Chainmail Bikini: More Characters

 By Shamus Sep 6, 2007 53 comments

More character previews for the upcoming Chainmail Bikini webcomic:

Meet Chuck, the old-school player.

Meet Casey, the GM.

The comic launches tomorrow. I know this will be a tough jump. Most comics take a few strips to “grab” you so that you’ll come back. They introduce the characters and set up the plot, so that you want to know what happens next. Most DMotR readers arrived a little over halfway through the thing, which means they had ~70 comics to get into it. Now we’re starting over. It will be interesting to see how many readers follow and how the audience changes. I also hope that the jump from comments to forums doesn’t spoil the fun we’ve been having in the comments. I know that forum registration is an annoying hurdle, and that some people won’t bother. (I’m always slow to join forums, because signing up is so tiresome.) There are upsides and downsides to everything in this move.

Still, if we have half the fun with Chainmail Bikini as we did with DMotR it should still be a good gig.

Hope to see you there.

20201353 comments. It's getting crowded in here.


  1. Ikuturso says:

    Worst post!

    ps. You made a typo: “tomrrow” :P

  2. Ikuturso says:

    And after actually reading the blog entry, I wish Shamus good luck with the new comic. The art looks good, and the archtypical characters descriptions look fun. Here’s one DMotR fan who will follow you to Chainmal Bikini. :)

  3. Cenobite says:

    It’s a gaming comic about gamers. Why is there any need at all to set up a plot? Four men, a room, a table, a screen, some dice. It’s like experimental theater, only comedic gold.

  4. Mike says:

    Will Chainmail Bikini have a separate RSS feed for those of us who don’t want to subscribe to Fear the Boot?

  5. Henebry says:

    I like ‘em. Looking forward to the big jump.

  6. Jeff says:

    Huh. No screencap-style comic? Oh well. I’m sure the new project will be funny — clearly you have a talent for that — but you also have a fantastic talent for finding the best screencaps for a given scene. Hate to see that go to waste…

  7. Shamus says:

    Cenobite: There are always 2 plots at the gaming table: The on the GM is trying to tell, and the one that’s happening outside of the game. While I suppose you don’t NEED a plot, I think it’s a source of conflict and thus humor.

    Particularly if the GM’s plot sucks.

  8. Mrs T says:

    What, no gamer chick? There’s got to be a gamer chick

  9. Shamus says:

    Mrs. T: Yes there does. Just have to wait a few strips.

  10. Shawn says:

    I’ll be there!

    Oh, wait….

  11. Marmot says:

    Hehe, I wish you best luck with the new project. I admit that what I’ve seen so far does not look terribly attractive to me, but I will check it out nonetheless. I did start reading DM of the Rings from episode 2 though!

  12. ThVaz says:

    Gamer Girls are legend.

  13. Rob says:

    I for one hope the forums will let you know when someone replies to your comment. That will continue to be a useful feature until I’ve signed up for too many forums :)

  14. Simon says:

    *sigh*

    Dude, this is the wrong wrong wrong wrong way to go.

    We want movie-rpg comics. That’s the funny.

  15. Shawn says:

    Yay, Simon’s back.

    Also, I’m surprised no one has noticed the thing that I will obliquely hint at but not explain outright.

  16. Rob says:

    To the movie-rgp comic mumblers.. Poo on you. How do you expect a guy to potentially, possibly, maybe make any money someday if he’s got to licence most of his creation from UBER-corp? Hrmm?? Or do you plan on asking our good friend Shamus to dedicate a good part of his free time for our enjoyment and not be able to get anything back? HRMMM?? Poo on you sir.

  17. Nilus says:

    I wish all the luck to Shamus and will read Chainmail Bikini but I am getting the feeling I have seen all this before. I will read it but I think Shamus and company have a lot of work to do if they hope to be as good as something like Knights of the Dinner Table.

  18. Carl the Bold says:

    13 ThVaz Says: Gamer Girls are legend.

    I’m waiting for it!!! Legend. . .

    DARY!!!!

  19. Phil says:

    Shamus, you should go viral and have your future characters post on the comments on Twenty Sided. With a backtrack to the comics’ URL

    Mwa Ha HA!

    Seriously so looking forward to new comic. I can’t help byt shake the felling that the players are actually the ones featured in DM of the Ring :)

  20. Namfoodle says:

    Do these guys have any tie-in to the players behind DMotR? Seems like there’s some similarities. Chuck could sort of be Gimli. Josh could sort of be Legolas, but I kind of see the argument for Marcus too.

  21. Madjack says:

    DMoTR was really good, and you deserve the benefit of the doubt. KoTD is the big daddy of what you are trying to pull off, though. I mean, that profile of Chuck really is Brian (with a beard), right down to the painting miniatures deal. And Josh, you know, I mean… do you read KoTD?

    I’m being silly, and nit-picky from the sidelines which is especially criminal. Six comics from now I’m sure I’ll be enjoying it and laughing like everyone else.

  22. Shamus says:

    I’ve never read KoDT.

    The painting minis will have to go.

    Key difference between this and KoDT: This comic lets us see the fantasy world the players inhabit.

  23. Blurr says:

    I don’t really like the art style. I’ll give a go though.

  24. Davesnot says:

    I read a couple of KoDT.. funny stuff.. but I didn’t think of those characters at all.. probably because Chuck is just like someone at my old gaming group.. except he’s never been married.. and Casey.. well.. just like another at the group.. but he hasn’t written anything.. he just criticizes others.. and Josh.. yup.. he’s in the group.. They’re all there.. That’s why it’s funny.. this is how groups tend to shuffle out… no need to change it… unless it works into the story.. The guy in our group just suddenly stopped painting.. I think his eyes went and other people were doing a better job painting.. or maybe it was because he got a dog.

  25. Shawn says:

    Namfoodle:

    *whistles innocently*

  26. Davesnot says:

    That dog, by the way, growled and barked at most of the group .. a great character himself! .. random snarly freakouts.. poor pizza guy.. and one dude in the group couldn’t move without that dog growling .. terrified that guy.. lol..

  27. roxysteve says:

    [Shamus] Chuck is the only character in this strip I can empathise with. If you get rid of the mini painting I’m going to stop reading “Chainmail Bikini” cold.

    I don’t think either of us wants that.

    Steve.
    (Sometime mini painter)

    PS Why don’t you have more characters called “Steve”?

  28. Shawn says:

    Steve:

    True Story, I’m running an Orpheus game, and the first few ghosts the PCs encountered were named Steve, just because I was pulling random names out of my ass and I hit that one twice in a row.

    When I almost did it a 3rd time a few adventures later, the players got it the habit of just calling all random ghosts Steves, as in “Let’s poke into that abandoned hotel and see if there are any Steves around.”

  29. Zaghadka says:

    OMG! This had better be funny or we will all have to go and waste our time doing something else.

    Best of luck in your new endeavor.

  30. corwin says:

    I’m looking forward to the new strip, and hoping to boost my FtB forum post count as well :)

  31. bloopy says:

    actually kodt has a sister comic called “knights of the dinner table illustrated” that is 100% about the fantasy world that the kodt guys inhabit. . . or wait, maybe it was the sister comic “hackmasters of everknight”. . . of course i haven’t bought either one in a while so they may no longer exist. . . and fyi, within the kodt issues they almost always have a 2-4 page comic by a guest artist that switches between the kodt table and their fantasy world. . .

    i’m also pretty curious to see how different chainmail bikini will be from kodt. . . chuck (computer guru, miniatures dude) + casey (writes fantasy fiction, GM, possible rules lawyer) seem to be brian to me (although physically chuck reminds me of weird pete). . . josh (autistic killing machine) seems like he could be either bob or dave. . . a girl coming in a bit later would be like sara joining the crew after a few issues. . . the closest parallel i can think of for marcus might be newt although i think dave and bob did go thru goth phases. . .

    the comparisons to kodt characters (and plots) will be unavoidable ‘cuz kodt has at something like 5 or 6 different groups of stereotypical gamers/GMs (the knights being the primary one), and *years* of strips. . .

    btw, shamus, i’m thinking it’s probably a good thing that you haven’t read kodt ‘cuz then you might have that problem that i saw the south park guys talk about in an interview when they were saying that a ton of the ideas they come up with every week get nixed ‘cuz someone points out that the simpsons already did it. . . even if plots end up being similar, it’ll be cool to see your take on, for example, the slaying of the gazebo. . .

    and on a completely unrelated topic, i dunno if you care but i noticed a slight typo in the chuck bio – i think you need a “to” in front of the word “divorce”. . . of course if you fix it then this comment will look completely retarded. . .

    also, wrt the forums – are you gonna have some sort of slashdot-esque “anonymous coward” option?. . . ‘cuz i do know that once forums and stuff start requiring logins and passwords i’m one of those people who no longer comments but just hangs on as a lurker unless there’s an a/c option. . . it’s one of those things where i have enough logins and passwords to remember so if i can avoid one, i generally will. . . of course my comments are few and far between and normally quite lame so losing me from the discussions will undoubtedly be no loss. . .

  32. Kanthalion says:

    The South Park episode about how The Simpsons already did everything is one of my all time fav episodes.

  33. Miles Tormani says:

    To Shamus Post #7:

    If so, awesome. I like reading the other stuff on here from time to time, and another RSS to keep reading the works of one person could be… awkward. @@;

    And I agree with some of the other people here; this is already sounding like DM of the Rings 2. Which is good. I’ll likely jump the bandwagon and watch this one with everyone else.

  34. Emma says:

    I can’t speak for the rest of your readership, but here’s how you can keep me as a reader through the first few weeks and months: update regularly. I’ll read plain out crap if it updates regularly enough. (Case in point: I’m still reading Kevin and Kell, and I lost interest in it at least three years ago. It might be boring at best and annoying at worst, but dangit, it updates without fail.)

    But if you don’t update regularly, I won’t be invested enough to keep reading, and you’ll lose me. I don’t expect that to happen, though.

    Good luck!

  35. Chaoz says:

    I will enjoy increasing my post count by nexus of your comic shamus.

  36. Louis says:

    Hi, Shamus. This is my first post on your blog, and I only recently discovered DMotR, so I had everything up to the battle of Pelennor Fields to enjoy all at once. Although I very much enjoyed the screen-capping, you’ve demonstrated more than enough insight and wit that I’m very much looking forward to Chainmail Bikini. Pace it as you want, because I’ll be here for a while.

  37. Arthur says:

    @Shamus: “Key difference between this and KoDT: This comic lets us see the fantasy world the players inhabit.”

    Oh, so like Dork Tower or the gaming strips in Something Positive then?

  38. Shamus says:

    Arthur: Never saw those.

    I guess we’ll both just have to wait and see what happens.

  39. Arthur says:

    Shamus: sorry for the random jab, it’s just that I’ve not got high hopes for Chainmail Bikini. It feels uncomfortable to watch you drop something interesting and original (which, admittedly, has run its course) – DM of the Rings – and starting up something which has next to nothing to differentiate it from every other gamer comic out there.

    The fact that you’re going into this without familiarising yourself with similarly-premised comics out there is also a bad sign, for me: it means you’re running the risk of covering ground that’s already been well-trodden, and not doing so in a new and interesting way.

  40. Davesnot says:

    Shawn: True Story, I’m running an Orpheus game, and the first few ghosts the PCs encountered were named Steve, just because I was pulling random names out of my ass and I hit that one twice in a row.

    Yikes, Shawn.. I’ve found if I’m generating random names and don’t have my tattered Judge’s Guild Names book.. I’ve found keeping them on a list is simpler than pulling them from any of my orafices.. Though.. I suppose that would keep anyone from rifling through the stack before picking.

    Arthur.. I’m sure Shamus is thankful for all of your concern. How about let’s just let them make the comic, eh? Starting anything new is frought with enough worry, doubt, excitement and promise that we don’t need to be adding any.

    As for me.. I read a couple KoDT ages ago.. and haven’t read anything else.. If others haven’t either (as I suspect many haven’t) what’s wrong with bring new blood into the playing field?

    I once tried to show a foreigner how much excess there was in the US by showing him all the types of dental floss there are here.. different flavors, widths, materials.. a whole supermarket row!! and what did he comment? “Looks like a good business to get into.”

    Why do you think publishers keep printing books that are like books in the past? Because they sell.. because people want them.. Following some of the logic of the doubters, there is no reason to have ever published any other fantasy novels other then the Lord of the Rings. And if that had happened.. there would be no DMoTR.

  41. Arthur says:

    Davesnot: I’m not saying there isn’t room for another gamer webcomic. I’m saying that if Chainmail Bikini is going to find a niche for itself it’s going to need some kind of awareness of what is already out there.

    Supposing you were talking to a fantasy author who was talking about how he was going to bring out a multivolume series based around an epic quest in which the main characters journey around a medieval fantasy world of elves, dwarves, wizards and dragons. Supposing that, in the course of the conversation, you found out that the author had never read Lord of the Rings, or anything along similar lines. Supposing that, despite the author professing ignorance of the genre, his book project still seemed to have a large number of parallels with Lord of the Rings… and the Shannara series… and the Belgariad… and, in fact, just about every other so-generic-it-hurts fantasy series out there.

    Would you, under those circumstances, genuinely expect this guy’s novel to be good?

  42. SteveDJ says:

    Question about Chainmail Bikini: So, we know that it starts Friday. What we don’t know is, will it also post 3 times a week (M/W/F) at the same time of day? Or will it have a different schedule?

  43. Davesnot says:

    Arthur… the answer to your question in #42… Yes.. I’d expect it to be good if the guy could write.. Better, in fact, since he hadn’t read the “requisite” works that came before.

    The reason there is so much crap out there is that so many “authors” are crippled by what is “expected” of the genre.. You yourself mentioned the “just about every other so-generic-it-hurts fantasy series out there.”

    Why do you think they are so-generic-it-hurts??!!! Don’t you think they read the requisite works?? Did it help them be less generic .. or any less painful?? no?? .. think about it.

    You could give two directors the same script and get different movies.. two editors.. two authors.. if there is, as you say, room for another gamer webcomic.. then this will succeed.. Shamus has the chops… the illustrator is top notch.

    I’m pretty stoked to be on the ground floor watching this.

  44. bloopy says:

    i’m with dave – even tho’ i love kodt, i’m actually kind of glad that shamus hasn’t read it ‘cuz then he won’t have any reason to feel compelled to do, or not do, something because of kodt. . . he’ll be free to do whatever the hell he wants and if the writing in dmotr is any indication, cb oughtta be pretty damn good. . .

  45. bloopy says:

    btw, is it true what chuck says in his bio?. . . that elf was actually a class back in the day?. . . i started playing back in the ad&d days with the player’s handbook, the dungeon master’s guide, and the monster manual, and i never got the opportunity to read the original 3-booklet version. . .

  46. Davesnot says:

    The 3 booklets were pretty cryptic to this 11-year-old.. I cut my booklets up back then to make a DM screen.. *sigh*.. I don’t remember.. but the booklet would have been the Men & Magic booklet… if my fading memory serves.

  47. Shawn says:

    It’s true, in basic D&D Elf, Dwarf and Halfling (Hobbit in the fist run) were all classes. Elves were kind of like fighter/magic users, Dwarves were basically just fighters, and Halflings were IIRC fighter/thief types.

    You didn’t have a spot for race. You were a Fighter, Magic User, Cleric, Thief, Elf, Dwarf, or Halfling.

  48. Shawn says:

    SteveDJ: We’re going Monday/Friday, should still be updated at the same times. Eventually we might move to Wednesday if I can churn out funny drawings faster or get to quit my job.

  49. Davesnot says:

    That’s right Shawn.. and you had to kill or spend your gold drinking to get your experience as a fighter.. or was that a dwarf.. man.. my brain is gone… I need to dig through some boxes and find those cut up old books… er.. pamphlets. .. the Cleric had to give gold to the church to get his xp’s.. right?

  50. Arthur says:

    Davesnot: The reason there is so much crap out there is that so many “authors” are crippled by what is “expected” of the genre.. You yourself mentioned the “just about every other so-generic-it-hurts fantasy series out there.”

    The thing is, there’s plenty of people who don’t know the first thing about the history of the fantasy genre and still manage to pump out generic crap. And there’s nothing in Chainmail Bikini that I can see so far which looks anything other than generic.

    The best fantasy, I find, is written by the likes of Gene Wolfe, Jeff Vandermeer, or M. John Harrison: people who are widely read, both within the genre and outside of it, and who have a clear understanding of what has gone before whilst at the same time not being constrained by it. Someone who is vaguely aware that Tolkein uses elves, but doesn’t understand why, is not going to be able to write about elves as well as someone who actually understands Tolkein’s elves and why Tolkein used them the way he did.

  51. SteveDJ says:

    Ok, so the launch is just over an hour away, so it is probably waaaay too late to suggest this, but:

    Maybe the launch could be a half-dozen strips or so, all at once, just to get us all started and into the story?

  52. Jimmie says:

    Best of luck with the strip, Shamus. I won’t be following you, though. It doesn’t look like something I’d like even a little and signing up for the forum is far more hassle than its worth. But I’ll still read you over here when you do post and wish you graet success with the new thing.

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