#20 Girlfriend, PLEASE

By Shamus Posted Sunday May 5, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 19 comments

What a man says: “Through roleplaying, I want to explore the reality of the female experience and gain a better understanding of what it means to be a woman.”

What he means: “I like lesbians”.

Shawn Says:

Color! Look! Our heroes exist in a place with a sky and land, not some mysterious nebulous white void! It’s very exciting.

In the original script from Shamus, Ramgar was I think bowing to Lucretia. The change to a kneel and hand kiss was done mainly so that we’d keep his pants hidden, because at this point the subject of whether or not Ramgar was wearing pants was something of debate among the fans. It brought about all kinds of mostly unintended repercussions. Was Chuck hitting on Ivy? Was this horribly out of character for Ramgar?

I tend to think that Chuck reacted so negatively to Sapphire not because Marcus was playing a female character, but because the artsy new guy made such a ridiculous oversexed half naked female character. So he figured his barbarian would hit on her. Then once an actual female shows up, he’s a perfect gentleman, because that’s how you act around women. (The irony here, that fans picked up on but we never outright mention in the comic, is that Ramgar is every bit as ridiculous and overly sexualized as Sapphire. The guy’s half naked and one big penis joke after the last.)

So, would Chuck have groped Sapphire if Ivy was around yet? I don’t know, probably not. And now it occurs to me that I have perhaps grossly overthought the motivations for characters that I wasn’t even writing.

Shamus Says:

I hadn’t really thought about out-of-game relationships / tension very much before this point. At most, I imagined we’d have a bit of unrequited flirting on the part of Marcus, like we see here.

Shawn actually suggested that Ivy might dig Josh. I really liked this idea, since it set up a love triangle that goes nowhere: Marcus » Ivy » Josh. It also promised to give Ivy a bit more depth. She’s otherwise strong and intelligent (The smartest person at the table, in my view.) and giving her a weakness for the “bad boyfriend” archetype would give me a convenient way to make her do foolish things if the need arose. But none of that thinking really went anywhere. I was also a little gun-shy and averse to trying new things after the rough start, and I’d never written any romance before. Not even as a joke.

And as Shawn says above, I think it was important to give a lot of contrast between how Ramgar treats Lucretia vs. Sapphire. And like snapping another dude with a wet towel in the locker room, I don’t think Chuck would have launched ZOMGRAPEGATE if Ivy had been around.

Shawn Says:

The other reason Josh and Ivy work for me is because iirc they’re the two youngest characters at the table. Plus the love triangle would have been funny, had the comic lasted long enough to let it play out. (Also, if the comic lasted much, much longer than it did, I wanted to have Marcus’s ex girlfriend show up, who would be a busty blonde with indie rock glasses who was completely bitchy.)

Clockworks is going to have some romance, although it’s going to take ages to play out at the pace the story goes. I’ve already had a few fans commenting on who they want to hook up with who, which amuses me to no end. The fact my comic has shippers just makes me happy. As far as I know, Shamus has not yet added any romantic subplots to his post CB creations, although there’s still time for Dr. Breen and Metrocop to admit their secret and forbidden love.


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19 thoughts on “#20 Girlfriend, PLEASE

  1. Mattias42 says:

    Honestly found the ‘one-sided flirting that never goes anywhere except being shot down’ really refreshing with this comic, and I’m kinda glad the love triangle stuff never happened.

    I don’t know, it was just pretty unique to see ‘the girl’ if you will not be interested in that sort of thing, and just there for the actual game, having fun.

    1. I want to see a comic where the female player plays a MALE character (this is rare in the groups I’ve played in, but not unheard-of). Then SHE decides to have HER character flirt with another female character that’s being played by a guy.

      I have a suspicion that many men would find this HIDEOUSLY uncomfortable. Not all, I know quite a few who would get a huge kick out of it, but they tend to be older than Marcus.

  2. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Where I find some comedic potential is the implication of the IC attraction between the elfy good cleric and a gothy sorceress with some kind of demonic familiar (would have been even better if she was a warlock).

    1. BlueHorus says:

      It could also let Casey shine a bit as the DM: Marcus’ attempts to ‘woo’ Lucretia could land Sapphire in all sorts of trouble with her God/Clerical Order because it’s breaking alignment.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        Your one mistake is the assumption that Casey can shine as a GM…

  3. evileeyore says:

    What a man says: “Through roleplaying, I want to explore the reality of the female experience and gain a better understanding of what it means to be a woman.”

    What he means: “I like lesbians”.

    I know it’s part of the meta-joke, but it’s actually false*. I have no interest in lesbians, but I often play female characters (roughly 50% of the time) and they have roughly the same percentage of being homosexual as my male characters. Honestly, ‘sex’ almost never comes up in the games I play in, I’m there for the combat, politics, and socializing, and not to ‘roleplay making out with the DM’ (or fellow Players for that matter. We can do that away from the table thank you very much).

    * Yes, I get that it’s a stereotype with some merit, but that’s a really broad brush sir…

    1. BlueHorus says:

      A better way to put it would be: for all Marcus’ talk about the gender roles and roleplay opportunities, he’s still going to awkwardly hit on the only girl in the group in a way that seems…very typically him.

      But ‘I like Lesbians’ somehow feels true to how Ivy would put it, rather than Shamus.

      1. Shamus says:

        “But ‘I like Lesbians’ somehow feels true to how Ivy would put it, rather than Shamus.”

        Yeah. To be clear: I play female characters all the time, and it’s got nothing to do with lesbians or sexuality at all. It’s also got nothing to do with exploring gender roles like Marcus claims. Sometimes the female character is just cooler. Or more novel. Or the LAST game I played also had Nolan North voice the male protagonist and I don’t want another one so soon.

        Lots of good reasons to play whatever, and I certainly wouldn’t shame people for having fun.

    2. Agammamon says:

      Yes, I get that it’s a stereotype with some merit, but that’s a really broad brush sir…

      That’s the joke.

    3. Romance is a kind of socializing–generally the most sought-after kind, at that. I don’t know of any websites out there that exist for the sole purpose of meeting new people to hang out with, but there are plenty to help you find a romantic partner.

      The way my groups have handled it is if you want to do a romance, you basically write it up yourself BETWEEN sessions. The only stuff that takes place in-game is things that the other characters might actually want to react to or have a say in.

      It’s sort of like office meetings–don’t do stuff at office meetings that doesn’t actually require the other people to be present.

  4. BlueHorus says:

    The idea of a love triangle could have worked, though I do agree somewhat with Matthias42 that it’s good/different to have a female character just be there, rather than be involved in a romance plot. She works well as a down-to-earth foil


    Ivy leaves the room briefly; a bathroom trip. Marcus watches her go.

    Josh: (whisper) Is it me, or is Lucretia being weirdly friendly to my character?
    Chuck: I think she might be interested in your…claymore, Josh.

    He winks. Behind him, Casey facepalms. Josh is staring at his handheld console and misses both.

    Josh: Well she can’t have it, it’s master-crafted. Besides, she probably doesn’t have the weapon proficiencies.
    Chuck: (Looking at Casey, who looks away, annoyed.) Yeah, no one touches your claymore but you, do they Josh?
    Josh: Damn straight. Get your own starting equipment.

    Casey coughs and Ivy re-enters the room. Chuck looks innocent as she sits down.

    Marcus:…wait, what would a wizard want with a two-handed-sword?

  5. Nimrandir says:

    I love Josh’s “Sweet! A caster!” remark while standing right next to a cleric. Did Marcus dump Wisdom or something?

    1. Lachlan the Sane says:

      Either he thinks that Clerics don’t count (because they’re focused on healing instead of making things go boom) or he thinks that Marcus in particular doesn’t count (which yeah fair enough).

      1. Nimrandir says:

        It must be the latter, because there’s no way Josh doesn’t have enough system mastery to know how nasty a divine caster can be.

  6. DGM says:

    Am I the only one getting an uncanny valley feel from Ivy’s over-sized eyes+glasses? The cartoony art style isn’t making it work for me.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      I quite like the glasses. They make her look like an insect, and also a bit like she’s constantly wide-eyed/nervous, which kind of fits this character, in this group.

      Her abnormally long fingers, on the other hand…I totally agree.

    2. Andy says:

      They stole that glasses look for Bubbles in “Trailer Park Boys.” No, it doesn’t look any less uncanny IRL.

  7. Joshua says:

    Unfortunately, this comic was written several years after The Dead Gentlemen’s “The Gamers 2: The Dorkness Rising”, and there’s a very similar joke shown in that movie.

    Luster (female Sorcerer played by male player, hitting on the new female player in the group): “You’re like no woman I’ve ever met before.”
    Daphne (female Fighter played by female player):”……Right back at you, sister.”

  8. For some reason my brain decided to read ZOMGRAPEGATE as ZOM GRAPE GATE

    I like that better. Zombie grape architecture FTW!

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