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TFS at the Table is a subset of Team Four Star's gaming channel in which members of the crew play various Tabletop Games, such as Cards Against Humanity and 5-Minute Dungeon.

On September 27th 2017, the show embarked on Natural Oneders, an Actual Play of a long-term roleplay campaign with Chris Zito as DM, using Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition rules and a setting of Zito's own creation.

Nick 'Lanipator' Landis, Grant 'Master Wuggles' Smith and Ben 'hbi2k' Creighton play as Wake the Mermish monk (and later Dagon, the fallen aasimar warlock), Ezra the half-elf rogue, and Eloy the donkey-centaur bard, a mismatched trio seeking to make their fortunes, settle a few scores, and put on a good show along the way. Their home is La Cirranus/Not-Bronx, a realm of magic and seafaring adventure in conflict between the Navy, a militaristic faction that relies on overwhelming magical superiority, and the Pirates, who resist the navy's rampant disregard for the realm's ecology.

In January 2019, the D&D campaign was put into indefinite hiatus as a result of Ben Creighton choosing to leave the company. The timeslot remained in use, returning to its original format of playing random tabletop party games. The campaign continued on February 5th with major changes, such as the introduction of Brienne Olvera's character Morgan Strong and Grant's new character, Chromagil. The regular show was interspersed with other content: the fourth week of each month being given over to games other than D&D. Depending on the circumstances, the team would indulge in other Tabletop RPGs or one-shots with Lani or another member of the team as the DM. The Natural Oneders campaign ended on December 11th, 2019.

On October 4, 2021, a trailer for a brand-new campaign was released: Foolproof, a "junior detective" story set in Acme, a city where cartoons and doodles coexist with reality. Zito returns as DM, joined by Lanipator as the blue dragon sketch and detective Blugen P. Dragon, Quinn as the blue dragonborn detective Belghast, and Nowacking as their new recruit Kyle, with artwork provided by MockingMoth. The series aired every Tuesday, starting on Oct. 5, and consisted of five sessions across two months (not counting a "Session 0" exclusive to Patreon supporters).

Episodes are streamed on TFS's Twitch channel, then released on YouTube the following evening.

The Natural Oneders campaign contains examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: According to Eloy's bard tale, the three siblings that run Spumoni's Creamatorium (an ice cream parlor) are Coco, Sakura, and Peter (who later changed his name to Pistachio). These names reflect the three ingredients of their special recipe: chocolate, cherries, and pistachios.
  • Alien Sky: The setting has three moons; one which is normally visible, a second which can be seen sometimes from high mountains, and a third which requires astronomical tools to observe.
  • All Deaths Final: Downplayed — resurrection does exist, but it's rare and has a high chance of going awry; as such, most folks opt not to risk it.
  • Adventure Towns: Being a campaign set on the high seas, the protagonists venture through a series of interesting places full of interesting and deadly people. So far, they've explored:
    • Jahal Cove, a haven of pirates that splits the difference between a straightforward Port Town and a Wretched Hive.
    • Vennin Island, an unassuming town whose entire population were turned unwillingly into deer.
    • Bulkard, a resort for the super-rich where representatives of the three largest political factions in the setting rub shoulders. They have a lot to say.
    • Taken up to another level with Rite, as a literal Adventurer's guild exists on the island and almost all of it's commerce involves said adventurers.
  • Anachronism Stew: The setting has the regular trappings of medieval fantasy, plus aspects of Age of Exploration technology, particularly ships, cannon and early firearms. The Pirates are desperately working on new technologies, inventing such modernities as electric lighting in combination with more steampunk-esque magitek items.
  • And I Must Scream: The Evergrudge, sire of the troglodytes and first of their kind to drink unicorn blood, has been reduced to a ravaged corpse repeatedly abused by his own offspring, but is still technically alive and perhaps conscious. Later, all of the troglodytes end up crushed under the waters of the ocean, with no way to move.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the game, Zito allows the players to write their own characters' endings, but after they're done he adds in one final scene set after the characters have passed away (except Chromagil) where Nedra sets off to slay the demon of Barnacle Bay.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Whenever the main party leave their ship for an adventure, they bring one or at most two of their crewmates. Zito has admitted this is a way for him to keep down on his bookkeeping.
  • Armies Are Evil: This is implied with the Navy, who are described as having extremely draconian methods of dealing with both their enemies and their own kind who have betrayed or failed them, and strip-mining magic from the environment to the extent that it causes abominations to appear. However, these accounts all come from biased sources, and all the naval members seen so far behave as normal soldiers, if a bit haughty, so the true extent of their evil is unclear.
  • Arrow Catch: Wake can pull this off as a monk, and even has to do so when another one of Ezra's crossbow bolts nearly hits him. Then he stabs a shark with it.
  • Artistic License – Space: The main planet seen in the game has some pretty unusual characteristics: it's so large it's estimated to take 300 years to circumnavigate, and has three moons, the closest of which goes through its phases in just ten days.
  • Author Appeal: Zito has admitted that the game's setting was inspired by the fact that he's loved reading about The Golden Age of Piracy ever since he was a kid.
    • A couple of characters and races also generally fit his personal interpretations of them, like Kolbolds having large, expressive ears, and Orcs having large, prominent lower jaws like those in Warhammer.
    • Body Horror, less because Zito likes it and more because it is something of a personal phobia.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Twitch stream for Chapter 2 Episode 9 was titled "High Noon in Bulkard", suggesting it would involve Wake's wager to Edward Caster and subsequent arena fight, but a few minutes in, the session was hijacked by a Guest-Star Party Member and went in a completely different direction. The following episode has the same title, with the addendum "(for real this time)".
  • Body Horror: Zito's descriptions of undead creatures feature this in spades, starting with the Abyssals, which are corpses possessed by necrotic tumors that can grow into random heads. Zombies are skeletons with a thin veneer of skin over their faces, which pops like a balloon when they're disturbed. Vennin Island features undead deer whose skin pulls back from their mouths when threatened, revealing bony spikes, and when killed a skeleton of their original non-deer bodies drops out of their middle. Chapter 3 features a variety of flesh golems cobbled together from living bodies in horrific ways
  • Book Ends: Chapter 2 begins and ends with Eloy licking something he shouldn't. In episode 1 it's Victor's corpse, which causes him to throw up blood (temporarily). In the finale, he licks their pet fairy dragon Yt, who is covered in honey, and goes through a Mushroom Samba that lasts several hours.
  • Came Back Wrong: People who are inexpertly resurrected tend to come back as zombies, and this is implied to be the norm when resurrection is attempted.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • Grammy's is "Secret ingredient!" - used whenever she implements some truly strange ingredients into her Masochist's Meal of the day, and asks the crew to guess what was included, to unnerve her compatriots, but they do provide bonuses if they can stomach it. Secret ingredients include seagulls, Tabaxi, elephant, and poisonous pufferfish just to name a few.
    • Eloy has "Hi, I'm Eloy," whenever he introduces himself to new people and "Hey, you big dummy!" whenever he uses vicious mockery.
    • Ezra's is "How do you feel about...heists?"
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: The king of the Kals is traditionally the youngest, rather than the oldest, member of the royal family, because they believe the purity of innocence conveys some kind of leadership ability. Wake is perplexed when he learns this.
    Wake: Is "bring me a bottle" the law of the land sometimes?
  • Colony Drop: Happens when the Acropolis at Eburkal is taken by the Lamprey Dogma and the king is (presumably) sacrificed. The whole floating citadel comes falling out of the sky and explodes, killing not only Ezra, Eloy and Dagon, but also the Lamprey Dogma, and everyone on the citadel or on the island below (save for some people at the island's very edge).
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • MasakoX's character, Ysoria ends up being one of these in chapter 2 episode 17, appearing out of a portal at the start of a battle and providing the party with a way to safely evacuate the Unicorn people from the sunken city. Acknowledged by Zito post-session, noting that Ysoria's presence and abilities allowed the guys to completely resolve everything underwater within that session.
    • In the Chapter 1 Finale, the Collective One himself saves the main trio, a petrified Yawgurik, and their comatose Naval allies from the second form of the Abyssal they'd been fighting, who'd already done a serious number on all but Ezra, effectively shutting down the fight and the Abyssal threat for good.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In chapter 2 episode 15, Risf is dead for several hours after being captured by a vengeful spirit; after being saved, they reveal they met Vexkor, god of death, and personally turned down an offer to be an acolyte of said god, and get cursed as a result.
  • Distant Finale: After the campaign ends, the players describe how each of their party members spends the next few years, up to the point of their eventual deaths, with the exception of Chromagil, who lives on indefinitely as far as anyone knows.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Abyssals are undead amalgamations of lost souls possessing corpses, creating multi-headed shambling monstrosities that deal intense psychic damage to anyone who touches them.
  • Epic Fail: The players call themselves the "Natural One-ders" because of their tendency to roll critical failures (1 on a d20) at dramatic moments. The DM is partial to this too. It's become a Running Gag among them that an NPC who joins them isn't a proper part of the crew until they roll a 1.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The heroes manage to invoke this in chapter 2 when they convince a horde of immortal troglodytes to attack a young adult blue dragon. The next episode shows that the Dragon won.
  • Everybody Lives: The Vennin Island arc, despite having some of the most eerie plot elements seen in Chapter 2, ends with the restoration of the island's entire population to full health after the party luck out by managing to kill the Wendigo with fire, its greatest weakness.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Happens to Zi'aka after she unknowingly chugs boiling coffee.
  • Forced Transformation: The Wendigo of Vennin Island transformed all of its residents into deer, with the curse impacting anyone who killed actual deer on the island.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Abyssals appear as a result of reckless overuse of magic, although they're not directed and are as likely to harm innocents as the perpetrators. In one instance, the Navy's routine magical strip-mining operation summoned a creature called Ugothoya described as being so colossal that a single tooth was enough to destroy an island.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The players provide in-universe explanations for the powers they gain upon leveling up. Usually these are as simple as "became better at fighting and/or magic as a result of their experiences", but there are some specific cases. Most of Eloy's spells are chosen specifically based on encounters he's had in the past for which they would have been useful, and when he learns Dimension Door, he explains it as a result of some cross-dimensional travel prompted by Frieda. One of Wake's levels follows him having an extended drug trip, implying that his mind was stimulated by the experience. On another note, Dagon's Unseen Servant is explained as his releasing one of the souls captured by his blade to help temporarily, while Eloy's counterspell is flavored as Grammy appearing from the shadows to deflect or cancel an enemy spell.
  • Get on the Boat: At the end of Chapter 1, the party acquire a Living Ship which becomes the primary home for them and their crew, and their ticket to roam the various seas in search of adventure.
  • Ghost Town: The town on Vennin Island is a particularly eerie example, as by all appearances it seems to be fully occupied and operating normally except for the fact there are no actual people. This is the design of the Wendigo who curses the island, in the hope that travelers will venture in unaware of the danger. This proves convenient after the population is restored, and can get back to their lives with almost no fuss.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Ezra has one custom-made at the end of chapter 2 by Legitimate Larry. Although he bought it for the traditional use, he soon finds himself using it as one of his main weapons, as it is practically a ranged magical weapon that never runs out of ammo. It lives up to its name in an unexpected way, as creatures shot with it have to make a grapple check to avoid being pulled with the hook when it retracts.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Onrush, a vaguely-defined series of events involving an attempt to flood the world with Abyssals. Those who successfully fought it off, and attained good publicity to boot, became the Legermain, commonly known as the navy.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Happens when the group tries to enter a ship graveyard ruled by a true fey. Every time they look at one of the fey's faceless servants, the day is reset.
  • "Home Alone" Antics: In preparation for the attack on the tavern at the end of the Wendigo arc, the party and their allies create as many traps as they can muster to fend off the oncoming waves of zombies. These, combined with some miraculous cannon shots, prove so effective that only a handful of enemies make it into the tavern.
    • Minor example during the battle against the vampirized paladin, dubbed "Johnny Dark Souls" by Zito, aboard a ghost ship, as Ezra chooses to scatter a bag of ball bearings to trip the vampire. It ends up working out so well, it ultimately sends the vampire to a watery grave before it could even make a move on the party.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Legitimate Larry's magic shop has this flavor. Eloy and Ezra are completely taken in and spend a small fortune on a magical gewgaw, though at least it does work as advertised.
  • Honorable Elephant: Elephants are considered sacred by the Kals, and by extension, the elephant-like Loxodon race are held in great reverence. Those few Loxodons who the party have met have shown behavior consistent with this impression.
  • Humiliation Conga: The vampire paladin a.k.a. "Johnny Dark Souls." First, the Natural One-ders find out he's alive and not just a suspended corpse when Ezra accidentally sets him on fire with a stray fireball (which is intensified further by Eloy casting Heat Metal on him). Then, right as his boss fight is about to begin he: 1) slips on some ball bearings Ezra threw down, landing flat on his back, 2) loses his grip on his weapon (a 10 foot burning cross), which flies into the air, spins around, lands on him, and smashes him through the floor, 3) sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and finally 4) torn to pieces by a school of blood-hungry mako sharks. All without getting a single hit in.
    Wake: (after witnessing the Paladin slip and accidentally kill himself) ...Well that just sorta happened.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: The recipients of Grammy's cooking may get helpful temporary bonuses if they can stomach it, but they tend to regret finding out what went into it. Possibly the worst cases were in Bulkard, where she first serves the crew elephant, an animal regarded as sacred by the Kals who run the area, and then the remains of Pistachio, a cat-man who was killed offscreen due to becoming too popular for Zito's comfort. On learning of this last case, Ezra becomes heavily distraught, and has to suppress the memory of what happened.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Wake fends of a vampire which is clinging to him in giant bat form by lighting himself, and by extension his enemy, on fire.
  • Insistent Terminology: The party are privateers, not pirates, and are keen to point this out should it be forgotten, because they're not officially on the side of any major faction, and thus not opposed to them either. This changes late in Chapter 3, where the crew finally decides to throw their lot in with the Grand Design rather than the Legerdemain.
  • Instant Leech: Just Fall in Water!: When AJ falls into the water at one of the Bulkard zoo's large enclosures, he comes out with leeches on his ass, which he decides to remove with a fireball. Amazingly, he manages to avoid damaging himself, but the trousers are ruined.
  • Insult Backfire: In Episode 8, Ezra refers to himself as a clown, which Skrung gleefully seizes uponnote ; Ezra turns it back around by pointing out that clowns make a lot of money, "not that you'd know anything about that". Skrung pulls out a knife and Plisken has to physically restrain him to keep him from chucking it at Ezra.
  • Intoxication Ensues: The epilogue of chapter 2 reveals that Yt the fairy dragon (who resembles a tropical frog) exudes a body fluid with psychoactive properties. The crew immediately start collecting and attempting to refine the substance.
  • Klingon Promotion: Ezra invokes this when he's captured by the tribal Grungs; after he manages to kill their leader, he takes its headdress and appoints himself as their king, and they quickly fall into line.
  • Late to the Party: About 3000 years late to the party in the Unwitnessed Kingdom. Things were still messed up even after all that time.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: The conflict between the Navy and Pirates has aspects of this, as the Navy uses magic to the utmost possible degree, while the Pirate Lords are responsible for the Grand Design, an attempt to create a power source that doesn't overuse magic and rile Abyssals. In places controlled directly by the Navy, like Bulkard, complex mechanical devices are actually banned and can be confiscated if seen, whereas similar devices of magical nature are allowed.
  • Magitek: Some firearms are enhanced with magic, such as Skrung's pistol which can fire bullets imbued with Magic Missile. The Gimme Brothers in Jahal Cove specialize in this.
  • Mirror Match: The Trial of Wills in the Unwitnessed Kingdom takes this form, creating spectral copies of the party members which initially mirror their every action. As the copies are dispatched, the remainders become larger while also gaining independence.
  • The Multiverse: The whole setting, Rydin, consists of 16 planetary realms, each the domain of one of the major gods in the pantheon. The main planet on which the story takes place is the realm of Kelpie, goddess of the ocean, thus has an Ocean Punk flavor with magitek and Anachronism Stew thanks to the influence of other realms. The Kobold one-shot visits Heldrum, a collection of asteroids with a considerably higher overall tech level.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: In Chapter 2 Session 10, Nedra has an arena battle against an Aarakocra fighter named Barabus. It's a slug-fest for the ages, which ends with both of them on the ground and Zito rolling Constitution saves to see who stands up first and claims victory. Barabus wins by one. In a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, however, it causes a Heroic BSoD for her that leads to some Character Development that takes care of a recurring issue of hers up until this point. Moreso when her nature as a glabrezu was revealed, but that Wake's Nat 20 in his heart-to-heart with her effectively silenced its influence.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
    • The South Island of Jahal Cove has the Talon Striders, a tribe of gnolls (dog-men) in bone armor who ride tamed velociraptors.
    • Apparently vampirism isn't limited in this universe to intelligent beings; in one situation a sinking ship leaks vampire blood into the ocean, resulting in a horde of vampiric sharks.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: In Chapter 2 Episode 18, Eloy gets stoned by accidentally licking Yt, and in order to represent his inability to communicate, Zito tells Ben to speak in nonsense sentences. He starts saying things like "I have never Your Mother!", "That was the worst episode of DS9!" and "Please, no more Sum 41!"
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: In Chapter 3 Episode 13, Eloy is about to lose the bardic "Yo Momma" battle when Wake secretly uses a Scroll of Healing Word to keep him up, which allows him to turn the tables and win. Nobody else noticed so they just chalk it up to a Heroic Second Wind, and Lani remarks that Wake considers it his final gift to Eloy and will take the secret to his grave.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: With the 2019 reboot, Iburkal is destroyed, the original party seemingly dead, the surrounding lands are awash in refugees, the onrush has increased its intensity greatly, and the Navy have become all the more brutal in response.
  • Ocean Punk: The setting features large landmasses, but all of the action occurs close to the sea.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Several of Wake's teammates have indicated that they will indeed remember when, just as they had convinced a very petty dragon not to kill them all, Wake ran off with the dragon's enchanted armour that he hadn't dropped - and threw all his teammates lives into jeopardy again.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Kals, ruling class of Eburkal, are aasimar descended from the avatar of Salima, goddess of summer and fire. They have fiery aspects, odd numbers of wings, and exude heat like an aura. They also behave like upper-class Englishmen.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampirism can infect any creature, but seems to find greater purchase in those that are inherently parasitic or predacious. It can be transmitted by tainted blood or even defiled holy symbols, meaning vampires have many surreptitious ways to spread their nature.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: To Gore, Wake describes Nedra as "my best student". She is, of course, his only student.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: This is enforced in Chapter 1, as the Abyssal threat has the pirate town of Jahal Cove on lockdown with no sailor (legitimate or otherwise) able to ply their trade. The town leaders are retired and not up to piratical activities anyway, until the end of Chapter 1 when they agree to leave the Cove as part of a deal with the Navy.
    • Also Subverted when it turns out that Meed's crew WAS doing something, but had to lay low: they possessed the plans for a major technological innovation that would definitely bring the Navy's wrath upon them, specifically, an airship, and needed to find a way to deliver it to the rest of the Grand Design.
  • Politeness Judo: Eloy manages to get past a number of potentially lethal scenarios by asking nicely, most notably when he got into a guarded door on a ship controlled by enemy vampires by just being nice to it. In the beginning of Chapter 4 he tries this unsuccessfully on a collapsing Splendormaw, after saying, "You'd be surprised how often this works."
  • Poor Communication Kills: Played for laughs after Ezra is captured by frog people and then manages to make himself their king. He sends them out with notes explaining that he's safe, but the text is worded such that it reads like a ransom note.
  • Point of No Return: Zito outright refers to Book 6, Ep.7 as this, as it's largely a lore dump as well as a point where the crew levels up, communes with the gods, and learns they must create their final party to face the Onrush head on.
  • Previously on…: In Chapter 1, each episode is introduced by a recap, voiced by KaiserNeko and visually demonstrated by fanart. This is dropped in subsequent chapters due to it taking too long to produce and taking up Kaiser's time.
  • Promoted to Playable: Almost every major NPC becomes available as a team member in the final act of the campaign, including Grammy, who the players note suffers a massive power drop as a result, because their abilities had been treated as functionally limitless beforehand.
  • RPG Elements: Inverted, as this is a tabletop roleplaying game which adopts several tropes from video games, to wit:
    • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: When the party goes on a shore expedition in a new location, Zito usually allows them to bring only one crew member along, on the general premise that the rest need to stay and protect or maintain the ship.
    • Optional Party Member: Each location has at least one character who can be recruited by the party, usually by completing a specific loyalty sidequest.
    • Point of No Return: Before the climactic face-off with the final boss, the players are explicitly given the chance to travel across the map and consolidate their forces.
    • Warp Whistle: In the ramp-up to the endgame, the party gain access to the Realmgates that facilitate fast travel between several major locations, allowing them to pick their final party and finish any business they need to before the final battle.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Wake is driven to this after Gulfur is killed, seemingly by tribal frog people, though he's prevented from doing so, first by their paralyzing poison, then by Ezra having become their king and trying to keep the situation from becoming too heated. In the end, he maims and tortures an innocent frog man who he misidentifies as the culprit, an act which destabilizes his moral alignment and triggers a vision that warns of the dangers of giving in to his rage.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: In order to recover the campaign after Ben left the company, Zito killed off the entire active party, along with most of the population of Iburkal, leaving only Wake as a surviving PC and allowing Grant and Brienne to create new characters.
  • Running Gag: After Chapter 2 and the reveal that Lt. Gore is a dragon, Eloy persistently asks new NPCs if they're secretly a dragon. Eventually he gets the rest of the crew doing the same.
  • Secret Ingredient: Grammy's cooking often, if not always, includes an unconventional ingredient that is probably unpalatable in principle, but ends up at least passable in flavor. Frequently, the ingredient will confer some sort of bonus side-effect to the eater if they can withstand its unpleasant main effect.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Subverted: when Wake sees that the Trial of Wills is a literal Mirror Match, he sits down and tries meditating to negate the threat of his mirror self. However, his copy grows larger, and the officiator explains that he's not allowed to deny combat. Wake ends up using this to advantage, by doing harmless things to his compatriots, like tickling or giving a high-five, knowing that his enlarged duplicate is hitting their duplicates much harder.
  • Ship Sinking: The group has tried to clamp down on people shipping Nedra with Wake (or anyone else) by pointing out that, despite her great size and strength, she's effectively a child.
  • Soft Reboot: Occurred in 2019 due to Ben leaving the company and thus the table. The campaign underwent massive changes in order to continue.
  • The Stinger: Occurs at the end of Chapter 3 Episode 8, with Zito describing a scene that takes place after the main adventure has ended.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In the climax to Chapter 1, Zi'aka and her people take out the mindflayer Elder Brain by summoning their own deity, the Collective One, to slam-dunk it back into the portal from whence it came and seal the rift with magma.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Pops up from time to time: the player characters' antics, while amusing to the players and the audience, can end up being a lot less fun for the characters in universe, most noticeable with Wake, who ends up alienating several of his fellow crew mates, with several of his decisions.
    • Wake at one point tries to stop a door from being slammed shut by using his hand to stop it, but due to the fact that the door was made out of metal, he ends up nearly breaking his hand.
    • While he was trained as a monk, Wake's trauma, and lack of complete training, ends up giving him a personality that heavily contrasts what a monk should be like when he tries to avenge the death of Gulfer, by torturing the people that he believed killed him (up to and including cannibalism) he ends up losing some of his monk abilities for a bit, due to his personality not being compatible with his class. This ends up being one of the reason he decides to stay at the monastery to retrain.
    • While the pirate lords are typically depicted as Retired Monsters who react strongly when one of them is slighted, the seeming exception to this is Captain Rumblood. The reason? He uses orphaned children for his crew, leading to them being put into multiple dangerous situations like vampire experiments, meaning that while the others may find him useful, they certainly don’t mind him being punished by the Navy.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end of Chapter 3 Session 7, Redd advises the group not to mention that they know Barabus to Mary May; the scene jumps to Wake showing Mary May to her room, remarking "You know, you're not even the first bird-person we've had on board", which prompts her to respond "You know where my husband is?!"note 
    • Many times they joked that because Wake stayed behind due to angst, sooner or later the rest of the party will suffer a Total Party Kill and Wake will get even more angstier. Then the Tower exploded...
  • That's No Moon: By player consensus, the reason Wake failed to notice Lieutenant Gore's dragon form is that he mistook it for the shoreline.
  • The Three Trials: In Chapter 2, Episode 9 the party is given three animal-related tasks while infiltrating the zoo in order to access a dire elephant tusk, although they manage to rush through the second and mostly skip the third.
  • Toad Licking: Parodied with Yt, a Fairy-dragon who looks like a winged poison frog. In the finale of Chapter 2, the crew discover he secretes a powerful hallucinogen, which Wake takes advantage of to trigger a Vision Quest. In Chapter 3 Episode 7, the guys are warned in no uncertain terms to stop doing it unless they want to draw the attention of the Fey Courts.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Thanks to Leiutenant Gore, Pabsvradri is sent over the horizon with a magical bow, leaving him open to an eventual return in the endgame of the campaign.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Chapter 2 episode 6 transforms into a Tower Defense game as the party places cannon and various traps to hold off multiple waves of the Wendigo's undead servants.
  • Vision Quest: Invoked by Wake at the end of chapter 2, when he licks Yt the fairy dragon in order to get high and trigger an introspective episode. This provides the justification for the powers he gains at level 7.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Font, a dimensional plane other than the realms ruled by the primary gods and devoid of conventional life or divinity. Frieda can pass through it with help from her god, and Eldritch Abominations such as Dagon's patron, Gryorrxyk, originate from there.
  • Wendigo: The villain of the Vennin Island arc, treated as an mystical creature dreaded by those who know of its capabilities.
  • Wham Episode: A couple being made here or there, but by far the biggest one in the story so far is Chapter 3, Episode 11. After fighting a group of vampires, the crew meets up with the Grand Design to discuss the problem and Wake comes face-to-face with who he thinks is the one who razed his village, and the exchange culminates in Wake leaving the party at the very end of the session.
    • A bigger one in the first episode of 2019: The Tower of Eburkal exploded, the main party and all in the tower are dead, Eburkal has been destroyed, the king presumably sacrificed, the Onrush having pretty much increased their intensity, the Navy becoming more brutal, and the world in general just being a much harsher place, not unlike the World of Ruin of Final Fantasy VI.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Redd grabs Wake by the throat and gives an epic example of thisnote  after Wake abandoned the group to a dragon just to steal a suit of platemail from its horde, especially since Redd had to give up her research notes — 12 years of her life — to appease the dragon. Wake manages to escape her full wrath by pointing out that the dragon took her research before he ran off, and thus his actions had nothing to do with it. He does apologize properly later on and does promise to get the book back, which they do.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The epilogue of the campaign reveals the ultimate fate of every surviving NPC, before doing the same for the party members.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The troglodytes, given a cursed form of immortality by drinking unicorn blood, have been driven mad by their unending but tormented lives and are desperate to die.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The setting has strong flavors of this, combined with traditional medieval fantasy.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The Navy refuses to kill children, even those that happen to be pirates. Rumblood, being a gremlin child, takes advantage of this by having a crew made up entirely of captured orphans. The pirates, for their part, resort to bribing children rather than kill them to protect their secret even though it's less reliable.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: A variation begins the first episode, where the protagonists are aboard a ferry for their own purposes, and as it happens their first encounter involves the food service.
  • You Didn't Ask: After the party has some trouble with a horde of possessed statues, Edward Caster reveals he has an aasimar ability to exorcise them. When asked why he didn't do so before, he responds that it was their responsibility to do the fighting for him.

The Foolproof campaign contains examples of:

  • Colonized Solar System: The setting takes some inspiration from Spelljammer, as it was originally colonized by interstellar travelers, and some of the Aberrations living in the voids between worlds (like the Neogi) have gained newfound sanity from the planet's magic and are capable of intermingling with the other races.
  • Detective Drama: The main goal of the first half of the campaign is for the players to investigate who murdered an actor, with the catch that amassing too much attention in the process could lead to the killer getting empowered by the Jerkass Gods.
  • Everybody Lives: Despite multiple life-threatening situations, including Running Gags gone rogue and sacrificial sarcophagi, all of the party and every innocent NPC manages to survive the campaign.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first session, the party learns that the film lot is still moving out props from the director's previous work, "The Banana's Peel". In the second session, these props turn out to be Running Gags that the party fights in the storeroom. And in the final two sessions, it turns out that a ziggurat prop had been reused from the film that the party ends up trapped in.
  • Genius Loci: Fiction, the setting of the campaign, is described as a living planet in the campaign's opening.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first three sessions focus on secretly investigating a murder at a film lot, while the final two have the party Trapped in TV Land and searching for a way out.
  • Inkblot Cartoon Style: Some characters like Kyle and Magic are styled after this, being a setting based on cartoons.
  • Jerkass Gods: Fiction was created by a group of gods known only as "The Storytellers". In order to keep life interesting, they are known to empower anyone whose personal story attracts enough notoriety, whether they're heroic or villainous.
  • Jungle Opera: The second half of the campaign has the party Trapped in TV Land; specifically, a film about hunting a legendary creature set in a mysterious jungle.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The final session reveals that the murder of an actor was just part of an even more heinous plot: sacrificing high-profile people and Ford's enemies to an abomination known as The Viewer.
  • The Mole: Prince Arden, the players' client, mentions that he first learned about someone killing an actor portraying his father from a spy he had at the film set, but said spy had mysteriously gone silent since then. The party ends up finding the corpse of a member of the Golden Pin, the guild Arden manages, in the movie world.
  • Refuge in Audacity: How does Belghast conduct a séance with a recently-departed spirit, when accompanied by a member of the city's religious order and tasked with being as discreet about the investigation as possible? Clog up the bathroom sinks, flood the room, and bluff that the Golden Pin guild can summon toilet ghosts in order to do housecleaning. It works, mainly because Killroy willingly played along for fun.
  • Secretly Selfish: As the Jerkass Gods of the setting only care about interesting stories, even rival investigators and police officers have an ulterior motive of making their own story better when catching criminals.
  • Shapeshifting: The "Sketch", the main race of the city the players are in, are cartoonish creatures with the ability to alter their physical form once a day, which can also adjust their ability scores. Unfortunately for investigators, this also means that a Sketch murderer is hard to track.
  • Super-Strength: In the trailer, Kyle's introduction includes a clip of him grabbing an oven's leg and lifting the large appliance over his head with a single hand. The revelation that he's not a real human helps justify this.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: Natural magic is rare in the setting, but some kingdoms have the capacity to train for it. Both Blugen and Belghast have powers, while Prince Arden's sister is studying it overseas.
  • Trapped in TV Land: The third session ends with the protagonists pulled into a movie via Ford Money's enchanted projector and film reel.

Tropes featured in the Saturday Morning Cartoon Special include:

  • An Aesop: Parodied. All of the protagonists regularly look straight into the camera to give basic kid-friendly lessons related to their activities.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Each of the main trio has a "gemerald" with special powers, which can be combined to unleash even more powerful effects. Eloy's and Ezra's together stop time, while all three summon the Yeldin and transform it into a Humongous Mecha.
  • Catapult to Glory: The Yeldin's "transportation deck" involves launching the crew to distant places by shooting them out of cannons.
  • Character Catchphrase: Parodied, where Eloy says "Oh no!" when they get into trouble, with Lani mentioning that it is his tried-and-true catchphrase in the show.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Ezra's crossbow shoots laser-like magic missiles rather than real bolts.
  • Flanderization: All of the characters have had their personalities simplified to make them work better as cartoon characters.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Gulfur is shown to love drinking juice, in a manner that suggests it's a substitute for a more adult vice.
  • Leader Forms the Head: Ezra, as the leader of the Wonders, lands in the control center at the head of the mecha-Yeldin and coordinates the efforts of the other protagonists.
  • No Smoking: Averted— Gulfur is shown smoking a pipe in the library. Lani lampshades this as being an 80s cartoon.invoked
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Gulfur's accent wavers from Scottish to Irish.
  • Parental Bonus: Cleocatra is described as the token overly-sexualized female character with implausible curves designed to give any dads watching some entertainment.
  • Punch-Clock Villains: Mumja's minions are clearly only in the gig for the pay, one of them mentioning good medical benefits.
  • The Power of Rock: Eloy's magic keytar launches elemental spells that are named after different genres of music.
  • Scratchy-Voiced Senior: Grammy, a sea hag who serves as the team chef, has a distinctly raspy voice. If some comments are to be believed, it's because she smokes ten packs a day.
  • Troperiffic: The central idea of the episode is to run with all of the cheesy 80s and 90s cartoon tropes the players and DM can possibly invoke.

Tropes featured in the Project Omega Special include:

  • Agony of the Feet: When he encounters more guards, including the one who never let him play with Lego, Morton strews the area with spontaneously-created Lego bricks to impede them. He then adds injury to further injury by burying the guards in Lego and jumping on them after they've been knocked out.
  • A-Team Firing: The mook guards are consistently bad shots, only managing to hit Hank, the largest party member, once, and the cat not at all. The one character they manage to hit the most is the five-year-old kid, sparking Hank to greater fury.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Because he's not entirely privy to what's going on (and is a child), Morton initially believes Hank and Butters are evil and tries to attack them with his powers.
  • Punishment Box: "The Box" is where Brienne's character starts out. Though it initially sounds like horrifically cruel solitary confinement, it turns out to be justified by him being a physically ordinary cat.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: A washed-up boxer, an orphaned five-year-old, and a cat are the main characters. The only thing they have in common is being granted superpowers by mad science.
  • Psychic Static: When Butters first tries to converse with his guard, the guy starts listening to a Toto playlist, moving on to AC/DC, to drown out the cat's speech. Although he approves of the man's taste in music, he still manages to control him and help him escape.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: With varying degrees of creativity, the supers are all confined this way. Hank is in a Faraday cage that restricts his lightning powers, Morton is in a slapdash daycare that keeps him distracted, and Omega Maiden is kept in a coma by drugs administered by a specialized computer. Butters is kept in a box.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: All those with powers feel this way, though it takes Hank a while to come around; initially, he just wants to go home.


Video Example(s):


If I Was The Killer

When the party is aprehended by sailors due to being suspected of committing a murder, Chromagil tries to convince the crew that they mean no harm in the worst way possible.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / DiggingYourselfDeeper

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