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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The d20 SRD
    This alchemically treated wooden stick instantly creates thick, opaque smoke when ignited. The smoke fills a 10-foot cube (treat the effect as a fog cloud spell, except that a moderate or stronger wind dissipates the smoke in 1 round). The stick is consumed after 1 round, and the smoke dissipates naturally.
    Emphasis mine. Unless the smokestick had an outer-casing of flint (and was sparked when T's probably-metal-clad hand caught the arrow), Haley lit a fuse before firing that arrow down the hallway.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    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,

    Nitty-gritty rules details shouldn't get in the way of the story.
    It seems that we are in perfect agreement! There is indeed an easy interpretation which does not require rules fudging. Nitty-gritty rules details didn't get in the way of the story, they actually facilitated the story!



    Quote Originally Posted by deworde View Post
    You ended NOTHING! Nice try, though.
    Maybe now?
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    It seems that we are in perfect agreement! There is indeed an easy interpretation which does not require rules fudging. Nitty-gritty rules details didn't get in the way of the story, they actually facilitated the story!
    Well, again, following the rules exactly gives us "It doesn't matter whether Tarquin caught the arrow or not; it would've hit him anyway. In fact, he's better off for having caught it, because he didn't take damage." Bending the rules slightly to allow him to catch arrows that would've bounced off his armor, or just missed, gives us "The plan depended on Tarquin catching the arrow — if he hadn't been showing off, the arrow might've caromed down the corridor or bounced somewhere harmless. Haley predicted his move and cleverly used his own abilities against him." Following the rules too closely makes for a less interesting interpretation, imho, which is the very definition of getting in the way of the story.

    Either interpretation is valid given what we're shown in the comic. You prefer yours because it strictly follows D&D rules; I prefer mine because it makes for what I think is a better story, even if it bends the rules a bit. Seems like a pretty reasonable disagreement to me.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    You know what the funny thing about all this rules bickering is? Nearly every non-magical aspect of d&d was designed with realism in mind. Take a look at this blog/article for example:

    http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/...expectations-2

    Then there are the rules jokes we would get every now and then (though more frequent at the beginning of the strip). You know what I find to be the thing most rules jokes have in common? They point out how silly or under-thought the rule was for a situation, where the behavior in the world starkly contradicts what would actually happen in reality.

    If we also take in the possibility that Rich does not always strictly follow the rules to the letter, can't we just say that Haley could have just shot the arrow at Tarquin, and then whether or not it would have made some sort of damaging hit, it should have come close enough for him to grab it? Seesh.

  5. - Top - End - #395
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    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.
    I believe that's a fairly risky strategy, counting on behavior of a guy you saw a few minutes ago. Yes, it is more dramatic and so. But the ambush was Roy's idea in the first place, and I'm sure he prefers dull effectiveness over dramatic flair. If LG's new meatshield catches the arrow fine, but let it explode regardless of it's impact.

    Not to mention shooting through the mummy crowd was pretty difficult shot on its own, picking a single target out of LG is even more problematic.

    Short story: I think that with the arrow, the Order did not rely exclusively on exploiting "Thog's" desire to showboat, but they would have been also fine if he didn't catch it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Not to mention shooting through the mummy crowd was pretty difficult shot on its own, picking a single target out of LG is even more problematic.
    No it wasn't, Improved Precise Shot lets Haley hit any target regardless of obstacles in between, provided those obstacles do not grant Total Cover or Total Concealment (the mummies don't)

    Additionally, I would argue that the smokestick functions better BECAUSE Tarquin caught the arrow. A smokestick half-lodged INSIDE of someone isn't going to cause the same degree of fogginess as a smokestick held out in the open.

    Additionally, I have to agree with Jeremy (sorry, I know that isn't technically how you spell your name :P) It makes absolutely no sense to presume that higher quality armor makes people less able to catch arrows. No DM worth their salt is going to deny a character the ability to catch an arrow just because their armor would have stopped it.

    I don't think Haley necessarily would have missed Tarquin, but I absolutely believe Tarquin would have grabbed the arrow if it came remotely close to him, and I think Haley / Roy was expecting that.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WindStruck View Post
    They point out how silly or under-thought the rule was for a situation, where the behavior in the world starkly contradicts what would actually happen in reality.
    I'd be hearing some examples of what you're thinking of here.

  8. - Top - End - #398
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    How did Tarquin manage to interrupt Belkar? He would have needed to see Belkar doing his extraneous 4ft high jump to be able to prepare a readied action to interrupt it, but he only knew that Nale was down because Nale stopped talking.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Either "Readied Action: Throw my axe at anyone I see attacking Nale" or, "For my action, I throw my axe at the halfling, whose initiative this round is after mine" would work. (Or, if Tarquin wanted to be needlessly specific, "Readied Action: Throw my axe at that halfling if he tries to finish off Nale.") The second option presumes that Rich wrote the panels with simultaneous movement as he usually does when not making a specific joke, instead of making a joke about not being able to act on someone else's turn; we know he did not make such a joke by observing the place where such a joke isn't.
    Last edited by Kish; 2012-09-07 at 12:16 PM.
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    This, in a nutshell.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Either "Readied Action: Throw my axe at anyone I see attacking Nale" or, "For my action, I throw my axe at the halfling, whose initiative this round is after mine" would work. (Or, if Tarquin wanted to be needlessly specific, "Readied Action: Throw my axe at that halfling if he tries to finish off Nale.") The second option presumes that Rich wrote the panels with simultaneous movement as he usually does when not making a specific joke, instead of making a joke about not being able to act on someone else's turn; we know he did not make such a joke by observing the place where such a joke isn't.
    In game terms, it could be that, as in 176, Belkar's Halfling Rage Jumping Attack crossed a turn boundary leaving him hanging in mid-air momentarily.
    In terms of realism, the smoke was settling down according to the artwork, and the hobbit popped up loudly proclaiming his intent to kill Nale. It'd be unrealistic not to give T a chance to react.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    In game terms, it could be that, as in 176, Belkar's Halfling Rage Jumping Attack crossed a turn boundary leaving him hanging in mid-air momentarily.
    In terms of realism, the smoke was settling down according to the artwork, and the hobbit popped up loudly proclaiming his intent to kill Nale. It'd be unrealistic not to give T a chance to react.
    I just thought Belkar was carrying out a Coop dee Grass which provokes an AoO. Why would Belkar do something that provokes? Because he was deaf and has pitiable spot.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jogiff View Post
    I just thought Belkar was carrying out a Coop dee Grass which provokes an AoO. Why would Belkar do something that provokes? Because he was deaf and has pitiable spot.
    Yes, it's an interesting thought that Belkar probably didn't even see Tarquin.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jogiff View Post
    I just thought Belkar was carrying out a Coop dee Grass which provokes an AoO. Why would Belkar do something that provokes? Because he was deaf and has pitiable Spot.
    It's called Coup de Grâce. Otherwise, I think this is the most likely option, given that that particular move is a practically guaranteed insta-kill for most people.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    It's called Coup de Grâce.
    I assume jogiff knows how it's spelled, given that it's in the PHB. Presumably he has his reasons.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Initially I was kind of annoyed with this, given that the Linear Guild Escapes Again is at this point almost a parody of itself. However, the Order is now at a pretty large advantage. Only three guild members are still active (four if you count Qarr, who seems to be doing his own thing), and they're mostly separated. The loss of Tarquin's axe most likely doesn't mean he's out of offensive capability, but he is without his best weapon, which takes at least a notch or two off his supposed invincibility. While I hardly think it means they're out of the running, as the most powerful members are the ones still standing, and with a bit of coordination and effort, Nale and Kilkil will be back in the fight, this will probably force Tarquin to take command, which clearly won't sit well with Nale. Thus, it is my hope at least that even though the Linear Guild continues to escape, it is still to their detriment, and hopefully before this is through, their luck will run out.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Well, again, following the rules exactly gives us "It doesn't matter whether Tarquin caught the arrow or not; it would've hit him anyway. In fact, he's better off for having caught it, because he didn't take damage."
    Yes, exactly! Why would Tarquin want to take damage that he had a feat which would prevent? Again, this is able to be described well within the rules of the setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Either interpretation is valid given what we're shown in the comic. You prefer yours because it strictly follows D&D rules; I prefer mine because it makes for what I think is a better story, even if it bends the rules a bit. Seems like a pretty reasonable disagreement to me.
    Your interpretation requires a lot of extra rules fudging which is entirely unnecessary. If you prefer a more complex and unnecessary plot situation, that's fair. But don't think that you can enforce your preference upon the remainder of the forums. Tarquin doesn't need 9 different unknown feats to catch an arrow, as you may desire. All he needs is the Snatch Arrows feat.

    Hey! He caught an arrow! Guess which feat he used? I'm going to guess Snatch Arrow. If you choose to guess "some unknown feat in an obscure splatbook", all the while deriding my knowledge of the rules, then I win no matter your position.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Yes, exactly! Why would Tarquin want to take damage that he had a feat which would prevent? Again, this is able to be described well within the rules of the setting.
    Yes, it's better for Tarquin, and thus a less cool result for Haley. My premise, once again, is that the plan should work better if Tarquin catches the arrow. If he catches it to avoid taking damage, it works slightly worse for him having caught the arrow, which makes the plan a little less cool in my eyes. It has nothing to do with whether or not the rules cover the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Your interpretation requires a lot of extra rules fudging which is entirely unnecessary. If you prefer a more complex and unnecessary plot situation, that's fair.
    My interpretation requires exactly one rules fudge: If an arrow would have hit your armor class, not counting any armor you're wearing, Snatch Arrows will allow you to catch it. Then the arrow might've pinged off Tarquin's armor if he hadn't caught it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    But don't think that you can enforce your preference upon the remainder of the forums.
    If you have an example of me trying to do that, I'd be happy to see it. I believe I've always presented both options as plausibiities. From my previous post: "Either interpretation is valid given what we're shown in the comic."

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Tarquin doesn't need 9 different unknown feats to catch an arrow, as you may desire. All he needs is the Snatch Arrows feat.
    Or a slightly house-ruled Snatch Arrows. Or some other feat we don't know about. Nobody in the comic has yet stated "Tarquin has the Snatch Arrows feat, which operates exactly as it does in 3.5." That means other possibilities are still open. The fact that there is a D&D rule that covers a situation in the comic is not the final word on interpretation; it doesn't close the door to discussion (which was your stated goal in your initial post).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Hey! He caught an arrow! Guess which feat he used? I'm going to guess Snatch Arrow. If you choose to guess "some unknown feat in an obscure splatbook", all the while deriding my knowledge of the rules, then I win no matter your position.
    I'm not sure where you think I derided your knowledge of the rules. Could you quote it? As far as I remember, I haven't said anything about your rules expertise one way or the other. (This is, incidentally, in direct contrast to you, who said to me, "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.")

  18. - Top - End - #408
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    My interpretation requires exactly one rules fudge: If an arrow would have hit your armor class, not counting any armor you're wearing, Snatch Arrows will allow you to catch it. Then the arrow might've pinged off Tarquin's armor if he hadn't caught it.
    Imagine this:
    In a game of D&D some player with Snatch Arrows decides that s/he is able to use this feat to protect his/her party members. The opponents are a bunch of bow based foes.

    Incoming arrows are deflected or snatched by the Tarquin clone! The heroes are saved!

    Or, are they?

    The Snatch Arrows feat doesn't work that way. The feat allows you to reduce hits and damage coming into yourself. It does not allow you to reduce hits or damage coming into your friends.

    The comic follows the game rules. You seem to be in favor of the comic not following the game rules. Why? I dunno. But there is a whole lot of support for the comic following the game setting rules, and just a few examples where the rules were ignored for purposes of humor or plot.

    So go on pretending that the rules don't mean anything. We'll be here, reading the comic which operates within the D&D rule set.
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Imagine this:
    In a game of D&D some player with Snatch Arrows decides that s/he is able to use this feat to protect his/her party members. The opponents are a bunch of bow based foes.

    Incoming arrows are deflected or snatched by the Tarquin clone! The heroes are saved!
    Could you explain how that's compatible with my suggested rules fudge, that you can catch arrows that would have hit your armor class but for your armor? My house-rule would fix the inconvenient fact that someone with +2 chain mail is worse at snatching arrows than someone with regular chain mail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    The comic follows the game rules. You seem to be in favor of the comic not following the game rules. Why? I dunno. But there is a whole lot of support for the comic following the game setting rules, and just a few examples where the rules were ignored for purposes of humor or plot.

    So go on pretending that the rules don't mean anything. We'll be here, reading the comic which operates within the D&D rule set.
    I've explained several times why I think the story would be more interesting, in this case, if this rules fudge were allowed. I think the comic generally follows the outlines of the D&D ruleset, but in cases where there's a choice between following the rules exactly and making the story more interesting Rich chooses the latter. I certainly would prefer that, anyway.
    Last edited by jere7my; 2012-09-08 at 04:38 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire View Post
    Initially I was kind of annoyed with this, given that the Linear Guild Escapes Again is at this point almost a parody of itself.
    I've seen a lot of people complaining about that. What is the actually basis in the comic for this "the Linear Guild always escapes" theme? Near as I can tell the Guild has fought the Order 5 times and of those engagements:

    Dungeons of Durukon: Yikyik killed, Nale, Thog, and Z all captured and Hilyga a ring out (due to Order action). Only Sabine actually escaped the fight under her own power and given she is a shape changing rogue who can fly and plane shift, it makes sense she would be the most difficult to corral. Otherwise 2/3 of the Guild were casualties in that engagement. That's not exactly a successful escape from the Order.

    Cliffport: Yokyok killed. "Nale", Thog, and Leeky all captured. Even discounting Nale's capture, that's still half the Guild killed or captured, and the successful escapes were solely due the Guild having a natural shapeshifter on their side.

    Azure City: Nale, Sabine, and Thog all captured. 100% casualty rate.

    Empire of Blood: Nale and Z captured by the Empire of Blood. Yukyuk captured by the Order. Thog dead or otherwise incapacitated. So once again 2/3 of the Guild ends up as casualties with only the two fiendish members (who used their plane shifting abilities) escaping the fight.

    So I would say this last battle is really the first time the Guild has ever managed to successfully escape a fight from the Order.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    I've seen a lot of people complaining about that. What is the actually basis in the comic for this "the Linear Guild always escapes" theme?
    So I would say this last battle is really the first time the Guild has ever managed to successfully escape a fight from the Order.
    Perhaps literally in battle you're correct, but in all their other major engagements, the Order has taken pity on them and thrown them in jail, from which they have, each time, promptly escaped.

    I'm not really complaining in terms of the story. They are the sort of villains who do that sort of thing, after all, and serve as good roadblocks for the heroes. Still, there is the part of me that just wants the Order to have a victory that sticks, particularly over that treacherous weasel Nale.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    So I would say this last battle is really the first time the Guild has ever managed to successfully escape a fight from the Order.
    That idea doesn't seem to jive entirely with the fact that they've turned up five times like a bad penny.

    Sure, they're defeated, but it doesn't stick. Sometimes it doesn't stick for more than a few minutes.
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    So the song runs on, with shift and change,
    Through the years that have no name,
    And the late notes soar to a higher range,
    But the theme is still the same.
    Man's battle-cry and the guns' reply
    Blend in with the old, old rhyme
    That was traced in the score of the strata marks
    While millenniums winked like campfire sparks
    Down the winds of unguessed time.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    The comic follows the game rules.
    Not necessarily all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    You seem to be in favor of the comic not following the game rules. Why? I dunno. But there is a whole lot of support for the comic following the game setting rules, and just a few examples where the rules were ignored for purposes of humor or plot.

    So go on pretending that the rules don't mean anything. We'll be here, reading the comic which operates within the D&D rule set.
    Uh huh. Well... http://ow.ly/68ITx

    So when you say "Snatch arrows ONLY works in such-and-such way" but it is entirely plausible you could catch one that ISN'T aimed directly at you in real life? That is what is more likely to happen in the strip. And if not, it'll be lampshaded as a joke because of how absurdly stupid it was that Tarquin could snatch an arrow out of the air that was about to hit him, but not one whizzing 3 inches past his face.

    It isn't that the rules don't mean anything, it's that you shouldn't stick to them so religiously.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire View Post
    Perhaps literally in battle you're correct, but in all their other major engagements, the Order has taken pity on them and thrown them in jail, from which they have, each time, promptly escaped.
    Well good aligned heroes don't normally kill helpless captives, so imprisonment is their only real option. (Plus as Haley pointed out killing Sabine won't really put her down for good anyway.) And between Nale's ability to spontaneously cast enchantment spells, Thog's strength, and Sabine's shapeshifting, it should be difficult to keep the Guild in prison.

    Besides the Order and its allies have had more than a few escapes from captivity as well (the bandit camp, Elan escaping the Cliffport jail, Belkar escaping the Azure City anti-magic cell, O'Chul escaping from Redcloak), so it's not like it's only the Guild that is benefiting from cardboard prisons

    And for what its worth, the Guild didn't even escape from the Empire of Blood. They were basically just parolled.

    I'm not really complaining in terms of the story. They are the sort of villains who do that sort of thing, after all, and serve as good roadblocks for the heroes. Still, there is the part of me that just wants the Order to have a victory that sticks, particularly over that treacherous weasel Nale.
    Well they've completely humiliated him, and he's lost control of the Linear Guild. Though I suspect you'll get your wish for Nale to be permanently defeated soon enough. I very much doubt he will survive the struggle for Girard's Gate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion
    That idea doesn't seem to jive entirely with the fact that they've turned up five times like a bad penny.

    Sure, they're defeated, but it doesn't stick. Sometimes it doesn't stick for more than a few minutes.
    The Guild has become progressively weaker though after each defeat. Having to replace Z with Pompey in the 2nd book represented a major loss in power for them. And they lost so badly in Azure City that they didn't even show up in the next book, and when they finally did reappear they still hadn't managed to fully replenish their ranks (not having a divine caster is a crippling weakness). And after their defeat in the Empire of Blood, Nale effectively lost control of the Guild, so its not as though the Order hasn't been grinding them down.

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Yes, it's better for Tarquin, and thus a less cool result for Haley. My premise, once again, is that the plan should work better if Tarquin catches the arrow. If he catches it to avoid taking damage, it works slightly worse for him having caught the arrow, which makes the plan a little less cool in my eyes. It has nothing to do with whether or not the rules cover the situation.
    I think it makes a better story - and shows more competence on Haley's part - if her plan worked even though Tarquin's special ability prevented him from being hit. Robust plans that work despite differences in how things turn out are stronger than plans that depend on one specific series of occurrences.
    Last edited by Warren Dew; 2012-09-09 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Fix subject verb agreement

  26. - Top - End - #416
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Dew View Post
    I think it makes a better story - and shows more competence on Haley's part - if her plan worked even though Tarquin's special ability prevented him from being hit. Robust plan that work despite differences in how things turn out are stronger than plans that depend on one specific series of occurrences.
    Not that I really care about this discussion, but ditto.

  27. - Top - End - #417
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Dew View Post
    I think it makes a better story - and shows more competence on Haley's part - if her plan worked even though Tarquin's special ability prevented him from being hit. Robust plan that work despite differences in how things turn out are stronger than plans that depend on one specific series of occurrences.
    If that were the case, she wouldn't've aimed at the most heavily armored target.

    In my interpretation, she doesn't have to worry about "to-hit" rolls at all. All she needs to do is get the arrow near not-Thog, and she knows he'll catch it. That seems more robust than depending on hitting a single target.
    Last edited by jere7my; 2012-09-08 at 09:34 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #418
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    If that were the case, she wouldn't've aimed at the most heavily armored target.
    She didn't - he pushed Sabine out of the way, remember?
    LGBTitP

    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.

  29. - Top - End - #419
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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    She didn't - he pushed Sabine out of the way, remember?
    That was before Haley released her shot.

  30. - Top - End - #420
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    how long has 862 been up?
    Last edited by bpwmd; 2012-09-08 at 10:34 PM.

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