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The well known tabletop RPG Dungeons And Dragons was an unlikely candidate for the Something Awful Let's Play Forum, until a team of plucky adventurers arrived to take on a world full of not only Dungeons And Dragons, but also insane time travelers, dance offs, and each other.
The team consisted of:
- Joey Hoofz (Wolfshirt) - The Warlord and leader of the group. Unable to intimidate a room.
- Kensington R. Killjoy Esq. (Plasma Man) - Warlock. A sarcastic, demonic lawyer.
- Algernon de la Flor (Drakkel) - A Dragonborn bounty hunter and the straight man of the group, getting roped into crazy situations.
- Miriam Webster (Medibot) - A tiny librarian who is obsessed with getting everyone to read.
- Asalyn (Lava Lamp Goddess) - An angry paladin.
- Minerelle Orr (Poor Weather) - A psion who enjoys mind-control a little too much.
- Bananaramawicz (General Ironicus) - A cleric trying to be friends with everyone.
- Gibnaf Boneson (General Ironicus) - A gnome bard that wants to be a hero.
- Sergeant Kodrinschreiner (Plasma Man) - A paladin War-forged.
And of course the DM Syrg who rolls with the punches, and dishes them out as well.
The Let's Play started in Feb 2010 and concluded in October 2011. (When the final videos came out) Until Part 2 came out.
Tropes featured include:
- Aerith and Bob: The heroes include Joey, Miriam, Kensington, Minerelle, Asalynn, Bananaramawicz, and Kodrinschreiner. This isn't even getting into NPC names, such as Thraxidelantis, which is embarrassing enough that Syrg just shortens it to "Thraxi" after a few jokes at his expense.
- Axe Crazy: Just about everyone on the team save for Bananramawicz and Gibnaf. Minerelle is the most pronounced, however, killing one subdued enemy and making his head explode and trying to blow up a night club because she thought dancing was annoying. It's lampshaded quite often.
Minerelle: Did you kill anyone?
Kodrinschreiner: No, I did not kill anyone because I'm not you.
- Badass Bookworm: Miriam
- Bag of Holding: Miriam carries one throughout Heroic Tier, but loses it sometime before advancing to Paragon.
- Berserk Button: For Miriam it's the destruction of books; for Joey it's denying him gold; for Minerelle it's apparently dancing.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Miriam is easily one of the nicest party members in general, but she seems to get the most badass moments in fights -- and no, seriously, do NOT harm books around her.
- Minerelle is fairly nice and reasonable under normal circumstances. When annoyed, such as when there is dancing, she blows herself up, in order to "hit everything with everything."
- Call Back: Quite a few are made. When Joey enters an alchemy lab in the tower, for example, Asalyn and Kensington claim to be having flashbacks and immediately tell him to get out.
- Character Blog: Ask Algernon
- Chekhov's Gun: Comes up a few times with things the party finds. For example, Joey picks up a "lacy thing" from Thraxi's castle, which later comes up again when he uses it to pick up frictionless goo.
- Chew Toy: Joey comes off as this, especially early on, when he's the first one to die (though he gets better). It's clear that, though he's ostensibly the leader, he's not particularly respected among his party, which he himself notes when they mock his poor rolls after he threatens to hit the next person who tries to split the party.
- Combat Pragmatist: Miriam, who has no problems shifting book thieves into hell portals or dropping a 10-ton weight onto succubi.
- Critical Failure: Syrg plays by the "roll a 1 and terrible things happen" rule. For example, a failed arcana check turns apparently magical jewels into sugar. The results of bad rolls in combat tend to be even more disastrous for the party. That's not to say it's never worked in their favor though. Several enemies have hurt themselves or their allies after Syrg rolled a 1.
- Cross Player: Miriam Webster is played by the male medibot.
- Curb Stomp Battle: A few turn up, especially when the party is able to gang up on a single target. As a general rule, the party will inevitably complain about the difficulty of a fight and then utterly destroy it a few rounds later through a bizarre combination of luck and strategy.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Minerelle ties of dancing shenanigans and thus tries to bring down the club the party is in. When that fails she simply explodes trying to take everyone in the club down at once.
- At the same party, Miriam encounters a book thief who brilliantly decides to tear out pages from the book (in spite of the fact that said thief had recently witnessed Miriam delivering a rap-based smackdown on someone she had mistaken for the thief). Miriam's reaction is to beat her down. Hard. And then shifting her into a hell portal. Which really kills the thief three different ways because of the rules of the dance battle causing instant death should someone step off the floor. It's lampshaded by Joey and Syrg.
Joey: It was kind of a small infraction to... y'know... push her into hell.
Syrg: "It was kind of a small infraction to push her into hell." Isn't that everything Miriam does when she gets on a roll?
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Done intentionally with Minerelle's fledgling addiction to healing potions, which is treated similarly to an alcohol addiction. Much lampshading ensues.
- A less humorous example would be Minerelle's encounter with Geoffrii the Shardmind, who demands that Minerelle give him a "piece of her" after she inadvertently makes it so that a piece of him which has broken off can no longer be put back on him. The scene ends up being sounding rather similar to rape, resulting in the video for that session being edited to cut out some of the more uncomfortable content. Syrg admitted in the thread that it was a terrible idea which resulted in much yelling and nearly had a player or two quitting, and as a result, most of the events surrounding it were rendered Canon Dis Continuity.
- Dracolich: The team sees one on Dragon Island, though they leave fighting it to another, much higher-leveled party.
- Drop the Hammer: Bananaramawicz wielded a hammer as his primary weapon, but was generally ineffectual with it due to his terrible strength stat and general inability to hit anything with his crappy rolls.
- Dumb Muscle: Joey, despite his class being more of a combat tactician.
- Epic Fail: Natural 1s turn into this thanks to Syrg. Joey even gets an axe that burns him if he rolls one.
- Lawful Evil Lawyer: Kensington R. Killjoy
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Focus Tower plotline falls into this.
- Friend to All Living Things: Bananaramawicz, with his amazing diplomacy rolls, tends to turn the tide in favor of the group a lot by simply befriending the danger. Gibnaf is similar, being very friendly and outgoing to everyone that's not evil.
- Five-Man Band: Joey's The Hero as the de facto leader of the party. Kensington is the closest to The Lancer, in addition to being the Token Evil Teammate. Miriam, of course, is The Smart Guy, as she is easily the brainiest of the team. Algernon is The Big Guy, being a character focused mostly on offense. He's also the one that does most of the physical heavy lifting when Joey is too lazy or can't. Asalynn would also qualify as The Big Guy, with her focus on hitting things and intimidation. Bananaramawicz is The Chick, as he specialized in healing and was physically one of the least useful party members. Minerelle, Gibnaf, and Kodrinschreiner all function as the Sixth Ranger.
- The team's dichotomy has changed somewhat as of Paragon Tier, with the absence of certain characters. Joey remains The Hero, but Algernon has become something of The Lancer, acting as the voice of reason in the team and providing a counterpoint to Joey's tendency to blindly charge into situations. Miriam's still The Smart Guy, though she's lost her bag of books during the Time Skip. Minerelle and Gibnaf take turns being The Chick, though Gibnaf shows some signs of being a good lancer as well. Kod is pretty obviously The Big Guy.
- Good Cop, Bad Cop: Used against the ghost of an assassin, with the party using its body's severed legs as leverage (having captured said legs after they had attempted to flee). Joey plays the bad cop by trying to Intimidate him, Bananaramawicz attempts to roll Diplomacy for the good cop. Meanwhile, Kensington shouts lies at him from across the room with Bluff checks.
Joey: "We don't need good cop, bad cop, lying cop."
- While hunting down a shapeshifter in a small town after reaching Paragon Tier, Joey and Minerelle play detective while the rest of the party investigates a wizard's tower. It's noted in the thread that it seems like a good cop/bad cop situation where both of them are the bad cop.
- Greed: Joey, whose survival instincts flip off when treasure is involved. For example, he once got too close and personal with a dragon because it was a gold dragon, and tried to steal from a different dragon's horde when the dragon was right there.
- Hates Being Touched: Implied somewhat with Minerelle. At one point, Algernon tries to apologize to her after she gets pissed off at pretty much everything, resulting in this exchange.
Minerelle: "DON'T TOUCH ME, ALGERNON."
Algernon: "I wasn't going to touch you. I was just apologizing."
- Holy Hand Grenade: Miriam and Bananaramawicz have several divine- or radiant-based attacks, which come in handy against an undead reaper the party faces.
- Hugh Mann: Minerelle is a Shardmind (a being of living crystal) passing herself off as a human through illusions, but she often seems a bit unclear about how biological creatures work and disdainful of what she does know. It's something of a running joke how readily the other characters accept her ridiculous behavior, although it helps that most other party members aren't humans anyway.
Minerelle: "Eating is wonderful. It is great to produce saliva from your mouth and then put things down your throat so they can be digested."
Joey: "I know exactly what you mean!" I give her a high five.
- Hurricane of Puns: A wave of terrible "bear" puns ensues when the team encounters a group of bears.
- I Am Not Weasel: Miriam gets mistaken for a gnome both in and out of universe, but she's just a short human.
- Light'Em Up: Miriam and more prominently Kodrinschreiner
- Min-Maxing: Averted for some of the party. For example, Miriam took four levels of linguistics.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Joey the Minotaur eventually becomes part insect.
- Noodle Incident: We have yet to learn why Miriam is on probation with the other followers of Ioun.
- Not Me This Time: Said by Wolfshirt at one point after being accused of laying down a few hated pogs in a crowd scene.
Syrg: Goddammit, Wolfshirt.
Wolfshirt: That wasn't even me!
Syrg: Goddammit, one of you assholes.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Often, when Syrg forgets what accent is used for which character. Apafi is especially noticeable, with a different voice each time he appears. His first encounter with the party has him speaking like an old Lithuanian man. His appearance in the second Focus Tower has him being voiced by My Name Is Kaz, who uses his Professor Pickle voice. His third encounter has him taking a much more campy voice, which is lampshaded by everyone.
- Orphaned Punchline: After a brief cut in Episode 4, Act IV, we return to Kensington saying, "And that's why I think it's Tingle in the cell," referring to a torture victim the party has found and has not yet identified.
- Playing with Fire: Joey gets a steam axe that does fire damage.
- Put on a Bus: Happens fairly often, given that it's a long-running campaign, not everyone can make it to every session, and sometimes players just want to try a different character. The ones who didn't come back are Asalyn, Bananaramawicz, Kensington, and Miriam.
- Rage Against the Heavens: A high-level adventurer the party meets. Also mocked.
Joey: Hey Miriam, take this down: once upon a time some bad stuff happened, a guy threw a hissy fit, and that's why he was killed by demons.
- Recurring Character: Apafi, who appears in both Focus Tower plots as a villain, and turns up in hell, though that one's an illusion; it's actually a giant demon. To a lesser extent, Kensington seems to have become this after being Demoted to Extra. He was the final villain of Heroic Tier and has since made another appearance in Paragon.
- Sapient House: The party encounters one fairly early on, which they find out is called Gwendolyn. It alternates between hating them (trapping Joey briefly) and helping them (killing the Doppelganger which had been troubling the party and generally responding positively to Bananaramawicz's attempts at diplomacy).
- Shock and Awe: Miriam
- Sure Why Not: Common in Syrg's D Ming style. The party has, for instance, named Skullfucker Johnson the demon and the city of Bonerton, the latter of which became a running joke until they finally managed to visit it.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Taken to its logical extreme with Miriam Webster's apparent ability to conduct research mid-combat in order to gain whatever information is needed for a given situation.
- Throw the Book At Them: Miriam has a spiked book as a custom weapon.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Syrg often ends up doing this to help the team out when their own incompetence gets in their way. For example, a Critical Failure may not be as horrendous as it might have been because Syrg doesn't want to be a Jerkass.
- Time Skip: One year passes between Heroic and Paragon Tiers.
- Too Dumb to Live: Joey raises this to an art form. Usually by demanding treasure from everyone and everything the party meets, but there have been amazing moments like him deciding to just stand there while bug-dragons swoop down on him and then plunging his arm into mutagenic goo in their hive. Also possibly Syrg, who actually got himself hospitalized in the middle of a session by drinking expired energy drink concentrate.
- Even the usually sane Algernon has his moments, like when he tries to attack an enemy that clearly outclasses him in Thraxi's castle and later requires the whole party to take down. As a result, he ends up having to run away, only to find that the enemy moves faster than him and can use, as Syrg puts it, the "ruin a guy" attack. Al only escapes to reach the others when the guy whiffs a roll.
- Walking Disaster Area: The party has noted, with some despair, that places they're in have an uncanny tendency to unmake themselves. This has included a mansion, a magical tower-mountain (twice!), a dream dimension, and some islands.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Minerelle has trouble understanding why brainwashing isn't an acceptable solution to every problem.