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Theatre / Tripod Versus the Dragon

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Tripod Versus the Dragon is a musical by Australian musical comedy trio Tripod. Originally conceived as "Dungeons & Dragons: The Opera", it tells the story of three hapless adventurers who face many challenges on the road to discovering themselves.

  • Scod (Scott Edgar): A Munchkin and Metagamer, a wizard on a quest for knowledge. Because knowledge is power. Or possibly pants.
  • Yon (Simon Hall): A priest (owing to being good at guilt trips), but he really wants to play "a dog cursed with the body of a small man". A Butt-Monkey and arguably the Only Sane Man (or at least Least Insane Man).
  • Gatesy (Steven Gates): He'd be the Audience Surrogate if he hadn't failed his intelligence roll, as he's new to the game. Elements of The Roleplayer and The Loonie, Gatesy is a warrior who dreams of being a bard.
  • The GM/Something Something/The Dragon (Elana Stone): Elana narrates the story, gets most of the more "dramatic" songs, and is conflicted between her duty (as the Dragon) to protect the tree and her attraction (as Something Something) to Gatesy.

Despite the title, this play isn't about a Tripod Terror duking it out with a Dragon, although it would make an awesome battle to watch.

This show includes examples of:

  • Ambition Is Evil: Scod initially desires only power, knowledge, and a spiffy wizard hat, leading him to leave his friends behind in the quest for the Spear of Knowledge and trick Gatesy into killing his love interest, who is also the dragon.
  • The Atoner: Scod in the last act.
  • Audience Participation: See Throw It In! under trivia.
  • Big "NO!": Gatesy, on slaying the Dragon.
  • Blinded by the Light: "Of course I was blind, you try shining a torch in your eyes."
  • BSoD Song: "On Paper". Gatesy's "Taking The Life", even more so: it's in reaction to killing a single Orc, albeit in a rather gory way.
  • Captain Obvious: "How to get to the Underworld: Kill yourself."
  • Double Entendre: Many. Gatesy has a habit both of seeing them where they aren't there, and being terminally ignorant of his own.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The whole cast.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "I Will Still Play".
  • Fearless Fool: Gatesy's INT stat is so low he's too dumb to feel fear.
  • Freudian Trio: Tripod's usual trio of Scod as Ego, Yon as Id and Gatesy as Superego gets a reshuffle: Scod becomes a hammy Id, Gatesy as the hero adopts the Ego role and Yon, being the guilt-tripping priest and closest to earth, becomes the Superego.
  • Heroic Resolve: The song that finally gets through to Hades is about Gatesy's unbreakable will, and how even if he's left with nothing he'll keep singing his song.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Gatesy and Something Something.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: Gatesy on meeting Something Something, among other scenes.
  • Hypocritical Humor: "You say no to everything!" "No I don't!"
  • Innocent Innuendo: Yon mistakes Scod's miming of throwing dice for something much worse.
  • Inverted Trope:
    • Gatesy is "a warrior who dreams of being a bard."
    • Yon attempts this too: rather than a man with a dog's head, he wants to play a dog cursed with the body of a man.
  • "I Am" Song: Gatesy and the Dragon's first numbers.
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This:
    Gatesy: "I thought you guys brought me here to play Dungeons & Dragons."
  • Lampshade Hanging: Every single trope in this list.
  • Large Ham: Scod. Dear lord, Scod.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Scod.
  • Medium Awareness: "About 16 bars on the subject of massive guilt trip."
    • It gets weirder: several lines that seem to be in-character make reference to, or pun on, the fact that they're in an RPG, such as the last line of "I Will Still Play" or the refrain of "On Paper".
  • Medium Blending: Incorporates both live and paper-based shadow puppets.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Parodied when Gatesy confronts Cerberus during his rescue. He tries to calm it with one of his songs but it runs away, yelping at the thought of him playing.
    Head 1: No need for that.
    Head 2: Go right on through.
  • Pungeon Master: "Dungeon? More like fungeon!"
  • Quirky Bard: Scod refuses to let Gatesy play a bard "because bards are shit."
  • Rescued from the Underworld: The last part of the show has Gatesy going to rescue his love from Hades with the help of his friends and terrible songs.
  • Running Gag:
    • Several, mostly involving Yon, such as his character being a priest because he's good at guilt trips.
    • Another is carried over from their previous shows. "He's not actually shorter, he's just a bit further away."
    • Not to mention "10 points to Gryffindor".
  • Sarcasm Mode: "Don't feel bad, you only killed me."
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Gatesy and Yon play the evil Twin Wizards by wearing party hats and carrying torches to light their faces. Scod gets a torch to light himself after getting Gatesy to kill the dragon.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • "We have to be nice to her. She's the only girl we know."
    • Scod in particular runs on this. Being an Australian band, half the jokes are this type.
    "That's the kind of behavior that gets our kind beaten up."
  • Shout-Out: To Joni Mitchell and Chris de Burgh, among others.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Yon's priestly chant with a Precision F-Strike.
  • Squick: "Is congealed a very romantic word?"
  • Subverted Trope: The GM's deleted song, starts as a cheesy "inspirational" song encouraging girls to feel better about themselves. The best way to do this? "Hang out with losers."
  • Take That!: Wizards of the Coast, owners of the of the D&D trademark, did not answer requests for permission to call the show "Dungeons & Dragons: The Musical", resulting in the band's management advising against explicitly using D&D in the show name and the line
    "They can trademark the name all they like, it's all ripped off Tolkien anyway."
  • Too Dumb to Live: Gatesy, trying to impress Hades, performs a song boasting about immortality. His low intelligence score is one of several running gags.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The fact that Something Something is the titular Dragon is followed by "(spoiler alert)" on the DVD cover.
  • Unwanted Assistance: "Shut up, boat!"
  • Villain Song: Both of the Dragon's solo numbers fit this
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: "For she telleth the taleth."
  • Your Head Asplode: Scod's hammy pronunciation does this to Yon.