DM of the Rings CVII:
And the Clueless Again Shall Be King

By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 1, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 98 comments

Aragorn learns to roleplay.
Aragorn screws it all up.

The players may misunderstand the Player’s Handbook, forget house rules, and have trouble recalling the particulars of their character class, but never doubt their knowledge of loot tables.


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98 thoughts on “DM of the Rings CVII:
And the Clueless Again Shall Be King

  1. Cenobite says:

    LOL, loved the DM narration in the first frame!

    “You are eaten by a grue.”
    “What? What’s that?”

    1. Btcchftdt says:

      What I a grue anyway I know it is a creature that lives in the dark but that’s it

  2. Eric Lee says:

    Wow! First? Do I really make it? If not, Second! Hahaha. sheesh.. my life is so sad. Shamus, can’t wait to see how you’ll do the battle scenes!

  3. SteveDJ says:

    LOL — yes, really, out loud. :) Great one!

  4. Browncoat says:

    very nice.

    Now you’re getting into the D&D that I remember from my pre-teen years. Dungeons were the only things we knew to do for the longest time. But we never bothered searching for loot in the first room. In fact, we never searched unless there was something to kill or the DM specifically mentioned something: a torch on the wall, a pile of bones.

    How much did I miss out on by playing with them? Sigh.

  5. Wulfwen says:

    Wow, Aragorn – right page, wrong playbook!

  6. Kiwi says:

    I get DM of the Ring as an LJ feed. Today, I started laughing even before I clicked over to the page because the title of this one is so priceless! Damn, he’s such an idiot!

  7. Roxysteve says:

    Haaaang on! The DM (otR) never mentioned them stairs clearly in view in panel seven!


  8. Awesome!

    Love the widescreen shots!

    “Make Gimli do it, I’ll supervise.”
    Classic, AGAIN!

    Still waiting for the ghosts :D

  9. Mattingly says:

    The stairs only appeared because of Lego-lass’s elven ability to detect secret staircases.

    …You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

  10. Doug Brown says:

    I always figured Aragormless for a stoner, but after looking at the expression he’s got in this strip, I assume he’s been working his way through the more potent hallucinogens. Fear and Loathing on the Paths of the Dead, indeed.

    As your atttorney, I advise you to have a great weekend, Shamus.

  11. Eric Meyer says:

    I also literally laughed out loud at the last frame.

  12. Chrome homura says:

    Haha. “Make gimli do it.” Awesome!

  13. Scarlet Knight says:

    “It’s good to be the King…”

  14. Isoyami says:


    That was sheer awesomeness. I LOVED, LOVED the Aragorn screencaps, especially the: “Yea, And?” (panel 2) and the: “I think I get it.” (panel 6).

    And come on, its not just a bare room… there’s … um … the exciting rock formations! And the fog! And the pile of bones behind Gimli in panel 3! I mean… they’re just laying out in the open, right there! Lookit!


    And the staircase of course, as Mattingly said.

    And the Legolass screencap (panel 7) really made me laugh. Looks like the Dew rush from Helm’s Deep finally wore off. LOL

    And come on, Gimli, are you gonna let Aragon’s girlfriend boss you around like that? Put the little elf in her place! XD XD

    It’s amazing how much sheer win Shamus manages to cram in each and every strip. :D

  15. The Gneech says:


    -The Gneech

  16. Romanadvoratrelundar says:

    Great facial expression on Leggylass in the 8th panel.

  17. Carl the Bold says:

    “Your keen ranger senses are telling you that your questmates are not amused at your play for power.”

  18. oldschoolGM says:

    “What are you talking about? It’s a tomb, not a Wal-mart!”
    Thats the line that really brought the funny for me.

  19. Osvaldo Mandias says:


    Gimli just grows on you, doesn’t he? He does on me.

  20. haashaastaak says:

    Plus, the room’s more like 20 x 20.

  21. Rhykker says:

    Hahah great, I laughed aloud. The scepter-wielding in a kingly-way panel was a great pick.

  22. -Chipper says:

    I can just feel Gimli’s disapointment at his failure to properly inspire his cohort.

    I’d like to have the players address each other by player name rather than character name – the only one I know is Dave (Frodo) & he quit to play Star Wars. Do Leggy, Stoner, & Gimli have names?

    Anyway I too laughed audibly at the punchline. Thanks Shamus for a great lunch-time diversion.

  23. Martin says:

    “They players may misunderstand the Player's Handbook, forget house rules, and have trouble recalling the particulars of their character class, but never doubt their knowledge of loot tables.”

    Nor the stats on every creature they encounter

  24. Scarlet Knight says:

    Chipper #22 – Don’t forget Frank the fighter…’course, he’s dead…!

    Personally, I think Gimli looks like a ‘Jake’, Legolas like a ‘Brendan’ & Aragorn looks like a ‘Ramon’.

  25. Wraithshadow says:

    >> Plus, the room's more like 20 x 20.

    I think this might be another example of classic DM errors.

    “The room is 10 x 10. No wait. It’s… crap. Okay, it’s 20 x 20. No- that means the hallway you were just in was 40 feet, so that 24 on your search roll should’ve been 20 feet before you got to the secret door. Wait- I know this room’s supposed to be 40 x 40, so that means each square’s 5 feet. I think. Hold on, is this the right map?”

  26. Kadea says:

    you’d think that one of them would remember that aragon is the king of men and gimli and leggy are not men…ok, poor choice of words, but you get the drift

  27. Da Rogue says:

    Behind every good king there is a good queen. In Aragorn’s case the queen is Leggolass…

    …Middle-Earth is screwed.

  28. FhnuZoag says:

    Nah, Gimli is definitely a Frank, or a Brian.

  29. Aaron says:

    Aragormless in panel 2 and panel 6. “Sweet smokin’ Conan” can you get much better screencaps? I got that irritated look from my assistant when I busted out laughing at his face in panel 6. Great strip again Shamus!! :D


  30. scldragonfish says:

    [I got that irritated look from my assistant when I busted out laughing at his face in panel 6.]

    Shamus…that particular quote says alot dude, when this commenter has an assistant, much less one irritated with him because he is reading your comic at work.

  31. L. Scott Johnson says:

    “They players”?

  32. jperk31260 says:

    can’t you just see Gimli ” Laddy you may be a king but your not MY king.” And then Lego chipping in with “Hey thats right your not my king either, just who are you king of again?” LOL

  33. Alan Post says:

    i got so tired of my players saying “search for secret doors” in every room they encountered that i eventually just took to rolling the dice, ignoring the result and saying “you didn’t find the secret door.” every single time.

    i love this strip!

  34. Shamus says:

    “They players” – fixed.

  35. Cenobite says:

    “Laddie, you may be a king, but you’re not MY king.”
    “Hey, that’s right, you’re not my king either. Just who are you king of again?”
    “I’m Aragorn, King of the Gondorians!”
    “King of the who?”
    “The Gondorians.”
    “Who are the Gondorians?”
    “Well, we all are. We are all Gondorians, and I am your king.”
    “I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were a Dwarvish mining concern.”
    “You’re fooling yourself. We’re living in an Imladris: a self-perpetuating dream-state in which the immortals–”
    “Oh, there you go bringing class into it again.”

    Sorry, it’s been a while since we had a Monty Python reference.

  36. Carl the Bold says:


    Gimli is *so* not a Frank. He’s a Martin. Perhaps Alexander (not Alex).

    Aragorn, IMHO, could be a Michael or a Jack.

    Legolas is a Judith.

  37. Clyde says:

    Dang! I wish that I could speak in a Celtic font like that!

  38. Clyde says:

    And I think that Leggolass’s player probably has one of those sexually androgynous names like Terry or Chris.

  39. “i got so tired of my players saying “search for secret doors” in every room they encountered that i eventually just took to rolling the dice, ignoring the result and saying “you didn't find the secret door.” every single time.”

    This is the major problem with including a secret door or trap ANYWHERE in a dungeon. Once you’ve sprung that on players, they have to search every single room to check they haven’t missed either. After all, a proper secret door or trap is one that’s exactly where you don’t expect it, right?

  40. ZackTheSTGuy says:

    Great strip today! Love the scepter-wielding screencap.

    I will say in response to the ‘searching for secret doors’ thing that I’ve pretty much just stopped using them in my campaigns all together. After many months of searching to no avail, the players just stopped looking for them.

    Naturally, of course, this means that I’ve brought them back. :D

  41. Arshes says:

    Great strip, as usual ;)

    Just to make you know, Shamus, a lot of people here in Spain follow your comic every week. Personally I´m dying to see how the Hobbits are going to fit in at the very end of all this :P

  42. Caius says:

    At least they aren’t shouting out their bonuses, comparing them, then making the guy with the “hot hand” roll for the guy with the best stats.

    “I have a +10.” “+5” “-1” “+11” Jason, you roll the best, you roll for Eric. Sigh…

  43. Roxysteve says:

    Osvaldo Mandias Says:
    Gimli just grows on you, doesn't he? He does on me.

    You need a prescription strength antifungal ointment then.


  44. Salen says:

    Hey, make the elf do it. Elves are the D&D equivalent of Secret Door magnets.

  45. The_Mighty_Brain says:

    hehe. Gimli looked a lot like an action figure in panel 5.

  46. Dan Hemmens says:

    This is the major problem with including a secret door or trap ANYWHERE in a dungeon. Once you've sprung that on players, they have to search every single room to check they haven't missed either. After all, a proper secret door or trap is one that's exactly where you don't expect it, right?

    This is why I’ve never really understood the function of secret doors or traps.

    If the PCs *don’t* find a secret door, what’s the point in it being there. If they do find it, why make it secret?

  47. Joshua says:

    “Personally I´m dying to see how the Hobbits are going to fit in at the very end of all this”

    Actually, the ending of the ring fits in very well with this campaign. Dave shows back up, gets annoyed, and says, “Screw you and your railroading ways, I’m going to KEEP the ring!”

    DM: “You what?!? Ummm, well, Gollum shows up, and he, umm, errr, BITES the finger with the ring off.”
    Dave(Frodo): “Lame! I attack him to take it back. How do those darn grapple rolls work again?”
    DM: “Well, Gollum rolls a 30 for initiative, and, umm, dances so madly with delight he FALLS into the lava with the ring before you can act. The ring is destroyed!”
    All: “I hate this campaign!”

    Hope I’m not stealing the ending.

  48. Otters34 says:

    That will occur AFTER Aragorn is kiiled by a Troll at the Black Gates.

  49. Akatsukami says:

    DM: “You what?!? Ummm, well, Gollum shows up, and he, umm, errr, BITES the finger with the ring off.”
    Dave(Frodo): “Lame! I attack him to take it back. How do those darn grapple rolls work again?”
    DM: “Well, Gollum rolls a 30 for initiative, and, umm, dances so madly with delight he FALLS into the lava with the ring before you can act. The ring is destroyed!”

    Ah, but remember, in this game Gollum is rotting at the bottom of the Anduin with Legolas’ arrow through his heart. Instead, the dialogue will go like this:

    Dave: Screw you and your railroading ways, I’m going to KEEP the ring!”
    DM: You what?!? Well, Gollum shows up and…oh, wait, he’s dead. Hmmm…OK, you’ve decided to keep the Ring?
    Dave: Damn straight.
    DM: Alright…you put it on your finger…
    Dave: Go me!
    DM: …which Sauron instantly detects; he sends his Nazgul to kill you horribly and bring the Ring to him. All the rest of the party — and everyone else in Middle-earth — lives miserably ever after, which isn’t very long.
    All: I hate this campaign!
    DM : But not for very long.

  50. Matt says:

    Or it could always be, “I keep the Ring.”
    “Fine. Rocks fall, everyone dies.”

  51. Dave says:

    I guess that’s why I like to DM… no matter how much loot a DM would give me I couldn’t care less.. just words on the paper.. I was too into making it fun and dramatic.. I could just go home and write into my character sheet a bunch of loot.. so what.. the fun is the story.. I sooo felt like our dwarf here. … though I must say the room looks plenty big enough for a horse.. why did the DM make us leave our horses again??

  52. The Chino says:

    Oh loot…how I have missed thee. I can relate to the ‘search the room for loot’ in every friggin room thing…it’s never a pretty thing when you have 73 rooms to search…*sigh*


  53. Ed Dunphy says:

    Mattingly Says:
    …You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

    “Adventure”, played on a monochrome screen.


  54. Tonko says:

    LOL, Legolas’ look off of Aragorns search order is perfect.

  55. Joshua says:

    “Ah, but remember, in this game Gollum is rotting at the bottom of the Anduin with Legolas' arrow through his heart.”

    I hadn’t forgotten, but I didn’t think the fact of Gollum being dead would stop a panicking DM either.

  56. Angel says:

    I tend to deal with players who constantly search for treasure by giving them stuff.
    Most recent dungeon-like segment was an enemy barracks. Every time they searched for treasure in a room that was extremely unlikely to contain any, I gave them a little useless something. The final list included (in addition to all the treasure which was supposed to be there in the officers’ quarters and the storerooms):
    a sturdy leather belt
    6 minotaur porno mags
    a bunch of bananas
    the last 3 pages of the script to “dude, where’s my spellbook”
    a box of spent matches
    3 corroded copper pieces
    a large treause chest which had been welded shut (which was carried round for about 3 weeks before they found someone able to cut it open and discovered that it was empty)a loaf of bread
    a glass jar with airholes in the lid
    an orc’s jockstrap
    a box of sequins, 3 needles and 16′ of curtain fabric
    a pewter figure of an angel
    another glass jar with airholes in the lid, this one containing a butterfly

    I figured that after a while, they’d give up on collecting this stuff.

  57. DB says:

    It’s not Smeagol who shows up for the ring, but Deagol. The pc’s don’t know he’s already dead, and he did find the ring first.

  58. Dannerman says:

    Angel That’s genius! I’m going to have to start doing that. The problem is, I bet your players never gave up collecting it, did they?

    I usually like allowing my players to take everything they can find and then ruthlessly enforcing all the encumbrance modifiers just before a major battle.

    (Had one player who’d managed to amass 10 ill-maintained halberds at one point… I have no idea where he got them from – they certainly were not in any adventure I had run…)

  59. Sylvia says:

    I once played an elf fighter, who always got away with standing around (sorry, “keeping watch”) while the dwarfs in the party did all the work.

  60. Jindra34 says:

    been gone a while but good to see this is still funny

  61. Nogard says:

    I have to admit I am guilty of endless secret door and trap searching. Comes from playing years of playing Angband. Now if only “detect hidden traps/doors” were a spell you could cast every 30 seconds in D&D like it is in Angband.

  62. Sayajin Dwarf says:

    I like the fact how Gimli’s mood the particular night affects his gameplay, like how in the start he was a very serious roleplayer and the he would become some uber powergamer before he has returned as the hardcore roleplayer I love him as!

  63. Felblood says:

    The real problem with the angel solution is that players occasionally find uses for the items that you give them. I once gave a guy a partly burnt up stick of fire wood, when he decided to search an abandoned camp site.

    The things he managed to accomplish with that two foot pole made me glad nobody ever thought to buy a ten foot one.

  64. Andrew says:

    Sayajin Dwarf: To quote a few Order of the Stick merchandise items, “Good roleplaying does not preclude fireballing their @$$es.”

  65. Matt says:

    With apologies to Joshua, here’s how it will play out:

    DM: “You what?!? Ummm, well, Gollum shows up, and he, umm, errr, BITES the finger with the ring off.”
    Dave(Frodo): “Isn’t he dead?”
    DM: “Uh, he got better.”
    Dave: “I thought you said no Monty Python quotes!”
    All: “I hate this campaign!”

  66. Zippy Wonderdog says:

    Hmmm my DM would give us lots of averaghe loot, basic weapons and armour and the like, generally what we pulled off our enemies …”cough”victims”cough”… well after we aquired a bag of holding I managed to amass enough equipment to outfit a small mercenary army after I took the leadership feat :D

  67. Gadush Kraun says:

    Oh goodness it’s so funny. This is one of the best comic series that has ever distracted me from my real reason for being on the net ever.

  68. Dannerman says:

    ; I quite like it when my players do that, though. I once gave a player “Some kind of Gnomish tool” as a joke item.
    At the climax of the adventure the players had to destroy a Golem. It was looking like a TPK until the player with the Gnome spanner managed to kill the Golem with it. (it was really clever how he did it, but I wont bore you with the details.)

  69. Dannerman says:

    Gah! Failed my HTML skill check. Felblood should be the first word in my last comment.

  70. brassbaboon says:


    I am one of those DMs who doesn’t really care that much about the loot thing. If they want to search, they can search. It’s their dime, so to speak. My players generally don’t go nutzo searching every tile in every room though. I am fairly generous on the DC for finding secret doors, except in special circumstances. I operate under the “if I put it in the dungeon, I really expected the party to find it” principle. On occasion I will throw in a secret door that opens into an empty alcove just to keep their interest up if they haven’t found any secret things in a while.

    In general in my campaigns the best ‘loot’ that the party finds is going to be in use by their opponents. I don’t see any sense in having a chest full of +1 arrows left for the victorious party to find while the goblins died defending it using mundane arrows. That just sort of messes up the whole idea of verisimilitude.

    I am probably cheap though, when it comes to treasure. I would say that by numbers, probably 75% of the magic things my 3rd level party has found so far are mini-potions of healing, cure disease and cure poison. They’ve found quite a few of those, but they are sized for kobold or goblin use, and so aren’t as potent as a “standard” potion. But I’ve probably managed to provide a couple dozen of such potions to the party over the campaign so far. Most of which they have already used up.

    Other than that here is the “loot” they’ve recovered that I can remember.

    kobold staff of bless: used against the party by the kobold shaman in the climactic battle against the final kobolds. Has about 20 charges left, each one a standard “bless” spell.

    Five magic arrows, of course there were a dozen magic arrows, but seven of them were fired at the party before the bandit archers were killed or surrendered.

    Magic leather armor, again, the bandit leader was wearing this, and managed to steal it back from the party and escape after being captured. There’s a story behind that…

    Ring of guidance, this is a ring that allows the wearer to use “guidance” as the wizard cantrip three times per day. Again, it was worn by one of the kobold leaders they killed.

    A ring of “charm person” once per day, again the bandit leader was wearing this, but had already used it when the party attacked them, so it didn’t factor into the battle.

    Etc.. The only magic ring they found that wasn’t being worn was, of course, cursed.

    And I use those magic items against the party, they aren’t on the NPCs just for the party to find when searching. This helps in the metagame situation too, when a player says “waitaminute, how did a 17 not hit a goblin? I know the monster manual.” After a while they start to realize that the NPCs are not cookie-cutter clones, but some have high dex, some have high con, and some have magic stuff… Now when an NPC starts to wave a stick at them, they get scared and greedy at the same time. When the kobold shaman pulled out the bless staff, the first thing the party said was “I want that stick!” Fine, come and get it.

  71. Jindra34 says:

    brassbaboon that is probably the best way but it can get constricting…

  72. Shell says:

    What can I say Shamus, these comics make monday morning @ work bareable =)Even enjoyable, I save them up and leave them for monday when I know I’ll need them!

  73. Scarlet Knight says:

    With apologies to Joshua & Matt, here's really how it will play out:

    DM: “You what?!? Ummm, well, Gollum shows up, and he, umm, errr, BITES the finger with the ring off.”
    Dave(Frodo): “Isn't he dead? First Gandalf, now him?”
    DM: “No, this is his twin brother Smeagol.”

  74. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Had a player who was obessessed with collecting large amounts of mundane gear.

    He started the game with a wagon and mule, some firewood, a crowbar, a bottle of wine…etc

    during one camp, an NPC came in under cover of a Snow Storm spell, stole the crate they were protecting, replaced it with a fake and enchanted his firewood, crowbar, bottle of wine, etc

    the crowbar had an alarm on it to alert said NPC when the party got close to her, the firewood was enchanted with random illusions, the bottle of wine was enchanted with a stinking cloud spell, and a keg of ale was enchanted to make people that drank it extra junk.

    the party was wise enough after the freak snow storm to detect for magic and discovered they were robbed earlier than I planned.

    They also made a lot of use out of the “traps” Nameless had given them. She later saved their life from a bad guy at the cost of being nearly killed herself. Then the characters went to go kill him.

    But the firewood got used a number of times…never really on purpose like they planned.

    One set off an illusionary fireball that convinced the already somewhat insane arachne(drider-like race) oracle that she’d died. Another filled a cave they were sheltering in with smoke while they were negotiating with NPCs.

    They did use the stinking cloud wine on some bandits later…

    As for the crowbar, the owner had a fit over it:

    “Who enchants a crowbar!! That’s weak tea!!”

  75. brassbaboon says:


    Nice. Sometimes it seems to confound players the most when NPCs actually act like something other than sword and magic missile fodder.


    At lower levels particularly I find it difficult to explain why NPCs might not be using magic items in their fight against the party. At higher levels it is to be expected that NPCs collect more junk than they can easily carry around just as PCs do, so you are more apt to find a chest full of stuff when fighting a high level character.

    By the way, I tend not to put too many “bags of holding” or such things in the game, in part because it encourages a sort of scavenger hunt mentality to the game. “It’s shiny, pick it up and put it in the bag.” Eventually players need to clean house with their characters, if for no other reason than to reduce their options during game play so that it doesn’t take several minutes for someone to fish through their bag of holding looking for something slightly more perfect for this particular encounter. I have been known to enforce the “game time is real time” rule in such situations so that the player has six seconds to tell me what their character is doing during battle. But I hate having to resort to such measures.

    Loot is an important part of the game of course, and not having enough loot will eventually frustrate even the best role players. But giving them too much loot is just as bad, imho, if not worse. I’d rather err on the low side than the high side given the choice.

    The bottom line is that it’s all about giving the characters what they need to effectively succeed in their challenges, but not so much that they aren’t challenged in the first place. One of the great enjoyments I get out of being the DM is when a player comes up with something really clever to do with some mundane object. It’s pretty amazing how clever they can be sometimes.

  76. Medium Dave says:

    Gutboy Barrelhouse-“I go through the door,what do I see?”

    GM-“You are in a 10 x 10 room, a closed door is opposite you. There is trash in the NE corner with a type B treasure- CRAP!”

  77. Roxysteve says:

    [Re: Bags of Cheesing] Nah, a well-stuffed bag of holding is a wonderful opportunity for some high-class come-uppance.

    Should a party avec bag de holding get into serious combat with an NPC party including a moderately informed wizard-type, he/she/it should be easily able to spot the bag for what it is.

    A that point, the guy/gal “left holding the bag” should become the main target for all sorts of missile fire. Should the bag itself be hit and rupture it will expell its contents to the detriment of anyone standing nearby, most notably the bearer of the former bag. Consider how much sharp stuff the typical party crams into a BOH. Now consider it flying in all directions for (say) ten feet. Consider all the breakables in there. Consider Newtons Laws and the effect of tossing several tens of pounds of mass away from the holder of the bag. I would also think that the dismay on the part of the owners of the former bag would call for a save to avoid being flat-footed in the next combat round too, saves weakened in proportion to the amounty of whining and whingeing that the players in question do.

    Anyone wearing a Heward’s Handy Haversack (aka rocket pack) would also be taking the risk of getting a stealthy arrow in the pack and becoming very familiar with the old action/reaction thing, given that most players pack these damn things to capacity (and then some if the truth be told).

    Also, there is my personal favourite: the sealed metal tube that is showing strong magic. Into the bag it goes. What a shame the magic aura is actually emenating from the portable hole rolled up inside the tube. Bye-bye bag. Bye-bye contents.

    What a pity the anti-magic rules have been nagered to prevent catastrophic BOH failure.


  78. Jindra34 says:

    Steve: Are you by any chance related to a deadly tribble?

  79. Thenodrin says:

    I remember an event where the stated mission was to loot a dungeon. One patron wanted X item, another wanted all documents, books, and knowledge, and another was a coin collector who would pay us to bring back coins.

    Then, the DM got mad at us as we tried to figure a way to do as we were told. She had to modify her plans to account for the fact that we carried the stuff back out of the dungeon as a whole, step by step.

    Meaning, we took multiple passes over the pit trap we’d found all at once with a levitate spell rather than come back later for another haul.

    So, she had to explain what the people outside were doing while waiting to ambush us. She had to admit that them being there, taking 20 on their hide, for 5 days was unreasonable. Eventually, they would sleep. And, eventually, they’d get bored and sloppy.


  80. Casey says:

    there’s only two thing d&d ers want.



    Hey, its true

  81. Toil3T says:

    >44 Salen:
    >June 1st, 2007 at 4:35 pm
    >Hey, make the elf do it. Elves are the D&D equivalent of >Secret Door magnets.

    We have two elves and a rogue. We tend to find the hidden stuff easily.
    And, we tend to pick up masterwork or better, or gem/art stuff. It’s because most of our encounters have had class levels, and as a result of that, magic items. Which they have been using.

    Never underestimate the fun that can be had with a wand of burning hands! Our DM’s smart enough not to let us get our paws on a wand of fireball :(

  82. Cynder says:

    Poor boy never seems to get it, does he? XD I’d love to see Aragorn in another serious strip.

  83. Jesska says:

    ‘Make Gimli do it. I’ll supervise.’

    Wow, sounds like the lab partner at any college…

  84. Ben says:

    Damn, I’ve almost spilled my cup of tea. This one is collector!

  85. serenitybane says:

    Lol this reminds me of one of the guys in my group. He hates roleplaying! :D

  86. Reir says:

    This exact same thing happened in a game I was in. The DM created a randomly generated dugeon, and one of the rooms was completely empty. But we were all convinced that since it looked so simple it had to be booby trapped. One of our players had collected some stones (skipping stone size) before entering the dungeon, so she said, “I throw my convienently sized stones evenly distributed across the floor. Does anything happen?” It was at this point that our DM broke down and said, “It’s an empty room! Just walk to the other side and open the door!”

  87. Michael says:

    This is why I've never really understood the function of secret doors or traps.

    If the PCs *don't* find a secret door, what's the point in it being there. If they do find it, why make it secret?

    They are supposed to find it LATER. You know, after doing whatever they do to find it.

    Maybe the secret door is the “employees only” exit, for example. Or the passageway used by the zookeepers (back when the zoo walls/barriers were functional)

    If you have a nasty trap, then the people who installed the trap probably had a worker’s door around it.

  88. silver Harloe says:

    Re: secret doors

    Don’t just have random secret doors, as that forces the players to search all the time as you mention. Hint at times when they should be looking for secret doors by having, say, a book that mentions a cubbyhole in some room they’ve already seen or something. Or tell them they’re after a particular loot item, and if they don’t find it, then they know to look for a secret door. Or mention some recurring NPC that seems to get around between some rooms too rapidly. Or have the bard remember some tale about the King’s secret exit back when this keep belonged to King Such and So. Yah, that kinda blows the “why make them secret?” thing, but adds flavor and makes the places seem more “lived in” if the secret doors serve some kind of purpose.

  89. Rob #2 says:

    Ironically (or just interestingly), it would probably be the DM who would quit at this point, not the players…

  90. ERROR says:

    “We are the clueless led by the blind! We fear YOU!”

    That’s my character right there.

  91. Maklak says:

    They want secret doors?

    Just put in a few cleverly hidden broom closets.

  92. Nacata says:

    Yeah, the other playirs EXPLODED when i didn’t want to take more loot.

  93. WJS says:

    I can think of a couple of ways to discourage players from searching if it’s bothering you that much.
    1: Time
    Make their characters take a reasonable amount of time to search the room (longer if they search for hidden treasure and secret doors). Naturally, there will be a chance of being surprised by an enemy patrol while they search.
    2: Time
    Make the players sit through a detailed description of the various sundry things they find (I believe one poster above mentioned minotaur porno mags. That cracked me up!). If, like the players in the comic, they complain at the long boring descriptions? Ask them if they want to stop searching. Searching a room is boring, and if you can communicate this to your players they may be less enthusiastic to do it so often.

  94. Lin says:

    Bwahaha, last to post!

    I think…

  95. HaldebrooksFist says:

    Last. Do I get a cookie?

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