#37 How Rude

By Shamus Posted Friday Jul 5, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 38 comments

It’s always annoying when players interrupt your story with all of their talking and whatnot.


See? You’re doing it again!

Shamus Says:

I had forgotten this one, so when I re-read it I actually laughed. That was pretty fun.

So ends the great pants mystery. I was really happy that Shawn went with the leather briefs. The retroactively make all of Chuck’s complaints about Sapphire so much more absurdly hypocritical.

Shawn Says:

The armored codpiece on this one is what really makes it for me. What’s funny is when this ran originally, we had a number of comments from readers of “Ah! My eyes!” But no one ever really complained about either Jade or Sapphire’s outfits. I’m hoping there’s at least one hairy barbarian fan out there who we made happy with this strip. ;)


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38 thoughts on “#37 How Rude

  1. Christopher says:


  2. Gargamel Le Noir says:

    That poor farmer, the last thing he saw was that codpiece…

  3. Nessus says:

    Casey, you arse. Don’t counter-troll when the players are doing exactly what YOU want. Counter-troll when they’re doing what THEY want.

    You’re sending mixed messages! Now they’re just going to throw up they’re hands and NEVER do what you want. I mean, even more than they were already. You had this one Hail Mary chance to get a hook in just handed to you on a silver platter… and you deliberately fucked it! What even is wrong with you, man?

    1. tremor3258 says:

      You had a brief, shining moment of buy in Casey…. and you lost it.

    2. DerJungerLudendorff says:

      Congratulations Casey.
      You played yourself.

  4. Hector says:

    By Grapthar’s Hammer, by the Sons of Warvan, you shall be Avenged!

    (Think I got that right.)

    1. Leipävelho says:

      Never give up, never surrender!

    2. Decius says:

      I don’t understand. Explain it as would to a child.

      1. Scampi says:

        You mean a miner?

      2. Ravens Cry says:

        There was a movie in the 90’s called Galaxy Quest, and it was one of the best Star Trek movies ever made. If you watch it, you too shall come to understand.

  5. Chris says:

    I love both the leather pants with big codpiece and the bikini barbarian lady. There is something satisfying about being a halfnaked ripped guy/girl and beating up fantasy monsters.

    1. Sartharina says:

      Yes, there certainly is. And it’s something I don’t think people properly appreciate, or conflate it with double standards that “the male is a power fantasy, the woman is a sexual fantasy” even though both use idealized bodies.

      And, you can go wild or token civilized with the aesthetic.

  6. Scampi says:

    So ends the great pants mystery. I was really happy that Shawn went with the leather briefs. The retroactively make all of Chuck’s complaints about Sapphire so much more absurdly hypocritical.

    I’m not entirely sure I really find this all that hypocritical considering Ramgar is supposed to be an uncivilized and wild barbarian who may not use pants because that’s just the way of his tribe, while it seemed a bit out of place to have Sapphire not wear any. Consider how people may wear wildy different clothing if they hail from, say, a western major city or some Amazon tribes or some insular peoples.
    While you would probably expect the latter to wear appropriate clothing within city limits today (due to the possibility of being accused of improper behaviour or such), I think I usually make exceptions in fantasy settings for this kind of stuff. It might be fun playing a “get the barbarian dressed up”-episode, where suddenly the player finds themselves in a situation where they need to fit in and play along the codes of a civilized court or city, maybe because they claim to be an ambassador from their tribe. Might be especially funny if there is some real ambassador around at the time.
    On the other hand, I usually won’t grant the same “favor” of being allowed exceptionally unfitting clothes to people who hail from presumably civilized areas. It might of course be that Sapphire’s clothes are the traditional habit of her pantheon’s clergy, but I didn’t assume this at the time.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      I kind of agree. Chuck’s playing an archetypical Barbarian and is dressed the part –
      (I love the kneepads, BTW. They look like the kind of thing that Pro Skaters wear when they’re being safety-conscious.)
      – whereas Sapphire was dressed the way she was as a sort of fetish on Marcus’ part.
      Which was the point of ZOMGRAPEGATE – Chuck (badly) expressing his disdain for Marcus’ choice of attire.

      Also, people saying ‘ARRGH MY EYES’ at seeing Ragmar’s lack of pants? To quote Mike from RedLetterMedia:
      ‘Someone’s got a case of the Not-Gays!’

      1. Nessus says:

        Looking back at the art, I particularly like how similar the codpiece and kneepads are. Like, I’m imagining he just acquired three codpieces, and put two of them on his knees, or three kneepads and put one on his crotch.

        I like to imagine he’s not discriminating about which was last worn where whenever he has to get dressed.

    2. Hector says:

      Random historical note: actual barbarians wore pants! The Greco-Roman works mostly identified Celts or Germans as the barbarians peoples, one of their quirks in the eyes of the “civilized” cultures was wearing trousers.

      1. Scampi says:

        Indeed, my significant other won’t ever allow me to forget stuff like that, being a studied archeologist.
        When I say barbarian, I of course refer to clichée fantasy barbarians as compared to more modestly dressed medieval fantasy cultures. I wondered whether to clarify it or not and assumed it was a given.
        Maybe I was wrong.

        1. Hector says:

          I’m sure anyone who gives it a moment’s thought realizes that the image of fantasy barbarians is just a media creation; I simply found it funny that actual barbarians were pretty modest.

          1. BlueHorus says:

            He’s even wearing a ‘viking’ helmet with horns mounted on it, which is another thing-that-didn’t-actually-happen-historically, isn’t it?

            1. Joe says:

              Nowhere near! Viking helmets are one of those things for me. Look at this pic. It’s designed to the bulk of head and face protected. Other pictures say that there may have been chainmail attached t keep the neck both safe and flexible. Later, the Normans did away with the eyepieces, but kept the nose guard.

              1. Hector says:

                Well, kind of. Practical Viking helmets certainly didn’t have horns, but they did have ritual headdresses that used antlers (and possibly horns, but we don’t have any known examples of that as far as I know). IIRC, the horned-helmets actually come from a lousy movie back in the day. Some cultures did have horns attached to helmets for visual effect, though.

                I mean, historically half of armor-manufacture is a carefully considered balance of defense, cost, and weight. The other half is somebody going, “Hey, this would look pretty coooool…”

                1. JH-M says:

                  I asked a museum employee at an exhibition about Vikings a few years ago. He said that the horn were added by the Romantics for two reasons:
                  1. It gives them the whole “connected with nature” aesthetic, which they were all about.
                  2. It makes them instantly recognizable in paintings.

                2. DerJungerLudendorff says:

                  Yeah, but that’s like saying everyone fought in gold-painted armour and jewel encrusted swords.

                  Sure, a few important people might have gone for the style over substance look, but you’d look like a right ponce if you’re a regular trooper.

                  Then again, we do have people like the landsknechts, so it might not be THAT far fetched.

                  1. Mr Jack says:

                    You can get quite a lot of style without any compromise on substance, and those with wealth wished to show it off in tournaments, in in battle.

                    This tournament helmet is about as flash as they come, and is entirely practical. Only the best for the emperor. Of course this sort of extravagance was restricted to the very wealthy, but it is worthwhile pointing out that it is perfectly feasible to have richly decorated equipment without compromising its effectiveness.

                    1. Guest says:

                      Oh, definitely. But there’s a different sort of style to having your breath grill detailed and having your helm covered in gold leaf, and lining it with velvet, as compared to finding a bull with nice horns, chopping them off, and sticking them to your helmet so your enemies can grab them and throw you around, and so your head is constantly getting yanked left and right by blows hitting horns in the blind spot past your peripheral.

      2. Decius says:

        Wait, ‘barbarian’ doesn’t share a root with the Berber People, a north African cultural group?

        1. Erik says:

          It’s actually from the ancient Greeks. When the Greeks had foreign ambassadors (from places like Egypt & Persia) visit them, they scoffed at their strange languages, which sounded to them like “Bar, bar, bar”. This led to them calling non-Greeks “Bar-bar”-ians. All the other variations on the word spread from that original source.

          No lie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarian#Etymology

          The word later spread through Persia, and after the Islamic Conquest period the sophisticated Egyptian and Persian Muslims used it to refer to the Islamic tribes of Northern Africa, which became known in part as the Berbers.

          1. Philadelphus says:

            I like to speculate that if such a word were created similarly in modern English, it’d be something like “Blah-blah-bians.”

            1. Nessus says:

              We already have stuff that’s halfway there. It’s just, you know, usually racist (as it implicitly was with the ancient Greeks). Like if you’ve ever heard some arse make fun of Chinese with something like “ching-chong ling-long”, or Spanish with a rapid fire rhythm of nonsense syllables.

              I’ve never personally heard anyone coin that stuff into collective nouns before… but I’ve no doubt it’s happened.

              “Blah blah blah” is typically used to mock a fellow English speaker for saying something pointless or boring, rather than to mock the sound of an unfamiliar language.

          2. BruceR says:

            Berbers are akin to Inuit in that way, with a racialist cognomen assigned by others. Internally, the word they used to describe themselves was Amazighs (“free men”).

    3. Syal says:

      Ramgar is supposed to be an uncivilized and wild barbarian who may not use pants

      But if it’s normal for his tribe, you’d think he would understand the merits, unless we’re going into a racist/sexist angle where ‘only I’m allowed to dress like that because I’m a member of the Nudist Class’.

      Might be especially funny if there is some real ambassador around at the time.

      Especially if the real ambassador has made no attempt to fit in. He’s just got “Amb” written on his lower back and “ador” written on his leg.

      1. Scampi says:

        The issue is that Chuck mostly speaks in a way that seems very out of character for Ramgar. So his ooc-opinions get conflated very much with in-character speech. I tend to read the “you wear no pants”-comments as Chuck being a bad roleplayer who doesn’t properly separate character from player while at the same time in a way appearing to hold plausible ideas in context, while Ramgar as a character wouldn’t necessarily have an issue with someone wearing no pants, but being tied to Chuck as a player, has only “limited” possibilities of making a statement.
        His roleplaying in this scene, in the words of a man wiser than myself, comes across much like this to me:

        Even the most greedy and cynical gamer is willing to roleplay once they are the center of attention. That is, they are willing to roleplay when it’s difficult or impossible for anyone else to roleplay along.

        1. Jbc31187 says:

          Well, Robert E Howard’s barbarians- Conan, Kull, and all the rest- would switch between tough guy banter and flowery speeches when the author wanted.

    4. Guest says:


  7. Dreadjaws says:

    What’s funny is when this ran originally, we had a number of comments from readers of “Ah! My eyes!” But no one ever really complained about either Jade or Sapphire’s outfits.

    To be fair, that codpiece looks a lot like a nutsack that’s been strangled by the briefs.

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      Is that… not what a codpiece is? Maybe I’ve been wearing them wrong.

  8. BlueHorus says:

    ‘That farmer guy.’
    ‘Oh him? He died.’

    Of asphyxiation! From talking too much! He couldn’t hold on five more seconds to hear Chuck swear vengeance?
    But now I get Casey better. I had him down as a well-meaning but hapless DM who can’t adapt to the players. But now he seems like he just wanted to write a fantasy story and these damned character won’t behave.

    I’m surprised the party didn’t end up with an NPC minder like Gandalf from DMOTR.

    Also, roleplay from Chuck? Awesome AND unexpected.

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      If, working from the idea that Chuck was Gimli in DMotR, it’s not shocking that he’s role-playing; we already know Chuck’s an experienced and talented roleplayer. He’s just treating this Deuse Baaj campaign with the gravitas it deserves: none. And here, we can see exactly why!

      Contrast with Ivy, who keeps up the roleplay regardless and Blondie, who seems enamored of inhabiting a fantasy wish-fulfilment character but seems to have no role-playing talent or depth beyond that. And Josh is… Josh.

      Oh, and about that DMPC…

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