Literature / Binder of Shame
And that was how our party ended up being a dwarven fighter with a piece of broccoli for a head, a chick in a chainmail bikini, two wizards, the luckiest fighter in the world and a ninja brandishing the dreaded halfling on a stick.Al Bruno III
's series of allegedly-autobiographical
stories about the Tabletop Games
group he endured throughout his college years. Al himself, known as Ab3 on RPG.Net, is led to the group by his friend Weasley Crusher and rapidly finds himself forced into the role of the Only Sane Man
of the group. Arguments, dysfunction, and Total Party Kills
abound as they systematically ruin every game they can find, from Dungeons & Dragons
to Call of Cthulhu
The title of the series comes from the philosophy of the Killer Game Master
Psycho Dave: "Every D&D game has many binders but each D&D game must have a Binder of Shame and a Binder of Glory. The player characters that die heroic deaths are saved forever in the page protectors of the Binder of Glory. The characters that suffer, humiliating, soul-crushing deaths go into the Binder of Shame. It's a sign of quality GMing to have a Binder of Shame three times the size of your Binder of Glory."
This provides examples of:
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle / Funetik Aksent: Biff Bam is an exCELLerant example of this trOUPe.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Most of the session's player characters are either Chaotic Neutral done specifically be malicious to the GM, which would technically make them Chaotic Evil eventually, or straightforwardly Chaotic Evil simply because they commit heinous acts and have no regard for the law. Because of their active malice, they are not even remotely close to Chaotic Stupid.
El Disgusto: “We’re Chaotic Neutral, that’s practically a get out of plot developments free card.”
- Ambiguously Gay / Armored Closet Gay: Biff Bam; the one time he runs a game at his house he suggests that they deal with the heat by removing their shirts (and he's quite insistent on that), and he deals with players not liking his rulings by wrestling them to the ground; and the rules that failed SAN checks make the character act increasingly swishy.
- And Now For Something Completely Different - Vaguely, in "The Good, The Bad, and The Feces." The entry centers around Ab3 testing out a different group, only to cause a problem with one of the other people's toilets and feel guilty about it. Later, he realizes that the plumbing in the house has had to be fixed numerous times when he goes back to apologize to the present Game Master.
- Angrish: Surprisingly, an averted trope. While it's clear that anger is a dominant emotion within the group, everyone is still linguistically comprehensible when they're in such a state.
- Another Side, Another Story: Subverted, by proxy of another blog series done by Al Bruno III himself known as "Price Breaks and Heartaches." On top of it retelling "First Edition: The Prequel" through bits and pieces of "Creep on the Borderlands," "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals information about the other people in the Dysfunction Junction group through previous snippets, which show how well Al Bruno III knows some of the people involved.
- "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals Cheating Bastard to be named Orville. Ab3 was regarded to be The Unfavorite by the people at Nice Shopper, in favor of Orville, who sexually harassed Ab3 as a scare tactic. To make matters worse, Orville "stole" the affections of the author's Childhood Friend, Lilly. While Lilly stopped dating either of them, Orville kept going out of his way to be a Jerkass to Ab3, even when the fate of the latter's job was at stake.
- "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals El Disgusto to be named Daniel. Ab3 gamed with Daniel back when they had mutual friends such as Adrian, who was the Game Master at the time they had first met. It is unknown what made Daniel become El Disgusto, though "Price Breaks and Heartaches" implies he has always been an enemy of Albert's.
- "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals Psycho Dave to be named Norm. Norm was conversed with by Ab3 early on when they were both "new" to Empire Burger. The conversation never went far, but Norm thought Ab3 was hitting on him. Additionally, while people at Empire Burger were tasked with going to a sexual harassment seminar after Natalie was harassed by Cyril and Stuart, Norm joins the two twins in making disparaging comments about the woman from human resources they had to confront.
- "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals The Amazing Boozehound / Rehab Boy to be a guy named "Buddy," or Bud. Some "blink-and-you-will-miss-it" Foreshadowing winds up occurring, where Bud and Daniel meet as a result of Ab3 working at Paper Shredder. Bud's habit of poorly-made Stealth Puns comes to light as having been a part of his character all along, once you read on both "Price Breaks and Heartaches" and "Binder of Shame."
- "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals Weasly Crusher to be named Will. Will was one of Ab3's friends at Scotia Community College, and was noted as having a fascination with karaoke as a hobby. The rewrite of "Creep on the Borderlands" heavily implied that he was always an Extreme Doormat, which translated into some toxic behaviour. However, Will was still a better person than the majority of Ab3's old group, and gave the author some helpful pointers on writing in "Price Breaks."
- "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals Deviant Boy to be named Curtis. While it's largely implied that Ab3 met Curtis for the first time in "Creep on the Borderlands," Curtis' fervent misogyny and other forms of unpleasant behaviour were all things that Ab3 had been privvy to as a result of other people, most especially the remainder of the Bruno family and even internalized variants in co-workers from The Julia Shop.
- "Price Breaks and Heartaches" reveals Johnny Tangent to be named Eddie. As with Curtis, it's implied Ab3 met him for the first time in "Creep on the Borderlands."
- Anticlimax: What normally happens within each entry of the Binder of Shame. Oftentimes, it's because Ab3 decided to eject himself from the session completely, and other times it's because the campaign or session of note had to be destroyed in the most simple, efficient way possible. Sometimes, that efficient way leads to an Apocalypse How; more often than not, however, it doesn't.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: True to form for El Disgusto. In "The God Trip," it's explained he had been discharged from Harvey Whitstein's Martial Arts Emporium with a black belt. Of course, it's also explained that he was discharged because the rest of his clothes also became black from biological festering. Rather than acknowledge the black belt as being given out of pity and a want for El Disgusto to never return to the Emporium, it became an ego twist and El Disgusto legitimately thinks himself to be the reincarnation of a long deceased ninja: "Shinobi."
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: While Johnny Tangent and Short Attention Span Larry are meant to be this character trope as people, everyone in Ab3's group had problems paying attention to the GM, regardless of who it was.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: Oftentimes, El Disgusto tries too hard with making his characters sound cool. In "Creep on the Borderlands," his ninja character was "Lord Baron Whoopass Von Badass."
- Berserk Button: The author, when he GMs, doesn't care for Monty Python quotes, and now twitches violently every time someone mentions the word "ninja".
- Big Eater: Blobert Smith; in spite of it being hazardous for him to continue a largely gluttonous diet, he continues more or less due to wanting to be free to eat as he chooses.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Cheating Bastard compares stealing milk crates to "tearing the tags off of mattresses, trading bootleg videotapes and bestiality."
- Butt-Monkey / Extreme Doormat: Weasley Crusher is bullied repeatedly by Psycho Dave and El Disgusto in "Creep on the Borderlands." The end result is Weasley having to use his insulin money to buy pizza for the rest of the group, with Ab3 bearing witness on their intent to leave the guy out of the pizza he would buy for everyone else. It's implied in exposition that this has happened before.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Most of them have their moments, but Johnny Tangent is probably the winner.
Ab3: Night Ranger
was a bitchin' band. Johnny:
Really? I hate them, I just wear the T-shirt to remind me of my character class.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Part of the Cloud Cuckoo Lander nature in most of the people, with the surprising exception of Johnny Tangent, stems from this:
- Collateral Darren, who believes resumes are useless except to make the paper manufacturers more money. Distressingly, no one can actually think of any reason why his logic is wrong.
- Psycho Dave indulges in conspiracies against his would-be foes should they be of a minority or a group against his Neo-Nazi beliefs. This has led to him mocking Ab3's NPCs.
- Delusions of Eloquence: Multiple people in Ab3's ex-group:
- Biff Bam likes to think himself eloquent when, in reality, his quirk of phonetic pronunciation comes off as incorrect and tryhard.
- El Disgusto masks his simplistic spite of Weasley Crusher and Ab3 with "ninja eloquence."
- Blobert Smith comes off as someone who abuses a thesaurus, without irony.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe, Ab3 gets up and walks out once he realizes that Psycho Dave expects the group to help Hitler.
- Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend: Never Leave Your Nads Behind is set up so that Asenath, who was Deviant Boy's girlfriend at the time, can Mary Sue some alien slavers to death. The other players get turned into a pet baby (Psycho Dave), a hairless castrato (Weasley Crusher), and a trophy wife (Ab3), and have to hold out for her to come save them. Luckily, The Amazing Boozehound gets drunk and goes on a one-man LARP session, inadvertently getting the police to save them from it.
- Dysfunction Junction / Vitriolic Best Buds: The entire damned group, including Ab3 himself. It mentions that Ab3 went into deep denial and actually convinced himself that this was just what a roleplaying group looked like, that this is how friends treated one another. That was the first reason he stuck with them, the second being he did not have better hobbies at the time on account of having worse friends (such as Kid Snotrocket) with worse pasttimes like going to crappy strip clubs. He comes to his senses and kicks them out when they start badmouthing his new girlfriend. The fact that they allegedly slipped him acid that same day probably didn't help.
- The epilogue and the extra chapter, both happening several years later, reveals that he's come to his senses and has found a group of supportive, likeable people to play with instead.
- Embarrassing Slide: Deviant Boy and Asenath's photos from a gaming convention include some of these. Though, the trope is zig-zagged when Ab3 seems to be the only one who's actually embarrassed by them.
- Faux Affably Evil / Those Wacky Nazis: Psycho Dave. At the start of Ab3's tabletop adventures, Psycho Dave was seen as someone who, while eccentric, was relatively decent at GMing. When the session proper actually starts, it's made known that Psycho Dave is a white supremacist by The Amazing Boozehound. While during the first game Psycho Dave seemed to be affably awful, the facade was dropped in every other session since. On top of this, nothing about Psycho Dave's Neo-Nazism is regarded as comical, and most of the other members of the group actively supported it with their own bigotry.
- Gamer Chick:
Asenath: “One of the cardinal rules of being a gamer chick is never use a gamer guy’s bathroom without sterilizing the area first.”
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Comes up from a discussion on homophobia, no less.
Cheating Bastard: "...and that's how Biff Bam got thrown out of the Gen Con tournament."
El Disgusto: "He was so robbed."
Me: "Robbed? He was being offensive."
El Disgusto: "Here goes Mister Politically Correct!"
Me: "He said that Homosexuals should show up when you cast a DETECT EVIL spell. Does that Whack-A-Mole game you use for a brain register what that means?"
Cheating Bastard: "Well he may have a point, I mean after all that kind of behavior goes against cultural norms."
Me: "So it's OK to hack and slash non human races but it's evil for people for the same sex to fall in love?"
El Disgusto: "Works for me."
Psycho Dave: "Except for chicks. It's OK for chicks to make out."
Cheating Bastard: "As long as they're hot."
- Girlfriend in Canada: Ab3 narratively discusses the trope when talking about cliches in the 1980's, and true to form this foreshadows details El Disgusto mentions about his love life, much to the doubts of everyone else. It turns out she does exist — in fact, she's Asenath. As Digusto was the first person to interact with Asenath out of everyone except Ab3, his comments about her flipper arm bring to light the fact they ended on bad terms. Deviant Boy is still upset by the fact Asenath had dated Disgusto beforehand, so this "Girlfriend In Canada" incident winds up doing more damage than most other stories of similar stripe.
- Greater-Scope Villain: In the First Edition, it was implied to be Psycho Dave. When his presence from the group is no more, the tabletop group as a whole begins dwindling, up until the finale, where Ab3 departs. It's noted in Second Edition that most of the time spent with Psycho Dave and the others was almost exclusively told in flashbacks, with Ab3's later experiences not being remotely as bumpy.
- What ultimately stops Psycho Dave from being the Big Bad is that he was the first person to disappear from the First Edition group, out of boredom with everyone else. Even with him gone, the way he GMs influenced the remainder of the group in a fashion where Deviant Boy and El Disgusto tried to emulate it in their respective campaigns.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: The Amazing Boozehound's wizard character used a cat on a string as a weapon, and El Disgusto's ninja used Weasley's character.
- Groin Attack:
- El Disgusto apparently lost the tip of his penis when he frightened the dog into biting him.
- Biff Bam's "PinchUrPeePee!", which is exactly as painful as it sounds.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: El Disgusto's temper flares up at perceived slights at the beginning. These moments culminate in spiteful aggression towards Ab3, the only person to normally be defiant with his ninja characters (on principle of them being the only type of character normally played). Said temper is exacerbated after "Reservoir Torgs," where it's learned exactly how bitter he is about his injury, to where he perceived the phrase "cut off" as a jab against him.
- Helicopter Blender: In "Reservoir Torgs," everyone has derailed the campaign and is on the run from the law. El Disgusto's ninja finds his path blocked by a police helicopter and attempts to jump his motorcycle over it using a crashed police car as a ramp.
"But my character's a ninja!
- I Am Big Boned: Biff Bam was kicked out of the army because he was "a little too manly" and they were "intimidimated" by him. He's not fat, it's untoned muscle, and he's as strong as Olympic weightlifters...honest!
- I Call It "Vera": The "Stick of Pain," a wooden yardstick.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Psycho Dave couldn't deny being "crazier than a crapfight in a monkey house" but objected to being called a "lousy Dungeon Master".
- Incest Is Relative: On a few occasions, Deviant Boy has gotten away with Kissing Cousins as an excuse for perversions. At least two instances were cited: The first was with Weasly Crusher's character, and they had matching toe rings; the second was with Asenath during the "Trapped In Jedi Academy" episode and was mentioned as merely a footnote of the campaign.
- In "Trapped in the Jedi Academy," Psycho Dave had mentioned bloodline purity regarding the Force when explaining why Darth Vader would want to marry Princess Leia. While it's possible this was just a reoccuring jape at the expense of Psycho Dave's Nazism (and Asenath's flipper arm when she "understood" Psycho Dave's version of Darth Vader), this and Deviant Boy's cousin-type characters suggest that Ab3's group had no regard for the negative repercussions of incest.
- Intoxication Ensues: The Last Straw trilogy features two moments where this was emphasized, in a fashion that extends beyond the escapades of The Amazing Boozehound:
- The first was in the first part of the trilogy, where Weasly Crusher GMs the game but drinks more and more to the point of vomiting. The entire campaign's surprising co-operativeness was revealed to be part of a social experiment concocted on Ab3 by the rest of the group, at his complete expense.
- The second was in the final part of the trilogy. It leads to a Musical Episode, most notably, where Ab3 realizes just how horrible the people he was playing with actually are, and evicts them from his place of residence at the time. What's more, not only was he intoxicated, but also drugged by Collateral Darren to see what would happen when someone was slipped LSD.
- It Tastes Like Feet: El Disgusto apparently smells "like clowns crying."
- Jackass Genie: Discussed during "A Night at the Inn, a Day at the Racists," when discussing how Psycho Dave (ab)uses his authority as a Game Master.
"As you can see I soon realized that Psycho Dave ran a game in roughly the same way that Warwick Davis in the film Leprechaun granted wishes. Everything you said your character did was scrutinized for some way to screw you over and the dice ruled all. He was the only guy I know who used a random monster encounter chart for Call of Cthulhu. You haven't lived until you've had a character go mad because he saw a nightgaunt sitting in a restroom stall reading a copy of the Necrnomicon (sic)."
- Jar Potty: The end of "A Night at the Inn, a Day at the Racists" reveals that El Disgusto has stashed a whole collection of bottles of Mountain Dew under the stairs, except it's not Mountain Dew in the bottles — as he explains, he doesn't like to go upstairs to the bathroom when he's watching TV, so he just goes in the bottles with the intention of throwing them away later. He hasn't thrown away a single one — some of them are crusted with age and other substances, which is exactly as disgusting as it sounds. This revelation, which capped off a truly nasty bit of gaming, was the "rock bottom" moment for Ab3.
- Jerkass: Everyone. Arguably the Ab3 himself, with a hint of Unreliable Narrator, since it's clear his mindset wasn't too different before the end and he seems similarly willing to look down Asenath for her appearance. He has stated in a comment that he now views his past self as sometimes "worse than Blobert".
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What ultimately separates Ab3 from the rest of the tabletop group, outside of him being the point of view in each story, is that he actively tries to do good. He always had a delusion that maybe there was some good in the group he was with after all, only to be repeatedly proven wrong as even some of the more tame individuals - notably Blobert Smith and Weasly Crusher - show that they're ultimately unpleasant people in the finale.
- Kick the Dog: Literally; El Disgusto is neglectful of and abusive toward his dog Lamont.
- Killer Game Master: Everyone gets their turn, but the two commonmost Killer GMs are:
- Psycho Dave: Given Psycho Dave's personality as a Neo-Nazi, it's implied his Killer GM tendencies are reflective of a Social Darwinist philosophy. Whomever can't keep up with the brutality of the campaign is likely looked down upon in his eyes, especially when he frowns upon there not being difficult things to do when anyone else manages the campaign/session. His departure from the group is indicative that his behaviour grew increasingly sadistic and abusive, with him bringing a shotgun to keep the players playing in his final game.
- "It's a sign of quality GM'ing to have a Binder of Shame at least three times the size of the Binder of Glory."
- Ab3 has shown tendencies of Killer GM, though his mannerisms indicate more of a "Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies" method to killing off characters. Given everyone (except Weasly Crusher) deliberately acts as The Millstone to his campaign in comparison to everyone else's, the nature of Ab3's Killer GMing is more him being fed up with people bullying him when he is supposed to be in charge. Most notably, "The Day I Killed The Entire Party Before The First Combat Encounter", Ab3's Killer GMing is best-reflected with an incident involving a character's motorcycle.
- Lame Comeback
Blobert Smith: "Your xenophobic gibes grow wearisome."
Psycho Dave: "And your ass smells like cheese, what’s your point?"
- Large Ham: A majority of the tabletop ensemble act overly melodramatic, whether they're GMing or not. Blobert Smith himself is more emphatic about vocalizing his woes and authority whenever he makes characters.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Collateral Darren's exits out of each campaign are commonly the result of him being arrested for something, to where the police recognize the tabletop group that he is a part of. The only exception to this exit modus operandi is the finale. Ab3 just kicks him out after he admitted to slipping acid in his drinks to see what would happen.
- In spite of his constant game-busting antics, Cheating Bastard has also gotten his fair share of comeuppance. In fact, the rest of the group expel him after they find out he was cheating at a game of Talisman, which only happened because he provoked Blobert Smith into tackling him to the ground.
- Life Embellished: Admitted. The first page of the Binder explains that some of the campaign sessions were far too traumatic for him to accurately remember everything, so when a lot of it is abridged as it is in later installments, Ab3 has to fill in the blanks himself from either the muddled memories of his or from what he assumes happened.
- Literally Minded:
Blobert Smith: "I am afraid that I am still lost in my considerations of these damnable drama cards. Please explain it to me again."
Me: "Look. It works like this. The cards let you do things that give a little extra 'oomph' to the game. They help your character to do things they might not be able to do ordinarily. Remember that scene in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE where Indy shoots through like 8 nazi's? If that had been a role-playing game he might have done that by playing a Coup De Grace card... or rolling a heck of a lot of twenties."
Blobert Smith: "So what your saying is- the Indiana Jones Movies had no scripts? That Steven Speilberg and George Lucas utilized drama dice and d20's to make story decisions?"
Me: "That's not what I said! I said that if the movie had been a role-playing game those events might have happened because of Drama cards."
Blobert Smith: "But it wasn't a role playing game. It was a movie."
- Meaningful Name: The nicknames Ab3 gives everyone else are appropriate for the respective people he attributes them to:
- Ol' Yellowbelly is not a particularly brave individual. While not a Dirty Coward per se, he is not someone who takes well to any of the ways the other people in the group interpret the gaming systems, so much so that the one time he played something reasonable for himself (a Pacifist Druid) his experience is undermined by the other players. It's later revealed he works as a security guard, which much to Ab3's confusion.
- Collateral Darren was named after the Champions character "Collateral Damage."
- Psycho Dave's main personality traits are his bedwetting, his pyromania, and his Neo-Nazism. It's implied his abusive behaviour during a session he was GMing led to fallout between him and the other players, though this has so far happened offscreen.
- Cheating Bastard's modus operandi is spelled out for everyone.
- El Digusto is mostly named for his extremely poor hygiene, which has indirectly been responsible for Ab3's "rock bottom" moments of gaming.
- Deviant Boy is a shameless pervert who twists anything into something related to sex.
- Blobert Smith is a Type-II diabetic who refuses to let his condition stop him from eating unhealthily, which is assumedly the reason he's "a Goth of size" enough to be referred to as "Blobert."
- Weasley Crusher is a fan of Star Trek.
- Monochrome Casting: Outright stated during "Achy Breaky Mythos," which hinted that everyone there was "pasty-skinned," with confirmation on El Digusto's self-proclamation of being a "white ninja."
- Given Psycho Dave's proclivities, there would have been some commotion if any member of the cast was non-white.
- El Disgusto wants to play a Ninja with a motorcycle in every damn game he's in, regardless of appropriateness for setting or theme. The type of Munchkin that he represents is "The Troll." His eccentricities and wanting to play a Ninja would ordinarily just be harmless and an extreme case of The Loonie, but El Disgusto's inflated sense of self-worth have constantly put him at odds with Weasly Crusher and Ab3. El Disgusto never thinks of himself as in the wrong, instead surmising Weasly as just an easy target, whilst Ab3 being rational just infuriates him. Whenever it's El Disgusto's turn to get comeuppance, he tries to Rules Lawyer his way through the problem and, when he can't, says Hastur's name or whines about it.
- Cheating Bastard has an obvious nickname; as a Munchkin in practice, he was a supreme mixture of Gamebuster and Rules Lawyer. It's implied that, at minimum, El Disgusto was suspicious of Cheating Bastard's method of rolling dice. When he was exposed as a cheater to the rest of the group in a game of Talisman, he was outright told he had to change his ways or else he was not allowed to game with the group anymore. Cheating Bastard chose to be kicked out.
- Ab3 himself has had to Metagame his way in some of the more painfully brutal sessions. Of course, when such sessions involve Homebrew Hell, he doesn't seem like much of a Munchkin in comparison to Cheating Bastard or El Disgusto.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Most of the RP characters have at least a dash of this - see Deviant Boy and Weasley's incestuous lesbian stripper naval officers with matching toe-rings.
- Noodle Incident: Averted. Initially, some sessions were regarded as "incidents" ("The Damned Treasure of Lord DeGreasy," notably) but have since been divulged on, destroying any ambiguity that said games might have had. While there are still moments of note which could be considered "Noodle Incidents" (such as Weasley's expulsion from college), generally Law of Conservation of Detail is enforced in those situations. Just enough detail is written to explain what goes on, but it's implied there is not much more to the story beyond the aforementioned details.
- Nose Shove:
"My character deals with his post-traumatic stress disorder by putting porridge up his nose on moonlit nights."
"Why would he-"
- Occidental Otaku: El Digusto's habit of playing ninjas implies this. When not allowed to play a ninja directly, as long as it relates to martial arts (such as a professor of occidental mythology), he does not seem to mind. Given El Disgusto's affinity for martial arts extends to outside of the tabletop game, one can assume he relishes in Japanese culture (or, at least, the Western perception thereof).
- Offscreen Karma: El Disgusto is a genuinely awful person who treats his friends like garbage, beats his dog, and will play as a ninja no matter the system or setting. Despite the comeuppance he gets in-tabletop, we only hear of what happens to him through casual exposition: his college money is spent on vet bills for the oft-victimized dog, Lamont, and his parents dislike his abhorrent behaviour so much they kicked him out of their house with a court order.
- Off the Rails: "The God Trip."
- In "The Dammed Treasure of Lord DeGreasey", the first installment of The Second Edition, Psycho Dave's character, a Deep One thief with 18/00 Strength, snaps the ribbed staff that used to be Weasley's character in half in order to destroy the tower and put a decisive end to Deviant Boy's utterly creepy campaign.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: To protect the author.
- Only Sane Man: Ab3 is supposed to be the main person who is the only sane one.
- Weasly Crusher himself would have been this before Ab3 was introduced to the group, as evidenced by some of his comments in various episodes. With how most sessions went, he was almost always the Token Good Teammate to some extent.
- Asenath also counts as zig-zagged variant of Only Sane Woman, if we discounted the fact she often encouraged Deviant Boy; she tried to tell him about her previous relationship with El Disgusto but only got the chance during "Reservoir Torgs," seems to react appropriately to Blobert Smith saying the wrong name in bed when they were a couple, and brought cleaning supplies to one of the tabletop games El Disgusto was hosting.
- Only Smart People May Pass: Cheating Bastard's system from the chapter Monty Python Mishaps in the Deepest Pit of Homebrew Hell, which involves inverse drag coefficients, slide rules, and algebraic calculators. It takes two hours for the group to finish one round of combat.
- Pet the Dog / Fridge Horror: Psycho Dave mentions that "even with the sniveling and whining" Ab3 has been his best player.
- Porn Stache: Deviant Boy had an "abnormally thick moustache" in "Creep on the Borderlands."
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Psycho Dave (an actual Neo-Nazi), full stop. Especially when he's playing NPCs as blatant stereotypes.
- Most of the other boys have their moments as well. This is especially obvious in "The Last Straw Trilogy Part Three: Once More With Filking," where they go after the author's future wife for being chubby:
Ab3: "And you’re not a Goth of size?"
- Pun: Schindler's Lich.
- Puns actually frequently used for titles of various entries.
- Rail Roading:
Ab3: “Anyway, I am not running a game where you run around like a bunch of kill happy lunatics.”
Blobert Smith: “In our defense it is what we do best.”
Ab3: No. In fact the god Boccob appears before you and says that for your crimes you must go to the Tomb of Shartok the Unattractive and retrieve the Xenon Codex. If not he will destroy you and the world utterly.”
El Disgusto: “What’s in it for us?”
Deviant Boy: “Now let me get this straight, we’ve got the god Boccob ticked off at us.”
Deviant Boy: “That’s Boccob the Uncaring.”
Ab3: “For the last time yes. And he transports you all into the dungeon.”
El Disgusto: “Fine we leave.”
Ab3: “And he teleports you right back.”
Deviant Boy: “Again this is Boccob the Uncaring doing this.”
Ab3: “Must be having an off day I guess.”
- Really Gets Around / Sleeps with Everyone but You: By the final installment, Asenath has slept with every member of the group except Ab3 at least once. She notably tells him to get lost when she wants to do it with Weasley. This would imply that his hostile grievances with her are mutual, since neither of them likes each other and makes it plain to the other's face whenever it gets brought up. Ab3 even uses the moment not to seduce Asenath, but confess that he finds her flipper arm creepy. She returns the favour earlier, by being among the many to imply that Ab3's love life is virtually nonexistent.
- Rule 34: Deviant Boy's "Unified Porn Theory" involves attempts to find a single pornographic image which will appeal to everyone in the world. His first attempt:
"It's a green-skinned large-breasted elf chick dressed like a Catholic schoolgirl
... and she's peeing on Mayor McCheese!"
"Yeah, but it's missing something, isn't it? Maybe if it was two elf chicks ..."
- Rule of Three: Invoked in the titles for the last six entries of the First Edition: The Prequel and The Last Straw entries both come in three parts each.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Most of Psycho Dave's sessions end in this from Ab3. Those that don't often have a hefty consequence of some sort, such as him being late for work.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Blobert Smith indulges a charade of cerebral enlightenment, with Biff Bamm offering something similar. While Biff's verbosity and mannerisms bestow a neat discrepancy entertaining the possibility he's being self-aware of his Delusions of Eloquence, Blobert does not offer anything equivalent. Mr. Smith seems to have overloaded his cranium with radical liberalism which would, at least, put him at odds with Collateral Darren and Psycho Dave. Else, Blobert and Ab3 seem like they would have engaged in camaraderie as diamonds in the rough.
- The Scottish Trope: Invoked when El Disgusto's ninja summons Hastur when Cheating Bastard tries to kill him.
- Stealth Pun: Weasley claims that if he met his D&D characters he would take them to Denny's "to apologise for the terrible rolls I make".
- Most other people make these on the regular. An exaggerated instance of this was when The Amazing Boozehound became Rehab Boy for a while, which led to his quirk in "The Great Gamma World Death March" being making these and going "Ha-Ha!" at the end of them. Most of the puns made aren't as hilarious.
"At that moment Asenath stepped into the living room, if I haven't said it before let me say it now that she was a very pretty girl- flipper arm or not. Still though, pretty girl or not, the outfit she wore was a bit much. It was like a Hentai fashion nightmare, part schoolgirl outfit, part leatherwear."
- The Friend Nobody Likes: The basis of "With A Pinch Of Assault" was to play a D&D game without informing El Disgusto about it. Playing a game without him in the group seemed to be no small task, as he somehow knew where any game played within Albany was. With him, it goes even beyond the group Ab3 was in:
"There was a time right after high school where he was involved in an rpg every night, and more frequently than not ruining them. He and his ninjas broke the faith of the Schenectady Christian Gaming Club yet also sent a group of guys that played Runequest in an old cemetery at night retreating to their church of choice. El Disgusto single handedly did so much damage to our the gaming community that some people suspected he was secretly a stamp collector trying to destroy our hobby from within."
- The way that Weasly Crusher was treated implies he was not liked by anyone in the tabletop group either. Whenever he got to play, his character would always be killed off early and he would be forced out of the room to do something, such as getting pizza. During the college days, it was implied that the foul treatment Weasly got started also affecting Ab3, though to a lesser extent. Unlike with El Disgusto, however, there's nothing to show why anybody would logically hate Weasly Crusher.
- The Roleplayer: Averted with everyone. No one puts any serious effort into their characters, and El Disgusto actively goes out of his way to show he does not care about the setting or fluff of whatever is going on in nearly any session he partakes in. The aversion to any of them being The Roleplayer, even Blobert Smith, makes sense when both Ab3 and Psycho Dave kill off characters before they can do much in the sessions they are a part of. What's more, the sessions not commonly GM'd by the main two usually wind up disastrous because the GM themself is someone who does not make a world which anyone can seriously integrate with (Deviant Boy, El Disgusto, Cheating Bastard) for a number of different reasons.
- Total Party Kill: Their record is three in one night (as of Night of Caped Cadavers) - Ab3 left when Psycho Dave suggested they try for a fourth time.
- A Wizard Did It
Psycho Dave, regarding the broccoli-head incident: "It's magic, I don’t have to explain it."
- Work Off the Debt: Ab3 is forced to wash dishes in a Denny's, after the other members of the group leave without paying. This is the end result of one of the servers being antagonistic towards him specifically, even though she found the group's gaming at the Denny's particularly off-putting and disturbing the other guests.