615 – Chorka • 24

As always, if YOU want to ask Dear DM a question, put it in the comments below and he’ll answer it next week!

Dear DM

@Terran: Dear DM, Given a married couple fortunate enough to game together; is or is not D&D the proper environment for resolving that little disagreement about (say) that scratch on the walnut cabinet that used to be her grandmothers? I mean, roleplaying could actually aid a fellow in explaining why it’s not my…I mean “his” fault.


Dear Terran,

Nothing cures a stupid woman of being stupid faster than calling her out on it in front of all her friends and peers. The more stupider you make her look, the more she’ll love you for it afterwards… if you catch my drift… wink wink, nudge nudge… y’know, in the bedroom… sex, dammit! I’m talking about sex!

See, women are simple creatures, much like dogs. (Do not have sex with your dog.) The like it when they know their proper place, and it makes them feel secure and comfortable knowing that you’ll be making all the decisions for them. Public humiliation, like being reprimanded in front of the gaming group or getting peed on in the parking lot at the grocery store, is a useful training tool, but it is just a tool. You yourself are the ultimate tool, and a failure on her part is really a failure on yours. (You should still punish her though!)

@TSED: Dear DM, How long will it take China to dominate the economic landscape on a world basis? What should we do to prepare?

Dear TSED,

China already dominates the planet’s financial scene, as is only proper for a people who are intellectually and culturally superior to the western world. (Build robot fighters, lots and lots of robot fighters.)

We should welcome our new Asian Overlords with flowers and candy in the streets. If you really want to prepare, I’d suggest going out and getting yourself a foot-washing station, so you can correctly wash the feet of your new master. Your foresight will be richly rewarded with an extra portion of rice! (Hide the robot fighters under a crucifix. The Chinese are naturally repelled by holy artifacts.) Google will be turned over to the State, and everyone will be able to wear beautifully drab pajamas… all the time! It’ll be like Christmas every day, only there won’t be any more Christmas!

Learn how to listen in all dialects of Chinese, (you won’t be required to speak) and to bow often and obsequiously. You will probably be kicked around a lot by villains who are seeking to prove that their Kung Fu is stronger than your master’s, so a solid health insurance plan is a must. (Teach your robots Miyagi-do, like in the Karate Kid, if you want win the rebellion and the All Valley Karate Tournament.)

Finally, you must not build robots or forment thoughts of rebellion against you kindly and beneficent Asian Overlords. That would be wrong. (Wink!)

@Alan: Dear DM, food. Lots of it. How do you keep track of what characters eat? I don’t really want to draw up menus for them, but on long journeys, what easy ways are there to keep track – eg, number of days of food to wander about in the wilderness with. Essentially, how do you keep track of stuff like that without it becoming an exercise in accountancy?

This is simple. I don’t. If the characters are in town or in the wild with someone who can take ten on a Nature check I just give this a hand wave and move on to the fun bits. I might address it if I can make it part of the game… say if characters are broke or in a hostile environment… but otherwise who cares? They’re there to fight dragons and save the world, not manage backpack space.

I generally treat encumbrance rules the same way. If it takes away from the fun, toss it out.

@Tim: Dear DM, what’s your opinion on gaming with strangers? My wife met a lady at the store the other day who is a gamer and whose boyfriend is a gamer. They hit it off pretty well and we may invite them over to play. (I’m actually really excited to play D&D for a change. It’s been so long.) But there’s the leariness of having a stranger in the house. What do you think? Gun under the table, just in case? Or am I just being paranoid?

Dear Tim,

I used to feel similarly, but I got over it. If you’re worried, ask around. If this is a guy who hangs out at the game store, someone there is going to know something about him. Otherwise I’d say trust your first impressions. There’s no need to make him a key, but gaming is pretty much supervised activity, and most people are not crazy axe-murderers. How does anyone make friends? Be nice, show a little trust, and see what happens. Couples are a little bit safer bet anyway because they can serve to temper each other’s more irritating behaviors.

I’d advise giving it a shot. (Not with the gun… just, um… you know what I mean.)

24 Responses to 615 – Chorka • 24

  1. After the answer to @Terran’s question, I’m guessing Lena is now available?!? (Too bad I’m already married — and smart enough not to take the above advice.)

    How much cough syrup did you take before answering these, Kevin? 🙂 The only advice that seemed sane was the part about tossing the food and encumberance rules (until obeying them helps the DM screw the party over in a key situation). That’s pretty much how we’ve always handled them, too. As long as you buy rations worth about 5% of your total cash every trip to town, you’ll always have enough to eat — or something like that.

    • Oh I dunno, Layne. The last one, about gaming with strangers wasn’t written like someone who was either high or had lived in his parents’ basement his whole life…

      I run a game made up of two people I’d never met before, plus two more that I’d gamed with one time each, in games held at gaming stores. But then, I may have just gotten lucky.

      • Dear DM hurt his back several years ago in a freak TV watching accident and subsequently became addicted to huffing prescription glue. He has attempted many times to break his addiction but the monkey on his back sticks to him like… glue. Our sympathies go out to him and his television set.

  2. Dear Dm,

    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where is the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

    Yours concerned,


  3. Dear DM:

    Mr. See owned a saw.
    And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw.
    Now See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw
    Before Soar saw See,
    Which made Soar sore.
    Had Soar seen See’s saw
    Before See sawed Soar’s seesaw,
    See’s saw would not have sawed
    Soar’s seesaw.
    So See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw.
    But it was sad to see Soar so sore
    Just because See’s saw sawed
    Soar’s seesaw

    Define: seesaw

  4. Dear DM,
    I used to game with a DM who considered his campaign a success if he was able to kill one or two players out of our 6 character group during the course of an adventure.
    What do you consider your greatest victory as a DM killing a player? And also, on the other side of that, what what was your greatest victory as a player, getting out of a situation that you were going to die in?

  5. Lolz… brilliant satire Kevin. Isn’t it weird how when your buddy brings a new guy to game you think he’s weird but games OK, and pretty soon you like him better than your buddy. But if the buddy isn’t involved the whole thing just feels WRONG? Socialization is strange. As far as the China thing goes, be afraid, very afraid, of the dark force that is sucking the life out of every economy in the world, but be aware it isn’t China. They’re just the first and biggest victim. I’m sure you’ve already noticed all the good rapidly draining out of your job. Unfortunately, the Illithids are hungry again and are indeed coming to eat your brains. Good news is, you’ll feel grateful when it happens. What we need to do is declare war on Antarctica immediately (it’s where the hole to the Underdark is).

  6. Dear DM,
    I have recently been asked to put together a special short-term gaming campaign to make fun of US electoral politics–inspired by the election success of Scott Brown. I’m left in indecision by opposed drives to do it because I think it’s devious enough to make for legendary gaming, and, to avoid it because the amount of effort and research to even make a proper joke about it is daunting.
    So I have three questions: What excuses, distractions, manipulations and other methods would you suggest I use for evading this GMing call, how would you try to prepare for and run this kind of game if you did it, and, what would you suggest I do with this challenge?

  7. Dear DM:

    Being an occasional GM who likes to switch things up when my players are acting a touch too smug, I was wondering: what’s been your favourite pull-the-rug-from-under-the-players moment?