DM of the Rings XCV:
You Could Get a Splinter

By Shamus Posted Wednesday May 2, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 115 comments

Dryads are sexy.
Ents are not sexy.

Whenever you introduce a new creature, you should be very specific in your descriptions so that players know if this is something for them to fight or have sex with.


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115 thoughts on “DM of the Rings XCV:
You Could Get a Splinter

  1. Shamus says:

    Well, lookie who gets first post today! Three minutes before the comic even goes live. Beat that, suckers!

    I just want to point out that I had to install Oblivion and run the construction set in order to make this comic, which means that one frame of the Spriggan is probably the most time consuming frame in the entire comic. Yeah. Over an hour for that one crappy image.

    Kind of sad, really.

    1. Billos says:

      While I appreciate that you did this the hard way from what Ive read, you could just ‘cheat’ for some images and use Google Image search? Unless that wasn’t around in um *checks date of your post*, ok I’ll just be leaving….

      Hmmm…. Must stop commenting on your comics. Just because I play a Necromancer in games, doesn’t mean I should act like one IRL :)

      1. Interesting NPC says:

        You think that’s sad? Here I am 9 years after your comment.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          You’re kidding me. I didn’t think I’d find a comment posted by someone a mere five hours ago on a fifteen year old comic

          1. Mia says:

            Whoah, people are still here! Amazing!

    2. BlueCanary says:

      Bravo! :)

  2. Bookworm says:

    Quite all right, Shamus. Love the Dutch Elm disease line. *grin*

    1. smartalek says:

      How can Dutch Elm Disease pre-exist the Dutch?
      At best, it would be “Dutch Elm Disease avant la lettre,” as the French might have put it — had there been any French then.
      Still funny as all get-out, mind you….
      [Edit: @#$% me, I forgot that’s a player character speaking. D’oh! *slinks off, head bowed in shame*]

  3. Arson55 says:

    Nice, Shamus, really nice.

  4. Lynx says:


    Man, you do get some of the oddest Aragon pics.. and the thought of Aragon trying to make out with an Ent is “Ent”ertaining… :D

    1. fantasywind says:

      Well if not male ents then entwives could probably look good enough ;) shame they;re missing though ;).

  5. TooMad says:

    First since Shamus cheated! How’s the 30 mph hummer?

  6. Carl the Bold says:

    Whenever you introduce a new creature, you should be very specific in your descriptions so that players know if this is something for them to fight or have sex with.

    Reminds me of the story of Eric and the Dread Gazebo.

    Nice strip.

  7. Lynx says:

    Change that to fourth. You guys really do sit at your PC just *waiting* for Shamus to post, don’t you? :)

  8. TooMad says:

    Not even second…

  9. Rod says:

    Ha ha! – the deflated look on Aragons face is brilliant!!

  10. Browncoat says:

    7 Lynx Says:

    May 2nd, 2007 at 11:03 am
    Change that to fourth. You guys really do sit at your PC just *waiting* for Shamus to post, don't you?

    You don’t? For shame. What do you have that’s more important than this?

  11. Dantekrad says:

    Yeah!, Top-Ten, Congratulations, again, the expressions of Aragorn… priceless!, jajaja

    See you!

  12. Cenobite says:

    Worse than the thought of Aragorn making out with an Ent…is thinking about what the offspring of such a union would look like.

    Okay, I think I just failed a Sanity check roll.

  13. Arson55 says:

    This was the first time I’d ever gotten here so fast…and I still knew better than to post, ‘Second.’

  14. Lynx says:

    Come to think of it, what’s with Aragon and his fascination with males? First Leg’O’Lass, then Halfir (was that the name?) and now Treebeard. Cross-species, too, while we’re at it.

    Hmm. Shortsighted or Bearded Lady? Your guess as good as mine..

  15. Jeremiah says:

    Aragorn is totally the guy from the Dead Alewives skit, “If there are any girls there, I want to DO them!”

  16. Ryan says:

    “Words fail me.”

    That is the most excellent line from any strip yet.

  17. Browncoat says:

    Odd that Gimli didn’t recognize Treebeard’s voice.

  18. Knastymike says:

    I’m like a dryad… a *sexy* little dryad!

    And since it’s been so popular today, FIRST!

  19. Roxysteve says:

    I got as far as Dutch Elm Disease and began laughing out loud.

    My boss arrived in theater so I told him I had discovered an amusing self-contradiction in RFC1486 which could result in all sorts of timing issues.

    He didn’t buy my cunning story because a) He knows I have no idea what an RFC actually is and b) Everybody knows computers aren’t funny.

    [mutters] Stupid brain incapable of convincing tech improv!

    Busted again for not doing work stuff during non-break work time.

    Curse you Shamus, and curse your highly addictive web comic!


  20. Hotaru says:

    heh… almost feel sorry for aragorn… almost…not quite…

  21. Roxysteve says:

    DM “Let me introduce you to Rowan, the Hamadryad…”

    Aragormless (Three pages of dialogue deleted, let’s resume with the couple embracing)

    DM “…Rowan the Ball-Peen Hamadryad (of Death)”

    Ya gotta dream.


  22. Fred's Friend Mike's Friend Gary's Friend Jim says:


    Anyway, pretty good stuff today.

  23. Erin says:

    I loved the “Dutch Elm disease” line. And the looks on their faces … priceless as always. Another winner, Shamus, great job.

  24. LafinJack says:

    Am I the only one who can appreciate the “splinter” line?

  25. Rebecca says:

    Roxysteve: In my tech support job, I would just show my boss the comic.

  26. Corwin says:

    Frighteningly enough, Aragorn doesn’t look 100% turned off by Treebeard in that last frame.

  27. Jill says:

    First one in a bit that’s made me snicker uncontrollably for several minutes straight… Awesomely amusing, just like the old days.

  28. Alex says:

    It might have taken an hour to get that frame but it was one of the funnier comics you’ve made.
    The contrast between Aragorn’s speech and the dryad pictures to Treebeard’s face is priceless.

  29. Jindra34 says:

    Its kinda sad that the same aragorn joke that has been going on through the entire thing is still funny.

  30. Raved Thrad says:

    The expression on Gimli’s face suggests the following internal monologue:

    “Big talking tree. I want to chop it with my ax. But wait, it’s big and it talks, it might fight back and stomp me. But it’s a big talking tree. I want to chop it with my ax. But then it might fight back and stomp me…”

    Repeating over and over ad infinitum in his little boneheaded skull. *eg* I wonder if he has to make a WILL save >:)

  31. Clyde says:

    I dunno… Those spriggans are nasty, and not just in a “give you a splinter” way. Any chick who can whistle up a bear and send it after you is too high-maintenance. And all for a lousy taproot; you don’t even get the bearskin out of it!

  32. scldragonfish says:

    (i)Corwin Says:Frighteningly enough, Aragorn doesn't look 100% turned off by Treebeard in that last frame.(i)

    (b)Ahhhhh, nothing like a little denderphilia to liven up the sexual experience.

    I once heard a joke where this guy went to a tree to get experience before losing his virginity. When he went to a house of ill-repute to finally have sex, he kicked the prostitute in the hip. When she yelled “what was that for?” His reply was that he wanted to make sure there were no bees.(b)

  33. Woerlan says:

    I loved their expressions. At least they didn’t know that most trees are actually both sexes at once. Then again, few people think of flowers as sexual organs (which they are).

  34. Blindeye says:

    Hahaha! Awesome. Aragorn looks so let down. Like you told him his dog just died.

  35. SongCoyote says:

    I found the tag-line after the comic as funny as the comic itself today :)

    Oh, and the Dutch Elm disease line harkens way back to when I first heard jokes/stories about people doing naughty things with trees. Scary and funny at the same time!

    Thanks for more great comic-ing!

    Light and laughter,

  36. mneme says:

    “At least they didn't know that most trees are actually both sexes at once.”

    Sure. But then, Ents aren’t trees; they’re the -Shepherds- of trees. See: Ent-wives.

  37. fair_n_hite_451 says:


  38. Flexstyle says:

    Fantastic screen capture of Aragorn’s face. I love this one!

  39. Thad says:

    I have to say, that isn’t the Spriggan association I have.

  40. Nogard Codesmith says:

    I don’t have time to just sit and refresh the page till the new comic comes up. I have tedious data entry work to do today… so i can only refresh the page about once every 30 mins.

  41. Marmot says:

    The line after the comic about importance of descriptions cracked me up like never before. Awesome :)

  42. Haha, I love the last and 6th frames!
    Aragon’s faces are toooo good!

    The best part for me is I have only seen return of the King once, so I have forgotten alot so the rest of the comic will be some-what new to me :D

    Keep up the good work!

  43. LaZorra says:

    I’ve been reading this for a while now and never commented, but this was too freaking hilarious. The screencaps of Aragorn are PERFECT.

  44. Wraithshadow says:

    Yeah, my idea of a Spriggan is a bit different as well.

    If I didn’t know better and thought this was all being designed by a DM I’d think this is a natural evolution. First Aragorn’s player creeps him out when he sees an actual good looking woman. So then he tosses in Haldir, and Aragorn still creeps him out. So what now? Now he goes with creatures that are absolutely, unequivocally not female.

  45. required says:

    Good one! The line after the comic made me laugh too and it made me think of having read somewhere how turtles divide things into 4 groups:

    1) Things to eat
    2) Things that will eat you
    3) Things to have sex with
    4) Rocks

  46. anachronist says:

    46th! Woohoo!

    I didn’t notice anybody congratulating Shamus on his hard work and time spent on the Spriggan frame. So let me be the first: Great job. -A

  47. Scarlet Knight says:

    Somehow, I can see Aragorn in a recruiting poster for the Rangers. Kind of a whole, “Got Wood?” campaign…See the world, meet interesting species, proposition them…

  48. Saelwen says:

    Oblivion!!! That game rocks :D

    Panel six is awesome. Great work!

  49. Sean K says:

    Of course, this is why there are creatures like the succubus — it’s meant to faught with *and* sexed up.

  50. hendrake says:

    I had to cover my mouth at work to stop from laughing out loud.

    “Dryads are sexy”

    “Ents are not sexy”

    Tears were running down my face!

  51. Osvaldo Mandias says:

    Whenever you introduce a new creature, you should be very specific in your descriptions so that players know if this is something for them to fight or have sex with.


  52. Nogard_Codesmith says:

    I dont think you can just flatly say that Ents are *NOT* sexy…
    …I’m sure they give *someone* wood

  53. scldragonfish says:

    Yeah, I can actually imagine a group of lumberjacks who don’t just love their job, they luuuuuuvvv their job!

  54. Osvaldo Mandias says:


  55. Dave says:

    “Whenever you introduce a new creature, you should be very specific in your descriptions so that players know if this is something for them to fight or have sex with.”

    or, as Rich Burlew put it:
    “I theorize that the (PC) does not possess a true sentient brain, like you or I, but rather a simple lump of nerve tissue that serves as a primitive ‘proto-brain’ that can process only two emotional reactions to people: Hate or Lust.”

  56. Rickster says:

    Gotta hand to you Shamus, your pics of Aragorn in this strip are priceless! I remember watching the trilogy too and I don’t recall him having that many different facial expressions.

    Great work dude, keep ’em coming and don’t listen to the idiots that whinge about this strip….I reckon it’s the best mate.

  57. Dexter says:

    You forgot about Google Images though you mentioned it in one of your first? :D

  58. Stella says:

    It’s just as Joss Whedon said in a commentary on the Serenity DVD,

    “If this movie is special to you, tell others, tell everyone…

    … If you think this movie sucks, this is a time for quiet, for silent meditation…”

    Something like that. :)

    I’ve enjoyed every strip and have shown it to almost all of my friends, Shamus. Keep it up, PLEASE! :)

  59. Shamus says:

    Dexter: Arg! I searched for “dryad”. I made the same mistake “aragorn” did. Once I had the editor opened and saw my error, I didn’t think to go back to google.

    Ah well. By that point I’d done 90% of the work.

  60. sexyskank says:

    don’t worry shamus, we still love you :)

  61. Peter Jackson is going to be amused at the Ent-sex bit…

  62. Myxx says:

    Man, I laughed hard at the last line, after the actual comic.

  63. Daniel says:

    A great one for sure. It seems the ones where you have 1 frame from outside the film were the best. This one and the uncertanty lich comic were my favorites. Gimli is a great character trying to keep everyone on the game when everyone else has ADD.

  64. Hal says:

    First, I appreciate the Spriggan reference. Very clever, and a good way to remind us that these guys aren’t actually in Tolkien’s world.

    Second, I love the font that you used for Treebeard’s voice. Great choice. Where did you get it?

  65. brassbaboon says:

    Heh, I play a half-elf half-dryad character in a campaign, I hope my playing partners don’t stumble onto this comic, I get enough grief from them already.

    Yes, I’m a guy, playing a female elf/dryad druid. So far the worst thing that has happened was when our rogue (who is also my carpool partner) was trying to “revive” my elf/dryad after she was knocked unconscious and as he was performing his “heal” on her he said “I slip in my tongue.”


  66. Isoyami says:

    Another great one, you had me at “Dutch Elm Disease”. xD

    Also, am I the only one who things Aragormless looks disappointed, but still kind of turned-on in the very last frame? Like he’s thinking: “Ok, not what I expected, but I’ll go with it, yea.”

  67. Isoyami says:

    Also… Aragormless is just on a streak, isn’t he?

    First, he fails his saving throw vs. disease after getting it on with Eowyn, he gets that “rash” from King Theoden, and then Dutch Elm disease from Treebeard?

    What’s next? “Warts” from a troll or “bird flu” from a giant eagle? *shudders*

  68. ajgrifdog says:

    Whenever you introduce a new creature, you should be very specific in your descriptions so that players know if this is something for them to fight or have sex with. -Shamus

    Not everyone has Aragorn’s problem. See for yourself in Geebas on Parade;

  69. Yahzi says:

    Um… I r confuzed.

    As the party “ventures towards Isengard…” But in the last comic, they were at Isengard.

    Did you post these out of order, Shamus? Did you do it just to see if anybody was actually paying attention? :D

  70. A Herd of Cows says:

    I love this comic so much. “you should be very specific in your descriptions so that players know if this is something for them to fight or have sex with.” Very Freudian.

  71. Shamus says:

    Yahzi: The two overlapped, really. The last comic would be right after panel 7 of this one. Instead of throwing a joke away, I just messed with the timeline.

  72. Yahzi says:

    Hmm… I think you could just run this one, then XCIV, and it would make perfect sense.

    “You enter” in the 7th panel here, followed by, “You enter” in the first panel of the next one seems like a pretty normal narrative maneuver. Whereas this structure causes those of us who are paying attention to the story and not just the jokes (ya, that’s right – I’m looking at YOU! :D ) to scratch our heads a little more than needs be.

    It’s the internet – just rename the two posts, change the dates, and dare anybody to notice. :D

  73. orcbane says:

    See, Star Wars already had that worked out. Twi-leks!

  74. Liss says:

    Once again, just sheer genius. I will never be able to watch these films with a straight face again.

  75. Zippy Wonderdog says:

    I just love that cheesy grin om Aragi\orn’s face, you are a screen cap god Shamus :)

  76. Deathblade_Penguin/aka Minion of Darkness says:

    Classic Shamus Classic… I did notice that Aragorn said “somewhat less sexy than I had hoped” rather than “EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW not sexy at all”.. I can see Aragorn adding another notch to his bed…

    Oh and I call LAST comment for these comments…

  77. Auke says:

    Alas, mr. Penguin, it didn’t ‘last’ (Ow)…

    Another great comic! I didn’t recall Aragorn looking quite that way in the films either.

    Somehow, I’d expect the following conversation to ensue:

    Aragorn: “Any brothels here?”

    DM: “No.”

    Aragorn: “Any ent chicks?”

    Treebeard: “No. They have all gone away, and we don’t know where they went.”

    Aragorn: “Yoo-hoo! ‘Your journal has been updated!’ Finally a good quest! Rescue the leafy, naked tree chicks from the bad guy!”

    DM: “You can’t just abandon your quest and go after the ent women!”

    Aragorn: “Why not?”

    Legolas: “Because making lots of little hybrid children isn’t going to get you any XP!”

    Keep those creative juices flowing, Shamus!

  78. Morte says:

    How sexy can Ents be if all their wives as one buggered off one dark night to parts unknown(or other sexier woodland creatures…ones with artsy minimalist woodland glades with hot and cold running sap) a few millenia ago?

  79. DM T. says:

    Shamus, you could have just google up “Spriggan Oblivion” in the Image directory.

    Anyway, Excellent strip… errmmm… whatever

  80. Browncoat says:

    75 Zippy Wonderdog Says: I just love that cheesy grin om Aragi\orn's face, you are a screen cap god Shamus.

    What a remarkably odd thing to be a god of. Congrats, though. I’m not a god of anything.

  81. Medium Dave says:


    OK Horndog, this Ent DOES think you are Sexy, Aragorn. Roll for grappelling and Pumelling. Oh and by the way, are you allergic to tree pollen?

    1. WJS says:

      Redneck Trees.

      Brrrr… scary.

  82. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Browncoat Says: Odd that Gimli didn't recognize Treebeard's voice.”

    He did, & that’s what lead to his rehab…

  83. Hotaru says:

    all Aragorn would have to do to have safe(er) sex with an Ent or any other wood type creature is drink a potion of bark skin… har… though then he has only so long before it wears off… ouch…

  84. Tola says:

    Heh. Fun.

    Of course, with the group being a bunch of fighter-types…Saruman’s Speech Craft(Probably coming up next) is going to be hell(Will Save, which they’re bad at). Especially as there’s no Theoden to snap them out of it, nor even any Rohirrim.

    Why, oh WHY were fighters given minds so weak?

  85. Jeff says:

    Nice choice of pictures… we all know that Gimli and Treebeard share a voice, but I hadn’t noticed how similar they looked before…

  86. Stephanie says:

    >I just want to point out that I had to install Oblivion and run the construction set in order to make this comic, which means that one frame of the Spriggan is probably the most time consuming frame in the entire comic.

    Man, that’s dedication. :-)

  87. ChristianTheDane says:

    Oh, my god. This is brilliant! :D

  88. Margaret says:

    Eighty-eighth! Beat that suckers!!

    I agree, I think Aragorn is still going to make a pass at Treebeard.

  89. Shamus says:

    Brings whole new meaning to the term “tree-huggers”.

  90. giant explosion says:

    In alot of other media, dryads are simply women who are too close to their trees, have green hair, normal skin, and do it with any guy they see. Where did you get the idea of bark skin and leaves

  91. Destroy Gundam says:

    He got it from Morrowind and Oblivion, where the only things close to an Ent, meaning the Spriggans, have bark skin and leaves for hair. They also try to kill you.

    The Morrowind incarnation is more irratating because they come back to life 3 times before they stay dead. The Oblivion ones can just heal themselves completly 3 times. You put them down quick enough and they stay down

  92. Shard says:

    Good thing for Stonergorn it wasn’t a Redneck Tree!

  93. Obfuscato says:

    By now, Aragoof should have every STD known to the world. The group could then throw him as a weapon. At minimum, he’s still got what Eowyn gave him.

    I liked the “Thirty Eleventh!” call, since it reminded me it was time for second luncheon. But the post count kiddies who got their number wrong? Absotivly posilutely pitiful.* Musta been the kids in school who shot up their hands after a teacher’s question, dancing around going “Me, me, me!!!”, without having the slightest clue what the answer was.

    *mockers excluded.

  94. Nadzghoul says:

    Okay, the pic for Aragorn in panel 6 made me choke! You find so many pics of him that make him look like a serious sicko molester – can’t stop cracking up!

  95. Toil3T says:

    I think the word to desvribe this strip is “Gnarly!” Yes, “!” is a letter now.

    >45 required:
    >May 2nd, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    >Good one! The line after the comic made me laugh too and >it made me think of having read somewhere how turtles >divide things into 4 groups:

    >1) Things to eat
    >2) Things that will eat you
    >3) Things to have sex with
    >4) Rocks

    I think you got that from Small Gods, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. It’s pretty sad that I recognized it.

  96. Cynder says:

    Bahaha…is that really all Aragorn thinks about?? THESE THINGS ARE NOT EVEN HUMAN!!! XD

    LEGOLAS: Dude, you really need to stop going on about sexy RPG characters and get yourself a GIRLFRIEND.

    GIMLI: Yeah. Honestly, fantising over female tree things is NOT COOL.


  97. Palantas says:

    “Oblivion had dryads in it.” Haha! The whole series has been great, but this really tickled my funny bone.

  98. MA-125 says:

    I’d tap that Spriggan.

  99. Colin says:

    Mmm…Sexy tree women.

    Viktoria from “Thief”, anyone?

  100. Yrael says:

    I just had to make it 101. Just couldn’t resist.

  101. Serenitybane says:

    Lmao amazingly done!!

  102. Tatooine92 says:

    Spriggans! I hate those bloody trees. They wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t giggle and summon bears. Or maybe they summon bears and THEN giggle. Whatever! I’m riding through the countryside, enjoying the flowers, butterflies, and nice music, when WHAM! I’m killed by a freakin’ tree. Killed. By a TREE. Must get better armor.

  103. caradoc says:

    If Ents were sexy, the Entwives would not have run off to who knows where, would they?

  104. Michael says:

    I am reminded of Durkon’s line about trees being these massive enemies that are just waiting to ambush you.

    And the whole line about “Dutch Elm disease”, yea. D&D doesn’t have (m)any rules for disease at all, does it?

    Oh: N-th!

  105. silver Harloe says:

    > I dont think you can just flatly say that Ents are *NOT* sexy…
    > …I'm sure they give *someone* wood

    Rule 36.

    If you follow the link, make a SAN check to avoid spending countless hours on that site.

  106. Willowe says:

    I love this comic. I nearly exploded with laughter when I saw the Oblivion thing. Oblivion is awesome, and spriggans are a pain

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