DM of the Rings LXXXV:
Press Triangle

  By Shamus   Apr 9, 2007   111 comments

Legolass, extreme elf.

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  1. Brian_D says:

    Tony Hawk, thats hilarious.

  2. Woerlan says:

    The combo’s not even done. As I recall, Legolas had time to shoot more than 1 orc. ^_^

  3. haha, thats classic!

    Now if only you could actually use a bow/arrow in Tony Hawk :D

    Another classic!

    But now I wanna know what the total score for legolas was when he killed the giant elephant :D

  4. Knastymike says:

    Where can I buy this game??

  5. George says:

    I’m going to suggest putting bows and arrows into a Tony hawk game.
    You can have jousting tournaments with spears while riding skateboards as well.
    Haha, he didn’t have to roll a balance check? Ride check?

  6. Scarlet Knight says:

    Ok , everone sing along: ” He was a skater elffff…”!

  7. Blindeye says:

    Legolas is awesome and all, but that move begged to be made fun of. Even though it was great, you just can’t let that kind of thing… “slide”.

    *giggles like a moron*

  8. Kevin says:

    One of my pet peeves with D&D is how combat always seems to turn into an acrobatic stunts competition, especially in a rogue-heavy party. What’s even worse is when the DM starts awarding players for stunts, because it totally dicks over the magic users that didn’t put points in “Tumble.”

  9. pdwalker says:

    Did you ever have the impression that you played too many video games?

    I’m just sayin’…

    :)

  10. Randolpho says:

    TwiddleStooch wrote:
    But now I wanna know what the total score for legolas was when he killed the giant elephant

    It only counted as one! If Gimli says it, it must be true…

  11. Clyde says:

    Dude, that was way rad!

  12. xargon says:

    So would that count as Mounted Archery or Shot on the Run?

  13. The Gneech says:

    “Fast Acrobatics” combined with “Acrobatic Charge”.

    When building my Legolas clone, I ended up with Rgr 5/Sco 6/ThfAcr 2. Works quite well, actually.

    -The Gneech

  14. phlux says:

    George: The game you’re looking for is Skate or Die for the NES. It had the finest in 8-bit skateboard jousting.

  15. Ace says:

    But when he kicks the board in the orc, doesn’t that count as a bail. I think he got no points out of this one.

    – Ace

  16. Zudrak says:

    Where’s the fish from Spongebob saying, “That was Awwwwwwwwwwesome, dude!”?

    Great comic, once again.

  17. tigerdreams says:

    Kevin Says:
    One of my pet peeves with D&D is how combat always seems to turn into an acrobatic stunts competition, especially in a rogue-heavy party. What’s even worse is when the DM starts awarding players for stunts, because it totally dicks over the magic users that didn’t put points in “Tumble.”

    Really? Because the thing that usually irritates *me* about D&D combat is the way it always seems to degenerate into a zorch-fest between the casters, by the end of which there’s often nothing left for the roguish Dex-combat types to attack. I think that creative, cinematic combat *should* be encouraged, so that it becomes more interesting than, “I cast a Quickened Maximized Empowered Magic Missile at it. *roll roll add add* 87 damage. Is it dead?” Y’know, so as not to completely dick over the characters who put points into skills rather than into Blowing Stuff Up. Given how much casters tend to dominate the game, it only seems fair to let skillful characters have the spotlight every once in a while.

    That said, I was far too amused with this scene in the movie, so I was glad to see it play out in the comic, even if I didn’t get the specific video game reference until the comments explained it for me.

  18. Steve says:

    tigerdreams Says:

    Really? Because the thing that usually irritates *me* about D&D combat is the way it always seems to degenerate into a zorch-fest between the casters, by the end of which there’s often nothing left for the roguish Dex-combat types to attack. I think that creative, cinematic combat *should* be encouraged, so that it becomes more interesting than, “I cast a Quickened Maximized Empowered Magic Missile at it. *roll roll add add* 87 damage. Is it dead?”

    I dunno which game you’re playing, but by the time the casters have such nifty magic missiles in their arsenal in a typical game of D&D the general answer to your question is: “Of course not, dolt!”

    Even as a weakly godlike caster I could only do a fraction of the damage per round that the party’s minmaxed cheddar-rogue could.

    I consoled myself with the fact that it took me a fraction of the time that the Gorgonzola Git did to make an attack.

    [Shamus]

    Good to see some proper “Don Martin” sound effects coming into play with that “Klonk”. We need more of these to convey the missing aural element. The shield should have had a DMSFX that was a couple of inches long as it went down the stairs for example. Please work in at least two more “Klonk”s and a “Kloon” before the week is out.

    [All]

    Given the size of the mine that the orcs set off in the wall of Helms Deep, I would have expected some comic relief with everyone shouting at each other due to temporary deafness for at least a couple of scenes in the movie. The battle scenes badly needed the tension lifting in places.

    Steve.

    ps :o)

  19. Alia says:

    It’s all about the power curve. Right now in our D&D game, our Wizard feels useless, the Bard is completely support (I’ve been in combat twice), and the Rogues try to get in the most aventagist postion. The Fighter and Cleric usually wipe the floor with most encounters before the second round of combat (sometiems the third).

    In five or six levels (we just hit 3), the Fighters will be lucky to do anything to the creatures, while the Rogues and Wizard will be killing things before the fighter gets the chance. The Cleric will turn into a caster as well. The Bard will still be support ;-)

  20. Telas says:

    Amazing. I just made a post on another site about the “bazillion questions” player… the one who asks (in this case):

    “Is there a shield about?”
    (Sure.)
    “Can you describe it?”
    (It’s like the rest, kind of like a section of a cylinder, with spikes on the top.)
    “What would the Balance mod be for riding it down the stairs?”
    (Um, at least +20.) Thinking: There’s no way he can do this.
    “Cool, because with my synergies, ranks, and ability bonuses, I have a total modifier of +42. Can I still get shots off if I beat the DC by 10?”
    (…)

  21. Lizzle says:

    Glad someone else made the comment (and that Shamus let us make fun of it publicly) – – – this one came out of far left field in the movie and the first time I saw it, I was really, really, really afraid that we had an 18 minute pod racing scene coming up… we’d just seen some moving plot of our heroes band together, risking everything to defend mere villagers, take massive casualties… and Legolas surfed down the stairs… it SCREAMED a horrible mix between Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun movies and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which, in context, are both fantastic) and was overall really disappointing… the stoic, proud elf catches some gnarly surf in a flurry of senseless bad graphics and poor writing… I figured they’d edit it out of the special editions.

  22. Salen says:

    Style points are worth extra XP, or they better be, because players don’t make balance check rolls for stuff like that while using the Shoot On The Run feat for nothing.

  23. MarkB says:

    Of course, the DM gets his own back as soon as the stunt’s over, when he gets to say to the archery-specialist, “And now you’re in melee combat. With 300 orcs.”

  24. pharniel says:

    …..or you could play Exalted or Scion or Reign or…well, any modern fantasy game where stunts are rewarded because it makes things more interesting for everyone else.
    anyway, As a current member of the RPGA LIVing grayhawk campign i can tell you with certanty that wizzards and othe rspellcasters after lvl 9 or so obliterate melee types constantly.
    becaulse lvl 9 is 5th level spells, and that’s where it’s all over for the fighter.
    also the roue is screwed, because everying will be undead, aboration or construct and thus immune to sneak attack damage.

  25. JohnW says:

    acrobatic stunts … points in “Tumble.” … “Fast Acrobatics” combined with “Acrobatic Charge”… Quickened Maximized Empowered Magic Missile … synergies, ranks, and ability bonuses … undead, aboration or construct …

    Are you guys making this stuff up or is this what the actual rules are like these days?

  26. sleepyfoo says:

    “Are you guys making this stuff up or is this what the actual rules are like these days?”

    To some extent yes.

    The Gneech “Rgr 5/Sco 6/ThfAcr 2″ is ranger scout and theif-acrobat correct? their abilities play well off each other.

  27. Doug Brown says:

    Amazing cliffhanger, Shamus. I can’t believe there has been no rampant speculation over whether Legolas will be able to flip trick to manual in order to keep the combo going.

    Cheers for a good one!

    Doug

  28. Fickle says:

    *cracks up* It’s been so long since I’ve seen the movies that I totally forgot he did this, and his move caught me completely by surprise. XD Fantastic strip, Shamus!

  29. Javaboy says:

    Very nice! I can’t stop giggling.

  30. Getting_Fired says:

    Arrrgh this is the last one. I just read every episode at work, and wasted my whole day. I want more… MORE do you hear me? I am addicted!

  31. Doug Brown says:

    OK, since no one’s speckalatin’, here I go. I predict:

    360 Sal Flip to Orc Pop to Hardflip to Darkslide (along the side of the bridge). Get it? Darkslide? Moriquendi?

  32. Zalan says:

    aww yeah. I’ve been waiting for this one since I read the first strip a few months ago.

    Plain brilliant I say!

    heh… just finished a 2nd edition d&d session. I just love being a caster in that game…
    Fighter: I hit him with a sword!
    Me: Stoneskin.
    Fighter: Oh dear…
    Me: *insert random kill spell here*

  33. Susano says:

    Ahhh yes, when LOTR took a left turn into Feng Shui….

  34. Wolfheart says:

    “Even as a weakly godlike caster I could only do a fraction of the damage per round that the party’s minmaxed cheddar-rogue could.”

    But they get to throw Fireballs =). Anyhow, what the casters really excell in D&D besides doing damage, is their diversity. Especially if you are a Sorcerer, you have a spell for about any situation. Keep lots of scrolls with you and ta-da! An unpassable cliff? Spider Climb! Lots of Kobolds? Fireball! A border guard? Invisibility Sphere! Need to spy on someone? Scrying! Need to scare someone half dead? Horror! Phantasmal Killer! There are zounds of options for those caster classes.

    And by the way, comic is great, again. I just love these and I fear the moment the Ring is destroyed and when there will be no more DM of the Rings =(

  35. Da Rogue says:

    Ah the skills of the one called Legolass. Her skills are starting to compare with mine halfling rogue.

    I recall the time he critted a land shark, at lvl 3!! The only thing showing of the shark was his fin!!
    Somehow we managed to get out of there without dieing…

  36. I nominate the following sound effects as text inserts for the Helm’s Deep Battle Sequence:

    “THATCH!” (Arrow into armour’s weak spot)
    “OOURCK!” (Uruk Hai painfully surprised by arrow in neck)
    “CLEAVE!” (Gimli’s axe, hitting anything)

    Thank you.

  37. Yahzi says:

    “Tony Hawk, thats hilarious.”

    I had no idea.

    Now I feel old.

    :(

    Curse you meddling kids!

  38. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Fighter: I hit him with a sword!
    Me: Stoneskin.
    Fighter: Oh dear…
    Me: *insert random kill spell here*”

    You forgot the second half of the sequence that always happens to MY mages:
    Fighter: I save half damage. I grab your skinny neck & insert sword up to hilt!
    ME: gurgle…cleric!

  39. Stormfeather says:

    Did you ever have the impression that you played too many video games?

    I’m just sayin’…

    Blasphemer! There is no such thing as too many video games!

    Ahhh yes, when LOTR took a left turn into Feng Shui….

    *blinkblink*

    I think I missed the total Helm’s Deep decoration makeover scene.. .was that one of the deleted parts? o_O

    “No no, put the dead orc facing *north* or otherwise you’ll totally ruin the flow!”

  40. Vicky W says:

    My son had to explain to me what the reference was. I’m not much of a console gamer anymore (Last console game I played was on either a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo when said offspring was in diapers) I do remember thinking at the time in the movies “Wow, that looks a lot more like a Feng Shui move than anything else.”

    I’m still trying to get together a Feng Shui campaign. No one can stay focused long enough to stop giggling to play.

  41. Skwyd says:

    Classic movie-to-video-game reference!!!!

    I’d like to add a comment to those that are complaining about the uber-rogues, and uber-mages, and…well uber-anything in D&D. Virtually every class I’ve seen in 3rd edition has a possibility to be grossly over-powered. It is all in how the player builds the character. I’ve seen clerics that become a “one-man-army”, rogues that have the highest AC in the group and don’t wear ANY armour, casters that can’t be killed, and fighters that crit on a 6 or higher on the d20. All of these characters a cool in their own way, but really they aren’t any fun for anyone except the one playing them. I’ve found that as a DM, it is my job to keep my players from building these grossly unbalanced characters so that everyone can have fun. If they just want to build a PC “with the most plusses” then I really don’t care to have them at my table…

    >:)

  42. Nogard_Codesmith says:

    HAH! Ok thats a riot… especially since my kid is bugging me to play Tony Hawk with him right now.

  43. sexyskank says:

    if i remember right, the DMG has a portion which comments on that. Every person at the table will want to get his/her “kick” in a different way. Some get it from rp, some from being evil, some from being power gamers, and the list goes on. The trick to being a good DM is to accommodate them all without leaving anyone feeling crummy. Which is why, of course, the DM’s job is insanely difficult.

  44. Nick_Soapdish says:

    Hilarious comic aside; My players must make the worst casters alive. Outside of lobbing fireballs into crowds, they get their spells resisted all day long by the big stuff, and that leaves the work to the guy with a big sword and 50 feats to pump his damage into the silly range.

  45. b9anders says:

    Brilliant strip. :-D

    Someone should have sketched this for Jackson in production to make it plain what kind of scene that was.

    The silly thing is that you could probably replicate that with D&D with the right feats and skills.

    What is it people like to say: GURPS is a simulator. D&D is more like a gaming console.

  46. Menthalion says:

    ROFL@Tony Hawk the Slayer ..
    I thought I was the only one remembering that movie.. If you haven’t seen it before: a brilliant synopsis and some clips of the most awe-inspiring special effects the eighties could bring can be found at http://www.badmovies.org/movies/hawkslayer/

  47. Matt` says:

    Oh man, this is nerdy on so many levels – LOTR + D&D + Video games
    Awesome

  48. Medium Dave says:

    WORST part of the series, ever. Skateboarding elf shooting arrows. I hated that. All we needed next was some wire-fu as Aragorn laid down some l33t Numenorean Dragon Style on a dozen Uruks. Ack. This needed mocking in a huge fashion. Hated this with a thousand hates. Thanks for pilloring it. Do it again.

    Also, when the crew get into Osgiliath, have someone say “This wan’t in the book! Why are HOBBITS in Osgiliath?” Made no sense at all. But I am not bitter, no not at all.

  49. Dinkleberg says:

    I thought you were going for God of War for a second there. This one works just as well, though :)

  50. Aaron says:

    “Of course, the DM gets his own back as soon as the stunt’s over, when he gets to say to the archery-specialist, “And now you’re in melee combat. With 300 orcs.”

    I do something akin to this every chance I get with my players. You think they’d learn after the first 20 times … but nooooo. Great strip Shamus!

  51. Tola says:

    295, actually-the shield went shooting off into the crowd when he jumped off. Which I think was the point, if I remember the scene right-he was trying to get to…Gimli? I think it was….but there was too much of a crush.

  52. Browncoat says:

    36 damien walder Says:

    April 9th, 2007 at 8:43 pm
    I nominate the following sound effects as text inserts for the Helm’s Deep Battle Sequence:

    “THATCH!” (Arrow into armour’s weak spot)
    “OOURCK!” (Uruk Hai painfully surprised by arrow in neck)
    “CLEAVE!” (Gimli’s axe, hitting anything)

    Thank you.

    Yes. Let’s have the guy that directed the Batman TV series do the Helm’s Deep Battle. Come to think of it, Aragorn tossing Gimli is a little reminiscient of Batman swinging Robin into a group of bad guys who all fall down.

    Aragorn: We must give them time to secure the gate, old chum!
    Gimli: Holy Gorge of Eternal Peril, Strider! I’ll never be able to make that jump.
    Aragorn: Never fear, I’ve got an extra pair of Strider-Shoes in my utility belt. Wear them!
    Gimli: Great Corns and Blisters, I’ll never fit into those, you’ll have to toss me!

    And then the battle is joined with the THWACK! and the CLEAVE! and the “OY! MY GLAVIN! It hu-urts. . .”

  53. Tola says:

    That…I suddenly have the title sequence for that running through my head, with appropritate adjustments(Leg, Aragorn, Gimli running in, and the ‘Crowd’ is Uruk-Hai. I guess horses can sub for the Bat-Mobile.)

  54. Erin Storts says:

    Most. Brilliant. Strip. Ever.

    I loved this scene in the movie, but mostly because I imagined rp’ing it!

  55. superfluousk says:

    Ha ha, I love it. Not that Shamus can’t do satire wonders with just screen-chopping and text bubbles, but sometimes a turn into the meta is brilliant as well.

  56. Wraithshadow says:

    Especially if you are a Sorcerer, you have a spell for about any situation.

    No, if you’re a Sorcerer, you have one spell for all situations. Or close enough to it.

    I had no idea.

    Now I feel old.

    Hah- you feel old. I just read a forum where some kid’s talking about ‘classic’ games, and they’re all things that came out in the last five years. Here I’m expecting to listen to glory days about Moon Patrol or the old QBasic classic Gorillas, and instead he’s talking about how he just played Halo.

  57. Scarlet Knight says:

    Shamus, I salute you! I’m getting strange looks at work twice as much now. First , when I laugh aloud when the strip appears, then again when I laugh the next day reading the comments! “Holy Gorge of Eternal Peril, Strider! ” Ow! My sides hurt!

  58. Flexstyle says:

    See, you’ve just put two unexpected-yet-brilliant jokes into the series in the span of just a few days! I’m remembering how the movie went as I read these (haven’t watched ‘em in a while) and I’m amazed by how well this whole thing works. Kudos!

  59. Long time fan, first time poster says:

    Making fun of the worst scene in that movie… classic :)

    Seriously, had the rest of the movie not been so kick ass, that would have forced me to get up and leave… I mean what kind of stuff was that screenwriter/director smoking when they thought, “Hey, lets make Legolas skate down the stairs on a shield while still firing a bow and THEN have the shield fly up and miraculously stab an orc in the neck despite having an iron neck-guard”

  60. Long time fan, first time poster says:

    Erm… just wanted to add something…

    I wish he does a “no arrows left” kind of scene at some point, in the book, half of the mid-battle dialogs between the characters featured Legolas saying he needed to return for more arrows … what does pretty boy Orlando Bloom do instead? He gets to stab orcs in the eye with arrows, pull them out and then fire them, constantly firing with his bow, never losing all of his arrows even though he seems to only have five or so in his quiver. I mean Aragorn has to bunch, kick and headbutt his way out of orc grapples, stab them desperately with his dagger, Gimli gets knocked over and surrounded constantly, but does our little pretty boy ever once have to really go toe-to-toe with orcs? Granted, he has used his daggers briefly in some scenes… briefly… very briefly… but never once do i seem him in a serious struggle against enemies, its only a few kung-fu like whirling blades and the next scene he’s back to the bow. Have we ever seen him even once have to full on resort to melee? Nope… he’s got infinite arrows…
    Hax… -.-

  61. Wraithshadow says:

    2nd Edition elf. Those got everything. :P

  62. Steve says:

    Wolfheart Says:

    But they get to throw Fireballs =). Anyhow, what the casters really excell in D&D besides doing damage, is their diversity. Especially if you are a Sorcerer, you have a spell for about any situation. Keep lots of scrolls with you and ta-da! An unpassable cliff? Spider Climb! Lots of Kobolds? Fireball! A border guard? Invisibility Sphere! Need to spy on someone? Scrying! Need to scare someone half dead? Horror! Phantasmal Killer! There are zounds of options for those caster classes.

    Well, not to get too seriously twonkish but yer average minmaxed Roguefort can passle out damage at about the same rate as the average fireball can (unmaxed) what with multiple attacks and those super cheap bargain-price magic daggers, rapiers and whatever else they always seem to have.

    And even a Sorcerer with a charisma of 20 – WHAT? Everyone else was cheesing-up like mad and I had “Unlimited Wish” and no desire to use XPs for going above level 20. Plus each wish I took instead of levelling up pissed off Mr Rogue. What was the question?

    Oh yeah, even a CHA 20 CL 20 sorcerer only gets to fireball 7 times a day unless he has Maximise Spell and Empower Spell. Amazing how many creatures are immune to fire damage at those sorts of challenge ratings though. He does get 46 spells (out of a list of well over a hundred), but the vast majority of them are low level.

    To be honest, the maximised, empowered Magic Missile was often the best bet, but even at CHA 20 and caster level 20 you get six of them per day (they are spell level 5 attacks). Hardly a gattling gun of death when your average foe was something with 300+ hp, magic resistance, 10 foot reach and a breath weapon. Not only that, our DM grew fond of things with a “Save or Die” attack, something the sorcerer cannot mount a defence against (without cross classing or a Wond’rous Item like a phylactery of life essence storing).

    I liked having a Moment of Prescience, Quickened True Strike and Disintegrate combined attack, but it only did max damage once out of all the times I threw it. By the time you really need that attack, the monsters can save against it without breaking a sweat. Nothing beats buring up three high level slots for a 5D6 attack.

    I enjoyed playing the sorcerer of the party, but he died a lot.

    Steve.

    • Moridin says:

      What did you need all the +attack spells for? Disintegrate like almost all the other spells targets touch-AC, which almost never goes much above 15.

  63. NinjaDebugger says:

    So, wait, wait. You burned +40 to your attack roll, in two spell slots, on a touch attack (which is difficult to miss with), with a spell that is virtually worthless against any enemy with a Con score? And you did this multiple times?

    I would say no offense, but it would be a lie, you were a really terrible Sorc player, and it’s no wonder your rogue out-damaged you regularly.

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