#18 An Irresistible Source of Brains

By Shamus Posted Friday Apr 26, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 19 comments

There are no original stories, characters, or plot devices anymore. The best you can do is try to find the one that sucks the least.

(And then milk it for all it’s worth.)

Shamus Says:

Ivy’s flying companion Fitzpatrick is 100% Shawn’s invention. He’s never named or spoken of in the comic, but he’s wonderfully funny and iconic.

Shawn Says:

Man, I love Fitzpatrick. Maybe one day I’ll do Fitzpatrick’s Adventures in Silhouette City. I figured Ivy needed a familiar, and this little toothy demon bat guy just came in to being. Keep an eye on him, mostly he just floats there looking chompy, but sometimes he will make faces or reflect Ivy’s mood.

Also, I love Josh’s line in panel 1.

Also #2, I actually agree a good deal with the Chuck commentary that originally ran with this comic. I’m a huge fan of tvtropes.org (CB is on there a couple of places, DMotR too I think. As far as I know, Clockworks isn’t mentioned anywhere yet, Stolen Pixels might be), and I love knowing enough about the classic tropes and cliches to have an idea when to subvert them and when to go for them wholeheartedly.

EDIT 2019: If you’re curious, this site gets a lot of mentions on TV Tropes:

  • Chainmail Bikini has its own page, and it’s also mentioned on the page of the trope itself.
  • Of course, DM of the Rings has a page dedicated to it, and all the tropes I embraced / subverted / mocked / blundered into. Before I started working at the Escapist, TV Tropes was a major source of traffic on this site.
  • There’s even a page about me specifically.
  • Spoiler Warning has a TV Tropes page, which is even up to date enough to note that I am no longer on the show.
  • The Witch Watch also has a page. It’s very interesting to see how many tropes I used without thinking about it.
  • Sadly no page for The Other Kind of Life. To be honest, I doubt ToKoL warrants a page. I think I spent the whole book avoiding tropes. I’m sure I used a few, but a big part of the fun of reading / writing those articles is seeing how many tropes you can identify and how you can connect them to other works. It’s entirely possible that ToKoL might not contain enough tropes to make it fun for the trope-counters.
  • The Escapist gets a page.
  • My text-based let’s plays Shamus Plays WoW, Shamus Plays LotRO, and A Star is Born (Champions Online) did not make the site. They are – or were – some of my most popular work, and a large portion of their jokes revolve around characters noticing, commenting on, or failing to avoid common tropes. Alas, TV Tropes is a fickle thing. (Also, the internet is enormous and you can’t include everything.)

From The Archives:

19 thoughts on “#18 An Irresistible Source of Brains

  1. Mr. Wolf says:

    “To be honest, I doubt ToKoL warrants a page. I think I spent the whole book avoiding tropes.”

    Nice try, but there’s no such things as a Tropeless Tale.

    1. Gwydden says:

      Indeed. All stories resemble other stories; therefore all stories are filled with tropes. No offense to our gracious host, but I imagine the only reason ToKoL doesn’t have its own page is because it’s too recent.

    2. Asdasd says:

      On the one hand, sure, absolutely. But on the other hand, I feel like its true* in large part because there’s an army of smug stamp collectors out there who could find a dozen stamps on a piece of blank paper. Including ‘stamps that are stamps because they don’t look like stamps’.

      *Or at least, evident.

    3. Joe Informatico says:

      Roger Ebert once said the only film without clichés was MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, but TVTropes disagrees.

  2. BlueHorus says:

    No I can’t get you Yahtzee’s autograph. Shut up.

    (Taken from Shamus’s TVTropes page)

    Wow, how many times did you get asked that?
    Did you reply with a map detailing just how far away Australia is from the USA with sarcastic annotations? That’s what I’d have done.
    (Yes, I know Yahtzee moved, to the US I think. Same thing applies, different map)

    Also, given the behavior of the other three players, I’ m not surprised the brains-seeking zombies aren’t interested in them…
    click here

    …well, actually, if Josh is as good a muchkin as he seems, he should have drawn some attention.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Bah, can’t make the autoplay work. Humbug.

  3. Crimson Dragoon says:

    I can’t believe I forgot about the familiar, despite how absolutely precious he is.

  4. Nixorbo says:

    I really need to use “Expedience over verbosity, gentlemen” more in my everyday life.

    1. Asdasd says:

      Sounds like a great way to grind some expedience points.

  5. Dreadjaws says:

    Sadly no page for The Other Kind of Life. To be honest, I doubt ToKoL warrants a page. I think I spent the whole book avoiding tropes.

    As an avid TV Tropes reader I can assure you, the book is filled to the brim with them. I don’t mean this in an insulting way, of course, not trying to pretend the story is unoriginal or anything like that, just that tropes are everywhere and it’s inevitable to use them. For instance, the genre itself is already a trope. Corrupt cops is another. Robots that kill is another, and so on.

    1. Decius says:

      Every trope near your space that isn’t embodied by the work is either averted or subverted by it.

    2. Joe Informatico says:

      What’s a genre, if not a collection of commonly-used tropes?

  6. eldomtom2 says:

    I’m sure there’s a biting joke there somewhere about brain-seeking zombies and TVTropes, but I can’t figure it out.

    1. eaglewingz says:

      All the good jokes have been snapped up.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        I’m terrible at these jokes. By the time I think up a good zombie pun, posting it will probably be thread necromacy…

    2. tmtvl says:

      You’ll think of a ghastly pun by tomarrow.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        I’ve got the bare bones of a skeleton pun around here somewhere…

        I’m just ribbing. I don’t have enough skull for this kind of thing.

  7. Paul Spooner says:

    I really like how the whole party is portrayed in the last panel as some sort of dracula-wrapped-in-a-cape entity, all bundled together into one tidy bouquet of weapons and heads.

  8. Eternal Echo says:

    “There are no original stories, characters, or plot devices anymore.”

    Now, you can SAY that but I sure as hell don’t see a lot of stories about magical Westerns, a civilisation of octopi, a cast purely of dragons with no humans to ride them, diamond golems living on a glass giant, or haunted dentures in a fish bowl.

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