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Tales from the Pit is a Photo Comic written by Magic: The Gathering head designer Mark "MaRo" Rosewater, giving a humorous behind-the-scenes look at life amongst Magic's creators. ("The Pit" is the name of the part of the office where the R&D team works.) The comics are created by adding captions and Speech Bubbles to photographs and stylizing them with an iPhone app so that they look like panels from a Comic Book.
Not to be confused with the completely unrelated Angband Tales From the Pit.
Tales from the Pit contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Conversed here.
- The Annotated Edition: "Annotated version of yesterday's comic"
- Arch Enemy: As always, the eternal Arch Nemesis of the Head Designer is the devious Rules Manager (along with the copier machine).
- Arson, Murder, and Admiration: MaRo reads his email
- Cassandra Truth: In this strip, Mark reads a rumor site and realizes that one of the speculating fans has guessed exactly what they're doing in the next set, but nobody believes it.
- Comically Missing the Point:
Mark: (To copier) So we meet again, my nemesis. Today I shall make copies.
Copier: Not only am I out of toner. My toner register is broken as well. Bwah, ha, ha!
- There's an entire subplot devoted to the (mis)adventures of the third floor vending machine.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Believes New Phyrexia is a hoax.
- Direct Demographic: Mark often replies directly to questions from Magic fans.
- Eliminated From the Race: Giant Growth is eliminated from "Core Set Survivor" thusly.
- Evil Laugh:
- Mistaken for Pedophile: After getting made fun of for this comic, Maro took part in some Self-Deprecation with this one.
- My Future Self and Me:
- One of Us: Rosewater admits to being a Troper.
- One Steve Limit: Lampshaded. When someone shouts for "Mark!", four different people respond. "There are a lot of Marks making Magic."
- Photo Comic
- Portal to the Past: Conversed, causing another lost day of R&D productivity as the Pit enters a heated discussion about the best way to make money using a Time Machine that can only go back exactly 24 hours.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them: The hidden danger of playing the lead designer of a set.
- Scylla and Charybdis: R&D Rule #8: You Can't Win. When Mark designs powerful rare cards that see tournament play, he gets angry emails about how expensive it is to play in tournaments. When the rare and mythic cards are too weak to see tournament play, he gets angry emails complaining about Junk Rares.
- Shout-Out: Quoting Goodfellas.
- Speech Bubbles: Obviously.
- Sure Why Not:
- The Talk: Subverted in this strip.
Mark: You're eight, Adam. That means it's time for me to tell you about the birds and the bees. Birds are a good choice for small white and blue fliers. Bees, on the other hand, are used to falsely justify direct damage in green.
Adam: Why is Mommy sadly shaking her head?
- That Came Out Wrong: "If you don’t understand that I’m talking about Magic’s color pie, this reads poorly."
- Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Who Would Win is a common topic of conversation in the Pit, apparently. Matchups include RoboCop vs. The Terminator, Transformers vs. My Little Pony, and Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings.
- Villain Team-Up: The Rules Manager and the copier team up to defeat MaRo! Their evil plan: make duplicate copies of the relevant rules to prevent Mark's new mechanic from seeing print!
- Who's on First?: With expansion codenames in #214, "The Danger of a Poor Codename". Doubles as a Shout-Out to Abbott and Costello.