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Webcomic / Table Titans

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Titans never say die.

Table Titans is a webcomic by Scott Kurtz that follows the titular group of Dungeons & Dragons players and their misadventures in and out of the game, mixing gamer humour with Deep-Immersion Gaming. It's a spinoff of Kurtz's long running webcomic PvP and ties in heavily with Wizards of the Coast's latest D&D products. Seasons 1 and 2, "First Encounters" and "Winter of the Iron Dwarf", focus on the titular group and their adventures in the Forgotten Realms, while seasons 3 and 4, "Whispers of Dragons" and "Road to Embers", focus on their rivals, the Dungeon Dogs, in the custom Fallen Veil setting. It can be found here


Tropes in this webcomic include:

  • Ambiguously Bi: Or Ambiguously Gay. Marie calls Lylith "Sexy".
  • An Aesop: in "First Enounters", the Titans learn that having fun is more important than scoring points.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Runes can have a wide array of uses. Manifesting spontaneous walls, making stuff float, detecting magic and illusory doppelgängers are all used.
  • Artistic License: Regarding the rules of D&D. Draziw falls asleep because his Sleep spell critically missed. This is not actually possible. Depending on the version they're playing, In 4E, Sleep is a will save, meaning that the spells effectiveness depends on how good the villagers roll, not Draziw. In 5E, Sleep has no save, and assuming Brendan used the Commoner stat block for the villagers, even the worst possible roll on Darby's part would still affect at least two villagers.
    • In Winter of the Iron Dwarf, Gar Dunwise uses Spare the Dying to get the wounded Valeria up on her feet. Spare the Dying stabilizes unconscious characters to prevent them from bleeding out or dying from their wounds, but it is not a healing spell.
  • Axe-Crazy: The Markovian is actually an aversion. He is more of an Proud Warrior Race Guy. He claims to have killed his entire people, which is only technically true; He convinced them to commit mass suicide by Battle Royale, with him being the last survivor, meaning that when he defeated the last opponent, he technically killed his entire people outside of himself.
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  • Barbarian Hero: Val's traditional character is the Dwarf barbarian Valeria Bronzebottom. Marie, meanwhile, plays the Markovian for the Dungeon Dogs.
  • Battle Couple: Kate and Alan are implied to have been this. Specifically a pair of Chaotic Evil (presumably) Rogues. It didn't end well when Kate killed her partner for a Wish scroll.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Darius and Darby. They're both the most recent members of the Titans (not counting Brendan, since he's usually the dm), and interact with each other more than they do with the other titans. They often act as Brains and Brawn, but only in-game. Darius is rather muscular, but in no way a Dumb Muscle. Darby/Draziw generally take up the role of the Smart Guy.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Drake/Alan casts Lance of Faith to save his life. In a moment of humility, he lets himself over to the Goddess, and she obliges with Holy Intervention, frying the blink dog that pinned him.
  • Brick Joke: The Markovian is quite knowledgeable about rhythmic schemes. His player, Maria, turns out to be a librarian.
  • Came Back Wrong: Garrett (Alan's character), when he's killed in the Mines of Madness and revivified as a humanoid-shaped gelatinous cube. Not that he seems to mind.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Daemon race from the Fallen Veil setting are very clearly Tieflings, with some details reworked.
  • Character Development: In the first season, Darby is a bit of a new guy, and it shows on how he interacts with the titans, and his knowledge of the game. By the second season, he's officially part of the Titans, and the others treat him as one of them, and he can even provide serious advice to newcomer Darius. He's also more familiar with the game. By the fifth season, he's clearly casually friends with the other titans, and is familiar enough with the game to recognize D&D alternatives for healers.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The mystical gemstone Lefleur picks up in the underdark.
  • Critical Failure: Darby's first dice roll, while attempting to put a violent mob to sleep. He knocks himself out instead.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The aforementioned failed Garret revivification gave him the ability to kill monsters simply by walking at them. By logical extension, he would also gain immunities to a number of conditions.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Darby rolls a Natural 1, and cheers.
  • Decided by One Vote: When Alan calls a vote over his proposed shunning of Andrew. With two in favor (Alan and Andrew, who doesn't want to stay if he's not welcome) and two opposed (Darby and Val), the tiebreaker vote is left to Darius. He abstains to vote until knowing the story of Alan and Kate, but eventually votes against.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: Much of the comic, chronicling the game adventures of the titular party.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: In "Winter of the Iron Dwarf", Val is mocked and dismissed by the Dwarves when answers their summons for a champion. Partly because she's a woman, partly because she's young, and partly because she's not her uncle Binwin.
    I am Valeria Bronzebottom: Axe Maiden of Hammerfast, Destroyer of the Eye Tyrant of Brockhurst, Liberator of Haverford and I will not be mocked!
  • Foreshadowing: When traveling to Adbar, Draziw notices that there's some magic going on, different from the transmutation used to animate the construct horse. In the next frame, you'd be forgiven if you thought we were supposed to focus on the glowing mushroom. The wheel is what's actually important.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Dungeon Dogs' Fallen Veil characters show up in the introduction of "Winter of the Iron Dwarf"... something that's a little odd, as one of those characters hadn't been created yet.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The Mines of Madness (being an obvious expy of the Tomb of Horrors).
  • Five-Man Band: The Winter of the Iron Dwarf crew:
  • God Guise: In "Winter of the Iron Dwarf", Simon the Drow uses illusory magic to impersonate the Dwarven deity Dumathoin, all part of a ploy to trick a band of besieged Dwarves into leaving the safety of their fortress.
  • Golem: The iron pony construct used by the dwarves of Adbar.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Lylith is half human, half daemon.
  • Hidden Depths: Lilith shows a particularly strong capacity for illustration, creating an entire Comic Book-style backstory for her character. The rest of the Dungeon Dogs crew get similar development throughout the seasons focused on them.
    • Played more for laughs with the Markovian, who's surprisingly knowledgeable about poetic meters. Justified, as his player is a librarian.
  • Improvised Weapon: Val's bard character, in "First Encounters", uses her lute to whack enemies.
  • Instant Runes: Averted: Bjorn (and later the Fallen Veil version of Draziw) is a rune wielder, and has to write each rune. While he can just write them with chalk, they last longer and become more powerful if he carves them in more solid material. "Instant" runes are used, but they're usually written in chalk or carved in a simple material, like wood. Other runes are used, but are usually carved prior to the adventure starting.
  • Jaccuse: Played straight by Alan when he realizes Andrew knew Brendan was fraternizing with the enemy.
  • Killer Game Master: Subverted. The Titans think Brendan is this, since he puts an under-resourced party up against a powerful monster, but Brendan insists he's just trying to give the party a real challenge.
  • Large Ham: The Markovian, all the way. Every time he enters combat, he spends boasts about his prowess and what the outcome of the combat will be.
  • Leader Wannabe: Alan seems to view himself as the Leader of the Table Titans, but his team really doesn't.
  • Leonine Contract: In "First Encounters", it's revealed the Mayor of Haverford made a deal with an intelligent displacer beast to spare the lives of him and his friends in exchange for delivering more prey.
  • Mythology Gag: Valeria is dumbfounded by the seemingly talking turtle. Sentient tortoises are actually a potential player species in fifth edition D&D.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The Afterdeath of the Markovian religion is filled with such cozy locales, such as the Coward's Road (paved with the corpses of cowards), the Halls of Bleeding, the Bone Cathedral, The Blood and Thunder Dome, the Circus of Death and Crimson Sea ("Crimson" because of all the blood).
  • Non-Indicative Title: The Coward's Road, which leads to the Palace of the After-Death in the Markovian religion, is not a road for cowards. It's a road of cowards. It's paved with their corpses.
  • Noob: Darby, who shows up with no dice, no character sheet and no idea how to play D&D. All to the extreme frustration of the very competitive Titans. He even confuses a nat 1 for a positive outcome.
  • Odd Name Out: The most renowned groups in Encounters is are (not in order): Dungeon Dogs, Table Titans, Critical Chix, Game Knights... and Melvin's group.
  • Oh, Crap!: The evil henchman in the Red Widow's brig, who realizes too late that the party rogue filched the keys from him.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Freeporters, revolutionaries who ripped Alewood from the hands of the Company. What little we see of it shows company workers executed in their homes and soldiers killed after surrendering.
  • Seattle: Like PvP, the setting for the "Real Life" sections of the comic.note 
  • Shared Universe: The Table Titans campaign takes place in the Forgotten Realms setting generally but more specifically it takes place in the same instance of it as Acquisitions Incorporated (Val's character Valeria Bronzebottom is explicitly noted to be the niece of Binwin Bronzebottom.)
  • Schmuck Bait: Corvus certainly seems to think so. What else could a mysterious clearing be? Other than a clearing, we mean.
  • Shout-Out: The Markovian's description of the Afterdeath references Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and seems influenced by Khorne's whole blood and skulls-schtick.
    • On season 2 page 7, we get a look at the Overgod Ao... Who looks exactly like Matthew Mercer.
  • Slasher Smile: When Brendan has his "You're All Going to Die" face on:
    Brendan: We are going to have so much fun next session!
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Lilith's character is named Lilyth.
  • Projectile Spell: Azhorn's ghost(?) casts Magic Missile. While Wurzel falls victim to it, Draziw uses what seems like a Shield spell to defend himself.
  • The Team: While the different roles vary greatly between adventures, this is in effect most of the time.
  • Thieves' Guild: The League of Rats in the Fallen Veil setting has a presence in every major city, and each chapter is ruled by a Rat King. They try to stick together like a family, and murder within the League is punished. If anyone finds out, at least.
  • Time Skip: Quite a long one between seasons 1 and 2. Draziw has grown a beard, most of the party have gone their separate ways, with the exception of Draziw and Lefleur, the blink dog is nowhere to be seen, and they have befriended the ranger Arroc and the dwarf Valeria.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The mob that the Titans encounter in Haverford. It almost lynches the whole party, thinking they're responsible for the recent unpleasantness.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Andrew's character, the halfling thief LaFluer, is prone to these.
    Was the tumble really necessary? You ran like, three feet.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The dwarves of Felbarr react with proper awe to their god Dumathoin appearing in their midst, but don't really have much to say about his Chosen One, Valeria. Justified, since Chosen of the Gods is not that big of a deal in Faerûn.
  • Warrior Heaven: The Markovians believe in something they call the Afterdeath, where warriors relive their grandest battles for eternity with both the people they killed and the people they got killed by. The Afterdeath also includes landmarks like the Palace of Skulls, the Red Sea (red because all the blood), and the Coward's Road (named for the cowards it's cobbled with).
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The Markovian.


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