Knights of the Dinner TableThe eponymous gaming group. The Knights were first formed when the players were still young, and the charter has a long storied history. The original Gamemaster was Brian who at one point was running sessions for different sub-chapters of the group every night of the week (typically the same adventure but tweaked for each different group) until Brian suffered a nervous breakdown and handed the game over to Weird Pete. Eventually, Pete left and B.A. took over and after a couple of subsequent player rotations, the group ended up where it is today. The first comic strips are set shortly after Dave joins the group and Johnny Kizinski quits - so the first strips depict B.A., Bob, Dave and Brian. Sara joined up shortly afterward, giving the group the line-up which it has had through most of the comic's history.The Knights are a respected "name level" gaming group in Muncie and regularly compete in tournaments with the larger Muncie gaming community. Like most of the other groups, they are very passionate about their game and take it seriously, having among them some of the area's best players.
B.A. (Boris Alphonzo) FeltonThe current Gamemaster and host. B.A. is a timid individual who still lives with his mother and works as an assistant manager at a local Pizza chain. Nearly all his spare time is spent crafting the "perfect" adventure, which proves an act in futility early in the series run but got better when he grew a backbone and adapted to the habits of his players. While readers are quick to pick up on the players' tendency to derail the game with Hack And Slash, they're slow to notice that B.A. often encourages it. In his campaign, sometimes the old man begging for coins really is a 10th level monk able to summon an army of beggars. His most notorious NPCs are Red Gurdy Pickens, a rough and tumble antagonist who just won't die and whom B.A. likes to pull out on occasion to rattle the Knights, and Jonid Coincrawler, a trickster gnome with a track record of bilking the Knights out of their loot.
Bob HerzogDescribed in his character bios as the first "dues paying" member of the Knights, Bob is a hardcore dedicated hack and slash gamer known for his quick temper and relentless dedication to the game (and considering that gaming is already Serious Business in Muncie, that's saying something). While his in game Catch Phrase is "I waste 'em with my crossbow," his out-of-game motto is "the game must go on." Throughout the series, Bob has told every lie, shirked every responsibility and pulled every trick he can think of to escape any responsibilities and/or entanglements keeping him away from the game table. This has estranged him more than once from his father and cost him a respectable job as a claims adjuster. He currently works at Weird Pete's game shop, where he gets paid strictly in game product, which he barters with for some basic necessities (read: more game product), but it's his girlfriend Sheila Horowitz who holds down an actual paying job and pays their bills. He tends to prefer playing dwarven thieves wielding crossbows, his best-known being a family line all named Knuckles.
Brian VanHooseFormer Gamemaster turned player, Brian is a painfully shy recluse away from the gaming table. He lives partly on an inheritance from his uncle and partly on revenues from miniatures painting, PC repairs, eBay trading, and extreme frugality. At the table, he's a savant. He has near perfect memory of all rules and revisions to the game, and is a master of advanced gaming tactics. Brian is able to pull off brilliant maneuvers at the game table and is the single most likely player to turn B.A.'s adventures to his personal advantage (though the other Knights have gotten wise to it). Brian has shown signs at different times of being slightly unhinged, from having an imaginary girlfriend to doing his adventure prep with dolls. He usually plays Dwarven wizards from the Lotus clan, the most well known being nicknamed "Teflon Billy."
Sara FeltonAn accomplished roleplayer even before joining the Knights, Sara was invited to the table because she is B.A.'s cousin. This, and the fact that she's, well, a woman made her a hard sell at the Knights table. It didn't help that when they wanted to slaughter Orcs, she wanted to parley with them. After a lot of conflict in the early strips, Sara has grown to accept the group and they in turn accepted her.
Dave BozwellThe naive newcomer of the group though only the second newest member of the group behind Sara. Dave was brought in by Bob back in their college days and immediately took to playing fighters with the biggest swords he can get his hands on. Typically the Ditz, Dave has his moments of brilliance and the writers have explained that he's actually not that dumb, he's just really laid back. Dave's iconic character is a fighter named El Ravager with a Hackmaster +12 sword.
Black HandsOnce the Knights stopped being simple gamer stereotypes and started being actual characters, the KODT writers began to introduce other gamer groups to be able to explore funny gamer situations that just wouldn't happen at the Knights table. The first was the Black Hands.Another group to gain a lot of focus within the KODT strips to the point where each issue now usually features an ongoing strip with them and they've had their own miniseries. The group consists mostly of preestablished characters with everyone aside from Stevil getting at least a mention prior to the introduction of the Black Hands group. Their main distinctive feature is that they play together because nobody else will have them, so five difficult personalities get together each week and try to tolerate each other long enough to get through a game.
Victor "Nitro" FergusonAn unorthodox GM known for his edgy and weird gaming experiments. Nitro is a former drill sergeant and brings that mentality to the table. He's twice run a live action dungeon crawl in the steam tunnels beneath the local university and once trapped and imprisoned a group of gamers to run a wargame scenario, getting him banned from sanctioned play. He and Bob still have a bit of bad blood over the oft referenced incident where Bob threw salt in his eyes and hit him with a dinner tray (the man touched his dice.)
Weird Pete AshtonA partner with Gary Jackson during the transition of Hackmaster from wargame to rpg, Gary bought him out shortly before Hackmaster went to press and he used the money to open Weird Pete's Game Pit. The Black Hand's game takes place in his back room. Naturally, being a merchant in a struggling industry that is also his primary way of making friends, all his relationships are complicated by the financial matters surrounding the hobby. When behind the screen, he's a grouchy old school Killer GM.
Stevil Van HostleAlso known as "Bitter Stevil." Stevil is a prickly individual that unleashes pent up office frustrations at the game table. He has to commute from Indianapolis to gaming nights, leading to his frequent complaint "I can't believe I drove forty frickin' miles for THIS!" Newt has rubbed him the wrong way from day one, leading to an escalating vengeance war between them.
Gordo SheckberryA former chemist on permanent disability after getting in an accident at work. Gordo is plenty happy as it leaves him with lots of time to game. He's the most sensitive one in the group and typically the nicest, the problem is he loves playing female characters, particularly pixie fairies and roleplays them as enthusiastically as the others do with their characters which can creep the others out a bit.
Newt ForagerProbably the youngest of the series regular characters. Newt still lives at home and is in college. He was introduced as a temporary replacement for Bob, where he made his mark by killing the other player's characters in their sleep and looting their bodies to stock up for another campaign he really wanted to play in. Apparently, this type of behavior continued until the first Black Hands strip where he showed up desperate to finally be accepted into a group (the Black Hands being his last chance). Nitro decided to keep him because he liked how Newt rattled Stevil.
Hard 8The makers of most of the games played in the Muncie community, most notably Hackmaster. Hard 8 is loosely based on TSR, and when Hackmaster was first published in real life, all but the first foreword was written as though the Hard 8 characters were the ones writing it. Though regularly featured, the interactions between this set of characters and the Knights are infrequent and almost always indirect.
Gary JacksonThe analog for Gary Gygax (with the surname of Steve Jackson). Showed to be a gambler with a fly by the seat of his pants approach to running his company and publishing new game products. After his apparent death in a plane crash, he became a sort of larger than life legend, made still larger recently when it was revealed he's not dead. Currently he's using another company to buy out products being held and (he feels) ruined by his wife who has been running the company in trust for his son.
Jo Jo ZekeSecond in command who became the man to run the show on site after Jackson's death. Zeke, like Jackson cares passionately about Hackmaster and the work he puts into it. After Gary's death, he was shown being worn to the core by the demands of Heidi Jackson until he finally quit.
"Waco" Bob ForseyThe old man of the group. During Gary's tenure as head of the company, Bob got along largely by agreeing with everything Gary said. This may have been the reason he was the first to get fired when Heidi took over. Tuley quietly organized a campaign where the other employees took a pay cut to get him re-hired.
Pete "Skip" SkipowskiA college buddy of Gary Jackson's who became a game designer for Hard 8 when the company was formed.
Edmund FinleyA younger game designer for the company, his pet project was a game called "Abe, Babes and Roller Blades," described as a "sexy, zany, time-travelling romp through history and fashion."
Tuley PriswinkleFor a long time, Tuley was the company's unpaid customer service representative, under the impression that he was playtesting a virtual corporation computer game. He eventually became a regular employee and even sat in the boardroom for a while during Heidi's tenure.
Timmy JacksonThe son and heir of Gary Jackson. Gary used to let Timmy create material for the game in an egregious example of nepotism (the kid was eight, and it showed in his work). After Gary's death, Heidi sent him off to military school, where he discovered football and girls and decided roleplaying games were uncool.
Heidi JacksonGary's ex-wife and the runner of a successful paperback publishing company. Gary left Hard 8 to his son Timmy but the company is being held in trust till he turns 18 leaving Heidi to run the company as the trustee. She clearly has an axe to grind with her deceased ex but also is (presumably) trying to protect her son's legacy and make it profitable. Problem is, Hard 8 had always been a labor of love whereas Heidi expects the company to perform like hers does. This is pretty clearly a nod to Lorraine Williams (though not a direct parody) who was part of a business deal that took DnD from Gary Gygax and played a role in the failure of TSR. She also released a new edition of Hackmaster, the only details for which seemed to match up with 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons from real life.
Patty's PerpsThe third name level gaming group to gain continual focus in the strips. The group is known for its eclectic group of hardcases, people who mostly wouldn't fit in with normal society or even other gamers in many places. Like the other gamemasters, Patti has her quirks which include a swear jar, a time out corner, and the use of M & M's to track experience points, all of which come from Patti's background as a school teacher.
Patty GauzweilerThe Gamemaster. Patty is a school teacher who hosts game in her trailer and tends to take in lost souls or anyone who looks like they need some mothering. This, perhaps, explains why she was shown in her earliest appearances relentlessly pursuing Dave to resume the relationship they once had. Patti is also the Gamemaster for the local but seldom shown Ladies of Hack group consisting of most of the regular female characters. Though she has a basically good heart, Patty is also a master of the evil situation, once manipulating her group's entire party into jumping into a lava pit just so she could win a bet with the other Gamemasters in town.
Chad AguilarA long time member of the group. Though Chad fits in socially as a college student, he started gaming in middle school where his munchkin tendencies kept him away from other gaming tables leading Patti to take him in. Today, he's more the team spitfire, easily irritated but a bit more mature as a player. Recently, Chad has been bringing his pacifist fiancee Reese to the table; she's more than a little disturbed by all the violence in these games.
Eddie "Tank" RodriguezPretty much the embodiment of the modern gamer geek stereotype, Tank is a large, obese, hairy, timid, thoughtful man who is awkward around women (even by KODT standards.) He's gentle to the point of being an emotional doormat for the rest of the group. For a long time, the only other character he was known to associate with outside of the Perps was Trish, from the Ladies of Hack. This was expanded slightly by the Java Joint spinoff strip, which showed him in a book club with Patty and Sara.
Leslie "Crutch" HumphriesAn ex-con gone straight. Crutch met the Black Hands when they decided to game at Hawg Wallers. Crutch and others around thought the Hands were planning a bank heist (in fact, they were playing a Western RPG and were plotting to rob a bank in-game). After spending a few nights in jail with the Black Hands over this misunderstanding, Crutch fell in love with gaming and began seeking gaming groups. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm for Hack and Slash extended to killing other player's characters at the table so he couldn't find a group until BA directed him to Patty, who has made him her latest project. He has recently become a surprise hit G Ming "Crime Nation," bringing realistic grittiness into his game thanks to his personal experience in crime.
MoA middle aged widow/ex-housewife living off life insurance and inheritance, Mo met Patty volunteering at an after school program and was excited about trying out Hackmaster. At the table, she's very outspoken and blunt but nice, which makes it all the more surprising when she kicks your teeth in and steals your loot.
Ladies of HackAn all-female gaming group that meets separately from the male-dominated Muncie gaming community (though nearly all of them have other groups they play with regularly and for tournament purposes). They're also part of a larger organization of the same name that lobbies Hard8 and the Hack Master Players' Association to change the sexist depictions of women and some of the more chauvinistic rules (such as the Strength penalty for female characters.) The local group is run by Patti Gauzweiler. Although the Lo H are only rarely shown actually gaming, their membership includes most of the strip's prominent female gamers, including Sara, Patti, and several others.
Sheila HorowitzFirst mentioned offscreen as the female gamer who beat up B.A. over an in-game dispute, Sheila didn't become an on-screen character for a long time. For a while she was nearly a nemesis of the Knights: then she rather unexpectedly started dating Bob - partly out of admiration for Bob's commitment to the game and partly because he needs mothering. Tends to play Knight Errants.
Bridget KeatingFirst introduced when the Knights players one by one get caught up in a Vampire LARP. Bridget was a clan leader and tended to use her *ahem* assets and her willingness to Cosplay along with her clan authority to get the guys to do whatever she wanted. Though she's calmed down she's still almost always seen in some kind of sexy cosplay outfit.
TrishAn escort introduced to gaming by Tank. Basically nice.
Squirrely (aka Squire Lee)Weird Pete's monkey. He's intelligent to the point of being able to read, understand spoken english somewhat and even game. He's shown to be somewhat surly and loves to smoke. The Knights have learned the hard way not to piss him off.
Croix and HunterBob's Niece and Nephew respectively. Bob occasionally tries to run games for them and lately has been using Croix's laptop to play World of Hackcraft. Croix has an innocent crush on Dave.
Ty FerfelNitro's nephew. A young gamer that hangs out on the periphery of the community and is often involved in under the table dealings.
Earl SlackmozerA rival gamemaster who gets a lot of buzz when he first comes to town, having had a module published by Hard 8 (something B.A. has long tried and failed). At first seems to be the superstar but eventually loses his shine and after being humbled, he and B.A. become friends. Earl currently works at Weird Pete's shop.
Johnny KizinskyA former player with the Knights. His time with them is shown in flashback. The Knights are fond of saying "the man could play" but one day his luck ran out and he left the gaming scene. He eventually moves away, gets married has children and runs a Big Juices. He has returned on occasion to visit and recently picked up dice again. A shameless flirt and an opportunist, his overall mentality highlights how the Knights acted before Sara joined.
SwitchCrutch's "friend" and former partner in crime before Crutch went straight. Switch is still a criminal and shown to be disloyal, self serving, and a jerk. He'll commit a crime then sell out his friends for reduced sentences. He's the one who gets Bob to help him plan his heists letting Bob believe it was for a roleplaying game.
Cody WinkleSeen at a number of game tables but has never fit in with a group. He's a local actor who likes to use his acting skills at the table and is known for his commitment to story and characterization over game play.
Bob Herzog, SeniorBob's father, occasionally referenced offscreen as an obstacle to Bob's gaming before finally appearing in the comic.