DM of the Rings I:
The Copious Backstory

By Shamus
on Sep 7, 2006
Filed under:
DM of the Rings

274 comments

Lord of the Rings is more or less the foundation of modern D&D. The latter rose from the former, although the two are now so estranged that to reunite them would be an act of savage madness. Imagine a gaggle of modern hack-n-slash roleplayers who had somehow never been exposed to the original Tolkien mythos, and then imagine taking those players and trying to introduce them to Tolkien via a D&D campaign.

Lord of the Rings, D&D campaign
Lord of the Rings, D&D campaign

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A Hundred!A Hundred!20202014274. There are now n+1 comments, where n is a big-ish sort of number.

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1 2 3 5

  1. BeckoningChasm says:

    Very funny indeed.

  2. […] Sunday my husband asked me to go to the computer store for him after church. Why I went alone can be found here. He asked me to pick up a comic book creator program he had seen there a few months prior. I did and he set to it that same day. Yesterday he was still working on it. Over the past week he has combined The Lord of the Rings movie and the personalities of his D&D group. Basically he has made a comic strip of what would have happened had the party of gentlemen in Lord of the Rings been 17 year old gaming geeks who just want to fight giant spiders and goblins. It’s pretty funny, especially if you have ever sat in on a D&D group. If you get a moment, stop over and check it out. […]

  3. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    Whew that sure was funny, and I can HONESTLY say I have never read that before. Nope that bit was completly new to me.

  4. MOM says:

    very funny. Makes me nostalgic for the Lemon

  5. David C. says:

    Funny stuff! I’m enjoying these.

    However, I have a quibble…

    “Lord of the Rings is more or less the foundation of modern D&D. The former rose from the later…” You have “former” and “lat[t]er” reversed; if LOTR is the “foundation” of D&D, then LOTR came first. The sentence should read “The latter rose from the former…”

  6. Shamus says:

    Whoops. Former / Latter Fixed.

  7. […] I’ve never watched Yu-Gi-Oh before, but if you’ve ever seen DragonBall-Z and you’re passingly familiar with Pokemon then you’ll pick right up on what the show is about. The Abridged Series is a homemade (?) parody of the absurdities of Yu-Gi-Oh and all those others childrens’ game-promoting anime shows. There seem to be 11 episodes in the Abridged Series so far, each roughly four minutes long. They remind me a lot of Shamus’ comics in the sort of self-referential humor they employ. Great fun, I was laughing out loud at every episode. […]

  8. […] The comic starts here with the first episode. You can use the links to navigate from there. […]

  9. […] (Yes, I already know that these aren’t actually spoonerisms, they’re just swapped words. If you are a huge nerd, you’re going to have to find something else to nitpick.) Comments » […]

  10. […] The chap who’s doing DM Of The Rings, which I’ve linked to a couple of times recently, is really pumping ‘em out at the moment – one every day or so. The comics are just posts on his blog at the moment with no index, but the Next and Previous links will get you through. […]

  11. […] DM of the Rings humor RPGsShare and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  12. shirlee53 says:

    I Love it.

  13. […] Wednesday, October 25 2006 @ 10:23 PM CDT Contributed by: corwin Views: 1 If you’ve ever been involved in role-playing games in any way ever, you simply must go read Twenty Sided.  Among the many posts on the blog, Shamus is providing his readers with one of the funniest webcomics I have ever seen: The DM of the Rings.  Picture this:  you’re a DM with a group of almost exclusively hack-and-slash players (we’ve all been there, most of us on both sides.  Except the role-player over there).  Oddly enough, none of these players are at all familiar with the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, and the campaign you’re running is none other than The Lord of the Rings.I can pretty much stop describing it there.  All of the gamers reading this are now furiously clicking the links to go read this masterpiece, and everyone else has lost interest by now.  So far, the party has arrived at Balin’s tomb in Moria, and hilarity is in the midst of ensuing.  I can’t wait for the next episode…   […]

  14. Morcamil says:

    Absolutely hilarious. Reminds me of my crew when we were playing about ten years ago, huh.

  15. Vinterdaeck says:

    That’s so funny! More of that please!

  16. […] I recently stumbled across Twenty Sided Tale, a blog by Shamus Young, and found his series of comics entitled The DM of the Rings. It starts here, with DM of the Rings I, and fair warning: I nearly peed myself around number IX or so. […]

  17. Khall says:

    Actually, the progeniator of D&D is/was Jack Vance’s Dying Earth novels. This is why we have things like Melf’s Acid Missile and things. At least according to Gary Gygax. But obviously a lot of the mythos and settings were…inherited from Tolkien.

    K.

  18. Erick says:

    Very good! You’re so cruel to the poor players, though. Withholding their mechwarrior ;_;

  19. […] Speaking of AD&D (as we were) here is a webcomic called Twenty Sided. […]

  20. […] Tuesday and Thursday Bad; MWF Good Filed under: Geekery — Robert @ 8:28 am Because of this and this. […]

  21. Joreal says:

    He is right though, Mechwarrior is awesome.

    Who wants to be Clan Widow Maker with me?

  22. […] j’avais oublié de vous parler de ce bidule: DM of the Rings est un webcomic de rôliste, qui imagine ce que donnerait le Seigneur des Anneaux, de JRR Tolkien, […]

  23. […] some time now, and I don’t generally enjoy sprite/photo/screencap comics of this style, but DM of the Rings has been consistently amusing me, at least for the first twenty-three comics. I know my RP’er […]

  24. VinnyC says:

    I always did wonder what they were thinking while they were shooting =-]

    Verry funny. :):):)

  25. Rex Venom says:

    Cool!
    How do I get a lot of dice next to my comment?
    Rock on.

  26. Arca says:

    Is it normal that the strips don’t show up? Or does nothing ever wrok for me ? :_(

  27. LOL! Its usually a bad sign if the players don’t pay *any* attention to the opening backstory…looks like we’re about to go on an interesting trip. :)

  28. Nicki-Joe says:

    That’s hilarious! I hate backstory myself ‘blah, blah, blah’, when the frig are we going to play?

  29. The Wit Farm says:

    Been a while……

    Yeah, I’ve been slacking. I took a few weeks away from work to study for a promotion test, and I kinda got out of the not-quite-well-established habit of blogging.
    Susie’s taken David to London for the day, in anticipatory celebration of he…

  30. This webcomic is awesome. I’ve been reading since one of the first strips came out, and it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable ride so far.

    Thanks Shamus!
    -blarg

  31. […] DM of the rings Our DM send us this link to a comic about LoTR as a modern D&D style game, if gamers were to play it today. I got quite a few laughs from it. Twenty Sided DM of the Rings I:The Copious Backstory […]

  32. the old master says:

    As a Player and GM. This story has compelled me to follow Shamus’writting antics throughout.

    The art of humor is: Exhibiting very funny incidents seriously.

    The old master says:A world is defined by it’s occupants. I am merely here by definition.

  33. Tola says:

    Commenting on the change made.

    It’s interesting that the player of Merry is more…confrontational. Before he was ‘O.K, whatever, sure I wanted to play Mechwarrior, but…’. Now he’s actively calling the group lunatics.

  34. Muttley says:

    “Lord of the Rings is more or less the foundation of modern D&D.”

    Not really. D&D was developed out of Chainmail in 1969-71 by Gygax and Arneson, who were active before the Tolkein revival spawned the vast hordes of 3-or-more volume bad fantasy series and made fantasy overwhelmingly prevalent on the SF shelves. The Tolkien revival was brought about by the availability of the single-volume paperback edition from 1968 coinciding with its adoption by the hippy movement.

    Gygax and Arneson quoted three references in the first D&D rulebook: Jack Vance’s “Dying Earth” stories (where the magic system in particular comes from), Fritz Lieber’s Lankhmar tales of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser (rogues, thieves, sword-and-sorcery adventuring), and Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions, quoted as the place where the alignment system came from, although Michael Moorcock’s Elric stories were published around the same time and develop the alignment system more deeply.

    Poul Anderson was also a founding member of the SCA.

    Lankhmar is also the inspiration for Ankh-Morpork, in the same way that Niven’s Ringworld is the inspiration for Pratchett’s Discworld. Read “Strata” if you need convincing.

    The only obvious Tolkien presence is the halfling class, which Gygax said were an attempt to hitch a ride on the Tolkien-led fantasy revival.

  35. Pagba says:

    And so it begins. I might reveal some very funny things that happen in later strips but that would be spoiling, wouldn´t it? I never watched Titanic because I got so spoiled by people who did watch the film: they told me that the ship will sink. No sense watching the film knowing that, eh?

    Just keep on clicking the Next button. This gets better and better.

  36. spyder says:

    i am playing the hobbit the moment and it is called lead the quest that started it all not a bad game is there any games that i can download as i brought this one have not seen any more in the shop here can you please help me

  37. habbibte says:

    How about adding an index so I can leave, come back and not have to flip through a jillion episodes!!

    I love it, miss playing D&D on all the time. Keep up the good work.

  38. Seph says:

    lol, try using your favorites or clicking the ring at the top of the comic ;-)

  39. This pure genius! I haven’t laughed that hard in a while! LOL!!!

  40. hobb3 says:

    Hmmm… I would like to read this comic, but where it is? Maybe my browser blocks some links, but I cannot see the link. Anyone willing to help without making harsh comments?

  41. FlameKiller says:

    The start of a legacy!
    Man Tolkin would be turning in his coffin if he knew of this!
    i also hate looong intros. give me a cliff notes any time!

  42. Chris says:

    Yo, love the Dm of the rings thing, but where have the pics gone? I don’t see any of the work you’ve done one here now. NO hobbits or nothing.

  43. Chris says:

    Seems to be back now, Thanks :)

  44. FlameKiller says:

    did anyone know that there is a Lord of the Rings Roleplaying game?

    its true . it is produced by Decipher and is played with d6s.

    instead of classes it has orders. they include barbarian(Extra survival), craftsman(Bonus ranks in Craft), loremaster(More ranks in Knowlage), Magician(Spellcaster damage or healing), Mariner(Bonus for using ships), Minstrel(Bard), Noble(Bonuses on some rolls), Rogue(Bonuses for Hide), Warrior(Fighter).

    each of these Orders have “packages” which give different skill and stat bonuses. then there are “Elite Orders” which have even more bonuses but require higher stats.

    al in all, your idea of LotR D&D is not all that original. someone already did it.

  45. FlameKiller says:

    Though i have read through this and have tremendously enjoyed it. the story puts just the right twist on a great legacy.

    IT IS WONDERFUL!!!

  46. Allen says:

    I absolutely love it. As a former avid D&D player this was both nostalgic and enlightening. Just freaking fantastic.

    I am sure this is in some FAQ of yours, but I can’t seem to find it. What program did you use to catch the frames from the movie and what did you use to create the comic?

    Doc Swan

  47. Doug says:

    Tolkien influences have been all through D&D since the three little rulebooks in the beige box back in the Seventies, though. D&D elves aren’t *quite* like Middle-Earth elves, which are generally superior physically to Men, but the inspiration’s obvious, doubly so for the dwarves, and until the Tolkien estate got sniffy there weren’t “halflings” and “treants” and “balors” in D&D – there were hobbits, ents and balrogs, and proud of it!

  48. […] guy by the name of Shamus Young did a series of screen-cap comics called “DM of the Rings” (DM = dungeon master), where he re-imagined “The Lord of The Rings” movies as a […]

  49. […] Since I doubt Gygax would want people moping about, check out The DM of the Rings! […]

  50. […] DM of the Rings […]

  51. […] the other hand, friend John sent me this lovely link: Dungeon Master of the Rings. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. It’s a Web comic using screenshots from the movie […]

  52. […] genskabt et utal af gange på youtube. Det er også tydeligt i tegneserier som Chainmail Bikini, DM of the Rings, Darths & Droids og Dungeons & […]

  53. […] Sie sich folgenden Webcomic auf Twenty Sided an. Hier wird die Geschichte von Herr der Ringe einmal ganz anders erzählt. […]

  54. […] When all this work is done, a GM tends to want to share all this (it’s only natural, when you pour a lot of effort in something,seeking validation is normal).  Thing is, the tendency of many GMs is to present this in the form of non-interactive presentations… (which often leads to this type of reaction from players) […]

  55. Sanjay says:

    This picture is very funny I like this his all fnny picture of the Rings The Copious Backstory.

  56. […] DM of the Rings – Lord of the Rings as a D&D module.  I cast Magic Missile at the darkness! […]

1 2 3 5

27 Trackbacks

  1. […] Sunday my husband asked me to go to the computer store for him after church. Why I went alone can be found here. He asked me to pick up a comic book creator program he had seen there a few months prior. I did and he set to it that same day. Yesterday he was still working on it. Over the past week he has combined The Lord of the Rings movie and the personalities of his D&D group. Basically he has made a comic strip of what would have happened had the party of gentlemen in Lord of the Rings been 17 year old gaming geeks who just want to fight giant spiders and goblins. It’s pretty funny, especially if you have ever sat in on a D&D group. If you get a moment, stop over and check it out. […]

  2. […] […]

  3. By Augury » Blog Archive » Elsewheres on October 1, 2006 at 5:31 am

    […] I’ve never watched Yu-Gi-Oh before, but if you’ve ever seen DragonBall-Z and you’re passingly familiar with Pokemon then you’ll pick right up on what the show is about. The Abridged Series is a homemade (?) parody of the absurdities of Yu-Gi-Oh and all those others childrens’ game-promoting anime shows. There seem to be 11 episodes in the Abridged Series so far, each roughly four minutes long. They remind me a lot of Shamus’ comics in the sort of self-referential humor they employ. Great fun, I was laughing out loud at every episode. […]

  4. […] The comic starts here with the first episode. You can use the links to navigate from there. […]

  5. […] (Yes, I already know that these aren’t actually spoonerisms, they’re just swapped words. If you are a huge nerd, you’re going to have to find something else to nitpick.) Comments » […]

  6. […] The chap who’s doing DM Of The Rings, which I’ve linked to a couple of times recently, is really pumping ‘em out at the moment – one every day or so. The comics are just posts on his blog at the moment with no index, but the Next and Previous links will get you through. […]

  7. […] DM of the Rings humor RPGsShare and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  8. By The Last Exit to Babylon - Twenty Sided on October 25, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    […] Wednesday, October 25 2006 @ 10:23 PM CDT Contributed by: corwin Views: 1 If you’ve ever been involved in role-playing games in any way ever, you simply must go read Twenty Sided.  Among the many posts on the blog, Shamus is providing his readers with one of the funniest webcomics I have ever seen: The DM of the Rings.  Picture this:  you’re a DM with a group of almost exclusively hack-and-slash players (we’ve all been there, most of us on both sides.  Except the role-player over there).  Oddly enough, none of these players are at all familiar with the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, and the campaign you’re running is none other than The Lord of the Rings.I can pretty much stop describing it there.  All of the gamers reading this are now furiously clicking the links to go read this masterpiece, and everyone else has lost interest by now.  So far, the party has arrived at Balin’s tomb in Moria, and hilarity is in the midst of ensuing.  I can’t wait for the next episode…   […]

  9. […] I recently stumbled across Twenty Sided Tale, a blog by Shamus Young, and found his series of comics entitled The DM of the Rings. It starts here, with DM of the Rings I, and fair warning: I nearly peed myself around number IX or so. […]

  10. By Purple Pyro » Blog Archive » The DM of the Rings on November 10, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    […] The DM of the Rings […]

  11. […] Speaking of AD&D (as we were) here is a webcomic called Twenty Sided. […]

  12. […] Tuesday and Thursday Bad; MWF Good Filed under: Geekery — Robert @ 8:28 am Because of this and this. […]

  13. […] j’avais oublié de vous parler de ce bidule: DM of the Rings est un webcomic de rôliste, qui imagine ce que donnerait le Seigneur des Anneaux, de JRR Tolkien, […]

  14. By Orichalcum Roleplaying Blog » The DM of the Rings on February 5, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    […] The DM of the Rings: by Shamus Young […]

  15. By DM of the Rings at Abandoned Factory Blog on February 12, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    […] some time now, and I don’t generally enjoy sprite/photo/screencap comics of this style, but DM of the Rings has been consistently amusing me, at least for the first twenty-three comics. I know my RP’er […]

  16. By The Wit Farm on March 8, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Been a while……

    Yeah, I’ve been slacking. I took a few weeks away from work to study for a promotion test, and I kinda got out of the not-quite-well-established habit of blogging.
    Susie’s taken David to London for the day, in anticipatory celebration of he…

  17. By Sherrie McCarthy » Blog Archive » MUST SHARE on March 15, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    […] http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612 […]

  18. […] – http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612 […]

  19. […] DM of the rings Our DM send us this link to a comic about LoTR as a modern D&D style game, if gamers were to play it today. I got quite a few laughs from it. Twenty Sided DM of the Rings I:The Copious Backstory […]

  20. By Mooiness! » Indecisive women / DM of The Rings on February 27, 2008 at 5:20 am

    […] guy by the name of Shamus Young did a series of screen-cap comics called “DM of the Rings” (DM = dungeon master), where he re-imagined “The Lord of The Rings” movies as a […]

  21. […] Since I doubt Gygax would want people moping about, check out The DM of the Rings! […]

  22. By ONE PAGE LEFT on March 10, 2008 at 11:38 am

    […] DM of the Rings […]

  23. By Still sick, dammit « Firebird Suite on March 18, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    […] the other hand, friend John sent me this lovely link: Dungeon Master of the Rings. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. It’s a Web comic using screenshots from the movie […]

  24. […] genskabt et utal af gange på youtube. Det er også tydeligt i tegneserier som Chainmail Bikini, DM of the Rings, Darths & Droids og Dungeons & […]

  25. […] Sie sich folgenden Webcomic auf Twenty Sided an. Hier wird die Geschichte von Herr der Ringe einmal ganz anders erzählt. […]

  26. […] When all this work is done, a GM tends to want to share all this (it’s only natural, when you pour a lot of effort in something,seeking validation is normal).  Thing is, the tendency of many GMs is to present this in the form of non-interactive presentations… (which often leads to this type of reaction from players) […]

  27. […] DM of the Rings – Lord of the Rings as a D&D module.  I cast Magic Missile at the darkness! […]

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