Thursday, June 2, 2011

Webcomic feature: Goblins - A Genius of Design

Goblins was recommended to me over a year ago, but I only started reading it a month or two ago.  I instantly fell in love with it.  Once I passed the first chapter I knew that this was a comic I would not stop reading.  It is an excellently crafted storyline with remarkable characters which turns on its head the fantasy stereotypes of good and evil.  The artwork has been solid most of the way through, especially once colour was introduced.  And it’s funny too.  An impressive combination.  One of its best features, though, has to be the encounter design.

Being a story about goblin adventurers in a D&D setting, there are a number of dungeon crawls and monster encounters.  Every last one of them is both clever and ruthless.  From a plant which turns people into zombie minions to a nightmare creature made entirely of hands, or a dungeon where thousands of parallel universes converge, every challenge demonstrates the ingenuous mind of the writer of the comic.  While each character and relationship is interesting and well written, even the background to their discussions is an impressive and (usually) terrifying construct. 

My favourite stories are always the ones about morality, so it’s no surprise that Goblins stands among them.  With goblins who are good, a paladin who somehow is evil, and humans more monstrous than the monsters they hunt, it challenges every preconception about the D&D universe as we know it.  My favourite character though, does have to be one who doesn’t really worry too much about morality, though he faces a few ethical problems of his own.  Minmax the warrior is a fine example of the excellent characters in this comic.  He lightly taps on the fourth wall every so often by explaining how he has traded all sorts of things for greater combat prowess.  For example, he has Weapon Proficiency: Furniture.  He traded it for his ability to wink.  Genius.

So essentially, read it.  It’s clever, and it never disappoints.  There are some pretty emotional bits in there too.  Get reading!

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