Left to right: Bandit, Byron, Syr'Nj, Gravedust, Payet, and Frigg.
Guilded Age is a Heroic Fantasy webcomic, in which six fairly competent adventurers conveniently meet and form a group to make a living of... well... adventuring. It's written by Phil Kahn and T Campbell, with art by Erica Henderson (Chapters 1 through 7) and John Waltrip (Chapter 8 onward).The meat of the story deals with our heroes getting hired to do various jobs for the growing human nation of Gastonia. Gastonia is in the middle of a technological revolution, and its rapid border expansion has earned it much ire from the "savage races," as well as older magical societies, like those of the elves. On top of that, each of the six characters has their own issues to deal with, and as a group the multicultural, multiracial band tends to face as much personal conflict as they do political conflict. At least, that's how it starts...The first six chapters began with a mini adventure taking place sometime after the main story arc. Word of God says that it was to give the beloved audience the guarantee of a future full of gang-asskicking. The main story arc begins by relating how each of the protagonists met to finally form a party and deliver said asskicking. From the seventh chapter on, however, the storyline has taken on a more linear format.
Guilded Age provides examples of:
Action Girl: Frigg. Syr'Nj, too, although she's not as obviously female.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Simultaneously played straight and inverted. From the ninth chapter onwards It is revealed that the characters are actually living in a MagitekPeople Jars video game described as a cross between The Matrix and a Kinect. The creator, H.R.Dedalus can't get them out, and everything within the game seems to be taking a mind of its own.
Anachronic Order: Each of the first six chapters is divided in two parts: The first one follows the party in one of their many adventures, the other one forms a regular story arc showing the party's meeting and eventual banding together.
Break the Haughty: Payet. He was shocked (but not hammed) and dismayed that the core group was shocked that he saved Byron and after a small confession, he decided to be a better ally and since he is suppossed to found a basin that would tell him his destiny, this seems to be the flavor of the new chapter.
And then there was a much more significant breakdown after finding the basin and seeing his death.
Buffy Speak: Frigg in general. Highlighted in her daydream during her attempts at diplomacy (without violence) with the gnomes.
Frigg: Sorry Ardaic! I tried my best, but someone accidentally killed them to death.
Ardaic: You're fired. Without you to protect them, your friends with totally die and stuff. And deep down you will know it was your fault, because you suck at life.
Deconstructor Fleet: A level-headed berserker, a thuggish "crusader," an elven scientist, a dwarven shaman/archer, and an elf mistaken for the chosen one go on adventurers in a setting that paints a harsh and almost historical light on Fantastic Racism.
Don't Explain the Joke: Inverted. Gravedust, easily the member of the cast most lacking in comedic ability, ends up having to pretend to be a comedian on a stage. He tells a mediocre joke about misfortune which the audience finds increasingly hilarious as he begins to explain how the joke actually depicts a very tragic situation and questions the audience's mirth.
Douchebag: Payet Best. He even unlocks an achievement for it.
A Father to His Men: Byron. Though he has not yet been officially acknowledged as The Leader, he's usually the team's tactical planner, and he's the one who is most prone to showing concern for the fate of his fellow adventurers. May also qualify as the Team Dad.
Humans Are Bastards: Gastonia is pretty much a hive of racists out to conquer and plunder the planet in much the same vein as 17th-19th century colonialists.
Sort of Subverted later. It has shown that no one, not a single race could be considered good or all that nice. Either they are: xenophobic, condescendent, tyrannical, downright genocidial or all of the above. Really, the only reason why Humans are labeled like this (at first), was because they where the only ones shown.
Hurricane of Puns: Not so much in the comic itself, but the reader comments thereof will pick a pertinent topic in a given comic and string out every pun possible from it.
I Call It Vera: Bayen and Brayen, Byron's hatchets. Named after his (probably) dead brothers
Sundar: "Just because they got unbelievable mental self-discipline and control powers that would drive an ordinary person insane, they think theyíre better than us."
Lost in Character: Byron, Syr'Nj, Frigg, Gravedust, and Payet are all really five online gamers who are so immersed in the virtual game they're playing in that they actually think they are their charcters.
Made of Iron: Frigg, all the way. Not only is she the party's designated "meatshield", but after being captured by the Sisters of the Bloodshot Eye and beaten and tortured so badly her face looks like bloody hamburger, she's still talking trash and making jokes.
Martial Pacifist: Syr'Nj left her nature-loving, isolationist home to join the military of expansionist Gastonia in hopes of finding a way for Wood Elves and Humans to live in harmony.
Meaningful Name: All of the party. Seriously, how are you supposed not to become a criminal when you're called Bandit Keynes?
Word of God says that Bandit is her job title in the recent Q&A
Sundar, getting a shot of truth serum: "SHE'S TORTURING MEEEEEE!"
After the shot took effect: "ACTUALLY, IT WAS ONLY A MINOR PINCHING SENSAAAAATION!"
Missed the Call: Payet fulfills almost all the requirements of a prophecy made by a mad woman in the town and is declared the "Epic Hero". The real Epic Hero (who fulfils the one requirement Payet missed) shows up after a few days, but the mad woman has a heart attack right after, due to the strain of shouting "THE PROPHECY!" over and over.
Musical Assassin: Payet, if you can call fighting with a half-instrument half-axe killing with music.
Noodle Incident: The events leading up to the Flooding Prison Incident seem to have turned into this.
However, later we learn that dwarves are desert nomads who have been driven from their mountains. Furthermore, their women are lustful, their children don't respect authority, and, most atypical of all, some of them DON'T HAVE BEARDS!
Gravedust isn't your typical armored hammer/axe warrior either. He's some kind of shaman/archer who can speak with the dead and ask them to lend their strength to his arrows. However, the impression he gives of much the rest of his race is that of more traditional dwarf warriors.
Our Elves Are Better: Sky elves, Winter elves, Shit elves (although that's just the colloquial name) and Wood Elves
Also, Wood Elves supposedly have root-like feet viewed as awkward by other races (if they know it exists at all).
Religion of Evil: They are kind of lousy and some were forced by their parents to become cultists.
Our Lady of the Perpetual Bloodshot Eyeball may also count.
The Reveal: Following the Bolivian Army Cliffhanger at the end of Chapter 8, Chapter 9 begins with a shift of focus to Payet, summoned to a new quest. Then the perspective zooms out to reveal a man watching him on a computer monitor. The watcher turns out to be the CEO of a MMORPG company.
Science Hero: Syr'Nj is the party's Combat Medic — not through traditional holy/nature powers, but through an array of drug-filled needles and good old-fashioned paramedic training. Her goal is to show humans (and her father) that science and nature can work in harmony.
Screw You, Elves!: While supposed an ancient, powerful and all advanced civilization, the Sky Elves where easily cowed by Frigg after she had enough of their pretentiousness. Even Syr'Nj told them that it would be better to get in a good relationship with Gastonia before... they get diplomatic.
Small Name, Big Ego: Big time, when Payet Best is hailed as a hero in a small town in which he tried to get work. Given the sheer randomness of his origin, he's a surprisingly competent adventurer, not that this makes him any humbler.
Sky Pirate: Aerial Piracy. Couldn't be more proud.
Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence The world of "Kingdoms of Arkerra" seems to be between Level II (Background NPC) and Level III (for the foreground NPC)... unless its a typical mmorpg which would make them Level I that look like level III.
Tomato Surprise: The beginning of chapter 9 let us know that none of the adventures are "real" but its an extremely advanced experiment in virtual simulation for the online Game "Kingdoms of Arkerra" and the adventure group to be volunteers that are incapable of turning it off.