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Geeks Next Door – How does this work?

Written by Geeks Next Door - Published on April 19, 2009

Jessi, Mattt, Barry, and Maggie share their adventures with Dungeon Mastering readers. Follow them on Twitter: Barry, Maggie. You can read more GND @ GeeksNextComic.com

This is a guest post from Geeks Next Door. They agreed to write D&D-related strips for Dungeon Mastering and share their thoughts on their creative process, as well as their Dungeons and Dragons adventures. Enjoy!

Geeks Next Door on DM #2

Thoughts from the Geeks Next Door

The GND crew agreed to give their thoughts and comments on the strips they write for Dungeon Mastering. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment. I hope you enjoyed the webcomic.

JESS – We’re back for another installment! You’ll have to forgive my sister – her view of geekdom comes from the 80’s. (Pocket protectors and taped-up glasses, anyone?) Matt’s description is pretty simplistic; mine, more so. It looks like it got Maggie interested, though. So, how would you describe D&D to someone with no gaming experience? Also, the poster is hard to see, but it’s a nod to another well-known D&D related webcomic. You’ll be able to see it more clearly later, but kudos to anyone who can guess what it is. See you in two weeks!

MATT – I’ve never had to simplify role-playing games quite *that* much; it’s not a bad summary, though. The most important difference in my games, however, is that I’m well aware that players will DESTROY any story a DM has planned out ahead of time. Maggie may claim that her role is improv, but she’s got nothing on a DM half an hour into a typical game.

MAGGIE – I view it more as a character-building exercise. If you have a wacky-ass director, you have about the same amount of confusion and disbelief as you would with dice. Here’s the thing: I read up on Lord of the Rings. Then, I locked myself in my parents’ basement and didn’t shower for three days, subsisting only on stale Cheetos and Jolt Cola. I’m SO method.

What do you think?

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25 Responses to “Geeks Next Door – How does this work?”
  1. MaleAlphaThree says:

    Hey, could you maybe choose a different, bold, font for the dialogue?

    That cute, kids font is a little harder to read than a comic’s text should be.

  2. Jon says:

    Male, have to disagree with you. The font chosen isn’t hard to read and it goes nicely with the rest of the comic, sort of creates a nice happy feel to it.

  3. Jessi B says:

    It’s actually not a kids font. It’s a font based on my handwriting. Typical comic fonts (like Comic Sans) just didn’t seem to fit the comic. However, I’ll see if I can make some adjustments.

  4. bladebard says:

    Love the strip, love the simplification i think that is probably one of the best ways possible to describe the game to the uninitiated.

    sidenote: LMAO @ Noone having noses. Has anyone else noticed that?

  5. JL Coburn says:

    OotS!!!! Bonus points, but you would have gotten even more if it were Goblins. Anyone that hasn’t read either should go over to http://www.giantitp.com to check out Order of the Stick and over to http://www.goblinscomic.com for one of my favs. [We’re all geeks, probably didn’t even need to mention those but its for the new guys.]

    Oh! Just started reading GND once DMing mentioned you doing comics from them. All caught up now and love it!

  6. Kardiac says:

    > I’m SO method.

    I adore Maggie and her aged misconceptions. I’ve been reading GNS since pretty early on, and she’s always been one of my favorite characters. I can’t wait to see how her first gaming experience unfolds.

  7. Crimmy says:

    Order of the Stick! Gawd, now I’m even more Fans to you, Jessi!

    The forum has to know about this ¬,¬.

    *Copy-pastes image, along with a witty introduction.*


  8. Yax says:

    @Kardiac: Yeah, I have a crush on Maggie too.

  9. Jessi B says:

    @ Crimmy: You got it! Matt showed me OOTS a while back, and I love it. I’ll have a full picture of the poster up soon, but it’s Roy saying, “Why haven’t I been raised yet?!”. Poor Roy.

  10. Crimmy says:

    Talk about that.
    Anyway, looks like the playgrounders like your comic, for I have gotten many PM’s bout it.
    I’d love to see the poster, and I must say, it would be awesome to see another cameo of those guys.

    Anyway, waiting for the next GND/DM ^w^

  11. Derek says:

    I think it’s the mismatched boots that gave it away. ;) wOotS!

    Also, that is pretty close to how I describe RPGs to non-players. “I’m the storyteller, but you’re all the main characters in the story. My job is to get through a tale. Your job is to respond and react (and usually crush my dreams) to the plot events that unfold around you and the other characters, monsters, and villains (or heroes if we’re playing an evil campaign) that I bring into the story. Dice act as the hand of fate, modified by your character’s skill set, training, and equipment, to determine the outcomes of everyone’s actions.”

    That’s my typical intro spiel, with more detail added as they ask questions from there on.

    Great idea for an article, by the way. I really like the comic and tying it to this kind of site is great on both ends. :)


  12. Ian Winterbottom says:

    I have often had trouble describing roleplaying to strangers, in a long life of playing and GMing; My usual methond is something like “The GM describes what is happening, and you describe what you DO about it.” You can elaborate a little more as you get further into the game, but tha’s basically it.
    By the way, I also love Order of the Stick!

  13. Jessi B says:

    @Crimmy: Here’s an un-ballooned shot of the poster. http://www.geeksnextcomic.com/images/GND_DM_omgsecretroy.jpg Glad to hear that they’re enjoying the nod and checking out the comic.

    I’m really enjoying reading everyone else’s explanations to non-gamers about D&D, too. :3

  14. Crimmy says:

    Well, since I have some templates for avataring in OotS, I must say it is really damn accurate.
    As for the explanation, I cannot help but think of explaining a friend another RPG.

    My explanation was “The idea is, you get to be whoever you want to be, and you get to kill stuff in order to gain money and stuff. of course, you need some challenge, so you throw dices in order to see how well you did.”

    The answer was simple: “Hey, man, I have loaded dices, I though we were gonna bet.”

  15. Crimmy says:


    New take on the poster, Inkscape style. Friend of a friend tried it out, but I still like the hand-made style of yourse, hehe.

  16. TrueNeutral says:

    I always describe it as being a lot like guided improv.

    I always stay away from stories as I think Matt refers to in his methods as they often (as he also refers to) end up ruined. I prefer to build little worlds with a few things going on. but usually little else other than the adventures I’ve created for them.

    OOTS rules, even if I’m not sure how I feel about the Deus Ex Machina going on atm. Or should that be Satani Ex Machina?

  17. Jackson says:

    to MAGGIE vault energy drinks mixed with Jones soda makes a caffeinated drink that taste o.k. also Cheetos will leave marks on EVERYTHING try lays or pringals

  18. Secretfire2004 says:

    I like to describe gaming as ” ‘Collaborative Story-telling/writing’. We start with a basic plot and all of us develop it together.”

  19. Neko chan says:

    Zomg! I wanna play DND with you guys! XD Yay Maggie for deciding to play!
    *stares blankly at Maggie’s comment about Lord of the Rings* It’s not THAT geeky….*shifty eyes* I can’t wait to see the awesomeness of Matt as Dungeon master! ^_^ Much love to you all!

  20. Manek says:

    Looks like plenty of people already called on OotS. As for how I xplain D&D to other players? I just use a variation on Jessi’s explanation. I got a horde of ninth-grade kids to try it out, and 80% of them enjoyed it.

  21. Susan says:

    I think I remember DnD being explained to me as such:

    “You like elves right?”
    “Now you can be one!”
    “Now roll the dice”
    “I rolled a 1, what cool stuff do I do?”
    DM: “You died, want to make another character?”

    Then it just became about beating the DM because I was annoyed he killed my first elf. Rule number one: Don’t fight with the DM when he is your boyfriend, it always ends with your character getting destroyed by a hungry Terrasque nicknamed Puppy to be cute.

  22. McAlister says:

    I really like this, I had an event happen just a little while ago just like this so I think you nailed that description of the game. ^ _ ^

    I like her font…

  23. jakerman999 says:

    wow matt, half an hour? you lucky SoB. My players are normally trying to kill friendly NPC’s and hire hookers within ten minutes. each of my players seems to hate me in their own special way. from T. who keeps trying to kill himself, R. who wants to fight the gods, C. who comes in an hour late and high every time, and finally J. our d**k mage of morder whose character name is Ima Gehhy.

    if I had to simplify DnD I’d say its a board game without the board.

  24. Christopher says:

    I, personally find people who have never role played before make the best gamers. When you bring them into, say Dungeons & Dragons, they have no preconceived notions! (the ones who have never even heard of it before). Because it is so new to them they are easier to impress and you have more freedom. (no rules-lawyers, especially if you don’t make them read the books)


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