Posted September 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm
There's a new sneak peek under the vote button (look down and to the right). As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted September 4, 2010 at 7:14 am
Hey Dungeon Masters and Game Masters, has your gaming session been going on for too long? Are you exhausted and want to stop, but your players are still going strong? May I suggest, the Chair of "Adventure". The Chair of "Adventure" can be found anywhere at any time. It can be encountered in a dungeon hallway, a forest clearing or even a crowded tavern. No one knows where it comes from or why it exists. The chair appears to be simple, wooden and unpainted. Any character who attempts to move the chair will immediately take a 50% hit point loss. Attempting to pass the chair by walking within thirty feet of it will result in that character's legs liquefying instantly. Pointing at the chair will cause that character's finger to explode with enough force to disintegrate most of the arm as well as causing damage to anyone standing close enough. Saying the word "chair" will result in the character's lower jaw transforming into a gate to Hell and sucking his head into the fiery abyss followed by a 25% per ten minutes that a small demon will crawl forth through the newly created Hell-gate. Turning one's back on the chair will immediately summon fifteen feet of barbed wired into that character's lower intestines. Backing away from the chair will cause the ground below that character to turn into a gelatinous cube. Any character who attacks the chair in any manner will instantly turn into pure sound. The force of the sound wave will explode the eardrums of anyone within two hundred feet. Looking at the chair will give you the stomach flu. Sitting in the chair will transform the chair itself into a black hole that will suck in the characters, the landscape, the planet, light and time and squish it all into a quantum singularity. The Chair of "Adventure" has multidimensional capabilities. For instance... Any player in your game that says the phrase "saving throw" must give the DM three of his favourite dice. Any player that raises one or more eyebrows during the encounter with the chair will owe the DM five dollars per eyebrow. Double this amount if the player's mouth is open at this time. If a player has been stacking dice at any time during that game session, he must give the DM seven cents. If he does not have seven cents on him, he must never play original Monopoly ever again. He may only play variants such as Dog-opoly or MileyCyris-opoly, etc. Any player who has ever rolled a die only to have it bounce off the table and onto the floor now belongs to the DM as his property. Forever. Anyone who named their character with a play on words such as "Cill E. Bugger" must rip up that character. If said player has ever come to a game and forgotten to bring that character, they must then eat the ripped up character. Any player who has ever gotten Doritos cheese dust on any game figure must legally change their name to "Cill E. Bugger". Any player who has ever placed dice on the gaming area to represent their character when everyone else is using carefully selected and painted figures must go to the nearest tattoo parlour and ask for a tattoo that says "All tattoo artists are morons, especially this asshat tattooing me now". The DM now and forever has prima nocta rights over all of the players. I hope you all enjoy the Chair of "Adventure". As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:44 am
Check out the new sneak peek under the vote button (down and to the right). As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted August 30, 2010 at 8:41 pm
Firstly, thanks to the many thousands of people who did the survey. Blind Ferret has told me that they have all the information they need. Secondly, thanks again to all of those who've been donating for Tempts Fate! If you haven't received a 'thank-you' email from myself or Danielle yet, you will soon. Thirdly, great job on that zombie door! And finally, I'm offering a bribe... er... I mean contest to gain more Twitter followers and further spread the word of Goblins. Here's the deal... If I get at least 5,000 Twitter followers by September 29th (my birthday), I'll randomly select five people from my list of Twitter followers and send them each a signed Goblins book. If I get at least 10,000 Twitter followers by September 29th, I'll randomly select ten people and send them each a signed book. Also, each book will have some original panel artwork tucked into it. I'll select some good panels too, I won't send people a picture that just contains Minmax's foot or something. If I get 15,000 Twitter followers by September 29th, I'll randomly select fifteen people and send them each a signed book with original artwork tucked inside. If we get enough followers, you end up being a winner and there's a particular panel you're hoping for, well... we'll talk. Remember 5,000 followers = books with no original artwork in them. This is a link to my Twitter. As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted August 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm
Goblins readers, you have homework. Blind Ferret is interested in finding out what sorts of people read this comic and so they've given me this short survey to pass onto you folks. By filling out the survey, you'll be helping us out a great deal. You'd also be making this site better for yourselves, because knowing exactly what sorts of people read this comic means the ads that appear on the site will be geared towards your specific interests. Personally, I'd rather see an ad for a new D&D book than for teeth whitener. Unlike regular homework, you don't actually have to do this, but it's very short (seriously, it's thirteen 'check this box' questions) and I'd be very grateful. As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted August 20, 2010 at 11:09 pm
Yeah, with Tempts Fate looming over me, I have to find a corner to cut somewhere to get TF posted. Tuesday's update will be the rest of this page and Tempts Fate's third door should be up before then. As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:42 pm
There's a new sneak peek under the vote button (down and to the right). And don't forget that updates are now every Tuesday and Friday! As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted August 11, 2010 at 3:11 am
Firstly, click on the vote button (look right, then down a bit) to see the next panel coming up. I urge you to do this, because this week's update really needs to end with all of you seeing that next panel. Go do it now, then come back. Okay, now that that's done, let's take about some changes... We're no longer with Keenspot. Well, I guess that's obvious, but I felt that it should be said to induce closure. There was no dramatic battle between Keenspot and Goblins involved in the break-up. I think that Keenspot will do some cool things in the future and I wish them well. It was just time for us to move on. Along with the new host and new site, we're trying a new schedule. For a little while, we're going to try one page per update, two updates per week. So look for new comics every Tuesday at noon and Friday at noon (Pacific Time, GMT -8). Please note the word "try". The Fan Art section is finally updated as well. If you've submitted fan art and you don't see it on the page, please resend it and I'll have it up there in no time. More menu options are coming soon, we're still just getting set up. Tempts Fate (door three) will be up as soon as I can manage. This door took a long time to redesign and is taking even longer to draw. Plus, there's a Tempts Fate comic page that goes with it. Time consuming stuff. It's a hard one though and Danielle is more than a little nervous for Tempts. Finally, I've noticed that the ads over here on planet Ferret are pretty damn cool. Feel free to check out any of the advertised games, etc. that catch your interest. Finally (yep, I used "finally" twice. Take that, logic), thanks to the Blind Ferret guys for putting up with my high maintenance questions and nagging. You've been great! As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
Posted July 9, 2010 at 2:38 am
(Warning: This was typed by a very sleep deprived man)

Last month, the court case that removed my ability to get a passport came to an end. I assumed that at that point, I was allowed to do all the things that had been legally kept from me. Drive a car, use my bank account, get a passport, etc.

In June, Danielle and I took a ferry (I live far away from everything and must take a ferry into the city for many things) to the passport office to order passports at $90 each so we could go to ConnectiCon. Just to be sure, we paid the extra $30 each to get the "express" treatment so we'd be sure to have them in time for the convention. We were assured that if there were any problems, they'd call us. If we received no phone calls, we could pick up the passports on the very day that we were scheduled to catch a plane into the USA. Talk about cutting it close!

For two weeks, I jumped every time the phone rang, hoping that it wasn't the passport office. After all, our plane tickets came to $1,500 and were non-refundable. The day before we were meant to leave for the convention, we received a letter from the passport office, telling me that my passport application had been denied because there was a "flag" on my name. The letter was sent the date after we applied for the passports.

I quickly called up the FMEP (who were my old "friends" from the court case who were supposed to remove the flag on my name) and asked what was up. The man I spoke to told me that it was all cleared up weeks ago and perhaps the files at the passport office were just slow to update.

Danielle and I woke up at 4:15am the next day in order to catch the first ferry into the city and be at the passport office as soon as they opened. We brought with us, all our ConnectiCon luggage just in case there was something that could be done and we could dart off to the airport with passports in hand. Once at the office, we waited in line to get a number, then waited for that number to be called at which point we spoke with Gordon, a passport office employee.

After hearing about our situation, he looked me up and discovered that the evil flag was still on my name! He said that as long as that flag was there, he cannot issue me a passport. And even if he could, it's not likely that it could be ready the same day, but if we wanted to contact the FMEP and "light a fire under their butts" as Gordon put it, we could then pay the $150 '24 hour urgent passport application fee' and try our luck.

"But I've already paid. I paid $120." I said.

"That was your initial application fee and that application was shut down as soon as we saw the flag on your name. That fee is unfortunately non-refundable." Danielle and I looked at each other, knowing that although we had about $160 on us, we needed that money for luggage fees, food, taxis, etc.

I decided to call FMEP from a payphone in the hallway and see if I could light that fire under their butts. I was put on hold, so I waited. I waited at that payphone for half an hour before an FMEP rep named Laura answered. After explaining my situation Laura assured me that the flag should be gone by now. I asked if someone representing the FMEP could call the passport office and tell them that. She said "we don't have the power to do that, only the Department of Justice can do that". I got the D of J's number and called them. I was put on hold and so I waited. I waited at that payphone for half an hour. Then I waited for another half an hour. I hung up and decided to pester Gordon again.

I went back into the passport office (where Danielle had made herself at home, crocheting next to a pile of our luggage), waited in line to get a number, then waited for that number to be called, at which point I was talking to my old friend Gordon who was telling me once more that he didn't have the power to bypass that flag on my name.

I returned to the now familiar payphone and decided to call the mysterious Department of Justice again. This time, I was determined to stay on hold for as long as it took. It took about an hour.

My heart leaped as a man answered. "Department of Justice, before we begin, may I have your social insurance number please?" (For you Americans, a social insurance number is similar to a social security number).

"495..." I began.

"875 234?" Said the man on the phone. That's right, he finished my SIN number for me (No, I didn't just type my real SIN Number online, but the real one was said over the phone).

"Um... yeah, how did you..?"

"Hello Mr. Hunt" I was completely confused at this point. I couldn't understand how he knew who I was.

"I literally just got off the phone with Laura from the FMEP who called me to explain your situation. I can help you. I contacted the security department and as soon as they fax me the information of your file, I can manually remove the flag on your name."

"Wow, that's great!" I said.

"Yes, you're very lucky that I was in the office. I can have this cleared up by tomorrow."

"Tomorrow? Oh, well I need to be on a plane tonight. Is there any way that was can fix this now?"

"Unfortunately Mr. Hunt, I can't correct the issue until I get that fax and they won't be able to contact me until tomorrow."

"Oh." I replied "Well is there any way that you could..."

"Hang on Mr. Hunt, the fax is here."


"It's here. It just arrived." And five minutes after that comment, this amazing God of a man had removed the flag from my name. He even said "On behave of the Department of Justice, I declare that you are free to obtain a passport without any hindrance."

I rushed back into the office, waited in line to get a number, then waited... well, you know the drill. We gave Gordon our $150 and a few hours later, Danielle and I both had our passports. An awkward phone call to Danielle's amazing parents landed us a $200 loan from them, which would cover the other expenses of our trip.

We bused to the airport, checked in our luggage for $50 and waited until just after midnight to catch the first plane of our trip.

We landed in Minneapolis and were all guided to US customs. Something that we were told we'd have to do before we could catch our next flight into NYC. Danielle and I were ready to pay some kind of duty tax on our items, but we'd done some research and discovered that there was no tariff on books.

An officer pulled us aside and asked us all sorts of questions. I explained about the convention and how Danielle and I were to be guests of honour.

"Where are your work visas?" He asked us.

"What? Wait, we need work visas to attend a convention?" I felt that 'passport office' stress from the day before returning to me.

The officer explained to us that by trying to enter the USA to sell even one book without a work visa, we were stealing work from Americans and breaking the law.

I told him that I'd be willing to ditch all my merchandise and just go to enjoy the convention and he said "no". He said that since I already told him that I was planning to sell some books, I could not enter the USA at this point no matter what I said or did.

He asked us if we'd ever sold any books at American conventions before. Not wanting to make things worse by lying, I told him that we'd attended GenCon in 2007. He told us outright that we were not going to be allowed into the United States and mentioned possible jail time.

"Have a seat and wait right there." He said.

After my court battle, I was now getting used to being told that I might be going to prison. For a guy who doesn't even know how to roll a joint, I sure hear the phrase "possible jail time" a whole lot. This time was different than the court situation though. Having Danielle lumped into that possibility with me was a special kind of fear. As I sat in my plastic chair looking up at the staggering number of American flags that surrounded me (which now looked angry somehow), I began rehearsing certain conversations in my mind...

"But officer, she didn't even fill out the customs card, I did."
"Officer, she's not the author of the books, I am."
"Honestly officer, I don't even trust her to touch my merchandise. She has nothing to do with sales."

After awhile, Danielle and I were separated and I was brought into an interrogation room. It was explained to me that Danielle was also being interrogated somewhere else so if we lie about anything, they'll know about it and her and I could be facing five years in prison. I silently hoped that neither Danielle or I accidentally got any facts wrong and end up with unmatching answers.

I was questioned for maybe an hour by Officer C. (you think I'm crazy enough to post his name here?) who asked me about everything. Seriously, everything. When my Father met my Mother, how much money did I make at GenCon in 2007, even this one...

"So why are you a guest of honour at this, ConnectiCon?"

"Uh, well... I'm an author. I guess... I suppose I have a large amount of fans? I mean... I suppose I'm an author of some notability in certain circles." I'm a pretty modest guy, but we're talking about jail, people. I'd have told him that I was the best singer in Canada, if that's what he wanted to hear.

The interrogation was actually a lot like the ones you see in movies. A bunch of times he'd exit the room, leaving me sitting alone in my chair before returning five minutes later. I could vividly picture some cheesy Law & Order group of cops studying me from behind some two way mirror asking things like "what do ya think? Ya think he's lying?". There was no such mirror, but I could still imagine it.

After the interrogation, I was finger printed, photographed, then brought into another room where two officers thoroughly searched me. It was all very professional and I wasn't "violated" or anything but seriously, that was as close to a homosexual experience as I've ever come, and I've had a prostate exam before.

Eventually, Danielle and I were brought into the same room and escorted by Officer C. to a plane that would take us back to Canada. We were not allowed to have our passports returned to us until after the plane landed in Canada.

Despite all of these events, I want to make it clear that the officers Danielle and I dealt with were very professional. No one tazed us or was unnecessarily rude. They were all just very professional and unwavering in their duties. In fact, Danielle and I were both told separately that we were much more co-operative and truthful than what the officers were used to.

So now we're back home safely. I'm so very sorry to those of you who travelled a long distance and paid money that you otherwise might not have to get to ConnectiCon to see us. I also want to apologise to ConnectiCon who paid for a hotel room for Danielle and I that will now not be used.

Given that this whole nightmare has cost us over $2000 and made us no profits, I'll be launching a Tempts Fate this week in hopes of putting a dent in this brand new debt of ours. The riddle door in the last Tempts Fate was very popular, so I'll be expanding on that idea. Hopefully it'll be fun for everyone. My stance on Tempts Fate donations is usually "just reading the comic is support enough", but this time it'll be a little bit more of the "please help us" variety.

Also, the last three days, being a roller coaster of stress and intense negative emotions has shown me something pretty cool. Despite the tears, the fear and the worrying, Danielle and I never once snapped at each other or turned on each other in any way. The entire time, we were nothing but supportive, loving and close. In fact, the worst part of the whole ordeal for both of us was when we were separated and not allowed to know where the other was. I now know that no matter what happens, there's no situation that can cause us to turn on each other.

During the interrogation, I answered as many questions as I could with a simple "yes" or "no". I didn't want to make matters worse by adding any extra details and tripping myself up. I kept this minimalistic answering for as many questions as I could except one. In an environment where an untrue answer would get me thrown in jail, when asked "Is Danielle Stephens your wife?".

I answered "She will be."

As always, thanks for reading.

Posted July 7, 2010 at 6:43 am
I'm happy to announce the new, interactive Goblins desktop theme. Over time, new features, content and artwork will be automatically added to it. It's free to download, and having it on your desktop actually makes us money by including Bing as the default search engine. So feel free to try it out.

Also, I want to strongly thank everyone who has emailed me with words of encouragement concerning my recent court case situation. The amount of emails that I received (and am still receiving) is more than I have ever gotten about any one subject. I'm now about halfway through reading them all. I especially love the stories you've been sending about your own experiences. Those emails are very kind, supportive and mean more to me than you may realise. Thank you so very much.

Finally, next week's update will be up on Wednesday instead of the usual Tuesday, since Danielle and I won't be getting back from ConnectiCon until Tuesday afternoon. If you're going to be at the Con, stop by table #31 in the Artist's Colony and say hello!

As always, thanks for reading.

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