[an error occurred while processing this directive]

1/3. A very good point. Still, it’d be nice if the overworld actually showed all the neat little buildings and structures, instead of just the atypical fields and small town marker. Just because you can’t enter every structure doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to see them.

Unfortunately, regardless of how many weeks it took to get place to place in Skies of Arcadia, it still doesn’t justify the inane, every few steps, random battles. >_<

2. I played an amateur RPG where if you stole from the house, the family inside would attack you, and if you killed them, when you left the house you were set upon by the police, who threw you jail. Hooray!

4. I’d personally love to defend a town from an army. And you have to remember, the only RedWall book that had a decent siege was the original. The rest of the books focused much more on the characters and various quests over the large scale fighting.

 Dress Dress Monster!

It's been a while, long-eared psychopath!

OK, putting together what was said over the last couple of days, I've coalesced this idea for a game, brace yourselves!

1. You play a strange, troll-like monster with below-average intelligence, but with a real sense of fashion. His goal in life is to raid towns and steal townspeople's clothes for his own perverted wardrobe (think Lock from FF6... I'm surprised no one commented on this yesterday!)

2. You wander around town, with the ability to smash various objects (inanimate and animate alike) in an attempt to scare the pants off villagers ... literally. When you meet resistance, you have the choice to run away BEFORE a fight is actually started, or to beat them up and steal ALL their possessions.

3. To deter you from being TOO greedy, whacking off hundreds of townspeople at once, you must return to a set place (a cave, arcane lab, etc.) to safely hide your goods. When you return to the same town, the townspeople start building better defenses, causing you to try to get stronger (or smarter, coming up with ways to sneak past heavily armed guards, and the like). Or, of course, you could just go elsewhere, it's up to you.

4. You can use your swag to try to persuade other monsters to assist you in raids. This adds the element of diplomacy, as you have to negotiate with stronger beings, lest they impale you themselves. Maybe you can haggle with other towns, as well ... for example, they give you 1000 gold, gil whatever each month in exchange for your posse's "protection".

5. Whenever a whiny-ass "hero" comes along in the later levels, you can have some fun. Do you destroy him outright with the arsenal you've accumulated, send a Drow assassin (read: dark elf), or bring him to your cave and torture him until he reveals the location of his other "party members", who carry the Scrolls of Insanely Powerful Destructive Magics. Methods of torture would, naturally, vary pending your creature type.

I'm sorry if this letter is too long, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I had writing it. Oh, and what do you think of the new Harry Potter book? I got it the day it was released (early morning) and finished it the next day. 850 pages of insane magic goodness! I won't spoil it for you, though. Enjoy!



Thanks for writing in, you stupid incestuous, light blue cross between a snail and a fox.

1. Well, I have to admit, the idea of a fashion oriented RPG didn’t have me interested, but you seem to have thought out your idea quite throughly. If you ever decide to make it, you’d have plenty of support from me!

2. Yes, Harry Potter 5 was a most excellent book. It was definitely worth the wait. And hey, not to ruin it for anyone, but in a recent interview a reporter asked if Rowling would write about Harry when he’s an adult, and she said they’d have to wait and see if Harry lived. Ooo, I hate/love you Rowling! >_<

 Ever read The Lottery?

2) In the medieval/alternate universe world the townspeople are required to pay something called the "Hero Tax." It's easy enough. Just leave 50 gold pieces in a barrel/bookcase/toilet and the hero will invariably find it on his worldwide looting spree. The hero will take the money and leave without touching anything else. (This explains why you can take money and healing potions but never any of the food cooking on the stove, or the peoples' clothes, or books off the bookshelf.)

3) People who don't pay the hero tax are brutally executed along with their family and pets, and their house is burnt down.


That’s...amazingly creepy, Tene. I’m not sure whether I should shake your hand for coming up with such a brilliant scheme, or ban your email address so nightmares of poor little NPCs burning alive won’t haunt my dreams anymore. Either way, consider yourself clever enough to get into game design.

 Well, that explains why pornography gets me so hungry.

I'm going to pretend this is the correct protocol for sending a letter, because I have no idea what I'm doing.

The answer of what's wrong with RPG towns is very simple. The town villagers are zombies. They have been ressurected as undead abberations to live out mockeries of their former existance by some evil government agency with a twisted sense of humor. Your party members don't notice this because, frankly, they're not very smart.

Don't you see? This explains everything! That's why they repeat the same sentence over and over when you talk to them. That's why they wander around town in the same set path. That's why they never move out of the way when they block you. It also explains all the questions:

1. No Economy- They're zombies. They don't eat. They have no need for an economy. Plus, they're already ripping you off big time over those weapons they "sell."

2. Way too Friendly- The zombies, with their rotting brains, don't really care if you take all their stuff. They barely realize you're there.

3. Ghost town- Well, zombies don't last forever. Once too many limbs have rotted off (allowing even your clueless party to notice something's up) the government men haul them off to the meat packing factory.

4. Quiet. Too Quiet.- Like I said, they have no brains. Even if they did, their eyes have probably rotted out by now.

The exception to the rule are the people left behind to prevent this little secret from leaking out. You can tell who they are because they can manage diologue. Watch out for them, because they often send you on stupid, annoying missions that end up having no point.


I have a sudden, horrible urge to give up my goals of becoming a game designer in favor of becoming mayor of a small town in an RPG. Granted, getting a degree in politics would turn me into a brain eating zombie anyway...

The only thing your idea doesn’t cover is when you get a new party member. Assuming they know the horrible secret of their town, then the only real solution is for the hero to travel from town to town, slaughtering everyone in an attempt to win the world back from the undead.

...actually, that isn’t such a bad idea! Mwhahaha!

 Armen the imaginary knight.

Way too Friendly - The people are oppressed and unarmed. With the judicial system being practically non-existent in most RPGs it's unlikely that they would receive compensation if they sued you, and it's also likely that the heroes would hack them to bits, so they figure that it's easier just to let you take the stuff.

Ghost town - A lot of the people are eaten by monsters/killed by heroes/etc.

Tell Armen the Knight I'm sorry, but we just can't have a bunch of naked corpses hanging around. >_<

I actually have been working on an RPG with oppressed peasants and monsters. (How's that for ironic?)

Since you read 600-some pages of Harry Potter 5, I'm going to assume you like it. I stayed up all night and finished it in less than 24 hours. (Now if only we had Book 6 and 7 . . .)


P. S. - Another great comic from the Queen of the Dorks!

Always good to hear from girls getting into game design, and even better when they are fully in favor of oppressing the downtrodden under sexy high heeled dominatrix boots.

...I can stop anytime I want. Really.

It’s amazing how townsfolk can be so happy and talkative when they’re being slaughtered by heroes and monsters, with no real way to defend themselves. You’d think some of the heroes would hang around awhile and defend their home towns. From such horrible problems.

 The power of Christ commands you to STAY DEAD!


How about towns that provide places where a person can be brought back to life? What's up with that? The town population is woefully small, which might indicate that people have died, yet nobody takes advantage of the nifty old priest who resurrects! The fathers only serve the heroes, who are obviously not real human beings because they can be brought back to life. I don't know too many townpeeps who get revived, but just about every single hero or main character in an an RPG does. The heroes must have quite interesting DNA! "Alas for General Leo, he's gone and there's nothing we can do. We'll even ignore that nice inn building over there which might save him." Towns always amuse.

I won't get started on the lack of toilets or even outhouses. Even though they can't be brought back to life, townsfolk must have funky DNA which prevents them from answering nature's telephone.

Mr. Craktroop

Well, quite simply, in most games no one in your party dies, they simply “faint” “pass out” or have an “aneurism”. Going to the church merely results in the priest waving smelling salts under your heroes nose, or, in extreme cases, a switch kick to the crotch. This usually wakes them up from death’s door, and quick night at the inn gets them ready for another day of kicking ass and not taking names.

...and people in RPGs do heed nature’s call, they just do it off-screen.

 Gold? Zeny? Pssh. How about flawless Rubies?

"Not like anyone would notice. God bless the space time physics of quantum! Now lets all get rich off of rupees that don’t technically exist!"

Thought I might clear something up here. Whenever you make a deposit, the banker stamps the amount of rupees you have on your forehead (hence the stamping sound and the excessive touching of Link's forehead). So technically, the rupees do exist...they're just not yours. Of course, that'll probably result in a devastating crash of the bank and the complete destabilization of Clock Town's economy, but hey, that still beats being obliterated by a falling moon...

Lord of Chaos

How can an economy be destabilized if you can make a fortune cutting down the same little patch of grass again and again? I’d kill to be able to wander around with a sword, slashing at grass and running into trees to make my fortune. Finding explosives under rocks, magic powder off of dead hobos...ah, the adventurer’s life, that’s the life for me!

 Then, than, I’m the guy who keeps screwing it up.

Ok, I agree that it's silly the way everybody in a town will let you into their homes & rummage around. However, it's fun, & for me, that's what playing RPGs is all about. I'd been thinking recently of the fact that a lot of the newer RPGs I've played don't let you ransack people's homes. I miss it. I get a kick out of going through people's stuff. If there are any goodies to be had in someone's home, it's in an obvious treasure chest! That's not half as much fun as poking through their drawers (pun intended).

As for your 4th point, refer to your 1st point. These towns are poor. Therefore, instead of hiring you to go forth & get their mystical ruby at an expensive pay rate, they let you do it on your own. After which, if you're lucky, you'll get a halfway decent item. After you leave the town they call Llloyds of London, sell the mystical ruby & make a bundle. This answers your first question. If they do this every time heroes pass through, they can keep their economy afloat!

Just a pet peeve of mine - when stating a preference of one thing over another, the word is than not then (i.e. - I would rather be independently wealthy than work). Then is used when one thing follows another (If I were indenpendently wealthy then I wouldn't have to work).

Just a quick note to Lakidaa - I love nuklearpower's 8 bit theater too! I'm a girl too! Wooooooooo-hoooooooo. Sorry, I've just been reading the part where the Light Warriors are in Elfland prison!


1. Yes, but your fun deprived from rummaging through people’s houses and stealing whatever catches your eye is, and how do I put this gently, WRONG. You’re suppose to be a band of heroes, out to save the world, not petty thieves! I’d certainly have less of a qualm if the party of do-gooders could send in their thief to do the dirty work, but having the whole party come in and rob old ladies blind...well, there just has to be a better way.

2. ...okay, now I don’t feel so bad for rifling through their houses.

3. Yes, I know. I’m trying to get better, really I am.

4. Yes, 8-Bit Theater rocks. However, am I the only person who severely dislikes the animated version some guy does for Newsgrounds? I mean, it’s not really that funny, the voice acting is PAINFUL, and he keeps asking for my money. For animating someone elses work. He wants my money. Because he has a rudimentary knowledge of flash. >_<

It had to be said.

1. The towns in RPGs support themselves by selling advertising space. Randomly when the hero enters a house or shop, it stops gameplay to show a full-page ad for a new Arc the Lad game, and the hero has to click "skip this ad" at the top of the page to proceed to the actual building they just entered.

2. The reason people don't do anything about the heroes invading their homes is that they're all too worn out from putting up with full-page pop-up ads that you actually have to click a link in to get rid of.

3. I think that the reason most towns only have about a dozen citizens is that all the others died of exaustion from clicking to proceed past giant full-page ads.

4. The town's elder tries and tries to get to the heroes, but he keeps getting interrupted by humongous annoying full-page ads that detain him from reaching the heroes before they leave town.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm pissed off about the new ads at RPGamer.

Yes yes, very funny. Here’s the deal. We need to pay for you and your millions of friends to read RPGamer. I rather like the new ads, but that’s because I happen to like ads for RPGs since there are so few of them. (Maybe it was just the Kingdom Hearts one, gah, J-Pop, burrowing into my brain!) The ads will be gone soon enough, and so until we open up a store or start sneaking into your house and stealing your stuff, we’re going to need to keep putting up the occasional ad. Now here, let me sooth you with a song from the world’s smallest violin.

 Okay, it makes sense. Not logical sense, but certainly tourist sense.

Good morning! I'm here to answer question one. Why do RPG towns survive economically? The answer is tourism. Most of them have some kind of gimmick (mountain city, underwater city, hyper technological city), or at least pretty scenery. When you have pretty scenery, you have lots of people flocking to you to see it. These people really only need three things: a place to stay (inn), a place to buy souveniers (item shop), and people to take them on tours (the townsfolk).

The only hole in this reasoning is that you don't see any tourists while you're visiting the town. This is, of course, because the game takes place during the off season.


Doesn’t really explain the armor shops though. If most towns are strictly for tourists, you’d think the armor shops would sell things leopard print bikinis and...wait...Secret of Mana has those. Nevermind.

Actually, a real souvenir town would be rather neat. I’d be interesting to buy my characters swimming outfits, little trinkets, and other neat little things that would be completely useless outside of the town.


hello I have a problem on my Final Fantasy 4 game I cant seem to get the imp summon is there any spesific way to get it? thank you for your time . . . . .goodbye

The only way to get the summon is to keep fighting more imps, it’s a rare random drop. Oh, and don’t give it to young Rydia...she won’t have it when you get her back.

See? I can SO be nice to morons!

Dear Andrew,
nine if the towns people mind that you loot there houses because the water's been laced with LSD. In fact that could explain most of the the other problems, like the no economy, it's just not a very leagal economy.

You need to lay off the LSD when you write me letters, bucko. Or at least read over them before you send. -_-;;

The Final Grumble:

There’s quite a back up of decent letters for towns, so new questions will have to wait. In the meantime, here’s a question for all of you that should hopefully get a smaller, or a least, nonprintable responses. Should I start only printing the 10 best letters, or try to fit in as many good letters as I can? The problem with doing more then ten is that it backs up the column rather badly, and the letters usually vary in quality from average to great. Well, until tomorrow...

Andrew "brains...?" DuffClaire Belton

Aria of Sorrow, you rock me.

Old Issues
  • Memories.
   Got a question? Send it to Andrew!   
New Issues
  • The daily grind.