#26 Adventure and Excitement! (Also Death.)

By Shamus Posted Sunday May 26, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 21 comments

If you can’t win, make sure you lose with style.

Shamus Says:

I really like Marcus’ attitude. I know the comic is ostensibly “this is how to play D&D wrong”, but I think little bits of wisdom sneak in there from time to time.

(Having said that, he did not lose with style.)

Shawn Says:

This is more or less how I play, on the rare times when I’m a player and not a GM. After a couple of minutes of people deciding what to do with the mysterious door, I tend to just kick it in. This is probably one of the reasons I end up playing meat shield types a lot. Also, I’d last about 2 minutes in the Tomb of Horrors. ;)


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21 thoughts on “#26 Adventure and Excitement! (Also Death.)

  1. The Wind King says:

    There’s no kill like overkill.

    Although I am curious about how these starving, weaponless, child-like goblins managed to make 9 saving throws worth of traps, for a single chest… (and probably more in the future)

    1. Confanity says:

      The goblins may be “child-like” in appearance, but canonically, goblins are still awful little bastards with a penchant for clever malice. Running out of food and starting to starve would hardly change that, and unless they’re incapacitated it wouldn’t keep them from setting up traps. And perhaps they’re weaponless because they incorporated all of their weapons into a variety of traps. ;p

      1. evileeyore says:

        “but canonically”
        Canonically to who? In my games gobbos are no more inclined to ‘evil’ than elves.

        Admittedly Winter Goblins (aka Recaps) and Shadow Elves are pretty f-ing ‘evil’.

        1. Kylroy says:

          According to both the current edition of D&D and Pathfinder, they default to neutral evil:



          That’s a pretty good definition of “canonically” to me.

          1. evileeyore says:

            Ah, yes because goblins as a thing don’t predate Gary Gygax by literally hundreds of years…. and of course do not exist anywhere outside of D&D tropes at all.

            Carry on then.

            1. Kincajou says:

              Oh come on, you know that’s not what Kylroy meant.

              Yes, goblins (like all fantasy creatures) predate d&d and we are all happy that they don’t have to be “evil”. Now in the context of a d&d inspired webcomic, probably taking the d&d representation of goblins as canonical isn’t all that misplaced.

              Hell, isn’t that the whole reason why things like tarol hunt’s “goblins” webcomic are so interesting? They subvert expectations and make us look at a world with a different perspective. I can’t say about your goblins but I’ve had a lot of fun in my games subverting this expectation as a player and dm, and it was fun precisely because (and not despite of) the “canonical” expectations around specific creatures

        2. Decius says:

          Evil? What’s evil about traps?

  2. BlueHorus says:

    Good on Marcus.

    Though he forgot the classic ‘poke it with a stick’ opening move when approaching a chest. Preferably Chuck’s spear, because it’s a nice long stick…

    Also good: the ‘fireball-from-a-distance’, though that one runs the risk of destroying the loot…

    1. Agammamon says:

      I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to get close to ‘Silvershaft’ again.

    2. Kincajou says:

      My personal favourite was when, as a dm, I put a polymorph spell on a door…

      To be fair, it was well telegraphed and… Yeah you’d be silly to think that an old wizard school isn’t full of booby traps. And that the Dean hasn’t trapped his office door with a harmless (yet annoying) spell.

      Boy, the bunny was suddenly eager to figure out where the infirmary was! Good Times. (for the record I home ruled them being able to fight, no verbal communication but the image of a bunny wielding a sword and trying to fit an armour on was worth it!)

  3. CrimsonCutz says:

    Ah that classic moment where the enemies take an item that would be highly valuable to themselves, put it in a treasure chest, and then make the chest kill whoever opens it, thus ensuring that they cannot use it, solely to spite anyone that might kill them.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      To be fair, in this specific instance, during the weeks of waiting, its not too crazy for the goblins to assume they were screwed and decide to set this up for the people coming in.

  4. Chris says:

    Ah, the good old DM hate moment. Every time this happened in a game where I played they never panned out because the player that the DM tried to hurt just rolled too well. Its pretty funny when you see a DM get frustrated like that. Although it can also go the other way. When the sweet child NPC is hurt and she’s essential, but for the love of god the healer just cannot roll anything but a 1 or 2 even though the DM tells him to reroll.

    1. evileeyore says:

      This wasn’t “DM hate”. Do you not see the look on Casey’s face at all? The ‘oh man, this is gonna suck so bad’ pause with the “um”?

      Are we reading different comics/

      1. Sarfa says:

        It is DM hate. It’s DM hate for the character he thought would be opening the chest. Which is Josh’s horrendous psychopath.

        You don’t put 9 saving throws worth of traps on something unless you want to kill the party’s rogue.

        1. BlueHorus says:

          Meanwhile, Josh is still happily slaughtering goblins outside the cave…poor old Casey. And Marcus.

        2. Decius says:

          The rogue never opens the chest. They look it over, and then give the go-ahead for the fighter or barbarian to pull on the rope glued to the lid from the next room.

        3. GoStu says:

          On the other hand, Casey should probably have known that Josh’s rogue would be optimized up to either (A) not trigger the traps or (B) make all the saving throws anyway.

          There’s a lot of ways to kill a PC but that wasn’t a really good one.

        4. Supah Ewok says:

          Nah, the character he thought would be opening the chest was Chucks’.

          See the first panel: [shifty eyes] “Chuck, I assume you’re in front?”

          When the annoyed DM is checking party order with a subtle “suggestion” of who he wants to see where, it’s worth some caution.

  5. Ed Weatherup says:

    Never, ever “check for traps” ….

  6. People drive me nuts with this kind of crap.

    Them: “We need to be careful!”
    Me: “Yes, but you’re not actually DOING anything to TAKE CARE. We don’t have the proper skills and/or equipment for that. So either open it, or do something else, but don’t stand here dithering for 10 minutes or the DM will have another monster show up or something.”
    Them: “But I don’t want to do anything that’ll cause a problem! Let’s discuss it some more!”
    Me: “Do you have any new options you’d like us to discuss?”
    Them: “No, I just want to be careful!”
    Me: “So your idea of being careful means doing what we already knew we were going to do 20 minutes ago . . . really slowly and with maximum annoyance? Do you think this chest is inhabited by some sort of Trap Demon that will be appeased if only you refuse to make a decision for a very long time? How does this religion of yours work?”
    Them: “Why do you always have to get all sarcastic about it? I just want to be careful?”
    Me: “Wasting more time is not being careful. Talking is not an actual precaution. Putting something off doesn’t change it.”

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