Webcomic: The Way of the Metagamer
The Way of the Metagamer is a Stick Figure Comic in a similar art-style to The Order of the Stick.Originally envisioned as a Dungeons & Dragons tutorial, in somewhat-humourous-webcomic form, the comic developed a plot involving attempts to prevent evil from beyond the universe from entering said universe through playing Dungeons & Dragons. This works as follows: playing Dungeons & Dragons strengthens a defensive barrier around the universe. Since it's popular among young nerds, it gets played a lot by said young nerds, helping to protect the universe. However, some evil, already within the universe, utilises spells from DnD to create DnD Fourth Edition, which weakens and destroys the barrier. In response, Gary Gygax creates the "Book of DnD", a magical artifact with the power to fight back against Fourth Edition. Unfortunately, the evil, discovering the Book, attempts to obtain it for unlimited power. Gary retaliates by sealing all the magical power within the Book, but ends up sealing the evil in with it. And the raw magical energy kills him. The plot got pretty complicated, huh?Unfortunately for the future of the universe, the Book of DnD ends up being sold on eBay - purchased by a main character by the name of Bob. As soon as Bob reads the Book, he is transported inside it, to discover the Book contains a fully-running game of DnD. He then gets fed up with the comic, and decides to leave. However, he finds he can't, and soon meets his friend Fred and a resident named Jane. They go to a town, and then to a castle, where they meet, believe it or not, Trope-tan and defeat Captain Obvious. And with the help of Plot Holes, they get to the Satellite of Love where time travel happens and that's when it gets sort of complicated.
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The Way of the Metagamer provides examples of:
Schedule SlipSeries Hiatus: No, really. Those three months were intentional. And the other six.
- Aerith and Bob: Most of the characters have normal names - the heroes are named "Bob", "Fred", and "Jane". Then we throw in "Xavius" and "Trope-tan".
- All in a Row: The party spends a ridiculous amount of time walking in this manner.
- All There in the Manual: The Tower of Dread is only named as such in the table of contents.
- And several characters are only named in the comic transcripts, never in the actual comic.
- Alt Text: With an actual presenter reading it, who interacts with the Author Avatar and other characters repeatedly.
- Audience Participation: Comics 248 and 249.
- Art Evolution: As with any comic, to be expected. Subverted, however, during time-travel storylines: characters and locales from the past use the poorer art appropriate to their epoch, despite the author's improved artistic ability.
- Artifact Title: Word of God is that the main characters were originally going to take levels in the Metagamer class which would be invented for the purposes of the comic. But comic's focus has since moved from RPG Mechanics Verse to No Fourth Wall, and the Metagamer class was never actually introduced.
- Author Avatar: First appears in this comic.
- Author Filibuster: Ranting about Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition.
- Avatar and the Airbending Fellowship of Vampire Slayers: Mentioned a few times.
- Bare Your Midriff
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The Star Wars version is lampshaded.
- Behind the Black: Averted here in order to allow the characters to mock the audience. Usually played straight.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: Lampshade Hanging even directly references the tropes on This Very Wiki!
- BFG: The Rod of Za-Boom. So much.
- Brain Bleach
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick
- Broken Bridge: Lampshaded.
- Buffy Speak
- Calling Your Attacks: As with Order of the Stick, when a spell is cast, its name is shouted - or said in a dramatic tone of voice. And all sneak attacks must be punctuated by shouting "SNEAK ATTACK!"
- Captain Obvious: And how! First appears in this comic, but really becomes important here.
- Caramelldansen Vid: This comic.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Captain Obvious has a goatee specifically to demonstrate his evilness.
- The yellow, evil goatee is yellow and evil.
- Catch Phrase: "I have a cape which is red and says CO on it!"
- Characterisation Tags: Applied extensively during the time travel arc, usually "past!" or "future!".
- Cliff Hanger: Lampshaded repeatedly. Here, for example.
- Context-Sensitive Button : The explicit power of the Rod of Versatility.
- Convection Schmonvection: Lampshaded, then "justified" with the MST3K Mantra.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bob, being the most cynical character in the story.
- Delayed Ripple Effect: Changes to the timeline move forward at approximately the same rate as new pages are produced.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Greyzones are monochrome for reasons of plot. Also, The Way Of The Metagamer 2: In Name Only is "monochrome for dramatic purposes", although with the occasional Splash of Colour.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Captain Obvious usually repeats any given fact at least twice.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: The Colour Drops.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom
- Enhance Button: Joel Robinson invents a justified one here.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Every character of In Name Only is named "The -Occupation-". Including "The Victim".
- Everything Sensor: Trope-tan has one in her GBA.
- Evil Laugh: Lampshaded (also a Firefly Shout-Out) by Captain Obvious.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Townwithanequipmentstoreaplacewithmapsandatavernofcourse.
- Fake Crossover: With Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- Fang Thpeak: Trope-tan thometimeth getth a lithp, due to her Cute Little Fang. However, she's done a lot of vocal training and thus only lisps when she's distracted by something.
- Fictional Document: The sequel, The Way Of The Metagamer 2: In Name Only.
- Filler Strips: One of these, ironically, took more time to create than the actual comic it was filling in for.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Lampshaded.
- Flowery Elizabethan English: Anyone from the past. As with the Future Badass rule, it doesn't matter how far from the past one is.
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Page 249 features reader questions from the comment section of the previous comic being answered since it seems there is no way to continue the plot.
- Frame Break
- Fun with Acronyms: The GIGAHERTZ and the CFVDEWTOD.
- Future Badass: Parodied. Everyone from the future is badass. No matter how far that future is. Even characters from five minutes in the future are incredibly badass.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In issue 131 we have this exchange:Joel: Crow!Crow: Hey. I'm just pointing out the creepy imagery.
- Gilligan Cut: "We're not going to the tavern."
- Glasses Pull: The Detective of In Name Only.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Lampshaded.
- Gratuitous Japanese: Justifiably invoked by Moe Anthropomorphism Trope-tan.
- Green Lantern Ring: The Rod of Versatility +3. Kinda.
- Heroic Mime: Parodied.
- Holodeck Malfunction: The intended function of the CFVDEWTOD.
- Hypocritical Humour
- I Lied: Quoted here.
- Impossible Thief: The Detective in The Way Of The Metagamer 2: In Name Only.
- In a World: The trailers for In Name Only.
- Infinite Canvas: Although the comics are all approximately the same size (except for double-length specials), characters, speech bubbles, and shoes often breach the borders of the panels. And then there's this comic, in which the characters climb behind the panels.
- In Name Only: The Way Of The Metagamer 2: In Name Only, starring The Detective and The Watson.
- Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Parodied here.
- Interactive Narrator
- Ironic Echo Cut: Every panel in the second half of this comic.
- Also, the introduction of Townwithanequipmentstoreaplacewithmapsandatavernofcourse.
- Justifying Edit: Parodied here.
- Let Me Get This Straight: Lampshaded here.
Trope-tan: So, you spent an entire chapter trying to escape from this comic, to no avail?
- And again here, along with about 12 panels worth of getting it straight. The actual line is used, too.
- This becomes a sort of Running Gag, with several conversations lampshading it. For example:
Bob: Yes, that is exactly what I just said, except rephrased as a question.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Simple Mode takes a long time to load.
- Long List
- Magical Computer: The DnD within the Book actually runs on an "XLPQ-732 Dungeon Master" - a computer powerful enough to run Dungeons & Dragons fully. Although it does have the occasional BSOD.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Xavius gets shot through the head. With a laser.Xavius: Ow.
- Medium Awareness: The characters can read each other's speech bubbles.
- Metaphorgotten: Like a jigsaw puzzle.
- Minovsky Physics: Unobtanium.
- Mr. Exposition: Gary's major role is to explain the entire plot.
- Xavius and the Author have also taken on this role.
- MST3K Mantra: In-Universe. Specifically cited here. Appears once more during the MST3K crossover.
- MST: Of itself, during the Fake Crossover.
- My Future Self and Me: The time-travel arc, although mostly with past!selves.
- No Fourth Wall: The comic's defining trope.
- No Name Given: Jane doesn't actually have a name; "Jane" is merely her desired pseudonym.
- Noodle Implements: You don't want to know what they do with the protractor.
- Odd-Shaped Panel: This comic has a particularly notable example.
- Oh My Gods!: "Gorramit" and "Oh my Haruhi".
- One of Us: The characters will occasionally use WikiMarkup in their sentences, implying the author has edited a few pages in his time.
- As if Trope-tan's presence doesn't make it obvious. See also Trope Overdosed below.
- Overly Long Name: Townwithanequipmentstoreaplacewithmapsandatavernofcourse.
- Plot Hole: Literally.
- Power Floats and Power Glows: Everything with any degree of magical power. Especially the Colour Drops.
- Punny Name: Ebony Nauss.
- Quip to Black: The Detective of In Name Only.
- Red Shirt: Destruction! He's even wearing a literal red shirt.
- Reset Button: You need one if your comic throws up a BSOD.
- Rule of Funny: Mentioned here.
- Sarcasm Mode
- Schizo Tech: There are skyscrapers in the Medieval towns. With elevators.
- Scoring Points: "Awesome Points" are occasionally handed out to both characters and readers. They don't do anything. Yet.
- Pinball Scoring: The lowest possible value of Awesome Points is 100.
- Sealed Evil In A
- Seinfeldian Conversation
- Self-Deprecation: Full of it, particularly during the MSTing.
- Shout-Out: To Metroid, Ace Attorney, Gears of War and more.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Every single character of In Name Only.
- Spirit Advisor: Gary Gygax.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Bob at one point in the MS Ting.Bob: I was definitely pointing out how Jane having all those spells prepared made no sense. And I certainly wasn't cursing at her like a complete idiot. Definitely. Yeah.
- Take That: Ouch for Twilight.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded here.
- Technobabble: Technobabble Box™. Technobabble has been provided by nearly everybody: the Author, Trope-tan, Joel...
- Theme Naming: "Titular", "Ebony Nauss".
- Theory of Narrative Causality: As the comments here explain, narrativium is a major element - high concentrations of narrativium produce raw plot energy, rendering certain areas more plot-relevant than others. The Plot Hole is dangerous because it takes away narrativium.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!
- Timeline Altering Macguffin: past!Jane.
- Time Skip: Fast Forward! The Time Skip was only 22 comics in length, though.
- Time Travel Tense Trouble: Lampshaded, of course.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The only real way to explain the events of the time travel arc. The chapter's called "Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey" for a reason.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Parodied in In Name Only.The Wise Wizard Guy: You, Detective... you are a tomato.
The Detective: Yeah, I know.
The Wise Wizard Guy: ... no "oh God, what have I become"?
The Detective: Nope.
- Trade Snark: As noted above, Technobabble Box™. Other trademarked boxes include the "Exposition Box™" and the "Inventory Box™".
- Trailers Always Spoil: The second trailer for In Name Only is intentionally filled with spoilers.
- Tricked Out Time: Invoked.
- Trope Overdosed: This is the author's stated goal, as seen here.
- Trust Password: Trope-tan uses one of these in a way.Trope-tan: Greetings, past/future!Trope-tan. Shall we collate our information now?past/future!Trope-tan: Indeed, present!Trope-tan. We shall.
- Unobtanium, which is actually fits Minovsky Physics.
- The Unreveal: Bad luck, readers.
- Unsound Effect: Temporarycollapse!
- Verbal Tic: Several.
- Trope-tan uses "desu" and "nyoro" frequently.
- Past!characters use "forsooth", "alack", and "alas".
- Wall of Text: Practically a necessity for Captain Obvious. Walls of text are often specifically denoted - rectangular speech bubbles are used, labeled with a message such as "Technobabble Box" or "Exposition Box".
- The Web Always Existed: Bob's iPhone still works in the Medieval world of D&D. Technically justified, since the Book exists in the present day.
- Welcome To
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Bob's power, which is "failing at building demolition".
- The Wiki Rule: Right here.
- A Wizard Did It: The Summariser uses this as a justification of egregious tropes.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe:
- You Already Changed The Past: Gorramit, predestination.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Both Fred and Trope-tan.
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