One of my favorite genre blogs, Topless Robot, has published a list of the 5 most and least shameful Dungeons & Dragons characters! Take a look, it’s fun.
Here’s my own list of the 5 most shameful…
5) Drizzt Do’Urden. I agree with the Topless Robot guy, he’s overexposed for sure but was lame even before that. “Oooooh, the angst! But I’m sexxxy! But the angst! I am mighty! Pet my kitty!” Leave it to White Wolf.
4) Elminster. Has a more transparent Mary Sue character ever appeared in any D&D setting? He’s old and wise! But all the chicks want him! He’s super powerful, and super wise, and super special, and WE LOVES HIM MY PRECIOUS!
3) Anyone from the Dungeons & Dragons movie, which mind-raped all the poor D&D fans that waited for decades for the film to finally get made. But mainly “Snails,” the incompetent thief played by Marlon Wayans. Snails. Wayans. KILL!
2) Elfstar. Sound familiar? That’s right, she’s the cleric (and Satanist, and Fundamentalist) from the infamous Jack Chick “Dark Dungeons” tract! Apparently she’s a dumb twat. Black Leaf, too.
1) Mika-Oba the Wolf Nomad. OK, Gygax’s novel writing skills are not something to write home about, and it’s fair that Gord is on the TR shame list. But this list is for the most, not the “pretty darn,” shameful. Rose Estes picked up the mantle of Greyhawk novelist once TSR screwed over Gary and tossed him out into the dumpster. And though Gygax wasn’t good, she was terrible. Every Greyhawk fan since has pretended she didn’t exist or worse – check out the Rose Estes Hate Page for some examples of her purple prose. Mika, with his pet wolf “Tam-Tur,” was a wuss and a rapist (and rape-ee). And liked pooing on people, and spanking the monkey. No, seriously. I wish I were kidding. He’s the worst of the worst.
And now, my 5 least shameful!
5) Bargle the Infamous. Sure, the name is a little weird, but as the opening villain of the D&D “red box” basic set, killing that hot ass cleric Elmore drew – oh, everyone wanted to take him out. Maybe he’s not threatening to destroy the multiverse, but he wasted that cute chick Aleena with magic missiles!!! Now that’s a villain. Paizo printed an adventure called “Kill Bargle!” in Dungeon #150, September 2007, the very last issue of Dungeon magazine (no, that digital initiative shit Wizards is doing now does NOT count). And they did 3.5e stats for him as a “Critical Threat” in the March issue, #144.
4) Hennet! On the one hand, the iconic sorcerer from the D&D 3e PHB. On the other hand, belt-clad Clinton Boomer from the hilarious D&D PSAs on YouTube! Tordek, Lidda, and Regdar all tie for second, but since Hennet’s the PSA mastermind he gets top billing.
3) Mordenkainen. The Circle of Eight from Greyhawk was always interesting, and he was its founder. Not good guys, not bad guys, just powerful guys who don’t want the world to come apart too bad or get too unbalanced, and other than that follow their own esoteric agendas. He doesn’t talk to you or meddle with your life until you get to the “let’s cause a planar rift!” kind of level.
2) Venger, from the D&D cartoon! No bumbling Gargamel of a bad guy, Venger was bad news. His arch-enemy was another big baddie, Tiamat! He had a pet shadow demon, one horn, fangs, a nightmare as a mount… Don’t mess with Venger.
1) Your character. This is what it’s all about, people. All these idiots from novels, game settings, movies, and derivative stuff all pale behind your character, the one you’re playing now, who is living a life of adventure. Every character I’ve played, and all the ones players I’ve DMed have played, are ten times more interesting than any of these. They’re the ones that live and breathe. Don’t forget that. Your characters are always more important, more realistic, and more cool than whatever a game designer or novel writer puts out there – those are but foils to you, the hero of the tale!
Drizzt is… something. There’s a reason he got popular, and it’s probably not because he’s the suck. Really, his biggest problem is the fanboi!!!! problem he’s developed. I think the character, as written in the first couple of books is a good one. Unique, memorable, played off the other characters… it wasn’t until the cult of personality got a hold of him that it went downhill.
… anyways. I was sitting here trying to come up with my own list, but I find that really I don’t have the breadth of knowledge to give a really good one.
But I would make sure Sturn Brightblade ended up on a good list. He was stuffy, and a bit self righteous… but he was also flawed and noble. And damn if his death scene didn’t actually make me sad… that’s not something that happens very often.
I hated Driz’zt. In fact, i was hoping his family was able to capture him and sacrifice his ass in the first two novels of the original Dark Elf Trilogy.
Someday I am going to learn not to click on links that I’m told are examples of bad writing. Apparently today was not the day.
Hey, nice list! I fortunately stopped reading the Greyhawk novels before being subjected to Mika. Good call on Elminster, and Snails too. (I also concur with the comment above about Sturm–I never liked him really, but his death scene redeemed him completely…thats’ got to say something.)
–Topless Robot Guy
@Teague, thanks for stopping by and the kind words! Love Topless Robot, I read it religiously. Keep it up!
If anyone wants an example of the depth of Mordenkainen’s character, read the classic D&D module Castle Greyhawk. In it, Mordy tries to become a movie director, making money by saving ont he expense of special effects by using magic on his home world and sending the movies on to another magic-free dimension. He even lands the dreaded tarrasque for a role in a movie. Classic hilarity!
Loved the Bargle entry, too, BTW. I so miss those days.
Holy … dude, thank you!
I’m blown away and deeply flattered to have made it to your top 5! Great site, and you’ve got a brand-new fan!
@Boomer – No problemo man, enjoy the PSAs immensely. Y’all have put more characterization into the 3e iconics than WotC did! No one can mention Tordek without saying “that dwarf that loves motorboating?”
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