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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Yes, but with a hand-drill, it's a lot of work... for EVERY single nail... when you have wood types readily available that DON'T have that annoying requirement.

    I guarantee you that no one has to pre-drill holes when building wooden crates, boxes, and pallets.
    How about reinforced boxes where we can see there are indeed rivets?


    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    And seriously, have any of you ever tried to hand-drill a hole through hardwood? Try it once, and then tell me with a straight face that you'd rather choose to go the hardwood route to build a complete box. ;)
    Irrelevant. I also could not use a sword for more than a minute without my arms giving up from the exertion or wear armour for an hour without dropping to my knees in exhaustion. Modern humans have gone soft since we developed electric tools and no longer have to work sunrise to sundown to feed ourselves. By the same measure, middle age people could not readily digest food that would have been common 100000 years before them thanks to advanced cooking techniques allowing them to move beyond eating raw stuff.

    Unless you are prepared to present evidence that in the middle ages oak was never used for construction of sturdy objects, this line of thought is tinged by modern bias.

    Edit: OK, so I went ahead and checked it myself. Oak was used for reinforced constructions that would be subject to major stress such as fermentation barrels (including metal bands with rivets) and ships. It was also an expensive wood used for flooring and paneling. As such, it might be that oak is the wrong wood to use here because of the cost (an entire massive box made out of it would be quite expensive), but on the other hand it fits the use it was put to in the comic perfectly.

    Given that other woods do not significantly save on weight, I suppose we could change to pine or pruce. Does the DM manual say anything about materials used in reinforced doors?

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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Oak was used extensively for construction of much bigger objects than a big crate for many, many centuries.
    • The portcullis of most castles, for example, was made out of oak reinforced with iron nails.

    • Solid gates were typically also made out of oak planks.

    • In areas with soft ground, the soil was excavated and an enormous oak "raft" built to support an entire castle from below.

    • Oak was used for Royal Navy ships for centuries. Hence "heart of oak are our ships, heart of oak are our men". The Spanish, at one point, even had a plan to set fire to the English oak forests to deprive their enemies of shipbuilding material.


    As one final notation, our ancestors cut and fitted stone, including granite, with great precision and nothing but hand tools and a lot of patience and sweat. I doubt drilling through a bit of oak would daunt them compared to that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    Stats of the Snarl:
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    Armor Class: Can't touch this.
    Saving Throws: Yes.
    Attack: Successful - undoes target.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    How about reinforced boxes where we can see there are indeed rivets?
    That does help make the case for oak or other hardwoods, as you have to drill holes in any case, but still bear in mind it's significantly easier to hand-drill soft woods, as well as cut them (which you have to, in all three dimensions, to make the planks).

    I rest my case that any one let loose in an ancient mixed forest with rudimentary medieval-ish tools (handsaw, hammer, nails... and hand-drill) and the mandate to build a sturdy box isn't likely at all to willfully pick oak.

    That's starting to look like a thread hijack, so if you want to eventually let it rest, we can, especially seeing how it doesn't change the MitD-related argument at all.


    Irrelevant. I also could not use a sword for more than a minute without my arms giving up from the exertion or wear armour for an hour without dropping to my knees in exhaustion. Modern humans have gone soft since we developed electric tools and no longer have to work sunrise to sundown to feed ourselves. By the same measure, middle age people could not readily digest food that would have been common 100000 years before them thanks to advanced cooking techniques allowing them to move beyond eating raw stuff.
    Fine, but in this case we're comparing two scenarios in which the same non-modern humans are the ones doing the work. One is easy work, the other hard work.

    Yes, the "hard work" for them is less hard than it would be for you, but it doesn't change the fact that it's STILL hard work.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    Well, it looks to me pretty much like roadrunner cartoon physics. So, my opinion is that we can't deduce anything about RC's strength, the box's weight, or MitD's weight from that scene, because it's just silly.
    Yeah, I don't think the Giant make things as ruleproof as that. I really doubt he think of the box as the "magically reiforced balsa wood box".
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Seriously we need some principle guiding our detective work here.
    Or applying occams razor more often.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    Oak was used extensively for construction of much bigger objects than a big crate for many, many centuries.
    • The portcullis of most castles, for example, was made out of oak reinforced with iron nails.

    • Solid gates were typically also made out of oak planks.

    • In areas with soft ground, the soil was excavated and an enormous oak "raft" built to support an entire castle from below.

    • Oak was used for Royal Navy ships for centuries. Hence "heart of oak are our ships, heart of oak are our men". The Spanish, at one point, even had a plan to set fire to the English oak forests to deprive their enemies of shipbuilding material.


    As one final notation, our ancestors cut and fitted stone, including granite, with great precision and nothing but hand tools and a lot of patience and sweat. I doubt drilling through a bit of oak would daunt them compared to that.

    Yes, but that's mostly because oak is a good wood for applications where rot would be a problem. In the case of a box, that factor isn't relevant.

    Obviously, for a ship, oak is CERTAINLY worth the extra trouble.

    For wooden exterior doors that will have to withstand decades of rain and humidity... sure, again worth it.

    For a crate... not really, no.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Yes, but that's mostly because oak is a good wood for applications where rot would be a problem. In the case of a box, that factor isn't relevant.

    Obviously, for a ship, oak is CERTAINLY worth the extra trouble.

    For wooden exterior doors that will have to withstand decades of rain and humidity... sure, again worth it.

    For a crate... not really, no.
    Except this create is not really a shipping container, but a crate used in a circus. Which is supposed to contain dangerous creatures. And from what I recall of my youth when circuses actually existed, would be kept outdoors as a matter of fact. So the rotting/waterproofing part of it would still be at the forefront of their concerns.

    @Hardcore: we are using Occam's razor. The assumption that oak was used is precisely an application of Occam - one side arguing that it is the smallest assumption since it is the logical wood to use, the other side arguing it is an unnecessary assumption because softer woods could have been used instead.

    Now, if you refer to magic being in play, I agree. I argued as much for the wizard spells, extra magical objects and the non-evidenced Mantle bonus. But even with those discarded as per Occam, there is still other assumptions whose respective weights are in contention.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2012-09-04 at 03:37 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Well, do you think the Giant really bother calculating the weight of the box?
    Does he care wether or not a goblin or two can carry it?
    Most likely no.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcore View Post
    Well, do you think the Giant really bother calculating the weight of the box?
    Does he care wether or not a goblin or two can carry it?
    Most likely no.
    Sorry, but that does not follow. Does the giant bother checking MitD's stats when it comes to the Escape scene or the circus scene? If yes, then why wouldn't he do so for this one? If no, what are you doing in this thread, which assumes the Giant does play by the rules where MitD is concerned? Now, if your answer is in any way related to your gut feeling that he played loose exclusively with carrying rules, then it is a major assumption that Occam would strip bare until the moment you can demonstrate it is the case.

    Now until this morning, were we assuming that the lifting of the box was outside the rules? yes, certainly. But have good points been brought forth? Indeed they have. And as such, it is a matter that bears investigating. This thread cannot just assume that some scenes can be brushed aside by Rich ignoring the rules until we have reasonable proof that that is indeed the case, such as with the Tower scene. Last time the topic was brought forth, the general conclusion was that Rich was indeed ignoring carrying rules. But a new interpretation that does not require such major assumption has been proposed and until someone (and it seems that someone will need to be me) does the math, we do not know if under the new assumptions the math actually works or not.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2012-09-04 at 04:27 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    well, it is like logic in language science; you learn some valuable things, but there are limits to what it can do.
    Likewise by digging deep into the rules. This is a comic after all, and primarily obeys thosw rules. Note that it does not need to follow the DnD rules, except when it is something visible, and then it only need to have a plausible DnD rule explanation.

    Does the giant bother checking MitD's stats when it comes to the Escape scene or the circus scene?
    Well, does he even bother to keep precise stats for MitD? To tell the comic he only need to keep faith to the nature of the monster, not the stats in the rules. "Uber strong" is good enough for a writer and artist. "Str. 30", otoh, is for the rpg player. Or to put it another way, would he bother writing out the complete character sheets for every character in the comic when he would gain very little doing so? i think Giant follow the law of least resistance and only keep notes the most important traits of characters and creatures.
    Last edited by Hardcore; 2012-09-04 at 05:29 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Actually, I don't think that the box weight was calculated, and I think that the scene with Redcloak lifting the box is pure cartoon, as noted above.

    However, the assertion that people with hand tools couldn't make stuff out of oak got my fightin' amateur historian blood up.

    So I just got involved because of the oak, really!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    Stats of the Snarl:
    HP: Lots.
    Armor Class: Can't touch this.
    Saving Throws: Yes.
    Attack: Successful - undoes target.
    Challenge Rating: Too high.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcore View Post
    Note that it does not need to follow the DnD rules, except when it is something visible, and then it only need to have a plausible DnD rule explanation.
    And you know that it doesn't have a plausible explanation without exploring the issue? You are in fact affirming, without evidence, that the cart scene cannot be plausibly explained. That is hubris of the kind that would rightly get me called out were I to try to use it to end this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcore View Post
    Well, does he even bother to keep precise stats for MitD? To tell the comic he only need to keep faith to the nature of the monster, not the stats in the rules. "Uber strong" is good enough for a writer and artist. "Str. 30", otoh, is for the rpg player. Or to put it another way, would he bother writing out the complete character sheets for every character in the comic when he would gain very little doing so? i think Giant follow the law of least resistance and only keep notes the most important traits of characters and creatures.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew
    I trust that someone will figure it out eventually.
    If he is not being more careful with how MitD acts within the rules, then his statement that it can be figured out is both false and meaningless.

    We have been round and round this topic before. The bottom line is: for this thread to operate, I will continue to assume that MitD is following the rules of D&D unless there is a good reason to think otherwise. Your unsupported assertion that the cart scene doesn't based on, as far as I can tell, nothing other than your gut feeling is not going to convince anyone else, and thus I will continue to listen to those whose guts feel otherwise and are willing to articulate reasons why. Trying to shut down the discussion because of an unspecified "Occam's Razor" is wrong.

    ---

    Box numbers:

    We have a whole range of possibilities here. We all seem to agree that the box is reinforced, which puts its thickness at 2 inches with metal bands. We have some disagreement over the wood type, oak (840 pounds) or pine (425 pounds). For lack of an easy way to calculate it, I'll ignore the weight of the metal bands - it is likely to be small, in any case.

    Now, as to moving the box, I have to say that the rules are very clear that lifting it is 2x tops
    "A character can lift as much as double his or her maximum load off the ground"

    However, RC did use a bit of leverage in the fact that one corner was lifted at a time. I am not going to dig through my old school notes to figure out weight reduction in that case, but I'll use .5 as a rule of thumb and for ease of calculation. After careful consideration, I will not add MitD moving around into the equation because he was clearly being a passive load in the rescue/steal attempt. He did not want to leave the circus, and we don't see either RC asking nor MitD helping at all in the endeavor (unlike later when MitD's interest in stew moves him to start leaning on the box).

    From the same d20 page linked above, this is the lifting ability of the general range assumed for RC (non-melee cleric from a race with -2 STR):
    {table]STR|Max Lift
    8|160 lb.
    9|180 lb.
    10|200 lb.
    11|230 lb.
    12|260 lb.
    13|300 lb.
    14|350 lb.[/table]

    Given those numbers, we see that everything up to strength 10 is insufficient for the basic pine box, even when halving the weight due to leverage. However, we can assume that he prepared for the theft by preparing a bull's strength, which would place him at 12 STR. I included up to 14 in case he managed to borrow or procure magic items for +2 strength - I find it unlikely, but not impossible. Note however that even strength 14 is insufficient for the oak box.

    The margin for the pine box is also slight: at strength 14, the margin is about 280 pounds - that's an average sized medium creature (60 lb. - 500 lb.).

    This isn't that great - we don't have all that many promising medium creatures, and requires some very questionable assumption involving magical items we have no evidence for and material for the box. But it is certainly a possibility, and introduces the possibility that some creatures could fit the bill other than those that float in the air.

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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcore View Post
    Well, does he even bother to keep precise stats for MitD? To tell the comic he only need to keep faith to the nature of the monster, not the stats in the rules. "Uber strong" is good enough for a writer and artist. "Str. 30", otoh, is for the rpg player. Or to put it another way, would he bother writing out the complete character sheets for every character in the comic when he would gain very little doing so? i think Giant follow the law of least resistance and only keep notes the most important traits of characters and creatures.
    This is quite possibly true. However the thing to remember is that this thread has it's own set of assumptions (that I'm probably going to mangle now).
    1. Rich said the MitD can be worked out before the reveal from clues given in the comic.
    2. Rich would not say this and then play so loose with the rules that it is NOT possible.
    3. Because of 1 and 2 we have to assume we can apply DnD rules to strips with the MitD in them unless it is shown otherwise as is the case with the tower scene.

    Note that any or all of these could be false but we assume they are true because otherwise this thread is just straight up guessing. Without assumptions like these there is no way we can actually work out what the MitD is through logic.

    Once again, I may have got the assumptions wrong or missed some.

    Edit: Ninja'd by GW. Also, I should note that our assumptions may be outdated since Rich may have given up on following the rules with the MitD although I would hope he'd come and put us out of our misery if that was the case.
    Last edited by Steven; 2012-09-04 at 06:33 PM.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Edit: Ninja'd by GW. Also, I should note that our assumptions may be outdated since Rich may have given up on following the rules with the MitD although I would hope he'd come and put us out of our misery if that was the case.
    While this could be true, and I too hope he wouldn't do it, I have to add that the cart scene, like everything else in SoD, likely was far more thought out as a clue about MitD than any other appearance in the comic. Probably not as thought out as the hunter scene or the circus scene (the two most MitD-central moments in the whole comic) but still, not something I am comfortable just brushing under the carpet of "playing loose with the rules".

    ---

    In a completely unrelated news, we now have evidence that carbosilicate amorphs can in fact interact with technology, just as the thread postulated to explain the teraport-based escape:
    http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-09-04

    I still think that the carb-amorph is an extremely long shot, but you can't beat it for fitting the FBS.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    On the matter of Red Cloak's Strength, we don't really know it.

    8 is the assumed amount on the forums because his strength score is never really called into question, since as has been noted he is a caster specced Cleric. There are two problems with this:

    1. Goblins are also inexplicably Medium Sized in the oots world, throwing at least some doubt on their usual racial modifiers.

    2. Attribute Outliers are known to exist, take Roy for example: he is described numerous times as having above average scores in basically every area, even the mental stats which as a fighter aren't very useful for him.

    Given those two points (more the second since the first is completely unverifiable) its possible that Redcloak actually has a very above average strength...but so prefers channeling the divine powers of his god and artifact that he has no desire or even need to put that high strength to use. If we take that into account, Redclaoks natural strength could be as high as 16 (18 roll with -2 race), and Bull's Strength (prepared for the Heist) would take that to 20.

    With a 20 Strength he could lift off ground 800 pounds, and that would much more nicely explain the scene.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by RunicLGB View Post
    On the matter of Red Cloak's Strength, we don't really know it.

    8 is the assumed amount on the forums because his strength score is never really called into question, since as has been noted he is a caster specced Cleric. There are two problems with this:

    1. Goblins are also inexplicably Medium Sized in the oots world, throwing at least some doubt on their usual racial modifiers.

    2. Attribute Outliers are known to exist, take Roy for example: he is described numerous times as having above average scores in basically every area, even the mental stats which as a fighter aren't very useful for him.

    Given those two points (more the second since the first is completely unverifiable) its possible that Redcloak actually has a very above average strength...but so prefers channeling the divine powers of his god and artifact that he has no desire or even need to put that high strength to use. If we take that into account, Redclaoks natural strength could be as high as 16 (18 roll with -2 race), and Bull's Strength (prepared for the Heist) would take that to 20.

    With a 20 Strength he could lift off ground 800 pounds, and that would much more nicely explain the scene.
    I've asked this three times now: why would a goblin with strength 16 not carry a melee weapon and instead rely exclusively on magic for combat? Especially since he is involved in a mission that will require all his resources to accomplish? Why would he ignore such a massive resource that can save him spells if he is indeed that strong?

    Answer: because he isn't that strong. When your mission in life involves wrestling the gods, you can't just ignore a roll of 18 in a stat just because you'd rather be a full caster. You may not specialise, but given how many times RC has run low on spells and could have used a nice mace to keep going, it is telling that he doesn't even bother carrying one. It says, louder than any other speculation, that he is not strong enough for the mace to make any difference in combat.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Except this create is not really a shipping container, but a crate used in a circus. Which is supposed to contain dangerous creatures. And from what I recall of my youth when circuses actually existed, would be kept outdoors as a matter of fact. So the rotting/waterproofing part of it would still be at the forefront of their concerns.
    Good points. Obviously, the longer the crate is meant to last (esp. if the crate is going to be sitting outside), the more likely the builder(s) is (are) to pick something like oak as material.

    Crates normally aren't conceived as long-lasting items, but in this case (circus equipment, contains something precious), why not.




    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    However, the assertion that people with hand tools couldn't make stuff out of oak got my fightin' amateur historian blood up.

    So I just got involved because of the oak, really!
    Same here! But in my case, it's the assumption that the "default" wood of choice for a crate would be something as precious and hard to work as oak that got my fightin' blood up, as someone who's been running a carpentry-heavy business for over a decade.

    I have also noticed over the years that it's interesting to see which wood the crates and pallets are made from, depending on where they're from. We have several suppliers in Texas, their crates are always in Southern yellow pine. One California supplier sends us pallets made out of redwood. Around here pallets are pretty much always spruce.

    Using hardwood for a crate struck me as... let's say, definitely nonstandard.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Same here! But in my case, it's the assumption that the "default" wood of choice for a crate would be oak that got my fightin' blood up, as someone who's been running a carpentry-heavy business for over a decade.

    I have also noticed over the years that it's interesting to see which wood the crates and pallets are made from, depending on where they're from. We have several suppliers in Texas, their crates are always in Southern pine. One California supplier sends us pallets made out of redwood. Around here pallets are pretty much always spruce.

    Using hardwood for a crate struck me as... let's say, definitely nonstandard.
    You know, I could've used this expert opinion when I was trying to pick a wood from the bloody list (seriously, check it out, there is way too many for a non-expert like me).

    In the end, I think I made the correct choice by examining both the harder and the softer version, and let the arguments use the type most convenient, but it would still be nice to hear these things in advance.

    Now, I still feel we are projecting too many modern values on this slightly different circumstances. Modern crates are placed in standard shipping containers, as are pallets, and the rest of the time they'd likely be in warehouses, so weather is not as much concern these days as it is minimising weight. Back in the day, cheap wood would be used for inside furniture, but anything that was meant to last in the elements would probably need a hardier wood. On the other hand, those tend to be slower growing trees, so they'd be expensive enough I can see a circus cutting costs by using substandard cages and have the animals living in leaky cages.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    For that matter, I'd be surprised if drilling couldn't be taken care of by a cantrip.

    I'm not aware of any official cantrip that would do it, but it wouldn't involve more power than that demonstrated by http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/mending.htm or http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/prestidigitation.htm , and so, even if there are no arcane spellcasters actually working for the circus, it wouldn't cost very much, relatively speaking, if they hired a wizard.
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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Oak was the default wood for chests in the middle ages, with walnut in second place. Soft wood joinery was quite rare.1 So it was harder to work, so what? Labor was cheap and materials and furniture were valuable. Saving man-hours as the most important issue is a very modern idea. In any case, shipping container is a bad analogy, the MitD's box is more like a wooden cage or a large treasure chest than a modern pallet-bottomed crate.

    1. Eames, Penelope, Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century, (London: Furniture History Society, 1977)

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Same here! But in my case, it's the assumption that the "default" wood of choice for a crate would be something as precious and hard to work as oak that got my fightin' blood up, as someone who's been running a carpentry-heavy business for over a decade.

    I have also noticed over the years that it's interesting to see which wood the crates and pallets are made from, depending on where they're from. We have several suppliers in Texas, their crates are always in Southern yellow pine. One California supplier sends us pallets made out of redwood. Around here pallets are pretty much always spruce.

    Using hardwood for a crate struck me as... let's say, definitely nonstandard.
    Well, I agree a hardwood crate would be pretty nonstandard. But this is actually a cage for a dangerous beast, not a shipping container for inert goods, so that might have some bearing.

    Or they might have used pine. It's pretty hard to second guess, really! All we can do is establish a possible range of weights, I guess.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First 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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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant & Yendor View Post
    "GIANT IN THE PLAYGROUND: On a saner forum, there wouldn't have been such speculation."
    (Why you'd think I added it to my sig? Because it fits, damn it all)

    Now we can honestly say that figuring out MitD involved medieval carpentry. Thor, I love this forum.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Garick View Post
    Oak was the default wood for chests in the middle ages, with walnut in second place. Soft wood joinery was quite rare.1 So it was harder to work, so what? Labor was cheap and materials and furniture were valuable. Saving man-hours as the most important issue is a very modern idea. In any case, shipping container is a bad analogy, the MitD's box is more like a wooden cage or a large treasure chest than a modern pallet-bottomed crate.

    1. Eames, Penelope, Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century, (London: Furniture History Society, 1977)
    First, you've omitted to mention what was perhaps THE most significant factor in selecting which wood to use for a given job back then: availability.

    In southeastern England, northern France, and the Netherlands, from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, pretty much all lumber came from the local deciduous forest stock. Even for the cheapest, most disposable project. So your sample doesn't really tell us much.

    [This phenomenon is actually still at play in 2012: something as disposable as pallets, of all things, from California, made out of redwood, of all woods, would be a total nonsense up here -- it's a rare and pricey wood up here, if you can manage to get some at all. But for them, who are probably drowning in redwood leftovers, it makes sense.]


    So, back then, if you happened to live next to a forest of Brazilian Rosewood (one of the priciest woods out there) and that's what you had handy, you'd probably be building everything out of it, including pallets.



    Another argument is that chests aren't exactly he best example to compare a cage with: they are generally designed to be long-lasting (which I admit the MitD's cage might well be), passed down the family, and if they can be esthetic as well as utilitarian, the better.


    I have to admit I haven't read SoD yet... (shame on me...)

    ...so, the next step in that line of investigation, if we really want to push it that far ;), would be to try to determine what kind of forests would be growing in the place where that circus is. Do we have any clues as to the climate of the place in the panels shown? If we see trees, and it's all deciduous, then yes the crate is likely of a denser wood type, out of pure convenience. In Cliffport, for example, the wood stock from what we've seen is likely to resemble what was available in England, Holland, or northern France. A disposable crate in Cliffport isn't so unlikely to be oak.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    ...so, the next step in that line of investigation, if we really want to push it that far ;), would be to try to determine what kind of forests would be growing in the place where that circus is. Do we have any clues as to the climate of the place in the panels shown? If we see trees, and it's all deciduous, then yes the crate is likely of a denser wood type, out of pure convenience. In Cliffport, for example, the wood stock from what we've seen is likely to resemble what was available in England, Holland, or northern France. A disposable crate in Cliffport isn't so unlikely to be oak.
    I 'd love to get the results of this investigation but unfortunately cannot participate. I can't tell a pine from an oak even in real life, never mind in stick figures.

    Two considerations:
    First, a circus moves around, but in a relatively short area. So the above study is relevant, but will nevertheless will need to allow for certain amount of variation.

    Second, the box may have been the same as the hunters used to capture him. Someone should check that (I can do that, but not until the weekend). This is important because if MitD was sold with box, the wood origin is now completely random, based on the hunters point of origin (they'd carry the boxes with them). Since they are vaguely British, it would support oak, for what is worth.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Just went and Checked out my copy of SoD and made an interesting discovery.

    All boxes the Mitd has ever been in have had the corner braces, so they have been reinforced.

    The box he is in at the circus is identical to the one the hunters used to capture him.

    BUT the box he is seen in outside the Dungeon of Dorukan when he is carried by the zombies is different. Before that point the box is always shown with a door in the front, but that last box and all boxes hehas been in since have no such aspect.

    This kinda invalidates or assumptions about the weight of the box in the Circus scene (using the zombie carrying capacity) since it appears to have been a different box.

    So back to estimating the weight based on materials. The british so oak thing could work, otherwise we can assume they built the box on sight and thus made it out of wood from the jungle where they captured Mitd.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    This is important because if MitD was sold with box, the wood origin is now completely random, based on the hunters point of origin (they'd carry the boxes with them). Since they are vaguely British, it would support oak, for what is worth.
    If the box comes from the hunters, then the likely logic behind its fabrication is slightly different than if the box's conceptors were from the circus instead...

    Oak lumber is generally some ~50% denser than pine lumber, but pine's lateral resistance to bending is a lot closer to oak's than a straight relationship between densities would suggest.

    In other words, for someone who's going to need a supply of medieval crates for a medieval creature hunting/selling business, someone who travels and therefore likely has a number of different locations where they can choose to bulk buy their wood crates, and knowing that the crate doesn't need to be able to withstand the passing of decades, softwood crates are going to not only be cheaper (easier to manufacture), but also lighter for a given strength.


    Something hilarious though -- to everyone who said "yes, but the crate needs to be able to hold this monster, so it's really important to make it out of a significantly heavier yet slightly stronger type of wood", think about it for a minute... ;)
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    If the box comes from the hunters, then the likely logic behind its fabrication is slightly different than if the box's conceptors were from the circus instead...

    Oak lumber is generally some ~50% denser than pine lumber, but pine's lateral resistance to bending is a lot closer to oak's than a straight relationship between densities would suggest.

    In other words, for someone who's going to need a supply of medieval crates for a medieval creature hunting/selling business, someone who travels and therefore likely has a number of different locations where they can choose to bulk buy their wood crates, and knowing that the crate doesn't need to be able to withstand the passing of decades, softwood crates are going to not only be cheaper (easier to manufacture), but also lighter for a given strength.
    I doubt hunters buy cages in bulk, especially not cages for big animals. They don't need a hundred of those, just one or two of each species. Further, someone out to hunt rare animals isn't going to skimp on the quality of the box, not when their income is depending on it. And the box has to be intact all the way back to [country of origin], usually after a long and arduous trip.

    Now, you say that the lateral resistance is about as good. Did they know this in the middle ages? Because they chose to build their castle gates from oak, when it turns out they could've got better results from using pine and doubling the thickness without adding weight (and in the end, it was weight that determined the gate, since they had to be able to open it and close it every day).


    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Something hilarious though -- to everyone who said "yes, but the crate needs to be able to hold this monster, so it's really important to make it out of a significantly heavier yet slightly stronger type of wood", think about it for a minute... ;)
    Did anyone say this? The argument is that the box either once held a different animal in the zoo or, if it is indeed the same box used by the hunters, was meant to capture a rare-but-not-epic creature, and the Hunters were just as surprised as anyone else that MitD didn't just burst out of it immediately.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Now, you say that the lateral resistance is about as good. Did they know this in the middle ages? Because they chose to build their castle gates from oak, when it turns out they could've got better results from using pine and doubling the thickness without adding weight (and in the end, it was weight that determined the gate, since they had to be able to open it and close it every day).
    Again, back then, people were extremely likely to "default" to using the wood that was available in the immediate surroundings of their location, regardless of any other criteria.

    The wood that was readily available as larger, older trees in the ancient, mature forests that were the source of lumber for most of sea-level Western Europe back then was hardwood.

    I'm pretty sure that if you could somehow have brought some of our great west coast Douglas Fir (a staple in my industry) to a medieval lord, you could have convinced him to ditch the local oak in favor of that wood for his gate. So, in a way, yes, although obviously given real world constraints the best choice by far is to stick with what grows in your area's forests.




    Did anyone say this? The argument is that the box either once held a different animal in the zoo or, if it is indeed the same box used by the hunters, was meant to capture a rare-but-not-epic creature, and the Hunters were just as surprised as anyone else that MitD didn't just burst out of it immediately.

    Grey Wolf
    OK, then. Thanks for the info.

    In any case, what's guaranteed is that we've collectively put a lot more thought into this than the Giant himself did when he drew these crates. ;)

    It's all in good fun, but I'm not really sure it's going to bear any fruit.

    On that topic, and I'm sure it's been discussed before, couldn't Redcloak have buffed himself off-panel with one of these divine STR-boosting spells? Rich probably didn't think about the type of wood the crate was made from, but it's likely that he DID reflect upon the weight of [MitD + crate] compared to RC's lifting/carrying ability when he drew this, and it passed the test (the drawing remained in his work), so there has to be an explanation. (Ultra-light MitD, buffed RC, anything else?)
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Man, I feel like I should be weighing in on this as the resident physics major, but it's looking like you guys have got it pretty well covered.

    That having been said- this conversation has been really entertaining, and Rich puts a lot of detail into things. Into MitD clues, even more so. But do we *really* think that he stopped to research the likely building materials for a box, stopped to calculate its weight, and then figured out how feasible it would be for Redcloak to lift it?

    I mean, *could* he have? Sure. He could have written a whole dissertation on the physics involved, hypothetically. But let's say we continue this train of thought to its logical conclusion and hash out a realistic weight for MitD based off of all these rules and so on. Someone proposes a new idea that fits reasonably well, but is too heavy. What do they say?

    "Well, I doubt Rich did such exacting calculations."

    It then goes into the FBS list with the con "Might be too heavy, but Rich also might not have done the math."

    I mean, yes, I'm one for "This information probably won't be relevant, but it's worth noting," but we're mapping out the likely woods for a crate based off of real-world plant distribution. Is this actually going to tell us anything the size of the box doesn't?
    Last edited by DaggerPen; 2012-09-05 at 07:51 PM.

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