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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Math_Mage View Post
    I feel it is actually narratively inappropriate for Tarquin to be Epic.
    That's crystal clear. (But seriously... are there really people on here who think Tarquin is Epic?!?!? I don't think I've ever seen anyone claim such nonsense.)

    From a narrative perspective, it's always been obvious, since his very intro as the "SW parallel" equivalent of Darth Vader, that Tarquin was significantly more powerful than any single Order member yet less powerful than the story's BBEG.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    That's crystal clear. (But seriously... are there really people on here who think Tarquin is Epic?!?!? I don't think I've ever seen anyone claim such nonsense.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    this
    post is a summary of a multipage argument from this very thread over whether or not Tarquin is epic, and the summary shows that the argument that he's epic most definitely WAS being made.

    Or you could reread this thread.

    And I'm pretty sure I've seen it in previous threads. Yes, I agree that claiming Tarquin is epic based on anything we've seen is pretty clearly nonsense, but that hasn't actually stopped people and claiming that no one has made the claim is also nonsense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Miel View Post
    Not just problematic, it's also not necessary. Virgin's heart is an inactive ingredient. It can be left out altogether.
    English not being my first language, I could be mistaken, but does a catalyst not count as an inactive ingredient? The bonus ingredients might make the difference between normal and extra-strength ointment.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Icedaemon View Post
    English not being my first language, I could be mistaken, but does a catalyst not count as an inactive ingredient? The bonus ingredients might make the difference between normal and extra-strength ointment.
    Actually...... If anything, a catalyst is one of the most active ingredients. Technically, a catalyst makes the reaction work faster/better/more efficiently than the ingredients alone. In chemical terms, it is not depleted in the course of the reaction, so it can continue to work as long as there are enough individual components that are to be reacted.

    For inactive ingredients, there are several other options. One that many people are commenting on are additives that do nothing beyond cosmetic changes (i.e. color dye, fragrance, flavoring...). Another option is that it is a stabilizer, which is actually pretty much the opposite of a catalyst -- it does not contribute to the overall function, but can help in maintaining the preparation (i.e. extending shelf life (where stable for 1 year instead of 1 month, for example), widening the storage conditions (such as higher/lower temps), changing the consistency (for example liquid to paste), or acting as a grounding for the active agents/catalysts (such as increasing the amount of magic contained)).
    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin.The players were attacked individually on the road on the way to town by werewolves. To survive, they had to team up then and there without knowing anything about eachother (literally -- all character sheets were completed without other players' knowledge).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Yes, I agree that claiming Tarquin is epic based on anything we've seen is pretty clearly nonsense, but that hasn't actually stopped people and claiming that no one has made the claim is also nonsense.
    For the record, I never said no one had made the claim. I said that I didn't think I had seen anyone do it. ;)

    Thanks for pointing it out.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalrany View Post
    Actually...... If anything, a catalyst is one of the most active ingredients. Technically, a catalyst makes the reaction work faster/better/more efficiently than the ingredients alone. In chemical terms, it is not depleted in the course of the reaction, so it can continue to work as long as there are enough individual components that are to be reacted.
    I think that's the point, though...a catalyst speeds up the reaction, but does not take part in it, so could be considered to be inactive in that sense.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    hakflem- I would like to point out that a ton of effort, including a handy logic reference chart, has gone into demonstrating that T could possibly be a Blackguard, thus proving you wrong, in fact even getting you to capitulate and say that you were wrong. All of this has been a complete waste of time, and you were right in the first place, when you said that T was probably not a Blackguard. Proving that something is possible does not make it probable, and in this case, straight fighter is the more probable scenario. He is, in fact, probably not a Blackguard, as per your original statement.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I think that's the point, though...a catalyst speeds up the reaction, but does not take part in it, so could be considered to be inactive in that sense.
    OK. I think I was defining active differently (in that if it partipates in the primary reaction), but by this definition (if it is directly depleated) you are completely correct.
    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin.The players were attacked individually on the road on the way to town by werewolves. To survive, they had to team up then and there without knowing anything about eachother (literally -- all character sheets were completed without other players' knowledge).

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    From a pharmacuetical point of view (where the phrase 'inactive ingredient' is most likely to be seen), a catalyst would be an active ingredient as it would be required. Inactive ingredients are literal - they contribute nothing to the actual function of the compound.

    So the joke is that Tarquin can't even have a petroleum based magic salve without making it unnecessarily evil.

    Edit: It occurred to me after posting to google it. The FDA definition of 'Inactive Ingredient' is "A substance regarded by the FDA as having no effect on a drug's absorption or metabolism, which is added for manufacturer expediency." For a catalyst to matter it would have to do one or the other and would then not be inactive.
    Last edited by Throknor; 2012-09-18 at 08:12 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    If it were a catalyst required for the generation of the active compound, but one which was physiologically inert with respect to the actual action of the medicine in your body, it would be an inactive ingredient. If it were a catalyst required for the reaction which elicits the physiological response, then it would be an active ingredient.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    I desperately want to see Malack vs Durkon, I think we would see a very resourceful Durkon come out on top. And then Malack would ally with OotS and then get pie. Yayyy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM2099 View Post
    I desperately want to see Malack vs Durkon, I think we would see a very resourceful Durkon come out on top. And then Malack would ally with OotS and then get pie. Yayyy!
    Malack and Durkon seem to have formed a relationship of respect. Malack refuses to allow any other LG member to harm Durkon, at least. I would suspect that this mutual respect will result in some kind of nullification of each against the other.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    I love that Keoghtum is a cross between Keoghtom's ointment and Tums.

    Keoghtom's ointment, by the way, goes at least as far back as the 1st Ed Dungeon Master's Guide. I don't recall seeing
    Keoghtom's ointment in original D&D, although it might have popped up in Dragon Magazine before getting adopted into the DMG.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    I'm a little late in the game but a great comic none the less.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    A quick point to be made in the "Could Tarquin be a Blackguard?" discussion--not proof one way or the other, but an interesting observation:

    To become a Blackguard, you have to make friendly contact with an evil outsider. This is referenced in the strip--Sabine attempts to seduce Miko to Blackguard-ism when told Miko is an ex-Paladin, and is apparently familiar with the bonuses a succubus can earn for achieving such a seduction.

    Tarquin's made lecherous remarks about Sabine that suggest that he's had extremely friendly contact with her in the past.

    Now, Tarquin's a lech, and Sabine could be familiar with those bonuses without ever having converted a Blackguard, and even if she has, it's not necessarily Tarquin.

    On the other hand, this could be a very neat set of clues to Tarquin's backstory, suggesting a Vader-like fall from grace. Plenty of Vader references around Tarquin, after all.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Note, on the other hand, that Tarquin could simply be a Paladin of Tyrrany (and then possibly taken levels of Blackguard if he wanted to do so, without trading any paladin levels). We haven't seen any UA stuff in-comic thus far, as far as I know, but this is probably among the most common material used from that book.

    I really do doubt he's anything other than a single-classed fighter or martial adept, though.
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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 am surprised that no one has suggested Tarquin to be a factotum. He's versatile, has a lot of tricks, bunch of skills...
    I know it is a relatively new class but it seems to fit.

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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
    Actually, no it wouldn't. Harry at best could get attempted murder vs Snape and I think one other, but against Tom Marvelo Riddle, Harry never tried to murder him.

    Harry vs Voldemort first match, Harry is a baby, Voldemort attempts murder, spell bounces back.

    Harry vs Voldemort second match, Harry has no wand while Voldemort is on the back of Quirrel's head, again Voldemort initiates the fight, Harry defends himself, Quirrel gets destroyed, Harry faints, Voldemort is sent away

    Harry vs Voldemort third match, Diary Horcrux Tom Riddle tries to kill Harry, Harry beats Basilisk, uses fang to stab diary, horcrux number destroyed, but Voldemort still around.

    Harry vs Voldemort fourth match, Harry is dragged to the graveyard, injured, surrounded, Voldemort is restored and now immune to the touch defense, yes, Harry does try to use killing curse (but doesn't really mean it, and it is still in his own defense, Cedric was already dead, and Voldemort wants to kill Harry), but this was just the battle of Wands, and Harry fled instead of trying to finish Voldemort.

    Harry vs Voldemort fifth match, the battle in Harry's body, Harry is held hostage in his own body by Voldemort Possession, Voldemort is ejected by the power of love.

    Harry vs Voldemort sixth match, Voldemort attacks with borrowed wand, Harry's wand wins again, many people die, but no attempt to kill Voldemort.

    Harry vs Voldemort sixth match, Harry and his friends have destroyed most of the Horcruxes, with only 1 intentional (Nagini) and 1 unintentional (Harry) left, Harry goes to the woods, doesn't defend himself, Voldemort tries to kill him, Harry has his vision quest, the Horcrux in the scar dies, Harry lives, Voldemort doesn't know.

    Harry vs Voldemort seventh match, Harry with Malfoy's wand, Voldemort with the Elder Wand, Nagini the last Horcrux killed by Neville (the other child of wizarding parents who'd defied Voldemort multiple times, born around the same time as Harry), Harry warns Voldemort, Voldemort shoots the killing curse, Harry uses the disarming spell, Voldemort's spell rebounds and kills him instead... Harry was not committing murder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Incom View Post
    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.
    Hey, Mr. Scruffy and Blackwing are important too, Blackwing has gone from cawing and overlooked to speaking common and viewed as important and more then a class feature, Mr. Scruffy is a major factor and secret weapon. Neither should be dismissed and ignored when listing members of the Order.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smolder View Post
    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)
    Playing Devil's Advocate here, but... Roy beat Xykon unarmed... Tarquin could use the whip, steal the Phylactry (yes, I know it is a fake, but in Tarquin's hands the fake is still leverage to control Xykon) and voila, Xykon won't raise a metatarsus against Xykon nor the rest of the Linear Guild.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    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."
    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.
    Worf? Ridiculously powerful? The guy was a wuss from square one. If you need any proof, merely go watch Data/Lore (or better yet, listen to a youtube video of Wil Wheaton's rants about the episode). The following list were characters who humiliated Worf during TNG (in no particular order, I will skip the ones who humiliated him in DS9, unless they like he were carry overs): Deanna, Miko, Wesley, Guinan, Data, Hugh, Will, Tasha, Lore, Q, and Reg (just off the top of my head).



    Quote Originally Posted by rewinn View Post
    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.
    I counter your Big Stuff equaled heroes with Sisyphus (defeated death and outwitted Hades and Zeus, multiple times), Midas (became epicly wealthy, gambled against Apollo, is legendary for his golden touch which many see as good despite it being a cautionary tale), Antaeus (slaughtered thousands with his bare hands), Arachne (outwove Athena), and Autolycus (Stole from anyone and everyone without getting caught).


    Quote Originally Posted by KillingAScarab View Post
    Xykon will probably barely remember that Redblade guy. Redcloak probably has little reason to recognize anyone who looks like Elan (though Elan did shout at him as that junk was fleeing Azure City), but he did have to just crush that resistance which Haley had started. Still, Tsukiko was the one who really seemed to know anything about her (unless there's something in the books).

    You seem to be confusing Xykon with Belkar, Sorator. Xykon kills people or has them killed for him to find amusement in their deaths. Except, of course, when they teleport away from him like that elf with the bird and that paladin did. That elf with a bird who who made him make Redcloak make all those hobgoblins waste their lives for months looking for his phylactery. That elf with a bird who looked alot like that elf with a bird over... there...
    Okay, 1) Xykon knows Nale, 2) Redcloak knows Nale... both will kill him, and anyone with him. Nale lied through his teeth to his dad, and if the prescription for evil (seriously, we call them RC and X, it is a great new nickname for them) show up the new LG's only hope is that MitD decides to play who can hit softer with them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    Okay. My inner logic specialist (logician? Huh. Firefox's spellchecker accepts it.) is crying from the miscommunications in this thread, so Ima clear some of em up and summarize some of the discussion, focusing on the points between Kish & hakflem because they're getting snippity and I don't like that.

    (In writing this, I'm attempting to actively avoid a condescending tone - please do not read it with one. I do this because I think it's simpler to look at discussion this way when they become this complex, not because I believe academia has the solution to every problem or that I'm better than anyone else. My apologies if this attempt is not fully successful upon each individual's reading of the following.)

    Sweet_Goddess: Point 4: If Tarquin were Epic, he would deal far more damage than he is shown as dealing.
    Point 5: Thog deals more damage than Tarquin with the same weapon against the same opponents, and Thog is not Epic.
    Conclusion 3: Tarquin is probably not Epic.
    And that is what I see in review of those subject in this thread. Thoughts?
    Sorry, I editing you way down, but it was a great breakdown of everything, I just decided to keep your intro statements, and my favorite highlight (yes, I biased, it is still awesome to see my points be listened to)

    I'm not sure if it was done directly, but either way, I'd like to thank you for cleaning up the messy arguments, and putting all that time into putting so much together. I had a few added points when I initially read this, but they were covered later by main debaters on the topic.

    I will point out that technically, Tarquin is not sufficiently old enough to be Epic. Every Epic level character we've seen so far (Xykon, Dorukan, Girard, most likely most of the rest of the Order of the Scribble except Kraagor... remember Dorukan was extremely old when he fought Xykon and was the youngest of the Order of the Scribble, and Shojo was a little kid when an extremely old Soon passed on the protection of the gate to Shojo's father... and I believe Shojo was around 80 at time of death) was one who had to reach extreme years, usually with some form of extending their lifespan (That isn't to say Tarquin can't have the means, but just that he hasn't yet had the time), which Tarquin has yet to havce time to have done. We do know, despite his many marriages, his sons are only in their 20s, making the odds that Tarquin is most likely at most in his 60s, and we know a good portion of that was done mainly acting as a general instead of adventuring (since Nale helped him with some of those takeovers, along with the earliest known iteration of the Linear Guild) before turning against Tarquin (also note the color of Tarquin's hair when he is running with Nale... and that Malack was unable to banish Sabine, Empress of blood can't bite through Thog, and Yikyik... why is Yikyik fleeing?)... so odds are that Tarquin is only a few levels above his sons. Also note, Nale and Elan's mom is Tarquin's 1st wife... so he uses wives like tissue paper, he's not really been adventuring that much over the years, and his new tactic for conquering means there are NO Challenges at all, the opposition is already really on his side.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
    I am surprised that no one has suggested Tarquin to be a factotum. He's versatile, has a lot of tricks, bunch of skills...
    I know it is a relatively new class but it seems to fit.
    I WANNA PLAY ONE... this is awesome!!! This would make sense (sort of, since it is similar to Nale and Elan's own classes) ... it is like a 2nd Ed/AD&D Bard, sort of, only better... however, Tarquin, like Ian, is probably a 1st Ed class, so not likely.
    Last edited by Sweet_Goddess; 2012-09-20 at 01:15 AM.

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    Worf? Ridiculously powerful? The guy was a wuss from square one. If you need any proof, merely go watch Data/Lore (or better yet, listen to a youtube video of Wil Wheaton's rants about the episode). The following list were characters who humiliated Worf during TNG (in no particular order, I will skip the ones who humiliated him in DS9, unless they like he were carry overs): Deanna, Miko, Wesley, Guinan, Data, Hugh, Will, Tasha, Lore, Q, and Reg (just off the top of my head).
    Um, that's actually where the whole idea of "Worfing" that's being talked about comes from. Worf was the big tough Klingon of the crew, so he was always the first one to be smacked around by the character they needed to establish as a threat. (Of course, this happened so many times that he was no longer seen as that tough anyway...)

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Um, that's actually where the whole idea of "Worfing" that's being talked about comes from. Worf was the big tough Klingon of the crew, so he was always the first one to be smacked around by the character they needed to establish as a threat. (Of course, this happened so many times that he was no longer seen as that tough anyway...)
    The same thing happened in the first season of the animated Justice League series. They wanted to show that the bad buy was REALLY powerful by taking out Superman before the opening credits, but they did it so often that Superman just looked weak. They sure made up for that latter when they had Superman kick the tar out of Darkseid in Justice League Unlimited--not once, but twice.
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    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 think the wings are the only part that IS actually transparent (as you can see Kilkil, as well as Nale's arm through it when they take off). I think the rest of what you're seeing are supposed to be clouds of sand stirred up by the dinosaur's wings that are between the "camera" and the characters.
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2012-09-20 at 08:29 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I think the wings are the only part that IS actually transparent (as you can see Kilkil, as well as Nale's arm through it when they take off). I think the rest of what you're seeing are supposed to be clouds of sand stirred up by the dinosaur's wings that are between the "camera" and the characters.
    Maybe it's just on a low-carb diet?
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    The same thing happened in the first season of the animated Justice League series. They wanted to show that the bad buy was REALLY powerful by taking out Superman before the opening credits, but they did it so often that Superman just looked weak. They sure made up for that latter when they had Superman kick the tar out of Darkseid in Justice League Unlimited--not once, but twice.
    During the show's finale, they sort-of explained this by saying
    Spoiler
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    Superman is so strong that most of the time he's afraid of accidentally killing some one if he fight's them. (there was a prior episode where a villian gave the whole team nightmares where this showed up, too).
    So basically, Superman isn't "weak", he's just letting himself get smacked around a bit because he finds it preferably to the alternative. Darkseid is pretty much the only person who is both strong enough and evil enough that Superman is willing to go full strength.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-09-20 at 09:45 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    During the show's finale, they sort-of explained this by saying
    Spoiler
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    Superman is so strong that most of the time he's afraid of accidentally killing some one if he fight's them. (there was a prior episode where a villian gave the whole team nightmares where this showed up, too).
    So basically, Superman isn't "weak", he's just letting himself get smacked around a bit because he finds it preferably to the alternative. Darkseid is pretty much the only person who is both strong enough and evil enough that Superman is willing to go full strength.
    Yes, there were a couple of animated DC items where they had Superman talk about how he could finally hit with all his strength, but Bruce Timm gave a mea cupla in one of the DVD commentaries where he admitted that they overused the "oh look, the enemy is so strong it too out Superman" riff so that it just made him look weak instead.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    Yes, there were a couple of animated DC items where they had Superman talk about how he could finally hit with all his strength, but Bruce Timm gave a mea cupla in one of the DVD commentaries where he admitted that they overused the "oh look, the enemy is so strong it too out Superman" riff so that it just made him look weak instead.
    Hmm...I've heard that there are people who complain that in the DC continuity (at least whichever one they're using this week) Superman is too strong to make interessting stories about because he can't really be challenged (at least not without blowing up the planet again).

    It seems at least a little bit similar to how people are complaining about Tarquin, except that while I agree with the Superman theory, I absolutely love big T and I think it's refreshing to finally see a character who doesn't isn't an absolute failure every time they show up on screen.
    I wonder what the difference is?
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    Harry vs Voldemort fourth match, Harry is dragged to the graveyard, injured, surrounded, Voldemort is restored and now immune to the touch defense, yes, Harry does try to use killing curse (but doesn't really mean it, and it is still in his own defense, Cedric was already dead, and Voldemort wants to kill Harry), but this was just the battle of Wands, and Harry fled instead of trying to finish Voldemort.
    No he doesn't. Harry uses the Cruciatus Curse in Book 5, and the Imperius Curse in Book 7, but he never tries to use the Killing Curse. That's a line he never crosses.
    Last edited by Holy_Knight; 2012-09-20 at 11:58 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Hmm...I've heard that there are people who complain that in the DC continuity (at least whichever one they're using this week) Superman is too strong to make interessting stories about because he can't really be challenged (at least not without blowing up the planet again).

    It seems at least a little bit similar to how people are complaining about Tarquin, except that while I agree with the Superman theory, I absolutely love big T and I think it's refreshing to finally see a character who doesn't isn't an absolute failure every time they show up on screen.
    I wonder what the difference is?
    From the Golden Age through the end of the Silver Age, Superman's powers crept up from "can leap tall buildings at a single bound" to "fly at close to the speed of light" and from "nothing short of a bursting bomb blast" could harm him to pretty much nothing but kryptonite could do lethal damage. He started out as a step above Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze (steel being stronger than bronze), to having god-like physical capabilities. It became increasingly hard to challenge the the late Silver Age Superman unless you had kryptonite, and it became boring having a fire sale on kryptonite every month. At one point he actually blew out a star (like you'd blow out a candle). The Superman of the Christopher Reeves films wasn't quite at the apogee of Silver Age power, but he was definitely a Silver Age version (even though by that time the Bronze Age was starting in the comics). Dean Cain's Superman was powered down a bit--for instance, he couldn't breath in space (or needed to breath in space, whichever way you want to look at it) and needed an air supply to go meet a meteor. Christopher Reeve's Superman flew unaided into space, and apparently could even speak in a vacuum. They tried in the Silver Age to make Superman vulnerable to magic, and that worked for a bit, but as I recall, fans didn't really like it that much, since he was already vulnerable to kryptonite.

    So in the Bronze Age they powered Superman down substantially. They made him definitively slower than the Flash, and physically weaker than he had been (and in one story apparently unable to fly), but kept his vulnerabilities to kryptonite and magic. They also, I believe, got rid of the whole "Superboy collects kryptonite to build up an immunity." The Dean Cain Superman actually got punched out by bionic guys, which would be pretty weak for someone who could push around tectonic plates.

    When Timm started the animated Superman, he started with a fairly powered-down Superman. Superman couldn't breathe in space and got beat up by a guy in powered armor. Over the course of the Superman and Justice League series, however, Timm slowly made him more powerful (excluding the first year of Justice League when he got beat up before the opening credits every episode ). I'm not sure if Timm set out with the intention of slowly powering him up (and indeed redid the classic Silver Age Superman-Flash race around the world pretty early on, making Superman as fast as Flash again), but that's ultimately what he did. In later stories he even had Superman comment on it, and in one episode a villain trapped Superman in a mental world of his own fear (trapped each of them in his or her own world of fear), in which Superman was SO strong that he couldn't hug Jimmy without breaking him. (Flash's fear world had Flash moving SO fast that everyone was a stone statue to him and he was living out his life between human heart beats.)

    Superman was never too powerful in the DCAU for the writers to challenge him. Even at his most powerful, where he beat the tar of out Darkseid (twice), the writers just didn't have any trouble. They never made him as powerful as they had in the Silver Age, certainly not able to blow out stars, and I think maybe not even able to shift tectonic plates, and never able to breath in space.

    Now Timm did get some criticism, especially at first in the Superman series, that Superman should have been able to do all the things he could do in the Silver Age, and Timm replied that then he wouldn't be able to challenge Superman. Timm though started him so weak that he could power him up a great deal and still not worry about making him too powerful to write stories for. Some of the best stories with Superman actually occur during the third season of Justice League (aka the first season of Justice League Unlimited) where he was at his most powerful in the DCAU.

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    Last edited by CelestialStick; 2012-09-20 at 12:27 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Um, that's actually where the whole idea of "Worfing" that's being talked about comes from. Worf was the big tough Klingon of the crew, so he was always the first one to be smacked around by the character they needed to establish as a threat. (Of course, this happened so many times that he was no longer seen as that tough anyway...)
    That one's old.

    Gawain was originally Arthur's best knight, the most courteous, best fighter, and his faithful right hand. Gawain usually carried Excaliber, because Arthur thought he was a better caretaker. Kay was also right up there.

    Then every added knight needed to be shown to be powerful. So they beat up Gawain and/or Kay, who needed to be presented as a petty bully for it to make sense that all these knights who were serving Arthur fought his favorite nephew, faithful right hand, and heir presumptive or his foster brother.

    By the time of Mallory the decay was already quite severe.

    Gawain basically is useless throughout Mallory. Kay is the guy who runs the household and picks on anyone who shows up disguised as a petty servant, and Lancelot uses Kay's shield at least once because no one will fight Lancelot while no one is afraid to fight Kay. Odd, because even in Mallory Kay is still the guy who kills two kings in one battle early in Arthur's reign and saves the day in at least one major battle.

    But that was before everyone and his pet dog got to beat Kay to show how tough they were.

    I suspect if we knew enough about pre-Homeric greek stories we'd find that bunches of the "minor" heroes that get beat up in the Illiad were major heroes in older stories. The hunt for the Calydonian boar and the quest for the Golden Fleece both also look like they may have some of that.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    Playing Devil's Advocate here, but... Roy beat Xykon unarmed... Tarquin could use the whip, steal the Phylactry (yes, I know it is a fake, but in Tarquin's hands the fake is still leverage to control Xykon) and voila, Xykon won't raise a metatarsus against Xykon nor the rest of the Linear Guild.
    There are several issues with this though;

    0) Obviously, in terms of plot, Tarquin beating Xykon is about as likely as the Red Sox winning the next 15 world series in a row. Theoretically, maybe, but you might as well play the lottery if you like those kinds of odds.

    1) Tarquin's power (like most melee types in D&D) is in his items, Xykon can destroy every single one of them without a Save in one Standard Action with MDJ. Then move onto hitting him with Magic Missile from 100ft up in the air until he gets bored.

    2) Xykon is incredibly careful to ward his Phylactery against damn-near everything. Unless Tarquin has been hiding a Scroll of MDJ this whole time (such a good spell...) there's exactly 0% chance that threatening his Phylactery would do anything but earn him a painful death.

    3) Phylactery =/= Horcrux. Even if his Phylactery is destroyed, Xykon is "vulnerable" for exactly as long as it takes for him to make a new one and he is still an Epic Sorcerer with the Undead immunity list.
    Last edited by Water_Bear; 2012-09-20 at 02:04 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    1) Tarquin's power (like most melee types in D&D) is in his items, Xykon can destroy every single one of them without a Save in one Standard Action with MDJ.
    Xykon does not know MDJ, unless he has a scroll of his own.

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