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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Not that revolution is even remotely possible in a universe with characters as powerful as high-level adventurers.
    More precisely, popular revolution is impossible without high-level characters of your own supporting it.

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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    More precisely, popular revolution is impossible without high-level characters of your own supporting it.
    Nope, not even then. See Resistance v. Redcloak.

    To clarify my position, given the power of high level adventurers, "high level adventurers supporting a popular revolution" quickly becomes "high level adventurers carrying a coup by themselves, no further input required".
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    I know of zero humans in Azure City who are okay with the way the goblins are running things (since Tsukiko died). I know of at least one person in the Empire of Blood who always agrees with Tarquin - Tarquin himself. This means there are more of the latter than the former, in a numerical sense - percentage-wise, we don't really know how many people are in the EoB in total or exactly how many agree with Tarquin, but they're still greater than 0. *shrug*
    Okay, I misread the original statement that got us on this sidetrack. I thought it was about folks that don’t agree with Tarquin rather than the other way around. Now that I re-read it, I see I was mistaken.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Not that revolution is even remotely possible in a universe with characters as powerful as high-level adventurers.
    Sure it is. Your team of mid-level adventurers takes out the enemy leadership's high-level adventurers one by one. Your low-level adventurers drop their mid-level adventurers, and your rabble pulls down their low-level adventurers.
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    Sure it is. Your team of mid-level adventurers takes out the enemy leadership's high-level adventurers one by one. Your low-level adventurers drop their mid-level adventurers, and your rabble pulls down their low-level adventurers.
    See my above post. That's not a popular revolution. That's a coup d'etat organized, led, and carried out in all important respects by [and almost certainly for the benefit of] high-level adventurers. If you're talking about a lengthy campaign instead of a swift stroke, it's a guerrilla war organized, led, and carried out in all important respects by a group of high-level adventurers. In a world where the potential power ceiling is as high as it is in your typical D&D world, "your rabble" ceases to matter as a material force. Revolution is impossible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    "I'm the R to the E to the T-C-O-N, and I change the past so the now makes sense again. I'm Retconlicious!"
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Tarqin is imposing his political views on EVERYONE, Ian is imposing his political views on TARQIN.
    So no, they're not the same in any meaningful way.
    I would disagree. Ian wants to impose his own "lack of a functionally unchallengeable leader" political system on the Empire, probably resulting in its total dissolution, almost certainly resulting in loss of life, and unquestionably resulting in some level of disruption to the day-to-day routine of the citizenry. The rank-and-file Bloodian is probably living a more or less tolerable life as long as they don't make waves and aren't unlucky enough to stumble into the middle of things; many of them would just as soon not rock the boat, and anarchy amounts to giving the boat a good hard spin in all three dimensions at once, resulting in a roughly 50% chance of it ending up essentially upside-down and promptly sinking with all hands aboard.

    Not that I'm not something of a rabble-rouser by inclination myself, but as I've gotten older, I've found it easier and easier to sympathize with the perspectives of more or less reasonable villains such as Tarquin or even Redcloak (random raisers of heck like Belkar and Xykon continue not to impress me). So I thought I'd play Devil's Advocate here. limbers up the old pinball hand

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorator View Post
    The bounty hunters seem to be doing passably well under Tarquin's rule. As well as the slavers, who are admittedly on strike. The members of the military and palace guard probably range from ambivalent to happy about the current state of things. I'd say there's quite a few in the Empire of Blood who like the way Tarquin is running the place (even if they don't know it's him calling the shots). If there weren't, there would've been a revolution already.

    Unless by "people" you mean "non-Evil humans"; I usually read that to mean "sentient creatures" when the context is a fantasy setting with many varied sentient species.
    1. The bounty hunters were screwed and thrown into jail and had to flee with their lives. Not happy with Tarquins rule.
    2. The slavers were on strike. Not evidence of happiness.
    3. The members of the military are admittedly happy with their arrangement. They probably won't be happy when he sells them out in his next coup.
    4. There are revolutions all the time, Tarquin deals with it by not being the target, if he did then he'd be out of a job. Not evidence of happiness.


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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I would disagree. Ian wants to impose his own "lack of a functionally unchallengeable leader" political system on the Empire, probably resulting in its total dissolution, almost certainly resulting in loss of life, and unquestionably resulting in some level of disruption to the day-to-day routine of the citizenry. [snip]
    Over the long term (or even medium term) it'll result in less loss of life and higher quality of life for the vast majority.
    Last edited by Mastikator; 2012-10-19 at 04:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Over the long term (or even medium term) it'll result in less loss of life and higher quality of life for the vast majority.
    That is debatable. The cartographer chick said there has been more or less regular military struggle for living space for the last 500 years. I doubt that the collapse of Tarquin's empires (either by revolution, or by them dying of old age) will change much about that.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    See my above post. That's not a popular revolution. That's a coup d'etat organized, led, and carried out in all important respects by [and almost certainly for the benefit of] high-level adventurers. If you're talking about a lengthy campaign instead of a swift stroke, it's a guerrilla war organized, led, and carried out in all important respects by a group of high-level adventurers. In a world where the potential power ceiling is as high as it is in your typical D&D world, "your rabble" ceases to matter as a material force. Revolution is impossible.
    In a world in which there are dozens of tiers of power, every tier of power matters. As long as you have a group of people who are only moderately weaker than the group you are opposing, you can win.

    And really, that's true in the real world, too. No popular revolt is going to beat an enemy armed with tanks, sniper rifles, and ICBMs, unless their own side has a counter to those things.
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    In a world in which there are dozens of tiers of power, every tier of power matters. As long as you have a group of people who are only moderately weaker than the group you are opposing, you can win.
    The point I'm trying to make is not that it's impossible to overthrow a government made up by or supported by high-level adventurers. It's that such an overthrow is so dependent on the actions of a few high-level adventurers that the actions of everybody else cease to matter.

    And really, that's true in the real world, too. No popular revolt is going to beat an enemy armed with tanks, sniper rifles, and ICBMs, unless their own side has a counter to those things.
    "[REDACTED] created men. Sam Colt made them equal." The power disparity in our world is not even remotely comparable to the power disparity in a D&D world. Putting aside the sheer destructive capacity available to high-level D&D adventurers, power in the real world is not personal power in the same way that power in a D&D world is. Power in a D&D world comes from class levels that are inseparable from the characters (barring a few outlying examples). Power in the real world comes from technology, numbers, and organization. Organization can be disrupted, technology can be sabotaged, and numbers can be overwhelmed or turned. Personal power in a D&D world is vulnerable to three things: negative levels, anti-magic, and greater personal power.

    Also, no one has yet been stupid enough to bomb their own territory with ICBMs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    The point I'm trying to make is not that it's impossible to overthrow a government made up by or supported by high-level adventurers. It's that such an overthrow is so dependent on the actions of a few high-level adventurers that the actions of everybody else cease to matter.


    "[REDACTED] created men. Sam Colt made them equal." The power disparity in our world is not even remotely comparable to the power disparity in a D&D world. Putting aside the sheer destructive capacity available to high-level D&D adventurers, power in the real world is not personal power in the same way that power in a D&D world is. Power in a D&D world comes from class levels that are inseparable from the characters (barring a few outlying examples). Power in the real world comes from technology, numbers, and organization. Organization can be disrupted, technology can be sabotaged, and numbers can be overwhelmed or turned. Personal power in a D&D world is vulnerable to three things: negative levels, anti-magic, and greater personal power.

    Also, no one has yet been stupid enough to bomb their own territory with ICBMs.
    I think we're going to have to agree to disagree - following this conversation is likely to lead into a real-world political discussion, rather than just using a technological example (you're right about the ICBM thing, though, that was an over the top example. Feel free to replace with "stealth bombers" or something like that.)

    However, barring insane mechanical cheesery, personal power in D&D is still very vunerable to large-scale applications of moderately weaker power. A team of Level 5 wizards can take down one level 9 wizard. A team of Level 3 wizards can flatten a Level 5 wizard. A team of level 1 fighters can slaughter a level 3 wizard, and a level 1 fighter is very vulnerable to a mob. Look at what happened in Azure City; Xykon beat the Sapphire Guard, but took himself out in the process. It was the army of low-level hobgoblins that beat the Order of the Stick.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    I think we're going to have to agree to disagree - following this conversation is likely to lead into a real-world political discussion, rather than just using a technological example (you're right about the ICBM thing, though, that was an over the top example. Feel free to replace with "stealth bombers" or something like that.)
    Fair enough. Card dropped.

    However, barring insane mechanical cheesery, personal power in D&D is still very vunerable to large-scale applications of moderately weaker power. A team of Level 5 wizards can take down one level 9 wizard. A team of Level 3 wizards can flatten a Level 5 wizard. A team of level 1 fighters can slaughter a level 3 wizard, and a level 1 fighter is very vulnerable to a mob. Look at what happened in Azure City; Xykon beat the Sapphire Guard, but took himself out in the process. It was the army of low-level hobgoblins that beat the Order of the Stick.
    The Battle of Azure City is an example in my favor, not yours. Xykon was so powerful that the [living] Sapphire Guard did not matter when compared to him. Soon, Xykon, and Redcloak together were so powerful that, leaving Miko aside, their actions and their actions alone would have determined the course of the battle. The Order? Hinjo? The hobgoblin and Azurite soldiery? Their actions were irrelevant to the course of the battle. That is my point. The power disparity is so great that the actions of the not-terribly-powerful many cease to matter.

    Now let's think about your scenarios. They're actually irrelevant to my point, since none of the people involved are high level. To be relevant we'd have to be talking in terms of levels 15 through 20. But moving past that, if you have a team of level 5 wizards that can bring down a level 9 wizard, what is the point of the other teams? The first team has both taken out your enemy's greatest single asset and freed themselves up for strikes at the lesser assets. If you need the other teams to coordinate simultaneous, coordinated strikes, then again you've moved away from talking about revolution and into talking about a coup d'etat. If you're not talking about simultaneous, coordinated strikes, then you don't need the other teams since the team of level 5 wizards can go from place to place as needed, and you're now talking about guerrilla war. At no point are you talking about a popular revolution.

    I think the problem is that we have different conceptions of what a popular revolution is, and I know we can't get into hashing out those differences without talking about real-world politics. The most that can probably be said is that your conception is broad enough to include both a coup d'etat and a guerrilla war, and that mine is not. Oh well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    "I'm the R to the E to the T-C-O-N, and I change the past so the now makes sense again. I'm Retconlicious!"
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    I think it's fair to say they both impose what they think is right on other people. Tarquin is an evil dictator who has to have a fake revolution every few years just to avoid having an actual revolution, and Ian is a CG(ish) rebel who wants to bring down the government, because why would anyone need or want a government?
    That's sarcasm, not trying to start that debate.

    Big contrast when it comes to intentions though. Tarquin wants to rule "rule the roost" and "live like a god". He may or may not be a positive influence(that's a whole other discussion) but it doesn't really sound like his primary goal is helping people. More like an interesting side effect useful for stability and justifying himself to people who have actually have a conscience.

    Ian wants to set the people free. He might be misguided, depending on your interpretation, and he's hardly selfless, but the guy got himself thrown in jail to help the people.

    I'd say whether or not you actually care about others is a pretty significant character determiner. It's a bit like the difference between Miko and Hinjo. Miko is lawful and Hinjo is good. Tarquin helps people by accident and Ian hurts(again, depending on your interpretation) people by accident.
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    The city is being threatened by the rights of man! Quickly, mild-mannered Ian Starshine ducks into a nearby phone booth, and changes into Supertarquin, oppressor of the weak and defender of the Bleedingham way!

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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    You know, I've had this image in my head for a bit now of a scene in the OOTS epilogue, way far into the future, where Ian and Tarquin are sitting on a couch in Haley/Elan's living room, drinking eggnog, sharing old war stories, and arguing over names for their newest grandbaby. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post
    After their last argument , I'm beginning to think that both Tarquin and Ian are not so different afterall. Both are foreigners in a land that is not their own trying to impose their political views upon it. Both are also stubborn and believe that any other way of thinking besides their's is automatically wrong. And.....both are also fathers of respective protagonists.
    Dude, one's a casual mass murderer-by-proxy. While they're certainly similar if you break them down THAT far, looking at the simple textual evidence will tell you that, no, they're not very much alike.

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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    I don't think tarquin and ian have much in common. Just the fact that they're tryingn to impose their political view, but with different methods and for totally different reasons.
    On the other hand, I'm rereading nown the wheel of time, and I must say I am surprised at how much ian resembles all the main characters in regard to trust. For those not familiar, the wheel of time is a saga of 14 books, that would have been just a trilogy if the main characters could have talked and trusted and cooperated with each other, instead of squabbling for power and leadership and distrusting each other as they did in the books. Which is mostly shocking because all the main characters are good childhood friends, you'd think they should be more inlclined to a cooperative behaviour.
    Ian refusing to go out of prison just because he don't trust elan is that kind of behaviour. ian's efforts get overturned all the time because he act dumb lots of times.
    Tarquin instead is the personification of efficiency. His speech about him being above good and evil has some truth. while evil, he don't pursue evil as a goal like nale, and don't even appear to take pleasure from simple evil like belkar, unless it furthers his goals in some way. Tarquin instead will go over his goals in the most efficient way possible, and not a care if that means destroying a nation or helping elder ladies to cross the road. he's evil because he's willing to commit horrible actions for little personal gain, but the fact remain that he would do that evil for his gain and not for the evil itself. It's not surprising that he got that far in life.
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    Default Re: Are Ian and Tarquin the same?

    IMO that is a very good characterization of the core characters in Wheel of Time.... Oh noes the world is ending, but I'm not going to help my good friend save it from ending because of a minor social snub that's all in my head...

    All in all, probably a good depiction of how events happen in real life though: Bad things occur because good people can't get above their petty hangups and day to day squabbles. One might define a hero as someone who can do this, maybe; but precious few of the core characters in WoT are actually heroes.

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