That would be Role-Playing Games crossed with Lord of the Rings = Dungeon Master of the Rings, of course.
Fellow GeekDad and Star Wars fanatic John Booth recently tweeted about “Darths and Droids,” a webcomic using screen-caps of the Star Wars movies (starting with “The Phantom Menace”). When I went poking around to see what it was about (since the comic is already up to Episode 413), I was pointed to the inspiration for the strip: “DM of the Rings,” a webcomic from several years ago created by Shamus Young.
And then I spent pretty much the rest of the day reading the entire years’ worth, and I’m not even an RPGer. RPG player? (See? I don’t even know the proper term.)
Here’s the setup, which is geekiness extraordinaire: What if The Lord of the Rings was written as an RPG campaign? Let’s imagine a world in which the players haven’t heard of hobbits, Nazguls, Middle-Earth, or the One Ring—it’s all part of this huge campaign put together by their DM. How would they respond, and how would the DM rein them in to keep them moving in the right direction for this epic quest he’s devised? (Oh, and how annoying would Gandalf be as an NPC?) Young illustrated the whole thing with screen captures from Peter Jackson’s trilogy, layered captions and dialogue on top of it using Comic Book Creator, and ran through the entire trilogy in roughly a year.
It’s fantastic (in both senses of the word), and if you haven’t already seen it, go take a look. If you’re interested in either LotR or RPGs, you’ll probably get most of the humor in it—like I said, I have very little experience with RPGs and I was still hooked. Be sure to read Young’s commentary below each comic, too. (One of my favorites was “The Truth About 20-Sided Dice.”)
More geeky math after the jump: RPG x SW = D&D.