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The Giant
2005-12-30, 11:39 AM
New comic is up.

Kevlimin_Soulaxe
2005-12-30, 11:41 AM
I think Belkar may be the new generation of action hero...

Greebo
2005-12-30, 11:43 AM
Oooh - Belkar gone Wild!

This will not bode well for the rest of the Order when they go before the big bosses though...

But you've got to admit, Belkar's got style!

Cake anyone?

Kilkomir
2005-12-30, 11:47 AM
There is just one thing to say/do: ROFLMAO! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

I am so glad that Belkar is back!

Great strip, Giant.

watermammal
2005-12-30, 11:52 AM
Belkar, <sniff sniff> I think I love you. "It's like my birthday..."

Seriously, Giant. Knocked it out of the ballpark. Hmm...perhaps Belkar action dolls?

jmucchiello
2005-12-30, 11:56 AM
I am so glad one of my players doesn't read OOTS. He would want to put a ring of growth where Belkar hid his ring. Oy.

boolean
2005-12-30, 11:56 AM
Dear Azure City guards:
Detect Magic is a 0th level spell, available to every primary spellcasting class, including adepts.

This spell will detect the auras of both ongoing spell effects and magical items.

When searching prisoners, it is recommended that this spell be employed.

Deuce
2005-12-30, 12:01 PM
But i thought Belkar was Chaotic GOOD???? (just kidding, he's as evil as a pop quiz on the first day of school, and I love him for it ;) )

ByzCath
2005-12-30, 12:02 PM
I have just two questions.

1) Where did Belkar conceal his ring?

2) Would a person really want to wear a ring that was concealed where I think Belkar had it?

metawidget
2005-12-30, 12:03 PM
Belkar's murderous expression always cracks me up. *And the dialogue was such that I didn't have to scroll down past the first row to know who was in the hole...

No brownie points for figuring out who Belkar's favoured enemy for +6 or so is.

Samiam303
2005-12-30, 12:03 PM
And I thought Thog was good... ;D

Lightman
2005-12-30, 12:05 PM
This was one of the most hilarous comics yet. And I thought Belkar might be dead!
Edit: 100th post! WOOT!

evileeyore
2005-12-30, 12:14 PM
Dear Azure City guards:
Detect Magic is a 0th level spell, available to every primary spellcasting class, including adepts.

This spell will detect the auras of both ongoing spell effects and magical items.

When searching prisoners, it is recommended that this spell be employed.
Its called a plot hole, poor guards never had a chance.

Lightman
2005-12-30, 12:20 PM
Its called a plot hole, poor guards never had a chance.
Stupid railroad plot ;D

vampeel
2005-12-30, 12:22 PM
Well what I think happened that probably the guards did find the ring, since there are so many ways at doing it, but Belkar was be deseptive and continued to talk the guard, making the guard get closer and closer, then Belkar jumps up and does an amazing bullrush, disarm, Coup-de-Cour. We all know he has maxxed ranks in jump, and probably has the correct feats, so he can "rain down 'his' enemies, and reach stuff on top shelf"

Tiger Duck
2005-12-30, 12:22 PM
Ahh Belkar, lovevly as always

Wrecan
2005-12-30, 12:24 PM
Halfling Rage Jumping Attack! 8)

xJUDGMENTx
2005-12-30, 12:24 PM
I never thought Belkar would surgically place a ring on his intestine, wow.

armatil
2005-12-30, 12:26 PM
viva belkar! :D

Mizak
2005-12-30, 12:27 PM
I'm sorry I have to say it......


Holy Jumping Halflings Batman!

;D

soozenw
2005-12-30, 12:31 PM
strips like this are the reason that i LOVE oots. yea! go belkar! ;D

JaxGaret
2005-12-30, 12:37 PM
Dear Azure City guards:
Detect Magic is a 0th level spell, available to every primary spellcasting class, including adepts.

This spell will detect the auras of both ongoing spell effects and magical items.

When searching prisoners, it is recommended that this spell be employed.

Ever heard of Nystul's Magic Aura? Hmmm.....

JaxGaret
2005-12-30, 12:39 PM
Its called a plot hole, poor guards never had a chance.

It's called NOT a plot hole. Sheesh.

DeathQuaker
2005-12-30, 12:45 PM
Comedic value of the strip aside, for the first time I am now really worried for the OOTS. Before, they had a shot at being seen as innocent or at least not worthy of execution due to the circumstances leading up to the activation of the gate.

One of their members has killed a guard now, though, and is about to go on a killing spree.

I am really on edge now to see how the OOTS gets out of this. No idea what's going to happen next.

Good job, Giant!

kradman
2005-12-30, 12:49 PM
nice..just very very nice...
now come here and give me ahug

TheFallenOne
2005-12-30, 12:54 PM
Belkar is the man!

This may make things more complicated, but I think he has every right to break free with lethal force. He's held captive for a crime he didn't do(yeah, he's so evil Satan would crap in his pants, but thats not the point), in a lightless pit in the ground... I see nothing wrong with that(except he enjoys it big time)

luilupino
2005-12-30, 12:59 PM
He really messed everything to the order now...

Istielthia
2005-12-30, 01:07 PM
Giggled all the way through as soon as I saw the first panel and realized who's comic it was.

Half of me thinks OoTS should just kill Belkar themselves to save time... but what fun would the world be without Belkar?

Tom_Violence
2005-12-30, 01:18 PM
Ah, I'd been looking for some horribly offensive ways to sneak out of the occasional dinner. Cheers Rich. :)

"Congratulations. I suppose you want XP for that?" was definitely my favourite line there. Who needs roleplay XP when apparently just being in the service industry gets you all you ever need?

kirellagen
2005-12-30, 01:21 PM
This is the funniest OOTS in a long time. Cheers, Giant!

Tetralemma
2005-12-30, 01:24 PM
It took me until panel 2 to realize who was in the pit. "I suppose you want XP for that?" - waitaminnit! No one in the cell is that sarcastic ... Belkar!!!

The second-to-last panel reminded me of the end of The Blues Brothers:

Elwood: "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."

Jake: "Hit it."

Great comic, Giant! I can't wait to see how this unfolds.

Techonce
2005-12-30, 01:25 PM
I think Belkar was fully justified in his actions (even if he wasn't evil).

He is being held prisioner by a foreign country for crimes he didn't commit. In fact he was kidnapped by agents of that country and brought there. Anyone would. Saying he shouldn't would be like saying that the prisoners of war in Vietnam during the war over there shouldn't try escaping using whatever means necessary... All of the characters should be trying to escape and the amount of collateral damage they are willing to inflict in the process is determined by their alignments.

Of course the guards are expected to also use all menas necessary to prevent them.

The fact that he is enjoying what he is doing is kind of disturbing though....

AniThyng
2005-12-30, 01:34 PM
Eh? It's not as if people about to go on trial have the right to violently escape from prison either even if they are innocent of all charges ::)

TheFallenOne
2005-12-30, 01:46 PM
Eh? It's not as if people about to go on trial have the right to violently escape from prison either even if they are innocent of all charges *::)

Well, if you get kidnapped by an agent of a foreign country(!) with lethal force(!) for a crime you didn't commit(!) and get locked up alone in a lightless pit(think about it, this is quite disturbing) and without your severe wounds being attended to(although your captor would merely have to touch you!) and you had the possibility to break free, you would just sit back and get executed feeling morally superior because you're innocent? Yeah sure

Aeek
2005-12-30, 01:53 PM
The 2nd last panel gave away the last panel, in plot, but not in execution.

"only instead of birthday cake" !!!




Hang on, where's Elan ???

gorogongorgy
2005-12-30, 03:06 PM
Gr8 post Giant...You showed all those out there that chaotic evil is the best alignment to be... too bad my dm only good and neutrals in the quest and i had to settle with a chaotic neutral! But its out of the point...great strip!

Sundog
2005-12-30, 03:46 PM
?
Elan's in the same cell as Roy and Durkon. We saw him last strip.

I also quite enjoyed Belkar's proof of his Halflingness. "I can't eat that. I'd go into Culinary shock!"

Devils_Advocate
2005-12-30, 04:01 PM
Its called a plot hole, poor guards never had a chance.
Are you suggesting that it's somehow implausible for a group of human beings to be less than thorough? :P Frankly, I'd expect even super-dedicated Lawful Anal people to make a few obvious-in-retrospect blunders. They're still fallible, and hindsight is 20/20.

xyzchyx
2005-12-30, 04:16 PM
I think Belkar was fully justified in his actions (even if he wasn't evil).

Not by any standards.

If you are wrongfully arrested for a crime and decide to resort to killing your captors and escaping, even *IF* you are later found innocent of the crime for which were originally accused, you end up being definitely guilty of murdering an officer of the law, which tends to carry a pretty harsh penalty in most civilized parts of the world.

If you want to talk about justice, the just thing to do would be to await the trial and see how things play out.

gorogongorgy
2005-12-30, 04:33 PM
Not by any standards.

If you are wrongfully arrested for a crime and decide to resort to killing your captors and escaping, even *IF* you are later found innocent of the crime for which were originally accused, you end up being definitely guilty of murdering an officer of the law, which tends to carry a pretty harsh penalty in most civilized parts of the world.

If you want to talk about justice, the just thing to do would be to await the trial and see how things play out.

Dear xyzchyx ...
Belkar is a chaotic evil character...do you think he gives a damn how justice is worked in civilized countries...THATS WHY WE ALL LOVE BELKAR :D:D:D
GO BELKAR!!! 8) 8)

OmegaDonut
2005-12-30, 06:27 PM
Dear Azure City guards:
Detect Magic is a 0th level spell, available to every primary spellcasting class, including adepts.

This spell will detect the auras of both ongoing spell effects and magical items.

When searching prisoners, it is recommended that this spell be employed.

If a sheet of lead can block Detect Evil, it is not unreasonable to think that a lead box holding a Ring of Jumping can prevent it from being detected by Detect Magic.

rwald
2005-12-30, 07:40 PM
If a sheet of lead can block Detect Evil, it is not unreasonable to think that a lead box holding a Ring of Jumping can prevent it from being detected by Detect Magic.

...and I thought the ring alone would be painful...

kerberos
2005-12-30, 07:56 PM
Not by any standards.

If you are wrongfully arrested for a crime and decide to resort to killing your captors and escaping, even *IF* you are later found innocent of the crime for which were originally accused, you end up being definitely guilty of murdering an officer of the law, which tends to carry a pretty harsh penalty in most civilized parts of the world.

If you want to talk about justice, the just thing to do would be to await the trial and see how things play out.
Even if you're chaotic and thus have no respect for the law. and you captors specifically seek to inflict "emotional duress" on you and thus cannot be considered good? I'm not in the "Belkar is good" camp, but I think his actions in this instance could be justified from a good POW.

Kadi
2005-12-30, 07:58 PM
Hey! That poor guard didn't deserve to die! He was only following orders!! ;)

Alfryd
2005-12-30, 08:00 PM
Oh, Gods. *I can't watch.
Watch over this halfling, oh lord, for though his heart is black and twisted his deeds are begrudgingly in service of the greater good.


I have just two questions.

1) Where did Belkar conceal his ring?
He cunningly disguised it as a monocle.
*Nods sagely, and strokes chin*


I think Belkar was fully justified in his actions (even if he wasn't evil).
He is being held prisioner by a foreign country for crimes he didn't commit.
Accessory to crime of destroying redmountain gate, threatneing fabric of existence, resisting arrest, etc. *Not that this matters.

Lawful Anal
I like that.

McBish
2005-12-30, 08:03 PM
I had a character always wear his ring on his toes after a etheral flincher tried to steal his ring of invisiblity. But I like Belkar's idea also.

Tawkis
2005-12-30, 08:07 PM
Ahhh the joys of Belkar.

Great one Giant. Belkar's got style.

Jothki
2005-12-30, 08:08 PM
Hey! *That poor guard didn't deserve to die! *He was only following orders!! * ;)

True, though. A good character would have tried non-lethal force first, since the guard's intentions aren't malicious.

mec
2005-12-30, 08:09 PM
Even if you're chaotic and thus have no respect for the law. and you captors specifically seek to inflict "emotional duress" on you and thus cannot be considered good? I'm not in the "Belkar is good" camp, but I think his actions in this instance could be justified from a good POW.


Belkar said that sharing a room with Durkon would cause him emotional distress. His captors are seeking to relieve that emotional distress, not cause it.

http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=225

It was a good idea to throw Belkar in solitary, and a bad idea to provide food to a prisoner through an opening large enough for the prisoner to leave their cell -- and a spectacularly bad idea to chit-chat with the prisoner through an open door!!

cyberchihuahua
2005-12-30, 08:30 PM
...and I thought the ring alone would be painful...


Two words, lead tube

C'mon, you know he would!

I read these at work during lunch when they make it up early enough. I get strange looks when I laugh so hard food come flying out of my mouth. The sight of a grinning Belkar flying out of the pit was a top ten Oots moment.

ilikebasketball
2005-12-30, 08:35 PM
True, though. A good character would have tried non-lethal force first, since the guard's intentions aren't malicious.



So all of a sudden Miko is nongood?
She could have *easily* used nonlethal force.
But she didn't. Hence, by your argument, you consider Miko nongood.

Remember, there can be a lot of different interpretations on what is good and what is not good. The Giant has his own views. However, according to that, the escape action by Belkar could probably be marked as non-evil, thus something a paladin like Miko could( or would) pull off as well.

Funny world, innit?

Remember, nowhere was it mentioned that the OotS would not show themselves before Lord Shojo, and yet Miko used lethal force. Using lethal force at high level means taking huge risks in killing them.
(At least, I think most of the players who've played a bit can remember a situation along the lines of an I'll-only-hit-him-once-inadverted-crit, or something similar and can attest to it)
So it seems that the Giant thinks that using lethal force is allowed 'when under stress'.

When trying to escape you definately don't want to risk getting caught because you lost a fight as you were taking a -4 on attack. So it is definately possible that it's not considered an evil act by the Giant - which, after all, is all that matters, right? :)


Or, look at it from another point. Belkar couldn't have known the alignment of the guard. Would it matter if the guard was LG? Or if the guard was CE?
What if it was a goblin? Or an Orc?
Most people here would probably not have balked if it was a goblin being killed. ("rightly so, because that's what goblins are for" is not a valid counterpoint :p)
So why do people see it as an evil act?

Koos

Rawhide
2005-12-30, 08:47 PM
I think people are missing a rather large point here. It is the right of every prisoner of war to attempt to escape. It is also the right of every prisoner to be treated humanely and fairly (ie. not locked up in solitary confinement in a dark room with no light).

archon_huskie
2005-12-30, 08:51 PM
I hate to dash everyone's bubble here but . . . The OotS are not prisoners of war.

Ragnarok
2005-12-30, 08:54 PM
I don't think that that pit is totally black. Miko is "good," and it would take a completely evil character to put a person in pitch black cells. I think they cast a Darkness across the mouth of the pit, with light inside.

Belkar was justified in escaping, but not in killing the guard. Knowing him, however, what was the chances he wouldn't kill a guard? Or any human? Or any sentient creature? Or anything that can be defined as "living" or "dead?"

Kadi
2005-12-30, 08:55 PM
Perhaps they aren't, but I'd say it's the right of every prisoner held unjustly to escape their captors. The alternative is to say that we should acknolwedge the validity of injustice.

Rawhide
2005-12-30, 08:55 PM
They are prisoner's of a foreign country who were not within said country's jurisdiction when they were captured, can anyone say international incident?

wagomorph
2005-12-30, 08:59 PM
I have just two questions.

1) Where did Belkar conceal his ring?

2) Would a person really want to wear a ring that was concealed where I think Belkar had it?

Alimentary dear watson (ByzCath). Alimentary.

Kadi
2005-12-30, 09:00 PM
They'd say that being some godforsaken theocracy gives them the right
to kidnap foreign nationals for any stupid reason they wish to contrive. That is, apparently "Lord" Shojo is the direct representative of some "god." ::)

Tom_Violence
2005-12-30, 09:01 PM
Not by any standards.

If you are wrongfully arrested for a crime and decide to resort to killing your captors and escaping, even *IF* you are later found innocent of the crime for which were originally accused, you end up being definitely guilty of murdering an officer of the law, which tends to carry a pretty harsh penalty in most civilized parts of the world.

If you want to talk about justice, the just thing to do would be to await the trial and see how things play out.

In a similar vein to what Rawhide said (although I also agree that the OotS aren't actually prisoners of war), I also don't see this as a standard 'arrest'. Whether or not this is true, I see the world of OotS as more of a collection of cities and states than anything really comparable to the world we live in. Thus getting 'arrested' by an agent from another state would probably be more along the lines of capture (as I dare say that anyone who says their jurisdiction covers the laws of physics would need some hefty credentials to back that up!).

Thus, taking the Martin Luther King Jr. stance on this (that one should break laws that one sees as unjust) doesn't really work as there's no solid reason for respecting the authority of your captors (we've already seen that Miko isn't really a very -good- paladin) and no real appeal to justice can be made.

A tyrant can arrest people and do away with them as he pleases, but just because someone has been arrested doesn't mean that justice is being served.

Kadi
2005-12-30, 09:06 PM
Thus, taking the Martin Luther King Jr. stance on this (that one should break laws that one sees as unjust) doesn't really work as there's no solid reason for respecting the authority of your captors (we've already seen that Miko isn't really a very -good- paladin) and no real appeal to justice can be made.


There is no such thing as authority.

Tom_Violence
2005-12-30, 09:16 PM
There is no such thing as authority.

Oh right, of course. Silly me. Get on well with your parents, do you? :P

Just kidding. I disagree, of course. Authority exists. For example, 'he is an authority on the works of Oscar Wilde'. :P And in the legal sense too, otherwise you'd have to throw out laws as well, and then where would we be?

Winter_Wolf
2005-12-30, 09:32 PM
Aiya, that poor guard. He never stood a chance, he didn't even have a name. At least with a name he might have lasted another panel before getting skewered. I don't know why the strip made me think of _Austin Powers: Goldmember_, but there you have it.

Ilaun_Undil
2005-12-30, 09:38 PM
Honestly I think that the gaurd deserved to die. Really that sort of stupidity. Discussing with a prisoner in Solitary confinement, giving him ideas... BTW Don't rangers have spells? or is this the Variant Ranger from CW?

Nasrudith
2005-12-30, 09:41 PM
Curse you Rich for your hillarious comics that leave disturbing mental images!

Caledonian
2005-12-30, 09:42 PM
It's possible it was determined by gender, but I think it's interesting that the cells are also split up by the characters' traits along the GNE axis. Consider:

Durkon is Lawful Good. Roy is Neutral Good. Elan is Chaotic Good. They share a cell.

Haley is Chaotic Neutral. Vaarsuvius is Lawful Neutral.

Belkar is either Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil. He's in his own cell.

As for where he hid the ring: it's clearly not on any of his fingers, and not on any of his toes, so where else could... oh. Oh my.

Clearly that was a wise expenditure of a feat slot.

Taelas
2005-12-30, 09:52 PM
Honestly I think that the gaurd deserved to die. *Really that sort of stupidity. *Discussing with a prisoner in Solitary confinement, giving him ideas... BTW Don't rangers have spells? *or is this the Variant Ranger from CW?
Belkar would have spells, but he doesn't have sufficient enough Wisdom to memorize any.

Ragnarok
2005-12-30, 09:57 PM
Rangers don't memorize spells, they're one of those "granted by a greater power" type. But since he has a wisdom score worthy of lemmingdom, he gets no spells.

EDIT: spelling

Winged One
2005-12-30, 09:58 PM
I think people are missing a rather large point here. It is the right of every prisoner of war to attempt to escape. It is also the right of every prisoner to be treated humanely and fairly (ie. not locked up in solitary confinement in a dark room with no light).
Remind me to quote you on that if my sorceress in your game ever gets thrown in jail. ;D

Oh, and I cackled maniacally when Belkar escaped. I also anticipated the last panel from the second-to-last(although I didn't think of the "well, more dead humans, anyway" part).

Ilaun_Undil
2005-12-30, 10:09 PM
Rangers don't memorize spells, they're one of those "granted by a greater power" type. But since he has a wisdom score worthy of lemmingdom, he gets no spells.

EDIT: spelling
I'm just saying it would be irresponsible for Miko to take the chance that Belkar does have the wisdom to use spells. He may have just enough wisdom and never used it. It is never specifically addressed. we aonly know that he doesn't have enough Wisdom cast certain cure spells.

Nodles
2005-12-30, 10:10 PM
Hmmm, lead box? VERY interesting! OotS and this forum is really giving me great ideas ;D

GREAT strip. Now im anxious to see the murderous rampage Belkar will fly into.

Lightman
2005-12-30, 10:17 PM
Honestly I think that the gaurd deserved to die. *Really that sort of stupidity. *Discussing with a prisoner in Solitary confinement, giving him ideas... BTW Don't rangers have spells? *or is this the Variant Ranger from CW?
As said in an earlier strip, his wisdom is too low.

It's possible it was determined by gender, but I think it's interesting that the cells are also split up by the characters' traits along the GNE axis. *Consider:

Durkon is Lawful Good. *Roy is Neutral Good. *Elan is Chaotic Good. *They share a cell.

Haley is Chaotic Neutral. *Vaarsuvius is Lawful Neutral.

Belkar is either Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil. *He's in his own cell.

As for where he hid the ring: *it's clearly not on any of his fingers, and not on any of his toes, so where else could... oh. *Oh my.

Clearly that was a wise expenditure of a feat slot.
Roy said that he was the same alignment as Miko, making him lawful. Durkon worships Thor, a (by Deities and Demigods interpitation) chaotic good god, so he can't be lawful. It's only said that Elan can't be lawful, he's not neccerality chaotic.

V probably is neutral, as she has no respect for the physics of the universe or Miko. Haley is probaly chaotic, but could also be good.

Belkar said himself he was chaotic evil

Single Shot Zombie
2005-12-30, 10:18 PM
It's possible it was determined by gender, but I think it's interesting that the cells are also split up by the characters' traits along the GNE axis. Consider:

Durkon is Lawful Good. Roy is Neutral Good. Elan is Chaotic Good. They share a cell.

Haley is Chaotic Neutral. Vaarsuvius is Lawful Neutral.

Belkar is either Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil. He's in his own cell.

Ummm, Roy is LG. He says that in this episode, saying to Elan that he shares the same alignment with Miko:
http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=231

And in the strip before that, Belkar admits that he is Chaotic: http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=230.

More likely, they did the split by gender, decided to stick Vaarsuvius with Haley as the other cell was getting too crowded, and left the insane, Chaotic Evil Belkar in solitary confinement.



As for where he hid the ring: it's clearly not on any of his fingers, and not on any of his toes, so where else could... oh. Oh my.

Clearly that was a wise expenditure of a feat slot.

Ummm, he could have simply been slipping the ring onto his fingers as he talked to the guard. Probably started doing it once the guard said that his cell wasn't in the antimagic block.

mec
2005-12-30, 10:24 PM
Two words, lead tube

C'mon, you know he would!


So Belkar decided it was time to get the lead out!

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/31/messages/862.html

Emericol
2005-12-30, 10:38 PM
Belker was being edged out by Thog for best character, then he, quite literally, jumped back to the top!

Belker for president. There would be nothing left when he left office, but it would be one heck of a term.

Gralamin
2005-12-30, 10:41 PM
I'm just saying it would be irresponsible for Miko to take the chance that Belkar does have the wisdom to use spells. He may have just enough wisdom and never used it. It is never specifically addressed. we aonly know that he doesn't have enough Wisdom cast certain cure spells.

May i suggest rereading comic #213 (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=213)
Last panel
I think she kinda excepts little from him.

SirGalrim
2005-12-30, 10:45 PM
Is it only me that didn't find the last strip of 2005 fun.. at all?... *??? :-X

But I'm sure I'll see some 100 great ones next year. :)

Gralamin
2005-12-30, 10:45 PM
Belker was being edged out by Thog for best character, then he, quite literally, jumped back to the top!

Belker for president. There would be nothing left when he left office, but it would be one heck of a term.

Hmmm let me think:

FBI:"President Belker? We are here to inform you of all of are weapons."
B:"So what type of weapons does this country have?"
FBI:"We Have...."
Hours later...
B: "ARM ALL THE NUCLEAR WARHEADS! LETS ANNIHLATE THIS PLANET! I'll be on the International space station."

xyzchyx
2005-12-30, 11:06 PM
Dear xyzchyx ...
Belkar is a chaotic evil character...do you think he gives a damn how justice is worked in civilized countries...THATS WHY WE ALL LOVE BELKAR :D:D:D
GO BELKAR!!! 8) 8)

First of all, I don't dislike Belkar. Not at all.

The poster to which I responded said that Belkar was "justified" in killing the guard.

I merely pointed out that in fact he wasn't. And since Belkar doesn't really care about justice anyways (why would he? he's chaotic), the fact that he's not justified in having done what he did is quite thoroughly irrellevant. But that doesn't mean that he's actually justified in doing what he did, though.

I did _NOT_ try to say that it was in any way out of character for Belkar to do these things, which I am inferring from the evident tone of your response is how you took what I said. In fact, I believe this strip is utterly classic Belkar, and thoroughly enjoyable.

aaronbourque
2005-12-30, 11:11 PM
Perhaps they aren't, but I'd say it's the right of every prisoner held unjustly to escape their captors. *The alternative is to say that we should acknolwedge the validity of injustice.
Wrong. It is the right of every prisoner to get their fair day in court, to prove the injustice of their imprisonment.

But here's the thing: THE ORDER OF THE STICK ARE NOT UNJUSTLY IMPRISONED!!! They are all accessories to the destruction of the Redmountain Gate, a crime against creation (which goes to the refutation of your next point). All of them, except for Durkon, are also charged with resisting arrest to answer for that crime. Durkon could be considered charged with aiding and abetting fugitives.


They'd say that being some godforsaken theocracy gives them the right
to kidnap foreign nationals for any stupid reason they wish to contrive. That is, apparently "Lord" Shojo is the direct representative of some "god." ::)
No, that's a false assumption. In D&D, Good, Evil, Law/Order, and Chaos are all forces of nature, but even so, gods actually exist in D&D in particular, and in particular the world of the Order of the Stick. While it's possible that Shojo doesn't deserve to be called a Lord, there's no evidence in the comic for that. The Giant has said that Lord Shojo is not a secular Lord over land and servants, his authority is of some cosmic factor we don't know. Any individual with cosmic authority, no matter how tenuous, would only be doing his job in trying to get to the bottom of the destruction of something that unbalances reality.

In fact, I find it almost unbelievable that only Lord Shojo is interested in the fate of Redmountain and its gate. More realistically, several high powered mages would be looking into it, the higher ups of churches would be looking into it, and on and on.


There is no such thing as authority.
You do realize this makes you insane, yes? And completely shoots all of your arguments in the foot.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; if their's no authority, than your arguments have no weight.

Duskrider_Moogle
2005-12-30, 11:18 PM
Guys, Belkar was justified in escaping from prison because it was hilarious; if he had taken any less awesome action it wouldn't be as entertaining, and how just would THAT be to us??

ByzCath
2005-12-30, 11:19 PM
But here's the thing: THE ORDER OF THE STICK ARE NOT UNJUSTLY IMPRISONED!!! They are all accessories to the destruction of the Redmountain Gate, a crime against creation (which goes to the refutation of your next point).

But who has jurisdiction over crimes against creation?

I do not think this court does. If it does then it should have worked though the law enforcement agencies of the land that the OoTS was in at the them that Miko unlawfully apprehended them.

jmucchiello
2005-12-30, 11:33 PM
But who has jurisdiction over crimes against creation?

If it does then it should have worked though the law enforcement agencies of the land that the OoTS was in at the them that Miko unlawfully apprehended them.
I would think that if the court has jurisdiction over CREATION then all of creation is within its jurisdiction. Countries are ephemeral. Creation is all. If you accept that Lord Shojo can try cases involving crime against creation, then Shojo's agents can hunt for those accused criminals anywhere in creation regardless of legal secular status.

As for whether this screws OOTS, that comes too close to predicting future strips and I think we should refrain from that line of discussion outside of a spoiler thread.

Rawhide
2005-12-30, 11:34 PM
Remind me to quote you on that if my sorceress in your game ever gets thrown in jail. ;D
Don't forget that its also the right of the detaining power to prevent such an escape ;).

Eva_of_Sirrion
2005-12-30, 11:56 PM
The lead sheet to block detect evils...

The lead box to hold his ring of jumping...

With all this exposure to lead, no wonder Belkar's wisdom is so low. ;)

Mordeus_Dire
2005-12-31, 12:06 AM
It makes you wonder...

Why is Belkar, the chaotic evil psychopath (whom we all love of cause) hanging around with the lame do-gooder Order of the Stick.
There's a perfectly nasty Linear Guild whom he'd feel right at home with...

Or is he simply TOO evil for them. :)
I must admit, Thog isn't focused enough and for all his schemeing, Nale is more of a "Big Meanie" rather than actively evil.

aaronbourque
2005-12-31, 12:07 AM
But who has jurisdiction over crimes against creation?

I do not think this court does. *If it does then it should have worked though the law enforcement agencies of the land that the OoTS was in at the them that Miko unlawfully apprehended them.

Whether the court of Shojo has jurisdiction or not is speculation, and that's spoilers, so I'm not gonna do that. But Miko never unlawfully apprehended the Order, she attacked them believing them to be a bunch of evil reality-mucking individuals, and then afterwards was escorting them to trial until they resisted arrest. And she attacked them and then began escorting them in an area unclaimed by any crown or country, so there's no jurisdictional improprieties. (The Giant has said this, that the area near Woody Forest--or was it Wooden Forest?--is in an area beyond any country's borders. I can't find the post right now, though, and I'm tired. It's in there somewhere).

When they resisted arrest, they may have been in an area under someone else's law, but considering Miko et. al. were involved in saving a king, that king probably looked the other way when Miko chained them.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; or, at least, when she explained that they had resisted arrest.

aaronbourque
2005-12-31, 12:11 AM
Guys, Belkar was justified in escaping from prison because it was hilarious; if he had taken any less awesome action it wouldn't be as entertaining, and how just would THAT be to us??

He was in character escaping from prison, but that doesn't justify it.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

Techonce
2005-12-31, 12:18 AM
I had meant to say that OotS may feel they are justified in trying to escape and to do so wby whatever means the feel acceptable.

At the same time, the guards feel the prosioners are justly heald and will do what is necessary to keep the prisioners secure.

Now, since we are outside observers, it depends on if we feel the captors have the right to detain the prisioners.

As for crimes against creation... I'd like to see the rules lawyers punch holes in that set of laws.

Eva_of_Sirrion
2005-12-31, 12:25 AM
I had meant to say that OotS may feel they are justified in trying to escape and to do so wby whatever means the feel acceptable.

At the same time, the guards feel the prosioners are justly heald and will do what is necessary to keep the prisioners secure.

Now, since we are outside observers, it depends on if we feel the captors have the right to detain the prisioners.

As for crimes against creation... *I'd like to see the rules lawyers punch holes in that set of laws. *

It means somebody's gonna be cashing in on a lot of XP. ;D ;)

rosebud
2005-12-31, 12:27 AM
It's nice to see Belkar out -- he was the one problem point. Whatever his alignment is, he implies that detect evil on him would not be a good thing. So, having him out can help avoid that fate. (The restraining order was only against Miko, so presumably others could use it.) Belkar's plans in #206 are clearly a wash, so that just leaves leaving.

As to the others, it's irrelevant. There's been no communication and magic is blocked. Clearly, Belkar is acting alone at this point. (Of course, it does cause a mess since the authorities already went to extreme measures to apprehend everyone. It also makes cooperation rather difficult.)

As cute as the guard might be, he's clearly foolish (Belkar was probably just doing some plot exposition in hopes of gaining more XP?) and fools don't fare well in these situations.

As to killing him, Belkar needed to incapacitate the guard in some manner -- otherwise an alarm would have been raised. Roy's method (#163) is by knocking the guard unconscious. But even Roy killed an agent of the "law" (#164) when the situation demanded it. As to Belkar, he obviously likes violence, but there was a practical matter to consider -- Belkar was unarmed. So, he needed to grab the weapon and then incapacitate the guard before an alarm was raised. Given the weapon -- a short sword -- and Belkar's wounded state, he picked the familiar route.

Kadi
2005-12-31, 12:28 AM
Alright Aaron, I'll grant that I unwittingly entered into a paradox with the authority thing. I'll work on resolving it.

But you know, there are worse things than being insane. Being sane, for instance. :o

WildBill
2005-12-31, 12:31 AM
He was in character escaping from prison, but that doesn't justify it.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque


Actually that absolutely justifies it. It just doesn't make it right. Place yourself in Belkars shoes. Or foothair. You've been hanging out with this group since OtOotPC, but you don't care about there morals or belief systems. As a CE character you are with them for the protection offered by being a part of a larger group of powerful adventurers and a bard. Then you all get thrown in jail.

Belkar recognizes no authority to hold him, wether as prisoner of a soveriegn state or captive of a band of orcs, it is the same to him. And he enjoys killing, so according to his belief system, the right thing to do is to fight his way out, killing as many people as possible along the way.

Was it the right thing to do according to my belief system, no. But to Belkar it was, also, Belkar is justified in trying to save his own life. Even if the OotS is found innocent, Lord Shojo's might have Belkar executed if he found out anything about him. He certainly has committed enough capital offences to warrant the death penalty from a nation that uses it.

Tetralemma
2005-12-31, 12:35 AM
All of these arguments as to whether the OotS are prisoners of war, whether Belkar was justified in breaking out, or in killing the guard, or whether his actions will screw over the rest of the order, they're all moot.

As Belkar said to Phil Rodriguez, Esq. in comic 230, "Wait. You seem to have made a mistake right here. I'm Chaotic."

Belkar will do whatever he thinks he can get away with feels like doing, and the only thing that MIGHT make him think about it for a second, is if he feels it's not in his own best interests.

Belkar inside the pit WILL eventually be executed, after Lord Shojo's lawyers get the injunction against Detect Evil lifted, because at that point, his evilness will get smote.

Belkar outside the pit, "alone, wounded, and barely armed in a foreign land, trapped in a massive fortress swarming with nameless hostile human sentries" stands only a slight chance of survival.

But it's a better chance than he'd have inside the pit.

EDIT: Crud, WildBill beat me to it.

Adghar
2005-12-31, 12:35 AM
*hides possibly innacurate comedic silver*

"King, sir, there's a psychotic halfling roaming the countryside killing random villagers."

"Well, he does this kind of thing often, and he's CE, and if he stopped the slaughter, we would capture and harm him, so he's justified."

"Right, but shouldn't we go after him or something?"

"Captain, we do not pursue those who are justified. Rodney, fire this man."

Ustauk
2005-12-31, 12:36 AM
Great comic, laugh out lout funny.

As to where Belkar was keeping the ring, do you think the Giant was inspired by this skit (http://media.spikedhumor.com/1029/lotrmtv.avi) from the MTV music awards a couple of years ago? Owwww :o

As to using detect magic to get find the ring, I'd assume the mage doing it would rather see a glowing crotch as a false positive then attempt to investigate further :)

WildBill
2005-12-31, 12:41 AM
EDIT: Crud, WildBill beat me to it.
My first post wins!

Midnight Son
2005-12-31, 01:32 AM
All of you talking about justified or not and right or not seem to me to be forgetting that OOTS is not in our world or subject to our systems of rights and wrongs. In a feudal or medieval system, any prisoner with the means to escape generally will.

Rtos
2005-12-31, 02:02 AM
"someplace on my body that I was reasonably certain no one would search..." -- on Belkar, yuck! ;)

Very funny!!! Thank you Rich.

Payne
2005-12-31, 02:12 AM
since the guard's intentions aren't malicious.


He fed him gruel!
He must die!

I can relate to being justified in mass murder!
Go Belkar go!

Jon_of_the_North
2005-12-31, 02:13 AM
I hate to say this, but I too feel Belkar put the ring not up his :-X but around his... Rod of Lordly Might.

As to the jail break, of course Belkar should try to break out! Not for boring moral reasons, but simply to mess with the railroading GM. I've gone through the whole "you'll be captured no matter what because that's what the plot says" 2 or 3 times in my brief roleplaying career, and I HATE railroading. It is every players sworn duty to keep the GM on his toes and limber, worried about what his players will pull next.

Also it's in character and he knows he's up the river if "the Man" catches up with him.

xyzchyx
2005-12-31, 04:13 AM
Actually that absolutely justifies it. It just doesn't make it right.

You seem to be using the word "justified" here to mean something akin to something like "within reason, given the circumstances", or at least "understandable".

That's not what it means, however. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=justified)

It may be understandable why Belkar did what he did, and we may still love him anyways, but trying to say that he was justified to do what he did seems to me to be nothing more than an attempt to rationalize it into inconsequence.

silvadel
2005-12-31, 04:34 AM
Nothing can stop Belkar now unless he runs into a horse....

Quixote
2005-12-31, 05:25 AM
Wow 0.0

That was really... unexpected. I mean I knew that if Belkar wasn't with the other guys, he'd be either in a secure oubliette like that or chained to a wall, but I didn't expect him to escape like that... this means I seriously have to recalculate what I expect to happen in the future.

captainno
2005-12-31, 07:33 AM
Here's a question for you... does that mean Belkar has three ring slots? And are there any other ... fringe benefits of this particular ring in that particular slot?

Way to make belkar even cooler! :)

Cirin
2005-12-31, 07:36 AM
It may be understandable why Belkar did what he did, and we may still love him anyways, but trying to say that he was justified to do what he did seems to me to be nothing more than an attempt to rationalize it into inconsequence.
Let's see. This "Lord Shojo" character has sent a bounty hunter off to capture foriengers who have offended him, because he has decided that his laws and jurisdiction apply to everyone, everywhere, because he says his gods say so, and that if he says it has offended the gods, he can detain anybody anywhere for an ex post facto crime.

Frankly, Belkar did the only right thing. He was being detained most unjustly, by a temporal lord he owes no fealty to, who had him abducted with lethal force. Sit there and patiently wait for a pretense of a show trial and an execution? Forfiet your life just so some strange potentate can have his little power trip? People weren't complaining while Haley tried to pick the lock on their cell and bust the rest of the OotS out.

I don't believe for a moment this whole "crime against creation" thing. The OotS world is a world where the gods quite literally walk the face of the Earth (like when Thor was fighting to save a villiage, and got distracted because Durkon's call), and apparently Miko didn't have the backing of Thor at least (hence the cutscene pointing out that while Durkon thought it was Thor's intervention in their original fight, it was raw luck of the gods). If destroying this gate was such an offense before the gods, why wouldn't Durkon have received some vision or notice, or an actual servant of a deity like a celestial, proxy, chosen or an avatar show up, instead of a warrior in service to a temporal ruler. That's why I don't believe in this "Crime against the gods and creation" bit with destroying the gate, there has been no sign, other than Lord Shojo being offended, that the gods have cared at all about this.

Also, if Lord Shojo had such powers from the gods themselves to judge crimes against the world itself, I'd imagine that would be notable enough that Elan would have known that with his Bardic Knowledge check. Something about the gods-appointed judge of the entire world being a position I'd think would be legendary. Knowing the average rainfall of a kingdom but not that their ruler of that kingdom is the divinely sanctioned judge of all crimes before the gods across the entire world sounds pretty off.

Marller
2005-12-31, 07:45 AM
Aiya, that poor guard. He never stood a chance, he didn't even have a name. At least with a name he might have lasted another panel before getting skewered. I don't know why the strip made me think of _Austin Powers: Goldmember_, but there you have it.

Yeah, but alas, he wss just a red shirt...err blue shirt, no white... ;)



It makes you wonder...

Why is Belkar, the chaotic evil psychopath (whom we all love of cause) hanging around with the lame do-gooder Order of the Stick.
There's a perfectly nasty Linear Guild whom he'd feel right at home with...

Or is he simply TOO evil for them. :)
I must admit, Thog isn't focused enough and for all his schemeing, Nale is more of a "Big Meanie" rather than actively evil.

I think a evil aligned group wouldn't bear his antics. How long until Nale would try to get rid of Belkar. Belkar is throwing daggers a Roy after all (sometimes). ;)

NullAshton
2005-12-31, 08:34 AM
HAHA! I knew the rest of the party was in an anti-magic cell! GO ME!

Sebastian
2005-12-31, 08:36 AM
Even if you're chaotic and thus have no respect for the law. and you captors specifically seek to inflict "emotional duress" on you and thus cannot be considered good? I'm not in the "Belkar is good" camp, but I think his actions in this instance could be justified from a good POW.

The "emotional duress" was a reference to when Belkar said that hearing Durkon snore would give him emotional duress and thus need a room all for himself.

Note that this is just another instance where Miko act Lawful neutral ("he want to sleep alone!? throw him into the Pit") rather than lawful good. ("give him a cell to himself.)". She did it out ot spite and revenge rather than Justice.

Edit: Also note from the scratch on his head how they throw him into the pit without even bothering to heal him. Lawful good, my ass.

Sundog
2005-12-31, 08:41 AM
Hey, now, LG doesn't mean nice. They were giving him lots of rest and plenty of nutritious gruel to eat - he'd have healed on his own in a few days. Why waste the healing magics?

Nighthawk4
2005-12-31, 08:44 AM
One thing which puzzles me.

These captors are Paladins afaik - or at least Miko is - yet she gave specific instructions to imprison Belkar in a way which will cause him 'emotional duress'.

This from a Lawful Good character? >:(

Not a criticism of the Giant - just another indication that our Goody-Goody Pally is not as good as she pretends to be.

Now if only Haley can unlock the cells......... ;)

Sebastian
2005-12-31, 08:55 AM
Hey, now, LG doesn't mean nice.
If LG don't mean nice, what does?

WildBill
2005-12-31, 09:08 AM
You seem to be using the word "justified" here to mean something akin to something like "within reason, given the circumstances", or at least "understandable".

That's not what it means, however. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=justified)

It may be understandable why Belkar did what he did, and we may still love him anyways, but trying to say that he was justified to do what he did seems to me to be nothing more than an attempt to rationalize it into inconsequence.

1. To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid: justified each budgetary expense as necessary; anger that is justified by the circumstances.

Belkar's actions were valid given the circumstances. He knows that wether or not Shojo absolves his companions of any wrongdoing in the gate incident, he will almost assuredly be executed for his own past actions. In this situation, the correct action is to try to remain alive.

munehiro
2005-12-31, 09:21 AM
One thing which puzzles me.

These captors are Paladins afaik - or at least Miko is - yet she gave specific instructions to imprison Belkar in a way which will cause him 'emotional duress'.

This from a Lawful Good character? >:(


Paladin does not mean Good, it means only Lawful. As far as i think, Miko is not Lawful Good, is Lawful Neutral. The phrase from Roy which states about the equality of alignment between them is probably given by its supposition about what he thinks up to that moment, but events showed a very different behavior and in my opinion Miko is not Good at all, but absolutely Neutral. She follows the law without a glitch or compassion.

Would she acted differently if the "destroyer" of the dorukan gate was a poor and almost dying elder? i think not. Lord Shojo ordered me to....

shadeofwar
2005-12-31, 09:26 AM
Gr8 post Giant...You showed all those out there that chaotic evil is the best alignment to be... too bad my dm only good and neutrals in the quest and i had to settle with a chaotic neutral!

Uh oh. This does not bode well for you.

Just let me contact the Service Of Preemptive Action Against Potentially Dangerous Ideas Concerning Roleplaying... they are especially touchy about this sort of badly concealed propaganda...

...of course it exists! Just the fact that YOU haven't heard of it...

shadeofwar
2005-12-31, 09:28 AM
Paladin does not mean Good, it means only Lawful. As far as i think, Miko is not Lawful Good, is Lawful Neutral. The phrase from Roy which states about the equality of alignment between them is probably given by its supposition about what he thinks up to that moment, but events showed a very different behavior and in my opinion Miko is not Good at all, but absolutely Neutral. She follows the law without a glitch or compassion


Well, in fact, Paladin does mean Lawful Good, under pain of her abilities being erased. She may never 'willfully commit an evil act' or that is which happens, and she'll have to atone if she's ever to restore these abilities...

Miko's definitely come very close to the yellow line there.

Caledonian
2005-12-31, 10:24 AM
She can be Lawful Good... just with a tendency towards being Lawful more than Good.

I'm still convinced that Roy is Neutral Good (or, barring that, Lawful Good with stronger tendencies toward Good than Lawful). I'm also not convinced that Durkon is Neutral Good, given his behavior towards his temporary girlfriend (who hasn't been seen in quite a while).

Darius Midnite
2005-12-31, 10:41 AM
I wonder why Durkon is lokced up..
I mean Rich said that Miko trusted him and stuff...The same reason that she did not chain him up after the battle...I'm a littel confused here..

Well maby it is because he also has to get
executed and that...

Oh and Giant...great strip! ;)

Miroku_Sumeragi
2005-12-31, 10:48 AM
[quote author=Marller link=board=comics;num=1135957154;start=105#105 date=12/31/05 at 06:45:52]

Yeah, but alas, he wss just a red shirt...err blue shirt, no white... *;)


A character in a book once said that all evil starts as treating people as objects. The line above is a clear illustration of that point.

Oh, and the justification argument for Belkar really boils down to, they are against me, I can do whatever I want. There are 0 principles and morals I have to follow.

ByzCath
2005-12-31, 10:56 AM
Also, if Lord Shojo had such powers from the gods themselves to judge crimes against the world itself, I'd imagine that would be notable enough that Elan would have known that with his Bardic Knowledge check. *Something about the gods-appointed judge of the entire world being a position I'd think would be legendary. *Knowing the average rainfall of a kingdom but not that their ruler of that kingdom is the divinely sanctioned judge of all crimes before the gods across the entire world sounds pretty off.

Or it could just mean a partial success on a bardic knowledge check.

Adolfo
2005-12-31, 11:41 AM
Belkar's dream come true...heh

;DMy rating for him just flew up

Duskrider_Moogle
2005-12-31, 11:56 AM
Also, if Lord Shojo had such powers from the gods themselves to judge crimes against the world itself, I'd imagine that would be notable enough that Elan would have known that with his Bardic Knowledge check. Something about the gods-appointed judge of the entire world being a position I'd think would be legendary. Knowing the average rainfall of a kingdom but not that their ruler of that kingdom is the divinely sanctioned judge of all crimes before the gods across the entire world sounds pretty off.

I bet Elan knew that too but didn't think it was important to share with the party or something.

soni
2005-12-31, 12:03 PM
she's not a paladin- she's a samurai... the guard said so.

that changes all the rules for her behavior.

WildBill
2005-12-31, 12:10 PM
If LG don't mean nice, what does?
NG

Overelemental
2005-12-31, 12:12 PM
she's not a paladin- she's a samurai... the guard said so.

that changes all the rules for her behavior.

http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=209

Don Beegles
2005-12-31, 01:11 PM
You seem to be using the word "justified" here to mean something akin to something like "within reason, given the circumstances", or at least "understandable".

That's not what it means, however. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=justified)

It may be understandable why Belkar did what he did, and we may still love him anyways, but trying to say that he was justified to do what he did seems to me to be nothing more than an attempt to rationalize it into inconsequence.

Yeah, because his speech bubbles are most defunetely centered.

Wardog
2005-12-31, 01:48 PM
As cute as the guard might be, he's clearly foolish (Belkar was probably just doing some plot exposition in hopes of gaining more XP?) and fools don't fare well in these situations.
.


Either that or he was meta-gaming to see if there was a way he could still have his ring.

Blaznak
2005-12-31, 02:30 PM
You have to love Belkar.

Reading this comic got me thinking (ouch). I think the real charm of OOTS is that it probably does a better job of capturing the spirit of the way people play their home campaigns than other fiction (like the FR Novels, etc.). It does not mean the story is not good, nor does it mean the characters do not have depth. It just means the characters have a little more identifiable personality.

Oh well, meaningless ramble over. Once again, an outstanding comic!

Dorni
2005-12-31, 02:58 PM
An interesting point...

The Paladin's code does say that the Paladin can never knowingly commit an evil act, but it does not say that the Paladin must ever commit good acts.

Terrafire
2005-12-31, 03:27 PM
GO Belkar GO! :)

Tawkis
2005-12-31, 03:42 PM
She can be Lawful Good... just with a tendency towards being Lawful more than Good.

I'm still convinced that Roy is Neutral Good (or, barring that, Lawful Good with stronger tendencies toward Good than Lawful). *I'm also not convinced that Durkon is Neutral Good, given his behavior towards his temporary girlfriend (who hasn't been seen in quite a while).
Roy is IMO a paladin's paladin (even though he's fighter). He is lawful good, but is smart enough to know that it's more important to do what's right instead of blindly following "the law". Miko on the other hand isn't.
As Roy said himself: Roy follows the spirit of Lawful Good while Miko follows the letter of the alignment.

Gralamin
2005-12-31, 04:00 PM
Sparhawk from David Eddings Books is how Paladins should be played. And he his more like Roy then Miko.

Sundog
2005-12-31, 04:00 PM
NG


Actually, even NG doesn't have to be nice. You can bitch, moan, fight for wriggle room, and utterly enjoy any chance of beating on the bad guys, but as long as you're doing good, you're good, and as long as you're obeying the precepts of lawful behaviour, you're lawful.

On the other hand, you could be a kind, gentle-hearted, nice person who finds they simply must poison their way to the throne - from number 378 in the line of succession. You would then be Evil, but you would still be nice.

I just noticed that Belkar's trapdoor has three padlocks on it. Why on earth would they need three locks to hold in one halfling, whom they wouldn't even have expected to reach the hatch??!?

aaronbourque
2005-12-31, 04:12 PM
Alright Aaron, I'll grant that I unwittingly entered into a paradox with the authority thing. *I'll work on resolving it.

But you know, there are worse things than being insane. *Being sane, for instance. *:o

Hey, I know my nickname is "The Mad Whitker." That's not mad as in angry, I'll have you know.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

NullAshton
2005-12-31, 04:14 PM
You know, you people probally don't want to think about where Belkar was hiding that ring. You REALLY do not want to know why the guards didn't find that ring when they searched him.

aaronbourque
2005-12-31, 04:27 PM
This might be spoilers, but it doesn't speculate too much on the plot, but more presents a hypothetical. Sort of.

Wow, there seems to be a lot of hostility towards Shojo for little to no other reason than that he's some kind of religious lord rather than secular leader. Now, in the real world, where god/s may or may not exist but if they do they sure aren't obvious, sure, such distrust and hostility might be warranted, but there's something everyone needs to keep in mind, here:

In D&D in general, and in the world of the OoTS in particular, the gods are real. This isn't up for debate, they've made appearances in the strip, and have interacted with the characters at least once. Shojo may actually have the authority to send an agent across borders to capture people and try them for whatever reason he wants.

He might not, but I think it'd be more fitting story-wise for him to have said authority. Then again, it might be funny that he doesn't.

So it could be either way, I guess.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; and about Elan not knowing whether Shojo has that sort of authority with his Bardic Knowledge check, well, he doesn't seem to know anything about the Sapphire Guard, even that they have a headquarters in Azure City--he doesn't mention it. His check may have just been about the city in general, not about any particular notable people or oganizations in the city. Or his intelligence penalty kept him from complete success with the BK check . . .

Arkadian
2005-12-31, 04:32 PM
Belkar prince albert-ing his Rod of Lordly Might with a Ring of Jumping might be stretching the facts. *Humorous, painful, and pretty sick all in one...very possible with Belkar. *I think in addition to his Feat of Craft Disturbing Mental Image, he has the skill Plant Disturbing Mental Image...or at least a few people posting messages here do. *<Raises Hand> *;D

Sanctu
2005-12-31, 05:08 PM
I could not stop laughing at this one. There is something so... classic D&D... about Belkar's thinking... :)

(OK, I admit, I did feel sorry for the guard. But... that speach...)

Schpungus
2005-12-31, 05:08 PM
We side with Belkar for the only reason there can be; because Belkar is a friend and Shojo is not.

gorogongorgy
2005-12-31, 05:16 PM
OF COURSE WE PREFER BELKAR!! that miko chick may be strong but lawful good's are annoying! They are so narrow-minded. Keep it up Giant... i loved this strip (yes i know i already said this 3 times on older posts :D)

Korppis
2005-12-31, 05:47 PM
I hate to say this, but I too feel Belkar put the ring not up his :-X but around his... Rod of Lordly Might.
Where do halflings hide their magic rings?
"It is called Prince Albert... It is my precious ;D"

Reptile
2005-12-31, 08:07 PM
We side with Belkar for the only reason there can be; because Belkar is a friend and Shojo is not.

Belkar isn't anyone's friend. (Remember that he tried to kill a fellow member of the OOTS, and was basically dissuaded by intimidation rather than anything else.) People like Belkar because he's funny.

People might not like Shojo because he's an antagonist and has imprisoned the OOTS. Fair enough. But the wild accusations against him in this thread (kidnapping, megalomania, etc.) are IMHO unfounded. We know why the OOTS was arrested, and furthermore we know that they are guilty of that act (specifically, Elan is). Think about it this way: This could easily be an adventure the other way, with a good-aligned party trying to track down and bring to justice those who destroyed a magical gate critical to holding reality together.

As for #261, I'm not going to join all the people praising Belkar. Yes, it was in character, but still...until now, the OOTS might have been released after a full explanation and a few good Diplomacy checks. (People--Roy included--seem to be assuming that Shojo would be as strict about penalizing them as Miko was in bringing them to justice. I don't see why this has to be the case, since Miko was doing her sworn duty to bring them to Shojo (#203 (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=203): "Your guilt or innocence, in the absence of an Evil alignment, is not for me to determine. I am now to merely collect you and deliver you unto my Lord Shojo.").) Now, however, one of their number has killed a guard, which pretty much ruins that idea.

The_Kobold_Hero
2005-12-31, 08:36 PM
Agreed. This actully reminds me of a sci-fi game my friends and I are going through. ;D

Three cheers for jailbreaks! :D

SpaceCoyoteVega
2005-12-31, 08:59 PM
... or he could have just swallowed it.

Karkadinn
2005-12-31, 09:14 PM
The "emotional duress" was a reference to when Belkar said that hearing Durkon snore would give him emotional duress and thus need a room all for himself.

Note that this is just another instance where Miko act Lawful neutral ("he want to sleep alone!? throw him into the Pit").

She didn't say 'throw him into the Pit.' *All she said was that he should be alone, which is honoring his obviously flimsy past excuse, and therefore the height of literal Lawful behavior.
I can't really picture her doing anything out of small-time spite. *She has a Wisdom score roughly equal to Belkar's, she's got no real social skills or understanding of how to cooperate with people with differing viewpoints, but she has never been, so far, a petty person. *Everything she's done so far she's seen as simply necessary.

rosebud
2005-12-31, 10:15 PM
I just noticed that Belkar's trapdoor has three padlocks on it. Why on earth would they need three locks

So asks someone with a three-headed icon? :D You never know when they're going to want to put a Chimera into that lockup... (More seriously, it anchors the door better and, more importantly, looks impressively overkill, which makes the end result that much funnier.)

rosebud
2005-12-31, 10:49 PM
As for #261, I'm not going to join all the people praising Belkar. Yes, it was in character, but still...until now, the OOTS might have been released after a full explanation and a few good Diplomacy checks.
For the others, yes. But, pray tell, how was Belkar going to get out alive? It's not an issue of praise but of survival. In that context, his actions were justified.

And, equally important, how was he to be funny while doing it? (In cartoons, humor is a justifiable defense. Think of Roger Rabbit's "No, not at any time, only when it was funny.")

Belkar was the only character who was: Still vivisbly injured
Ill-treated in confinement
Never (knowlingly) subjected to detect evil
He did not honor his confinement and expected death if kept captive. Given the opportunity to escape, he was going to take it. But, he was unarmed and a guard was present. Unless he incapacitated the guard, the guard would have raised an alarm, and he would have been recaptured. So, how was Belkar to escape without incapacitating the guard? And how was he to be funny while doing it?

True, I'm not praising Belkar, but I'm not condemning him, either.

Krytha
2005-12-31, 11:35 PM
Belkar is just making things a million times worse for the OotS... will they eventually have to part ways? Or just be fugitives from the Sapphire guard for the rest of their lives. If Roy sees a way that he can get rid of Belkar I think he might be pretty tempted either way...

But since Belkar has the wisdom score of a garden gnome, I guess he doesn't ACTUALLY know that things are just going to go downhill from here...

kyrin
2005-12-31, 11:39 PM
All *I'm* hoping for is for someone (Roy or even Elan) to point out to Lord Shojo that it's pretty sad that he only had a problem with people DESTROYING the gates, and apparently has NO problem with the foulest undead using a gate to further its evil ends. To me, THAT is what undermines Lord Shojo's "authority" more than anything. If you want your precious gates taken care of, Lord NoShow, maybe you should, I dunno, have somebody make sure that a lich doesn't play around with it??? You picked a fine time to get involved!

That is, I guess, the thing that has bugged me the most about this storyline. None of the Order have spoken up about this. Sure Miko wouldn't listen, being a Cement Head, but I can't believe they wouldn't try. I know *my* players (Bless their black little hearts) would have been muttering about it all the way to Azure City.

JIM
aka kyrin

Reptile
2006-01-01, 03:07 AM
All *I'm* hoping for is for someone (Roy or even Elan) to point out to Lord Shojo that it's pretty sad that he only had a problem with people DESTROYING the gates, and apparently has NO problem with the foulest undead using a gate to further its evil ends. To me, THAT is what undermines Lord Shojo's "authority" more than anything.

This is a reasonably good argument. However, I'd like to point out that Xykon never actually used the gate to "further his evil ends"--he certainly tried (and sacrificed some minions doing so), but never succeeded. Presumably this is due to the gate having powerful protections of its own against evil, and if Shojo knows this, he could be justified in letting Xykon zap as many minions as he likes. I agree that letting Xykon near it in the first place isn't the best of ideas, but it might not be anathema.

the_belkarnator
2006-01-01, 03:36 AM
i think we cant really blame belkar for what he did sure if he had higher int but he donest also everything he as seen would lead him to believe that the would just be killed after a fake trial. so now i think he should try to find the other members of oots and then break there way out. also they can't really have belkar disappear from oots that would ruin it
also every1 asking if he was justifed in kill the guard belkar has the int if a orc and orcs slaughter people also its a comic! and do you ask if you were justifed in killing that alien on halo 2? of course not it just a bunch of pixels well so is the guard

Scimar
2006-01-01, 04:03 AM
-snip- He was only following orders!!

Well, that excuse din't work very well at Nuremburg (Site of the WW2 war crimes trials) or anywhere else for that matter, so I doubt it applies here, but that aside, I too belive that Mr. Nameless guard man din't deserve to be gutted. If it was a good alignment character, they would have probably just taken his sword and tossed him in the pit (unless they had a strength penalty, in which case they couldn't exactly "Leap out and tackle the guard" well, ring of jumping or no).

Kadi
2006-01-01, 05:31 AM
Another thing to consider.

Why should the Order willingly surrender to these megalomaniacs and kidnappers (perhaps I'm in error to think of "Lord" Shojo and Miko that way, but it's not an unreasonable assumption either), given that it's uncertain that they will not be killed or worse for what they've done?

Even if you think it's valid for some petty tyrant like "Lord" Shojo to send an agent after people into a foreign land and return them to her master by coercion, can you at least agree that the fact that we don't know for sure that "Lord" Shojo won't go too far in whatever he has planned for them is a good enough reason to resist freely?

Karkadinn
2006-01-01, 06:16 AM
Another thing to consider.

can you at least agree that the fact that we don't know for sure that "Lord" Shojo won't go too far in whatever he has planned for them is a good enough reason to resist freely?

We don't know a lot of things. The fact that LS might do something bad to them is certainly a valid excuse for an evil character, or a more selfish neutral one. But for the good-aligned party members, it doesn't hold much water. Being good means you give people the benefit of the doubt and don't go around using lethal force against random hapless saps until there's no other options left. Escaping without causing fatalities is one thing, but they have to have a better reason to use deadly force than a mere possibility of Shojo being evil and/or unreasonable. By that logic, everyone who gets arrested under confusing circumstances in the real world would be in their rights to go on a killing spree, because there's always the possibility of a corrupt cop or corrupt judge....
No, sometimes you just have to sit down and bid your time.
If LS was sentencing them to death or something similarly terrible, that would be the time to employ desperate measures.
Not before, when there's still a good chance of resolving things peacefully if Belkar can stop being himself, and Roy can figure out he was doing the right thing for the wrong reason with Miko in the first place....
Honestly, if I were Roy, I'd disown him from the party at this point. He's nothing but a stupid, evil (if very humorous) liability.

rosebud
2006-01-01, 07:39 AM
it's pretty sad that he only had a problem with people DESTROYING the gates, and apparently has NO problem with the foulest undead using a gate to further its evil ends.As mentioned, all Xykon managed to do with the gate was kill a large number of evil-aligned creatures trying (and failing) to open it. No alarms there. However, that was the second gate destroyed, and no one hunted down Xykon's group after Lirian's gate was destroyed in a forest fire started by Redcloak (#196). Roy, through OOtS, was the only group actually taking on Xykon.

Regarding Miko, no one pointed out that Miss Lawful Good Paladin needlessly killed two people in #189 -- the first (Samantha the Sorceress) was evil, but the second (the father) was a rogue but seemingly of neutral alignment.

Regarding Shojo, don't prejudge. We haven't seen the character and we have little basis on which to make a judgement.

Sebastian
2006-01-01, 08:14 AM
That whole "guilty to put in danger the structure of the universe" thing would make a lot more sense to me if there was some kind of warning on the damned gate. Else it would be like I step on a twig and someone arrest me because that twig was someway essential to the structure of the universe, and if I resist arrest they try to kill me. Even if they was right and that stick was a cornerstone of the universe it would be mightly unfair thing to do.

Kadi
2006-01-01, 09:56 AM
Heh, don't try to reason with the lawful types here, Sebastian. They seem to expect you to just shut up and take unfair, unjust treatment without taking decisive means to rebuke the offender.

Don't misunderstand me, not all things have to be fought with direct confrontation, but the lawful types seem to go further than that, suggesting that what has happened to the Order is not unfair, or that even if it is unfair, they just have to shut up and take it.

I wonder, in #259, if these people were listening to Roy's angry monologue, would they shake their finger at him and say "So what if it's unfair? Suck it up fool!"

Zink
2006-01-01, 11:52 AM
A warning on the gate you say? How about: "Do not touch ever. No, not even then"? Seems like a warning to me. It's not their fault that they didn't expect someone with an intelligence penalty like Elan's to ever reach the self destruct rune? And there has to be a self destruct rune, in case something horrible happens and something horrible comes out of the gate; don't question the necessity of the self destruct rune.

Someone to guard the gate you say? How about Dorukan, and everyone else who guard their own gate? Shojo probably didn't keep in touch with all of them and couldn't have known that an evil lich took over Durakon's gate; it is also possible that simply making the gate zap goblins would alert Lord Shojo of someone messing with the gate. However, the destruction of the gate would undoubtedly shake the very fabric of the universe, and Lord Shojo or one of his diviners would sense it. They would also sense that the person responsible for the destruction is Elan, and not the evil lich Xykon.

About Shojo not hunting down Xykon when he destroyed Lirian's gate... Well, I don't know about that... Plot hole? :-/

About Shojo's authority [Possibly light spoilers]: I don't believe he has any divine mandate that grants him the authority to judge people for crimes against creation. I believe he has all of that authority - it just doesn't come from the gods. Was it ever said that Shojo has some divine mandate? I think not. I think his authority related to the crimes against creation, or more accurately to destroying the gates, comes from relation to the gate keepers (or the gates themselves), and nothing else. I believe he recieved that authority from the gate keepers themselves, and has absolutely every right to judge anyone who meddles with them.

Spludge
2006-01-01, 11:52 AM
A character in a book once said that all evil starts as treating people as objects.

Close, but not quite.

"All crime stems from treating people as objects."

Captain Sam Vimes, Ahnk-Morpork City Watch (He was only a captain at the time), from the book "Men at Arms"
(Thought: perhaps I should check if I'm right first..... nah)

(Yeah, I've decided to stop lurking)

On the topic of Lawfulness... As someone who would, without a doubt, be considered Lawful (I hope I would live up to good as well, but I have weak moments.), the only course of action as a Lawful Good charachter (Specifically, Roy) is to see where the trial leads, and what happens thereafter. Sure, the person who went and got you and locked you away wasn't all they perhaps should have been, but the "Law" they are accused of breaking (threatening the integrity of the fabric of the universe) is fundamentally a good one. Sure, Roy isn't too optimistic at this point of time, but there is still the possibility of Sojo being an all-round nice guy, who will understand and let them go with a slap-on-the-wrist punishment. Heck, he may even take into account the rough treatment they recieved from Miko, and offer reparations. Roy is just tking the balance of probability based on prediction and extrapolation of Miko's actions

Think about it. Roy is pessimistic, and Durkon don't seem so happy, and Elan's plenty cheerful. It's probably because Elan can't see those few plays ahead.

(Side note: As a chaotic good character, escaping from the cell, only fighting as self defense, and seeking Lord Sojo to explain the mess is probably the most valid thing to do. And as a chaotic evil character, using a concealed magic item to escape whilst killing a relatively innocent guard is probably the most in-character thing to do, too)

munehiro
2006-01-01, 12:28 PM
Well, in fact, Paladin does mean Lawful Good, under pain of her abilities being erased. She may never 'willfully commit an evil act' or that is which happens, and she'll have to atone if she's ever to restore these abilities...

Miko's definitely come very close to the yellow line there.

Yes, you are right. The core rulebook states LG, however i know there are exceptions. I don't remember if these exceptions are my Master's rules or not.

For example, Sune's paladins can be CG, but are a very particular exception. Once I was in a campaign with a LN male paladin of Helm, with a powerful warhammer he named "Lex". The (female) player was exceptionally good in rendering the paladin as an overreligious judge, very similar to Miko. The campaign was also quite interpretative, so s/he (and all the party indeed) had a very good time dealing with this overzealot ballbreaker.

Wardog
2006-01-01, 01:02 PM
Regarding Miko, no one pointed out that Miss Lawful Good Paladin needlessly killed two people in #189 -- the first (Samantha the Sorceress) was evil, but the second (the father) was a rogue but seemingly of neutral alignment.



Is this still being argued?

Having rescued them, Sam repaid Miko by:
1) Declaring that Miko was now effectively her slave.
2) When Miko refused to comply, declaring "You will serve me or die!", and casting Hold Person on Miko. Which could be interpreted as either a threat to kill, or a precursor to actually killing, and certainly an attempt to kidnap. In either case, a lethal response seems reasonable.

3) Despite Miko not then threatening Sam's farther, he then drew his weapons - which in most tiimes or places would be considered either threatened or attempted use of lethal force, justifying the use of lethal force in self defence.


Think about the modern equivilent:

I come across two people tied up, and release them. One of them then declares that I am now their slave. When I refuse to serve her, she responds with "You will serve me or die!", and then shoots me with a tranquilizer gun (which either misses, misfires, or fails to instantly incapacitate me).

Knowing I am now facing two people armed with deadly weapons and who have expressed an intention to either enslave or kill me, I draw a gun (assuming for the sake of argument I can legally carry one for self defence), and shoot my attacker.

I then give my attacker's companion an opportunity to reconsider, but he responds by drawing a gun of his own. Fearing for my life, I shoot him as well.

In any country where carrying arms for self defence is seen as legitimate, then surely my actions would be justified.



As an aside, I also disagree with the seemingly prevelant notion that bandits can threaten or attack people with lethal force, rob them, and yet qualify as no worse than "neutral".

Sanctu
2006-01-01, 01:44 PM
Where do halflings hide their magic rings?
"It is called Prince Albert... It is my precious ;D"

OK, I've held quiet for a while on this, but no longer. There are rings large enough to not require additional holes poked in you by your local tattooing shop or mall kiosk, you know. They tend to be larger and do come in metal. And we know that magic rings do change size to accomodate their owner.

Of course, the other characters would probably take to commenting on how it wouldn't NEED to change size all that much. (Don't make me say the Thuder Lizard word... wait... too late! Blast!)

kerberos
2006-01-01, 01:57 PM
Is this still being argued?

Having rescued them, Sam repaid Miko by:
1) Declaring that Miko was now effectively her slave.
2) When Miko refused to comply, declaring "You will serve me or die!", and casting Hold Person on Miko. Which could be interpreted as either a threat to kill, or a precursor to actually killing, and certainly an attempt to kidnap. In either case, a lethal response seems reasonable.

3) Despite Miko not then threatening Sam's farther, he then drew his weapons - which in most tiimes or places would be considered either threatened or attempted use of lethal force, justifying the use of lethal force in self defence.


Think about the modern equivilent:

I come across two people tied up, and release them. One of them then declares that I am now their slave. When I refuse to serve her, she responds with "You will serve me or die!", and then shoots me with a tranquilizer gun (which either misses, misfires, or fails to instantly incapacitate me).

Knowing I am now facing two people armed with deadly weapons and who have expressed an intention to either enslave or kill me, I draw a gun (assuming for the sake of argument I can legally carry one for self defence), and shoot my attacker.

I then give my attacker's companion an opportunity to reconsider, but he responds by drawing a gun of his own. Fearing for my life, I shoot him as well.
I agree that she was justified in killing them, but your anology is not quite fair. Guns gives a greater advantage to the person who mkaes the first move than swords do. With swords she could have taken a step back and tried to talk him out of it. Still given his behavior, killing him was far from unreasonable.

Sundog
2006-01-01, 04:37 PM
Not to mention that, since we now know that she considers herself Samurai, she would feel she has the absolute right to kill anyone who she feels deserves it, provided they are of a lower social class than herself (and "bandit" is way down there on the social scale).

Sylvius
2006-01-01, 04:57 PM
You do realize this makes you insane, yes? And completely shoots all of your arguments in the foot.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; if their's no authority, than your arguments have no weight.


Not from authority. From reason, perhaps.

If you're going to argue that there is such a thing as authority, you might want to actually argue that, rather than just denigrating your opponent.

I would think it reasonable not to believe in authority until its existence has been demonstrated.

Hoseki
2006-01-01, 09:15 PM
I believe this has been pointed out elsewhere- Lirian's gate was seemingly destroyed by a random act of nature. (We don't know how the diviners of the Sapphire Gaurd work) The fabric of reality was undoubtedly weakened, but there was no one to pin the blame upon. The matter faded, Xykon takes control of the Redmountain Gate, and then the PCs come in, WITH NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED INCIDENTS.

Kadi- Why are you calling Lord Shojo a 'petty tyrant'? As far as I can tell, he's a guy who wants people to think twice before weakening the fabric of reality itself. I believe people who are like you are known as 'anarchists'. Not many people like them because they will do whatever they feel like and argue that no one is reasonably going to stop you. If you are locked up (and all being locked up is unjust) you are perfectly justified in killing the guard and anyone who gets in your way to avoid punishment.

evileeyore
2006-01-01, 09:54 PM
I believe this has been pointed out elsewhere- Lirian's gate was seemingly destroyed by a random act of nature. (We don't know how the diviners of the Sapphire Gaurd work) The fabric of reality was undoubtedly weakened, but there was no one to pin the blame upon. The matter faded, Xykon takes control of the Redmountain Gate, and then the PCs come in, WITH NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED INCIDENTS.And then go on to directly trigger the destruction of Red Mountian aand its Gate. Exactly.


Kadi- Why are you calling Lord Shojo a 'petty tyrant'? As far as I can tell, he's a guy who wants people to think twice before weakening the fabric of reality itself. I believe people who are like you are known as 'anarchists'. Not many people like them because they will do whatever they feel like and argue that no one is reasonably going to stop you. If you are locked up (and all being locked up is unjust) you are perfectly justified in killing the guard and anyone who gets in your way to avoid punishment.I think you hit Kadi's personality on the head. Further I'd guess Kadi's over the top anti-authority stance is a jab at the Mesopotamian Goddess of Justice herself... or I'm reading to much into things...

rosebud
2006-01-01, 11:15 PM
Is this still being argued?Points taken, but the main point of the Miko comment is that many were criticizing Belkar while treating Miko as good but misguided. Yet she had her moments of "tragedy", as she called it. The father was as likable as the nice, nameless, naive low level guard Belkar summarily skewered. Of course, unlike Belkar, Miko did it in an area with no civil authority.

evileeyore
2006-01-01, 11:55 PM
The father was as likable as the nice, nameless, naive low level guard Belkar summarily skewered. *Of course, unlike Belkar, Miko did it in an area with no civil authority.
Also unlike Miko and teh Bandit leader, the Guard was not threatening Belkar with violence.

Belkar is a sick, twisted, evil soul. Miko while good is at times a bit heavy handed. Big difference.

Belkar will harvest kidneys for the blackmarket and suggest captives be sold into slavery.

Miko avoids killing when she can and tries to give her captives every bit of leeway.

Devoured_Dude
2006-01-02, 01:56 AM
Belkar is Chaotic Evil because he is a violent opportunist. He kills for pleasure, whenever he can. He can be charming, but sociopaths and serial killers can be charming too.

Lawfully-aligned beings can argue about what is "fair" or what can be "justified", but when you hear a chaotic evil sociopath or a chaotic neutral anarchist using such terms, that individual is either a hypocrite or trying to manipulate you.

rosebud
2006-01-02, 02:50 AM
I still haven't heard anyone explain how Belkar would have otherwise stopped the guard from sounding alarm. Had he dumped him in the pit while alive, the guard could have perhaps yelled. Belkar was unarmed and the only weapon available was not a blunt object. Belkar was smaller and mainly had surprise to work with. The only argument put forth was that he, master of impatience, should have waited, still injured and ill fed in the dark, lonely cell for some vague hope of acquittal even though, as you essentially support, his purported alignment would cause him to be summarily executed.

That would be a fun game. "You are in a pit, cold, alone, and injured. You have the chance to escape. What do you do?" "I, uh, do nothing and wait for trial." "Um, okay. You are tried alone, convicted, executed, and cremated. Game over for you. Now, for the rest of you ..."

rwald
2006-01-02, 03:14 AM
I still haven't heard anyone explain how Belkar would have otherwise stopped the guard from sounding alarm. Had he dumped him in the pit while alive, the guard could have perhaps yelled. Belkar was unarmed and the only weapon available was not a blunt object. Belkar was smaller and mainly had surprise to work with. The only argument put forth was that he, master of impatience, should have waited, still injured and ill fed in the dark, lonely cell for some vague hope of acquittal even though, as you essentially support, his purported alignment would cause him to be summarily executed.
I don't think people are arguing that Belkar should have done that, per se. We know Belkar is CE; he did exactly what he should have, given that. A better question is what a LG or maybe CG hafling ranger would have done under similar circumstances; perhaps that individual wouldn't have as much to fear from prosecution, as well as being less prone to wanton violence.

Shatteredtower
2006-01-02, 03:25 AM
And here I thought the reason we hadn't seen Belkar last time was because his lawyer had him out on bail. ;D

Reptile
2006-01-02, 04:00 AM
I don't think people are arguing that Belkar should have done that, per se. We know Belkar is CE; he did exactly what he should have, given that. A better question is what a LG or maybe CG hafling ranger would have done under similar circumstances; perhaps that individual wouldn't have as much to fear from prosecution, as well as being less prone to wanton violence.

Exactly. I think some of the disagreement is coming from the player/character dichotomy--if you're playing an evil character, you can say that your character "should" commit an evil act, because it's in character. Of course, in another sense, your character shouldn't do it, because it's evil. I said above that Belkar's actions were completely in character. That doesn't mean that they were justified, or laudable, or reasonable.

There is some chance that Shojo would have Belkar executed because of his alignment, even if he let the rest of the OOTS go. There is also some chance he would not. (This could be for various reasons, many of which border on prediction so I won't list them here. However, one thing I will point out is that I don't believe he's committed any specific crimes Miko would be aware of, other than being an accessory to the destruction of the gate.) The threat was certainly there, so Belkar's actions made sense. That doesn't change the fact that they were evil, and potentially harmful to the entire OOTS.

This is one reason why I don't like evil PCs. But that's for a different thread...

Korppis
2006-01-02, 04:28 AM
Note that this is just another instance where Miko act Lawful neutral ("he want to sleep alone!? throw him into the Pit") rather than lawful good. ("give him a cell to himself.)". She did it out ot spite and revenge rather than Justice.


Maybe she did it out of reason?
Rhis halfling is psychotic serial killer... Put him in that special pit for dangerous criminals

Gilganarz
2006-01-02, 04:42 AM
Haley is probaly chaotic, but could also be good.



Haley DEFINITELY is good as has been shown by the whole sigil-that-can-only-be-activated-by-a-pure-heart concept

V is also almost definitely good as well. Just because one is good, doesn't mean they can't be selfish

Gilganarz
2006-01-02, 04:46 AM
Maybe she did it out of reason?
Rhis halfling is psychotic serial killer... Put him in that special pit for dangerous criminals


But why didn't she say so in the first place?

She didn't have to lie to justify herself. All she had to say was 'that halfling is dangerous to anyone around him. Put him in solitary confinement'

Instead she locks him in solitary out of vengeance while using the 'emotional duress' excuse as a form of bitter irony to spite Belkar.

Definitely un-paladiny. If the second fight didn't cause her to lose her powers, this should definitely qualify.

kerberos
2006-01-02, 04:53 AM
I don't think people are arguing that Belkar should have done that, per se. We know Belkar is CE; he did exactly what he should have, given that. A better question is what a LG or maybe CG hafling ranger would have done under similar circumstances; perhaps that individual wouldn't have as much to fear from prosecution, as well as being less prone to wanton violence.

I think that a CG character could justify it, though he'd have to be regretfull about killing the guard rather than exstatic.

kerberos
2006-01-02, 05:03 AM
Also unlike Miko and teh Bandit leader, the Guard was not threatening Belkar with violence.

True


Belkar is a sick, twisted, evil soul.
That's why we love him.

Miko while good is at times a bit heavy handed. Big difference.
I honestly don't see any evidence for Miko being good other than her paladinhood.

Belkar will harvest kidneys for the blackmarket and suggest captives be sold into slavery.
Another reason why we like hime more than Miko.


Miko avoids killing when she can and tries to give her captives every bit of leeway.
Are we reading the same comic here?

Xarkan
2006-01-02, 05:43 AM
Are we reading the same comic here?

Apparantly she let the OotS live.. unless she killed them between strips and had an insane spellcaster animate them ofcourse.. Thats evidence that she lets people live that she could be legally justified in killing.. sure she risked their death in her means to apprehend them but.. she didnt actually have to let them live, she could have finished the job or just sat down and waited for their allmost enevitable death after the fight

Renmazuo
2006-01-02, 06:55 AM
I dunno if this is just me. But the helmets on the samurai's head look just like the helmets that went on Samurai lego. I don't know if thats how they are somewhat supposed to look like. But thats what I first thought of.

nirha
2006-01-02, 07:01 AM
Let's look at the situation here in modern terms.

A group of people on Sahara desert set off a nuclear device. BOOM. Alerted by this the spy satellites of US home in on the location, and can see a group of people in there, obviously having detonated it.

A CIA top agent goes to the scene. She follows the culprits to, say, Chad. Does she have jurisdiction there? Not really. Does she have a divine mandate? No. She has the mandate of her leaders who belong to another nation. Maybe even the president of the US. None from the United Nations nor the government of Chad. (The Voice of Mod: Post has been edited to comply with the Rules of Posting. No politically contentious statements here, please.)

Now, the agent confronts them and in a ground of her choosing takes them down. Does not kill, but rather tries to transport them to the US to appear in a court of law. After some discussion she is pretty much convinced they didn't realise what the device was. Should she let them go? Perhaps, but she has been ordered to bring the people in. She has come to trust them and looses the handcuffs.

The group declares they are not coming. She takes them down again, this time with more difficulty. She brings them into the US. They are placed into holding awaiting trial for exploding a nuke. One of the prisoners attacks a *prison guard and escapes.

Now. If we equate destroying the gate with exploding a nuke (fabric of reality, I'd say "check" here) I'd say kill them. Bringing them in for trial is going out of your way to be nice. Not killing it the second time when they break parole (the old meaning of the word) would be ok by anybody's standards. Most likely even today using lethal force in that situation would be deemed necessary.

For the point of view of the OotS is justified in trying to escape, it does not make them bad. Killing people to do so would. Because of the seriousness of their actions I'd say they're up to their necks in ... stuff they have no need to stay in like lambs, but that does not mean the authority is acting unjustly. To be honest what we have seen here does not invalidate what many people here have said - they could perceivably be right too. I think mr Occam would shave those visions right off, though.

People have a high tendency to intepret really small input we get from the comics into full psychological profiles. A dangerous road.

rosebud
2006-01-02, 07:07 AM
commit an evil act (...) That doesn't mean that they were justified, or laudable, or reasonable.This is the crux of the debate. Was the act evil, unjustified, and unreasonable? (I won't argue on the laudable point. =)

Let's ignore Belkar for the moment. Suppose you have a individual who is attacked, arrested, abused, dragged across national borders, and imprisoned by a foreign authority he does not recognize for an action he did not commit or condone. He expects to be found guilty in a show trial and executed. He is alone, injured, striped of most of his belongings, and unarmed. Finding the chance for escape, he escapes from the dark pit he is imprisoned in. In the ensuing scuffle with a guard, he wrests control of the guard's sword, and the guard is stabbed during the heated melee.

Are those actions unreasonable? unjustified? evil?Returning to Belkar, how similar are his circumstances with the above example?

Alfryd
2006-01-02, 07:12 AM
Hmm. On the subject of Detect Magic:

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/detectMagic.htm
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/rings.htm#jumping

The ring would therefore register as a Faint aura by round 2, and it's location would only be known after 3 minutes of search. If there were more powerful magical items about while the characters were stripped of their items- say, oh, the crown of a powerful Lich- the magical field of the ring could have been concealed or distorted to the point where it would either be ignored or written off as a residual magical effect.


I honestly don't see any evidence for Miko being good other than her paladinhood.
She did re-enter a burning building looking to rescue the helpless. This is not really fathomable except as an act of compassion. There are other small clues, such as offering Lay on Hands.
You might argue her code of conduct just specifies she behave in this fashion, but really that's what LG boils down to.

Just because one is good, doesn't mean they can't be selfish.
Not on a regular basis.

She didn't have to lie to justify herself. All she had to say was 'that halfling is dangerous to anyone around him. Put him in solitary confinement'.
Miko's spent her existence desperately repressing various throbbing biological urges. She has to get her kicks somewhere.

Note that this is just another instance where Miko act Lawful neutral ("he want to sleep alone!? throw him into the Pit") rather than lawful good. ("give him a cell to himself.)". She did it out ot spite and revenge rather than Justice.
Theoretically speaking, the Hole should be harder to escape from.

Sparhawk from David Eddings Books is how Paladins should be played...
If you already have the role nailed down, there's no point playing it.


...you'd have to throw out laws as well, and then where would we be?
Zimbabwe.

Discussing with a prisoner in Solitary confinement, giving him ideas... BTW Don't rangers have spells?
Apparently, Belkar can't cast spells without ceasing to be Belkar.
http://www.giantitp.com/oots/oots0058.gif

Ummm, he could have simply been slipping the ring onto his fingers as he talked to the guard.
Monocle!

Is it only me that didn't find the last strip of 2005 fun.. at all?..
I liked it. The likely future plot direction is worrisome, though.

Guys, Belkar was justified in escaping from prison because it was hilarious.
And now you know.

Why is Belkar, the chaotic evil psychopath (whom we all love of cause) hanging around with the lame do-gooder Order of the Stick.
http://www.giantitp.com/oots/oots0042.gif

...there has been no sign, other than Lord Shojo being offended, that the gods have cared at all about this.
While the Gods may note the fall of every sparrow, they don't neccesarily call an ambulance. Let alone let loose with thunderbolts in person.

Belkar isn't anyone's friend. (Remember that he tried to kill a fellow member of the OOTS, and was basically dissuaded by intimidation rather than anything else.)
It's conceivable this was mostly in jest. Can you even gain XP for friendly fire or collateral damage?

[Lord Shojo] only had a problem with people DESTROYING the gates, and apparently has NO problem with the foulest undead using a gate to further its evil ends.
It's possible this kind of thing is harder for Diviners to detect.

rosebud
2006-01-02, 07:15 AM
A warning on the gate you say? How about: "Do not touch ever. No, not even then"? Seems like a warning to me. It's not their fault that they didn't expect someone with an intelligence penalty like Elan's to ever reach the self destruct rune?Sure it was. That was a design flaw.

Quoting the Evil Overlord handbook:
I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push''. The big red button marked "Do Not Push'' will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it.

evileeyore
2006-01-02, 09:44 AM
Sure it was. *That was a design flaw.

Quoting the Evil Overlord handbook:
I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push''. The big red button marked "Do Not Push'' will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it.Sure if Xykon had put the rune there. Rather I'm sure it was Durokan who had the rune installed when the Red Mountian Keep was built to house and protect the Gate from the forces of Evil. To bad he feel prey to the oldest rick in the Book of Evil, 'Lure away from source of power and security, kill, then take said source for own'.

Xykon probably couldn't remove the rune without serious amounts of work and since his workforce was being thrown into a Gate to test it he was understndably short-staffed.

Marller
2006-01-02, 09:53 AM
Yeah, but alas, he wss just a red shirt...err blue shirt, no white... ;)


A character in a book once said that all evil starts as treating people as objects. The line above is a clear illustration of that point.

It's a reference to the original Star trek series. The guys who got killed were almost always the nameless guys with the red shirts.
Same with the guard in todays strip, he was just there to further the plot. I was just making a joke. ;)

And if you are against killing in webcomics, you should look for a different one. The bad guys in this one wade in blood. ;D

*** Warning: This post contains humor. Treat with caution. ***

jamused
2006-01-02, 09:58 AM
Sure if Xykon had put the rune there. Rather I'm sure it was Durokan who had the rune installed when the Red Mountian Keep was built to house and protect the Gate from the forces of Evil.

Then it's an even worse design flaw. Don't equip the pillars of reality with self-destruct mechanisms. No, not even then.

Tmabbbb
2006-10-15, 11:23 PM
Go BELKAR!!! That dialogue was hilarious!

I think he's going to have to pay for that one.


Where did Belkar have that ring, anyway?

Nerd-o-rama
2006-10-15, 11:38 PM
...

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