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     The Live-Action Film Trilogy 
Dammodar's infamous blue lips are a result of the drug Sannish.
Sannish stains the lips blue. In the sequel he mentions problems with controlling his urges, at the time a reference to his undead form of sustenance but possibly also a problem that he's been having since he was alive. This would also explain how Profion controlled him, since it's made by distilling wolf's milk, something Profion could harvest via summon monster spells. Sannish itself is essentially magical opium, making you immune to pain but causing wisdom damage, meaning that the fighter Damodar would become more easily addicted since his will save is already so low and could only get lower from there. In Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God his lips are normal, since he was undead, which are immune to negative drug effects.

The Film is literally adapted from the game that the cast played before shooting.
Think about it. What would you do if you had to write the script for a film based on the world's most famous role-playing game? No matter what you write, it will end up being vastly different to at least somebody's idea of the typical campaign, so what do you include and what can you leave out? At the same time, you have a group of people who are about to try acting in this film, who need to know what their characters are like so that they can act their parts convincingly. What better way to help them play their role than with a role playing game that their characters are in? And if you're going to play a Dungeons & Dragons campaign before filming anyway, coming up with all that plot, why not use it?

The film isn't really happening.
It's just a group of friends actually playing D&D. The discrepancies between the events and the source material can be explained as the group altering the game to suit their interests or to keep certain member from exploiting its flaws and breaking the game or they might instead be doing JUST that to screw with a particularly antagonistic Dungeon Master). The characters are actually being played by a group of friends. Snails seems dumb and out-of-place because it's his first time and really doesn't how to play. Profion is so deliciously hammy because that's how the DM portrays him. The characters seemingly dissolving into light/teleporting at the end is just them getting up from the table after finishing the game or just taking a short break.

The Film is an artistic documentation of the most expensive LARP in human history.
  • SECOND most expensive LARP in history - beat out by North Korea's house rules game of Paranoia, which has been going on since the 1950s...

The Book of Vile Darkness is actually a prequel to Dungeons & Dragons and Wrath of the Dragon God

The Beholder is a special type of Beholder native to Izmer
The Izmer Beholder acts differently than the standard Beholder, favoring brief cameos rather than combat.

Elwood is projecting his own disdain of horses.
When Elwood states dwarves do not like riding horses, he is not speaking for all dwarves. He is applying his own personal dislike of horses to all dwarves.

Izmer is based on Mystara's Alphatia Empire
The political situation in Izmer is based on the Alphatia Empire in Mystara.

"Bar Fight!" is a custom for helping adventurers escape tavern ambushes
Everyone does seem to quickly get into it without any real motivation. It could just be a customary thing to create a distraction on demand for their fellow patrons trying to get out of a tight fix by forcing their pursuers to do a Mobstacle Course to chase after their target. Presumably they go along with it because they might need the same favor later. It wouldn't even need everyone to be in on the idea for it to work. With enough critical mass of active participants, bystanders would add to the confusion by fighting back or trying to get out of the way.

     The game 
The Fourth Edition setting will be destroyed by the Undead.
In the default setting of the Fourth Edition, there's a grim dimension only reachable by magic and named the Shadowfell. Almost devoid of living creatures, it teems with all manner of undead, and characters who die end up there before fading away. Fine so far, it's a standard mythical "Land of the Dead". Except that every detail of the ordinary world is mirrored in the Shadowfell. Every ordinary building has a Shadowfell ruin and every port has a silted-up equivalent choked with rotting equivalents of ordinary ships. Obviously Shadowfell is not some magical dimension, but just the future after a disaster that killed everything without doing much large-scale damage. The buildings are ruined not because of mystical corruption, but because they've been sitting around for decades without maintainance. Presumably the disaster was a Zombie Apocalypse, with magical side effects that keep resurrecting dead characters decades later. All the magic that takes people into the Shadowfell is actually time travel. It naturally follows that the all-wilderness dimension known as the Feywild is just the past, before the invention of agriculture.
  • No, no, I think we're barking up the wrong tree. It's one of our unifying WMG's: re-read that description. Tell me this mythic "Shadowfell" world is not, in fact, Nosgoth.
  • Said Apocalypse was possibly caused by Atropus. (Or its 4e version, anyway.)
    • Open Grave says Atropus really does exist in 4e.
  • The Shadowfell is really the Dark World of A Link to the Past's (and now the 4E default setting's) Light World. The reduced damage, increased hit points, etc. also lend themselves to 4E masquerading as a Zelda game-world. The Feywild is the Golden Land before being corrupted by Ganon.
  • Screw that. It is Coldharbour from The Elder Scrolls.
  • Aw, hell. Having only skirted around the edges of 4e, this is the first I've heard of this. Unfortunately, it mirrors exactly what is happening in the current 3.5e campaign I'm running. Damn it.
  • Shadowfell is not new. It existed in previous editions as the Plane of Shadows, at least in the Forgotten Realms. It hasn't really changed much at all.
    • And Dolurrh in Eberron. Face it, to get a description of the Shadowfell just Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V the description of Dolurrh. It then follows, from the addition of action points to the core mechanics, that Eberron is actually a parasite universe, and will end up being the sole remaining setting by 10th edition (with the exception of things like Dark Sun and Spelljammer, which are clearly stages of Eberron's future). Fortuitously, this will annihilate all memory of Drizzt.
      • Sounds about right. Even if Eberron doesn't completely displace the other realms, they'll probably just reintroduce spelljammers to make them all part of one 'verse, and then whatever caused the Day of Mourning will end up happening again at the same time as the latest Mystra dies, and Toril and Eberron will end up merging.
    • Canonically, in the Forgotten Realms, Shadowfell merged with The Plane of Shadows, hence the similarities. The Plane of Shadows originally didn't really have that many undead, at least of the traditional types. Shadows and the like, sure, but not zombies.
    • But the Birth Right campaign introduced the Shadow World which...did serve as a mirror of the living world populated by the undead, including a bunch of zombies.
    • Even before Birth Right, there was a similar realm called Limbo (not the Great Wheel plane) described in Bruce Heard's series of Princess Ark articles about the Basic/Expert/etc D&D system's Mystara. Really, it's a very old concept that 4E integrated from many, many sources, most of which predate gaming itself.

The Planescape cosmology demands the existence of the Ordial Plane.
The Rule of Three determines everything that structures the Outer Planes; the Unity of Rings says everything works in circles. We have the Material Planes, the Inner Planes, and the Outer Planes (yay, Rule of Three). The Astral Plane connects the Prime Material with the Great Wheel of the Outer Planes. The Ethereal Plane connects the Prime with the Inner Planes... so what connects the Inner and Outer? Rule of Three says there must be three transitive planes; Unity of Rings says there must be something connecting the Inner and Outer Planes. Thus, the Ordial Plane: a transitive plane that connects energy with belief. The origin of souls? The true seat of divinity? The source of divinity? The home of the Lady of Pain? Couldn't say, since no portals ever lead there - but maybe Her Serenity wants to keep it that way...
  • The Far Realm?
  • The Inner and the Outer Plans do not connect directly. They only connect indirectly in this order Outer > Astral > Prime Material > Ethereal > Inner. Plus the elements on the Outer Planes are made of belief (like everything else there.)
    • Just as the Great Wheel contains more than three planes, yet is circular, and the Inner Planes are ordered as a sphere with melting reality toward the edges of each plane, there is no reason to expect everything to align to a 3 or a ring. That said, it's possible the Planescape cosmology is incomplete, representing either a "known world" or else the three-dimensional representation of an upper-dimensional reality. At that higher-dimensional reality they have a more accurate "Rule of Three" and "Rule of Circles" but with their own shapes and numbers. Our reality can be imperfectly described by the Rule of Three and the Rule of Circles but our reality is actually just a sliver of a more complete reality.

  • While we're on the subject...
The Rule of Three applies to everything. So we have the Multiverse, and the Far Realm, and... what?
  • Illithids come from the future. In 4E, all abberations come from the Far Realm. Therefore, the Far Realm is the future, which makes the third realm the past.
  • The Far Realm is a sort of Anti-Reality. The Abyss is best described as an anti-reality. Therefore the Far Realm is the Abyss, and the World of Darkness is the third realm.
  • There isn't a third. The entire point of the Far Realm is that it doesn't follow the rules.
    • Unless it does follow the Rule of Three, thereby following the rules of the universe, thus breaking its own rules and thereby conserving its rule of breaking rules by simultaneously breaking and not breaking rules and Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.

The Primordials of Fourth Edition aren't as big dicks as they made out to be.
Sure various demon lords are former Primordials, but it wasn't until Tharizdun created the Abyss they sprung up. It's likely that they had the capacity for good and evil like the gods, but it became a fight between two factions, where both sides had to resort to some pretty awful tactics to try to win. Granted, they wanted to destroy the world (or let it be destroyed by the Elemental Chaos), but the world didn't have life on it until the gods put it there (and presumably the elemental creatures like the Giants and Titans would be able to survive the resulting cataclysm, given that many are found in the Elemental Chaos). Or hell, the whole "them willing to let the world be destroyed" might have been a smear campaign, and while some were willing to destroy the world as part of the natural order, others might have been willing to let it play out, but got caught up in a brutal war. But the gods made sure to only tell of the former Primordials. And in the few pages this troper read in the Forgotten Realms Campaign setting, the various Elemental Gods have been retconned into Primordials.
  • Whenever I think of the Primordials, I think of the Norse Giants. Powerful antagonists to the gods, elemental affinities, by and large destructive jerks, but not all bad.
    • I assume you mean the Jotun. In that case, Western people get that one rather wrong. The conflict bewteen them and the Norse Gods is order/culture vs chaos/nature, Jotuns being the second one.
  • Confirmed, to an extent, by the Manual of the Planes. Only a few are evil, most are unaligned. (Partially Jossed, because none are good-aligned).
    • But it was a god (Tharizdun) who brought evil to Chaos, not a Primordial. So the skew in the alignments of the Primordials is the fault of the gods.

Asmodeus is not a god.
Asmodeus is supposed to have rebelled against the god he served and been imprisoned in the Nine Hells, along with his devils. Fine so far. Except that in the fourth edition he has become a god, unlike in the previous editions. There are several problems with this. If the other gods could imprison him, surely they could prevent him from achieving divinity. And if they couldn't, what's he still doing in the prison? It's more logical to assume Asmodeus is merely pretending to be a god, as part of an elaborate scheme to escape. That assumption makes no changes to the game mechanics either.
  • Who is to say that during the Apocalypse of Atropus, when so many gods where slain, Asmodeus did not find a method to steal this divinity? or perhaps a literal deal with the devil was made to get asmodeus on the side of the gods for such a confrontation? I would imagine only the gods/DM know for sure. what of all the new gods who did not exist before? from whence did their divine sparks come hmm?
  • Bizarrely enough, part of this was canon in 3.5; Asmodeus was the only one able to go up against one of the Elder Evils, Zargon the Returner, because he wasn't susceptible to the god-killing abomination's god-killiness, permitting him to seal Zargon in rock. Presumably the end of the 3.5 reality allowed Asmodeus to steal Zargon's power to add to his own, while the gods were otherwise occupied either training or battling their replacements (Nerull, for example, is mentioned as the ex-God of Death in Open Grave) and couldn't stop him gaining complete ascension.
    • The Zargon thing is a silly retcon of an existing creature (non-deity) from the module B4: Lost City. In that work Zargon was just a boss type Lovecraftian monster, and otherwise Asmodeus was still just a thinly-veiled reference to the Christian devil Lucifer. So depending on your edition, things are different.
  • Manual of the Planes confirms Asmodeus was a treacherous angel who rebelled against his god. Only a few bits and pieces are left. As to becoming a god, well, if the PCs can do it, powerful NPCs can definitely pull it off.
  • It's been suggested that He Who Was, the god Asmodeus served and rebelled against, was the greatest of the gods. He imprisoned Asmodeus in hell with his dying breath. The other gods granted Asmodeus godhood because they needed him in the war against the primordials, though when not fighting the primordials he's still confined to hell. It's possible this suits him just fine; so long as he's imprisoned, he's free to scheme and plot without the other gods bothering him. He likely could get out if he wanted to, but just doesn't want to. Yet.
  • In the earliest versions of D&D, Demon Lords and Archdevils were just as capable of granting clerical spells as gods, and evil clerics primarily paid homage to them.

Mechanus is a gigantic, sentient robot
A friend just proposed this while I was talking about the Transformers Shout Outs in the Modron book. What could be more fitting?
  • That is just made of win and awesome. Too bad Mechanus bit the big one during the Edition Shift.
    • Nah, it just didn't like the new cosmology and bailed early. It's hanging around with Autochthon these days.
      • Although there's a sort of "Micro-Planescape" summary of the old planes in the new Manual Of The's possible that the Astral Sea is less than 10% unexplored, and contains most, if not all, of the old planes.
      • Hell, it's possible that it's not even 1% explored: You just don't know how much of what you don't know you don't know, that's one of those things about not knowing.
    • They made a reference to Mechanus, though more as a legendary lost plane. I was entertaining notions that it might be Autochton
  • Also, Limbo is a giant, sentient, thing as well, actively opposing Mechanus. When they come to blows, Mechanus morphs into a plane-sized Tansformer.

Iron Heart Surge is a manifestation of Spiral Energy.
First of all, the move is pretty much just a raw surge of passion that overcomes stuff effecting you, which is a lot like how the robots in TTGL work. In addition, thanks to the vague wording of the effect, Iron Heart Surge can be used to end anything that effects you in some way. This can allow you to: do the impossible, break the unbreakable, touch the untouchable, see the invisible, ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH!Not to mention that if misused, it could indeed destroy the universe. Imagine if a Warblade were to use Iron Heart Surge to end the Sun to stop its gravity and light from effecting him. There are countless ways in which Iron Heart Surge could cause catastrophic damage to the universe; ending godly magic, ending universal or planer effects, ending various laws of physics even! The only time this doesn't work is when a DM invokes Rule 0. They stop this horrible destruction and make things more cynical as a result. It follows then that DMs are the agents of the Anti Spirals, put here to stop this kind of power from being misused.
  • Though the wording of the rule can be taken to mean an effect targeting you specifically, and cannot be used on effects targeting anyone besides you or not specifically targeted at you...
    • Anti-Spiral! RUN!

In past editions, the reason why the devils and demons had such huge numbers advantages compared to the good outsiders was because of Always Chaotic Evil races
Think about it: there are a large number of fast-breeding monstrous races with short, violent lifespans. If the Orcs and the Kobolds and the goblins kept breeding and getting killed, then their souls would continuously be making their way into their domains. So as more souls come into hell and the abyss, more souls become fiends, thus replenishing their stock.
  • That makes an almost scary amount of sense. Sounds like a paladin concept once found on /tg/ - he spent his time challenging other paladins to duels to accelerate their ascension to the ranks of the angels. The general assessment was that with a decent DM, he'd fall like the motherfucking extinction of the dinosaurs.

The Wall of The Faithless prevents Asmodeus from being restored
In an earlier rulebook, it was stated that Asmodeus consumed the souls of those who refused to believe or follow the gods. If he were to get enough, he would eventually recover from the wounds of his Fall. He would even send his Avatar out to cause unbelief. Now, Myrkul created the Wall For the Evulz, but it has stopped Asmodeus from recovering in this fashion.
  • Still, Kelemvor could find a less eternity of pain and suffering way to do it surely. I mean, just make it an eternity of nothingness and just say their suffering when all they're doing is wailing in boredom.
    • Since Asmodeus has found a different way to restore himself by absorbing a god; the Wall of the Faithless is no longer needed, and thus no longer exists in 4th Edition.

The Golothoma has a symbiotic link to the Vashta Nerada
Yeah, OK, Doctor Who WMGs are overdone, but hear me out. The golothoma is a critter that eats you with its shadow (you can see it from a link on this page). Now, most people would just say that's magic. This troper disagrees; the golothoma obviously has a bond with the Vashta Nerada, which devour individuals caught in the shadow and provide some of their components to the golothoma, which in return provides them with a safe spawning ground (let's compare: a tree, a horrific giant snake monster...).

The Multiversal transition to Fourth Edition was caused by...
  • ... The rise of Pun-Pun
  • ... Vecna's ascension to a new tier of Godhood.
    • Being Kicked Upstairs to a higher rank of godliness and thus having less influence on day-to-day affairs of wizardry would explain the death of Vancian Magic.
  • ... The destruction of the Cosmic EGG posited in the Immortal's Handbook.
  • ... It's actually just an alternate universe. Everyone else is running merrily along just fine as we used to.
    • That's my personal pet theory not just for the 3E/4E transition, but also the transition from original D&D (with its "Immortals" and "Spheres") to AD&D 1E. There are at least three different multiverses, all still going about their business.

The yugoloths have no plan for the Blood War.
It was commonly hinted at in Planescape that the Neutral Evil fiends, the yugoloths/daemons, were manipulating both the Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil sides for their own benefit, with a mysterious plot to bring both under their control and thus take over the universe. But I don't think they really do. That would be too lawful. The devils wage the Blood War so they can conquer the demons and take over the multiverse; the demons fight so they can overwhelm the devils and utterly destroy creation. But the yugoloths? They don't care—they don't want to own the multiverse or destroy it, they just want to spread evil however they can. It doesn't matter if the devils or demons win—either way, the yugoloths will gladly ride before their hordes like the Four Horsemen, bringing pain and fear to everything in their path. And that's what makes them the most frightening of the fiends: The devils want to own you, and the demons want to destroy you, but the yugoloths just want to make you suffer.
  • This troper would like to believe that they have no plans for the Blood War per se, but were the ones who instigated it in the first place because of course, war causes lots of suffering.
    • And, since yugoloths act as mercenaries some of the time, war is good for business.

Each of the known yugoloth lords from Planescape correspond to one of the Four Horsemen.
Building off the previous WMG, and inspired by Pathfinder. I agree that Charon is the Horseman of Death, but aside from him, the other three horsemen match up to existing yugoloths from Planescape. Anthraxus is Pestilence; Mydianclarus, Lord of the Wasting Tower, is Famine; and the General of Gehenna is War.

Dragonlance is getting a Fourth Edition book

The Forgotten War Was Instigated By The Gods
In Ullabar's writeup in Monster Manual 3, it's said that he used to be simply a living planet, but was banished to the Far Realm by the gods simply because he was designed by the Primordials, and his his current alignment is because he's on an indiscriminate Roaring Rampage of Revenge. From that, it can be assumed that the other stars were also burned by the gods, and collectively hate them because of it. The reason why the Forgotten War is called that is because the majority of them don't actually hate mortals, and want to avoid collateral damage.

Lolth is Asmodeus' Distaff Counterpart
Or Asmodeus is Lolth's spear counterpart. Think about it. Lolth was a goddess, Asmodeus was an angel. Lolth betrayed her patron out of envy, Asmodeus slew his patron out of pride. Lolth failed but was cast into the abyss to become a demon. Asmodeus succeeded, but his plan backfired and he was cast into hell to become a devil. Lolth regained divinity through sheer force of will, Asmodeus claimed divinity through his own cunning and manipulation(or, in forgotten realms, sheer dumb luck and being badass enough to kill a god). Asmodeus is the patron saint of lawful evil, Lolth is the poster girl for chaotic evil. They each have their own chosen people(devils for Asmodeus, drow for Lolth), and in a weird way, the societies of those people are very similar. Also, Lolth maintains a form of seven monstrous spiders and one beautiful drow woman, and it was suggested that Asmodeus's form of the most handsome devil was a projection made by his true form of a giant serpent(though that seems to have been dropped).

Graz'zt is Asmodeus' son.
It's established in pre-4e sources that Pale Night, among the most horrible of the obyrith lords, is the mother of Graz'zt. However, in 4e, Graz'zt is stated to be an Archdevil who lead an army into the Abyss and eventually went native. Now, some sources suggest that Asmodeus was drawn into the Abyss at some point to mate with Pale Night, so it's possible both storys are true; Graz'zt is the son of Asmodeus and Pale Night, Asmodeus got custody, so to speak, and eventually sent his son to conquer his mother's homeland. However, his innate chaotic nature due to his demonic ancestory caused him to become influenced by the Abyss and embrace his demonic heritage.

Rokugan is accessible in the D&D multiverse, but will not appear officially due to being Exiled from Continuity.
While third edition featured Rokugan as a campaign setting, the rights are owned by Fantasy Flight Games, so it will not appear again in modern editions. But since it can still be accessed with knowledge of planar travel, it is still related to the D&D cosmology.

They didn't pattern 4e after MMORPGs
The biggest complaint is that 4e is like playing an MMORPG. Those people are thinking in the wrong direction. Powers that even when they miss do damage? 5 alignments? It's rather obvious when you think about it, they're both owned by the same company, 4e is patterned after Magic: the Gathering.

5e will introduce Dominaria as the default setting, and you will get to choose between the colors. On the other hand, by using the colors, that will be vague enough to stop the catterwauling of who's playing their alignments right. Except for black.

Banding will still be overly complicated to be any good to anyone.

  • And if there's anything but coincident number, exactly how those alignment do correspond? It's 3.x that was MTG edition, what with meaningless feature-oriented parts like "feats" separate from skills but including fixed skill bonuses. 4e is much further down the drain than that.
    • White: Lawful Good, white is orderly
    • Blue: Neutral. Partway through good and evil.
    • Black: Evil. Self Explanatory
    • Red: Chaotic Evil, due to being the only chaotic alignment left.
    • Green: Good. Process of elimination.

      • None of the Colors in Magic the Gathering have inherent alignments though, there have been a good guys and bad guys from each color.
      • Reading even a basic correspondence to the colour pie from Magic is a good example of not bothering to do the research on how the colours work in Magic the Gathering. Take Scars of Mirrodin: The primary big bads are blue and white, their Red counterpart is aiding the heroes, the green is so obsessed with destroying order and institutions that they can barely work with him and the black is almost a basket case. Go back to Zendikar and the big bad is best described as unaligned. Innistrad would justify this interpretation, but the truth is that the M:tG design team have always had a better grasp on morality and mechanics interplay. Compare their colour system to the Book of Exalted Deeds & Book of Vile Darkness.

  • The D&D 5th edition supplements Plane Shift: Innistrad and Plane Shift: Zendikar enable campaigns to be set in the Magic: The Gathering multiverse. More crossovers will come, until both settings appear to be in the same multiverse.

Residuum in 4e is the Philosopher's Stone
Rituals work by expending a given amount of gold, astral diamonds, or residuum, causing it to vanish and the magical effects of the ritual to take place. Gold in the D&D world isn't elemental Au, it's an alloy of some other, worthless substance and Residuum. When casting a ritual using gold, the caster alchemically separates the residuum from the base metal and the residuum is expended. Astral diamonds might be a solid, crystallized form of the same substance.
  • You don't spend money (gold or astral diamonds) in rituals. You spend ritual components (depending in the ritual type: alchemical substances for arcane rituals, sanctified incense for religious ones, special herbs for nature-related, and something else I can't remember for healing rituals). How much you need is measured in gold pieces, just like everything else you can buy. Residuum is just an universal option, usable for any kind of ritual.

He Who Was . . .
  • Was Zarus. The sympathetic potrayal of him is primarily from the Codex of Betrayal, a work written by his last mortal follower — not exactly an unbiased source. This ties Asmodeus' origins in line with real world myths regarding Satan, that his fall was due to his refusal to bow before man. Or in this case, his fall was related to his refusal to go out of his way to avoid killing man as he waged war.
    • Zarus has too many ties to Pelor, another deity who isn't dead, so perhaps it is instead Asmodeus who is both Zarus AND Pelor. Zarus was the god of the sun like Pelor, their holy symbols match each other quite well, and they are both known to be worshiped mainly among humans. In that case, Asmodeus has a reason for not throwing a constant hissy-fit at being imprisoned, since he is effectively ruling Hestavar as Pelor.
  • Was the DND equivalent of Jehovah. Since Asmodeus is a Satan figure, and Satan rebelled against God, maybe Asmodeus took it one step further and killed God. But an all-powerful and benevolent supreme being wouldn't really work well in a world with as much evil as DND, so then HHW would be a cross between the Biblical god and DND gods, and would be just the most powerful DND god. Also, the Jewish religion did not say there were no other gods, it merely said that Jews should not worship other gods. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." not "Do not believe in the existence of other gods."
    • The story of He Who Was and Asmodeus could also be interpreted as an alternative history for the Judeochristian God, where Satan challenges Him and wins instead of being cast down.

Wizards of the Coast is actively working to kill off the Forgotten Realms
In every new book about them, at least one major remaining landmark is utterly annihilated for no clear reason.

Even R.A Salvatore, one of the people who apparently hates the new direction of the realms, dropped a Volcano on Neverwinter in the middle of his first Neverwinter book, killing everyone in the city.

The Lady of Pain is the Creator of the Dungeons & Dragons multiverse
This theory is hardly new, but heck, I felt like stating it anyway. The Lady of Pain is the creator and ruler - the overgod - of the entire D&D multiverse. The Phlogiston, the Crystal Spheres, Oerth, Abeir-Toril, Krynn, Athas, Mystara, Eberron, the Planes... she created them all. She's enigmatic; nothing is known about who she is or where she came from. She refuses to tolerate worshippers. She won't let gods in her city - which is located at the centre of the multiverse. Perhaps the reason for this is because if a god usurped her they'd become the new ruler of existence. This, of course, is precisely what Vecna sought to do.

The Lady of Pain is Lorraine Williams
Tyrannical, arbitary, hates the gods (the creators of games), and prefers followers who are literally incapable of talking back (the dabus). In the end, one of the creators' pet characters attempts to overthrow her, and ends up "fired."

The Wall of the Faithless is not evil
The wall is just there. No god made it. It is a natural part of the cosmology and if the gods were to remove it, the results would be considerably worse. The gods aren't enslaving people by using the wall as a threat to make them worship them; through worship, they are in fact rescuing people from the wall.

The Far Realm is the Warp from Warhammer 40,000.

The Aboleth win.
In fact they rise from the sea to wipe out all life. Their civilization goes pretty well, until they fall into a race-wide state of Who Wants to Live Forever? and end up seeding the Earth.
  • In the process of conquering the world they undergo a drastic change which results in them becoming obsessed with conquering everything in existence. When there's nothing left to conquer and everything is destroyed by the constant and multiplanar war their blood lust drives them to seek out the one place they know still lies something to rule: the past. Their prolonged war, however, has reduced them to an almost alien form when compared to their original one: that of slugs which must be implanted into a living being and consume their brain. The Aboleths, in winning control of the Universe in the future become what they fear in the present. Illithids.

Fifth edition will dumb down the much beloved fourth edition, which was perfect in all its forms.
Well, considering how this has been the reaction towards every edition change, it stands to reason this will happen again. Sure you can look at every previous edition and notice all the gigantic flaws with balance, lore, and logic, but people like Xe better, so it must be the highest quality one bar none.

Mayaheine is supposed to literally be Joan of Arc.
Lessee. She's described as having auburn hair and blue eyes, which fits a lot of popular depictions of Joan. She was a "paladin of Pelor from another world", which makes a lot of Woolseyism-style sense when you consider Pelor's faith is often depicted in canon as being a lot like Catholicism with the serial numbers filed off, and would be easier to explain to the locals that way. She was brought to Oerth specifically for her martial and tactical prowess, which Joan obviously has. And her domains of Protection, Justice, and Valor (and her motto of "Fortitude within and valor without") certainly fit with Joan's own depictions. And it makes a certain amount of sense that a god of the sun would save a holy woman from burning.

Asmodeus caused the Spellplague.
Asmodeus is something of an expert when it comes to deicide. He manipulated Cyric and Shar into killing Mystra(not particularly difficult given their hatred of her), so that in the aftermath he could kill Azuth and achieve apotheosis from his divine essence.

5th Edition Forgotten Realms will reveal that the 4th Edition version of the setting was All Just a Dream.
Elminster will wake up, run to the bathroom, and discover Mystra in the shower, alive and well.

Some outside force is keeping humans weak
  • In the distant past some powerful force saw what humanity could do to the world and decided to use its power to weaken them, shorter life spans, no magical or physical prowess. They though this would be enough, they were wrong. Even in their weakened state humanity has proven a force to reckon with, many have began unlocking their hidden power, becoming adventures. Breeding with other races also reduces the effect of this weakening magic. The most terrifying possibility is that one day this weakening magic will fail, and on that day you better pray that the humans call you 'friend'.


     The animated series 
Tiamat is Venger's mother.

She's the only thing in the entire Realm he's scared of, including other dragons and Dungeon Master. And Venger clearly didn't get his looks from his dad. If Skitty and Wailord is possible...

  • But we already know from several episodes that Venger is Dungeon Master's son. How can that pairing work?
    • Dungeon Master is not human.
    • Many D&D dragons can shape-shift. Perhaps Tiamat was hanging around in humanoid form, and she and Dungeon Master fell in love.
    • According to the game, Tiamat's human form looks like this.
      • That's Takhisis, a goddess from Dragonlance who also takes the 5-headed dragon form. She may or may not be Tiamat; sourcebooks differ on that.
      • The latest edition (from, admittedly, well after the show ended) basically states several times in Draconomicon that Takhisis and Tiamat are one and the same.
    • Alternatively, Dungeon Master is the one who shape-shifted.
      • Or he actually is a dragon, who always shape-shifts into A Form You Are Comfortable With to speak to the kids.
      • Wait Dungeon Bahamut? The father of all good dragons? So his antithesis and opposite is Tiamat, the Chromatic Dragon and Queen of Evil Dragons, as well as the mother and deity of all evil dragons.
  • Venger is a dragon-half. He has dragon wings, black in color, but look identical to Tiamat's wings.
    • In Babylonian mythology, Tiamat gave birth to all monsters and hybrids.
  • Its curious that Tiamat, being an indestructible primordial goddess of chaos, can easily find and crush Venger at any moment, but never does.
  • She's angrily disappointed that Venger choose to follow the Nameless One, upsetting the Realm's chaotic balance, by defecting to a lawful evil alignment. The reason she once helped the kids nearly kill Venger was because she considers her son may be better off dead, than the walking abomination he's become.

Dungeon Master is a god — specifically, Bahamut.
That would explain a lot about Venger.
  • Its quite common for the dragon deity to take on the form of an old man or hermit.

Dungeon Master was the previous Venger
He assumed his current appearance after the previous Dungeon Master died, perhaps by his hand.
  • It is canon that Eric was briefly a DM. If that can happen, then this can happen.

Venger killed a previous Venger
Or some other Evil Overlord or Archmage.

"The Dragon's Graveyard" contains evidence. Look at Dungeon Master's trepidation ("So, it has come to this...") when the kids decide to kill Venger, and his reaction to their sparing him. They narrowly avoided a road that Dungeon Master's last pupil went down.

Given that he's the ruler of the Nine Hells in the tabletop game and described as the Ultimate Evil by the Dungeon Master, it would make sense that he's Venger's master.

The kids are dead and in Hell
Think about it. You don't go to some magical other-world when the Roller Coaster you're on crashes unless you die.

Why hell? They're constantly being jerked around by the Dungeon Master. They lack adequate means to protect themselves. And they're constantly teased with the prospect of going home, but never make it — the curse of Tantalus.

The kids can't return because they belong to the Realm.
Earth was just a place to protect them until they were old enough to put up a fight, or a place where they went by accident. They won't return because they are needed in the Realm. Yeah, it's like the whole The Twelve Kingdoms storyline; but hey, there's a probability!
  • At the end of the unaired Grand Finale, the kids are offered a chance to return home. Whether this discredits the WMG depends on how sincere you think the offer was.

Eric is the only one who's not aware that they're in a cartoon.
Or at least in some kind of fictional work.

The other kids, DM, and probably Vengar are aware that they're in a fictional TV show; hence, they are particularly brave, given their situation. For example, the kids know they can't die because they're kids.

Vengar is pissed off all the time because he knows he can't win and because the Rule of Drama means he can't die until the show is over.

Eric is the only one who isn't in on the joke, hence his cowardly behavior. Since he doesn't know that the kids can't be in any real danger, he's scared out of his mind and can't understand why the others aren't feeling the same way.

Eric is gay.
Think about it. He's a teenager, but he's never shown genuine interest in a female character. The one time he's shown really liking someone, it's another boy who's just as snarky as he is.

Chances are, he's got a crush on Hank. He touches Hank a LOT, far more than he does any other character. Unfortunately for him, Hank is straight.

Eric's general unlikable attitude could be a defensive reflex to keep the others from getting too close and figuring out his secret. After all, in The '80s, tolerance for known gays outside their subculture was even less likely than tolerance for complete jerks.

The only female character he's shown getting along with is Diana, who is also a snarker and who has no interest in him.

  • When he gets a marriage proposal from an attractive queen, he shows great her money.
  • Assume Hank and Sheila are meant to be/become an item. Presto meets Varla in the Realm, Diana meets Kosar, and Bobby meets Terry. Who does Eric meet? Lorne.

  • Eric is 14, by show canon. Not every boy starts pursuing girls in their early teens, especially ones who have confidence issues (which Eric obviously overcompensates for). But he does have some gay tendencies. I'd say its a case of could-be-true-but-never-confirmed.

Pure Is Not Good is in effect.
Okay, so all the kids are good. And it is stated in canon that all the kids are pure of heart. But they can't all be pure good, or there would be considerably less dissension.

Presto can't get the Hat to work properly because he isn't giving it what it considers proper respect.
It will not work consistently for him until he quits the silly cantrips for good.

Eric is braver than he looks.
Not that that would be hard... But seriously, one common interpretation of his experience in the Celestial Tower is that he was most afraid of being humiliated, ridiculed, and/or outcast. But his place in the Cast Speciation and less-than-trustworthy instincts meant that he went through that sort of thing all the time. His fight-or-flight was always on.

Hank was going to hit a Heroic BSoD near when the series ended.
His greatest fear is failure as a leader. His mission is to get everyone home, doing good deeds on the way. Failure Is the Only Option for the main objective, home. The math is clear.

This could've happened after the broadcast finale or during "The Winds of Darkness."

Presto's hat is the Dungeon Master.
DM has shown himself to be a borderline Trickster Mentor at times; being the hat and screwing around is how he gets his kicks off-duty.

Presto's hat is a Dungeon Master.
That's a title, not a name, and we have seen "DM" and the hat at the same time. But the hat has the same great power and the same stubborn refusal to help in a straightforward manner.]]

Weapons of Power draw energy from their users.
This is how a weapon that is not permanently bonded to its owner can still be an Empathic Weapon. Hank's bow is definitely empathic — there is no other way to get energy arrows to do so much. Presto's Hat is empathic if it isn't sentient, but Presto tends to put more thought into how he wants to word a spell than what he wants it to do.

It also explains why Eric's shield doesn't consistently just dissipate magical/energy attacks, but sometimes transmits physical force towards him when doing so. It's user weakness or user error — maybe he wanted force feedback to be sure the thing was working.

If Eric stays an adventurer in the Realm long enough, then he'll become a Paladin.
This one is popular with Fan Fic writers. Exactly how he will meet the alignment or religious requirements is left to the guesser.
  • He seems to believe in a universe with rules, taking care of the Lawful part, and all the protagonists are supposed to be good, squeaking Eric into Lawful Good. As for a deity, Eric likely wouldn't object to sending a few prayers in the way of anything offering him extra powers to help him get out of the Realms.

Presto will be the next Dungeon Master.
He loves magic just that much.

Hopefully, he will be competent before he takes the position.

Presto will someday be able to do real magic without the Hat.
Perhaps the Hat is an Amplifier Artifact. Perhaps it isn't, but he still has natural abilities that he isn't yet tapping. Either way, the potential might be there.

This is automatically true if "Presto will be DM" is.

  • Note: this is canon unless DM lied to Presto during "The Last Illusion."

Hank's energy bow is literally made of gold.
This idea is popular in fanfics (there may a Word of Dante about it somewhere). It is made possible because this cartoon was made in The Dark Age of Animation.


  1. The bow is colored gold. Both it and Presto's eyes were probably supposed to be a light brown, but that color shifted into gold in practice.
  2. Unlike ordinary bows, the energy bow does not flex. It does not work like a normal bow. But it's a magical energy bow that shoots flexible Hard Light! (And yes, it can do More Dakka.) Having it made of metal would both explain why the "bow" is rigid and improve its true functioning. Wood is an insulator, but metal is a conductor — and it would be easier to make that energy cord with a conductor. Gold is not only the right color but also an excellent conductor.

Zandora (of the box) is/was Dungeon Master's wife.
She is the only other being we've seen who appears to be of his species.

She might be Venger's stepmom. Or his real mom, since pure Evil is known to disfigure people.

Venger can open portals almost at will.
This is another one from fanfic. There were times when he could do it canonically, but we are speculating here that he could do it even outside those times.

DM may or may not know this.

Venger doesn't destroy the Earth (yet) because he has to take over the Realm first and because opening portals and leaving them not-quite-unattended is a good way to keep tabs on our heroes and their Weapons.

Bobby is related to Hank.
The coloration is similar.

Generally, when this is presumed true, Bobby and Sheila are at most half-siblings.

Hank is unaware of the relation, natch.

The Shield is parasitic or symbiotic.
And it's a considerably stronger bond than other Weapons have. When it isn't being actively used, it stores the bulk of its magic in its bearer. It draws it back out when it is being used.

Eric has survived a few situations unscathed with an "inactive" shield that mere armor could not have protected him from, including a close brush with a fireball of Venger's in a situation when magic in items was dead but magic in creatures was not. Eric and Venger both became aware of the nature of the bond then.

It would explain why Venger didn't just wait for the kids to go home in "Day of the Dungeonmaster," and why Eric didn't want the power of being a DM. His first thought on becoming DM was panicking about losing the Shield.

If this is true, then it could mean trouble for Eric if he ever does make it home for good. If not before.

Diana does not need the Javelin for acrobatics. At all.
The Weapon is still useful — its magic is concentrated enough to bat away other magic — but its primary power is basically to allow itself to be stowed in her fur bikini between uses. If she was carrying a normal pole, it would work just as well for most purposes.

Bobby and Terri are connected by a Red String of Fate.
They will become a couple after he gets home. Never mind that he was no more than ten when he met her — it was meant to be.

Bobby's ninth birthday party in the Realm was not the first.
He turned nine on Earth on the day everyone got trapped in the Realm. The misadventure disrupted the party. Once everyone got the hang of survival and Venger-dodging, and once it became clear they wouldn't get home fast, Hank and Sheila arranged another party.

"The Time Lost" had Venger playing Gambit Roulette with Butterflies of Doom
There were permanent changes made to the timeline — people Venger removed who didn't get put back.

We can safely presume that no changes were made that would significantly change the view from the portal, excepting ones wiping out the physical damage from "Zandora's Box." But it is quite possible that Venger was using the threat of a major change (that is, Nazi + jet plane) to get that crystal destroyed so that there would be no way to fix the minor changes done in the meantime. It's a late episode — there's plenty of time to act on that tendency of the Six to break magical artifacts, especially ones that can be used as portals, even if San Dimas Time was in effect.

These minor changes would have the same general purpose as the major one. While Venger would likely get a kick out of wiping out America, his main priority is those pesky kids with the weapons. It would be much more fun for one or more of them to go home and then find there wasn't a home to go to.

The kids have lost their souls to DM.
A natural extension to "The Realm Is Hell."

By accepting and using the weapons, the Six are beholden to DM. That they probably couldn't have escaped Tiamat without at least some of those weapons doesn't help.

Presto has made a Deal with His Hat.
Since 99% of his magic relies on it alone.

You think it works bad for him now? It would've been even more recalcitrant if he hadn't made the deal, and he isn't dextrous enough for normal creative spellcasting. At least as things stand, the Hat has Mundane Utility as often as not; and at least as it stands, it rarely is a complete dud.

Eric really does have a little brother Michael

Eric used to have a little brother Michael
It was before the others knew Eric. Eric was present when Michael died, and is too humiliated or ashamed of the circumstances for his brother to be one of his topics of conversation. It was an unnatural, violent death.

This is, naturally, a Fan Fic theory.

Hank is from a broken home
  • I disagree with this one. I think Hank came from a good home, he's the archetypal "Boy Scout" type who is brave yet compassionate, and puts the needs of others before his own. He would have far more angst, as well as trust and temper issues if he was from a broken home.

Allowing Eric to carry the Shield is violating one or more laws of magic

The Weapons of Power are supposed to be carried by those pure in heart. But, for various reasons, and especially early on, he's rarely been better than an Anti-Hero as far as his behavior is concerned.

Nevertheless, the Shield still works for him. True, he didn't keep it at the factory setting, but it works efficiently most of the time.

Therefore, an exemption must have been made for him. Not all from Earth get Weapons of Power — Terri brought her necklace with her.

Perhaps it was Because Destiny Says So — that might be canon. Perhaps the rest of the gang talked DM into it, directly or accidentally....

It is left as an exercise for the Wild Mass Guesser whether the Shield would have to be retrofitted by someone other than him.

Presto carrying the Hat violates one or more laws of magic
On theory that the magic that gave the weapons traveled in a straight line, and that Presto was not the original target. Since the original target was p0robably Eric if it wasn't Presto, this was allowed to stand.

Hank's Bow is using his spirit for ammo
Because ammo for bows is normally isn't built into the weapon, and because he can practically think his energy bolts into existence.

He can think them out of existence — that is, make them disappear without firing them; presumably they go back into the spiritual quiver then.

This would explain why Hank appears to have some slight character disintegration over the course of the series: the very purity of heart that granted him this weapon is what he must sacrifice to use it, and he doesn't always retrieve his arrows. If he were not so pure when he started out, things would have gone much worse by the end of season 2.

At the time of "The Dragon's Graveyard," Hank is almost as bad as Venger.

Because the decision to shoot the restraints instead of Venger came almost at the last minute.

Also, Hank was having something of a perverse streak, for him, around that time. He had betrayed his own heart during "The Traitor," three episodes prior. He would try to abdicate responsibility for Eric's continued existence and try to kill Venger again around "The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn."

It was a depressing time to be DM.

At the time of "The Dragon's Graveyard," Presto is as bad as Venger.
This was hidden by incompetence, natch.

Presto restrained Venger. He did it in such a way that, if Hank had done nothing, Venger would have died. So if killing Venger makes you as bad as Venger, Presto would be there.

He had also walked out on his soulmate not long before. Yes, Status Quo Is God, but ouch!

Eric often tries to get humiliated.
Why, you may ask, when he seems to hate or fear humiliation? Simple: feeling fear and anger is better than feeling nothing when trapped in a crazy world.

Those rare occasions when he has been most calm (as opposed to happy) are ones where he has appeared to abandon his survival instinct. The Shield needs that instinct to function. It clearly does not work on conscious will alone — magic energy works too fast. And it won't work on automatic unless he feels in danger — else, there wouldn't have been shapeshifting incidents.

If he has a secret altruistic instinct, then — well, he's not going to be happy in this crazy world under any normal circumstance, especially if he might have depression. He might as well keep everyone else's negative emotions aimed at him when the forces of Evil aren't active.

This would definitely have been Wild Mass Guessing during the original run of the series. There are signs that some Big Name Fans of this millenium believe variations on it.

Eric is secretly a Bogbeast.

Okay. At the end of "Beauty and the Bogbeast," Eric changes back into human form. The accepted explanation then is that The Realm is what Eric hates most.

Later that year, at the end of "The Box," he returns to the Realm more-or-less voluntarily (and almost misses the connection). There are several plausible reasons for this (which probably will be added to this list later), but let's throw this one in anyway...

Eric was restored to human form with a magic necklace after he decided he could not stay on earth as a bogbeast. This item was shown to be used by one other creature — to make an illusionary form. (You think Kawamauga wanted to change back?)

If that change was an illusion, then Eric missed his window for a true change back — DM made it clear there was a short deadline. Still, the nice thing about personal illusions is that you can hide what is causing the personal illusion if you like. We never see that necklace again, and neither does anyone else; Eric is passing for human.

Some kinds of magic lasted longer than others on Earth in "The Box." The Weapons stopped working promptly, but Venger's spells still worked fine. Hank decided to return to the Realm because he was, um, concerned that Venger's magic would never wear off at all; Diana, Sheila, Bobby, and Presto were supporting their leader. We will presume that, for Eric, at least one of the illusion necklace or the biology hidden under it fell somewhere in between. We will also presume that he realized this about the same way Wile E. Coyote realizes he's standing on mid-air. Eric was not trying to rejoin his friends simply because he gave into The Power of Friendship, which was both generally assumed and nobler. Bogbeasts, like unicorns, do not belong to this world. Either Eric's vanity or his survival overruled his staying "home."

This also explains why Eric as DM made it clear that he would not be taking that portal he created and why he couldn't give a reason the others accepted. He was unable to let knowledge be his Shield (book-burning doesn't count); he meant to die with this secret, and do it in the Realm so no one back home would learn it from the body.

Sheila killed Venger for real.

At the end of "Citadel of Shadow," Sheila throws the Ring of the Heart and the Ring of the Mind at Venger. He disappears — and is never seen again.

Note: this necessarily means "Requiem" doesn't happen.

Eric is secretly a Phantom Stalker.
In this case, it would probably be a secret from him as well.

These beings were seen in "The Garden of Zinn." They are "hard shadow" that can convincingly shapeshift. And they are nigh-indestructible.

Eric places himself under the custody of Queen Zinn during this episode. He does not want to keep traveling. Queen Zinn is capable of creating and/or summoning these beings.

Why make a copy of Eric as Cavalier? Two reasons:

  • Someone realizes that, if the others survive the Phantom Stalker attack, the gang might go back to rescue him, even if Sir Lawrence doesn't recover his humanity. (Yes, this is Wild Mass Guessing.) A Phantom Stalker is made and impressed so that Zinn will still have the original when the copy becomes the Cavalier.
  • The original got lost or secretly executed while trying to hide from the responsibilities of kingship. Zinn does not want to lose face, and so makes a copy from the spirit traces in the remnants of the original. Most of the impressing happens after the gang "recovers" him.

This is not an Evil Twin in the usual sense, so a Phantom!Eric could still be using the real Shield. Or it could be a Phantom Shield.

The Bow lost its purity when Hank lost his
He betrayed his own heart during "The Traitor." If the Bow had remained pure, he would not have been able to use his bow between then and his, um, change of mind.

Venger is a Tiefling.
Makes sense. Horns, teeth, eyes. And it is canon in the Dungeons & Dragons lore.

That is why DM can say Venger was his mistake. Remember, folks, when sleeping with a succubus, use a condom!

Eric is already Ret-Gone in his original homeworld.

The event that drives Eric to leave Earth again st the end of "The Box" is Venger threatening to destroy everything he has there. A couple of years later, we learn that Venger had the means to do this in the form of the Crystal of Chronos. And Venger is usually a villain of his word.

Eric still exists in the Realm, and will continue as long as he stays there. He has been aware of the situation since his stint as DM.

This likely took the old copies of Presto and Diana as well. Presto doesn't know. Diana learned while she was channeling Starfall.

If Kosar had been killed outright instead of wounded, then the others would have taken that portal Diana made.
She was Hank's right-hand gal, after all. They rarely worried about her, and she rarely gave them reason to.

Then they would wonder why she didn't follow them.

The party changes items periodically.

In the comic Forgotten Realms: The Grand Tour, the party appears to have different totems when they are adults than what they have in the series. The Animated Series Handbook also gives different names for the totems with different abilities than in the series. It is likely, throughout their adventures, the party has been changing equipment just as a game character would throughout multiple adventures. Besides, who wants to wear the same clothes for so many years.

The Realm is a realm in The Realms.
The Realm is a secluded, out of the way place on Faerûn, known as a valley that was attacked and threatened by Tiamat. Few know of how a group of heroes appeared from nowhere and had a series of adventures, some not recorded at all, thus, they faded into obscurity, until being acknowledged by historians in Baldur's Gate II.

The Realm is its own setting.
The Realm refers specifically to the animated series setting and is not on the same planet as the Forgotten Realms, but it may be accessed via dimension travel.

The heroes survived their battle with Tiamat.
While Baldur's Gate II would suggest the heroes were eaten by Tiamat, the description says they were presumably eaten, casting their fate unto doubt and speculation rather than fact. It is possible they survived, and then died of old age due to the excessively lengthy timeline.

The Dungeon Master is part of the same roleplaying group from Earth.
The heroes are roleplaying buddies from Earth and are familiar with the tabletop game. They have been transported to The Realm and are having adventures as heroes in that world. The Dungeon Master was part of the same group of friends, but could not appear as a an all powerful abstract concept, and was instead given the opportunity to appear as a powerful character.

Eric's true name? Eric Mantle
I think that Eric is actually from Riverdale. He's the son of Reggie Mantle and Veronica Lodge from the Archie comics.Consider: 1. Eric looks a lot like Reggie. 2. Eric comes from a very wealthy family. 3. Eric has intimated a few times that his father is a jerk who is never there for him. Reggie is incredibly self-centered and inconsiderate to the needs of others, and so is Veronica (to a much lesser degree, though). How Eric carries on is very reminiscent of how Reggie would act in all incarnations of Archie.Finally, the ages would fit. If Reggie was (give or take) 17 in 1960, that would make him 30 in 1973, which would be right about the time Eric would be born.

Presto's true name
This is a theory I read somewhere but I can't find backed up in any canon sources. Presto's real name is Albert Preston. His penchant for magic tricks got him the nickname "Presto Preston," which eventually became Presto.


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