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Headscratchers / Knights of the Dinner Table

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  • In the Retro strips in volume 66, BA designs a garbage disposal shaft for one of his dungeons with a sphere of annihilation at the bottom ("Design is Job One!"). The party, believing the shaft is highly important, climb down one by one and are all killed ("Players at the Grate"). This includes Sara's character Thorina. However, we know this isn't how Thorina meets her eventual demise, because the character's death was a major plot point in volume 28 ("Should've Been There"). There's no one to resurrect the characters, even if there were bodies to resurrect, and Sara has never been shown to make use of the protege system like the rest of the group does. So how is Thorina still in play after this episode?
    • Maybe B.A. reneged on that adventure. Maybe they used a coupon. Maybe Sara created another barbarian who was inspired by the legend of the original.
      • (This is the OP) Actually, I tend to assume the first: the rest of the group probably ganged up on BA and got him to retcon the incident out of existence. But the cover of issue 190 shows that Sara is playing "Zayre VI," so it seems she did succumb to the group's usual method of play at some point!

  • The combined powers of the Circle of Sequestered Mages and the Dragon Committee are useless against a horde of pit bulls???
    • Hundreds of thousands of perpetually breeding ones. Remember, quantity has a quality all on its own; it's not for naught that they're known as the Doomsday Pack.
      • It still seems like a bunch of dragons doing fly-bys could just roast them all from the air.
      • Because of the rules typo about pit bull populations, anything short of total annihilation of the area (which would cause insane amounts of collateral damage) would be regrown from. Every time they come to a new town there's another massive pack to absorb, after all.
      • Killing them probably won't work, but it's surprising no one just creates a spell that sterilizes all pit bulls within a few hundred yards and goes around casting it in every population center. This being Hackmaster, of course, every individual saving throw has to be rolled, but it certainly seems like a business opportunity. Given how entrepreneurial the KODT are it's surprising they missed this kind of opportunity.
      • B.A. is a terrible GM. This is a consistent part of the series' humor.
      • In this case, B.A. was allowing the Doomsday Pack to exploit a rules error to run wild as a long-deserved payback against the players.

  • What I want to know is when the other shoe is ever going to drop about Bob Herzog inadvertently helping those guys plan their robberies.
    • Not until after some live action experiences.

  • How come nobody's had B.A.'s cat put down yet? The thing's totally asking for it.
    • Fine. Go on, kill him. I'll watch from here. Incidentally, if you don't survive, can I have your stuff?
    • Also, despite the cat's admittedly homicidal tendencies, B.A. genuinely seems to love him. During the "Cat Scratch Alley" incident, he made Brian promise not to hurt him. And when we see B.A. sleeping in bed, sometimes Prowler is curled up on his legs.
    • Notice that Prowler never seems to attack unless dice are involved or the rest of the Knights are there. The cat seems quite loyal and affectionate to B.A. so long as dice are not involved and none of the other Knights are there to rile him up.

  • At some point, Lord Gilead stopped being a lowly-torchbearer-made-good in BA's particular version of Garweeze Wurld and seems to have drifted into official Hard Eight canon. What gives?
    • Given Hard Eight's business practices, it's entirely possible B.A. submitted the character at some point, only to have him stolen.

  • I'm not at all sure what trope it would be a part of, but as a lifelong tabletop gamer myself, one of the things that has always bothered me about Knights is how often Brian gets away with something that would be shouted down as "meta-gaming" at any session I've ever been a part of. The most obvious example is in the "Bag War" strips, where he resolves the campaign by paying someone to show him the same obscure set of rules that B.A. is using, then acts in-game as if he's suddenly received new information. B.A. is a terrible GM with no control of his table, true, but for a dude who's constantly harping on about rules, Brian is outright cheating a lot of the time.
    • Brian is what the Rules Lawyer trope page calls an Obnoxious Rules Lawyer. Cheating goes part and parcel with it; any rule that helps him is unquestionable holy writ, but any rule that inconveniences him will pass unmentioned. (The only exception to this is when the gang's sci-fi characters accidentally wreck their fantasy characters' treasure, when Brian clearly wasn't telling the gloating B.A. anything he didn't already know.)
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    • It was established fairly early in the life of the series that, unlike roleplaying games in the real world, the roleplaying games in the KODT world have no "rule zero" about protecting the authority of the game master and about protecting the social contract that keeps the game fun for the rest of the players. So in the KODT world, it's not cheating that is frowned upon, it is getting caught cheating. This point has been reinforced numerous times throughout the strip's history; examples include various times when Brian pays a standard fee to lodge an official protest with the Hackmaster organization to try to convince them to look at one of B.A.'s decisions as a prelude to possibly overruling it, various times when Weird Pete in Gamer Court rules that a player has to "suck it up like a man" when outsmarted by another player's meta-gaming, and a segment in which Weird Pete meets a group of players who are considered outlaws because they refuse to let the Hard 8 overrule their game master.


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