Murphy's Law (webcomic)
Murphy's Law is a fan-comic based in the Giant in The Playground forums. In a similar vein to Anti-HEROES, it borrows from Burlew's style, but the characters are a touch elongated. Finds its muse from Order of the Stick; a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits gather together and have zany adventures, and get on each other's nerves.
The comic follows the adventures of Lloyd Zephyr, a Fighter/Paladin of Astrid with a mysterious past; Radic Quilla, a druid who knows marketing; Janine Nova, a Lovable Sex Maniac who's terrified of orcs; and Matt
hew Silver, a rogue with a horrible streak of bad luck. In time, two more party members came forth: Serrin Peakane, a hyperactive half-elf wizard, and Tinder, the dragon that they were supposed to kill on their first adventure together.
- Aerith and Bob: People called Lloyd, Janine and Matt alongside people called Radic and Serrin.
- Alien Sky: Aequar, the comic's world, has two moons.
- All Lust Is Unrequited: Janine to Lloyd, Matt to Radic.
- Exclusively Evil: Subverted, as Word of God has stated that no race or culture is universally good or evil. It's also quite possibly deconstructed; while the goblins and orcs are treated like monsters by many of the characters, they're shown to be regular people who are sometimes forced to do crimes like robbery.
- Ambiguous Gender: Some elves have this quality, as an extension of Burlew's work. Justified, in that, according to Word of God, male/female elves produce less testosterone/estrogen, respectively, than male/female humans, and thus have less noticeable secondary sexual characteristics. Anyone who grew up around elves (like Serrin) would be able to tell the difference
- Art Evolution: Comparing the latest and earliest strips demonstrates a noticeable improvement in art quality, as is natural.
- A-Team Firing: Dragons have no concept of aiming.
- The Atoner: Lloyd is certainly one, being a former paladin of Kago, and apparently recognizable enough to be seen by as a murderer by one of the Plavaan who survived Kago's raids. Go, Lloyd!
- Badass Bookworm: Serrin is pretty handy with a dagger.
- Bi the Way: Serrin's brother, Luic. It's only mentioned in passing.
- Blatant Lies: Luckily, Commoners' Sense Motive skills aren't all that amazing.
- Blow You Away: The Theme Naming of the group. Nobody's shown real affinity with the element, though.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Considering the fact that it's a fan comic on Giant in the Playground, this shouldn't be too surprising Lucrid's Protagonist Detection is the most notable.
- Brick Joke: The cart girl makes a return.
- Butt Monkey: Matt. So far, he's been Groin Attacked with (not by, with) a weasel, poisoned by a Giant Spider, dragged awkwardly by a dog while he was poisoned, ending with him in an awkward and painful position, attacked by said dog and covered in dragon acid breath. His scene in the page image actually shows up (slightly edited) in canon.
- Canine Companion: Radic's animal companion, Remus, is a riding dog.
- A short-lived Druid also has a much larger one. It inspires envy. It is then reincarnated as a dire tiger.
- Captain Obvious: As mentioned in the strip title, Radic did not actually have to point out the Giant Spider. The comic is also chock-full of moments like these; some getting a by, some not.
- Cassandra Truth: Miles tries and fails to warn his superiors about Rust being bad news.
- Character Alignment: In-Universe examples, due to the setting.
- Chaotic Good: Janine. Serrin straddles this and Neutral Good, according to Word of God.
- Chaotic Neutral: Matt.
- Lawful Good: As a paladin, Lloyd has to be this and he demonstrates it well. There are also the Paladins of Kago (which Lloyd once was), who, according to their reputation, are... not nice, despite being paladins.
- Lawful Neutral: Tinder.
- Neutral Good: Radic. Serrin, sort of, as noted above.
- Cool Horse: Sandstorm, Lloyd's paladin mount. He also envisions himself astride a different one in a flashback detailing his past.
- Covered in Gunge: Lloyd and Radic get covered in spider innards.
- Curb Stomp Battle: The mercenaries quite firmly crush Tinder's family.
- Curse Cut Short: An inversion.
- Cute but Cacophonic: Iris
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Matt:
"If you break out into a song and dance number, I will beat you with your femur."
- Ditzy Genius: Serrin
- Dope Slap: Also, "dope punch".
- Drinking Contest: Serrin and Matt have one. It ends about as well as you'd expect.
- Drunken Song: Serrin sings a version of "The Hedgehog Song", as well as "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts".
- Epic Fail: How Matt did on the Test of Hidden Traps.
- Erotic Dream: It appears that Janine has been having these about Lloyd.
- Everything's Worse with Bears: Therefore Radic wildshapes into one.
- Eye Scream: Matt does this to the dragon, Tinder.
- Familiar: Fir, the cat and Iris, the hawk.
- Fantastic Racism: Matt hates elves partly due to their arrogance but mainly because they have a +2 dexterity bonus and are the only species allowed to become Arcane Archers. The elves in this setting are remarkably human-like in their portrayal, however, making this closer to a Informed Attribute point for Matt's prejudice. There's also the point that most paladins discriminate against the races who supposedly killed Astrid; and then there's Janine's hatred of orcs. This might be a theme.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: Taking levels in Dragon Disciple or Monk.
- The latter is most likely because Monks need to be Lawful, which Matt... isn't.
- Foreshadowing: When Lloyd introduces himself as a Paladin of Astrid, many characters assume he's a Paladin of Kago. He denies this, but...
- Funny Background Event: Shown here. While a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming goes on in the foreground, two people in the background get hilariously drunk. It gets even funnier when the foreground Tinder says, "Relax, it's platonic," and the background characters begin making out on a table.
- Genius Bruiser: Lloyd. He's a physical powerhouse and very skilled with polearms. He also reads a lot, carries a trunk of books with him on his travels, and studies up on other religions.
- Genki Girl: Serrin as mentioned in the title of the first strip in which she makes an appearance. It appears that her brother, Luic, is a Keet.
- Giant Spider: The giant spider. Amazing.
- Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Matt seems to think so.
- The Glomp: Serrin does this to Matt, who was, as far as she was concerned, an armed stranger.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Serrin is a half-elf. There's also an ancient hero by the name of Matthew, who Matt is eager to hear about... until it is revealed he's a dirty, stinking half-elf.
- Head Pet: Fir is often seen sitting on top of Serrin's head.
- Heroic Bastard: According to Janine, she was born 5 months premature.
- Heroic BSOD: Lloyd temporarily experiences this when he first discovers that the green dragon that he has been fighting is not evil.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: There are some hints that Kago, as a nation, might be this.
- He Went That Way!: Tinder's sister attempted this on the mercenaries. They were not fooled.
- Important Haircut: Lloyd cutting off his ponytail during a flashback to his last days as a paladin of Kago.
- Impossible Item Drop: Matt wonders why a lawful dragon would keep anarchic arrows.
- Incompatible Orientation: Although yet unknown to the rest of the party, Lloyd is shown quite definitively to be gay, which throws quite a wrench in Janine's many attempts to hit on him.
- Informed Attractiveness: Word of Coffee says that Lloyd is very handsome, which isn't easily detectable in a stick figure.
- Innocent Innuendo: By the author. Look at the first two panels in the strip Actually Radic Has a Higher Dex Score and strip the context. Does this remind you of anything?
- Interspecies Romance: Between Saphrin and Lucrid.
- Knight Templar: Paladins of Kago are seen to be this by the population.
- Loveable Rogue: Matt tries to be this, but is not successful.
Matt: I'm a ROGUE, dammit! I'm supposed to be suave and sly and witty and likeable no matter who I pickpocket, NOT a loudmouth perverted moron!
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Janine, as mentioned above.
- Love Is in the Air: Janine buys a Love Potion which causes this effect when she drinks it.
- Loophole Abuse: The Larian goverment didn't exactly think things through when issuing the Edict of Toleration...
Lloyd: But the Edict of Toleration-
- Made of Explodium: Variant, with a hay cart randomly catching fire.
- Meaningful Background Event: Here.
- Mood Whiplash: Janine is distraught over Lloyd's rejection of her. She asks him to prove he cares for her by making love to her. Lloyd manages to talk her out of it and leaves. It's become quite apparent that Janine has some messed-up views on love and sex. The page ends with Matt literally pouring a plate of cookies into his mouth.
- More Dakka: Hector felt the need to buy twelve axes.
- Mundane Utility: using Unseen Servant to make dinner.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Hyperion can't seem to get Miles' last name, Lamplight, right. It may or may not be intentional on his part.
- Not So Stoic: Miles storms out of a meeting here, when his words of warning fall upon deaf ears. (Caution: link may contain spoilers)
- Not What It Looks Like: Well, that could have gone better.
- Older Than They Look: Some of the non-human races, like elves, half-elves, and dragons, get to be this. Also Serrin's dad Lucrid, a human whose lifespan has been extended with spells.
- Only One Name: Tinder
- Only Sane Man: Lloyd, and at times, Radic.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They use the popular House Rules that all of them get alternate form and are not Color-Coded for Your Convenience
- Le Parkour: Matt demonstrates.
- Poison Is Corrosive: The spider venom ruined Lloyd's blanket.
- Precision F-Strike: See Curse Cut Short.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Lampshaded by Matt.
- Rule of Cool: A strip indicating Radic's love of doing things the flashy way was named after this trope.
- Shout-Out: To Avenue Q, Kung Fu Panda, The Oneiroi Series, Wind Waker, Discworld, Monty Python, Assassin's Creed, Old Spice, and Doctor Who.
- Skunk Stripe: Matt
- The Spock: Miles
- The Stoic: Miles
- Invisible to Gaydar: Lloyd, confirmed by Word of Coffee.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Janine, here.
- Symbol Swearing: Iris is rather Fowl mouthed.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: Technically, we only see one failed applicant, but Lloyd implies that there have been others.
- Theme Naming: All of the protagonists have sky-themed names; it appears that the cast are not unaware of this, so Serrin entitles the group "Team Gale".
- Tome Is Where the Heat Is: Serrin keeps a dagger in her spellbook. The book's not hollowed out, though; she uses the dagger as a bookmark.
- Truth Serum: Zone of Truth.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Radic is a druid who likes to use wildshape.
- Why Did It Have To be Orcs: Janine.
- Wizarding School: The Elven Magic Academy.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: Done intentionally with 240 Proof, according to Word of Coffee, dwarven beer is more than 100% alcohol as the extra alcohol is magically transported in from another dimension.
- Word of God: Sufficiently often that it's been given the Fan Nickname of Word of Coffee, as noted on this page several times.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Rust is a grand master.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Oh, Serrin.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: Tinder