lot of orcs — would have added depth and credibility to him as a villain (for those in the audience who don’t know Sauron’s story from the books) detail to the world, and drama to the story.

    Also, it would have been a good visible symbol of the fierce fight between Aragorn and Sauron (and Gandalf) which in the book takes place mostly on the mental plane, and thus in the movie not at all. We get a hint of that in the movie scene where Aragorn tackles the Palantir, but a physical fight would have been a good followup to that sequence.

    I would not have been happy if they had gone ahead and done it, and I’m glad that he decided to scrap it. But for heaven’s sakes, there were decent reasons to at least consider it.

  28. Tola says:

    Left be….wait. Battle at the gates of….The Watcher, you mean? Are you SURE you haven’t got your wires crossed here?

    Which do you mean: Moria(Watcher, trekking, Goblins, Balrog) or Mordor(Orc, Trolls, Nazgul, Eagles)?

  29. Tola says:

    But for heaven's sakes, there were decent reasons to at least consider it.

    Not really. Consider that in all three movies, it’s been made perfectly clear that Sauron is bodiless. They’d have to break their own canon to do it. Hell, even the Battle For Middle-Earth games got that part.

    Speaking of which, the attitudes of the characters leave me thinking of the first Battle For Middle Earth game.


    Well, some explanation is needed.

    In the campaign, you carry your troops and heroes from battle to battle, levelling them up as you go. By the time you hit the Black Gate-the final mission of the Good campaign-all your units and heroes are likely maxed out. This, combined with the sheer destruction ranged units can cause(And this is NORMAL ranged-Legolas is something else again) means that the army of mordor comes forth…and pretty much is cut to pieces. Only hefty units-like Trolls, Fell Beast Nazgul(To an extent-as flyers, they’re weak to ranged….) and Mumakil are anywhere near a challenge. And that’s BEFORE Rohan shows up as reinforcements….

  30. superfluousk says:

    >Not really. Consider that in all three movies, it's been made perfectly
    >clear that Sauron is bodiless. They'd have to break their own canon
    >to do it.

    I considered that. I also considered the fact that in the books, it could be interpreted either way; they had to make the decision in the movie whether to make him bodiless or not. They obviously settled on bodiless, but when? At what point in the script-making process did that happen? Obviously — quite obviously — having a corporeal Sauron would have indicated that he had a body, so the decision to make him “bodiless” must have been finalized after the duel idea had been cut.

    >I just remembered that at the movie, before the gates of moria
    >have opened, they were all in horses. During the battle, the horses
    >are all gone. Why is that so?

    Mordor, not Moria. (They come from the same root — the elven word for darkness — so there’s some reason for the confusion of names. I believe the respective translations are ‘the black land’ and ‘the black pit.’)

    Real explanation: Poor editing. There was a sequence in front of the Black Gate when they dismount in order to talk to the Mouth of Sauron, and they don’t get back on their horses. The parley scene was cut, but nothing was added to smooth out the horse mistake.

    Better explanation: The horses disappeared to travel back in time and appear in Helm’s Deep, when the riders of Rohan find themselves inexplicably mounted again just before the final charge.

    • WJS says:

      The parlay scene was in the extended cut, and they were quite clearly mounted. The Mouth was mounted himself, yet Aragorn can easily reach to decapitate him when he taunts them about Frodo. Then they ride back to the army. Then they’re suddenly on foot.

  31. jbravodude says:

    Y’know, I think its too bad that too many of you pick apart the movie. I’ve been a fan of the books since I began to read (quite a few decades ago), and yet I’m still able to appreciate the movie as a separate story from the books. Sure, one doesn’t follow the other. But when does it ever? There is a simple solution. NEVER go into an movie-adaptation of a book expecting it to be the same as the source. Try appreciating the movie for what it is. Thats not to say there weren’t stupid areas in the movie (i.e. Denethor’s fire-marathon, Elrond showing up to present a sword, Legolas’s incredible ability to do “anything”). But on the whole the movie was done very well in my opinion, and I’ve enjoyed it over and over. ‘Kay, stepping off my soapbox and donning the flameproof suit.

    Shamus, great strip as always. I will be seriously disheartened when this is over. You have made me bust up laughing with every pane. I honestly hope you choose another topic and keep us rolling. Thanks.

  32. Jeff says:

    Tom had two points, I think. One was that no matter how great and important things may seem to you now, in the grand scheme of things, they’re not that important. The other is that even with all the chaos and darkness and such, there’s still a place that will be untouched. Kind of like how there’s still native tribes isolated from our growingly interconnected world. Or something like that.
    I don’t really care about that, but the Scouring of the Shire is the best sequence in the book. It has two major points – one, as the ex-Wizard points out, you can’t just go out and meddle in the affairs of others without you being personally affected. (Witness 9/11 and Bin Laden as a direct consequence of US activities in that region.)
    The other, more kick-ass part, is to see how the hobbits have grown. Kind of a leveling in action sort of thing – they went out and did all these things, and now bandits are too low a CR for them to be scared. ;)
    Seriously though, they developed courage, leadership capabilities, strategic and tactical skills…
    The Scouring of the Shire is the epilogue that brings the story home. It began with the small focus of a birthday party, widens up to a big ass fight and epic adventure, and closes with a return home, demonstrating the effects of the adventure upon both home and the characters.

  33. comicshorse says:

    I have heard all the arguments fpr the Scouring of the Shire but quite frankly it still remains the greatest anti-climax in fiction.
    Having defeated the thousand strong army of darkness and the greatest source of evil in the world, there’s 30 pages of riding a around and a skirmish with 50 or so cheap thugs.
    I completely agree with Jacksons decision to cut thst and Tom ‘ complete waste of time’ Bombardill.
    I do have problems with the film ( Hobbits jumping on the bed, avalanche of skulls and the Gondorians inability to fight their way out of a paper bag, etc)but a film will always by its nature not have the detyail ogf a book and I think the films made a good interpretation of the books.

  34. JB says:

    Hehehe, awesome comic…..can’t wait to see the next 2 in the series….

    I can almost see it already, Aragorn gets himself knocked-down and pinned by the Ogre, Legolas realises that 30ft movement rate/round doesn’t count when running through a horde of orcs, and Gimli realises which way the dice are falling and makes a run for it =P

  35. DaveP. says:

    1/3 troll. 5/16 troll.

    Jeez, why don’t you guys just break down, join the rest of the world, and get the METRIC troll set?!

  36. JB says:

    Whereupon the DM realises that Aragorn’s death would inevitably ruin the ending, so he pulls a fast one, getting the NPC Wizard to summon some hawks into the fray, evening up the odds with the Nagzul….

    Aragorn: “I’m about to have my head chopped off, and you send a couple of hawks to help? What are they gonna do? Peck the ogre’s eyes out?”

  37. Mirage says:

    roxysteve Says:

    “Trøll bites can be quite nasti.”

    Trølls’ noses wiped by BJØRN IRKESTØM-SLATER WALKER

  38. Invictus says:

    That makes me wonder what a web-comic that parodies a parody would be like? Namely, of course, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Can you imagine Aragormless’ hormone-raging player in the Castle Anthrax? *cackles

  39. jabbers says:

    DM:” You know, Legolas…if you push past the orcs just to get to the troll, each one gets a free attack…”

    of course not, they are going to attack the troll as well
    dont you know what peer pressure is like,
    Orcs have like NO WILL SAVES

  40. Mark says:

    [quote]And yeah, PJ gave no importance of light/dark effects on orcs or trolls. Stupid![/quote]

    No, not it’s not stupid at all. It’s a film — which requires light.

    The battle may have been fought in gloom in the book, but in a film that would just look dull and stupid.

  41. Tola says:

    I dunno. Helm’s Deep worked fine and that was 90% in the dark. I’m guessing they couldn’t work out a way to SHOW that it’s Sauron pulling it AND not make it seem….well…silly.

  42. Thulsa Doom says:

    Long time reader – first post.

    Someone should really send Peter Jackson a link to this excellent comic.

    Sterling job Shamus, a shame that we’re coming to the end, but hope that you’ll start something similar soonafter.

  43. Wrathan says:

    I think this is an OUTSTANDING job being done on this comic. I I ALWAYS fall asleep while watching these movies. I would like to see a reference to the fact that they have walked and/or ran all over the country. I mean it IS a movie about walking. (and if you get the joke, an OC for YOU!)
    This is my first post, though I have been reading for a couple months. glad your surgery went ok.

  44. Al Merko says:

    It wouldnt look stupid, check Helms deep. And right here we can see PJ mastermind. The sun at HD stuns Uruk-Hai, who are immune to sun and various Searing Light or Sunbeam. But at MT nooo…that was too much for him.

  45. Scarlet Knight says:

    I wonder if Sauron could have fought Aragorn in his Necromancer form?

    If this was truly D&D , I can imagine the characters fighting the troll yelling for Gandalf to supply some of those burning pinecones he so famous for!

    Also, when we finish burning the trolls, can we burn Ceresk for his heretical views (#86) on JRRT’s books?

  46. Roney says:

    Gryfen said:
    One could say he was 5/16 (or even 10/32, etc) Balrog on his mother's side, and reasonably round that to 1/3 ;-)
    That would make a lot of mixed-breeding Balrogs. You would think there would be more of them around…

    Balrogs live a long time. There could just be one with dodgy tastes. They are, y’know, evil.

  47. Matis says:


    Make sure that she gets her tetanus booster and keep the troll under observation for a week or two to see if a rabies prophylaxis is needed.

  48. Gnarlo says:

    [quote]roxysteve Says:I think the important thing to remember here is that the scene didn't get filmed with Sauron then changed to a troll, as has been suggested here. It was storyboarded to see if the idea would fly, at which point it was decided to drop it. Not one frame of the “Sauron fight” was rendered.[/quote]

    One should never speak in absolutes :) Get ROTK Extended addition, put in Appendices 5 disk, go to the section “From Book to Script: Forging the Final Chapter” and fast forward to about 10:30. Then watch the next 4 minutes of Aragorn fighting Sauron, which Viggo says they spent 3 days filming.

    Are you in for a nasty surprise :)

  49. Scarlet Knight says:

    MintSkittle Says:”Heh, 1/3rd breed. … The closest we came was something like 3/8.”

    That’s because in your calculations, you forgot that grandma put herself through the school of enchantment by appearing in “art” plays, including the famous “Party Troll” & “Menage a Balrog”

  50. Ceresk says:

    *kicks a log nonchalantly to roll down from the top of the unlit brazier then looks at the trolls, bound in a similar manner at other stakes*

    Well as long as they haven’t lit theirs, I am fine ….

  51. Hammondm says:

    Quick reply to a comment that the LotR films werent so good, for me niether was the book. Past the encounter of the Nazgul in bree, i lose all interest. This web-comic is the only LotR’s i enjoyed from start to finish. So good, print an address for donations, i’ll send a fiver (an its still worth more)

  52. Mina says:

    lol, Aragorn! That was the geekiest thing he’s said so far! XD love it!

  53. Morambar says:

    Book canon seems pretty clear that Sauron would remain disembodied until/unless he recovered the Ring (hence the Lidless Eye motif) just as he could never again assume a pleasant form after Numenor. I toss that out apropos of nothing, since it was clear by the end of TTT, if not before, that Jackson wasn’t going to let a trivial thing like canon divert him from his blockbuster. It really does bother me, because recreating the Middle-earth atmosphere was really hard, and Jackson did a good job; the easy part, the plot pre-written 50 years ago, he trashed.

  54. Ongburz says:

    One of the more amusing natures of the internet is certain people’s assumed duty to spoil anything and everything for any/everybody else. LOTR canon this, I’m an expert that, this book said this, that map indicated that, and how dare the movie not be a perfect rendition of MY perceptions of a story and so on ad nauseum.

    Look at where you are posting! On a parody, of a DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS LOTR campaign. (oh yes, my choice of fantasy RPG system is better than yours!)

    Nice work Shamus. Helped me through several days of work. A mistake to read the comments though!

  55. Aragorn says:

    AHA!!!! MISPELL!!! :) “The lines of TEEMING orcs”

  56. TC says:

    I’m a latecomer. Can I buy this comic in book format? It’s hilarious. But I don’t want to click through 5 billion pages!!

  57. Edem says:

    O em ef gee… I just realised I kinda started skipping the GM’s talk, like the characters… o_O

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>