DM of the Rings XLVII:
-2 to Maturity, +2 to Funny

By Shamus Posted Friday Jan 5, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 62 comments

The handsome men of Rohan. Legolas called gay.

The rulebooks never say that players earn XP for finding ways to imply the other guys at the table might be gay, but you would never know this from observing their behavior.


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62 thoughts on “DM of the Rings XLVII:
-2 to Maturity, +2 to Funny

  1. Merciful Guv says:

    Ha! I’ve gotten into a lot of arguments with another player in my game as to which one is more… well… It’s him that starts it, I swear!

  2. Towanda says:

    Hell, my characters are usually ARE light in the loafers. :)

  3. Beth says:

    That is completely my high school gaming group. I never met a more homophobic, angry and childish group of guys. I think it’s because none of them *had* any masculinity to speak of, they all had real life charisma scores of less than 9, I was the only girl who’d talk to them, oh, and it’s probable that at least half of them *were* gay and busy beating each other up in repressed self loathing.

    If it hadn’t been high school I’d wonder why I hung out with them. But if you’re a girl who only wants to read and kill imaginary monsters living in a rural community your options are kind of limited. I would purposefully give my characters crap charisma scores and watch them all try to pick them up anyway, despite the descriptions I gave (which, looking back on it, bore a striking resemblance to the boy playing the paladin…)

  4. Breklor says:

    Uh, most of my *players* are some flavour of GLBT already, so any attempt to accuse one of them or one of their characters of being gay would likely be met with blank stares, “And proud of it!”, or my personal favourite, “Damn straight! Or not, as the case may be.”

  5. 3eff_Jeff says:

    Funny Breklor, I was in a group in college with a mix of GLBT and straight-but-not-narrow. Our games still ended up like the above since we had one guy in the latter catagory who was abysmal at getting dates, so he had the honor of being the only one to get chided like that, much like Leggy-lass in our story so far.


    PS. What’s up Quinn!

  6. Julia says:

    Breklor, one of my favorite things is hearing a lesbian friend say, “Damn straight!” :)

    Maybe I’m easily amused.

  7. ChristianTheDane says:

    Well, since Legolass never actually denies it outright… all im saying is he could be… you know… bi?

  8. theonlymegumegu says:

    I can’t wait till Leggo-lass and Aragorn have their awkward moment giving each other a “manly” hand on the shoulder in Minas Tirith XD

  9. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that I was the target of the gay jokes in our campaign. The weird thing is is that I was the only guy in the group getting dates at the time. It was the only thing that helped keep my sanity through our first session under Shamus. (stupid rob with his stupid mute cleric) grumble grumble

  10. Gropos says:

    He’s an elf. What do you want from him? If I was long lived I’d swing more freely :P

    IMO Gimli and Aragorn need to get a life.

  11. Shamus says:

    It was the only thing that helped keep my sanity through our first session under Shamus.

    I hasten to add: This was not the sort of thing I encouraged or desired from my campaign. Certain mixes of people produce this behavior, and others don’t. Adding or removing one or two people with room-filling personalities can alter the entire feel of a game. Adding females to the mix always has a civilizing effect. Raising the ambient age does the same.

    Also, this problem got bigger as the group became larger. When there are three or four at the table, everyone is busy and into the game. When there are six players, then some people are getting left out and feeling restless. This will lead to more joking around and a less serious attitude. You can’t roleplay seriously when the mood at the table goes that way, and so I think it ends up diluting the game a lot more than you’d expect.

    My favorite seesions were the small ones. I loved all of the players. I never found myself wishing anyone would leave. (I take it this is exceptional – lots of groups deal with disruptive jerks.) But often I wished the group was smaller because I couldn’t keep six people busy unless we were in combat.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      At my table, the presence of women didn’t have the civilizing effect you’d expect. We just almost never directed our jokes at the women.

  12. Tola says:

    I’m REALLY looking forward to when they meet Theoden and Grima.

    It’s a little unfair: In the book, they got a little loot there.(A little armour-Gimli got a Helm because he already had good armour as it WAS in his sandard equip: Gandalf got Shadowfax permanently, and I can’t remember the stuff Aragorn and Legolas got) In the movie? NOTHING!

  13. Carl the Bold says:

    How can we be discussing the possibility that Legolas is gay because he likes the men, when he is, as has been documented numerous times in this campaign, a woman. A Fair Elven Maid. A She-Elf. To use Aragorn’s words, “An Elven Hottie…ME-OW!” She’s a girl! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  14. Stratim says:

    in d-orange, when no obvious culprit of homosexuality is available, the jokes tend to center on a silver half-dragon NPC named Condalus. Condalus always had a thing for our pc elf Marcus, who i theorize was probably a repressed homosexual himself. later we played a mirror-universe version of the campaign and my ladies-man gunslinger was suddenly flaming. i played a pretty decent stereotype, and it was a favorite fantasy of the group that someday the two characters would meet and the gay one would make out with his straight twin/clone/alternate-universe-self.

  15. Sean M says:

    The Legolas jokes remind me very strongly of TMOL/Penny Aracade’s jokes about “that John Romero chick.” In a good way.

  16. eccles says:

    When there are three or four at the table, everyone is busy and into the game. When there are six players, then some people are getting left out and feeling restless.

    I think different games have a different optimal number of players – I tend to run WW games, and find that 3 is a good number for vampire, and 5 is a good number for werewolf. I’d probably want D&D to be around 4, and yeah, have to agree that 6 leads to people causing trouble or being bored.

  17. xargon says:

    There’s always some sort of sexual joke at D&D sessions. If not GLBT comments, then it’s passes at the player who has a character of the opposite gender (usually a male playing a female, but not always).

    And sometimes tables get even more creative…that’s how my barbarian got fuzzy manacles and leather pants (seperate incidents, too). :)

  18. Telas says:

    Hey Beth…

    It’s high school; it’s supposed to suck. :D

    Immaturity, social awkwardness, self-loathing… all these things can build character. (Or they can apparently break you, according to some of the gamers I’ve met.)

    And everybody needs to be teased from time to time (even didactic balding white Texans of German-Irish-Mutt extraction).


  19. Teria says:

    Hehe. Reminds me of a game my group and I played in the summer. Busy road, people working in their gardens, all windows open, people talking, children laughing etc. We were sitting comfortably on the balcony, sipping our drinks, and one of the players was constantly referring to another’s character as “he” – because the player was male but playing a female. And suddenly this male player jumped up and yelled at the top of the lungs: “I’m a WOMAN, dammit!”
    It was amazing how absolutely quiet the environment got.

  20. Teria says:

    “top of HIS lungs”, sorry. :)

  21. If High School didn’t suck enough, you’d never want to leave – Hello, undergraduate life!!!

    I know of no logical reason why in the gaming universe, there isn’t more actual role-playing.
    OK, so you’re a nerd, of either sex, looking to have muscles/magic/weapons that you KNOW
    don’t have a chance of happening for you in “real” life. Why stop at being a fantasy cardboard
    cutout of folks you’ve already seen in Conan? Why stop at archetypes found in pop culture (& LOTR
    counts for three generations of that), when you could, oh, I dunno, play ANYONE?

    Oh, right – embarassment, fear (-2 to will saves) and social ridicule…

    Gender roles? What’s that about?

    I am guilty of not considering it overmuchly. But -I think, just for fun, I’ll generate a female character next. The DM we work with is not averse to sex, but most players I’ve dealt with (Shouts out to the exception, Denise & Hounds’ RPG gang) are allergic to framing sex in the game. Yeah, lots of Hoo-Mo-Foobia, but I learned D&D before I knew the term mysogyny. I imagine that’s how education works for most kids who play the RPGs. The popular/nerdy systems aren’t about change, but escapism.

    Imagine a world where Elves are proto-Marxists? Boy, even more issues with the dwarves. Not to mention evil empires and men-only armies (even their own, hello?).

    Anyway, the basis for D&D (LOTR etc), the system for D&D is only restrictive for players who choose not to go outside the exisiting frame. No reason why you couldn’t mix it up now, being a demi-giant female* who actaully abhors violence, works as a cleric but can also crush a wine barrel for suddenly being empty…

    Is anyone else happier that you can walk on the wild side?


    I thank the Deities of Fictional Constructs that girls have taken up
    Skateboarding, Mountain Biking and RPGs in my life time. Yay!
    “It’s a helluva thing”,
    to quote a famous Cross-dressing “cowboy”.

    Thanks also to Shamus, and all y’all who post your thinks.

    *NOT a “Demi” Moore reference, I just prefer that prefix to “half”

  22. Argh… I mys-spelled Misogyny!?

    Please, pardon me – I always spell “Miso” right when I write up recipes.

    &^) four eyes good, two eyes half as good!

  23. Ethan says:

    Maybe we’re all over analyzing this. I know from gaming with my groups over the years that it can get out of hand. But man, there are times when I get right down there in the trenches and sling stupid, non politically correct terms around cause its FUN!

    Then again, maybe I’m a knuckle head.

  24. xargon says:

    Damien: you point out some of the important reasons why D&D is more fun (IMO) in an adult gaming group. Not all the time, of course, but often the maturity level is higher.

  25. Brass says:

    Speaking of the guy’s that catch it for playing female characters (and we were dontcha know), this just got posted on our board. I think he might be getting a bit testy.

    BTW, I’m not sure why everyone keeps confusing my 2 characters. So, I’m going to make it easy. I’m scrapping both characters and creating just a single character. I’ll be able to teleport and timeshift so I can play in both games. I’ll be a cross class druid/monk. I’ll also be a cross race of changeling/shifter (a swiftwing shifter that can be either male or female). Oh, and of course I can shoot lasers. Actually I shoot a laser from my ass as I bend over and scream, “kiss my ass and die!”.

  26. This comic is hotsauce, seriously. I’m totally adding this one to my daily reading!

    Keep up the good work mate, this is a class act.

  27. Patrick says:

    Skeeve….dude…you were the ‘only’ one getting dates? Please…. getting some lame 11th grade bimbo to share an Orange Julius at the food court just because you were wearing some “, righteously awesome Tool T-shirt from Hot Topic! I was sooo gonna, like, buy that too!” hardly counts as a date.

    Lame ass….

    And your wizard WAS gay….. for cryin out loud he was Elven and carried around a pet frog…

  28. Patrick says:

    Oh… and speakin of dates…

    So …Beth…. How you doin’?

    *in best Joey Tribiani voice ;)

  29. Vicky W says:

    It’s funny really. I remember when I first started playing D&D back in the Stone Age (when it came in a cardboard box!) and there being only 1 guy in the 6 person gaming group. We girls were absolutely merciless at trying to pick him up, fighting over his attention, etc. etc. (I should point out in real life he was the much younger brother of the DM and while not a bad looking kid, he was 10 and we were all between 15 and 18) He got his best friend into the game, more as a line of defense against the mob of girls than anything else, and for the next three years we dealt with TWO monsters of our own creation. Things did settle down a bit after one or two of the girls peeled off to go to college or the Air Force, and the gender ratio balanced out.

    In college, we didn’t do too much of the “that so-and-so is Gay” because we did have a rather mixed GLBT gaming group, so it was amusing to see the flaming in real life guy play a Homophobic Barbarian Berserker, the confirmed straight girl playing a bi leather half elf druid, and the bi leather girl playing a straight elf fighter/cleric. The others just stuck to their usual “we don’t involve sexual preference in the game” strategy right up until we got to a tavern. Then it was a fight with the playing a bi and the barbarian over who the barmaid liked better.

    Now it’s all a moot point. Most of the people I game with are in their late 30’s to mid 40’s, and we do some odd things now and then (I played a male gnome assassin once. He fell madly in lust with a water spirit my Husband the DM was using as an NPC to lure our son’s character to his doom)but mostly we save that kind of talk for the long walks from encounter a to encounter b which is when the DM (friendly Husband type critter) decides to “liven things up”. So it kind of cures itself after a while.

  30. Patrick says:

    Oh… and speakin of dates…

    So …Vicky… How you doin'?

    *in best Joey Tribiani voice ;)

  31. tigerdreams says:

    It can be frustrating playing a cross-gender character, especially if your gaming group is the type not to pay terribly close attention to characterization. Most of the time I play my own gender, but occasionally I’ll come up with a concept for a male character (for instance, my intellectual runt-Minotaur ranger), and for the first half-dozen sessions, I’ll be reminding somebody every five minutes, “Hello–MALE character!”

    Then, in one gaming group I was in, one of the players decided at the beginning of the second semester that his character had secretly been female the entire time, and had been pretending to be male. When the other characters found out, they (and their players) remembered and acknowledged his gender, but continued to refer to him with the male pronoun (“Wait, he’s a girl?” “Yes, he is.”). It just seemed to work better that way.

  32. Jill says:

    Hope no one minds my two bits…

    Quite apart from the time I intimidated a male friend of mine right across the table when he made a comment about female characters getting strength penalties in the interests of realism… *cough* I’m playing a male character because hey, I felt like it. Our DM keeps forgetting about the cross-gender characters in the party, and the last time we reminded him of it he declared in exasperation that we were all going to have to play characters of our own genders for the sake of his sanity. Good thing he didn’t follow up on that threat, since my poor 5’11” ranger would /not/ do well as a female. Not to mention that the only relationship in the party is between him and one of the female characters (played by a girl) – that would cause just /so/ many problems. XD

    Keep up the comic!

  33. jdhays says:

    Once, while raiding in World of Warcraft, this came over teamspeak, “Hi, this is Oghman. (pause) I’m gay.” The general response was, “That’s nice.” The raiding party then took a break before the Suppression Room. While most of use were AFK, Oghman pulls a mob. This could have wiped us all, but we survive.

    Turns out the Oghman had gone AFK early and hadn’t told anyone. Then his friend gets on his character and makes mischief. Since no serious harm was done, we start teasing Ogh. We tell Ogh that we accept him for who he is. We tell him to keep his boyfriend away from the keyboard. Perhaps tying him up? He might like that. There were a couple of admonishes to practice safe buttsex. Oghman insists that he’s not gay. We tell him that it would be its okay if he was. We complement him on accepting his gay friend. Oghman insists he is not gay either. The more accepting, and even downright encouraging, we are to Oghman, the more hilariously upset his gets.

    Unfortunately, another guild member quit because he thought this was gay bashing. Which was unfair. Ogh’s friend used gay as a pejorative and Ogh was quite upset to be thought of as a homosexual. But the rest of the guild was so “supportive”, you’d think it was a GLBT meeting.

  34. WOW !!!

    Look at all the huge and long detail people are putting into their replies… Almost wish I had a large enough vocabulary to answer them all.

    Anyways, Cheers Shamus for making me laugh once again

    Keep Up The Good Work :D

  35. Nickonomicon says:

    At a gaming convention, the only female at the table was the DM. However, it was a Cthulhu module with pre-generated characters. About half the party was female. In between losing our sanity and running for the hills, we were witness to this gem:
    “I approach the dog as a woman”

  36. Scott says:

    There’s a guy I used to game with that I’ll call John…

    I’ll call him that, cause it’s his name…

    John for YEARS was teased and poked fun of mercilessly for being gay.

    I mean CONSTANT. We always told him that if he’s just come out of the closet we’d stop, that honest man, it would be ok. When he finally did, it ALL stopped…

    Well, ok, not all of it. Once or twice you get the classics… During a star trek game, something was said by him, and I responded with “TO go boldly where no man has gone before… Unlike your ass, where most every man has been already…”

    He shook my hand, and congradutated me on a well-played line.

  37. Noah says:

    Brilliant strip. I nearly cried laughing at this one.

  38. JDTanstaafl says:

    When I joined my current group of gamers, I had a wizard type who died in the first round of combat. So, I made an elf ranger. The raging homophobe in the group (well, they all are, but this one was the worst) kept up the “elves are fairies” chatter and kept suggesting that elves’ ears made great handlebars for, um, you know what. One night I was not in a good mood, and he started it up. “Fine!” I said. “Did I say I was walking down the street? I’m sashaying (sp?) down the street! The elf is out of the closet!” That elf died eventually because he said “snookums” one too many times while I was looking toward the homophobe. I had acquired a magic sword called the “Sword of Faerie” just before my outing, and it was suggested the sword was cursed and changed my character. Strangely, no one else would pick up the sword to test that theory. A dwarf I made later picked up another cursed weapon at one time (this time a hammer), and became a hermaphrodite…but that is another story.

  39. Stacey says:

    Awesome story! I practically cried every time, I even told my bff about this. She cried her eyes out. Keep making us laugh!!!!!!

  40. Rikku says:

    Even though I hate it when other people make fun of the way Legolas looks, or say that he’s gay, you make it funny and I don’t seem to mind. Keep going!

  41. Stovac Korr says:

    I’m afraid I must disagree regarding the comment about the age of the group influencing the maturity. I missed one session and the following week, my D&D character had been turned into a repressed homosexual lusting after his best friend, who was dating my character’s sister. But once the notes had been written there was nothing I could do.
    Average age of party: 27

  42. Lily Frost says:

    I once had a lot of fun playing a gay elf and hitting on all the other male characters in the party – until the DM threw in Fabio, a dance instructor (bard of sorts), to keep him *busy*.

  43. Toil3T says:

    Our group is all guys, and all this is the situation of late:
    1. Our DM is gay.
    2. I play an elf.
    3. Another player plays an elf, this one female.
    4. Our halfling rogue swiped our 2 love potions the monk was keeping (because he can be trusted) and keeps trying to get in the female character’s pants. The one who is played by a guy. Said rogue now has a girlfriend, but he’s pretty… Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were gay.
    5. One of our plans for defeating an army of 6000 hobgoblins was to poison their water supply with love potions. Jokes about hobgoblin mardi-gras ensued.
    6. Another character in our party is a female human who was mind-swapped with a male monkey. When she finds her body… Well, it’ll be hilarious.

  44. Fage of Kexy says:

    I was running an Evil game one time where I told one of the players to make a character that was the completly evil leader. He had 20 levels to play with. He came up with a half demon half devil charcter that had a crazy high charisma. the other 5 players in the group had to make 15th level evil characters that were his henchmen and they job was to take over the world. Like any true purely evil game it lasted 3 sessions until it went to PvP for how was going to be the leader. But the gem from that game was one of the henchmen, when talking about the leaders character with a really high charisma, said and I quote ” His Charisma is so high, he could turn straight men gay ” everyone lost it at that point we were laughing so hard.

    1. WJS says:

      I’m reminded of part of one of Rich Burlew’s essays (paragraphs 3-4). He was talking about NPC villains, but it applies to evil PCs too. There’s no reason to assume that villains (PC or NPC) should automatically fall to infighting. Indeed, if they did, the heroic PCs would be out of a job! Would you assume that Good characters are always going to get along and never have any conflicts? Then why assume that Evil characters will always fight?

  45. Danielle says:

    Very funny. My group has actually created an innuendo check for all the wonderful quips we come up with – it’s very closely linked to one’s charisma stats:-)

  46. Morambar says:

    Teria: “It’s symbolic of our struggle against the Romans!”

  47. Stickle says:

    Half the guys in my campaign are gay. Everyone does this anyway.

  48. .o. says:

    Great series. However, being from San Francisco, I feel compelled to point out the misspelling of my hometown.

  49. d'Antarel says:

    Actually, in a campaign that I’m running, whenever someone does something retarded or anything of the like, one of the players always puts his voice into a deep register and says: “What a fag!”
    Unfortunately, it has become an inside joke. I say unfortunately because even inside jokes can get old after two years of hearing it at least four times each week.

  50. ultimate rper says:

    being gay i never really minded myself lol i just ignored them and stayed in character

  51. Ganthar says:

    you spelt blonde wrong xD

  52. Russiophile says:

    Wow! That hits home.

  53. Lycanthromancer says:

    @ultimate rper: Yeah. Being gay in real life does make this kind of thing easier. I mean, what can they do when I make fun of myself more than they do?

    @Ganthar: In the US, either spelling is considered acceptable.

    1. WJS says:

      The joke is that “Blond” is used for men and “Blonde” is used for women. (although this distinction might not apply in the US, I don’t know)

  54. Mariah says:

    It’s also funny when you play with a gay guy and then use him to imply that others are gay.

  55. Kunou says:

    Hell try playing a female character in my group and rather than have their characters hit on you they tried to get you to chase anything in a skirt. Most of them did. It’s very annoying when the female cleric starts hitting on every other female character in the campaign.

  56. anndreana says:

    um, well,it looks like you campaign is going down the drain, lets hope your “buddies” come back soon, all thou what do i have to complain about with yours, i had to quite mine because the rest of my group started to make out under the table.

  57. Greg says:

    This reminds me of a folding boat I gave my players once. They thought it was a nice wooden magical box but they would never touch it directly to cats Identify out of worry. They indirectly opened it and stuff and saw it empty and was going to try to sell it. It had three magic words. One to fold it into a canoe, one to a sailboat, and one to fold it into a box. It became very important what was said in game and out of game. Anyway, They were walking and hating it and someone said the sailboat word and then one lost his backpack from it ripping apart on expansion. I let them take a whack at a sailing campaign, but for some reason all their waterways they could find were magically deadends and went nowhere. They promptly refocused on how awesome walking was.

  58. 4ier says:

    There are a couple of messed up character encodings in the comments.
    … should be …
    (three of those)
    doin' should be doin’

  59. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I miss the era when you could make jokes like this. Now mobs will descend on you.

    I’m grateful Dave Chapelle and Bill Burr are trying to reclaim some of this space.

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