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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    And that is what I see in review of those subject in this thread. Thoughts?
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    Cutting out the excess side arguments and squabbling,
    But... but... that's what we DO here :P
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Yup, that's what people do here and it's rather annoying. They often get personal (I am qualified because I played RPGs since before Gygax! You are making this fundamental mistake but it's ok, you don't know better..) and mildly insulting or at least massively condescending. Often, a new comic topic gets ninjad because 2 people are arguing some unrelated point to which the answer almost always is "the plot dictates that it happened like it happened, not rules". I keep hoping for mods to split the posts off to a new topic, or to just shut the arguers down. Unfortunately, that never happens so that's everyone else speed clicking through several pages of off-topic posts (and seeing nearly all other discussions stopped because there's a wall of text in the way).
    Last edited by Bundin; 2012-09-17 at 05:29 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Well, yeah, it can sound like squabbling, but if Sorator's post is any evidence, by the end of the thread we've heard every possible angle and every conceivable argument. Sure, the original posters rarely change positions, but the rest of us get a wealth of information to pick over as we make up our own minds. Personally, this is why I read this forum. For the reasoned (and not-as-reasoned) arguments.

    I, for one, believe that the difference between a debate and an argument is whether or not you are willing to admit the other guy has a point. If you're not, and he's not, you're both just shouting past eachother. If my opinion is wrong, I'd prefer to be informed of it sooner than later.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    Well, yeah, it can sound like squabbling, but if Sorator's post is any evidence, by the end of the thread we've heard every possible angle and every conceivable argument. Sure, the original posters rarely change positions, but the rest of us get a wealth of information to pick over as we make up our own minds. Personally, this is why I read this forum. For the reasoned (and not-as-reasoned) arguments.
    This. It's (usually) one of my favorite things about the Comic Discussion Threads.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    This. It's (usually) one of my favorite things about the Comic Discussion Threads.
    I'll third that. It's why I keep reading after page 3.

    Looking back I see a ton of typos and minor grammatical errors that I'm not willing to fix, on account of it being a 10 page document with a half-page text editor.
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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.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    I'll fourth that. It's what the threads are for!

    To the guy who said that the debates sparked by the current comic in said comic's discussion thread should be moved to their own threads... pray tell, what exactly do you wish or expect to see in the comic discussion thread?
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Xelbiuj View Post
    Hopefully Tarq will die alone, forgotten and in an anti-climatic fashion. An off screen death, maybe getting stuck in a trap then forgotten for 20 strips, only to have it pan back to his skeleton, would be perfectly poetic and just.
    I think Giant is setting Tarquin up to die heroically, proving that a guy can be evil and still care about his kids.
    Last edited by Jaffo; 2012-09-17 at 11:56 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaffo View Post
    I think Giant is setting Tarquin up to die heroically, proving that a guy can be evil and still care about his kids.
    But... Tarquin has consistently shown that he cares about his kids much much less than advancing his evil plan. It's not even a Redcloak "Dark Side Will Make You Forget" thing; he has never shown the slightest hint that he cares about his children any more than his legion of dead wives.

    My ideal Tarquin Death Scenario below;
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    I would really love to see Nale, after however many strips being called the "idiot son" and generally being ignored in favor of Elan by his father, actually outsmart and take his disproportionate revenge. Tarquin would die alone, without anyone outside of a handful of people knowing that he was anything more than the second in command for some forgotten empire which won't even be on a map in five years time. And he would know that it was his least favorite son was the one who actually surpassed him in the end.

    It would be a good way to show the IFCC/Linear Guild step up as a serious contender for the finale, wrap up the current arc with a nice bow, and to give Tarquin a solid ironic/karmic death. Plus, IMO, Nale has always been one of the Order's most interesting antagonists, after Redcloak and Tsukiko.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Based on Tarquin's apparent perceptions of Elan, I would say he cares about his kids in a manner that is seemingly more friendly but ultimately as manipulative as Eugene.

    His kids are there to aggrandize his place in The Story. That means at least one of them has to embrace his greatness or destroy him in a climatic conflict, preferably both.

    The fact that Nale is even still alive is, I would dare speculate, mostly due to Tarquin wanting to keep his options open. I do not doubt Tarquin could have successfully killed Nale while fending off the coup attempt, if that were really his preference, way back when.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Anyone know why the dino is transparent? I guess I could understand the wings if they are really thin, but the neck is transparent as well.

    Some sort of ghostly / invis / ?? dino?

    G

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    P.S: That took way too much time to compile and edit. >.>
    First things first, no offense taken, and kudos for such a great post and the sheer amount of work it represents :-)

    So as you pointed and since I misread the BG class, T might very well be a Blackguard or multiclassed. Let's wait for him to fight the OOTS again to see what he's capable of.

    if you will allow me a couple last words on that matter, I really think we'd have seen T cast spells/ abilities like (LoH, smite) and or seen his pet/ minion by now if he was a BG. Since we've never seen him do so, I'd be tempted to say that the fighter hypothesis is more likely.

    Thog is all about an all offense raging BAR, so no wonder (AFAIC) he packed a lot more punch (Power Attack must have ruled in that almost butt naked fight in the arena) than Tarquin who fought on the defensive

    BTW I was talking about Defending magic items (not feat) which allow you to substract a part/ all of the weapon bonus from your to hit score & use that as an AC bonus

    As you summarized, T's XPing years are too big an unkown for anyone to be able to extrapolate about his level, so let's just call that a crazy theory of mine :
    It just wouldn't make sense IMO if the OOTS managed to beat a vilain 1-2 level higher than them. Remember when they were lowbies and managed to blow the first gate and kick X's ass who should have been way out of their league.

    On Nale's spells, let's just say that I can't see any reason for him to cast a 3rd level spell that will fail (unless every monster understands Common) if he even can do so (which we have no way of knowing I agree) when a much simpler 1st lvl one will be a lot more helpful and will get him to safety. Had we had an exemple of him using Comprehend Languages/ Tongues, I would have probably
    agreed with Kish.

    Although it might be too late to do so :-), I really don't want to sound like a stubborn bastard who won't ever change his mind, but given similar stats, I do think a MNK/PAL combo is better than a plain Fighter (ie good WIS is huge here). I've never been good at minmaxing race, class, etc to get the best of each of my characters, I've never been a powergamer looking for loopholes, but with a few moderately expensive magic items (WIS periapt, CHA cloack, DEX gloves, STR belt) you could really get amazing synergies & results. On the other hand there's just so many things a fighter can do to get better: more HP, better AC, better dmg output

    Anyway enough with my silly theories, I'll shut up for a few and wait for Rich to delight us with a few strips before I resume writing stupid things :-)

    I'll either gloat with a "Ah ! Told you so suckers" type of post or I'll shut my big mouth and admit in very small sized font that I was a fool :-)
    Last edited by hakflem; 2012-09-17 at 01:58 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
    Anyone know why the dino is transparent? I guess I could understand the wings if they are really thin, but the neck is transparent as well.
    Is it? I just re-read the comic, and the neck looks pretty opaque. T's leg is right behind it when they take off and you can't see a hint of the line there.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bundin View Post
    Yup, that's what people do here and it's rather annoying. They often get personal (I am qualified because I played RPGs since before Gygax! You are making this fundamental mistake but it's ok, you don't know better..) and mildly insulting or at least massively condescending. Often, a new comic topic gets ninjad because 2 people are arguing some unrelated point to which the answer almost always is "the plot dictates that it happened like it happened, not rules". I keep hoping for mods to split the posts off to a new topic, or to just shut the arguers down. Unfortunately, that never happens so that's everyone else speed clicking through several pages of off-topic posts (and seeing nearly all other discussions stopped because there's a wall of text in the way).
    Touché !

    I guess I will look like yet another "been there, done that" guy, but my very first RPG game was the B2 module with my brother as a DM back in 81 and yes, playing at night on a badly lit terrace with the clear blue dice of the D&D basic set box was a major PITA :-) Good times !

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
    Anyone know why the dino is transparent? I guess I could understand the wings if they are really thin, but the neck is transparent as well.

    Some sort of ghostly / invis / ?? dino?

    G
    I don't think it's that the whole Pteranodon (not technically a dinosaur... God, I'm sad.) is transparent. I think it's just the wing membrane.

    I think.
    Last edited by Cynric; 2012-09-17 at 02:17 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaffo View Post
    I think Giant is setting Tarquin up to die heroically, proving that a guy can be evil and still care about his kids.
    But even if Tarquin does care about his kids, that doesn't make him a decent person in any way. The comic's gone out of its way (most recently with the 'heart of a virgin'/inactive ingredient) to show that he's pointlessly, horrifically cruel to anyone who he doesn't know and care about. So far we've seen that Tarquin 1) regularly tortures women into marrying him, making him a multiple rapist; 2) sentences people to sadistic punishments (fight your own friend to the death) for trivial offences; 3) burned slaves alive; and 4) enjoys being evil for its own sake even when it serves no purpose (the 'heart of a virgin murdered on his/her wedding night; the banquet with pegasus, unicorn, etc. near when he was first introduced). Heck, at least Redcloak (ever since the Battle of Azure City) only does evil stuff when it furthers his main goals or involves people he really doesn't like.

    For that reason, I don't like the idea of Tarquin getting a heroic death. The point of his character is to show that someone can act charming, friendly, and helpful to certain people and still be completely evil.
    Last edited by LadyEowyn; 2012-09-17 at 02:25 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynric View Post
    I don't think it's that the whole Pteranodon (not technically a dinosaur... God, I'm sad.) is transparent. I think it's just the wing membrane.

    I think.
    Looking at the reins, I'd say the neck is definitely opaque.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    I think that people who see (or, possibly, wish to see) Tarquin dying alone and unremembered, or getting squished by Xykon like a bug he is, or some other sort of anticlimatic death just underestimate his importance in Elan's character developement.

    Tarquin is as important to Elan as Xykon is to Roy. Elan is clearly the second most important character of the whole comics. And since it's not probable that a bunch of dire half-dragon bone-eating saltwater werepiranhas consume Xykon and his bauble on his way to a gate, I guess Tarquin's defeat will also be a more or less direct result of Elan's actions. Nale and/or Haley may shuffle the cards a bit, but Elan will pull off the winning move.

    And when I say defeat, I mean death will simply not do it. Tarquin, on certain level, is perfectly willing to accept death. He won't like a gruesome or anticlimatic one, but that won't be enough to sway his belief that ultimately, he got what he wanted by paing the price he was willing to pay. By his definition of victory, he has already won, plotting and living like a god for a long, long time. Anything more he gains at this point is merely another helping of cream on his cake made of Win.

    This is a contrast to Xykon, who will be defeated when destroyed with his phylactery, and whose moment of Win hasn't come to pass yes. Xykon wants to exist and to rule, and he does see his destruction as a defeat. Tarquin does not, and that's why I see his defeat coming in a different manner.

    I believe that if the old man saw Elan without his Glasses of Fatherly Pride, it would kick him in his gut way more than if he got eaten by a dragon. I guess something like that will happen at some point in the future. And after that, Elan will triumph with his plan.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    That is correct. It is always possible to houserule in something else, but by default, this is the way it works.
    Wow, this sucks big time :-(

    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    Ah, I see your point. We really don't disagree on anything fundamental here, we're just using terminology differently. When I say a "burst of activity", I'm referring to that person's adventuring career, in respect to their entire lifetime. But, while actually adventuring, the level gain occurs at a relatively constant rate, which is what you're arguing. I more or less agree with that statement. The question becomes, then, how long did Tarquin adventure before he retired? Did he actually adventure longer than the OotS? Did he retire young? I don't

    But this is a point on which reasonable people can differ, so I'm not going to try to argue you out of your position. I'll simply state that I haven't seen enough evidence yet to convince myself that Tarquin is Epic.
    Forgive me for snipping most of your post, but I did so because I'm perfectly fine with most if not all of your points here.

    Let's wait & see then :-) I'm looking forward to Rich surprising us again :-)

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyEowyn View Post
    ... For that reason, I don't like the idea of Tarquin getting a heroic death. The point of his character is to show that someone can act charming, friendly, and helpful to certain people and still be completely evil.
    Indeed, and in fact Tarquin is a very good example of the classical notion of hero (someone who does great things, although not necessarily good things) and how it differs from our modern notion (someone who does things that are both great and good.)

    For example, Jason's Quest of the Golden Fleece was heroic but it was also basically theft.
    Last edited by rewinn; 2012-09-17 at 04:57 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    Indeed, and in fact Tarquin is a very good example of the classical notion of hero (someone who does great things, although not necessarily good things) and how it differs from our modern notion (someone who does things that are both great and good.)

    For example, Jason's Quest of the Golden Fleece was heroic but it was also basically theft.
    every "heroic deed" could be simplified into a crime, Harry Potter killing Vodlemort is murder

    you cant look at just the action to decide there are many factors, like who the victom is, what they did and what your action does

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by hakflem View Post
    It just wouldn't make sense IMO if the OOTS managed to beat a vilain 1-2 level higher than them. Remember when they were lowbies and managed to blow the first gate and kick X's ass who should have been way out of their league.
    Not having followed the discussion beyond reading the epic-length summary on the previous page, I just wanted to counter this individual point. OotS beating Xykon has no bearing on their ability to beat anyone else, because:

    1. Rich hadn't fully developed Xykon by that point, and likely didn't yet consider him to be very high level.
    2. Xykon wasn't taking them seriously.
    3. They had assistance from Epic-level magic.

    A few more points relevant to the general discussion of Tarquin's level:

    1. Magic items do a lot to bolster one's combat ability. Roy and Haley each have combat-useful magic items, but Tarquin plainly has access to many such items. So there is distinction on a different axis of power than mere character level.

    2. Everything Tarquin has done to this point is well within the capacity of a high-teens Fighter (or even low-teens ToB class). Tarquin's build is simply better-optimized for facing small groups of high-level characters, whereas the Order is mainly built to wipe out large waves of mooks (Roy and V mowing down the front line, Haley Manyshotting or sneaking around to snipe key targets in the rear, Elan and Durkon supporting, and Belkar wandering around stabbing things). So there's a distinction along the optimization axis as well.

    3. Redcloak is only 1-3 levels higher than the Order (depending on who you compare to), and plainly makes a suitable villain. Tarquin being on Redcloak's level is entirely believable; it's not necessary for him to be on Xykon's level, especially since Xykon's philosophy of being the biggest baddest dude around is very different from Tarquin's philosophy of indirect control and moderate villainy. I feel it is actually narratively inappropriate for Tarquin to be Epic. He doesn't need it to do what he does; he doesn't want the distinction that might make him a target. As a side note, Redcloak has also been adventuring for ~35 years, so time doesn't make Tarquin epic. As noted, that's just a big question mark.

    Er...so, yeah. I only wanted to write the first bit. The rest just sort of happened.
    Last edited by Math_Mage; 2012-09-17 at 06:00 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Elan is clearly the second most important character of the whole comics.
    Because I feel like talking about this:

    Actually, I don't think any one OOTS member is more important to the story than any other (except arguably Roy, since his quest to beat Xykon is what got everyone together).

    Look at it in terms of character development:

    Roy had the time when he left Elan behind at the bandit camp, the time he genderswapped, and the time he died to develop his character.
    Durkon hasn't really gotten anything since Hilgya, but Rich has made it pretty clear that big things are in store for him.
    Haley and Elan got together, and just located their respective fathers--still ongoing.
    V's been one huge string of character development ever since Azure City, and it's still ongoing.
    Belkar even had his vision quest.

    Each of them still have unresolved plot points (the Blood Oath and whatever it was he told Roy's Archon to do for Roy, returning home and possibly confronting Hilgya for Durkon, figuring out this thing with T and Ian for Haley and Elan, confession and possible reconciliation along with the soul-leasing for V, and dying (and possibly another afterlife arc) for Belkar) unrelated to the Biggest Bad in the comic, the Snarl.

    If there's any single "most important character" in the comic, it's probably Redcloak, actually. Though you probably meant protagonist.

    I'm aware I totally got off the real subject of your post, I just felt the need to chime in on the subject.

    Personally, I think Tarquin's gonna get reverse Worfed by Xykon, but that's just me. Having the guy that single-handedly handled Order-minus-V just to showboat (though the score is 1-1 now) get Energy Drain spammed to death would be a great way to necessitate the Order's most historically successful stratagem.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Incom View Post
    Personally, I think Tarquin's gonna get reverse Worfed by Xykon
    ...what? How does one get reverse Worfed? My understanding of being Worfed is something like "a normally strong character is suddenly reduced to an ineffective weakling and gets whupped for the sake of plot" ala Worf on DS9. So the reverse of that would be... a normally weak character suddenly becomes kickass for the sake of plot?

    I'm probably reading to much into that; I just made a massive confused face when I read that snippet. Otherwise, completely agree with you.

    Edit@Kish: That makes sense, thanks.
    Last edited by Sorator; 2012-09-17 at 06:54 PM.
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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.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Incom View Post
    Because I feel like talking about this:

    Personally, I think Tarquin's gonna get reverse Worfed by Xykon, but that's just me. Having the guy that single-handedly handled Order-minus-V just to showboat (though the score is 1-1 now) get Energy Drain spammed to death would be a great way to necessitate the Order's most historically successful stratagem.
    It'll take a little more than that to curbstomp Tarquin. He'll stand a fair chance to resist Energy Drain. Meteor Swarm would be a much better way to go. Tarquin will take plenty of damage and without a certain runed axe he may have no way to fight back*.

    (*because he needs a magical weapon to hurt a lich, which the whip may not necessarily be, not because of some feats or build dependency or anything like that)
    Last edited by Smolder; 2012-09-17 at 06:52 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Tilting my head to look at the concept of a "reverse Worf" from different angles, and then cross-referencing the concept with the events Incom describes...

    I would guess that "reverse Worf," in context, is meant to indicate, "A character already known to be ridiculously powerful obliterates the character whose power level is not fully established, thereby reversing the trope where a character of unknown power smacks around a character known to be powerful in order to establish that Unknown Character is ridiculously powerful."
    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    He'll stand a fair chance to save against Energy Drain
    Unless Tarquin has something blatantly abusive, like "saving throws against effects that don't get a saving throw," he has no chance of saving against Energy Drain.
    Last edited by Kish; 2012-09-17 at 06:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Unless Tarquin has something blatantly abusive, like "saving throws against effects that don't get a saving throw," he has no chance of saving against Energy Drain.
    Well, on the one hand, items of Death Ward must be fairly commonplace or else Nale and Sabine wouldn't have much of a shot at consummating their relationship. That kind of fit's with Tarquin's "WBL? What's that?" style of exceptionally Magic Item reliant combat.

    On the other hand, Xykon would still ruin him immediately; Greater Dispel Magic and MDJ are bad enough, but we know Xykon has the [Epic] Superb Dispelling on top of that. Whatever Tarquin's build is, he is absolutely not prepared to fight an Epic Sorcerer.

  28. - Top - End - #298
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Thank you for explaining, Kish. Probably could have put that more clearly.

    It feels like we haven't seen a lot of Xykon's actual power lately.

    He was screwing around in Dorukan and got beaten by a mid level ragtag bunch of misfits.
    He did some work at Azure City--getting back at Roy via gravity, the Symbol of Insanity trick--but got stomped pretty badly by Soon's ghosts, only surviving because Miko blew the gate before Soon could finish him.
    He only beat Darth V because Inky scared Haerta away, and Redcloak was present to tell him about the splices. Even that was still kind of a tactical draw, since he lost the phylactery in the battle and it took forever for the goblins to retrieve it.

    He did do a few impressive things back in SOD, but for those who haven't read it, it looks like Xykon is maybe on Tarquin's and Redcloak's level-ish.

    Yet CLG tells us Xykon is, at minimum, epic level, and likely significantly higher (I see 27+ bandied about). With that level of power, he should be curbstomping almost everything in the Stickverse. A simple wightocalypse scenario, for example could have left him with a pretty massive army whereby he could rush down one of the gates no problem, not even counting Redcloak and his army.

    So what would be a good way to re-establish Xykon as a major threat? Beating the tar out of Tarquin (and possibly whoever else is around).

    But you all know this.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Forikroder View Post
    every "heroic deed" could be simplified into a crime, Harry Potter killing Vodlemort is murder

    you cant look at just the action to decide there are many factors, like who the victom is, what they did and what your action does
    Yes, that's the POINT.

    Modernly, we equate "Hero" with "Good Guy Who Does Big Stuff."
    If you're not really good, but do Big Stuff that has a good outcome, you're an "Anti-Hero".
    If you're not really good, and do Big Stuff that has a bad outcome, you're a Big Bad.

    In classic days ( Hercules and the Illiad and all that ) being a Hero was much simpler. If you do Big Stuff (and aren't a god) then you're a hero. Both Potter and Voldemort would be heroes, as would Tarquin (!), just as both Achilles and Hector were heroes.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Unless Tarquin has something blatantly abusive, like "saving throws against effects that don't get a saving throw," he has no chance of saving against Energy Drain.
    On the other side, I wouldn't be surprised by something ala Scarab of protection (armor with death ward, or similar).
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