DM of the Rings XXVI:
Our Dearly Discarded

By Shamus Posted Monday Nov 6, 2006

Filed under: DM of the Rings 55 comments

Balrog, Character Alignment, Railroad Storyline, Roleplaying and staying in-character.
Balrog, Character Alignment, Railroad Storyline, Roleplaying and staying in-character.

Any seasoned roleplayer knows they are not limited by the rulebooks. Anything is possible as long as they can justify it to the DM.


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55 thoughts on “DM of the Rings XXVI:
Our Dearly Discarded

  1. Telas says:

    Beautiful. As a DM who’s dealt with alignment-attorneys in many a game, I salute your genius.

  2. Corwin says:

    That sounds oddly like a conversation from my last gaming session :)

  3. Nestor says:

    Thank you, thank you.

    I was expecting the punch line but it was still a pleasure to see it in action.

    The best part is that Gimli’s coming up as a much more effective character in your version than in the original. :-)

    1. Andy says:

      When you say “the original” are you talking about the book? Gimli was fine in the book, in the films he was a little lame, agreed.

  4. Stratim says:

    You’re brilliant. please do not stop making these!

  5. Doccy says:

    Ohhh, so many memories… It is indeed amazing the lengths players go to when trying to get out of GM-forced scenes, whether it’s by Alignment-arguments or sheer ingenuity (I recall a friend of mine’s character, when trapped in an ‘inescapable’ cell, turned himself into a squirrel and swum down the toilet with the flush – escaped, end of epically-long rescue mission!)

  6. ubu roi says:

    Sir, you win the internet. :-)

    (Borrowing from Megatokyo’s forums.)

  7. Rebecca says:

    These are the funniest (and sadly realistic) damn thing i’ve read in a long time.

    Sir, I bow down to your brilliance.

  8. Bogan the Mighty says:

    Oh but your forgot about the best part. How 90% of the time before that the group complained they don’t get to fight enough.

  9. Marmot says:

    “You cheap railroading bast….”
    Ahahahahahahahha, awesome! Just awesome! Keep up the good work.

    Oh yes, before I forget. I have been reading about bandwith troubles of late and similar stuff you’re (I suppose) experiencing. What exactly can I do to help with that? View the page once per 3 days? Install something, subscribe to something, click on something? Do let me know, I would hate for you to have bandwith troubles just because you’re doing great work (though it is a logical outcome) :)

  10. Shamus says:

    The ads are working great. If you see something eye-catching over there on the right, please give a click. I don’t want the ads in everyone’s face, but if people keep them in mind and click when the fancy strikes them then the site should just about break even.

    And thanks.

  11. John Fiala says:


  12. Deoxy says:

    “The best part is that Gimli's coming up as a much more effective character in your version than in the original.”

    Only if by “original”, you mean “the Peter Jackson movies”. Gimli as WRITTEN was quite an effective character (on the whole), not some comic relief/humorous-sidekick-to-SuperLegolas. Not saying that the movies sucked (no previous attempt at the movies even rates on the same SCALE with them), just that they are most definitely not “the original”.


    And this comic, as usual, is stupendous. Especially Gimli’s last line.

    1. Andy says:

      I replied to Nestor (above) before reading your comment, so said it so much better than I, but Gimli was one of my favorite characters and what was done to him in the films was tragic.

  13. haashaastaak says:

    this one hurt to read I laughed so hard.

  14. Geeksoldier says:

    My first thought had been a pun on “munchkin rules-lawyer.” Great comic though. I am thoroughly enjoying it!

  15. DoomRater says:

    I bet those roleplayer whiners are thankful he’s around now, eh?

  16. Kris says:

    Hah. This is the first one that actually caused me to laugh out loud. (Mostly because that’s me!)

  17. Scott Sharplin says:

    My gaming friends and I have a long-standing private joke about a magical item called “the helm of justification.” I could practically see it glowing on Gimli’s head as he explained his way through this episode.

  18. TX Knight says:

    Lol!! I loved this one. I almost hurt myself laughing! :-)

  19. Markavian says:

    Partly in respect to your incredibly funny comic, and partly to my fave game of the time – Dwarf Fortress, go check out the 4th comic down in this post:
    (I linked back to this article)

    Great job, I look forward to the ?conclusion? of this story as time permits.

    – Markavian
    (No, I’m not a vampire)

  20. tina says:

    Yet another laugh out loud, and long, comic! TY so much, i don’t want to get to the end of these, they are just what i need to brighten my day:)

  21. Dryanne says:

    Oh this is WAY too funny! Our DM’s love and hate it when we pull the “in character” caviot on them. *Grins*

  22. SnarkHunter says:

    Oh, if only my players would be that attentive to alignments… Neutral Good Druids who hire themselves out to the local assassins’ guild, anyone? Bleah…

  23. Sewicked says:

    It was White Wolf but it was still wonderful. The mighty Wendigo warrior, when asked by the local Bonegnawer (interpretation for those unfamiliar ‘I am so [email protected]$$ that I crap tungsten’ vs mongrel survivors) to take care of a gangster problem, tried to get out of it by reminding them that she’s new to the area, & they should take care of it, etc and other excuses.

    The Bonegnawer (ie GM) replies, “Because we are lowly Bonegnawers & you are Might Wendigo.” To which the player could only reply, “yep, you’re right” & go do the job.

  24. FlameKiller says:

    Hay in panal three you forgot to shade gandulf’s speach bubble.

  25. Elays says:

    Dude, this is the first comic I’ve commented on so far, but I am just sitting here running out of breath because it is so totally HILARIOUS! And accurate to boot! I wanna hear more from Gimli!

  26. JJR says:

    The best RPG players are the wanna-be lawyers. In the D&D ‘verse, it’s the friggin WISH LAWYERS that would really rake in the dough.

  27. The Gremlin says:

    this is a hilarious comic. I think it should be right up there with ‘The Far Side’ and ‘Calvin and Hobbes’.

  28. Chawunky says:

    “Hay in panal three you forgot to shade gandulf's speach bubble.”

    Which possibly indicates that he’s the GM’s prized PC being trotted out to show off with…

  29. Gahaz says:

    This maybe really old at this point but in your comment under the comic, shouldn’t it say “A seasoned…” instead of “An seasoned…”

  30. cheesebunny says:

    our DM is also know as good god lawyer, or lawyer for short, simply cause the weasley little bastard can get around anything, many times hes had the face multiple people with the gladiator batons, he dosnt back down even then because for some reason DM is really bouncy when he hits the ground

  31. Aragorn says:

    OH MAI GOD, I think I played this.

  32. ilovefantasy says:

    I have been laughing so hard! The roleplaying bit to get out of a jam was priceless!

    Mostly because it’s true!

  33. ERROR says:


    Next time, they should TRY to get it right, but of course, they say “Gandoof” or “Gandork” or something to that extent. :D

  34. Serenitybane says:

    I out-smarted my DM once too. I felt so proud of myself hehe :)

  35. Spit Fyre says:

    Balrog shalrog delrog what a wimpy Monster.

  36. Steriotipical DND Nerd says:

    I was talking with a fellow player who wanted to join the group, but wanted to make an evil character in a party of good characters. He asked me how his player should be introduced. I said, “Mabey the group could find him robbing or murdering someone.”
    He said, “That is so steriotipical evil person stuff. Evil means that he isn’t bothered if someone gets in his way and then he kills them. Can’t you think of something more original?” I said “Murdering people and robbing them is also a good character thing. They just are glorified for it. Say a bandit tries to rob you so you kill him. Then you take his stuff as a reward for doing a good deed. That sounds like a good character to me.”

  37. “Any seasoned roleplayer knows they are not limited by the rulebooks. Anything is possible as long as they can justify it to the DM.”

    In “The Eyes of the Overworld” role playing game, they’ve codified this as “The Law of Efficacious Blandishment” and name it the most important rule in the game. Basically, if you can convince the GM, it’s good.

  38. mICHAEL cOLEMAN says:

    LMAO – so true so true.

  39. Tachi says:

    I love this one… “Anything is possible if you can justify it to the DM,” you’re damn skippy… I once nuked a green dragon right as he was breathing on me by convincing the DM that chlorine gas was much more flammable than it is… possibly explosive even… sure it’s flammable, but not enough to blow up a dragon from the inside… He should have payed more attention in high school chemistry… on the other hand, with my leather working skill I got a nice new set of green dragon scale armor out of the deal… ;) Gullible DMs are the most fun…

  40. theSnark says:

    For some reason, I hear Sean Connery as the voice of Gimli…

  41. Rose says:

    I only just now figured out this was a word-press blog, and thus didn’t need an account with anything to comment. lol

    Anyway, I’ve never played any role playing games aside from a friend helping me make a character and then subsequently abandoning any opportunities for me to actually play, but your comics about this are hysterical. This is probably the funniest one I’ve read so far, but Legolas constantly being called a girl/gay also gets a lot of laughs out of me.

  42. KiltieDM says:

    I’ve always used a fluid alignment system for non-alignment-dependant characters (i.e clerics, monks, druids, and paladins, all of whom BETTER stick to their declared alignment). Basically, they don’t choose their alignment, I assign it in accordance to their actions. Imagine their surprise when the find a Holy Avenger that burns the hell outta them.

  43. Gregg says:

    Anything is possible if you justify it, huh? We had a guild that copy-pasted monster parts onto people. The leader of the guild had a Beholder as one of his eyes.

    I was unable to convince my DM to let me in on that action by me becoming part-Mithral Golem.

  44. AnaddaOldDM says:

    Just need to comment: BRILLIANT. Thanks a million! Holds out great after 6 years. Happy to have found my way here!

  45. 4ier says:

    There are a couple of messed up character encodings in the comments.
    Gimli's should be Gimli’s

    gandulf's should be gandulf’s

    1. Andy says:

      Surely gundalf’s should be Gandalf’s

  46. Titanic says:

    Which raised money to save Molly Brown’s House.

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