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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    I get the feeling that Vaarsuvius is going to be instrumental in this battle somehow.

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    1. Qaar wanted to eliminate Blackwing in 797, in exchange for promising that V would not be killed by the LG.
    2. Blackwing deduced that his meant Qaar was trying to keep him from giving V sound advice.
    3. The advice that Blackwing gave V is "stop moping and help Roy fix this."

    Had Qaar got his way, V would have been without Blackwing's advice and may have stayed in the pit.

    Seems like a reasonable assumption to me.
    Last edited by Fish; 2012-08-24 at 10:40 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    I get the feeling that Vaarsuvius is going to be instrumental in this battle somehow.

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    1. Qaar wanted to eliminate Blackwing in 797, in exchange for promising that V would not be killed by the LG.
    2. Blackwing deduced that his meant Qaar was trying to keep him from giving V sound advice.
    3. The advice that Blackwing gave V is "stop moping and help Roy fix this."

    Had Qaar got his way, V would have been without Blackwing's advice and may have stayed in the pit.

    Seems like a reasonable assumption to me.
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    It seems unlikely that the IFCC foresaw this battle in particular. Blackwing's advice may be a threat to their plans in general, rather than in this specific instance.

    However, your theory did remind me that we haven't heard from Quarr or the IFCC that the advice is the issue. And I just realized that Blackwing may well be the only living creature who has seen through the rifts. I now suspect their desire to eliminate Blackwing may stem from a desire to silence a witness, rather than to deprive Vaarsuvius of advice.

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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.
    Leaving Xykon out of it, Redcloak certainly has a motivation that doesn't have much to do with the members of the OotS at all. So do Sabine, Qarr, and the IFFC. And while Tarquin talked of a final showdown with Elan that would make him either a king or a legend, he doesn't seem in any hurry to get to that point, and has other motivations that don't involve the Order. Nale wants revenge for imagined slights, but not just agains Elan.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
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    It seems unlikely that the IFCC foresaw this battle in particular. Blackwing's advice may be a threat to their plans in general, rather than in this specific instance.

    However, your theory did remind me that we haven't heard from Quarr or the IFCC that the advice is the issue. And I just realized that Blackwing may well be the only living creature who has seen through the rifts. I now suspect their desire to eliminate Blackwing may stem from a desire to silence a witness, rather than to deprive Vaarsuvius of advice.
    You may wish to read 797 again. Qarr complains of being outwitted by a bird.

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    The IFCC could predict that V would realize his own guilt upon seeing the family of mummies in the ziggurat. The Order was definitely known to be going there, and V's remorseful reaction would not be surprising. Blackwing's counseling would negate any effect this might have had on V.

    Mostly, I expect V to be instrumental, not because the IFCC was anticipating this very combat, but because of the foreshadowing by the author.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    You may wish to read 797 again. Qarr complains of being outwitted by a bird.

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    The IFCC could predict that V would realize his own guilt upon seeing the family of mummies in the ziggurat. The Order was definitely known to be going there, and V's remorseful reaction would not be surprising. Blackwing's counseling would negate any effect this might have had on V.

    Mostly, I expect V to be instrumental, not because the IFCC was anticipating this very combat, but because of the foreshadowing by the author.
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    Blackwing correctly reasons that the deal indicates the IFCC wants Vaarsuivius alive and Blackwing dead. Even if Blackwing's guess as to their motives is wrong, knowing that much is sufficient to have outwitted Quarr.

    I'm hesitant to assume that the foreshadowing we've gotten must apply to this battle, as we're very likely to see the party visit one more gate, and we may see them visit a fortress-tomb-thingy on the Astral Plane and/or a world within the world. Heck, even if it were certain to apply at this gate, the OotS has yet to encounter Team Evil or whatever epic defenses Girard left behind. There's plenty of room for Vaarsuvius to be instrumental outside of this battle.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
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    I'm hesitant to assume that the foreshadowing we've gotten must apply to this battle, as we're very likely to see the party visit one more gate, and we may see them visit a fortress-tomb-thingy on the Astral Plane and/or a world within the world. Heck, even if it were certain to apply at this gate, the OotS has yet to encounter Team Evil or whatever epic defenses Girard left behind. There's plenty of room for Vaarsuvius to be instrumental outside of this battle.
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    Vaarsuvius being instrumental to anything would require her to be both present while some action takes place and not an active liability to the OOTS and its allies, two conditions that have not occured together since the Death Knight ramped the breach in the Azure City wall.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
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    Vaarsuvius being instrumental to anything would require her to be both present while some action takes place and not an active liability to the OOTS and its allies, two conditions that have not occured together since the Death Knight ramped the breach in the Azure City wall.
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    As an active liability, Vaarsuvius could be instrumental to the defeat of the OotS.

    Of course, Vaarsuvius has been helpful to the party multiple times since Azure City. Locating Girard's message and stalling Gannji during the kidnapping are the first two examples that come to mind. I'll hunt for more, if you'd like.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Is there a reason we're spoiling everything? None of that is prequel stuff and the "please spoil speculation" rule hasn't been in effect for the last three years or so :P
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FujinAkari View Post
    Is there a reason we're spoiling everything? None of that is prequel stuff and the "please spoil speculation" rule hasn't been in effect for the last three years or so :P
    Eh, when you're responding to a spoiler, spoiling your response seems only polite.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Throknor View Post
    ...As the main caster Z probably has some decisions specifically to offset V, but should have more generic choices to handle contingencies.
    Sure. But we KNOW Z is weak against archers because the ONLY reason Z stoned Haley as an opening gambit in the EOB ambush was a lack of Protection Against Arrows. A rational strategy otherwise would have been to cast PvA before initiating the ambush.
    Now maybe T's gifted Z with some anti-arrows gadgetry; otherwise the smoke may be all that keeps Z un-hole-y. How many arrows per round does it take to make a wizard fizzle his spells?

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    That depends on the wizard's Concentration skill.
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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    That depends on the wizard's Concentration skill.
    And his/her luck with the dice, and the level of the spell in question (it's DC 10 + spell level + damage received to avoid fizzling a spell if you are damaged while casting it).

    Note that it would require an AoO or readied action to force such a check while casting a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less. Link for more info.
    Last edited by Sorator; 2012-08-24 at 10:22 PM.
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    I just want to say that if this isn't the weirdest line of argument I've seen this thread take yet, it's not for lack of trying.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    Sure. But we KNOW Z is weak against archers because the ONLY reason Z stoned Haley as an opening gambit in the EOB ambush was a lack of Protection Against Arrows. A rational strategy otherwise would have been to cast PvA before initiating the ambush.
    PvA or Stoneskin could be dispelled by V during the duel and then would Z become a pin-cushion. Flesh to Stone was a better strategy. Now Z thinks V is out, so he might have PvA prepared.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    actually I dont the the kobold was really there for V, originally they were ambushing Haley, V and Elan. My guess is they were outnumbered, decided to eliminate the most troublesome one, and the kobold was there to deal with Elan, when he left, he switched to V.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Eh, when you're responding to a spoiler, spoiling your response seems only polite.
    That was pretty much my thought, yeah.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    PvA or Stoneskin could be dispelled by V during the duel and then would Z become a pin-cushion. Flesh to Stone was a better strategy. Now Z thinks V is out, so he might have PvA prepared.
    Except Protection from Arrows only works against non-magical attacks.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorSarda View Post
    Except Protection from Arrows only works against non-magical attacks.
    Yeah, DR 10/magic against ranged weapons really wouldn't help much, since Haley's using her nice new bow.

    Stoneskin, on the other hand (DR 10/adamantine), would be pretty handy here, though it's less likely to get used just because of the material component.
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    I just want to say that if this isn't the weirdest line of argument I've seen this thread take yet, it's not for lack of trying.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    Stoneskin, on the other hand (DR 10/adamantine), would be pretty handy here, though it's less likely to get used just because of the material component.
    Rich often excludes material components in general in the OOTSverse, and has specifically done so previously for the Stoneskin spell.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    Rich often excludes material components in general in the OOTSverse, and has specifically done so previously for the Stoneskin spell.
    You don't say.

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    Now, you're not wrong, per se, but Stoneskin was a bad example. Forcecage would have served you better.
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2012-08-25 at 07:42 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Now, you're not wrong, per se, but Stoneskin was a bad example. Forcecage would have served you better.
    It means The Giant is inconsistent with how he uses material components in OotsWorld. He has made jokes about this before.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    Yeah, DR 10/magic against ranged weapons really wouldn't help much, since Haley's using her nice new bow.

    Stoneskin, on the other hand (DR 10/adamantine), would be pretty handy here, though it's less likely to get used just because of the material component.
    Whichever buffs Z would cast before initiating an ambush is not so important as the fact that, as V noted, Z took out the archer rather than the wizard as an opening gambit. This indicates that Z is weak against archers, unless the whole "dominate-the-kobold" ploy was an error.

    Another unresolved issue is whether the LG in fact thinks V is lost to the party or made the reasonable assumption that the Order would retrieve their wizard from the Plane Of Torment. It seems likely Qarr didn't disclose to LG his little misdirection since being trusted is an important part of his "familiar" role. However, if you were a party with no arcane caster (other than possibly Elan) would you invest the time necessary to retrieve your beloved party member and Big Gun? If so, it is reasonable that Tarquin allowed for the possibility.... although it's also possible T figures that since he's so much smarter than everyone else around, the Order was too stupid to save V. We may see.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorSarda View Post
    It means The Giant is inconsistent with how he uses material components in OotsWorld. He has made jokes about this before.
    Strictly speaking, most of the time the Giant doesn't show material components in the art. The only exceptions that come to mind are the Raise Dead line of spells, which, when they've been cast on-panel, have always used a visible diamond or diamond dust. And that's fine. The art style isn't realistic, and regularly omits more prominent features of our main characters - noses for instance. The question, it seems, is whether the material components are being used even though the Giant doesn't show them most of the time. I think V's foray to the reagent shop demonstrates that they are. Really, though, the issue's fairly minor.

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    Whichever buffs Z would cast before initiating an ambush is not so important as the fact that, as V noted, Z took out the archer rather than the wizard as an opening gambit. This indicates that Z is weak against archers, unless the whole "dominate-the-kobold" ploy was an error.
    Unless we know the whole contents of Z's spellbook - and given the attitude the Giant has to his characters' abilities we almost certainly do not - categorical statements like "Z is vulnerable to archers" aren't especially valuable. The most we can say with absolute certainty is that Z's ability scores, feats were not chosen with archers in mind, and neither were the spells he had prepared at the time he fought V. Z's vulnerabilitiy, unless his spellbook is extrememly limited, is strictly time-dependent. V knows this: if he'd prepared differently, Z might have been able to withstand a volley of arrows, just as if V had prepared differently she might not have needed Thor's aid against Leeky's treants.

    Another unresolved issue is whether the LG in fact thinks V is lost to the party or made the reasonable assumption that the Order would retrieve their wizard from the Plane Of Torment. It seems likely Qarr didn't disclose to LG his little misdirection since being trusted is an important part of his "familiar" role. However, if you were a party with no arcane caster (other than possibly Elan) would you invest the time necessary to retrieve your beloved party member and Big Gun? If so, it is reasonable that Tarquin allowed for the possibility.... although it's also possible T figures that since he's so much smarter than everyone else around, the Order was too stupid to save V. We may see.
    Tarquin knows V can't cast Teleport. What conclusion he draws from this is, of course, an open question. He might think V simply never learned the spell or any of its cousins. He might think V is too low-level to cast fifth-level spells. He might think, correctly, that V barred Conjuration. If he believes either of the latter two, he will also believe, correctly, that V could not have returned herself fromt he Plane of Extremely Painful Torture.

    Tarquin understands friendship, sure, but he also understands utility and that business can come before personal feelings. He knows the Order raced to the Gate because they believed they had to beat Nale there. Why, if they needed speed and if V is so use-impared as to be a liability (not knowing how to Teleport is a significant liability no matter what origin Tarquin assigns it), would they take time out for something they could always do later?
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    ....if he'd prepared differently, Z might have been able to withstand a volley of arrows, just as if V had prepared differently she might not have needed Thor's aid against Leeky's treants.
    If well-prepared, flying, buffed Z had the option of preparing fairly low-level spells as a defense against archers, but instead chose to take out Haley first instead of V, then well-prepared, flying, buffed Z is an idiot. Which is possible.

    Certainly, any member of the LG might have unknown items or skills that overcome any known weakness. That line of thought pretty much ends any discussion without the inconvenience of actually having a discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Why, if they needed speed and if V is so use-impared as to be a liability (not knowing how to Teleport is a significant liability no matter what origin Tarquin assigns it), would they take time out for something they could always do later?
    Is there anyone living in a D+D universe who thinks that a wizard is a liability just for lacking teleport?

    Anyay, it doesn't matter whether T thinks the Order would be smart to spend a little time retrieving their most powerful member. T knows the Order hung around somewhere long enough to have accomplished such a mission, because the "bug-in-a-rug" reports to him their location, and therefore that they DID hang around. Somewhere. Long enough.
    Last edited by rewinn; 2012-08-26 at 10:28 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    If well-prepared, flying, buffed Z had the option of preparing fairly low-level spells as a defense against archers, but instead chose to take out Haley first instead of V, then well-prepared, flying, buffed Z is an idiot. Which is possible.
    The question is still for what was Z well-prepared? If Z did not prepare spells that buffed his AC, gave him DR, or gave him a miss chance, then he had no defense against archery, simple as that. Why did he not do so? Well, maybe he doesn't have them in his spellbook. That's possible. Or maybe he figured, correctly, that a single offensive spell would neutralize Haley better than a suite of defensive spells, and leave her unable to intervene in any capacity, whether in the fight with V or anywhere else. Unless and until we see more of Z's spellbook, we can't possibly know.

    Certainly, any member of the LG might have unknown items or skills that overcome any known weakness. That line of thought pretty much ends any discussion without the inconvenience of actually having a discussion.
    Hardly. The point I'm making is the same point V made to Z when she was wielding YY as a cannon. Z prepared to fight V. He prepared to neutralize or evade her support. By flying, he neutralized Roy, Elan, and Belkar, should they manage to get out of the gladiator pit. Flying also neutralizes most of Durkon's combat abilities, and spell resistance would take care of the rest. Haley alone presented a threat to him, and he prepared to eliminate her preemptively. He would not need to prepare a suite of anti-ranged spells in such a situation. It should therefore come as no surprise that he did not. We cannot, however, draw the conclusion from this that Zz'dtri does not have the necessary spells in his spellbook. All we know is that he did not cast them that day.

    Is there anyone living in a D+D universe who thinks that a wizard is a liability just for lacking teleport?
    Well, there's Belkar, and post-Azure City, pre-splice V, but I suppose their opinions doesn't count for much.

    Anyay, it doesn't matter whether T thinks the Order would be smart to spend a little time retrieving their most powerful member. T knows the Order hung around somewhere long enough to have accomplished such a mission, because the "bug-in-a-rug" reports to him their location, and therefore that they DID hang around. Somewhere. Long enough.
    True. Though he has no reason to suspect that they retrieved V specifically, and whether he shared the information with Z is another open question.
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2012-08-26 at 11:12 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    The question is still for what was Z well-prepared? If Z did not prepare spells that buffed his AC, gave him DR, or gave him a miss chance, then he had no defense against archery, simple as that. Why did he not do so? Well, maybe he doesn't have them in his spellbook. That's possible. Or maybe he figured, correctly, that a single offensive spell would neutralize Haley better than a suite of defensive spells, and leave her unable to intervene in any capacity, whether in the fight with V or anywhere else. Unless and until we see more of Z's spellbook, we can't possibly know.
    Perhaps he realized that regardless of the potential for anti-missiles, that Suggestion (or whatever kind of mind control V cast on Yuk Yuk) was a more efficient way to go.

    And why would V build a spell load specifically against Haley, in any event? V is an Evocation specialist, he'd be happy to rely upon standard damage to eliminate his foes.
    Last edited by Stella; 2012-08-26 at 12:19 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #626
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    Kish's Avatar

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Why are you talking about Vaarsuvius fighting Haley, now?
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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.

  27. - Top - End - #627
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Perhaps Z in preparing to Face Var loaded up w/ spells that allowed for a reflex save (eg. Vitrolic Sphere), and realizing that a high level rogue would have evasion and good reflex saves chose the only spell that would effectively take out the rogue in a save or die manner.

  28. - Top - End - #628
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    Whichever buffs Z would cast before initiating an ambush is not so important as the fact that, as V noted, Z took out the archer rather than the wizard as an opening gambit. This indicates that Z is weak against archers, unless the whole "dominate-the-kobold" ploy was an error.
    As others have already mentioned, that meant he was weak to archers that day, not forever. Wizards can change their strengths and weaknesses each time the prepare spells - that's half of why they're so powerful. So at this point, he may have relevant spells to be much better against archers than he was that day.

    Another unresolved issue is whether the LG in fact thinks V is lost to the party or made the reasonable assumption that the Order would retrieve their wizard from the Plane Of Torment. It seems likely Qarr didn't disclose to LG his little misdirection since being trusted is an important part of his "familiar" role. However, if you were a party with no arcane caster (other than possibly Elan) would you invest the time necessary to retrieve your beloved party member and Big Gun? If so, it is reasonable that Tarquin allowed for the possibility.... although it's also possible T figures that since he's so much smarter than everyone else around, the Order was too stupid to save V. We may see.
    Valid point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Perhaps he realized that regardless of the potential for anti-missiles, that Suggestion (or whatever kind of mind control V cast on Yuk Yuk) was a more efficient way to go.

    And why would V build a spell load specifically against Haley, in any event? V is an Evocation specialist, he'd be happy to rely upon standard damage to eliminate his foes.
    Z, not V, silly goose. *pats*
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    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    I just want to say that if this isn't the weirdest line of argument I've seen this thread take yet, it's not for lack of trying.

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    FujinAkari's Avatar

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    Anyay, it doesn't matter whether T thinks the Order would be smart to spend a little time retrieving their most powerful member. T knows the Order hung around somewhere long enough to have accomplished such a mission, because the "bug-in-a-rug" reports to him their location, and therefore that they DID hang around. Somewhere. Long enough.
    We can note that all Tarquin actually knows is he can easily track the carpet

    Absolutely nothing there states that the rune acts as some sort of GPS and allows T to know where the carpet is and whether or not it is moving, so all Tarquin would even know is "The OOTS is to the Southwest" or whatever direction they went.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Thank you, FujinAkari.
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #860 - The Discussion Thread

    true. We have no idea what spells Z has prepared today that he hasn't used. Still seems Haley has the advantage though with Roy's strategy. Really can't wait for the next comic right now.

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