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Starfall Part 2 – Page 2

Starfall Part 2 – Page 2 published on 3 Comments on Starfall Part 2 – Page 2

I know a lot of people will write what Keelie is doing here as an annoying sort of rules lawyering, but I think it’s important that everyone at the table is playing the same game. ‘Frightened’ is a condition. It does very specific things. If, suddenly, it stops doing those things, everyone needed some kind of warning. Climbing works a specific way. If climbing becomes a skill check, everyone needs to know. So while I get how what Keelie is doing here can seem really petty from the outside, I also get what frustrations cause this sort of conversation in the first place — the game master’s ability to edit complex rules on the fly (for however good of a reason) can ruin someone’s fun.

As an experiment, the description of this comic will have the prose text, unedited, from the short story these comics are based on. Hopefully this creates some accessibility for the folks who need it — and thanks to the people in the comments for a great idea!

See you guys next week!


I’d challenge anyone who has played D&D and claims to have never at some point tried to analyse a situation in terms of their likelihood of success. Even if it’s something as mundane as the Barbarian choosing *not* to roll that Arcana check with their -3 modifier, in favour of the wizard’s +8 with proficiency.

In the case of getting uppity about Keelie, the most she is guilty of is questioning a request by the DM, before it transpires that the reason Sera is calling for the roll is not for the reason Keelie thinks it is. It’s less “Rules-Lawyering” and more general insubordination. 😛

Like with many Thieves Can’t comics, that both sides aren’t communicating perfectly – which is normal, communicating is hard and made harder by most people believing they communicate “good enough”.

Keelie could be asking “Why, climbing is just half speed” before busting out the rules review. They are being presumptuous of the GM’s intent.

The GM could also be stating the reason for the roll before asking for the roll, to communicate their own intent and smooth out any potential player anxieties. “You will get up there, no chance of falling, but like any cliffside, it is full of untested ledges that can slow you down. Make an Athletics check to see how quickly you get up there.”

Thoughtfulness can be improved on both sides, and I think that’s what makes these comics great – neither side is totally at fault, so everyone can relate.

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