648 – White Smoke Mountain • 17

Dear Reverend DM

@TSED: Dear Rev. DM, how do tits control minds? Seriously. There has to be some sort of scientific / psychological breakthrough in there.

Dear TSED,

Boobies are a representation of the divine force of creation, and thus everything that is good and right and loving about our world. Those that would seek to cover the boobies are evil and unjust, and would cover our world, as our boobies, in darkness and flame. (Very sooty flame, so it can be on fire and dark at the same time.)

@Christina: Dear Rev. DM, how come I got standard human skeletons with rusty swords springing up when I sowed dragon teeth? Did I not water them enough with the blood of the innocent? Can you give me tips on how to demand a refund from the insane wizard who sold them to me, and survive in current shape and form?


why do so many professional arcane spellcasters, sooner or later, seem to go insane in various ways? Some of them merely grow long beards you could lose a family of stoats in (and smell as if that already happened) and shuffle around in carpet slippers all day looking for their spellbook, and have amusing spell malfunctions. Others call themselves Ming the Merciless, grow a goatee (if male) or dress in low-cut black gowns/bondage gear and wear their fingernails long (if female), and cackle maniacally while they set things on fire. With blue lightning.

Is it an occupational hazard? Is it the mercury fumes that rot their brains? The dark tomes of unspeakable alien lore that the Wizard Book Club keeps sending me? Or is it peer pressure? The wish to crush everyone who made fun of their glasses when they were fifteen with huge armies of undead slaves? Or is it because black robes never go out of style?

Dear Christina,

You got a bad batch of dragons’ teeth. Dragons’ teeth are grown almost entirely in one of three giant slaughterhouses in the midwest, and all the teeth are then sent to a central processing facility for final extraction, cleaning, and packaging. When you by a package of 106 teeth, the likelihood is great that they came from 106 different dragons, any one of which may have contained contaminants that now all your teeth have been exposed to. (Human skeletons can result from Skelmonella, E. skelli, or several other minor bacteriological contaminants.) There is a current recall of all dragons’ teeth between batches 20004873rt and 2002 734ft. The best way to ensure the quality of your dragon’s teeth is to purchase organic, locally produced teeth from a reputable vendor.

Typically wizards go insane from exposing their brains over and over again to the ravages of otherworldly intellects and energies, though it can also happen from eating a bad dragons’ tooth.

@anonymous coward: Dear Rev. DM, what were the best unusual lethal and non-lethal punishments you’ve come across to date?

Dear anonymous coward,

Posting the questions for a Dear Rev. DM blog hours before the answers.

54 Responses to 648 – White Smoke Mountain • 17

  1. Hmm.. I feel your answers to the questions are rather lacking.

    Either that or I showed up as you were still updating.

  2. I think it just means quite bugging him with questions.

    Either that or he’s giving them the silent treatment :mrgreen:

  3. /resists urge to say it looks fine and have everyone go mad checking their browser software.

    Dear DM,

    Dear Monkey,

  4. It is only that Kevin can say with a word what mortals like us need a whole paragraph to phrase.

      • No, I don’t see it unless he’s calling foul on me for answering other people’s questions; I figure he’d probably do that much more directly so I doubt that’s it.

        I’m human. That means I’m fully as capable of being stupid, blind, oblivious and slow as anyone else.

      • One or both of two things:
        #1) An understanding of how/why that’s a particularly noteworthy punishment that may be selectively lethal or not, and;
        #2) Whatever other message singular or messages plural are being communicated.

        Generally you’ve given more expansive answers to these Ask The DM questions which were either bang on or close enough, and usually they contained a pretty easily accessible joke in the bargain. It seems like you’ve varied form here for some reason and I don’t know why.

        • You’re reading too much into it. It was just supposed to be funny.

          Also, my eyes were really hurting me (more on this Friday) and I was feeling a need for brevity.

  5. An indecipherably failed joke?
    Whoops. Apologies, but I think it says something about how well you usually do that this possibility didn’t occur to me.

  6. Dear Reverend DM,
    When is it better to use a pantheon someone else made up (like the Greeks or whatever) versus making up your own?

    • If you make up your own religion/philosophy, you can crown yourself Messias, High Priest, Pope or Head Thetan and can make up your own commandments, such as forbidding shellfish as unclean if you happen to dislike shellfish yourself because you once ate a bad oyster; also you can make up your own god(s) and claim that you and you alone know the will of [insert name of deity or alien species of choice here] and all others who say you’re a fraud are obviously heretics or madmen; you can put a limit on how many sexual partners other poeple are allowed to have while you yourself take as many partners as suits your fancy; and least but not last you get a good book deal out of it, provided someone invented writing first.

      Oh wait, you meant made-up gods in fictional universes? My bad.

  7. Re: the comic

    Did Martin sneak a look at the game module while Mr. Unseen DM was out of the room?
    How else would he have gotten that idea?

      • Methinks the DM of the game in H.O.L.E. needs to dust off his old copy of “Grimtooth’s Dungeon of Doom”

        • Christina, this IS Martin we’re talking about. I’m not sure what his affinity is but it sure ain’t lawful good. He would not be above using a scrying spell to break the fourth wall and cheat a little. It’s also possible that he bribed Enkidu to do it. He could also have simply asked Freya, who is not above using alternative methods in obtaining stuff from the DM as I recall (obscene hand motion). He is a resourceful wizard and I’m sure the team are glad that he is on their side. Of course, if he steps too far out of line Bunker will beat him to within an inch of his life. It’s been done before.

    • Kevin, I have an answer for this question but it criticizes the… design features of D&D rather heavily. How much D&D hate is too much?

        • The measurement I’ve got is in furlongs per fortnight so I’ll just have to do the spaghetti test with this.

          As a software engineer I have picked up a thing or two about reading design intent from the design, this is my estimate:
          It’s a legacy holdover, to ensure relative compatibility between versions of key features like character level, character class, alignment, the basic 5/6 stats which new players have to get out a dictionary to look up at least one of, rolling dice to determine character stats and having to explain all the above weird D&D crap to new players over and over again.
          Those are carried over as legacy because all those things are very important to having fun and they are awesome game design. (Italics used as sarcasm tags for the humorless.)

          • Nope.

            It’s designed to give “good” guys an excuse to run around murdering folks going about there everyday lives.
            If you want to hate it without looking into the abyss, you have to labelled it first.

            Sshow me the terrorists

  8. Dear DM,

    Audrey Hepburn in her prime vs your wife, jello wrestling match (non-naked).

    Who would you put your bet money on?

  9. Dear DM,

    If you only had enough cargo space about the size of a suitcase, and about a week to research, how would you prepare to go time travelling, and you weren’t sure whether you would be going forward or backwards in time, or by how much?

    Yours concerned,


    • Latest almanac, latest Boy Scout Handbook, Rambo knife, water purification system, solar cell, crank charger, netbook, 5lbs of gold or platinum or diamonds, hiking boots, belt, jeans, large towel (big enough to use as blanket), three shirts (short sleeve t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, and long sleeve flannel), and fill the rest with cliff bars.

      I think that would be a pretty good survival pack. The almanac could be used to “predict” the future in the event of going to the past. The gold/platinum/diamonds would be currency. The netbook could be useful in the future (even if standards have moved beyond the tech, it could be useful). Boy Scout Handbook should help in the event of going WAAAY back in the past or into an appocalyptic future. Rambo knife because who doesn’t want a handle full of cool stuff. Cliff bars because they are pretty dense sustinence.

        • The Swiss Army Knife has a good many useful tools but kinda sucks as a defensive weapon. The Rambo knife is more about basic survival tools but can be adapted for hunting and defense. I think I’d personally go with the Rambo knife.

      • And if I’m spending a week researching, I’d use it to download Wikipedia to the netbook hard drive and learn all I could about explosives from primitive materials, basic circuits, chemistry, and physics. I’d probably also download some maps (even if out of date or pre-date, still usefull for basic lay of the land — unless you go back to Pangea time).

        I would assume that the Boy Scout Handbook has chapters on edible flora and basic first aid.

  10. “”Boobies are a representation of the divine force of creation, and thus everything that is good and right and loving about our world. Those that would seek to cover the boobies are evil and unjust, and would cover our world, as our boobies, in darkness and flame. (Very sooty flame, so it can be on fire and dark at the same time.)””

    And thus the first scripture of Dear Rev DM was said and such truth was recorded for all of time.