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By Shamus
on Monday Feb 18, 2008
Filed under:


For fans of DMotR, I’d like to point out that Aragorn’s “player” made an appearance in last Friday’s Chainmail Bikini. I’d originally intended the relationship between the two comic strips to be very loose and open to interpretation. But once the strip got rolling it was pretty much the first thing everyone noticed and was a topic of much speculation. Some people asked about it point-blank, and I couldn’t not answer the question without looking like a jerk. So, there now seems to be widely-recognized continuity between the two.

Inasmuch as the characters are related, here is how I picture it:

Casey = DM of the Rings
Chuck = Gimli
Josh = Legolas
Steve = Aragorn
Ivy and Marcus did not participate in the “Lord of the Rings” campaign.

Now, that’s how I see it, but the facts don’t really match perfectly and I’m not making any effort to force continuity between the two. The DM in DMotR had a rich, fantastic story (Lord of the Rings) but was a terrible at running a game. In Chainmail Bikini, Casey’s is still bad at running a game, but his story is also awful, cliché, and dull. Chuck is more of an instigator of trouble than Gimli ever was. If I’d given Chuck Gimli’s personality in full, he would have been too much of a protagonist or “good guy”, which I wanted to avoid. Also, I’m having a hard time picturing the Chainmail Bikini gang being ignorant of Lord of the Rings. Still, it’s fun to allude to these connections. I don’t know why. Even ignoring the art, the two comic worlds are pretty different and each employs its own logic.

The Steve series is going to run for a few strips, but he’s not going to be a permanent character. It’s pretty hard to always run things where you have six people in the same room, all the time. It adds more overhead to the art production, and in truth you really can’t use all six at once. The scene gets too crowded. Maybe Steve will pop up again later. We’ll see.

Comments (21)

  1. Zincorium says:

    Honestly, the Casey/DM o’ the rings discrepancy I view as follows: In DM of the rings, he was taking an excellent storyline someone else made and counting on his players to be unfamiliar with the books. It would have worked if he hadn’t been so terrible.

    Now, he’s taken the attitude that “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself”. And he probably believes that he’s done *better* than Tolkien.

  2. Davesnot says:

    I suppose they know about LOtR now because they went through the mod.. then maybe stumbled on a book or two… ha.. surely then they’d have gone back to the DM and said, “Hey.. you really messed that module up.. read this!”

    Players.. can’t live with them.. can’t .. uh.. hmm..

  3. Therion Ravenwing says:

    Wonder if Dave and the other hobbit players will be back after finishing their Star Wars RPG adventure!

  4. Louis says:

    I think it was Shawn who gave the best explanation: These are the “Marvel Ultimate” version of the characters. Same core, but updated, and with a brand new continuity. Otherwise, Chuck wouldn’t have been so ticked by Marcus’ feminine role-playing:


  5. Robert says:

    I don’t see the Josh Legolas connection. I can see the Casey and Chuck ones but Josh is nothing like Lagolas’ player.

  6. Snook says:

    Robert: I disagree, I see many similarities… Maybe not as many as Steve and Aragormless, or Chuck and Gimli, but still, both have a powergaming style, and both love unending hordes of baddies to kill.

  7. Dan says:

    Stonergorn can always trot off to the basement (to uh, consult the player’s handbook) whenever his PC isn’t front and center.

  8. Shawn says:

    Clearly, I should have made Josh blonde, then there would never have been any confusion ever.

  9. Phlux says:

    It wasn’t until “Steve” was introduced that I really paid much attention to the fact that each character bears a small resemblance to their DMoTR stand-ins physically. Obviously they bear a significant resemblance to their CB characters, so I suppose I should have put 2 and 2 together.

  10. Samrobb says:

    In DMoTR, you even named the DM, kind of:


    Yeah, yeah. It was probably just a Grateful Dead railroading reference, courtesy of Steve… but, y’know, it fits, especially if he was playing of of the DM’s real name.

    Pleasant coincidence, or an amazing demonstration of the kind of plotting skills that would make Prof. Moriarty look like an amateur hack? You decide!

  11. Shamus says:

    Samrobb: Nope, that’s exactly where his name came from. You’re the first to notice. :)

  12. Snook says:

    Stonergorn can always trot off to the basement (to uh, consult the player's handbook) whenever his PC isn't front and center.

    The official term is “go for a safety meeting” I believe. Either that or “pour some cereal”/”go bowling”.

    And I’ll admit that I’ve played after a toke. It’s not all much more exciting really, but everything becomes infinitely more hilarious.

  13. Shawn says:

    I’ve sketched Dave, for a possible future cameo, but I’m not that pleased with him. A major reason Steve showed up was a few months ago we were talking about the other DMotR characters, and Shamus asked me to draw Aragorn’s player, and the picture above with Steve throwing the horns and asking “‘Sup Hoes?” and we were both way too amused by it.

    I don’t think he was ever seriously considered as a regular player, but his brief stint will last a bit longer than the one or two strips planned originally.

  14. Spam Vader says:

    So… Steve is going to be that one guy who shows up every now and then when he’s not playing in the Star Wars game or making use of the properties of certain plants?

  15. wagemage says:

    I think it’s a good thing that the characters have evolved from the initial ideas.

    One problem is that both Marcus and Josh share some of the traits shown for Legolas. Marcus has the “Leggo-my-ass” part, and Josh has the combat glee. However, Legolas came across much more as a golden-dice kind of guy instead of having any particular powergame going on. There are just some players that don’t really grab all the rules, but the dice gods love them and the feeling’s mutual.

  16. Winter says:

    I didn’t really notice the similarities before Stonergorn showed up.

    (Possibly the last system was one Josh was unfamiliar with so he couldn’t abuse it as much? Just he’s also lucky?)

    I thought another good explanation would be alternate universe: this is what happened/happens in a universe with LOTR, whereas the other one had no LOTR and Casey lucked out thanks to infinite monkeys :)

  17. Cadamar says:

    I was under the impression that the DMotR was playing through a module, thus explaining the depth of story but highly railroaded…
    This new game is a setting of his own creation, which explains why it is so cliche but less railroaded.
    As for discrepancies in the players… They are role playing. They may not be very good at the “role” vs “roll” aspects but they are playing different characters.

  18. brashieel says:

    I admit I’d been wondering who everyone was in relation to DMotR. Nice to have that cleared up.

    For my part, I hadn’t even really noticed the small continuity errors much. I blame reading a lot of Marvel comics growing up for that.

  19. Rob Rogers says:

    Hey, I had a suggestion for the comic strip page format. It would be great if there was a another copy of the “<<PREV” link at the top of the page. That way, if I think I might have missed the previous strip, I don’t have to scroll all the way past the current strip (possibly spoiling it) to get caught up.

  20. Allen! says:

    Hah, I came to the conclusion of the ‘Who’s who of CB/DMotR’ a while back, except for Josh. He’s the only one I couldn’t really place, and I’d’ve put Legolas as more likely played by Marcus. He does seem to have a trend of playing girls.

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