YMMV: Knights of the Dinner Table

  • Base Breaker:
    • There's a lot of debate on whether Brian and Sheila are complex characters with bad habits, or absolutely vile and soulless people. And now the two of them are arch-nemeses. Coincidence?
    • Heidi Jackson, who everyone agrees is a vile and soulless person... but some readers love to hate her, while others want her to appear in just one more panel: one where she bursts into flame.
    • Squirrely is fairly divisive among fans. Some readers feel that Everything's Better with Monkeys justifies Squirrely's existence, while others feel that a super-chimp strains the strip's Suspension of Disbelief.
  • Bizarro Episode: The strip "Heroes on the Town" shows us a world where Bob, Dave, and Brian fully roleplay their characters, treat NPCs with respect, and are generous to a fault. In short, they live up to a lawful good alignment instead of just paying it their usual lip-service. Sara's behavior remains unchanged from canon universe. It can be quite bizarre to any reader used to their normal behaviors. The altered behavior is explained at the end when B.A. wakes up.
  • Colbert Bump: This very wiki page was mentioned in a recent article!
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: And they work hard at it. The Knights abuse the protege rules to keep slightly lower level versions of themselves trained and ready to go. Brian even keeps a meticulous journal and contingency spells to make sure his protege gets the journal upon his untimely death to make sure his new character always retains all his knowledge. Sara doesn't usually follow this trope, and B.A. sometimes forces the players to play something other than their standard character types.
    B.A.: "I'm not forcing you to do anything, guys. You can create new [4th level] characters under the guidelines I've provided, or you can crank out the same old cookie-cutter characters and start at first level."
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male:
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Sara and Sheila are the two main offenders as far as this goes. Sara regularly grabs Dave by the shirt collar (once ripping out his chest hair) as retribution for an ill-advised remark. Sheila appears to have punched out just about every man in the strip at some point. They have both drawn a degree of ire from some fans for this reason. This has been evening out somewhat in recent years – in that Sara has been receiving as much abuse as she’s been handing out.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Gordo is very popular with some fans, especially with the recent strips that focus on his awesome home gaming setup.
    • Crutch has also amassed a respectable fanbase. Many fans reacted favorably to the sympathetic portrayal of his criminal past, and his attempts to assemble his own gaming group.
    • Patty is very popular with readers. One of the most common requests from fans is "More Patty's Perps!"
  • Growing the Beard: KODT was initially a short, fairly shallow series of one-off jokes featuring Flat Characters, no ongoing story, and crude art. Over the many years of its publication, it's evolved to a lengthy, deep series featuring fully-fleshed out characters, long story arcs, and...slightly less crude art. The turning point was probably when it stopped focusing on every strip being a brief joke ending in a punchline, and started truly dwelling on the narrative of the campaign, as well as the lives of the denizens of Muncie.
  • Iron Woobie: B.A. No matter how many times the Knights trash his lovingly-crafted campaigns, he refuses to back down and keeps coming back for more, week after week.
  • Jerkass Woobie: For all his selfish and manipulative behavior, Brian is still a deeply insecure, rather lonely man who lost both his parents in a car accident, has an unrequited crush on Sara, and, as was revealed in a flashback, had a father who was verbally (and probably physically) abusive to him.
  • Memetic Mutation: "HOODY HOO!"
    • "I WASTE HIM WITH MY CROSSBOW!"
    • "BEWARE THE GAZEBO!"
  • Retroactive Recognition: Noah Antwiler.
  • The Scrappy: Some readers of the magazine hated Noah Antwiler's column "A Gamer's Rant on the Movies". It drew a number of complaints, largely from readers who seemed to be taking the column seriously. For a while, its page was printed with a dotted line down the side, with instructions to readers on how to cut out the page if they did not like it. Despite the support of Jolly Blackburn, who thought Noah's rants about bad sci-fi and fantasy movies were funny, the column was canceled after an on-line poll on the Kenzerco forums declared it the most hated part of the magazine.
    • The replacement column, Gaming The Movies, qualifies as well. Ignoring the fans of Noah Antwiler's original column who are still petitioning for his return, there is a vocal portion of the fan base who claim that the column is little more than an instruction manual on how to rip-off things you saw in a movie and use them in your game.
      • As one comic book critic noted regarding the Gaming The Movies column in KODT #158, ...they discuss the Underworld movies and how you can use them and other resources for your Vampire/Werewolf themed role-playing games. (sarcasm) I'm sure this is wonderful news for all of you numerous White Wolf players who had NO IDEA that these movies were here. (/sarcasm)
  • Strawman Has a Point: Bob's dad seems harsh and unreasonable for forbidding Bob to game, but given that Bob ultimately gets fired from his job for feigning illness too many times to game, it seems he has a point, at least about Bob.
    • As of Issue 194, Bob's dad reveals that he knows that Nitro is teaching his grandson Hunter gaming and actually COMMENDS him for giving Hunter lessons in assertive self-reliance. This, combined with his objections during the Cattlepunk game he played, indicates that he's objecting to Bob's Comedic Sociopathy and personal irresponsibility, not to gaming in general.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • What turned out to be a clue to the audience. Bundle of Trouble 17, which reprinted the issue featuring Gary's death, also showed Gary holding his son Timmy's hand with him looking up at his dad smiling as they walk into the sunset. It would later turn out that Gary is alive and that he had surreptitiously visited his son periodically during the period of his supposed death so this probably represents one of those visits.
    • The nature of Brian's relationship with his father was left ambiguous for many years, until being made painfully clear in a flashback. The scene consists of 12-year-old Brian in his room with his back against the wall (looking adorable with his too-big wizard hat and Green Lantern T-shirt), surrounded by toys and games. His father (off-panel) is bellowing at him at him about his poor grades and "living in a dream world." All Brian can do is feebly mumble "Y-yes, s-sir," to which his father responds "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THE BACK OF MY HAND?" The scene sheds a great deal of light on the reasons for Brian's current...issues, and was so effective that even some of the readers who hated him reported wanting to give him a hug.
  • Values Dissonance: The comic spoofs an era of Tabletop Games which had a much more adversarial relation between the players and Dungeon Masters than modern games. Players of more modern RPGs might end up being confused at the Comedic Sociopathy that takes place on both ends.