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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Did we ever learn what kind of creature Malack is? For some reason I think he might be a loth, or a daemon as D&D used too call them before someone at TSR figured out that "daemon" is actually pronounced like "demon" and not "damon," , but I'm not really sure if they comic has ever clarified that.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Matt Daemon!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain View Post
    Matt Daemon!


    I guess that should be Matt Loth now.
    Last edited by CelestialStick; 2012-09-19 at 03:52 AM.
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?


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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcW View Post
    Thanks! I kinda wish he were a loth instead, but thanks just the same.
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    There has been some speculation that Malack might be a yuan-ti, given that after 145 strips we still have yet to see any evidence that he actually has feet. Certainly he does seem to come across as more snakelike than most lizardfolk.

    ...But it's unlikely.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    There has been some speculation that Malack might be a yuan-ti, given that after 145 strips we still have yet to see any evidence that he actually has feet. Certainly he does seem to come across as more snakelike than most lizardfolk.

    ...But it's unlikely.
    Even though he said he was lizardfolk?
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    Even though he said he was lizardfolk?
    Lizardfolk could include more than one race, as (I think) goblinkind does. We know it doesn't include kobolds, but it could conceivably include yuan-ti.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    "Lizardfolk" is the name of one race. Not yuan-ti.

    "Goblin" is the name of one race. "Goblinoid" is the term for a related group of races.
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    "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.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    "Lizardfolk" is the name of one race. Not yuan-ti.

    "Goblin" is the name of one race. "Goblinoid" is the term for a related group of races.
    Natural dialogue is more flexible than game rules.

    And I believe "goblinkind" has been used in the comic to cover both goblins and hobgoblins, though I don't have a citation.
    Last edited by jere7my; 2012-09-19 at 09:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Lizardfolk could include more than one race, as (I think) goblinkind does. We know it doesn't include kobolds, but it could conceivably include yuan-ti.
    Yuan-ti are snake people. Even if the term lizardfolk was being used as a reference to several possible varieties of lizard people, it wouldn't include the yuan-ti since snakes are not lizards.
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Yuan-ti are snake people. Even if the term lizardfolk was being used as a reference to several possible varieties of lizard people, it wouldn't include the yuan-ti since snakes are not lizards.
    Well, again, natural dialogue isn't always precise about monster biology.

    Look, I'm not really interested in the fiddly details of D&D rules as they pertain to textual analysis of OotS. (Although I like them in other contexts.) What I'm interested in is this: If it were to turn out that Malack is actually a Yuan-ti, would it then be possible that Rich stuck Yuan-ti into the "lizardfolk" category for purposes of Malack's dialogue? Sure. There may be rules details that make that an unlikely choice, but it's not an impossible choice for a D&D world designer. We just don't know how precise or casual Malack was being when he used the term.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Well, again, natural dialogue isn't always precise about monster biology.

    Look, I'm not really interested in the fiddly details of D&D rules as they pertain to textual analysis of OotS. (Although I like them in other contexts.) What I'm interested in is this: If it were to turn out that Malack is actually a Yuan-ti, would it then be possible that Rich stuck Yuan-ti into the "lizardfolk" category for purposes of Malack's dialogue? Sure. There may be rules details that make that an unlikely choice, but it's not an impossible choice for a D&D world designer. We just don't know how precise or casual Malack was being when he used the term.
    No, because (I repeat) snakes are NOT lizards! Not only does it not make sense to group them together from a D&D perspective, but also from your vaunted "natural dialogue" perspective. A reptilian creature would never make the mistake of conflating the two types of creatures.

    The term "lizardfolk" cannot possibly be used to refer to yuan-ti without the person doing so being completely in error.
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2012-09-20 at 01:37 AM.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Lizardfolk could include more than one race, as (I think) goblinkind does. We know it doesn't include kobolds, but it could conceivably include yuan-ti.
    As others have mentioned, "lizardfolk" refers to a single species. There's no "goblinfolk" in D&D, but you're probably thinking of "goblinoid," which refers to goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears.

    Sure, Rich could ignore the 3rd Ed rules on which OOTS is based, and make yuan-ti refer to themselves as lizardfolk, and he could make devils refer to themselves as demons too.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    I think the assumption in the "Malack is a yuan-ti" argument was always that, for whatever reason, he was lying about being a lizardfolk. Not that yuan-ti were considered a sub-class of lizardfolk in the Stickverse.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    I think the assumption in the "Malack is a yuan-ti" argument was always that, for whatever reason, he was lying about being a lizardfolk. Not that yuan-ti were considered a sub-class of lizardfolk in the Stickverse.
    Oh! That's very interesting. Why do people assume he was lying?
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    Oh! That's very interesting. Why do people assume he was lying?
    Because he speaks with a forked tongue...?


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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wanda V'Orcus View Post
    Because he speaks with a forked tongue...?

    LOL!

    Actually though, lizards have forked tongues too. For that matter, so do hummingbirds, so perhaps Malack is really a hummingbird.
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    LOL!

    Actually though, lizards have forked tongues too. For that matter, so do hummingbirds, so perhaps Malack is really a hummingbird.
    That'd explain the special diet...

    On a more serious note, compare the Malack and Gannji here http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0719.html and here http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0735.html (not in same panels, but both with "speaking" heads).

    They use the same head model. We've seen Troglodytes, so the reptile races are not homogeneous in the same way that the humanoids are. We haven't seen Yuan-ti, nor have they been mentioned in comic that I can recall. If they did appear, I'd wager the head would be slightly different - more fangy and less toothy, for one thing.

    Did Rich include them in any of the miniatures from the Kickstarter thus far? That could potentially settle the Yuan-ti debate.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    As others have mentioned, "lizardfolk" refers to a single species. There's no "goblinfolk" in D&D, but you're probably thinking of "goblinoid," which refers to goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears.
    I know there is no "goblinkind" (not goblinfolk) in D&D, but I believe Redcloak has used the term. I could be misremembering.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe the Rat View Post
    That'd explain the special diet...

    On a more serious note, compare the Malack and Gannji here http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0719.html and here http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0735.html (not in same panels, but both with "speaking" heads).

    They use the same head model. We've seen Troglodytes, so the reptile races are not homogeneous in the same way that the humanoids are. We haven't seen Yuan-ti, nor have they been mentioned in comic that I can recall. If they did appear, I'd wager the head would be slightly different - more fangy and less toothy, for one thing.

    Did Rich include them in any of the miniatures from the Kickstarter thus far? That could potentially settle the Yuan-ti debate.
    LOL! Good one, Joe! I really did laugh out loud. Lizardfolk and troglodytes are both humanoid (reptilian) [as are kobolds], but yuan-ti are monstrous humanoids. I don't recall any yuan-ti, but at my age that doesn't mean anything. So the green guy there was a troglodyte? I would have guess that he was a lizardman and that Malack was something you take for gas. Sorry, couldn't resist. I guess at my age you start regressing. More fangy and less toothy sounds like the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth, so help me megalodon!

    I saw the thanks for the Kickstarter but had no idea what that was. So it was a set of OOTS miniatures?! That sounds cool. Gotta catch 'em all! Can you buy the whole set, ore only random "booster" boxes (as in "boost your wallet, we will," I guesss )?
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    The term "lizardfolk" cannot possibly be used to refer to yuan-ti without the person doing so being completely in error.
    Technically, yes. But the world is filled with natural speakers who say things that aren't technically correct. Some people group whales in with fish, for instance. I am not saying that it's likely; I'm saying Rich could go that way if he wanted, without contradicting anything, because we don't know exactly what Malack meant by "lizardfolk."

    There's a tendency for internet discussions to devolve quickly into entrenched sides, with both sides saying "I'm absolutely right, and you can't be!" I'm only interested in spelling out possibilities. In this case there's a possibility that, in the OotS world, someone using the word "lizardfolk" might include yuan-ti, just as someone using the word "fish" could be referring to whales. It might be 97% unlikely, but it is certainly possible.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    Oh! That's very interesting. Why do people assume he was lying?
    I don't know why people assume he's telling the truth. I don't really have an opinion on what race Malack is, but it seems more likely that he's lying than that he has a conception of lizardfolk that encompasses yuan-ti.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Technically, yes. But the world is filled with natural speakers who say things that aren't technically correct. Some people group whales in with fish, for instance. I am not saying that it's likely; I'm saying Rich could go that way if he wanted, without contradicting anything, because we don't know exactly what Malack meant by "lizardfolk."
    I realize that an outsider could make that kind of mistake, but a whale or a fish never would! That's kinda my point.
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    I realize that an outsider could make that kind of mistake, but a whale or a fish never would! That's kinda my point.
    But there was a time when everyone, mermaids and talking fish included, put whales into the "fish" barrel. We'd call it wrong, but the language was just different back then.

    To be clear, I'm pretty sure Malack is a lizardman, but I wouldn't be outraged if it turns out he's a yuan-ti. It wouldn't be that unnatural to me to hear someone refer to lizardmen, troglodytes, yuan-ti, saurians, and other reptiloids as "lizardfolk", especially if they had an interconnected society in which lizardfolk were dominant the way humans are in human lands.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    But there was a time when everyone, mermaids and talking fish included, put whales into the "fish" barrel. We'd call it wrong, but the language was just different back then.
    Uhhh... that's because for most of human history we weren't very familiar with aquatic mammals, seeing as we're land-based creatures. Seriously, if there were actual merfolk they would have to work REALLY hard to ignore that fish don't need to come up for air and whales do, or that whales don't have gills or air bladders, or that they birth live young as opposed to laying eggs like (most) fish, or any of the huge number of differences between fish and mammals.

    You could say "oh well Draconic has the snake/lizard distinction, but he's speaking in Common which is a more limited language" but that runs into an occam's razor issue; at what point is it simpler to accept that people in OotS can tell the difference between a snake and a lizard than to keep adding hitherto-unseen linguistic quirks to the universe?

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    You could say "oh well Draconic has the snake/lizard distinction, but he's speaking in Common which is a more limited language" but that runs into an occam's razor issue; at what point is it simpler to accept that people in OotS can tell the difference between a snake and a lizard than to keep adding hitherto-unseen linguistic quirks to the universe?
    I totally agree, especially when making up such an unusual linguistic quirk makes zero sense for a webcomic which is communicating to readers who can only be assumed to be familiar with English in its modern form.

    It's the same reason there are no differences between the two genders in D&D. Even though males and females were not considered equal in the medieval world that D&D mimics, the game caters to a more modern standard of gender equality. So, because it's assumed that readers will know the difference between lizards and snakes (or whales and fish), there's no reason for these repeated attempts to find a way for them to be artificially grouped together. It would only result in a "hey, remember when I said lizards? I meant lizards AND SNAKES" gotcha moment.

    Personally, I think the Giant is a better writer than that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Malack is rather clearly a lizardfolk. On the other hand, however, that doesn't mean he's a pure blooded lizardfolk. He could just as easily be half-camel like V (possibly making them half-camel brothers).

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    Uhhh... that's because for most of human history we weren't very familiar with aquatic mammals, seeing as we're land-based creatures.
    No, people just had fewer mental categories for animals. They grouped bats with birds because they flew, moles with earthworms because they burrowed, snakes with earthworms because they were limbless. It was a fundamentally different way of looking at nature.

    But we're getting pretty far afield here. My only point is that it wouldn't strike me as odd for Durkon to say, "Ach, yer a yuan-ti? Dinna ye say ye were a lizardfolk?" and Malack to reply, "Where I come from, we all think of ourselves as lizardfolk: lizard men, yuan-ti, troglodytes, saurials." It's a fine-grained distinction I don't think would affect the story in the slightest.

    I do think he's likely a lizard man, though.

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    Default Re: Do We Know What Kind of Creature Malack Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    I totally agree, especially when making up such an unusual linguistic quirk makes zero sense for a webcomic which is communicating to readers who can only be assumed to be familiar with English in its modern form.

    It's the same reason there are no differences between the two genders in D&D. Even though males and females were not considered equal in the medieval world that D&D mimics, the game caters to a more modern standard of gender equality. So, because it's assumed that readers will know the difference between lizards and snakes (or whales and fish), there's no reason for these repeated attempts to find a way for them to be artificially grouped together. It would only result in a "hey, remember when I said lizards? I meant lizards AND SNAKES" gotcha moment.

    Personally, I think the Giant is a better writer than that.
    In original D&D, female characters of each race were limited to a lower maximum Strength score than male characters. You're right that more recent notions of gender equality (Gary published original D&D in 1973) led to the elimination of gender differences in Strength.

    If he says he's a lizardman (or lizardfolk, using the more recent notion), then I don't see any reason to doubt it.
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