"Let's just start, we'll shun Joe later."
— Dane the GM
A sort of Web Serial Novel
, Statless and Tactless
follows a group of roleplayers attempting to wade through an RPG. It's presented in a format resembling an online chat group, though the party members seem to know each other offline as well. The party plays a steampunk RPG called "Eldaria" which has unclear rules (at least to the reader). Within the game the heroes get involved in a mysterious conspiracy involving ancient gods and extra-dimensional bugs, all of which they'd handle much more effectively if they didn't seem to kill everyone they meet.
The cast includes:
- Dane: The group's GM. His posts are orange.
- Joe: A composite of numerous troll traits, Joe plays GR210, a massive steampunk robot. He apparently goes to graduate school with Soo. His posts are red.
- Ian: Another player and apparently something of a poor hand with the ladies. He plays Mari Shasho, a 'pyromancer'. His posts are purple.
- Kyle: A player who opposes Joe's involvement in the group, calling him a devil. He plays an adventurer named Bailey Hunt. His posts are blue.
- Soo: A newer player brought in by Joe to expand the group. She players Kalinari dVostog, an affluent noblewoman. Her posts are green.
The series is currently hosted on Blogger at http://statntact.blogspot.com/
Provides examples of:
- The Alliance: The opposition of the Imperia is the Federation, a coalition of numerous ethnic groups.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Steam Mechs are supposed to be this, being highly versatile, but costing tons of money to get upgrade parts for. Unless...
- Awesome But Practical: ...you have a teammate with tons of money (because you guided her to do so without explaining your selfish reasons). Then you're just a "pimptacular killing machine".
- Ax-Crazy: Joe pretty much any time he's not being a Blood Knight instead. He regards everything in the game as either a victim or a future victim of his bloodlust.
- Big Damn Heroes: Bailey and Mari show up just in times to save GR210 and Kali from robbers.
- Blood Knight: When Joe isn't butchering NPCs, he's indulging in combat for its own sake. He whined about the edition change of the game because he felt it simplified his combat experience.
- Cold Sniper: Danielle mutters fatalistic, creepy things before dispassionately killing people at Joe's behest.
- Creepy Awesome: Danielle.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Dane threatens to (partially) castrate Ian if he acts like a horny, creepy nerd.
- Deal with the Devil: Kyle considers making any sort of deal with Joe to be one of these.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Fireballs... made of fire!
- The Empire: The main setting is called the "Imperia" and is ruled by an Emperor or Empress.
- Failure Hero: Kyle's character Bailey is probably the closest thing the group has to an archetypal pulp hero, but seems to be incapable of succeeding in rolls.
- This has started to relax as Bailey has started to occasionally succeed at rolls, but typically will still fail any time he needs on succeeding on them.
- Fat Bastard: Joe is probably overweight (Soo calls him a fatass and knows him offline) and he actively considers himself a bastard with pride.
- Forgot I Could Fly: The whole group has a bad habit of forgetting skills they selected. Soo is the worst at it (somewhat appropriately, being a newcomer to the game).
- Guy In Real Life: Ian plays a female character.
- Made a Slave: Joe convinces the group to technically enslave Ian's character Mari because the mechanical game benefits of her being so actually outweighed the penalties. That it would bother Ian was considered a bonus.
- Ninja Maid: Joe's follower character Danielle is an odd composite of a french maid and a sniper. The former is for utility, the latter is to irritate Dane while he's forced to play her.
- Player Archetypes: Joe is a power gamer. Soo is an actor.
- Point Build System: Eldaria apparently has one, as Kali'nari d'Vostog has dumped points into Resources and Status.
- Joe couldn't bring himself to leave points unspent, even though he was trying to cripple the team with a dead-weight character so he purchased every single language skill in the history of the game.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kyle is collected and balanced. Joe is his archenemy and opposite. They even have blue and red posts respectively.
- Rule Zero: In order to bring in a new player, Dane agrees to not houserule out Joe's character. Kyle is rightfully concerned.
- Schedule Slip: The author has had several big ones of a couple months apiece. The first two lacked any real reason and the third was something to do with a car accident and the author stated that he forgot about the story all together from it until a reader comment notified his email.
- She's Not My Girlfriend: Joe thinks Ian and Soo are dating (or "performing mouth inspections") because they spend time together offline. The two always jump up to yell a rebuke to these claims.
- Shout-Out: While the rules aren't clearly part of any system as of yet, Resources and Status are two background traits in the White Wolf engine.
- Joe's character is a shiny robot that knows an obscene number of languages. Ian realizes he's like a "Murderous C3P0".
- The game's twelfth edition rules changed the damage system to one with abstract damage and progressive degeneration of efficiency, similar descriptively to the Dresden Files game.
- There's a chapter where the plot gets derailed because the party is talking about Ayn Rand and how she would play tabletop games.
- Steam Punk: The setting has elements of it. Steam Mechs are explicitly referred to as being "steampunk" and made of copper.
- Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Joe takes himself hostage to force Soo to buy him fancy war machines by making his 'default' configuration utterly useless.
- The plan backfires due to a combination of the 'useless' skills he took proving useful and Joe's need to upstage people making it very had to not be handy.
- The Smurfette Principle: Soo is the only woman in the group. Ian is very aware of this.
- The Butler Did It: Joe assumes that the group has been betrayed by Soo's follower character, Archibald the butler. He kills Archibald before even thinking about it.
- Twofer Token Minority: "Soo" is shorthand for "Soraya", a middle-eastern name. She's also the only woman in the group.
- The Watson: Soo is this for the group, being new to both RPGs and the game in particular.
- What a Drag: Joe's idea for cross-country travel is to carry two teammates and have the third be dragged behind on a rope. Soo points out that this would probably kill the person in question.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Archibald is killed off within three posts and never even gets a chance to speak. Soo eventually takes an offer to repurpose his points, so it looks like he's gone forever.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Mari has a bad habit of helping the group by making lots of people die (in contrast to her pleasant and timid player Ian) because she's a pyromancer and the best contribution Ian can usually come up with in a situation is lighting something on fire.
- White Knighting: Ian tries to defend Soo when Joe mocks her and she responds by calling him a "White Knight" negatively.