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Thanatosia
2011-10-25, 02:08 AM
I always thought malak was a LIzardfolk, but the current strip, esp panel 7 makes him look like he might not actually have legs/feet like most Lizardfolk, and has a purely snakelike lower body. I've done some scanning of EOB strips and I don't think i see any panels where his leg/feet are visable.

I know he's wearing long robes, but so do Xykon, V, Z, Eugene, and the Oracle, and some quick checking has confirmed that all their feet are usually visable under the robes.

Killer Angel
2011-10-25, 02:22 AM
You may find of interest the fact that he cannot wear a rope belt (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0764.html).

faustin
2011-10-25, 04:15 AM
I thought it too, but after read Nale calling him "Daddyīs pet iguana" (four limbed lizard) Iīm not so sure.

The Succubus
2011-10-25, 04:31 AM
Has anyone else noticed that The Playground is slightly obsessed about what goes on under people's robes?

blueblade
2011-10-25, 05:06 AM
Has anyone else noticed that The Playground is slightly obsessed about what goes on under people's robes?

I blame Roy (and thus the Giant) for all the 'trouser titan' talk.. not to mention the V speculation, which is effectively the longest running mystery in the strip.

ThePhantasm
2011-10-25, 05:11 AM
He has arms. If only his lower half was snakelike wouldn't he have troubles standing upright, at least without a massive noticeable curve (a la Medusa)?

Fishman
2011-10-25, 07:00 AM
You may find of interest the fact that he cannot wear a rope belt (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0764.html).Nowhere does it say he cannot do so, merely that the higher hemline idea does not work without it. The reasons why he does not wear one are not stipulated.

Caractacus
2011-10-25, 07:01 AM
Certainly having a tail means that he can have a pronounced forward angle to his upper torso without any problem with balance.

I think he has all four legs...but with the 'rope belt' comment, you never know!

Geordnet
2011-10-25, 07:06 AM
Long ago I pointed this out in an effort to prove Malak was some sort of undead, eg. a ghost or some such spirit.

Of course, I think the truth is probably not so simple now...

Qwertystop
2011-10-25, 07:10 AM
There is some kind of giant-snake-with-arms monster in one of the Monster Manuals, isn't there?

hamishspence
2011-10-25, 07:11 AM
Yes- the yuan-ti abomination. It is, however, Large.

Killer Angel
2011-10-25, 07:12 AM
Nowhere does it say he cannot do so, merely that the higher hemline idea does not work without it. The reasons why he does not wear one are not stipulated.

While this is true, Durkon and V. staring at the lower Malack's portion, together with the comment "I could see that", IMO it's a strong implication that we're not talkin 'bout simple stylish preferences in dressing.

KillianHawkeye
2011-10-25, 07:14 AM
He has arms. If only his lower half was snakelike wouldn't he have troubles standing upright, at least without a massive noticeable curve (a la Medusa)?

Medusas have legs.

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG181.jpg
I'm not noticing any unusual curves there.

Qwertystop
2011-10-25, 07:19 AM
Yes- the yuan-ti abomination. It is, however, Large.

Well, Malack is certainly very tall.

Wavelab
2011-10-25, 07:24 AM
Medusas have legs.

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG181.jpg
I'm not noticing any unusual curves there.

Great WOTC made the wrong medusa :smallbiggrin:

KillianHawkeye
2011-10-25, 07:26 AM
Great WOTC made the wrong medusa :smallbiggrin:

"Wrong" according to who? The legless medusa is actually a relatively new pop-culture development. The greek medusa was legged just like the D&D one. :smallannoyed:

Clash of the Titans is not a historical documentary. :smallsigh:

hamishspence
2011-10-25, 07:29 AM
The Greek "Medusa" (one of the three Gorgons) looked like a giant bird- but had the classic Medusa head.

So the humanoid Medusa is somewhat different from the legendary one as well.

Eldan
2011-10-25, 07:43 AM
Didn't the other Gorgons look like birds, but Medusa looked like a normal woman with snake hair? That's how I remember it, at least.

hamishspence
2011-10-25, 07:47 AM
They are sisters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorgon

though there is a suggestion that Medusa alone had the snake hair.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa

The legend has changed over time.

ThePhantasm
2011-10-25, 08:01 AM
Egad, who cares whether Medusas actually have legs or not (I actually was thinking of the Elder Scrolls not Clash of the Titans). I can't think of a always half-serpent mythological creature off the top of my head. You all knew what I meant, and it illustrated my point.

Ashadar
2011-10-25, 08:02 AM
Hey Phantasm, you might want to add Rich's opinion on Enor and Ganji's alignment to your sig. :smallbiggrin:

Gift Jeraff
2011-10-25, 08:07 AM
Nale calls him Daddy's pet iguana. If he were a snake, wouldn't "Daddy's garden snake" or something make more sense? Unless Malack's race is a really well-kept secret. Then again, neither iguanas nor snakes have only 2 arms, so I guess the insult would still work.

Howler Dagger
2011-10-25, 08:09 AM
One things that bothered me is that most people refer to Gorgons as Medusas, even though she was one of 3. Though OT, I find it plausible that maybe he doesnt have legs.

ThePhantasm
2011-10-25, 08:28 AM
Hey Phantasm, you might want to add Rich's opinion on Enor and Ganji's alignment to your sig. :smallbiggrin:

Couldn't because of lack of sig space. So I went with this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12094927#post12094927).

Peelee
2011-10-25, 09:50 AM
While this is true, Durkon and V. staring at the lower Malack's portion, together with the comment "I could see that", IMO it's a strong implication that we're not talkin 'bout simple stylish preferences in dressing.

Solely to play Devil's advocate....

Possibly said earlier:
Malack: "Yeah, I'm allergic to rope, so I can't wear rope belts."
V: "Sucks to be you."

Then, as we see:
Malack: "...it doesn't work as well without the rope belt."
V: "Ah, yes, I could see that."
makes perfect sense.

Not saying that it ISN'T a strong implication against stylish dress preferences, just that there are several way to write that off as a simple one-off line.

ThePhantasm
2011-10-25, 09:56 AM
Solely to play Devil's advocate....

Possibly said earlier:
Malack: "Yeah, I'm allergic to rope, so I can't wear rope belts."
V: "Sucks to be you."

Then, as we see:
Malack: "...it doesn't work as well without the rope belt."
V: "Ah, yes, I could see that."
makes perfect sense.

Not saying that it ISN'T a strong implication against stylish dress preferences, just that there are several way to write that off as a simple one-off line.

How can you be allergic to rope? :smalltongue: Rope can be made with a variety of materials.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-25, 10:38 AM
While this is true, Durkon and V. staring at the lower Malack's portion, together with the comment "I could see that", IMO it's a strong implication that we're not talkin 'bout simple stylish preferences in dressing.
They are looking at his robeís hemline. Which is at the bottom of the robe. It is a fashion discussion, pure and simple.

Forikroder
2011-10-25, 10:40 AM
i think he either does have legs jsut with a very long robe taht hides them

or has some sort of permanet/semi-permament levitation/flight magic so he doesnt have to walk everywhere

Juggling Goth
2011-10-25, 10:54 AM
Yes- the yuan-ti abomination. It is, however, Large.

He could be Inexplicably Medium-Sized, like Celia and Redcloak, I guess.

Or maybe Malack's species will be like V's gender: not originally intended to be ambiguous, but fun to screw with once people start arguing.

rewinn
2011-10-25, 10:55 AM
Has anyone else noticed that The Playground is slightly obsessed about what goes on under people's robes?

This, from "The Succubus" ? :smallredface:


Clash of the Titans is not a historical documentary. :smallsigh:

No! I saw it on TV! So it must be true!

Killer Angel
2011-10-25, 10:56 AM
They are looking at his robeís hemline. Which is at the bottom of the robe. It is a fashion discussion, pure and simple.

OK, this is meta-reasoning, but (in absence of puns or jokes related to it) I doubt the Giant will bother to spend space on a strip debating trivial matters like fashion in a serious way. Thus, it should be something else.
I may be wrong, of course, but that's the way I see the thing.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-25, 11:06 AM
OK, this is meta-reasoning, but (in absence of puns or jokes related to it) I doubt the Giant will bother to spend space on a strip debating trivial matters like fashion in a serious way. Thus, it should be something else.
I may be wrong, of course, but that's the way I see the thing.
Uh, the whole point of that strip is the three spellcasters are discussing trivial matters. Aside from the one panel where they lampshade the whole drama going on in the background.

Hazzardevil
2011-10-25, 11:30 AM
Great WOTC made the wrong medusa :smallbiggrin:

Theres 2 versions of the medusa.

I think it's possible Malak has no legs, but unlikely. If I was cutting off a lizardfolk's leg's I would cut off the tail as well, in fact I'm pretty sure cutting off at the pelvis would be above the tail.

teratorn
2011-10-25, 12:02 PM
He has arms. If only his lower half was snakelike wouldn't he have troubles standing upright, at least without a massive noticeable curve (a la Medusa)?

Look at his posture in panels 1 5 and 6 from #719,panel 7 from #735, panel 8 from #739, panels 1 and 3 from #743, 4 and 7 from #812, and the last panel from #811. Whenever he moves he tilts forward. I always thought about him as legless.

Chronos
2011-10-25, 12:19 PM
Actually, Medusa having snakes for hair is a relatively recent elaboration, too. Some of the oldest depictions show her as having snakes in the vicinity of her hair, but they're clearly separate, not attached to her head.

And given that it's canonical that Malack wears his robes with a low hemline (lower than V's, at least), that could well be the entire reason his feet don't show.

Laws of Chaos
2011-10-25, 12:20 PM
Look at his posture in panels 1 5 and 6 from #719,panel 7 from #735, panel 8 from #739, panels 1 and 3 from #743, 4 and 7 from #812, and the last panel from #811. Whenever he moves he tilts forward. I always thought about him as legless.

This is what I was going to point out! From what I can see, it looks like he does not have legs because of the way his robe moves back when he moves forward. It may be that he does, and the Giant doesnt feel the need to draw them in just to say "See here they are!", but I tend to see it as it makes more sense to show it as is. Plus, if he did not have legs, it would be a good explanation as to why he cant or prefers not to wear belts, seeing as how a requirement for belts would be hips to hold it up, which if he has no legs, he would not have. Plus, have you ever tried to put a belt on a snake? Doesnt go well!

mawexzon
2011-10-25, 12:31 PM
well, here http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html in the second panel, you can see clearly his tail in a position that would be very strange if he had no legs, because it doesn't touch the floor

Laws of Chaos
2011-10-25, 12:46 PM
well, here http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html in the second panel, you can see clearly his tail in a position that would be very strange if he had no legs, because it doesn't touch the floor

I saw that, but in the same sense, the fourth panel, his position would be just as awkward if he had legs, with his angle and how low to the ground he is.

Herpestidae
2011-10-25, 01:00 PM
malak


Malak


Malak

:smallconfused: Who are you guys talking about? I don't know of any Malaks in this comic.

I know of a Cleric named Malack, a lizardfolk who adventured with Tarquin in their younger days and is currently part of a big complicated conquest scheme. But no Malaks.

In any case... this is actually a good question. Usually, when someone in a robe is walking, the hem of the robe stretches along with their legs in motion (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0037.html), but Malack's robe flows in the opposite direction while he just... sorta leans forward.

Gift Jeraff
2011-10-25, 01:08 PM
Hmm, I just checked and Malack is slightly taller than other lizardfolk, such as Gannji and the guard in #812. Interesting. I think.

KoboldRevenge
2011-10-25, 01:21 PM
Maybe he's a slug?

Forikroder
2011-10-25, 01:30 PM
maybe he has to lean forward since otherwise hed trip on his robes and its jsut a walking style hes become accustomed too

its not like hed be the first being that had to alter a walking style to accomodate fasion

KillianHawkeye
2011-10-25, 09:36 PM
Egad, who cares whether Medusas actually have legs or not (I actually was thinking of the Elder Scrolls not Clash of the Titans).

Well being that this is a D&D comic, it's probably best to start with the D&D medusa.

Qwertystop
2011-10-25, 09:41 PM
He could be a Yuan-Ti Abomination. He's taller than every Medium-sized character as far as I can remember, and about as tall as Enor. Just make him a thin albino one, and it fits. Might not even need to make him extra-thin, he's not too much thinner than Enor if you just measure torso size.

J's
2011-10-25, 10:15 PM
It could also be that he has really short legs that the giant skipped drawing. if his pelvis is located only inches from the ground his legs would be near where you see the tail and he would lean forward to keep his balance, giving the front of his robe room to drag backwards. If you want an example of what I mean google videos of Jesus lizards running on water.

Rougn
2011-10-25, 10:54 PM
He told Durkon he was a lizard folk, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0737.html panel 8, which means if he told them later during the belt debate he would have to tell Durkon he lied to him originally about what race he was. Following that logic I feel it is safe to say he did not tell them he was secretly a snake otherwise they would be talking about that rather then him being hip-less.

In panel 4 of http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html he does look like he is in a very weird position to be in with legs however Nale did evade a attack and that is a stop action seen of him missing. It was a lunge attack so make sense for him to be stretched out.

in comic http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0738.html Gannji when he talks leans forward so if you picture him in the robe it does look like the way our friendly cleric holds himself as well.

And finally back to comic 811, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html, in the second panel bottom right corner by his tail you see a very very tiny line with white inside going straight down, honestly Im not to sure about this part since its so tiny of a mark it could be accidental, It can not be his tail by alignment and the windows in the background would be off by a few inches, judging by the way the windows fan out, plus his tail is in the air so unless he is hovering he has legs.

Geech
2011-10-25, 11:31 PM
It would be pretty awkward for Malack to do things like sit in a chair or bow at the waist if he just a had a snake body.

TheMac04
2011-10-26, 12:43 AM
Even if he DOES have legs, it seems as if Rich is going out of his way not to show them (see the "HARM!" panel)

zimmerwald1915
2011-10-26, 01:49 AM
He told Durkon he was a lizard folk, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0737.html panel 8, which means if he told them later during the belt debate he would have to tell Durkon he lied to him originally about what race he was. Following that logic I feel it is safe to say he did not tell them he was secretly a snake otherwise they would be talking about that rather then him being hip-less.
Not quite. The very same panel you cite shows Durkon assuming off the bat, before Malack comments on his race, that Malack is a lizardfolk. It's not an entirely unreasonable assumption. He's seen rather a lot of lizardfolk about the Empire and the palace, and the Cartographer in Sandsedge mentions that the main humanoid denizens of the Western Continent south of the Goaway Mountains are "the human and lizard races". Malack then goes along with Durkon's assumption, either not bothering to correct it (if he's not a lizardfolk) or confirming its truth (if he is).


And finally back to comic 811, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html, in the second panel bottom right corner by his tail you see a very very tiny line with white inside going straight down, honestly Im not to sure about this part since its so tiny of a mark it could be accidental, It can not be his tail by alignment and the windows in the background would be off by a few inches, judging by the way the windows fan out, plus his tail is in the air so unless he is hovering he has legs.
Judging by the color, that little portion of panel shows part of the railing, not part of Malack's body.

ZerglingOne
2011-10-26, 05:03 AM
Even if he DOES have legs, it seems as if Rich is going out of his way not to show them (see the "HARM!" panel)

Haha oh come on. You can't tell me you've never seen an artist skip drawing something to save time. I have had artist friends that purposely draw people in certain ways to avoid drawing their ears. That being said, it's not like drawing 2 bent lines is difficult or particularly time consuming, but you have to figure that limb placement and expressions are probably 25% of the time spent making the comic with most of the remaining 75% being devoted to backgrounds. Any time Rich can save on making the comic without sacrificing quality is time I'm sure he'll gladly take.

Geordnet
2011-10-26, 07:23 AM
Rarely if ever have I seen an artist skip drawing something 100% of the time, except to deliberately hide it.

From my point of view, the only way to account for the way Malack's robe flows when moving is that he's floating above the ground, rather than walking on it. Whether or not he actually has legs, he isn't using any to get around.



Also, I can't beleive that some of you seem to be 100% convinced that Malack's a Lizardfolk because Nale called him a 'Pet Iguana'. That's like saying V has to be male because Roy called him/her 'V-man', or that Belkar isn't evil because he's in a good-aligned party!

ThePhantasm
2011-10-26, 07:26 AM
Also, I can't beleive that some of you seem to be 100% convinced that Malack's a Lizardfolk because Nale called him a 'Pet Iguana'. That's like saying V has to be male because Roy called him/her 'V-man', or that Belkar isn't evil because he's in a good-aligned party!

It isn't that hard to believe, considering that Malack himself says he is a lizardfolk (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0737.html).

Steward
2011-10-26, 07:37 AM
It isn't that hard to believe, considering that Malack himself says he is a lizardfolk (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0737.html).

He could have been lying for no reason!!!

Or maybe he'll reveal in the next strip that he's actually a sahuagin or an oversized kobold or something. (And if it's the latter, he'll reveal it right after casting Slay Living (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/slayLiving.htm) on Belkar. "My name is Malacklack -- you killed my neighbor and his son! Prepare to die!")

ThePhantasm
2011-10-26, 10:26 AM
I just can't believe he's not a tarrasque.

Laws of Chaos
2011-10-26, 10:45 AM
If you compare Malack's movement to Xykon's it gives credit to Malack being legless. Both of their robes while standing touch the ground, but with Xycon, if he is walking, you see his legs, and his robes move forward as expected. With Malack, his legs have yet to be seen, and his robes move backward as if being drug forward.
Granted, he may be levitating, but I'm leaning toward him not having legs.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-26, 12:54 PM
Or Malackís robe is cut in a way that it doesnít lift, whereas Xykonís is.

ZerglingOne
2011-10-26, 04:13 PM
Well we have to remember that Malack isn't in good health so it isn't out of the question he'd have some sort of persistent flight/hover effect to avoid straining himself.

Rougn
2011-10-26, 05:26 PM
Not quite. The very same panel you cite shows Durkon assuming off the bat, before Malack comments on his race, that Malack is a lizardfolk. It's not an entirely unreasonable assumption. He's seen rather a lot of lizardfolk about the Empire and the palace, and the Cartographer in Sandsedge mentions that the main humanoid denizens of the Western Continent south of the Goaway Mountains are "the human and lizard races". Malack then goes along with Durkon's assumption, either not bothering to correct it (if he's not a lizardfolk) or confirming its truth (if he is).


Durkon said "I thought youll worship Tiamat on account of being lizardfolk" give or take a few words. He was answered with Oh ya Tiamat is a good god however he prefers Kobolds over us lizards folk. If he wasn't a lizard would he say "Oh ya he prefers Kobolds over lizard folk". That will get the same message across however it would not group himself as a lizardfolk. Then he even goes further into it explain Tiamat does not share his view of making a civilization so that means he was more then happy to explain all the reasons he does not worship Tiamat so judging by that, and by him not telling a known lie, he would say "Oh well im actually snakefolk not lizardfolk" when listing the reasons.

Also I want to point out lizardfolk and snakefolks speech are different which means Durkon would not mistake of a snakes hiss with that of a lizards voice. Combine that with the fact of Durkon watching him walk, or slither if you wish, around he would be able to hear the footsteps/slithering and watch how he moves. Sure he is horrible with spot and listen checks as a joke but no jokes where made.

Also back to the weird poses he is in this occurred to me while rereading some comics strips: Lizards are not meant to walk on four legs so a two-legged lizard I assume would use its tail to balance itself so the weird angles might be done by him using his tail as a balance.

Qwertystop
2011-10-26, 05:27 PM
Durkon said "I thought youll worship Tiamat on account of being lizardfolk" give or take a few words. He was answered with Oh ya Tiamat is a good god however he prefers Kobolds over us lizards folk. If he wasn't a lizard would he say "Oh ya he prefers Kobolds over lizard folk". That will get the same message across however it would not group himself as a lizardfolk. Then he even goes further into it explain Tiamat does not share his view of making a civilization so that means he was more then happy to explain all the reasons he does not worship Tiamat so judging by that, and by him not telling a known lie, he would say "Oh well im actually snakefolk not lizardfolk" when listing the reasons.

Also I want to point out lizardfolk and snakefolks speech are different which means Durkon would not mistake of a snakes hiss with that of a lizards voice. Combine that with the fact of Durkon watching him walk, or slither if you wish, around he would be able to hear the footsteps/slithering and watch how he moves. Sure he is horrible with spot and listen checks as a joke but no jokes where made.

Also back to the weird poses he is in this occurred to me while rereading some comics strips: Lizards are not meant to walk on four legs so a two-legged lizard I assume would use its tail to balance itself so the weird angles might be done by him using his tail as a balance.

It's Belkar that has jokes about poor Spot and Listen. And why would they sound different?

Geordnet
2011-10-26, 06:44 PM
So, looking over this all so far:

What started the discussion is the fact that nowhere have Malack's legs been clearly shown. Compounding this is the fact that the way he is portrayed when moving seems unusal, to say the least.

Some have interpreted this to mean that he has no legs, or at least is not using them. The opposing view is that they are interpreting meaning where there is not, and that the way Malack is drawn was simply a stylistic choice on the part of Rich.


This is the core of the disagreement: a personal value judgement as to whether or not the way Malack is drawn is unusual enough to raise reasonable suspicion about the existance of his legs.



Now, to those who don't think it's unusual at all: go and closely examine Malack's hemline and that of anyone else wearing a robe. Scrutinize and compare the two, and if you are not convinced that Malack is drawn unusually -in the context of the comic- then there is nothing I can say or do to help you.

For everyone else, we can agree that it is unusual, yes? The only thing we disagree apon are what conclusions can be derived from that.

Here now the arguments become convoluted. There was a lot of off-topic argument about snakes and gorgons, but that's become a strawman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man) for the real issue here. We even have case where the fact that lack of belt does not mean lack of hips was taken to imply that Malack 'must' therefore have hips, and therefore legs! This is sad, but understandable. Men greater then you or I have done much worse in the heat of an argument the forums.


Hopefully we can move on from this, and into more constructive arguement. If I understand it right, many of the people who are convinced that he has legs are so because they see no likely and substantiated way it could be otherwise. Therefore, they have settled with a default assumption that he has legs, which is indeed probably the most valid baseline to work from.


Now, let's get back to discussion:


Well we have to remember that Malack isn't in good health so it isn't out of the question he'd have some sort of persistent flight/hover effect to avoid straining himself.I would like to second the notion that Malack is levitating. He may or may not have legs, but either way he isn't using them.

Now, someone go get me a counterexample! :wink:

Raistlin82
2011-10-26, 06:59 PM
Even if he DOES have legs, it seems as if Rich is going out of his way not to show them (see the "HARM!" panel)

The "HARM!" panel isn't even the strangest one. Look at panel 4 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html), right below it.

On a sidenote, while looking again at the "HARM!" panel, I thought I had seen the back of a leg... but it turns out it was just the railing on the background. :smallredface:

Qwertystop
2011-10-26, 07:04 PM
I would like to second the notion that Malack is levitating. He may or may not have legs, but either way he isn't using them.

Now, someone go get me a counterexample! :wink:

An item of 3/day Overland Flight would probably be affordable for someone in his position, and would cover more than a full 24 hours. 2/day if money is a problem, as long as he rests at least 4 hours of the day.

Ron Miel
2011-10-26, 07:21 PM
I think I've got it. He has very short and stubby legs, too short to walk, and underneath his robe he's actually riding a unicycle.

Geordnet
2011-10-26, 07:48 PM
An item of 3/day Overland Flight would probably be affordable for someone in his position, and would cover more than a full 24 hours. 2/day if money is a problem, as long as he rests at least 4 hours of the day.That is most definately possible. The only thing I see missing now is why Rich has chosen to keep it a secret...

Perhaps he's planning a suprise.....

Sir Augusta
2011-10-26, 07:51 PM
Hes old and in frail health, and he has access to MAGIC! He's using a levitation spell/item. He's one of the leaders of an empire, so he'll be walking around a whole lot... it would only make sense to use magic to relieve the constant movement.

Rougn
2011-10-26, 07:52 PM
It's Belkar that has jokes about poor Spot and Listen. And why would they sound different?

Snakes use their tongue to taste the air so they flick their tongue around alot so its assumed they hiss alot because of it as far as I know lizard do not have this restless tongue syndrome.

As for the joke low spot and listen checks didnt the whole party take a nap surrounded by ninjas with the ninjas trying hard to let them know they are there :P I say pretty bad listen and spot check XD

Sir Augusta
2011-10-26, 08:00 PM
Also it would be easy to notice if someone was sliding while moving next to you as opposed to walking, you would hear 'eeeeeeeeek' as opposed to 'clop, clop, clop, clop'. If all of the people who had been near Malack (including Elan, Durkon and Vaarsuvius) didn't notice this, then I don't know who would...

ORione
2011-10-26, 08:00 PM
As for the joke low spot and listen checks didnt the whole party take a nap surrounded by ninjas with the ninjas trying hard to let them know they are there :P I say pretty bad listen and spot check XD

You mean this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0003.html) strip? I must have failed a spot check of my own, because I don't see Durkon. :smalltongue:

Seriously though, Durkon has high Wisdom, so it makes sense that he would has higher Spot/Listen checks than Belkar, Haley, or Vaarsuvius.

Geordnet
2011-10-26, 08:08 PM
So does anyone still doubt it is at least possible that Malack is moving around without the aid of legs, if not likely?

Because there's another possibility I want to discuss that's built on this one, but I don't want to go too fast and have someone miss a post.


PS:
I think he meant the end of this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0005.html) one and/or the start of the next (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0006.html).

ORione
2011-10-26, 08:16 PM
PS:
I think he meant the end of this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0005.html) one and/or the start of the next (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0006.html).

Are you talking to me? Look at the third panel of the first strip you linked to. Elan is going past the rest of the group. Elan's the only one who takes a nap near the ninjas. That's why Elan's the only one with worse injuries than those that the ogres gave, as seen in the second strip you linked.

Rougn
2011-10-26, 08:20 PM
You mean this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0003.html) strip? I must have failed a spot check of my own, because I don't see Durkon. :smalltongue:

Seriously though, Durkon has high Wisdom, so it makes sense that he would has higher Spot/Listen checks than Belkar, Haley, or Vaarsuvius.

Nope this one http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0005.html :P mind u Elan said it but Durkon was kind enough not to say "Err thar be ninjas here" Sorry if that sounded like a pirate my dwarf impression is a cheap rip off of my pirate xD

ORione
2011-10-26, 08:44 PM
Nope this one http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0005.html :P mind u Elan said it but Durkon was kind enough not to say "Err thar be ninjas here" Sorry if that sounded like a pirate my dwarf impression is a cheap rip off of my pirate xD

Elan went ahead of them. Durkon didn't get to the ninjas.

If you want to talk more, we should probably start a new thread or something.

Qwertystop
2011-10-26, 09:00 PM
That is most definately possible. The only thing I see missing now is why Rich has chosen to keep it a secret...

Perhaps he's planning a suprise.....
Well, if the item is Overland Flight, it would be really good as a surprise ability. It can do a lot more than inch-high levitation. And since the movement is clearly no-feet, it's not entirely out of nowhere (especially since I guessed it).

Hes old and in frail health, and he has access to MAGIC! He's using a levitation spell/item. He's one of the leaders of an empire, so he'll be walking around a whole lot... it would only make sense to use magic to relieve the constant movement.
That's what the Overland Flight is for. It's the only core spell that does the job efficiently. Fly, while lower-level and faster, has a minutes/level duration, meaning a lot more charges and/or caster levels would need to be paid for. Levitation is clumsy, not entirely based on where one is trying to move, and has a stacking penalty for attacking (possibly including touch attacks).

Blisstake
2011-10-26, 09:44 PM
I never once thought he had legs. Whenever he moves, it's at a noticable angle, and if he had legs, wouldn't it mean his tail would be elevated higher?

Honestly, I never thought it was significant either, but I could definitely be wrong there.

Geordnet
2011-10-26, 10:48 PM
Well, I would like to foreward the notion that he isn't floating due to some magic item, but some inherant power of his own...


Let's see:
High Priest of a god of death...
Frail health...
Eats in private...
Floats above the ground...

Sounds like some sort of sell-your-soul-for-eternal-half-life situation here.....

dps
2011-10-26, 11:10 PM
Well, I would like to foreward the notion that he isn't floating due to some magic item, but some inherant power of his own...


Let's see:
High Priest of a god of death...
Frail health...
Eats in private...
Floats above the ground...

Sounds like some sort of sell-your-soul-for-eternal-half-life situation here.....

I'm thinking more along the lines that frail health might include crippled legs.

TheMac04
2011-10-26, 11:49 PM
The "HARM!" panel isn't even the strangest one. Look at panel 4 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html), right below it.

On a sidenote, while looking again at the "HARM!" panel, I thought I had seen the back of a leg... but it turns out it was just the railing on the background. :smallredface:

See, the point I was trying to make was not "Malack moves strangely", which has already been established, but the fact that it's pretty clear that Rich is deliberately drawing the comic in a way that prevents us from seeing Malack's legs. Notice how the bottom of the "HARM!" panel is cut JUST where Malack's legs would be. If anything, it's a bit suspicious.

Or maybe we're all crazy and Rich is drawing it that way because he felt like it. That is also possible.

Knaight
2011-10-27, 02:20 AM
Snakes use their tongue to taste the air so they flick their tongue around alot so its assumed they hiss alot because of it as far as I know lizard do not have this restless tongue syndrome.

It depends on the lizard. Komodo dragons don't, for instance, but small geckos do.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-27, 08:42 AM
Sounds like some sort of sell-your-soul-for-eternal-half-life situation here.....
Seeking Eternal Life is generally a violation of faith for a priest of a god of Death.

teratorn
2011-10-27, 12:33 PM
It depends on the lizard. Komodo dragons don't, for instance, but small geckos do.

Monitor lizards (the group which includes Komodo dragons) flick their tongues to taste air and they definitely make hissing sounds when threatened. Hissing sounds exist also in non-tongue flickers. Chameleons sometimes make hissing sounds when handled.

Geckos can be incredibly talkative, they chirp when you feed them and scream when handled.

Geordnet
2011-10-27, 02:27 PM
Seeking Eternal Life is generally a violation of faith for a priest of a god of Death.

Now you're just making assumptions. Besides, I did say Half-life, didn't I? Not ever dying, yet not truly alive... That's actually how undeath is traditionally defined, and I bet you wouldn't have a problem with a Lich-Priest, would you? (Not to say that Malack's undead in the rather strict modern definition of it, which usually mandates bare bones and rotting flesh etc.)


PS:
Stop going off on reptilian tangents, guys; you'll derail the thread again.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-27, 04:42 PM
Now you're just making assumptions.
Uh, no. Not an assumption. Far from it. It is the logical extension of being a death worshiper that one should not cheat death. A priest is pretty bad at his or her job if he or she works in ways contrary to his or her deityís portfolio.

This line of thought, by the way, is backed up by almost every D&D death deity Iíve ever read about.


Besides, I did say Half-life, didn't I? Not ever dying, yet not truly alive... That's actually how undeath is traditionally defined, and I bet you wouldn't have a problem with a Lich-Priest, would you?
Now, who is assuming things? I do indeed have a problem with a Lich-priest that claims to be a devout servant of a deity in charge of seeing that everyone dies at their appointed time.

Anarion
2011-10-27, 05:30 PM
Uh, no. Not an assumption. Far from it. It is the logical extension of being a death worshiper that one should not cheat death. A priest is pretty bad at his or her job if he or she works in ways contrary to his or her deityís portfolio.

This line of thought, by the way, is backed up by almost every D&D death deity Iíve ever read about.


Now, who is assuming things? I do indeed have a problem with a Lich-priest that claims to be a devout servant of a deity in charge of seeing that everyone dies at their appointed time.

In support of Geordnet, it certainly could be a physical ailments<--->power kind of trade without coming with eternal life. As the servant of a death god, perhaps giving up parts of his body early, or even hastening his own death would be a fair trade for immediate power.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-27, 06:02 PM
In support of Geordnet, it certainly could be a physical ailments<--->power kind of trade without coming with eternal life. As the servant of a death god, perhaps giving up parts of his body early, or even hastening his own death would be a fair trade for immediate power.
Depends on the type of death god. Yeah, that could be fair. But weíre not talking sacrificing health for more standard power. We were talking a trade specifically for eternal (half-)life.

J's
2011-10-27, 06:23 PM
See, the point I was trying to make was not "Malack moves strangely", which has already been established, but the fact that it's pretty clear that Rich is deliberately drawing the comic in a way that prevents us from seeing Malack's legs. Notice how the bottom of the "HARM!" panel is cut JUST where Malack's legs would be. If anything, it's a bit suspicious.

Or maybe we're all crazy and Rich is drawing it that way because he felt like it. That is also possible.

As I pointed out earlier lizards that stand on 2 legs move their legs differently than humans, in a windmill type motion. I don't believe that there has been a lizardfolk in a robe before Malack, so he never ran into the the issue of how the different motion would effect the robe. So that is an argument in favor of the Giant just ignoring the issue and having the hem static without any thing disrupting it without the reason being a form of flight.

That being said if he has a snake half he should be levitating because he would need 4-5 times the length of tail on the ground he currently has to move effectively. Oh, and that lunge attack on Nale was not a snake-like lunge. They put a circle of body on the ground to spring the rest of them toward their target and return close to the same spot.

That lunge is also faster than human reflexes. Is that taken into consideration in the D&D world (where humans get a dodge penalty against snakefolk) or is reflex time ignored?

mikeejimbo
2011-10-27, 06:43 PM
My theory is that he's a lizardfolk that doesn't have legs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legless_lizard)

Bulldog Psion
2011-10-27, 07:36 PM
Since he is shown as moving differently from every other robed character in the story, it seems doubtful that he has legs.

However, it also it also doesn't seem like it would have much bearing on the story one way or the other, other than as an interesting bit of trivia.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-27, 08:21 PM
As I pointed out earlier lizards that stand on 2 legs move their legs differently than humans, in a windmill type motion. I don't believe that there has been a lizardfolk in a robe before Malack, so he never ran into the the issue of how the different motion would effect the robe. So that is an argument in favor of the Giant just ignoring the issue and having the hem static without any thing disrupting it without the reason being a form of flight.
I fail to see what a real-life lizardís locomotion pattern has to do with a fantasy humanoid (reptilian)ís style of locomotion.

Has Gannji or any other lizardfolk (Malack excepted, natch) indicated a style of locomotion other than standard humanoid?

teratorn
2011-10-27, 08:51 PM
The most awkward is the way he sits. Gannji puts the tail to the side, Malack must sit on his tail. The sitting and the implied hip position in regard to vest size also mean Malack would have huge legs (also from the way he bends his ętorsoĽ in #735).

CletusMusashi
2011-10-27, 11:01 PM
There may be distinctly different types of lizard-folk. Perhaps a chameleonman race that can change colors, a gilaman race with a venomous bite, an geckoman race that can climb like Spiderman, yadda yadda yadda. I'm thinking Amphisbaenidman might work. Some Amphisbaenids are completely legless, some have front legs only. If he's the latter type, voila. And they're burrowers, so it seems reasonable for there to be higher rate of albinism in the gene pool.
He might also be a Skinkman, with a long, strong body and teeny tiny short legs. Many skinks do tongue-taste the air, so that part works fine. They're also usually burrowers.
Also... what if he's only missing one leg? Through some supernatural, problematic to heal disaster? A lot of what looks in still-panels like gliding might simply be him using his tail as a walking aid.
He might also have gotten his shins blown off like Cotton Hill, and the only magic available at the time to reattach his feet involved incurably welding them to his kneecaps.

J's
2011-10-28, 12:12 AM
I fail to see what a real-life lizardís locomotion pattern has to do with a fantasy humanoid (reptilian)ís style of locomotion.

Has Gannji or any other lizardfolk (Malack excepted, natch) indicated a style of locomotion other than standard humanoid?

As you didn't point to a D&D standard for it is there a reason you think they don't? After all the Giant avoided the trope of all females looking human with just the heads to indicate species, so why wouldn't he have in mind the different ways they move?

jere7my
2011-10-28, 12:39 AM
As you didn't point to a D&D standard for it is there a reason you think they don't?

No. Just...no.

D&D Lizardmen do not run like Basiliscus basiliscus. Apart from the fact that it would look ridiculous, lizardmen have been illustrated in D&D products for thirty years. They walk, more or less like normal humans. No windmilling.

Knaight
2011-10-28, 05:31 AM
Monitor lizards (the group which includes Komodo dragons) flick their tongues to taste air and they definitely make hissing sounds when threatened. Hissing sounds exist also in non-tongue flickers. Chameleons sometimes make hissing sounds when handled.

Geckos can be incredibly talkative, they chirp when you feed them and scream when handled.

Monitor lizards do so, but its at a very low rate compared to most snakes, so I'd classify it as a different sound effect. And yes, Geckos can be loud - I lived in Thailand for a year, and wild geckos were everywhere, and after eating enough mosquitoes they tended to get chirpy. Its a quite nice sound as well.

Dr.Epic
2011-10-28, 05:51 AM
Rarely if ever have I seen an artist skip drawing something 100% of the time, except to deliberately hide it.

You realize the irony in saying this when the subject is a stick-figure comic don't you? Take a look at just about every character's face. They're all lacking noses. The style is extremely simplified. Heck, how many times have we seen Xykon's legs, and he wears a robe too? I don't see why Malak wouldn't have legs. He has arms and we've seen other lizardfolk and similar creatures with the four limbs of humans.

zimmerwald1915
2011-10-28, 05:55 AM
Heck, how many times have we seen Xykon's legs, and he wears a robe too?
Xykon's example might actually be one of the stronger examples to support the "Malack hasn't got legs" position. When he's standing still we don't see his legs, but when he moves his robe stretches to accomidate his legs' motion, and his tarsals and everything distal become very visible. The last time we saw him (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0662.html) demonstrates both ways of seeing.

teratorn
2011-10-28, 08:05 AM
They're all lacking noses.

Curiously Malack has nostrils.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-28, 09:01 AM
Xykon's example might actually be one of the stronger examples to support the "Malack hasn't got legs" position. When he's standing still we don't see his legs, but when he moves his robe stretches to accomidate his legs' motion, and his tarsals and everything distal become very visible.
Of course, it could also just be a consequence of different cut robes, where the different cuts are not obvious in this simplified art style. Or maybe event the belts that Xykon wears, but Malack doesnít.


The last time we saw him (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0662.html) demonstrates both ways of seeing.
I have also sug
Technically, the last time we saw Xykon was in a single cutaway panel in #737 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0737.html). :smallwink:


Curiously Malack has nostrils.
And Xykon has a nasal cavity.

Long Robes and Noses: Bringing Spellcasters together throughout history.

Bulldog Psion
2011-10-28, 10:32 AM
You realize the irony in saying this when the subject is a stick-figure comic don't you? Take a look at just about every character's face. They're all lacking noses. The style is extremely simplified. Heck, how many times have we seen Xykon's legs, and he wears a robe too? I don't see why Malak wouldn't have legs. He has arms and we've seen other lizardfolk and similar creatures with the four limbs of humans.

Considering that every other robed character is drawn differently from Malack, including Xykon -- whose feet are visible when he walks, if I recall correctly (though he's been gone from the comic for so long I can't remember totally) -- your point is one that I cannot agree with.

In fact, although the style is simplified, Malack is still objectively and visibly drawn differently from every other character who has legs and a robe. Therefore, I don't see that it's "ironic" that people notice this difference and surmise that it indicates a different body type of some kind.

It seems more likely that Malack is physically different than that it's a repeated, consistent art accident that keeps happening with just one character.

Edit: I see that Xykon's feet do show pretty consistently when he's walking, and I suspect it's true of other robed characters (I remember the priest that Elan approached with his Church of Banjo thing, for one). So Malack's feet never being visible and his robe flowing back at a sharp angle when he's moving forward is definitely and consistently different from other robed characters, IMO, and suggests that he has no legs.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-10-28, 10:49 AM
As you didn't point to a D&D standard for it is there a reason you think they don't?
What does a D&D standard have to do with it? Iím talking about OotS standards, and I pointed specifically to one in particular.

weeping eagle
2011-10-28, 11:41 AM
Excuse me, I seem to be lost. Could someone please direct me to the "do balrogs have wings?" discussion?

Thanks.

Geordnet
2011-10-28, 01:57 PM
Well, now that it's been established that Malack moves much differently than other characters with robes, the question is how he does move. There are three stated possibilities:

Bent extremely far forwards (supposedly using his tail for balance)
Slithering along with his tail
Floating (or otherwise moving without touching the ground)


While the first possibility might explain the fourth panel in this strip (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html), it doesn't account for why his robe flows backwards when he's moving at a much more leisurely pase, such as in the first and third panels here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0743.html). In addition, a simple comparison of the size of his tail in respect for his head makes it doubtful that it could be used for balance more than temporarily, especially when held so low to the ground.
(Unlike, say, Gannji's (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0783.html).)

The second option presents a problem in the fact that usually things that slither do so on their belly, for reasons of simple physics. The balance requirements for such an arrangement would be much greater than those for the last, and since Malack's tail doesn't make up 60-80% of his mass it would require magical support to keep him from falling flat on his face -which is effectively equivilent to the next option.

The third and final option is that Malack is using some sort of magical effect to gently float, fly, levitate, or otherwise hover above the ground. Regardless of the origin of such an effect, it would neatly account for everything we've seen, from the swept-back robes to the extreme-tilt lunges.

JSSheridan
2011-10-28, 03:00 PM
Theres 2 versions of the medusa.

I think it's possible Malak has no legs, but unlikely. If I was cutting off a lizardfolk's leg's I would cut off the tail as well, in fact I'm pretty sure cutting off at the pelvis would be above the tail.

Medusa in the Stickverse have legs.

Strip 87, last panel. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0087.html)

There is also a six-armed Yuan-Ti.

KillianHawkeye
2011-10-28, 03:05 PM
I have a different theory. Malack is actually a pair of albino kobolds standing on each others' shoulders. The top one needs to lean forward to tell the bottom one (who can't see) when to walk. The bottom one's legs are so small that they don't come outside the robe.

/mystery

EDIT:

Medusa in the Stickverse have legs.

Strip 87, last panel. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0087.html)

There is also a six-armed Yuan-Ti.

Ah, I knew there was a medusa shown somewhere! Also, the six-armed snake lady is a marilith demon.

Gift Jeraff
2011-10-28, 03:06 PM
Medusa in the Stickverse have legs.

Strip 87, last panel. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0087.html)

There is also a six-armed Yuan-Ti.That's probably a marilith.

Bulldog Psion
2011-10-28, 03:58 PM
I have a different theory. Malack is actually a pair of albino kobolds standing on each others' shoulders. The top one needs to lean forward to tell the bottom one (who can't see) when to walk. The bottom one's legs are so small that they don't come outside the robe.

/mystery


I like this theory a lot. :smallwink: Perhaps we can refine it by placing the bottom kobold on a pogo stick, which further explains why nothing shows under the hem of the robe while Malack is in motion, since the pogo stick is in the "off the ground phase" of its bounce at these moments. :smallcool:

ORione
2011-10-28, 04:52 PM
I like this theory a lot. :smallwink: Perhaps we can refine it by placing the bottom kobold on a pogo stick, which further explains why nothing shows under the hem of the robe while Malack is in motion, since the pogo stick is in the "off the ground phase" of its bounce at these moments. :smallcool:

I'm adding this to my list of favorite crazy OotS theories.

Anarion
2011-10-28, 06:18 PM
Excuse me, I seem to be lost. Could someone please direct me to the "do balrogs have wings?" discussion?

Thanks.

There's been art done for Tolkien covers showing them without wings :smalltongue:


I have a different theory. Malack is actually a pair of albino kobolds standing on each others' shoulders. The top one needs to lean forward to tell the bottom one (who can't see) when to walk. The bottom one's legs are so small that they don't come outside the robe.

/mystery

EDIT:


Ah, I knew there was a medusa shown somewhere! Also, the six-armed snake lady is a marilith demon.

Well, looks like that mystery is solved. Good job everyone, feel free to head home, job's done here.

martianmister
2011-10-28, 08:34 PM
My theory is that he's a lizardfolk that doesn't have legs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legless_lizard)

THIS! :smalleek:

Steward
2011-10-28, 08:50 PM
Is it possible that he was born with shrunken, deformed, or vestigial legs?

ORione
2011-10-28, 08:53 PM
Is it possible that he was born with shrunken, deformed vestigial legs?

There's probably a flaw for that.

Dr.Epic
2011-10-29, 12:37 PM
There's probably a flaw for that.

Or a trait.:smallwink::smalltongue: