The late, great Gary Gygax, in 1979, made note in the First Edition AD&D DM's Guide (pg 80) to saving throws: "Yet because the player character is all-important, he or she must always - or nearly always - have a chance, no matter how small, a chance of somehow escaping what otherwise would be inevitable destruction." He continues on and on in this short essay as to why players should be allowed a saving throw, even in the most impossible situations.

Yet, a year before, he published the infamous Tomb of Horrors, in which there's a sphere of annihilation inside a statue's mouth, wherein characters "are completely and forever destroyed." No saving throw. Nothing to give a hint at the dangers. Not even a "thanks for playing" and a copy of the home game.

Maybe that year between publication dates gave him second thoughts on the matter.

This comic continues the dice theme from the previous comics. Here we see the GM not taking any chances with those pesky dice, and just kills Valeria outright.

There were several bits of conversation that were trimmed due to size constraints. So, if the banter between players seems a little cut, it's because it is.

The scene in the movie seems to have been shot during the day with a night filter on the camera. The color histograms of the original footage shows the lighter shades just chopped off. Here, after I've brightened the images, some of the original daylight color comes through. As for the arrow, I added a bit of brown to it; a light gray snake-arrow against a gray rock doesn't show up well.

Also - for those not familiar with the phrase, scot-free

There doesn't seem to be a thread for this chapter. Check for yourself at the forum for chapters.

Transcript:

Scene: Valeria, Conan, and Subotai escape from Thulsa Doom's Mountain of Power with the princess in tow.
Subotai:So, what, the rest of us were sitting on a horse, picking our nose?
Valeria:Thanks for saving me a seat.
Conan:We should have left you behind.
Valeria:At least you got away scot-free.
DM:You spot shadowy figures on the cliffs above you.
Valeria:They'll never be able to catch us.
DM:One of them draws a bow, notched with an odd-looking arrow.
Valeria:We're too far out of range for an accurate shot. And, how can we identify the arrow from here, while riding at full gallop?
DM:He fires! { Valeria, on horseback, is struck by the arrow. } A hit!
Valeria:Damnit! What saving throw do I need to make?
DM:There isn't a saving throw for this arrow.
Valeria:Of course. Like I didn't see that one coming.

Last updated: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 01:17:00 CST

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