#24 The Munchkin Savant

By Shamus Posted Sunday May 19, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 17 comments

Goblins are the most disposable of fantasy foes. Pity a species which lives adjacent to, and derives all of its food from, its chief predator.

Shamus Says:

I forget how this joke came about, but I’m sure it was a response to forum feedback. Whenever the players pulled something really outrageous, people would posts their lists of reasons why, in a sane universe, the idea wouldn’t work or would make things worse. Someone probably pointed out that unarmed goblins shouldn’t be worth any XP, and so here we have Josh’s answer.

The only problem here is that he’s trying to double-dip and get XP for defeating the same monsters twice. I consider outsmarting and trapping a tribe of goblins to be just as valid and worthy of XP as fighting them in direct melee, but Josh is actually trying to get XP for doing both.

I love the idea of intimidating someone into accepting a weapon. It’s a hilarious abuse of in-game mechanics to accomplish out-of-game goals. I’m also amused by the image of him working his way down the line of goblins, doing this to each one.

Shawn Says:

I kind of wish now I left out the line about rolling a 20. That was my addition, because at the time we had a couple of forumites who would nitpick every single game rule thing in the comic, so I wanted to cut them off at the pass. It seems unnecessary now, but hey. (If you want to, we can assume in D&D&D that Intimidation is based on either Charisma or Strength. aaand done!)

Also, I love Grak. I did make the goblins inordinately cute and sympathetic in these comics, for I think obvious reasons. It should also be noted his line in panel 2 is a reference to the Gurgi. Because I’m a bad person.

Grak’s appearance here spawned GRAK – the Goblin Rights Advocacy Komittee. Up until Steve showed up with his infamous shirt, GRAK stuff was easily the big seller on the CB store. It’s all still there btw if you need any GRAK buttons or shirts. Hopefully Shamus still remembers our cafepress logins, in case anyone actually buys anything.

GRAK has been resurrected, and is an official part of the Clockworks canon. You can see GRAK graffiti here and here, and I expect the organization will show up in the Clockworks RPG at some point.


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17 thoughts on “#24 The Munchkin Savant

  1. Dreadjaws says:

    Grak’s appearance here spawned GRAK – the Goblin Rights Advocacy Komittee.

    I’m reminded of a certain very similar organization in the Harry Potter universe. I’m sure it’s unintentional, but the similarities are as amusing as striking.

  2. CrimsonCutz says:

    I don’t know about the XP thing being hard to buy. He has to convince a goblin to grab a dagger, then kill it before it can drop the dagger and go back to being unarmed. Sounds like a challenge worthy of XP to me!

    I’m now envisioning an entire tribe of goblins whose entire MO in combat is to throw their weapons at the PCs. If they kill them, great! Loot the bodies and be happy. If they don’t, just stand there, secure in the knowledge that the PCs get nothing for killing them.

    1. DerJungerLudendorff says:

      Which would work against a munchkin team, but most PC’s don’t need a reason to start a bloodbath :P

  3. Joshua says:

    In D&D from 4th Edition on, “defeating” an enemy through trickery, intimidation, etc. nets you the full XP, and there is no double dipping. You’d have to face the enemy in an entirely new encounter to get XP again, and it would be perfectly reasonable for the DM to tell them they’re no longer worth XP (in case PCs try to take a monster prisoner and beat it up every day).

    1. BlueHorus says:

      (in case PCs try to take a monster prisoner and beat it up every day)

      Which some players would totally try and do. But that’s when they get attacked by members of GRAK!

      Anyway, the rules are a side issue here – the main problem seems to be Casey just passively allowing the player’s shenanigans. Who’s the DM of this game again?

      1. Joshua says:

        Well, unfortunately, it’s kind of like people doing stupid things in most horror films- if they didn’t, we wouldn’t have a story. But yes, in real life, the DM should be telling them to cut it out, or they will have no game. Typically, there are a lot more people out there wanting to play in a game than there are people willing to GM a game.

        1. Jbc31187 says:

          I could buy it. These are Casey’s friends, and if he tries to control them even more than he already is, they might quit. It might not be logical thinking, but I’ve been in that spot.

  4. Olivier FAURE says:

    I really like the horrifying process of the PC giving a starving, terrified goblin and challenging them to a one-on-one fight they have no chance to win. The goblin has seen his friends die, and knows he’s next, and there’s absolutely nothing he can do to stop it but indulge in the PC’s twisted game for fear of being tortured before he dies.

  5. Kevin says:

    I had to check, and yep the cafepress page is still up.

    1. Kevin says:

      Obviously I screwed up the hyperlink. Here is the address: https://www.cafepress.com/profile/10998883

      1. Mattias42 says:

        Dang, still up? In Internal time, that’s downright immortal.

        Do everybody that should still get their cut from that? If so, I’m doubly impressed.

  6. eldomtom2 says:

    The childishness of Grak’s dialogue makes me uncomfortable. It pretty much exactly matches in tone, content, and cadence some of the more fucked-up fetish shit (drawn, I must note) I’ve seen on the internet.

    1. Agammamon says:

      That you’ve been searching the internet for ‘fucked up fetish shit’ makes me uncomfortable.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        I’d be very surprised if he actually put that specific phrase into a search engine….most likely he got trolled by someone. I’m reminded of a past experience where someone posted a link to Urban Dictionary, and in my naivete, I clicked on it.
        Like Rickrolling, but nastier.

  7. Sorry for being offtopic but.. I can’t recall if Shamus has seen this/mentioned it before or not.
    “We showed Peter Molyneux every game he’s ever made”
    It’s a must watch IMO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeNGLhNM5Kk
    Peter Molyneux is being very humble and self reflective.

  8. Khizan says:

    Personally, I’ve always houseruled it that intimidation uses the stat that’s most appropriate for the way that you’re trying to intimidate somebody.

    A barbarian bending fireplace pokers into pretzels to demonstrate what will happen to your legs if you don’t talk? That’s strength. A rogue throwing knives past your ears while you’re tied in a chair? Dexterity. A straight up “We know where your family lives” style speech? That’s Charisma.

  9. Mr. Wolf says:

    Well that’s classic a RPG manoeuvre. If you can’t find a fight, create one.

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