It was started for the sole purpose of telling a story, as opposed to the evermore popular gag-a-day variety that makes a story in order to stay on the web. The plot is intimated very early, however, it is The Reveal on a much later page.
The story starts out with a group of adventurers; Andil, an elven fighter who is competent enough to be incompetent; Xavier, a human who is (probably?) a ranger; Laldera, a human sorceress, and Lana, a human rogue. These are The Heroes.
Of course, there's a reason the comic is called anti-HEROES. Within the first few strips, Lana gets herself killed in a trap Andil shoved her into (though he probably didn't realize it); in typical D&D fashion, her allies loot her corpse and leave her behind. One strip later, she becomes much more competent when a mysterious necromancer in a fully concealing cloak resurrects her as a vampire. Originally shocked and upset, Lana ends up following him anyway, thus beginning the titular team of anti-Heroes. Eventually joining her and the necromancer are an incompetent illusionist ghost named Kaalinor, his equally incompetent ghost buddy Frank, and a tiefling ranger named Keriss.
Oh, and before we forget to mention, it proudly proclaims to be a fancomic for The Order of the Stick.
Also, as of Strip 219, the author has finally confessed that he can't continue to do the comic anymore. As of January 29th, 2011, he has narrowed down two options for his fans to vote for: 1, that he simply releases all his notes, future characters, plot points and secrets (a la Chainmail Bikini), or 2, that he finds another artist to carry on with the comic. The fanbase overwhelmingly voted for Option 2.
And from Strip 220 onwards, Team Dypen (consisting of Giant in the Playround members Dyluth and leakingpen) has officially taken over. General consensus among the fanbase is that so far, they're doing a great job. Dyluth handles creating all of the art, and the primary scriptwriting is handled by leakingpen, whose real name is Alexander Hollins. Other writing of his can be found at www.dreamfantastic.com.
- Action Girl: Lana; Keriss
- All Genes Are Codominant: See Good Wings, Evil Wings below.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us
- Anti-Hero: Does this even need to be explained?
- Anti-Villain: Eldhin is a questionable example, as he's probably aware of what Arderas has done and is capable of. However, he's only doing it because Alderas is threatening his mother.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: This happens frequently. And Lana lampshades it at one point.
- Buxom Is Better: Not noticeable because of the art style, but Lana's boobs get larger when she becomes a vampire. The author's notes attribute this to a vampire's +4 bonus to charisma.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: Subverted.
- Casual Danger Dialog
- Catch a Falling Star: Not so much "catch" as just casting feather fall.
- The Chooser of the One
- Celestial Paragons and Archangels / Demon Lords and Archdevils: Aldran's and Eldhin's mother and father, respectively.
- Conveniently-Timed Attack From Behind: Aldran loves doing this.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kaal, sort of. He's still hopelessly stupid, but he's actually surprisingly competent and knowledgeable when he's put into a position where his illusionist training comes in handy.
- Dark Is Not Evil: For people who traditionally fit the villain mold, the main characters are awfully nice individuals. They're certainly nicer then the Ivory Veil.
- He Will Punch Out Cthulhu
- The Ditz: Kaal.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Kaal is usually the butt of these jokes.
- Evil Twin: Aldran or Eldhin. Have fun figuring out which one it is.
- The Faceless: Aldran Krylorn
- Face Palm: Aplenty.
- Filler: Team Dypen is currently doing a filler arc where Laris teams up with the Heroes
- First-Episode Resurrection: Lana is killed in the first comic, but Aldran brings her back to life as a vampire.
- Follow the Leader: The page header even notes that it's inspired by The Order of the Stick.
- French Maid Outfit: A bugbear in a maid outfit. Zarah lampshades how bizarre this is in the author comments.
- Fun with Acronyms: Incredible, Daring, Invincible Overseers of Time? and Stuff.
- Girlish Pigtails: Zurie; the "immaturity" variety.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Subverted, or arguably, played straight. Aldran and Eldhin have gray wings, which are halfway between good and evil wings. Of course, they were the offspring of a fiend and an angel.
- Good Is Not Nice / Light Is Not Good: Justified; the Ivory Veil are attempting to free Arderas, the very definitely evil demi-god responsible for the disappearance (if not death) of Eldhin and Aldran's father.
- Knight Templar: The Ivor Veil show strong signs of this
- Love Across Battlelines: Aldran's parents.
- Mirror Routine: Kaal, when he runs into the person he's disguised as.
- My Catfight Sense Is Tingling: Kaal shows us his here.
- Not So Different: Finx tries to invoke this in order to Hannibal Lecture Aldran; it doesn't work.
Finx: Vengeance seems to be all that you know, we're a lot more similar than you think.
Aldran: Oh don't start with that, I'm well aware we share common traits. But there's one fundamental difference between you and me.
Finx: Oh yeah? And what's that?
'Aldran: I'm WINNING!
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: They have a dwarven cleric? It was lampshaded.
- Physical God: Arderas (demigod, please.)
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Of the anti-heroic variety.
- Red Shirt: In this case, bowmen have no luck.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Arderas
- Spot the Imposter: Beautifully subverted here.
- Team Dad: The man in the cloak named Aldran
- Tempting Fate: Lampshaded
Lana: We can see the tower from here, it's not like something totally unexpected is going to suddenly jump out and stop us from getting there.
Aldran: Let's get out of here!
Lana: Okay, we must have been lucky that time.
Aldran: Go ahead. Tempt fate some more why, don't ya?
Lana: At least it couldnt possibly get any wor--
Aldran: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
- Villain Protagonist: Subverted. They're villains in name only.
- Winged Humanoid: Both Eldhin and Aldran.
- Our Vampires Are Different: And apparently they can become normal again. Or at least, there used to be a way for them to do so.