Wednesday, December 8, 2010


M. John Harrison is allowed to DM or play.

JRR Tolkien is allowed to play, but not DM, ever. Unless it's a module.

Fritz Leiber is allowed to play or DM, but he's not allowed to sit near any girl I'm sleeping with.

Michael Moorcock is allowed to play, but may only DM if he agrees not to re-use any NPCs.

China Mieville is allowed to DM but not play, and he can only DM if he doesn't do any of his own dialogue. He may write modules.

J.L. Borges is allowed to DM or play, but is reminded that monsters with infinite hit points are not allowed.

Patton Oswalt is allowed to DM or play.

Neil Gaiman is allowed to DM only if he can manage to get all the way through a session without having a monster tell you something that his therapist once told him. Which I'm guessing he's not. Plus see also Fritz Leiber, above.

Ozzy is allowed to play, but only if he agrees to DM at least once.

Thomas Pynchon is allowed to DM or play, but not tell jokes after the first drink.

The authors of the Elder & Younger Eddas are allowed to DM or play, but if they DM, they are only allowed a maximum of 30 NPCs at a time.

If Dorothy Parker is DMing, she will be held to a 2-drink maximum. If she's playing, she will be held to a 2-drink minimum.

All women are allowed to DM or play, except: Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton & Lady Gaga.

Joan Rivers must play, but is not allowed to DM unless Oscar Wilde helps.

James Cameron is not allowed to play, but may be allowed to DM if we get to kill him.

Walt Simonson from 1983 is allowed to play or DM, if he wants to play now, we'll talk.

Franz Kafka is allowed to play, and will be allowed to DM if everyone at the table has had at least one drink.

Oscar Wilde is allowed to DM or play. He must play if Jack Vance or Michael Moorcock are playing.

Anyone who is both involved in the field of animation & Japanese may play or DM, but may not include romantic subplots or philosophical quandaries.

If Franz Kafka DMs & Oscar Wilde plays then...ok my mind was just blown, moving on....

If David Foster Wallace plays, no rules-lawyering & if he DMs, he is reminded that no-one cares about his goddamn potion-miscibility chart.

The authors of the Bible are allowed to play or DM, but are reminded that alignment restrictions will be enforced.

HG Wells is allowed to DM but not play.

Edward Gorey is allowed to play, but is only allowed to DM one-shots.

Jack Vance is allowed to play or DM.


BigFella said...

Okay, that rocked.

Steve Lawson said...

I loved the whole thing, but it was at the David Foster Wallce entry where I LOLed.

Bighara said...

HP Lovecraft is allowed to DM, but only if he refrains from describing any structure as "gambrel-roofed."

Robert E Howard is allowed to play or DM, but is held to a two drink maximum.

Edgar Rice Burroughs can play if he promises to DM at least once.

boat9899 said...

What about CS Lewis? Does he fall under the same rules as the Bible writers? Good call on Moorcock.

darren e said...

Hunter S Thomson is allowed to play as long as he is not armed. He may DM if all the players are on mescaline.

Simon Forster said...

I'll say that HP Lovecraft is allowed to play but not DM, as he'll kill us all or make us all go mad!

Zak Sabbath said...


Yes. Same for Steadman.



Also: H.P. Lovecraft may not use any evil humanoid races.

Zak Sabbath said...

Bukowski is allowed to play or DM, but only if he admits it.

Chris Lowrance said...

Francis Bacon can play or DM at my table, but preference is for the later.

Frida Kahlo may play or DM, but if she plays it must be a wood elf and she must reinterpret wood elves as she sees fit.

Her husband can tag along, but if he DMs he's restricted to 30 NPCs. Unless it's a mass combat session.

Munch may play or DM, upon agreeing to keep any sketches, doodles or other game art in a fire-proof safe far away from Nazis.

Hieronymus Bosch must DM. He can't play, because he'll be too busy being forced to DM. At gunpoint if I must.

Dali can design a module, but isn't allowed to run it or play. Or sit in the same room while others attempt to play.

And to break theme:

Terry Prachett can DM a one-shot, or coincidentally play but only if all other players take a shot.

Chris Lowrance said...

Okay, the Bukowski one wins.

Kyle said...

R.A. Salvatore is allowed to play, and to DM only if the Sandbox does not reference forgotten realms, and the campaign becomes the basis for a new set of novels.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Chris Lowrance

Frida Kahlo can only play if she can manage to be interesting even if nobody knows her character's backstory. Which she can't.

Allen Varney said...

Alan Moore is allowed to play or DM, but smoking isn't allowed at the table.

Zak Sabbath said...

Grant Morrison is allowed to play or DM, but not give interviews about it.

Zak Sabbath said...

Joss Whedon is allowed to play or DM, but only if I'm not there and never have to hear about it.

Blue Gargantua said...

Mark Twain is allowed to play. If the game is Baron Munchhausen, he is assumed to have won and everyone else is playing for second place. He may also DM and is required to DM if the game is In Nomine, Nobilis, or Dogs in the Vineyard (though he may use whatever ruleset suits him).

Chris Lowrance said...


She can still play at my table, but on further thought she can't DM unless she can produce an NPC other than herself.

Steve Johnson said...

Robert Anton Wilson is allowed to play, but can only GM if he can do it without including James Joyce as an NPC.

Kerry Thornley is allowed to play, but he must play a cleric. He is also allowed to GM, but only if everybody's stoned.

Welcome to Dungeon! said...

Mervyn Peake only gets to play if he agrees to alternate weekends as DM.

Thomas Ligotti may DM, but the players must remember that they agreed to it.

Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides may play or DM, but if they deign to DM, no canon challenges by players will be brooked.

Steve Johnson said...

William S. Burroughs can play, but can only GM if the game is Over the Edge.

Kurt Vonnegut can play or GM, but if he GMs he must include Kilgore Trout as an NPC.

Garth Ennis is allowed to play or GM, but not if there's anyone under 16 in the game.

Zak Sabbath said...

Roky Erickson may DM, but will only be allowed to play if he agrees not to try to break the game.


Ancient Greeks can only play if they buy different clothes first. Only John Belushi is allowed to wear a toga. However, he is not allowed to bring his brother.

Zak Sabbath said...

Burroughs can play or GM any game. He cannot, however, be allowed to buy the snacks.

ze bulette said...

Joseph Heller may DM, but only if he promises not to railroad.

ravenconspiracy said...

@ Zak

Love the Frida Kahlo caveat - same thing should apply to more artists and authors!

Steve Johnson said...

Harry Harrison can play or GM, but must speak English (No Esperanto allowed).

I would also add that if Alan Moore GMs, he must (or is not allowed to, depending on the gaming group) reveal about halfway through that the entire campaign is a cleverly disguised mystical initiation.

Dan Brown is only allowed to play if it will prevent him from writing another awful novel. Under no circumstances should he be allowed to GM.

Anonymous said...

Joss Whedon can play or DM, but must throw a dollar in pizza fund jar every time a pop culture reference is made.

Jim Butcher can play, but cannot DM unless there are no allied NPCs in the module.

Wil Wheaton can DM, but can't play in my games because that's too much pressure.

JK Rowling can play if all characters are over 18, but can only DM after she reads the entire Evil Overlord list.

Charlaine Harris must use a published module or has to let someone else rewrite the whole thing from the ground up.

Robert Jordan can only DM if he keeps to a strict time limit for each session.

BTW Zak, if you get the show up and running again, try calling Patton Oswalt. I can't believe he wouldn't say yes. I got to hang out with him a few years back and out of the three or four hours we and some other people sat around chatting, we spent an hour of that talking about D&D.

squidman said...

Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre can play, but not in the same game and only if they agree not to whine. Albert Camus can't sit next to any girl I'm sleeping with.

Bertrand Russel is allowed to play, he can only DM if he promises to fix the game mechanics.

Immanuel Kant must never DM. He can play if he admits that a priori synthetic statements are possible.

Aristotle can play and DM, but only if promises to write the next Monster Manual.

Plato can't play. He can DM if he promises not to run Caves of Chaos.

squidman said...


Walt Whitman may play if agrees not to play a druid.

thekelvingreen said...

Alan Moore can GM if he promises to keep his temper and finish the campaign.

James Cameron can play, and can GM if he promises to run only land-based adventures.

Clint Eastwood can play or GM whatever the damn hell he likes.

Plato can't GM, but he can play if he leaves Socrates at home and rolls up a new character.

Zak Sabbath said...


There goes my embargo on mentioning everyone you just included in that comment anywhere near my blog.

Adamantyr said...

Yeah, good call on keeping Leiber away from your girl... :)

Clark Ashton Smith can play or DM. But if he's running the adventure, a plot is mandatory.

Robin Williams can play or DM, but a break is required every ten minutes so no one dies from laughing.

The Cramp said...

Roky? Motherfucker was in a Jail, in Texas, on Acid, in the 60's... If he wants to play a two headed fire-zombie with an atom brain and a magic bloody hammer that drives men insane, well I'm fine with that.

Andrew Doull said...

Best post on the Internet this year.

Unknown said...

Stephen King can DM and play as long as he doesn't keep playing Roland all the time

Frank Herbert can play but not DM

Samuel Beckett is not allowed to DM under any circumstances!

irve said...

Chuck norris can chuck away on this anti-joke.

Adam Dickstein said...

Jim Henson can play or DM, as long as he does all the NPC voices. We prefer he run Ars Magica or Changeling: The Dreaming.

Steve Johnson said...

Stan Lee can play, but only for 5 minutes per session. He can also GM, but only if agrees up front not to take sole credit for things he did not create (or that Jack Kirby/other players co-created). This includes, but is not limited to: the characters, the game setting, the game system, the role-playing hobby, the internal combustion engine, Afro-Sheen, the U.S. Constitution, and the firmament.

Adam Thornton said...

Addendum: If John Harrison is DMing, he must remember that the save versus fear when we see the goddamn horse's skull with pomegranates for eyes is at -2 EACH SUBSEQUENT TIME IT APPEARS. CUMULATIVE.

liza said...

Anyone can post a comment here but only if he's far beyond the two-drinks minimun, (it's 3pm here in Spain and i'm drunk as hell, so this post is awesome).

Taellosse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taellosse said...

Steven Brust can play or GM, but only if he agrees to keep all his sentences under 25 words.

Terry Goodkind is allowed to play, but may only GM if he agrees not to include a GM PC, and he is only allowed to bring up objectivism, or rail against communism, once per campaign. He may not mention these at all as a player.

@boat9899: No, CS Lewis has to abide by the same rules as Tolkien, obviously.

I think Joss Whedon should be allowed to GM as long as all the players agree in advance to all play heterosexuals of the same gender. Or, at minimum, they must solemnly swear not to allow any of their PCs to become romantically involved in any way with each other.

Malcadon said...

Dr. Seuss must always DM, and all players must be doped-up.

Gorge Lucas can Play or DM, but if DMing, he cant make any retroactive changes.

Christopher Paolini could play as long as the character seem original, but must never DM - EVER!

John Norman could play or DM as long as EVERYONE is comfortable with it, and must agrees to a "safe word".

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

C. S. Friedman can play or DM, but if she is DMing she must remember that almost nothing the characters do - up to and including suicide to fuel a spell - will change the way magic works. Unless, of course, the campaign is set on Erna.

Robert A. Heinlein may play if he will also DM. However the players must agree to allow him to stop DMing before he can play.

Ursula K. LeGuin is allowed to play or DM as long as she doesn't set the campaign on Gethen. See also the rules for Heinlein.

William Shakespeare can play or DM, but he must use standard English at least 75% of the time.

Ian Fleming may either play or DM, with the restriction that none of his characters or NPCs may use letters for their name, or be assigned numerical designations.

Juho said...

Christopher Lee is allowed to do anything. Anything. said...

those crazy ideas you come up with...

you habe blown me away so many times so far...

thx again

Delta said...

Strongly agree with much; disagree on Pynchon's jokery.

Jason Langlois said...

"Fritz Leiber is allowed to play or DM, but he's not allowed to sit near any girl I'm sleeping with."

This made me snort water out my nose. Well played.

Jeremy Murphy said...

Terry Goodkind is not allowed to play, not allowed to DM, and not allowed near my house, car, family or chickens.

Anonymous said...

Kierkegaard is allowed to play but not to DM; we don't have all day here.

Nietzsche is allowed to play if he stops trying to use made-up munchkiny classes like the "Ubermensch."

Schopehauer is allowed to play but may not DM anything but CoC.

Richard Dawkins is allowed to play or DM but be forewarned he'll mess up your cleric.

Heraclitus can DM but his house rules are too confusing to use.

Anonymous said...

William S. Burroughs is allowed to DM, but all modules and PC character sheets must be cut into four pieces and re-assembled randomly.

(also, see above, Over the Edge)

Menace 3 Society said...

William Shakespeare can play or DM but there's a 30-second time limit for NPC speeches.

Boccaccio can play, but if he DMs he must have enough pregen characters for all of his modules.

Marcel Marceau can play but under no circumstances will he be allowed to DM.

Niccolò Machiavelli can play unless the game is Vampire/WoD. He can DM unless the game is Paranoia.

Ingmar Bergmann can play or DM, but only if everyone has taken their medications. The same applies to Bertolt Brecht.

Akira Kurosawa can DM either if it's before 1965 or Toshiro Mifune is not present.

darren e said...

Friedrich Nietzsche can neither DM or play. And if he did, it wouldn't matter any way.

Anonymous said...

Jesus can play, but he is warned that whoring for roleplaying XP should not involve so much forced inter-party conflict.

Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank can't DM. Ever.

Carl Saget can DM, because he's really great at world building.

Haruhi Suzumiya THINKS she's only allowed to play, but really she's somehow actually DMing in secret. Unfortunately.

Richard Nixon is not allowed to DM. He messes up the published modules with terribly thought out added plot twists.

Barack Obama is allowed to play, but can only DM if the whole game store and the extended families of the other players agree to let him. (No political statement intended.)

Anonymous said...

Hitler and Stalin can only play, never DM, and will be kicked out at the first sign of inter-party conflict.

Your mom can play or DM, if you know what I mean.

Randall Monroe can DM, if the players are fine with him using the same NPCs repeatedly.

Walt Disney can DM, but we all know that all he ever runs are random free modules.

Gilgamesh can play, but he should know that the DM will be a huge dick to him.

George Orwell can DM when he starts taking his anti-depressants.

masque said...

Zak, you and all of your commenters are goddamn comedic geniuses.