DM of the Rings LV:
Does That Seem Right to You?

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jan 24, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 62 comments

White Wizard pranking travelers in Fangorn Forest with low-level spealls

In the book, Gandalf acted much as he always did in this meeting: Annoyingly Mysterious. You can’t really fault him, that’s his style. In the movie, it seemed like he was just being a jerk. I can’t fault him there either. If I came back from the dead as a nigh-invincible super-wizard, I’d probably run around doing this sort of thing to everyone.


From The Archives:

62 thoughts on “DM of the Rings LV:
Does That Seem Right to You?

  1. Carl the Bold says:

    Was “Does that seem right to you” an allusion to Jubal Early on Firefly? Conjured him up in my mind. I guffawed roughly.

  2. Shamus says:

    Yeah it was. I miss that show. I even miss the bad guys.

    More to the point, I think the player behind Gimli is just the sort of guy who would drop Joss Wheadon quotes. Early and often.

  3. Clyde says:

    I think that Saurman would be in the Dungeons & Dinos game, wouldn’t it? Ye Olde Wizarde is SaRUman! :-)

  4. Kris says:

    That’s awesome. I just finished watching firefly for the (most likely) thousandth time, and that cracked me up.

    Keep up the great work, Shamus!

  5. Jurrubin says:

    ROFL! With everyone’s Firefly comments and Shamus’ talent, I can just see Eowyn portrayed as Aragorn’s version of “Our Mrs. Reynolds”.

  6. Pete Zaitcev says:

    You guys get me all confused with the in-know. I am not into Firefly and Mrs. Reynolds for me means “Instawife” (if that’s in fact her name anyway). But I got the gist of the strip, which is what’s important, right?

  7. vonKreedon says:

    Oh man, how the hell is the DM going to keep Aragorn’s hands off of Eowyn once they get to Edoras? I wonder how he’ll avoid having to kill Eomer, if not Theoden.

  8. Imagine the player’s joy: a super-powered NPC is back to lead them around by the nose and to do all the heavy fighting for them so they don’t get any experience points.

  9. AngiePen says:

    vonKreedon — Oh, ROFL! I hadn’t thought of that but you’re absolutely right. :D Mr Is-There-A-Brothel-Here? is gonna jump Eowyn before they even get into the hall! [eyeroll]

  10. Telas says:

    Classic player metagaming: Instead of “Ahhh! We’re being attacked by a wizard”, Gimli’s player “takes 20” on Spellcraft to determine it’s a Flare spell, and wonders who would do such a thing.

    Which leaves only one question: Is this ROLEplaying?

  11. Nick says:

    Haha on the Jubal Early reference!

    On, and Telas, the player behind Gimli, who’s apparently the veteran D&D player of the group and started out as the roleplayer has pretty much given up by this point.

    Which should highlight the overall quality of this game… ;)

  12. Lycoris says:

    Gotta remember to not be drinking when I read the strip. Lemonade. Ow.

  13. ROFL !!!! :lol:

    Gotta Love these Strips, and for those of you who don’t like firefly, WTF ??!?? It’s Great !! ™ and your not :P

    Keep up the Great Work Shamus !!!

  14. Josh says:

    Great stuff.

    I actually heard about this webcomic on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 channel on TV, and since you said you don’t watch much TV, I figured you would enjoy hearing about that.

    Keep it up, this is a definite mood lifter.

  15. LIttle Hobbit says:

    Zaitcev: Our Mrs. Reynolds was an episode of Firefly where the captain, one Mal Reynolds, got himself unexpectedly married. It’s one of the best episodes of Firefly for the corkscrew plot twist that you don’t see coming at all. I shan’t spoilerize anything, but yes, the image of Aragorn as Mal with Eowyn as “our Mrs. Reynolds” is fecking hilarious.

    But yeah, it doesn’t have much to do with the joke of the strip.

  16. Joe says:

    I named my car Serenity. One day after we watched Serenity I was driving down the road when something fell off. I turned to my friend in the next seat and said, “What was that?” He died, I wasn't quoting Firefly intentionally but it was funny.
    For those who are wondering it is an 89 Saab 900 turbo, metallic gray/green, and held together with duct tape, wire and prayer.

  17. Pants says:

    The cantrip bit is right… Gandalf the super powerful wizard with the elven ring of fire who casts… no spells. In fact all he does is shatter a bridge, and then use some spells here. Bar that in the book he hardly does any magic.

  18. Osric says:

    vonKreedon says: “…how the hell is the DM going to keep Aragorn's hands off of Eowyn once they get to Edoras?”

    Heh. Y’know how Eowyn keeps on having to do girl stuff instead of going to war with the menfolk? So she feels like Theoden’s keeping her in a cage? Maybe it’s for her own protection!

    I couldn’t help myself for just this one projection, but we should probably all try not to discuss what’s coming next. If we say the thing that Shamus is actually about to do, it steals his thunder and spoils the comic timing and stuff.

  19. Trebuchet says:

    I remember an article in Dragon Magazine around 1978 which argued (based on the spells he used in the books) that Gandalf was only a 5th Level Magic User. It was a pretty good argument, although I wasn’t convinced mostly because Gandalf was my favorite character in LotR.

    For those who objected that he beat a Balrog/Type VI demon singlehandedly and so had to be higher than 5th Level, that was used as evidence that he was a dual class fighter/magic user (Hey, he used Glamdring, right?).

    1. Bob says:

      Wizard? Gandalf is a ranger! He uses a sword, he talks to birds and stuff all the time, he never casts any spell over 3rd level…

  20. Tommy says:

    ‘Thats awesome. Shamus, i’ve been reading from the beginning but just never posted. GJ man. I didn’t know there were other firefly fans in the world. It’s amazing.

  21. Steve says:

    [TKG] you’re not. Less TV, more attention to your language arts teacher, young man.

    Thanks again Shamus. Another winner. I always theought the “Gandalf back from the dead” bit was naff, born out of JRRT killing him off then sobering up after the first volume went to press.

    I’m wonering how the players will take it when the (now beleived to be somewhere on Endor and hence NPC in Middle Earth) Dave and whats-his-face drop Gollum and the ring into Krakatoa, ending the game by taking all the XPs.


  22. Deoxy says:

    “I always theought the “Gandalf back from the dead” bit was naff, born out of JRRT killing him off then sobering up after the first volume went to press.”

    “The first volume” was the WHOLE THING – the publisher broke it up into three books over JRRT’s objection.

  23. greg says:

    i just stumbled onto this comic, and read the whole thing. i pissed my… i mean, almost pissed my pants reading it…keep up the good work, and i look forward to the journey ahead

  24. freefall says:

    It is good. I think maybe Dave and the other hobbits finish their game and return in a couple of comic strips.

  25. haashaastaak says:

    Saruman–might want to fix the typo.

  26. Shamus says:

    Blast it.

    If the typo had been from the players it would have been fine, but the DM is supposed to obsess over details like this.

  27. Rich says:

    At first that’s what I was thinking. I didn’t expect the players to remember his name… ;)

  28. Parzival says:

    This comic is a great example of just how jaded D&Ders can be with regards to magic. If there really were a person in the world who could walk around doing the magic that Gandalf does in both The Hobbit and LotR (without technology), we’d all be absolutely amazed. But since D&D goes over-the-top with wizards who can hurl explosive balls of fire, throw lightning bolts, summon walls of ice, etc., etc., ad infinitum, we D&Ders look at Gandalf as a literary and cinematic character and think, “Well, geez, he’s not doing anything special.” :-P and HA!

    Great stuff, Shamus. Keep ’em coming.

  29. Pants says:

    Well i am fairly sure LotR is meant to be a Fantasy tale… where Magic is commonplace…

    Lets face it Gandalf is a warrior, pretty tough one who uses a bizarre (yet I can say effective) sword and staff combo. But for being Gandalf the White, the Valar might have said “look Gandalf lad.. that ring of fire that the elves gave you… might want to use it next time your fighting loads of Orks they burn well. Oh and your meant to be a mage.. but that damn sword down wiggle your fingers more and blow things up!”

  30. damien walder says:

    Saurman – heh! I thought that was fine, coming from lazy ranger guy. Really, those were their names – Hasufel? Snarfrig?

    I always thought that Gandalf was the inspiration for both Druid and Magic User (Wizards) in the start-up D&D mythos. I mean, female players wouldn’t need the huge beard, but….well, um. (DM of the rings),

    ^These are the only webcomics I read from!

  31. Phil says:

    I think Galdalf would say an npc wizard is never weak, nor is he gross. He is as powerful as he needs to be…

    (Though this may, of course, change from encounter to encounter!)

  32. Medium Dave says:

    Wait til everyone in the party finds out that Aragorn could be a king, if he wanted to.

    Aragorn is so going to jump Earache, er, Eowyn’s bones.

  33. Steve says:

    I laughed loudest at Aragormless yelling “AHHH – Jerk!”

    Absolutely perfect.


  34. Zanfib says:

    It was Legolas not Aragorn who shouted “AHHH – Jerk!”.

  35. Fickle says:

    I love Gimli’s sarcasm. I gotta admit, as a DM, people who logically point out every flaw in my plan tend to annoy me but as a person, watching it happen to this helpless DM is hilarious. xDDDD

  36. Andi says:

    I thought it was perfect that Aragorn called him “Saurman”. Completely fit with the whole “players can never remember NPCs name” thing.

    Hilarious strip! I chuckle every time I read, “Ahhh! Jerk!”

  37. doolz says:

    Joe Says:
    January 25th, 2007 at 3:38 am

    I named my car Serenity. One day after we watched Serenity I was driving down the road when something fell off. I turned to my friend in the next seat and said, “What was that?” He died, I wasn't quoting Firefly intentionally but it was funny.
    For those who are wondering it is an 89 Saab 900 turbo, metallic gray/green, and held together with duct tape, wire and prayer.

    Be thankful it’s not a Pontiac Firefly.

  38. Dune says:

    Yeah, can’t fault the guy we always do crap to low level npc’s and commoners to make ourselves feel special too

  39. Semirrahge says:

    Is it sad that I heard “Does that seem right to you” in Jubal Early’s voice – and it never occurred to me that it was a Firefly joke until I read the comments?

    Perhaps it’s just a testament to the depth of my geekiness. :P

  40. PhotoRob says:

    Here’s an odd one… With all the discussion of Firefly in this thread, the side-bar ad is for “Serenity preorders”. An most unusual coincidence.

  41. Wulfric says:

    If I were Gandalf I’d probably be a little miffed that these dudes left me to die at the jaws of a nearly indestructable creature. “Flare”??? These guys better be glad he didn’t decide to just launch firebolts at their asses!

  42. JJR says:

    “An most unusual coincidence.”

    No it isn’t. The ads are keyword generated–go back and look at the thread about horses a few clicks back.

    Mal: “we may experience some slight turbulence, then explode”
    Jayne: “I don’t wanna explode!”

  43. TheDeepDark says:

    “Was “Does that seem right to you” an allusion to Jubal Early on Firefly? Conjured him up in my mind. I guffawed roughly.”

    Heaven help me, you guys know Firefly too? Just when I thought I couldn’t feel more at home… :)

  44. Toil3T says:

    If I were Gandalf, I wouldn’t be using cantrips, I’d make sure that there’s just enough left of them for some rezzing and teleport to Rohan’s capital. They have clerics, right? No? Well, too bad.

  45. JD says:

    Indeed. He’s probably great for party games and bar mitzvahs too!

  46. Moridin says:

    Well, he does make fireworks(both in the movie and book, I think). And hey, he isn’t even a human, although the players probably don’t know it.

  47. I LOLed big time over Gimli’s exposition.

    Because it was EXACTLY what Saruman was said to have done, on occasion.

  48. Andrul says:

    In Gandalf’s defense, he was somewhat addle-minded when he first reappeared. “Gandalf? Yes, I remember now. I did once go by that name.” Please forgive if I don’t have the quote exact. I last read the book about 20 years ago.

  49. Sten Darker says:

    Amazing! Its wierd. You’ve actually made it equally as suspensfull as it would have been if we were seeing this plot twist for the first time! Excellent!

  50. Nickerbockers says:

    Oh the wonders of firefly quoting :D as soon as I saw it I laughed so hard… and in my mind it was in Jubal’s voice. Gotta love it XD

  51. Maladjester says:

    I love the panel of Gimli commenting “It’s a cantrip actually, level 0” even as he squints into the light. This strip has made me laugh out loud a dozen times already.

    It is surely some kind of comment on my massive geekness that I not only know the movie, the scene, and the character (to say nothing of his father Gloin, who went with Bilbo blah blah), I also know the game to which you’re referring, which edition of the rules they’re using, the exact spell of which Gimli speaks, and why the stats he’s quoting are relevant to figuring out the identity (or, at least, power level) of the robed figure.

    Woman, I knoweth thee not. Orc, on the other hand, I know everything about you….

  52. GooglyBoogly says:

    In Gandalf's defense, he was somewhat addle-minded when he first reappeared. “Gandalf? Yes, I remember now. I did once go by that name.” Please forgive if I don't have the quote exact. I last read the book about 20 years ago.

    That makes him seem EVEN MORE like an NPC. It’s been so long that the DM has forgotten his name, and what he is there for

  53. silver Harloe says:

    “Does that seem right to you?” … hrm. it may have been intended as a Firefly quote, and perhaps right after the episode aired, it may have read like one – but a few years later, it just seems like a reasonable question following the paragraph before it. It’s not really such an unusual or unreasonable string of words as to scream “has to be quoting something.”

    It’s not like, say, right around the bridge at the end of Moria, Gandalf turns to the party and says, “the hobbit suggested ‘friend in elvish’ for the password, the dwarf led us through the caves, the rest of you fought all those orcs… My Turn!” and then ran after the Balrog.

  54. Sean says:

    In The Hobbit, Gandalf chucks flaming pinecones at the Wargs.
    (Now that I think of it, Dnd has a spell like that. 6th level druid spell, Fire Seeda. Up to 20d8 damage. But still, pinecones?)

    1. johanna says:

      Beware, the flaming pinecone of DOOOOOOM!

  55. joesolo says:

    i havnt played a roleplaying game ever but i picked up enogh from other guys(and one girl, the teacher) in my schools robotics club to know what its about. probally the 2nd funnyest thing ive read. only loses to darths and droids because im a star wars nut.

  56. taraswanwing says:

    Gandalf is immensly powerful and almost omniscent now. If you had so much power in you, what would you spend your day doing?
    Gandalf #1: I would SAVET HE WORLD!
    Gandalf #2: I would write a book: Grey To White: A Wizard’s Tale
    Gandalf #3: I would TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
    Gandalf #4: Ha! Face shinyness, punks! You PC’s NEVER pay attention to me when I’m talking to you! FACE THE CONSEQUENCES!!!!

    I’m not quite sure which one is the good guy.

  57. DAC says:

    I don’t quite agree with you about Gandalf’s behavior here. I think his behavior in both book and movie is pretty consistent, and has to do with the fact that his identity is new to him. There’s something to be said about the identity of the apparition that disturbs the horses, which you can look up in Christopher Tolkien’s History of LOTR because typing on my phone takes too long.

  58. 4ier says:

    In the main post, each sentence has a “ ” at the end. That’s  with two spaces. This post was probably double-spaced, which got converted into [Â(space)]+(space).
    If you replace “Â ” with a single space, it should work just fine.

  59. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I can’t really fault Gandalf his posturing. He’s not just a dude with wizard powers, he’s an actual angel. Of course he’s going to have his moments of putting himself above everyone.

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