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Webcomic / Alien Dice

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"Alien Dice—It's only a game." page title

Alien Dice is a Webcomic by Tiffany Ross and is a deconstruction of the mons genre. It has a interesting format where text accompanies the comics. Either the text or the comics can stand alone, but to get the whole story you have to read both.

Lexx, an alien raised by the Alien Dice Corporation (ADC), is a player in a game known as Alien Dice. Players are either the bored rich or unwanteds raised by the ADC. Players raised by the ADC, known as Indentured Players, are bonded to dice. These players are essentially owned by the ADC, and their only real chance at freedom is to play three rounds of Alien Dice. However they can be challenged by other players, and will belong to them if they lose in combat. Thus far, no die has escaped the clutches of the ADC.

To play the game, players must throw their dice on a planet. They will bond with the local non-sapient fauna, altering their genetic code in the process, to make them "roll" to a new form when they reach a certain point in training. Some also gain the ability to talk and greater intelligence. Games are popularly televised by the ADC.

The story begins when Lexx, a Rishan on his third round of Alien Dice, throws his die on Earth, hoping to complete the game with a minimum of fuss, as the planet is a fringe world away from the normal game channels. However, his plans go awry from the start—his secondary dice, Stealth, bonds to the kitten of a nineteen-year-old human girl named Chel. Chel has no intentions of just giving her kitten to this strange alien, so, in an effort to convince her that it's too much trouble, Lexx asks Chel to accompany him for a while, in hopes of scaring her off.

However, Lexx's plan backfires as Chel only ends up bonding with him and his dice, despite his best efforts to push her away. He also gets tracked down by his friends (and fellow players) Damien, Claudia, and Riley. Damien and Claudia are fascinated by how hard Lexx is to reach, and Riley considers Lexx a brother.

As Chel gets sucked into the game, she learns the dark secrets of the game, her own parents, and her own planet's past.

At one point, Alien Dice was in the process of being adapted as a Radio Drama, with seven episodes already completed. The most recent episode was added to the website sometime in 2009. The project subsequently stalled and the radio drama page disappeared during one of the many webhosting service changes that Shivae Studios makes.

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Abusive Alien Parents: The Rishan, justified by the fact that they weren't allowed to raise their own children, and they suffer from exetreme poverty with little to no education on proper parenting techniques.
  • Aerith and Bob: Lexx, Zaile, and Maelinn are all exotic names. Riley, Damien, and Claudia are considerably more mundane.
  • Alien Abduction: The origin of the Rishan.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Apparently English is just a dialect of Galactic Standard, even though none of the alien written languages use the same alphabet. Hand Waved /Fridge Brillianced away by the dumping of tens of thousands of human-like Rishan on Earth in the past.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack! / Awesomeness by Analysis: Lexx sometimes falls into the former style when desperate, but normally displays the latter.
  • Blob Monster: A few of the minor alien races.
  • Blood Brothers: Riley and Lexx.
  • Chocolate Baby: A generation after their "creation" unexplained instances among the Rishans involved unusual skin color, some being pink, tan, red, yellow and black. This clued off the Galactic Consol that they weren't genetic constructs as the slave traders selling them claimed.
  • Deadly Game / Gladiator Games: The game Alien Dice.
  • Deconstruction: Alien Dice is a deconstruction of both reality shows and Gotta Catch 'Em All shows.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Vic has just been informed that he might be Promoted to Parent here. At least Maenae's cute.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lexx tried several times, among other players.
  • Electronic Telepathy: Relays.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Becoming a Captured Dice. At least, according to Riane.
  • Gender Bender: The Sairah can involuntarily change sex when the population is severely lacking in one.
  • Genetic Memory: Rishan apparently have this to some degree.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The game Alien Dice.
  • The Greys: The Architects.
  • Happiness in Slavery: While the majority of Master Dice aren't happy about being used as glorified playthings in deadly arena fights, others can not imagine another life. Lisaan in particular has rejected having her contract closed for free multiple times, Acadiu would rather play than risk not having a master, and the Dice are aiming to be Chel's pets since they'd probably not last long in the wild.
  • Healing Factor: The nanites.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lexx.
  • Human Aliens: The Littan, Kourwine, and Sairah races are all human-like with superficial modifications. Heck, they look more human than the human subspecies! Special mention goes to The Rishan, who are literal human aliens, being the genetically modified descents of humans kidnapped from earth
  • Human Subspecies: The Rishan. They look somewhat exotic but it's stated that's only skin-deep. They're genetically human.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Littan families tend towards this due to multiple births being the norm for their species. The Lanier family has eight.
    • Lexx's long-lost family comes close, so far he's got one older brother, an older sister, a younger sister held in stasis by the ADC, and two younger brothers in hiding at the Lanier estate with his mother and uncle.
  • MegaCorp: The ADC.
  • Mega Neko: Stealth at higher levels.
  • The Men in Black: The Government apparently has let the dress code loose, but the slightly antagonistic but understandably oppositional group protecting the human population from panic is there.
  • Mons: The Dice.
  • Multiboobage: Littans have four.
  • Named After Their Planet: Pretty much all the alien races mentioned by name. Except for the obvious one.
  • Nano Machines: Most notably Lexx's nanites that heal him when injured.
  • Not a Game: Lexx flips when Chel, who doesn't know the situation yet, tries to call him out for taking the game too seriously.
  • Not Himself: Lexx has one of these events later in the comic. It's rather obvious and jarring, considering his usual "nice but distant" personality.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Lexx does one in this page.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Littans inspired vampire myths. They're pale, gaunt, fanged humanoids who can't take much sunlight and live for hundreds of years. But they mostly suck fruit juices, blood is an intoxicant for them.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Riley eats popcorn while watching Chel fight Trasik in Lexx's nightmares (thanks to their Relays).
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Swiftpaw has mastered the technique.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Budgieotters Just, Budgieotters.
  • Right Behind Me: Minus the "Oh, Crap!" moment.
    Chel's Dad: "I don't care which one's behind me, they need someone to set them straight.
  • Rubber Fore Head Aliens: The Littan with their fangs, the Kourwine and Saira with their pointy ears.
  • Shiny-Looking Spaceships: They're downright eyecandy to look at sometimes.
  • Ship Tease: Damian/Claudia (the kiss) and Damian/Lisaan. A little Keith/Chel for those who like illusions.
  • Slave Race: The Rishan, who are actually human.
  • Textplosion: The webcomic's format features a paragraph accompaniment below every comic. Sometimes the text restates what just happened, and sometimes it tells a completely different story, which can lead to some confusion.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Lexx's hair tends to get longer/change color each time he rolls. He considers it a minor irritation most of the time, but has lamented that it's another aspect of his life over which he has no control. Later, when Chel gets kidnapped, her long hair gets cut off as a punishment for resistance.
  • Uplifted Animal: The Dice.
  • Weaponized Stench: Swiftpaw, a fox/alien hybrid created for a Mons game, has weapons-grade musk glands. As discovered by two hapless MIB agents who tried to take his temperature, and whose hazmat suits didn't help.
  • Web Comic Time: This comic started in 2001. 21 years later 28 days have passed.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: What measure is a sentient, individual being? Harshly deconstructed in the course of the series. First introduced was the idea of the slavery only being allowed if a race was created artificially (the idea: to outlaw slavery since no species had ever been created from scratch). Next is the Dice- sentient creatures who display varying degrees of intelligence (Stealth, among others, displays intelligence perhaps even greater than Lexx), are treated as dumb animals with no free will. Finally, and perhaps most disturbing, is the treatment of indentured players.
  • Winged Humanoid: Lexx gets bat wings after leveling up a few times, they recently became feathered.