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Vahir
2011-12-15, 07:47 PM
There's something I don't understand about him. Hypothetically, if he and Xykon managed to capt the power of the snarl and blackmail the gods, how would he get rid of Xykon? He's made it sufficiently clear that he doesn't want to work with Xykon a minute longer than he has to, and I don't see how a cleric like him could defeat a lich like Xykon.

Any thoughts?

ORione
2011-12-15, 07:49 PM
Since this has to do with SoD, I would advise changing the thread title to note that there are spoilers.

On topic, I don't know.

Kish
2011-12-15, 07:51 PM
If you've read Start of Darkness, you should know that the ritual will actually give control of the rifts to the Dark One, not to Xykon or Redcloak. Redcloak is presumably counting on the Dark One to then deal with Xykon.

Anarion
2011-12-15, 08:19 PM
If you've read Start of Darkness, you should know that the ritual will actually give control of the rifts to the Dark One, not to Xykon or Redcloak. Redcloak is presumably counting on the Dark One to then deal with Xykon.


My guess is that Xykon would kill Redcloak immediately if the ritual happened and Xykon realized that he had been tricked. Although I'm not sure Redcloak would care at that point, since he would have sacrificed his life to fulfill his entire purpose in life and the purpose of every other goblin that ever wore that cloak.

The Witch-King
2011-12-15, 08:21 PM
Wouldn't Redcloak just have to destroy Xykon's phylactery? And wouldn't that have little to do with anyone controlling the Snarl? And frankly, as I imagine both of them have thought of that, they're both planning to eliminate the other at some point.

Dark Matter
2011-12-15, 08:30 PM
If the plan covers that at all, then he probably figures he'll die at Xykon's hands. :Shrug: I doubt he cares that's after the "game over, I win" part.

The Dark One has a private "heaven" for his crew. RC is TDO's head Cleric, dying (especially victoriously) in carrying out his orders wouldn't be bad.

I can see three other possibilities for "what happens after".
Warning SOD Spoilers and Lots of speculation on future plot
1) Xykon Soul Binds Redcloak, which would be pretty sucky.
2) The Snarl unmakes the universe.
3) Redcloak becomes a god. He's already more successful in life than The Dark One was. It'd be an interesting twist.

blueblade
2011-12-15, 08:31 PM
I think it's been established that to some extent, Redcloak has resigned himself to the fact that he is now in to the end no matter what, due to his actions in SoD. I wouldn't be surprised if he considers his death after completing his mission to be a fairly minor and fitting eventuality.



Wouldn't Redcloak just have to destroy Xykon's phylactery? And wouldn't that have little to do with anyone controlling the Snarl? And frankly, as I imagine both of them have thought of that, they're both planning to eliminate the other at some point.

WE have no reason to think Xykon will give Redcloack back the phylactery once it's been found. Would you??

Dark Matter
2011-12-15, 08:33 PM
WE have no reason to think Xykon will give Redcloack back the phylactery once it's been found. Would you??Yeah, I would. As long as Xykon is looking for his soul thing he's not doing anything about the gates, and getting the gates is victory conditions.

Kish
2011-12-15, 08:34 PM
Wouldn't Redcloak just have to destroy Xykon's phylactery?
No. Destroying Xykon's phylactery would prevent him from coming back if he was destroyed. It wouldn't destroy him.

Anarion
2011-12-15, 08:50 PM
I don't think Redcloak could destroy Xykon's phylactery, at least not quickly. We saw O-chul fail at dealing any damage to it at all, so Redcloak would need to spend time dispelling the protections first and by that point he'd probably be toast.

Dr.Epic
2011-12-15, 09:23 PM
There's something I don't understand about him. Hypothetically, if he and Xykon managed to capt the power of the snarl and blackmail the gods, how would he get rid of Xykon? He's made it sufficiently clear that he doesn't want to work with Xykon a minute longer than he has to, and I don't see how a cleric like him could defeat a lich like Xykon.

Any thoughts?

The Dark One could easily beat Xykon. Not to mention Red Cloak is crafty enough to form a plan that could defeat Xykon despite their difference in levels.

Forikroder
2011-12-15, 09:35 PM
redcloak is carrying Xykons phylactery, has a god watching over him and an army of hobgoblins ready to reincarnate him

the real question is how would Xykon get rid of redcloak

Belril Duskwalk
2011-12-15, 09:58 PM
WE have no reason to think Xykon will give Redcloack back the phylactery once it's been found. Would you??


Yeah, I would. As long as Xykon is looking for his soul thing he's not doing anything about the gates, and getting the gates is victory conditions.

The point is if you, as Xykon, find the phylactery why do you give it back to the person who lost it before? Of course you need to find it, but once it's found, then where do you keep the phylactery? There's no reason Redcloak needs to be the one holding it. In fact there's no reason anybody other than Xykon even needs to know where it is.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-12-15, 11:17 PM
redcloak is carrying Xykons phylactery…
No, he’s not. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0660.html)

Juggling Goth
2011-12-16, 02:54 AM
We have no reason to think Xykon will give Redcloack back the phylactery once it's been found. Would you??


Wouldn't Redcloak just have to destroy Xykon's phylactery? And wouldn't that have little to do with anyone controlling the Snarl? And frankly, as I imagine both of them have thought of that, they're both planning to eliminate the other at some point.

Both these questions have answersish in SoD:



1. OK, this is a bit of a stretch: it covers betrayal but not incompetence. (Although Xykon could probably safely bet on the Azure-City-and-O-Chul situation being a one-off, now Redcloak has his revenge on the paladins and his goblinoid city, and Xykon has made him lose his eye permanently and remember Right-Eye every time he looks in a mirror. Anyway.) Xykon has enchanted the MitD to eat Redcloak and spit out the phylactery if Redcloak ever betrays him. Xykon is expecting it and has taken steps. Plus there's That Speech. But it doesn't matter anyway, because...

2. In SoD, Redcloak tries to pull the "... or I destroy your phylactery" thing, and Xykon points out that that will do absolutely nothing and that Xykon can kill Right-Eye and Redcloak before Redcloak even gets that far.

M.A.D
2011-12-16, 03:06 AM
the real question is how would Xykon get rid of redcloak

Two words: Meteor Swarm!

Dark Matter
2011-12-16, 08:53 AM
I don't think Redcloak could destroy Xykon's phylactery, at least not quickly. We saw O-chul fail at dealing any damage to it at all, so Redcloak would need to spend time dispelling the protections first and by that point he'd probably be toast.Anti-Magic Shell is a Cleric Spell, Redcloak is high enough level to cast it.

This is why Soon thought he could tell any human how to destroy it. "You, generic human, take that soul-hidey thing over to the prison's AMS and destroy it."

The Witch-King
2011-12-16, 12:43 PM
Speculation:

Given Redcloak's intelligence and the fact that Xykon doesn't automatically know where the phylactery is, I would venture a guess that Redcloak's already switched the phylactery for another goblin holy symbol and hidden it away for safekeeping.

Ancalagon
2011-12-16, 12:56 PM
I don't think Redcloak could destroy Xykon's phylactery, at least not quickly. We saw O-chul fail at dealing any damage to it at all, so Redcloak would need to spend time dispelling the protections first and by that point he'd probably be toast.

The protection spells were added later. The initial plan was: "I have his phylactery, I have the control over him".

Read SoD to find the specifics why that did not turn out (obviously) as expected. Now Redcloak helped to make Xykon even more stronger by helping him ward his phylactery against anything and everything they could think of (Xykon says "we" put all kind of stuff on it).

eulmanis12
2011-12-16, 02:02 PM
Once they have the gate redcloak could just throw it in the rift. That probably would destroy it, or cause the snarl to destroy it.
Redcloak would win against Xycon, no doubt, he is a cleric and Xycon is undead. Varsuvius almost beat xycon but lost when Redcloak figured out how to beat him. Redcloak is the brains behind the operation. Redcloak plans the strategy, Xycon would have "died" in the throne room if Redcloak hadn't shown up. Without Redcloak Xycon is a mountain of raw power with no idea what to blast. If Xycon had tried to take Azure city without Redcloak he would have marched right up to the walls and been flattened in minutes by the OotS, Siege Artillery, League of Palidans, and legion of troops.

Dark Matter
2011-12-16, 03:01 PM
You're seriously underestimating Xykon's raw power. In the battle for Azure city, using only what we know, Xykon could have, by himself, murdered everyone in the city in a few hours.

Symbol of Insanity + Overland Flight, perhaps also with Invisibility does with 99.9%. If anyone has defenses Xykon can deal with them more directly.

Xykon also has epic level spells and an absurd level. It's actually reasonable for him to pull some epic "destroy city" spell out and hose the city.

Similarly it's reasonable for him to have some epic defense against whatever Redcloak wants to pull against him. I'm not saying we should assume he does, but there's perhaps 12+ levels of difference between the two of them and another 6 for CR adjustments.

There's a reason why Xykon thinks he can normally just throw power at the situation and win. How often do you expect to see a 19th level character lose to a 1st level? That's the difference in raw power between the two of them.

Kish
2011-12-16, 03:11 PM
Redcloak would win against Xycon, no doubt, he is a cleric and Xycon is undead.
You'll have to be a lot more detailed about how you think Redcloak could defeat Xykon.

Unless you're suggesting Redcloak is equal to Xykon's level or greater, you can start by crossing off Turn/Rebuke Undead.

Ancalagon
2011-12-16, 03:29 PM
Redcloak would win against Xycon, no doubt, he is a cleric and Xycon is undead.

Xykon has like 10 levels on Redcloak (and a +4 Turn Resistance in case you tal about this). That's no "clear win" for Redcloak, I fear.
Redcloak cannot kill Xykon. Read SoD. Actually, as the thread's title includes a SPOILER WARNING I spell it out: It would have all been for nothing. You know, telling him about the gates, making Xykon in the first place, murdering his own brother... etc.



Varsuvius almost beat xycon but lost when Redcloak figured out how to beat him.

Were you reading a different comic than me? Xykon played around with Vaarsuvius and totally smashed him once he thought it was time to smash him. It was simple as that.


Redcloak is the brains behind the operation. Redcloak plans the strategy

You underestimate Xykon. He has more clue what's going on, he just does not care because he knows he can turn anyone and anything into ashes and dust if he just cares to do that. As Xykon says in SoD to Redcloak: Do do not confuse not knowing with not caring. And I think I should say the same to you, just to remind you how tricky Xykon is.


Xycon would have "died" in the throne room if Redcloak hadn't shown up.
Yes. To an epic Soon-Ghost and like two or three dozen Ghost martyrs. Redcloak's abilties are way below that (and Xykon has gotten much more careful since then).

martianmister
2011-12-16, 04:08 PM
In a panel of SoD, it shows us Snarl's killing Redcloak and Xykon, after the ritual.

Ancalagon
2011-12-16, 04:14 PM
In a panel of SoD, it shows us Snarl's killing Redcloak and Xykon, after the ritual.

No, it does not. It shows us what Redcloak thinks that might happen if stuff goes wrong.

Dark Matter
2011-12-16, 09:20 PM
On the whole "not caring" subject....

Xykon has good reason to not care. He kills because he's bored, not because he gains anything from it. He wouldn't even earn experience for killing Redcloak and/or OOTS so it's just entertainment. This is why he goes to lengths to make it entertaining.

Spookymurloc
2011-12-16, 11:36 PM
On the whole "not caring" subject....

Xykon has good reason to not care. He kills because he's bored, not because he gains anything from it. He wouldn't even earn experience for killing Redcloak and/or OOTS so it's just entertainment. This is why he goes to lengths to make it entertaining.

He does kill for other reasons as well. He's killed/attempted to kill certain individuals because they were a threat to him or his plans.
I'd elaborate but I'm unsure if it would be something that should have spoiler warning and as this is my first day posting here I'm not entirely sure how to do that :smalltongue:

Kish
2011-12-17, 05:41 AM
You do spoilers like this.

Xykon is certainly capable of acknowledging and responding to actual threats; Soon, for example.

thereaper
2011-12-17, 09:55 AM
Redcloak is literally willing to risk the entire multiverse for the plan.

You think he has any problem sacrificing himself? Once the ritual is done, he's won. What happens afterwards is inconsequential.

Fovar
2011-12-17, 10:24 AM
As Tarquin (God do I love that character) once said about bards:

"With their mastery of narrative structure, they should be ruling the entire cosmos by now, instead of wasting time singing in taverns!"

The question here is not who would win according to plans, levels, choice of spell, special defenses, allies but what would make for an interesting story / plot twist.

My idea is, would those two duke it out, that Redcloak would barely have the upper hand over Xykon (the exact reason why he would is irrelevant), only for him to be saved by the Mystic Theurge and her wide array of spells.

She's specialized over the undead, and specially caring for them. She got spells especially designed to defend and heal her undead creations. Add to that a couple dispel magic/disjunction, just because she has the slots for it.

Because undead are caring and loving.

Then she would realize her mistake and have a choice:
Finish Xykon and seize power or a personnality break/shift due to guilt. Or even approach the OoTS to confess and give ammunitions.

OR, she could destroy the philactery with a disjunction (an area of effects that destroys enchantments/enchanted items) while attempting to save the lich. With his dying breath, Redcloak warns the OoTS that Xykon is weakened and philactery-less so they can rush in and finish him off in an epic battle.

The Pilgrim
2011-12-17, 10:32 AM
There's something I don't understand about him. Hypothetically, if he and Xykon managed to capt the power of the snarl and blackmail the gods, how would he get rid of Xykon? He's made it sufficiently clear that he doesn't want to work with Xykon a minute longer than he has to, and I don't see how a cleric like him could defeat a lich like Xykon.

Any thoughts?

He probably counts on Xykon killing himself at the hands of the Snarl, while believing he is in control.

Or, Dark One stomps in, disintegrates Xykon, have a nice day.

Kish
2011-12-17, 11:55 AM
It occurs to me that at this point, Redcloak might count on Xykon Soul Binding him.

Not on a conscious level, I'm sure. But if he spends eternity stuck in a gem after achieving the Plan, he never has to face his brother, and he can always believe that he's given up more for the Plan than he forced any other goblin to give up.

Ancalagon
2011-12-17, 12:26 PM
OR, she could destroy the philactery with a disjunction (an area of effects that destroys enchantments/enchanted items) while attempting to save the lich. With his dying breath, Redcloak warns the OoTS that Xykon is weakened and philactery-less so they can rush in and finish him off in an epic battle.

Uh... why do people always whip out "Level 9 spells" (which basically no one can get, let alone cast) as simple solution for any problem? Also, "Disjunction vs. epic magic" is not a sure thing (and Xykon might have put some epic protection on the thing, actually, he probably has given you need epic diviniation to find it).

Good theory, Kish. It makes sense with what we have seen so far of Redcloak's character. He could "live" on in his dreamworld and feeling good about all the bad things he did. Still, my top theory is that Redcloak still hopes on the Dark One solving that little problem for him in the end (so he does not have to face Xykon at all by himself).

The Witch-King
2011-12-17, 02:48 PM
It's just occurred to me that Gobbotopia is an XP generating machine. The solution may be simply to create so many goblin, hobgoblin and bugbear high level characters that they can collectively take Xykon. The good deities created the goblinoids to give their clerics a way to level and now the goblins have turned the tables by establishing their own state. They can now level up on the humans and elves and other folk trying to attack Gobbotopia until they can take Xykon en masse.

Ancalagon
2011-12-17, 03:54 PM
Xykon: "Goodbye, suckers. Teleport".

The Pilgrim
2011-12-17, 04:11 PM
It's just occurred to me that Gobbotopia is an XP generating machine. The solution may be simply to create so many goblin, hobgoblin and bugbear high level characters that they can collectively take Xykon. The good deities created the goblinoids to give their clerics a way to level and now the goblins have turned the tables by establishing their own state. They can now level up on the humans and elves and other folk trying to attack Gobbotopia until they can take Xykon en masse.

Or... they can keep fulfilling the Will of the Gods, albeit with a twist: They can keep being XP Fodder, but for the benefit of their own kin, by fighting among themselves until only a handful of high level characters are left, who could then take on Xykon.

By following this strategy they would, also, negate the low-level XP fodder to the privileged races, thus preventing most new adventurers from reaching beyond level 1. After the current mid and high-level adventurers have passed away due to age, being killed or getting bored, the Goblinoids would have effectively turned the tables and their unstoppable high-level characters would be able to wipe the privileged races from the face of the world.

Kancsar
2011-12-17, 05:41 PM
Several folks have Xykon will select someone other than Redcloak to be his phylactery caddy. I can see him picking Tsukiko for that task, and in fact i wonder if Xykon an Tsukiko could carry out the full ritual (or Tsukiko alone, since she is a Theurge).

Agree that Redcloak's best bet is for some Divine assistance - time for a (level 9) Miracle.

Spookymurloc
2011-12-17, 06:33 PM
Or... they can keep fulfilling the Will of the Gods, albeit with a twist: They can keep being XP Fodder, but for the benefit of their own kin, by fighting among themselves until only a handful of high level characters are left, who could then take on Xykon.

By following this strategy they would, also, negate the low-level XP fodder to the privileged races, thus preventing most new adventurers from reaching beyond level 1. After the current mid and high-level adventurers have passed away due to age, being killed or getting bored, the Goblinoids would have effectively turned the tables and their unstoppable high-level characters would be able to wipe the privileged races from the face of the world.

The problem they face in doing that is as they grow more powerful (and lesser in numbers) they become an even more attractive target to higher level adventurers from other races.

Plus the other races can always find other fodder for xp, all the goblins would be doing is making it less... convenient. (not to mention they seem to be big on the gobbo unity thing, so killing eachother for xp might not fit into their plans)

Anarion
2011-12-17, 06:43 PM
What kind of timeframe are people thinking about here? Xykon completely freaked out when he realized they had wasted a few months in Azure City. There's no way he's waiting the years it would take for Gobbotopia to produce a party of high level characters capable of taking Xykon. It's hard to say how long it took Xykon to level up, but considering he was pushing a century in SoD and still flying around killing random stuff, I suspect he leveled a lot faster than most. Redcloak only hit 15th level at the very end of SoD and that covered decades. It's not realistic to expect new goblin heroes from Gobbotopia
Right-Eye's daughter, on the other hand, could definitely make an appearance as a very strong adventurer.



It occurs to me that at this point, Redcloak might count on Xykon Soul Binding him.

Not on a conscious level, I'm sure. But if he spends eternity stuck in a gem after achieving the Plan, he never has to face his brother, and he can always believe that he's given up more for the Plan than he forced any other goblin to give up.

I would buy this subconsciously. I can't see Redcloak actually sitting down and thinking to himself "I'll never be able to stand at the Dark One's side after the plan is complete." However, I agree that some part of him may be completely comfortable with never having to face anyone that died for his cause.

WhamBamSam
2011-12-17, 06:47 PM
Several folks have Xykon will select someone other than Redcloak to be his phylactery caddy. I can see him picking Tsukiko for that task, and in fact i wonder if Xykon an Tsukiko could carry out the full ritual (or Tsukiko alone, since she is a Theurge).

Agree that Redcloak's best bet is for some Divine assistance - time for a (level 9) Miracle.I'm pretty sure Tsukiko and Xykon together could do it, but Tsukiko couldn't alone if for no other reason than that she isn't epic. I personally agree that she seems to be gaining Redcloak's lost favor though. However, I also agree with what others have said, that it doesn't really matter what happens to Redcloak if the ritual is completed first. Here's how I see the end of the partnership going down.

*Team Evil beat the OotS to Kragor's Gate, and have the rituals near completion. Redcloak moves to begin the divine part of the ritual, but Xykon stops him.*
:xykon:Not so fast there . I know you're up to something, and whatever it is, I'm not giving you the chance to stab me in the backbone. That's why I've been having pigtails here learn the ritual. She and I will be performing it while you go off to deal with the Big Damn Heroes. Hold them off until we're finished up here and I'll consider not testing out my new powers on your goblin buddies.
*Redcloak walks away, regenerates his eye and lets off a little internal monologue, which has the added benefit of filling in his plan for those who haven't read SoD*
:redcloak: [I]It doesn't matter whether I'm there or not. As long as the ritual is completed, control of the rifts will be turned over to the Dark One. Then 'Lord' Xykon will be of no more concern to me.
*Goes off and fights a final battle against the PCs, sticking resolutely to the plan to the bitter end*

Kish
2011-12-17, 06:56 PM
I'm pretty sure Tsukiko and Xykon together could do it, but Tsukiko couldn't alone if for no other reason than that she isn't epic.
There is no indication that Redcloak's ritual requires epic-level spellcasters, and strong evidence (Redcloak being prepared to cast the Ritual when he couldn't yet cast sixth-level spells) that it does not. It requires one arcane and one divine caster, mid-level or better. Tsukiko can cast Inflict Critical Wounds, so she's as powerful a cleric now as Redcloak was then, and presumably an equally powerful wizard.

ORione
2011-12-17, 09:20 PM
It occurs to me that at this point, Redcloak might count on Xykon Soul Binding him.


Or being unmade (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0545.html).

Juggling Goth
2011-12-18, 12:47 AM
It occurs to me that at this point, Redcloak might count on Xykon Soul Binding him.

Not on a conscious level, I'm sure. But if he spends eternity stuck in a gem after achieving the Plan, he never has to face his brother, and he can always believe that he's given up more for the Plan than he forced any other goblin to give up.

Oooooh, nice. I like that. That would be very in-character for our favourite villainous martyr.

Joerg
2011-12-18, 03:57 AM
It occurs to me that at this point, Redcloak might count on Xykon Soul Binding him.

Not on a conscious level, I'm sure. But if he spends eternity stuck in a gem after achieving the Plan, he never has to face his brother, and he can always believe that he's given up more for the Plan than he forced any other goblin to give up.

I don't think so. If the Plan succeeds, then he has a justification for killing his brother. He could say to Right-Eye "see, I was right, and now everything is much better for the goblins".

If the Plan totally fails (both parts of it), you might have a point.

Valyrian
2011-12-18, 07:03 AM
Were you reading a different comic than me? Xykon played around with Vaarsuvius and totally smashed him once he thought it was time to smash him. It was simple as that.
Were you? V lost because he really had no idea how to use his new abilities. Xykon on the other hand, wasn't winning until Redcloak found out about the soul splice and reduced V's will power. Plus, V lost his surprise (which he would've used for the most useful spell he chose in that battle) due to the traps Redcloak suggested to install.

I'm not trying to say that this makes Redcloak more powerful than Xykon, but it clearly wasn't Xykon alone who won that battle.

Bastian Weaver
2011-12-18, 07:19 AM
I believe Redcloak's Plan was pretty much obvious in Start of Darkness. Let me quote him on this.

Right-Eye: Anyways, what will Xykon do when he discovers that it doesn't work the way he thinks it does?
Redcloak: It won't matter. Once the rituals are completed, the Dark One himself will control the ability to shift the Snarl's rift. Xykon is strong, but not strong enough to challenge our god.

So he didn't really plan to kill Xykon, at least, at that point. As soon as the ritual is done, neither Redcloak's nor Xykon's actions matter.

Ancalagon
2011-12-18, 08:21 AM
Were you? V lost because he really had no idea how to use his new abilities.

Abilities he does not have anymore and will probably not get back. But you are not talking about Vaarsuvius, you are talking about Redlcoak.

He can plan as much as he wishes, he's still outgunned by a lot*. Nothing is going to change that. And that is what you were arguing for (before you attempted to somehow mix in Vaarsuvius' power into it which does not have anything to do with Redcloak's power (or lack of it)). Redcloak gave some advice that shortened the fight by two or three rounds... so what?

* From what we saw in SoD, he could whip out 8 Level 9 spells in a row (at the end of SoD). We know he has a level 12 spell slot from the fight with Darth Vaarsuvius, that means he also has a level 10 and 11 spot as well.
That's like at least 10 level 9 (or higher) spells. Plus if he has Knowledge(Arcana) at his Level-Maximum, he can cast three epic spells on top of that. And this is not even counting in Level 8 spells and below. We also know from SoD and the comic that Xykon is a strong fan of "Protective Items vs. stuff".
You seriously argue that some planning by Redcloak could counter that?

Dark Matter
2011-12-18, 08:54 AM
We've seen hints that Xykon has level appropriate items. That's a terrifying thought considering what his level is; think "The One Ring" from Lord of the Rings.

Ancalagon
2011-12-18, 08:59 AM
We've seen hints that Xykon has level appropriate items. That's a terrifying thought considering what his level is; think "The One Ring" from Lord of the Rings.

... of which a lot are self-made (he spent 8 hours a day in Azure City on that). So yes, he very probaly has a ton of nice items (and you can bet he has items that specificly cancel out everything Redcloak could do to annoy him).

Fovar
2011-12-18, 09:45 AM
Uh... why do people always whip out "Level 9 spells" (which basically no one can get, let alone cast) as simple solution for any problem? Also, "Disjunction vs. epic magic" is not a sure thing (and Xykon might have put some epic protection on the thing, actually, he probably has given you need epic diviniation to find it).


Because a scroll is so cheap sometimes, even if it requires a caster check? I mean, would Xykon be destroyed, he cannot be raised back, at least not as a lich. Love.

Now, I do not have the Disjunction spell description at hand, but if I recall well it has a chance to destroy even minor artifacts. And 10% chance never happens, 1 in a billion is a sure thing: Really if there's a will, there's a way.

Plus it would be really interesting for Xykon to turn on his recruit for threatening his philactery even if she was trying to help him. That alone is good enough reason to happen.

Who never saw someone in a game pull out a trick nobody expected due to a magic item unnacounted for at character creation? A scroll of Fireball or two can REALLY change the way a low-level encounter turns out. Sure it is a consumable but sometimes it is worth it ten-fold.

On an unrelated note, I am astoundished how everyone takes the exercice strictly rationnaly while there is such a wide array of variables:

- Has a God actively acted in the real world except to deal with their divinely-powered minions?

- Has Redcloack other allies than Xykon that he keeps up his sleeve? Nale mentionned being connected to people who knows the ritual.

- Are there locales/events that would give Redcloak an edge? Has the Tarrasque already awoken this millenia?

- Could Redcloak take a prestige class that could afford a special edge against Xykon? While torturing Mr. Stiffly, he had to double-check every book for an obscure feat/prestige class. Who can say what he found while searching?

- Is there a way to get rid of a lich without actually killing it?

- Could the Dark One offer more powers to Redcloak as his chosen one? Tiamat has given "freely" the gift of the Oracle.

- If Redcloak would ally with someone as Xykon in the first place, could he find someone good to rally with in an attempt to defeat Xykon?

- And finally: Will Xykon really be the final threat? Sure he is pure evil, no doubt, but he showed disdain against the minions of the lower planes for not having the guts to stay in the game, but the pawn souls were easily dispatched to the satisfaction of the outsider trio. There might be something even BIGGER going on.

- Add to that the fact the OoTS is already working with someone evil. Would they work with Xykon do defeat a greater threat?

- Is the ritual Divine or Arcane in nature?

- Tarquin has shown his willingness to ally with the drows to wage war on the elves. Could he be allied with Gobotopia/Redcloak? Or is he already? Maybe he's knowing more than he shows, which would fit the character perfectly.

(This would in fact be pretty clever: it fits the Darth Vader Theme he installed before if he would work for a powerful evil caster...)

I stick to my previous point: With so many variables, narrative structure will take precedence over the specifics of the villains.

EDIT: need more structure, sorry if TL;DR...

Ancalagon
2011-12-18, 10:09 AM
Because a scroll is so cheap sometimes, even if it requires a caster check? I mean, would Xykon be destroyed, he cannot be raised back, at least not as a lich. Love.

Who makes those scrolls (not even speaking of selling them)? Remember the Order doubts there are even level 17+ clerics in the world. Who tells you there are casters who can and will create level 9 scrolls for some Goblin? Getting one might be a major plot for Redcloak (if it's even possible for him to get one at all).

Kish
2011-12-18, 10:27 AM
Who makes those scrolls (not even speaking of selling them)?
I don't know, but the ancient black dragon had two scrolls of a spell (Soul Bind) the same level (9) and nature (arcane) as Disjunction.

Ancalagon
2011-12-18, 11:02 AM
I don't know, but the ancient black dragon had two scrolls of a spell (Soul Bind) the same level (9) and nature (arcane) as Disjunction.

That an Ancient Black Dragon can aquire them does not mean Redcloak can pick them up in the next town. Those things are surely available in some way, but as I said, it might be a major quest for Redcloak to get them.

And as such, it's not the simple solution it was proposed here. "Just take <level 9 spell>" might even be as remote as a purely theoretical option as far as we know.

Dark Matter
2011-12-18, 03:18 PM
I don't know, but the ancient black dragon had two scrolls of a spell (Soul Bind) the same level (9) and nature (arcane) as Disjunction.ABD was an Epic level monster, presumably with epic level resources, contacts, or whatever.

Redcloak on the other hand isn't an epic level monster, and we have a much better idea on what his resources are, which don't apparently include access to Disjunction or anyone who would cast it.

So... given Redcloak's resources, how would I plot Xykon's destruction?
1) Find the soul hidy thing and destroy it. I don't think Xykon would know whether or not it has been destroyed.
2) Send trusted goblins to the Oracle and ask questions (or better yet, go there myself).
3) After that it gets dicey. I'd need someone like Soon or Roy to destroy Xykon, but that's not unlikely given Xykon's lifestyle.

The central problem is whatever is guarding the last two gates, it's going to be epic level, just like Soon and the rest of the Order of the Scribble were.
Ergo killing Xykon is almost the same as giving up The Plan.

Honestly IMHO Goblotopia (sp) eliminates the entire need for "The Plan", but I'm not the Dark One nor his high priest.

Fovar
2011-12-18, 04:57 PM
Who makes those scrolls (not even speaking of selling them)? Remember the Order doubts there are even level 17+ clerics in the world. Who tells you there are casters who can and will create level 9 scrolls for some Goblin? Getting one might be a major plot for Redcloak (if it's even possible for him to get one at all).

There's only one solution then, gentlemen...

Remake the characters and run the scene over and over using every possibilities and as much variables as possible until you get realistic odds!

Azure City had a anti-magic prison ward. I expect it could contain a few high-levels scrolls as well. There's a whole world between aquiring casually at the market place and devote a whole story arc to it.

blueblade
2011-12-18, 09:17 PM
Fovar, have you read SoD? I think it's been made repeatedly clear that as far as Redcloak is concerned, Xykon's statblock might as well read as "You Lose". He is not taking him on directly at any point in time, nor could he, nor does he believe he needs to. So why are you pushing this so hard?

Anarion
2011-12-18, 09:27 PM
Were you? V lost because he really had no idea how to use his new abilities. Xykon on the other hand, wasn't winning until Redcloak found out about the soul splice and reduced V's will power. Plus, V lost his surprise (which he would've used for the most useful spell he chose in that battle) due to the traps Redcloak suggested to install.

I'm not trying to say that this makes Redcloak more powerful than Xykon, but it clearly wasn't Xykon alone who won that battle.

To anyone saying that V didn't know how to use his abilities, what was a winning combination of spells for beating Xykon that V might reasonably have had prepped (i.e. empowered sunburst multiple times would be a stretch)?


Honestly IMHO Goblotopia (sp) eliminates the entire need for "The Plan", but I'm not the Dark One nor his high priest.

Just focusing on this one part of your post. From Redcloak's perspective, if Redcloak accepts that Gobbotopia eliminates the need for the plan, he renders the sacrifice of Right-Eye and all the other dead goblins meaningless. He had nearly accepted the idea of a regular goblin community once: Right-Eye's village. Then Xykon showed up and wrecked the whole village while conscripting all the goblins to serve him. The same Xykon that Redcloak killed his brother to protect. There's no way that Redcloak would ever accept a regular goblin community as a legitimate end after what he's sacrificed for the plan.

ORione
2011-12-18, 09:30 PM
Fovar, have you read SoD? I think it's been made repeatedly clear that as far as Redcloak is concerned, Xykon's statblock might as well read as "You Lose". He is not taking him on directly at any point in time, nor could he, nor does he believe he needs to. So why are you pushing this so hard?

Your words say Xykon > Redcloak, but your avatar says Redcloak > Xykon.

Kish
2011-12-18, 09:33 PM
To anyone saying that V didn't know how to use his abilities, what was a winning combination of spells for beating Xykon that V might reasonably have had prepped (i.e. empowered sunburst multiple times would be a stretch)?
Vaarsuvius was part-sorcerer at the time, remember? Spell preparation not a consideration for Jephton. However. To answer your question.

"Limited Wish: Death Ward," before teleporting to attack Xykon.

"Fine, fine, I'll wait ten minutes for you to resurrect Sir Greenhilt...Ready, Sir Greenhilt? We're going to attack Xykon! Now! We can destroy him, but I'll only have enough power for a little time longer! *cleans Roy's armor with Prestidigitation or a higher level variant thereof and starts buffing*"

Gift Jeraff
2011-12-18, 09:41 PM
The deal explicitly said no divine magic.

Cranica
2011-12-18, 09:41 PM
To anyone saying that V didn't know how to use his abilities, what was a winning combination of spells for beating Xykon that V might reasonably have had prepped (i.e. empowered sunburst multiple times would be a stretch)?

The fiends do explicitly state that V commands greater power than "any mortal spellcaster ever to have lived". Presumably, this includes Xykon. Sure, Xykon's incredibly powerful, but V had three epic-level spellcasters at his command, plus his own not-entirely-insubstantial spell list, plus the element of surprise. Darth V would wipe the floor with Xykon if he'd taken the time to assess the situation - the Ancient Black Dragon was an epic-level monster and Darth V absolutely crushed it with essentially no effort. I sincerely doubt Xykon, powerful as he is, is capable of contending with 75+ total levels of caster coming at him.

Kish
2011-12-18, 09:53 PM
The deal explicitly said no divine magic.
Ah, right, I thought it was just "no resurrection."

And Spell Immunity is divine-only too, I see. If there is truly no arcane way to thwart Energy Drain...

...then, "Limited Wish: I wish Durkon prepared Death Ward this morning!"

Nevereatcars
2011-12-18, 10:45 PM
Sure, Xykon's incredibly powerful, but V had three epic-level spellcasters at his command, plus his own not-entirely-insubstantial spell list, plus the element of surprise.

But V didn't get a surprise round. They got painful rune magic in the back.

Douglas
2011-12-19, 12:05 AM
To anyone saying that V didn't know how to use his abilities, what was a winning combination of spells for beating Xykon that V might reasonably have had prepped (i.e. empowered sunburst multiple times would be a stretch)?
First, cast Time Stop before Epic Teleport, not after. Also, prebuff with Empowered Spell Turning, Mirror Image, Resist Energy for all 5 energy types, and use Shapechange to turn into something undead - becoming immune to Energy Drain.

On arriving, cast Dimensional Lock to stop Xykon teleporting, Prismatic Sphere to protect what comes next from outside interference (Redcloak casting Disintegrate on it, for instance) and Resilient Sphere to create an enclosure around Xykon and V, cutting off anyone else from interfering and Xykon from running. This would also block the traps in the wall from zapping V because they'd have no line of effect. If the Time Stop is long enough (or if V can Quicken some spells and still have enough high level slots left), also cast Wall of Stone to create a shell inside the Resilient Sphere to block Xykon casting spells at it and delay him realizing it's there.

Once Time Stop ends, open up with Empowered Sunbursts until Xykon drops. Xykon is stuck picking between nine indistinguishable targets, all of which are immune to his best dueling spell, and if he tries casting Superb Dispelling it will get reflected back at him by Spell Turning. With Xykon taking 130+ damage per round on average, more if V can throw in some Quickened lower level blasting spells, he has a very short time period to figure out something that would work before he dies, probably just 2 or 3 rounds, and he can't hear any advice Redcloak might shout through the stone - if Redcloak can even come up with any advice for a fight he can't see.

Xykon is not going to win a fight like this, especially with all of his energy blasting spells getting their damage reduced by 30 - after the possibility of reflex half, which is quite significant thanks to V's Protection From Spells - and that's if he hits the right target. He can only hope to escape, and even that is very tricky - he can't teleport, he can't walk out, even if he casts Ghostform he'll still be blocked by the Resilient Sphere. To escape, he has to do one of two things:
1) Realize the Dimensional Lock is there (probably only after a failed teleport), dispel it, and teleport out before V restores it. With Darth V's caster level, nothing short of Superb Dispelling will work for dispelling it, and as a Sorcerer he can't Quicken anything, so he can't both dispel and teleport in the same round. V can re-cast the Dimensional Lock on his turn before Xykon can complete the teleport.
2) Physically exit the area, which would require getting through a Wall of Stone, a Resilient Sphere, and a Prismatic Sphere. The latter isn't much of a problem - he's immune to most of it. The Wall of Stone he can walk through by casting Ghostform. Resilient Sphere is a force effect, though, so even Ghostform would still be contained by it. If Xykon assumes the Wall of Stone is all he has to deal with, he would likely cast Ghostform, try to walk out, discover the Resilient Sphere, and then have to spend the following two rounds dealing with it - one to blast a hole in the Wall of Stone big enough to get line of effect to the Sphere, and another to Disintegrate or dispel the Sphere.

Both of these take enough time that Xykon would be dangerously close to running out of hit points. Add in that he might spend a round or two trying to fight first, and he's probably dead.

After that, remove the Wall of Stone, dismiss the Resilient Sphere, and walk out to curb stomp Redcloak and Tsukiko, possibly trying a Dominate spell or two to force someone to reveal the phylactery's location. At this point, O'chul would interfere if he hasn't already, shouting out that the phylactery is Redcloak's holy symbol. If V hits Redcloak with a Dimensional Anchor early enough (and since we're positing a smart V, he would), it's all over for Team Evil.

Fovar
2011-12-19, 09:11 AM
Fovar, have you read SoD? I think it's been made repeatedly clear that as far as Redcloak is concerned, Xykon's statblock might as well read as "You Lose". He is not taking him on directly at any point in time, nor could he, nor does he believe he needs to. So why are you pushing this so hard?

I haven't read SoD. You are right saying that Redcloak surviving is not a victory prerequisite.


There's something I don't understand about him. Hypothetically, if he and Xykon managed to capt the power of the snarl and blackmail the gods, how would he get rid of Xykon? He's made it sufficiently clear that he doesn't want to work with Xykon a minute longer than he has to, and I don't see how a cleric like him could defeat a lich like Xykon.

Any thoughts?

That, I believe, was the Original Post. That is why I insist. But once again you are right. Stats are irrelevant. And that was EXACTLY my point!


Xykon's statblock might as well read as "You Lose".


As Tarquin (God do I love that character) once said about bards:

"With their mastery of narrative structure, they should be ruling the entire cosmos by now, instead of wasting time singing in taverns!"

The question here is not who would win according to plans, levels, choice of spell, special defenses, allies but what would make for an interesting story / plot twist.


The story is what's important!

EDIT: Assuming SoD is not part of the Webcomic. If it is then I read it. In fact, that sentence about a statblock reading as ''you lose'' rings a bell.

Bastian Weaver
2011-12-19, 09:38 AM
You should read Start of Darkness, it's a cool book which explains a lot about Team Evil, for example: why is Redcloak doing what he's doing and why is Xykon such a mean disgusting son of a crossbow. Also: why did Eugene Greenhilt swear to destroy Xykon in the first place. And the secret origin of Creature in the Dark and the goblin's deity. And more cool stuff.

Morty
2011-12-19, 10:40 AM
I rather doubt Xykon is going to be defeated by means of a direct attack. I think that one of the points behind the Darth Vaarsuvius arc was to show us that. Either way, Spliced Vaarsuvius could have beaten Xykon in direct combat had s/he fought intelligently, but as it is, I don't think Xykon will be beaten in a straight-up boss fight, especially by Redcloak.

Bastian Weaver
2011-12-19, 11:53 AM
Of course, Xykon WAS once defeated by a relatively low-level fighter with a broken weapon...

Ancalagon
2011-12-19, 12:34 PM
Of course, Xykon WAS once defeated by a relatively low-level fighter with a broken weapon...

Do not forget the epic magic that played a role in that.

Morty
2011-12-19, 12:37 PM
That's not what I'd call a direct fight. Like Ancalagon said, Xykon was actually destroyed by Dorukan's sigils placed on the Gate. He wasn't beaten with a right tactics or right amount of power, but mostly by Roy being pissed off and very lucky.

Ancalagon
2011-12-19, 01:08 PM
... and Xykon very sloppy at that moment.

Fovar
2011-12-19, 04:47 PM
Of course, Xykon WAS once defeated by a relatively low-level fighter with a broken weapon...


As Tarquin (God do I love that character) once said about bards:

"With their mastery of narrative structure, they should be ruling the entire cosmos by now, instead of wasting time singing in taverns!"

The question here is not who would win according to plans, levels, choice of spell, special defenses, allies but what would make for an interesting story / plot twist.


How could I have forgotten something so obvious? Thanks.

Unnacounted hazards, an ongoing, unforeseen epic spell do counts.

Anarion
2011-12-19, 09:02 PM
*Very thorough explanation*

Thanks, that was a very thorough account of how to do it.


Getting back on this thread's topic, Xykon might be defeated in a way that furthers the story, but I don't think he'll be taken out purely by a deus ex machina, unless there is a ton of foreshadowing about it. The Giant was on record in War and XPs as saying that after letting Xykon get destroyed by Roy he would want to use a little bit more game rules for Xykon's ultimate defeat. He shouldn't go down just out of narrative since this is still a D&D comic (although obviously a god attacking him could probably overwhelm him even if played perfectly straight).

edit: removed the giant quote, didn't see the need to take up that much space.

Dark Matter
2011-12-31, 10:15 AM
*detailed explaination*A lot of this was reasonable (Time Stop before teleport), some wasn't. This solution would have worked no question... but it's not "smart" it's "perfect". With perfect information a high level spell caster with 24 hours to prep is invincible.

V didn't have perfect information. The OOTS didn't know about Energy Drain until O'Chul told them, nor did she know Xykon had other spell casters just hanging around.

2nd problem, fundamentally she/they were prepared for ABD. For every spell she cast against mommy dragon, she should have had two more anti-dragon spells prepared. For starters she should have had several more Mage's Disjunction spells.

3rd problem, V didn't pick what spells she had available, the epic spell casters did, and one of them was a Sorc so he doesn't pick anything. If the Sorc didn't have Sunburst, then spamming Enpowered Sunburst is probably not possible.

4th problem, V tried dimensional lock and missed.

Which probably doesn't change the larger picture. If V had cast all her misc defensive spells before starting the fight (and especially done the TS last), she probably would have won.... Xykon won't teleport away because his ego won't let him, witness him not doing so against Soon.

But even if Xykon teleports away, The Plan dies anyway. Darth V crushes all of Xykon's minions, RedCloak's Word of Recall leads to a place inside the tower. Without him there is no plan, no divine backing, no soul hiding for Xykon, and no "control" the snarl spell.

Douglas
2011-12-31, 11:06 AM
A lot of this was reasonable (Time Stop before teleport), some wasn't. This solution would have worked no question... but it's not "smart" it's "perfect". With perfect information a high level spell caster with 24 hours to prep is invincible.

V didn't have perfect information. The OOTS didn't know about Energy Drain until O'Chul told them, nor did she know Xykon had other spell casters just hanging around.
Fair point on the Energy Drain, but that just means Xykon might conceivably get one shot with it. He uses it once, and V turns undead as a free action on his/her next turn. That one shot will most likely get spent on a Mirror Image, wasting it.

V had easy access to plenty of information about Redcloak and Tsukiko, however, since Haley knew all about them and was right there available to ask.


2nd problem, fundamentally she/they were prepared for ABD. For every spell she cast against mommy dragon, she should have had two more anti-dragon spells prepared. For starters she should have had several more Mage's Disjunction spells.
Disjunction would have been quite useful against Xykon, too. The only reason I didn't even consider adding it to the plan is that it is explicitly mentioned in the comic as being Haerta's spell, and therefore not available once that Soul Splice ended.

Very few of the spells V uses are specifically anti-dragon. The vast majority are general purpose anti-everything, and V had three full loads of spell slots from epic casters. Even the actual in-comic V would probably laugh at the very idea of needing more than a fraction of those to utterly annihilate any dragon, so looking ahead and preparing for Xykon as well is not unreasonable.


3rd problem, V didn't pick what spells she had available, the epic spell casters did, and one of them was a Sorc so he doesn't pick anything. If the Sorc didn't have Sunburst, then spamming Enpowered Sunburst is probably not possible.
Yes, it is possible some of the spells I listed might not have been available, but that is only a possibility and I was quite careful to stick entirely to reasonably common core spells.

As for Sunburst, the only question on whether spamming it is possible is how many spell slots were available. You don't have to be a Sorcerer to cast the same spell repeatedly, you just need to prepare it multiple times.


4th problem, V tried dimensional lock and missed.
No, V tried Dimensional Anchor. Dimensional Lock is an area spell. It can't miss. The problem with it is that it doesn't follow anyone around so your victim can just walk out, which is why I went to the effort of putting up physical barriers too.


Which probably doesn't change the larger picture. If V had cast all her misc defensive spells before starting the fight (and especially done the TS last), she probably would have won.... Xykon won't teleport away because his ego won't let him, witness him not doing so against Soon.

But even if Xykon teleports away, The Plan dies anyway. Darth V crushes all of Xykon's minions, RedCloak's Word of Recall leads to a place inside the tower. Without him there is no plan, no divine backing, no soul hiding for Xykon, and no "control" the snarl spell.
Xykon changed his mind about staying against Soon very quickly when Soon revealed he knew about the phylactery, the only reason he didn't teleport then is that he needed to bring Redcloak to keep the phylactery safe and Soon didn't give him a chance - until Miko distracted everyone and destroyed the Gate, at which point it became moot.

In any case, it seems you're arguing details and nitpicks while agreeing with the main point, which is that V using the Soul Splice resources intelligently and with forethought would have succeeded against Xykon.

Dark Matter
2011-12-31, 04:28 PM
In any case, it seems you're arguing details and nitpicks while agreeing with the main point, which is that V using the Soul Splice resources intelligently and with forethought would have succeeded against Xykon.Yes and no. The first time I wrote that post I thought Xykon would be able to simply teleport out, but D-Lock deals with that quite nicely (well done btw).

I fully agree that V *should* have been able to win if she were smart... but I'm not sure, even if she'd been smart, that she *could* have won.

I think there's a serious, perhaps unsurmountable, problem we're hand waving. The epic spell casters' bosses didn't want Xykon dead, just motivated. The implication is that spell selection is going to be a big problem.

Assume Haerta had an epic "kill high level undead" spell; I'd think it wouldn't have been in her current spell section and instead she'd have amazingly powerful but not that useful spells like family-genocide.

On the other hand, maybe they were depending on just misuse of the power by V and figured it'd be enough.

Kish
2011-12-31, 04:57 PM
I think there's a serious, perhaps unsurmountable, problem we're hand waving. The epic spell casters' bosses didn't want Xykon dead, just motivated. The implication is that spell selection is going to be a big problem.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6202231&postcount=279

Dark Matter
2011-12-31, 05:46 PM
Thank you Kish.

Ergo V really did get what she was promised, ergo there was no hidden ruse other than her own incompetence and inexperience.

That brings us back to... Smart Darth V winning through douglas' plan, or (lacking perfect knowledge) some variation of it.

dps
2011-12-31, 10:41 PM
I haven't read SoD. You are right saying that Redcloak surviving is not a victory prerequisite.



That, I believe, was the Original Post. That is why I insist. But once again you are right. Stats are irrelevant. And that was EXACTLY my point!





The story is what's important!

EDIT: Assuming SoD is not part of the Webcomic. If it is then I read it. In fact, that sentence about a statblock reading as ''you lose'' rings a bell.

To essentially repeat what Bastian Weaver posted on page 2 of this thread: If the ritual works, Redcloak's god has control of the Snarl and would easily be able to deal with Xykon. And if the ritual doesn't work, then Redcloak assumes that he and Xykon will both be unmade by the Snarl.

Douglas
2012-01-01, 01:58 AM
I just remembered a detail that could turn it even more into Xykon being well and truly screwed - V cast Acid Immunity in-comic. Assuming that was the published Energy Immunity spell from Spell Compendium, just with acid as the chosen energy type, V could cast that a few more times instead of Resist Energy and be practically invulnerable to Xykon's blasting.

Heck, that plus being undead would almost grant immunity to every single attack spell Xykon is known to have. Magic Missile is the exception, and if V actually cares about it a simple Shield spell blocks that too (and V's seen Xykon cast Magic Missile before, so (s)he'd have reason to precast it). Cloudkill, Energy Drain, Finger of Death, Lightning Bolt, Mass Hold Person, Ray of Frost, Symbol of Insanity, unspecified fire spell - every single one is either pure energy damage or defeated by immunities of the undead type. Meteor Swarm has the potential for 2d6 bludgeoning damage per meteor, but that's it.

Really, Superb Dispelling is the only hope Xykon's got against proper buffing like that, and Spell Turning puts a serious crimp in that too.

Dark Matter
2012-01-01, 10:02 AM
What's the order of operations in that one? Does Spell Turning affect Superb Dispelling before Superb Dispelling can affect Spell Turning?

Douglas
2012-01-01, 12:58 PM
Spell Turning works by changing another spell's target before that spell's effect is resolved. Whether the other spell is a dispel or not is irrelevant, its effect does not come into play until after Spell Turning is resolved. The other spell being epic just means it counts as level 10 and takes 10 spell levels worth of turning (and Empowered Spell Turning has between 10 and 15 levels available).

Spell Turning does have the limitation of only affecting spells that target the creature, so Xykon could safely cast Superb Dispelling directly on a specific spell (possibly even Spell Turning) without Spell Turning coming into play, but if he goes for the standard "dispel everything X creature's got" usage then it would get reflected at him.

Zevox
2012-01-01, 04:13 PM
Spell Turning does have the limitation of only affecting spells that target the creature, so Xykon could safely cast Superb Dispelling directly on a specific spell (possibly even Spell Turning) without Spell Turning coming into play, but if he goes for the standard "dispel everything X creature's got" usage then it would get reflected at him.
Um, casting dispel spells on a single spell is impossible. You have to target a creature or object, or use the area-of-effect version. And it appears that Superb Dispelling actually does not have an AoE version, as the target in its description is "one creature or object," and does not mention the 20 ft radius burst that regular Dispel Magic does.

Zevox

Dark Matter
2012-01-01, 04:14 PM
He could also cast SD on the whole area, maybe he even would if he thought there were multiple area spells around messing him up.

Zevox
2012-01-01, 04:26 PM
He could also cast SD on the whole area, maybe he even would if he thought there were multiple area spells around messing him up.
Um, as I mentioned, Superb Dispelling doesn't seem to have an AoE version. That part of the "target" line is conspicuously absent.

Zevox

Dark Matter
2012-01-01, 07:43 PM
Um, as I mentioned...Ya Ninja'ed me.


...Superb Dispelling doesn't seem to have an AoE version. That part of the "target" line is conspicuously absent.Interesting. Once again the SD's seed (which doesn't allow for AoE) disagrees with the "like Greater Dispel Magic" description (which does).

I'm a "seed" guy myself so I'll be thankful it agrees with the "target" line.

Hmm... that leaves "known" Xykon unable to deal with this. The only ways I see to get out of this are Epic Teleport or somehow breaking the link. He has a few unknown spell-known slots but I'm not sure if there's a "delay/avoid defeat" spell out there even theoretically. Would Black Tentacles shut down non-Still'ed spells and/or Mirror Image?

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0670.html

Douglas
2012-01-01, 08:24 PM
Um, casting dispel spells on a single spell is impossible. You have to target a creature or object, or use the area-of-effect version. And it appears that Superb Dispelling actually does not have an AoE version, as the target in its description is "one creature or object," and does not mention the 20 ft radius burst that regular Dispel Magic does.

Zevox
Targeted Dispel
One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dispelMagic.htm)

Zevox
2012-01-01, 09:00 PM
Targeted Dispel
One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dispelMagic.htm)

Target or Area: One spellcaster, creature, or object; or 20-ft.-radius burst
So we have a spell that disagrees with itself. So the question is whether the target line trumps the descriptive text or vice-versa.

Zevox

Douglas
2012-01-01, 09:45 PM
I'd say something similar to the Text Trumps Table principle should be used - the full text takes precedence over any summary line, and the full text lists "one spell" as a possible targeting option.

thereaper
2012-01-02, 02:46 AM
You're all forgetting something very important.

Effective High Optimization is not allowed in this comic. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html)

Yes, there are many ways that V could have defeated Xykon with the power of the soul splices. All of them would have required a mastery of the system that the comic does not allow, because it would ruin the story. As an example, Rich has mentioned that V has Conjuration banned so that he cannot solve all the party's problems.

This is why Roy is able to contribute to the party despite having a tier 5 class and a woefully suboptimal build, why Elan needs a fancy prestige class to be moderately effective despite being a tier 3, and why the story doesn't degenerate into a magical slugfest between wizards, clerics, and druids.

The classes and builds in the story will always be oddly balanced somehow (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0657.html), because the universe deliberately forces some kind of arbitrary equality between those characters who can reshape matter with their thoughts and those who cannot (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0437.html).

What does this mean? It means that when a spellcaster fights someone that is supposed to be "more powerful" than they are, we can expect at least some of the following:

A) They will not know the spells they need
B) They will not have prepared the spells they need
C) They will have already used up their instant-win spells
D) They will make the mistake of not using those instant-win spells
E) The enemy will make whatever saving throws they need to
F) They will fail whatever concentration checks they need to

And so on.

V supposedly had more arcane power than any mortal spellcaster who ever lived (though whether or not Xykon's current state counts as mortal or not is debatable), but let's get a grip here. It was split between 3 souls (so really V was more like a Wizard X/ Wizard Y/Sorceror Z than a Wizard X+Y+Z), and none of them were that much more powerful than Xykon (he's 27+, a single energy drain was enough to take out at least one of the two's epic spell slots [putting the max level of that one at 28], (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0652.html) and Haerta was "a fair bit" more powerful than the two of them (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0641.html)).

V chose his spells poorly, fought Xykon on his own turf minus the strongest splice, and suffered weaknesses as a result of the splices' nature. The moment Xykon began taking V seriously, he destroyed him with what in the end amounted to pure, brute force. Why? Because Xykon must always be more powerful than V, and the rules bend to fit the story, not the other way around.

Dark Matter
2012-01-02, 10:02 AM
RE: Meta-physics of optimality.

Yeah, that.

It was split between 3 souls (so really V was more like a Wizard X/ Wizard Y/Sorceror Z than a Wizard X+Y+Z), and none of them were that much more powerful than Xykon IMHO Xykon was stronger than either of the other remaining soul splices (and obviously V), although perhaps not Haerta. We never saw any spells over 10th, Xykon had 12th. That's a big obvious hint Xykon doesn't count as "mortal" and he's gotten better since he went undead.

In defense of V; Imagine that you've never run a high level character, maybe even never read the spell descriptions of the 8th, 9th, and epic spells, and you're given a minute or two to put together three sets in prep for epic spell combat.

Join *that* to someone who thinks the higher level spells will just plow through whatever she runs into, and the result is pretty much expected.

And there's an interesting side note to this. Another person in the comic who does pretty much the same thing is Xykon. The implication is that, with months of planning, an OOTS or even a Redcloak could and would win.

eulmanis12
2012-01-03, 09:32 AM
here is how I would take on Xycon. (note that I have never played a magical hero so this is rather convoluted and may be slighly flawed)

Step 1: Aquire bag of holding, 50' of rope, cleric of moderate level (cannot be you, this plan requires two people and at least one must be a cleric), anchor (from a ship), small boat, anchor cable.
Step 2: Transport self, aquired Items, and cleric to nearest ocean/lake
Step 3: tie self to anchor with anchor cable (for safety) then row boat out to sea/middle of lake, leave anchor on shore.
Step 4:Jump into water with bag of holding, open bag of holding, fill with lots of water
Step 5: return to shore (boat may drift away but you are tied to an anchor on the shore so returning should be easy.)
Step 6: tie one end of rope to cleric, other end to anchor. Untie self from anchor
Step 7: put cleric in bag of holding, tell to bless the water, thus making a large quantity of holy water
Step 8: remove cleric when finished
Step 9: confront Xycon in enclosed space, after taking such pecautions as are available to ensure that he cannot escape said space.
Step 10: Open bag, flood space with holy water
Xycon will die eventualy

*this is extreemly convoluted and therefore will definately work

luc258
2012-01-03, 10:34 AM
The question is: how long will it take Xykon to figure out that he will not controll the snarl once the ritual is completed and what will he do to Recloak then?
He is not nearly as dumb as people think he is. In fact he cultivates that belief in his allies and enemies as seen in SoD.

edit: i meant how long it will take him to figure out that the ritual will not actually give him control over the snarl BEFORE it actually is performed.

Chirios
2012-01-03, 11:29 AM
Who cares how Redcloak would deal with Xykon? Once the Snarl is under control of the Dark One the universe is going to have to be remade anyway. The Plan is a suicide mission, and Redcloak is hoping his death will mean something.

Kish
2012-01-03, 12:39 PM
You've mashed the primary Plan together with Redcloak's backup plan and come up with something that's neither.

I'd suggest you reread the relevant sections of Start of Darkness.

Dark Matter
2012-01-04, 09:15 AM
The question is: how long will it take Xykon to figure out that he will not controll the snarl once the ritual is completed and what will he do to Recloak then?

edit: i meant how long it will take him to figure out that the ritual will not actually give him control over the snarl BEFORE it actually is performed.Plot Speculation:
RE: How long.
I think that's already happened. Why was T looking at the spell unless Xykon already thought there was a potential problem?

Here's a better question: What happens if they cast the Snarl ritual and instead of giving "control" (such as it is) to TDO, it gives "control" to Xykon?

What would Xykon do if he could blackmail the gods?

Fish
2012-01-04, 02:26 PM
I'm not convinced Redcloak ever will fight Xykon. The more intriguing possibility is that they team up to fight Tsukiko.

As a theurge, Tsukiko could betray them both and cast the whole ritual herself. At the moment she's loyal to Xykon, only because she's deluded herself into thinking he's kind and benevolent and desirable. If ever her delusion is shattered, she could make an interesting complication: arcane + divine and an army of loyal undead.