Thaco: We are not jumping off this roof to our deaths! Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes
We're jumping off that
roof to our deaths. It's got a tree.
is a webcomic written, penciled, and colored by Tarol Hunt, nicknamed Thunt, following the adventures of a band of, well, goblins, as they fight off evil adventurers
. It's a role reversal of the typical adventure RPG Dungeons & Dragons
, though familiarity with the game isn't required to understand what's happening.
The main story follows five members of a cannon-fodder goblin tribe (Thaco, Chief, Big-Ears, Complains-of-Names, and Fumbles) who decide to stop being cannon fodder and become Player Characters
. A side plot follows a sixth goblin (Dies-Horribly) who goes on a solo adventure arc quite against his will. It features detailed world-building (including quite a few whole-cloth, background creatures with detailed biologies) and characterization, particularly of the villains. One of the goblin characters, Big-Ears, is a rare instance of a truly gentle, heroic and noble paladin, while the paladin status of the most opaque and brutal villain, Kore, thus far is one of the most foreboding mysteries.
The comic doesn't give its characters very long to get used to their newfound abilities as heroes. Goblins
thrusts its main characters in over their heads almost
immediately, locks them into a course of action
they can't possibly handle, and then calls into play a series of oddities, Deus ex Machina
, coincidences, character-driven actions, more Deus ex Machina
, and Chekhov's Guns
that collectively get the heroes into a position where they might possibly
be able to escape their impossible predicament. Because it didn't seem like they'd get into this much danger this quickly, the story instantly became edge-of-your-seat reading.
The comic is also known for its twice-weekly (usually) update schedule, juggling three plots at the same time, spending literally months on mook battles
, and skipping comic updates to advertise products
. Of course, this makes the comic sound far worse than it is, and it should be noted that the mostly wordless mook battles are often stunningly descriptive visuals and sometimes even Crowning Moments of Awesome all on their own.
The site also hosts a sub-comic, Tempts Fate
, about a lone goblin adventurer facing various dangers each comic. This part is Thunt's donation scheme
and thus, people would have to stop supporting Thunt's artistic endeavors to kill Tempts Fate off. So far, he's survived every death trap.
Citing health issues, Thunt placed Goblins
on an extended hiatus in early 2014. The comic returned on September 17 of the same year.
For the completely unrelated computer game, see Gobliiins
. For goblins in general, see Our Goblins Are Different
Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes provides examples of the following tropes:
open/close all folders
Tropes A to D
- Absolute Cleavage: One alternate Kin.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Well, it is an RPG world, but a sewer with sculptures in it is pushing things a bit....
- Achievements in Ignorance:
- Drowbabe misunderstands the purpose of the Mage Armor spell, thinking it lessens the damage she takes (when it actually makes it easier to dodge incoming blows). When Ears points out how the spell works, she realizes she should have taken more damage earlier in the battle, and promptly dies.
- Minmax's oblivion sword is only able to exist because his mind can't fathom the concept of oblivion. In fact, Kin theorizes that his ignorance might make the weapon more powerful; his sword treats "nothingness" as a power source (somehow), so the more it is "nothing" the more powerful it becomes. To this end, the less concept its wielder has of what it is and how it works the stronger it gets. Minmax, naturally, and without realizing the implications, immediately names the sword "Oblivious".
- Advancing Boss of Doom: Kore
- Advancing Wall of Doom: A wall full of spikes makes one of the Maze of Many's rooms a Timed Mission. Kore may also qualify, since he's got a shield as big as he is.
- All There in the Manual: There is a the Maze of Many Alts list that collects most of the different alts that have appeared so far.
- Almost Kiss: Between Kin and Minimax; they are interrupted by Ruby.
- Alternate Universe: The Maze of Many allows multiple versions of Kin, Minmax and Forgath to exist in the same place at once.
- Always a Bigger Fish: "The bigger creatures always kill the smaller creatures, it's just the nature of the world!"
- Always Chaotic Evil:
- Although it's never said out loud, it's clearly a deconstruction of the trope. The Goblins (who are usually considered Always Chaotic Evil in RPG settings) and such are portrayed as creatures who are just trying to survive in a world where they are seen as mere XP Fodder.
- It's also justified in the case of the Elite Guard: a cadre of people who've signed up specifically because they're more brutal and sadistic than the regular city guard. In one scene Thaco compares the Elite Guards' motivations to those of the standard city guard, and for the rest of the comic, it's presumably okay to assume that the Elite Guards are Always Lawful Evil. Ears the Paladin confirms this with his Detect Evil ability.
- On the other hand, it appears to be played straight with demons and The Undead.
- Amazing Technicolor Population:
- An Arm and a Leg: Present in all three variants for many characters, with Dies-Horribly only being the first. K'Seliss loses both of his arms to a flesh-eating disease; Biscuit is afflicted with the same curse and cuts off his leg in response. Kin's entire tail is liquified by Psion-Minmax... and those are only examples for the main cast, minor characters rarely stay in one piece in the bigger battle sequences.
- And I Must Scream:
- If what we see will be infinitely repeated, Biscuit and anyone the guardian demon owns. (Even Dies.) Cruel and Unusual Death indeed. Fortunately, the souls the demon owns were apparently released when she was banished from the Material Plane.
- In one of the Alternate Universes, any creature can survive being decapitated as a result of a hero's wish to save his wife that didn't go according to plan. The Minmax from that reality beheaded Thaco, Complains and a third goblin, and carries the still-living severed heads around on a length of rope.
- Angrish: A mild case of it, in terms of speechless anger, when Chief has just prayed to his god that there'd be no guards around the corner; this is his reaction.
- Annoying Arrows: Played completely straight at the beginning of the comic. Later averted with crossbows, though, and Dellyn's arrows.
Chief: Fumbles, I want you to seriously work on your aim, OK?
Goblin: (pincushioned by 5 arrows) Yes. Please do.
Fumbles: Look, I said I was sorry.
- Anti-Climax: The end of the Maze of Many arc. Psion Minmax is back! And his body is made of nearly-invulnerable IME material! This promise an epic final fight between all the heroes and the villain... except, on the next page, Minmax just grabs him and throws him onto the exit of the Maze.
- Anti-Human Alliance
- Anyone Can Die: No-one is safe from this.
- Arc Words:
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?
- Artistic Licence Biology:
- In real life, fusing a rope through Kore's neck should have taken out several of the vertebrae in his neck and paralyzed him through damage to his spine, not just caused him to choke.
- Apparently Kore does not have a neck.
- Arrow Catch: Thaco in his fight with Goblinslayer. Not surprising considering he's a monk, and foreshadowed earlier.
- Art Evolution: Thunt's style and technique have both improved significantly over the course of the comic's lifetime, most recently adding shading to the strip. The difference is so stark that the first page of the archive, rather than being the first strip of the comic, is a page showing just how much the art has changed over time.
- Artifact of Doom:
- The Axe of Prissan, which imprisons a demon of near godlike power. If the Axe goes 13 months in the hands of an evildoer, it will break free.
- To a lesser extent, the Shield of Wonder. A localized example, but not a small one for those near it. Some of the results listed on its stats pages aren't even particularly localized. For instance, one effect is that the last person to verbally speak to the wielder is turned to stone, no matter where they are. Another is that the last creature the wielder killed appears in front of him. There are other examples, but perhaps one of the scariest is this: "No matter where he is, the 4th oldest dragon in the realm suddenly loses his wings as well as any ability to fly or teleport in any way." The dragon and the wielder both instantly know that if the dragon in question directly kills the wielder, these abilities will return.
- Artificial Limbs:
- Dies-Horribly's arm.
- Possibly Dellyn Goblinslayer's as well.
- An alternate Minmax also possesses crystalline arms that may fit this.
- Artistic Licence Economics: In-universe example, lampshaded by two guards discussing it.
- Ass Shove: Weaponized against a demon, and it looks very, very painful.
- As You Know: Psion Minmax feels the need to tell his version of Kin that he's killed her 817 times, and that she remembers them all, along with some other exposition that she really should know by now.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!:
- Goblinslayer just before he dies.
- Complains is officially pissed at Kore.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!:
- Goblinslayer again.
- Shortly afterward, Kin.
Don't throw the spear! Chief:
Why not? Kin:
I can't keep them back for long
! They're going to rush in here in a moment, and that's our only melee weapon!
(Chief throws the magic spear, and it reappers in his hand
(after a beat panel
) THROW THE SPEAR!
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Minmax
- Automatic Crossbows: Kore fights with two of these.
- Badass Beard:
- He may be a murdering psychopath, but Kore has a nice beard.
- And K'seliss's spiky dewlap creates the impression of reptilian Perma Stubble.
- Forgath's beard always was, as befitting a dwarf, but even moreso since it became undestructible.
- Badass Boast:
- Badass Mustache: Fumbles, or rather Señor Vorpal Kickass'o, tries to invoke this trope with his fake mustache.
- Bad End: Our group narrowly avoids the end an equivalent group gets.
- Bag of Holding: Onyx have several bags of "moulding" — bags of mini-holding.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Defied. Forgath believes in this, but Kin tells him rather bluntly that, throughout the multiverse as a whole, Evil is winning.
- Baleful Polymorph: A good reason not to use the random-effect magic shield Complains picks up. Alternately, a good reason TO use it if utterly and hopelessly outnumbered.
- Barbarian Hero: Minmax was already fitting the trope when a pure fighter (by D&D rules). As of the fight in the magic forest room of the Maze of Many, he has officially taken his first level of barbarian. (With the "extra rage" feat, as befitting of a good minmaxer.)
Minmax: The strength bonus from raging is totally awesome!
- Bar Brawl: Minmax vs. Goblinslayer.
- Batman Gambit: Lampshaded. When Thaco challenges Dellyn to a duel, both of them know that Thaco has some sort of trap planned. Nonetheless, Dellyn accepts when Thaco points out that the only alternative is for Dellyn to order his soldiers to kill Thaco, and bear the reputation of not being able to kill a single old, frail goblin.
- Battle Aura: Called Individual Magical Effect (I.M.E.) in-story.
- Battle Cry:
- Battle in the Rain: The first fight between the goblin warcamp and the adventurers.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Part of the backstory for minor character Sticks involves him bluffing a Brassmoon guard into thinking he's not an orc, but a soldier who's been polymorphed into an orc to infiltrate an army of orcs who are besieging the city.
- Bearer of Bad News: Kin, explaining about the Maze of Many's counter. She really, really would rather NOT be doing so.
- Because Destiny Says So: Many goblins with names that aren't the case already will be happening. For example, the goblin named "Dies-Horribly".
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The trainer who "trained" Fluffles tried to invoke this trope by sending the owlbear at his enemies. He failed.
- Berserk Button: Kore threatening to wipe out Forgath's entire clan (as well as breaking his helmet) trigger's Forgath's.
- Berserker Tears:
- Kin, as she kills Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- Complains after Chief's death. He starts drawing upon his Superpowered Evil Side, getting ready to fight Kore.
- Best Served Cold:
- Betty and Veronica: Gender-flipped by Dies-Horribly and Grem.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Scorpion!Kin from an alternate universe. She sees it as a major advantage over the fleshy, weak tails of all the Yuan-Ti!Kin. Up until our Kin snaps Scorpion!Kin's neck using her tail.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Bifurcated Weapon: Thaco's Cane-swords.
- Big Bad: Multiple of these, one for both of the major plot arcs, and another even bigger bad who seems likely to be a part of the comic's culmination.
- Big Damn Heroes: This happens a few times.
- One example is when Ears comes back to save the other goblins from the plant-possessed orcs.
- Biscuit. Period.
- When Kin has had her tail liquefied and been left to bleed out on the floor, the alternate Kins the party had fought earlier come along and pass her the healing water, and go to help fight the Big Bad.
- Big "NO!":
- Big-Ears when he finds out that Chief is dead.
- Psion Minmax when Minmax throws him onto the exit of the Maze of Many. Forcing him to return to his reality, unable to come back and enact his plan to send everyone into oblivion.
- Bilingual Bonus: After the initial three Driz'zt-clones get killed off, one of their players re-rolls a Japanese ninja...er, samurai. The character's name: Baka. Which, in Japanese, is the word for "Fool".
- Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: Minmax trying to judge the charisma scores of the ladies of Brassmoon. Hilarity ensues.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Kin's top half looks human enough, sure, but a discussion with Minmax proves that her insides are definitely different.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: When a goblin is enraged, his pupils dilate, making his eyes completely black.
- Blasphemous Boast: Saves-a-Fox doesn't stop at defying fate.
Saves-a-Fox: Duv... you and Maglubiyet can kiss my ass.
- Blessed with Suck: Getting an awesome, new, set of armor from the Shield of Wonder... that grows until it crushes you to death horribly.
- Blue and Orange Morality: K'seliss views fighting, eating, and mating as aspects of the same thing... and therefore believes that fighting anything he can't eat or mate with is sickeningly perverted, and refuses to do so. He also thinks eating the fingers and limbs of a potential mate is an acceptable display of affection. It's also implied that his entire race is like this, despite the fact that there's no more biological justification for it than there is for humans.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma / Literal-Minded: The goblins can have this kind of problems with human expressions. Notably Dies-Horribly in the ad intermission:
Dies-Horribly: How can a book knock clothing off an Amazon? Is it even possible? I mean, they hardly wear anything to begin with.
- Blush Sticker: Onyx, the pale alternate-Kin sorceress, has pink circles on her cheeks. They aren't natural; her face was permanently marked with them in a ritual sacrifice in her reality's Brassmoon.
- Body Horror: Goblins is not for the faint-hearted.
- One of the Shield of Wonder's favorite tricks is to inflict horrific transformations on those who strike it (or anyone around them). An unlucky accident causes it to try to transform Complains into a demon. It partially succeeds before Big-Ears stops the effect. Complains now has scales, clawed fingers and fangs.
- For the sake of preventing this trope, DO NOT TOUCH MR. FINGERS!!! No, seriously. Bad idea.
- Though hardly the worst seen, one of the goblins that survives the escape from Brassmoon is a young female whose missing all the skin along her back, leaving her spinal column and other bones fully and completely exposed.
- Brainless Beauty: Drowbabe; Yodette
- Breaking In Old Habits: After Dies-Horribly gets his prosthetic hand.
- Break the Cutie:
- Fumbles. Poor, poor Fumbles.
- Saves-a-Fox, when Dies reveals she may have been a slave to fate all along.
- Off-panel (and partly before the story begins), but Kin was regularly tortured and raped to the point where she has a phobia of human contact.
- Brick Joke:
- In March 2010, we discover that Minmax has Improved Unarmed Strike as a result of trading in his ability to rhyme on purpose. In July 2011, Forgath tricks him into reciting "I'm a Little Teapot", and sure enough, he can't even get the rhymes right.
- A joke where the punchline comes seven years later: Summon Badger!
- Minmax managed to guess Complains' name, calling it "spooky". He managed to pull the same thing with the large demon in an Alternate Universe.
- Yodette says it all: "I know what's going to happen! You two are gonna die and I'm going to be that trope of a big-boobed bimbo running alone and panicked through the woods until I trip over something stupid and fall down and get eaten!" Two strips later, she indeed trips over something stupid... Baka's upper half.
- In one of the earlier strips, Minmax was chastised by Forgath for rolling attacks against a tree out of boredom. It got justified in the Maze of Many.
- The 7/21/13 strip goes so far as to copy and paste a panel from one of the first strips, detailing that Minmax "knows 38 ways to kill a guy with just his thumbs". At the time, it was just a joke to freak out Dies Horribly, but the callback is intentional so the reader (who probably doesn't remember a one-off joke from years ago) knows exactly what's about to happen...
- Bring It:
- Broken Pedestal: Minmax discovering his idol's tendencies (and the result). Go Minmax.
- Brown Note: Since even the (fracking huge) weapon of a god's underling is powerful enough to fry anyone who touches the blade and maintain an energy portal leading to a magical dungeon, it's probably not that surprising when Kin mentions that seeing the weapon of an actual god would probably kill whoever was dumb enough to look.
- Buffy Speak:
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Invoked. After their duel has finished, Thaco tells Dellyn that he intends to remember the fight as a "random encounter" and that it will definitely not become the subject of goblin legend.
- Buxom Is Better: Drowbabe and her replacement character. Lampshaded by Minmax to likely be the product of some lonely teenager who barely knows what women are like. Since Yodette isn't (literally and deliberately) falling out of her top, it's possible that Drowbabe's player is learning — a little. Maybe.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: A favourite effect of Thunt's, used to great effect throughout.
- Call Back:
- Calling Your Attacks: Calling your spells is not only done, but apparently required, since Kore is unable to Lay Hands on himself when his voice is impeded by the rope fused to his throat. This is an especially odd example, because by D&D 3.5 rules, there is no verbal component to Lay on Hands. It's a paladin special ability invoked mentally.
- Captain Obvious:
- Forgath's helmet. It is a helmet, you see.
- Chief announces stabbing himself in the eye by screaming, "Aaaah! I stabbed myself in the freakin' eye!"
- Also, Dellyn:
Dellyn: What's the matter, Thaco? You didn't think that I'd spot your trap? Didn't think I'd see it coming?
Thaco: Sigh. Of course it's a trap, you moron. Stop congratulating yourself for noticing the obvious.
- Cassandra Truth: See Don't Touch It, You Idiot!.
- Catapult Nightmare: Kin has those. Not surprising considering the likely nature of her dreams.
- Censor Steam: Psion Minmax, after his resurrection, steps through the hole surrounded by handy wisps of smoke, with one hiding his privates.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Initially the comic was mostly about making jokes based on various D&D tropes and conventions, and had absolutely No Fourth Wall, with the adventurers explicitly being characters in someone's role-playing game. Quite soon it grew way more serious in tone and began developing the fourth wall, although various D&D mechanics are occasionally referenced by characters.
- Challenging the Chief: How The Goblinslayer got his job as captain of the town guard.
- Character Development: After reading through the first couple arcs and noting how much of a supreme prick Minmax is, you totally wouldn't expect him to pull a moment of awesome later on. Given the title and how the strip started, one would be justified in expecting that it would be just a role reversal of the standard adventure comic trope: the goblins are the protagonists, the human adventurers are the mooks who show up as little more than walking XP. Instead, it quickly becomes a standard adventure comic with the twist that the main characters are goblins, and then a couple of the antagonists turn into protagonists. This is not a Heel-Face Turn, partly because they'd still like very much to kill the goblins and partly because after they become viewpoint characters for a while we find out they're really pretty nice guys and were never really "heels" in the first place, it's just Fantastic Racism all around.
- Character Level
- Characters Dropping Like Flies: Being an RPG Mechanics Verse set in a Crapsack World with a Killer Gamemaster, the comic has been known to kill scores of named characters in a single major battle.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- The random-effect magical shield.
- The Anymug.
- On a darker note, there was an obvious clue that Dellyn Goblinslayer regularly rapes Kin way back on one page — his bed in his room has shackles attached to it.
- The Talking Wall of Brassmoon shows up in the background during one of the battles. It seems to have never appeared before and claims to have been created during a really long story arc. Word of God says it's a mundane wall that got transformed into the talking wall by the Shield of Wonder.
- Minmax's "I AM GREAT" belt buckle, after being thrown through the magical hole in the wall of the Maze of Many, turns into a giant rock disc that crushes the alternate versions of Minmax and Forgath.
- The keys to the treasure chest Minmax got his new gear from in the Maze of Many would have been this, as (at least) one of them was a duplicate of the key needed to leave the maze, which was destroyed. But they left the keys in the locks on the chest. Fortunately, there were other duplicates throughout the Maze, and Onyx has one she's willing to give them.
- Fans accused Tarol of making up new abilities for Kore when he rights himself from a prone position using levers on his tower shield. Tarol pointed out that the handles had been drawn on the shield for the last nine years of the comic's run.
- Forgath's beard or rather, the psionically-created replacement made from Psion!Minmax's machine, manages to break Kore's axe.
- Chekhov's Skill:
- Deflecting arrows. Or catching them.
- "It says here he knows 38 ways to kill a guy using only his thumb."
- Cold-Blooded Torture:
- Kore tortured Chief to keep the rest of the Goblin Adventuring Party from leaving Chief behind.
- Other examples are Dellyn Goblinslayer and Fluffles' trainer.
- One rather sadistic version is what happened to Klik at the hands of the second Klik that was created from Dies's arm. That... thing was terrifying before it realized Klik's weakness, and became sadistic afterward.
- 98!Minmax tortures his reality's Goblinslayer to death after he killed Minmax's friends.
- Colourful Theme Naming: The alternate Kins are called Ruby (Kin 80), Sapphire (Kin 54) and Onyx (Kin 201) based on their coloring, since just calling them all Kin would get confusing.
- Contractual Genre Blindness:
- Sacred goblin tradition requires them to keep their few magic weapons in The Poorly Locked Chest in the middle of camp, rather than use them in battle. Complain-of-Names is Genre Savvy enough to use the weapon and gets banished because of it.
- Minmax and Dellyn Goblinslayer have both complained about the main characters subverting this trope. Dellyn even calls Thaco's classing into a PC class the most perverted thing that he's ever heard of.
- Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded once:
Saves-a-Fox: This seems kind of contrived.
Biscuit: Most dungeon crawls are.
- Convenient Color Change:
- Weapon auras depend on the wielder.
- Minmax gets armor that changes to any color he says aloud.
- Cool Old Guy: Thaco
- Coup de Grâce: A semi-common way to kill. Also how Dellyn dies.
- Covers Always Lie:
- Crapsack World:
- Crippling Overspecialization: Minmax is a god when it comes to fighting. He can't willfully blink, read, rhyme on purpose, dress himself, think hard, or understand complex concepts. Most of these weaknesses he got in order to get more combat prowess and bonuses.
- Critical Existence Failure: Complains lampshades this by pointing out that, even with just 1 hit point left, he's just as effective at fighting as he would be with full health, provided he doesn't get hit.
- Cross Player: Forgath. Probably Drowbabe as well.
- Cruel and Unusual Death:
- Quite a few of the deaths in the big Brassmoon fight. A few especially nasty ones are the guard who excruciatingly turns into a bunch of snakes, the guard who starts turning into an ogre, only to be cut down by his captain, and that captain, who gets the honor of having his armor grow until it crushes him.
- Chief dies via Cold-Blooded Torture at Kore's hands.
- K'seliss. dies by having his body rot away at the "hands" of Mr. Fingers, while he's still conscious.
- Cruel Mercy: Thaco leaves Goblinslayer alive, with the knowledge that the latter was completely and utterly destroyed by Thaco.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Roak orcs take away their children's most loved possession in order to teach them to accept loss as a part of life. The orc explaining this then tears off Duv's remaining wing, which has defined her turn toward villainy.
- Curse Cut Short:
- Cursed with Awesome: A possessor of a Ring of Undeath is unappealing at best, but is granted quite a few highly-useful bonuses.
- Cute Monster Girl:
- Kin the yuan-ti
- Yala the kobold
- Cute Mute: Yala
- Cutting the Knot:
- Dance Battler:
- Duv's attacks and dodges resemble dancing as much as they do combat moves.
- Thaco's fighting style incorporates gymnastic style jumps, even before he started taking levels in monk.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Several characters, both heroic and otherwise, display this trait.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Basically every good protagonist (save for Minmax and Forgath), but Thaco's is Up to Eleven.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: In Alternate Universe #114, Forgath, Complains and Big-Ears were killed during the battle at the goblin warcamp, while One-Eye (a minor character who died in the same battle in the main universe) survived and became an adventurer working alongside Minmax.
- Deal with the Devil:
- Mryorg the Ogre, who features in the backstory of the Axe of Prissan, has a demon carve a rune into this chest for this purpose.
- Mr. Fingers was created when a farmer begged a devil to cure his son of nightmares; the devil successfully extracted the source of the nightmares from the kid's mind, but let them loose upon the world instead of destroying them.
- Discussed by the demon who inhabits the Well of Darkness. Demons need souls for nourishment, but most of them aren't powerful enough to take souls by force and can only claim souls given willingly; which is why the phrase "Deal with the Devil" has passed into common usage on the mortal plane. Dies makes one, but since his metallic arm effectively gives him two souls, the demon gets dragged to hell for breaking the deal.
- Dear Negative Reader: Thunt uses The Rant occasionally to level countercriticism at reader complaints about his houseruled D&D mechanics. Most notable for "the axe and the rope".
- Death by Looking Up:
- Death or Glory Attack: Complains attacking Kore head-on.
- Delayed Causality: The White Terror's razor-sharp blades.
- Delayed Reaction: Minmax realizing how much damage a fall would cause.
- Destination Defenestration: Minmax to Goblinslayer.
- Deus ex Machina:
- Every major plot arc so far gets resolved through randomness that just happens to save the hapless protagonists. Some of the situations they get into are so bad that these don't get them out of hot water entirely, though...
- The Shield of Wonder spams Ex Machinas of both the Deus and Diabolus variety every time it blocks a strike.
- Didn't Think This Through: Minmax. "Sonova crap."
- Disability Superpower:
- Dies' arm is both a Morph Weapon and an Empathic Weapon.
- Similarly, Goblinslayer's tree half can do some major damage and produce its own wooden weapons.
- One of the alternate parties in the Maze of Many has a Forgath with a staff that allows him to wear unlimited magic rings, but he needs to sacrifice a still bleeding finger to gain this ability. He also parties with a mute Minmax who gave up the ability to speak for a +6 to hit.
- Minmax's various penalty/bonus trades could be considered this.
- Disaster Dominoes:
- Disney Villain Death: A previous owner of the Axe of Prissan tried to kill Kore this way. Obviously, it didn't work.
- Distracting Disambiguation: Minmax versus the demons.
- Does Not Like Shoes: The goblins are barefoot for most of the comic, with a few exceptions.
- The Dog Bites Back:
- Fluffles the Owlbear, instead of attacking the goblin group, savages his "master".
- Kin the yuan-ti giving the Coup de Grâce to Dellyn, after Forgath let go of her magical leash in the fight.
- Biscuit, having spent the past 600 years being tortured by demons, uses his first moment of freedom to decapitate one of his captors.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!:
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Mocked with the "Doom" spell.
Forgath: Ya, but with a name like "Doom" I was expecting something grander. [...]
Young-and-Beautiful: Well, "Very Annoying" doesn't really roll off the tongue as a spell title.
- Door Stopper: Found in universe #219, also known as the Rothfuss reality.
Wait, this isn't a brick, it's a book. Alternate-Universe-Fumbles:
"Sequel to The Name of The Wind
". Hey Dies, isn't that the book you're... um... wearing
- Dope Slap: Fumbles earns himself a double-whammie.
- The Dragon:
- Saral Caine; already dealt with.
- Riss for Duv.
- Dual Wielding:
- The Drizzt-ripoff drow (two scimitars, par for the course);
- Thaco (two sword-canes);
- Dellyn (a wooden sword and sickle);
- Kore (two crossbows at long-range and two axes in melee);
- Borrl the hobgoblin chief (two longswords);
- Duv (two razor-sharp steel shards).
- Dumb Muscle:
- Minmax, who (as befitting his name) has min/maxed himself to have ridiculous combat stats but cannot even read (he gave up literacy for a bonus). With the extremes he takes this to, it may count as a Disability Superpower.
- Hobgoblins, as seen in Sarcasm-Blind, though averted by the hobgoblin met during the Brassmoon arc. It is pointed out that while hobgoblins are usually keen strategists, the Chorgrak tribe that attacked the Viper clan was known for its... lack of subtlety.
- Dungeon Bypass:
- The Viper clan couldn't open the main door to the Well of Darkness (the magic key being actually inside, with a group of dead adventurers), so they had their slaves dig a tunnel to circumvent it.
- In the Maze of Many, Kin, Minmax and Forgath make use of a ceiling broken by an oblivion hole to reach a part of the dungeon crawl that they'd never reached before in their 1,982,771 previous attempts.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: K'seliss taking out Mr. Fingers.
Tropes E to H
- Ears as Hair: Big-Ears usually ties his namesake ears back in combat situations.
- Eldritch Abomination: Mr. Fingers, the lesser finger horror.
- Embarrassing but Empowering Outfit: Minmax objects to Forgath making him wear a suit of magical armor, because it's pink. Subverted when it turns out the armor can change color in response to spoken commands.
- Emotion Eater: Demons can feed on negative emotions and suffering. The stronger the suffering, the better the meal.
- Empathic Weapon:
- Dies' artificial arm.
- The Axe of Prissan and the armor it makes.
- Empathy Doll Shot: Inverted with the doll Fumbles tries to return to the elf girl Aldyria in Brassmoon.
- Enemy Mine:
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dellyn may be a sadistic psychopath who enjoys torture, rape, and murder, but he genuinely weeps when he is shown Saral Caine's dead body.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Minmax may be a powergamer, a jerk, and have all the mental prowess of a brick, but bragging about raping female monsters in front of him may just get you thrown through a window. Even if you're Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies:
- Evil Hand: Odd non-evil example. The living-metal replacement arm Klik gave Dies-Horribly. When he gets scared, the arm grows blades and spikes to defend him. Unfortunately, the (many) situations in which he gets scared tend to go downhill fast if you start brandishing spiky things (and when it goes south he gets even more scared, and the arm gets spikier, and...). Although Dies's hand can also form non-violent images.
Whether or not it still can be called "non-evil" is debatable after the incident with the demons. Perhaps this is why what Klik did is considered forbidden by his species. There's no more debate once the hand tries to kill Saves-a-Fox (twice) and Dies has to struggle for control with it, going as far as taking a blade to cut it off....
- Evil Twin: The majority of the alternate versions of Minmax, Forgath and Kin in the Maze of Many.
- Evil Weapon: Inverted with the Axe of Prissan. It's a container for an archdemon capable of destroying the world, but is itself a good-aligned Empathic Weapon that will only give its full power to a Paladin, and refuses to harm one.
- Exact Words:
- Fox gets her words turned on her:
Saves-a-Fox: Go ahead, touch anything. I won't care.
(K'seliss gooses her)
- The Demoness in the Well of Darkness says that she's the guardian of the Blue Orb of Bloodlight, and offers a trade of "one soul for one orb". When Dies-Horribly offers her his soul, she gives away... an orb of ordinary blue stone. Leads to a Karmic Death when it turns out that Dies has two souls (presumably the second one is in his arm), which goes against the very Exact Words contract that the Demoness was manipulating, causing her to be banished into the deepest plane of hell which even demons themselves fear.
- Biscuit after he chops his own leg off and reaches for a bag full of healing potions.
Grem: No! Don't let him drink the healing potions!
Biscuit: (inserts most of the potion bottles into his mouth and eats them)
- Extreme Omnivore: K'seliss, as well as Eats-Anything.
- Eye Scream:
- Face Death with Dignity: Dies
- The Faceless: Kore's helmet only reveals one eye and some beard, and so he was this until the 10/8/14 strip, which finally revealed his face... and the eerie, horrific mass of souls and glowing wound covering the right half of it.
- Face Palm: Plenty often. Most notable is when Forgath facepalms with his newfound stone fist weapon from Minmax being thick.
- Face Palm of Doom: Forgath casts Inflict Light Wounds on Young-and-Beautiful.
- Facial Horror: Alt Forgath.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: K'seliss
K'seliss: I... told ya... I... do... the... eating.
- Failure Knight: Chief feels a large amount of guilt over his clan's fall from glory.
- Fan Disservice:
- Fanservice Extra:
- Alternate Kin. Wearing tight fitting corset which gives her an Impossibly-Low Neckline, we can even see the start of a humanoid rear before it goes down to her snake tail. And unlike Kin, she also feels the need to wear a loincloth covering her front...
- The other alternate Kin has Absolute Cleavage with small bit of Les Yay.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Psion Minmax
- Fashionable Asymmetry:
- The White Terror
- Besides her Peek-a-Bangs, Saves-a-Fox's pants only cover one leg.
- Fastball Special: This trope feature prominently in the backstory of Boulder the Ogre.
- Fate Worse Than Death:
- For Dellyn Goblinslayer — ignominy.
- Kin the yuan-ti begs for death upon being recaptured by the guards.
- There's a group of demons living in the Well of Darkness, who have enslaved an orc and continually resurrect and kill him in order to nourish themselves on his suffering. He's been resurrected and killed once every few hours for the last 600 years.
- There is a circle of hell reserved for anyone foolish enough to attempt to break a Deal with the Devil so bad that even demons fear its torture. Since Dies has a second soul in his arm, the Demoness is sent there after trading "One soul for one orb."
- It's revealed that Kore doesn't just kill his victims, he absorbs their souls.
- Fed to the Beast: The Vipers try to feed Biscuit to the Switchbeast. That doesn't turn out well.
- Fetus Terrible: Dies' arm, which believes Dies belongs to him.
- Five-Man Band:
- The GAP (Goblin Adventuring Party):
- In the Well of Darkness:
- Fluffy the Terrible:
- Fluffles the owlbear
- Biscuit the orc warrior
- Foil: There are a few pairs:
- Thaco & Dellyn
- Minmax & Dellyn
- Big-Ears & Saral Caine
- Forgath & Kore
- Follow the Leader: Goblins has spawned fan webcomics, notably the adventures of the Scroll Readers Goblin Tribe.
- Early in the series, Young-and-Beautiful the goblin fortune teller predicts that Forgath will die in battle with another dwarf. "When the serpent becomes your prey, friends will become enemies and love will fuel hate." Now consider that he and Minmax have befriended Kin the yuan-ti and Kore kills anyone who even associates with the monstrous races...
- "I'd want you to leave me and escape."
- When we see the alternate parties in the Maze of Many, one window has an alternate Minmax standing alone. The next comic shows why. It isn't pretty.
- The fact that Dies' arm has a mind of its own was first displayed during his sleep.
- Also, whenever Minmax let go of Oblivious, the sword is caught again by his hand in a hole through time. You can get very small glimpses of the future through these holes. Notably, the future shade of his color-changing armor, or sometimes a bit of background hinting to a change of location.
- Kin's mentioning of True-Seeing. Yep, it probably happened. In the worst possible way.
- Forest Ranger: The Goblinslayer was presumably this (ranger class, bow and sword, half-tree), but moved into Brassmoon when it was a more direct path to what he really craved — the power to rule over his little fief of sadism.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Thanks to her magical tattoos, Sapphire, the blue archer Kin alt, can't remember anyone who has died, including her Minmax and Forgath and four of her friends in Brassmoon.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The goblins, and just about every non-human race (including elves and dwarves — though not the demons). Reptiles (like kobolds, yuan-ti, or lizardfolk) tend to have three-fingered hands. All of them (well, those with legs anyway) also have three-toed feet.
- Four Lines, All Waiting: Since the initial attack on the Goblin Warcamp that kicked off the plot, There are, essentially, three main plotlines in the comic. The story will follow one for a while, then put it on hold and switch to one of the others, and sometimes it will switch to a villain perspective for one or two strips. The main threads are:
- The Goblin Adventuring Party (GAP), consisting of Chief now deceased, Thaco, Complains-of-Names, Big-Ears and Fumbles.
- The (somewhat misnamed) Human Adventuring Party (or MFK), consisting of Minmax, Forgath and Kin.
- The Well of Darkness party, consisting of Dies-Horribly, Klik, Saves-a-Fox, Grem and K'seliss now deceased, and later Biscuit the orc. After the party emerges from the well, their plot is further divided into three more lines, with one or two strips following each before switching:
- Saves-a-Fox's duel with Duv.
- Biscuit's one-orc assault on the Viper tribe and Grem.
- Dies-Horribly's battle against his Viper captors and his sentient arm.
- Fridge Logic: An in-universe example. When Dies is told that his clan isn't responsible for their failures (instead being the will of the Goblin God Maglubiyet), he points out that this means that the Viper clan shouldn't be proud of their achievements, since it's simply the will of Maglubiyet. The Viper shaman isn't happy with that thought.
- Funny Background Event: Minmax tries to break into the treasure room. Forgath and Kin ignore him.
- Fun with Homophones: The summon guide appears any time his name is spoken outside of his presence. If he is summoned more than three times, he will just kill the summoner(s). His name is "Noe". You can certainly see where this is going. Though it is also subverted quickly.
- Game Master: One of the Player Characters encountered early on is a Cleric of the Dungeon Master, Herbert.
- Genius Bruiser:
- Genre Savvy: Several characters.
- Giant Spider: Not shown, but Dellyn tells an anecdote about him and Saral fighting a spider the size of a horse.
- Giver of Lame Names:
- Glass Cannon: Acording to his posted stats, Mr. Fingers has an extremely low hit point total for a creature his size. This does nothing to make him less terrifying.
- Good Powers, Bad People: Kore heals Chief. He does this in order to make him scream and impede the escape of the rest of his party.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings:
- Duv has a single white angel wing that marks her out as the savior of all goblinkind (she used to have two, but one was burned off in a fire). Then again, Light Is Not Good...
- Kore's I.M.E. creates a a pair of Angel wings... made from chains and severed heads.
- Gorn: This comic is notable for its almost savage aversion of the Gory Discretion Shot, most significantly during the Battle of Brassmoon City, and Kore's Cold-Blooded Torture of Chief.
- Gotta Kill Them All: Kore with "evil" creatures. Also see Omnicidal Maniac.
- Groin Attack:
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: The Maze of Many. The characters don't remember each attempt, however, but they get a counter. Which is nearing two million loops for the protagonist party.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted with the Brassmoon City guards.
- Half-Human Hybrid:
- Readers believe, due to his appearance and the implications on one page that Saral Caine is one. Likely, he's a Stonechild: Somewhere along his family line, the primal element of Earth was fused with one of his ancestors, or him.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer is one as well; from his appearance, he looks like he might be a treant/human hybrid. The yuan-ti Kin declares he was changed into his present state by a wizard. Given the most recent evidence, he might be a Half-Human Hybrid only in the same way a cyborg is — he looks to be a Half-Golem (a D&D template where an existing creature has golem limbs grafted onto it, kind of a Magitek cyborg).
- Half the Man He Used to Be:
- Happiness in Slavery: What the White Terror thinks the fellow goblins she enslaved ought to feel as they carry out this "service to their god and all of goblinkind".
- Hates Being Touched:
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Anymug can create any mundane liquid. It later comes in handy when something needs to be set on fire.
- Hero Antagonist: Despite both parties being good-aligned, Forgath and Minmax are these, opposite the Goblin party. Minmax's alignment doesn't really become obvious until he beats Dellyn within four hit points of his life for being so damn evil all the time.
- Heroic BSOD:
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- K'seliss of all people does this. Whether or not it was accidental is unclear.
- Hero Killer:
- Dellyn and Saral murdered the previous wielder of the Axe of Prissan before the current events.
- Hero of Another Story: The player group that dies often and shows up with new characters, only to repeat the cycle.
- He's Back: Kickass'o is back to kick some ass.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker:
Big-Ears: It just occurred to me that I'm not comfortable attacking someone from behind.
Orc: HISSSSSSS (spins around)
Big-Ears: Thank you. (axes it in the face)
- Hit Points: Only mentioned when people are close to zero or in the negatives.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- The guard who "trained" Fluffles.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer was beaten and humiliated by a goblin, and later, coup-de-grâce'd by Kin, who he'd beaten and raped nightly.
- The whole of Brassmoon City for allowing the Goblinslayer free rein over their defense against the "evil" races. Apparently, locking up and torturing a whole army of monsters, quite naturally bent on revenge, within the walls of the city wasn't that great an idea.
- In a non-sentient example, the Shield of Wonder is eventually destroyed by one its own random magical effects.
- And the demoness guarding the Bloodlight Orb got Dies to agree to giving her his soul for "the orb", which was NOT the one he thought it was, and in turn, got tricked into taking TWO souls — Dies' and the piece of Klik, banishing her to a portion of Hell that even demons are afraid of.
- The Viper Goblins dispose of prisoners by feeding them to a captive monster called the Switchbeast. When Biscuit provides it with a way out of its enclosure, it kills and devours many of its former captors in a bid for freedom.
- Honor Before Reason:
- Hope Spot: In the Maze of Many, Kin and her alts have found the Big Bad's weakness. Although they can't apply it to our Minmax, they can apply it to another one who is present, Minmax #38. 38 then attacks Psion Minmax, and scores a hit! And another! And... then gets ripped to shreds by another Minmax, who Psion Minmax then liquefies.
- A House Divided: While our group is working towards eventually being True Companions, the other group could barely get a sentence out without making someone mad.
- Humanoid Abomination: There's a reason Kore wears that helmet.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Humans in general are portrayed in one of three ways: outright evil (Dellyn Goblinslayer and the Elite Guard), dumb (Minmax and the three Player Characters), or ignorant and prejudiced (the townsfolk of Brassmoon). Forgath is a decent (dwarf) Player Character, but this is a stretch.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: Most discussions of the goblins concerning the humans.
- Hybrid Monster: K'seliss is speculated to be a cross of ogre and lizardfolk.
- Kore has dedicated himself to destroying all evil, and will even kill young children just because they've been exposed to evil. He doesn't see the contradiction.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer defines the term legendary by how much your enemies hate you. He prides himself on the fact that the goblins "would sacrifice anything for a chance at [his] throat." He denies any possibility that Thaco could be considered legendary, but at the end of the comic, states that he "would sacrifice anything for a chance at [Thaco's] throat."
- Psion!Minmax, after apparently killing Kin states that his plan is to remove his existence completely from the universe, although in order to do so, he must wipe out all of the alt versions of himself in the dungeon. When Forgath calls him out on killing Kin, Psion!Minmax asks what makes her so important. Forgath respons by saying she was his friend. Psion!Minmax asks how that makes her more important than anyone else, and asks, "I wonder what it's like to see yourself with such omnipotent importance." He says this without irony, even though, for his own agenda, he is willing to nullify the existence of hundreds of alternate versions of himself and his comrades, all of which would probably prefer he did not do so.
Tropes I to L
- I Call Her "Vera": Minmax creates a sword which is paradoxically made of oblivion, and Kin theorises it draws power from his ignorance. Minmax christens the sword "Oblivious".
- Idiot Ball: By all means, let the Barbarian with the improperly healed arm tend to the almost dead Chief, it's not as if there's a fairly skilled healer, say a Paladin with lay-on hands ready to use, less than twenty feet from him. This is because Thaco divided up the duties for that fight and they had no plan, while Ears easily could have taken a quick round to heal Chief while Thaco and Complains fought Kore.
- I Drank What?: A very distracted Forgath drinks Dragon Lung lantern fuel after the battle with Goblinslayer.
- I Know Your True Name: Houseruled in, meaning the pit fiend can be forced to serve any mortal who speaks his true name. Incidently, his true name is definitely not Richard, Francis, Leslie, Winkypoop the slippery monkey, or Walter. (The forum have hence nicknamed him "Not-Walter".) Turns out it's Grinnorarcen. They encounter him again serving an alt-Minmax who's really good at guessing names, and Kin convinces the demon to reveal his name so she can order him to return to Hell, freeing him.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Triggers a Wrong Name Outburst in this scene:
Well I'm not abandoning my friend! I am not letting One Eye
die! [astonished looks] Big-Ears:
I mean... [buries his face in his hands]
You know what I mean.
- I'm Melting: What touching Mr. Fingers does to you. More contact speeds it up and spreads it.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- Implacable Man: Kore, oh so much. His armor is virtually impenetrable (as far as we've seen, anyway), he shows no mercy or remorse, and he will never stop hunting you. On top of all that, he's also a paladin (somehow, despite his wholesale slaughter of everything even potentially evil), which gives him all of the powers inherent in one. Seriously, getting a rope fused through his freaking neck only slowed him down long enough for him to cast Lay on Hands.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon:
- Impossibly-Low Neckline: Displayed by one of the alternate Kins.
- Improbable Weapon User:
- Info Dump:
- One of the overpowered artifacts is introduced out of the blue with a large wall of text. Justified since this information is instantly telepathically communicated to Big-Ears when he takes the axe.
- Duv, the White Terror, is also introduced with epically-sized speech bubbles.
- Informed Ability: It's repeatedly mentioned that Goblinslayer is a high level adventurer, yet the highest-level ability he ever uses is Magic Fang (fourth level?) and he loses in a mostly-straight fight against an enemy of his favored target species. Taking Dellyn's cockiness and need to prove his superiority into consideration, it was likely a combination of bad luck, a Critical Hit, and his lack of decent sight within the battle, not to mention underestimating his opponent. After all, he survived being impaled through the chest and everything from his final fight. Then Kin...
- Insane Troll Logic:
- Instant Armor: The Axe of Prissan comes with a free suit of full plate.
- Insufferable Genius: WizMax. The description of his reality says that if a rogue backstabbed him, he would point out that with his Intelligence, he would have predicted easily that a Rogue would backstab him and therefore covered his back with armor to prepare for it.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence:
- K'seliss refuses to fight anything he cannot eat or mate with, considering doing so to be perverted. Bad news when the party runs into some Mecha-Mooks.
- A darker take on this trope is Dellyn's thing.
- Interrogating the Dead: Kore to Young-and-Beautiful.
- I Reject Your Reality / Utopia Justifies the Means: Most likely why Kore's vision of good is so skewed and how he manages to be a Knight Templar while still being immune to the Axe of Prissan.
- Ironic Echo:
- Ironic Name: Young-And-Beautiful, the fortine teller, is old and ugly. Her name is due to the fact that all goblins are named by the fortune teller, including the fortune teller herself, so she basically chose her own name.
- Ironic Nickname: The ogre who died to give the others a chance had "COWARD" carved into his face.
- Irony: According to Psionic Minmax "our" Kin, Minmax and Forgath usually die in the tower room. It's only because of his attempts to force everything inside the Maze into Cessation of Existence that they were able to find a Dungeon Bypass and find the final room in defiance of his calculations, and because of that they are able to defeat him by forcing him into the winner's circle.
- It's All About Me: The Viper Clan is an entire tribe of this - their philosophy posits that they were literally gifted by the Goblin god to be the only tribe predestined to lead the rest, that other tribes and all other species are inherently beneath them while they are inherently above, and thus that whatever they want is their right to have. When Dies points out that by their philosophy they aren't truly responsible for their successes, as they are only such because their god willed it to be so - and that they thus should not be prideful (nor prejudiced) because of it - they are not amused.
- Jerkass: Takn might well be the first completely unsympathetic monster character shown so far in the comic.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Duv's son Grem.
- Minmax is shaping up in this direction as well.
- I Think You Broke Him: "Cool, I think you broke Baka."
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
- Karmic Death: See Hoist by His Own Petard, among others.
- The Key Is Behind the Lock: The magical key to the Well of Darkness was actually inside it, with a group of dead adventurers. The Viper clan had to tunnel a Dungeon Bypass to get inside.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The goblins that Dies-Horribly's psychopathic left arm killed. Their deaths were creatively brutal and horrific, but they kinda had it coming — they had just been trying to beat a fellow goblin to death while he cowered in fear, simply because they were too cowardly to stand up to their Viper Clan captor who gave the order. The one who survives is, appropriately, the only one who refused the order.
- Killed Mid-Sentence:
- Killer GM: Herbert, the GM running the entire campaign. The protagonists are consistently faced with inappropriate encounter ratings. They only manage to survive thanks to Deus Ex Machinas, luck, Munchkining, and really quick and clever thinking. And all too often, they don't. Tuck of the Human Adventure Party dies on GM fiat alone, while Baka gets killed complaining about broken rules.
- Kill It with Fire:
- How Thaco reacts to Dellyn's using his ear as a trophy.
- How Forgath deals with Dellyn. Being part-wood and covered in fuel...
- Knight of Cerebus: Each time Kore appears, the series gets darker and more serious.
- Knight Templar: Kore, to the extreme. This is a guy who's willing to kill anyone who has had contact with the monster races, even if the contact wasn't voluntary. Specifically, if the encounter may lead to said person (including children...) sympathizing with monsters.
- Knuckle Cracking: Mr. Fingers is doing this kind of sound with every move. Every freakin' move. Revealed to be because the thing breaks and re-breaks its own bones to move.
- Lampshade Hanging: A lot of this goes on about D&D rules.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia:
- One of the Alternate Kins has magical tattoos that wipe all her memories of death, given to her by the Forgath from her universe when he learned that Goblinslayer forced her to murder four of her best friends. She believes that she has never killed anyone nor known anyone who has ever died; if she regained those memories, it would be too much for her to handle.
- In the Maze of Many, when something enters an oblivion hole, it and all memory of it are erased from existence. This means then when Kin's necklace Minmax made is dropped into one, she loses the memory of receiving it, which was why she trusted Minmax. Thus, she immediately questions why she's been trusting him. Minmax, whose feelings for Kin weren't tied to the necklace, is confused and distraught by this.
- Laser-Guided Karma: A number of Viper clan goblins who "freed" a bunch of non-goblin slaves to a switch beast which promptly ate them end up getting attacked by it themselves when Biscuit gives it a route to reach them.
- Lean and Mean: Psion Minmax is almost-skeletal thin.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "And that, boys and girls, is how a lady without legs can kick a guy in the gut."
- Leave Him to Me: Dellyn versus Thaco.
- Leave No Survivors:
- Leeroy Jenkins:
- Lethal Joke Item: The Anymug. It can create any liquid — so long as that liquid isn't magical or normally non-liquid and can be held by the relatively fragile stone the mug is made out of (so not too hot, not too cold, and not at all acidic). The most obvious use is for infinite free drinks, but you can also use it to set a guy on fire.
- Life or Limb Decision:
- Biscuit cuts off his own leg with an axe after being infected by Mr Fingers' flesh-rotting curse.
- Well, more like Someone Else's Life or Limb Decision, but Dies-Horribly cuts his metal arm after it goes out of control and tries to kill Saves-a-Fox.
- Light Is Not Good:
- Kore, after he demonstrates his Paladin powers.
- Saral Caine's IME is bright white, making him look pretty good or neutral. He's a psychopath's best friend and Dragon.
- Like a Badass out of Hell: After narrowly escaping hell due to his green arm technically having a separate soul from him, which invalidated a Deal with the Devil for his soul and his soul alone, Dies-Horribly becomes noticeably more competent in combat.
- Literal Cliffhanger:
- A whole hut full of slaves, including Dies-Horribly, Saves-a-Fox and K'seliss, hangs from a cliff during the hobgoblins' attack of the Viper clan.
- Fumbles during the fight against Kore.
- Lizard Folk:
- Lizardfolks, like K'seliss.
- Kobolds, like Takn or Yala.
- Lovable Coward: Dies-Horribly
- Love Triangle: Dies-Horribly and Grem both seem to be vying for Saves-a-Fox's affections.
- Luke Nounverber: Dellyn Goblinslayer; Forgath Bladebeard
Tropes M to P
- The Orb of Bloodlight. Duv thinks it can regenerate her wing and allow her to take her place as the White Terror and ruler of all goblins. Dies-Horribly finally uses it to gain a new magical arm in replacement for the one Klik granted him.
- The Jade Teapot for Kin & Co. Its power is clearly stated as a form of teleportation aiming at individuals rather than places. Forgath and Minmax plan to use it to find the GAP.
- Made of Iron: As a result of playing D&D Hit Points straight. Important characters can be run through by several spears and swords, but still survive, and injuries rarely have any lasting effect. However, it's worth noting that the author has developed a custom set of critical hit and fumble tables that can indeed result in lasting or permanent injury, incapacitation, and many other things. These are highlighted with Complains' broken arm and during the sewer fight between Thaco and Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- Made of Plasticine: Most low-level characters, due to their low hit points, can die to being breathed on harshly.
- Major Injury Underreaction: K'seliss tries to be this to keep up appearances when his arms start melting off.
- Man Child: Minmax. Sometimes bordering on Psychopathic Manchild.
Forgath: Yer an infant, you know that?
- Masochist's Meal:
- Yumyuck moss, though apparently dwarves are usually really drunk when they eat it.
- Lesser finger horrors are a "last meal" sort of deal.
- Meaningful Echo: "I would sacrifice anything for a chance at his throat."
- Meaningful Name: Pretty much every single goblin of the protagonists' tribe; names are given by the tribe's fortune teller and supposedly prophetic, which isn't much of a comfort for poor Dies-Horribly. (The Viper tribe's fortune teller pointedly doesn't follow this custom, but it still seems common practice among other goblins.)
- In fact, the main characters of the Goblin Adventuring Party can be said to have doubly meaningful names, as the plot later reveals:
- Big Ears does, in fact, have very large ears. However, the name can also be a reference to his inability to ignore suffering.
- Thaco's name is a reference to an outdated D&D combat mechanic (To Hit Armor Class 0), which relates to his age (he is quite old for a goblin, and much older than the other members of the party). However, it also hints at his extraordinary combat skill, as demonstrated in his fight against Delynn Goblinslayer.
- Fumbles' name is a reference to his Cloud Cuckoolander status (he tends to trip over himself a lot during his shenanigans), as well as a "fumble", otherwise known as a critical failure due to an extremely bad roll of the dice. Which becomes tragically appropriate when he has the bad fortune of running into Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- Complains of Names likes to complain about the naming system of his goblin clan. He's also the first one to suggest taking adventurer levels, thus casting off the fate foretold by the clan prophet as well as all of the goblin traditions tied to it. Or maybe not.
- Chief is a subversion: he was never supposed to be the chief, but he was given that name anyway so as to avoid a civil war. As a result, he constantly tries, and fails, to live up to a role he was never supposed to have. Is it any wonder that he's the first of the main characters to die?
- Inverted, amusingly enough, by the protagonists' tribe's fortune teller herself: Young-and-Beautiful is an ancient Gonk. Of course, she was young once, and may have been beautiful then.
- Non-goblin examples are also not uncommon, such as a player character resembling a Japanese samurai named Baka. Or for a less subtle example, Minmax. Or the hardcore Kore. And Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- And then there's "Duv", who might well be able to bring peace to the goblin tribes...
- Medium Awareness: Intermittently throughout, since the characters are aware of the nature of their universe, and the rules by which it runs. The adventuring party appear to actually be players, who occasionally break character and even reroll when they die, despite the whole thing, RPG mechanics and all, being very real to everyone else.
- Mêlée à Trois: In the Maze of Many, "our" Forgath-Kin-Minmax team vs. three alternate-universe Kins vs. a pack of undead made from many other dead AU counterparts. In retrospect, attacking a rival party fleeing from a lot of zombies may not be that wise.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Maglubiyet evidently buys into this trope, as it's apparently a divine mandate that no females (spellcasters excepted) are allowed in a goblin warcamp. As warcamps are essentially decoys to lure adventurers away from the women and children, this means a lot of goblin males die to deflect danger away from their families. Especially notable as Young-and-Beautiful, the only female in the warcamp, hides whenever adventurers approach.
- Merchandise-Driven: Brilliantly parodied by a filler strip.
- Mercy Kill: Stellar example.
- Mermaid Problem: Alluded to with Dellyn and Kin, but largely handwaved away. Of course, all things considered, that's probably for the best. It works, but involves healing potions. Given who we're dealing with, it might not have to though. Since, in one of the alternate realities, Minmax and Kin have been having near-constant sex since the birthday scene, it's a pretty safe bet there's a less squicky way for that to happen.
- Minion Maracas:
- Min-Maxing: Minmax, of course. His player has apparently talked the GM into allowing him to trade various ordinary abilities for extra combat feats.
- Mirror Match: Minmax vs. Minmax.
- Miss Exposition: Kin
- Mistaken for Gay: Minmax's favorite way of riling up Forgath.
Forgath: That's it! From the waist down, you're mine!
Minmax: Okay, that is the gayest thing you've ever said.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: Minmax shouts to a girl that she is "13 and hot," by which he means she has a Charisma score of 13 and is therefore physically attractive. The people in the crowded city around him unfortunately don't know he's talking about ability scores.
Forgath: Yeah, we're gonna get lynched...
- Monochrome Past: Every flashback since the comic started to be colored is in grayscale.
- Monty Haul:
- Forgath mentions at one point in Brassmoon that they shouldn't expect to find magic items in a blacksmith's shop since "even Herbert isn't THAT Monty Haul." It's clear from some of the other things that they DO find that they're playing a campaign where all the cool stuff they get is going to be necessary later.
- One alternate universe apparently has so many magic rings that Forgath needs a special staff just to use them all.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Minmax pulls this off when he finds Dellyn's sword.
- In the other direction, the comic goes from arguing about the rules to tear jerker in about three pages.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family:
- Morph Weapon / Shapeshifter Weapon:
- Dies-Horribly's metal arm;
- Dellyn Goblinslayer's wooden arm;
- Klik himself.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Mr. Fingers
- Multicolored Hair:
- Dellyn Goblinslayer; his hair is green on his half-plant side.
- Forgath gets a two-color beard after part of it is regenerated by Psion Minmax's machine.
- Munchkin: Minmax is, in all likelihood, a subversion of this — while his character design is heavily minmaxed, he roleplays the disadvantages he took in exchange for all that combat potential to the hilt.
- Mutual Kill:
- K'seliss vs. Mr. Fingers.
- Two of the characters in the 28/3/2013 strip impale each other simultaneously and fatally.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- Forgath, after the slaughter of the goblin warcamp.
- Fumbles, too, after accidentally injuring an elf girl. That's why he goes to Brassmoon, after all — despite having been rather explicitly warned that it's the home of the Goblinslayer, and having witnessed Thaco's reaction to the idea of anyone in the party going there.
- Naked on Revival: Psion Minmax
- Neck Snap:
- Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Unintentionally done by Dies-Horribly. But it was a Senseless Sacrifice anyway, so it's all good.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Mryorg, after almost releasing the demon in the Axe of Prissan intentionally, his quest for the greatest pain lead to him choosing to end his time with the axe and give it to a paladin. He chose the demon's pain in the end.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Psion Minmax
- Noble Shoplifter: Thaco does this in Brassmoon, although he and the other goblins haven't much clue on the value of human coins.
- Nobody Poops: Parodied, subverted, and then inverted in an Enemy Chatter conversation the audience is allowed to listen to.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Klik grafting a part of himself to replace Dies-Horribly's arm is considered forbidden by his species, but he did it anyway to save Dies' life. In the end, the arm becomes sentient and evil, Dies cuts it off, and it kills Klik.
- Non-Combat EXP:
- It features one conversation between two city guards in Brassmoon City about a time when a DM granted someone roleplaying XP for taking a dump. This granted him just enough XP to level up. Needless to say, things got crappy real fast.
- Minmax and Forgath discuss this early on, as well.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: On meeting for the first time, Forgath comments Kore probably wants to give a monologue about the nature of evil. Kore fires a volley of crossbow bolts at Forgath mid-sentence.
- Noodle Incident:
Thaco: So there I was, surrounded by penis monkeys...
- No One Gets Left Behind: Mostly played straight.
- No OSHA Compliance:
- Not So Omniscient After All: Psion Minmax knows nearly everything about the Maze of Many. However his plan was hindered by what he believes is our Minmax and Kin being in love. Later, he is perplexed to find that something is drawing on the power of oblivion to punch holes in time, but he doesn't know what (it's Minmax's sword). He remains determined, however, and notes that only an idiot would say that these happenings are impossible. Then he finds Forgath and Kin, when according to what he knows 1) they should be dead, and 2) nobody should make it to that room for another 8 minutes.
- After using his trump card, Psion Minmax tells the survivors that there is absolutely no way they can stop him, as he will simply adjust his calculations with the next reset. Minmax throws him into the winner's ring, forever banishing him from the Maze and ending his quest for oblivion.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Averted by Klik. Just because he can fly doesn't mean he can completely stop the momentum of a falling goblin. He later shows that he did learn from the experience, though.
- Not Worth Killing: Dellyn to Thaco, which is a Fate Worse Than Death for the former.
- Obliviously Evil: Kore and his lovely shade of denial.
- Obviously Evil: The alternate-universe goblins.
- Off Model: The artstyle is extremely loose, leading to many instances of this and the frequent, derisive description of the character designs as "lumps of plasticine filled with ketchup".
- Off with His Head!: The fate of two demons in the Well of Darkness.
- Oh, Crap:
- Dellyn's reaction when he realizes just what Thaco has been doing during the battle.
- Thaco on this page.
- Any character, especially from one of the Monstrous races, upon the realization that Kore is on his way.
- Also, if a character utters "Sonova crap", it's probably paired with an Oh, Crap face.
- "Hi Names. Remember me?" The whole GAP.
- Mr. Fingers invokes this in all who look at him as a game mechanic, by means of a fear-causing aura (forcing a Will save against panic). Dies fails his save here, while Fox blows hers soon after. Grem can handle the saves until Mr. Fingers uses an alternate method on him.
- Said outright by Alt Minmax when Kin banishes Alt Not-Walter to Hell, depriving him of his only ally and ensuring he has a really bad time in the afterlife.
- "You look shaken."
- Psion Minmax gets this expression when the 11 minor variables he thinks he can easily deal with turn out to be 11 alts all looking at him with sheer bloodlust.
- He gives another one later when he finds that his weakness has been changed, so that Minmax #38 is immune to his powers, and is now able to hurt him.
- Forgath has one when he and Minmax finally find the GAP. This isn't at all surprising, considering that the source of this moment is Kore.
- Old Master: Thaco again.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Psion Minmax. He's hoping for a Class Z, but the best he can do is to localize it within the dungeon.
- One-Man Army:
- Kore is said to have wiped out entire armies of orcs and ogres by himself, making him a One-Dwarf Army.
- Biscuit rapidly proves himself to be a One-Orc Army.
- One Size Fits All: Generally averted; size modifiers have been mentioned, and human-size gear has occasionally been rejected as unusable. The Axe of Prissan and Big-Ears' armor play this trope straight, justified by them being magical and designed to reshape and suit the needs of whoever uses them. Note that One Size Fits All is an actual rule of D&D magic items. Imagine how much it would suck if you found some awesome magic armor you can't use because it's designed for an ogre.
- Only a Flesh Wound: K'seliss fighting with his teeth after his arms literally fell off.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Dellyn insists on duelling Thaco so he can kill him personally, rather than letting his soldiers kill him. Thaco uses this to his advantage.
- Orwellian Retcon: the punchline of this page. Uncertain if the original punnote was replaced because it was too forced, or because it was kind of risque.
- Our Demons Are Different: They feed by inflicting suffering on the souls of other creatures, they enslave mortals by trading their souls for goods and services, and if a mortal speaks their true name, they can be forced to do their bidding until the mortal dies.
- Our Goblins Are Different: The goblins are the good guys this time around. Well, at least some of them. The only way to consider Duv even remotely sympathetic by this point is to take her backstory (told in the first person) as the whole truth. Even then, she behaves awfully like a beginning Evil Overlord, with a self-admitted sadist, Riss, as her Dragon. Either way, though, it's more character development than goblins usually get.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Klik's green offspring is technically a vampire. It doesn't drink blood so much as absorb it through contact, and heals when it does so. Its vampire qualities are made especially apparent when it kills the halfing archer instantly by stabbing him with its claws and draining him of every drop of blood.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Minmax expects the zombies to be the slow, shambling type. When they charge towards him at running speed, he accuses them of being "cheater zombies".
- Overused Copycat Character: Mocked, roundly.
- Papa Wolf: Pan's relationship with Yala.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- The logic behind an early plan (dressing everyone in the war-camp in fake moustaches) isn't so sound... But is temporarily deemed the least idiotic plan of the bunch.
- In alt-reality #20, Kin, Forgath and Minmax are on the run from the elves. Learning that the elves are hunting a bald human and a dwarf with a horned helmet, Forgath and Kin shave their head and Minmax starts wearing Forgath's helmet. Also, Kin throws away all her clothes because a naked snake-woman is the last thing the elves would expect... incidentally, the defining trait of reality #20 is that the trio are all really, really stupid.
- Parasite Zombie: The Yellow Musk Creeper, and the Thornback clan it has enslaved.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Saves-a-Fox
- Perpetual Frowner: Psion Minmax doesn't seem the smiling sort.
- Pet the Dog:
- Minmax believes that monsters should be killed for XP and treasure. However, when he finds out that his hero, Dellyn Goblinslayer, has been repeatedly raping a yuan-ti... his first reaction is to promptly throw him out of a window.
- Then, he gets another one, which may qualify him for a true Heel-Face Turn, here. Say it with me now: Awwwwww!
- When he found Saral Caine's corpse, Dellyn was, quite startlingly, reduced to tears. That was his best friend and sidekick.
- Pocket Dimension: The Maze of Many.
- Politically Incorrect Villain:
- Fantastic Racism is one of Goblinslayer's defining traits.
- Kore refers to his targets as "evil", "monster", and "lower beasts". In his first appearance, he made his views clear.
- Post-Victory Collapse: Apparently, a raging barbarian is completely unaware of injuries. Names has collapsed or screamed in pain the moment the rage ended on multiple occasions.
- Power Gives You Wings: Kore's Individual Magic Effect is a pair of glowing wings made of chains with his victims' heads attached.
- Power Glows: Everyone has an Individual Magic Effect that manifests in their spells, abilities, and magic weapons.
- Power Limiter: Kin's collar supresses her magic and prevents her from hurting anyone if the attached leash is being held.
- The Power of Love: Kin and Minmax's love is almost magically confusing. It's also able to nauseate mathematics. Yes. You read that right.
Psimax: I've run the Maze of Many eight hundred eighteen times and had one thousand nine hundred ninety one encounters with other multiversal variants. You're the first to surprise me.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
- Thaco, near the beginning.
Well, well. Three goblins who are too old
to fight back. Easy XP. Thaco:
You know, in the old days, we depended on ingenuity, rather than feats, the strength stat used a forward slash as a decimal point... and there were no such thing as drow. (pulling his cane into two swords
) I miss
the old days.
- Precision F-Strike:
- Prophecy Twist:
- One example is Saves-a-Fox. She was prophesied to save a fox on a specific day. She decided to Screw Destiny by killing it instead. Eventually it's revealed that she DID save it... from terrible suffering due to an incurable illness. Before it was Jossed, one theory was that she was misinterpreting what "saves" meant. By keeping the fox's tail with her, she was "saving" it as a momento.
- Another example is Dies-Horribly. Fan theories abound about how it will be subverted. One predicts that he will eventually get over his fear of death and walk willingly into a Heroic Sacrifice. Another is that instead of being destined for a horrible death, he is simply horrible at dying... that is, he repeatedly survives things he really shouldn't. He's apparently died horribly at least once in the comic. Hard to tell if he'll do so again. And yes, both theories mentioned have been confirmed: he performed a Heroic Sacrifice, and he didn't stay dead as he should have.
- Prophetic Names: Lampshaded, Subverted, Averted and generally played with by the various Goblin tribes mentioned.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Big-Ears has one a first time, then later again when he detects Saral Caine's approach — more specifically, the Axe of Prissan.
- Psycho for Hire:
- Dellyn Goblinslayer, a sadist who justifies his brutality through the fact that he's doing it to supposedly Always Chaotic Evil creatures and that (his idea of) Utopia Justifies the Means.
- Riss, maybe — he doesn't even try to deny taking the interest in suffering of others.
- Puff of Logic: Psion Minmax is trying to do this on the entire Universe.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- Punctuation Shaker: K'seliss
- Punny Name: A few.
- Kore is hardcore.
- Noe, whose name is a plot point; see "Who's on First?" below.
- Thaco is an old guy, and the term THAC0 is not a part of the new rules.
- Baka, or "idiot" in Japanese, seems to have a rather fitting name. And he's somehow Japanese.
- Minmax, the minmaxer.
- Puzzle Boss: Implied with some golem monsters in the Maze of Many.
Tropes Q to T
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
- Minmax considers Goblinslayer his hero until he learns exactly what the sicko has been doing with his yuan-ti pet. Then again, this was the first hint Minmax got, period, that Goblinslayer was much happier with things like vivisection than just killing his enemies. It's possible he may have reacted the same way to finding out that Goblinslayer didn't just kill monsters in fights, but also captured monster women and children and tortured them unspeakably.
- On a meta level, at one point someone thought that a page that in context had nothing to do with rape was making light of it, leading to a (now deleted) blog post where Thunt explained how the very idea that he'd take such a thing lightly deeply offended him.
- Razor Floss: What Dies-Horribly's metamorphic arm amounts to when it gets thin enough.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Fox gives one to Duv when, after having been saved from drowning by Fox, she then attempts to kill Fox. It gets to her.
Any adventurer will tell you that you need to be level 1 before you can reach level 2. In that same way, you need the power to kill before you can have the power to choose not to kill. It's the lesson I was supposed to learn the day I met that fox. It's what my name means. I just didn't know it until now. Duv:
But as I've said, you're obviously wrong. You're going to die
. You've lost. Fox:
I'm going to die,
a goblin. You're going to live as... something else. And since your entire purpose is to celebrate and represent all of goblin kind, I don't think it's me who's lost.
(Duv drops one of her razors
- Shortly after this, Duv gets another one from Biscuit, who suggests that, while he has been taught to accept loss, and knows not to let it burden him, she has let her desire to regrow her lost wing warp her into something weak and insane. Then, to prove the point, he rips off her other wing.
- An example of dueling speeches:
- "You've been taking levels as an adventurer, haven't you? That's the most perverted thing I've ever heard of."
- "You're some random human I fought in the early levels of my adventuring career. You're a random encounter."
- Reality-Breaking Paradox: Psimax seems to be attempting something like this. He seems to think that the rules of the pocket dimension they are in will allow it, as opposed to the universe at large.
- Rebel Relaxation: K'seliss, second panel.
- Red Right Hand: There is no explanation why Psion Minmax's arms are skeletal, colored black and purple, and ending up in clawed hands. One thing it tell us for sure, is that he's bad news.
- Released to Elsewhere: The Viper Clan let all their non-goblin slaves leave through the "South Exit" of their territory, a arena-like pit containing the Switchbeast.
- Remember That You Trust Me: Minmax tries to remind Kin of this when she seems to be keeping something from him. It's then horrifyingly Inverted when the necklace Minmax gave Kin, the reason she started trusting him in the first place, is dropped into an oblivion hole. At that moment, she becomes even more distant, and a distraught Minmax tries to grab her and demand that she stop this and listen to what he has to say... only to realize that he mistakenly has grabbed her magical enslavement leash, destroying whatever trust she may have had left in him.
- Ret Gone: When Psion!Minmax opens holes of oblivion, anything that falls in is not only destroyed, but erased from the memory of everyone, including the fact that they fell in. Kin is tipped off when Minmax throws his boots in, and she's left wondering how no-one ever noticed that he only wears one boot... er, he walks around barefoot...
- Rip Tailoring: Thaco with the halfling outfit.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- Complains is prone to them. Now, he's a Barbarian and becomes stronger with them. Chief's death leads to the ultimate one against Kore.
- Remember that orc who's been repeatedly dying for 600 years to nourish the demons in the well of darkness? He's loose.
- Role-Playing Game Verse
- Rousing Speech: One guard gives one to his men right before battling the party as a rare villainous example.
- RPG Mechanics Verse: The comic uses a heavily houseruled D&D ruleset. The author has even gone out of his way to state that all the combat results that may seem like an Ass Pull are indeed legitimate. The system the comic uses undoubtedly relies on circumstance bonuses and penalties derived from good tactics, role-playing and the various in game circumstances. Called shots are likely factored in as well. It's also possible that certain effects like being doused in oil and lit on fire have been tweaked to be more realistic.
- Running Gag:
- Minmax can't keep a weapon. Specifically, he lost the sword he started with to one of Not-Walter's minions, the one foraged from the one-legged, blind orc he plunged into one of the eyes of the Lake's tentacle monster, but it was recovered by Forgath, just to be destroyed by the Shield of Wonder's Entanglement Effect, and the replacement they got in Brassmoon was broken in half by Goblinslayer. Even an alternate version of him is prone to this.
** Later, Minmax acquires a weapon that mimics whatever material it touches. Within minutes, he stuffs it into a hole in spacetime, which renders said weapon made of nonexistence. Fortunately it stops moving through time when he lets go of it and comes back when he needs it, which means that it's impossible for him to lose it.
- Whenever Minmax is about to do something life-threateningly stupid, Forgath tackles him to the ground. And it's always the exact same frame composition.
- Also, Minmax's color-shifting armor — whenever he says a color, it shifts.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Minmax is the master of this. Among the skills he's sacrificed are the ability to read, the ability to start fires, the ability to dress himself, the ability to rhyme on purpose, and the ability to wink. Net result: far better combat skills than any first-level fighter ought to have.
- Sadistic Choice: The teller of one goblin tribe, when confronted with the need to pick the successor to their deceased chief, had to choose between the rightful chief, whose leadership would provoke a civil war, and the son of the previous chief, whose poor leadership would doom the clan to obscurity.
- Sarcasm-Blind: The hobgoblins of the Chorgrak clan.
Duv: No, I'm that other one-winged goblin.
- Sarcasm Mode:
- Save Scumming: Effectively what occurs in the Maze of Many, as every unsuccessful attempt by every iteration of the party is rewound to the beginning again and again until each one succeeds. This has already happened to Minmax's group almost two million times, which Forgath is flumoxed to find out about. Presumably that also means that exact conversation has taken place pretty close to that many times. And Minmax has kissed Forgath that many times.
- Schmuck Bait: Treasure Plants.
- Screw Destiny: Saves-a-Fox's motto. Unfortunately, it seems that the fox she was supposed to save had a disease that ends in a horribly slow and painful death, so she was saving it by putting it out of its misery.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Invoked by name by K'seliss... only to be just as quickly subverted by K'seliss's return.
- Screw Yourself: Alluded by Kin and Scorpion!Kin. It's a trick by Kin to get her prehensile, sensitive tail wrapped around Scorpion!Kin's tail and throat. With the tail disabled, Neck Snap ensues.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Axe of Prissan is a powerful paladin weapon that contains a nigh-unstoppable demon. The axe needs to be recharged regularly (by being used to kill evil things) or the demon will escape and probably cause The End of the World as We Know It.
- See You in Hell: "Not-Walter" says this to the Minmax who enslaved him, promising to get a bunch of his friends and dog-pile the man's soul when he finally dies.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Saves-a-Fox fell victim to one of these. She was given the choice between saving a fox from a trap, or killing it — and thereby saving it from a horrible, lingering, invariably fatal disease.
- Senseless Sacrifice:
- Chief goes to fight Kore knowing that he'll fail, but hoping to delay Kore. Kore simply incapacitates Chief and starts torturing him, knowing that Chief's screams will bring the rest. And then, when they do return to rescue Chief, he dies from his wounds before they can get him healed.
- Dies-Horribly accepts a Deal with the Devil, believing it will free Duv's slaves from suffering, but the demon used Exact Words to give him a worthless stone orb instead of what he expected.
- Sequence Breaking: Minmax, Forgath and Kin take a shortcut through the Maze of Many opened up by one of the oblivion holes.
- Series Continuity Error: When Minmax lets go of his sword here, his future self is grabbing it with his left hand. Later, Minmax reaches for his sword... with his right hand.note
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Kin's first speaking page; high intelligence causes her to use unnecessarily long words when nervous. Or that's her excuse, at least.
- Shaped Like Itself: Forgath lamenting how difficult the Oracle (a stone face in the city) is, remarking that "It's like talking to a..." before Min-Max finishes "You were gonna say 'brick wall', weren't ya?"
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Thaco. He's since recovered.
- Ship Tease: People have speculated on a Kin×Minmax pairing almost since she first joined the party, and it was helped along by the "birthday party", among others. Finally, the "tease" part was dropped.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Harshly averted, as Fumbles walks headlong into disaster rather than away from it.
- Shown Their Work: Thunt based Kin's description of a yuan-ti mating ritual on the way garter snakes mate in real life.
- Simple Staff: Saves-a-Fox's Weapon of Choice.
- Skewed Priorities:
- Kore wants to eradicate all evil. He's murdering kids, not-evil people, and torturing to avoid it taking him longer to do this. Hypocrite would be a compliment.
- A lesser example; While bleeding out and on negative hit points, Fox accepts a healing potion, but takes a moment to wash the orc spit off of it, dropping down to negative 9 hit points while she does so.
- Slasher Smile: Evil humans can contort their faces in some... interesting ways, although it's implied that this is as much a matter of their victim's perception of them.
- Slave Collar: A magical collar that Kin is forced to wear by Dellyn that magically forces her in a state of submissive obedience so long as anyone holds the leash and which is said to explode if tampered. (Kin understands that Dellyn might have lied about the exploding bit to prevent her from trying to remove it on her own or seek outside help to do so, but she doesn't wish to risk the consequences if he was telling the truth). This collar is a major crux of her emotional trauma as it is essentially a physical representation of the effects of Dellyn's emotional and physical abuse to her even after she had slain him and escaped. Her trait of Hates Being Touched understandably extends to her leash since it would leave her at the mercy of whomever holds it.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: Chief, the cleric, has a moment of this when an unanswered prayer shoves him too far.
- The Smurfette Principle: Female goblins aren't welcome in the war camp unless they are spellcasters, hence why Young-and-Beautiful the fortune teller is the only woman (?) around. Lampshaded, by the way:
- Snake People: Kin the yuan-ti
- The So-Called Coward: Sort-of example with an ogre who literally has "COWARD" written on his forehead by torturers. Guess who's staying to cover the escape for others?
- Something Else Also Rises: K'seliss' frill.
K'seliss: This means nothing, ya hear me?! I... I was thinking about a battle I had ages ago!
- El Spanish O: Senor Vorpal Kickass'o!!! And no, that tilde-less "n" isn't a typo.
- Spanner in the Works: Minmax is this to Psion Minmax's plan to send everything in the Maze of Many into oblivion, first by being in love with Kin and second by using pseudo-oblivion as a weapon in the form of Oblivious.
- Speak Friend and Enter: At one point, the goblins encounter a sliding block puzzle, accompanied by the clue "To open the door, take the key, it will be yours if under the tree." Thaco and Complains try to move the blocks around until the block with the tree is under the block with the key, until Fumbles pulls the tree block off the wall, revealing the key underneath it.
- Speak of the Devil: Noe
- The Speechless: One alternate Minmax is revealed to have traded away the ability to speak for a +6 bonus to hit. (That's how much ''our'' Minmax has from his Strength bonus).
- Spell My Name with an "S": Most of the goblins' names were using hyphens at the start of the comic. Later strips, however, tend to omit them. Thus, "Dies-Horribly" and "Dies Horribly", "Complains-of-Names" and "Complains of Names", "Big-Ears" and "Big Ears", etc., are both Canon spelling.
- Spikes Of Doom:
- Stat O Vision
- Step into the Blinding Fight: Thaco attempts to exploit the fact that he can see in the dark by luring Dellyn into a sewer before fighting him, and blocking off all the manholes so the sewer is pitch black. Dellyn, however, subverts this by casting a spell that provides him with a light source, rendering Thaco's advantage moot.
- The Stoic: Orcs of the Roak clan are taught to accept loss without pause or regret, so they aren't weakened by the pain of losing things. When Biscuit escapes from 600 years of demonic torture, only to find out that the rest of the Roak clan was destroyed 200 years ago and he may be the Last of His Kind, his response is "Meh, oh well."
- Stop Helping Me!: In the Maze of Many, Kin is struggling with an alternate version of herself, and their snake-bodies are tangled together. She says this to Minmax after he stabs her because he can't figure out which body goes with which Kin. Twice.
- Played straight with Drowbabe and Yodette.
- Subverted/deconstructed: The first thing Kin the Yuan Ti does after being freed from Dellyn (besides murdering him horribly) is put on the most conservative coat she can find. She was only dressed this way in the first place, it seems, because Dellyn forced her to be. Which makes sense, considering what Dellyn used her for.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Chief looks a lot like Kills-a-Werebear. Only lacking his look of confidence.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Dies-Horribly gives his soul to the demoness in the Well of Darkness in return for... an orb of ordinary blue stone. Fortunately, he gets out of it due to Loophole Abuse.
- Superpowered Evil Side:
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
Grem: You seem to know a lot about dungeon crawls. Have you ever done this before?
Saves-a-Fox: What? No. I'm not an adventurer.
- Swallowed a Fly: One goblin tribe with a particularly inept fortune teller (and even more inept scribes) has a member named "Stop The Ceremony I Swallowed A Bug".
- Sword Drag:
- Synchronization: Minmax claims that he and Kin are linked in a way Kin described her people do. Kin corrects him saying it only works "for" her people. However, Minmax is later proven correct when Kin is shown feeling the same pain as Minmax when he punches glass, and going through the same motions.
- Take a Third Option: How Minmax defeats the psionic Minmax in the Maze of Many. He forces him out by causing him to win.
- Take My Hand
- Taking You with Me: Due to his body rotting, K'seliss to Mr. Fingers. Due to a passive rotting effect, Mr. Fingers to K'seliss.
- Talkative Loon: Asks-Nonsense. Even if some of his questions are actually rather puzzling... (how do you know?)
- A Taste Of Their Own Medicine: In one of the Alternate Universes, Minmax uses a crystal ball to learn the torture techniques Dellyn used against Kin and Forgath (who was also tortured by Dellyn in this particular universe), and decides to try them out on Dellyn.
- Technicolor Toxin: Not a toxin per se, but the disease Mr. Fingers inflicts with a touch is definitely... flashy.
- Sort of. What do you do when your most powerful weapon passes intangibly right through your enemy? You improvise. Also, urgh.
- A true Telefrag is then narrowly averted when Onyx tries to teleport Minmax to the psionic engine room. Ruby thankfully stops her in time to mention "position 0" is the one she's occupying now.
- Tempting Fate:
- Thanks for the Mammary: Seth and Drowbabe.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Fully justified (and oh so satisfying).
- Third Line, Some Waiting: There are three groups that share screen time: the Goblin Adventure Party, Dies-Horribly and Saves-a-Fox's group in the Well of Darkness, and the (mostly) non-monster party of Minmax, Forgath, and Kin.
- This Cannot Be!: Mocked and then played straight by Psion Minmax:
Psion Minmax: I'd be tempted to say that this is "impossible", but that is a word used only by idiots who lack the patience and reason to consider their own surroundings.
(Kin and Forgath unexpectedly arrive eight minutes early)
Psion Minmax: Impossible.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
- This Is Gonna Suck:
- Three-Point Landing:
- Minmax landing on top of the tower in the Maze of Many's final room.
- Big-Ears after some fancy moves while fighting Forgath.
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Check.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Grem vs. Mr. Fingers.
- To the Pain: One alternate version of Min Max described from the Maze of Many resulted from a universe in which Kin didn't kill Goblinslayer. 'Slayer later caught up with them and killed Kin. Somehow, Mimmax subdued him again, brought him back to Brassmoon, tied him to a chair and gagged him. He then tells him that he found a crystal ball at some point which showed him, among other things, all of the horrible things he'd done to Kin. Minmax produces drawings of each of these acts (not being able to write), then begins performing each one on Goblinslayer. Somehow, he survives... but then Minmax produces drawings of Forgath, who was separated from Minmax at some point and found by 'Slayer. He dies seven torture sessions later.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Minmax's smarter traveling companions eventually work out he's too dumb to confuse as he can't see what's wrong with what they're saying... right as they need him to become bewildered or they'll all die. Almost Too Dumb to Live before Kin manages an alternative — which doubles as a Ship Tease.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- "Fluffles"' trainer
- Minmax at times. Fortunately, he travels with smart people.
- Took a Level in Badass: The entire plot of the webcomic is that a bunch of goblins start taking levels in adventurer classes.
- Torture Technician:
- Tragic Keepsake: One alternate dimension Minmax wears a necklace whose pendant says "This Is a Helmet"... and Forgath is nowhere to be seen...
- Tron Lines: A magical version. Whatever shape it takes, the Axe of Prissan and the armor that goes along are adorned with such glowing motifs, the color of the I.M.E. of the wielder.
Tropes U to Z
- Understatement: After Goblinslayer told Minmax what he did with Kin, Minmax justified his response as follows:
- Unflinching Walk: Dies after singlehandedly killing a demon multiple times his own size.
- Unfortunate Names: C'mon, "Dies-Horribly"?
- Unholy Holy Sword: Inverted with the Axe of Prissan. It detects as evil, but that's really the demon it contains — the Axe itself is a Lawful Good Empathic Weapon meant to be a paladin's weapon because the demon can only be contained if the user does acts of good and the only people the makers considered capable of consistent acts of good were Paladins.
- Unpredictable Results: The Shield of Wonder is a very nasty artifact that causes them whenever struck in combat. See the Nightmare Fuel subpage for some of these.
- The Unreveal: Kore took his helmet off?! We'll finally get to see what the true face of evil is... oh, guess not.
- Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: The fight between Klik and Evil Klik is this trope to a T; with an older model facing off against a stronger, more violent, evil model. The underdog doesn't win in this one, though.
- Use Your Head: Minmax tries this with a locked treasure room door. All he manages to do is lay himself out on the floor.
- Verbal Tic Name: Klik
- Villainous Breakdown: Dellyn's really got started after he saw all he worked for being taken apart, then he found Saral Caine's corpse, shortly followed by his loss against Thaco, finally ending with his loss of position, being left as an angry drunk at a bar. And then came his Karmic Death.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Dellyn Goblinslayer, known by the town as Captain of the Town Guard, who is nonetheless confirmed as having an evil alignment.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Forgath and Minmax. They lash out at each other goodheartedly at every opportunity.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Minmax. Much to Forgath's chagrin, he started out not wearing pants either.
Minmax: Face it. I'm too much man for pants.
- The Walls Are Closing In: One of the many traps in the Maze of Many. Manages to kill Barbarian Forgath and Kin.
- Wangst: Touched upon.
K'seliss: Oh for the love of meat, SHUT UP! No one wants to hear your emo character background! My hands are LITERALLY melting away and I'm complaining less than you are!
- Watch Out for That Tree!: Poor Klik.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Ordinary blood burns Klik like acid.
- Weapon of X-Slaying:
- The Finger of Hell, a knife which Dellyn custom-designed to inflict excruciating pain if used against goblins.
- The Racist Axe, which gives a considerable bonus to both accuracy and damage if the wielder and their target are the same race.
- We Meet Again: For once, it's actually a good guy who says it:
- Wham Episode:
- The page in which Kore finally demonstrates that he has paladin powers, jossing a huge number of fan theories in the process.
- Continued a few pages later, demonstrating that Kore isn't vulnerable to the Axe of Prissan.
- Minmax, desperate to talk things out with a suddenly distrusting Kin, unthinkingly grabs her leash while demanding she listen to him.
- Wham Line: Said by Minmax, as he unthinkingly grabs Kin's leash.
Minmax: Stop! And Listen to me!
- What an Idiot: Even Minmax thinks so.
- What Have I Become?: Complains, after the Shield of Wonder's handiwork.
- What Measure Is a Mook? / What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The comic is largely built on deconstructing the typical concept of goblins and other Always Chaotic Evil creatures being slaughtered without remorse by humans. This deconstruction is then inverted upon the Elite Guard of Brassmoon, who are always evil (being recruited as such) and are killed without remorse by the goblins.
- Who Dares?:
K'seliss: Who dares to wake K'seliss?
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: ... to fall for the Treasure Plants trap?
They're only a danger to the dumbest of individuals.
(beat panel as she shares a look of horrified realization with Forgath
) Kin & Forgath: MINMAX!
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: The guards end up discussing how Dellyn's obsession with personally killing Thaco is a liability.
- Why Won't You Die?:
- Winged Humanoid: Duv is marked out as the chosen one of Maglubiyet and rightful chieftain of all goblins by being born with wings.
- With Friends Like These...: Though there have been examples in the Maze of Many previously, one specific trap has a good team contrasted with the bad one.
- Wizard Beard: Wizard Minmax.
- Worst Whatever Ever:
Seth: How the hell can I stabilize if I only get a lousy 10 percent per round? It's the lamest rule ever!
Chief: This has got to be the worst spear I've ever seen.
- Wrong Genre Savvy:
- Dellyn Goblinslayer thought he was, at the very least, a legendary "boogeyman" figure to goblins. He's defeated by Thaco, and then told he's Not Worth Killing.
- A Viper clan goblin psyches himself up to fight a huge monster that another goblin had just said is basically unkillable. He tells himself that "This is my moment. My destiny. My story." He charges it, dodges its first attack... and is immediately one-shotted by Biscuit the orc, who wasn't even looking at him.
- Wrong Name Outburst: See I Let Gwen Stacy Die above.
- Yandere: From the look of it, Dies' arm has this attitude toward Dies himself.
- Yank the Dog's Chain:
- Subverted after Kin falls off the wagon the goblins are using to escape Brassmoon and is recaptured by Dellyn. After a bar fight, she not only manages to escape, but she also gets the opportunity to stab her tormentor to death as well as two adventurers to assist her in locating the Jade Teapot.
- Played straight in the aftermath of the Maze of Many. After everything Kin and Minmax went through, Ruby!Kin destroys their relationship purely out of prejudiced spite. The arc ends with Ruby!Kin bitterly destroying Kin's necklace that symbolized her love for Minmax.
- You Are Number Six: Psion Minmax somehow enumerated the various realities present in the Maze of Many, and often referred to the characters by the numbers of the dimensions they come from. "Our" reality (the reality that the group the comic follows is from) is dimension #156.
- You Can't Fight Fate: It's a predominant theme in the webcomic. Goblins are supposed to follow the path their seers saw for their future. As a result, there have been attempts to circumvent that fate.
- See Screw Destiny for Saves-a-Fox's case. She later learns her belief that she triumphed over her fate was mistaken.
- Played with in Dies-Horribly's case. He certainly did (die horribly), he just didn't stay dead.
- You! Exclamation: Minmax at the sight of Not-Walter.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair
- Kin the yuan-ti.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer, partially.
- You Know I'm Black, Right?: Minmax at one point uses the word "monster" derogatively in regard to Dellyn, to which Kin responds "...but I'm a monster."
- Your Head Asplode: The Psion Minmax seems fond of doing this to his "comrades"...
- Your Other Left: Forgath tries to deliberately confuse Minmax by telling him to look up. "No, your other up." Unfortunately, Minmax is Too Dumb to Fool and just simply looks down.
- You Shall Not Pass: K'seliss, of all people, and Grem send Fox, Dies and Klik away while they guard the door against Mr. Fingers. Possibly gearing up for a More Hero Than Thou moment.
- Zombie Apocalypse: One of the alternate worlds whose Kin, Minmax and Forgath entered the Maze of Many. It's described by Saral Caine, who outlived Dellyn in this world. The story goes that someone known only as "After" was Patient Zero, who, through an obscure loophole of magic, became a deity-level entity by infecting a demon from another world. Saral decided to capture some zombies — who turned out to be Kin, Minmax and Forgath — and shove them into the Maze of Many, hoping they would achieve something similar, and use the powers they would gain to help fight back against the zombie hordes. The chilling thing is that there is at least one alternate world demon in the maze, so they could actually pull it off eventually.
Tempts Fate provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Ageless: A Demon Lord curses Tempts with immortality so he can get revenge on him 10,000 years later. Tempts' response to this shifts from Who Wants to Live Forever? at the idea of being completely immortal, to Cursed with Awesome when he finds out he can still die from injuries.
- Badass: Tempts Fate, of course.
- Chrome Champion: The power given to Tempts Fate by his magic belt whenever he's jumping or falling.
- Cutting the Knot: Problem: Riddle door will kill you if you incorrectly answer the question. Solution: Walk through the door without bothering to test your luck.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: Strip #3
- Eye Scream: When Tempts kills a Demon Lord, the demon's (still sentient) eye latches on to Tempts' body. Unfortunately for it, Tempts makes sure it latches on to the sole of his foot, then goes for a walk across some gravelly ground.
- Explaining Your Curse to the Enemy: In Tempts Fate 8, the dwarf explains his curse and main weakness in great details to Tempts Fate, giving the Genre Savvy goblin an easy way to defeat him.
- Face Palm: As with the main comic; Tempts Fate does this regularly.
- The Rant Golem.
- The Liquid Golem a.k.a. the Kool-Aid guy.
- Guile Hero: Tempts typically survives traps not by fighting through them, but by outsmarting them. Sometimes he manages to bypass danger entirely by Taking a Third Option.
- Hey, Catch!: Tempts Fate to the cursed dwarf. Who dumbly catch the weapon, just after saying this would trigger divine retribution for him.
- Improbable Weapon User: The dwarf who has been cursed to only use household items for weapons and armor.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Tempts Fate vs. the Predatory Alien Creature Which Is Legally Distinct from Some Other Kind of Predator
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the main comic. One Tempts Fate segment involved Chris Hansen from Dateline (why doncha have a seat right over there.), a fast-talking giant maggot, the Kool-Aid guy (OH YEAH!!!), Wil Wheaton, and Michael Bay.
- Loincloth: Following a Wardrobe Malfunction.
- Meaningful Name: Tempts Fate
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "All will die at the hands of Suffer!"
- Neck Snap: Treated almost as an Offhand Backhand.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A character named "Pirateninja" appears in one of the strips.
- No Kill Like Overkill: The fifth challenge comic ends with the appropriately named "The Most Unnecessarily, Overly Trapped Door Ever". Tempts Fate throws one of his leather gauntlets to it, and all we see is his slight surprise and cringed reactions as all sorts of attacks happen on it, including cutting, torching, damage bonus, and a wooden dummy spitting on the corpse.
- Off Hand Backhand: Or more appropriately Offhand Neck Snap.
- Plot Hole: Gleefully parodied in-universe with the conclusion to Tempts Fate 9.
- Satire/Parody/Pastiche: The intro to Tempts Fate 9 is a brilliant skewering of To Catch a Predator, complete with lampshading by Tempts.
- Scenery Censor: At the end of strip #7, a bug flies just in front of the right spot.
- Self-Deprecation: The Rant Golem is all about this.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Lampshaded in Tempts Fate 11 through Unsound Effect.
- Take That: In "The Search for Fate", it's revealed that Tempts Fate has been imprisoned for kicking too much ass. An attempt to get a mole into the prison, which only takes the WORST criminals of all time leads to him claiming that he kicks puppies (not evil enough), kills people (not evil enough) and wrote the ending to Mass Effect 3 (Criminal! You're under arrest!)
- Thanks for the Mammary: Happens to Tempts Fate in the Realm of Naked Mudhoney-Covered Babes... with three girls. In one panel. Subverted, though, as he has no attraction to human females and is therefore squicked by it.
- Three-Point Landing: Tempts Fate lands like this after blowing up several demons in Tempts Fate 11.
- Unflinching Walk: Tempts Fate walking away from the monsters guarding the Gates of Hell that he's just blown up.
- Unsound Effect:
- TELEPORT NOISE! (As per the order of Marvel Comics Legal Department, the noise is most definitely not "Bamf". Nor is it "Snikt" or "Thwip".)
- Worst Whatever Ever: "This is the worst parody ever."