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DM of the Rings CXLII:
Rank Bribery

By Shamus
on Monday Sep 3, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Frodo Wins!
Gandalf buggers off, and Aragorn is happy.

You can get away with anything, story-wise, as long as you give the players enough rewards. These rewards become hostages which compel the players to stay. Sure, you can leave the campaign now, but then you’ll never get to use this +50 vorpal sword of awesome that glows like a lightsaber and once a day can be used to create 2d8 pieces of delicious candy.

To clear up this continual confusion: This is NOT the last strip. The comic ends on Friday. You’ll know it’s the end. It’ll say so.

Comments (145)

1 2 3

  1. Mike R says:

    Thanks for a wonderful comic

  2. KC says:

    Wow… I caught the moment a new comic is uploaded. And this is my first comment…

  3. Russ says:

    I’ll miss this comic :)

  4. Maok says:

    Finish already ? :'(
    Now you will have time to do the 6 star wars :)

  5. Amberyl Ravenclaw says:

    Sweet! First in!

    Thanks for this strip, Shamus. Been reloading this page to see when it would come up. Coincidentally, cable TV in my country is showing the whole LOTR series this month – The Return of the King being on this Wednesday – and I had a good laugh in recollecting how different the *actual* movie story was compared to the DM of the Rings campaign!

    Cheers and looking forward to your next project!

  6. Amberyl Ravenclaw says:

    Haha… *embarrassed cough* Looks like I’m not the first. You guys are fast! *looks around at other readers*

  7. Brad_nm says:

    Well there is still the 20 minutes or so of extra endings that you could fill in.

  8. So, last comic or will there be one for Gimli and Legolas after the war?

  9. mortellan says:

    Shamus this strip was pure genius. Good luck in your next endeavour.

  10. Brad_nm says:

    I think the player of Lego-my-ass would be great as Anakin Skywalker, Aragorn could be a still clueless Obe-wan, and of course Gimli’s character would have to be Yoda.

    And the guy who played Boromir could be the jedi played by Liam Neeson. I’ve forgotten the characters name, but I know he dies, Boromirs’ player should be used to it.

  11. Huh! Legolas really did kill Gollum after all… so Frodo had to make his will save. Wasn’t sure how that would be handled.

  12. elda says:

    i hated the fact that the second you thought it was over and went to leave, they showed yet another ending thing.

    *screen goes black*
    me: YAY IT’S OVER!
    *another scene comes on*
    me: *cries*

  13. Brad_nm says:

    You could have the players of Sam and Frodo come back, having missed most of the game, but given XP to let them rejoin the game on an even footing.

    I always hated when a GM did that. Whats the point of killing all those monsters if the GM is just going to hand out free XP to players who couldn’t be bothered turning up for six months!

  14. Karellen says:

    I have a +50 vorpal sword of hating this campaign.

  15. GEBIV says:

    Heh. He’s just happy that Captain Exposition (Gandalf) is gone. “Don’t mess with my daughter.” and Frodo are bonuses.

  16. Meems says:

    Shamus, I would like to congratulate you on a comic well done!
    …but I am left wondering if this is the last page or if we’re going to find out what happened to Legolas and Gimli.

    Not that the MOVIE ever mentioned it…

  17. Henebry says:

    How appropriate that you completed your labor of love on Labor Day!

    Thanks for a great comic, Shamus!

  18. Arthur says:

    I love the fact that Aragorn’s happiest about Gandalf leaving Middle Earth forever.

    I also love the fact that the players (aside from Gimli, perhaps) are going to end up remembering this as a really great campaign because of all the cool stuff their characters got… in the epilogue, after it matters.

  19. Arthur says:

    @Henebry and others: this isn’t the end. Shamus has clearly stated that the strip will end on September 7th – we’ve got two instalments left.

  20. Shamus says:

    Everyone keeps asking: “Is it over?”

    The final page is this Friday, Sept 7th. Exactly one year from the first comic.

  21. SteveDJ says:

    What?!? Your sword makes candy? Wow! I want one of those! :)

  22. brassbaboon says:

    Two more strips to go. This strip has become geek mythology Shamus. Congratulations. I’ll miss it, but it’s probably best for me not to be reading and posting from work anyway. Heh.

    Good luck with the chainmail bikini strip. I’ll certainly check it out.

  23. Tim says:

    While I always found your comic amusing, I have only really and truely laughed out loud once or twice up to now, I have to admit… I am more of a silent smiler, really…

    But Aragorn’s expression when he hears of the Gandalf, Frodo and Elrond leaving, that really got me. ;) “Now THAT’S a happy ending!” – indeed. :D

  24. Masslight says:

    My first post on (I think) the last strip. All I can say is thanks, Shamus. You have done both the world of RPG’s and Tolkien proud.

    Lets hope they ask you to contribute to ‘The Hobbit’ when they make it. We’d all appreciate that.

  25. hendrake says:

    Great work, Shamus!

  26. TheDarkOne says:

    No…This cannot be true… This comic is too awesome to end right now :(

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

    I have a feeling there’s still maybe one more strip. There’s a new Shamus thing coming out that has to do with Fear the Boot, and I don’t think there will be another screencap comic.

    But if there were, one that I think would be particularly funny would be X-Men done as a Mutants & Masterminds campaign.

  28. septima says:

    I feel very sorry for this. Shamus, please, make a book about this comic. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Fickle says:

    I am AMAZED that it wasn’t Legolas who interrupted! XD

  30. Lynx says:

    septima Says:

    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    I feel very sorry for this. Shamus, please, make a book about this comic.

    Can’t. Copyright issues. It’s one thing to create parodies online, quite another to bring into books.

    I think, to properly celebrate the DMotR heading to the Grey Havens, we should really try to establish the highest post/ comment count on the last ever comic. That’ll send it off on a good note. :)

  31. Aries says:

    +50 vorpal sword?…can i just say one thing…GIMME!
    now i wont say it hasnt been a wild ride and im shure we appreatiate all you have done and furhermore….oh screw it…MORE DM OF THE ( ) PLEASE! honestly we’ll take anything…ok almost anything.

    thanks for the quest shamus

  32. Arthur says:

    So, two more episodes left, who’s up for predictions about what the last two will be?

    My guess:

    – Wednesday: The GM makes some shit up about what happens to Legolas or Gimli. (Or actually uses Tolkein’s accounts of what happened to them.) Legolas is impressed. Gimli is nonplussed.

    – Friday: Epic comic where Gimli takes the DM to task about his appallingly bad DMing of the campaign, and points out to the other players how he’s just showering them with goodies they can’t do anything with because the campaign’s over.

  33. Minus says:

    Shamus, thank you for a wonderful comic!

  34. Isoyami says:

    Hahaha! Great strip. :D

    Yes, It has previously been announced that the last DM of the Rings will be on this Friday (the 7th).

    And Shamus has already announced his next project, and it’s not Star Wars. :D xD

    Still, I look forward to enjoying the new work. Even if I enjoy it half as much as I did DM of the Rings, it’ll STILL be a lot. :D (Just barely resisted the Python quote. Barely.)

    Great Aragorn screencaps on this one, especially at the top where he says: “I’m going home!”

    And is it just me, or is Aragorn staring at Aerwen’s chest when he says: “That sounds great!” xD xD

    And yes, Aragorn’s: “Wow, now THAT’s a happy ending” screencap is brilliant. :D

  35. Marmot says:

    Ahahahahah! This “Now it’s a happy ending” was one of the most hilarious lines ever! Such bribery…. awesome!

  36. Ceresk says:

    “but what happens to Legolas and I ?”

    I am awfully curious too, I hope the GM prepared something good !

  37. Wallbanger says:

    Well, as the strip is wrapping up, I figure I better leave a comment, as it is my first time. I absolutely love this strip, great work throughout Shamus! I can’t wait for the next!

  38. Oorlof says:

    It…it’s over? Well, it was a great ride! Very curious about Shamus’ new project, and very happy to have read DM of the Rings!

  39. Leon says:

    Infinitesimally minor nitpick: grammatically, it should be “Legolas and me” in the last panel.

    My compulsions aside, the entire comic’s been awesome. I’ll be following Chainmail Bikini just as closely.

  40. Joe says:

    So, when I watch RoTK, I always think about a scene that I just *know* happened on the set:

    Peter Jackson: Hey, Bob, come over here.
    Bob, low man on the totem pole: Yes Mr. Jackson?
    PJ: I have a very important job for you.
    Blmottp: Really? I mean, this is great. I know I’m new here, and I haven’t really been asked to do much, but I promise, whatever you want, I’ll do my best.
    PJ: I need you to film a very important scene in the film. Perhaps even *the* climax of the film.
    Blmottp: Wow! I never thought I’d get a chance to do something like that! I’m just.. I mean.. I’m… Um… Wait a minute… *The* climax of the movie? That would be the scene where the CGI character has a fight with the invisible Hobbit? So what you want me to do is hold a camera for a while and occasionally shake it?
    PJ: Bingo! Here’s your camera, there’s a rock, see you tomorrow.

  41. IronNerf says:

    “Yeah, so the elf bounces back to the greenwood to smoke dandelions and molest chipmunks– but what happens to the DWARF? WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DWARF?!”

    ‘Hmm. Lemmesee…{pages rustling}. Oh, here it is. Tossed him.’

  42. Roland says:

    I was going to wait until the last comic to make my first comment, but what the hell, there’ll be hundreds of comments on that one anyway.

    I’m really going to miss this strip, especially your insightful comments about gaming. Though there’s a caveat to the comment you posted today — if you lure a player back with Cool Stuff (TM) then you have to live with the consequences; bringing him back with a +50 vorpal sword that only has one charge (for instance) is cheating and will usually result in overturned tables and bonfires of gamebooks.

  43. d4b3ll3z says:

    Last one??? But I want to know what happens to Gimli and Legolas :(

  44. David V.S. says:

    Thanks for the tale, Shamus. It has been very enjoyable and a true joy: a gem in an internet that has too few jewels.

  45. Browncoat says:


    I was hoping for a tragedy.

  46. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Excelent one,and you simply have to love ragorn laughing like mad.

    I wonder something shamus,if you didnt have that one week of fillers because of your operation,how would you finish your comic on the 7th then?

  47. Clyde says:

    Finishing DMotR a year to the day after the beginning is a nice symmetry, Shamus. As someone who has been popping in at least three times a week almost since the beginning (Thank you, Steven Den Beste for tipping me off), I have to agree that it has been a great ride… And I’ll miss it. I look forward to checking out Chainmail Bikini. Thanks for the laughs and good times, Shamus.

  48. SteveDJ says:

    Of course this isn’t the last strip. The characters now have to level-up, and go spend all their loot.

    Oh, wait, what loot?… :)

  49. Best screen cap of Aragon ever :D

  50. Myxx says:

    I really feel like I’m losing something today. I’ve really enjoyed the comic Shamus. Thanks for all the great laughs, and nostalgia you conjured up with some screencaps and your wit. I’m gonna miss this.



  51. Cameron says:

    Wow, this was amazing. I just read all of it today, and it really puts me in the right mood for going to Ring Game (www.ringgame.net). You did a great job!

  52. Davesnot says:

    Amazing how many people are so driven to give a poetic farewell that they haven’t even read that this isn’t the last one..

    Sept 7th people..

    I guess this is why it’s no good to take people to the airport.. you wax poetic about things.. say good-bye.. then the plane gets delayed so you just sit and kinda mumble about stuff.. at least that’s the way it was before 9/11… that’s one good thing about travel now.. it’s now ok to drop people off at the airport without walking them to the plane…

    I will miss this comic.. but I have no problem randomly clicking of past ones.. and I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the Teletubbies!



  53. LadyDyani says:



    It’s over. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I can watch the movies without hearing a mental voiceover doing lines from this comic.

    Some people, when faced with the end of a journey, decide to begin anew. Maybe I’ll go back and read them again.

  54. Gelatinous Cube says:

    I hate this campaign, but thanks!

  55. Drow64 says:

    THAT WAS AN AWESOME COMIC! Thank you so much! You should make another comic called NPC Busters or Dice Wars! Anyone else got ideas?

  56. BISt says:

    In an attempt to make this page the most commented on in d20 history, I’m commenting. :)

  57. Alex says:

    I really hope this isn’t the last comic you’ll be posting, LotR or otherwise.

    But either way, thank you Shamus for a wonderfull read and many hours of entertainment.

    -Alex Varveri.

  58. Psalm of Chaos says:

    Thank you Shamus!!!!

    I’ve been reading this comic since..oooh, since about march I think, and every strip has atleast brought a smile to my face, if not out right laughter.

    I loved this one, a beautiful ending for such a wonderful comic. I think I will go cry about it being finished, even more beautiful than the movies!

    Maybe you’ll consider making another, who knows? Only you can answer that. I’d also like to thank all the regular posters who have far mor patience than I.


  59. Psalm of Chaos says:

    Heh… my bad… but thanks anyway^^

    Maybe patience -is- a virtue.

    lol, it’d be really cool if Gimli’s player went on a rant because he got a run-of-the-mill ending. What?! this is crap! I’m never playing a dwarf again, does everyone have an agenda against races with a -2 charisma?!

  60. aimless says:

    Just started reading this epic last night and it seems you finished it just in time for me to get to the end! Hilarious stuff, just couldn’t stop hitting Next.

    The interplay between funny stuff from LoTR and funny stuff from DnD was brilliant. I also appreciate your notes section a lot, since my DnD experience has been very different from the one described here (no rulebooks, brilliant DM who controls it all on the fly, combat is simple from the technical side and roleplaying/thinking smart is a must to survive).

  61. Isoyami says:

    I also like how Aragorn gets annoyed and says that he’s going to go home almost at the very end of the campaign.

    It kinda makes me wonder of this whole comic strip has been one marathon weekend (or whole week) session over the summer where the players basically moved in to the DM’s house? xD

    And aimless (#61) You got lucky with a good DM and good rules. I bet a lot of people will want to join your group now… xD xD

  62. brassbaboon says:


    In case you haven’t noticed, most of the goodbyes have included a “I know this ends on Sept. 7th…” comment in them. Most of the posters know that there are two more comics, but they also know that the last comic is going to be swimming in goodbye comments so they are getting theirs in now.

    As for today’s comic, I just can’t see Aragorn’s player being excited about all these great things happening to his character WITHOUT being able to play any of it. My response as a player to this sort of Monte Hall ending would be “sure, great, I’m a king now. What other DM is going to let me bring my army into a campaign? What about some real loot I can use in future campaigns, huh?”

  63. Scarlet Knight says:

    “You marry Arwen, daughter of Elrond”.

    I was SURE you were going to use the scene of them kissing , with Gimli going,”It’s good to be the King…”

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