DM of the Rings CXXVIII:
A Legacy of Deceit

By Shamus Posted Monday Jul 30, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 87 comments

Aragorn can’t roleplay for crap.
Fooled again! King of the Dead beats the King of the Dumb, one last time.

Most reasonable people refer to this strip by episode number, but as the guy who makes the pages I tend to think of it in terms of page numbers. Today’s strip brings us to the 200 page landmark. Pretty cool.


From The Archives:

87 thoughts on “DM of the Rings CXXVIII:
A Legacy of Deceit

  1. welcome back– you’ve been missed!

  2. Vinchenze says:

    His pants his gold and his life.

    1. Ragar says:

      What gold?

  3. Typo: Lairs vs liars.

    “I excommunicate your curse.” Beautiful.

  4. roxysteve says:

    Well I’m not going back and counting the pages. I’ll take your word for it, oh Gallbladderless One.

    Welcome back.


  5. Jochi says:

    This is great.
    Second best line:
    “I dunno, kid, I can’t imagine how something like that could go wrong” delivered deadpan.
    Best line:

  6. roxysteve says:

    [Gimli] What are “Undead Lairs”?

    Confused of Middle Earth.

  7. Daimbert says:

    The typo on “lairs” (I assume you meant “liars”) threw me for a loop the first couple of readings … which puts the idea that you can arrange the letters inside a word in any way you want and people can still understand it to bed [grin].

  8. John says:

    Very funny! :)

  9. Mattingly says:

    Happy 200th page, and welcome back.

  10. roxysteve says:

    [shamus] This “outsmarting” dialog actually happened in a game I recently was involved in. The player concerned, whom we shall call “eric” (though his real name is Johann Greenblatt, 27 Armageddon Crescent, Lyndenhurst NY, phone 631-555-1212) was treating all the other players as blades in his personal Swiss Army Problem Solver. The “outsmarting” led to much loss of face, even more loss of temper, his leaving of the game in High Dugeon(TM) and a general improvement of morale as a result.

    Now that’s what I call a good game.


  11. Cenobite says:

    Ah man, you missed a great opportunity to throw in another famous line:

    “The power of Christ compels you!!!!!”

    Welcome back!

  12. Lee from Sheboygan says:

    Welcome back Shamus! And a return to form, as always. I don’t know how you keep up the funny, but whatever you do, keep doing it.

  13. Shamus says:

    “Lairs” vs “Liars” fixed.

  14. Inane Fedaykin says:

    Does this mean you’re feeling better now?

  15. MCyn says:

    “I cancel your curse,” indeed…

    Pure hilarity!

  16. brassbaboon says:

    “Correction, he outsmarted YOU. Again.”

    Classic. Welcome back. Hope you are feeling better.

  17. Issachar says:

    For some reason the title of today’s strip, “A Legacy of Deceit”, reminds me of another movie starring Viggo Mortensen: “A History of Violence”.

    Probably not an intentional reference. But maybe?

    Also: UMPTEENTH POST!!!11!oneone!!

  18. Tuccy says:

    Great one, Shamus :D My rat got a bit startled from all the nloud noises I began to produce after reading it :D

    Now I am looking forward who will be the next one who outsmarts Aragorn :D

  19. Lukelightning says:

    Trial of liars vs. Trail of lairs?

  20. NeedsToHeal says:

    Missed you, welcome back.

    I cancel your curse… HAHAHAHAHAHA

    I love this comic.

  21. Dan says:

    As long as Aragorn doesn’t ride Hidalgo into Mordor, do damage Carlito’s Way when he gets there, or Witness the invisible scourging of the Shire, I suppose a History of Violence reference will be acceptable.

  22. elijah wood's idol says:

    You really should make this into a published comic book.

  23. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    kind of reminds me of “cantripping” in Amtgard back before it was disallowed.

    Amtgard is a LARP with a magic system that is based on reciting pre-written spells and/or throwing padded balls of cloth as “fireballs” and “magic bolts”.

    Cantripping is the practice of pointing at someone and repeating some random grouping of words.

    among my favorites to use:

    “I banish thee to Cleveland!”

    “Rock to stone! Rock to stone!”

    one of the more famous examples:

    A knight by the name of Sir Arthon approached a line of 10-20 warriors and started pointing at each of them and saying “Leave or die” to each in turn. True to amtgarder instinct, the response to random person pointing at you and saying something rhythmic/chanting, they all ran away. (Then again, Sir Arthon is one of the most skilled stick jocks/fighters in the game…though I still think 10-20 people would have taken him, somehow…depends on the 10-20, I guess)

    My absolute favorite however, came from my brother’s stint as healer. He’d always by “Heal Extension” which lets him heal at range once in a game. However, the activating phrase “Extension” is the same as the wizard ability that doubles the range for any spell.

    So, he’d go out with his sword and shield and randomly point at people, yell “Extension” and then start the heal spell. Most of the time they ran and he’d leave off casting the spell and thus wouldn’t use up the extension and be able to use it later.

  24. Deoxy says:

    “I am really starting to hate the undead.”

    More than this campaign? Surely not! :-)

  25. Scott says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t want the 10,000 x whatever the XP for a ghost is experience.

  26. Katy says:

    Proclaimate… excommunicate…

    *gigglesnort* COMEDIC GOLD

  27. Angie says:

    Excellent idea….once you’re finished, you SHOULD publish these. I would gladly shell out tens of dollars to have this on my bookshelf. Maybe you could even quit your day job. Who knows, it worked for Rich Burlew.

  28. Tola says:

    And that would lead to his Slow Death By Lawyer. We don’t want THAT.

  29. Mike Mistele says:

    “Excellent idea….once you're finished, you SHOULD publish these. I would gladly shell out tens of dollars to have this on my bookshelf.”

    That’d be really cool, but I somehow suspect that New Line, Saul Zaentz, and / or the Tolkien estate might have something to say about that. :-(

  30. Tola says:


    Look, if Shamus wanted to actually publish, he’d have to get into negotiations with New Line Cinema(Who own the movie and everything related to it-including the pictures bring used), Tolkien Enterprises(Who control The Lord of the Rings stuff in general), and possibly the agents of the actors(Who might object to how their character images are being used).

    It’s take time, but more importantly, it’d likely cost quite a bit.

  31. okay! says:

    Welcome back, hope you are feeling well. If not, go back to bed and stop worrying about this website.

    Signed, your mother.

  32. Rolld20 says:

    Welcome Shamus, good thing to see they did not accidentally remove your funny bone while you were under.
    Hope your recovery proceeds apace, and your other organs take the hint and don’t make any trouble for you. :o

  33. Maverick says:

    Swindeled out of his pants! Nice one shamus!

    First time posting, long time reading, spent many an hour catching up on the ones i hadn’t read a while back, great comic, ingenious!

  34. Donna says:

    Welcome back Shamus

    You’re so very worth waiting for. I loved the screen caps, and thank you for your thoughtfulness while you were down. You’re great!!!

  35. Sartorius says:

    An early edition of D&D contained a monster index; each monster included amongst its stats “% Lair”, which indicated the odds that at any given moment it would be in its dwelling (instead of out hunting or whatever).

    Unfortunately, this was misprinted, and soon TSR began receiving puzzled inquiries about, e.g., why an owlbear would lie 75% of the time, but a goblin only 40%.

  36. NeedsToHeal says:

    Also, King Carcass’s face when he says, “No Takebacks” is SO FUNNY!!! It’s like he has this secretive smirk. I love it.

    Have I told you how much I love this comic?

    Oh yeah, I have already done that once today. (Looks down and kicks dirt)

  37. damien walder says:

    Wow. What nice timing, after a truly scary weekend game and the loss of my cat this past week (to asthma). I truly needed the laugh, and The Simpsons movie didn’t make my ribs hurt –

    Thanks for doing what you do.

  38. Timeous says:

    Now THIS would be an appropriate time for the ranger to take a level of favored enemy: Undead… :)

    And welcome back Shamus! :)

  39. Otters34 says:

    One thing, how are they going to destroy the Ring of Phoom without Dave?

    On another note: Excellent!

  40. gottasing says:

    Glad to see you’re back Shamus. Hope your recovery is going smoothly.

  41. Poet says:

    Glad to have you back, mang.

    In reference to all the negotiations that would have to happen, don’t forget Lucas Arts. I’m fairly certain I recall a certain Mr. Fett being photoshopped in.

  42. TalrogSmash says:

    scientific proof that the gall bladder is not the seat of humor in the human body. Now all we have to do is remove Shamus’ organs one at a time while he writes the strip…

    good work here, seriously.

  43. Osvaldo Mandias says:


  44. Jack says:

    He should have just used the ‘That was out of character’ line.

  45. Tera says:

    Aaah, undead armies of thieves and liars… Always so useful… Then you forget about the main force of the army still being around and release them… Then, two days later, while you march there with a small force that is weak from travel and prior combat, you ponder stabbing yourself in the eye for being such a moronic git.

  46. john says:

    Welcome back Shamus! Glad you’re back and in form.
    I think the D&D item Sartorius refers to is the venerable Arduin Grimoire . They had a %Liar on *every* monster, including the molds and vegetation. I don’t know if they ever fixed it in any of the reprints, but it was confusing until you actually spared a brain cell or two to think about it. Of course, being a gamer my small collection of brain cells was trying to find ways to pimp out my character using the Arduin random PC altering tables, or trying to avoid instant death on the Arduin critical hit tables . Anyway, good to see you back.
    “no takebacks”…heh

  47. Tonko says:

    Hee hee hee “No Takebacks”

  48. Adriana says:

    Great comic!!! I love it!! You are a true genius…

  49. Caius says:

    I love Aragon’s coment of “outsmarting us.” I sometimes forget that the intellegence of the group is not always equal to the loudest member, or the one with the highest diplomacy bonus

  50. xbolt says:

    “They would have swindled you out of your pants.”


    I wonder if it’ll get to 200 episodes as well…

  51. John says:

    Pants. Is there any joke they can’t make funnier?

  52. Glad to see you back on your feet…er…back in your Comic-Making chair Shamus.

    Oh, and by the way, Pure Awesome :D

  53. Yahzi says:

    “Out of your own pants.”

    :D :D :D

  54. Matthias says:

    Thrythlind isn’t the only one here who was reminded of Amtgard with this episode…

  55. RZ says:

    yay! hope you feel better.

  56. Parzival says:

    A published book might actually be covered under the parody exclusion in copyright law. That’s what allows Wierd Al to use the music to popular songs while rewriting the lyrics. But an experienced copyright attorney would be the person to ask, and that’s not me. I’m just some guy on the Internet

  57. Karadan says:

    If this is the 200th page, shouldn’t this be DM of the Rings CC instead of DM of the Rings CXXVIII?

    I can’t really imagine it would be that hard to get Aragorn out of his pants, I mean, he’s been trying to get out of his and into any chick’s he can… :P

  58. Gadush Kraun says:

    No takebacks, classic.

    It never ceases to amaze, how stupid aragorn can be.

  59. Dark says:

    What? Players are never outsmarted! The DM was merely being unclear in his descriptions. I mean, that’s not what they meant to do, they wouldn’t have done it if they’d known about the thingy. They probably weren’t even in the room at all! There’s no way the PC would have missed that clue if he’d been really there. Surely a roll against Wisdom is in order?

  60. eccles says:

    Gadush: I dunno, my players would be saying “wait, you didn’t tell us that, I wouldn’t have done X if I’d known Y”…. admittedly, they usually pay more attention than Stonergorn :)

  61. Acanthoid says:

    Gotta write here at last. I love this comic thought I’ve never played table RPG’s only those on computer. I show this to my friends but they can’t understand it. Their shame really ^^

  62. Cagiar says:

    Nice to have you back, Shamus. Hope you’re not hurting to much. Great comic too. Keep up the good work.

  63. Kadea says:

    “I really need you to stop trying now.”

    Shamus, you are a funny funny man. Glad to have you back.

  64. Deacon Blues says:

    The first edition of D&D did indeed have the famous typo, “% in Liar”. When the Arduin Grimoire was created, its writers, in their slavish imitation of all that was worst in D&D, gave each and every monster a “% Liar” stat, which was supposed to indicate how often the monster lied (which led to such inadvertantly hilarious entries as the description of the Monstrous Spider, with the stat “% Liar: Too stupid to”).

    And I have to agree, Gimli’s response is win! :)

  65. Margaret says:

    I never understood why he didn’t keep them around until the end.

    And he didn’t get their treasure either!

  66. Jochi says:

    How’s this:
    Remember, the book and the movie were done by two different people with different worldviews and in different times.

    In the book, he allowed them to consider their service done after ONE battle — keeping the technical letter of their oath. Either he had mercy on their poor tortured souls or he couldn’t stand being around icky undead horrors longer than necessary — or both. Doing so was more noble and more heroic. He then recruited living men to man the ships.

    In the movie, the Dead had agreed to come to the defense of Gondor, and they did, destroying an invading army. No more army, no more invasion, Gondor at peace, task over. Now, just because Aragorn decided to escalate the war to an unjust war of aggression by staging an invasion of the sovereign state of Mordor, well, that’s a whole different matter and they shouldn’t be expected to remain allied for THAT, now should they?


  67. Jimmy says:

    Surely Aragorn should remember that he also had the powers of the devil. Not just a devil, but of Beelzebub himself!!
    He would be way more powerful than Sauron, Saruman and Gandalf combined….
    At least, so it was prophecied….

    Well Shamus, great that you’re back. Keep up the great work.
    You deserve a nobel-prize in comedy for this strip..

  68. the grandaddy says:

    Shamus, you rule the dungeon as allways, glad to have you back.

  69. roxysteve says:

    TalrogSmash Says:
    scientific proof that the gall bladder is not the seat of humor in the human body. Now all we have to do is remove Shamus' organs one at a time while he writes the strip…

    So: you want to get your hands on Shamus’ organs, then?


  70. Jackv says:

    I love that undead king more and more :)

  71. Mik says:

    Nice to see you well enough to do the comic again (and therefore lots of other things I hope). Great stuff.

  72. Tsetut says:

    Welcome Back. That was awesome.

  73. Scarlet Knight says:

    Parzival Says:”A published book might actually be covered under the parody exclusion in copyright law. ”

    I guess that’s how “Bored of the Rings” got published.

  74. Mattingly says:

    The pants comment reminds me of “The Gamers” movie, where the party thief decided to pick a guy’s pocket at a tavern, then decided to steal his pants entirely, just because he could.


    25 Lines from Star Wars that can be improved if you substitute the word “Pants”

    A tremor in the pants. The last time I felt this was in the presence of my old master.
    You are unwise to lower your pants.
    We’ve got to be able to get some reading on those pants, up or down.
    She must have hidden the plans in her pants. Send a detachment down to retrieve them. See to it personally Commander.
    These pants may not look like much, kid, but they’ve got it where it counts.
    I find your lack of pants disturbing.
    These pants contain the ultimate power in the Universe. I suggest we use it.
    Han will have those pants down. We’ve got to give him more time!
    General Veers, prepare your pants for a surface assault.
    I used to bulls-eye womb-rats in my pants back home.
    TK-421. . . Why aren’t you in your pants?
    Lock the door. And hope they don’t have pants.
    Governor Tarkin. I recognized your foul pants when I was brought on board.
    You look strong enough to pull the pants off of a Gundark.
    Luke. . . Help me take…these pants off.
    Great, Chewie, great. Always thinking with your pants.
    That blast came from those pants. That thing’s operational!
    Don’t worry. Chewie and I have gotten into a lot of pants more heavily guarded than this.
    Maybe you’d like it back in your pants, your highness.
    Your pants betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for your sister!
    Jabba doesn’t have time for smugglers who drop their pants at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser.
    Yeah, well short pants is better than no pants at all, Chewie.
    Attention. This is Lando Calrissian. The Empire has taken control of my pants, I advise everyone to leave before more troops arrive.
    I cannot teach him. The boy has no pants.
    You came in those pants? You’re braver than I thought.

  75. Laithoron says:

    Ah, SW Pants jokes, a proud tradition to which I’d like to contribute…

    Leave Your pants, You will not need them.

    There is a disturbance in the pants… (I have felt it my master.)

    You want these pants… don’t You?

    I have altered the pants, pray I don’t alter them any further. (These pants are getting worse all the time.)

    Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, they’re my only pants.

    She must have hidden the pants inside the escape pod.

    My friend here doesn’t like Your pants. I don’t like them either!

    These aren’t the pants You’re looking for.

    You are unwise to lower Your pants!

    Your pants are beaten, don’t make me destroy them as I did Obi Wan.

  76. VixenforHire says:

    I found this comic through yesterday. I immediately IM’d about ten of my friends with it. I got next to nothing done at work after finding it, and I spread the drop in productivity around. I have seriously laughed so hard I cried and was gasping for breath reading this. You have a great sense of humor, and your goofy-looking Aragorn and Legolas screencaps are awesome. And all the people who post here are so nice! (seriously, that L-o-t-Arrrr? classic) Thanks for this, I thought I was the only one who found all of Legolas’ awesome stunts spectacularly cheesy.

    And your Elven family portrait a few pages ago? Only a quick turn of the head kept me from spitting water all over the screen. Making fun of elves = win.

    Hope your recovery is going well!

  77. Raved Thrad says:

    23 elijah wood’s idol Says:

    You really should make this into a published comic book.

    hehe are we looking at a possible “Shamus’ Guide to the LOTR movies?” Maybe a “companion” instead of a “guide?”

  78. Medium Dave says:

    He rises!

    Welcome back Shamus.

    Is Shamus a plural form of Shamu?

  79. TalrogSmash says:

    57 Parzival Says:
    July 31st, 2007 at 12:12 am

    A published book might actually be covered under the parody exclusion in copyright law. That's what allows Wierd Al to use the music to popular songs while rewriting the lyrics. But an experienced copyright attorney would be the person to ask, and that's not me. I'm just some guy on the Internet

    Wierd Al actually asks permission (or buys it) from everyone
    of the artists he paradies. He’s so good (as of his third or fourth album) that it is seen as a sign of your own success if he asks to do one of your songs and no one turns him down. Except for prince, that bitch.

  80. Scarlet Knight says:

    No, Shamus is singular for Shamae

  81. Strider says:

    Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg kimbatul, ash nazg thrakutuluk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.

  82. Toil3T says:

    “Correction: He outsmarted YOU, again.”
    May the pants be with you

  83. Cynder says:

    It’s funny how he always does the best roleplaying at the worst times XD It’s also funny how he can be constantly outsmarted by a dead guy. Very clever ;)

  84. Smerf says:

    He just got rid of thousands of undead fighters. I’m amazed he didn’t ask for XP.

    Edit: upon further review, I’m an idiot and didn’t read the previous posts.

  85. silver Harloe says:

    > 25 Lines from Star Wars that can be improved if you substitute the word “Pants”

    My friend always loved doing the voice of Khan’s son when Kirk sent the stupid “remote control the other ship” code (yah, that’s a good invention) “Sir! Our pants are dropping!”

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

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="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.