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  1. - Top - End - #361
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    To end the nitpicking, in order to use the feat you must be in the state of "would normally be hit with a ranged weapon." Haley hit Tarquin, he used his feat to catch the arrow instead.
    So if he hadn't caught it, it would've hit him and exploded that way, with the same result.
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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.

  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    So if he hadn't caught it, it would've hit him and exploded that way, with the same result.
    I once again note that Deflect Arrow is a pre-req of Snatch Arrow. Had Tarquin deflected it, it definately wouldn't have hit him or anyone else.

    Additionally, the title of the comic: "Actually, she didn't [forget that Tarquin could catch arrows]" is pretty strongly supportive of the idea that Tarquin snatching the arrow was a fundamental part of the OOTS strategy.

    Edit: I also want to note that, based on how Tarquin acts, I definately see it as possible, even probable, that he would snatch an arrow that would have otherwise missed him, just to look good. It isn't technically allowed by the rules, but as a DM I know if I had a player that wanted to grab an arrow, I'd let him. I wouldn't say "Oh, that attack missed you by three inches, you aren't able to grab it."
    Last edited by FujinAkari; 2012-09-05 at 09:47 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Hands up if you've read or acted in Euripedes. Hands up if you've read or acted in Chekhov. Yes? Now say it all together: Nothing in this strip resembles either what Chekhov had to say about ensuring that the scenography serves the action, nor ancient Greek special effects for depicting deities and their incomprehensible purposes on stage. In this case, both of Tarquin's references to the Drow have provided jokes suitable to the moment (if it were somehow relatable to Chekhov's gun, we would have seen people arguing the first time around that there had to be something more significant to Tarquin's relationship with the Drow and that we'd be bound to see it again); and then, no external power intervenes in the LG's escape. Of course, TVTropes has provided some handy new definitions that run roughshod over the dramatic functions, but then again, we know that Rich doesn't make use of TVTropes (couldn't be arsed to find the quote but enough people have it in their signatures), so it's a moot point. Put this one to bed, people!
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  4. - Top - End - #364
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    I'm not quite sure where this idea that Tarquin is so addicted to showing off came from. He's devoted himself to ruling from BEHIND the scenes for years, avoiding the spotlight, and has explicitly told Nale that it's better to "Look the fool then be one."

  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephrahim View Post
    I'm not quite sure where this idea that Tarquin is so addicted to showing off came from. He's devoted himself to ruling from BEHIND the scenes for years, avoiding the spotlight, and has explicitly told Nale that it's better to "Look the fool then be one."
    I think that we (the readers) have just gotten so used to seeing every other character in the comic fail in new and spectacular ways so often that we've started to confuse basic caution and competence with precogniscience and showboating-flair.
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  6. - Top - End - #366
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    It was a small and crowded corridor. If Tarquin didn't catch the arrow, it would have hit somebody else or a wall, and exploded anyway. It was a foolproof strategy on Order's part.
    In the last few strips, we've seen several arrows that sailed past everyone.

  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    To end the nitpicking, in order to use the feat you must be in the state of "would normally be hit with a ranged weapon." Haley hit Tarquin, he used his feat to catch the arrow instead.
    Tarquin charged forward, pushing Sabine out of the way, to catch the arrow. He went out of his way to get into its path. Tarquin could just as easily have told everyone to retreat or flatten themselves against the wall. Regardless of the rules which I don't think Rich follows so slavishly I don't think Haley was even aiming for Tarquin, who was in the middle of the pack, so much as getting the arrow past the mummies and into a place where she knew he would catch it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    In the last few strips, we've seen several arrows that sailed past everyone.
    That's cuz they were being shot into the cloud, which by rules gives everything inside concealment and a chance to miss regardless of her attack rolls.

  9. - Top - End - #369
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RunicLGB View Post
    That's cuz they were being shot into the cloud, which by rules gives everything inside concealment and a chance to miss regardless of her attack rolls.
    If the arrow couldn't miss because it was a "small and crowded" corridor, as 2323mike said, a cloud of smoke wouldn't matter. Yet we saw arrows miss.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    If the arrow couldn't miss because it was a "small and crowded" corridor, as 2323mike said, a cloud of smoke wouldn't matter. Yet we saw arrows miss.
    The first Arrow couldn't miss because Haley is an archery specced Rogue who made her attack roll. If you want to get real technical, she could have improved precise shot, which ignores anything less then total cover/concealement, so no number of mummies or cramped halls bothered her shot.

    After the smoke went off, any additional arrows shot in have an automatic 50% chance to miss from total concealment, no matter how good her attack rolls are.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Who says that Haley didn't have a dozen smokesticks in her bag of holding? They're only 20gp, after all, and is it like Haley to only have one of something? If the first arrow doesn't work, keep firing until one goes off. The first smokestick arrow exploding was just conservation of detail, or something.

  12. - Top - End - #372
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RunicLGB View Post
    The first Arrow couldn't miss because Haley is an archery specced Rogue who made her attack roll. If you want to get real technical, she could have improved precise shot, which ignores anything less then total cover/concealement, so no number of mummies or cramped halls bothered her shot.

    After the smoke went off, any additional arrows shot in have an automatic 50% chance to miss from total concealment, no matter how good her attack rolls are.
    I think you're missing my point. I was responding to 2323mike, who said Haley was guaranteed to hit something because the corridor was small and crowded. The corridor is still small and crowded, and we've seen her miss several times. Thus, it is possible she might have missed with her first shot.

    I don't think rules technicalities are a helpful way to look at the comic, but if you want it in those terms she could've rolled a 1 with her first shot and missed, no matter how crowded the corridor was.

  13. - Top - End - #373
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    I think you're missing my point. I was responding to 2323mike, who said Haley was guaranteed to hit something because the corridor was small and crowded. The corridor is still small and crowded, and we've seen her miss several times. Thus, it is possible she might have missed with her first shot.
    Ahhhh... I see yeah i missed that post. Of course she could have missed the first shot my bad.

    Hmmm... Well looking at the comic in a non rulesy sort of way I got the impression she was aiming for Sabine specifically, and Tarquin moved her and intercepted the shot. Either that or she was waiting for Tarquin to come up so he would catch it, but that seems less likely, since doing a little damage would have been better then none.

    The smokestick must have been fitted with some sort of timed release, so as long she fired at Roy's cue the smoke would have released right on time, whether she hit Sabine, Tarquin caught it,or else it hits a wall. Either way, they have their ambush.

    Sorry for missing that.

  14. - Top - End - #374
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    I don't think Haley was even aiming for Tarquin, who was in the middle of the pack, so much as getting the arrow past the mummies and into a place where she knew he would catch it.
    Both the title of the strip and the rules of the game deny your theory. Haley aimed for Tarquin, and rolled a hit. Tarquin caught the arrow using his feat. Why is this so hard to understand? Your speculation aside, the title and the feat both match the action of the strip completely. There's no need for added speculation to make the situation both more complex than it needs to be, and contrary to the title and the rules of the setting.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Both the title of the strip and the rules of the game deny your theory. Haley aimed for Tarquin, and rolled a hit. Tarquin caught the arrow using his feat. Why is this so hard to understand? Your speculation aside, the title and the feat both match the action of the strip completely. There's no need for added speculation to make the situation both more complex than it needs to be, and contrary to the title and the rules of the setting.
    I'm not sure how the title conflicts with my theory: "Actually, she did" learn that Tarquin would catch any arrow she shot towards him. That's right there in my theory.

    Is it possible that Haley "hit" Tarquin? Sure. Is it possible that she just got the arrow to his general vicinity, knowing he would catch it? Yup. I was initially responding to Finagle saying "Obviously the ambush was going to work regardless of how any LG members reacted to it," which I don't agree with. Tarquin could have called a retreat as soon as he saw there was an ambush, for instance. Zz'd'tri could've thrown up some kind of barrier halfway down the hall. Or Tarquin could, possibly, have dodged the arrow instead of catching it, and let it clatter away harmlessly down the hall. If Haley hadn't been counting on Tarquin to catch the arrow, she could've aimed at the floor and had a better chance of hitting.

    I don't think the nitty-gritty rules details are very helpful in interpreting the comic, since Rich seems perfectly happy to ignore them for purposes of the story.

  16. - Top - End - #376
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    In the last few strips, we've seen several arrows that sailed past everyone.
    Yes, but in those strips, Haley was already positioned in the corridor. She fired the smokestick arrow from the alcove under an angle, so it would have hit the opposite wall of the corridor and exploded even if Tarquin didn't catch it.

    In those later strips, she is standing in the corridor and firing along the corridor's axis, so the arrows that missed were sailing past.

  17. - Top - End - #377
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    I'm not sure how the title conflicts with my theory: "Actually, she did" learn that Tarquin would catch any arrow she shot towards him. That's right there in my theory.
    You're kinda using weasle words to make your point valid. Neither "Shot towards him" or "general vicinity" is valid for the feat. So instead, Haley learned that Tarquin could catch arrows that she would otherwise have hit him with. That's much better.
    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    I don't think the nitty-gritty rules details are very helpful in interpreting the comic, since Rich seems perfectly happy to ignore them for purposes of the story.
    They are helpful, because unless he has reason, Rich does have the setting follow the rules of the setting. As I said before, there's nothing which needs to be added here to explain the situation. Haley hit Tarquin, then he used his feat to change that to a catch. There's no need for Rich to ignore the rules of the setting here. There's no humor value and no story value to be gained. So there's nothing supporting your speculation that Rich broke or ignored the rules in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Tarquin could have called a retreat as soon as he saw there was an ambush, for instance. Zz'd'tri could've thrown up some kind of barrier halfway down the hall. Or Tarquin could, possibly, have dodged the arrow instead of catching it, and let it clatter away harmlessly down the hall.
    Could? Sure. Did? Nope. Tarquin could have called a retreat, but what did he do? Charged forward! Z could have cast a spell, but by the rules of the game this could be a surprise round since the LG was just standing around chatting. Or Z could go later in the round due to the initiative rules. If a caster can always get a spell off even when an archer ducks around a corner and shoots an arrow, it kinda makes archers useless, right? Tarquin could have dodged the arrow? No, because when Haley rolls a hit against his AC that would include any bonus to AC Tarquin might have due to the dodge feat.

    See, the rules of the game do need to apply for the story to have internal consistency. They can be stretched or broken outright when humor or plot demands, but if you stretch or break them when there is no humor or plot need, you undermine the story's setting for no gain at all.
    Last edited by Stella; 2012-09-06 at 04:24 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Yes, my default assumption is, "The D&D rules apply unless it's obvious that, in a specific case, they don't."
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Malack specifically called out Tarquin on showboating in an earlier strip. Combined with the constant stream of Tarquin bigging himself up in recent strips it becomes clear that he enjoys being in the spotlight and showing off. And considering that Tarquin is a well recognised and powerful figure in the EoB, and is known as pretty much the most powerful person there by all and sundry I don't think we can say he is ruling that land from behind the scenes.

    The only behind the scenes element is the fact that both he and his allies are in similar positions in all the major nations, and working together. His public position is still very high profile and important.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    You're kinda using weasle words to make your point valid. Neither "Shot towards him" or "general vicinity" is valid for the feat. So instead, Haley learned that Tarquin could catch arrows that she would otherwise have hit him with. That's much better.
    It's not weasel words to postulate that Rich doesn't look up the rules details of every action his characters take. It certainly doesn't contradict the strip title, as you were claiming.

    I don't think poring over rulebooks is a particularly helpful tool for interpreting the strips, because, as far as I can tell, Rich tells the story first and worries about rule details second. Did Haley "hit" Tarquin? Quite possibly. Could Rich have Tarquin catch an arrow that was clearly not aimed at him, say to save another character? Sure, why not? Rules wonks would get all bent out of shape, but it wouldn't hurt the strip. (I'll remind you that we don't actually know what feat Tarquin is using.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    They are helpful, because unless he has reason, Rich does have the setting follow the rules of the setting. As I said before, there's nothing which needs to be added here to explain the situation. Haley hit Tarquin, then he used his feat to change that to a catch. There's no need for Rich to ignore the rules of the setting here. There's no humor value and no story value to be gained. So there's nothing supporting your speculation that Rich broke or ignored the rules in this case.
    There's also nothing supporting your assertion that Rich followed the rules in this case, except "That's what he does, except when he doesn't." The difference is I'm offering a number of potential speculations, whereas you're stating that there's only one possibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Could? Sure. Did? Nope. Tarquin could have called a retreat, but what did he do? Charged forward!
    Again, I was responding to someone who said there was nothing the Linear Guild could have done to affect the ambush. That's clearly wrong, and I'm pleased you agree with me.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    You know, I'm thinking maybe Tarquin was just showboating because he was anonymous. So all the credit for being some insane, skilled fighter would go to a mystery man. Yes, his teammates know how great he is, but of course when they're on your side, it hardly matters at that point if THEY know you are really more skilled or knowledgeable than you pretend to be.

    So perhaps without his disguise and behaving as "general Tarquin", he wouldn't act that way? At the very least, it would be yet another layer of disguise.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Meanwhile, back at the current strip ...

    It's interesting that panel 3 suggests Tarquin can't see Elan well enough to tell that he's lying unconscious on the ground, but infers that from the relative silence.
    Belkar then makes himself a target by jumping, and Tarquin promptly and intelligently shoots down the airborne hobbit. In retrospect Belkar might've been better off with a less showy assault but that's not really in his personality.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephrahim View Post
    I'm not quite sure where this idea that Tarquin is so addicted to showing off came from. He's devoted himself to ruling from BEHIND the scenes for years, avoiding the spotlight, and has explicitly told Nale that it's better to "Look the fool then be one."
    Just because he sometimes said that "it's better to look like a fool than being one" doesn't mean that he wants to look like a fool at all times.
    It's pretty evident how much he likes to parade in front of his enemies, like when he intentionally engaged the whole Oots squad alone.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Yes, but in those strips, Haley was already positioned in the corridor. She fired the smokestick arrow from the alcove under an angle, so it would have hit the opposite wall of the corridor and exploded even if Tarquin didn't catch it.
    In my experience, arrows that strike stone at a glancing angle go skittering off downrange.* Haley wanted the smokestick to get into their midst and stick. I imagine her thought process went something like this: "How can I do that? Oh, right, the jerk in the helmet will catch any arrow he sees coming at him. Ha!" Hence the title of the strip. She didn't have to think about to-hit chances; she just had to have a psychological handle on not-Thog, to know he wouldn't dodge or deflect the arrow. If she'd wanted to maximize her chances to hit, she could've aimed at someone less heavily armored.

    * Note that the smokestick went off a few seconds after Tarquin caught it, so it doesn't seem to be impact-triggered; we have no reason to think it would've gone off if it had struck the wall. We also don't know whether the trigger required that the arrow be caught we don't know what the mechanism was.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yendor View Post
    The other possibility is that Malack meets up with Vaarsuvius, who doesn't seem in the mood to fight either.
    Off topic to what you were talking about, but I think the little fiend popped off to find V once it realized V wasn't there.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    It certainly doesn't contradict the strip title, as you were claiming.
    jere7my, the point I'm trying to make which I'm clearly not expressing well enough is this: When the rules adequately cover the situation we see in the comic, there's no need to go off speculating that Rich isn't following those rules. Occam's razor, and all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    (I'll remind you that we don't actually know what feat Tarquin is using.)
    This is exactly the same situation: D&D has a feat called Snatch Arrows. When a character catches an arrow, why bother to assume that there is some other feat involved? We have a feat within the core rules which easily covers the situation that we're seeing in front of us. You seem to take issue with the fact that this comic is set in a world which follows the D&D rules. You might want to get over that, because no matter your objections to people relating what they see with the D&D rules, this is still going to be a story which is written primarily using that rule set, and people will continue relating what they see with those rules.

    PS: I'm pretty sure, on a guess, that Rich doesn't need to "look up the rules details of every action his characters take." He plays the game, after all. As an example, why do you think that Belkar told (yelled) at Nale that his "old lady" had only been gone for 18 seconds? I'll give you a hint: This is covered by the rules, and no player of the game would need to look that up.
    Last edited by Stella; 2012-09-06 at 02:07 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    To end the nitpicking, in order to use the feat you must be in the state of "would normally be hit with a ranged weapon." Haley hit Tarquin, he used his feat to catch the arrow instead.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Doesn't it help matters that Tarquin is clearly trying to get in the arrow's way? He dashes in front of Sabine to catch it.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shale View Post
    Doesn't it help matters that Tarquin is clearly trying to get in the arrow's way? He dashes in front of Sabine to catch it.
    You might should reread the strip. He ran forward before the arrow was ever fired, he was trying to be the one the trap sprung on, as he had the best defenses, but he definately wasn't trying to catch an arrow, as he didn't even know one was coming.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    jere7my, the point I'm trying to make which I'm clearly not expressing well enough is this: When the rules adequately cover the situation we see in the comic, there's no need to go off speculating that Rich isn't following those rules. Occam's razor, and all that.
    My thesis is this: It makes for a more interesting story if Haley expected Tarquin to catch the arrow, because it indicates that the Order learned from previous experience. (It also fits the title better.) If catching the arrow was incidental, and the ambush would've worked anyway without it, then we lose that aspect of the story. The Order no longer used Tarquin's showiness against him; they just worked around it. I find that less interesting, and if adherence to the rules makes the story less interesting for me then I'm happy to ignore them.

    If catching the arrow was incidental, and Haley would've been just as happy with any hit, why did she aim at the most heavily armored party member?

    Alternately, if you want to be a rules stickler, consider that Snatch Arrows has Deflect Arrows as a prerequisite. If Tarquin had deflected the arrow instead of catching it, and the arrow had gone skittering off down the corridor, the ambush wouldn't've worked. She needed him to catch it, not deflect it.

    Alternately alternately, the intent of Snatch Arrows is to keep players from grabbing arrows from halfway across the room. If I had a player who really wanted to catch an arrow that didn't quite "hit" him or her, but would've hit their armor, I would allow it, because it makes sense a character shouldn't become worse at catching arrows just because they got +1 chain mail instead of regular chain mail. Likewise, we don't know if the arrow would've pinged off of Tarquin's armor if he hadn't caught it. D&D is about DMs' judgment, not blind adherence to the rules.

    Alternately alternately alternately, it's possible the smokestick needed to be caught to go off. We don't know what the triggering mechanism was, but if it required someone to touch it then a hit wouldn't've worked.

    My point here is that the story is more interesting if Haley cleverly used Tarquin's skillz against him. If there's an interpretation that satisfies that and works within the rules, fine, but if not I'm happy to fudge the rules to make the story more interesting, and I think Rich is as well. Knowledge of the rules can inform our reading of the comic, but the rules aren't the last word in interpretation. Nitty-gritty rules details shouldn't get in the way of the story.

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