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To answer it fully, we would have to define marriage itself.
December 17, 2010 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Dragon Magazine's "Sage Advice" column ran for over 30 years, offering advice to DMs and players about anything and everything within the D&D world. Comics Alliance has compiled The 11 Strangest D&D Questions Ever Asked, culled from this searchable archive.
posted by hippybear (126 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man all these elves gettin' knocked up - you'd think they'd know well enough to cast Greyor's Dire Prophylactic.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude. Do NOT get me started on the Third Edition rule about the polymorph spell's duration time and what that meant for a sorcerer that thought he could use it for at-will shape-shifting. I still have scars.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2010


It's probably because the dude who tried to become the pope in his campaign succeeded and then banned them.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Obviously, that was meant for The Whelk's comment.

And on a related note, if I had known that people did such things (along with the dragon fighting and quest doing) also role played things like trying to become pope, I would have been more interested in RPGs (as something other than character generators when I was feeling uncreative) far, far earlier.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:00 AM on December 17, 2010


Previously as to the archive.
posted by chinston at 9:00 AM on December 17, 2010


I really wish the actual content of the article hadn't been presented as images with no ALT text in a barely-readable font besides.
posted by Zozo at 9:01 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's beautiful. Also, I think this is a perfect rejoinder to overserious roleplayers:
Finally, the phrase "it is not fair, but that is life." Well, no. It's actually not life. It's a game. Specifically, it's a game where you specifically are constantly bringing up the phrase "game balance" to explain why a magic hat can't turn a dwarf into a ninja, so I'd say the concept of "fairness" should probably not be dismissed so readily.
posted by Kattullus at 9:02 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


"First off, writing into a magazine about D&D to ask how you should handle an unplanned pregnancy is basically the greatest thing anyone has ever done with their life."

Yes. Yes it is.
posted by OmieWise at 9:05 AM on December 17, 2010


a barely-readable font besides.

I'm finally at the point in my life where I can go "No, I don't want to use Blackadder for a crow-quill look, it's played out and too distinctive and hard to head. I'll use a proper, paid-for font ..or wait no this is taking too long, I'll just write the damn thing myself * gets out inkwell, parchment*"
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 AM on December 17, 2010


Barbarians eat whatever the hell they want to, quiche included.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:07 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


obscure 2nd Edition D&D loopholes

As 2 Ed came out in '89, I'm pretty sure most of these questions predate it. These are old-school AD&D questions, baby. And first edition was by far the loop-holiest.

Gahhh! spirits! elves had spirits! You didn't use raise dead on elves, you used reincarnation. Then you got to play an Owlbear if you were lucky, or a hampster or something if the dice hadn't been propitiated that day.
posted by bonehead at 9:07 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, Dragon magazine, how I miss you. Good stuff, love it.
posted by absalom at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2010


I was indifferent until the final lines:

That is a serious question about whether a magic spell could stop a laser gun. Someone, somewhere, was having an argument about this, and Dragon provided a forum where they could appeal to a higher authority and find a definitive answer.

And that is amazing.


This is Sage Advice in a nutshell: teenaged D&D nerds in the eighties (of whom I was one) arguing the most ridiculous things and then having a higher court to appeal decisions to. Awesome.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:09 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I always find it interesting, that, at least in core D&D, there's no rules for getting pregnant that I know of. Since these groups managed to find a way to make a ruling to decide when someone gets pregnant, you have to wonder why after that, they had to write in with questions for an "official ruling"...

That aside, hooboy alignment. If there was any ruleset which inevitably turned a teamwork heist/heroism game into a Resevoir Dogs-like space of betrayal... oh alignment.

All that aside, the sorts of questions that would make it into Dragon always made me skip that section, even when they were legitimate rules questions, since they almost always involved byzantine readings of the rules ("How much damage should be rolled if someone is hit by a falling boat from 300' up that has extra weight from an ice spell gone wrong? One player says wind should factor in. Another player says that we should use the artillery rules. Someone else says his thief should get to save for either no damage or half like a spell. Another player has shrunk his mage to the size of a flea, would he still get crushed or does he get a bonus to avoid damage?" ggghghghhghghghgh.
posted by yeloson at 9:10 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


A real barbarian would each quiche because a real barbarian wouldn't care, by Crom!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:10 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


A much better section was the Meadhouse Letters:

Dear Dragon, I never thought it would happen to my level 6/6 halfling magic user/thief...
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:11 AM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Pfft, you should see the questions we came up with in our Rifts campaign, like weather Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can pilot battlemechs, and if said battlemech was made out of silver alloy, did it do bonus damage to werewolves?
posted by empath at 9:12 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Isn't this kind of a double?

Anyway — in some cases, it's not the questions but the answers that are strange here, like some snippy Comic Book Guy taking offense to anyone who doesn't want to play the game his One True Way. I mean, seriously, in response to a request to "spice up" a campaign with non-dungeon adventures:
Far be it from me to tell you how to have fun, but if you're tired of dungeon adventures, perhaps Dungeons and Dragons is not the game for you. Just a thought.
posted by RogerB at 9:13 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


weather/whether...
posted by empath at 9:13 AM on December 17, 2010


Q: When the offensive spell's range is "touch", does the touch have to be with a hand?

A: Yes.


I totally would have ruled the other way.
posted by mrgoat at 9:14 AM on December 17, 2010


Prisoner Denied D&D
posted by clavdivs at 9:16 AM on December 17, 2010


I think my group spent more time asking questions like those than actually playing.

I do recall a players roleplaying of her real (and in game) pregnancy though. She found some creative in-game expressions of her nausea, bizarre food cravings and frequent bathroom breaks. And everyone got 100xp each time the baby kicked.

And I still have that particular Dragon magazine issue.. somewhere in a box in storage.
posted by elendil71 at 9:18 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pfft, you should see the questions we came up with in our Rifts campaign, like weather Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can pilot battlemechs, and if said battlemech was made out of silver alloy, did it do bonus damage to werewolves?

In RIFTS, the answer to questions like that is always "Yes." I would give bonuses to players who came up with particularly awesome crossover concepts.
posted by EarBucket at 9:19 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Technically, quiches are omelet pies, not merely scrambled egg pies, but point taken.
posted by grubi at 9:22 AM on December 17, 2010


Q: When the offensive spell's range is "touch", does the touch have to be with a hand?

Somehow that question and the question about pregnancy are bound to be related.
posted by edgeways at 9:22 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Barbarians eat whatever the hell they want to, quiche included.

Yeah, anybody telling Cohen that he can't eat quiche is going to find out very quickly how he managed to live to 90 despite being in a very dangerous line of work.
posted by kmz at 9:23 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Q: When the offensive spell's range is "touch", does the touch have to be with a hand?

Somehow that question and the question about pregnancy are bound to be related.


Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!... Sleep. Sleep.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:25 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I suspect somewhere in their archives, there's probably enough questions about clerics, celibacy, and what officially "counts" as sex to rival similar questions in Catholic libraries of doctrine.
posted by yeloson at 9:26 AM on December 17, 2010


"Wotsh* that then? Hey? Oh, that eggy pie nonshensh. No, it'sh horshe for me, lad. Buildsh endurance. Eggy pie, huh. Catch me wearing pantsh before that."


*This was before his run-in with Grandad.
posted by boo_radley at 9:30 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


That is a serious question about whether a magic spell could stop a laser gun.

Actually, this was a serious issue. I remember both this question and the profound effect it had on our group afterward. I can't remember how many arguments we had about this.

It came up because of the deliciously weird S-series ("Special") of modules (potted adventures), which took the AD&D "official" milieu as rather less than official. In particular, S-3 involved the characters doing a crawl though a crash alien ship which necessitated the aforementioned shield spell vs laser blast rules. There wasn't a lot of detail in the module about how the high-tech stuff and magic spells interacted. This created enormous problems in the minds of 12-year olds, as one might imagine. Dragon magazine here was resolving a contentious issue of vital importance to it's fan-base here.

S-3 was probably the module we had the most fun with, though it was a complete pain in the ass to run.
posted by bonehead at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


EarBucket: "In RIFTS, the answer to questions like that is always "Yes.""

This is both the reason why I started playing Rifts and why I stopped playing Rifts.
posted by boo_radley at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


Q: When the offensive spell's range is "touch", does the touch have to be with a hand?

See, I know how this happened. A wizard was in the process of casting something particularly heinous and another character bumped into him/her and the DM decided that was touch and the die roll killed the other player/destroyed his armor/got her pregnant/wiped his mind/forced him to tell the entire truth for the rest of the campaign, etc.
posted by plinth at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2010


BTW Chris Sims hates Metafilter and gets grumpy when we link to his stuff. I find this weirdly endearing.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on December 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!... Sleep. Sleep.

I have trained my daughter and her 4 year old freidns at her preschool to fall down if I cast a sleep spell on them. Only lasts about 3seconds though, not effective at naptime.
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on December 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


> Barbarians eat whatever the hell they want to, quiche included.

For those who weren't around in the '80s and reading disposable mass-market best-sellers, it's a reference to Real Men Don't Eat Quiche by Bruce Fierstein.

Thanks in part to that book, I never saw quiche offered at all for the entire time I grew up and attended college in the rust belt, and it wasn't until I moved to the east coast and finally tried some at a government office building's cafeteria that I realized that, as they note on the comicsalliance site, quiche is about as heavy and greasy as a truckstop diner breakfast.
posted by ardgedee at 9:46 AM on December 17, 2010


I am having a flashback to the time my DM told my boyfriend that he had gotten me pregnant. In front of my high school Japanese teacher. She was not amused.
posted by Jeanne at 9:49 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


BTW Chris Sims hates Metafilter and gets grumpy when we link to his stuff.

Owch. That's like hearing that your girlfriend of many years never liked your haircut. I'm pretty sure I came across Sims from Mefi and followed him to Comics Alliance when the ISB went link-bloggy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:50 AM on December 17, 2010


And first edition was by far the loop-holiest.
Enh.... ever play a psionicist in 2nd edition?

My DM got so frustrated with me that he gave my character amnesia for about 6 months real time.

My companions, so delighted as to no longer be brain bait for an increasingly horrible menagerie of psionic baddies (all enraged at my constant flouting of things like ectoplasmic form and game-breaking psionic combat against plot characters), convinced my character that she was.... a fighter.

For SIX MONTHS.*

* And then there was the time another of my psionicists, a multi-class thief, was made to glow... for about the same period of real-life time.
posted by Wossname at 9:53 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


If Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can pilot battlemechs

Yes, but only if Donatello explains how they work.


and if said battlemech was made out of silver alloy, did it do bonus damage to werewolves?


Obviously. All the better if your mech carries some sort of moon simulating laser that can turn people into werewolves.


My male paladin wants to marry a chaotic-evil lady magic-user. Is this OK?


Yes, but any children will be true neutral bards.


Would a real barbarian eat quiche?

Even if a fight carries them through a bakery, coop and vegetable garden leads to flour, eggs, mushrooms and boiling hot dragon's blood being thrown together, eating quiche is not optional. Under those circumstances, it is mandatory.

Also, a real barbarian would not have seen Ernest goes to Camp.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:54 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


"The 11 Strangest D&D Questions Ever Asked," by definition, should have been the creme de la creme of Strange. These were kind of timid. There were far weirder discussions every week in the groups my friends ran; e.g. "Can my Ranger still seduce the Thief once she hoofs him in the 'nads?" or "How many seconds will they be distracted if I flash them while wearing a Cloak of Invisibility (and nothing else)?" DMs are a brave bunch.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


BTW Chris Sims hates Metafilter and gets grumpy when we link to his stuff. I find this weirdly endearing.

Do we know why?
posted by josher71 at 9:59 AM on December 17, 2010


I think we linked to him and it was one of *those* threads, and he happened to pop back and read the comments, and now he thinks we're a bunch of grumpy negative know-it-all dicks - something that it is only really true about half the time.

I know this through the magic of Twitter.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on December 17, 2010


"You never open up to me. But when I see you with HER, it's like night and day. But with me... With me, it's like you feel the need to keep your defenses up. Don't you realize I love you? I swear I love you, I would never hurt you, but I talk, and you stare vacantly. I don't even know if you're really listening. TALK to me! For God's sake let me in the way you let HER in! ... Say something, anything!!!!"


"She has a lower THAC0."
posted by Debaser626 at 10:07 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Artw,

Too bad. He's one of my favorites. Wish he was a member and active here.
posted by josher71 at 10:10 AM on December 17, 2010


This is both the reason why I started playing Rifts and why I stopped playing Rifts.

I think this goes for everyone who ever played Rifts. I remember a game where most of us were playing the standard stupidly overpowered Rifts characters - Atlantean Undead Slayers, Super Wealthy Cyborgs, Dragons, Glitterboys, and... a Rogue Scientist. To be fair, the GM gave him the Behemoth (essentially, an AT-AT) that was our traveling base, but I think that was also because he was the only person who had skill points left to devote to piloting (this includes the Glitterboy - don't ask).

Every game, we'd have these giant fights that the Rogue Scientist would sit out, usually several miles away, in the Behemoth. As our group was only good at reducing large swathes of the countryside into a fine paste and/or powder, we'd also always leave the plot crumbs to him.

GM: "You search the rubble, but can't find the evil colonel!"
Us: *blank stares* "Which way did the Coalition colonel go?"
Rogue Doc: *rolls dice*
GM: "East."
Us: "YAAAYYY EAST!"
Easterners: "Did you just feel that shiver of despair and desolation?"

Over time, the Rogue Scientist fell into depression. He was ignored until he was needed, but then ignored again. Unfortunately for the character, his player was a dyed in the wool RPer who would not just give up and re-roll as a psychic powered half demon dogman or something. The PC was, after all, roped to a tiger of destruction that he simply could not abandon. None of the rest of us had any skills that were useful in non-punching through a mountainside scenario.

Until one day.

Our strike team of badasses were facing down some sort of bad guy who had stolen an Atlantean battle mech. The multi-headed dragon one, I think. Anyways, that thing wrecked us. Through a combination of bad rolls and our own stupidity, we pretty much got wiped out. We took care of the robot, but the dude inside was another flavor of badass that we just didn't have enough juice to deal with. We took him down within a few hits of defeat, but he wrecked us none the same.

Until the Rogue Scientist rode in on his clanking Behemoth charged in like the fucking cavalry. His rolls were on fire. The Behemoth had only a few chinzy lasers or something, but they were enough to hold the bad guy at bay until he got close enough to:

Rogue Scientist: "I want to STOMP ON HIM WITH SCIENCE."
GM: *rolls* "You do!"
Us: "Yay! Now save us!"
Rogue Scientist: "No fucking way. You all have killed more innocent people than all the Coalition goons we've met combined. Behemoth, stomp on the corpses!"

The Rogue Scientist then used all the scattered parts of glitterboy and Atlantean death machine to upgrade the Behemoth to a titan of death dealing justice. He became an NPC, always lurking in the distance when the PCs' body counts got too high.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2010 [24 favorites]


TO be fair w/r/t the "orcs and elves don't have souls" bit, in D&D they are supposed to have spirits, which is why you need the higher level spell resurrect to bring them back.
posted by ShawnStruck at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I see some sort of family tree where Olaf Gutwringer (Chatic Good) ends up impregnating Grunhilde Wørmstabber (Neutral Evil) resulting in Erik Bear-mølester (Chaotic Evil).

Are alignments inheritable traits? Where can I ask this question now?

*weeps*
posted by longbaugh at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2010


BTW Chris Sims hates Metafilter and gets grumpy when we link to his stuff. I find this weirdly endearing.

Do we know why?


Possibly because discussions of his work wind up as "You forgots" and "Um, actuallys" and "This would be funnier if" and "What was even better was".
posted by Legomancer at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2010


Too bad. He's one of my favorites. Wish he was a member and active here.

Ah, sorry if I bummed anyone out with that. Go on, continue to link to him. Being grumpier only makes him stronger.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on December 17, 2010


Are alignments inheritable traits? Where can I ask this question now?

If you learn an alignment language growing up, do you end up speaking with a Neutral Good accent as an adult?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:15 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm the editor-in-chief of ComicsAlliance. Neither Chris nor CA dislikes Metafilter. Indeed, most of us are rather fond of it. Although Chris probably does snark on your comments to the exact same degree he does every other group of internet commenters anywhere.

http://twitter.com/theisb/status/15831872663719937
http://twitter.com/theisb/status/15832117581717504
posted by Laurahudson at 10:19 AM on December 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


And on a related note, if I had known that people did such things (along with the dragon fighting and quest doing) also role played things like trying to become pope...
posted by MCMikeNamara


The last time my group and I played Dark Sun (adapted to 3.5) my half-elf Silt Cleric and my friend's human Bard (Dark Sun bards are less lute playing and more assasinatey stabbing as a performance art) spent a large portion of the game attempting to set up a regional monopoly on the lumber supply, while dealing with the unfortunate and tedious need to put a puppet leader on the throne of one of the two bandit city-states we had accidentally taken control of, so we could be away adventuring and such without weakening our city-states too much and causing massive regional turmoil. We elevated Bonesaw (a grapple Fighter based on the Randy Savage character of the same name from the Spiderman movie) to the throne (Sample dialogue- "BONEsawwww won't raise taxes on the middle classssssss!") Meanwhile, I'd been permanently animating zombies and skeletons with my Lumber Baron profits in a giant warehouse in the middle of a nearby city and then leashing them up (as I could only control a small number at a time). When we decided to attack the city, unleashing all of the undead at once would function as an excellent ground force.

Wayyyyy more fun than dungeoneering, I think.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:19 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I mean, yeah, it sucks because I love MeFi but he has to be happy about any link and the resulting page views.
posted by josher71 at 10:19 AM on December 17, 2010


It's all love: http://twitter.com/theisb/status/15832680557977601
posted by Laurahudson at 10:20 AM on December 17, 2010


Should have previewed. Hello Laura. Love CA.
posted by josher71 at 10:21 AM on December 17, 2010


The fact that he wasn't willing to ink the parchment in his own blood is rather telling as to his dedication to the article. Disappointing, to say the least.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:27 AM on December 17, 2010


Thanks, Josh! I'm glad you've been enjoying it. We worked really hard this year and it's been great to see the response. We're hoping to do even more in 2011, and it's always good to hear input. Well, except for the occasional hate mail threats of violence. But almost always!
posted by Laurahudson at 10:27 AM on December 17, 2010


I also suspect that he is nerdy enough to know damn well that elves don't have souls in old school D&D and the various ins and outs of why.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on December 17, 2010


Chris Sims now loves Metafilter! I am a master diplomat!
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on December 17, 2010 [13 favorites]


Is it indicative of spending too much time playing D&D in my wild and misspent youth that when I saw the question about touch spells, my immediate reaction was that it was perfectly reasonable to reach out and do the touch with a foot while gesturing with the hands. After all, can't fighters kick?

I really enjoyed the monk class...
posted by QIbHom at 10:31 AM on December 17, 2010


We'll probably see his research in his upcoming article, "Whither the Witchlin?"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:31 AM on December 17, 2010


I always find it interesting, that, at least in core D&D, there's no rules for getting pregnant that I know of.

This is because folks playing back in the 80s (and presumably the 70s, based on the old military gamer types I played with in college) didn't really expect female PCs or players. And they never got them officially because roleplaying games are for kids, and there will be no hanky panky in kids' games, thank you! (Which proved to me that TSR was happy to collaborate with teens in pulling that one over on their parents, but whatever.)
posted by immlass at 10:33 AM on December 17, 2010


If a magic user can't cast spells through his elbow, what good is he?!
posted by Brocktoon at 10:34 AM on December 17, 2010


I always find it interesting, that, at least in core D&D, there's no rules for getting pregnant that I know of.

A friend of a friend wrote an erotic d20 sourcebook that probably has some of that stuff. I;ve not read it though.
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2010


East coast/midwest gamers, maybe, but the San Fran set had a large number of female gamers, what with the SCA crossover and all. Of course, the letters columns in many of the early D&D zines totally bungled that, with such exWHY DO I KNOW ALL THIS I CAN'T REMEMBER MY THIRD GRADE TEACHER'S NAMES BUT I REMEMBER ZINE-BASED FLAMEWARS THAT EXISTED BEFORE I WAS BORN AAARRRGGHHHH
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


You rolled all sixes for NRD, that's why.
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Funny, back in the 80's, I was playing D&D at a women's college, and we had no rules for dealing with pregnancy, either.
posted by QIbHom at 10:37 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


You rolled all sixes for NRD, that's why.

High percentile, too.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:39 AM on December 17, 2010


It's worth noting that later rule changes allowed an MU to cast touch spells with his staff. You know, the one with the knob on the end.
posted by bonehead at 10:41 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


A friend of a friend wrote an erotic d20 sourcebook that probably has some of that stuff. I've not read it though.

There's a GURPS one out there on the internet. I have read it (in the interests of completeness obviously). If you thought that Erotic Art [P/H] was descriptive enough then I'd recommend you steer clear. From it I learned that "stuffing" wasn't just something you found inside a teddy bear.
posted by longbaugh at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2010


I always get a little worried when I feel like I need to check out how a thread is going based on overheard twitter discussions.
posted by cortex at 10:45 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's cool cortex, Artw took a rolled well on his Diplomacy check and saved us from a Flame(strike)war.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:47 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


He gained 500xp and went up a level!

He's now dual classing as a bard/diplomat!
posted by longbaugh at 10:49 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, we did come to an agreement that _those guys_ are dicks. Take that, those guys *.

* Obviously nobody in *this* thread, because we are all cool.
posted by Artw at 10:49 AM on December 17, 2010


Hmm.

I've played a Bard before. I think in the end the other players used my body to wedge a door open.
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2010


If you pay attention, you'll note that there is no mention of real barbarians specifically not eating the quiche they get offered.
posted by Anything at 10:55 AM on December 17, 2010


Yeah, a Bard's optimal use is to draw off all the bad cards from the Deck of Many Things so that everyone gets their 4th level fighter and the Bard gets all donjon'd.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think in the end the other players used my body to wedge a door open.

Rigor mortis hasn't set in enough yet; he's too floppy still! Quick, cram that lute up his ass to make him more rigid!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Technically, quiches are omelet pies, not merely scrambled egg pies, but point taken.

NO, no no! Quiches, as a member of the "free-standing savory custards", are clearly made with a 2:1 ratio of liquid (milk, cream, ) to egg (chicken, cockatrice, dragon) BY WEIGHT. They are not merely a "scrambled egg pie" or "omelet pie". Those have completely different baking speed factors and stomach encumbrance.
posted by benzenedream at 11:04 AM on December 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Gelatinous ovoid.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


failed my preview post save.
posted by benzenedream at 11:06 AM on December 17, 2010


Gelatinous ovoid.

With cheese.
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


One of my friends hates the anti-fun of calculating encumbrance rules so much that when our DM asked us to figure out ours when climbing an icy mountain (I was flying so it didn't matter for me) that he just left for two hours and when he came back the scene was over (and our encumbrance hadn't come into play).
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2010


Technically I guess it's more of a very short cylinder.
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2010


Am I missing something? I go to the page and don't see the actual questions. As I see is the author's commentary on said questions.
posted by sideshow at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2010


The questions are in images on the page, so the images must not be loading for you.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:13 AM on December 17, 2010


10' x 10' gelatinous ovoid with smoked orc pancetta and violet fungus truffle oil.
posted by benzenedream at 11:15 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never played a halfling. Because LOL halflings, amirite?

I always wondered, for Creeping Doom, where do all the bugs go? Do they just disperse? IIRC that spell can be cast inside... the bugs have to go somewhere after the spell's duration has ticked off...

Also Ranger was the worst class ever. Totally fake. Almost as bad as monk.
posted by Mister_A at 11:17 AM on December 17, 2010


Should I ever return to D&D I totally want to do the (probably unplayable and unbalanced) Anti-Paladin class.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on December 17, 2010


"My Anti-Paladin of Cern kissed a Paladin of Pelor and now there's a great smoking hole in the Plane"

This can often happen and it's always worth remembering that Paladins and Anti-Paladins should not mix under any circumstances.
posted by longbaugh at 11:23 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know why, but anything Dragon Magazine-related makes me think of the No-SASE Ogre. For some damned reason, my friends and I thought the No-SASE Ogre was hilarious.

Jesus.
posted by COBRA! at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always wondered, for Creeping Doom, where do all the bugs go?

I'm guessing NYC hotel rooms.
posted by hippybear at 11:28 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The real answer was to graduate to playing Runequest, where everything was completely sensible.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:31 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah you are probably right hippybear. Also, druids rocked! I liked playing a druid because I couldn't stand the thought of just helping people like a cleric, I really wanted to hurt them, too, but hurt them in the name of nature, you know?
posted by Mister_A at 11:31 AM on December 17, 2010


Yeah, but all that Druid shapeshifting stuff got kind of weird after awhile. Sexy, sure, but weird all the same.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:32 AM on December 17, 2010


Bards: useless while on dungeon crawls, but AWESOME for adventures set in cities and palaces. I mean, how else were you supposed to get a layout of the impregnable fortress of doom? "Dude, send in the band!" A ittle song, a little dance, some small talk and heavy petting with a courtesan, and pretty soon we had access to the secret entrance. Of course, the DM used to make the Bard compose a a ballad/poem on the spot, but let me tell ya, The epic of Ragnar the Beardless Dwarf & The Quest of the Merkin is AWESOME, all 36 stanzas of it . . .
posted by KingEdRa at 11:34 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always wondered, for Creeping Doom, where do all the bugs go? Do they just disperse? IIRC that spell can be cast inside... the bugs have to go somewhere after the spell's duration has ticked off...
posted by Mister_A


I really wish Mount "called" a horse instead of summoning it (summoning sort of creates a temporary copy of some real horse out there essentially). Until I learned the distinction I loved to picture that the horses I got from Mount were being ridden along at full gallop somewhere around the world and then suddenly disappeared, causing the angry rider much dismay as he fell to the ground.

This potentially unlawful copying does bring to mind the possibility of some sort of agency responsible for the illegal copying of horses that don't belong to you. I need Sage!!! "Can lawful characters cast Mount without violating a horse-based copyright clause? Will my Paladin lose class features? PS- What happens if my Summoned Mount gets pregnant?"
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:35 AM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Showing why I could not write for ComicsAlliance, I was confusing Chris Sims with Dave Sim and wondering why the hell anyone would think his membership of Metafilter would not end in a trainwreck or be surprised by him having an ornery reaction to Metafilter.
posted by Gnatcho at 11:37 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


And also why he was coming up at all.
posted by Gnatcho at 11:37 AM on December 17, 2010


They are not merely a "scrambled egg pie" or "omelet pie".

The hell they ain't.
posted by grubi at 11:40 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Showing why I could not write for ComicsAlliance, I was confusing Chris Sims with Dave Sim

Well, now that we know that CA editorial's reading the thread, I think this is the time to demand a Chris Sims/Dave Sim summit where they debate The Issues.
posted by COBRA! at 11:45 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Runequest, where everything was completely sensible

Ducks, sir.
posted by bonehead at 11:52 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Through the medium of Interpretive Simcity Construction, yes.
posted by cortex at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really wish Mount "called" a horse instead of summoning it

That's how it appears in LOTRO. Your character actually whistles, then the horse appears. Nifty.
posted by grubi at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2010


Also Ranger was the worst class ever. Totally fake. Almost as bad as monk.

Mister A, I would suggest that we could settle this outside and you might draw your sword, but we're already outside and I happen to be very proficient with a bow ...

Rangers aren't just Tolkien literary drag-ins; they solve a number of practical problems with the business of adventuring, namely going to and fro between relatively urban areas and remote settings where the monsters live. Unless you are doing a campaign entirely in Lankmar, you will be tromping through the wilderness and dealing with nature. Most parties simply aren't large enough to "afford" a druid. Heck, a good campaign would call for some adventures set in the wild itself.

As to the player, rangers provided a good way to get both magic use and fighting ability in one character without the drag of having a paladin about. Multi-classing in D&D has always been weirdly limited and the ranger felt like a fairly natural way of saying, "Yes, I want to stab at things but I wouldn't mind the odd spell or two" without the burden of the multi-classing handicaps.

Monks, yes — they never felt like part of the scene and, after a while, you always felt like they would leave the party and just go kick ass (contemplatively) on their own.
posted by adipocere at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2010


I recall in the early 90's it was quite difficult to get any useful information on D&D. A longsword's damage? nope. How difficult is it for a hill giant to hit a sprite? Not to be found.

But the amount of homebrewed rules on sex, getting drunk, soliciting prostitutes, how to have anal sex with a dwarf with a mythril chastity device with an AC of -2...

If you just used those rules you could successfully play the complete works of DeSade without using any other reference material.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2010


Ducks, sir.

You. Had. To. Say. That.

Soon the Duck partisans will descend upon us, leaving only smoking rubble in their wake....
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:19 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, the one with the knob on the end.

A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob on the End.

(Because a thread can never have too many Pratchett references.)
posted by kmz at 12:29 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I think in the end the other players used my body to wedge a door open.

The first time I ever played D&D it was 1984 and some older kids at my public school organized "Dungeons and Dragons For Ethiopia."* It was an excuse to stay inside at recess during the winter, so I signed up. My character (a thief) died when he entered a dungeon room, made eye contact with a Medusa and failed the saving throw. I wondered aloud if maybe I wasn't just covered in a layer of stone, so I asked the other players to knock me over. When my corpse broke into pieces, they collected the rubble and used it as slingshot ammunition (against some hellhounds, if memory serves). Good times...

* Yeah, that's right. You paid fifty cents per character, and all the proceeds (supposedly) went towards famine relief in Ethiopia.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:51 PM on December 17, 2010


A longsword's damage?

1d8, same as in town.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:55 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


To resolve questions on pregnancy issues, Valar's Book of Erotic Fantasy is a relevant resource.

Also, to resolve questions on how minotaurs have sex(doggy), stats on magical dildos, and how to fuck a gelatinous cube.

more: something awful review and amazon link and there is a copy at home I can scan(I did not purchase it. Like the refrigerator, it came with my relationship).
posted by sawdustbear at 1:03 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


A few months back I put The Gamers: Dorkness Rising into my Netflix queue. The acting is amateur, the special effects are meh, but the D&D jokes are hi-fricking-larious. Mrs. Plinth & I laughed ourselves silly and then looked at each other with that "God, we are such geeks" look.
posted by plinth at 1:11 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


A longsword's damage?

1d8, same as in town.
*

*Except against L monsters in 2E! But I've heard that they've finally ended this unfair class warfare damage tax on the large, and it is the same as in town in 3E onward.
posted by ignignokt at 3:05 PM on December 17, 2010


Everyone knows that longswords do 1d12 vs large creatures, in 1st and 2nd edition if memory serves. Oh, Gygaxian weapon modifiers. Did anyone ever use them?
posted by khaibit at 3:19 PM on December 17, 2010


plinth, I've actually played with one of the minor characters in that movie, maybe 11 or 12 years ago? (it's one of the guys in the shop...actually, in real life the owner.)
posted by epersonae at 3:41 PM on December 17, 2010


Funny, back in the 80's, I was playing D&D at a women's college, and we had no rules for dealing with pregnancy, either.

Most rpgs written today don't deal with pregnancy either. For that you would have to go to some of the massively detailed "simulate life in this world" games like Chivalry and Sorcery, Ars Magica, Empire of the Petal Throne, and the like where games could go on for generations of characters. Warhammer probably also had rules for pregnancy, but only on the off chance that you don't contract some horrible disease.

A modern game with rules for pregnancy would probably be one of those odd narrow-scope indy rpgs like My Life with Master or Shab-al-Hiri Roach, where the entire focus of the game would be about pregnancy. Horrific soul-destroying pregnancy.
posted by happyroach at 3:47 PM on December 17, 2010


I think Artw may be next week's hater on WRA.
posted by thirteen at 4:04 PM on December 17, 2010


To resolve questions on pregnancy issues, Valar's Book of Erotic Fantasy is a relevant resource.

That'd be the one.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on December 17, 2010


The Book of Erotic Fantasy can be a useful resource if (1) like me, you play in games where that kind of thing comes up a lot and (2) you would rather have a previously agreed-upon resource to make determinations rather than come to one-off decisions each time which have the potential to be unfair or irritating. I'm not a particularly "rules"-oriented player or GM, but sometimes it's nice to know that everything about the situation doesn't have to be improvised on the spot every single time.

That way, when your normally female and lesbian half-orc monk has been temporarily transformed into a male by an irritated goddess and, naturally curious, gets it on with her bi elf girlfriend who is one of two sorcerers inhabiting a single body, and you suddenly think, oh crap, is she going to get pregnant? *Can* she get pregnant that way? What species would the baby be? What will the other person who controls her body half the time think about this? What will that person's boyfriend think? Would that be an interesting place to take this game or a big pain all around? ... then rather than try to make an arbitrary decision that might strike either you or another player as unfair, the GM looks it up in a table and there's no need for debate. The game goes on. Useful.

It also covers some of the obvious areas skipped over otherwise by the core rules (magical contraception, seduction, etc.) However, some of the book is also ... oddly specific. I.e. gnomes have sex like *this*, but halflings have sex like *that*. I always ignored those sections, but I suppose they could be useful as a jumping-off point for someone trying to build a world or create a character.
posted by kyrademon at 5:52 PM on December 17, 2010


A modern game with rules for pregnancy would probably be one of those odd narrow-scope indy rpgs like My Life with Master or Shab-al-Hiri Roach, where the entire focus of the game would be about pregnancy. Horrific soul-destroying pregnancy.

Dogs In The Vineyard could totally handle pregnancy. Actually, that would be a spectacular campaign. Probably short, but it'd be amazing while it lasted.
posted by EarBucket at 7:02 PM on December 17, 2010


That way, when your normally female and lesbian half-orc monk has been temporarily transformed into a male by an irritated goddess and, naturally curious, gets it on with her bi elf girlfriend who is one of two sorcerers inhabiting a single body, and you suddenly think, oh crap, is she going to get pregnant? *Can* she get pregnant that way?

I can't tell if you played better or worse games.
posted by The Whelk at 7:04 PM on December 17, 2010


Forget rpgs, for a second. Aside from the Sims, has any game handled pregnancy well?
posted by empath at 8:16 PM on December 17, 2010


Kobolds Ate My Baby?
posted by munchingzombie at 8:25 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a GURPS one out there on the internet. I have read it (in the interests of completeness obviously). If you thought that Erotic Art [P/H] was descriptive enough then I'd recommend you steer clear. From it I learned that "stuffing" wasn't just something you found inside a teddy bear.

Ye gods, but that GURPS one (which I have also read) is about as dire as the Valar book mentioned upthread. For what it is worth, sex and the results thereof has been addressed officially in GURPS in what might be described as "passing" -- Low Tech Companion 2, Bio-Tech, and other places. As well, GURPS:Social Engineering is in playtest right now. I am not part of the playtest group but the draft was written by Bill Stoddard who seems to have what one might call a this-game-is-intended-for-mature-audiences-viewer-discretion-is-advised approach to gamemastering. I expect you will see a little more about this stuff in 2011.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:43 PM on December 17, 2010


I linked to a Sims entry here once, and it immediately got a lot of horribly annoying comments that would have peeved me if I were Chris. But comics fans banded together to do damage control, and the discussion turned out to be quite good in the end.
posted by painquale at 11:05 PM on December 17, 2010


bonehead: Ducks, sir.

Ducks are my favorite part of Glorantha, precisely because of their what-the-fuckness. What Glorantha has, which most other settings lack, are strange outliers in an otherwise rational framework. Most settings are either completely wackadoo or so strictly rational as to be bland. Glorantha is one of the few fantasy RPG settings which manages to have a believable mix of the two, just like reality (like the electric eel... who would believe that shit? It's not even an eel!)
posted by Kattullus at 6:32 PM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


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