DM of the Rings LXXXIV:
Keeping Score

 By Shamus Apr 6, 2007 100 comments

Legolas has the most kills
Legolas screaming like a woman.

A Hundred!A hundred comments! Everybody wins!


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  1. Da Penguin says:

    Love it.. this battle is great, keep it up…

    “I’m the elf” grrrrrr

    Steve
    PS
    wooo first post

  2. haashaastaak says:

    second. I’ve been second before. The screen caps of Legolas this time are really funny. The player running Gimli is obviously really annoyed by having to wait to participate until the orcs got close.

  3. Deekin says:

    But he got magic quiver of unlimited arrows :(

  4. Browncoat says:

    Gimli did not have to wait for them to scale the walls to begin killing orcs–he won first round initiative! But did he use it? Did he charge into the horde, ax ablaze? Did he throw his throwing axes? Did he so much as taunt the buggers?!?

    No.

    And now he wants to complain that his girlfriend is beating him? Whiner.

  5. Vegedus says:

    Hah, this brings a whole new perspective thing to the counting thing they do in the movie. Great screenshots of Legolas really excited and gimli just standing there. I kinda wonder why Gimli only kills one per turn. Any decent fighter would have cleave, doesn’t he?

    • Nobuddy says:

      Nah…cause a “decent” fighter would have been from a pre-3E edition :P

    • WJS says:

      Well, these orcs are pretty well armoured, and they may have enough HP that he can’t always one-shot them. He won’t always hit even with his first attack, his second attack is less likely to hit, and when he hits he might roll low for damage, not getting a cleave. All of these together could easily reduce him to one orc per round on average.

  6. Telas says:

    Wizard: Fireball!! Twenty of the buggers dead… Beat that!
    Warrior: (between cleaves) Yeah, but you can only do that once or twice a day. I can do this all. day. long… And still have more hit points than you.

    • WJS says:

      Given how cloes they’re packed, a single fireball should kill as many as 300 of the buggers. Even at 5 foot spacing (which is much looser than the film) he should kill 50 of them. Of course, the wizard only has a few fireballs and after the first one the orcs will quickly spread out. Of course, if we’re talking a high level wizard, a single meteor swarm would kill off about half the entire orcish army given 2 foot spacing.

  7. Kaemaril says:

    “And then you will begin screaming like a woman”

    … just needed Aragorn to pop up and add “A HOT woman!” :)

  8. Mattingly says:

    He surely has cleave, but at the moment the orcs can only scale the ladder one at a time. Once he’s surrounded by them, he’ll kill six a round. And then he’ll titter like a giddy schoolgirl.

  9. Dave says:

    “Hah, this brings a whole new perspective thing to the counting thing they do in the movie. Great screenshots of Legolas really excited and gimli just standing there. I kinda wonder why Gimli only kills one per turn. Any decent fighter would have cleave, doesn’t he?”

    They’re on ladders, remember? And the hole bottlenecks them. Plus there’s all those other warriors around. I’m looking forward to seeing what rolls Legolas has to make to skateboard down the stairs on that shield 8)

  10. George says:

    he may have cleave, but he has to wait another round for an orc to climb the ladder, there are no orcs within a five foot reach or five foot step to achieve a cleave

    “SAY IT, SAY I’M THE ELF”

  11. h0ll0wone says:

    That’s Right Gimli! Put that little elf princess in her place!

  12. FhnuZoag says:

    If I remember correctly, in the books, Gimli did win his game with Legolas in the end. This is probably why.

  13. bloopy says:

    okay weird, i tried submitting a comment twice, are links not allowed in the comments?. . . i could’ve sworn that i’ve posted comments here with a link before. . . anyway, here’s more or less what my comment said:

    looks like there’s a short video clip about the first poster that’s makin’ the rounds of the blogosphere:

    h**p://www.neatorama.com/2007/04/05/first/

  14. Zarathud says:

    Very funny, and definitely the way the battle would roll with my gaming group.

    Of course, Gimli’s greater cleave could even up the score more quickly if enough Orcs could get in convenient position along the wall.

  15. Steve says:

    I’ve watched this conversation many times. As have we all. Of course, the dagger will turn out to be enchanted to a ridiculous degree with a preferred enemy bonus for Uruk-Hai. At least, that’s what happened in my last game. The Gnome Bard turned out to be our tank.

    [Shamus]

    “accross”? Gimli has a stutter now?

    :o)

    Steve.

  16. 3eff_Jeff says:

    I’m running a fighter who doesn’t have cleave. I did the Mobility/Dodge/Combat Expertise/Spring Attack/Whirlwind Attack chain instead. A full round attack gets me a shot at everyone in range at full BAB. A single level of Barbarian gets an extra +10 move, and a high dexterity lets me run around in light armor. Not useful on a castle wall, but great for field battles (the character’s background is that he’s a foot soldier).

    Course, as soon as they come pouring through the breach, a whirlwind attack could take down up to 8 per round…

    It’s a fun build.

  17. General Ghoul says:

    My question is how did Helm’s Deep last so long? I mean, it got a bridge right to the front door. How about a draw bridge? Or moat? Shoot, there former home (??) was more defensible with is steep grades, even with a wooden palisades. Plus its open fields means charging attacks from calvary.

    As for arrows, surely the elves brought a supply with them.

    • WJS says:

      A bridge up to the gate like that makes sense given it’s unusual layout (you have to go through the keep to reach the courtyard!), but there’s really no excuse for the last ten feet or so not being a drawbridge.

  18. I’m sure Legolas can retrieve lots of arrows (and a 1d8 longsword, which elves automatically have a proficiency in) from the bodies of the dead and fallen…

    Maybe by that time Gimli’s Great Cleave will be useful and he won’t have to rub it in so much. :)

  19. Deoxy says:

    In th book, there were no elves (other than LeggyLass).

    And, in the book, the siege lasted long enough that LeggyLass ran out of arrows, too – a full day and night, maybe? And yes, Gimli won the contest (32 to 31, I think it was – in the movie, Gimli and Aragorn probably kill 50 in front of the pathetic wooden gate that wouldn’t keep a bunch of pansy elves with rubber mallets out).

    Of course, in the book, there actually WAS an army between Helm’s Deep and the enemy, and the enemy scattered them in the night… and then they reformed and were the group that came to the rescue under the command of Erkenbrand (sp? been a while since I read it).

    OK, I’m going to stop now. So many changes that made so little sense…

  20. Susano says:

    Oww… ow… headache from restraining laughter.

  21. Deoxy says:

    Oh, and I second what Kaemaril said. heh.

  22. Cestus says:

    For 1HD orcs, I would think a great cleaving axe wielder could bet a Rapid Shot archer by a good margin. But if he only has regular cleave, they will probably stay even for a while.

    • WJS says:

      Not until the orcs break free of the chokepoint at the top of the ladders he wouldn’t. An extra attack doesn’t do you any good if there’s nothing in reach.

  23. superfluousk says:

    Hahahahaha awesome. I can now imagine this conversation taking place in the book, right when legolas and gimli start off their little counting game.

  24. Takkelmaggot says:

    Ah, such a wonderful take on the “grim game of numbers”- well done, Shamus.
    PS- not everyone comes here to pick on your spelling. Please keep up the good work. I’d hate to see you pull a Den Beste switch to reviewing ecchi.

  25. Monkeyman says:

    There have been a lot of awesome strips lately but this one is GREAT. I love the screencaps and the concept. Brilliant work, Shamus!

  26. Clyde says:

    “1d4 dagger”? Aw, c’mon! Legolas is bound to have some kind of magic dagger at his level. Although he would have had to bring it with him at the start of the campaign, because the loot has been rather sparse.

  27. Re: Clyde with Post 26:

    Okay. 1d4+2 :D

    –Jer

  28. anachronist says:

    Deoxy: “And, in the book, the siege lasted long enough that LeggyLass ran out of arrows, too – a full day and night, maybe?”

    Well, in actual battles you can retrieve spent arrows; pluck them out of enemies and fallen comrades, pick them up off the ground (they rain down on you, after all). You generally can’t retrieve arrows in D&D.

  29. Wraithshadow says:

    Actually if I remember right Legolas in the movie has what they refer to as twin ‘long knives,’ although I think that’s a bit silly given they’re full sized swords. And I think Gimli got KO’d again.

  30. BainIthron says:

    Woohoo, I get an awesome comic strip for my 21st birthday today. I love this comic, I’m always eagerly checking in the mornings for an update. Keep it going, eh? :D

    And obviously, Gimli forgot how easy it is to carry 10,000 arrows with you :P

  31. Althor Creel says:

    Shamus, this is a first comment for me, but I had to say that after reading ALL the strips, this one may have to be my favorite! The screen caps, the dialog, everything is perfect! And I have been there before, both as a player and a DM. Keep up the great work.

  32. Salen says:

    Only 1d4 for those daggers? I thought they were more like short swords. Or really sharp magical daggers. Oh well. I’m sure Legolas will get back in the big fight with an elephant. ;)

  33. All my hand helds are 1d6 plus poisons, alchemical coatings etc.

    A barbed dagger is 1D6 with +2 bonus for the damage done withdrawing it (at any time).

    Legolas must have the “Bratz” version of a dagger. Not to say it’s girly or anything…

  34. Hotaru says:

    anachronist:Well, in actual battles you can retrieve spent arrows; pluck them out of enemies and fallen comrades, pick them up off the ground

    off the ground i’ll give you but pulling an arrow out of a corpse is rather hard… you’re more likely to break the arrow, damage the fletching, or otherwise screw the arrow over before actually salvaging a useful arrow… at least in a battle situation anyway… because you have to yank which back then would probably snap the arrow or rip the fletching off (arrows need fletching to be accurate for reference)

  35. Attorney At Chaos says:

    Arrows are not invulnerable, true – but if you have time and are taking them from corpses, you can enlarge the wound with a knife to make it easier to remove intact. Or depending on the penetration, you might decide to push it all the way through. (The latter might still damage the fletching, though.)

    Of course, if you’re just going to shoot it into the middle of 10,000 orcs there’s no need for such great accuracy. It’s only when you’re going after individual targets that the accuracy becomes more important.

  36. Acksiom says:

    Wizard: (looks disparagingly at Warrior) I’m sorry — excuse me, Fireball!! again — exactly what part of — wait, one minute, Fireball!! yet again — ‘Scribe Scroll as a class feature’ — pardon me, Fireball!! still yet again — did you not understand — hang on a sec there, Fireball!! once more still yet again — the first time — uh, hold that thought; Fireball!! repeatedly once more still yet again — my good milord “Meat Shield”?

  37. Jeff says:

    Hm, depends highly on the arrow too, I imagine.

    I may well be wrong here, but weren’t those barbed arrows we generally picture as ‘arrowheads’ mainly used for hunting, whereas arrows used for war tended to be more, err, bullet shaped? For punching through armor?

    • WJS says:

      An arrowhead is far harder and sharper than a bullet. Broadheads and bodkin heads were both used in war, although according to wiki bodkin heads didn’t have the hardened point you would expect of an AP weapon, and were probably used for cheapness rather than penetration. In either case, I’ve heard that if you twist an arrow rather than pulling it straight, it comes out much easier.

  38. Parzival says:

    In the book (and movie) Gimli won 42 to 41, but alas, his axe was notched. The last orc had an iron collar.

    Great comic, Shamus. I am amazed at how consistently solid the humor and writing are throughout. You never fail to raise a smile, and often produce outright laughter, more regularly than any other webcomic I follow, including OotS and Schlock Mercenary. Great stuff.

  39. LOL!

    That was great!

    Pure genius!

    *two thumbs up*

    And those still shots of legolas are great!

  40. Vicky W says:

    Greatness. Absolute greatness! I love how you were able to work the counting part into this. (roar of approval from the whole house here.)

  41. Lanfras says:

    I believe arrows used in war still tended to be barbed, thus making it decidedly more difficult/painful to remove the arrow from a wound. crossbow bolts are what tend to have the more ‘bullet shaped’ head, i think.

    but as to retrieving spent arrows, whilst you might be able to find some lying about on the battefield, most arrows will warp when they strike their target/the ground, making them somewhat more difficult to use, or at least use accurately.

    however, as Attorney At Chaos pointed out, if you do happen to be firing into a horde of 10,000 orcs, accuracy becomes somewhat of a moot point.

  42. On the subject of diminished returns in scavenging arrows…
    The impact of an arrow’s landing also badly frays the fletchings, can shatter the (wood, remember, not the fibre glass we use now) shaft, and the head is most often the only thing to recover. You don’t want to knock and pull on a damaged arrow (crack, snap, splinter) in your good bow.
    You’ll have to call upon a fletcher and a bowyer’s skill for choosing the wood for the arrow, OR – take ranks in Craft in the appropriate category and bide your time to restock. And then there’s the risk your bowstring snaps… but then maybe most DMs turn a blind eye to the fatigue on a gutstrung bow… kind of like the swords that never rust or dull.
    In the face of numberless foes, your characters can’t help but run out of arrows; unless your DM is indulgent enough to allow you to keep your total arsenal in a Handy Haversack.

    Even I would balk at that.

    The solution, in gaming as in life – make. every. shot. count. Even if you’re an Arcane Archer.

    Happy Dice rolls!

  43. nock, nock.

    who’s there?

    Typo

    Typo Who?

    Typographical error you made in the last message.

    D’oh!

  44. falkryn says:

    lol…lol…lol…wait…hahahaheeheehahahahaheheheheheehee…good stuff hoohoohehehahahee

  45. Hotaru says:

    Lanfras:however, as Attorney At Chaos pointed out, if you do happen to be firing into a horde of 10,000 orcs, accuracy becomes somewhat of a moot point.

    aye ’tis true… firing a piece of wood without fletching into 10,000 orcs is kind of like shooting into an ocean and expecting to miss a drop of water. however, if i remember right legolas and gimli were killing orcs on the wall not on the ground. the last thing you want is a highly inaccurate arrow when an orc is 5 feet from you. it would go as thus, Legolas – “Take this! *fires arrow and watches as it flies to the right and to the ground below* umm… i was joking?” Orc – “*grins while smacking legolas around like aragorn always wanted to*”

  46. Hotaru says:

    Doh forgot to mention this…

    Attorney At Chaos Says:Arrows are not invulnerable, true – but if you have time and are taking them from corpses, you can enlarge the wound with a knife to make it easier to remove intact. Or depending on the penetration, you might decide to push it all the way through. (The latter might still damage the fletching, though.)

    Aye, if you had time yes you could take a knife and properly retrieve your arrow or enemy’s arrow or w/e ,but during a large scale assault with orcs coming over the walls i highly doubt they’re just going to stand by and let you retrieve arrows from corpses. This all assuming that the victim of the arrow hasn’t broken the arrow in an attempt to remove the arrow or continue fighting despite the arrow wound. However, there could be one solution he could steal arrows from a wounded/dead archer’s quiver. they would be relatively easy to obtain. That’s the only intelligent and…well… possible option i really see in that type of situation

  47. RubyJewel says:

    That is so much funnier than than the same part of the movie :\

  48. Jindra34 says:

    i’m starting to doubt whether it is possible for the comics and comments to keep improving but hey it keeps happening

  49. Dazir says:

    [cliché]Long time reader, first time poster[/cliché]

    I was laughing too much with the “who’s the elf”-part and i nearly choked at legolas’ OH but nothing could have prepared me for that last panel! brilliant!

  50. Medium Dave says:

    Arrow lenghts differ, there isn’t a Mark One arrow that everyone uses. Shortbows use a different length shaft from eleven bows which differ from uruk-hai hackmart specials, so if Legolamb picks up a black shafted, black feathered uruk arrow it is going to affect his accuracy and speed. Elf-0-matic is a terrific archer because he uses custom arrows, custom bow and has a grillion (yes your honor, a grillion) hours practicing with them. He gets a reload after Lothlorien, I believe. So no, he cannot scoop up uruk arrows that have smacked into fellow defenders or the Deep’s stone ramparts. He may be able to have cherry picked the garrison’s stock beforehand so he could have a barrel nearby of usable arrows that would work for him a t reduced levels of effectiveness.

    Otherwise I would make him use picked up litter as “improvised missiles”.

    YOU the Elf, baby! You the Elf! O man this cracked me up. Gimli is my favorite.

  51. Telas says:

    Per the book, Legolas did run out, and started using Orc arrows, and complained bitterly about it…

    Gimli also complained about his axe getting dinged; one of the Orcs had a steel collar or neck ring.

  52. Woerlan says:

    The screen caps of Legolas are the best I’ve seen.

    Gimli was being kind. He didn’t even mention the powers of Cleave/Great Cleave when he positions himself somewhere in the wall gap area.

  53. Erin Storts says:

    *dies laughing* Your webcomic has officially killed my productivity at work for all time. I love the screen shots of Legolas’ face.

    You the elf indeed, baby.

    Also :
    damien walder : Legolas must have the “Bratz” version of a dagger. Not to say it’s girly or anything…

    Tee hee. Nah, not Bratz as it would have wonky proportions. Barbie version maybe.

  54. Purple Library Guy says:

    I can’t believe how many people have commented on the book-version killing competition and gotten it wrong.
    Legolas won with forty two, a number no good SF fan should forget.
    Gimli got forty. As mentioned by Legolas to Treebeard when Treebeard was looking askance at the axe, and Legolas pointed out that “it is not for trees, but for orc-necks. Forty he slew in the battle,” improving Treebeard’s mood and opinion of Gimli considerably.

  55. Foraker says:

    Wrong purple library guy. Gimli slew 42 and WON, Legolas got 41. You even misquoted. Kind of ironic that you comment everybody else is wrong when you are. I have the book in front of me. ‘His axe is not for trees, but for orc-necks, O Fangorn, Master of Fangorn’s Wood. Fourty-two he hewed in the battle’

  56. Arvi says:

    > Erin Storts Says: … Tee hee. Nah, not Bratz as it would have wonky proportions. Barbie version maybe.

    Barbied dagger ?!
    )))

  57. Nightstalkers says:

    First post, but I’ve kept up—The last panel is the best ever!

  58. txknight says:

    Ahh, but Gimli forgot… no player ever keeps track of how many arrows they bought! I’ve seen players magically make the one quiver they bought at first level last an entire campaign before! They’ll but new bows faster than they’ll buy new arrows!

  59. Rikku says:

    In a couple of those pictures it does look like he is saying “woo-hoo who’s the elf?” and the other where he is saying “oh.”

  60. 0ffh says:

    Run out of small walkig sticks? Too bad! ;-)

    I discovered the first installment of this series
    about 2hrs ago, and I love it, and it makes me
    wanna look for a RP party once more!

  61. Chris says:

    Oh my god you are my favorite person. My first rpg experience was using a system my freind threw together and i was a dwarf warrior and another freind of mine was a wannabe elf archer. I was soooooo pissed cuz he did effectively the same amount of damage with his little bow as i did with a rather large axe. Plus in the end he usually did more cuz i rolled like shit. One of the more fun things we did with that system was have alot too much fun with critical misses, lemme tell you he shot me in the ass on more than one occasion but on the converse one of our dms characters managed to one shot an orc with a dagger (yes a perfectly normal dagger) thanks to a positive critical miss.

  62. Thandruin says:

    If we are to discuss reality aspects concerning combat simulation…: I don’t know how much real-world fighting you guys have been doing, but outside of the D&D-board ones opponents don’t take turns while peppering you with attacks, regardless how “enchanted” your armament is.

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