Looking for Group

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Cale: "Richard, we need to go back in time. For all of us you need to open the portal. We can't do this without you. We need your help."
Benny: "Foolish elf, Richard doesn't do this for us! He doesn't travel at our side because he cares or secretly desires companionship. He joined us for the opportunity for destruction, the pleasure of killing - And most likely out of boredom."

Looking For Group is a fantasy Web Comic by Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza, the creative team behind Least I Could Do and the Blind Ferret Entertainment animation studio. It borrows from classic D&D conventions and World of Warcraft to tell an original story.

The main character is Cale'Anon Vatay, an elf who yearns to be a just and good hero. Unfortunately, in the LFG world, elves are Exclusively Evil. However, this is something that Cale is not aware of until told to go forth and do heroic stuff by his monastery, after which he meets an undead warlock named Richard, who is the embodiment of pure Chaotic Evil. Seemingly out of boredom, Richard decides not to kill Cale outright but to accompany the elf and watch him anguish over his existence and antagonize him whenever possible.

Shortly after meeting Richard, Cale was killed (guess who did that) and Richard helped him seek out a priest to resurrect him. Enter Benn'Joon, an unknown race priestess who, while more pragmatic than evil, has about as few qualms as Richard. She agrees to raise Cale for help with her pursuers in the King's Legion (who are also evil). Benny's adoptive father, a minotaur scholar named Krunch, also joins with them.

Then they set on their quest: Cale to restore goodness and honor to his race, Benny to pay off her debt to the legion, Krunch to learn the secrets of the ancients that can help with both their goals, and Richard... well, he just likes to kill things, and following these guys around seems to afford him plenty of opportunities for a little carnage.

As the group progresses, the story arc continues to get more detailed. Suffice to say, it is too interesting and vivid to be revealed here. Read it and enjoy!

This webcomic is being made into a feature film by Blind Ferret that is due out soon, according to Sohmer. The trailer is available here (well worth a watch). Truth be told, it's long overdue. The description of the trailer pegs the release somewhere in 2008. However, judging by this, it appears there have been problems on the set. And Richard's lost his fork.


Looking for Group provides examples of[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Action Girl: Benny and Pella.
  • Affectionate Parody: The Sword of Truth is used as a MacGuffin. Richard calls the weapon useless, but the writer has admitted he rather likes the books.
    • The webcomic probably counts as an Affectionate Parody of the fantasy genre in general, considering how often Lord of the Rings and similar works are quoted and lampooned.
    • It seems like the comic is getting ready to parody 300, with a battle involving less than three hundred men to stop the Legion.

High Engineer: Between our respective honor guards and a few bloodrage, we're looking at a total force of less than three hundred.
Commander: Three hundred men.
High Engineer: Less than three hundred. And only about half are men.
Commander: Three hundred to stop the legion from building a portal.
High Engineer: You're not listening.
Commander: The bulk of our army is around the city itself. Gather the three hundred!
High Engineer: Please stop rounding up.

      • It turns out to be a scouting mission instead of a full on fight.
  • Aborted Arc: The Sword of What-Now?
    • Could be justified in that Cale and company don't need the Sword of Truth anymore, since they've opted to fight Legaria rather than use the sword to pay Benny's debt.
      • Turns out. It's a Chekhov's Gun.
        • Well, a Chekov's Pair of Swords. That shoot fireballs. And freeze things.
  • Aerith and Bob: Cale, Pella, Krunch, and... Richard.
  • Exclusively Evil: Elves are supposed to all be Chaotic Evil in this world. Cale has chosen to be Chaotic Good.
  • Amusing Injuries: Inflicted to and/or by Richard, and many others.
  • And I Must Scream: Tavor is trapped in ice, presumably for all eternity, since he's immortal. The ice is also on fire.
    • To top it off, Richard melts his head off afterward.
  • ...And Show It to You

Richard:The look on your face when a toddler rips out your heart and shows it to you: priceless.

Richard: In case you weren't sure, the skeletons are on our side.

    • He's also mayor of a small village whom he has made undead.
  • Annoying Arrows: Richard has been shot at with arrows by just about everyone with a bow, including Cale. Repeatedly. He has also been pinned to a ship's mast with arrows, been shot in the back with arrows, and had an arrow through his head when being "tortured." Seeing as how he's already dead he usually just plucks them out on his own so long as they aren't stuck... but, y'know... annoying.
    • Turns out Richard is not actually dead though. He fuels his Nigh Invulnerability with the ashes of the innocent.
    • Taken to the logical extreme when, since they're having a hard time removing an arrow from Richard, Cale just draws his bow and fires the arrow, with Richard STILL ATTACHED.
    • When an arrow actually hurts and draws blood, Richard realizes he needs to recharge his Nigh Invulnerability.
    • Recently, Richter and his legion of the undead have become mortal. Cale, who by this point has gotten used to using Richard or any other nearby undead ally as a meat shield against arrows, is having troubleadjusting to this.
  • Anti-Hero: Cale'Anon, an elf who tries to go against his evil heritage and be good (similarities to Drizz't Do'Urden are coincidental according to the author) despite being surrounded by amoral characters.
    • It seems that since they realized Cale's similarities to Drizzt, Cale's been used to parody said drow on several occasions.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "You killed our father!" "You made him use a tired cliché!"
  • Arrow Catch / Catch and Return: Cale.
  • Artifact of Doom: Richard just became one.

Advisor: Did the crown just laugh?
Richard/Crown: No.

"...Can we all agree he ran away like a little girl?" "Aye." "Moving on..."

  • The Blacksmith: Pella. The series also adheres to the tradition that smithing is to be expected from dwarves.
  • BLAM Episode: Let's just pause the epic storyline so that Cale can fool around with little masked twerps inside the belly of a sand worm. And get his leg cut off, but don't worry, they promise they can reattach it. Sounds like a blast.
  • Blithe Spirit: Cale has dedicated himself to ridding the world of evil. It is not going too well. He gets to be a king though, so no sweat, the plot's getting somewhere.
    • A nice bit of coincidence is that the greatest evil he ever met is the guy whom he spends all his time with.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Yup, Pella again. She cuts people's hands off to break the ice... and it works.
    • For Richard, anyway. Who knows what would happen if she tried that on a living thing like Cale...
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Cale believes he is this after traveling back in time to a kingdom of elves that shared his ideals.
  • Break the Cutie: Good lord, has Cale been thoroughly broken. His master makes him think his wife, Shora, left him for another man and then, apparently, kills her to ensure that Cale has nothing to come back to and essentially force him to become a force for good. Then he has to kill an innocent child to return to his own time and ensure the survival of Kethenica. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Brick Joke: Richard introduces himself by his numerous titles, and at the way end he mentions he's "mayor of a little town up the coast." Guess which town becomes a major plot element much later?
    • Could also be Chekhov's Gun, as seen below.
    • While making a series of jokes about how many people seem to know the group in such a big world, a strange man rides up on an improbable steed and says he has a letter for Cale. It's relevant much later.
    • The Sword of Truth and the Fork of Truth.
    • The first time Cale visits the capital, he comments on the lack of a towering dungeon, which Benny says that the king "didn't want his precious skyline marred". Fast-forward to 486 and the story of how Tavor became king...
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: This happens very early, but rather than a hero using Mooks, the Token Evil Teammate-to-be Richard smugly drags an innocent peasant into the path of several of Cale's arrows (even though he wouldn't be killed by them anyway, being undead), and enjoys the expression on his face when he realises he's killed an innocent. He even suggests going after the son and wife to make the complete set.
    • Much later in the series Cale does this himself using Maikos. It gets hilariously lampshaded. Just because he's undead doesn't mean he can't feel pain
      • He's not undead anymore. It was a serious wound for the guy.

Maikos: You had time to grab me and put me in front of you? Why would you not use that time to dodge?

    • Even more hilarious in that Cale doesn't do it once, but twice.

Cale: "What's wrong with me!?"

Richard: "Women."
Cale: "Yeah."
Richard: "Why are any of them still alive?"
(beat)
Cale: "That's a little bit extreme."
Richard: "You may be right."
Richard: "What are your thoughts on penning them up to use for mating and the creation of snacks?"

Cale: It always comes back to Kethenecia, doesn't it?

  • Collector of the Strange: Richard's bear arms, shovel of pillaging, kidney hat...
    • Cale's group: in order of appearance - the omnicidal undead warlock, the female priestess of unknown race raised by minotaurs, her father, and the warrior-bard dwarf... who is a time-traveler from the distant past.
  • Combat Medic: Benny
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Richard
  • Comically Invincible Hero: Richard. Well, okay, he's not a hero, but he is on their team, incredibly powerful, and kills off enemies with ease. Hilariously. And he's not only undead but 'survived' several attempts to seal that deal, also hilariously.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Richard... overhears Cale and Benny in the woods. Richard thinks he's killing her, and offers to help bury the body. Probably justified by Richard's Lack of Empathy.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Richard, being an undead cloaked in robes has no trouble at all in fighting a Magma Elemental and even decapitate her. Then again, it's a warlock, so probably has some trick up his sleeve.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Maikos and the entire town he's from.
  • Crowd Song: This seems to happen with frighteningly regular occurrence.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: As revealed in the 169th and 298th comic, The Sisters' religion appears to be based on the Abrahmic faiths... Only, it has Adonai/Allah/God replaced with a bunny.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Benny, to some.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Recent strips are dragging these out. We see Richard as a Cheerful Child in a flashback, and it turns out Cale had a wife who he presumably caught cheating on him.
  • Daddy's Girl: As much as they snark at each other, Krunch would never let anything happen to Benny if he could help it, and Benny is willing to support Cale's possibly hopeless cause because he refused to acknowledge that her father was probably dead.
  • Dark Action Girl: Captain Tah'vraay. And arguably Benny.
  • Dead Guy Puppet: Richard not only makes a Dead Guy Puppet but also sings about it in Slaughter Your World.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Benny and Tavor, usually with Cale on the receiving end (he's just such an easy target for sarcasm.)
    • Cale's starting to become one too.

Commander Kickass: Did you know Aelloon is my son?
Cale: You must be so proud.

Richard: Good news!
Richard picks up a Gnome Guard
Richard: We're on the same side!
Gnome Guard: Don't fwoosh me bro.

"Chicken need Squishy." "Chicken does need Squishy."

Cale: "This justifies it?! What right had we to make that decision for them?!"

Prosecuter: "Not only does this Warlock travel with a group of Good and Neutral aligned beings and beasts - He hasn't murdered a single one of them."
[Courtroom filled with other Lesser Demons gasps in shock]

    • Richard takes it as "seriously" as he does pretty much everything else. [1]

Richard: Objection!
Judge: On what grounds?
Richard: I wish to stab him.

  • Kick the Dog: The entirety of Slaughter Your World. Frequently borders on Raping the Dog, and even includes Richard, literally, kicking the dog.
    • Not to mention his 'choke the bunny' moment. Any charm-type spell Richard might be under is just a convenient excuse, Richard wants to kill everything that's outside the party almost all of the time anyhow, and may not be opposed to an undead pet...
      • Arguably, he's aware of his bunny being the Archmage, and is 'Raping the Dog's Church' or 'Kicking the Chessmaster' for lack of a better name.
  • Kill It with Fire: What Richard does to many, many things in the comic (when he isn't killing them in other more graphic ways). But hey, that orphanage attacked him first anyway.
    • Commander Kickass also does this to destroy the Bloodrage city.
  • Klingon Promotion: Based on his desire for the Sword of Truth which is the only thing that could kill Tavor, and the fact Tavor gained the crown after killing the previous king, Aelloon was probably aiming for this.
  • Kudzu Plot: A whole lot of plots seem to come and go and intertwine at rapid speed, when a simple premise like "finding the sword of truth" would be much easier to follow.
  • Lack of Empathy: Richard really does not understand that finding your own people dead is a solemn moment.
  • Laughably Evil: Guess who. Give you a hint: Mayor.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Richard does this here.
  • Let's Get Dangerous / Not So Harmless: The green imps first appear to be little more than joke characters, but soon prove capable of subduing Cale, and, after a Heel Face Turn, the Legion's diggers.
  • Life Will Kill You: Maikos considers becoming human again to be the same as dying. He and the rest of the villagers no longer know how to live as normal humans. They are completely unable to deal with things like sickness, age, and hunger.
  • Long List: Richard's list of titles, which I'm not posting here for the hundredth time on this page.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Richard even sings about this.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: "So yeah, I'm a door now."
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Richard has a rather famous moment.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Richard's Emergency provisions for his little village up the coast subverts this hilariously.

Richard: Did you do as I asked with all of the women and children?
Maikos: Yes, My lord. But the Catapult could only fire four of them at a time.

Maikos: It's the source of his power
Cale: What?
Richard: He said I threw his mother off a tower.
Maikos: That too.

  • Not Quite Dead: Richard.
    • Tavor too, several times now (though the first time he wasn't evil.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: For all his apparent immaturity, Richard is really very knowledgeable and intelligent. Plus he's probably more in the know than any other main character besides the Archmage...
  • Odd Friendship: Captain Kickass and Chief Bloodrage, Richard and Cale, Richard and Pella, Richard and Felbunny, Richard and Sooba...
  • Offhand Backhand: Delivered by Richard on the first panel of page 302.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't get to see exactly how Richard accomplishes many of his awesome feats. Justified in that the ones we do see are already awesome enough.
    • Also many of the battles, such as when Richard's village fight the Legarion soldiers, happen off panel.
  • Oh Crap: The Legarian army has one here.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Richard defines it. He even says he is in his Villain Song.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Benny heals her ex-husband back from certain death, brought on by her team protecting her from him because she wants to smash his head in herself. He manages two words right before she does it.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: This strip.
  • Overly Long Gag: The comic used the "You Have My Sword" reference often.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Legaran forces have white dragons while Kethenecia has sand dragons. The Guradians of Eight are bipedal, wingless green dragons capable of speech.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: No they aren't; they are evil black leather-clad, pierced punks. With sideburns. And that's when they aren't big-boobed beauties.
    • Or bearded, hammer wielding blacksmiths.
    • That was before: don't forget Pella comes from the distant past.
      • Her mother seems to have been a bard; Pella learned both of her parents' professions.
    • And Pella is quite shapely and fan-servicey, not fat and dumpy like dwarven females are so often depicted as.
      • I think we're at least a decade or two past the time when people used to argue if dwarven women had beards. She's just a more modern take on the trope as reflected in WoW and D&D 4e.
  • Our Liches Are Different
  • Overly Long Gag: Richard's titles again.
    • Heck, even the references to them on this page.
  • Overused Copycat Character: If you don't look at Cale'Anon in the first 10 or so strips and think Drizz't, your head must be on wrong.
    • Or you have never read the Drizz't books.
    • Funny, since when author started the comic he had no idea that there was Drizz't. So it's more or less coincidence.
      • Including the pet black panther that he summons magically?!
      • Since when is Sooba magic? He just hangs out within earshot. If you look closely enough on pages where people call on him, he's jumping into view. Not poofing, or anything magic. In small areas like dungeons you can see him right there traveling, and in armies he's still there.
      • And at the beginning, the comic still had some of its original World of Warcraft inspiration hanging around - Sooba was probably supposed to be "summoned" the way Hunters in WoW can just whistle and have their pets appear out of nowhere, even if they are rather large.
  • Papa Bull: Krunch Bloodrage
  • Panthera Awesome: Sooba.
  • Perspective Flip: From this comic to this one.
  • Picked Last: Richard is picked after the crippled children with speech impediments.
  • Pirate Girl: The elven pirate captain
  • Place Worse Than Death: The Plane of Suck
  • The Plan: Turns out that many events that take place are for the purpose of molding Cale into the future king of Kethenecia.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: After apparently being captured by some battlemages, Richard is shown taking one of his hands out of their cuffs, though either this seems to have been a one-off gag or the power of the chains to control undead have prevented him from making a full escape.
  • Portal Cut: this strip.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Cale believes that this is how he saved Kethenica.

"I'd ask you what the price was." "I've already paid it."

  • Power Perversion Potential: Restraining spells can make good... restraints.
    • A young mage wrote a spell which requires two women to strip to their underwear and do things including a pillow fight. How many other things could you write into a spell?
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: "Rejoice. For very bad things are about to happen."
  • Progressively Prettier: Compare Benny's appearance from her first apparition, to later ones.
    • Not that her appearance has changed that much compared to the general style of the comic, or that she was particularly bad looking to start with.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Cale'Anon, Benn'Joon, and Ray'd Bool.
  • Punny Name: Ray'd Bool. And yes, he does give you wings.
    • He actually has wing-shaped markings on his back.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Richard.
    • Subverted by the fact he delays a fight against the bad guys to go kill some innocents (after verifying they are no less!) after noticing his usual pain/arrow immunity is gone, and wears undead makeup to look more evil - the psychopathic undead manchild may be an act relating to keeping his powers up!
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Richard and Felbunny
  • Relationship Upgrade: This could arguably be the case with Benn'Joon and Cale. At first Benny sees Cale as a do-gooder that constantly drags her into trouble. But eventually she warms up to him, this is lampshaded by Krunch when she agrees to help Cale fight Legaria because she trusts him. It culminates with this moment of heartwarming. We'll see if it sticks.
    • Judging from this it would appear that did indeed stick.
      • Things got sticky, but the question is whether she respects him in the morning.
  • Remix Comic: Several of these have appeared in the forum Motivator thread. Like this.
  • The Reveal: In 422: Richard isn't dead.
  • Rickroll: In #144. By Richard, of course.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "The mistake was making me cute."
    • Also Krunch, right after his father is killed in battle.
  • Role Playing Game Verse: Although the world and races look a lot like World of Warcraft, it's treated as a standard fantasy setting (not a game) most of the time. Every once in a while, though, this trope is invoked for laughs. For example, at one point the party is imprisoned, and Richard tells Cale "Kill yourself and roll a rogue. We'll wait."
    • Or when he's picked up by an attacking giant. he rolls a twenty-sided dice! "I rolled a Natural 20...! That means I win... you can fall down now."
    • Theres a "Loading please wait" screen when Cale jumps through the first Portal.
    • And in #396 where Richard considers a career change.
  • Running Gag: "You think you know me?"
    • The Fork of Truth, which may actually be magic considering it's been seen to glow a few times.
    • Richard's titles. He either adds new ones or sometimes adopts them from people he meets. Usually after killing them.
    • Everyone seems to be mentioning how Commander Kickass killed the Bloodrage's father recently
  • Sarcasm Failure: On seeing a vision of his past self, Richard is unable to find a suitably snarky response and simply says "Pass".
  • Sarcasm Mode: Often, but this in particular.
    • Richard also deserves a special mention here, as the red from his speech bubbles turns pink whenever he uses sarcasm.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "For everything else, there's Fwoosh." "Don't Fwoosh me, bro!"
  • Say My Name: "Chicken!" "Pinky." "Old cow!" "Brother." "Engineer." "Dwarf." "... RICHARD!"
  • The Sadistic Choice: In order to save his friends and Kethenecia, Cale must kill an innocent child to return them to their own time.
    • He mopes about for a long while afterward.
  • Sand Worm
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Hctib Elttil
    • Also, Dnah, a talking hand... thing.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: possibly one on the last panel here.
  • Ship Tease: Parodied, one assumes, here, in a Shout-Out to Ghost. The dialog in the next page may also count, given how, out of context, it sounds very much like... something else...

Richard: You violated my spirit!
Pella: We agreed on no eye contact!

Richard: Many bothans died to bring you this information.
Cale: They're called gnomes, and you killed them!

Richard: This! Is! Sooba!

Benny: Credit where it's due. He is getting better at his entrances.

    • Cale starts out horrified at the very idea of killing troops from The Empire. More recently, he watched Richard and Krunch rip a live dwarf in half like a wishbone and was splattered with the blood. His only reaction?

"What did you wish for?"

Richard: Who is she?
Cale: My wife.

Notes

  1. but would have preferred 'Killer Hat'