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Literature / Statless and Tactless

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"Let's just start, we'll shun Joe later."
Dane the GM

A sort of Web Serial Novel, Statless and Tactless follows a group of roleplayers attempting to wade through an RPG. It's presented in a format resembling an online chat group, though the party members seem to know each other offline as well. The party plays a steampunk RPG called "Eldaria" which has unclear rules (at least to the reader). Within the game the heroes get involved in a mysterious conspiracy involving ancient gods and extra-dimensional bugs, all of which they'd handle much more effectively if they didn't seem to kill everyone they meet.

The cast includes:

  • Dane: The group's GM. His posts are orange.
  • Joe: A composite of numerous troll traits, Joe plays GR210, a massive steampunk robot. He apparently goes to graduate school with Soo. His posts are red.
  • Ian: Another player and apparently something of a poor hand with the ladies. He plays Mari Shasho, a 'pyromancer'. His posts are purple.
  • Kyle: A player who opposes Joe's involvement in the group, calling him a devil. He plays an adventurer named Bailey Hunt. His posts are blue.
  • Soo: A newer player brought in by Joe to expand the group. She players Kalinari dVostog, an affluent noblewoman. Her posts are green.

The series is currently hosted on Blogger at

Provides examples of:

  • The Alliance: The opposition of the Imperia is the Federation, a coalition of numerous ethnic groups.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Steam Mechs are supposed to be this, being highly versatile, but costing tons of money to get upgrade parts for.
  • Ax-Crazy: Joe pretty much any time he's not being a Blood Knight instead. He regards everything in the game as either a victim or a future victim of his bloodlust.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Bailey and Mari show up just in times to save GR210 and Kali from robbers.
  • Blood Knight: When Joe isn't butchering NPCs, he's indulging in combat for its own sake. He whined about the edition change of the game because he felt it simplified his combat experience.
  • Cold Sniper: Danielle mutters fatalistic, creepy things before dispassionately killing people at Joe's behest.
  • Creepy Awesome: Danielle.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Dane threatens to (partially) castrate Ian if he acts like a horny, creepy nerd.
  • Deal with the Devil: Kyle considers making any sort of deal with Joe to be one of these.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Fireballs... made of fire!
  • The Empire: The main setting is called the "Imperia" and is ruled by an Emperor or Empress.
  • Failure Hero: Kyle's character Bailey is probably the closest thing the group has to an archetypal pulp hero, but seems to be incapable of succeeding in rolls.
    • This has started to relax as Bailey has started to occasionally succeed at rolls, but typically will still fail any time he needs on succeeding on them.
  • Fat Bastard: Joe is probably overweight (Soo calls him a fatass and knows him offline) and he actively considers himself a bastard with pride.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: The whole group has a bad habit of forgetting skills they selected. Soo is the worst at it (somewhat appropriately, being a newcomer to the game).
  • Guy In Real Life: Ian plays a female character.
  • Made a Slave: Joe convinces the group to technically enslave Ian's character Mari because the mechanical game benefits of her being so actually outweighed the penalties. That it would bother Ian was considered a bonus.
  • Ninja Maid: Joe's follower character Danielle is an odd composite of a french maid and a sniper. The former is for utility, the latter is to irritate Dane while he's forced to play her.
  • Player Archetypes: Joe is a power gamer. Soo is an actor.
  • Point Build System: Eldaria apparently has one, as Kali'nari d'Vostog has dumped points into Resources and Status.
    • Joe couldn't bring himself to leave points unspent, even though he was trying to cripple the team with a dead-weight character so he purchased every single language skill in the history of the game.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kyle is collected and balanced. Joe is his archenemy and opposite. They even have blue and red posts respectively.
  • Rule Zero: In order to bring in a new player, Dane agrees to not houserule out Joe's character. Kyle is rightfully concerned.
  • Schedule Slip: The author has had several big ones of a couple months apiece. The first two lacked any real reason and the third was something to do with a car accident and the author stated that he forgot about the story all together from it until a reader comment notified his email.
  • She's Not My Girlfriend: Joe thinks Ian and Soo are dating (or "performing mouth inspections") because they spend time together offline. The two always jump up to yell a rebuke to these claims.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While the rules aren't clearly part of any system as of yet, Resources and Status are two background traits in the White Wolf engine.
    • Joe's character is a shiny robot that knows an obscene number of languages. Ian realizes he's like a "Murderous C3P0".
    • The game's twelfth edition rules changed the damage system to one with abstract damage and progressive degeneration of efficiency, similar descriptively to the Dresden Files game.
    • There's a chapter where the plot gets derailed because the party is talking about Ayn Rand and how she would play tabletop games.
  • Steampunk: The setting has elements of it. Steam Mechs are explicitly referred to as being "steampunk" and made of copper.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Joe takes himself hostage to force Soo to buy him fancy war machines by making his 'default' configuration utterly useless.
    • The plan backfires due to a combination of the 'useless' skills he took proving useful and Joe's need to upstage people making it very had to not be handy.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Soo is the only woman in the group. Ian is very aware of this.
  • The Butler Did It: Joe assumes that the group has been betrayed by Soo's follower character, Archibald the butler. He kills Archibald before even thinking about it.
  • Twofer Token Minority: "Soo" is shorthand for "Soraya", a middle-eastern name. She's also the only woman in the group.
  • The Watson: Soo is this for the group, being new to both RPGs and the game in particular.
  • What a Drag: Joe's idea for cross-country travel is to carry two teammates and have the third be dragged behind on a rope. Soo points out that this would probably kill the person in question.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Archibald is killed off within three posts and never even gets a chance to speak. Soo eventually takes an offer to repurpose his points, so it looks like he's gone forever.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Mari has a bad habit of helping the group by making lots of people die (in contrast to her pleasant and timid player Ian) because she's a pyromancer and the best contribution Ian can usually come up with in a situation is lighting something on fire.