A young elven wizard, after being recruited by his nation to assist in mapping their home continent, is pulled into a mess of political intrigue and thrilling chases after he impersonates a member of royalty. Our hero, James Woodrock, is pitted against the evil dragonborn Verzavt as they fight over the almighty Skull Keys, capable of unlocking great power. Joining James on his quest are the stoic cleric Jane, the unstable dwarven berserker Techy, the intolerable human bard Ray, the quiet troll rogue, Krinn, the morally ambiguous Deblin, and the vampire slave Douglas. They venture forth into unknown lands, protecting the skull known as Murray whilst attempting to discern the secrets that Murray and his kin protect.
But then the fanbase happens. James is a Cloudcuckoolander of the finest kind, with Refuge In Funny branded on some part of his brain. He may have a high intelligence in-universe, but his actions hardly reflect that. Perhaps his epic quest would be more convincing if he didn't have a Hammerspace pencil and a tendency to make shadow puppets on CLOUDS. And then they come into the real world, with live actors and 100% more ridiculousness.
What Do You Do is a comic that has a rather simple premise: mix Dungeons & Dragons with MS Paint Adventures. Several panels (2) are posted every day, with the actions of James (the main character) decided by the fans. It has developed a rather dedicated (if relatively small) fan base, and its characters have been used (although In Name Only for the most part) in two indie flash games: Turn Based Battle! and Defend Your Honor, the former an RPG parody and the second a serious tower-defense type game.
Turn Based Battle! and Defend Your Honor can be found on the Armor Games website.
As of February 16, 2013 the site has gone down. The comic was partially rehosted here.
This work provides examples of:
- All Trolls Are Different: Trolls are a human-sized sentient race of standard intelligence, a banished race of aquatics living in the damp land-bound swamps, and are no more prone to violence than most other races.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different:
- For the latter part of Chapter 2, control switched over to Krinn.
- Shortly after the beginning of Chapter 5, control switched over to a brand new character, Dark Elf Nathan Ferris.
- Anyone Can Die: First Jane the Cleric, then James Woodrock. They got better, though.
- Art Evolution: Compare the very first appearance of James to the most recent frame.
- Cast Calculus: The band has gone through many different permutations, with guest members popping in and out.
- The original team
- When Ray gets his memory back, James and Deblin secede:
- Red Oni: James
- Blue Oni: Deblin
- Meanwhile, the other four form a Four-Temperament Ensemble:
- Sanguine: Krinn
- Choleric: Ray
- Melancholic: Jane
- Phlegmatic: Techy
- Quadratic: Penny
- Then from Chapter 3 onward...
- Chekhov's Gag: It is now possible to conjure yourself bouncy.
- Remember how the King of Pop was said to be born 400 year after James left? Fast forward 400 years, and he becomes a party member.
- The Chosen One:
- "The One - The entity that has been granted divine favor for the current generation. The One excels in all fields covered by his class and sublclass, only one One can exist on the mortal plane at a time. Once a One dies a new one is born within a month. The One can only be born in a noble family, and truly unlocks his potential after extensive training. Long ago The One of the current generation was discovered by summoning all pregnant noble women to a seer and letting him mark the one carrying The One, but after The One from 761 A.E. caused thousands of gold coins in damage and took hundreds of lives in a blind rage all the races agreed to not try to find the current One unless the situation deemed it neccesary. Since then The One has been sought out only twice. The first time 1116 A.E., when The One was the dwarf Beidel Limesworth and the second in 1378 A.E. when The One was an eladrin. All other Ones have lived their lives unaware of their true selves.
- See also: James Woodrock.
- And after that: Trenton, Krinn's son.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Gloria.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Moments of lucidity are far and few in between for James.
- Five-Token Band: Justified in that they were originally ambassadors from different races. Well, except James and
- Gamebooks: At its most perverse yet entertaining extreme.
- Informed Attribute: James and his high INT stat. Granted it also affects how powerful his magic is, which does in fact get stronger over the course of the story, but it seems be of no help in the way of common sense, attention span, or general sanity.
- Kill It with Fire: Incinerate, Incinerate, Incinerate!!
- The Load: Ray, at first. Over the course of the series, he's managed to grow in usefulness quite quickly.
- Mind Screw: Apparently this whole story is the flashback of Techy as an old man.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: So it turns out that Ray was a king who was under a memory-erasing spell to keep him incognito.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Trey*Dar, revealed to be this not too long after his introduction.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: JOHN, the evil brother to James the Mage!
- Rule of Cool: One of the primary points of the comic, besides the...
- Running Gag:
- Serious Business: Some people have a habit of taking the comic a bit more seriously than others. Parodied here.
- Shout-Out: Zork, The Legend Of Zelda, Michael Jackson, and many others.
- Spoony Bard: Ray.
- Unsound Effect: Comic 1258 gives us "The Sound Effect Of Being Impaled".
- Wham Episode: Wait, did James just die?
- As was the page where it was revealed that James was pregnant with Techy's 4th daughter