#16 Ready Player 4

By Shamus Posted Sunday Apr 14, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 14 comments

The aphorism is, “Misery loves company.” This stands in stark contrast to roleplaying games, where misery, in fact, needs company.

Shawn Says:

Oh no! A girl!

Ivy was generally well received back in the olden days of 2007. There was one guy who just hated her though, thought she was mean and bitchy and cruel and not at all sympathetic or endearing like the other characters. Considering the other characters, this kind of boggled my mind.

Unlike the other characters, who Shamus had names for from the get go, we batted around a lot of names for Ivy. She also looked considerably different in my first sketches of her. (So did Josh for the record, before I decided he should look like a nerdier, less buff Alan Tudyk.) Originally, Ivy was more covered up, with a black turtleneck and black hair hanging over her face. Like Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club but with giant coke bottle glasses. Quickly she morphed in to the tank top wearing bitter goth girl we know and love today.

Also, this is another great comic for the drinking game.

Shamus Says:

Ivy was planned from the start (although, as Shawn pointed out, her name wasn’t set until later) but I didn’t want to have to introduce everyone during one huge clusterflock right at the beginning. One GM and three players seemed like a good start, which would let us get the plot rolling before introducing Ivy.

I love panel 2 here, which gives a perfect snapshot of each character. Chuck is practical but cynical. Marcus is enthusiastic but clueless. And Josh is griefing Chuck. The drawing of Josh is perfect.

EDIT 2019: Nothing to add to this one.

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14 thoughts on “#16 Ready Player 4

  1. Dave B. says:

    This is at least the second time a drinking game has been mentioned. Does anyone remember what the rules were?

    1. Syal says:

      We’re way too many drinks in to remember that now.

    2. sheer_falacy says:

      I believe it’s about characters talking with their mouths closed.

      1. silver Harloe says:

        There’s also the meta-drinking game where “Shamus puts the whole article up without a break” is a drink. So drink!

  2. Tvtim says:

    Completely unrelated to the comic (mostly), but as I was reading the bit from Shawn and Shamus at the end, that little scorpion in the background image kept looking like it was moving. I know it’s a still image of an old activision game, but it kept looking like it was wiggling around…I think I’ve been on my computer a bit too long today.

  3. The font used for Josh’s character is just awful! I have spent the past 3 minutes trying to figure out who “Marevs” is.

    It would have been much better if the speech bubbles were colored to match each character’s hair or clothing color. Having Ivy’s bubble be black is perfect.

    (I also love the fact that Ivy’s glasses have a little skull on them.)

    1. Lino says:

      It took me way longer than it should have to see that he said “We’re on a quest”, rather than “We’re on 2 quest”…

      Other than that – stellar strip!

    2. kincajou says:

      my morning brain was stuck on figuring out who the hell Chvek is!

  4. BlueHorus says:

    Honestly, once they all started on about Chuck’s antics towards Marcus’ character, I’m surprised they didn’t scare her off*.
    But this greeting does ring very true, from what my experience of RP groups. You ask a simple question and get a torrent of ancilliary information from several sources.

    There was one guy who just hated [Ivy] though, thought she was mean and bitchy and cruel and not at all sympathetic or endearing like the other characters. Considering the other characters, this kind of boggled my mind.

    Heh. I had a similar experience when I was watching Breaking Bad. A lot of people seemed to (famously) hate Skylar White. I just found myself going ‘wait, you’ve MET Skylar’s sister, right? She’s much worse – where’s her hate?’

    *’What manner of Loony Bin have I stumbled into here…?’

    1. Daimbert says:

      I haven’t seen the show, but sometimes — perhaps usually — that kind of hate gets generated not or not just because they are terrible, but also because the show seems to be trying to present things as if they aren’t really terrible but are sympathetic in some way or right. That tends to grate on people. A character that is terrible that the show admits is terrible and makes clear that you’re supposed to find terrible tends to fall into the “love to hate” category rather than simple “Can’t stand”.

    2. shoeboxjeddy says:

      The problem people have with Skylar (besides straight up hatred of woman characters, which is definitely there) is that she’s the foil to Walter. She’s the one character who doesn’t react to “lucrative drug deals!” with the answer “how lucrative? what do we need to do to make these succeed?” Instead, she’s the normal person who’s like “Drugs are illegal! You’re committing crimes!” But the audience wants to see the crimes, that’s what they’re here for. They don’t want the character who is completely in the moral right to have their way. So they get annoyed with that character’s interference, even though it provides an important element to the conflict and moral values of the show.

      1. Galad says:

        Heh, on second watching, Skylar’s a well-built character. What Walt can’t or won’t account for, is how being in the drug business endangers himself, and the others around him. That’s precisely what Skylar can’t/won’t ignore as a woman and a mother.

  5. Carlos García says:

    I also never liked Ivy character; but I think that was because somehow she reminded me of a DM’s pet player in a NWN PW. I think that’s more or less how I pictured that player would look like if caricaturized in this style, so the dislike for that player seeped into Ivy.

  6. Ira says:

    Yeah, if there was a problem with Ivy, it’s that she’s the ‘normal’, ‘good’ player. The GM and Chuck, Marcus, and Josh are all horrible on some level: the GM’s a petty railroader, Chuck’s a griefer and a troll, Marcus is a self-important drama queen, and Josh is just there to break the game. They’re all caricatures of some sort of annoying player we’ve all encountered. In contrast, there’s nothing really wrong with Ivy. She just seems like a normal, nice player. Her main comedic utility is that she makes it possible to tell jokes that hinge on there being a girl in the group, but it would have been nice if there was more to her than just being the girl.

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