DM of the Rings Remaster XXIII: Happy Halloween

By Bay Posted Sunday Jun 11, 2023

Filed under: DM of the Rings Remaster 17 comments

”                                            “

–  Shamus, Monday Oct 30, 2006

Uhh…wow. Great week for remaster: ‘Gay’ is an insult, Happy Halloween! (in June), and Dad’s quote is a masterful silence. Everything is great. This is fine. Happy Pride!


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17 thoughts on “DM of the Rings Remaster XXIII: Happy Halloween

  1. Paercebal says:

    French Translation available here:

    And yes, even in French, the translation was “awkward”…

  2. CrushU says:

    I’ve heard it said that if you can look back at yourself ten years ago and not cringe, then you didn’t grow as a person…

    1. MrGuy says:

      I remember this as the core argument against getting a tattoo in a RoosterTeeth PSA way way back in the day.

  3. Eichengard says:

    Yeah… Maybe I was overly optimistic last week…

  4. CSilvestri says:

    Last week, it occurred to me that I’d had groups that had lost a good bit of time making gay jokes also; it’s just that when you’re all queer of some kind yourselves, “gay jokes” is a very different thing. Can’t really come up with an optimistic interpretation like that this week though.

  5. Mersadeon says:

    Yeah, pretty happy that my mostly straight friends have entirely dropped that as an insult, even a jokey one, the only ones doing it are queer people who obviously have a bit more texture to that kind of joke.

    Aside from that, I actually wanna give a tip to fellow DMs: do this! Not the gay jokes. The “letting players name the group”, or, if appropriate, the group’s vessel/homebase/hideout. It’s always good. They’ll love it, whether it’s a silly joke or a serious name.

  6. Gargamel Le Noir says:

    Y’all noticed that it’s one of the dumb players who use gay as an insult right, not Shamus? Because they’re explicitly immature and insensitive, especially Aragorn and Legolas’ players?
    If you want an example of the use of an insult that aged poorly, later on a player says “that’s retarded” in a context where we’re meant to mostly agree with their point. But here, the text isn’t on the side of the person doling the insult.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I skipped last week but if we’re draggin it out…

      I absolutely agree with you in that Shamus did not have any ill will with the jokes and the whole point of the comics is that this is largely a dysfunctional group with various problems. The thing is the sort of casual nature of it, as true to the times and the social convention as it may be, still makes it cringy. Even within the context of the joke it is not handled with the reaction we’d expect and leaves a slightly similar unease as the of “n word” in historically or culturally appropriate context might.

    2. Bay says:

      Yes, you’re right. He is using people who use ‘gay’ as an insult to show that his players are immature.

      But remember, my critique is one coming from someone both gay and who grew up with the writer as a father.

      It makes me uncomfortable because I remember the context in which I heard it growing up. Dad never said it himself, but he had no issue with his players doing so, and would laugh right along. He is poking fun at immature players, but he is using the term loosely. He didn’t use gay as an insult at the time not because he wasn’t homophobic, but because it was juvenile.

      My father did a lot of growing between when this comic came out, and when I came out. You don’t need to defend his usage, because he would be cringing about it too.

  7. Dues says:

    Even when I first read the comic, I thought the gay jokes were to show the players were juvenile and not very good people. But maybe this reads differently in 2023?

    1. SidheKnight says:

      I got the same impression. And I don’t think it reads differently nowadays.
      The use of “gay” as an insult even back then was stereotypical of “immature teenage boys”. If anything, the passage of time has only reinforced this.

  8. Trevor says:

    I came across this story today about BioWare selling a $135 statue of that time Shepard died in the cold hard vacuum of space (but then got better because of Cerberus) and I smiled immediately thinking of how mad it would make Shamus to be reminded of that bit of ME2.

    1. Barandir says:

      This is hilarious. They could also really milk this concept, if it turns out it’s something that actually sells. Soon to be featuring statues of Wrex when he gets gunned down on Virmire (or the Citadel), Mordin when Shepard shoots him in the back on Tuchanka, Tali when she’s about to commit suicide by jumping off the cliff on Rannoch, Kaidan/Ashley when they got shot by Shepard on the Citadel, Samara when she’s about to shoot herself in the Ardat-Yakshi monastery, etc. etc.

  9. Joshua says:

    I was just a few years younger than Shamus, and got to see a lot of change in the public perception of homosexuality/bisexuality throughout my childhood. In the 80s, gay representation was largely of the flamboyant kind, like Hollywood from Mannequin. In the turn of the 90s, there was a lot more push to portray LGB (not the T for another decade or so) as just normal people, with a lot of representation on popular television shows and films, like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, or various characters in Roseanne.

    So, ten or so years later, using “gay” as an insult just came across as rather backward, juvenile, and close-minded, like you had just slept through the 90s or so and missed the memo. It wasn’t quite N-word, but more like using the term “ghetto” as a pejorative.

  10. Storm says:

    I wasn’t around for the first run of DMotR, but yeah that’s a… well, definitely an example of 00’s culture there. I’m glad that Shamus did some growing since then.

    If nothing else, I’m glad that this kind of panel is as jarring as it is now, it’s a sign that the zeitgeist has changed enough that it’s no longer the norm.

  11. M says:

    Long-time reader here, DM of the Rings honestly got me into D&D as a kid. I’m glad you’re not censoring or changing them, but is it making the world a better place to complain and kvetch about what other people find funny? Can we not have a sensible chuckle about the fact that Legolas, the pretty elf man who keeps getting mistaken for a woman, is interrupting the DM’s important speech just to call something “gay”?

    Everyone can agree that immaturity can be funny. Being a preachy wokescold, on the other hand – never funny. If your goal is to be a moralizing priest teaching your doctrine to people, it’s great to be a preachy wokescold. If, on the other hand, you want to entertain or make people smile – maybe get out of the way of the joke!

    1. Bay says:

      I will get out of the way of the joke when the joke is not aiming for me, and people like me.

      My father was very proud of who I am by the time he died, and even he would cringe at using gay as a joke. I am not being ‘preachy’ to cringe at something he also would have cringed at. I’m going to give you one more chance, (although your use of the word ‘doctrine’ makes me think I’m doing so against my better judgment, and hope against hope that this can be a teaching moment.)

      This space is for honoring my father, and I will not be keeping space for what is -let’s face it- insulting commentary on my reaction. If you’re not someone harmed by a ‘joke’ you don’t get to decide how those who are, react.

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