#34 Home Sweet Home

By Shamus Posted Sunday Jun 23, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 30 comments

There is no plan so clever that the GM can’t find a way to punish you for it.

Shamus Says:

I just want to note that the above date is a lie, a relic left over from the 2007 run. The comic will continue according to the established pace.

The original plan was for this campaign to be three acts:

I. It Begins
II. It Gets Worse
III. It Ends Badly

We broke from this later. What I’d wanted to do was complete this story, and then move on to some completely different genre with the same characters. Maybe they’d play Star Wars. Or a vampire game. (Which would be a goldmine now that Twilight has come out and created a rift in Vampire fandom.) What we were looking forward to was showing the same characters in different styles and settings. Some campaigns would end early, or simply grind to a halt at some player / GM impass.

But I thought the series should start with a proper three-act arc.

Shawn Says:

See you on Monday.


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30 thoughts on “#34 Home Sweet Home

  1. Jeff says:

    So, in hindsight … why is the town burning? Did the zombies bring torches?

    1. Olivier FAURE says:

      Maybe some of the villagers tried to fight back by burning the zombies, and one thing led to another?

    2. DerJungerLudendorff says:

      Ye olde towns were notoriously flammable.
      A combination of only having fire for cooking and lighting, and making most of your buildings out of wood, reeds, and other flammable materials.

      So really, it might only take someone with a candle or latern falling over to start the flame war.

      1. Zaxares says:

        Yeeeep. Up until fairly recently (like, the early 20th century when fire prevention ordinances and properly trained fire brigades started to be rigidly enforced), fires can and did wipe entire towns off the map, and often these fires were started by relatively innocuous causes like somebody just knocking a candle over.

        1. Decius says:

          See: The Great Chicago Fire

          1. Joe Informatico says:

            There’s also a reason few buildings in central London are more than 350 years old.

    3. CrimsonCutz says:

      The pyromancer zombie is famous in seven countries for its destructive power and tendency to appear whenever a GM is annoyed

      1. Bubble181 says:

        Liechtenstein, Andorra, Vatican, Luxembourg, Trinidad and Tobago, Gibraltar, and Tuvalu, but hey, it counts!

        1. Scampi says:


          And if white smoke rises, the new pope is a zombie.

          1. Ravens Cry says:

            He’ll eat your brain, but save your soul.

            1. Droid says:

              For dessert, that is.

    4. BlueHorus says:

      One of the zombies volunteered to be covered in oil, set alight, and then just ran around bumping into things.

      …you know what? I might put that in a D&D campiang one day. Get the necromancer to cast Immunity to Fire damage on it first, give it the ability to run, and you’ve got a really unique problem for the party to deal with.

    5. Sleeping Dragon says:

      If RTS games taught me anything it is that buildings when assaulted with force of any sort tend to eventually catch on fire.

      1. Decius says:

        If you punch it enough, it will catch fire and then suddenly burn down into a perfectly flat surface.

    6. evileeyore says:

      Clearly it’s a Zombie Inferno.

    7. Gargamel Le Noir says:

      Haven’t you learned history through video games like I did? Medieval buildings caught on fire automatically if hit a certain number of times.

    8. shoeboxjeddy says:

      In all of zombie fiction, the mere existince of a zombie plague seems to suddenly make cities light on fire or explosions happen. Sometimes this can be logically explained as “people in a panic starting fire by accident during violent encounters or on purpose to try to hurt zombies” and sometimes it truly appears to be “if something bad happens, the city responds with the pathetic fallacy and catches fire spontaneously to reflect the circumstances.”

  2. Dreadjaws says:

    Looking on the bright side, the roasted ham and bacon will be amazing.

    1. Scampi says:

      If only there were any bacon to begin with.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        Whaddya mean? They’ve got the pigs, they’ve got the fire…all they need to do is get the zombies out of the way.
        Or maybe they could invite the zombies to the BBQ…

        1. Scampi says:

          I meant there was no bacon in town before the heroes’ triumphant return. I didn’t assume anyone would take the time off to butcher the pigs and roast bacon while the town is still a) on fire and b) under siege by an undead horde.
          I assumed there would only be bacon if the villagers had had the pigs before being slaughtered. The heroes, after all, brought live pigs, not pigs prepared for consumption…

          For fun: I almost mistyped twice: “horse” instead of “horde”, “pugs” instead of “pigs”. I liked the idea of switching these words out, actually.

  3. tremor3258 says:

    I am curious how a quick pig fetch was going to lead to repelling zombies or if it was just a new quest timing out.

    1. Sartharina says:

      In a competently-run game, the pig quest would have been a quick, easy encounter/dungeon crawl to give the players a ‘warm up’ to feel out how the players and characters handle in combat, both individually and as a group (In Order of the Stick’s “On the Origin of PCs”, this mid-level party’s first encounter is against a handful of kobolds. Through badly-planned readied actions, the party practically blows itself up, and the kobolds die of laughter at the incompetence). Once the players get the easy run out of the way, they return and the plot kicks off with the zombie attack.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I do find it curious because this still shows a surprising degree of flexibility from Casey (well, surprising FOR Casey), I’d half expect the zombies to camp outside of town for a week waiting for the party to come back. Maybe they pissed him off enough to break him out of following the script.

        Ooooor alternately this was all according to the script, including the “if only” line and the reality of it is that they’d always come back to the burning village…

      2. Lino says:

        I actually think the zombies weren’t part of the DM’s original plan – I think he added them just to say “F*** YOU” to the players for ruining his dungeon…

        1. Matthew Downie says:

          It’s also possible that they were always going to be attacking the town whenever the party got back, but the GM decided to blame it on them wasting time.

          1. Joshua says:

            Based upon the caption, I’m guessing he was going to have the zombies attack anyway, just not until after they had arrived. Congratulations, you’ve left the rails. Now pay the consequences.

        2. BlueHorus says:

          Casey should have made them zombie goblins, got more use out of his miniatures.

          Just say that Deuse Bajj deliberately raised the specific goblins from the pig cave because he knew they’d have beef with the players.

  4. Anonymous Coward says:

    Well, magic +1 swords aren’t flammable right? And the owner certainly will not object to the party taking it now. Seems like a clear win for these kinds of players…

  5. OMG giving the DMotR treatment to the Twilight movies would be AMAZING.

    Also, The Hunger Games.

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