LARPing is bad for your game and poisonous for the hobby in general. The last thing we need is to introduce elements to RPGs that would allow the Jocks to dominate and despoil our once-great hobby.
“If you stand up, you’re LARPing” – Adam PinillaEdit 2019: For context, Adam was one of the hosts of Fear the Boot, the site where this comic was hosted back in 2007..
The end of ZOMG RAPEGATE. Whew. Glad that’s over.
Note that in the previous strip Chuck said it was “more of a second base thing”. Now he’s saying she’s lost her virtue. Again, this ambiguity as to what happened exists because, as far as the story goes, nothing happened. They’re inhabiting a white void because the GM hasn’t placed them anywhere. Josh’s character doesn’t take part because he doesn’t exist yet.
If you jam the ZOMG RAPEGATE strips together they more or less form a coherent exchange. (Notwithstanding whatever changes I made to cut the thing up.) This is the entire conversation. But when we cut it up, some people assume we’ve skipped something between strips – most likely the “worst” of it.
So ends this series of over-thinking and under-entertaining. I’m really glad we didn’t have another meltdown this time. And now we go from one of the least popular strips to one of the most popular ones. Yay!
During the week and a half between when strips #6 and 8 originally ran, we’d won back a number of readers by discussing our intentions, and then we lost them all again with Chuck’s dialogue in strip #8. Oh yeah.
I do like how this one ends though. Both Marcus’s retaliation with a feeble attempt at physical violence and Josh’s reply. “Die Fatbeard!” and “Hey! No LARPing!” are two of my favorite lines from the comic, regardless of how we got there.
Anyway, we’re now done with the low point of the comic, it’s all up hill from here! (At least until Steve stays around way too long, wearing out his welcome both among the characters and the readers.)
See you next time, where we meet xXKillStealr69Xx. Oh yes.
Like I said last time, if the entire three-strip exchange had been in a single comic… well, I can’t claim it wouldn’t have been controversial. Lots of people have made it pretty clear that this subject matter wasn’t going to fly regardless of execution. Having said that, I still think it would be less outrage-inducing if viewed as a whole.
First, the breaks between strips create a time gap where the reader might assume more unpleasant things happened. If you moosh all the strips into a single conversation, we eliminate the problem of closureFrom Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”, closure is the process where the audience fills in the between-panel time. Panel 1 shows the axe swinging downward. Panel 2 shows a scream echoing over the city. But between those, the reader filled in the axe landing on the victim. making things worse. We also get Chuck being brought to “justice” in the same comic as his crime, rather than leaving the audience feeling angry for a week.
Lots of people suggested how they would change the previous two comics. That’s pretty understandable. If you really hate them but generally like the rest of the series, then you’ll probably wish you could just patch the bad spots. If you see a way to make a huge improvement with a small change, then it’s natural to be frustrated with the author. That was a big part of my Mass Effect Andromeda series.
More than one person suggested that the exchange should be inverted. Perhaps Marcus gets the upper hand when they roll the dice, and then his character kicks Chuck’s character in the balls. I can certainly understand why some people would have preferred that (and it certainly would have been less controversial) but that option doesn’t work here because the goal is to build up to this final panel. “Die Fatbeard!” and “Hey! No LARPing!” are the punchline to the whole thing, and everything else is setup. This means having Ramgar kicked in the balls wouldn’t work, because we need him to become a villain in the middle so he can be punished in the end.
But in the spirit of trying to fix things like I did for Andromeda, maybe let’s see if we can do better than what we have…
If Chuck rolls to grapple Marcus’ character and loses, then Marcus could turn the tables and (for example) sit on him or tie him up.
But then in the second three panels, it turns out that Ramgar (or perhaps Chuck, whatever) is actually into being tied up / sat on. This is embarrassing for Marcus, thus turning the tables a second time.
Then in the final three panels, Chuck continues to tease Marcus, trying to goad him into more hitting. This continues this until LARPing happens.
That would steer us away from the whole rape debate. On the other hand, Chuck’s crime kind of loses its edge, and so Marcus’ final panel of lashing out doesn’t feel properly justified.
Either way, I’m sure lots of people will still take issue with this premise. It really does seem like the first three panels are a complete deal-breaker for a lot of people, regardless of who wins the dice-roll. Once those dice hit the table, some people immediately reject the entire premise and have complete story collapse. “I would leave the group. I would never play with these people!” That means the story has failed them completely and there’s no getting them back.
But having the tables turned in each strip would make for a more interesting overall structure, and I think it would have made the whole thing less controversial in the end.
Anyway, that’s the end of the controversy. The next comic really is one of the best.
 Edit 2019: For context, Adam was one of the hosts of Fear the Boot, the site where this comic was hosted back in 2007.
 From Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”, closure is the process where the audience fills in the between-panel time. Panel 1 shows the axe swinging downward. Panel 2 shows a scream echoing over the city. But between those, the reader filled in the axe landing on the victim.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
The Gameplay is the Story
Some advice to game developers on how to stop ruining good stories with bad cutscenes.
I Was Wrong About Borderlands 3
I really thought one thing, but then something else. There's a bunch more to it, but you'll have to read the article.
Silent Hill 2 Plot Analysis
A long-form analysis on one of the greatest horror games ever made.
id Software Coding Style
When the source code for Doom 3 was released, we got a look at some of the style conventions used by the developers. Here I analyze this style and explain what it all means.