589 – Da Boss • 04


It’s the third installment of Dear DM! Enjoy, and don’t forget to post more questions below!

Dear DM

@Simon: Dear DM, hello i am only 12

can you tell what is happy belly?

why was violat sittign on bunker lap with no cloths one it not comfrtabl a coupl of pages bak?

who is orctongue is it endiku secret identiy?

Dear Simon,

When two grown-ups love each other very much, they go into their bedroom at night and draw smiley faces on each others’ tummies with magic markers. That’s a happy belly. Well, that and an orgasm. Ask your mom.

Violet’s clothes were eaten by tigers and her chairs were all out at the laundry.

Orctongue is the superhero, Enkidu is the secret identity. Although when you think about it, Enkidu isn’t keeping it a secret when he yells out that he is Orctongue, so in any case it isn’t a very effective secret identity. Obviously he should have been wearing glasses.

By the way, you should be spending less time reading webcomics and more time at school. Seriously. Twelve year olds do NOT write like that.

@A Cousin: Dear DM, I liked Violet better when her boobs were hanging out. Can you please address this vitally important issue?

Dear A Cousin,

What are you, a commie? Right-thinkin’ Amuricans know to be scared of boobies hangin’ out all over the place. I think I smell some french fries comin’ offa this here question! Is that right… Frenchie? Amuricans eat Freedom Fries, get fat, and are ashamed of themselves and their boobies, the way GOD intended!

So… yeah, I’ll get on that.

@Alan: Dear DM, When I am assuming the honorable mantle of DM, my players consistently get hung up on some part of a description that I merely added as a side detail to a main description. This results in quite long (And unprepared for) side quests.

Other than outright telling the players not to do this, or using NPCs to tell characters not to do this, I am not sure what to do.

Dear Alan,

There are many different ways to handle this one, and a lot depends on your players. If you think the direct approach might help, just tell them, “This is not the adventure. The adventure is the thing you actually came here for”. If they persist, then wrap the game there, and tell them you’ll have a new adventure next week based on the slightly less red-colored stone they found on the side of the road amongst all the other slightly more red-colored ones.

Other, less game-intrusive ways include the “All Roads Lead to Doom” strategy, wherein you turn each distraction they find into a “clue” which takes them back into the adventure. “Looking at the slightly less red-colored stone you found on the side of the road amongst all the other slightly more red-colored ones, you recall that the evil Earl Bad Nose of Skullduggershire likes to suck on reddish-colored rocks! He has passed this way!” Another way is the “Dragon of a Different Color” tactic, which is almost the same as All Roads, except it allows the players to feel like rebels. With this one, you allow the players their tangent, and send them on the same adventure you’ve already prepared, you just change all the names so they get to think they’re doing something different. “Abandoning your search for the evil Earl Bad Nose of Skullduggershire, you take a moment to look at the slightly less red-colored stone you found on the side of the road amongst all the other slightly more red-colored ones. Suddenly you see another. And another beyond that. After a short time following the trail, you realize that they lead straight to the keep of the evil Baron Mean Ear of Rapscallionville!”

@Jesse: Dear DM, If a Titan is beat down to 1 HP, and a rouge hits it with a slingstone for 1 HP of damage- does the comparatively miniscule slingstone actually kill the Titan? Or should the DM look at the rouge and say “you gotta be joking”?

Dear Jesse,

I don’t have any rouges in my game, though there is a nice mascara that hardly runs at all when my players make me cry…

I would say that this is a question of perspective and imagination, and gives you an excellent opportunity to stretch your storytelling skills. To begin, a rogue doesn’t just walk up and whack the titan’s last hit point off of his forehead, instead the intrepid ne’er-do-well Jimmy Two-Fingers fires an incredibly well-placed bullet at the titanic engine of malice… perhaps the best shot of his career… striking it so precisely, and with exactly the correct amount of force, that the murderous creature is felled with the sound of a toppled redwood, to lie twitching, staring uncomprehendingly at the sky as his life’s blood leaks from his nose and mouth.

Kinda depends on whether you want the rogue to be the joke or the hero.

16 Responses to 589 – Da Boss • 04

  1. Dear DM, I’ve been trying to convince my DM that in a medieval society no one(including the authorities) would really care investigate the murder of poor, powerless individuals and that their souls would usually rather go to the afterlife than haunt the killers(or else ghosts would be as common as there are dead in all the battles and murders), and that I should be allowed to kill the occasional whore, begger or farmer in secret without the authorities, relatives or ghosts trying to track me down.
    After all, bandits kill dozens of people, and they’re never haunted by their spirits, and the authorities only care because they do so openly and damage the commerce.
    So what do you think?

    • And actually, murder rates dropped down amazingly during industrialization. If you look at tribal societies vs, say, Canada’s, you’ll find an amazing disparity.

      Some tribes can get up to 40% of their males MURDERED. That’s two out of five guys you know INTENTIONALLY KILLED!

      Canada has 1/100,000 people murdered. I don’t know anyone that’s been murdered.

      It’s not law enforcement, either, since they’ve had some decent censuses on this dating as far back as the 13th century. Rural communities kill the snot out of eachother.

  2. Hmm, “@Simon: Dear DM, hello i am only 12” I smell more trolls than in Gorch’s camp.

    Dear DM,

    While I don’t play much D&D, having a stealthy character similar to a rogue is useful in a lot of systems, however, since a large part of the character concept of this kind of character is stealing stuff, there comes a point at which they will probably get caught by local authorities.

    I am not too fond of having lazy guards, or prisons which are easily escapable, unless it is reasonable to do so. this kind of activity would tend to have a large impact on the party activity.

    So how do you keep a rogue (With or without mascara) interested, but not imprisoned / outlawed / bounty hunted – unless this would make an interesting side quest.

    Also, how would you resolve issues where a character steals from other PCs?

    Also, how do you fit an evil character into a (Mostly) good campaign – for example, if a D&D rogue wanted to be an assassin?

    Yours concerned,


    • I’m sure Kevin will have a great answer, but I can’t help putting in my two cents. About the last two questions – we always took the approach that the PCs only know what they know, and nothing more. So if one steals from another, without getting caught, then too bad for the victim. If the thief gets caught, then the PCs get to roleplay or battle it out amongst themselves.

      For Evil characters, the question was always: do the other party members know he’s evil? In my last campaign, one of our party would have a 5 minute conversation with the DM before each session, and always got quiet when we discussed alignment. We knew he was probably evil, but our characters didn’t. They only got to react to his actions, nothing more.

      In the end, that’s as it should be.

        • I liked to play a neutral evil rogue who was really only looking out for himself, but kept the party around because they kept him from getting lynched. When push came to shove though, he’d push or shove any one of them in front of a horde of angry orcs and foot it the other way. Awww, memories.

  3. I wondered why I wasn’t disturbed by violet’s boobs… Now I know!!! That’s because I’m an horrible, boobs-lovin’ french! 😆

    Nonetheless, I’d like to remind to all true, god-fearing americans that, if they don’t want to taste our infamous french fries, they got an alternative with Freedom Fries! Freedom Fries are the true patriot’s alternative to French Fries! They look the same, cost at least as much, but they’ve got the taste of freedom! So feel free to buy and eat as much of them as you can!