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ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.





I saw a shpiel online about this recently.

It went something like "Oh it was a dream all along? Who would have guessed that this fictional story didn't happen? What an unexpected twist."

There's nothing to be added by that, unless you have something real specific to say about the person having the dream. DS9's ending springs to mind as an example of how to make that work, but I still think it was hacky.

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Roland Jones
Aug 18, 2011


And even if you look at the parts that are meant to parallel what happens when people play RPGs together, like the creation of the Snarl, they still actually happened in-universe. There are, again, no "players" directly controlling the main characters, nor a DM controlling everyone else, even if you argue that the gods metaphorically represent RPG players or whatever.

The discussion hasn't been about metaphor, people were discussing the possibility of the comic literally being a game played by other, heretofore-unseen fictional characters, and how both this has been shot down both in and out-of-comic. No one is objecting to the idea of the TTRPG parody comic being in part a commentary on TTRPGs, just the one that it is about an actual TTRPG campaign and not just a world that runs on TTRPG mechanics.


That said, on a tangent:

ikanreed posted:

I saw a shpiel online about this recently.

It went something like "Oh it was a dream all along? Who would have guessed that this fictional story didn't happen? What an unexpected twist."

There's nothing to be added by that, unless you have something real specific to say about the person having the dream. DS9's ending springs to mind as an example of how to make that work, but I still think it was hacky.

I used to agree with you here, and definitely think that it wouldn't fit OotS, but I saw a really good and convincing argument that basically took what you say here and turned it around regarding people being upset about a "it's all a dream" (or, actually, a game, played by children in this case) reveal at the end of a video game: You knew it was a game all along, so why does having that pointed out change things? It's not a twist. (Though something that is a twist is that, if you decide to reveal that everything is just a game played by some kids to other characters (you can actually more or less taunt at least one person with this information even, if you're a huge dick) after learning it, one of them, another PC whose story you probably haven't unlocked yet, will say, "Yeah, of course I knew that," which is makes you wonder what the hell happens in her side of the story.)

This case is actually made in the game itself, as part of something after the above reveal, where you meet a couple of characters who are very thinly-veiled stand-ins for the devs themselves, who will also comment on various issues they had with making the game, the nature of "choice" in games like that where everything you can do is was made by someone else (even your option to point that out), and even let you choose whether to interact with them as your character, or as yourself, the player.

I know it sounds pretentious as hell but it was seriously well-done and the only reason I haven't said what game it's from is that even mentioning something's title in an "it's all just a dream" discussion kind of gives away, you know, that. Which admittedly the game itself says isn't really a twist, like I mentioned above, but still. (It's also not actually part of the main plot necessarily, outside of that one character's side of things; the story is good on its own and you actually need to work hard to unlock the "it's just a game" reveal with the kids, and really hard to unlock the conversation with the dev stand-ins. Most players probably won't even see this stuff. But it's an interesting extra layer of things on top of that.)

All that said, yeah, I absolutely would not trust most media to pull off something like that and don't think "it's all a dream (or whatever) is something that can just be dropped into any story, or that would even fit into most stories really. Just because it can be good doesn't mean it's usually good. But the above thing is what made me personally open up to the idea a lot more when previously I really disliked it on principle (with the possible exception of something like "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", where it being a dream is the crux of the whole story).

Roland Jones fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Apr 14, 2021

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I think you can't really change the fundamental nature of the universe and deal with the evil older than existence that the universe itself was created as a prison for without getting kinda meta and existential about things.

ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.





SlothfulCobra posted:

I think you can't really change the fundamental nature of the universe and deal with the evil older than existence that the universe itself was created as a prison for without getting kinda meta and existential about things.

That is literally every d&d campaign that reaches high levels.

Gynovore
Jun 17, 2009

Forget your RoboCoX or your StickyCoX or your EvilCoX, MY CoX has Blinking Bewbs!

WHY IS THIS GAME DEAD?!

SlothfulCobra posted:

I think you can't really change the fundamental nature of the universe and deal with the evil older than existence that the universe itself was created as a prison for without getting kinda meta and existential about things.

A dude posted:

That is literally every d&d campaign that reaches high levels.

There was an old RPG called Lords of Creation that let the players do exactly this. As players increase in level they gain the ability to transform reality; at top level they become a 'Lord of Creation' with the ability to create universes. Players are encouraged to become a GM at that point.

Acerbatus
Jun 26, 2020


Gynovore posted:

Hey just a dumb thought. When the series finally ends, do you think we'll see the 'camera' pull back to reveal a bunch of dudes sitting around a kitchen table surrounded by Cheetoes and pizza boxes?

Giant said there is zero chance of that happening at one point.

ikanreed posted:

I saw a shpiel online about this recently.

It went something like "Oh it was a dream all along? Who would have guessed that this fictional story didn't happen? What an unexpected twist."

There's nothing to be added by that, unless you have something real specific to say about the person having the dream. DS9's ending springs to mind as an example of how to make that work, but I still think it was hacky.

The best 'all just a dream' ending was Pathologic.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


r/showerthoights posted:

In a sense every book ends with I woke up and it was just a dream

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Acerbatus posted:

The best 'all just a dream' ending was Pathologic.
Funny way to spell 8 Bit Theater.

Bony-Eared Assfish
Oct 4, 2018


It-s a pretty old trope

Midsummer Night's Dream posted:


If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends

GlyphGryph
Jun 23, 2013


My favorite twist in the twist is when all the characters realize they are in a dream and must then either try and wake up (if they are the sleepers) or try and prevent the sleeper from waking up and destroying them, or otherwise come to terms with their imminent nonexistence, or somehow find a way to continue to exist outside the dream.

There's a lot of potential there.

But no, beyond the illusion in the desert I dont think OOTS is gonna have anything else where what we see the characters doing turns out to have been fake. The only remaining likely candidate for any sort of "none of this is real" is the scribble histories which are of questionable truth and accuracy, but I am pretty sure everything else is and always is going to be "real".


On topic question about the snarl and universes: When the gods recreate the universes, does that include having to remake all the different dimensions like the one where xykons philactory is? Does anything but the gods themselves survive to the new universe?

I remember they need enough souls to "get through" and survive themselves but don't really understand how that works - do the souls themselves survive the process? Are they all eaten to provide enough energy for the gods to last through creation?

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


GlyphGryph posted:

My favorite twist in the twist is when all the characters realize they are in a dream and must then either try and wake up (if they are the sleepers) or try and prevent the sleeper from waking up and destroying them, or otherwise come to terms with their imminent nonexistence, or somehow find a way to continue to exist outside the dream.

There's a lot of potential there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EGIG-Sq5-c

Dr Pepper
Feb 4, 2012

Don't like it? well...



GlyphGryph posted:


I remember they need enough souls to "get through" and survive themselves but don't really understand how that works - do the souls themselves survive the process? Are they all eaten to provide enough energy for the gods to last through creation?


The comic itself says its more like the souls power the planes of existence. Which dies seem to work to keep the gods alive but it seems a lot more indirect than the worship and devotion they get from living mortals.

Johnny Aztec
Jan 29, 2005


GlyphGryph posted:

My favorite twist in the twist is when all the characters realize they are in a dream and must then either try and wake up (if they are the sleepers) or try and prevent the sleeper from waking up and destroying them, or otherwise come to terms with their imminent nonexistence, or somehow find a way to continue to exist outside the dream.

There's a lot of potential there.

There are two videos games (that I am aware of) with this premise.

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. After the events of the NES Zelda games, Link takes a raft and travels, storm happens, raft sinks, he is trapped on a tropical island.
As you go on, and fight bosses, it becomes apparent of two things: One: this island, and everyone on it, is the dream of the Wind Fish, and Two: You can't leave the island without waking the Wind Fish.

The bosses you fight are actually dream parasites, trying to keep you from waking the Wind Fish.'


And there is a GBA FF: Tactics game where a bunch of children get sucked into a magical book and a world is created around them.

The main character wants to destroy this world and wake everyone up, while his brother, the "villain" wants to stay because the world is cool, and also because in this world, he isn't confined to a wheelchair.

So, you fight through the game, and re-cripple your brother and yay you're the hero!

Regalingualius
Jan 6, 2012


Not only that, the main antagonist is one of your PCs friends who basically hit the jackpot: hes a child king, his dead mom is alive again, and his alcoholic bum of a father becomes one of the most prestigious men in the kingdom.

Rosalie_A
Oct 30, 2011


The message is ostensibly "escaping into fantasy to ignore reality is bad but fantasy can help you work through problems in reality" but, uhh, the game undercuts its own message by like, a lot. Not only in terms of story (the protagonist is of course a privileged kid who doesn't have any issues to work through so naturally he sees no upside to the fantasy world) but also gameplay (it has lots and lots of side content so you're encouraged to keep playing even disregarding the story, and there's even a set of missions that require the rest to be done, including the story, so the game's design even wants you to revisit it once the story has been completed).

A better "just a dream" like thing was in a part of a visual novel I played recently, where it turned out one character's recollection of the days leading up to the game's main events weren't actually flashbacks but instead selectively inserted and modified memories to encourage him towards certain paths of behaviors. It's not a twist towards the end but instead a twist around the middle, and it's not undercutting the entire story, just recontextualizing a smaller portion of it, and that makes it work a lot better.

GlyphGryph
Jun 23, 2013



I love this btw, thank you!

Dr Pepper posted:

The comic itself says its more like the souls power the planes of existence. Which dies seem to work to keep the gods alive but it seems a lot more indirect than the worship and devotion they get from living mortals.


I have no idea what this means.

Zore
Sep 21, 2010




Johnny Aztec posted:

There are two videos games (that I am aware of) with this premise.

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. After the events of the NES Zelda games, Link takes a raft and travels, storm happens, raft sinks, he is trapped on a tropical island.
As you go on, and fight bosses, it becomes apparent of two things: One: this island, and everyone on it, is the dream of the Wind Fish, and Two: You can't leave the island without waking the Wind Fish.

The bosses you fight are actually dream parasites, trying to keep you from waking the Wind Fish.'


And there is a GBA FF: Tactics game where a bunch of children get sucked into a magical book and a world is created around them.

The main character wants to destroy this world and wake everyone up, while his brother, the "villain" wants to stay because the world is cool, and also because in this world, he isn't confined to a wheelchair.

So, you fight through the game, and re-cripple your brother and yay you're the hero!

I mean the book also hosed up a lot of other people. You literally see it rewrite the 'real world' Ivalice and change people into new things. The schoolyard bullies got turned into mindless zombies, for instance, and the MCs Mom is written out of existence. Framing it as a binary 'Hah he's crippling his brother' is weird and really internet reductionist.

Also Ivalice is a fascist dystopia run by a god-child with serious anger issues who's completely arbitrary. Its not hard to see why someone might want to stop that!

Zore fucked around with this message at 18:48 on Apr 15, 2021

Zulily Zoetrope
Jun 1, 2011






Muldoon

GlyphGryph posted:

On topic question about the snarl and universes: When the gods recreate the universes, does that include having to remake all the different dimensions like the one where xykons philactory is? Does anything but the gods themselves survive to the new universe?

I remember they need enough souls to "get through" and survive themselves but don't really understand how that works - do the souls themselves survive the process? Are they all eaten to provide enough energy for the gods to last through creation?

Only the OotS-world gets destroyed. All the other planes are unaffected; Thor mentions in one aside that they have to wipe the minds of all the creatures who live there because the one time they didn't do that it was a huge mess.

The souls stuff is from standard D&D cosmology. All the outer planes (heaven/hell/limbo/nirvana/etc.) are powered by souls and belief, and so are the gods because that's where they live. When you die, you go to the plane that most resembles your soul, and your consciousness slowly fades away as you are absorbed into the plane and reinforce its structure. How this happens depends on where you go; Roy went to Mount Celestia, and got told that people choose to climb higher up the mountain as they grow more distant from their earthly life. Once you've let go of everything and have reached the top, your soul will be fully consumed by the plane, becoming a part of it.

Same goes for someone who worships Thor and goes to Valhalla. You'll feast and roughhouse to your heart's content, possibly for millenia, but sooner or later you're going to have had your fill, and let your soul be absorbed. It is a slow but constant process that keeps the gods topped up.

Those afterlives are nice places because they are founded on the souls of nice people. If you are evil, you will go to a place made up of evil people instead. Hell isn't a punishment in the D&D universe; it is merely the collective manifestation of a billion rear end in a top hat souls, of which you might end up being a tiny contribution. Your soul might be twisted into a cool demon if you were a remarkably glorious rear end in a top hat, but most people just get bullied and tormented by those who are better at asserting themselves until their conscious minds finally let go and are absorbed into the plane.

Gnoman
Feb 11, 2014

"What we therefore hath joined together, let Gnoman put asunder..."


GlyphGryph posted:


On topic question about the snarl and universes: When the gods recreate the universes, does that include having to remake all the different dimensions like the one where xykons philactory is? Does anything but the gods themselves survive to the new universe?

I remember they need enough souls to "get through" and survive themselves but don't really understand how that works - do the souls themselves survive the process? Are they all eaten to provide enough energy for the gods to last through creation?

There's a mention in 1147 that they have to erase all the outsiders' memories every time a new world is made. So it looks like it is just the Prime Material Plane that constitutes the world.

ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.





Zulily Zoetrope posted:

Only the OotS-world gets destroyed. All the other planes are unaffected; Thor mentions in one aside that they have to wipe the minds of all the creatures who live there because the one time they didn't do that it was a huge mess.

The souls stuff is from standard D&D cosmology. All the outer planes (heaven/hell/limbo/nirvana/etc.) are powered by souls and belief, and so are the gods because that's where they live. When you die, you go to the plane that most resembles your soul, and your consciousness slowly fades away as you are absorbed into the plane and reinforce its structure. How this happens depends on where you go; Roy went to Mount Celestia, and got told that people choose to climb higher up the mountain as they grow more distant from their earthly life. Once you've let go of everything and have reached the top, your soul will be fully consumed by the plane, becoming a part of it.

Same goes for someone who worships Thor and goes to Valhalla. You'll feast and roughhouse to your heart's content, possibly for millenia, but sooner or later you're going to have had your fill, and let your soul be absorbed. It is a slow but constant process that keeps the gods topped up.

Those afterlives are nice places because they are founded on the souls of nice people. If you are evil, you will go to a place made up of evil people instead. Hell isn't a punishment in the D&D universe; it is merely the collective manifestation of a billion rear end in a top hat souls, of which you might end up being a tiny contribution. Your soul might be twisted into a cool demon if you were a remarkably glorious rear end in a top hat, but most people just get bullied and tormented by those who are better at asserting themselves until their conscious minds finally let go and are absorbed into the plane.

Of course, all the canon contradicts all the other canon.

The book tyrants of the nine hells claims the lawful evil afterlife was created specifically to punish bad people to make more people good, though it describes that origin as a possible lie.

What is described with out of universe voice is that all souls, once tortured to emptiness, are shoved into the maggot pit to become lemures. None just fade away.

But despite that, somehow devils are finite but very large in number, whereas demons are infinite.

None of it makes any sense, but maybe it's better that way.

Arzaac
Jan 2, 2020




Zore posted:

I mean the book also hosed up a lot of other people. You literally see it rewrite the 'real world' Ivalice and change people into new things. The schoolyard bullies got turned into mindless zombies, for instance, and the MCs Mom is written out of existence. Framing it as a binary 'Hah he's crippling his brother' is weird and really internet reductionist.

Also Ivalice is a fascist dystopia run by a god-child with serious anger issues who's completely arbitrary. Its not hard to see why someone might want to stop that!

The other big thing is that, even though Marche definitely doesn't have problems to the same extent the rest of the cast does, that doesn't make his effective kidnapping right or just in any way. It's a much more complex problem than "Hey your 3 friends all have better lives now and 3 is larger than one so suck it up buttercup".

Though the big problem is that the game does not have anywhere near sophisticated enough writing to handle the moral dilemma they wrote themselves in to.

GlyphGryph
Jun 23, 2013


If the outer planes survive, does thay mean there's any chance Xykon would survive if his soul was actually where he thought it was? What about other folks visiting the outer realms at the time the world is destroyed?

I mean we probably don't actually have the answers to that yet (and probably won't ever) but I do wonder if there are any mortal survivors of the previous worlds because they weren't IN the world when it was destroyed.

Ponsonby Britt
Mar 13, 2006
I think you mean, why is there silverware in the pancake drawer? Wassup?

GlyphGryph posted:

If the outer planes survive, does thay mean there's any chance Xykon would survive if his soul was actually where he thought it was? What about other folks visiting the outer realms at the time the world is destroyed?

I mean we probably don't actually have the answers to that yet (and probably won't ever) but I do wonder if there are any mortal survivors of the previous worlds because they weren't IN the world when it was destroyed.

I think by definition they wouldn't really be "mortal" at that point, you know?

Brainamp
Sep 4, 2011

More Zen than Zenyatta



GlyphGryph posted:

If the outer planes survive, does thay mean there's any chance Xykon would survive if his soul was actually where he thought it was? What about other folks visiting the outer realms at the time the world is destroyed?

I mean we probably don't actually have the answers to that yet (and probably won't ever) but I do wonder if there are any mortal survivors of the previous worlds because they weren't IN the world when it was destroyed.

Would assume that the gods would just kill or delete any stragglers to prevent that sorta thing. Kinda impossible to hide from them

oobey
Nov 19, 2002



Hmmm. Remember when Thor showed Durkon all the memorials of the various universes the Gods had created? How many do you think there were? Somewhere in the ballpark of 777,777?

My new prediction is OOTS will end in a surprise twist where a Conquering King breaches the Firmament of Heaven and claims the power of Creation for himself.

xcheopis
Jul 23, 2003




oobey posted:

Hmmm. Remember when Thor showed Durkon all the memorials of the various universes the Gods had created? How many do you think there were? Somewhere in the ballpark of 777,777?

My new prediction is OOTS will end in a surprise twist where a Conquering King breaches the Firmament of Heaven and claims the power of Creation for himself.

Herself.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


If gods themselves might not survive the time between worlds if they don't have enough power built up, why would some schlub who hid just off-world without any godly defense?

I don't think I really buy all the outer planes being consistent from world to world with this setting, because otherwise what use would more serious worlds have for the elemental plane of ranch dressing?

Johnny Aztec
Jan 29, 2005


^ That is the SEMI-Elemental Plane, thank you very much.

Brainamp posted:

Would assume that the gods would just kill or delete any stragglers to prevent that sorta thing. Kinda impossible to hide from them

Plus, they did say theres a few thousand years between worlds. Didn't they?

Something about having to wait for the Snarl to calm down before they could start to build around it again.

Soup du Jour
Sep 8, 2011

I always knew I'd die with a headache.



oobey posted:

Hmmm. Remember when Thor showed Durkon all the memorials of the various universes the Gods had created? How many do you think there were? Somewhere in the ballpark of 777,777?

My new prediction is OOTS will end in a surprise twist where a Conquering King breaches the Firmament of Heaven and claims the power of Creation for himself.

Xykon is basically what would happen if Incubus was turned into a skeleton

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


SlothfulCobra posted:

I don't think I really buy all the outer planes being consistent from world to world with this setting, because otherwise what use would more serious worlds have for the elemental plane of ranch dressing?

The elemental planes aren't outer planes

karmicknight
Aug 21, 2011


EEEEEEEY YO

fool of sound posted:

The elemental planes aren't outer planes


Ah, glad D&D cosmology is bad again.

World Famous W
May 25, 2007

BAAAAAAAAAAAA

The sanctioned action is to meteor swarm

oobey
Nov 19, 2002



Royalty is a +5 racial bonus to Listen checks.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


ikanreed posted:

Of course, all the canon contradicts all the other canon.

The book tyrants of the nine hells claims the lawful evil afterlife was created specifically to punish bad people to make more people good, though it describes that origin as a possible lie.

What is described with out of universe voice is that all souls, once tortured to emptiness, are shoved into the maggot pit to become lemures. None just fade away.

But despite that, somehow devils are finite but very large in number, whereas demons are infinite.

None of it makes any sense, but maybe it's better that way.

When a devil dies in hell they are absorbed into the plane. Which also used to be there before the Devils, they just moved in and started their enterprise there.

Demons are infinite because the Abyss just constantly spawns them. Mortal Souls either become Demons over time, or are eaten and eventually reabsorbed into the plane when the Demon is likely killed by another one.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


oobey posted:

Hmmm. Remember when Thor showed Durkon all the memorials of the various universes the Gods had created? How many do you think there were? Somewhere in the ballpark of 777,777?

196, 833

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


525,600

Telegnostic
Apr 24, 2008


ikanreed posted:

There's nothing to be added by that, unless you have something real specific to say about the person having the dream. DS9's ending springs to mind as an example of how to make that work, but I still think it was hacky.

Off topic, but DS9 didn't end with "it was all a dream." There was an episode called Far Beyond the Stars that suggested the whole show might be a dream, but it wasn't the show's ending.

The actual ending of DS9 was Sisko travelling to the mouth of an active volcano to punch out the devil, preventing him from reading from his dark grimoire and casting a spell that would open a portal to release all the demons of hell, then falling into the volcano and perishing, with Sisko's soul ascending to heaven and the implication that in time he may return to life in order to lead his people to glory. So you see, they didn't undermine their Star Trek setting with a silly "it was all a dream" ending.

Johnny Aztec
Jan 29, 2005


420,690

Gynovore
Jun 17, 2009

Forget your RoboCoX or your StickyCoX or your EvilCoX, MY CoX has Blinking Bewbs!

WHY IS THIS GAME DEAD?!

Telegnostic posted:

Off topic, but DS9 didn't end with "it was all a dream." There was an episode called Far Beyond the Stars that suggested the whole show might be a dream, but it wasn't the show's ending.

They were planning to do a post-credit thing where the camera pulls back to reveal Benny Russell standing next to the set, but chose not to do that.

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TheAceOfLungs
Aug 4, 2010


Probably the best "All Just A Dream" ending was Bob Newhart.

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