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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Considering Zz'dtri believed Vaarsuvius was sent to the Demiplane of Extremely Painful Torture, I wouldn't be signing off on any belief that he knew s/he was back, easily retrievable, still alive, and/or sane enough to still be a threat if retrieved, unless such a belief was expressed by the author.
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    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamichi View Post
    Emphasis mine. This seems to counter your argument. Is there a misunderstanding here?

    Or.... Could it be....
    As you say. Because the system is still told within the 3.5 ruleset (with exceptions I could probably count on one hand), those rules do influence the course of events.

    Z, as a wizard of V's level who prepared an anti-V spell list, is mechanically going to outfight V in a wizard-to-wizard duel--until V brings in something Z could not anticipate.

    Thog, as a barbarian of Roy's approximate level, is going to be as strong as Roy regardless of his mental scores--and significantly stronger while raging--thus requiring unconventional tactics from Roy. (This might not be the case if Roy had a more optimized build a la Tarquin, but the Order's lack of mechanical optimization is deliberate.)

    Xykon, as an epic-level Sorcerer lich, is mechanically unbeatable for any members of the Order (unless there's a handy epic-level magic rune lying around)--thus any victory the Order achieves over Xykon will not, ultimately, occur through strength of arms.

    Of course, there are narrative reasons for setting the mechanics up one way or another, and one could consider whether it would have been better to set up the mechanics to create less binary encounters.
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamichi View Post
    Emphasis mine. This seems to counter your argument. Is there a misunderstanding here?
    I can't follow your nested parentheses and font size changes, which lost me at the first double-parenthesis. But I can say that I see no conflict between the comic moving away from jokes made at the expense of the ruleset and the comic continuing to be built on the underlying structure of the ruleset. Characters still cast spells from spell slots they could be expected to have, for instance, though I'm sure Rich fudges things from time to time.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Considering Zz'dtri believed Vaarsuvius was sent to the Demiplane of Extremely Painful Torture, I wouldn't be signing off on any belief that he knew s/he was back, easily retrievable, still alive, and/or sane enough to still be a threat if retrieved, unless such a belief was expressed by the author.
    Ah! very good point.

    AFAIK, Tarquin doesn't know the Order has a wizard in the hole. The one clue available is the corpse of an abused kobold, not currently visible to the LG.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    AFAIK, Tarquin doesn't know the Order has a wizard in the hole. The one clue available is the corpse of an abused kobold, not currently visible to the LG.
    Problem is, the Order don't know they have a wizard in the hole.
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    Ah! very good point.

    AFAIK, Tarquin doesn't know the Order has a wizard in the hole. The one clue available is the corpse of an abused kobold, not currently visible to the LG.
    That would also explain why Tarquin showed up so quickly after the Order arrived at the ziggurat. After his speech about the heroes sweating and bleeding for the prize before the villains swoop in at the end to steal it, I would have expected him to give them some more time to... you know, get all that sweating and bleeding out of the way. But if he thought that they'd gone straight there, and not accounted for the delay to recover V, then attacking now makes more sense. It doesn't quite mesh with the fact that he should have been able to track the carpet's movements, though, and would know that they made a pit stop along the way... ah well. We shall see.
    Last edited by rgrekejin; 2012-05-11 at 01:59 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    That would also explain why Tarquin showed up so quickly after the Order arrived at the ziggurat. After his speech about the heroes sweating and bleeding for the prize before the villains swoop in at the end to steal it, I would have expected him to give them some more time to... you know, get all that sweating and bleeding out of the way. But if he thought that they'd gone straight there, and not accounted for the delay to recover V, then attacking now makes more sense. It doesn't quite mesh with the fact that he should have been able to track the carpet's movements, though, and would know that they made a pit stop along the way... ah well. We shall see.
    Granted, since Tarquin is "allowing" Nale to call all of the shots, it may not be his call.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by sims796 View Post
    Granted, since Tarquin is "allowing" Nale to call all of the shots, it may not be his call.
    I don't thoroughly read through theorycraft threads so I'm not sure this has been mentioned before, but I think I understand more of Tarquin's motivations for following Nale after this comic. I'm betting he was reminiscing of his adventuring days and decided to take advantage of following Nale. Temporarily of course, as shown by his offside chat with Malack

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    It's called "suspense". It's a feeling writers try to create by making it look like the heroes are facing insurmountable odds.
    Long odds, a bleak situation and tough breaks can be suspense. For some of us insurmountable odds (as in, only the author could save them now type odds) actually kill suspense and drama.

    Just saying. I don't think we are there here as V is "in the hole" and would be an excellent and heroic bolstering way to help the party out.

    And I hadn't thought about the effect on Zz that V showing up would mean. I now hope for it as this would be a wonderfully interesting development (i.e. the first step to Nale realising he is a patsy)
    If I cared about this, I would probably do something about it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    I can't follow your nested parentheses and font size changes, which lost me at the first double-parenthesis.
    Unfortunate.

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    But I can say that I see no conflict between the comic moving away from jokes made at the expense of the ruleset and the comic continuing to be built on the underlying structure of the ruleset. Characters still cast spells from spell slots they could be expected to have, for instance, though I'm sure Rich fudges things from time to time.
    Okay, so your stance is that "the focus has shifted to the story over the rules" means "the rules will be occasionally fudged," not "the story generally has priority over the rules", then. Respectfully, I don't agree, but given that, I believe I can understand your viewpoint.


    Quote Originally Posted by Math_Mage View Post
    Of course, there are narrative reasons for setting the mechanics up one way or another, and one could consider whether it would have been better to set up the mechanics to create less binary encounters.
    Obviously my general apathy to trying to determine what rules and mechanics are in effect beyond vague generalities is a handicap in enjoying the comic as it was meant to be read. This was clearly the wrong approach. I always prioritized the narrative over the mechanics, as dice aren't actually being rolled and everything is run by author's fiat, so it didn't occur to me that I was reading the story incorrectly.

    Illuminating.

    Is there a thread or page of stats and mechanics that will help me correctly understand the comic as it is officially meant to be read, then? Perhaps a starter guide on this? I obviously misunderstood something the author said (by only reading what he wrote there), so further clarification on this would be welcome.

    As an aside, I believe it's this statement that confused me and caused me to misunderstand the author's intent:

    Quote Originally Posted by the author's newspost, as referenced lo those many posts ago...
    As an added benefit, I expect it will drive the fans who try to figure out exactly what is occurring in each strip from a strict D&D rules perspective absolutely nuts. If it really bothers anyone, simply imagine that the OOTS world follows someone’s homebrewed hybridization of 3.5 and 4th Editions, using bits and pieces from whichever ruleset they think works better.
    (Original emphasis not preserved.)



    Edit: Oh, timing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Omergideon View Post
    Long odds, a bleak situation and tough breaks can be suspense. For some of us insurmountable odds (as in, only the author could save them now type odds) actually kill suspense and drama.
    Yes; that matches my feelings on the subject as well. Long drawn out scenes of the heroes getting beaten tend to become tedious instead of compelling, but this is clearly a YMMV issue. For what it's worth, I agree with you here, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omergideon View Post
    Just saying. I don't think we are there here as V is "in the hole" and would be an excellent and heroic bolstering way to help the party out.
    I expect it's more of a 'dramatic/triumphant comeback' or possibly 'sleep through the rest of the Order getting captured to free them later' angle. I agree with you, but can see how in some views it could also be considered that he's (unintentionally) being held in reserve for a later reveal. Then again, there's also the somewhat humorous point that at least in a very literal sense, he is in the hole. ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by Omergideon View Post
    And I hadn't thought about the effect on Zz that V showing up would mean. I now hope for it as this would be a wonderfully interesting development (i.e. the first step to Nale realising he is a patsy)
    Yeah, until it was pointed out that the Imp helped choose the target plane V was sent to, I hadn't considered that he would think V was totally out of the picture, either.
    Last edited by Masamichi; 2012-05-11 at 04:37 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #341
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamichi View Post
    Okay, so your stance is that "the focus has shifted to the story over the rules" means "the rules will be occasionally fudged," not "the story generally has priority over the rules", then. Respectfully, I don't agree, but given that, I believe I can understand your viewpoint.
    The statement "the focus has shifted to the story over the rules" implies fairly blatantly that the focus used to be on the rules WOTC put out for D&D 3.5. Specifically, the strip used to be focused on making fun of the foibles created by the rules WOTC put out for D&D 3.5. That got played out after a while, and either the focus of the strip would have to change or the strip itself would have to end. Thankfully for both the Giant's fans and for his pocketbook - yes, the Giant in my head carries a pocketbook, that's my story and I'm sticking to it - the focus changed.

    That does not mean, however, that the physics of the world in which OOTS takes place changed. It means that the world of OOTS no longer exists to call out the foibles generated by its physics, and that the characters of OOTS no longer spend their time doing so. That's it. It's really simple.

    I expect it's more of a 'dramatic/triumphant comeback' or possibly 'sleep through the rest of the Order getting captured to free them later' angle. I agree with you, but can see how in some views it could also be considered that he's (unintentionally) being held in reserve for a later reveal. Then again, there's also the somewhat humorous point that at least in a very literal sense, he is in the hole. ;)
    The second has been done. Well, so has the first, but the second has been done many, many times. Which is as good an argument as any for its being setup to happen again now.
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamichi View Post
    Okay, so your stance is that "the focus has shifted to the story over the rules" means "the rules will be occasionally fudged," not "the story generally has priority over the rules", then. Respectfully, I don't agree, but given that, I believe I can understand your viewpoint.
    Here, I think, lies the crux of the problem. "The rules will occasionally be fudged" and "The story generally has priority over the rules" are not mutually exclusive statements, but you seem to be interpreting them as such. Your stance seems to be that Rich cannot write a good story while operating within the boundaries of the rules, that the rules themselves somehow preclude it, and he is wilfully discarding the rules in favor of telling a good story. But that's simply not the case. It is entirely possible for Rich to focus on the story, and write a good story, without completely throwing the rules out the window. In fact, Rich's actual words, "the focus has shifted to the story over the rules" imply that there are (at least) two parts to the comic, the story and the rules. The focus is on the story. But that does not mean that the rules have gone away. They are still part of the story, just no longer the focus.

    To create an awkward mental picture, you seem to be thinking of "the story" and "the rules" as items on a list, each of which is mutually exclusive. Each strip can either be about the rules, or move the story forward. Rich's declared stance that the focus is on story over rules means that "the story" is always above "the rules" on the list. But that's not how it works. A strip can operate within the rules and still tell a good story. In fact, if he actually did completely throw the rules out the window, then we have some odd artifacts to explain in Rich's detailed, within-rules description of the Miko fight and the conclusion of the Roy/Thog fight. It doesn't mean that OotS no longer takes place in a world constrained by DnD rules, or that characters can now freely do things which would previously have been completely against the rules. But it does mean that the comic is no longer a rules showcase. The gag-a-day strips from the first 100 comics or so are gone, and they're not coming back. Rich has a story to tell, and it's an epic one. I suppose, in all fairness, that it also means that if something needed to happen in the story that was absolutely AGAINST THE RULES then in that case, the rules would slide. But Rich is a good author, and he has constructed his story in such a way that such contradictions do not occur.

    No one wants things to devolve back into jokes about skill points and killing Elan for XP (although I did love those strips). An occasional throwaway gag or a one-liner is okay, and for the most part, that's what we've seen. But interpreting his statement as some sort of complete departure from the basic physics of the world he has created is in direct contradiction to the comics that we've actually seen since that statement was made.

    Edit: Why, oh why, must I be so verbose! I always get ninja'd! Often by the inimitable zimmerwald1915!
    Last edited by rgrekejin; 2012-05-11 at 05:14 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    The statement "the focus has shifted to the story over the rules" implies fairly blatantly that the focus used to be on the rules WOTC put out for D&D 3.5. Specifically, the strip used to be focused on making fun of the foibles created by the rules WOTC put out for D&D 3.5.
    Right -- imagine an omitted 'making fun of', or 'flaws with' or so forth in that statement between 'over' and 'the' and it matches yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    That does not mean, however, that the physics of the world in which OOTS takes place changed. It means that the world of OOTS no longer exists to call out the foibles generated by its physics, and that the characters of OOTS no longer spend their time doing so. That's it. It's really simple.
    Interesting.

    So the assertion is then that the narrative is where it is because the rules are too important to put the story first; the mechanics have priority over the story even if it's usually only a background element (because it stopped being as funny/started being played out). I incorrectly took the statement that he wanted to focus on the story as the narrative gaining some form of priority outside of 'to prevent party wipes, apply fiat here'.

    Well, that does explain why the comic keeps ending up in situations where only fiat or the interference of outsiders can save the characters, then; they're severely under-level for the encounters they're dealing with (or under-geared -- or perhaps both).

    My fault for trying to enjoy the on-screen storytelling instead of the behind-the-scenes mechanics, then. Maybe a suggestion that adjusting the balance of power for more compelling exchanges than, "What act of fiat will save the party now?" would be welcome?

    Anyway ... I know I asked this before, but where can I find the page or thread explaining the mechanics necessary to understand the story as it's meant to be viewed?

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Another strong possibilty is that Nale has told Z -not- to assist. If Z accidently hit either Tarquin or Durkon, there is a good chance Malack could turncoat right then, and Nale has a very healthy fear of Malack.
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamichi View Post
    So the assertion is then that the narrative is where it is because the rules are too important to put the story first; the mechanics have priority over the story even if it's usually only a background element (because it stopped being as funny/started being played out). I incorrectly took the statement that he wanted to focus on the story as the narrative gaining some form of priority outside of 'to prevent party wipes, apply fiat here'.
    Masamichi, by this logic, the narrative has taken second place in every piece of fiction ever written because the mechanics (that is, the laws of physics) dictate what is and is not possible. Why didn't Romeo and Juliet just fly to Mars and live out their lives in peaceful seclusion, away from their warring families? The mechanics are taking priority over the narrative!
    Last edited by rgrekejin; 2012-05-11 at 05:56 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamichi View Post
    So the assertion is then that the narrative is where it is because the rules are too important to put the story first; the mechanics have priority over the story even if it's usually only a background element (because it stopped being as funny/started being played out). I incorrectly took the statement that he wanted to focus on the story as the narrative gaining some form of priority outside of 'to prevent party wipes, apply fiat here'.

    ..................

    Anyway ... I know I asked this before, but where can I find the page or thread explaining the mechanics necessary to understand the story as it's meant to be viewed?
    I do think you are creating too strict a dichotomy between rules and narrative in this story. That being said I agree that Rich has reached the point where he should (and does) ignore who "should" win by strict DnD universe logic in conflicts and other such things. Whether they spot things is not wholly dependent on their spot checks anymore, but more on what makes narrative sense.

    But the rules of DnD do form the..........laws of physics for the universe so to speak. Things need to make sense by them. Underpowered in a strict rules sense characters like Belkar can be more potent in combat or social situations then they should be. But a Ranger can't just start throwing out clerical magic. That sort of thing. Still things must make a certain amount of logical sense by DnD.

    The rules of DnD are like being unable to beam through shields in Star Trek. a general law of the universe. But the narrative needs can and will always come out on top if they conflict. Though usually Rich is a good enough author to rarely need to do so. (any author fiat saves are not rooted in the DnD rules IMO, but a narrative mis-step)
    If I cared about this, I would probably do something about it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    I think people are talking past each other.

    Masamichi is arguing that the narrative is bad (because the heroes are too disadvantaged for too long to be rescued by anything but author fiat). People have described the imbalance in the situation from a rules perspective, and Masamichi has stated that mechanics should not excuse bad storytelling.

    However, the way he said this led many people to jump on him for implying that the rules should be dumped whenever it's convenient for the narrative, which I don't think was his intent.

    Similarly, Masamichi, it is not OUR intent to state that it's okay for Rich to tell the story badly for the sake of rules consistency.

    From my point of view, the Thog vs. Roy fight happened the way it did because while Roy could match Thog normally, Thog was simply stronger while raging, so Roy was forced to take advantage of the architecture to win, by using Thog's own Dungeoncrasher ACF against him. This is both mechanically and narratively satisfying to me.

    Similarly, the V vs. Z fight happened the way it did because Z optimized his build to defeat V, and he was doing so handily until V went outside Z's expectations by harnessing the kobold. Again, both mechanically and narratively satisfying for me.

    I do not think one must understand these mechanics in order to enjoy the story, with one exception: without understanding Dungeoncrasher, one may be confused as to why Roy induced Thog to bullrush him into the pillars he wanted to break, instead of just breaking them himself. Without understanding that, one might think Roy's only accomplishment was surviving until Thog suicided on the architecture, when the truth is that Roy used Thog to knock down the architecture. I think Masamichi understands that; in any event, his criticisms do not seem to hinge on that difference, but rather on the contrivance of having that architecture there in the first place.

    For everything else, there is no attitude of "You must understand all these complicated mechanics in order to view the story the way it's meant to be viewed." Nor is there an attitude of "Rules consistency is more important than telling a good story." My opinion is that Rich is telling a good story within the 3.5 ruleset--he is neither abandoning the rules whenever it's convenient for the story, nor abandoning the story for the sake of keeping within the rules.

    I hope that clears up some of the confusion I've seen in recent posts.
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Math_Mage View Post
    Masamichi is arguing that the narrative is bad (because the heroes are too disadvantaged for too long to be rescued by anything but author fiat). People have described the imbalance in the situation from a rules perspective, and Masamichi has stated that mechanics should not excuse bad storytelling.
    This is pretty much it. I want to clarify that I used 'poor' instead of 'bad' because I didn't intend the criticism to be that harsh; the story has been excellent in the past; I just I feel it's been weakening and on a steady down-slope recently with all of the 'gotcha' being thrown at our ostensible heroes an unfortunate amount of the time (ie., 'Nope!' mask, &cetera).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Masamichi View Post
    Okay, so your stance is that "the focus has shifted to the story over the rules" means "the rules will be occasionally fudged," not "the story generally has priority over the rules", then.
    You're paraphrasing again. It's really really easy to directly quote things on the internet, so you might as well. Rich said the story has "shifted away from its original goal of simply poking fun at a game", not "shifted to the story over the rules". I interpret that to mean that he is no longer using the strip primarily to point out amusing inconsistencies in the 3.5E ruleset in a gag-a-week kind of way, like Murphy's Rules, and instead is using it to tell an extended story. The rules are still there underpinning everything. People need to memorize spells, barbarian rage runs out after a certain time, etc.

    That said, I believe that the two are not mutually exclusive. The story has priority, so Rich will fudge the rules when necessary, but he's probably not going to take the story in a way that requires introducing a blatantly non-D&D plot development (like Vaarsuvius donning a suit of plate mail). The fight with Thog is a fine example — according to the rules, Roy acted intelligently, but he also acted intelligently in the context of any fictional fight in which you have no weapons and your opponent has super-strength for a limited time: wait for the buff to run out, then use the environment to knock him out. I've seen it a zillion times in superhero comics. The fact that barbarian rage is super-effective for a while and then runs out works both for game balance and for narrative balance.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    See, I am under the impression that the Roy v. Thog was as much, if not more, about Thog as it was about Roy. We had gone through nearly eight hundred strips with Thog really getting marginalized whenever he fought the Order. His biggest contribution was beating Haley senseless with a door. He was quickly defeated both times still by illusions and Hold Person. Yet, Sabine and Nale seem genuinely worried when he is about to run out of fudge ripple ice cream, or whatever, but the comic hasn't ever proved WHY really. Until now. Yes, we know he killed a bunch of commoners and low level police in Cliffport, but so what? His brief rage destroying the jail was impressive, but he, the BARBARIAN, never seemed to rage in combat at all.

    Now, we get a one-on-one fight with Roy in the collesium, and it's touch-and-go for about a moment, before Roy smartens up and just decides to sunder Thog's axe, which by-the-by is a use of Intelligence knowing that hafted weapons in D&D are notoriously weaker in hit points (or hardness, one of the two) than swords. Thus, Roy believed he had nuetralized Thog's offensive capabilities.

    AND, then it turned into the Thog show. Finally, the comic proved without a doubt that Thog is a force to be reckoned with, and that even without his favored weapon (a situation that Roy has shown in the past to be a crippling disadvantage to his build), or any weapon at all, can still wreck nearly anything he fights. Doesn't one of the guards say that with his bare hands he ripped the head off a giant with class levels?

    There is the possibility that Thog may be dead, and as for a final hoorah for his character, I have no problem with him beating the stuffing out of Roy for the majority of it. The notion that the GIANT had to contrive some elaborate terrain (columns, weak roof) for Roy to outsmart him and win is far better than the alternative, and by that I don't mean death, I mean someone coming to Roy's rescue, like Belkar or V, or heavens forbid an NPC (a la Durkon/Elan getting saved by Malack).

    And mechanically, in that situation, without HIS armor, without HIS weapon, or any other magic items, Roy SHOULD lose to Thog in a slugfest, especially with Thog using the variant Dungeoncrasher ability (the brokeness of which is debatable). That the GIANT had Roy turn Thog's optimized ability against him is a very nice single-finger salute to power-gaming in D&D.

    Lastly, I believe the comic is going to take a much more serious tone with the coming threeway of Order/Guild/Team Evil plus Belkar's impending death, and Thog wouldn't have really had a place in that confrontation. So he got his show for the book, and now is out of it for the serious bits.

    --------

    As for the current fight versus Tarquin. He and Nale are not trying to kill any of them (yet), just driving them back into the pyramid so that they will go down and find the gate in the lower levels, and defeat all the traps/labyrinths/illusions that are guarding it there. I will point out that he flung their healing source (Durkon) back into the pyramid and is now heaping on the damage to the front-liners so that they will be forced to make a tactical withdrawl to recooperate. And he is doing all of this without expending any more of the Linear Guild's resources keeping them fresh for the final encounter after the Order does all the heavy lifting.

    This is not the final showdown at all. I think we are two dozen strips from the arrival of Team Evil, if not more.
    Last edited by Erelamar; 2012-05-12 at 02:20 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Erelamar View Post
    Lastly, I believe the comic is going to take a much more serious tone with the coming threeway of Order/Guild/Team Evil plus Belkar's impending death, and Thog wouldn't have really had a place in that confrontation. So he got his show for the book, and now is out of it for the serious bits.
    There's no evidence to suggest that Belkar's death is about to occur. None.

    That pet peeve aside... good points. You're definitely right in that there were very good reasons for the Giant to let Thog show his stuff like that, even if it wasn't his last hurrah (I'm not going to make a call on his fate, but I definitely think that the LG in general is going out in a blaze of glory here).

    And I think a similar situation is occurring with Tarquin right now. One of the reasons I was beginning to find him annoying was how he persistently talked a big game without ever really demonstrating his abilities - taking down Elan in a pun-duel didn't really count. Far from being unfair or overpowered, I think Tarquin's current impressive performance is necessary if he's to be considered anything more then a more bombastic Nale. He's not the main antagonist, but had the Order unceremoniously dispatched him, it would be a mystery why he was even a secondary one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    There's no evidence to suggest that Belkar's death is about to occur. None.

    That pet peeve aside... good points. You're definitely right in that there were very good reasons for the Giant to let Thog show his stuff like that, even if it wasn't his last hurrah (I'm not going to make a call on his fate, but I definitely think that the LG in general is going out in a blaze of glory here).

    And I think a similar situation is occurring with Tarquin right now. One of the reasons I was beginning to find him annoying was how he persistently talked a big game without ever really demonstrating his abilities - taking down Elan in a pun-duel didn't really count. Far from being unfair or overpowered, I think Tarquin's current impressive performance is necessary if he's to be considered anything more then a more bombastic Nale. He's not the main antagonist, but had the Order unceremoniously dispatched him, it would be a mystery why he was even a secondary one.

    I'm pretty sure by "impending death" he means "the next five weeks, in-comic time."

    Yes, yes, that could be years from now, but his point stands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erelamar View Post
    See, I am under the impression that the Roy v. Thog was as much, if not more, about Thog as it was about Roy. [...]

    AND, then it turned into the Thog show.
    I suppose that's one possibility, but I'm far more interested in the heroic cast and their stories than their foes. I think the issue is that the spotlight was turned on someone who I feel weakened the value of the focus on the titular character. Basically ... when I read 'Order of the Stick', I want to read 'Order of the Stick', not 'The Thog Show'.

    Expecting the one and getting the other does neatly underscore the dissonance I experienced when reading, however. So, does that mean that the current sub-arc is 'The Tarquin Show', as it seems to mirror the last extended fight so far? I think that would follow, though my feelings for it are about the same; it's not what I had wanted to read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    ... good points. You're definitely right in that there were very good reasons for the Giant to let Thog show his stuff like that, even if it wasn't his last hurrah (I'm not going to make a call on his fate, but I definitely think that the LG in general is going out in a blaze of glory here).
    What's the point of finally flushing out Thog's character, from stereotypical dumb half-orc to showboating arena champion, if he's just going to die immediately? That's why I really doubt he's gone for good. In fact, I see his separation from the LG as Rich's way of keeping him around after the new LG is crushed nonchalantly by Team Evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    What's the point of finally flushing out Thog's character, from stereotypical dumb half-orc to showboating arena champion, if he's just going to die immediately?
    I dunno, but we know some of Miko's history will show up in the O-chul PDF, and she's already dead. So I don't think this is a compelling argument.
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    What's the point of finally flushing out Thog's character, from stereotypical dumb half-orc to showboating arena champion, if he's just going to die immediately?
    I really don't see that's fleshing Thog's character out. He was always childlike in his malevolence, and being arena champion just brought out that side of his character more. In addition, why does fleshing someone's character out suddenly make them immortal? Belkar is a far more fleshed-out character than Thog, yet we know he's due for the chop relatively soon!

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    What's the point of finally flushing out Thog's character, from stereotypical dumb half-orc to showboating arena champion, if he's just going to die immediately? That's why I really doubt he's gone for good. In fact, I see his separation from the LG as Rich's way of keeping him around after the new LG is crushed nonchalantly by Team Evil.
    I'm surprised that the inevitable theory that Thog replaces Belkar upon the latter's death hasn't come out.

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    I'm surprised that the inevitable theory that Thog replaces Belkar upon the latter's death hasn't come out.

    Whoops, I just said it ... it was tongue in cheek, but the compulsion to say it was upon me anyway. There must be something in the air here that promotes the growth of epileptic trees ...
    Heh: what's a thread without fluttery, tinfoil-decked epileptic forests?

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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    It's hard to say for sure what happened to Thog but the Giant has put himself in a position where he can either bring him back or leave him out without too much trouble either way.
    I personally find the idea of a Thog-less world unthinkable so here's hoping he comes back. Preferably with a sweet greataxe, maybe a keen adamantine one that he could use the improved sunder feat with, then he could do some serious property damage }:D (evil laughing smiley-face)
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    Default Re: OOTS #852 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    What's the point of finally flushing out Thog's character, from stereotypical dumb half-orc to showboating arena champion, ...
    To have some awesome, climatic battle between him and his enemy Roy Greenhilt. And I think that worked quite perfectly.

    If Thog would not show up again (or show up as dead in a flashback narrated by Tarquin) I would not feel something was missing.
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