Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shamus Young's DM of the Rings

Props to my sister, who, no doubt provoked by my recent spate of Tolkien posts, sent me a link to this: a screencap/photoshop web comic that imagines the Lord of the Rings movies as a D&D campaign. The author, one Shamus Young, deserves a lot of admiration for seeing it through to the end - CXLIV episodes plus bonus tracks.

In order to fully appreciate this comic, you not only have to have memorized the LOTR movies (guilty), but you have to have been a Dungeon Master at some point (guilty, too). If you have, it's a wickedly precise parody of both. If not, it's at the very least a great glimpse into RPG culture.

It's been almost twenty years since I played D&D, and I have no plans to pick it up again, but I remember it vividly. There's no creative outlet quite like being a DM: it's incredibly rewarding to take other people, living breathing other people, through your creations in real time. But of course it's incredibly frustrating too, because those people will inevitably screw up your creations. It's a little hint of what God must feel like, which is to say, it's a good way of gaining insight into the mysteries of artistic creation.

Warning: it flags after the first thirty or forty episodes. And: you can pretty much skip his "moral of the story" essays below the comics. Unless you are a gamer.

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