Page 6 of 16 FirstFirst 123456789101112131415 ... LastLast
Results 151 to 180 of 451
  1. - Top - End - #151
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantine View Post
    Not really, without that "suave" clear-instant command to Z Roy and the rest of the gang would have been up their asses way before they could pull it off... and even with that, they still managed to escape only by a narrow margin.

    I'm sorry, but the fog curtain "luckily" disappearing on the very same round Tarquin's "lucky" ability to communicate non-verbally to (lucky!) specifically the drow race crosses way too high the line to me.
    The fog curtain has been dissipating for at least two strips now. It is incredibly noticeable in the beginning of this strip, and shrinks in practically every panel.

    It costs one skill point to learn a new language. Tarquin likes to be overly prepared in ludicrous ways. This is perfectly in keeping with his character.

    Also, Drow sign language is the ONLY sign language in D&D (to my recollection). Using a D&D rule in a comic based on a D&D setting is not an unrealistic situation here. If this really crosses the line for you, either take it up with Wizards of the Coast and demand a reissue of the book with the one specific nonverbal communication they have taken out, then petition Rich to re-plot and re-draw this strip (along with any others so that continuity may be kept), or stop reading.

    That isn't even addressing the previously mentioned fact that Roy TRIED to "be all up in their asses" before they could pull it off, as seen in the very next panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantine View Post
    What I'm addressing here is not fizzling, but overly convenient efficiency.

    Could he have used some more common hand gestures?
    Sure, and by the time Z understood+enacted the order, the entire Order would have been up their asses.

    Could he have shouted in his hear?
    Sure, and by doing that Roy would have realized his intentions and immediately run there pummeling.

    By using a specific non-verbal drow code (I mean, really?) he not only conveyed his order perfectly within a second, but effectively cut up Roy and everyone else from understanding it before they banded together for the teleport.
    Given how even with all the above they still barely escaped, it's no stretch to say that T's "lucky" ability effectively saved the team.
    It's no stretch to say T effectively saved the team, you are correct. To say "it's all because of Tarquin's luck! It's all luck!" over and over again is a stretch. Was he able to catch arrows due to luck? Or his ability to wear heavy armor, is that because he lucked into it? These are things that can be easily explained by the rules, but we currently can't, because we don't know how he was able to do it. We do know it is easily possible. Just like it is easily possible to know a language by the rules.
    DZ-4049 in the 501st Legion! Silver Dragon avatar by the awesome Cuthalion!

  2. - Top - End - #152
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WindStruck View Post
    You guys remember Tarquin also mentioning knowing the elf-ambasador-in-disquise was a drow and was sending them gift baskets? Yeah... it seems Tarquin has more relations to them than we might think... heck, I wonder if he really DOES have a true neutral half-drow son somewhere called lean or anel?
    He specifically said he only has the two sons. So we know he has a true-neutral daughter named Lena. Could be half-drow.
    'F' is the fire that rains from the Sky
    'U' for Uranium, BOMB!
    'N' is for No Survivors...

  3. - Top - End - #153
    Banned
     
    willpell's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by eras10 View Post
    -- I expect the real disruption to this plan is going to be either 10,000 soldiers of the Emperess of Blood, or else Xykon.
    Or, hopefully, both. Heck, throw in the Empress herself; I would love to see her and the MiTD, after a momentary "arm-wrestle" which levels several square yards of pyramid around them, end up attempting to outsmart each other. (Comedy gold!) While a few hundred feet away, Xykon kills 8d6 soldiers a round while the others line up for charge drills and hope to roll a crit. That still leaves Redcloak to keep the OOTS busy and perhaps have Malack show up and argue about Death vs. Evil or something (okay that's probably wishful thinking, philosophy buff that I am).

  4. - Top - End - #154
    Banned
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    *Edit

    Double post, check later
    Last edited by Mantine; 2012-08-31 at 11:17 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #155
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    the throne of regrets

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by brionl View Post
    He specifically said he only has the two sons. So we know he has a true-neutral daughter named Lena. Could be half-drow.
    Hah! Love this. Would be curious to see Lena drawn -- grayish skin, mandatory softcore fantasy Drow curves, and... the famous family face? bizarre.

    As for the strip, bummer that Belkar didn't get his kill! Surely Tarquin could afford to have him raised -- if he didn't have a larger plan in place that involved not doing it -- and in the meantime could have had a few strips of Nale in the Other Place... indeed.
    At least now I can get back to enjoying my glass of elven wine in peace and quiet, without being called on to intervene in someone else's problems.
    Clang, clang, clang goes the trolley! Ring, ring, ring goes the bell! Git away from me, ye daft fool!
    *sigh*

  6. - Top - End - #156
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantine View Post
    Roy only realized they were gonna teleport when he saw them all packing together holding hands. Then turned to Durkon in hope of a dimensional anchor of sort. Only when he confirmed of not being able to do it he run there.

    Had he foreseen their intentions earlier, had he TIME, he would have simply run there. But he hadn't, because of T's secret code, which is what saved them.
    Quote time! "Repeating it doesn't make it true." Ya know what, let's assume that Tarquin shouted as loudly and articulately as he could, "GET US OUT OF HERE! BRING MY ACCOUNTANT!" so that Z could understand him. The entire rest of the comic would still play the exact same. The next strip would still have Roy say "Durkon! They're preparing to teleport!" Roy would still get there just shy of the party teleporting away. Nothing would change. Just because you think it should or could doesn't mean it would.
    DZ-4049 in the 501st Legion! Silver Dragon avatar by the awesome Cuthalion!

  7. - Top - End - #157
    Banned
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    It would not have taken any longer to mouth the word "Teleport", or to point at Zz'd'tri and make a "Get us out of here" gesture or two, than it did to convey two complete sentences in Drow sign language (and in Common he was talking about bec de corbins and curvy Drow maidens in the same amount of time). The sign language just allowed him to do it in style.
    Repeating it doesn't make it true.
    How do you mouth a word with an helmet, anyway?

    Here's an experiment: Time how long it takes you to say those two sentences, about the bec de corbin and so on. Then try to silently communicate the word "Teleport" or "Get us out of here" in the same amount of time or less. I bet it won't be that hard...even if you don't know Drow sign language.
    I'm not speaking about timing, but about Roy receiving the message just as well.

    Good point. Doing it this way, Roy couldn't possibly say "Durkon! They're going to teleport!" in the next panel.
    Roy only realized they were gonna teleport when he saw them all packing together holding hands. Then turned to Durkon in hope of a dimensional anchor of sort. Only when he confirmed of not being able to do it he run there.

    Had he foreseen their intentions earlier, had he had TIME, he would have simply run there. But he hadn't, because of T's secret code, which is what bought them the time needed to escape.
    This is to address Peelee as well.

    I think you're missing the joke. Back in the day, everybody who could learned Drow sign language, because it was Kewl. It's not any kind of a stretch to say that a random old-school character sheet from the time immediately following the release of Unearthed Arcana would have Drow sign language written on it. For a while, that was as common as a 17 comeliness.
    Just as someone else said
    Quote Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
    Ugh. Fine, sure, it's totally reasonable for Tarquin to know Drow Sign Language, but I really REALLY wish it had even come up as an obscure background joke somewhere before, instead of him saying "Oh by the way I know the exact thing to do to undercut their victory."

    Even a Chekhov's Gun is better than a Deus Ex Machina.

  8. - Top - End - #158
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Winter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    I would say he's probably almost as powerful as Xykon, just in a more creative and less mechanical way, and he's more cautious. Frankly, this is how characters SHOULD be playing, if death in D&D wasn't such a revolving door. Imagine if you had exactly one character, and if he died you didn't get rezzed and you couldn't reroll. In fact, imagine if when that one character died you could never play with that D&D group again. No adventurer would leave the safety of a city without 100 pounds of magical-amulets to account for every concievable situation.
    This is a player meta-gaming a character to the fullest extend of the effectiveness of a character.
    This is not, in any way, a well-rounded, believable character in/for a story.

    Xykon might be as "powerful", but he's not coming over as "Perfect Superman Without The Weakness For Kryptonite". Xykon has lots of levels and power, but he's all in all a character I buy. Tarquin by now seems more like a bridge to me.
    Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei, King Joffrey, The Tickler, The Hound, Ser Amory, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling, Weese, Dunsen, Nale, Ser Gregor Clegane and Chiswyck: Winter is coming!

  9. - Top - End - #159
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    I must chuckle at all of the people who assume Tarquin's miscommunication lead to a night of sex or drugs, when it's obvious they wound up taking him out for a night of rock and roll. Honestly, it's not hard to tell what's on some minds...

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    I'm beyond caring for the schmucks (but even Kilkil made it out).
    A broken pattern could very well be significant. I'm reminded of the complaints about Thog's rally in the arena pit against Roy. Thog never had a finer hour, but that just wound up making Roy look all the better in the end.

    We've spent a few strips watch the Order execute a brutally effective ambush. Since this isn't actually a game, however, the mastermind who's manipulated nations for decades did what he should be expected to do: get out of there with the same sort of efficiency that kept him alive when he lost his own throne.

    As satisfying as it might be to see them beaten down, the Linear Guild is still just a side show, dangling on the strings of more ambitious and capable enemies. With all that's happening (with Malack and V, with Quarr or Sabine likely to be making a report to their patrons, and with a kobold breaking the recurring thread of dying soon after encountering the Order), I'm certain we're about to see somehting world-shaking on centre stage. I think we'll get a much better show if this prelude of chaos is not resolved before it seizes the spotlight.

    What do I think we're going to see?

    Spoiler
    Show
    Let's just wait and find out for once, shall we? It's not like a right guess is worth any more than a wrong one here.

  10. - Top - End - #160
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Hey, look, the Linear Guild got away.

    *yawn*
    If you can read this you are too close.

  11. - Top - End - #161
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    Last I checked, Rings of Regeneration only work for wounds received while wearing the ring. Thus, it works for all wounds Tarquin currently incurs, but should Nale get it, it would only heal injuries he got after he put the ring on - nothing more.
    Unless he has a Ring of Regeneration left over from an earlier edition, like his knowledge about when all that arcana was unearthed.

  12. - Top - End - #162
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ChowGuy View Post
    It's been established that speech in OOTS is a free action, ergo it takes no time at all, unless it's funny because it does - like when V bores the Goblins to sleep before they can move.
    In that case, charading "Get us out of here" would be a free action, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChowGuy View Post
    I... actually have no idea how I would go about doing that, without the benefit of some pre-arranged signals.
    *shrug* I reckon it's pretty easy to do charades for someone with a 17 or 18 intelligence. If Belkar can hear "Damn mansion whores", Zz'd'tri can probably figure out "Teleport!"

  13. - Top - End - #163
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantine View Post
    Repeating it doesn't make it true.
    How do you mouth a word with an helmet, anyway?
    If he'd really had to, he could've taken the helmet off as he was running. His back was to the Order of the Stick. But I find it hard to believe Tarquin couldn't come up with a "Get us out of here!" charade that would be understood by someone with a 17 or 18 intelligence in the time he had to talk about bec de corbins. Or he could've written "TELEPORT!" in Nale's blood that would've been pretty badass, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantine View Post
    Roy only realized they were gonna teleport when he saw them all packing together holding hands. Then turned to Durkon in hope of a dimensional anchor of sort. Only when he confirmed of not being able to do it he run there.

    Had he foreseen their intentions earlier, had he had TIME, he would have simply run there. But he hadn't, because of T's secret code, which is what bought them the time needed to escape.
    That isn't supported by the comic. The panels are adjacent; as far as the comic tells us, Roy figured it out and started running immediately after Tarquin communicated the plan. During the cutaway panel when Roy is running and shouting about teleporting, Zz'd'tri was presumably fetching Kilkil, not holding hands with anyone. That was not the clue that tipped Roy off. Do you really think Roy wasn't already pelting as quickly as he could toward the enemy as soon as Belkar shouted that they were getting away?

    Certainly he and Durkon are already running when he asks for the dimensional anchor.

  14. - Top - End - #164
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Bulldog Psion's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    A powerful arcane caster and divine caster have both been seperated from their repsective groups, in a facility that (probably) holds the Gate. Coincedence?
    Almost certainly, but is anyone else REALLY hoping to see a V & Malack vs. Xykon and Redcloak spell-duel?
    That would be an event that could actually pry the overused word "awesome" from my lips.
    Spoiler: Poem by Charles Badger Clark
    Show

    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.

  15. - Top - End - #165
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ElfRogueGirl

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    For those complaining about Tarquin knowing drow sign language : rule of fun. The Giant said it took precedence over following the rules. ^^

    I'm not too worried about Malack. He probably have a way to retreat by himself if need arise. Or it might have been part of the plan ("If things goes wrong and we need to retreat, find a way to "accidentaly" stay back"). The wall trap seems a bit too convenient that way, though, but we'll see.

    Was hoping Belkar would finish Nale as well, too bad. I guess Tarquin still have some use for him. Or maybe he promised that Malack would get to kill him himself, thus saving him for his old friend's sake, like he did Durkon.

  16. - Top - End - #166
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
    Ugh. Fine, sure, it's totally reasonable for Tarquin to know Drow Sign Language, but I really REALLY wish it had even come up as an obscure background joke somewhere before, instead of him saying "Oh by the way I know the exact thing to do to undercut their victory."
    Sometimes, the joke isn't going to be designed with the entire audience in mind. This one works perfectly well because it's a) consistent with everything we've seen of Tarkin to date, and b) consistent with require to the choices someone who'd have played his type would have made back in 1st Edition.

    Overall, that's worked out for the Giant much better than trying to make every joke or reference universally accessible (and acceptable). I'm not always happy with the results, but then I have to remind myself which of us has been selling an ongoing story for the better part of a decade now.

  17. - Top - End - #167
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Riverdance's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Great Comic as usual! Thanks Rich!
    Many thanks to Ceika for my Avatar

  18. - Top - End - #168
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    I hate to get involved in another argument about Tarquin - especially since it's actually reached the point where I dislike his hatedom more then his fandom - but I have to say that I think people are missing the reason why people are objecting to him knowing Drow Sign Language. It's not that it made a crucial difference in the LG's escape, or that it's implausible, or that they don't get the joke. It's the way how he's once again pulled out some never-before-mentioned ability right when he needed it. "Luckily for us, I'm well-versed in Drow sign language" even sounds like the kind of line a stereotypical 60s superhero would utter when pulling new powers out of nowhere.

    ...That said, it doesn't bother me much. The "Tarquin is unbeatable" argument is pretty hard to buy when he just ran for it.

  19. - Top - End - #169
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    I hate to get involved in another argument about Tarquin - especially since it's actually reached the point where I dislike his hatedom more then his fandom - but I have to say that I think people are missing the reason why people are objecting to him knowing Drow Sign Language. It's not that it made a crucial difference in the LG's escape, or that it's implausible, or that they don't get the joke. It's the way how he's once again pulled out some never-before-mentioned ability right when he needed it. "Luckily for us, I'm well-versed in Drow sign language" even sounds like the kind of line a stereotypical 60s superhero would utter when pulling new powers out of nowhere.

    ...That said, it doesn't bother me much. The "Tarquin is unbeatable" argument is pretty hard to buy when he just ran for it.
    Exactly. I understand all the arguments against it, but if Tarquin was unbeatable, he would have put his axe through Belkar's head and strangled Roy with one hand while catching Haley's arrows with the other.

  20. - Top - End - #170
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    I hate to get involved in another argument about Tarquin - especially since it's actually reached the point where I dislike his hatedom more then his fandom - but I have to say that I think people are missing the reason why people are objecting to him knowing Drow Sign Language. It's not that it made a crucial difference in the LG's escape, or that it's implausible, or that they don't get the joke. It's the way how he's once again pulled out some never-before-mentioned ability right when he needed it. "Luckily for us, I'm well-versed in Drow sign language" even sounds like the kind of line a stereotypical 60s superhero would utter when pulling new powers out of nowhere.
    Well, his schtick is that he's annoyingly overcompetent and unflappable. He's the kind of character who's always spotless and perfectly dressed while the hero's clothes are torn and bloodstained, who solves problems the heroes have been banging their heads against by lightly saying, "Oh, I speak Maasai. Step aside." It leaves the heroes dumbfounded and enraged and frustrated, and if the writer is doing their job it leaves the reader feeling the same way. Which is great, imho.

    All I'm saying is that the sign language was not so much a way for him to escape as a way to do it without losing his cool. There were half a dozen other ways for Rich to get them out of there Zz'd'tri could've taken the initiative and cast teleport on his own, for instance. But then the strip wouldn't've played into Tarquin's schtick.

  21. - Top - End - #171
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kish's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Ugh, I hate that I'm getting drawn into a rhetorical debate here. For the record, I'm not bothered by Tarquin knowing drow sign language.

    However: "Tarquin ran for it, therefore he is beatable" presupposes that he wants to beat the Order and that "Tarquin crushes the Order single-handed while the Linear Guild lies defeated around him" is something Tarquin would consider a desirable outcome, rather than a disaster on par with the chess board tipping over while watching an interesting match. Not only do I not think that's guaranteed, I don't even actually think it's terribly likely. He chose the option that resulted in neither of his sons dying and lets him watch Nale clash with Elan again in the future.
    Spoiler
    Show
    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  22. - Top - End - #172
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Winter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    A broken pattern could very well be significant. I'm reminded of the complaints about Thog's rally in the arena pit against Roy. Thog never had a finer hour, but that just wound up making Roy look all the better in the end.
    Well, that does not have anything to do with my opinion on this here, I guess.

    We've spent a few strips watch the Order execute a brutally effective ambush. Since this isn't actually a game, however, the mastermind who's manipulated nations for decades did what he should be expected to do: get out of there with the same sort of efficiency that kept him alive when he lost his own throne.
    I'm not following this reasoning. If I did, we had to consider Tarquin unbeatable (because he has not been beaten in the last decades). Obviously, "having not been beaten yesterday" does not have to mean "cannot be beaten today or tomorrow".

    As satisfying as it might be to see them beaten down, the Linear Guild is still just a side show, dangling on the strings of more ambitious and capable enemies.
    They fought and escaped. Again. And Again. And Again. And agaaain. This time in the very same way Nale escaped last (Nale defeated and teleports out).
    This is the reason why I dislike the ability to teleport. It takes the punch from an enemy finding you, you finding an enemy, travel distance, or a win. The enemy can just teleport out which is a pretty lame Deus Ex Magica, something that can ruin quite a lot in D&D (and stories) if done wrongly.
    This here seems just like it (to you, you might disagree, which is fine).

    With all that's happening (with Malack and V, with Quarr or Sabine likely to be making a report to their patrons, and with a kobold breaking the recurring thread of dying soon after encountering the Order), I'm certain we're about to see somehting world-shaking on centre stage. I think we'll get a much better show if this prelude of chaos is not resolved before it seizes the spotlight.
    I'm not doubting that. My issue here is I think "Nale escaping with whatever LG he has now" is at least two encounters over it's date of expiry. I said so last time (yes, I know that escape lead to the current setup, but I think it was still somewhat lame) and I think it just got worse it happend again (this is independent of what might come soon).
    This fight changes things? That is very fine... but does it have to be another "magic teleport out"? Just gripping for "some magic teleport spell" is, imo, the lamest possible way to dissolve an suspenseful encounter (which is no offense to The Giant, the comic in general is still awesome) to keep the parties "in the game" for what's to come.

    I'm not thinking "what" happens is bad. I just dislike "how" it happens in the light of that it just did happen in the very sane way and that it's not the first time Nale popped out.

    Never mind, this is getting blown up way bigger than it actually is...
    Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei, King Joffrey, The Tickler, The Hound, Ser Amory, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling, Weese, Dunsen, Nale, Ser Gregor Clegane and Chiswyck: Winter is coming!

  23. - Top - End - #173
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
    Ugh. Fine, sure, it's totally reasonable for Tarquin to know Drow Sign Language, but I really REALLY wish it had even come up as an obscure background joke somewhere before, instead of him saying "Oh by the way I know the exact thing to do to undercut their victory."

    Even a Chekhov's Gun is better than a Deus Ex Machina.
    Tarquin displaying that he has a more than passing familiarity with the Drow, to the point where he thinks he would be a conceivable ally to them, and has no surprise at seeing them show up without warning. Sending fruit baskets sounds kind of like an obscure background joke to me. I'd say Chekov's gun just went off. It was like a pocket popper, but yeah.

    I'm sorry, but the fog curtain "luckily" disappearing on the very same round Tarquin's "lucky" ability to communicate non-verbally to (lucky!) specifically the drow race crosses way too high the line to me.
    Now, I consider myself a bit of a tactician. I tend to do what Tarquin does in gaming groups - be crazy prepared and organize the party, help plan battles. If I were in possession of a form of nonverbal communication -
    Spoiler
    Show
    which all my characters are, usually several, my last wizard had trained the party to speak a sign language, a cipher, know a code based on color combinations with dancing lights, carry papers with pre-written generally advisable directives to pull out of a handy haversack (of which 'Teleport,' was actually one, we worked it out so that it would have a heading like, 'Retreat' and then a bullet point menu where you point to the bullet you want the party to use, listing every option that could be explained in three or fewer words),
    - I would wait until visual obstructions, such as smoke, cleared away before using a method of communication that was purely visual.

    Beyond that very simple explanation, if I were Tarquin in command, I might actually be willing to see what came of things for a little while, but the point where I see enemies attempting to Coup De Grace and I'm one of the last ones standing, and we lose the only battlefield tactical advantage we arguably had (concealment), it's time to bug out. Before I could have at least known casters and other ranged attackers lacked line of sight, maybe held out for Malack to regroup, but once a clear line of fire like that is had, and I can see that we lack mummy meatshields, my next fear is losing every single member of my party to arrow-based coup de grace. A paralyzed party member is flat footed and sneak attacked, an incapacitated one just needs a single arrow to be finished, and the wizard is getting its butt handed to it by arrows fired blindly, much less arrows fired directly at it. Time to go.

    As for it making sense for Tarquin to know it? Did you read my post on the top of the third page? Or just read this one. Nonverbal communication has many uses:
    Spoiler
    Show


    - Communicating in front of people you don't want to understand you in a code even an Angel's persisted Tongues does nothing to understand if they lack line of sight.
    - Carrying on a verbal conversation obviously and a nonverbal one under the table, less obviously than passing notes or shifting vocally into obscure languages.
    - Communicating with individuals who are stalking a target with you, or with individuals sharing a hiding place with you.
    - Communicating while deafened, such as by a common item like a Thunderstone, a common spell accessible to 3rd level Wizards/Clerics like Blindness/Deafness, communicating in spite of many Bardic spells with deafness as a consequence due to so many sonic descriptors, and generally communicating in light of the vast majority of spells that can deafen.
    - Communicating in spite of horrible background noise, like a thunderstorm with pouring rain and howling winds, a melee between giants in the background, a castle under seige where catapults are striking it, in spite of being in a place like a forge where blacksmiths are hammering away.
    - Communicating when you've deliberately made yourself unable to hear readily, such as your camp Alarm spell going off, traveling after your Cleric has put a Silence spell on the group to make stealth up to a certain distance possible, allowing your caster to communicate after being silenced by an enemy cleric, or after filling the area with sound such as Bardic Music, the Ghost Sound spell, Ventriloquism spell, Major Image in some instances...
    - Communicating with the deaf, as with ASL.
    - Using the fact that sophisticated gestures can be indistinguishable from the beginnings of a spell with somantic components to those who only have a passing familiarity with magic.
    - Communicating when there's a need to hold your breath, such as underwater or in an airtight place where suffocation is a concern, or a place where breathing would be harmful, like in smoke. This can singlehandedly enable underwater looting where you would otherwise need to have a caster powerful enough to provide telepathy.
    - Communicating over distances where you can be seen but not easily heard, such as with a telescope.
    - Providing subordinates with a way to do all of the above, vastly improving their efficiency and utility.
    - Identifying traitors by the way that communications you made entirely in sign language have been intercepted and used by enemies.
    - If the language is known to a somewhat large group of dangerous individuals, being able to identify them even if they are disguised by the communication they use, and being able to comprehend their plotting.
    - Being able to communicate after your jailor has cut your tongue out for antagonizing him wittily (no, I don't have personal experience here, why do you ask?) Or when imprisoned and gagged, for that matter (gagging everyone is good general practice when capturing groups. Why? To prevent them from collaborating the moment your back is turned).
    - Being able to communicate despite hiding from creatures that hunt based on sound.
    - Being able to communicate while in caves where sound would echo and carry.
    - Testing the perceptiveness of those around you.
    - Misleading others aloud while saying something else with your fingers (DM may require skill checks :P).


    Spoiler
    Show
    The story behind these uses, by the way? In short, I was young, 12-14 or something, I grew up on R.A. Salvatore's Icewind Dale and David E. Eddings' Belgariad/Mallorean volumes (the dude reminds you why tropes deserve to be used so much). Both of these volumes frequently had characters and even whole story arcs that were heavily influenced by the capability of characters to sign. In addition, at that age, the ability to communicate in secret was an illicit thrill just because. I was into the idea of cryptology, sign, invisible ink, whatever. So then I got into D&D, had a Fighter who had a military background with commando aspirations, and thought, "It's only two skill points. If it sucks and never comes up, not like I lost much."

    Wow. I never would have realized how useful it is. Because it's one of the most useful buys you can get for two skill points. Most of the situations above that I listed as examples, I list because I actually played through 'em.

    I think I've kind of proved a point. I hope you'll forgive me, if, to me personally, the gripe that it's 'just luck,' for Tarquin to cover this wide base seems inaccurate.
    Last edited by Brom; 2012-08-31 at 03:20 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #174
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    I thought Belkar didn't try to kill the other PCs' nemeses now.
    I must say, having 2 comics has really made my week all the better.
    Albeit still wanting to see more.
    Curse you giant, with your efficient and highly enchanting storytelling!

  25. - Top - End - #175
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The US of A

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    This is a player meta-gaming a character to the fullest extend of the effectiveness of a character.
    This is not, in any way, a well-rounded, believable character in/for a story.

    Xykon might be as "powerful", but he's not coming over as "Perfect Superman Without The Weakness For Kryptonite". Xykon has lots of levels and power, but he's all in all a character I buy. Tarquin by now seems more like a bridge to me.
    Assuming that a character living in the OotS world could obtain all the knowledge that a D&D player does, who shouldn't they use it to their advantage? Especially one as smart as Tarquin. The Order would have more options to shut him down, except half of their main casting team is AWOL.

    I compared Tarquin to Xykon, because both seem to be too powerful for the Order to seriously endanger, and they are both frequently far more in control than they let on. During the Azure City Ark, Xykon took some risky chances flying into a paladin-infested city by himself, and didn't bail until he'd been nearly killed (don't start with the undeath thing). As I said, Tarquin is more cautious, and he just decided to bail before the risky situation (which had deteriorated from good, to bad, and rapidly heading into FUBAR) got him killed. It's not that he's invincible, it's just that he doesn't let himself get into the same sort of perilous situations that the other characters do.

    Tarquin is also busy single-handedly running a con operation on half a contintent, so unlike Roy, he can't afford to be out of operation for a few months; it makes sense to me that he'd do everything he could to avoid shuffling off the mortal coil. Frankly, I think it's refreshing to see a character who is smart enough to recognize his own flaws and not let his actions be dictated by a set of near-crippling neurosisies. (I think it would be easier to list the characters in the comic WITHOUT severe psycological issues than those with, although a few have gotten better over time.)
    Well-rounded characters are nice, but if they only way you can move the story forward is to have all the participants act like the cheerleader in a slasher-flick, that's not good writing either.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-08-31 at 03:39 PM.
    "A man is known by the company he organizes." -Ambrose Bierce

    Homebrew Extended Signature!

    Progress in my Core rebalance project: 9 of 11 classes complete
    Druid, Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Ranger, Wizard, Sorcerer, Monk & Paladin

    Magic Fix: spell rewrites paused; rules under revision


    Non-core stuff I want to take a crack at rewriting: Healer, Warlock, Ninja, Samurai, Artificer, Soulborn Incarnum, psionics, bloodlines, and the item-crafting system

  26. - Top - End - #176
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Kind of makes me wonder what bonus languages Roy has...

  27. - Top - End - #177
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    Well, that does not have anything to do with my opinion on this here, I guess.
    I'd have thought it was obvious. The pattern has always been: Linear Guild gets away, but kobold dies. Every other member of the group has survived the encounter, but not the kobold.

    For once, the kobold has escaped. For once, Guild members were not imprisoned before escaping or otherwise securing release. (Nale's encounter with his father counts.) If it hasn't played out by the numbers thus far, why assume it's going to now that they've been rescued from the field?

    People typically have a good reason for breaking pattern.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    I'm not following this reasoning. If I did, we had to consider Tarquin unbeatable (because he has not been beaten in the last decades). Obviously, "having not been beaten yesterday" does not have to mean "cannot be beaten today or tomorrow".
    No, we don't have to consider him unbeatable. We should, however, consider that a guy with decades of experience on Roy ought to be difficult to beat. His showboating performance wasn't enough to demonstrate that as well as his reaction to being outplayed by the younger leader in round two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    This is the reason why I dislike the ability to teleport. It takes the punch from an enemy finding you, you finding an enemy, travel distance, or a win. The enemy can just teleport out which is a pretty lame Deus Ex Magica, something that can ruin quite a lot in D&D (and stories) if done wrongly.
    Often, the problem is that people want to write a story ill-suited to the powers available to their characters. To tell those stories, you wind up with contrivances such as V having conjuration as a barred school, or the transporters on the Enterprise being down for maintenance again.

    The problem with teleport in D&D comes down to how the rules were too well defined for it and its countermeasures, leaving people who do not want it in their game the choice of rewriting it or banning it. The game could have been better served with more flexible options for setting the strength of that and a few other spells. Some games thrive on having an infinite-lane bypass to everywhere. Others are better served by removing the option, or at least forcing it into the court of last resort. Most find a balance somewhere in between.

    The rules never accounted for that, instead favouring a playing style ill-suited to many of the supposed inspirations for the game.

    However, here we've got Roy mentioning the countermeasure, a spell available to Durkon (even if he doesn't currently have it prepared). After finally delivering holy word after several false starts, we've got more than enough reason to believe that this avenue of escape isn't going to be available for much longer.

    Up until now, Roy (nor any on his team) have mentioned the off-switch for teleport. Its use before that would seem contrived to anyone that didn't play games like D&D, since it is a contrivance. Still, once its established that the option exists and is available to the Order, its use is much easier to justify.

    It may seem unfair to apply this doubled standard between the Order of the Stick and Tarquin. It's not. We've been following the former's progress for over 850 strips, the majority of their successful (and less successful) adventuring days. We've seen Tarquin a lot less, during an insignificant amount of time as measured against the entirety of his experience. It's expected that we should have a good idea of what Roy's group can do at this point, just as we should expect to spend most of our time with Tarquin catching up on what he can do.

  28. - Top - End - #178
    Banned
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Brom View Post
    Now, I consider myself a bit of a tactician. I tend to do what Tarquin does in gaming groups - be crazy prepared and organize the party, help plan battles. If I were in possession of a form of nonverbal communication -
    Spoiler
    Show
    which all my characters are, usually several, my last wizard had trained the party to speak a sign language, a cipher, know a code based on color combinations with dancing lights, carry papers with pre-written generally advisable directives to pull out of a handy haversack (of which 'Teleport,' was actually one, we worked it out so that it would have a heading like, 'Retreat' and then a bullet point menu where you point to the bullet you want the party to use, listing every option that could be explained in three or fewer words),
    - I would wait until visual obstructions, such as smoke, cleared away before using a method of communication that was purely visual.
    I know, right? And that's exactly my point, the fact that Tarquin happened to have just the perfect ability at hand to deal with a deafened drow wizard, but which is rendered useless by a smoke cl- oh nevermind, lucky! It just went off.

    There will always be "explanations" behind a DE, checkov's gun or whatever other plot tool, the point here is not that what happened is unbelievable or impossible, but that it's so overly convenient that it reaches the point of breaking my suspension of disbelief.

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantine View Post
    I know, right? And that's exactly my point, the fact that Tarquin happened to have just the perfect ability at hand to deal with a deafened drow wizard, but which is rendered useless by a smoke cl- oh nevermind, lucky! It just went off.

    There will always be "explanations" behind a DE, checkov's gun or whatever other plot tool, the point here is not that what happened is unbelievable or impossible, but that it's so overly convenient that it reaches the point of breaking my suspension of disbelief.
    So again, that the smoke has been noticeably decreasing over the last two strips and is very noticeably decreasing in almost every panel in the current strip is breaking your suspension of disbelief?
    DZ-4049 in the 501st Legion! Silver Dragon avatar by the awesome Cuthalion!

  30. - Top - End - #180
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: OOTS #862 - The Discussion Thread

    It's not as if Z has been porting around like Nightcrawler, using it as a lazy replacement for walking. Z is constrained by spell slots. Therefore, so is Teleport. So unless Z used multiple spell slots for it, he was probably saving Teleport for exactly this scenario and only this scenario.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •