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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    I suspect the logic here is that, because Z is so heavily optimized to fight V, he simply lacks the options to truly prepare for anything else. His feat selection has been tailored to defeat V, and, assuming he doesn't have every spell in the world in his spellbook (which seems like a decent assumption in OOTSverse), his spell catalogue is also tailored to face V. Sure, he may have some general use spells that he can prepare, but the fact that his spellbook is so V-centric means that he may be missing some valuable options. In short, he can make the best hand out of cards he has, but what he's been dealt may not be as good as it might have been.

    ...at least, that's what I think the argument is supposed to be. I really don't buy it, myself.
    Yeah, that's the argument. It's not that Z just prepped for fighting V that one time, it's that his entire build, at least since their first encounter, has been designed towards it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Yeah, that's the argument. It's not that Z just prepped for fighting V that one time, it's that his entire build, at least since their first encounter, has been designed towards it.
    I find this ridiculous. Most of the LG are characters with lives and motives of their own. Why should the team wizard be a simpleton obsessed with the idea of beating another, not that particulary powerful wizard to the point he adjusts his entire build towards it?
    Last edited by 2323mike; 2012-08-23 at 02:58 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    Can't the imp teleport to the other side of the door, then back to Malack to report what's going on?
    Theoretically, yeah. If Qarr does do so, however, he risks being recognized by Elan and Durkon - they have fought him before, remember?
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    I find this ridiculous. Most of the LG are characters with lives and motives of their own. Why should the team wizard be a simpleton obsessed with the idea of beating another, not that particulary powerful wizard to the point he adjusts his entire build towards it?
    I am intensely curious what Zzditri's personal reasons for being obsessed with destroying V are (assuming the Giant bothered to come up with any justification for it and didn't just accept the evil twin thing as written in the stars). It's assumed that drow in general hate elves in general, and they have exactly opposite spell choices, but it's unlikely V is the only elven evoker in the world, or even the only elven evoker who wears red and talks a lot, so I would like to hear some reason for Z's obsession with him.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    If Zz'dtri believes, as Vaarsuvius used to, that arcane power is the only kind of power that matters, then a build designed to beat wizards makes sense. It's the flipside to Vaarsuivius' assumption that it's the wizard's job to fix everything; the idea that overcoming all the wizards is how you "win".

    Being tailored to beat V might just be a side effect of being tailored to beat wizards in general.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    I find this ridiculous. Most of the LG are characters with lives and motives of their own. Why should the team wizard be a simpleton obsessed with the idea of beating another, not that particulary powerful wizard to the point he adjusts his entire build towards it?
    'Why' is a mystery (and one not likely to be solved, since I think Zz'dtri is probably not going to survive this fight, let alone this book), but the fact that he's doing it in the first place shouldn't be in question.

    As theNater points out, it's not as if tailoring his build to fight V is worthless against other wizards. And saying that V isn't particularly powerful seems questionable, seeing as she's at least fifteenth level - that's not a common thing in a lot of settings, and doesn't seem to be here.

    Edit: On second thought, isn't getting him dragged off by lawyers a decent reason to hold a grudge? I'm not sure if anything more complicated then that is needed, especially since drow have been traditionally characterized as putting a high value on revenge.
    Last edited by ti'esar; 2012-08-23 at 05:15 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    'Why' is a mystery (and one not likely to be solved, since I think Zz'dtri is probably not going to survive this fight, let alone this book), but the fact that he's doing it in the first place shouldn't be in question.

    As theNater points out, it's not as if tailoring his build to fight V is worthless against other wizards. And saying that V isn't particularly powerful seems questionable, seeing as she's at least fifteenth level - that's not a common thing in a lot of settings, and doesn't seem to be here.

    Edit: On second thought, isn't getting him dragged off by lawyers a decent reason to hold a grudge? I'm not sure if anything more complicated then that is needed, especially since drow have been traditionally characterized as putting a high value on revenge.
    I believe that Z's quote there is likely a part of his attempt to psychologically undermine V, as was suggested by Qarr here. Z was actually fairly successful in getting under V's skin and who knows how would the duel go if Z was more wordy.

    If Z really started to modify his build just out of grudge towards V, it happened after his first defeat, when they were both around level 11, which is not as powerful.

    Even minor characters in the comics have some depth, so the idea that a moderately important antagonist is a mere spiteful, revenge-obsessed fool doesn't ring right with me.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    If Z really started to modify his build just out of grudge towards V, it happened after his first defeat, when they were both around level 11, which is not as powerful.
    I thought the comic started our with them at 8th level or so?

    Even minor characters in the comics have some depth, so the idea that a moderately important antagonist is a mere spiteful, revenge-obsessed fool doesn't ring right with me.
    Except that is the whole motto of the Linear Guild, disproportionate revenge. And we don't know how horrible WoTC Lawyer imprisonment was for Z.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorSarda View Post
    I thought the comic started our with them at 8th level or so?
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorSarda View Post
    I thought the comic started our with them at 8th level or so?
    Yes, per the FAQ, the Order was around level 8 when they entered the Dungeon of Dorukan, and thus around level 9 when they first faced the Guild. Z, however, was level 11 or higher when we first met him; he was able to petrify Celia with a level 6 spell.

    Except that is the whole motto of the Linear Guild, disproportionate revenge. And we don't know how horrible WoTC Lawyer imprisonment was for Z.
    This.

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    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2012-08-23 at 08:03 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I am intensely curious what Zzditri's personal reasons for being obsessed with destroying V are (assuming the Giant bothered to come up with any justification for it and didn't just accept the evil twin thing as written in the stars).
    Being focused on defeating a single opponent is not completely out of line for a member of a group that is practically synonymous with taking disproportionate revenge over quasi-imagined slights.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogastreehouse View Post
    Z just tried to cast Gust of Wind and failed his casting check due to being deafened. He wasted it and unless he memorized it twice, he can't cast it again.

    This is why I love having a Wand of Gust of Wind. You just never know when you're going to need it.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Conversely, this is why I love being not a wizard.
    Because you can cast the same friggin' spell until they die?
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Conversely, this is why I love being not a wizard.
    Uh... I'm not a wizard either, but I would sure take magic over no-magic any day of the week, regardless of what odd arbitrary restrictions it may have!
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Being focused on defeating a single opponent is not completely out of line for a member of a group that is practically synonymous with taking disproportionate revenge over quasi-imagined slights.
    But what was the quasi-imagined slight in the first place, that's what I want to know. Not the lawyers, mind, but before the lawyers. If Z's entire build is anti-V, he'd have to have started before they ever met, since you only have a certain amount of "feats, stuff" to go around, to say nothing of choices of spells learned at every level up and so forth. So, back when he first showed up with two scimitars and a flimsy claim of being Chaotic Good, why was he planning V's destruction THEN? Why did he sign on with Nale when they first met and Nale said "Hey, you want to kill this talkative gender-ambiguous elf I know of?" Surely he had other uses for his time if there hadn't been at least a slightly compelling reason to fixate on this particular target.

    I'm waiting to hear that it ties back into one of our long-lingering plot threads, probably involving Familicide and the IFCC. Perhaps that chalice Qarr was looking for was a prophetic device, and it confirmed that V would break Z's favorite coffee cup three years from current game time, and Z upon learning of this heinous affront began calculating his vengeance, not realizing that the events he had set in motion himself would eventually and inevitably be the cause of his beloved china's disastrous end. And meanwhile Director Cedric sits back and smiles approvingly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    But what was the quasi-imagined slight in the first place, that's what I want to know. Not the lawyers, mind, but before the lawyers. If Z's entire build is anti-V, he'd have to have started before they ever met, since you only have a certain amount of "feats, stuff" to go around, to say nothing of choices of spells learned at every level up and so forth. So, back when he first showed up with two scimitars and a flimsy claim of being Chaotic Good, why was he planning V's destruction THEN? Why did he sign on with Nale when they first met and Nale said "Hey, you want to kill this talkative gender-ambiguous elf I know of?" Surely he had other uses for his time if there hadn't been at least a slightly compelling reason to fixate on this particular target.
    There is no indication that Z knew of V or had any sleight against V at this point, he appears to have met V in the dungeon of Durokan and altered his build specifically to defeat V since.

    In the Dungeon, we do not see anything which indicates that Z was particularly effective against V.

    He prepared a spell against the most common spell Wizards cast - ever (certainly allowable without any specific preparation, shield is a pretty common spell for wizards to take.)

    His spell resistance absorbed one of three spells, totally normal without any feats or enhancing items, leading me to believe he didn't have any at this time.

    And he was a Drow... which certainly was NOT a choice he made specifically to defeat V :P

    So... yeah... no evidence that Z knew or cared who V was prior to V getting him arrested and bodily removed from a combat within which he was the clear victor.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    I find this ridiculous. Most of the LG are characters with lives and motives of their own. Why should the team wizard be a simpleton obsessed with the idea of beating another, not that particulary powerful wizard to the point he adjusts his entire build towards it?
    The LG's team wizard is, just like the rest of the LG, a NPC whose very reason to exist is the PCs.

    Of course it's ridiculous if you look at it from a "Z's personal motives for doing it" POV... but that's not the point. The comic is PC-centered. Trying to find the reasons/motivation behind Z's behavior is fruitless, you might as well try to figure out what would the motivation be for 1d4 dire camels to find themselves in a swamp.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    I agree with lio45. Zz'dtri's initial motivation for hating Vaarsuvius was, "I exist to be his/her evil twin." It was (and is, whether or not it is still the only motivation in existence) the only motivation required.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    The LG's team wizard is, just like the rest of the LG, a NPC whose very reason to exist is the PCs.

    Of course it's ridiculous if you look at it from a "Z's personal motives for doing it" POV... but that's not the point. The comic is PC-centered. Trying to find the reasons/motivation behind Z's behavior is fruitless, you might as well try to figure out what would the motivation be for 1d4 dire camels to find themselves in a swamp.
    Actually, I would argue that this is exactly wrong. The primary plot and theme of the comic absolutely revolves around the feelings and motivations of villains. Not all of them, of course; the motives of Leeky Windstaff and random ogres and so forth are silly and sketchy, and Z's might be too. But we don't know yet!

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Toper View Post
    Actually, I would argue that this is exactly wrong. The primary plot and theme of the comic absolutely revolves around the feelings and motivations of villains. Not all of them, of course; the motives of Leeky Windstaff and random ogres and so forth are silly and sketchy, and Z's might be too. But we don't know yet!
    Hmmm, well, the main villain is basically the most cliché BBEG you can imagine, and his "motivation" (ruling the world) is pretty much "I exist so the PCs and I can have a big Hollywood-style final tussle". He even said once that he gotta save the A-material for the PCs (when he Ghostforms through the Azurite watch tower). So he's there as the story's stereotypical BBEG. Period.

    The OotSverse is first and foremost a campaign world for our six PCs. Sure, Rich's an awesome story-teller, and some characters are extremely well developed, but it remains that, in many cases, a character being there for no other reason than the fact the campaign/story calls for them to be there -- mimicking the typical roleplaying story -- is something perfectly normal in the OotS world.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Come to think of it, if Zz'dtri truly did despise V entirely out of disproportionate retribution and the evil twin thing, he would be the only Linear Guild member we know of who does so (except possibly Yikyik).

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    1. Xykon's motivation is not so much to rule the world as it is to avoid the bad stuff that awaits him in the afterlife. Not being bored is a secondary although significant motivation, and the rest pretty much follows.

    2. Z's build being optimized against V doesn't mean he's helpless, but it does mean that his build is not optimized for close-quarters combat or for getting shot at by Haley. Sure, he can doubtless toss a few useful spells but which ones? Area-effect spells are going to hit his allies as well; Phantasmal Killer is pretty weak; flying or buffing Tarquin would be pointless ... and if Z succeeds in dispelling the smoke, Haley may decide to spend some of her multishot in making the wizard fumble his spells. I'm not saying that Z can't have something useful, but he's never been the blaster that V has been. This would be a good time for Z to show us whether Dimension Door would evacuate the whole party quickly to a muster point.
    Last edited by rewinn; 2012-08-23 at 07:30 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    1. Xykon's motivation is not so much to rule the world as it is to avoid the bad stuff that awaits him in the afterlife. Not being bored is a secondary although significant motivation, and the rest pretty much follows.
    Xykon set out to rule the world well before Redcloak suggested a means by which Xykon could avoid dying within a decade or so; Xykon was making no efforts in that direction himself.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    I personally think Xykon's character really crystallized after becoming a lich. So it may not be fair to discuss his motivations based on what he was like previously.

    Avoiding death doesn't really seem to be a primary motivation, though; not sure where that idea is coming from.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    I personally think Xykon's character really crystallized after becoming a lich. So it may not be fair to discuss his motivations based on what he was like previously.

    Avoiding death doesn't really seem to be a primary motivation, though; not sure where that idea is coming from.
    Mostly his speech to V about doing anything to avoid the big fire below, I think.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tyger View Post
    Mostly his speech to V about doing anything to avoid the big fire below, I think.
    Yeah, but that speech contradicts the canon. There is absolutely no evidence that Xykon was ever even remotely interested in achieving immortality until circumstances forced Redcloak to suggest becoming a lich.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tyger View Post
    Mostly his speech to V about doing anything to avoid the big fire below, I think.
    I never interpreted that speech as anything but a way of deriding V's soul splices - even with all the ways an evil spellcaster can "cheat death", they still wound up in said Big Fire, so how powerful were they, really?

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Man! I got such an adrenalin rush from reading 859-860 just now. I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's so good to see the Order kicking ass. Keep it coming!
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Hmmm, well, the main villain is basically the most cliché BBEG you can imagine, and his "motivation" (ruling the world) is pretty much "I exist so the PCs and I can have a big Hollywood-style final tussle". He even said once that he gotta save the A-material for the PCs (when he Ghostforms through the Azurite watch tower). So he's there as the story's stereotypical BBEG. Period.

    The OotSverse is first and foremost a campaign world for our six PCs. Sure, Rich's an awesome story-teller, and some characters are extremely well developed, but it remains that, in many cases, a character being there for no other reason than the fact the campaign/story calls for them to be there -- mimicking the typical roleplaying story -- is something perfectly normal in the OotS world.
    These, along with the "disproportionate revenge" argument are very good and I think they were definitely true say, 500-600 strips ago. But I believe the story advanced way too far from that point and important characters became more developed, with more sophisticated motives. The sole character that didn't change much is Xykon because, there is really little room for his developement right now.

    The Linear Guild is also a few steps further from "clichéd recurring villains" they were prior their escape from Azure City. In this arc, they were pretty much following their own plan and ignored the Order until they by chance appeared in the EoB and Nale panicked. And now the new Linear Guild ... Nale has his own issues with Tarquin and Malack and, between Nale and the IFCC, Sabine has also a lot to think about. Tarquin and Malack are complex characters on their own. That's why I think there's more to Z than him being just a spell-resistant obstacle that has to be overcome by V all the time.

    On a side note, Z could easily prevent problems from Haley's part with Stoneskin (I don't think that is such a rare spell). I understand why he didn't prepare it prior his duel with V but he would be a moron if he didn't learn his lesson.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FujinAkari View Post
    Just to be argumentative, would you call it "statistically unlikely" to blindly grab a black sock? :)
    It is less likely to grab a black sock. It is unlikely we'll agree completely on this.

    On the current discussion, Z. had a "Defeat-V" build because the L.G.'s plan in the palace was specifically to separate and duel, and Z would have the kobold's help as well for any surprises. It would probably have worked if V hadn't had character growth and had continued to attack instead of thinking about the battle.

    That was days ago (in-strip) and Z is almost certainly better balanced for a group-on-group battle now. As the main caster Z probably has some decisions specifically to offset V, but should have more generic choices to handle contingencies.

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