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Webcomic / Elf Only Inn

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Roleplaying: It's kinda like that. ROFL.

"You idiots! This isn't imaginary play time! This is ROLEPLAYING! This is SERIOUS BUSINESS!"
Lord Elf

Elf Only Inn is a Webcomic by Josh Sortelli.

The comic follows the events in a roleplaying chatroom, which often deviate from the intended roleplaying, and parodies some personality types one's likely to find online, from the uptight moderator to the annoying and oblivious newbie. Later on, the characters move to a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, which slightly changes the previous character dynamics - for example, some actions can no longer simply be ignored as they were in the text-based chatroom.

The comic seems to have been set into an infinite hiatus on Monday, May 5, 2008 and has been discontinued since.


This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The comic was about to start a D&D game, went on hiatus for over two years, and the setting suddenly shifted from a chat room to an MMORPG.
  • Almighty Janitor: Lord Woot, the Eternal Sweeper.
  • Art Shift: Eventually the author stopped using variations on the standard avatar images, and started drawing new strips completely from scratch.
  • Brainless Beauty: Lady.
  • Breast Plate: Parodied with elvish swimwear early on, then later played straight after the Genre Shift.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ben more than anyone.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Megan.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Megan and Lady submit Duke and Woot to The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
  • Crossover: With Penny Arcade; Megan went on a date with the Fruit Fucker.
  • Cross Player: King Herman. First revealed in said crossover, interestingly enough, though little attention was drawn to it.
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  • Creator Breakdown: One of the last things mentioned by the author was that he had a huge fight with his wife when he said he was going to do the comic again. After the comic stopped again and he dropped out of touch, whenever he does show up fans avoid bringing it or the comic up.
  • Cut Short: It seemed to have ended a few times, one of the latest times to remake itself to change the setting. It has now not since been updated since 2008, in the midst of a storyline dealing with multiple character interactions, including Duke and his father.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Lord of Dorkness.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Though of course by the very nature of the premise nothing did happen, but just what exactly went on between Nimoy and Sweet_grrrl in the private chatroom is a mystery.
  • The Ditz: Goku 666 and Lady.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?? There's plenty in the chatroom stuff, and then of course there's Barbivine railing against the Mods:
    Hah! The mods? The mods have abandoned us! Where were the mods when the demon burned down the forest? Where were the mods when the Dorum brothers sacked their own city? The mods don't care. Do the mods ever even answer when you call them?
  • Dumb Muscle: Duke Commando.
  • Fanservice: A male example. Much rejoicing.
  • Flanderization
  • Heroes Want Redheads: When the guys go for Lady or Lilith.
  • Griefer
  • Handsome Lech: Duke.
  • Les Yay: Mainly for humor.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Go away, Ben!"
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Lilith.
  • Schedule Slip
  • Series Hiatus: There's been a couple at least, one of them leading to the MMORPG setting.
    • The latest, unannounced one has been going on for over three years.
    • A recent journal entry of his has stated that he does not intend to start up the comic again any time soon, if ever.
  • Shout-Out
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: invoked Lord Elf acts like this a lot.
  • Stripperiffic: Different characters at different points.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Megan, though this usually doesn't turn out well for her.
  • Strawman Political:
    • Megan can come across as a Straw Liberal at times. Her friend King Herman is also liberal, but more down-to-earth.
    • Woot uses one to confuse people by claiming he's the victim of Republican propaganda.
  • The Roleplayer: Lord Elf in a nutshell. He routinely criticizes the others for not being elves or properly roleplaying their characters, tries to enforce roleplaying (with threats of banning) and routinely sets up odd scenarios, usually for the purpose of cybering with M'Lady. After the genre change, he ignores most of the game in favor of roleplaying as an innkeeper, and, when killed, refuses to talk to people until properly rezzed. He also calls Lilith out (and congratulates her) on the same thing after she deliberately switches to a badly battered avatar after taking a beating (since hitpoint damage by default doesn't affect your appearance).
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Twice. slave (lack of capitalization intentional), one of the annoying vampire fanboys, gets to think he beat Lord of Dorkness by dressing up like Tuxedo Mask and throwing a rose at him. Later, Lord Elf actually ends up marginally useful during the "Necromrun.icon" arc.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Throughout the entire series it is made very clear that Duke and Megan have a thing for each other, though nothing ever comes of it.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Literally, with sweet_grrl.
  • Winged Humanoid: Lilith, sometimes.
  • Word of God: According to some back-and-forth on the author's Livejournal account:
    Fan: Before the rude and the ungrateful chime in, may I simply pass on the desires of a longtime fan? An ending. Just let us know where they went from there. NONE of the characters were happy, and most of them deserved to be. Yeah.. they aren't real people, but they made me, and many others, happy for a while. Could you do your fans a favor and lay them to ease, if not rest?
    Sortelli: Well... April and Percey never get together. Duke and Megan do, but only after a lot of nonsense and Gothgrrl getting in the middle. Duke and his dad come to an understanding. Woot and Barbi have nasty sex. That's about as far as things got in my head.

Tropes before the Genre Shift:

  • And Then What?: Pointed out to Lord of Dorkness by Lady, of all people.
  • Animesque: When the chatroom gets the sponsoring of foreign company, the avatars all change to this style, with the exception of Goku666 and Hambonetaru-Chan (who already fit).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: One comic references the shrink in strip size, along with the Cut-and-Paste Comic style.
  • Catchphrase: "It hurts and stings!" and variations.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dennis Kucinich.
  • Cut-and-Paste Comic: At first, but it grows out of it.
  • Dating Sim: Parodied.
  • Demoted to Extra: By the time the comic stopped being cut and paste, Lord Elf had all but vanished from his own chat board for the longest time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • Emo Teen: Gothboi, Gothgrrl, and Slave.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: invoked Invoked when comparing the conflict between elves and dark elves to racism.
  • Fantastic Racism: Although the titular inn is meant to be only for elves, this is the most often broken rule - human characters often drop by, although the Vulcan Nimoy goes around unidentified for quite some time.
    • Hell, of all the characters in the entire comic, there are only three-and-a-half elves, one of them being an elf (half).
  • Fur and Loathing: Megan attacks Herman for this when he dresses up as Santa.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: According to Duke, when he thinks that Megan is actually a lesbian.
  • God Modders: Goku 666 somewhat, but especially Lord of Dorkness.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: For humor in a few strips. Parodied here, when Duke thinks that Japanese for "no" is "bye."
  • Highly Visible Ninja
  • Horny Devils: Lord of Dorkness after his "epiphany" regarding the purpose of roleplay. Lilith, on the other hand, is an outright succubus.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lord Elf has a long list of reasons to ban people, but frequently breaks them himself (no out-of-character chat, for instance).
  • Insult Backfire: When Lilith is dating Duke to make Megan angry (and also happens to be wearing an exact copy of Megan's outfit), Lilith smugly tells Duke that Megan is just jealous Lilith happens to fill out her outfit better than she does. It backfires when Megan retorts that when a girl brags about her chest online, it means she's really fat in real life, which judging by the look of shock and embarrassment on Lilith's face, may be close to the truth in this case.
  • Just Ignore It: How Lord of Dorkness' chatroom antics are dealt with. Happens to Goku 666 at times, too.
  • Knife Nut: sweet_grrl
  • Magick
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: When Milady has babies with everyone, none of the babies look like their putative fathers.
  • Official Couple: The closest thing to a official couple the comic ever had was Megan and Woot. Though once he visited her offline and saw she wasn't exactly a nubile elven damsel, they broke up.
    • Note that Woot says this in response to Megan being the first to shout "He is nothing like his character!" They do continue to meet offline several times after that, it's implied their personalities meant they made decent friends but clashed when trying to be romantic.
  • Only Six Faces: Parodied early on (in a way) with Goku 666, who only has one face.
  • Otaku: Lord Wootsayediditagyn goes beyond fanboy to this with his creepy obsession with Britney Spears.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Aside from Lord Elf and Megan Ayrwyn, Lady is a star elf (half). Then there's Geoph, who's a dark elf (though everyone treats him like he's Black).
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Lady is a ~vampyre~ (half). There's also the Vampire Chat.
    • And this. It's possible to take vampire "immunities" too far...
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Lord Elf as the Blue Wizard of Forestdale, sort of.
  • Purple Prose: Gothboi does this once.
  • Quote Swear Unquote: "Live long, and prosper, bitch," from Star Trek.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Herman plays one.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Lord of Dorkness quits the chat a lot early on.
  • Stealth Parody: The others can't tell if Goku 666 is this or the real thing, sometimes.
  • Stocking Filler: Lady.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Lord Elf's stint as Reverend Strawman who eventually tries to ban God — actually the SysOp — from the chat. Megan sometimes come off as this, as well.
  • Super-Deformed: Hambonetaru-Chan bought the chat room when they were running out of funds to run it. As a new rule, everyone got new Super-Deformed avatars, except Goku, who was already anime, and Megan, who rebelled against it.
    • Lord of Dorkness was ruining the fun of the Elf Only Inn room, with permission from Lord Elf. Duke and Nimoy went to Demon Citadel to try to recruit a demon to fight Lord of Dorkness. When they were laughed at, they decided to ruin the dark mood by being silly for as long as it took to get someone. One of their stunts was Duke bringing back his Super-Deformed avatar.
  • Take That!: There's jabs at a number of things.
    • One could argue that the primary Take That! jab is the existence of the webcomic itself (pre-genre shift, at least), mocking roleplaying chatrooms at large. In particular, the comic takes a shot at Illusionary Minds Chat, a chat site dedicated to roleplaying. Sortelli used to host a room on this site and various issues with the site's management led him to create a website called "We hate IMC," (now defunct and 404) summing up his issues with the site's administrators. Many of the early gags used in Elf Only Inn first made their appearance on this website.
    • The above-mentioned Reverend Strawman was a pretty blatant Take That at Preacher, being a holy man who claims to be in search of God to "grab him by the balls" and demand to know why he hasn't fixed the world and made everything perfect. God shows up and points out that fixing mortal problems is supposed to be the Reverend's job.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Female Eternal Sweepers.
  • The Faceless: Sys Op and users with no clearly defined avatar appear as blocky, featureless dummies. The various NPCs Lord of Dorkness victimize does as well, although they only exist in his imagination since everyone real ignores him.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Lilith can do this.
  • Whip It Good: Lilith.
  • Yandere: Megan has shades of this.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Nimoy tells Geoff he's very well spoken for a dark elf. Geoff does not approve, less for the insult and more for getting fed up with the whole race issue.
  • Younger Than They Look: Goku is played by a ten year old and Duke is only 18.

Tropes after the Genre Shift:


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