DM of the Rings LXIX:
New Dimensions in Storage

  By Shamus   Feb 28, 2007   145 comments

Aragorn uses his pack.

Aragorn uses his pack.

Aragorn uses his pack.

Observing that the “pack” in D&D is a much-abused simplification is not going to result in forehead-slapping revelations on the part of anyone who has played the game. We know this, already.

Still, it is amusing to see how eagerly these compromises are embraced. Even “hardcore” gamers are happy to treat the average knapsack as a soundproof bag which will distribute the weight of the contents evenly over the body of the wearer. I guess it’s good that geeks don’t go outside very often, or someone would notice this and come up with a set of complex knapsack simulation rules that would make GURPS look like checkers.

A Hundred!20205We've got 145 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.


1 2 3

  1. Colfox says:

    Oh, funny! Keep ‘em coming, Shamus.

  2. Carl the Bold says:

    I love Aragorn’s face in the fourth frame. It’s the first time we’ve seen him smile since I don’t remember when.

  3. some kid says:

    Is that Dr. Who’s police box time machine?

  4. Susano says:

    That would be correct.

    TARDIS: Time And Relative Dimension (or Dimensions) In Space

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TARDIS

  5. Proteus says:

    *Perfect* use of the screenshot from “Tooth and Claw”!

    As for the backpack problem, I always fixed that by “inheriting” a backpack that always weighed 1# no matter how much I stuffed into its nonfinite volume. Just imagine Mary Poppins as a mercenary and you get the idea.

    And I never wanted a TARDIS during a game so much as a ‘plot device’ in order to skip to the part where we figured out what was going on in order to avoid the ‘wandering around aimlessly’ phase.

  6. WereRogue says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter, but the setup and delivery of this episode was amazing. Watching the changing expressions of Aragorn was incredible!!

    Keep up the good work, man!

  7. AlbinoDrow says:

    Ah yes, the reasons “bags of holding” were invented.

  8. GreyDuck says:

    I’m a much bigger Doctor Who fan than I am a LotR fan, and this comic made me howl with laughter. “Invisible leather TARDIS,” indeed. And, agreed: Perfect screenshot selection for the blue police box with the S.E.P. Field.

    This is going to make me smile all day.

  9. Nogard Codesmith says:

    I’ve been reading this since #XIX, but i’ve finally got to chime in and tell you that i can’t stop laughing now and am probably going to get fired for it. Thanx a lot! (no really, thats not sarcasm… thank you for brightening my day) Keep em coming.

    Back in the day we had a player.. we’ll call him “Randy”. At one point we we’re trying to create a net over a pit so that our theif wouldnt fall to his death as he shimmied out along side it to inspect something odd on the wall. So as I’m describing my elaborate method of hammering spikes into the ground and stringing rope around them to make the net, Randy asks, “why dont you just use a net?” “you have a net?” “sure i have 2 of them”.

    Upon further examination of Randy’s character sheet we discovered an almost complete list of ordinary equipment, all with encumbrance values tallied and (barely) under the unencumbered maximum. Randy’s backpack became of thing of legend in subsequent games, and even turned up as an artifact years later.

  10. Rolld20 says:

    IRL I fill my backpack with dozens of random things I might need if I wind up on the ‘Lost’ island or another planet. Matches, pocket knife, mirror, etc (and dice, of course). It never seems too heavy, and I can usually find what I need within about 10 seconds.
    I love my Handy Haversack. :)

    In most of the long-running campaigns I’ve been in, the party picked up a portable hole-type storage device pretty quickly, because GM & players both hate it when every item found becomes a debate on the weight/worth ratio, and whether the party will be too vulnerable if the fighter moves up into ‘heavily encumbered’. With magic, we just just grab ‘n go!

  11. Nazgul says:

    Ahhhh… A TARDIS joke. I am at peace with the geek world today…

    The D&D Encumbrance rules are still as poorly constructed in v3.5 as they ever were. The rules have made great progress in some areas, but that is most definitely not one of them. Don’t get me started.

  12. Alasseo says:

    Possibly my favourite strip so far.

    It could be worse- they could use the almighty pack to sneak the hobbits in past the Black Gate. I mean, Frodo isn’t even that heavily set for his height, so the odds are he only weighs 90lb-odd. So when you consider that Aragorn has to have a fair few points in sneak (or its equivalent), and the “nargazoid things” are really only looking for a hobbit…

  13. xargon says:

    Gimli’s expression in the 6th frame is priceless.

  14. Nogard Codesmith says:

    Rebecca… Hammerspace is great and all… but its usage is generally limited to girls and children, and even then its only accessable when its funny. I’ll take a TARDIS any day. ^_~

  15. Mike says:

    Nice comic. Not to nitpick but I found two typos you may want to fix:

    Panel 1: optimisim => optimism
    Panel 5: caracter => character

  16. Breklor says:

    Oh, my DM is not so kind as many; he’s particular about our encumbrance and (to a lesser degree) how we carry stuff.

    So I nearly peed myself when we found a Handy Haversack. I started bouncing up and down reciting the properties of the item, and the rest of the players (who are relative n00bs) said, “Uh, you know what it does; I guess you can have it.”

    I’m planning to keep it full of the party’s healing potions and alchemists’ fire, and turn myself into a human apothecary/arsenal.

    Under the right circumstances even the simplest magic item can be incredibly useful…

  17. Browncoat says:

    xargon –

    I liked Gimli in the 6th frame too, and wondered what he’s actually saying IRL–er…in the movie. Should someone pull out the DVD and tell us all, or should we wait for Shamus to tell us?

  18. Steve says:

    Thanks for another strip with an insightful message Shamus.

    When I first began gaming in the D20 version, having departed D&D for about 20 years in disgust at the complex AD&D rules, I roleplayed the pack thing (it doesn’t need GURPS-level rules, just a clear inner picture of what it all looks like, a reasonable attitude and a desire to achieve some sort of realism on the part of the players).

    I would say as the team were gathering yet another armful of kobold spears (worth a staggering 4 gp each when new): “Lads, don’t you think this will be sort of not worth the effort when it comes to moving silently, getting through narrow spaces and the like?”. I got told “We can sell ‘em and we can carry x GP in weight. What’s your problem?”

    Since my insistence on having a realistic inner picture of what was going on was threatening to get me kicked out of the game, I stopped.

    But.

    I have to say that this kind of nonsense is entirely in the hands of the DM. Fiercely cutting down the amount anyone will pay for used ordinary weapons of the wrong racial type would be a giant leap for roleplayingkind: “4gp for a used spear? A used Kobold spear? After I know for a fact you sold ten of these very same items to Roger the Blacksmith an hour ago and flooded the market? Two weeks after The Great Kobold Bounty stripped the countryside of all Kobolds for two leagues in any direction you care to point to? You’re pulling my war-wound! I’ll give you two coppers for the lot. The shafts will make kindling and I can flog the iron points for the scrap value. Take it or leave it”.

    As for those off-the-shelf bags o’lading – “A bag you say. It can hold how much? Is this a joke? Oooooh it’s magic. Why didn’t you say so before. Yes I’ve got one of those magic bags right here. It’s invisible and intangible too. Yours for 5 gp, and a bargain at that price I might add. You must think I was born yesterday! Get out of my shop before I call the watch!”

    Whatever. Eventually there came a night where only myself and a couple of other newer players showed up for the game. We covered about three times the ground that we had in any of the previous sessions because we only took the shiniest stuff and we gave the useful items there and then to the characters that could get best use out of them, rather than waiting for an official divvy-up and having to argue everything on the basis of the all-too available DM guide price lists.

    The DM was appalled, and ratted us out to the other players at the next session. The fact that we had significantly advanced the quest, played more in-game hours and had had fewer arguments all round didn’t seem to impinge on him over the heretical notion of the instant loot-allocation and leaving scrap metal swords and copper pieces where we found ‘em. Needless to say the game was halted for over an hour while the other players whined about the game they didn’t play in.

    “Loopier than a DM of the Rings character” ought to be in the official D&D lexicon.

    Steve.

  19. AlbinoDrow says:

    Alasseo – if you consider that the D&D equivilent of Hobbits are Halflings, they’re about 40lbs.

  20. Shamus says:

    Browncoat: Gimli is talking to Eowyn, and at this precise moment he’s remarking on how some people think there ARE no Dwarf women, and that Dwarves just spring from the ground.

  21. hanov3r says:

    I don’t normally nitpick the comic; really, I normally don’t need to, but this one caught my eye.

    Someone already mentioned the spelling mistakes I was going to mention, so I’ll just point out panel 10: “The backpack which in which the desired item…”

  22. Steve says:

    [Nogard Codesmith] I have seen several incarnations of a lead/pewter figure (entitled “The Compleat Adventurer” on one early version I actually own) in which the figure is bowed down under a tremendous array of carried equipment including several weapons, cookware, ropes, grappling hooks, flasks and a kitchen sink perched on top of the crammed-to-bursting pack.

    This would seem a perfect fit for this “Randy”.

    Steve.

  23. “Observing that the “pack” in D&D is a much-abused simplification is not going to result in forehead-slapping revelations on the part of anyone who has played the game. We know this, already.”

    First off: Loved the strip. There have been plenty of times when, as a DM, I do a spot-check on a character sheet and discover that someone is secretly hauling around hundreds of pounds of equipment without suffering the slightest from it.

    But I followed the link, and I have a few comments:

    1. Carry-on luggage. Sounds like 3 outfits of clothing. A laptop. a Couple of books. Clothing in D&D is rated right around 4-5 pounds unless you’re wearing royal regalia. So let’s say 12 pounds total. A quick Google search turns up this page (http://compreviews.about.com/od/buyers/a/NoteSizeSpec.htm) which says that your laptop probably weighed about 7 lbs. Finally, in D&D, a blank spellbook weighs 3 lb. You’re probably talking paperbacks, so let’s halve that and call the two books together 3 lbs. The luggage itself weighs about 7 lbs. Add another 5 lbs. for any miscellaneous stuff you didn’t mention (like toiletries).

    Adding that up quickly we can see you were carrying about (12 + 7 + 3 + 7 + 5) = 34 lbs

    Now, I’m guessing that you aren’t a professional weightlifter. And, by the same token, I’d guess that you’re not a 90-lb. weakling, either. My guess is that you’d fall solidly into the D&D average: Strength 10.

    With a strength of 10, the 34 pounds you were carrying constitutes a medium load. That hits you with a check penalty on any physical actions, reduces your speed, and stops you from running full out.

    Which, if we compare it to your experience, sounds pretty accurate: “A full-out run was nearly impossible, and a light jog caused the weight to bounce all over the place, slam me in the leg, and generally make the simple task of walking a bit more tricky than it normally is.”

    And you were also carrying the weight in the worst way possible — as an off-center load. D&D doesn’t try to model how you’re carrying your load (because it would be ridiculously complicated and pointless if it did), but I’m guessing the rules are largely designed to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    2. This also tweaked me: “A longsword weighs 4lbs. Even using lightweight modern metal alloys, I think you’d have a very, very hard time getting an adult-sized longsword that weighs only 4lbs. Even if you did somehow have a sword that light, it would feel like a toy in your hand.”

    I did a quick Google search for “longsword weight”: First hit, 3 lb. 4 oz. Second hit, 4 lbs. Third hit, 2 lbs. 12 oz.

    The fourth hit is a thoughtful essay entitled “What Did Historical Swords Weigh?”, which says (in part): “Medieval Swords are neither unwieldably heavy nor all alike – the average weight of any one of normal size is between 2.5 lb. and 3.5 lbs. Even the big hand-and-a-half ‘war’ swords rarely weigh more than 4.5 lbs.”

    D&D, in its current incarnation, is actually a remarkably accurate system in its models of the real world. Unlike most roleplaying games, the numbers weren’t just thrown down on the page. They were researched. And the systems that interact with those numbers (like the encumbrance system) were analyzed and similarly compared to real world figures.

    Which isn’t to say that mid- and high-level D&D characters aren’t capable of doing ridiculous things while fully armored. But that’s because mid- and high-level D&D characters are capable of doing ridiculous things in general.

    When you run the numbers, it turns out that almost no one in the real world is higher than 3rd level, and no real-life human being has ever exceeded 5th level. And within those ranges, the D&D system replicates the limits of reality pretty well. Once you move beyond 5th level, though, you’re moving farther and farther from real human beings. Around 10th level you’re Hercules. By 20th level you’re essentially a mythological god in terms of what you’re capable of doing.

    • WJS says:

      It’s probably worth mentioning that the D&D numbers for the weight of a sword may be a little high because they include scabbard, baldrick, etc. in their figures. I mean, as light as a real sword is, the sheath can wind up weighting almost as much again.

  24. Nogard Codesmith says:

    Steve: Thats fantastic! I’m going to look for that just in case i ever want to throw Randy in as an NPC somewhere. ^_^

    We had a situation where we came into a room with a metal floor. we knew the DM had electrical attacks in store for us so we quickly started thinking how we could insulate ourselves. A cloak? laughable… my wooden shield? *maybe*… Randy: “i pile all my non-metallic equipment on the floor and stand on that!” … yeah…he didnt take any damage. C_C

    • WJS says:

      I would think a leather cloak would insulate you pretty nicely. Then again, so should the leather soles of your boots. People just love the “you’re touching metal/standing in a puddle so you get zapped” cliché despite the fact electricity doesn’t work that way at all.

  25. Michael says:

    My characters tend to carry around tons of crap. Any campaign that doesn’t start at lvl one I always make sure to get a bag of holding as one of my first magic items. They ALWAYS come in handy. Especially if you are doing any sort of campaign where you might be separated from your horses. Plus if the party ever gets in serious trouble, you can turn the bag inside out and hope for the best…

  26. Thad says:

    Don’t forget to have in the pack the ever useful 10 foot pole!

  27. Nogard Codesmith says:

    I always carry a 10′ pole just so i can not touch things with it.

  28. Ubermosher says:

    And of course putting a bag of holding in a portable is the D&D equivalent of “crossing the streams”.

  29. Vegedus says:

    Wow, kudos to Justin Alexander for that analysis, it seems to make sense. Hope Shamus writes a blog in response to it.

  30. Woerlan says:

    My laughing got my co-workers asking if I was alright.

    I used to be lenient with pack and encumberance rules in the spirit of fun, but lately, I’ve been more realistic, especially when using GURPS rules. My characters have to be more careful with what they lug around. When they don’t have a particular item, they IMPROVISE. And you know what? They have a lot more fun as a result.

  31. Mrs T says:

    The opposite extreme to the Randy types is the overly strict DM. I was playing a 2 game session at a con with a character I had prepared who was a specialist in the short bow. In the first combat, I fumbled and broke my bowstring. The DM decreed that my bow was useless unless I had bowstring written on my character sheet. Of course my mundane self hadn’t thought of it, but I thought it was pretty unreasonable that an archer specialist wouldn’t have spare strings. Had it been a regular game, I’d have challenged that, but in a con setting thought it best to let it go and not waste the other players time.

  32. -Chipper says:

    “When they don’t have a particular item, they IMPROVISE. And you know what? They have a lot more fun as a result.”

    Like anything else in life, this is a situation that benefits from a *balanced* approach (excuse the pun). While bags of holding can be convenient, it takes away the need to make hard choices & live with the consequences. Limits like encumberance when used well, can enhance play rather than hinder it by taking away easy solutions and instead require more thoughtful solutions. Sometimes it is good to leave something behind even if you think you may find a use for it 3 campaigns from now. Please excuse me, I think I have some closets to go empty of useless junk that I haven’t found the use for in over 5 years! :-)

    (of course, on the other side of unbalance, the DM can be such a stickler for the rules that it bogs down play & makes it work instead of fun.)

  33. Kitchen Goblin says:

    LOL

    Reminds me of the best item I ever recieved, a bag of requirement

    Never had to caryy anything around ever again.

    Want Something, I’ll look in me bag, on a 15+ I had it and it took 1d6 rounds for me to dig it out.

    Remarkably I never failed to find the rubber sheep, rope, swords, rations, the spare pony….. The only thing I recall not finding was a lantern, after Six years gaming, me and my high level friends never thought to pack one……

    • Arkanabar says:

      There’s a schtick very similar to this in Tales From the Floating Vagabond: the Trenchcoat Effect. The player, if wearing a trenchcoat, duster, mantle, cloak, or similar, can keep any Medium-sized item he owns stored in it he wishes. If another player says something along the lines of, “If only we had a wheelbarrow!” even if it’s not on the list, he can say, “Wait, let me check,” and try to make a Schtick roll to draw the particular item from his coat. If this gets abused, then he can find himself drawing forth lit bombs, pinless grenades, small vicious animals, stinging insects, etc.

  34. Thad says:

    I remember one game where one of our party got petrified by a Basilisk. We hauled him back to a city so we could get a restoration spell done, but he failed the save.

    We did, however, manage to successfully salvage his bag of holding, which my character kept. Score! :)

  35. hendrake says:

    Awesome reply, Justin Alexander. Funny, too.

    True medieval swords (rather than those “sword like objects” you can find at the mall) are amazingly light (and flexible, sharp and pointy).

    2 1/2 lbs for a 3 1/2 foot blade is about dead on.

    Here’s one that I’m particularly fond of —

    http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/nextgen/sword-viking-gaddhjalt.htm

    — an enthusiast I know says that Albion swords are essentially the same as the museum swords they replica.

    Note, however, that I fully believe that regardles of their weight (and the weight of the swordbelt, swordbelt buckle, scabbard) as sword’s “encumberance value” should be higher, as things that are 3+ feet long, sharp and pointy are not all that portable.

    Great work, Shamus – per always!

  36. Robert says:

    How to punish overly-acquisitive players: copper. Lots and lots of copper. “You open the door, and the room is filled with copper pieces – at least a million of them.”

    At the bottom of a hole.

    Past a canyon with narrow ledges and high winds.

    Through the kobold tunnels.

    Etc.

    it drives them crazy, because there’s 10,000 gp of stuff in there, if they can just figure out a way to move 20,000 pounds of metal.

  37. Attorney At Chaos says:

    People in our gaming group believe that HEWARDS HANDY HAVERSACK is one of the best bargains in magic items that exists. It tends to be the first item they seek to purchase or make or find – but they also don’t tend to abuse it. They don’t try to put in things that won’t fit or unprotected sharp things or scoop in huge piles of copper pieces. It’s our excuse to get away from the Fantasy Accounting Games aspect of D&D. Yes, OF COURSE the archer specialist carries a spare bowstring, he’s probably got a dozen or two. Standard “camping gear” is likewise no problem. This is, naturally, assuming reasonable means to re-supply. If the journey measn a several month trip through underground passages with no means to re-supply then more care is taken in what supplies are actually on hand. But the great majority of the time the players are on their honor for what they have. Less time spent on Accounting Games means more time available for Roleplaying.

  38. sithson says:

    Shamus…

    There is such a game, though its not complex as gurps, that looks at this sort of delema, you whould look it up, its called

    “Hackmaster”

    Trust me on this one, you can get a players handbook for 20 bucks, its like 2nd Edition, but totaly hard core. Hell theres a section of the bookt hats devoted to dice and how you should roll them, etc.

  39. Shamus says:

    sithson: I actually prefer the less accurate system. Because they are better fodder for jokes. :)

  40. Mom says:

    Sam eased the pack on his shoulders, and went over anxiously in his mind all the things he had stowed in it…’Rope!’ he muttered. ‘No rope! And only last [session] you said to yourself: “Sam, what about a bit of rope? You’ll want it, if you haven’t got it.” Well, I’ll want it. I can’t get it now.’

  41. Rain says:

    Ok, im a DM my self. and I cant stand Encumbrance! so they have to tell me how they are carrying all that crap. My Roge uses a Wheel barol(sp).
    :D
    Rain

  42. Maniakes says:

    it drives them crazy, because there’s 10,000 gp of stuff in there, if they can just figure out a way to move 20,000 pounds of metal.

    Easy. Take copious notes, file a mining claim for the kobold tunnels, and sell the mineral rights to a local entrepeneur for a sizable cut of the proceeds. You don’t get all the cash, and you have to stick around a while so the buyer can verify the copper, but you do come out ahead on the deal without being stuck there making hundreds of round trips to ferry the coins back.

  43. Robert says:

    It’s the wilderness, the procedure for filing a mining claim is to trek back to the nearest human castle and tell the baron (who will promptly confiscate it and throw you in the tower), and you’re the only entrepreneur for a hundred miles in any direction.

    But you get 50 xp for creativity. Which is better than a kick in the nuts.

    (If you ask how a million copper pieces found their way into a cave in the wilderness, you’ll get another 50 xp for your keen sense of realism, and then a rust monster will eat all your gear.)

  44. Jeff says:

    Ah the rust monster, there’s no surer sign that you’ve messed up the DM then to have a propeller tailed lobster eat your gear.

  45. Sara says:

    I was waiting for a “bag of holding” joke of some kind, maybe with Eowyn somehow stuck in it or something. The TARDIS thing was unexpected, and hilarious. Thanks, Shamus!

  46. Errol says:

    Easy. Take copious notes, file a mining claim for the kobold tunnels, and sell the mineral rights to a local entrepeneur…

    Been there, done that. We found a large patch of “death dirt” (left over after necromantic rituals) in the wilderness, which we were sure alchemists would find useful. We went to the nearest city, hired a local merchant to negotiate on our behalf, and sold the knowledge of the location for a cut of profits over the next year. A nice little earner.

  47. tigerdreams says:

    I’ve vowed never to keep track of encumbrance on any D&D character I play ever since I saw that the PHB wants me to believe that a greatsword weighs 15 pounds. No. It weighs six. Tops. I disbelieve.

  48. uhyeahsure says:

    In my current campaign, the DM has a pretty relaxed attitude about encumbrance, save the absolute weight of your gear. Early on, I picked up a magically flaming spear (no enhancement, just a spear with “continual flame” cast on it) after our party defeated some skeletons. I’m a rogue, so I’m proficient with it, but someone else has been focusing on ranged attacks, while I’ve been wading into battles with my rapier. Therefore, we’ve been using it mostly as a torch and a lighted stick to poke at traps with. Well, recently we were in a gladiator battle with an ogre magi, and I found myself without any ranged weapons left. Lo and behold, after we’d spent rounds and rounds exhausting our magic and poison due to bad luck, I nailed him with the flaming spear with a crit in the chest despite his invisibility and toppled him. We laughed ourselves silly over that one…

  49. Di says:

    Oh no… I’ve just realised. Aragorn isn’t actually Dr Who, he is Mary Poppins!!

  50. Ondo says:

    Since nobody has mentioned it yet, I’d like to commend the Shamus’ choice of panel 7, showing two spears behind Aragorn, and this right after a panel where Gimli mentions “the backpack which holds spears [yet still] fits through doorways”. At a first glance, it looked to me as if Aragorn really had two small spears protruding from his backpack. :)

  51. Osric says:

    The game that had a subsystem of rules for how long it would take to root around in your backpack was FGU’s ‘AFTERMATH!’.
    It didn’t improve gameplay.

    But it did stop people from ‘magicking’ things out of their backpack as a Free Action. They made sure they were CARRYING the things they needed, and were so scared of trying to figure out the rules they never tried magicking anything out of their butts again!

  52. Shandrunn says:

    If you think these rules are absurd now, just wait until someone finds loopholes.

    For a short-lived campaign I once built a character as follows:
    1. I got my dwarven fighter a maul from Complete Warrior. It’s the warhammer equivalent of the bastard sword.
    2. I took exotic proficiency, making it a Medium one hander.
    3. I upgraded the size, making it a Large two hander.
    4. I took the Monkey Grip feat, also from CompWar, which allowed me to upgrade the weapon’s size once more while it remained a two hander. This made it a Huge two hander.

    If I’d been allowed, my 3rd level 135 lb fighter would have ended up swinging 80 lbs worth of warhammer around, doing 3d8 damage with only a -4 penalty on attack rolls.

    The DM didn’t let me =P

  53. John says:

    For some reason this reminds me of the “play example” in the AD&D Player’s Handbook:
    “I perform the last rites of my church.”

    “I take his pack to carry treasure.”

  54. Elucid8 says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this already, but this comic is turning out to be all the things that “Dungeons & Dragons: The Movie” completely failed to be. There were so many lost opportunities in that ultimately pathetic film to play up RPG in-jokes that I nearly wept.

    I’m weeping reading “DM of The Rings”, of course. But they are tears of joy.

  55. Browncoat says:

    The “problem” is similar to what happens in all of the first-person action video games I’ve played. You’re down to three shots left with your blaster, you walk over one on the floor from a previous kill, and instantly, you have 15 more shots. You didn’t even have to stoop down to pick it up!

    Then when you exhaust all those shots, you can instantly switch to any of a dozen different weapons which apparently hang invisibly and weightlessly off your back and hips.

    Heck, even being pinned down by a dozen stormtroopers with no shields and 15 health remaining, just roll over a health boost (while still firing, mind you), and you’ve got your health back. You didn’t even have to take the time to put on a band-aid.

    Best not to think too much about it, says me.

  56. VermontGal says:

    “Just imagine Mary Poppins as a mercenary and you get the idea.”

    Hmmmm…that’s a thought that’s gonna stay with me all day now…!

  57. superfluousk says:

    ::Mom Says:
    February 28th, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    Sam eased the pack on his shoulders, and went over anxiously in his mind all the things he had stowed in it…’Rope!’ he muttered. ‘No rope! And only last [session] you said to yourself: “Sam, what about a bit of rope? You’ll want it, if you haven’t got it.” Well, I’ll want it. I can’t get it now.’::

    Hah! Most relevant book quote ever!

  58. Hoyce says:

    The looks on Gimli’s face are especially amusing.

  59. damien walder says:

    As my characters (sic) tend to favour archery and pole weapons (settle down, kids), I’d like to give a shout out to the Quiver of Alhonna (now, go ahead, my notes aren’t here and I likely mispelled the name). In the real world, where physics can’t be ignored by a DM or player, I wouldn’t want to carry 60 arrows and 4 javelins.

    Another thing – you notice in D & D we rarely talk about the weather?

    I guess that will change at Helm’s Deep. Note: Bow strings need conditioner to work in rain…

    Darn you, Shamus, I failed my savings roll against gales of involuntary laughter!

  60. Flexstyle says:

    I found your LOTR/D&D comics a while ago through StumbleUpon, and I must say that they are REALLY amusing. Especially this one. This probably ranks as one of my favorites in the series.

  61. Alex says:

    “Invisible Leather TARDIS” would be a great name for a prog-rock or nerdcore band.

  62. General Ghoul says:

    ” Note: Bow strings need conditioner to work in rain…”

    I knew there was a reason I have dozens of those little hotel bottles stored but never used.

1 2 3

6 Trackbacks

  1. […] the whole extended-panel post. It reminds me of our group’s rogue, Lorenzo, who is continually one pound away from exiting […]

  2. […] And now I can’t stop laughing. […]

  3. […] An example of why you don’t want too much realism in a game […]

  4. By LOL « MythGal's Blog on February 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    […] saw this and had to share it. It is from this site, http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=984. (Caution: There is some bad language on some […]

  5. By D&D - Page 82 on June 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    […] D&D My wife has been reading DM of the Rings the last few days and today she linked me this expository on packs. I found it amusing. Reply With […]

  6. […] walk down crowded streets and fit through doorways? What you are using isn’t a backpack, its an invisible leather tardis. Steve can carry 3392m3 of material in his pockets, with a further 64m3 in his hand (hand, […]

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!