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Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Shugojin posted:

Yes, that's the way I have thought of it. Good works have these elements so tropers employ them but have really no idea why anything is used in good writing, so it ends up packed with poorly literary devices instead of, I dunno, a plot or characters with actual personalities.

Yeah, what I like to do after I write something is to then go back and see what tropes I ended up using for the fun of it like a game of I, Spy meets MST3K; but I never go "I deliberately want this trope for the sake of having this trope."

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Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Cliff Racer posted:

People say that the point of this arc is that Tarquin's group won't betray each other yet none-the-less Tarquin was manipulating and in a way acting against Malack's interests throughout the whole strip. His ultimate plan was supposedly to pass the kingdom on to Malack after his death but in reality it was to lose his kingdom in a battle against his son with Malack supposedly getting nothing. He puts his family interests above Malack's with his plot to get Nale on the team instead of killing him, while technically not lying to him about it if I recall correctly. I think much more the point of the arc is that these lawful evil villains are actually all trying to undermine each other while maintaining their agreement to the letter . Perhaps Laurin's request is calling off the plan and just ruling with what they have now, or to release her from the agreement and let her live out the rest of her life with her daughter or some other thing that would jeopardize Tarquin's plans without actually betraying him.

Nah, we should keep Rich's comments in context here, he writes fantasy as to make a point about the real world. Rich strongly believes in the concept of complex villains who can love and have meaningful relationships. Partly a running joke for Nale and Sabine but very much in full effect for Tarquin and his group.

Maybe Rich intends there to be a reasonable limit to how far this goes but to their perspective there aren't that many near epic lawful evil competent military generals they are willing to trust as much as they trust Tarquin, on the basis of their decades of prior adventuring together.

Tarquin wasn't plotting against Malack, he was setting up a 'heads I win, tails you lose' situation of regardless of who won he would be remembered. Either through Malack as a sort of fantasy Kim il-sung posthumous "Eternal General of the Empire" or through tale and song at the hands of his Heroic son. Malack as far as either of them knew would outlive both Tarquin and his son, and his son's son and so on and would continue to rule the empire or its inevitable successor state from the safety within the shadows.

Heck, to Tarquin's perspective he might even be helping Malack. From the logic that "If the Hero exists, so must the Empire"; for as long as Tarquin's descendents "live" to be Heroes in a very JoJo-esque way so to logically must exist Tarquin's empire under the guidance of Malack.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Who What Now posted:

On paper, Martial Characters Are screwed, yes. But Rich has done a great job showing how casters would develop if they were actual people choosing their paths as they grew and not message board sperg lords planning out every possible action into infinity.

It's like the characters are supposed to be people and not optimal builds!

That's the other thing too, this is why in fantasy novels having something like a "favorite spell" or what have you, realistically you don't have the time or mental discipline to think of the optimal move; you just gotta fall back on what you comfortably know and can cast without fumbling it, and quickly or die.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Gentlemen its time to lay down some preparations because we're getting ready to rumble!

Blackwing is still awesome.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

D1Sergo posted:

I love how downright Villainous Tarquin is being right now, his deranged dialogue is getting pretty sweet. I'm going to kill your girlfriend, burn this ship to the ground, chop off your hand and make sure you know that its ALL YOUR FAULT. Guy has goals, I'll say that.

The best thing about that pointed out to me on the other forums is that he looks exactly like Elan when saying that, which is amazing for a stick figure comic.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

ConfusedUs posted:

Even though I know it's wrong, I'll always consider "Disintegrate. Gust of Wind." to be V's 'four right words at the right time to the right person for all the wrong reasons' that the Oracle predicted. It's so much better than V's stammering on the island.

... Holy poo poo.

I mean, this is why 'death of the author' is I feel earns being a legitimate thing. I went and checked, the Oots wiki claims Rich said its "I... I must succeed" but there isn't a link and it isn't in 'The Giant's Comments Index II' thread so, its possible either way.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Regalingualius posted:

Stuff like Ressurrection does require consent on the part of the person being brought back, yes (and not having died of old age/natural causes(?), but that'd be irrelevant unless Tarquin... had... a... heart attack...)



I don't get it, can you elaborate?

I believe in Forgotten Realms, which is like Oots if you bumped up the average NPC level by 10, you can bring back CE/LA/NE all you want its just a choice so long as their soul isn't magically bound as mentioned. As what happened to that Drow Wizard dude who was a triple agent spy in the WotSQ books.

Generally I think its implied if your evil you'll pretty much jump at the chance to come back that's how bad things are, no matter the alignment.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Regalingualius posted:

To explain: I honestly can't remember if there's a 'no natural deaths' clause on non-necromancy Ressurrection spells in D&D. If there is, though... Well, assuming Tarquin's hypothetical heart attack was purely out of overexertion, then by most conventional definitions, that's a natural death. And would be so fittingly anti-climactic to his dreams of being struck down as the final villain of the heroes' journey, and not to something so mundane.

I was more confused as I thought you were referencing something. While I think there's a good meta argument for Tarquin losing in such a way that is thematically appropriate, dying in such a way that he is forgotten, it won't be by a random heart attack. Rich has been fairly consistent in that Villains must die by their own choices and volition, a heart attack would seem contrived.

Dying far away from his power base, his kingdom weakened just enough to be invaded by that lizard kingdom with his army in the middle of nowhere against Julian Scoundrel maybe of all people would more or less be that.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

mmkay posted:

Rich says it in the book.

Well then there's always DOTA to fall back on.

I actually went and looked up means for a character of mine to achieve immortality as a campaign goal. There's actually quite a few ways, up to and including a PC race.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

I'm not sure to either love the fact we get a very good look at the creative process with his posts or hate the fact this to some extent restricts legitimate discussion and alternate interpretation of the text. I cited 'Death of the Author' myself as a thing I like but it isn't exactly feasible to ignore everything the writer thinks about his work.

That and him wading into the cesspool that is his divisive fanbase just seems to only serve to slow down his output.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

ImpAtom posted:

"Death of the author" is fine when analyzing a work. It is completely worthless when arguing with the author that he is making his characters act out of character. It doesn't work that way. That isn't Death of the Author, it's just being upset that the story isn't what you want it to be.

I meant about his posting in general, but statements that imply that Tarquin doesn't actually know military strategy come across as odd.

quote:

Nerd criticism of OOTS tends more towards IF I HAD PLAYED THOSE CHARACTERS I WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT STUPID THING. I think there's some fruitful DotA style critique of the strip, particularly (for e.g.) around the roles of fathers, but it's always gonna be a bit hamstrung by the story being incomplete.

Does this still happen? This is one of those things where its "If your under stress and under fire you are NOT coming up with the most optimal thing to do every 6 seconds."

quote:

Speaking of hardcore sperging, I wonder if there are rules for broken arms in D&D.

Second Edition, iirc someone posted. Since Tarquin's group seem to be old timers.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Spiderdrake posted:

Haha man, given there's a caster fight about to crop up I'm willing to wager we'll see a whole rout of complaining about the casters not having optimized god mode builds and/or X or Y should(n't) have won because if I was playing them they'd definitely have spell B C or D. I admit that in any fiction it can be frustrating to see the authorial intent swing how you perceived a fight would go but the OoTS forums redefines it to the point of absurdity.

This fight might be slightly better than some, I can easily see it as an "either way" thing.

Psionics require a wizard to be a little prepared against, such as when V cast Mind Blank in preparation of fighting the Ancient Black Dragon. I don't know if V has a suitable transmutation spell nor if Protection from Evil would work effectively against stunlock'ing combo's Laurin could probably do.

On the other hand as we saw with the Dragon and fake Xykon fight V can potentially lock Laurin down for at least a round with Forcecage, like with the Sorceress and Zz-maester' fights I suspect V could chain an effective strategy that forces Laurin to attrite away the remainder of her power points.

I think whats key is that apparently its V's move first so V has the advantage for any sort of probably round one knock out blows, and vice versa once its Laurin's turn. I don't think either of them have that many buff's active (V's seems to have deliberately landed to avoid fall damage from a dispel).

I believe its clearly V's fight to win but because narrative, i.e, this is when Tarquin will lose because plot, not strictly because of what we know of V or Laurin's build; which only at best let us speculate how the victory or defeat transpires.

Also because people are really unsure of Laurin's abilities as despite her power spamming the hardcore dice rolling sliderulers can't seem to narrow her level down beyond "somewhere above 13".

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 23:53 on Dec 8, 2013

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Johnny Aztec posted:

Does V even know Mind blank? At the time, V had three epic level casters chained to V's soul.

Mind Blank is an 8th level spell, but V also has potential access to Anti-Magic field and as mentioned below Globe of Invulnerability, and maybe Transformation for the mauling up close option. Unfortunately these are all also spells that V has never shown to have used previously.

There's one instance of copying spells, one overall duration of researching spells (mostly divination I think), otherwise I'm pretty sure V gets his/her spells at level up.

Perhaps some battlefield control spells, something to obscure Laurin's line of sight or stunlock her instead? V does have Power Word Stun.

e: Belkar and the Exterminator are below deck iirc, so that isn't an option.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

MechanicalTomPetty posted:

Isn't V crazy low on spells right now? I wouldn't be surprised if "CASTER FIGHT" just turns out to be V trying to out-bluff Laurin/stall for time until Roy comes back with some health pots.

Its a tough call, there's evidence to suggest the IFCC when they returned V 'restored' V's health to full (was entirely undamaged on getting up), it could also mean V also got her spell allotment refilled as well.

Though if we put that aside, that Day V cast in order:

Overland Flight x4: 5th Level Spells.
Some unknown Division spell: ?th Level Spell.
Greater Dispel Magic: 6th Level Spell.
Passwall x1, Quickened Expid...Retreat x1: (2) 5th Level Spells.
Overland Flight x4: 5th Level Spells.
Bugsby Grasping Hand 1x: 7th Level Spells.
(That one is weird, its punching the wall which afaik is what the 8th level one is supposed to do?)
Bugsby Grasping Hand 1x: 7th Level Spells.
Stoneskin 1x: 4th Level Spells.
Fireball 1x: 3rd Level Spells.
Wall of Fire 1x: 4th Level Spells.
Protection from Arrows 1x: 2nd Level Spell.
Lightning bolt 1x: 3rd Level Spell.
Overland Flight Again: 5th Level Spell.
Chain Lightning 1x: 6th Level Spell.
Hold Monster 1x: 5th Level Spell.
Lightning bolt 1x: 3rd Level Spell.
Prismatic Spray 1x: 7th Level Spell.
Disintegrate 1x: 6th Level Spell.
Bugsby's... Something 1x: ?nd Level Spell.
Probably the same hand....


If we assume these are all from the same day's worth of spells... Urgh...

V is level 15 apparently. which means V can also cast At least one level 8 spell, presumably Mind Blank or one of the Hand spells.

And V get bonus spells from Evocation, one iirc?

I think V is almost if not completely out of 5th level spells, while chipping away at 3rd, 4th, and 6th. But every other spell level? We won't know until the next update.



e: removed duplicate.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Gregen posted:

V's definitely not casting overland flight over and over because it's target: you with a duration of hours/level. Those are probably just plain old fly spells.

Not in the Ootsverse, V specified the fly spells would last the 'whole day' which Fly can't do.

e: typo.

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 16:31 on Dec 9, 2013

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Gregen posted:

I don't remember reading that at all, is that from one of the books?

The comic before the one I linked.

"I believe we can reach it in a day, if I cast Overland Flight on the two of you as well."

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Wanderer posted:

Remember, V has a Ring of Wizardry from their initial raid on Xykon's dungeon, so he has more spells on deck than you might think.

Likely V's third level spells are doubled, maybe fourth. Though this is the kind of fight where V needs higher level spells capable of shutting down a caster in short order, loads of lower level spells are great if V can fire them off with impunity.

Ideally V needs time to seriously boost her saving throws unless V has Mind Blank as someone mentioned, Mind Blank + Quickened Something Or Other..

Edit: Gentlemen, Power Word Stun At a minimum unless Laurin has spell resistance somehow we're looking at 1d4 rounds being out of action (if V has it).

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 18:57 on Dec 9, 2013

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice


I meant to mean if V has it memorized, as V is not a Sorcerer.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

MikeJF posted:

No, his logic is 'I want to print books because I like them, so I'm gonna force you to buy books so printing them will be economical'.

It still doesn't make sense at all because even if he was selling few enough books that it wasn't economical and was just a vanity thing, the near 100% profit margin on the digital converts would more than compensate and I don't think there's any scenario where he wouldn't ultimately be making more money.

Well this isn't entirely fair, his perspective is a little backwards but I've read it as "Most people want to hold an actual book in their hands, I can't do this unless I sell close to 100% of the print run. Digital sales may make it so that even 50% won't sell, so I can't do digital sales." The rest is just window dressing but he's prioritizing the customers who want books over those who want convenience.

It annoys me slightly too, as when I ordered Start of Darkness and OOTPC's it took two bloody goddamn months for it to ship/reach me and I live in Canada.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

I think the gripping here isn't that bad, its mainly people wishing Rich was better at managing his business so we could enjoy more of his content, which has its own charm.

Sorta like those baseball fans that only complain but show up to every game like clockwork.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Kajeesus posted:

Morally, alive Durkon was basically the same as a highly compromising paladin. There is no loving way an actual paladin will tolerate a trusted colleague and friend becoming a vampire more than Durkon did Malack. If the Order doesn't make an effort to hide Durkon's condition, it will lose them at least their paladin allies, if not straight up make them their enemies.

As I understand it and as implied by Rich I think its possible that Durkon would have allowed the vampirism to slide if Malack had visibly gone out of his way to have minimized the impact of his condition on innocent people (or cast restoration each time), and probable if Malack would've made a convenient ally. For example if he'd learned while drinking tea with him I don't think Durkon would've attacked out of hand.

At the very least the Sapphire Guard will swallow the excuse of needing to wait until a good moment to cast Resurrection.

e:

quote:

Edit: it's illegal to be a vampire? That is some racist poo poo right there.

Yes, it would be bigotry to generalized anyone as automatically evil based on well, generalizations; Durkon just happened to have sufficient probable cause that Malack was both de jure and de facto evil.

e2:

quote:

Don't some of the people who dislike 4th Ed complain that 4th Ed's Encounter / Daily system amounts to giving Fighters "magic"?

Objectively it makes the two classes mechanically similar (providing simpler rules and a more gradual learning curve), while 3rd/5th edition had them sharing some base mechanics but diverging sharply.

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 04:25 on Dec 19, 2013

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

FMguru posted:

I like how the Mechane has very strict standing orders about dramatic integrity, which the leading officer on deck enforces at all times.

I think the reason V led with so many dispellable non-blaster (force cage, resilient sphere, dimensional anchor, etc.) spells is that s/he was almost out of blaster spells. That "25 spell slots" might have been a decent-sized bluff.

And Tarquin isn't the only guy hanging over the edge, there's also Julio (who is just waiting for the dramatically perfect moment to appear).

If you look at the number of spells V casted today its likely she indeed had 25.

e: I'm actually confused, V opened up with cone of cold, when I thought the plan was to delay Laurin, casting Cone of Cold allowed Laurin at least one round to get a possibly Save or Lose/Suck spell off?

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 00:15 on Dec 20, 2013

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

My Lovely Horse posted:

They've been doing it for a while now, they probably picked up enough to get how it works and there's no reason to stop when two groups of evil schemers can split a continent just as well as three can. First order of business would have to be picking the Empire of Blood apart, which should be easy without its master general and high priest.

Maybe slightly less well, you can't do the 1984-style "we've always been at war with the Empire of Blood" thing with only two sides, but still, once they lock themselves in a situation where they carefully manage their territory gains/losses from each other, they're good. And then there's also no reason why they couldn't initiate another two adventurers. Heck, throw two stones in the arena dungeon.

1984 could only work with three superstates, it was the minimum and likely Tarquin's and Co's plan also relies on that to maintain the illusion of the balance of power, as the smaller nations are likely switching back and forth between them as the situation calls for it. Two super nations end up with a stagnant cold war/proxy war deal, three allows for perpetual war that sustains itself.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Mr.Pibbleton posted:

Or that he doesn't need Tarquin to adopt Roy in order for them to be brothers, because the order of the stick is his family. Belkar is basically that rear end in a top hat big brother who'll be a dick to you constantly but wreck anyone who messes with you... but will they all get puppies?

This actually makes me kind of sad because by the time Belkar completes his character development where he is genuinely the friend that always without hesitation wrecks the poo poo of said people he'll likely die; this kind of reminds me of Doctor Who in that while the stories strength is in defying conventions they are like Death itself, you cannot outrun them forever.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Carrasco posted:

Tarquin broke his sword, so I don't think killing him was really an option here. Unless Elan decided to bludgeon him to death with the lute.

vvv The fall didn't kill him, so stepping on his hand wouldn't quite make up the difference.

V maybe with a few spells or some of the crew members? Someone's got a knife somewhere.

e: Anyone else can't shake out of their head that Tarquin must have Simba's fathers voice? (From the Lion King? "Scar/Elan help me!"?)

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 03:45 on Jan 5, 2014

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Lurdiak posted:

See this is why I liked 4e's approach of "nobody knows what the gently caress happens after death, except maybe one Goddess, and she ain't talking". Unless you sign your soul over to a devil or became exalted, your soul just goes "somewhere", so the lack of piety and righteousness becomes a lot more believable.

This is interestingly enough more how Dragonlance I think does things. After you die the god of death judges whether you get to move on, and go to parts unknown to even the gods (because that's their curse, they can't move on from their duties and explore the cosmos) with your particular individual god getting to intervene on your behalf if they have reasons.

It was kinda cool and nifty because there was still that element of mystery to the setting even 200 books later.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

xiw posted:

Pretty sure the title of this very comic is answering whether or not this will happen.

It could also be referring to the title Elan thought up. As much as Rich is adamant about there only being two books remaining he could always and I feel he always reserves the right to change his mind, even if he himself right now thinks he does not.

Though its possible Xykon is resolved in the next book while Elan's dad is for the book after?

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

MikeJF posted:

I believe Durkon's soul is currently in stasis until his body dies according to how things work in D&D.

This is what is known as "the fluff" and depends on the setting as the actual details are copyright according to each particular setting. "The soul is trapped by a blank demon with your memories and a mockery of your personality" is Greyhawk/one of the pre-Faerun settings and isn't and explicit mechanic of the Open Gaming License. No mention is made at the d20 SRD.

So we won't know until Rich makes it explicit, but the most we know is the soul is not able to pass on and likely still within the vampire at the least because it cannot be resurrected/true resurrected until the vampire is destroyed.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

jng2058 posted:

Roy's a PC. Any group of PCs worth their salt when given access to a Vampire Cleric will move heaven and earth to keep said Cleric. There's so much power and utility there.

Naturally, Rich will make them pay dearly for abusing that opportunity. Almost certainly in the form of Redcloak and Command Undead, if not before then.

I'm curious about who exactly Durkon's getting his spells from. Thor shouldn't be fulfilling his requests...he's the wrong alignment now, and undead besides. I'm guessing we'll get a Durkon prayer time reveal of him having switched to Hel at some point, and that he's mentioning Thor to keep people thinking he's just the same old Durkon.

Which, as Zz'ditri could tell you if he hadn't been murdered, he most certainly is not.

Durkon is now a Theistic cleric and gets his spells just generally from a concept, like he's suddenly entered the setting of Fate/Stay Night; there's a fairly in depth process iirc to switching to a different god.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

ImpAtom posted:

I don't know. If what people are saying about D&D vampires is true (and Malick seems to agree with this), there kind of is a right answer. There's no real way to justify allowing a person's soul to be kept in eternal bondage and permanently barred from the afterlife through no action of their own. Durkula is certainly about the most friendly and harmless a vampire can be but he's still keeping a good man's soul from its eternal rest just by existing and it's hard for me to picture Roy being swayed by any argument that ignores that.

We don't know this. Rich has never explained how vampires work in the Ootsverse, this is as different between Faerun and Greyhawk as night and day, the mechanics are mute on this.

CapnAndy posted:

The nasty question, though, is how much of that is still Durkon? He has all of Durkon's memories, all of his mannerisms, all of his goals. He's clearly sentient. If he's capable of comparing his two states and prefers this one, you're stepping over a big line by acting against his wishes. Oh, sure, it's in his best interests.

But then you've gotta do something about Belkar, don't you? Better wait for his back to be turned and then attack him out of the blue, even though he's been nothing but loyal to you and it's a huge betrayal. You just did the same thing to Durkon, what's one more? Beat him down, tie him up, and get Compel cast on him. He'll prefer being Good, he really will. It's win/win.

And man, Ian Starshine's been nothing but a pain in the rear end, hasn't he? Let's slap a Geas on him and order him to stop being so goddamn paranoid. And, and, and... where do you stop? Before or after you've become Tarquin?

I don't think the "oh it's because he's Undead" argument holds up. If he was a Good-aligned Undead, would Plan A immediately become "let's kill him and Resurrect him"? I somehow doubt it. Him being a vampire just gives a convenient smokescreen to the real issue everyone has, which is that he's Evil now, get him!

And seriously, has there been a stronger subtheme in this comic than "'he's Evil, get him!' is completely morally unsound"?

Exhibit A: Baelnorn. Good aligned Elven liches to protect the sacred motherland.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Here's my thoughts on Durkon, based on what I think I can glean from the narrative.

Firstly, Rich's opinion is that fantasy worth telling has value based on what it tells us about the real world. I don't fully believe that this is the case, I'm sure simply being fun and enjoyable to the read is sufficient. On the other hand Rich also mentions that sometimes he has to play things straight, for instance Barbarians speak in Hulk-Speech just because sometimes people just expect that and he would never intend it to be meta-commentary about disabilities or some such.

Secondly, and following on from the first point, Rich has set out to show how giving sentient creatures 'alignment' and dragons stats for every stage of their lives were both by implication rather terrible ideas, it allowed people playing 'good' characters to slaughter endless people based merely on their probable alignment, not on their actions.

Following from this, we know for a fact that while Durkon did probably decide to end his friendship with Malack over his vampirism, his reason to battle Malack to the death then and there was because of Durkon's inference that Malack was evil both in alignment and actions, i.e Malack wouldn't know that Belkar wasn't an innocent individual and Durkon knows that Malack doesn't know.

The rather strong implication I get is that regardless of his condition, it was Malack's choice to be evil.


So thirdly, looking at the conversion leading up to Redcloak's execution of Tsukiko, Redcloak and thus the subtext, is that the undead are just 'tools' whose job is to obey their creators through varying means of controlling them. Subtle manipulation for Xykon, Command Undead for the Wight (which btw probably will not work on Durkon, too high a level and easy to defend against).

On the other hand, Redcloak while portrayed and acts cleverly and can be rather wise and far thinking also tend to make mistakes, overlooks details or is otherwise blinded by his own ego; his brother I believe, is implied to have made the accurate condemnation of just how lost RC has gone.

So while both in context and in general, Redcloaks speech to Tsukiko is correct, it is also likely to not see the whole picture; the smart money is on he's wrong on how 'subtle' or effect his control of Xykon is, and likely Durkon's situation may illuminate just how he's wrong.

My theory is that this is indeed "Durkon" but a Lawful Evil version, akine to him putting on the Helm of Opposite Alignment. He's changed but still is mostly himself, less likely to utilize restraint without Roy there to be his conscience, the key evidence I have is how he reacted to Nale trying to recruit him.

Obviously I could be wrong and RC's speech was foreshadowing Durkon not being Durkon, but we'll find out I guess over the next book.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

ImpAtom posted:

There is no way that a major character is turned into a vampire and it is nothing but a smooth easy transition with no unexpected problems beyond a minor change in behavior and some extra superpowers.

As spiderdrake sorta alludes to I also don't expect it to just be 100% Not!Durkon whom they must stake because that's what Good characters do to Always Evil characters, which would conflict with say, the message with the whole thing between V and the Black Dragons.

e: Here we go, Black Dragon's are ALWAYS chaotic evil, the same way a vampire is also Always Something Evil

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 02:50 on Jan 20, 2014

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

MikeJF posted:

V's super-fuckup was that their descendants and relatives aren't ALWAYS, though.

quote:

And DnD alignment thread derails are Always Something Awful.

I know, but the point is there's a textual link between Durkon and V's situations that may hold some insight. The Dragon was something that was 'always evil', including the adolescent and the latter was killed with no effort to negotiate a peaceful solution, because its "Colour coded for your convenience" and in Miko's words, its destruction was both just and necessary. The meaning is that under the pre-Darth V status quo it was probably accepted by both the readers and the characters that it was the duty of every good aligned adventurer to slaughter such creatures without any reservations or thought, similar to in SoD The Sapphire Guard slaughtering Redcloak's village (not that we know if any lost their powers, we assume some did).

We now know that both in-universe (from the view point of the Heavens) and in Rich's mind, this is mindset morally wrong and evil, and at best bigoted.

V's possible/probable downward fall from Neutral grace isn't just because of the genocide of 1/4 of all black dragons and their descendants, but also clearly the mindset that enabled that decision. I.E, that ALL black dragons were without exception, evil, and all of them related to the dragon in question were possibly willing to attack V and hir family, so their murder was in V's mind, justified, regardless of their actual intent or actions.

That V murdered possible innocents is just the effect, the cause is the underlying assumptions about alignments, and assuming that V's gently caress up was just killing the descendants is confusing cause and effect.

The conclusion to draw is that Rich is possibly also going to make a point that even Undead, as long as they are sentient also are damned by their choices not their alignment.

Looking at other settings like Faerun is full of morally ambiguous and not entirely evil undead, some of them even have the favour of the Neutral Good goddess Mystra; it wouldn't be going against written fantasy norms entirely.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

xanthan posted:

Slightly off topic, but that's the one who had some idiot try to replace her but instead hosed magic up so royally they went from 11th level spells as the max to 9th or something, right?

Yeah, by Karsus pretty much, though the old 2nd ed "10th" and "11th" spells are more or less just today's Epic spells. Though the 10th+ spellslots still exist for casting metamagic spells, which we saw V do with Quickened Disintegrate.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

xanthan posted:

On a scale of one to Alice from the RE movies where does Elminster fall on the Mary Sue scale?

Somewhere like Drizzt where the worse part isn't the character itself but more the people ripping it off? Like, sure he has problems, but he isn't as terrible as people make him out, he just inspires terrible things.

Or something OoTS related, that's good too.

High five fellow Drizzt fan! Say what you will Salvetore is willing to take the character places; and spoilers for the latest book Kills him off because of a bad fight with his psychotic girl friends.

At least its implied its because his goddess is swooping him and his old friends to help her fix the Weave or something.


Ultimately Drizzt serves a good niche where he's a relatively mid level adventurer that does literally 99% of All of Forgotten Realms philosophical navel gazing; its not the most profound but its more than any other author suggests.

re: Elminster, I actually had a game where I argued that a min-maxed 20 wizard (Incantatar) without using cheese could beat Elminster. I think it came down to the CR 71 Hekatoncheries (That I summoned via its Simulcrum) and Elminster wrestling with the game stopping due to rules lawyering. I argued that no, Elminster cannot transform/shapechange into an massive cube inanimate object as it had to be a non unique creature.

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 03:47 on Jan 21, 2014

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Eifert Posting posted:

It's particularly funny because the way Salvitore describes combat is exactly what 4E was trying to accomplish.

Drizzt always struck me as a kind of dual wielding Wushu thing before Wushu was cool.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

bigpolar posted:

Also, up until the last book, I always thought of his soliloquy segments as journals, but the book actually has someone overhear him. So he's literally hiding in a corner giving himself a speech... Just seems odd and overly emo.

The impression I get is that he did all of these the last time he visited Bruener's Climb where he had a moment to think back on everything he's done and accomplished to find his center, and that he hasn't done this in the timeframe of 90% of adventures.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

I like this strip, its very clean in getting all of the side characters we kinda like together to do their own thing. In particular the Bounty Hunters who I'm sure I'm not the only person who grew attached to them once they got some development.

Captain Oblivious posted:

It's best to think of a vampire as an alien force that presents a fascimile of the man that once was, in these terms. A negative energy construct that uses who you were as a very broad foundation for constructing its own identity.

The real you is not only dead but unable to move on to the afterlife. And that's what makes vampirism super, SUPER hosed up.

quote:

Think of the soul (in D&D) like a power source and backup storage for a mind. The evolving condition of the physical mind (the brain and such), in a normal creature, results in corresponding evolution of an attached soul, which becomes the entirety of one's being after death (the destruction of the physical embodiment of the mind). Creating a vampire diverges this normally-paired evolution, such that Durkon's body and Durkon's soul are becoming different creatures (like how Malack is no longer the shaman he once was). The vampire mind has no backup (everything is lost on true destruction) and is powered by evil magic instead.

In short, his brain.

quote:

It's an evil entity in control of his body with access to his memories, but it's not Durkon. (It's also not "close enough". Sorry, Roy.) Those memories are telling it that unless this party succeeds in defeating Xykon and defending the Gates, the world comes to an end, which is why...

I'ld like to put out there that this is actually just speculation, while some settings use the above those settings also have that as copyright and isn't actually mechanically within the SRD/Open Gaming License.

quote:

It'd actually be really, really easy. Xykon/Redcloak just have to convince Durkon that they don't want to end/warp beyond recognition the world and that being on their side will pay off better. Recloak in particular has the ace in the hole of that actually being the truth, since as far as he knows the only thing he's doing is giving the god of goblins a bargaining chip to make it so goblins have a better place in the world. That goal doesn't require undoing creation or blowing up the earth.

If V gets around to explaining to the Order whats been going on on her end of things this may not hold much sway, as it'll be clear to Durkon that perhaps RC doesn't know as much as he thinks he does if the Order doesn't either.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Captain Oblivious posted:

Not quite. We already know from Malack that it works that way, the finer details are irrelevant. The comic has made it clear in no uncertain terms that a vampire and the person they used to be are two different entities.

No we don't, that's a possible interpretation of what Malack said but what Malack said isn't a clear mechanical description of what's up.

Malack posted:

I had a different name when I was alive 200 years ago. I was the ignorant barbarian shaman of a tribe that no longer exists. Bringing me back alive is a complicated way of annihilating the person I am today.

At best we only know what Malack feels that the process will destroy who he is, not that there's a demon inside him or if he's only a facsimile of the person he once was. He certainly feels he's him, the him of 200 years of living his current undead life. Usually the comic is much more clearer when describing mechanically of whats what, this seems something deliberately vague so Rich is free to do what he feels makes for a better story.

Malack may not know the precise mechanics either, Durkon's failed his Knowledge Religion checks before.

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Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Captain Oblivious posted:

It would be, if not for the fact that becoming a Vampire forces your alignment to Evil. Key word, forces. There is no slow evolving viewpoint type thing going on. It is a different person.

Which is entirely different i.e, no different from wearing a helm of opposing alignment, from the various "What happens to someone's soul when they get vamp'd?" speculatory posts that have happened passed as fact.

I could state that Durkon now, due to the negative energy that keeps him 'alive' is now prone to evil acts and has less restraint would have just as much validity because we do not know what happens. Only that he is now Possibly Durkon but also Lawful Evil.

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