Essay:Commentary on "Dark Dungeons"

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Background[edit]

You can find the Chick Track in question, Dark Dungeons, here.

Commentary[edit]

Panel 1[edit]

We get our first clue that this campaign's DM is a terrible DM when she orders Debbie (our main character) to "cast her spell". Seriously, who does that? I mean, sure, she's probably going to cast a spell, but she could equally well run the fuck away or hit the monster with a stick or something. No DM worth their salt would straight-up tell a player what to do.

Also, Debbie casts flare. Remember this, it will be relevant.

Panel 2[edit]

So the thief (played by Marcie) fails her spot check and dies. Apparently, the DM is too much of an asshole to let her roll another character, so Marcie is kicked out of the game. A couple of questions about this:

  • Was Marcie low on HP before this turn? If so, why weren't the other party members doing something about it?
  • If not, does nobody see anything odd about this DM littering her dungeon with instant-death traps?
  • Did it not occur to Chick that this "occult" game he's so concerned about might have a spell for raising the dead?

Panel 3[edit]

So, Marcie's cleric is level 8 now, and...wait, cleric? CLERIC? What the fuck, Marcie? You cast flare? Instead of healing the party member who was about to die?

...*ahem*. So, apparently Marcie is multiclassing wizard and cleric, and her complete failure at being a cleric impresses her DM enough to let her into the coven. I wonder how this works for the rest of the party...

DM: So, George, your fighter is level 8 now, I think it's time you learned to use a real battleaxe.
George: But I'm five-foot-two and weigh 100lb...
DM: BATTLEAXE!
Bob: What about my bard?
DM: [sighs] Fine, here's your goddamn lute.

Panel 4[edit]

We get treated to a sight of the coven, where people in Jedi robes mill around the altar containing the Holy Napkin Dispenser.

Panel 5[edit]

So Marcie's apparently not on first-name basis with her DM. Where did she find this campaign, exactly? Because if the message here is "teenagers shouldn't play D&D with creepy adults who think they can tell someone's occult power by how they roll dice", I think I can get behind it.

Also, either Chick forgot that his characters were playing "Dark Dungeons", not Dungeons and Dragons, or Marcie's got another campaign going.

Panel 6[edit]

Here's where you realize that Chick thinks D&D is real. I mean, we knew he thinks it's organized witchcraft, but he seriously thinks the spells work.

...to be completed...