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Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes is a webcomic written, penciled, and colored by Tarol Hunt, nicknamed Thunt, following the adventures of a band of, well, goblins, as they fight off evil adventurers. It's a role reversal of the typical adventure RPG Dungeons and Dragons, though familiarity with the game isn't required to understand what's happening.
The main story follows five members of a cannon-fodder goblin tribe (Thaco, Chief, Big-Ears, Complains-of-Names, and Fumbles) who decide to stop being cannon fodder and become Player Characters. A side plot follows a sixth goblin (Dies-Horribly) who goes on a solo adventure arc quite against his will. It features detailed world-building (including quite a few whole-cloth, background creatures with detailed biologies) and characterization, particularly of the villains. One of the goblin characters, Big-Ears, is a rare instance of a truly gentle, heroic and noble paladin, while the paladin status of the most opaque and brutal villain, Kore, thus far is one of the most foreboding mysteries.
The comic doesn't give its characters very long to get used to their newfound abilities as heroes. Goblins thrusts its main characters in over their heads almost immediately, locks them into a course of action they can't possibly handle, and then calls into play a series of oddities, Deus Ex Machina, coincidences, character-driven actions, more Deus Ex Machina, and Chekhov's Guns that collectively get the heroes into a position where they might possibly be able to escape their impossible predicament. Because it didn't seem like they'd get into this much danger this quickly, the story instantly became edge-of-your-seat reading.
The comic is also known for its twice-weekly (usually) update schedule, juggling three plots at the same time, spending literally months on mook battles, and skipping comic updates to advertise products.
The site also hosts a sub-comic, Tempts Fate, about a lone goblin adventurer facing various dangers each comic. This part is Thunt's donation scheme and thus, people would have to stop supporting Thunt's artistic endeavors to kill Tempts Fate off. So far, he's survived every death trap.
Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes provides examples of:
- Absolute Cleavage: This alternate Kin.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Well, it is an RPG world, but a sewer with sculptures in it is pushing things a bit....
- Achievements in Ignorance:
- Drowbabe misunderstands the purpose of the Mage Armor spell, thinking it lessens the damage she takes (when it actually makes it easier to dodge incoming blows). When Ears points out how the spell works, she realises she should have taken more damage earlier in the battle, and promptly dies.
- Minmax's oblivion sword is only able to exist because his mind can't fathom the concept of oblivion. In fact, Kin theorises that his ignorance might make the weapon more powerful. Minmax, naturally, immediately names the sword "Oblivious".
- Advancing Boss of Doom: Kore
- Advancing Wall of Doom: A wall full of spikes makes one of the Maze of Many's rooms a Timed Mission.
- Alternate Universe: The Maze of Many allows multiple versions of Kin, Minmax and Forgath to exist in the same place at once. There's a list of realities here.
- Always a Bigger Fish: "The bigger creatures always kill the smaller creatures, it's just the nature of the world!"
- Always Chaotic Evil
- Seemingly a Deconstruction of the trope. The Goblins and such are portrayed as creatures who are just trying to survive in a world where they are seen as mere XP Fodder.
- It's also Justified in the case of the Elite Guard: In one scene Thaco compares the Elite Guards' motivations to those of the standard city guard, and for the rest of the comic, it's okay to assume that the Elite Guards are Always Lawful Evil. Ears the Paladin confirms this with his Detect Evil ability.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The goblins have a wide range of skin colors, including various shades of green, yellow, orange, brown... and the Viper clan goblins are all chalk-white. Hilariously lampshaded in this comic:
Saves-a-Fox: Okay, now try a skin coloured one.
Grem: You mean a white one?
K'seliss: She means a green one.
Saves-a-Fox: I mean an orange one!
- And I Must Scream: If what we see will be infinitely repeated, this orc and anyone the guardian demon owns. (Even Dies.) Cruel and Unusual Death indeed.
- Fortunately, the souls the demon owns were apparently released when she was banished from the Material Plane.
- Angrish: A mild case of it, in terms of speechless anger, when Chief has just prayed to his god that there'd be no guards around the corner; this is his reaction.
- Annoying Arrows: Played completely straight at the beginning of the comic. Later averted with crossbows, though, and Dellyn's arrows.
Chief: Fumbles, I want you to seriously work on your aim, OK?
Goblin: (pincushioned by 5 arrows) Yes. Please do.
Fumbles: Look, I said I was sorry.
- Anti-Human Alliance
- Anyone Can Die: No-one is safe from this.
- Not even Chief.
- Nor is K'seliss.
- Nor is Dies-Horribly, apparently. Surprising? Though it was subverted immediately afterwards.
- Arc Words
- "That's clever", at least in the early episodes.
- "When the serpent becomes your prey, friends will become enemies, and love will fuel hate." Also said by the talking wall of Brassmoon here. Foreshadowing?
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?
- Arrow Catch: Thaco in this comic. Not surprising considering he's a monk, and foreshadowed earlier.
- Art Evolution: Thunt's style and technique have both improved significantly over the course of the comic's lifetime, most recently adding shading to the strip. The difference is so stark that the first page of the archive, rather than being the first strip of the comic, is a page showing just how much the art has changed over time.
- Artifact of Doom
- The Axe of Prissan, which imprisons a demon of near godlike power. If the Axe goes 13 months in the hands of an evildoer, it will break free.
- To a lesser extent, the Shield of Wonder. A localized example, but not a small one for those near it.
- Artificial Limbs
- Dies-Horribly's arm.
- Possibly Dellyn Goblinslayer's as well.
- An alternate Minmax also possesses crystalline arms that may fit this.
- Artistic Licence Economics: In-universe example, lampshaded here.
- Ass Shove: Weaponized against a demon, and it looks very, very painful.
- As You Know: Psion Minmax feels the need to tell his version of Kin that he's killed her 817 times, and that she remembers them all, along with some other exposition that she really should know by now.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!
- Goblinslayer just before he dies.
- Complains is officially pissed at Kore.
- Attack! Attack! Retreat! Retreat!
- Goblinslayer again.
- Shortly afterward, Kin.
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Minmax
- Automatic Crossbows: Kore fights with two of these.
- K'seliss. If you need any proof, try this. Not to mention how he dies.
- Thaco (of the grandpa variety), definitely. And Complains, while fighting.
- Say what you will about Kore, but he is badass.
- Same goes for Goblinslayer, to a lesser extent.
- Duv. Fox. Grem seems to be heading in this direction. Maybe. Even temporarily, this is a living body horror.
- The doomed ogre, once free, proved quite competent at asskicking.
- Dies-Horribly when under the control of his artificial arm.
Demon:: I'm going to rip you apart!
Dies-Horribly: You've already done that. It didn't work.
- Badass Beard
- He may be a murdering psychopath, but Kore has a nice beard.
- And K'seliss's spiky dewlap creates the impression of reptilian Perma Stubble.
- Badass Boast
- Hilariously subverted by Dies-Horribly, here:
Grem: I am a goblin prince. I know when to fight.
Dies-Horribly: I AM A COWARD! I KNOW WHEN TO RUN! Come on!
- See Dies' line in Badass.
- Badass Long Hair: Grem. Though less a badass and more an abomination, Mr. Fingers here.
- Badass Mustache: Fumbles, or rather Señor Vorpal Kickass'o, tries to invoke this trope with his fake mustache.
- Bad End: Our group narrowly avoids the end an equivalent group gets.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Defied. Forgath believes in this, but Kin tells him rather bluntly that, throughout the multiverse as a whole, Evil is winning.
- Baleful Polymorph: A good reason not to use the random-effect magic shield Complains picks up. Alternately, a good reason TO use it if utterly and hopelessly outnumbered.
- Barbarian Hero: Minmax was already fitting the trope when a pure fighter (by D&D rules). As of this comic, he has officially taken his first level of barbarian. (With the "extra rage" feat, as befitting of a good minmaxer.)
Minmax: The strength bonus from raging is totally awesome!
- Bar Brawl: Minmax vs. Goblinslayer.
- Batman Gambit: Lampshaded. When Thaco challenges Dellyn to a duel, both of them know that Thaco has some sort of trap planned. Nonetheless, Dellyn accepts when Thaco points out that the only alternative is for Dellyn to order his soldiers to kill Thaco, and bear the reputation of not being able to kill a single old, frail goblin.
- Battle Aura: Called Individual Magical Effect (I.M.E.) in-story.
- Battle Cry:
- Battle in the Rain: The first fight between the goblin warcamp and the adventurers.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Part of the backstory for minor character Sticks involves him bluffing a Brassmoon guard into thinking he's not an orc, but a soldier who's been polymorphed into an orc to infiltrate an army of orcs who are besieging the city.
- Bearer of Bad News: Kin, explaning about the Maze of Many's counter. She really, really would rather NOT be doing so.
- Because Destiny Says So: Many goblins with names that aren't the case already will be happening. For example, the goblin named "Dies-Horribly".
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The trainer who "trained" Fluffles tried to invoke this trope by sending the owlbear at his enemies. He failed.
- Berserker Tears
- Kin, as she kills Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- Complains after Chief's death. He starts drawing upon his Super-Powered Evil Side, getting ready to fight Kore.
- Best Served Cold:
Thaco: You are not my nemesis.
- Betty and Veronica: Gender-flipped by Dies-Horribly and Grem.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Bifurcated Weapon: Thaco's Cane-swords.
- Big Bad: Multiple of these, one for both of the major plot arcs, and another even bigger bad who seems likely to be a part of the comic's culmination.
- Big Damn Heroes: This happens a few times.
- One example is when Ears comes back to save the other goblins from the plant-possessed orcs.
- Big No: Big-Ears when he finds out that Chief is dead.
- Bilingual Bonus: After the initial three Driz'zt-clones get killed off, one of their players re-rolls a Japanese ninja...er, Samurai. The character's name: Baka. Which, in Japanese, is the word for "Fool".
- Bill, Bill, Junk, Bill: Minmax trying to judge the charisma scores of the ladies of Brassmoon. Hilarity ensues.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Kin's top half looks human enough, sure, but a discussion with Minmax proves that her insides are definitely different.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: When a goblin is enraged, his pupils dilate, making his eyes completely black.
- Blessed with Suck: Getting an awesome, new, set of armor from the Shield of Wonder. That grows until it crushes you to death horribly.
- Blue and Orange Morality: K'seliss views fighting, eating, and mating as aspects of the same thing... and therefore believes that fighting anything he can't eat or mate with is sickeningly perverted, and refuses to do so. He also thinks eating the fingers and limbs of a potential mate is an acceptable display of affection. It's also implied that his entire race is like this, despite the fact that there's no more biological justification for it than there is for humans.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma / Literal Minded: The goblins can have this kind of problems with human expressions. Notably Dies-Horribly in the ad intermission:
Dies-Horribly: How can a book knock clothing off an Amazon? Is it even possible? I mean, they hardly wear anything to begin with.
- Body Horror: Goblins is not for the faint-hearted.
- One of the Shield of Wonder's favorite tricks is to inflict horrific transformations on those who strike it (or anyone around them). An unlucky accident causes it to try to transform Complains into a demon. It partially succeeds before Big-Ears stops the effect. Complains now has scales, clawed fingers and fangs.
- For the sake of preventing this trope, DO NOT TOUCH MR. FINGERS!!! No, seriously. Bad idea.
- Though hardly the worst seen, one of the goblins that survives the escape from Brassmoon is a young female whose missing all the skin along her back, leaving her spinal column among other bones fully and completely exposed.
- Brainless Beauty: Drowbabe; Yodette
- Breaking in Old Habits: After Dies-Horribly gets his prosthetic hand.
- Break the Cutie
- Fumbles. Poor, poor Fumbles.
- Saves-a-Fox, when Dies reveals she may have been a slave to fate all along. Unfortunately, she hasn't recovered yet.
- Off-panel (and partly before the story begins), but Kin was regularly tortured and raped to the point where she has a phobia of human contact.
- Brick Joke:
- In March 2010, we discover that Minmax has Improved Unarmed Strike as a result of trading in his ability to rhyme on purpose. In July 2011, Forgath tricks him into reciting "I'm a Little Teapot", and sure enough, he can't even get the rhymes right.
- A joke where the punchline comes seven years later: Summon Badger!
- Bring It
Forgath: Okay then... Who dies first?
- This exchange.
Minmax: Bring it on!
Forgath: No! Don't bring it on! Bring nothing on!
- Here. To Mr. Fingers.
K'Seliss: Well?! What are you waiting for?! Come at me and let's see which one of us is doing the eating!
- Broken Pedestal: Minmax discovering his idol's Complete Monster tendencies (and the result). Go Minmax.
- Brown Note: Since even the (fracking huge) weapon of a god's underling is powerful enough to fry anyone who touches the blade and maintain an energy portal leading to a magical dungeon, it's probably not that surprising when Kin mentions that seeing the weapon of an actual god would probably kill whoever was dumb enough to look.
- But for Me It Was Tuesday: Invoked. After their duel has finished, Thaco tells Dellyn that he intends to remember the fight as a 'random encounter' and that it will definitely not become the subject of goblin legend.
- Buxom Is Better: Drowbabe and her replacement character. Lampshaded by Minmax to likely be the product of some lonely teenager who barely knows what women are like. Since Yodette isn't (literally and deliberately) falling out of her top, it's possible that Drowbabe's player is learning -- a little. Maybe.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: A favourite effect of Thunt's, used to great effect throughout.
- Call Back
- Minmax's rendition of I'm a little teapot seems a little off... until you remember that he traded away his ability to rhyme on purpose.
- Summon Monster I is useless and much later "It's a level one spell, give me a break."
- Not-Walter refers to Minmax as "bald turd". So does Alt Not-Walter to Alt Minmax.
- Calling Your Attacks: Calling your spells is not only done, but apparently required, since Kore is unable to Lay Hands on himself when his voice is impeded by the rope fused to his throat.
- Captain Obvious
- Forgath's helmet. It is a helmet, you see.
- Also, Dellyn:
Dellyn: What's the matter, Thaco? You didn't think that I'd spot your trap? Didn't think I'd see it coming?
Thaco: Sigh. Of course it's a trap, you moron. Stop congratulating yourself for noticing the obvious.
- Chief announces stabbing himself in the eye by screaming, "Aaaah! I stabbed myself in the freakin' eye!"
- Cassandra Truth: See Don't Touch It, You Idiot!.
- Catapult Nightmare: Kin has those. Not surprising considering the likely nature of her dreams.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Initially the comic was mostly about making jokes based on various D&D tropes and conventions, and had absolutely No Fourth Wall, with the adventurers explicitly being characters in someone's role-playing game. Quite soon it grew way more serious in tone and began developing the fourth wall, although various D&D mechanics are occasionally referenced by characters. Three of the five original player characters haven't been seen since.
- Challenging the Chief: How The Goblinslayer got his job as captain of the town guard.
- Character Development: After reading through the first couple arcs and noting how much of a supreme prick Minmax is, you totally wouldn't expect him to pull this later on.
- Character Level
- Chekhov's Gun
- The random-effect magical shield.
- The Anymug.
- On a darker note, although the issue was never raised until recently, there was an obvious clue that Dellyn Goblinslayer regularly rapes Kin way back on this page -- Dellyn's bed in his room has shackles attached to it.
- The Talking Wall of Brassmoon shows up in the background during one of the battles. It seems to have never appeared before this and claims to have been created during a really long story arc. Word of God says it's a mundane wall that got transformed into the talking wall by the Shield of Wonder.
- Minmax's belt buckle, after being thrown through the magical hole in the wall of the Dungeon of Many, turns into a giant rock disc that crushes the alternate versions of Minmax and Forgath.
- Chekhov's Skill: Deflecting arrows. Or catching them.
- Cold-Blooded Torture
- Contractual Genre Blindness
- Sacred goblin tradition requires them to keep their few magic weapons in The Poorly Locked Chest in the middle of camp, rather than use them in battle. Complain-of-Names is Genre Savvy enough to use the weapon and gets banished because of it.
- Minmax and Dellyn Goblinslayer have both complained about the main characters subverting this trope. On this page, Dellyn even calls Thaco's classing into a PC class the most perverted thing that he's ever heard of.
- Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded here.
- Convenient Color Change: Weapon auras depend on the wielder.
- Cool Old Guy: Thaco
- Coup De Grace: A semi-common way to kill. Also how Dellyn dies.
- Covers Always Lie:
Minmax: A lot of them look really evil.
Kin: The multiverse is predominantly evil.
Forgath: What? I was always taught that good and evil were balanced.
Kin: Nope. Evil is winning.
- Special mention goes to Reality #37, where not being evil is punishable by death. That universe's Forgath, Kin, and Minmax aren't evil.
- Another universe being shown features goblins as an Always Chaotic Evil race that tend to kill most of the adventurers they come across.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Minmax is a god when it comes to fighting. He can't willfully blink, read, rhyme on purpose, think hard, or understand complex concepts. Most of these weaknesses he got in order to get more combat prowess and bonuses.
- Cross Player: Forgath. Probably Drowbabe as well.
- Cruel and Unusual Death
- Quite a few of the deaths in the big Brassmoon fight. A few especially nasty ones are the guard who excrutiatingly turns into a bunch of snakes, the guard who is turning into an ogre, only to be cut down by his captain, and that captain, who gets the honor of having his armor grow until it crushes him.
- And... later... Chief. See Cold-Blooded Torture.
- And now, K'Seliss. The thought that he is still alive in Panel 8 is not a pleasant one.
- Anyone the Orb of Bloodlight's guardian demon owns. Including Dies. The death happens fast and keeps happening. Forever. Or at least until the Demon gets caught in the terms of it's own deal.
- Cruel Mercy: Thaco leaves Goblinslayer alive, with the knowledge that the latter was completely and utterly destroyed by Thaco.
- Curse Cut Short
- Cursed with Awesome: A possessor of a Ring of Undeath is unappealing at best, but is granted quite a few highly-useful bonuses.
- Cute Monster Girl
- Kin the yuan-ti
- Yala the kobold
- Cute Mute: Yala
- Cutting the Knot
- Dance Battler: Duv's attacks and dodges resemble dancing as much as they do combat moves.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Several characters both heroic and otherwise display this trait.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Basically every good protagonist (save for Minmax and Forgath), but Thaco's is Up to Eleven.
- Deal with the Devil
- Mryorg the Ogre, who features in the backstory of the Axe of Prissan, has a demon carve a rune into this chest for this purpose.
- Mr Fingers was created when a farmer begged a devil to cure his son of nightmares; the devil successfully extracted the source of the nightmares from the kid's mind, but let them loose upon the world instead of destroying them.
- Discussed by the demon who inhabits the Well of Darkness. Demons need souls for nourishment, but most of them aren't powerful enough to take souls by force and can only claim souls given willingly; which is why the phrase 'Deal with the Devil' has passed into common usage on the mortal plane. Dies makes one, but since his metallic arm effectively gives him two souls, the demon gets dragged to hell for breaking the deal.
- Dear Negative Reader: Thunt uses The Rant occasionally to level countercriticism at reader complaints about his houseruled D&D mechanics. Most notable here.
- Death by Looking Up
- Death or Glory Attack: Complains attacking Kore head-on.
- Delayed Causality: The White Terror's razor-sharp blades.
- Delayed Reaction: Minmax realizing how much damage a fall would cause.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Every flashback since the comic started to be colored is in grayscale.
- Destination Defenestration: Minmax to Goblinslayer.
- Deus Ex Machina
- Every major plot arc so far gets resolved through randomness that just happens to save the hapless protagonists. Some of the situations they get into are so bad that these don't get them out of hot water entirely, though...
- The Shield of Wonder spams Ex Machinas of both the Deus Ex Machina and Diabolus Ex Machina variety every time it blocks a strike.
- Didn't Think This Through: "Sonova crap."
- Disability Superpower
- Dies' arm is both a Morph Weapon and an Empathic Weapon.
- Similarly, Goblinslayer's tree half can do some major damage and produce its own wooden weapons.
- One of the alternate parties in the Maze of Many has a Forgath with a staff that allows him to wear unlimited magic rings, but he needs to sacrifice a still bleeding finger to gain this ability. He also parties with a mute Minmax that gave up the ability to speak for a +6 to hit.
- Disaster Dominoes
- Fumbles is a master at this.
Forgath: I just wanna know what kind of fumble chart he's using so I can avoid it.
- The Shield of Wonder keeps getting hit, causing bad situations to get even worse.
- Disney Villain Death: A previous owner of the Axe of Prissan tried to kill Kore this way. Obviously, it didn't work.
- Distracting Disambiguation: Minmax versus the demons.
- Divide by Zero: Psimax seems to be attempting something like this as of this strip. He seems to think that the rules of the pocket dimension they are in will allow it, as opposed to the universe at large.
- Does Not Like Shoes: The goblins are barefoot for most of the comic, with a few exceptions.
- The Dog Bites Back
- Fluffles the Owlbear, instead of attacking the goblin group, savages his "master".
- Kin the yuan-ti giving the Coup de Grâce to Dellyn, after Forgath let go of her magical leash in the fight.
- The orc in the Well of Darkness, having spent the past 600 years being tortured by demons, uses his first moment of freedom to decapitate one of his captors.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Mocked with the "Doom" spell.
Forgath: Ya, but with a name like "Doom" I was expecting something grander. [...]
Young-and-Beautiful: Well, "Very Annoying" doesn't really roll off the tongue as a spell title.
Alternate-Universe-Complains-of-Names: Wait, this isn't a brick, it's a book.
Alternate-Universe-Fumbles: "Sequel to The Name of The Wind". Hey Dies, isn't that the book you're... um... wearing?
- Dope Slap: Fumbles earns himself a double-whammie.
- The Dragon: Saral Caine; Riss. One has already been... dealt with.
- The Drizzt-ripoff drow (two scimitars, par for the course);
- Thaco (two sword-canes);
- Dellyn (a wooden sword and sickle);
- Kore (two crossbows at long-range and two axes in melee);
- Borrl the hobgoblin chief (two longswords);
- Duv (two razor-sharp steel shards).
- Dumb Muscle
- Minmax, who (as befitting his name) has min/maxed himself to have ridiculous combat stats but cannot even read (he gave up literacy for a bonus). With the extremes he takes this to, it may count as a Disability Superpower.
- Hobgoblins, as seen in Sarcasm Blind, though Averted by the hobgoblin met during the Brassmoon arc. It is pointed out that while hobgoblins are usually keen strategists, the Chorgrak tribe that attacked the Viper clan was known for its... lack of subtlety.
- Dungeon Bypass
- Dying Moment of Awesome: K'seliss taking out Mr. Fingers.
K'seliss: I... told ya. I... do... the eating.
- Ears as Hair: Big-Ears usually ties his namesake ears back in combat situations.
- Eldritch Abomination: Mr. Fingers, the lesser finger horror.
- Emotion Eater: Demons can feed on negative emotions and suffering. The stronger the suffering, the better the meal.
- Empathic Weapon
- Dies' artificial arm.
- The Axe of Prissan and the armor it makes.
- Empathy Doll Shot: Inverted (cruelly) with the doll Fumbles tries to return to the elf girl Aldyria in Brassmoon.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dellyn may be a sadistic psychopath who enjoys torture, rape, and murder, but he genuinely weeps when he is shown Saral Caine's dead body.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Minmax may be a powergamer, a jerk, and have all the mental prowess of a brick, but bragging about raping female monsters in front of him may just get you thrown through a window. Even if you're Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: There is an undead equivalent party in the Maze of Many.
Forgath: That seems like the most obvious, clichéd...
- Evil Hand: Odd non-evil example. The living-metal replacement arm Klik gave Dies-Horribly. When he gets scared, the arm grows blades and spikes to defend him. Unfortunately, the (many) situations in which he gets scared tend to go downhill fast if you start brandishing spiky things (and when it goes south he gets even more scared, and the arm gets spikier, and...). Although Dies's hand can also form non-violent images.
Whether or not it still can be called "non-evil" is debatable after this incident. Perhaps this is why what Klik did is considered forbidden by his species....
- Evil Twin: The majority of the alternate versions of Minmax, Forgath and Kin in the Maze of Many.
Minmax: A lot of them look really evil.
Kin: The multiverse is predominantly evil.
- Evil Weapon: Inverted with the Axe of Prissan. It's a container for an archdemon capable of destroying the world, but is itself a good-aligned Empathic Weapon that will only give its full power to a Paladin, and refuses to harm one.
- Exact Words
Saves-a-Fox: Go ahead, touch anything. I won't care.
(K'seliss gooses her)
- The Demoness in the Well of Darkness says that she's the guardian of the Blue Orb of Bloodlight, and offers a trade of 'one soul for one orb.' When Dies-Horribly offers her his soul, she gives away... an orb of ordinary blue stone. Leads to a Karmic Death when it turns out that Dies has two souls (presumably the second one is in his arm), which goes against the very Exact Words contract that the Demoness was manipulating, causing her to be banished into the deepest plane of hell which even demons themselves fear.
- Extreme Omnivore: K'seliss, as well as Eats-Anything.
- Eye Scream
- The Faceless: Kore, whose helmet only reveals one eye and some beard.
- Face Palm: Plenty often.
- Face Death with Dignity: Dies
- Facial Horror: This Forgath.
- Facing the Bullets One-Liner: K'seliss
K'seliss: I... told ya... I... do... the... eating.
- Failure Knight: Chief feels a large amount of guilt over his clan's fall from glory.
- Fan Disservice: Those goblins need more women.
- Also, a corrupted opportunity for fanservice.
- Fanservice Extra
- Alternate Kin. Wearing tight fitting corset which gives her an Impossibly Low Neckline, we can even see the start of a humanoid rear before it goes down to her snake tail. And unlike Kin, she also feels the need to wear a loincloth covering her front...
- The other alternate Kin in Absolute Cleavage, with small bit of Les Yay.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Psion Minmax
- Fashionable Asymmetry
- The White Terror
- Besides her Peek-a-Bangs, Saves-a-Fox's pants only cover one leg.
- Fastball Special: This trope feature prominently in the backstory of Boulder the Ogre.
- Fate Worse Than Death
- For Dellyn Goblinslayer -- ignominy.
- Kin the yuan-ti begs for death upon being recaptured by the guards.
- There's a group of demons living in the Well of Darkness, who have enslaved an orc and continually resurrect and kill him in order to nourish themselves on his suffering. He's been resurrected and killed once every few hours for the last 600 years.
- There is a circle of hell reserved for anyone foolish enough to attempt to break a Deal with the Devil so bad that even demons fear its torture. Since Dies has a second soul in his arm, the Demoness is sent there after trading "One soul for one orb."
- Five-Man Band
- The GAP (Goblin Adventuring Party):
- In the Well of Darkness:
- Fluffy the Terrible: Fluffles the Owlbear, Biscuit the Orc warrior
- Foil: There are a few pairs:
- Thaco & Dellyn
- Minmax & Dellyn
- Big-Ears & Saral Caine
- Forgath & Kore
- Follow the Leader: Goblins has spawned fan webcomics, notably the adventures of the Scroll Readers Goblin Tribe.
- Early in the series, Young-and-Beautiful the goblin fortune teller predicts that Forgath will die in battle with another dwarf. "When the serpent becomes your prey, friends will become enemies and love will fuel hate." Now consider that he and Minmax have befriended Kin the yuan-ti and Kore kills anyone who even associates with the monstrous races...
- "I'd want you to leave me and escape."
- When we see the alternate parties in the Maze of Many, one window has an alternate Minmax standing alone. The next comic shows why. It isn't pretty.
- Forest Ranger: The Goblinslayer was presumably this (ranger class, bow and sword, half-tree), but moved into Brassmoon when it was a more direct path to what he really craved -- the power to rule over his little fief of sadism.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The goblins, and about every non-human races (including elves and dwarves -- though not the demons). Reptiles (like kobolds, yuan-ti or lizardfolks) tends to have three-fingered hands. All of them (well, those with legs anyway) also have three-toed feet.
- Game Master: One of the Player Characters encountered early on is a Cleric of the Dungeon Master, Herbert.
- Genius Bruiser: K'seliss. His dispatch of Noe (detailed above under Cutting the Knot) proved his raw intelligence, but here he displays surprising insight by correctly -- and offhandedly -- analyzing the Dies/Grem/Fox Love Triangle.
- Genre Savvy
- Giant Spider: Not shown, but Dellyn tells an anecdote about him and Saral fighting a spider the size of a horse.
- GIRL: Played straight with Drowbabe and her replacement, Yodette. Inverted with Forgath.
- Giver of Lame Names
- The ironically-named fortune teller Young-and-Beautiful. Most of these are played for comedy, but Dies-Horribly's name has basically ruined his entire life.
- The naming ritual is apparently a sacred rite that cannot be interrupted or redone. This results in names like "Piss Off I Have A Headache" (Hava to his friends).
Hava: There's a goblin in my clan called "Stop The Ceremony I swallowed A Bug". Yeah, our teller really sucks at naming ceremonies.
- Glass Cannon: Acording to his posted stats, Mr. Fingers has an extremely low hit point total for a creature his size. This does nothing to make him less terrifying.
- Good Powers, Bad People: Kore heals Chief. He does this in order to make him scream and impede the escape of the rest of his party.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings:
- Duv has a single white angel wing that marks her out as the savior of all goblinkind (she used to have two, but one was burned off in a fire). Then again, Light Is Not Good...
- Kore's I.M.E. creates a a pair of Angel wings... made from chains and severed heads.
- Gorn: This comic is notable for its almost savage aversion of the Gory Discretion Shot, most significantly during the Battle of Brassmoon City, and Kore's Cold-Blooded Torture of Chief.
- Gotta Kill Them All: Kore with "evil" creatures. Also see Omnicidal Maniac.
- Groin Attack
Minmax: Shut up, I'm making a Fortitude save to not puke.
- And, later, Dies-Horribly to the demon trying to kill him.
- Groundhog Day Loop: The Maze of Many. The characters don't remember each attempt, however, but they get a counter. Which is nearing two million loops for the protagonist party.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted Trope here.
- Half-Human Hybrid
- Readers believe, due to his appearance and the implications on this page that Saral Caine is one. Likely, he's a Stonechild: Somewhere along his family line, the primal element of Earth was fused with one of his ancestors, or him.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer is one as well; from his appearance, he looks like he might be a treant/human hybrid. The yuan-ti Kin declares he was changed into his present state by a wizard. Given the most recent evidence, he might be a Half-Human Hybrid only in the same way a cyborg is -- he looks to be a Half-Golem (a D&D template where an existing creature has golem limbs grafted onto it, kind of a Magitek cyborg).
- Half the Man He Used To Be: The end of one alternative Minmax, saving him from the advancing spike wall.
- Hannibal Lecture: "You've been taking levels as an adventurer, haven't you? That's the most perverted thing I've ever heard of."
- Shut UP, Hannibal: "You're some random human I fought in the early levels of my adventuring career. You're a random encounter."
- Happiness in Slavery: What the White Terror thinks the fellow goblins she enslaved ought to feel as they carry out this "service to their god and all of goblinkind".
- Hates Being Touched
- Hero Antagonist: Despite both parties being good-aligned, Forgrath and Minmax are these, opposite the Goblin party. Minmax's alignment doesn't really become obvious until he beats Dellyn within four hit points of his life for being so damn evil all the time.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Anymug can create any mundane liquid. It later comes in handy when something needs to be set on fire.
- Heroic BSOD
- Thaco tends to get rather twitchy when something reminds him the time he spent imprisoned in Brassmoon. Usually comes with a colorless, blurred flashback.
- Fumbles was driven catatonic by Dellyn's tortures. Even after the party escapes, he's still not out of it. It's a testament to his optimistic and heroic nature that he spends the whole time burying himself in the memory of the first day he fought using his self-styled kickass persona.
- Saves-a-Fox, when Dies reveals that her killing the fox may have actually saved it from a long, painful death.
- Complains-of-Names, after Chief succumbs to his wounds.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- K'seliss of all people does this. Whether or not it was accidental is unclear.
- Dellyn and Saral murdered the last one to have the Axe of Prissan before the current events.
- He's Back: Kickass'o is back to kick some ass.
- "Hey You!" Haymaker:
Big-Ears: It just occurred to me that I'm not comfortable attacking someone from behind.
Orc: HISSSSSSS (spins around)
Big-Ears: Thank you. (axes it in the face)
- Hit Points: Only mentioned when people are close to zero or in the negatives.
- Hoist by His Own Petard
- The guard who "trained" Fluffles.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer was beaten and humiliated by a goblin, and later, coup-de-grâce'd by Kin, who he'd beaten and raped nightly.
- Arguably, the whole of Brassmoon City for allowing the Goblinslayer free rein over their defense against the "evil" races. Apparently, locking up and torturing a whole army of monsters, quite naturally bent on revenge, within the walls of the city wasn't that great an idea.
- In a non-sentient example, the Shield of Wonder is eventually destroyed by one its own random magical effects.
- And the demoness guarding the Bloodlight Orb got Dies to agree to giving her his soul for "the orb", which was NOT the one he thought it was, and in turn, got tricked into taking TWO souls -- Dies' and the piece of Klik, banishing her to a portion of Hell that even demons are afraid of.
- Honor Before Reason
Big-Ears: NEVER tell me to quiet my heart again!
- A House Divided: While our group is working towards eventually being True Companions, the other group could barely get a sentence out without making someone mad.
- Humans Are Bastards: Humans in general are portrayed in one of three ways: outright evil (Dellyn Goblinslayer and the Elite Guard), dumb (Minmax and the three Player Characters), or ignorant and prejudiced (the townsfolk of Brassmoon). Forgath is a decent (dwarf) Player Character, but this is a stretch.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: This page and the one preceding it.
- Hybrid Monster: K'seliss is speculated to be a cross of ogre and lizardfolk.
- Hypocrite: Kore has dedicated himself to destroying all evil, and will even kill young children just because they've been exposed to evil. He doesn't see the contradiction.
- In this strip Dellyn Goblinslayer defines the term legendary by how much your enemies hate you. He prides himself on the fact that the goblins "would sacrifice anything for a chance at [his] throat." He denies any possibility that Thaco could be considered legendary, but at the end of the comic, states that he "would sacrifice anything for a chance at [Thaco's] throat."
- I Call Her "Vera": Minmax creates a sword which is paradoxically made of oblivion, and Kin theorises it draws power from his ignorance. Minmax christens the sword "Oblivious".
- I Drank What: A very distracted Forgath drinks Dragon Lung lantern fuel after the battle with Goblinslayer.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Triggers a Wrong Name Outburst in this scene:
Big-Ears: Well I'm not abandoning my friend! I'm not letting One Eye die!
Big-Ears: I mean... (buries his face in his hands) You know what I mean.
- I'm Melting: What touching Mr. Fingers does to you. More contact speeds it up and spreads it.
- I Know Your True Name: Houseruled in, meaning the pit fiend can be forced to serve any mortal who speaks his true name. Incidently, his true name is definitely not Richard, Francis, Leslie, Winkypoop the slippery monkey, or Walter. (The forum have hence nicknamed him "Not-Walter".) Turns out it's Grinnorarcen. They encounter him again serving an alt-Minmax who's really good at guessing names, and Kin convinces the demon to reveal his name so she can order him to return to Hell, freeing him.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice
- Dellyn Goblinslayer, on a piece of broken pipe.
- This demon.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon
- Chief's spear, when thrown, flies incredibly straight and fast, and splits into several additional, equally deadly spears mid-flight. It also returns to the user's hand once it lands.
Big-Ears: No offense to your short sword, but that is the coolest weapon in the whole damn party.
- Kore's automatic crossbows. They fire several bolts in one go, lock into his tower shield for cover-firing, and automatically reload themselves in seconds from bolt caches hanging from his side.
- Duv's two razor sharp shards. They're short, and they don't even have handles. Watching her fight with them is epic, but how she is able to even hold on to them in battle and not slash her hands open in the process is anyone's guess.
- Minmax's new sword -- Oblivious! The blade is literally nothing, and can't be affected by anything that's not Minmax -- not even time!
- Impossibly Low Neckline: Displayed by one of the alternate Kins in this strip.
- Improbable Weapon User
- Incredibly Lame Pun: That's no moon... groan.
- Info Dump
- One of the overpowered artifacts is introduced out of the blue with a large wall of text. Justified since this information is instantly telepathically communicated to Big-Ears when he takes the axe.
- Duv, the White Terror, is also introduced with epically-sized speech bubbles.
- Informed Ability: It's repeatedly mentioned that Goblinslayer is a high level adventurer, yet the highest-level ability he ever uses is Magic Fang (fourth level?) and he loses in a mostly-straight fight against an enemy of his favored target species. Taking Dellyn's cockiness and need to prove his superiority into consideration, it was likely a combination of bad luck, a Critical Hit, and his lack of decent sight within the battle, not to mention underestimating his opponent. After all, he survived being impaled through the chest and everything from his final fight. Then Kin...
- Insane Troll Logic
- Well, Insane Lizardman Logic with K'seliss...
Saves-a-Fox: So if I had never taken adventurer levels, you'd kill me for taking adventurer levels?
K'seliss: Damn right!
- In Minmax's worldview, monsters are fit only to be killed for XP. He decides to make an exception for Kin... if he can find something normal about her. He can't. At all. She doesn't know her birthday or her father's identity, because of the way yuan-ti mate. He really doesn't want to kill her though, so he gives her a birthday. So she'll have something normal.
- Psimax uses this to prove that one equals zero and make the (artificial, pocket) Universe disappear in a Puff of Logic.
- Instant Armor: The Axe of Prissan comes with a free suit of full plate.
- Insufferable Genius: WizMax. The description of his reality says that if a rogue backstabbed him, he would point out that with his Intelligence, he would have predicted easily that a Rogue would backstab him and therefore covered his back with armor to prepare for it.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence
- K'seliss refuses to fight anything he cannot eat or mate with, considering doing so to be perverted. Bad news when the party runs into some Mecha-Mooks.
- A darker take on this trope is Dellyn's thing.
- Interrogating the Dead: Kore to Young-and-Beautiful.
- Ironic Echo
- "Bleed for me."
- "I'd give anything for a chance at his throat."
- Minmax of all people manages to use an Ironic Echo as an insult during his fight with Dellyn Goblinslayer. "I heard a rumor about those who die complaining about the rules."
- For a much more lighthearted example: "It's not a piece of crap, it's a sophisticated adventuring tool!"
- "I think I lost them." "I call dibs on his gauntlet."
- "I find it astounding how often creatures mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness."
- Ironic Nickname: The ogre who died to give the others a chance had "COWARD" carved into his face.
- Jerkass: Takn might well be the first completely unsympathetic monster character shown so far in the comic.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Duv's son Grem.
- Minmax is shaping up in this direction as well.
- I Think You Broke Him: "Cool, I think you broke Baka."
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
- Karmic Death: See Hoist by His Own Petard, among others.
- The Key Is Behind the Lock: The magical key to the Well of Darkness was actually inside it, with a group of dead adventurers. The Viper clan had to tunnel a Dungeon Bypass to get inside.
- Kid with the Leash: The guardian demoness, once banished, proves to be the only thing keeping her minions from trying to kill Dies and Fox.
- Killed Mid-Sentence
- Killer GM: Herbert, the GM running the entire campaign.
- Kill It with Fire
- Knight of Cerebus: Each time Kore appears, the series gets darker and more serious.
- Knight Templar: Kore, to the extreme. This is a guy who's willing to kill anyone who has had contact with the monster races, even if the contact wasn't voluntary. Specifically, if the encounter may lead to said person (including children...) sympathizing with monsters.
- Knuckle-Cracking: Mr. Fingers is doing this kind of sound with every move. Every freakin' move. Revealed to be because the thing breaks and re-breaks its own bones to move.
- Lampshade Hanging: A lot of this goes on about D&D rules.
- Lean and Mean: Psion Minmax is almost-skeletal thin.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "And that, boys and girls, is how a lady without legs can kick a guy in the gut."
- Leave Him to Me: Dellyn versus Thaco.
- Leave No Survivors
- Leeroy Jenkins
- Light Is Not Good
- Kore, after he demonstrates his Paladin powers.
- Saral Caine's IME is bright white, making him look pretty good or neutral. He's a psychopath's best friend and dragon.
- Like a Badass Out of Hell: After narrowly escaping hell due to his golden arm technically having a separate soul from him, which invalidated a Deal with the Devil for his soul and his soul alone, Dies-Horribly becomes noticeably more competent in combat.
- Literal Cliff Hanger
- A whole hut full of slaves, including Dies-Horribly, Saves-a-Fox and K'seliss, hangs from a cliff during the hobgoblins' attack of the Viper clan.
- Fumbles during the fight against Kore.
- Lizard Folk
- Lizardfolks, like K'seliss.
- Kobolds, like Takn or Yala.
- Loin Cloth
- Much of the men in the Goblin camp at the beginning wore loinclothes. Thaco wore one until he was ordered to put on pants for the groups' sake.
- Also Minmax prior to their visit to Brassmoon City.
Forgarth: You promised me you'd buy pants, Minmax.
- Lovable Coward: Dies-Horribly
- Love Triangle: Dies-Horribly and Grem both seem to be vying for Saves-a-Fox's affections.
- Luke Nounverber: Dellyn Goblinslayer
- The Orb of Bloodlight. Its powers have not been explicitly stated, except that Duv thinks it can regenerate her wing and allow her to take her place as the White Terror and ruler of all goblins.
- The Jade Teapot for Kin & Co. Its power is clearly stated as a form of teleportation aiming at individuals rather than places. Forgath and Minmax plan to use it to find the GAP.
- Made of Iron: As a result of playing D&D Hit Points straight. Important characters can be run through by several spears and swords, but still survive, and injuries rarely have any lasting effect. However, it's worth noting that the author has developed a custom set of critical hit and fumble tables that can indeed result in lasting or permanent injury, incapacitation, and many other things. These are highlighted with Complains' broken arm and during the sewer fight between Thaco and Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- Made of Plasticine: Most low-level characters, due to their low hit points, can die to being breathed on harshly.
- Major Injury Underreaction: K'seliss tries to be this to keep up appearances when his arms start melting off.
- Man Child: Minmax. Sometimes bordering on Psychopathic Manchild.
Forgath: Yer an infant, you know that?
- Masochist's Meal
- Yumyuck moss, though apparently dwarves are usually really drunk when they eat it.
- Lesser finger horrors are a "last meal" sort of deal.
- Meaningful Echo: "I would sacrifice anything for a chance at his throat."
- Meaningful Name
- Pretty much every single goblin of the protagonists' tribe; names are given by the tribe's fortune teller and supposedly prophetic, which isn't much of a comfort for poor Dies-Horribly. (The Viper tribe's fortune teller pointedly doesn't follow this custom, but it still seems common practice among other goblins.)
- Inverted, amusingly enough, by the protagonists' tribe's fortune teller herself: Young-and-Beautiful is an ancient Gonk.
- Non-goblin examples are also not uncommon, such as a player character resembling a Japanese samurai named Baka. Or for a less subtle example, Minmax. Or the hardcore Kore. And Dellyn Goblinslayer.
- And then there's "Duv", who might well be able to bring peace to the goblin tribes...
- Medium Awareness: Intermittently throughout, since the characters are aware of the nature of their universe, and the rules by which it runs.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Maglubiyet evidently buys into this trope, as it's apparently a divine mandate that no females (spellcasters excepted) are allowed in a goblin warcamp. As warcamps are essentially decoys to lure adventurers away from the women and children, this means a lot of goblin males die to deflect danger away from their families. Especially notable as Young-and-Beautiful, the only female in the warcamp, hides whenever adventurers approach.
- Merchandise-Driven: Brilliantly parodied by this filler strip.
- Mercy Kill: Stellar example.
- Mermaid Problem: Alluded to with Dellyn and Kin, but largely handwaved away. Of course, all things considered, that's probably for the best. It works, but involves healing potions. Given who we're dealing with, it might not have to though. Since, in one of the alternate realities, Minmax and Kin have been having near-constant sex since the birthday scene, it's a pretty safe bet there's a less squicky way for that to happen.
- Minion Maracas
- Min-Maxing: Minmax, of course. His player has apparently talked the GM into allowing him to trade various ordinary abilities for extra combat feats.
- Mirror Match: Minmax vs. Minmax.
- Mismatched Eyes: Minmax, after Complains wounded his right eye.
- Miss Exposition: Kin
- Mistaken for Gay: Minmax's favorite way of riling up Forgath.
Forgath: That's it! From the waist down, you're mine!
Minmax: Okay, that is the gayest thing you've ever said.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: Minmax shouts to a girl that she is "13 and hot," by which he means she has a charisma score of 13 and is therefore physically attractive. The people in the crowded city around him unfortunately don't know he's talking about ability scores.
Forgath: Yeah, we're gonna get lynched...
- Monty Haul: Forgath mentions at one point in Brassmoon that they shouldn't expect to find magic items in a blacksmith's shop since "even Herbert isn't THAT Monty Haul." It's clear from some of the other things that they DO find that they're playing a campaign where all the cool stuff they get is going to be necessary later.
- One alternate universe apparently has so many magic rings that Forgath needs a special staff just to use them all.
- Mood Whiplash
- More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: this demon
- Morph Weapon / Shapeshifter Weapon
- Dies-Horribly's metal arm;
- Dellyn Goblinslayer's wooden arm;
- Klik himself.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Mr. Fingers
- Multicolored Hair: Dellyn Goblinslayer
- Munchkin: Minmax is, in all likelihood, a subversion of this -- while his character design is heavily minmaxed, he roleplays the disadvantages he took in exchange for all that combat potential to the hilt.
- Mutual Kill: K'seliss vs. Mr. Fingers.
- My God, What Have I Done?
- Forgath, after the slaughter of the goblin warcamp.
- Fumbles, too, after accidentally injuring an elf girl. That's why he goes to Brassmoon, after all -- despite having been rather explicitly warned that it's the home of the Goblinslayer, and having witnessed Thaco's reaction to the idea of anyone in the party going there.
- Neck Snap
- Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Unintentionally done by Dies-Horribly here.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Mryorg, after almost releasing the demon in the Axe of Prissan intentionally, his quest for the greatest pain lead to him choosing to end his time with the axe and give it to a paladin. He chose the demon's pain in the end.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Psion Minmax
- Nobody Poops: Parodied, subverted, and then inverted in an Enemy Chatter conversation the audience is allowed to listen to.
- Noodle Incident:
Thaco: So there I was, surrounded by penis monkeys...
- No One Gets Left Behind: Mostly played straight.
- Humorously Lampshaded at one point by Complains-of-Names.
Complains: Damn right you're not leaving me behind!
- Then brutally averted with Kin.
- And again here with Chief.
- No OSHA Compliance
- Someone conveniently left a lot of broken rusty pipes sticking out of the water in the sewers.
- The Well of Darkness is much worse.
Grem: Wow. The guys who built this place sure had a thing for long drops.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Averted by Klik. Just because he can fly doesn't mean he can completely stop the momentum of a falling goblin. He later shows that he had learn from the experience, though.
- Not Worth Killing: Dellyn to Thaco, which is a Fate Worse Than Death for the former.
- Obliviously Evil: Kore and his lovely shade of denial.
- Obviously Evil: This Names.
- Off with His Head: The fate of two demons in the Well of Darkness.
- Oh Crap
- Dellyn's reaction when he realizes just what Thaco has been doing during the battle.
- Thaco on this page.
- Any character, especially from one of the Monstrous races, upon the realization that Kore is on his way.
- Also, if a character utters "Sonova crap", it's probably paired with an Oh Crap face.
- "Hi Names. Remember me?" The whole GAP.
- Mr. Fingers invokes this in all who look at him as a game mechanic, by means of a fear-causing aura (forcing a Will save against panic). Dies fails his save here, while Fox blows hers soon after. Grem can handle the saves until Mr. Fingers uses an alternate method on him.
- Said outright by Alt Minmax when Kin banishes Alt Not-Walter to Hell, depriving him of his only ally and ensuring he has a really bad time in the afterlife.
- Old Master: Thaco again.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Psion Minmax. He's hoping for a Class Z, but the best he can do is to localize it within the dungeon.
- One-Dwarf Army: Kore is said to have wiped out entire armies of orcs and ogres by himself.
- One Size Fits All: Generally averted; size modifiers have been mentioned, and human-size gear has occasionally been rejected as unusable. The Axe of Prissan and Big-Ears' armor play this trope straight, justified by them being magical and designed to reshape and suit the needs of whoever uses them. Note that One Size Fits All is an actual rule of D&D magic items. Imagine how much it would suck if you found some awesome magic armor you can't use because it's designed for an ogre.
- Only a Flesh Wound: K'seliss fighting with his teeth after his arms literally fell off.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Dellyn insists on duelling Thaco so he can kill him personally, rather than letting his soldiers kill him. Thaco uses this to his advantage.
- Our Demons Are Different: They feed by inflicting suffering on the souls of other creatures, they enslave mortals by trading their souls for goods and services, and if a mortal speaks their true name, they can be forced to do their bidding until the mortal dies.
- Our Goblins Are Different: The goblins are the good guys this time around. Well, at least some of them. The only way to consider Duv even remotely sympathetic by this point is to take her backstory (told in the first person) as the whole truth. Even then, she behaves awfully like a beginning Evil Overlord, with a self-admitted sadist, Riss, as her Dragon. Either way, though, it's more character development than goblins usually get.
- Overused Copycat Character: Mocked, roundly.
- Papa Wolf: Pan's relationship with Yala.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The logic behind this plan isn't so sound... But is temporarily deemed the least idiotic plan of the bunch.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Saves-a-Fox
- Perpetual Frowner: Psion Minmax doesn't seem the smiling sort.
- Pet the Dog
- Minmax believes that monsters should be killed for XP and treasure. However, when he finds out that his hero, Dellyn Goblinslayer, has been repeatedly raping a yuan-ti... his first reaction is to promptly throw him out of a window.
- Then, he gets another one, which may qualify him for a true Heel Face Turn, here. Say it with me now: Awwwwww!
- A lesser example, and it doesn't make him any less of a Complete Monster, but when he found Saral Caine's corpse, Dellyn was, quite startlingly, reduced to tears. That was his best friend and sidekick.
- Politically-Incorrect Villain
- Fantastic Racism is one of Goblinslayer's defining traits.
- Kore refers to his targets as "evil", "monster", and "lower beasts". In his first appearance, he made his views clear.
- Post Dramatic Stress Disorder: Apparently, a raging barbarian is completely unaware of injuries. Names has collapsed or screamed in pain the moment the rage ended on multiple occasions.
- Power Gives You Wings: Kore's Individual Magic Effect is a pair of glowing wings made of chains with his victims' heads attached.
- Power Glows: Everyone has an Individual Magic Effect that manifests in their spells, abilities, and magic weapons.
- Power Limiter: Kin's collar supresses her magic and prevents her from hurting anyone if the attached leash is being held.
- The Power of Love: Kin and Minmax's love is almost magically confusing. It's also able to nauseate mathematics. Yes. You read that right.
Psimax: I've run the Maze of Many eight hundred eighteen times and had one thousand nine hundred ninety one encounters with other multiversal variants. You're the first to surprise me.
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Thaco, near the beginning.
Seth: Well, well. Three goblins who are too old to fight back. Easy XP.
Thaco: You know, in the old days, we depended on ingenuity, rather than feats, the strength stat used a forward slash as a decimal point... and there were no such thing as drow. (pulling his cane into two swords) I miss the old days.
- Precision F-Strike
- Prophecy Twist
- One example is Saves-a-Fox. She was prophesied to save a fox on a specific day. She decided to Screw Destiny by killing it instead. Eventually it's revealed that she DID save it... from terrible suffering due to an incurable illness.
- Another example is Dies-Horribly. Fan theories abound about how it will be subverted. One predicts that he will eventually get over his fear of death and walk willingly into a Heroic Sacrifice. Another is that instead of being destined for a horrible death, he is simply horrible at dying... that is, he repeatedly survives things he really shouldn't. He's apparently died horribly at least once in the comic. Hard to tell if he'll do so again.
- Prophetic Names: Lampshaded, Subverted, Averted and generally played with by the various Goblin tribes mentioned.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Big-Ears has one first here, then on this page when he detects Saral Caine's approach -- more specifically, the Axe of Prissan.
- Psycho for Hire
- Puff of Logic: Psimax tries this on the entire Universe.
- Punctuated for Emphasis
- Punctuation Shaker: K'seliss
- Punny Name: A few.
- Kore is hardcore.
- Noe, whose name is a plot point; see "Who's on First?" below.
- Thaco is an old guy, and the term THAC0 is not a part of the new rules.
- Baka, or "idiot" in Japanese, seems to have a rather fitting name. And he's somehow Japanese.
- Minmax, the minmaxer.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil
- Minmax considers Goblinslayer his hero until he learns exactly what the sicko has been doing with his yuan-ti pet. Then again, this was the first hint Minmax got, period, that Goblinslayer was much happier with things like vivisection than just killing his enemies. It's possible he may have reacted the same way to finding out that Goblinslayer didn't just kill monsters in fights, but also captured monster women and children and tortured them unspeakably.
- On a meta level, at one point someone thought that a page that in context had nothing to do with rape was making light of it, leading to a (now deleted) blog post where Thunt explained how the very idea that he'd take such a thing lightly deeply offended him.
- Rebel Relaxation: K'seliss, second panel.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played straight by Takn, subverted by K'seliss, averted by Kin.
- Ret-Gone: When Psion!Minmax opens holes of oblivion, anything that falls in is not only destroyed, but erased from the memory of everyone, including the fact that they fell in. Kin is tipped off when Minmax throws his boots in, and she's left wondering how no-one ever noticed that he only wears one boot... er, he walks around barefoot...
- Rip Tailoring: Thaco with the halfling outfit.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Complains is prone to them. Now, he's a Barbarian and becomes stronger with them. Chief's death leads to the ultimate one against Kore.
- Remember that Orc who's been repeatedly dying for 600 years to nourish the demons in the well of darkness? He's loose.
- Role Playing Game Verse
- Rousing Speech: One guard gives one to his men right before battling the party as a rare villainous example.
- RPG Mechanics Verse: The comic uses a heavily houseruled D&D ruleset. The author has even gone out of his way to state that all the combat results that may seem like an Ass Pull are indeed legitimate. The system the comic uses undoubtedly relies on circumstance bonuses and penalties derived from good tactics, role-playing and the various in game circumstances. Called shots are likely factored in as well. It's also possible that certain effects like being doused in oil and lit on fire have been tweaked to be more realistic.
- Running Gag
- Minmax can't keep a weapon. Specifically, he lost the sword he started with to one of Not-Walter's minions, the one foraged from the one-legged, blind orc he plunged into one of the eyes of the Lake's tentacle monster, but it was recovered by Forgath, just to be destroyed by the Shield of Wonder's Entanglement Effect, and the replacement they got in Brassmoon was broken in half by Goblinslayer. Even an alternate version of him is prone to this.
Latter, Minmax acquires a weapon that mimics whatever material it touches. Within minutes, he stuffs it into a hole in spacetime, which renders said weapon made of nonexistence. Fortunately it stops moving through time when he lets go of it and comes back when he needs it, which means that it's impossible for him to lose it.
- Minmax can't keep a weapon. Specifically, he lost the sword he started with to one of Not-Walter's minions, the one foraged from the one-legged, blind orc he plunged into one of the eyes of the Lake's tentacle monster, but it was recovered by Forgath, just to be destroyed by the Shield of Wonder's Entanglement Effect, and the replacement they got in Brassmoon was broken in half by Goblinslayer. Even an alternate version of him is prone to this.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Minmax
- Sarcasm Blind: The hobgoblins of the Chorgrak clan.
Duv: No, I'm that other one-winged goblin.
Big-Ears: I detect sarcasm.
Chief: You need to be a paladin to detect Thaco's sarcasm?
- Duv, above.
- Save Scumming: Effectively what occurs in the Maze of Many, as every unsuccessful attempt by every iteration of the party is rewound to the beginning again and again until each one succeeds. This has already happened to Minmax's group almost two million times, which Forgath is flumoxed to find out about. Presumably that also means that exact conversation has taken place pretty close to that many times. And Minmax has kissed Forgath that many times.
- Schmuck Bait: Treasure Plants.
- Screw Destiny: Saves-a-Fox's motto. Unfortunately, it seems that the fox she was supposed to save had a disease that ends in a horribly slow and painful death, so she was saving it by putting it out of its misery.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Invoked Trope by name by K'seliss on this page... only to be just as quickly subverted by K'seliss's return.
- Screw Yourself: Alluded by Kin and Scorpion!Kin. It's a trick by Kin to get her prehensile, sensitive tail wrapped around Scorpion!Kin's tail and throat. With the tail disabled, Neck Snap ensues.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Axe of Prissan is a powerful paladin weapon that contains a nigh-unstoppable demon. The axe needs to be recharged regularly (by being used to kill evil things) or the demon will escape and probably cause The End of the World as We Know It.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Saves-a-Fox fell victim to one of these. She was given the choice between saving a fox from a trap, or killing it - and thereby saving it from a horrible, lingering, invariably fatal disease.
- Senseless Sacrifice
- Chief goes to fight Kore knowing that he'll fail, but hoping to delay Kore. Kore simply incapacitates Chief and starts torturing him, knowing that Chief's screams will bring the rest. And then, when they do return to rescue Chief, he dies from his wounds before they can get him healed.
- Dies-Horribly accepts a Deal with the Devil, believing it will free Duv's slaves from suffering, but the demon used Exact Words to give him a worthless stone orb instead of what he expected.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Kin's first speaking page; high intelligence causes her to use unnecessarily long words when nervous. Or that's her excuse, at least.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Thaco. He's since recovered.
- Ship Tease: People have speculated on a Kin×Minmax pairing almost since she first joined the party, and it was helped along by this event, among others. Finally, the "tease" part was dropped.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Harshly averted, as Fumbles walks headlong into disaster rather than away from it.
- Forgath Bladebeard has a horned helmet with one of the horns broken off. In R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels (you know, the ones with Drizzt the not-evil Dark Elf in them), this is one of Bruenor Battlehammer's defining features.
- To Mutant Enemy: Grrr! Arg!
- To Pirates of the Caribbean on this page.
- There's a Star Wars shout out on this page. Doubles as an Incredibly Lame Pun.
- The painting on the wall of Goblinslayer's lair is inspired by A Paladin in Hell, a classic illustration from early D&D manuals.
- They hit overdrive in the Maze of Many, with a Indiana Jones and a Warcraft shout out, if you can spot them. Lowest and rightmost of the alternates is also a shout out to Red Dwarf per Word of God.
- "I feel like there's already a D&D, stick figure comic." (A filler page in a naïve, stick-figure comic style drawn by Fumble.)
- Shown Their Work: Thunt based Kin's description of a yuan-ti mating ritual on this page on the way garter snakes mate in real life.
- Simple Staff: Saves-a-Fox's Weapon of Choice.
- Skewed Priorities: Kore wants to eradicate all evil. He's murdering kids, not-evil people, and torturing to avoid it taking him longer to do this. Hypocrite would be a compliment.
- Slasher Smile: Evil humans can contort their faces in some... interesting ways, although it's implied that this is as much a matter of their victim's perception of them.
- Smite Me Oh Mighty Smiter: Chief, the cleric, has a moment of this when an unanswered prayer shoves him too far.
- The Smurfette Principle: Female goblins aren't welcome in the war camp unless they are spellcasters, hence why Young-and-Beautiful the fortune teller is the only woman (?) around. Lampshaded, by the way:
"Even The Smurfs had one woman!!"
- Snake People: Kin the yuan-ti
- The So-Called Coward: Sort-of example with an ogre who literally has "COWARD" written on his forehead by torturers. Guess who's staying to cover the escape for others?
- Something Else Also Rises: K'seliss' frill.
K'seliss: This means nothing, ya hear me?! I... I was thinking about a battle I had ages ago!
- El Spanish-O: Senor Vorpal Kickass'o!!! And no, that tilde-less "n" isn't a typo.
- Speak of the Devil: Noe
- The Speechless: The alternative Minmax introduced here is revealed to have traded away the ability to speak for a +6 bonus to hit.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Most of the goblins' names were using hyphens at the start of the comic. Later strips, however, tend to omit them. Thus, "Dies-Horribly" and "Dies Horribly", "Complains-of-Names" and "Complains of Names", "Big-Ears" and "Big Ears", etc., are both Canon spelling.
- Spikes of Doom
- The Stoic: Orcs of the Roak clan are taught to accept loss without pause or regret, so they aren't weakened by the pain of losing things. When Biscuit escapes from 600 years of demonic torture, only to find out that the rest of the Roak clan was destroyed 200 years ago and he may be the Last of His Kind, his response is 'Meh, oh well.'
- Played straight with Drowbabe and Yodette.
- Subverted/deconstructed: The first thing Kin the Yuan Ti does after being freed from Dellyn (besides murdering him horribly) is put on the most conservative coat she can find. She was only dressed this way in the first place, it seems, because Dellyn forced her to be. Which makes sense, considering what Dellyn used her for.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Chief looks a lot like Kills-a-Werebear. Only lacking his look of confidence.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Dies-Horribly gives his soul to the demoness in the Well of Darkness in return for... an orb of ordinary blue stone. Fortunately, he gets out of it due to Loophole Abuse.
- Super-Powered Evil Side
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
Grem: You seem to know a lot about dungeon crawls. Have you ever done this before?
Saves-a-Fox: What? No. I'm not an adventurer.
- Swallowed a Fly: One goblin tribe with a particularly inept fortune teller (and even more inept scribes) has a member named Stop The Ceremony I Swallowed A Bug.
- Sword Drag
- Take My Hand
- Taking You with Me: Due to his body rotting, K'seliss to Mr. Fingers. Due to a passive rotting effect, Mr. Fingers to K'seliss.
- Talkative Loon: Asks-Nonsense. Even if some of his questions are actually rather puzzling... (how do you know?)
- Technicolor Toxin: Not a toxin per se, but the disease Mr. Fingers inflicts with a touch is definitely... flashy.
- Tele Frag: Sort of. What do you do when your most powerful weapon passes intangibly right through your enemy? This. Also, urgh.
- Tempting Fate
- Saves-a-Fox needs to get some Genre Savvy. She really should know better than to talk about how her entire sense of self is built on Screw Destiny. Though if she doesn't believe in Fate in the first place...
- It takes much less than two rounds for Grem to be proved very wrong on this page.
- The last panel of this strip. Really, Dies? Shouldn't you know better by now?
- "Sorry, mortal. Not impressed." Well, your mistake, demon.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Seth and Drowbabe.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Fully justified (and oh so satisfying).
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch
- It's payback time, bitch.
- Possibly one of the funnier examples ever made due to the inherent nerdiness of the statement.
Alternate!Minmax: Roll for initiative, bitch!
Minmax: Oh God.
Forgath: This is going to hurt.
Minmax: HA HA! Looks like your useless, crappy shield isn't good for anything!
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Grem in this strip. And again shortly after.
- Token Evil Teammate: Signs show Takn to be this.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Minmax's smarter traveling companions eventually work out he's too dumb to confuse as he can't see what's wrong with what they're saying... right as they need him to become bewildered or they'll all die. Almost Too Dumb to Live before Kin manages an alternative -- which doubles as a Ship Tease.
- Too Dumb to Live
- "Fluffles"' trainer
- Minmax at times. Fortunately, he travels with smart people.
- Took a Level In Badass: The entire plot of the webcomic is that a bunch of goblins take levels in adventurer classes.
- Torture Technician
- Tragic Keepsake: One alternate dimension Minmax wears a necklace whose pendant says "This Is A Helmet"... and Forgath is nowhere to be seen...
- Tron Lines: A magical version. Whatever shape it takes, the Axe of Prissan and the armor that goes along are adorned with such glowing motifs, the color of the I.M.E. of the wielder.
- Understatement: After Goblinslayer told Minmax what he did with Kin, Minmax justified his response as follows:
- Unflinching Walk: Dies here after singlehandedly killing a demon multiple times his own size.
- Unholy Holy Sword: Inverted with the Axe of Prissan. It detects as evil, but that's really the demon it contains -- the Axe itself is a Lawful Good Empathic Weapon meant to be a paladin's weapon.
- Unpredictable Results: The Shield of Wonder is a very nasty artifact that causes them whenever struck in combat. See Nightmare Fuel on the YMMV subpage for some of these.
- The Un-Reveal: Kore took his helmet off?! We'll finally get to see what the true face of evil is... oh, guess not.
- Verbal Tic Name: Klik
- Villainous Breakdown: Dellyn's really got started after he saw all he worked for being taken apart, then he found Saral Caine's corpse, shortly followed by his loss against Thaco, finally ending with his loss of position, being left as an angry drunk at a bar. And then came his Karmic Death.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Dellyn Goblinslayer, known by the town as Captain of the Town Guard, who is nonetheless confirmed as having an evil alignment.
- Vitriolic Best Buds (Type 2): Forgath & Minmax
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Minmax. Much to Forgath's chagrin, he started out not wearing pants either.
Minmax: Face it. I'm too much man for pants.
- The Walls Are Closing In: One of the many traps in the Maze of Many. Manages to kill Barbarian Forgath and Kin.
- Wangst: Touched upon.
K'seliss: Oh for the love of meat, SHUT UP! No one wants to hear your emo character background! My hands are LITERALLY melting away and I'm complaining less than you are!
- Watch Out for That Tree: Poor Klik.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Ordinary blood burns Klik like acid.
- Wham! Episode
- What an Idiot!: Even Minmax thinks so.
- What Have I Become?: Complains, after the Shield of Wonder's handiwork.
- What Measure Is a Mook? / What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The comic is largely built on deconstructing the typical concept of goblins and other Always Chaotic Evil creatures being slaughtered without remorse by humans. This deconstruction is then inverted upon the Elite Guard of Brassmoon, who are always evil (being recruited as such) and are killed without remorse by the goblins.
- Who Dares?:
K'seliss: Who dares to wake K'seliss?
- Who's on First?: The summon guide appears any time his name is spoken outside of his presence. If he is summoned more than three times, he will just kill the summoner(s). His name is "Noe". You can certainly see where this is going. Though it is also brutally subverted in these pages.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough...?: ... to fall for the Treasure Plants trap?
Kin: They're only a danger to the dumbest of individuals.
(Beat Panel as she shares a look of horrified realization with Forgath)
Kin & Forgath: MINMAX!
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him: The guards end up discussing how Dellyn's obsession with personally killing Thaco is a liability.
- Winged Humanoid: Duv is marked out as the chosen one of Maglubiyet and rightful chieftain of all goblins by being born with wings.
- With Teammates Like These: Though there have been examples in the Maze of Many previously, this page has a good team with the bad one.
- Wizard Beard: Wizard Minmax
- Worst Whatever Ever:
Seth: How the hell can I stabilize if I only get a lousy 10 percent per round? It's the lamest rule ever!
Chief: This has got to be the worst spear I've ever seen.
- Wrong Name Outburst: See I Let Gwen Stacy Die above.
- You Can't Fight Fate: It's a predominant theme in the webcomic. Goblins are supposed to follow the path their seers saw for their future. As a result, there have been attempts to circumvent that fate.
- See Screw Destiny for Saves-a-Fox's case.
- Played with in Dies Horribly's case. He certainly did (die horribly), he just didn't stay dead.
- You!: Minmax at the sight of Not-Walter.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair
- Kin the yuan-ti.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer, partially.
- Your Head Asplode: The Psion Minmax seems fond of doing this to his "comrades"...
- You Shall Not Pass: K'seliss, of all people, and Grem send Fox, Dies and Klik away while they guard the door against Mr. Fingers. Possibly gearing up for a More Hero Than Thou moment.
Tempts Fate provides examples of:
- Badass: Tempts Fate, of course.
- Chrome Champion: The power given to Tempts by his magic belt whenever he's jumping or falling.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: Strip #3
- Eye Scream: When Tempts kills a Demon Lord, the demon's (still sentient) eye latches on to Tempts' body. Unfortunately for it, Tempts makes sure it latches on to the sole of his foot, then goes for a walk across some gravelly ground.
- The Rant Golem;
- The Liquid Golem a.k.a. the Kool-Aid guy.
- Improbable Weapon User: The dwarf who has been cursed to only use household items for weapons and armor.
- Immortality: A Demon Lord curses Tempts with immortality so he can get revenge on him 10,000 years later. Tempts' response to this shifts from Who Wants to Live Forever? at the idea of being completely immortal, to Cursed with Awesome when he finds out he can still die from injuries.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Tempts Fate vs. the Predatory Alien Creature Which Is Legally Distinct from Some Other Kind of Predator
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the main comic. One Tempts Fate segment involved Chris Hansen from Dateline (why doncha have a seat right over there.), a fast-talking giant maggot, the Kool-Aid guy (OH YEAH!!!), Wil Wheaton, and Michael Bay.
- Loin Cloth: Following a Wardrobe Malfunction.
- Meaningful Name: Tempts Fate
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "All will die at the hands of Suffer!"
- Neck Snap: Here, treated almost as an Offhand Backhand.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A character named "Pirateninja" appears in one of the strips.
- Plot Hole: Gleefully parodied in-universe with the conclusion to Tempts Fate 9.
- Satire, Parody, Pastiche: The intro to Tempts Fate 9 is a brilliant skewering of To Catch a Predator, complete with Lampshading by Tempts.
- Scenery Censor: At the end of strip #7, a bug flies just in front of the right spot.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Happens to Tempts Fate in the Realm of Naked Mudhoney-Covered Babes... with three girls. In one panel. Subverted, though, as he has no attraction to human females and is therefore squicked by it.
- Three-Point Landing
- Self-Deprecation: The Rant Golem is all about this.
Rant Golem: Order of the Stick is better.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Lampshaded in Tempts Fate 11 through Unsound Effect.
- Unflinching Walk: Tempts Fate walking away from the monsters guarding the Gates of Hell that he's just blown up.
- Unsound Effect
- TELEPORT NOISE! (As per the order of Marvel Comics Legal Department, the noise is most definitely not "Bamf". Nor is it "Snikt" or "Thwip".)
- Worst Whatever Ever: "This is the worst parody ever."
- ↑ That's how much our Minmax has from his Strength bonus