First published: September, 1988. First posted online: June 02, 2005.

Took some digging, but lookee what we found: more lost episodes!

After being “assigned” Dark Natasha as a foe, we were going to have our heroes look for a powerful NPC to drag along and cover their butts. After one strip of passing over various losers (not shown here… maybe we’ll save it for some voting incentive or whatever…) Blag made his “connection” above.

But this babe was even MORE THAN more than what she seemed to be…

Rejected for late 1988:

Yamara - Rejected for Late 1988

Click for larger view

Yamara - Rejected for Late 1988

Click for larger view

Our guess is they didn’t care for such a dismissal of mightiness, or the wonder of adventuring. Not that that would ultimately stop us.

But really, someone that smart and wise just wouldn’t go off and become an underground wrestler. Someone that charismatic doesn’t hie to the wilderness to chop orcs. Someone with all 18s has “venture capitalist” written all over them.

Of course, these were the days of 1st Edition AD&D, when min/maxing your initial die rolls could just be a matter of patience. Still, when it came to Human Strength maximization, the “exceptional strength” business was weirder than having Armor Class run in reverse. Chris recalls his high school group, when one of his fellow players rolled a natural 18/00. The DM notarized it as witness– seriously, it was that important– and the player named the character Carcharodon Megalodon

How did this aberration even get in the rules? One can’t help but see the argument, sometime back in the early seventies, somewhere in the farmlands of Wisconsin:

–My big guy has the bigger bigness!
–Ohhh, no! My barbarian is the bigger big! By a big factor of– (grabs and rolls d100) 79!!!
–What are you doing, man? Our characters’ Strengths are tied at 18–
–ROLLING FOR BIGNESS. (Slams d100 in front of opponent.)
–What the–?

I mean, would this argument spring up over quicker quickness or smarter smartness? Prettier prettiness? No, it doesn’t take Ken Burns to reconstruct this testosterated nonsense. (See also here.)

And what was the deal with limiting women to 18/50? This is fantasy, little boy, let her rip. It’s not like Polymer City is devoid of followers.


Um… weren’t you starting the whole “Dark Natasha” storyline? I seem to recall that runs for a few strips in the book.

The strips in the book are not precisely in the order in which they were first published (though they’re pretty close.)

As originally written (see above), Ultima was hiring them to fight evil as a tax write-off. Since these were rejected, we switched to different fare to please Lake Geneva. We returned to Nattie in the February 1989 installment, which will debut here, June 20.