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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Having received 'the complete story' as my reward for the Kickstarter, I took the last few days revisiting the whole comic. I was surprised at how much I'd forgotten over the years (as well as the really good D&D zings in the first arc).

    One character I had completely forgotten about was Hilgya, and that's really a shame. I mean, she was really quite interesting, and she made Durkon more interesting as well. Anyways...


    When Haley and Celia were in Greysky with Belkar, Haley's contact Blind Pete says that he knows a cleric of Loki that works outside the influence of the guild. As I read the section, I thought "Oh good, Hilgya's finally going to make a reappearance". And then, she didn't.

    Now I know that the nameless cleric used could achieve things that Hilgya could not, freed from the tension that her last meeting with the Order would have roused. I don't know, I guess I just prefer to reuse an old character if it's possible.

    Still, it'd be nice to see her pop back into the story again, if only for a few strips.



    So I guess to give people a reason to respond, do you think that the scene in Greysky with the cleric of Loki was better or worse for Hilgya's absence?

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Well... seeing as the possibility of that being Hilgya was very widely discussed at the time... I am goung to have to go with better. Her omission wasn't an overlooked opportunity, it was intentional. Rich has something else planned, imho :)
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    To be honest, no, I don't think it would have been better with Hilgya. Rich may or may not have further plans for her in the future, and I wouldn't mind seeing her again, but my main issue here is the the nameless Cleric of Loki turned out to be a really fun and interesting character in his own right. The scenes with him and Belkar wouldn't have worked half so well if it had been Hilgya who was involved in them. So while it might have been kind of fun to see Hilgya again, we never would have gotten to meet the nameless Cleric of Loki, and that, I think, would have been the real missed opportunity.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    An interesting idea, but I don't think it's a missed opportunity for a few reasons.

    1) Part of the richness of OOTS is the wide variety of characters. You don't have 1 fighter, 1 bard, 1 dwarf etc, you have as many as the story needs. This way we get contrast: although they both worship Loki, the two clerics are very different in their methods and motives (from what I remember). This makes the characters (and world) feel more real (thinking about it, perfect example of this is with the paladins: how many diferent flavours have we seen? Some of them could surely have rolled into one)

    2) Hilgya had no connection to any of the characters in Greysky City beyond being an antagonist (and persumed vanquished). Her appearance would probably be met with violence, as they were unaware of her connection to Durkon. It would also result in raising the spectre of the linear guild at a point when it was not needed.

    3) Saving her means that when she does eventually reappear (as I'm sure she will in some way before the end) her impact will be all the more poigniant. Durkon is due more character growth after all.
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Him being a named, returning character would have ruined the tension about whether or not he would survive. He even had a plausible reason for releasing Belkar from the curse. After that, he had no reason to exist in the story and could have easily been killed.

    I really enjoyed when he "won" and escaped. His and Belkar's evil team-up was great storytelling. He even offered Belkar a job! If I had had the bucks for the Backers Choice PDF, it would have been the further adventures of the Cleric of Loki. He probably went and joined some evil adventuring party somewhere, renegade clerics on the run are always in high demand.

    Of course, if it were Hilgaya, the Sending would have been a lot easier to target. But then there would have been numerous complications, first among them being Durkon disbelieving her message.
    Last edited by Finagle; 2012-08-13 at 07:15 AM.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    You use a recurring character only if that character will add something to the plot at that time, not just to see her again.

    Hilgya had nothing to do with the Greysky City plot.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    I'll say better, because I think she's going to have a part to play elsewhere and elsewhen.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Maybe she went back to the Dwarven Homelands; a place that I strongly suspect the party will be traveling through to get to Serini's Dungeon in the north.

    Durkon is dead at this point, of course, having fallen to save the party in the battle with Xykon at Girard's Gate. As the grieving party brings Durkon's body back to his people to be buried with his ancestors (fulfilling the Oracle's prophesy), who should be waiting for them but a cleric... A cleric who is the same level as Durkon; a cleric who can easily resurrect Durkon; Hilgya, cleric of Loki.

    It has certainly been long enough since her last appearance for Hilgya to have given birth to that little Dwarfling she conceived with Durkon in a moment of passion back in episode #82. Won't that be fun!

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogastreehouse View Post
    Maybe she went back to the Dwarven Homelands; a place that I strongly suspect the party will be traveling through to get to Serini's Dungeon in the north.

    Durkon is dead at this point, of course, having fallen to save the party in the battle with Xykon at Girard's Gate. As the grieving party brings Durkon's body back to his people to be buried with his ancestors (fulfilling the Oracle's prophesy), who should be waiting for them but a cleric... A cleric who is the same level as Durkon; a cleric who can easily resurrect Durkon; Hilgya, cleric of Loki.

    It has certainly been long enough since her last appearance for Hilgya to have given birth to that little Dwarfling she conceived with Durkon in a moment of passion back in episode #82. Won't that be fun!
    I have no idea if this is going to be what happens or not, but part of me really, really hopes that it is.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    I have no idea if this is going to be what happens or not, but part of me really, really hopes that it is.
    I've never been able to successfully predict The Giant, so it's probably not going to happen...
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    Also: Your/You're, Its/It's, Then/Than.


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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    @FujinAkari
    I was afraid of that, which is why I was hesitant to ask. I couldn’t find the discussion thread for #602, and even if I had, it would have been a bit much to read its no doubt dozens of pages (and adding my input would have been grave digging, which too is distasteful).

    Still, Rich is good at long-circuit plots, so I trust that he’ll get back to her (Otherwise, he could have simply killed her in the first dungeon).

    @rgrekejin
    I agree that Belkar got a lot of good traction out of the nameless cleric, which is why I was on the fence about this particular sequence.

    @Avaris
    1.) I wasn’t trying to imply that there should only be one Cleric of Loki in the comic. In fact, I do believe the nameless cleric achieved things that Hilgya could not, particularly regarding interactions with Belkar. My main point was that the scene could have had Hilgya, and while it would have altered the events of Greysky it would be a minor plot deflection, one that would not have altered the final outcome of “Don’t Split the Party”

    2.) I thought it was intriguing because Greysky was within travel distance of the first gate, and Hilgya was commissioned by Loki to steal the amulet as soon as Nale acquired it. In my mind, I joined those two facts and assumed she was somehow affiliated with the Greysky Thieves Guild.

    3.) Yes, and a later appearance allowed Belkar to work on his charade. For this reason, I agree that her exclusion was probably better than it was worse.

    @Finagle
    Yeah, the Sending was one of the focal reasons why I would have liked to see Hilgya, particularly because of the hilarity of Nale’s Sending to Roy earlier in the series. I also agree that, with that cleric used in the scene, it was much better that he did not have a name.

    @Jay R
    Actually, she might have. See #2 from my response to Avaris. Also, having her would have fired a red herring of the Linear Guild across the party’s bow, further complicating the situation. And complication is the primary ingredient of plot.

    @Bulldog Psion
    Yeah, now that I’ve had time to think about it, the delay will make her next appearance more meaningful.

    @Boogastreehouse
    I’ll see your prediction and raise you a counter-prediction.
    Durkon is killed by Malack during the fight with the Linear Guild (Malack, along with Tarquin, is several levels higher, after all, and he told Tarquin he wanted to deal with Thundershield). When the LG are finally defeated, arrangements are made to send Durkon back to the dwarven homelands for burial. Hilgya intercepts his body and resurrects him, bearing their child as you predicted. But Durkon knows that Xykon is on his way to Girard’s gate, and is forced to abandon both of them so he can reach the Order of the Stick in time to help (Making him eat his words, as it were, because he spurned Hilgya over a similar offense).
    Then again, that’s pretty unlikely too.



    So the general consensus is ‘better, because the buildup was not yet sufficient’. I’ve been swayed by your arguments, and I agree. Thank you for the vigorous discussion.

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    Giant in the Playground Administrator
     
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    I think you're looking at the way I do things backwards.

    I didn't have a role for a cleric of Loki, then have to choose whether to use a new unnamed character or go back and use an established one. I had a role for a new unnamed cleric, and then had to pick what god he worshipped. There's really only one god of the Northern (Norse) pantheon appropriate to a church working with a thieves' guild in a crime-dominated city, so it became Loki.

    No connection was ever intended with any previous clerics of the same god; in fact, I didn't even think about Hilgya until the strips came out and people started speculating. If I had thought of the connection beforehand, the result would have been that I would have changed what god the new unnamed cleric worshipped (though I have no idea what I would have used instead), not that I would have mentioned or used Hilgya.
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    I think I got stuck in the thought process of a Dungeon Master instead of an Author. If I were (feasibly) running a game of the OOTS, it would be my instinct to assign the specifics of the position first, then decide whether I wanted to stat a new character or reuse an old one (IE, it must be a Cleric of Loki... now where did I leave that sheet?).

    But it's easy to forget that Order of the Stick is actually a form of narrative fiction, and so the instincts of an author should be applied instead. Locking in the character restrictions in advance would do just that: restrict. It is a much better strategy to determine who will fill the role first, and then assign details. And once you have made that decision, as you have said, you would never consider using a different character.


    Thank you, Rich, for clearing that up for me.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    I for one am glad Hilgya wasn't used here. I liked "Cole's" character a lot, brief as his appearance was - and Hilgya is a heavy enough hitter (remember, she joined the LG with the express desire of screwing them all over) that a bunch of low-mid level thieves would be unlikely to worry her, so there'd be less tension.

    I'd also assume, if she were reused here, that she'd become a major player in the storyline (if she isn't already) and thus unlikely to die. This would contribute further to the lack of tension. During that (rather nail-biting) arc, I worried about Cole's survival the whole time because he was pretty low-level (e.g. needing a scroll to resurrect) whereas I only worried about Haley/Celia once the most major, named baddies had them surrounded. Imagining Hilgya in a similar situation, I could only envision her mopping the floor with her attackers - or at least, accounting for herself really well, and thus denying Belkar his Crowning Moment of Awesome.
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    So... Hilgya has to show up every time Loki is involved?
    Is that how it works?

    I am amazed at how many times people seem to demand that the Giant's storytelling be much worse.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    I can't believe the Giant bothered to reply to this.

    It would have been so easy to lampshade it with a throw-away line about the Church of Loki having to be vast and farflung to serve the many non-Lawful worshippers of the Northern Gods.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    I can't believe the Giant bothered to reply to this.

    It would have been so easy to lampshade it with a throw-away line about the Church of Loki having to be vast and farflung to serve the many non-Lawful worshippers of the Northern Gods.
    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Rich would not want to imply--much less outright state--that all Northerner religious beliefs are divided "six alignments to Loki, three to all the non-Loki gods."
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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Rich would not want to imply--much less outright state--that all Northerner religious beliefs are divided "six alignments to Loki, three to all the non-Loki gods."
    Well, he did imply there is a lack of evil deities in the Norse pantheon...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    There's really only one god of the Northern (Norse) pantheon appropriate to a church working with a thieves' guild in a crime-dominated city, so it became Loki.
    The lampshade statement only needs to be a joke about the relative size of Chaotic flocks being noticably larger than Lawful.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    Well, he did imply there is a lack of evil deities in the Norse pantheon...
    No. He implied a lack of thief deities in the Northern pantheon. (Setting aside the fact that this post and your last post together appear to be suggesting that Evil is synonymous with Non-Lawful.)
    The lampshade statement only needs to be a joke about the relative size of Chaotic flocks being noticably larger than Lawful.
    And, again, your proposed "lampshade" statement takes the form of an assertion with massive implications which Rich likely does not want to have as part of his world, least of all just so that he can make an obscure joke about there being more than one cleric of Loki.
    Last edited by Kish; 2012-08-20 at 03:02 PM.
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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

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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    There is at least one other evil deity in the Northern pantheon (Hel.) And beings like Surtr might be able to grant domains as well. (Isn't he Loki's boss in the mythology, sometimes? I'm rusty on Norse.)
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-08-20 at 02:57 PM. Reason: grammar
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    There is at least one other evil deity in the Northern pantheon (Hel.)
    Wait. Do we actually know that Hel is Evil?

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    in fact, I didn't even think about Hilgya until the strips came out and people started speculating. If I had thought of the connection beforehand, the result would have been that I would have changed what god the new unnamed cleric worshipped ...
    Clarification, please. WHY would you have changed it? Loki presumably has more than one cleric. Why shouldn't the heroes encounter more than one?
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Miel View Post
    Clarification, please. WHY would you have changed it? Loki presumably has more than one cleric. Why shouldn't the heroes encounter more than one?
    To avoid conversations like the one we're having. People see patterns where there shouldn't be any, and when they do, it distracts from the intended effect of the scene. Clarity trumps verisimilitude.

    That said, it's not really a problem that I didn't change it, as you're right—it makes perfect sense the way it is. It's just that in retrospect, the announcement of a Cleric of Loki (followed by a gap before that cleric appeared on-panel) created an expectation in the some segments of the audience that I did not want. And that expectation is obviously still there, years after the fact, or else this thread would never have been posted.
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    To avoid conversations like the one we're having. People see patterns where there shouldn't be any, and when they do, it distracts from the intended effect of the scene. Clarity trumps verisimilitude.
    I think you give us forumites too much credit, conversations like this will pop up no matter what you do. We talk everything to death, raise it as a zombie and then talk about it so much more that Familicide has been cast. Please don't try to out-think us on what our unrealistic expectations may be. The story hasn't alluded to Hilgya returning and as you said, there was no way to predict that we would be expecting her to return suddenly.

    We're crazy. And unfortunately you cannot stop it.

    And that expectation is obviously still there, years after the fact, or else this thread would never have been posted.
    Because we're crazy. It isn't out of anything you did.

    Well... you could always tell us here what Hilgya has been up to, unless you are planning on addressing this expectation in the comic.
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    @ManuelSacha: I never said that every time a Cleric of Loki came up, it had to be Hilgya. I simply stated that, upon re-reading the comic in a compacted form, I formed an expectation that Hilgya would make a reappearance, which then turned out to be false. That expectation was not founded solely on the fact that the scene referenced a Cleric of Loki. If you had bothered to read the entire discussion, and not just a small piece of the first post, you would have been able to see that.

    Also, I was not saying that the story should change, or setting out to harm the storytelling. I simply inquired if other people had the same expectation, and if it impacted their opinion of the scene that followed. Everyone in the thread, including Rich, agreed that the scene was better with the nameless cleric, so I withdrew my query here.

    @Smolder: Wait, huh? Why do you think that I think there's only one Cleric of Loki? It's a church, there'd have to be hundreds if not thousands of them out there, otherwise Loki would have as much divine power as Banjo. Nowhere, in any of my three previous posts in this topic, did I say that Hilgya was the only Cleric of Loki. I simply stated that, given the situation, it seemed that she was bound to make a reappearance. Rich already said I was connecting dots that weren't there, but that has nothing to do with the number of worshipers of a Norse deity.

    @EmperorSarda: I agree, conversations like this are unavoidable, and grow in number as the length of the work and the age of the work increases. It falls under the category of 'not pleasing everybody'. There is no way to shield a work from these false expectations.


    Frankly, this whole matter was resolved days ago. I don't know why anybody bothered to poke it again.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorSarda View Post
    I think you give us forumites too much credit, conversations like this will pop up no matter what you do. We talk everything to death, raise it as a zombie and then talk about it so much more that Familicide has been cast. Please don't try to out-think us on what our unrealistic expectations may be. The story hasn't alluded to Hilgya returning and as you said, there was no way to predict that we would be expecting her to return suddenly.

    We're crazy. And unfortunately you cannot stop it.
    As a quasi-professional MitDologist, I find myself in much agreement with Emperor Sarda. Unbridled speculation on both the broadest and narrowest of topics is what makes the OotS Forum community such a vibrant place. No topic is too plowed, no detail too obscure to not be endlessly analysed.

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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    Wait. Do we actually know that Hel is Evil?
    Not definitively, no - but Durkon's attitude towards her is highly distasteful. If she strives (as she does outside of OotS) to keep as many dwarves as possible away from a glorious afterlife of wenching, swilling and battle, it would be easy for them to see her that way. JHer argument with Thor indicates that her role is similar in OotS as it is in the source material.

    Also, she's supposed to be Loki's daughter - though that bit of the mythos may not have carried into OotS.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-08-20 at 10:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    It was pointed out at the time that Pete refers to his friend as "him", and Hilgya is clearly female. On a saner forum, there wouldn't have been such speculation.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Giant in the Playground Administrator
     
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Quote Originally Posted by Yendor View Post
    On a saner forum, there wouldn't have been such speculation.
    This would work as a good subtitle for the entire message board.

    "GIANT IN THE PLAYGROUND: On a saner forum, there wouldn't have been such speculation."
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Retrospective] OOTS #602 missed opportunity

    Let me be one of the first to second that motion while I can.
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