|Author(s)||Tarol "Thunt" Hunt|
|Current status / schedule||Active|
|Launch date||June 26, 2005|
Goblins - Life Through Their Eyes is a Dungeons & Dragons webcomic written and illustrated by Tarol "Thunt" Stephens. It is set in a humorously stereotypical fantasy setting, and follows the lives of a party of goblin adventurers who started as monsters and declared themselves player characters. The tagline for the comic - "Life Through Their Eyes" - reflects the predominant theme of the comic: telling a heroic tale of creatures normally viewed only as evil and weak. Tarol Hunt cautions young readers about the comic, as it often contains scenes of strong violence.
The comic debuted on June 26, 2005, and updates presently occur at the rate of approximately 1 pages per five days. The strip originally began in black and white, before converting to color in the thirtieth strip. The comic often employs humor related to metagaming in Dungeons & Dragons, such as a cleric praying to the all-powerful but nerdy Dungeon Master or characters arguing about whether or not they were subject to a random encounter. As the strip has progressed, the tone has become bleaker and the humor aspects have become less central than they were in early strips, although still present. In August 2006 Goblins joined Keenspot. In September 2006 it won Dragon Con's "Most Outstanding New Webcartoonist" award. A first bound volume of the webcomic is in print in North America and Europe, and contains a foreword by Dungeons and Dragons game designer Monte Cook. A second volume was released in 2009.
In August 2008, Tarol began a webcam channel to broadcast his drawing, first on JustinTV  and currently on UstreamTV. In October 2008, he made Goblins his full-time occupation. On August 10, 2010 Thunt left Keenspot and moved the comic to Blindferret, which also hosts Least I could do, Looking for Group, PvP and Ctrl+Alt+Del. In July 2011, Tarol switched from an ink and paper webcam approach to a digital format, using a Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet. He is still broadcasting live his pencilling and inking sessions on Ustream. He credits Phil Foglio, Dave Trampier of Wormy, Heavy Metal Magazine and Wendy Pini of Elfquest as influences on his artistic style. Tarol currently lives in British Columbia, Canada.
The Goblin Adventuring Party (GAP)
The main characters of the story are goblins who become player characters with Character classes in order to get stronger and better defend themselves.
Chief: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 1. Character Class: Cleric
Big-ears: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 1. Character Class: Paladin
Thaco: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 14. Character Class: Monk
Complains-of-Names: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 1. Character Class: Barbarian
Fumbles: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 1. Character Class: All ("one-eleventh" of each)
Other Adventuring Parties
Besides following the progress of GAP, the story takes turns shifting focus between other character groups. Below are all the parties that have been introduced and established with goals.
Forgath, Minmax, and Kin (FMK)
- Minmax: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 3
- Forgath: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 3
- Kin: First Seen in Book 2, Comic #37
Dies Horribly & Company
- Dies Horribly: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 1
- Klik: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 25
- Saves A Fox: First Seen in Book 2, Comic # 34
- K'Seliss: First Seen in Book 2, Comic # 34
- Grem: First Seen in Book 2, Comic # 25
- Biscuit: First Seen in Book 4, Comic # 36
The Drow Party (and subsequent reincarnations)
- Seth Bainwraith: First Seen in Book 1 Comic # 3 / Baka: First Seen in Book 2 Comic # 14
- Drasst Don'tsue: First Seen in Book 1 Comic # 3 / Tuck: First Seen in Book 2 Comic # 14
- Drow Babe: First Seen in Book 1 Comic # 3 / Yodette: First Seen in Book 2 Comic # 14
The Monster Adventuring Party (MAP)
- Scrole: First Seen in Book 3, Comic #32
- Pan & Yala: First Seen in Book 3, Comic #57
- Takn: First Seen in Book 3, Comic #61
- Ora: First Seen in Book 3, Comic #61
Others Of Note
Kore & The Paladin's Curse: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 10, Kore is a dwarven "paladin" from beyond the Godskull Mountains. He is one of the strip's most intimidating antagonists, high level with powerful equipment and abilities. He is driven to exterminate evil wherever he finds it, but his definition of evil is skewed: it has included not only monster race characters that have committed no offense, but members of human races who may have been "tainted" by friendly contact with monsters, including children. His character poses one of the story's most debated puzzles - how is it that he can be a paladin and keep his paladin powers when he kills innocents? Young & Beautiful has indicated that this is due to a curse, which he denies.
Captain Dellyn Goblinslayer and Saral Caine: First Seen in Book 2 Comic # 13, Goblinslayer rules as captain of the Brassmoon City Elite Guard, with the help of Saral Caine (First Seen Book 2 Comic #32) who used to be his long-time adventuring buddy. In Book 3, both come out as main antagonists. The Captain makes Brassmoon City the most avoided by monster races, and none know the grim tortures taking place in its dungeons better than both Thaco and Kin, who have had personal experience with Goblinslayer's evils.
The White Terror, Duv, and The Viper Clan: First Seen in Book 2, Comic # 29, Duv is a special goblin foretold to have dominion over the earth. Her alias, "The White Terror" has spread throughout the realm as a symbol of doom for the future of all non-goblin races. Her people, The Viper Clan, have been growing in strength and name since her rule began. She was born with two majestic wings, but when she was a youngling, tragedy struck and left her with only one. Her attempts to heal and recover her past glorious image is what drives the Blue Orb of Bloodlight Arc.
Young And Beautiful, The Prophesy: First Seen in Book 1, Comic # 1, the self-named "Young And Beautiful" (who is actually very old, and "some new kind of ugly" according to Forgath) is the Wisewoman/Fortune-teller of the Goblin War Camp. Though only appearing in Book 1, her influence on both GAP and FMK has had long-lasting effect. She is responsible for the strip's yet-unfulfilled prophecy, first told in Book 1, Comic # 27. Its title in the site's archive is Forgath's Fortune. "When the serpent becomes your prey, friends will become enemies and love will fuel hate."
Grinnorarcen & Herbert: First Seen in Book 1 Comic # 4, Grinnorarcen (formerly known as Not-Walter) is a Pit Fiend who serves as messenger boy for the realm's Dungeon Master, Herbert. His true name was discovered in Book 4, Comic #44. What little is known about Herbert comes from Forgath, who prays to him. Apparently he can't get a date to save his life and still rooms in his parents' basement. Herbert and other in-comic references to DnD mechanics show up sporadically throughout the story, depending on which characters are most aware of them at the moment.
Most of the characters and parties are all introduced. Minmax and Forgath are in league with The Drow Party, and they attack The Goblin War Camp. Chief, Big-ears, Thaco, Complains-of-Names and Fumbles must fight to protect their fellow warriors and a poorly locked treasure chest.
The Goblin Adventuring Party (GAP) is officially formed. Before returning to their village, the GAP intend to adventure and gain experience so that they can better protect their people. But on their way, Fumbles makes a tragic mistake, and his rash attempt to fix it leads GAP to Brassmoon City, the last place on earth any monster wants to be. Meanwhile, the powerful Dwarf paladin, Kore, whose only aim is to eliminate monsters, has his crossbow set on GAP's village. Dies Horribly meets and is enslaved by The White Terror, whose excavation of a valuable artifact draws a Hobgoblin attack. New friends are found and old enemies cross.
As GAP invades Brassmoon City, Captain Dellyn Goblinslayer believes an entire army of goblins is about to attack. When he announces a captured goblin is to be publicly executed in the town square, GAP is forced to take drastic action. Thaco confronts his nemesis. The White Terror gets closer to her goal, and Dies Horribly must venture with a specially selected team into a dungeon crawl. Some new alliances are born, while old ones are cut short by death.
In the dungeon crawl, Well of Darkness, Dies Horribly's team discover and struggle with their ability to handle danger. The artificial arm Klik gave Dies makes some disturbing development. In Brassmoon City which has been left crippled after the incident with the goblins, Forgath and Minmax arrive looking for a ranger to help them track down GAP. Their recruiting effort does not go as planned. Meanwhile, together again and already at Level 4, GAP continue their journey home, but the dwarven paladin Kore intercepts. Great loss is suffered and The Blue Orb of Bloodlight arc comes to an epic conclusion at the end of this book.
After the climax of Book 4, the ex-Drow team is back, only to be slaughtered by a powerful, newborn force of evil. Meanwhile Minmax, Forgath and Kin traverse the pocket-dimension dungeon crawl, The Maze of Many. The trio is locked in a deadly race against over two hundred alternate versions of themselves, ultimately confronting a Psion alternate of Minmax who is sabotaging the Maze. After defeating him, Minmax and Forgath teleport back to their home world to do a long-awaited battle with GAP. However the two teams must unexpectedly side with each other to deal with Kore.
In order to encourage donations, Tarol created a side comic with a goblin character named Tempts Fate, who is not connected with the main story. At the beginning of each donation drive, Tempts Fate is faced with a series of obstacles and dangers; whether or not he survives, and how skillfully he does so, directly correlates with how much money the donation drive makes. Were the donation goal not met, Tarol has promised Tempts Fate will perish, never to be brought back again. In 2008, Tarol attempted to create an interactive game with Tempts Fate, where fans could create their own goblin character and he would help them run it through an adventure. However, he was overwhelmed by the large response and has postponed the idea until it can be re-launched as a self-contained game.
To date, Tempts Fate has survived 11 donation drives.
List of Tempts Fate Episodes
- 1. TEMPTS FATE'S FIRST ADVENTURE: Tempts Fate has to get to a poorly locked treasure chest.
- 2. ESCAPE FROM THE TROGLODYTES: Tempts Fate needs to retrieve the skull of an ancient goblin chief.
- 3. TEMPTS FATE'S NEMESIS: Tempts Fate fights an evil creation known as Suffer.
- 4. REALM OF THE NAKED, MUDHONEY COVERED BABES: Tempts Fate follows Suffer into a realm wished into existence by a human fighter.
- 5. THE DUNGEON OF UNNECESSARY PERIL: Tempts Fate finds a cool belt and is made to test it in a dungeon crawl.
- 6. TEMPTS FATE VS. THE MMORPG: Tempts Fate starts trouble in an MMORPG.
- 7. THE FOUR TESTS OF SHARED DREAD: Tempts Fate explores the land of unfinished DnD campaigns.
- 8. THE REALLY, REALLY POORLY MADE CHARACTERS: Tempts Fate is attacked by four really, really poorly made characters.
- 8.5 Untitled. Tempts Fate crosses paths with a monster strongly resembling the predators from the Predator franchise.
- 9. THE DUNGEON CRAWL THE DM WROTE AT THE LAST MINUTE: Tempts Fate needs to fight a dragon.
- 10. TREK OF THE BLACKENED DREAD: Tempts Fate takes on a dungeon crawl infested with zombies.
- 11. TEMPTS FATE GOES TO HELL: Tempts Fate retrieves character sheets from hell.
Tempts Fate 11 has been implied to be the character's last and most expensive adventure. Donation fees in this adventure were abnormally high, as all money raised would go to buying a house for Tarol. Donations exceeded the set goal by over fifteen thousand dollars. Tarol has yet to complete this adventure.
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- "Robert J. Sawyer among Aurora Award winners". National Post. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- The Webcomic List
- "Tarol Hunt." HiSciFi. HiSciFi. CJSF, Burnaby. 13 Jan 2009.