DM of the Rings CXLI:
The Moment of Truth

By Shamus Posted Friday Aug 31, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 161 comments


The last roll. This is awesome.
Oops.

The rulebooks give you the ability to create worlds of incredible complexity. There’s a thousand ways to resolve a situation, and a thousand different ways to butcher it and kill the tension of the moment.

EDIT: For those wondering what my next project will be. It has been announced. More details in the next couple of days.

 


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161 thoughts on “DM of the Rings CXLI:
The Moment of Truth

  1. Jim says:

    Snarf!

    I’m gonna miss this comic when it ends…

  2. Stranger says:

    Is this where his players feed him the dice bag?

  3. Lee says:

    Rule’s lawyer DMs… Gotta strangle them…

    Furthest up I’ve ever posted.

  4. Nikle says:

    Great picture selection, even better “oops”!

  5. Mike says:

    Wow. Loved Gimli’s panel. Sucks to be them, haha.

  6. Rick says:

    Legolas: Did we win?

    That was hilarious.

  7. Stev says:

    Haha it looks like Gimli is falling asleep from the utter boredom, great frame Shamus.

  8. Cenobite says:

    Pfaugh! Percentile instead of d20?!?!? That’s no reason to give everybody a heart attack!

    In fact, you can treat a d20 just like a limited (broken into increments of 5%) d100.

    So a 10 is the same as a 50% roll result on a 100-point percentile scale! What, that’s not precise enough to determine success or failure?

  9. M&a says:

    Isn’t a 10 on a d20 just 50%? The poor DM really needs to learn to think on his feet. ;) Then again, maybe this is thinking on his feet… re-roll until desired outcome obtained.

    1. Daniel B says:

      No, the point is that it isn’t a percent roll unless it’s announced before the roll happens that it’s a percent roll.

  10. Chris Curran, Crazy Chainmailler says:

    i love the cap you used for the Leggy-lass “This Is Awesome!” block. could you perhaps email me the cap without text? or make it available for us to download?

  11. BlueFaeMoon says:

    Ah Shamus. You are the master of hilarious caps. And I’m gonna miss this when it’s done! Then again, I can’t wait to see how it ends. :D

  12. Isoyami says:

    Wow.

    I couldn’t breathe for several seconds this strip was so intense.

    Then Gimli came back with: “This is taking a long time.”

    XD XD. Indeed, man. Indeed.

    And wow. I’m in awe. The screencap of Aragorn for the very last panel is beyond perfect, beyond priceless. I know I’ve said it before, but this time I really mean it. Really.

    I know I’ll be laughing my butt off for the whole rest of the day about this strip, but for the next few minutes I can only stare in awed silence.

    Incredible.

  13. gravyrug says:

    Definitely a Malevolent Storyguide. Yup.

    They shoulda been playing Star Wars with Frodo and Sam all along, shouldn’t they?

  14. Klytus says:

    The strongest evidence so far that this really *is* a lame DM. I mean, he can’t even convert a d20 to d%?? Come on!

    1. Daniel B says:

      No, the point is that it isn’t a percent die unless it’s announced before the roll that it’s a percent roll and not a to-succeed roll.

  15. Browncoat says:

    Sure, a 10 is 50%, but what if we need 51%-54.99%? Lay off the DM, guys. If you’re going to call him on the carpet for the roll, make it that he didn’t roll the special red die!

  16. Nick says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. Love the comic, Shamus, thanks for all the laughs.

    A 10 on a d20 wouldn’t be 50%. A simple way to show this is that there are ten numbers above 10 on the die but only nine below it. So a 10 would actually be 47.5%. (or any number between 45% and 50%)

  17. Katy says:

    OMIGOD CHAINMAIL BIKINI IAMSOEXCITEDFLAILEXPLODE!!!

  18. Katy says:

    Oh and by the way, Legoloas’s face when he says “This is awesome” is quite amusing. Perfect expression. (^^)

  19. David says:

    So. . . since there are 49 numbers below 50 and 50 numbers above 50, a roll of 50 on d% isn’t 50%?

  20. Mitey Heroes says:

    Beautiful screencaps today, and wonderful characterisation…

    Oh god, it’s all coming to an end. So sad!

  21. AndiN says:

    “A ten? What does that mean?”

    And thus begins Legolas’ long career in philosophy. ;-D

    I had to laugh, though, when the DM said, “OH CRAP!” My first thought was that they HAD won, and he was mad because he really wanted them to fail all along.

  22. wumpus says:

    Howdy,

    Unless the GM’s d20’s have a zero on them, Nick is rightish – 10 maps to 46-50 on a d100, again assuming that ’00’ is 100 and not 0. (And 1 maps to 1-5, and 20 maps to 96-100.)

    Alex

  23. Deoxy says:

    Nick

    a 10 on a d20 is indeed 50%, assuming you round everything up (that is, 1=5%, 20=100%, etc). In terms of statistical probability, this is correct. In terms of accurate weighted representation, yours is correct.

    Dice rolls are about statistical probability. Do the math.

  24. Deoxy says:

    Oh, and good comic, of course. Is that Shamus’ own hand and dice we see there? A cameo for Shamus – cool!

  25. Dev Null says:

    I’m thinking I mostly don’t need to point this out… but what the hell; I’m a geek.

    Nick, you’re correct… sorta. Yes, there are 9 numbers _under_ 10, and 10 numbers _over_ 10. There’s also the 10, which accounts for the other 5%.

  26. Tracia says:

    But….Frodo fails his will save, which indeed should be a d20 roll–not sure what the DC for a 9th level equavalent of “charm person” spell cast from a ring forged by an epic fighter…I’m not sure even a 19 would succeed.

    So I would say the DM would roll in front of the players, and, unless it’s a 20, Frodo fails his will save.

    Then the DM can save the story by having the ring get destroyed from a roll behind the screen where Gollum rolls a one in his balance/grapple check….right?

    Sorry. Am I taking this too literally here? :)

  27. Liss says:

    Genius! This and the death of Gollum are my absolute favourites.

  28. phf says:

    How’d you decide which dice to use for the shot? Why “blue” ones?

    The Chainmail Bikini comic sounds interesting. Have you heard of the game?

    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Chainmail-Bikini-DesignTeam/?yguid=89701244

  29. Mr. Pookers says:

    Wow, great comic again today “” Legolass’s expressions especially are so perfect.

  30. Susano says:

    This is why I like 3d6.

  31. Victor says:

    I cant wait for the next one.

  32. Kaemaril says:

    You mean after this … no Star Wars?

    * sheds a tear … a man tear, goddamnit. *

    I wanna see another epic merrily butchered by a bunch of roleplayers! :)

  33. Simon says:

    Chainmail Bikini?

    Sounds a bit shit doesn’t it?

    Dude, you do the movie-cap-to-rpg-antic sort of story really well. That’s what makes this way funnier than all the other yawnsome rpg comics out there. Who wants yet another Snarf? 2/3rds of the fun is in the way you’re interplaying movie stills with writing because they’re movie stills.

    More of that please! Harry Potter, Matrix, superheroes, Star Fucking Wars, whatever. There’s dozens of choice picks for new movie-to-rpg comics out there. That’s what we want and it’s what you do best.

    Please don’t fall into the generic trap.

  34. Zaghadka says:

    Pfft. Newbie DM’s. A d20 is a percentile die!

    You just rolled an initial “0.” Just roll the damned thing again (if you need to). As it is, it’s looking like a pretty good roll!

  35. Doug Brown says:

    I have only a very few brand loyalties:

    Adidas sneakers
    Dr. Pepper beverages
    nvidia chipsets
    Shamus Young webcomics

    I will follow.

  36. Shawn says:

    Re: Simon

    Wow, that didn’t take long.

  37. Rico says:

    I blame Gimli for messing up the DM. He brought up the single d20 on the page before this.

  38. Scarlet Knight says:

    AndiN Says:”A ten? What does that mean?”

    No wonder Legolas is flunking out of college. Even Philosophy majors can count to “10”.

  39. Shamus says:

    Shawn: His disapproval is like a badge of honor to me.

  40. Dan says:

    Donk. Ha!

    And yes, I second the accusation of Gimli. He started it.

    The fact of it is that if the roll calls for percentile dice, the GM needs to use percentile dice. I guarantee you my players would be howling if he tried to pass a 10 off as any percentage. That’s like claiming to be Master’s champion after failing to sign your scorecard. Technically, you may have done everything to win, but if you didn’t follow the established rules of resolution, any action attributed to the dice is null and void.

    1. WJS says:

      You have very contrary players then, I would say. “Well 10/20 is basically 50%” is a perfectly reasonable response to “Crap! That should have been a d%!”

  41. Matthias says:

    Come on, Shamus. Everyone’s doing web comics for gamers. Who is doing screencap comics for gamers? Be the guy that stands out from the rest.

    I don’t care which movie-to-RPG series you “Shamus” next. But do what you’ve been doing, it’s worked wonderfully so far!

  42. Jindra34 says:

    To everyone complaining about new comic: All we know is the title. Honestly it could be anything at this point. So wait for more info before you start whining incesenantly.

  43. Vegedus says:

    The end is coming… Fast upon us it encroaches… May the gods have mercy on our souls…

  44. Khenal says:

    I kinda want to see Frodo fail his save. They dont have Golum so save thier collective butts, Legolas killed him, remember?

  45. Peter Core says:

    Shamus, thank you for all the grins, chuckles and laughter.

    I look forward to your next effort.

  46. Grant says:

    I can’t resist!

    Average roll on a d20 would be 10.5 (1-20 uniform distribution)

    Average roll on a percentile would be 50.5 (1-100 uniform distribution)

    If you just x5, 10 = 50%, but since 10.5 x 5 = 52.5%, this would give you a slightly higher average than rolling a percentile die would…

    Also, setting it to 47.5 wouldn’t be quite right either… that is equivalent of subtracting 2.5 from the average, making your new average 50%, which isn’t really 50.5%. To keep the same average and a similar distribution, you should really x5 and then subtract 2%.

  47. Marty says:

    I’m guessing “Simon” may be trying to be funny. IE – playing an American Idol-esque “Simon” by cutting down the idea like the Simon does to the mediocre singers.

    He’s either failing really badly at being funny, or he really is an ass.

    We’ll leave it up to the readers to determine.

  48. Proteus says:

    I wanna see Dave play Star Wars! ::holds breath, waiting::

  49. Sylly says:

    Re Tracia:

    Good point, except for the fact Gollum is long dead. :lol:

  50. theonlymegumegu says:

    Both of the screen caps for Leggo-Lass are PERFECT! Love it!

  51. Grant says:

    Oh, no, look what you’ve started… now I’m going to waste a whole afternoon figuring out the best way to map a d20 to a percentile…

    On further thought, the x5 is arbitrary… this quite likely doesn’t preserve the standard deviation exactly. So while x5 -2 would be a good conversion, it isn’t perfect.

    To go a step further you could parameterize the transformation… to match mean and variance you could say y = ax + b, where y = percentile result and x = d20 roll. Solve for a and b such that the mean and variance of the two dice rolls are the same. Two unknowns, two equations.

    To go even further, you could take this to higher order statistical moments… using cubics or generalized polynominals as your transformation function, and the higher order statistical moments (skewness, kurtosis, etc.) for your extra equations. I wonder what you would find? Would the higher order terms diminish quickly? hmm…

  52. SteveDJ says:

    The way I see it, Shamus has been doing DMotR for about a year now. While he’s got all the cheers and acolades from his readers, he is not able to re-publish any of his work and make any money on the side (thanks to copyrights) – something that all other web comic creators are able to do.

    By going with something completely new/original, he will then have that opportunity for sales and merchandising. No, I’m not at all saying that he’s only doing this for the money, but it is a nice side benefit that he should be entitled to.

    (Just one caution: Is the name “Chainmail Bikini” already owned by someone else? The presence of a game and/or yahoo group might suggest so?)

    Anyway, I wish Shamus (and partner Shawn) all the best luck in this new venture. I hope it is as funny as what we’ve seen so far, even if it is a different style from screencaps. I look forward to it when it starts its run.

  53. Strangeite says:

    The DMotR has bought Shamus quite a bit of goodwill from me and so I will follow Chainmail Bikini. I must admit that I am a little disappointed that it is a “normal” webcomic, but if the humor is good, I will be coming back.

    On the issue of Chainmail Bikini being owned by someone else, I have searched the database here at my lawfirm and indeed “Chainmail Bikini” has indeed been trademarked by a Garr, James, E INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 9919 Madres Ct. Concord NORTH CAROLINA 28027. The trademark has been abandoned but (and I am no expert here) that does not mean that he has entirely forfeited his rights to the trademark. Shamus, you should proceed carefully here if you indeed hope to make a profit off of the comic.

    On a related note, I do not know what kind of legal structure you have established with the artist, but make sure that EVERYTHING monetary is funneled through an entity (inc, llc, llp, etc.) and that you have the corresponding by-laws, operating agreement, etc, is in place with particular attention paid to what happens if one of you wants out. I have seen too many times where great ideas become destroyed as soon as money starts coming in and someone gets a little greedy (and that doesn’t mean just the artist, but anyone that the artist may have a legal obligation to, i.e an ex-wife, creditors, etc., because they all could come after the profits, including yours, if the entity is not structured properly).

    Hope I haven’t scared you too bad.

  54. Tracia says:

    Syllly: Well, *some* creature that was following is dead, sure. But that’s not to say the DM can’t invent a new Gollum. Perhaps he could name him Gullom, Gollum’s long lost brother who’s come to avenge his death. Or he could call him smeagol, the guy who had the ring BEFORE Gollum. Hey, that’s even factually correct! :)

    Or perhaps he could just call him Gollum again and these players wouldn’t know the difference. Aragorn, if he could even remember that far back in the first place, would probably think his name was Gullible or something. :)

    So I see know reason why the DM pull another Gollum out of his a$$, and be true to the d20 analysis of the movie, which is, pretty much, that Frodo doesn’t roll at 20, but that Gollum rolls a 1 on his grapple/balance check. :)

  55. ArcoJedi says:

    Shamus:
    Awesome, sheer awesome!

    One question: who is the ‘hand model’? Is this the first time we’ve broken away from shots from the movie? I can’t find any others….

  56. Shamus says:

    ArcoJedi: A little DMotr Trivia…

    My hand was in the strip where everyone got bored waiting for the DM to start the fight. (Make Aragorn fall off cliff.) Various shots of dice have appeared here & there as well.

  57. Mari says:

    Beautiful, man, just beautiful. The suspense is killing me.

    PS I seem to have misplaced the e-mail address to which I should address my ardent love and adoration. ;-P

  58. Drezta says:

    dose it really matter whether frodo passes the will save or not?
    i’ve played many a campaign with a harsh DM that has set us through a way to hard quest just to make us fail at the end because of some dogey(sp) rolling.
    anyway even with gollum dead theres still sam, frodo having to make that important a will save would that a standard action to convey the effort of will involved so he would be flat footed giving sam a perfect chance to sneak attack frodo^^

  59. Drezta says:

    ps brilliant till the last. well done

  60. RisingShadow says:

    OOoo, I can’t wait for the new boot webcomic. Already bookmarked and will visit on a daily basis until it’s up!

  61. Ceresk says:

    Awesome tension-killing ! ;)
    I will gladly follow your new project as DM of th Rings gave me numerous greath laughs !

    I think the best/worst destroyed tension was at the end of my fisrt campaign as GM (WEG StarWars). The PCs had just thwarted the plans of the big bad guy and he intercepted them with his last bodyguards to have revenge. After a short speech I was awaiting their reaction … silence … silence … finally one of them (the only character who never met the guy in person) take a step forward and says “Do I know you ?” …

    R.I.P. Tension ! ;)

  62. Scarlet Knight says:

    “The end is near! Re-paint!”

    Oops, I should have saved that for “Chainmail bikini”.

    I confess I just noticed that Aragorn, Legolas, & Gimli started their lines with: “This is …” & therefore discovered a joke I hadn’t noticed before. Nicely done,Shamus!

  63. Al Shiney says:

    Although I admittedly came late to the DMotR party, I have been a loyal follower and poster for a few months now, so I believe wholeheartedly that I have earned the right to say the following (ahem):

    “Shamus, do whatever the hell you want to do with your artistic talents!”

    You have made me laugh, you have made me cry (by laughing so hard). I have already bookmarked Fear the Boot and will be there in September when it all begins.

    Godspeed, little doodle.

  64. Browncoat says:

    I just googled “Chainmail Bikini”, and I’m sorry to say, the new comic doesn’t appear on the first page. I wasn’t interested enough to look at subsequent pages. Anyway, I look forward to the time when performing that search in the future will take me right to the new strip.

  65. Carl the Bold says:

    Shamus, according to the illustration of you on the Fear the Boot page you linked to way up north, you have a *huge* Adam’s Apple.

    You should get that looked at.

  66. Shawn says:

    Browncoat:

    I’m not surprised. We did just announce it today. The site it’s on hasn’t been up 24 hours and certainly hasn’t been Search Engine Optmized yet. If you Google “chainmail bikini” in October and we’re not on top, well then there’s a problem.

  67. Jochi says:

    Well, first I agree with those that are saying you have a right to do what you want with your talents, Shamus, including using them in a way freer of legal entanglements to make financial gain. I hope it works.

    Second, I agree with those (including Gimli) who say the tension of waiting to see what is going to happen is excruciating.

    Third, I agree that the fact that we’re NOT going to get to see similar send-ups of Star Wars or Indiana Jones or Terminator or whatever is disappointing, but that doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy your new effort. You have a talent for screencaps, as many have said.

    Finally, I have to point out that Shamus is quite capable of doing two projects at once OR doing another screencap comic after Chainmail Bikini runs its course OR during a lull there. And if you don’t follow his work there or continually recheck THIS site, assuming it stays up, you’ll never know. So, if you’re a fan, stay tuned.

  68. brassbaboon says:

    Heh, I love the mathematical analysis of converting a d20 roll into a percentile roll…

    Probabilities are not this complicated. However, it does make a difference which direction you are going, which is also true of percentile dice. The “10” is the top number in the first 50% of possible outcomes. The “11” is the bottom number in the second 50% of possible outcomes. So rolling a 10 is perfectly comparable to rolling a “50” on percentile dice, assuming that the “00” of the percentile dice is “100” and not “zero” which is the standard way of interpreting percentile dice as far as I know.

    There is a problem if you are trying to hit a number between 50% and 55% though, because a d20 won’t resolve accurately to any percent between 50 and 55. The “11” on the d20 indicates a result of “55%” not a result of “anything bigger than 50%.” This gets back to my comments earlier about dice rolls essentially representing a macroscopic version of a quantum event. There is no way to resolve to a result smaller than the smallest increment of the die. Attempting to do so is just putting the result up for grabs. You can never know of this particular “10” result was closer to an “11” than any other “10” result. It’s just “10.”

    So if I were the DM in this situation and needed to resolve the result to something between “50” and “55” (because anything smaller than “50” or larger than “55” has already been resolved), then I really have two choices. I can roll another die to determine where between 50 and 55 the actual result is, or I can void the d20 and reroll a percentile die. In this case, assuming that the magical number is something like “53” that means rolling a d10, diving by 2 (not “dividing” but the integer math operator of “div”) and adding the result to the “50%” represented by the “10” on the d20. Simple, and no reason to panic. It just doubles the anticipation is all…

  69. MH(C?) says:

    Hey, those are my dice!

    (I was wondering where they’d gone.)

  70. Oh noes! You guys all (except wumpus) fale at math.

    The 10 on the D20 corresponds to the range 46-50 on percentiles. The average is 48, but it isn’t fair to use the average: if the whole range from 46-50 doesn’t lie completely within either success or failure, you have to roll the die again. For the second roll, 1-4 corresponds to a 46, 5-8 to a 47, 9-12 to a 48, 13-16 to a 49, and 17-20 to a 50.

    If you’re not willing to do that kind of calculation, you should just do what the DM did and call the D20 roll null and void.

    As for what the DC should be, it doesn’t really make a ton of sense to require a critical success. If it’s that tough to throw the ring now, it would’ve been almost that tough to get up there, meaning Frodo probably wouldn’t have made it that far. I don’t think the ring should be treated as casting a single spell right at the end–its effect is more a gradual thing. Moreover, the magic is weak in Tolkien, so even though it’s a high-level effect, it still shouldn’t be all that powerful.

  71. Mejo says:

    Grant – you’re nearly right with (d20 x 5) -2, but all the complex stuff is a distraction.

    Whatever else might be true, the d20 and percentile rolls are uniform distributions. So only two parameters count: range and mean. If you want the distribution to remain uniform only a linear transformation (d100=m x d20 +c) will do.

    If you want to try getting the range to match, you would want a roll of 1 on the d20 to be 1% and 20 to be 100%. That fixes it to: multiply by 99, subtract 80 and then divide by 19.

    Fortunately, this transforms 10.5 into 50.5, so the mean is right too!

    so: d100=(99 x d20 – 80)/19

    Yes, I know, I am sadness personified.

  72. Coogan says:

    WTF with all this algebra and calculation? It’s clear: the d20 has two ranges, 1-10 and 11-20, both of equal size. A roll of “10” is low. Ergo, rocks fall, everyone dies. (Unless the DM has decided that low is good.) Same thing would happen with a 50 rolled on a d%, assuming 00 is 100. Sheesh!

    Muahahahaha!

  73. Mejo says:

    which means a roll of 10 on a d20 is

    47.894715 7894715 7894715 … %

    (sad, sad, sad.)

  74. Mejo says:

    But Coogan, the DM has said there are also special modifiers! We don’t know it’s 50-50 – the fate of the middle earth may rest upon getting the right transformation law!!! :-)

  75. That was 12 kinds of Awesome and 17 kinds of WIN!

    Legolass’s faces are great :D

  76. Lina says:

    I just spent the better part of three hours or so reading this. . .I have to say quite honestly that I used to play D & D and other RPG but left that world many moons ago. Friends have tried to entice me to come back to no avail, I am openly admitting that reading this strip may be the impetus that will seduce me back to this world. For shame, Shamus, for shame! Thanks for the great laughs, I’m off to find my dice and dust them off. . .they’re here somewhere!

  77. brassbaboon says:

    Thorin:

    Heh, I think you got it right, and I had a boundary value problem. A roll of “10” would need to be resolved between 45 and 50, as you say, not between 50 and 55 as I was saying earlier. At least I think so. After reading all this, now I’m all confused… ;)

  78. Dantekrad says:

    OMG!, the face of aragorn in the last panel!

    Awesome!

    Excellent, as always.

    (and yes, a rol of 10, must be between 45 and 50)

  79. Rasmus says:

    76 Mejo Says: 47.89471578947157894715 … %

    Should that be rounded UP or DOWN??? :-)

    Gee, i´m a math teatcher, and i´m getting a little confuesed here…
    So many choices!!!

  80. David H. says:

    I have to say I’ve really enjoyed the hell out of DM of the Rings, and I’m looking forward to seeing how “Fear the Boot” shakes out. One downside of the transition: a highlight of DMOTR was the way the humor played out as commentary, not just on gaming, but on the original story. I will miss that.

    Of course, my favorite installment ever is the orc battle in which the players grapple with the byzantine attacks of opportunity system, which doesn’t incorporate that at all.

  81. Grymm says:

    Actually the comic does not have to end for some time. Considering how long the epilogue lasted in the movie, he could fill a few more months of work on that stuff. I loved the comic by the way. Thanks for the laughs.

  82. Me says:

    I’m surprised no-one else has picked up on the hidden message in the other dice sitting on the table.

    2 6 3 11

    Lol, good one Shamus! ;-)

  83. Zalan says:

    Is that your actual hand Shamus? Or did you use a stand-in, a so called handyman?

    BA-DUM-TSH!

  84. Parzival says:

    “I'm surprised no-one else has picked up on the hidden message in the other dice sitting on the table.

    2 6 3 11”

    You missed the four-sider, which (squinting) reads 1 (I think).

    But I appear to have missed the significance, either way. Care to explain?

  85. MIG says:

    wait…where did that giant scar on Aragorn’s face come from? =|

  86. Me says:

    Hmm, the 1 does put a bit of a new complextion on it ;-)

    23/6/1911 was the brithdate of T. Hee (Teehee) the famous cartoonist.

    Or if we substitute letters for numbers 3=C 11=k, and you notice that the 2 is upside down, as is the 6, so clearly we subtract those from 26 to get the letters 2=Y and 6=U.

    Thus spelling “Yuck”.

  87. Rehtul says:

    Ehm… that seems a bit over-the-top complexity, doesn’t it? I mean it’s kinda like saying “nyuck nyuck” to your own joke… I mean, it IS saying “nyuck nyuck” to your own joke… I wonder how Mr. Hee would respond? :D

  88. oldschoolGM says:

    Zaghadka Said:
    Pfft. Newbie DM's. A d20 is a percentile die!

    You just rolled an initial “0.” Just roll the damned thing again (if you need to). As it is, it's looking like a pretty good roll!

    This is the correct answer. No need to get all worked up about where a 10 would fall in the range between 45% an 55%. To further clarify, ignoring the “1” on a “10” and the “2” on a “20”, a d20 generates a number between 0 and 9 just as well as a standard d20. So, simply take the “0” from the rolled “10” as the tens digit and roll again for the ones digit. Don’t tell me only one other person here has ever had to fall back on this old gamers trick? You people obviously never had a dog get at your dice bag right before people showed up for gaming. :)

    Still, funny stuff Shamus! I’ll give your next project a shot. Could be fun!

  89. Shapeshifter says:

    NOW do you people see why he’s just going to roll a d100 instead of converting the d20?

    Experience.

    (Actually though, i think the whole “Oh shit, that’s the wrong number!” result is probably right… :P)

  90. Mark says:

    The trademark has been abandoned but (and I am no expert here) that does not mean that he has entirely forfeited his rights to the trademark.

    These things differ from country to country, but I’m pretty sure Trademarks have to be current. And the person has to be actually trading, not just hogging it for later value.

    They also only apply to specific areas: if the current holder is for a clothing store, it wouldn’t affect the ability to use the wording for a comic.

  91. gottasing says:

    Only one week left…**sob**.

    But I will gladly follow wherever you lead Shamus!

  92. Matthias says:

    Yall are overcomplicating the process of rolling d20s for percentile.

    Roll it once, subtracting 10 if you roll higher than 10. Multiply by 10, getting your tens value.

    Roll it again, subtracting 10 if you roll higher than 10. That gives you your ones value.

    Your tens value plus your ones value gives you your percentile roll.

    Easy!

  93. Matthias says:

    An addendum to that, for the ones value treat both “10s” as zeros instead. Otherwise that’s it.

  94. Coarse.Sand says:

    I’m quite psyched to see what happens with Chainmail Bikini, especially since I’ve become addicted to FtB after listening to your interview with them.

  95. Aries says:

    ……….shoot the DM, please dear god shoot the DM, i mean after all that he rolled the wrong sodding dice?

    and he had the gaul to mock the players?

    *sigh*

  96. Riva says:

    Fellas as facinating as all this maths is, it sure as hell isnt going to count for much, the DM will just reroll…or something completely left field will happen in the next strip.

    Thorin says: Oh noes! You guys all (except wumpus) fale at math.

    Riva says: Oh noes you “fail” at English, sorry pet hate

    All in all great strip Shamus, loved the screen caps for lego-my-ass.
    Cheers mate
    -R

  97. RobTzu says:

    If you look on panel 5, the d4 is actually showing 4 not one.

  98. RobTzu says:

    Well heck, it does sometimes and sometimes its a one. =/

  99. Kj says:

    Legolas: this is awesome

    I bet he was sorely disappointed :D

  100. Evrae says:

    I have done this so many times but normaly i just lie and make stuff up like a good DM. (who wants to figure out number anyways)

  101. Maverick says:

    Wow, im amazed Aragorn looks so disaopointed. Surely now we are comming to an end he isn’t JUST going to start roleplaying?

  102. Richard H-G says:

    Firstly: Great comic, shame it’s nearly over!

    Secondly: All this talk about the math is neglecting another possible interpretation: the DM fudge.

    When you are forced to roll for something you’re not ready for and don’t have the rules handy, or don’t want to spend an hour working out the EXACT number, you can often just roll the dice and fudge it. If the number is fairly high (and high is good) you just nod and say “Yep, good enough”. If it’s fairly low you say “Nup, just missed it.” Most of the time you can do this without anyone calling you on it – but if the dice comes up with a middle range number (like that blasted 10!) you are forced to either stop everything while you look up all the books and do all the sums… or find an excuse to re-roll: “I was supposed to roll a percentile…”

  103. Cid says:

    You know, it sounds stupid of him to have used the wrong die; but I do occasionally do such things as an ‘accident’ to heighten tensions for the players.

    Ofcourse, I’m also one of those GMs who rolls dice behind his screen for no other reason than to make my players worry.

  104. 111 says:

    111 !!! . ops?

  105. TimMcCloud says:

    It shouldn’t end soon – the current group should get pissed at the current ending without loot and leave for a while, frodo and samwise will get bored with the game they left for and show up for a seperate adventure all the way to mt doom, and finally every one will get back together around the xmas holidays for a last game and wrap up all of the “endings”. Especially since there will be some loot. :D

  106. Naughty Girl says:

    I’m also going to miss this comic. (sniffles)

    112! :P

  107. tom says:

    I wanna see frodo fail his save then when the players start whining that its a bunch of bull the dm will say
    “blame legolass he killed gollum which i would have used as a re-roll”
    then the aragorn and gimli kill him.

  108. tom says:

    crap ignore the “the” in front of aragorn it was a typo

  109. Hammondm says:

    Just watch all 3 movies again. After reading this web-comic, everything in the movie gets converted to DnD. Well done shamus, you’ve brought out the gamer in all of us!!!!

  110. Anonymooo says:

    I picked this comic up a few weeks ago at a friend’s suggestion and have enjoyed every second of it. Thanks, Shamus, for a horrifically badass and funny take on a classic.

    I’m personally looking forward to Chainmail Bikini–while I am worried it’s gonna become another “gamers’ webcomic,” it’s almost guaranteed to have solid writing, and the sample art shown on the site looks perfectly suited to the shenanighans that are bound to happen. Should be pretty damn cool, in my opinion.

  111. Liam says:

    The last shot of Aragon – why does it look like he took an axe to the face sometime in the past? I don’t remember a huge, glaring scar like that….

  112. Artea says:

    So that’s it, then?
    Well, I guess, all good things must come to an end.

    Many thanks for so many laughs!

  113. Katy says:

    You know what’s great? You kept all three of the constant PCs “in character”, do you know what I mean? Aragorn’s player is a terrible roleplayer always trying to get babes, loot, and is the biggest nuisance to the DM’s railroaded plot. Gimli’s player is always the best roleplayer and he outsmarts the DM often, usually being the person who listens to the goings-on the most. Legolas’s player is totally into it the whole time, loves the combat no matter how repetitive, and loves the risky rolls.

    Bravo to that.

  114. poxjedi says:

    I just got on this site a few days ago, and as soon as I found the first DMotR comic, I read every one of them. Brilliant comic, and I look forward to finding out how it ends.

  115. Scarlet Knight says:

    Aries Says:”…and he had the gaul to mock the players?”

    I would mock the players, too, if I had a Gaul around to do it for me!

  116. SSMcBeattie says:

    I just think it’s fabulous that DM’s all over the universe can really take the edge off an exciting adventuring moment

  117. Taho says:

    I lol’d =3

  118. lifethelemon says:

    *psst* that 10? it’s just like a 50. *nods*

  119. Pete says:

    When this ends… I… I have not much entertainment back. Hopefully you’ll make more of this kind?
    THANKS, FOR A WONDERFULL COMIC!

  120. Browncoat says:

    114 tom Says: crap ignore the “the” in front of aragorn it was a typo

    No, no, tom. Don’t claim it was a typo. Claim you were shouting out mad props to Miss SC! “the Iraq”, “the Aragorn”. We US Americans love that kind of stuff!

  121. superfluousk says:

    Chainmail Bikini… *winces and covers eyes* Do I want to know?

  122. Yahzi says:

    The fate of the world goes… DONK!

    LOL!

  123. TheTokenShadow says:

    Quote: “Browncoat says: Donk?”

    “I don’t need a gun, mate. I’ve got a DONK!”
    “You…You’ve got a WHAT?”
    “Donk!” (Thwack)
    -Crocodile Dundee 2

  124. Margaret says:

    Just wanted to post in a legendary thread.
    132 suckers!!

    Can’t wait for the next journey Shamus!

  125. standgale says:

    so that’s why that bit of the story took so long – rerolling.
    I’m going to miss this comic :(

  126. Woosh says:

    Samus, you should do a Princess Bride comic.

    Or Star Wars.

  127. Faltenin says:

    I’ve always loved when DMs roll the dice for NPC actions that don’t involve the players – since in this case they’ll do whatever they have in mind anyway.

    Ahhh… rolling lots of dice behind the screen just to make players panic…

  128. elrod says:

    What an OUTSTANDING comic. Thank you for all that you have done. It’s like getting to see the trilogy all over again. IF you do another screencap comic; do SERENITY or FIREFLY will ya? Lots of comic possibilities in that.

  129. Chadhulhu says:

    Dang, this is great. you have a great eye for stills for the comic. awesome. can not wait to seehow this turns out.

  130. Ninja says:

    This is an awesome comic that defies all logic.
    Aragormless being a complete jackass…
    Legomyass being a jock nerd…
    And Gimli actually being the only serious guy…
    It’s the exact opposite of the way they’re usually portrayed, and not only is it funny…
    It’s…delicious.
    I can only say I hate myself for not reading this at the first chance I had.
    Except then I would have had a lot less goodness to read through, and a lot more ‘OH MY GOD CAN’T STAND THE WAIT.’
    Also, 138.

  131. Juice says:

    Well played Shamus, well played.

  132. Gelatinous Cube says:

    I’m amazed. The die didn’t fell off the table.

    And This IS Awesome.

  133. Jurrubin says:

    Matthias Says:

    Yall are overcomplicating the process of rolling d20s for percentile…
    ————-

    Or just realize 10 is half (i.e. 50%) of 20.

  134. Kacky Snorgle says:

    Mejo says: d100=(99 x d20 – 80)/19

    which means a roll of 10 on a d20 is

    47.894715 7894715 7894715 … %

    And sixty-odd posts later, nobody’s yet caught the division error. A denominator of 19 can’t possibly produce a repeating decimal of period 7; any math nerd knows that the period has to be a factor of denominator-minus-one. ;)

    Pulling out the handy Windows calculator, we see that Mejo’s formula actually converts the d20 roll of 10 to

    47.894736842105263157 894736842105263157 …,

    a decimal with a much more reasonable period length of 18.

  135. Mejo says:

    Yo, Kacky Snorgle,
    Awesome!

    The truth is out, I cannot accurately divide by 19 beyond 6 significant figures.

  136. DrunkenPrayer says:

    I was never any good at long division. Happy to see there’s another project in the works though to ease the loss of this strip.

  137. bobniborg says:

    Not to force you to appease us but I would really like to see you consider this medium (screen caps crossing genres). I was thinking using the Star Wars films but the DnD cross isnt there (other systems apply though). You could try a mash of Star Wars and Star Trek. Trying to think of other epics… not sure the Matrix qualifies.

  138. Ellie says:

    Ah, amazing job as usual, Shamus.

    I look forward to this new effort!

  139. SteveZilla says:

    I like how Legolas says “Did WE win” while Aragorn says “Did HE lose”. True powergamers, both of them. When someone else does something good, it’s a team effort, but when they screw up, it’s all their fault.

    BTW, this reminds me of a game Evil Otto was running where it came to me to roll a d20 after everybody else had rolled it, one at a time…

  140. Nira de Toryll says:

    Eeheehee! This one made me giggle so much!! Aweosome as ever!

  141. Okay. Thank you for keeping me up until past 3am and waking everyone else in the house with my laughter. And here’s me with a big presentation tomorrow, too.

    Wish I had a nickel for every time a horrifically important die roll came out hopelessly mediocre. Smashing triumph? All set. Crushing failure? No problem, we’re prepared for that eventuality. But what do you do with a 10?

    You just know that even if he rolls it, the d100 is going to be a “54,” don’t you?

  142. Ron says:

    I hate it when the DM uses the rubber D20

  143. Cynder says:

    Bwahahaha XD Stoopid DM :P

  144. ajak60 says:

    love the link!!!

    404 – File or directory not found.
    The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

  145. Ebircs says:

    The image is gone D:

  146. nocata says:

    whats a percent die?

  147. Rory says:

    I was totally expecting the die to roll behind the computer again, lol.

  148. WJS says:

    I can’t really imagine how best to model that roll. My instincts say use a suggestion spell, DC is then 13 + Sauron’s Cha modifier (I see him as being a charisma based character, not a wizard). Assuming 18 Cha, the save DC would then be 17 – possible, but difficult for a level 1-2 hobbit aristocrat wish 12 Wis. Aragorn (Rgr/Pal) would be able to resist this much better than Boromir (Ftr), but doesn’t really fit with Gandalf, who should have good will saves be he a wizard, cleric, bard, druid, paladin, whatever. I guess it would still work if you say that the ring wouldn’t be able to control him, but he would be tempted to try to use it himself rather than destroy it – which is pretty much what he says at Bag End. He would be tempted to use it, and with prolonged exposure even he would roll a 1 sometimes.

    Whee, huge wall of speculation!

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