624 – Prep Work • 07

If you have a question for Dear DM, please ask it in the comments section below, and it’ll be answered next week!

Dear DM,

@TSED: Dear DM, do you remember your days as a college ‘chef’? I just enjoyed a peanut butter and mustard sandwich (seriouslyenjoyed), and I became curious if you created and culinary equivalents in your time. Do share!

Dear TSED,

I certainly do! Let’s see… there was Ramen and Veg-all, cream-of-anything-handy soup… which once included a can of tuna fish, peanut butter and sardine sandwiches, Lipton Iced Tea-flavored beer, and hot mac and cheese. (Mixed up with pieces of leftover “nuclear” hot wings from the bar the night before.)

@ErinG: Dear DM, I am sixteen years old and play a sorceress in our D&D game, and my DM won’t stop making everything about my character’s sex. Nobody ever pays any attention to me, but everyone flirts with my character! What do I do?

Dear ErinG,

Game naked.

@Aikidrake: Dear DM, if there is not currently a Cthulhu-like cult of worship, I’d like to start one. I’d also like my devotion noted should I ever have the good fortune of being a part of one of your games…

Dear Aikidrake,

The Esoteric Order of Dagon worshipped Cthulhu as well as Dagon and Mother Hydra, but they all turned into fish. Other Cthulhu cults pretty much center around waking him up as soon as the stars become right for him to live again… which I am already doing. No, I think I’d rather base my own worship on the Church of Starry Wisdom, where my worshippers grant me fantastic sacrifices in exchange for my infinite wisdom. That seems way more appropriate to me. 😉

@Cubby4bear: Is Martin gay?

Dear Cubby4bear,

Not exclusively.

@AngryforChrist, Dear DM, Why do you hate Christians?

Dear AngryforChrist,

I don’t. In fact, I admire their whimsical imaginations.

@Alan: Dear DM, when doing stuff that isn’t in the rulebooks, such as acrobatics, chemical stuff, and other oddball stuff that players come up with based on some madcap idea, something they saw in a film etc, how do you resolve that to be fair, but also not violate the laws of physics?

Dear Alan,

There are two questions I want to answer here. First, the question you actually asked. If a player wants to do something crazy that wouldn’t work at all in the real world, I ask myself (as I’ve mentioned before) “Will this hurt my game?” If the answer, as it almost always is, is no, then I ask myself, “Is this fun?” Again, if it’s crazy and the player is going to have fun with it… well this pretty much answers itself. As a DM you want to entertain yourself and your players and create memorable play. You are under no obligation to entertain gravity, chemistry, or physics.

The second part of this is when your players outclass you in some specific area of knowledge that becomes pertinent to your game. Now if you have created some kind of horrible meteorological faux pas and your player who had to take advanced meteorology courses to qualify for his highly paid position in the Navy calls your ass on it, you have two options. One, tell him that he is obviously on the trail of some greater mystery and run home and read everything you can on weather systems in lowland burn conditions… or you can thank him for his input, but remind him that this is just a game and it really doesn’t matter. Kind of depends on whether you’ve already written the next week’s adventure.

@Rolandpanda: Dear DM, there is a player in my game who is, frankly, too smart. He always knows what’s going to happen and what to do next, and while it’s nice occasionally, no one else ever gets to figure anything out because this guy is always right. He’s not an asshole or anything about it, but still it’s getting old. What would you do?

Dear Rolandpanda,

I would probably try to get ErinG to sit naked on his lap while he played. Let’s see him concentrate on the game then!

35 Responses to 624 – Prep Work • 07

  1. Dear Aikidrake, Kevin is almost correct. The worship of Dagon / Cthulhu has not disappeared. It has simply modernized. Dagon became Poseidon, and had a son, Triton, who blessed his worshipers with health and prosperity, in the form of good catches (they were mostly fishermen). This religion became known as Christianity, represented by the fish symbol, the Pope’s Dagon hat, and raising the dead / necromancy. As you well know, according to Revelations when Jesus comes back everyone is going to either die or wish they had. So now you know why fundies are so fucked up, and what the hell is wrong with Pat Robertson:)

      • hmmm. my bad. I must have got this site confused with one of the other bunch of D&D comics I read… I just can’t remember which one it was that gave you the option to register.

        I would like to put my own avatar up instead of these weird things though…

        • I’m almost positive that I set my picture up by going here: http://en.gravatar.com/

          It’s been too long and I had it set well before I found this comic (which has been a while — I’ve been reading since the pre-b&w, pre-color, b&w days. I’ve seen site template changes. I’ve seen schedule changes. And Kevin *STILL* can’t run me off…. 😀 )

  2. @Rolandpanda: Regarding your smart player, is he smart as in genre-savvy/trope-savvy, or is he just generally highly intelligent and clever and figures out stuff much faster than others?

    In the first case, I’d either ask him to tone it down a bit for the sake of the others, or alternatively you could try to use this for entertainment: twist the tropes, or run games like GURPS Discworld, where trope-savvyness is practically a survival instinct for characters and “trope-blind” is the equivalent of “clueless” in real life.

    In the latter case, ask your smart player to play smart characters (wizards, archivists, bards, scientists, hot geek chicks with glasses ;), Gordon Freeman) that the other characters can go to for advice. Forcing him to not reveal the wizard behind the curtain, figuratively speaking, while the other players are still stumbling around scratching their heads will only frustrate him.

  3. Kevin, your reply to ErinG, while absolutely not the kind of answer that most sixteen-year-old girls want to hear, was hilarious. :mrgreen:

    I’ve never been in that situation that ErinG describes (beause I only started roleplaying at 18), but it doesn’t sound like a sexual harassment case but more a case of being upstaged by her own character? In that case, ErinG, don’t worry, they’re already trying to flirt with you, using their characters as proxies.

    If you want to mess with their minds, start playing male characters. 😉 8)

    • I was a little surprised at his response considering that she’s *16*. 18, sure, game naked. At 16, you can only suggest that she game in bra and panties. Something about exploitation and all. Granted, I would have suggested for her to wear a chainmail bikini (Seamus did a webcomic by that name for a while…..). She would have garnered all of the attention she was wanting [and more] plus, she’d get extra experience for the added role-play elements — it’s a win-win.

      Now, I’m off to take a cold shower before I think of anything that could land me in jail.

      • They took down the Chainmail Bikini webcomic, something about the two authors having a disagreement. At least Erin’s character hasn’t faced an agressive teammate. One of the first comics in Chainmail Bikini was a party member announcing “Make a grapple check!”

        Seriously, Erin, if it’s bugging you, tell them. If they still do it, there’s no reason you can’t cast magic missile at your own party members. The alternative is to role-play the situation into getting double the loot. Just have your character continually lead the others on. “She bats her eyelashes and thanks you.” Absolutely no promise of giving them anything, but the guys will fall all over themselves just to get another reaction like that.

        • Actually the artist of Chainmail Bikini just didn’t want to do it any more for personal reasons (ie; personal projects), and they fell apart amiably.

    • ErinG isn’t getting any attention from geeky, socially maladjusted teenage boys who are afraid of girls?

      She should count her blessings. 😀

    • I loved Chainmail Bikini. I think that most of the problem there was that the author and the artist lived in different parts of the country and each had their own lives and families to tend to, and the comic had to play second fiddle to most everything else they were doing. (The plan was to cash in as soon as was feasible, but it hadn’t really happened yet.) One comic creator in that situation is kinda rough, but two multiply by each other, and in the end the whole project became way more trouble than it was worth to either of them.

      Which, for all the rest of us, was a damn shame.

  4. As for today’s comic…
    Hark! Is that the sound of foreshadowing I hear?

    Oh no wait… Bunker said “I had a brother”. Past tense. So Bunker was probably forced to kill his own brother, resulting in a lot of collateral damage, as he mentioned that “a lot of people died” some pages back.

    And Freya, you have a valid question. Or rather, a cutting observation. Rub it in, sister. 😆

    But I agree with Bunker that back in 3E, being a paladin meant something. Too bad noble paladins were stuck in a world where angels were machiavallian bastards, genocide was considered entertainment, rampant destruction was, um, rampant, and everyone ran around beating up monsters for their lunch-money.

    Well, the last thing hasn’t changed.

    No wonder so many paladins went nuts. So much well-intentiond craziness, and no windmill in sight.

    • Perhaps as a paladin he failed to kill/stop his brother thus unleashing great ebil on the world, after Bunkers player offended the DM by his smarmy goodness that resulted in the need for the kill your brother or let evil lose on the world classic dilemma

    • “No wonder so many paladins went nuts.”

      Thus resulting in the extremely successful sanitarium franchise, the Super Holy Institute of Theological Sanity.

  5. I tried playing an anti-paladin character once long ago. I found it surprisingly fun, mainly for the arguments I would have with Paladin players defending there… “Good”… deeds, while I would strategically try to make them eat their own words through volatile interpretations of their actions. It lead to a lot of shouting, sadly I had to modify my character a bit because the game would turn into only fits of shouting rage, it was good fun.

    ErinG, I have a friend who was in a similar situation as you, she decided that she could play a “girly” player and everyone would swoon over her and buy her gifts, or she could play the backstabing rogue of evil, and everyone would fear her for all eternity. I would go with- if they won’t play with you, force them! 😈

      • I have yet to meet sixteen-year-old boys who play a cross-gender female sorceress.
        I mean, come on, even a sixteen-year-old boy who is secretly transsexual and wants to play as a female would never dare at that age, for fear of the ridicule by his peers.

        • First character I ever played was a girl. Believe I was about 14 at the time. I did of course use her sexuality to solve problems from time to time, mostly to the great amusement of my fellow players. But we were all immature boys so what can you do?

          • I was 13 or so when I played my first female character. There was no intimation of transsexuality about it, I just liked girls. I don’t remember anyone teasing me about it.

  6. Dear DM,

    What witty / entertaining question should I ask on a blog where the webmaster / webcomic artist answers questions based on D&D / Roleplaying / Life in general?

    Yours concerned,

    Alan.