Friday, January 21, 2011

The_Goat_Suggests 001: Erfworld

Image by Xin Ye
Another day, another new recurring series. As you're probably aware, there's a ton of good stuff on the Internet. The idea is, here's something that I think is totally awesome, and you might not even know about it! Let me share it with you. Then you'll know about it, because of me. THEN I'll be cool finally!

Seriously, you should check this out right now if you haven't already.

Today, I'll be talking with you about ErfWorld, an ongoing fantasy web-comic by an immensely clever and talented fellow by the name of Rob Balder, who is able to nest cleverness inside of cleverness inside of cleverness in a way that leaves me occasionally wanting to clap, alone, in front of my computer.

Let me give you an example.

No, wait. First, let me set up the plot.

The comic is set in the land of Erfworld, a fantasy world full of amazing creatures and characters and places, all of whom seem to be based, to a greater or lesser extent, on puns items and people and characters and web memes and 70s television shows and breakfast cereals from our world. Let me give you a few ideas. One of the lands is named Hagar, home of Prince Sammy. Prince Sammy of Hagar, he wields a mighty axe. Or again, as our story begins, the forces of Erfworld are fighting to protect their home fortress of Gobwin Knob, led by their soon-to-be slain Chief Warlord, Manpower the Temporary.

Here he is . . .

Image by Jamie Noguchi

...and there he goes.

Manpower's untimely death leaves his boss, Stanley the Plaid, usurper and ineffectual leader of Gobwin Knob, in need of a new warlord. To this end Stanley enlists his chief croakamancer, Wanda, to cast a spell to "call the perfect warlord." Unwilling to pay for the service fee on the spell, he gets this guy:

Image by Jamie Noguchi

This is Parson Gotti, whose name is an anagram of "protagonist." This is a "hint." Parson is a portly young man and Kinkos worker, by most metrics a big loser from our reality. Parson spends most of his spare time and all of his considerable intelligence playing and thinking about role playing strategy games.

This makes him the Perfect Warlord because it just so happens that Erfworld IS a turn-based, role playing strategy game. A great deal of the fun of Erfworld is watching Parson as he gradually learns the rules and mechanics of the game in which he finds himself, and the various ways in which he learns to exploit those rules to gain massive advantages within the war he suddenly finds himself. Non-battle conflict arises as Parson realizes that he is almost certainly being manipulated by forces and factions unseen, and begins to wrestle with the flesh-and-blood-and-mass-murder that comes with being a very successful warlord.

I'll let you read it without introducing Prince Ansom of Jetstone, or Jillian Zamussels, or Vinny Doombats or Sizemore Rockwell, and I'll let you discover how gorgeous the art is for yourself. Let me leave you with a joke that so far hasn't even been told or acknowledged, a throwaway that is there waiting for you to find it:

Image by Xin Ye
The current storyline involves (without giving much away) Parson using a game rule that causes a heavy rider of a dwagon (Erfworld's version of a dragon) to rapidly sink. Surprisingly, without warning, all the dwagons drop out of the sky.

Its a dwagon drop.

A dragon drop.

A drag and drop.

Go read Erfworld.

1 comment:

SirFWALGMan said...

wow something you think is funny that I agree with.. who knew..