The toys have come to life.
And they play Tabletop Games
is the work of Noah J.D. Chinn, who made the initial strips as a one-shot homage to Knights of the Dinner Table
, using stuffed animals, miniature paper props and a digital camera because "it was all I had". The strips ended up becoming very popular (praised by the late Gary Gygax
, even) and Kenzer and Company, the KOTD publisher, made a deal to host the strip officially, and later published two dead tree volumes and a Fuzzy Knights RPG book.
Over time the concept evolved into a whole fuzzy underground keeping up The Masquerade
, with rules, a culture and villians of its own.. The focus remains the core group of four:
- Mossfoot, a green bear, team leader and the Game Master.
- Violet, a purple bear and slightly violent chick who used to live on the street till she met Mossfoot and eventually moved in with him and became his girlfriend.
- Target, a cat, whose owner mostly uses him as a punching bag. The group Butt Monkey, if only because he has trouble keeping characters alive for more than a few levels, and a bit of a coward, but generaly honorable and logical.
- Ben, a rabbit, who swears he's Scottish and is the bane of the group, frequently driving Mossfoot's campaigns Off the Rails and generally being a Munchkin. Once in a while though, his hair-brained schemes actually pan out.
The series ended sometime in 2006 and is available for reading here
- Action Girl: Violet plays these sorts of characters, but give her something to hit with, a target and a provocation and she'll live up to it. She's also handy with jujitsu.
- A God Am I: "I AM THE STORY!"
- All Men Are Perverts: "So, which of you guys is going to go in there and get your life experience drained?"
Target: OOOH! ME! ME! ME FIRST!
Ben: NO ME! OVER HERE! YO! ACH!
- Brick Joke: The backwards Enya CD.
- Ben's Snoopy dance.
- Ben's triangle and shouting, "COME AND GET IT!"
- Brown Note: Kitty's team in F.I.G.H.T. is so incapable of adapting their playstyle to the Hackmaster game ("Do I see a unicorn?") that any REFs that hear their stream of inane questions burn out. The Philosopher Kings and Teddy Bear Picnic later find a way to use it as a weapon against HamaEstra.
- Bullying a Dragon: Ben to HamaEstra during their F.I.G.H.T. round together.
- Catch Phrase: "GHAH!" Used by several characters, but mostly Ben.
- "Hoody Hoot, Mon!" Used exclusively by Ben.
- Chaotic Stupid: Ben in a nutshell. It's one thing that he plays his Chaotic Neutral characters this way; it wouldn't be half as bad if he didn't actually believe that his half-cocked ideas are good sense.
- Collective Groan: "It's the same thing, right? Right?"
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Applebee, owner of the Fuzzy's online TV station Channel F, who does plenty of Executive Meddling on Mossfoot's series.
- Deadly Game: HamaEstra turns his tournament match with the Fuzzy Knights into this. It's possible he did this with the other teams besides the Fuzz he played with as well.
- Defictionalization: Of sorts. The creator made a Fuzzy Knights tabletop RPG game that basically lets you tell your own stories in the FK 'verse. Mossfoot shows off the game as his own homebrew system in the first arc of The Tabletop Crusaders.
- Stats for characters in this system occasionally show up in the comic's margins.
- Demonic Possession: Ben by a cursed sourcebook in order to bring forth Kachooloo.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: The RPG training scenarios Mossfoot runs with the Fuzz recruits includes Kachooloo. No one can understand what he's saying through.
- Domestic Abuse: Played with when discussing Target's owner. While he's just taking out his frustrations on a stuffed animal he doesn't know is sentient, from Target's point of view it's far less innocent and has left him with a few... issues.
- Fake Crossover: Fuzzy versions of well-known characters occasionally make cameos in the comic, such as Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street and Brian from Knights of the Dinner Table, but while they do look and act like the real characters, they're really just plush toys based on them. Kachooloo is an interesting variant, as it's heavily hinted that he's the spirit of the real Cthulhu trapped in a powerless plush body thanks to a botched summoning by Ben.
- Fake Nationality: Ben's Scotish-ness. According to Crazy Al, he once had a Jamaican phase.
- Femme Fatale: Fembunny.
- Fridge Logic: In Tabletop Crusaders, the group still mentions heading down to the pool hall despite the pool hall we've seen being in another country altogether (Crusaders takes place in England while the hall is in Japan). Presumably, they've found a new one.
- Fun with Acronyms: The Fuzzy International Gamer's Hackmaster Tournament (F.I.G.H.T.)
- Gratuitous French: Fembunny again.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Mr. Applebee, always behind his (relatively) huge office chair; he sees who he's meeting in his office by using the security cameras.
- Humans Are Special: In a way. Overall, Fuzzies exist as they do today because of the development of human imagination. Fuzzies lack the human ability to create Stories. The purpose of HamaEstra's experiments was to find a way to break that connection so Fuzzies could create their own Stories and become independent of humans.
- Idiot Ball: Occasionally the characters pick it up, mainly because if an in-universe Rule of Funny (the world of Fuzzies is dominated by the rules of Narrative Causality, after all).
Mossfoot: You know, sometimes I get the feeling we're really, really dense.
- Killer Game Master: HamaEstra's claim to infamy is that he's not joking on the "killer" part.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The roleplaying games the gang plays, according to the FAQ. Hackmaster carries over from Knights of the Dinner Table.
- Let's Get Dangerous: When Fembunny is chained to a bomb, Ben steps up and challenges HamaEstra to enter the game, as Game Master, for a duel of tasks. And wins.
- Living Toys: Fuzzies.
- Lovable Coward: Target, though he sometimes slips into Cowardly Lion territory.
- Munchkin: Ben will do anything for experience points. In the Tabletop Crusaders storyline he's been getting lessons from a fuzzy version of Brian from Knights of the Dinner Table.
- Narrative Causality: It's called "The Story." Because Fuzzies are created by human imagination, their world runs on stories and story rules.
- No Name Given: The Femme Fatale is known only in official material as "Fembunny;" her actual name has never been revealed, at least not in-comic.
- An e-mail to her from Mr. Applebee refers to her as "Ms. Bunny."
- Noodle Incident
Violet: I haven't felt this uneasy since the "Ochre Jelly Pie Fight" fiasco.
Target: That poor poor clown convention.
Violet: Actually, I feel sorrier for the children's party that watched it all happen.
- The Obi-Wan: Captain Captain and Frogerik to Mossfoot. They don't die, however.
- In Frogerik's case, that's because he's Genre Savvy enough to not try and fight the Big Bad himself, knowing it would result in his death. Same applies for the other Mentors.
- Off the Rails: The fate of most of Mossfoot's campaigns.
- Only Sane Man: Er, sane bear. Mossfoot can be reduced to this when his players are being particularly tough.
- Post Script Season: Tabletop Crusaders
- Pyro Maniac: Target likes his flamethrowers.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The conclusion of the Tabletop Crusaders story. Ben enters the Nexus and undoes Mossfoot's entire campaign world, scoring him all the experience points possibly available whilst proclaiming himself a god. Mossfoot manages to make it an And I Must Scream, a second-level bard trapped unaging forever in "cosmic lint" one point short of third-level with no way to get it, while pointing out that he can just make an Alternate Universe. Awesome Moments all around.
- Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear: Kachooloo, thanks to the botched circumstances of his summoning, is trapped in a powerless plush body. Last seen stealing Santa Claus's bag (confirmed to have dimension-crossing properties) and confronting HamaEstra in his new laboratory. However, we don't see how any of it plays out due to the series ending. Which is particularly painful, given the first event wasn't All Just a Dream.
- Tailor-Made Prison: Following his defeat to Mossfoot and Dog, HamaEstra (believed to be inert) is sealed in one of these, as seen in the first story's epilogue. He breaks out in the second story, using the needle they sewed him back together with.
- Theory of Narrative Causality: Similar to Discworld, The Story is a tangible force which can be exploited by those trained to do so - like a game master. When too many plot-convenient coincidences start happening, it stops being coincidences.
- Trigger Phrase: "Life's a game." HamaEstra's password to take full control of the REFs. Fembunny is capable of doing the same by imitating his voice. When he makes his move, he changes the password, though we never learn what it is.
- Who's on First?: After arriving in England but before Ben and Target arrive, Mossfoot and Violet try a one-on-one game and Violet names the three characters she controls with shortened names Hoo, Whut, and Ida Kno. It quickly devolves into this when she needs them to stand on three tiles.