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Literature / There Is No Epic Loot Here, Only Puns

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Abandon all preconceived ideas, ye who enter here.

"Rooms!" they cried. The mushrooms hit her dungeon floor and were quickly turned into those odd motes.
They entered Delta's mind, and the taste followed them.
Delta gagged.

There Is No Epic Loot Here, Only Puns (original title being Dungeon before "Mendeleev" provided a better name) is a piece of online original fiction by Stewart92 written on Spacebattles Creative Writing, starting in 2017. It was later also cross-posted to Royal Road (here).

The story follows the adventures of a girl named Delta, who one day wakes up and discovers she's a dungeon core in a Role-Playing Game 'Verse. Hilarity ensues as Delta grows endless supplies of mushrooms and topples over the normal conventions of what a dungeon is by trying to avoid being a murder machine they usually are.

  • Book 1, chapters 1-68 — Of Mushrooms and Goblins: The Dungeon
  • Book 2, chapters 69-99 — Of Spiders and Men: The Delta Dilemma
  • Book 3, chapter 99-ongoing — Blackest of Spores

Nu has filtered the trope list down to the following:

    open/close all folders 

    A - H 
  • Aerith and Bob: The queen bee names her children Bzzt, BzZzt, Bzztt, Bzzztz, Bzttt, GARNASH, Bzstt, Tzzb, John, Bz-zt, and Bzt.
  • Anti-Climax: When Estal encounters a circus in the middle of a jungle, she thinks it must be some kind of a joke, but she can't see the punch line.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Quiss first discovers the Dungeon, he knows that it will attract "Goblins, Unreasonably Large Spiders, lizard people who decided to kill other people and angry bushes." It's the bushes that have him the most concerned, due to his allergies.
  • Attack Backfire:
    • Fairplay tries to weaken Boary by creating an airtight bubble to starve out his flames. Which sort of works, extinguishing the flames and exposing his skin, except that as soon as they release the bubble and prepare to close in, the inrushing air causes a cloud of spores to spray out from him — and then he re-ignites, causing an explosion large enough to rattle the whole floor. (In fairness, there was a sign outside the room to warn them that fire would lead to explosions.)
      The soot-covered men fell off the wall, leaving clean imprints of their form behind as Geytan stumbled to his feet, eyes wide in terror.
    • Delta later adjusts the room to make water backfire as well, with a new mushroom variant that loves water, including the stuff unfortunately locked away in adventurers' bodies. That one does make her worry about whether she's gone too far...
  • Bad Powers, Good People:
    • Delta is very determined not to become a murder-machine like most dungeons, despite the menus being full of options for poisoning, crushing, drowning, boiling, impaling, and otherwise savaging and terrifying her guests (until Nu starts automatically filtering the options for her). Possibly downplayed as it turns out that the System is entirely capable of giving peaceful and benevolent options, it just hadn't been well explored by Dungeons before.
    • Several of the townsfolk seem to qualify as well, including a vampire who serves as Durence's nocturnal banker. He does turn out to have a more Affably Evil side as the ambient mana awakens him, though.
  • Bag of Holding: Smalls carries several. However, he also mentions that rather than extradimensional spaces, most bags now connect to bank vaults on the same plane.
    Smalls: No one wants to keep pulling eldritch beings out instead of lunch.
  • The Bartender: Fera the goblin is created as this when Delta upgrades the goblin camp to an inn. She's gruff, but has a good heart. And is empowered by the presence of other goblins in her bar. And gains access to any new ingredients that the dungeon absorbs. It's not a good idea to start any trouble under her eye, especially since she has a Boomstick.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice:
    • Isanella is a world-class Bard, who loves music and sound above all else except her family. She allows some of her power to seep into just her introduction, and Noland is on his knees struggling for self-control.
    • Her son, Deo, inherited her talents, along with his father's Compelling Voice — but he is profoundly deaf, meaning that he sings amazingly but can't tell. Apparently it's even worse when he plays an instrument.
      For thirty seconds straight Deo made an endless tune as his fingers moved like a master over the wooden instrument. The wind was redirected, the birds gathered in awe, and deep in some hellish abyss a devil put his fiddle down in defeat.
    • The Great Mushy unexpectedly develops an interest in music and unlocks an evolution that turns him into "Maestro", master of music. His voice is rather different from a classically beautiful one, harsher and deeper, but it somehow works; he and Isanella are closely matched, despite her much greater experience (she does win their contest, but they both find it to be a glorious challenge).
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Quiss and Ruli snipe at each other frequently, rely on each other's help when needed, and never mention aloud how attractive they find each other.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Delta. Often. Usually by accident when trying to do something mundane or just screwing around.
    • When the dungeon gets set up for scaling difficulty based on the actions of invaders, it has levels 1-5, and a secret level 6 known as “you made Delta cry”. One Fairplay official decides to send in magical robots powered by shards of dead dungeons, which so horrified Delta that it causes the spontaneous generation of level 7: “you broke Delta’s heart”.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Delta has it out with the Spider Queen after she discovers the Queen considers love just a tool and her children nothing but pawns, she devours the queen's soul.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Dungeon space is malleable; upgrading a room will frequently make it larger on the inside, without changing the amount of space it occupies on a map. Delta is quite taken aback the first time this happens upon creating a boss room, which triples the internal size.
  • Blade Enthusiast: After a carelessly thrown dagger embeds itself in the wall near him, Waddles the duck is a bit irritated. Then people come to bother him, and he seizes the knife — somehow — and pursues them with it. He apparently becomes so attached to that his potential evolution is updated from "Overlord" to "Overlord (knife included)". He leaves the intruders with their hair hacked off and their clothes sliced to ribbons, which he uses to build himself a tent. Then he starts collecting dozens more knives and daggers from further teams, which he uses to decorate his wall.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Brother conjures off-brand cola to drink while fishing. He'd prefer name-brand, but apparently trans-dimensional lawyers are a thing.
  • Blessed with Suck: Poppy considers her status as a blue mage to be this. Blue mages have the ability to copy the abilities of monsters by eating them, but the abilities come packaged with some of the monsters' instincts, as well as responding to her mood, and they can never unlearn abilities they acquire. Unfortunately, her father is a Supreme Chef who tends to use exotic ingredients in his dishes. By the the time her abilities developed she had already eaten so many exotic monsters that she possesses an enormous amount of abilities without the years of training to control them, so she has to remain as apathetic as possible to prevent her abilities from constantly activating.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Since Delta doesn't want to force people to fight, she provides a wishing well that allows adventurers safe passage through the goblin fort and into the bar if they throw coins in. When Geytan of Fairplay loudly disrespects the option of paying "Dungeon scum", Nu covers the well and displays a sign announcing that as mercy has been spurned, the party can no longer skip the room.
  • Bring It: Delta is initially concerned about the limited options available to her, but once she starts to see the nature of the system, she decides she's going to abuse and break it, and shouts to the heavens and hells that the challenge is accepted.
  • Canis Latinicus: Lampshaded when Estal summons a fishing hook with Creatium Marinium Hookum, to which Karn sighs at "monthly wizard magazines and their budget spells."
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Von the Vampire Banker.
  • Chest Monster: Delta gets one to defend the underwater shortcut past the first floor, a giant clam that opens up to tempt intruders with fake treasure. It's actually rather friendly, to her at least.
  • Chew Bubblegum: Ruli informs Levix the undead knight and his horde that she has only three things she wants in life. Drinking, fishing, and hunting.
    Ruli: I don't see any fish… and I left my drink upstairs. So that leaves me my last vice.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Delta's mana and avatar are orange, while Nu is blue. Sis is yellow.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Wyin has always been vicious, but she leans into the masochism and generalised pain-appreciation when she fights Hazhur and his team, taking strength from her own pain and fascinated by theirs.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Any of the large dungeon-farming groups, who restrain dungeons from growth, feed them specific things to force their development along preferred lines, and then use them up. Delta is advised early to slay any who set foot in her without mercy.
    • There are strong indications that the Fairplay company may be a subversion of this. One of the author's comments implies a more symbiotic rather than exploitative relationship, albeit one not without complications.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Delta isn't really a child, but she's pure and innocent enough that Nu stops her from opening her eyes to see Cois killed mid-introduction by a Fairplay representative.
    Nu: Don't.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Without a physical avatar, Delta can't literally do this, but there's a similar feeling when she's executing the trapped Slimers.
    Delta: Please... be free of that hate. Please come back somehow... and I'll make your time fun. I promise! If I can come back... maybe you can? Maybe things can be different! Please don't... hate me.
  • Cruel Mercy: Fera demands an apology from Geytan, who wonders aloud why she doesn't just kill him, or cut off his hand.
    Fera: The apology will hurt more.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When a crocodile-sized lure lizard appears while Ruli is fishing, Delta panics and starts ordering her monsters to run. Ruli, annoyed by the lizard's interference, promptly lodges her magical fishing rod in the back of the lizard's open mouth, smashes it against a wall, and tears out its brain.
    Ruli: Lizards don't count in the fishing contest.
  • Curse:
    • Waddles the Dark Drake can curse people with bad luck if they annoy him. When the next room is the mud pit, anyone who gets cursed is guaranteed to get messy. It's actually quite a potent curse, though, even working on Renny's mime powers; his attempts to mime lighting a cannon with a match fail due to the curse.
    • When Haldi gets riled up by Caline of Fairplay disrespecting the original Durence (for whom the village is named, and who was Haldi's close friend), he invokes a curse of cheese: "A fool I do see, hear my words and bend the knee. For every time you mention Durence, a curse to you from me. So… let it brie."
      "How dare you! If you think I will be cowed into not saying Dure-” he began and stopped abruptly. Haldi smiled with an expectant look. A block of cheese forced its way out of Caline's mouth as if being eaten in reverse. Caline's eyes bulged as the block landed on the ground.
      "At least now, when you open your mouth, someone might benefit," Haldi said gruffly.
      Caline snarled and opened his mouth to argue.
      "Also, it's not always your mouth."
  • Curse Cut Short: Devina interrupts Inchy in the middle of a sentence, and for bonus points, turns it into a play on words.
    Rale: Ran into the munchkins? Great little things, right?
    Inchy: They are little as-
    <Devina pinches his beak closed>
    Devina: As ironic as Delbird's comment is, they mistook me as an evil goddess coming to seduce their… god.
  • Deadly Gas: Geytan of Fairplay attempts to use an airborne nerve toxin against Delta's goblins, knowing that he and his party have an antidote, but he gets interrupted before he can throw it. (Plus, it's unlikely to harm a Mushroom Spitter.)
  • Dead Guy Puppet: "Slimers" result from algae suffusing and animating dead bodies. They're creepy and could be dangerous to the unprepared, especially with their ability to drain water from what they touch, but fortunately are not very smart. A handful of goblins are able to slaughter a larger group of them, and then more of them fall in Delta's mud pit and trap themselves by draining the water and turning it solid.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Quiss, the peacekeeper, who would be quite happy to do no work at all and lets everyone have it with both barrels.
    • Also, Nu after his existential crisis.
      Nu: I shall put a sign that says 'Caution, deep water' before the river. If that fails I shall put another sign a bit further away that says 'Caution, words ahead, read them'. If that fails I shall put a sign across the river that says 'Caution, If you are wet, you were warned'. I like to cover all my potential areas.
  • Death Glare: Mr Jones, the schoolteacher, reacts to Deo's suggestion that he has a crush on Madam Ghu with "a look of such utter revulsion that a nearby bird fell to the ground dead."
  • Death Trap: Defied by Delta, whose menus offer a variety of deadly room upgrades like making her mud pit boil, flooding the fishing pond, etc, but who is having none of that. Eventually, Nu starts automatically filtering and hiding the lethal options for her.
  • Defiant to the End: After Muffet is defeated and killed for the first time, by the Fairplay corporation, she waves her legs at them in sign language just before she expires, though they don't understand it.
    Nu would translate for them, but no verbal word could accurately translate the royal spider court dance of 'I found your birther and ravaged them with such energy that they outshone the stars in joy'.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Dungeon-created monsters cannot leave, but in her first few minutes of life, Delta lucks into a pair of wild goblins who stumble into the Dungeon and sign up as contracted employees. Which gives her a way to start harvesting all sorts of materials from outside the Dungeon, providing a substantial income of mana (instead of waiting for her 1/day regeneration), Dungeon Points (so she can begin unlocking new monsters and new features), and materials (which unlock crafting avenues). They're key to her rapid expansion, unlocking new rooms and floors within days instead of months or years.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Fairplay's jade knife narrowly misses him, Waddles internally reflects that he couldn't be bothered seeking out any trouble, but if trouble comes to him, then not only they, but "all that ever loved them or would love them" will suffer.
  • Double Entendre: Many get dropped, especially by naive-but-earnest characters like Deo. Delta generally recognises them and is embarrassed, but can't directly talk to anyone except her monsters, so she can't do much about it. Mushroom emblems automatically appearing on loot drops doesn't help.
  • Dramatic Irony: On his first visit, Quiss concludes that "the town of Durence now has a Mushroom Forest Dungeon", and is sure that the dungeon core itself would approve. Unseen and intangible, Delta (who loathes mushrooms after her goblins force-fed her so many deadly and awful-tasting ones that they started sprouting everywhere) is attempting to strangle him with her ghostly bare hands.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Estal is very impressed by the results of Rale the frog-man's exercise routine. Unfortunately for her, the local environment is heavily influenced by one of the local frog-women, who doesn't appreciate the competition.
    Estal: I gotta kiss some frogs for a prince, right?
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: In order to live in Durence, one needs to be badass and rather kooky — such as a cheese mage, a vampire banker or a dungeon that prefers puns to meat-grinding.
  • Eldritch Location: Due to its excessive magic levels, Durence has a rather unusual layout, and in fact many unusual things.
    Serma: The twists lead to dead ends but the dead ends open out into intersections when we turn around. There's a bakery next to a building that looks haunted but the bakery smells so good. The bank accepts blood as money and we've passed the same hat shop four times but it's never in the same place.
    Serma also couldn't remember what the owner of the store looked like or when they actually went inside the store.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: In her original life Delta was a schoolteacher and the human selves of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and the Silence were her students.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • Any non-Dungeon item placed in the Dungeon — even sticks and rocks — is automatically broken down into mana and Dungeon Points, along with possibly unlocking related types of construction. It's close enough to eating that Delta is able to taste the flavour of Gutrot mushrooms, to her lasting regret.
    • Grimnoir's grandfather is able to eat just about anything. His descendants inherited lesser versions; Grimnoir himself can eat books (and heal from doing so), his father can eat metal. Mealtimes at their house get interesting.
      The weirdest was his mother. She ate broccoli... willingly. All the males in the household feared her.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention: Wizard names are apparently picked in pairs out of a magic hat. Said names typically determine what powers the wizard has, though this also leads to some Unfortunate Names.
    Solomon Leakydarknesshole, you were never forgotten, Quiss admitted but you were never mentioned in public…
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Cram and Smalls are very different, but have been through a lot together as adventurers, and have become solid friends as a result.
    People became closer when their lives became a flip of a coin.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Those who reach the second floor of Delta's dungeon will probably meet Bob the giant abyss worm at some point. He's actually quite friendly, if you don't do anything to upset him!
  • Force Feeding: Among the many torments that Waddles the Dark Drake inflicts on those who disturb him is to force Gutrot mushrooms into their mouths. There haven't been any fatalities, but victims can remain green around the mouth for days afterwards.
  • G-Rated Drug: Various mushrooms, honeys, and Troll Soup have all been made into intoxicants by Delta's monsters. Effects range from hyperactivity, to full-on acid trips.
  • Gargle Blaster:
    • When Madam Ghu offers to actually pay for a drink, Fera serves her a cocktail of which rum is the least interesting/worrisome ingredient, compared to things like paralytic venom. Actual spirits may or may not have been involved.
      Delta stared in horror at her goblin and the worst part was… Ghu ordered a second one not long after.
    • Fera later obtains a larger selection of liqueurs, such as the Death Star.
      It promised to 'kill you, then make you drunk.'
  • The Gloves Come Off: Upon seeing Fairplay blowing up her tavern, killing Fera, using dangerous Loophole Abuse to unfairly defeat Fran, and then disrespecting both of their bodies, Delta stops requiring the Pygmies to play nice, and tells Wyin what happened. Turns out that the system has a built-in stopwatch, and the party doesn't last five minutes.
    Delta: Welcome to the Jungle.
  • God Is Inept: It's eventually revealed that the Brother and Sister, the gods of the world and ones who made Delta a dungeon, have the personalities of children and a lot of the problems with the world stem from them making impulsive decisions and then recklessly trying to fix the fallout of said decisions. To their credit they have been trying to get better and have grown considerably more competent by the time they created Delta, but they've still got a ways to go.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: When Delta upgrades the plain dirt walls to be timber-reinforced, the whole place shakes, leading her to exclaim, "Flipping flops!" It also causes the tunnels to expand slightly, with the result that "Her depth and spatial awareness were now shot to fudge."
  • Happiness in Slavery: When Quiss learns that Delta has two contracted goblins, he reflects on how many "monsters, crazy people, animals, demi-beings, lost golems, and depraved lonely men" would love to take their place in being enslaved to a dungeon. For the goblins, it's primarily a matter of protection and safety; inside the Dungeon, they become larger and stronger, and Delta provides them with various opportunities for upgrades, so they're happy.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: If a niche magic ability sounds ridiculous, there's a good chance it can do some amazing and/or terrifying things. For example: Haldi is a cheese mage. It doesn't sound powerful, but he can imbue qualities into his cheese to not only make it unbelievably delicious, but also make it extremely toxic or capable of curing any number of ailments and he can create golems out of cheese. Haldi became infamous after successfully assaulting (and destroying) the king's castle with a giant cheese golem. It's worth noting that, among his old party which includes a woman who seduced the literal demon king and a guy who can eat anything at all, Haldi is the one whose name evokes the most terror in others.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Delta stumbles across a natural spring, and populates it with respawning fish of various kinds, firewood, and a starry sky. Ruli is thrilled and brings a magical fishing rod (which can double as an effective weapon in a pinch) to land the special metal-coated fish.
  • Hero of Another Story: The interludes and sidestories occasionally focus on the journeys of individuals outside of Durence, such as a village faced with a snake-obsessed dungeon that is much more hostile than Delta.
  • Humiliation Conga: When Fairplay's representatives finally come to Delta, she sticks to her principles and doesn't kill them. However, her creations do steal their magical equipment, dump them in mud, scorch them, get one party's leader completely wasted on an acid trip, drive another into screaming insanity, knock them all out, and toss them out of the dungeon with just the clothes on their backs — or, for those who faced Waddles the Dark Drake, even less than that.
    Nu: They're like cockroaches. I drown them, burn them, blow them up, and yet they don't die of their own accord leaving me blameless in Delta's eyes... how bothersome.
  • Hybrid Monster: Lots.
    • Mushroom groves and flower gardens offer upgrades that let them start crossbreeding new species. Delta later finds options to cross-breed them with animals, producing results like the extremely cute Pigglecaps.
    • When Delta bypasses the usual monster limits by producing an unholy mish-mash of creatures designated as "critters" instead of "monsters" — pigglecaps, slimes, and spiders — assembled into a moving ball of death, her gargoyles start predicting that they'll have nightmares.
    • "Horned rabbits" used to exist, but were hunted to extinction. Turns out that Brother was trying to cheer Sister up, and Sister liked rabbits and unicorns.

    I - O 
  • Implausible Deniability: Mrs Dabberghast asks Quiss to help her with a Terror Root that mysteriously grew in her garden and started causing trouble. The only reason she can get away with it is because no one wants to provoke the ex-Dark Witch of Bloodthorn Forest.
    Quiss: Terror Roots require two cups of blood, a pinch of sulphur, and two bedtime stories a month before they reach enough power to leave their pots. Do any of these sound familiar?
    Mrs Dabberghast: I just kept cutting myself on my gardening tools and I use sulphur perfume and you know how I love telling stories that last an hour to myself in the middle of my garden where no one can see me.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Kemy is so sweet and naive that Delta immediately wants to kidnap her.
    Delta: No, come back! I forgot to lock you in here and make you stay forever!
  • I Need A Drink: When Wyin sees Team Heroic Holy Pot posing with their loot, she sends for a troll ale, intending to get blackout drunk and forget everything.
    It was either drink or taking up knitting with their organs and one of those required patience.
  • Insult Backfire: When Luna asks him to explain Delta's cackling, Nu grumpily states that it's, "Because she thinks she's clever and whatever she's planning is going to backfire so badly it will hurt me in my soul." Luna, who is fascinated with injury and death, is merely impressed by the idea that Delta can hurt someone's soul.
  • Insult to Rocks: When Estal is concerned about being molested while using the hot springs, Luna informs her that if she wanted to feel someone up, then Sir Bacon (the first floor boss' pig mount) would have much the same feeling but a better temperament.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Delta is somehow able to understand Waddles, perhaps because of his contract.
    "I don't think I can agree to have them all on fire or dripping with acid," Delta said slowly.
    "I mean, that isn't too bad, but I think an electrical storm moving between the knives might upset the fish. It might hurt them," she pointed out.
    "Quack… quack."
    Delta brightened and clapped her hands.
    "I can do that!"
  • Irony: Deo's mother is a world-class Bard, his father has a voice that can rouse not only peasants but also animals and plants to battle, and Deo inherited their musical abilities, judging from the comments on his singing voice. He's also completely deaf. Until Delta overwhelms the magical infection responsible and uses her own mana to patch him up.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: But since Mila doesn't like the tax collector at all, she feels no need to be any clearer.
    "Where is the local Peacekeeper?!" Noland squawked in alarm. Mila yanked the door open.
    "Leading a water mage that barely speaks the Verluan tongue to a boy that barely understands the world beyond his own heart, to help rescue a girl that barely knows any respect from a demon that barely knows how to control himself, to help out a dungeon that barely knows how to dungeon! Down the street and follow the sound of ducks!"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Grim is a kid in Durence who is generally rude, fights often with Deo, breaks the rules to challenge Delta alone, and almost gets himself killed in the process. It turns out he and Deo are actually best friends despite Grim's "ambushes", and Grim always accommodates the bigger boy's disability.
  • Kayfabe:
    • When Cram fights Sir Fran the Pig Knight, they're both enjoying the challenge, until Fran realises that Cram is actually holding back most of his power and just having fun. At his insistence, Cram attacks seriously, killing him in a single blow until he respawns (but Fran is thrilled at being able to test himself against such an opponent).
    • Muffet the spidergeist later deliberately fights at less than full power when a party wants Delta to respond like a regular Dungeon (but still non-lethally) as a challenge. In this case, full power would have meant quickly garrotting them all, so...
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Cois the goblin, killed mid-introduction, no less. Good thing he respawns...
    Cois: Greetings mortals. I am-
  • Killer Rabbit:
    • The ducks Quiss summons when miscasting are this.
    • The Mushroom Pygmies look cute and harmless, but can be very dangerous given the opportunity and are the only monsters within Delta that are actively malicious.
    • King Jellagon is a tiny grub-shaped slime that loves to gurgle at Delta and gets excited about the improvements she makes to his throne room. Those improvements are centered on his key ability: to become larger and more powerful as parties trespass against the Dungeon, taking what they shouldn't or killing the inhabitants, until he becomes a powerful dragon full of death magic and backed by a giant shadow blade that can launch any attacks used by previous bosses.
      "Who's a cute destroyer of gluttony and greed?" she said, and the little worm-slime cheered.
  • Kill It with Fire: Delta finishes off the algae-based Slimers by creating flaming torches on top of them. Not because nothing else works, but because it's safe and efficient.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Delta is sufficiently aggravated by Fairplay's teams of cold-hearted, disrespectful, assembly-line soldiers that, upon their defeat, she gives her pygmies permission to steal not only their belongings, and their clothes, but even their hair.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: Muffet the spidergeist gives out articles of spider-thread clothing, such as earmuffs, to people she likes. When she's killed by the Fairplay Corporation, she spitefully leaves a pair of lacy underwear as loot.
    Muffet's knitted twisted Knickers.
    Don't get them twisted: Improves mental clarity.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Upon seeing what happened to the first few Fairplay teams (one party dumped outside, unconscious and looted of everything but their clothes, another party running away with even their hair and clothes sliced to ribbons), the last two teams run away from Delta instead of entering.
  • Lack of Empathy: The intense magical "cleanse" required for a human to form a core weapon has the side effect of stripping away some of their personality, especially the warmer or more compassionate parts. Also, it's highly painful. Also, the "core" is in reality a fragment of an evil god, which dungeons are supposed to help break down in order to protect the world from him; it encapsulates and strengthens all the worst parts of a person. "Cleansing" it of dungeons' influence is a very bad idea.
  • Large Ham:
    • Deo is this to a T, but he's so earnest about it that it comes off as cute.
    • Waddles the duck, when refused bread, lets out a quack that approximately translates to, "then you shall have death, a warrior's death, be it neither swift nor painless, but honorable. Embrace the void for my wrath extends beyond hell itself."
      Good bread was worth the poetics, if you asked Waddles.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Delta's dungeon is full of this. However, the kind of person who triggers the bad consequences also tends to be the kind of person who didn't think too hard about the morality of their own actions, and thus doesn't realise they're being punished.
    • Her first obstacle, the spider room, is not dangerous by default. The spiders are not aggressive, it's just challenging to sneak past their webs, and there's a bush of healing berries available. However, killing the spiders will cause the bush to steadily wilt, until it's all gone and Muffet the spidergeist attacks. Someone peaceful could walk through the room blindfolded (which actually happens), but several visitors decide to preemptively burn the webs, and suffer for it.
    • Leave Waddles the Dark Drake alone, and he'll leave you alone. You can walk right up to him and take the key behind him, he doesn't care. But bother or disrespect him, and you get cursed with potent bad luck.
    • The mud room gets marked with different instructions, depending on how a guest has behaved, from level 1, "Live, Laugh, Loot", to level 5, "Gonna, Have a, BAD time." And then the special extra mode, "You made Delta cry." The higher you go, the more hazards you'll encounter, and the more hostile the monsters will be. Fairplay manages to escalate to level 3 before even leaving the entrance chamber, and hits level 4 partway through the mud.
    • King Jellagon starts out as a harmless and friendly grub, then grows stronger with every trespass against the dungeon (such as stealing what's not on offer, or killing the residents) until he's a giant dark dragon, making the boss fight a direct reflection of the party's behaviour. The system descriptions specifically refer to accruing a karmic debt.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Quiss has the habit of using incantations as swears and has to catch himself before properly saying the full thing. This causes his miscast spells to summon ducks, which ironically can be more dangerous than fire.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Fera recruits Jebediah the troll as a cooking assistant, but on his first attempt at boiling mushrooms, he somehow produces a result that climbs out of the cauldron and has to be killed. He's very obedient and dedicated, though, so she can see potential in him.
    • Troll soup in general is a product of lethal chef-ing. It's so close to primordial ooze that germs die when trying to grow on it, it doesn't thicken or go bad in the sun, and its abhorrent taste resists all efforts to dilute it. When Geytan hears that someone has actually succeeded in turning troll soup into a different dish, he's horrified and unbelieving. (The process of changing it did have a casualty rate.)
  • Light Is Not Good: Fairplay's uniforms are white with silver accents, and their mana is often described as "uniform" or "clean" to the point where Delta compares it to someone taking steel wool to a beautiful piece of artwork. They're an organization set on taming dungeons and optimizing their output.
  • Literal Split Personality: This is Nina's power; she can split herself at will, but her personality gets divided among the copies, so the more she uses it, the more obsessive and simple-minded each one becomes — and the less willpower and inhibitions she has to stop herself from splitting again. She does, however, have a failsafe: absorbing another copy gives a pleasant buzz, which means even near-mindless clones will eventually decide to consume each other and recombine.
  • Locked Door: Delta's second floor eventually becomes this, with parties having to collect three out of the six keys on the floor to unlock the three gates to the boss room. Each gate has a key that requires combat, or a key that takes problem-solving skills.
    Hazhur: Gates? So if we can just break them open-
    Rale: Oh, you might be able to. Nothing is impossible in Delta's Dungeon, but... breaking the rules means the lady breaks you.
  • Loophole Abuse: Sir Fran's difficulty is automatically scaled to the strength of the challenger(s), and can take into account spectators joining in — but he doesn't get an upgrade if participants' strength substantially changes during the fight. Which means that it's possible to wear a Power Limiter, trigger the fight, then take the limiter off for an advantage.
  • Magical Counterfeiting: Dungeons that have unlocked the relevant metals can make coins from mana quite easily. However, since the coins are ultimately made of magic, they will gradually degrade once removed from the dungeon. Whether they're acceptable legal tender depends on where you live.
  • Magikarp Power: Many dungeon features start out claiming to be purely cosmetic, but by unlocking the right upgrades and using some creativity, many become potent tools.
    • Consuming potent Gutrot mushrooms makes the Mushroom Grove produce mushrooms with actual effects, not just decorations. Delta is able to research and manufacture mushrooms to produce light, food, medicine, and many other things.
    • Spiders are originally stated to be just for ambience, but they become the central feature of Delta's first challenge room, which is very easy for those who respect the spiders, but triggers escalation to a boss fight for those who slaughter them. The spiders also develop a ceremonial monarchy that helps Delta to acclimatise Mharia, who was raised to be a princess.
      It seemed a little of a waste but Delta had learned her lesson after the umpteenth time since waking up. Dismiss nothing, everything is permitted.
  • Male Sun, Female Moon: Inverted twice.
    • Delta as the warm, nurturing and live-giving creator showering people with blessings is depicted as the sun in the Pygmy Myconids' faith and the astral plane, while the aloof and cunning (and male) Nu is associated with shadows and the Moon.
    • In the creation myth, the Sister is blond and that is the reason why the sun is yellow. On the other hand, the Moon is one of the Little Brother's stolen eyes.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Parhal is a Royal Knight, meaning that she's one of the most powerful people in the kingdom. She's also rather evil, but contractually bound to serve. When she decides to take a little bite out of Deo, though, she promptly finds herself on the ground, bleeding from her ears and with her eyes bulging out, as Deo's mother Isanella stands over her. And that's before Isanella actually speaks. When she does, Parhal's armour cracks and her bones fracture as the street shatters under her.
      Isanella: Don't.
    • On the other hand, Delta wins Isanella's undying devotion when she overcomes Deo's magical infection and restores his hearing.
  • Martial Pacifist: Delta really wants to build a peaceful place, but she does recognise that there will be some people who come to exploit and pillage and slaughter, and that she needs to defend herself. Her challenges are never designed to be lethal, her monsters are instructed not to kill under ordinary circumstances, but exceptions can be made for especially problematic visitors. For example, Sir Fran is permitted to kill those who attempt a Fake Surrender.
    Cois: Master will make rules. Master will warn. Master will give chances to run. Personally, I think Master is too kind.
  • Money for Nothing: Dungeons can manufacture coins from mana, with mixed results. Some places will accept it, others have an exchange rate, some ban it. Real money is designed to repel mana, whereas Dungeon-created money will be inherently dependent on mana, so they can definitely be distinguished.
  • Mood Whiplash: Waddles the duck creates this with his preferred home decor.
    Moments later, the knives began to shine as the fake moon on the ceiling came out from behind a cloud. The reflection caused a dazzling show to reflect across the lake, sparkling like diamonds. The sight was beautiful until you saw the light came from dozens of knives on the wall.
  • Munchkin:
    • Played with for Delta, who does like Loophole Abuse and exploitation of the system, but she's not addicted to the numbers.
      As a pure logical thought, the pond would draw explorers to fish and stall in her dungeon. They would be fishing and over a certain period of time, the pond would naturally refill its taken quarry. It would result in Mana farming.
      As someone who wasn't a machine that crunched numbers and didn't see everything as a way to make her dungeon into some hyper-productive factory, Delta freely admitted she just really wanted a pond with fish in it.
    • Quiss and Ruli derisively mention "Calculators" who ignore emotions and history attached to equipment in favour of getting whatever has the best numbers.
  • Mundane Utility: It's not clear exactly how Seth's spell is working, but "Space twisted, the souls beyond screamed, Quiss' ears popped, and Deo seemed to have a vision, but then the cup was refilled with fresh coffee and Seth sipped at it with a blank expression on his face."
    Quiss: I hate that spell.
    Seth: I don't trust boiling water or pots anymore.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Rale the frogman, after being given some exercise equipment, becomes obsessed with it, and trains until he is exceedingly buff. Karn, who moments earlier was willing to fight a giant abyss worm, is intimidated.
    "Yes, they are rude," the frog agreed as he rolled his neck, making more muscles than Karn had in his entire body flex.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels:
    • Seth doesn't have a full grasp on the main language the characters speak, so he has a tendency to speak in Malaproper and say things that sound like Non Sequiturs or Double Entendres.
      Seth: I am here, to this goat fence. I taste for Quest!
    • In fairness, Quiss isn't any better at speaking Seth's native language.
      "How is that... what was it... Deimno...Revant...something, something," Quiss gave up and Seth almost choked as Quiss offered to sell his personal woman.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Delta is able to look past the simple menu interface and see the underlying numbers of the System, but it's far too much for a humanish brain to handle.
    It felt like fire erupted behind her eyes as she spun, normal walls of dirt flashing with countless tiny nodes that were all linked together. Glowing lines of blue, red, brown, black, green, and somethings she had never seen before rushed past. She toppled over as her eyes met a single Gutrot Mushroom.
    How could it be just a mushroom? Each cell, lacking any other word for it, was a work of pure numbers and illogical reasoning. It was beautiful and it was horrifying. Parts that were as simple as 1+1 made a number that stretched on forever but it also didn't.
    Its cap was a working lattice of mana and creation. Her mana, her creation. It pulsed and every second of every day of every eon, this mushroom would be forever perfect and it was hurting her so bad. Delta wanted to scream but that was a thought. That thought was a perfectly calculated memory of a normal reaction of being Delta and it hurt!
  • Mysterious Past: Almost nothing is known about Jack's past, mainly because he's been stuck underground fighting an endless army of undead cultists for so long that he can barely remember it. Though whatever he did in the past was enough for the powers that be to recognize him as a hero.
    Jack: That's a long tragic backstory I don't remember and will make up on the spot with lies to make myself look better... do you wanna hear it?
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Wyin comes quite close to this after she's hit with an immense amount of lightning.
    Wyin: I have a lot of curse words I could say right now, but I am a classy woman, so I'll settle for a simple... Ow.
  • Ninja: Luna, guardian of the second-floor spa, has a fascination with killing methods, and picks up related upgrades, allowing her to disarm visitors before they enter — and before they even notice she's done it.
    Karn: How did you take all my daggers? One of those is in an awkward place.
    Luna: As the carer of the springs, my touch is... undeniable.
  • No Indoor Voice: DEO IS HAPPY TO SEE YOU!! Justified, in that he is deaf, and also a very enthusiastic person.
  • Noodle Incident: Everyone knows about the time that Haldi infamously assaulted the royal castle, but that apparently isn't the full extent of his past. Quiss notes early on that "Haldi was nice but he was also wanted in 43 different provinces for his deeds with cheese alone."
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Played With. While Delta's dungeon is pretty standard for the people of Durence, Durence's population consists of retired world-class adventurers, infamous criminals, and their descendants. When a normal party of adventurers tries to challenge Delta, they are almost completely overwhelmed by her strange challenges and disproportionately strong monsters.
  • One-Steve Limit: Sir Fran the pig knight, and Cois the pyromancer, are actually both named Francois, but they've each taken the part of the name they like best.
  • "Open!" Says Me:
    • The puzzle lock on Delta's front door is not difficult; it's mostly to keep out young children and wild beasts. That doesn't stop Karn from getting bored and using a magic knife to cut the door open instead.
    • A party's archer reports that the lock he's trying to open is "being a bit tricky" and he needs them to buy him more time. When the warrior glances over, he sees that there is no lock at all and the archer is using an arrow to dig a hole in the door.
  • Opponent Instruction: Alpha is so completely unaffected by Serma's attempt to strangle him that he doesn't even take any offence at it, and gives her some tips to make it more effective.
    Alpha: Harder, use your thumb more.

    P - Z 
  • Pacifist Run: Since she gains mana just by having people visit, Delta really wants to encourage this and just build a beautiful place for people to be. Which is to say that her rooms start off safe enough that a toddler could wander in and out unharmed, and her bosses can typically be bypassed by solving puzzles or paying tribute, but a group of teenagers who start killing things can quickly find themselves being driven out by creatures of nightmare.
    • The spider room is full of webs, but the spiders aren't actually aggressive by default, there's a bush covered in healing berries in the middle, and if an adventurer wants an extra challenge, they can gain a reward by passing through without breaking a single web. But if they start killing spiders, the berries quickly shrivel, until the whole bush is gone and a powerful "spidergeist" boss monster attacks.
    • The Storeroom key is just hanging on the wall behind Waddles the duck, and can be freely taken — but annoy or offend him, and he'll curse you with bad luck.
    • Sir Fran the Pig Knight loves combat, but does not go for the kill, unless his foe attempts a Fake Surrender or similarly dishonest tactics. He can also be skipped by catching one of the special fish at the pond.
    • Wyin's boss room is guarded by three doors requiring keys, each containing a warning that if the key is acquired through bloodshed or violence that the upcoming boss will be nastier to fight.
    • King Jellagon is a largely harmless caterpillar who will give adventurers tasty snacks and let them pass through unhindered. Unless they have been harming the floor's other residents, or stealing from them, in which case he gains an assortment of power-ups and becomes highly dangerous.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Nu watches the Fairplay representatives fighting Muffet, who is puppeting their own people against them, and wishes he had tea to sip.
  • People Puppets: Muffet the spidergeist likes using webs as strings to literally move people's bodies like puppets, typically to attack their comrades.
  • Phallic Weapon: With mushrooms and mushroom emblems appearing everywhere in Delta's dungeon, it was only a matter of time until one appeared on the end of a staff (dropped as loot). Poor Kemy is too innocent to grasp the full import of her magical new rod, though.
  • Phlebotinum Overdose: Inexperienced adventurers can suffer mana poisoning if they spend too long in a Dungeon. Half-demon Ruli has no trouble, but Grimnoir has a narrow escape and suffers lasting side effects.
  • Plausible Deniability:
    • Discovering a Dungeon brings a legal obligation to report it, but the citizens of Durence, after discussing Delta's situation (pacifist but not yet strong enough to protect herself from ruthless exploitation), are sadly unable to do anything about it immediately, because outgoing mail is banned. As of five seconds ago. Looks like they'll have to wait until the tax collector next visits.
    • When the tax collector does visit and inspect Delta, he realises that being the one to report the Dungeon means he'll be responsible for regularly visiting and monitoring it, which he isn't especially keen to do. He takes an especially circuitous and roundabout route home.
  • Power Incontinence: Poppy has a hard time keeping her Psychoactive Powers from manifesting in daily life. Something as simple as being touched on the arm is an invitation to all sorts of defences activating — "Static skin, spiky thorns, toxin sweat, and many more" — and she deals with it by being as aloof and unemotional as possible.
  • The Power of Hate:
    • When Wyin, the second floor boss, is asked how she's still alive after what she just went through, her reply is "Spite, my sweet things. Delicious sweet spite. Like pain, you can use it to do some truly amazing things if you have enough of it."
    • In return, Estal resists the urge to give up hope and just collapse, by imagining her father's dismissive voice in the back of her head and stoking a burning desire to thwart him.
  • The Power of Trust: A fairly literal example; Delta can harvest people's faith by offering optional challengers for adventurers to complete. Their belief in her, their trust that she will keep her promises and reward them, is actually condensed as energy and turned into Dungeon Points.
  • Puff of Logic: Ruli takes a bottle away from a tipsy adventurer, but upon checking the label, she finds that it's plainly stated to be non-alcoholic. How did he get drunk? He can't read.
    Ruli's mouth opened then closed before she shook her head.
  • Pun: Delta uses them as a mechanism to stay sane. Nu is slowly being driven insane by having to listen to them. Grimnoir is accidentally cursed to have no choice but to use them. Whatever their source, they are a-pun-dant.
    "We dungeon folk have to stick together!" she offered and a spider shuddered and played dead.
  • Pungeon Master:
    • Delta is one, literally (Badum-Tss). Nu is constantly tormented by them, but resistance is futile; he occasionally slips into puns himself.
    • Inchy the delbird puns constantly; it's an inbuilt part of the species.
  • Punny Name:
    • Delta's first boss is Sir Fran, the Pig Knight, riding on his noble pig Bacon.note 
    • The local potter has a golem assistant with approximately human-level intelligence, named "Vas".note 
    • Her delbird calls itself Inchy, because it hangs around Devina (Dev) regularly.
      Dev and Inchy.
      The bird had just topped anything Delta had done. It had sacrificed its own name to make a joke.
  • Puppy Love: Poppy has a crush on Deo, and becomes very protective of him when fighting Wyin.
  • Puzzle Box: Delta puts a very simple tile puzzle on her front entrance, easy for any adult to solve in a few minutes, and even easier once you know the solution, but enough to keep out wild animals and small children.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: To properly clear the third floor, Delta has to assemble her team.
    "Nu, get me my buff lifeguard frog, my pyromaniac, my monk, the goth ranger, my voodoo frog, and the mad bomber I found in my basement," she said seriously.
    Nu didn't bother responding.
    Wise box.
  • A Rare Sentence: Delta's efforts, temperament, and unique existence (plus the town of Durence itself) combine to form so many unique scenarios that the plethora of rare sentences aren't even commented on. The insanity itself, yes, but not any description thereof.
  • Recognizable by Sound: The citizens of Durence feel the ground rumbling, but can immediately tell that it's not "rumble, roar, then rumble" which would be Haldi's cheese experiments going wrong, or "rumble, screech, rumble" which would point to Mrs Dabberghast the witch/druid, but rather "rumble, grind, rumble", the sound of a Dungeon adding a floor.
    It was a familiar noise if one delved into dungeons long enough.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Delta is a cheerful people-person who likes to incorporate whimsy and randomness into her Dungeon's design. Her Menu "Nu" (who is literally blue) generally dislikes adventurers, sets up the warning signs throughout the dungeon, and generally serves as Delta's Sarcastic Devotee.
    • Ruli is a Half-Demon woman prone to fights and fits of protective rage. Quiss is the Peacekeeper of Durence and a Deadpan Snarker. They have a history.
    • Deo is a loud, naturally strong, All-Loving Hero who just wants to enjoy life. Grim is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Guile Hero who takes himself a bit too seriously. They're best friends.
  • Reforged into a Minion: A rare positive example.
    • Delta accidentally does this to the Spider Queen, having unintentionally scooped up some of her essence when she killed her. The resulting monster is a completely different being from the original, a centaur-like hybrid with a humanoid torso and eight legs, but the narrative later reveals that he does have the queen's memories, including the memory of her death.
    • Delta later does this intentionally to Marrow as a punishment, turning her into a Dungeon Fairy, though she gets to keep her personality and memories.
  • Refusal of the Call: Played for Laughs when Quiss reminds the townsfolk that, "you must either be over the age of 16, have a demon bound inside your soul, wield a sword that no one else can use, be mute and heralded as the hero of this timeline, have a magical birthmark tied to some prophecy or have parental permission to enter the dungeon."
    The two blonde kids that were mute and had been hailed as heroes in some fashion in the crowd shrugged. Quiss knew one wanted to be a vet and the other was too lazy to go anywhere. Smart boys in his opinion.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: On her first day, with no idea what she's doing, Delta rants at the glowing dungeon core that "Your father was a cow and your mother a goblin with warts and no tee-" thus locking in goblins as her first floor monster type and spawning one right in front of her.
  • Rod And Reel Repurposed: Ruli's fishing rod is actually a legendary weapon, and when she gets a giant lizard instead of a fish, while Delta freaks out and starts ordering her monsters to run, Ruli simply hooks the back of the lizard's throat, smashes it against a wall, and tears out its brain.
  • Running Gag:
    • People believing Delta really, really likes mushrooms when she really, really doesn't.
    • Delta being freaked out and horrified by her own monsters. It gets downplayed as time goes by and she grows used to her situation.
  • The Scream:
    • This is a common reaction when Delta encounters the monsters she has created, or accidentally increases the number of mushrooms.
      The Jungle Mushroom Grove has unlocked the following options:
      Giant Mushrooms! Mushrooms as big as some trees, create a unique and fun jungle!
      Clusters of Bloodcurdling Mushrooms and Starlight Mushrooms will be grown for free!
      Research has been unlocked into further mushroom fun!
      Ambush tunnels for the Pygmy!
      Increased growth for all mushrooms on the floor!
      Decreased cost for all mushroom monsters, upgrades, and purchases!

      Delta stared at the screen.
      The shroomy abyss stared back.
      Nu: Delta...please do not scre-
      Delta didn't quite remember the next few minutes but from what Devina told her later, Maestro thought he had been challenged to an opera duel.
    • Trysha, when facing the visual horror that is Maestro, combined with the powerful influence of his music, and the steady loss of her party members, loses control and descends into a primal scream as she charges at him.
  • Sentimental Sacrifice: Delta is a bit perturbed at first when Ruli gives her, apparently, a bag of trash; it's all edible for a Dungeon, but it seems impolite. Until Ruli starts explaining how each of the objects is actually of great sentimental value to her; the fork that was bent when fighting a wolf, the diary that was soaked and became unreadable but that she hopes maybe Delta can restore, and so forth.
  • Shout-Out: Lots, many of them mixed in with Delta's puns.
    • When Nu tells Delta that she must be the very best, she tries to bite her tongue to stop herself from singing, "Like no one ever was..." but it leaks out.
    • Her mana, when conquering a new room, shouts out, "Shrooms for the Shroom Dungeon! FRIENDSHIP FOR THE DELTA!"
    • After Poppy transforms into a giant ice lizard, Grimnoir remarks that she "doesn't have to lose it and let it go all the time."
    • After upgrading her contracted goblins' equipment, "Honestly, Delta really did feel like an Elf Queen right now. Giving out gifts to small people about to go fight giant spiders."
    • Quiss wants to entirely dismiss the military value of love, but remembers the Moon clan, "a long existing group of mages that used the emotion love and other forms, as energy for their eye-melting beam attacks. Effective but Quiss would sooner drown himself in Delta's mud than watch the same naked magical dress up sequence 5 times in a row and listen to their religious speeches on love."
    • Mr Mushy watches Delta's spiders spinning their webs and considers what it would be like to make webs from his fingers.
      He'd be some rare monster. Spider-Mushroom, the mushroom that swung through the dungeon to hug things.
    • Durence's banker, due to the low mana levels that make everyone just go through the motions, spends most of his time recounting the same few coins, drinks a lot of milk, and is named "Von".
    • Smalls and Cram are old friends who bonded over their many battles together, rather like Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles.
    • Delta observes that "if we find a silent boy in green, we should just give him anything he wants because I don't like our chances against him now that I am the dungeon." Then she sits up straight and realises that Mr Mushy's pots would be in danger.
    • Cois insists that he needs to find loot on the third floor, and suggests golden pantaloons as one option.
    • Garvan the undead reacts to Delta's new cave troll by running away shouting, “TROLL! TROLL IN THE CASTLE!
    • When Delta is still establishing a foothold on the third floor, she tells her forces that, "I want to secure a command post to mine gas from and build more pylons!"
    • One of Delta's gargoyles wants to call himself "Draco", but the others persuade him to stick to generic "Dragon" because it "sounds less like a snot-nosed ponce going to whine at you."
    • When Delta learns that Nu is submitting reports to the system, she asks if he needs to "report on how you learn valuable lessons every day?"
      Delta: Dear... Princess... Sislestia...
    • Mharia wishes Delta had transformed the third floor into "a massive level of buzzsaws, spikes, and rotating death traps that would require pinpoint precision platforming."
      We could have called it the 'Track of Torture' or the 'Orange Palace', but that's just me...
    • Wyin is quite upset about getting a set of scratches on each cheek, because "Delta is howling in laughter and telling me to 'believe it' over and over!"
    • The "Noi Storm Crabs" are big red crabs who gather at sunset for a daily ritual. This a reference to the (in)famous meme music video "Crab Rave", by Irish EDM producer Noisestorm.
    • While trying to solve her Mushroom Grove's weakness to flooding Delta ends up creating Blue Cap Mushrooms, which look like fusions between Smurfs and Gremlins.
    • Alpha mentions that his Thick Bones passive ability allows him to headbutt trees, and sometimes creatures fall out.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Delta's remorse for the unintended deaths just after her awakening leads to the system giving her the option to create a memorial room just inside her entrance, recording the names (when known), dates, and manner of death of those who have been killed by her. The room is watched over by a statue of Delta herself, bitterly weeping. Reactions amongst newcomers are mixed; some are left deep in thought, others see no loot and dismiss it. (Also, other established dungeons begin to receive the option, too.)
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Marrow tries to get Delta on her side by explaining her Freudian Excuse and revealing the Brother and Sister are the reason she can't remember her old life. Delta reveals that she's already perfectly aware of this and actually likes the two of them, then proceeds to take apart Marrow's Freudian Excuse while pointing out how petty and insignificant her motives are in the grand scheme of things, all while refusing to let Marrow get a word in edgewise.
  • Springtime for Hitler: After Cois develops a magical fire rune, Hob and Gob start selling rocks that are only mostly inscribed correctly, so they end up as firecracker-sized explosions suitable for children. But there's also a locked chest full of rocks where they "messed up the messing up" and produced bombs too potent to sell (at least, to anyone whose safety they care about).
  • Stalker with a Crush: Quiss regularly finds gifts anonymously left on his doorstep by Vas the golem, who watches him from the shadows.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: After Fairplay loses dozens of knives and daggers to Waddles, Yattina asks the scouts, "Have you tried... giving it bread?"
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Delta lets out a nervous laugh when trying to reassure Nu that "I didn't summon a man eating treasure chest!" While attempting to hide the mimic behind her transparent body.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Delta did not get off to a good start with mushrooms — understandably, since her first taste of them was the highly toxic and vile-tasting Gutrot mushrooms, which her goblins just kept feeding to her. Nonetheless, when she's tearfully eaten so many that mushrooms embed themselves in her theme and start breeding cheaply all over her dungeon, they prove to be very versatile, capable of providing food, medicine, illumination, poisons, hallucinogens, and even funky hybrid creations...
  • The Symbiote: Delta eventually learns that Dungeons function as this to the nearby land, being fed with local mana, and in return purifying and radiating it, and so there are royal protections against destroying one unless it's become unreasonably dangerous. Unfortunately, those protections don't extend to actually treating Dungeons as people, so they can still be captured and milked like cattle.
  • Take a Third Option: When presented with an array of items and told to identify which would be the offering to best represent Delta, Silver realises that the correct option is the priest himself, who is Delta's creation and gift to the world. Subverted when the priest's internal monologue reveals that he was unimpressed and only passed Silver due to the latter's earnestness.
    50% of the items in the room would be a 'pass'. Any object that could be linked to the Great Mother's ideals would be acceptable, it wasn't the Priest's fault they had over-thought it and that the girl had picked something that had a flimsy reasoning at best!
  • These Hands Have Killed: When she's just started sending out her goblins on gathering missions, Delta inadvertently tangles with a farmer, whom her goblins rob and kill. When his son later comes to the Dungeon, crying and set on revenge, Delta breaks down in tears herself, and swears to herself that she'll do what she can to repay the family.
    "She's begging for forgiveness. Can you feel it?" Ruli asked softly and Dil's gun wavered.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Geytan throws a magical dagger — which misses, but due to its enchantments, it changes course and homes in on the target anyway. (Ultimately it doesn't work, though, when the knife gets firmly stabbed into a wall, preventing it from continuing the chase.)
  • Title Drop: Ferry Happy gives Gentle his business card, and lets Gentle know that he's working with "Hob and Gob's Epic Emporium".
    Happy: You won't find much loot there, but I do provide puns to all customers upon a sale.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • On the one hand, if Delta had been more established, she certainly would have ensured that her goblins didn't kill anyone — or better yet, didn't steal from a farmer and bring him chasing after them in the first place. On the other hand, "the way he charged into a cave after a pair of goblins was Darwin awards level stupid." She's very saddened by his death, but Ruli later agrees that he brought it on himself.
    • Nu is quite willing to blame Fairplay's explosion problems on their own decision to ignore the sign outside the mushroom grove. It does occur to him, however, that the sign might not work for the illiterate, so he makes plans to include a pictogram version.
      He didn't want to discriminate against the poorly educated or intellectually stunted.
      He wanted to crush people equally and laugh at them fairly.
  • Totem Pole Trench: At Yattina's lecture to the Fairplay grunts, she notices an odd-looking Scout (or possibly Blade, she can't tell) whom she doesn't recognise, with a long green nose and a sloped top half "as if injured". Who then proceeds to adjust said slope.
    What fantastic motor skills. The Scouts (or Blades) were a hardy lot!
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Durence looks like a perfect retirement town for adventurers and villains alike — yet until Delta's arrival, the "Grey" would slowly turn the residents into Empty Shells. It's strongly implied to be caused by a party fighting the Silence then founding Durence over the battlefield to ensure it wouldn't get to free itself without an army in the way.
  • Trauma Button:
    • Luna's boss-key challenge uses hallucinogenic herbs to send visitors on a "vision quest" where they relive traumatic memories and have the opportunity to face them. Played for Laughs when Karn dismisses the first two memories as "already addressed that one".
      Karn: Nope, got this out in a drunken party. Was cathartic.
    • Played for Laughs when Yattina gives a lecture to a gathering of Fairplay teams. When she brings up the spider room, there are gulps and fearful looks, but then she moves on to the lake and there's a scream, as one joker tickles his neighbour with a duck feather, following by most of her audience making excuses to flee.
  • Tsundere: Nu is, by turns, sarcastic and derisive toward Delta, or complimentary and supportive. He is, however, unfailingly loyal.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Played for Laughs with King Jellagon and his "siblings". The only difference between him, the Nurse "Heallagon", and the Therapist "Feelagon" is what hat they're wearing. Oddly enough, only one of them can interact with adventurers at once, they only count once against the Monster Cap for the floor, and more "siblings" may be in the works.
  • Ugly Cute: This is Delta's In-Universe opinion of her giant bees.
    They were rather adorably fat once Delta got past the stingers larger than her hand. And the buzzing noise like a wood chipper making love to a helicopter... And the angry red colour. But really, the chubbiness made them kinda cute after a while.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Before selecting a random guardian for the pool under her waterfall, Delta actually says aloud, "What's the worst that could happen?" Naturally, she gets a giant Abyss Worm that scares the daylights out of her even though she's incorporeal.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Seath, the town's expert on pest control and dangerous creatures, deals equally with pixie nests and infectious Shadow Beasts. Where "equally" means "everything gets infernal fire from the 67th layer of the Abyss."
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: When the Brother and Sister created the Silence they plucked a human soul from Earth since they had no idea how to create a soul from scratch. Unfortunately said soul didn't take the transition from mortal to god very well.
  • World of Badass: Or town of Badasses. The town of Durence can be compared to a retirement town. A retirement town full of former epic adventurers, heroes, villains, bards, and druids. The king leaves them alone, despite knowing of the criminals amongst them, because it's better to let them retire than to antagonise them. And now, the rising mana levels from Delta's presence and growth are making them feel less retired and more alive.
    Mr Jones was a nice man and if Quiss ever felt the need to die slowly and painfully by having spawn, he wouldn't mind Mr Jones teaching them. He baked cookies, listened to students, never had a student fail since he took over in the last 5 years. It was the only hope this community had of reaching a standard education.
    Quiss also knew the man was hearty. He confiscated a black wand from a student yesterday. In a town like this, magical weapons were a dime a dozen and outside of this town, they would all sell for a small kingdom's annual income.
    Thankfully, Mr Jones dispatched the skeleton army the brat raised before history class was over and had a stern talk with the mother of the student, the Black Bog Witch who was now the town's glass and Metal crafts shop owner.
    The woman could make cauldrons like no ones business. How she managed to make them of clay she kept to herself.
    Mr Jones was alright in Quiss' book. The fact he was a Knowledge Demon from the 142nd layer of the abyss didn't make the clean shirt and nice tie any less attractive. Many women and men had often fought with their spouse about who got to go to the parent-teacher meeting to stare at his straight teeth and lovely hair.
  • Worthy Opponent: To be challenged is an inherent part of a Dungeon's nature, so this trope is common amongst Delta's creations. Sir Fran the Pig Knight is a particularly clear example, wanting to prove himself against worthy challengers, but Maestro's song battle against Isanella also qualifies, leaving both of them with a feeling of kinship. Delta herself is excited after her first proper party (ie not ridiculously overpowered Durence citizens who are holding back for fun) completes their challenge.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: Renny has this power, which makes him very dangerous to fight, since he can use just about any weapon he can imagine. But he's still not immune to the Dark Drake Curse, which gives him bad luck such as failing to light a mimed match to fire a mimed cannon.
  • Your Mom: There's a royal spider court dance approximately translated as "I found your birther and ravaged them with such energy that they outshone the stars in joy". Given to the Fairplay grunts by Muffet when they manage to first kill her.
    • Also, for the love of everything holy, don't ever call one of Delta's monsters a "son of a bitch". They will make you pay for insulting their mother and creator.
    • Ruli remarks that although demons consider "blasphemy" to be a compliment, they would treat "Your mother is coming" as a curse. Mr Jones mutters that that's just her mother (who seduced the most powerful demon in hell).
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Mrs Dabberghast, a very powerful druid, does try to warn the pack of ten dire wolves around her that she is not a worm to be fed on by crows, but rather a root, and that "you wouldn't like my tree angry". But they don't listen, so the tree spears them all.

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