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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by AnchoviePaste View Post
    I wonder if there's a way for Hel to win without the world being destroyed.
    Huh. You know, I wonder if this bet had a set date, or if it was intended to expire at the end of this world from the start. If it's the latter, then the gods already knew that the Snarl would break out eventually... but why?
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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I would take issue with Hel being the "main villain" of the arc merely because of the difference in power scale. Hel's a goddess, the Order is not. It's not much of a competition, and tensionless competitions are boring. It's the issue Rich had with Durkon/V and their abilities taken to the extreme. What sort of power struggle is there for Hel that isn't better resolved through a more level-appropriate encounter like Durkula? It's not like he has any deviations to Hel's plans that we know of (if he can even have them)
    She is the main villain in that she's the ultimate driving force behind "Greg's" actions, but she can't directly take the field, so her being a goddess doesn't make the competition between herself and the Order of the Stick a slam-dunk. Her position in the plot is exactly comparable to the Dark One's, him being the deity that is backing up the comic's main villains through Redcloak. Is it worse that the Order is opposing a goddess now when they were opposing a god the whole time anyway? A god with arguably more power than Hel, since he has actual worshipers and no real trouble collecting priests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I suppose I really don't see the purpose. There's really no point to character development if all it does is stall the story. Her speech during the moot told me her motivations clearly, and even before that point, I was moving for let the world live. Will knowing why Hel wants to unmake the world really change this? Will it grant me more depth into her character. Sure. But is that really necessary to the story? If it was a one-panel gag, then I could laugh about it, but several strips just makes me wonder "what is this supposed to do?" and "Does this serve the plot?"
    To me it kind of seemed like learning more about Hel's motivations could be seen as just a side effect to learning about the way the world became the screwed-up unjust place for dwarves that it is now. They go to Hel by default unless they die with honor. Thor helped them set up their society so that they would seek out such honorable deaths, but he can't save them all from accidents and diseases even so. Those poor souls go to Hel and are abused all the more harshly because of their valiant attempts to escape her. The overt focus of the comic is on her petulant wrath over what's happened, but the ramifications on the completely raw deal the dwarves got as a result of an ill-conceived power struggle between gods is the real issue being put across to the audience.

    The Giant said in another thread...
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This "Durkon stuff" is the main plot. If the only plotline that matters to you is what happens with Xykon, then yes, I would expect that the next year or two are going to be rough for you. But there's a long ways to go on this book, and it will have direct and unskippable ramifications on everything that will happen in the final book.
    I do have a certain amount of faith in these remarks about "direct and unskippable ramifications on everything that will happen in the final book". The issue of the gods and the Snarl and the state of the world are all very relevant to the final upcoming conflict.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Dandelion View Post
    She is the main villain in that she's the ultimate driving force behind "Greg's" actions, but she can't directly take the field, so her being a goddess doesn't make the competition between herself and the Order of the Stick a slam-dunk. Her position in the plot is exactly comparable to the Dark One's, him being the deity that is backing up the comic's main villains through Redcloak. Is it worse that the Order is opposing a goddess now when they were opposing a god the whole time anyway? A god with arguably more power than Hel, since he has actual worshipers and no real trouble collecting priests.



    To me it kind of seemed like learning more about Hel's motivations could be seen as just a side effect to learning about the way the world became the screwed-up unjust place for dwarves that it is now. They go to Hel by default unless they die with honor. Thor helped them set up their society so that they would seek out such honorable deaths, but he can't save them all from accidents and diseases even so. Those poor souls go to Hel and are abused all the more harshly because of their valiant attempts to escape her. The overt focus of the comic is on her petulant wrath over what's happened, but the ramifications on the completely raw deal the dwarves got as a result of an ill-conceived power struggle between gods is the real issue being put across to the audience.

    The Giant said in another thread...

    I do have a certain amount of faith in these remarks about "direct and unskippable ramifications on everything that will happen in the final book". The issue of the gods and the Snarl and the state of the world are all very relevant to the final upcoming conflict.
    I can see what you're saying about the Dark One, but the Dark One isn't really involved in the comic. We had a few off sections and one strip (which, given it was a tale told by Jirix, might not have even been true).

    I hold to my same belief about the "screwed up world." Does it really matter that it's screwed up? Does that change the nature of the conflict or merely reinforce it? And if the latter, is reinforcement really what is needed?

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Dandelion View Post
    To me it kind of seemed like learning more about Hel's motivations could be seen as just a side effect to learning about the way the world became the screwed-up unjust place for dwarves that it is now. They go to Hel by default unless they die with honor. Thor helped them set up their society so that they would seek out such honorable deaths, but he can't save them all from accidents and diseases even so. Those poor souls go to Hel and are abused all the more harshly because of their valiant attempts to escape her. The overt focus of the comic is on her petulant wrath over what's happened, but the ramifications on the completely raw deal the dwarves got as a result of an ill-conceived power struggle between gods is the real issue being put across to the audience.
    Also, sometimes we forget that not everybody that reads the comics hangs out here in the forums. The exposition in this comic seems redundant only because we discuss stuff like the nature of Hel's wager for months, even having word of the Giant on how the dwarves' society works. But those things also must be somehow explained in the comics themselves, otherwise non-forumites won't grasp the situation well.

    You know, when someone just read the books or will, 10 years from now, rediscover a finished webcomic and read it nonstop.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I can see what you're saying about the Dark One, but the Dark One isn't really involved in the comic. We had a few off sections and one strip (which, given it was a tale told by Jirix, might not have even been true).

    I hold to my same belief about the "screwed up world." Does it really matter that it's screwed up? Does that change the nature of the conflict or merely reinforce it? And if the latter, is reinforcement really what is needed?
    The Dark One hasn't taken front-and-center stage in the comic the way that Hel has, but that doesn't mean he isn't involved. He hasn't been focused on yet. He's been kept into the background and the shadows, with a certain amount of mystery and uncertainty regarding his true motives and origins. That will have to change at some point. He's a Man Behind the Man reveal waiting to happen.

    It matters that the world is screwed up because the Order of the Stick is in the process of trying to save it. If this is the conflict that defines them, are they ultimately no more than the defenders of a corrupt status quo? This is a question they have yet to confront in any serious way.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    Durkon didn't go to Hel. His soul is trapped in his vampiric corpse because of Malachi.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_McSurly View Post
    Well, my real life name is Malachi, but I don't remember doing this :)
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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I can see what you're saying about the Dark One, but the Dark One isn't really involved in the comic. We had a few off sections and one strip (which, given it was a tale told by Jirix, might not have even been true).

    I hold to my same belief about the "screwed up world." Does it really matter that it's screwed up? Does that change the nature of the conflict or merely reinforce it? And if the latter, is reinforcement really what is needed?
    To quote Rich:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    The MacGuffin is not the antagonist. The MacGuffin is the object sought by the antagonist. Narratively speaking, it does not matter what it does—only that the antagonist is willing to kill the protagonist to get it. That is the source of the conflict. It does not matter what is in the rift, it matters who is willing to kill whom to get it, even if they are mistaken about its usefulness. What is in the rift is only important insofar as it may, at some point, change who is willing to kill whom and why. And that IS important, because those details will change the shape of what happens, but not as the source of conflict. The Snarl is not the threat; Xykon is the threat. The Snarl's powers have as much relevance to the quest to get the Snarl as the exact properties of the glowing briefcase have on the plot of Pulp Fiction, or the exact dollar value of the statue in The Maltese Falcon.

    Likewise, the setting is not the protagonist. What happens to the world is only important because the protagonists are the sort of people who care about what happens to the world. If Team Evil or the Linear Guild kills the entire Order of the Stick and then takes the Gate only to find that it does not do what they thought it did...how does that help the Order of the Stick? They will still be dead, and the story is about them. The Linear Guild is not a threat because they will do something bad with the Gate; they are a threat because they will kill the Order of the Stick to do it. At the end of Star Wars, one does not care that the Death Star is about to blow up Yavin 4; one cares that the Death Star is about to kill the protagonists, some of whom happen to be on Yavin 4.

    If one does not care about the protagonists or antagonists and is not emotionally invested in their struggles—whether those struggles are external or internal, relevant to the MacGuffin plot or not—and all one cares about is the resolution of the MacGuffin chase, then you will almost certainly be bored with a lot of the material I'm producing. And more importantly, I won't care. The Snarl plot is part of the armature upon which I hang the characters' conflicts; it is not the whole of the story. The strip is titled The Order of the Stick, not The Chase for the Snarl or even Saving the World. Ultimately, it seems like you want the story to be about things it is not going to be about, so it's unlikely you are ever going to enjoy it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    Matt620 has been told (pretty much every time he has complained about the comic, AFAICR) that his assumption that the comic is "the story of how the Order of The stick defeated Xykon and stopped the Snarl" is incorrect, and that what he is actually reading is "The story of how a bunch of initially dysfunctional people overcame their flaws to became the Order of the Stick". To judge from the latest posts, he refuses to accept this, and continues to decry every time the comic spends any time laying foundation for character growth.

    Relatedly, IIRC, he also has a narrow view on what constitutes a valid character for development, also at odds with the actual list of characters of the author.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I would take issue with Hel being the "main villain" of the arc merely because of the difference in power scale. Hel's a goddess, the Order is not. It's not much of a competition, and tensionless competitions are boring.
    Hel is a Sauron-level villain : In LotR, the heroes are totally overpowered by Sauron, and they get to interact mainly with "middle management" minions and tools, be they orc captains, Nazguls, crazy mage, corrupted regent or deformed cannibal halfling. Those get far, far more screentime than Him, and yet Sauron is the main villain, his schemes are explained to the reader, and most of the book is a race against time to ruin his scheme.
    The situation here is pretty much the same : The "on stage" villain for this chapter is Greg, and he's the one we hate because he's torturing and desacrating a beloved character, but the current story is a race to screw up Hel's plan. Durkon and Greg are just secondary objectives, here, even if we care more about them.

    Greg is the personal villain. Hel is the plot villain. Both need screentime so that we can get to hate them both equally.

    (Because frankly, it's pretty obvious one of this scene's goal is to paint Hel as a despicable character I want to see ruined, while her godsmoot scene just put her as "cliché bad guy who wants to destroy the world #257)

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    (Because frankly, it's pretty obvious one of this scene's goal is to paint Hel as a despicable character I want to see ruined, while her godsmoot scene just put her as "cliché bad guy who wants to destroy the world #257)
    Quite. This entire series of strips, besides being hilarious, have the point of showing that humiliating Hel is an actual victory, not something she shrugs off and tries again next time. She's a vain brat who needs to have her pride deflated even more for her dishonesty and laziness in getting power without actually working for it.

    This, my friend, is lore-heavy heel heat. And I love it.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_McSurly View Post
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but wouldn't that mean she didn't get the non-honorable dwarf souls anymore? And isn't getting those dwarf souls kind of the crux of her plan? Or am I missing something?
    That plan has only become possible because of the vote to destroy the world, which has only come up recently--I seriously doubt Hel has been planning for a thousand years to get a bunch of dwarf souls from the destruction of the world. I'm talking about why Hel didn't decide to give up this silly bet hundreds of years ago, since it must have become apparent quite quickly that she was only losing out by continuing with it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I'm talking about why Hel didn't decide to give up this silly bet hundreds of years ago, since it must have become apparent quite quickly that she was only losing out by continuing with it.
    I think the answer to that question is tied to other questions: What sort of oversight is there on the allocation of souls and clericousity, and how difficult is it to alter the procedure? Is Hel's assent alone enough to nullify either alteration to the usual arrangement, much less both?

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    I think the answer to that question is tied to other questions: What sort of oversight is there on the allocation of souls and clericousity, and how difficult is it to alter the procedure? Is Hel's assent alone enough to nullify either alteration to the usual arrangement, much less both?
    Presumably any bet between NP gods must be sealed with some sort of handshake-equivalent, and Odin is probably the final judge. Hel would have to convince Odin to let her out of a deal that not only favors his son but (apparently) weakens evil.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    What about now? If they want don't want Hel to get too powerful, or even to intervere in the voting this much, why can't Loki just cancel the bet? It's not like the other NP gods want Hel to have access to thousands of dwarf souls in World 3. Is this bet written in the very fabric of the world when it was created? If so, why?
    Last edited by goto124; 2017-07-20 at 01:40 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    Is this bet written in the very fabric of the world when it was created? If so, why?
    Because the bet involves Hel getting all* dwarf souls regardless of what plane they actually belong to - that is the kind of grand change to how the Universe is supposed to work that it would need to be baked into the rules of world 2.0.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    I suppose it's like how the rift tears can't be repaired unless the entire world is torn apart and rebuilt. What programming language did the gods used for this world? Doesn't seem like C++.
    Last edited by goto124; 2017-07-20 at 01:46 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    I suppose it's like how the rift tears can't be repaired unless the entire world is torn apart and rebuilt. What programming language did the gods used for this world? Doesn't seem like C++.
    It's magic. It makes C++ look like free verse

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Matt620 has been told (pretty much every time he has complained about the comic, AFAICR) that his assumption that the comic is "the story of how the Order of The stick defeated Xykon and stopped the Snarl" is incorrect, and that what he is actually reading is "The story of how a bunch of initially dysfunctional people overcame their flaws to became the Order of the Stick". To judge from the latest posts, he refuses to accept this, and continues to decry every time the comic spends any time laying foundation for character growth.

    Relatedly, IIRC, he also has a narrow view on what constitutes a valid character for development, also at odds with the actual list of characters of the author.

    Grey Wolf
    Yeah, and he's complained in every single strip this arc except, IIRC, #1080, with the Order fully front and center. I think he'd be happier just setting it aside until it catches up to the plot resolution, which is all he seems to care about.

    Criticism of the comic is one thing; an insistence that the comic should be one narrow way, even after being told by the author that it's not going to be that way, is another.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    If you thought writing native machine code sounded horrible, you don't even want to imagine native magic code. Quit imagining it! I SAID DON'T!

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    If you thought writing native machine code sounded horrible, you don't even want to imagine native magic code. Quit imagining it! I SAID DON'T!
    It's kind alike computer programming, except that, if you misplace a parenthesis or backslash, instead of crashing your computer, you end up crashing reality itself. But, yeah, don't imagine it. Seriously, imaging it is known to increase the risk of it happening.
    Last edited by woweedd; 2017-07-20 at 02:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Dandelion View Post
    The Dark One hasn't taken front-and-center stage in the comic the way that Hel has, but that doesn't mean he isn't involved. He hasn't been focused on yet. He's been kept into the background and the shadows, with a certain amount of mystery and uncertainty regarding his true motives and origins. That will have to change at some point. He's a Man Behind the Man reveal waiting to happen.

    It matters that the world is screwed up because the Order of the Stick is in the process of trying to save it. If this is the conflict that defines them, are they ultimately no more than the defenders of a corrupt status quo? This is a question they have yet to confront in any serious way.
    I know what you mean. I'm just saying that the fact that the Dark One hasn't taken center stage is a good thing. His motivation is really not all that important.

    I find such conflicts amorphous and esoteric.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Matt620 has been told (pretty much every time he has complained about the comic, AFAICR) that his assumption that the comic is "the story of how the Order of The stick defeated Xykon and stopped the Snarl" is incorrect, and that what he is actually reading is "The story of how a bunch of initially dysfunctional people overcame their flaws to became the Order of the Stick". To judge from the latest posts, he refuses to accept this, and continues to decry every time the comic spends any time laying foundation for character growth.

    Relatedly, IIRC, he also has a narrow view on what constitutes a valid character for development, also at odds with the actual list of characters of the author.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I know what you mean. I'm just saying that the fact that the Dark One hasn't taken center stage is a good thing. His motivation is really not all that important.

    I find such conflicts amorphous and esoteric.
    That...sounds like a personal thing, dude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Presumably any bet between NP gods must be sealed with some sort of handshake-equivalent, and Odin is probably the final judge. Hel would have to convince Odin to let her out of a deal that not only favors his son but (apparently) weakens evil.
    I think it works like what ErfWorld terms 'Automagical': The very nature of the universe makes it happen. The fact that Hel specifically says it won't apply in the next universe (at the Godsmoot) would back this up. So not even the head of the pantheon can change it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    I feel like the whole wager was set together with the rest of the world-building rules and therefore affected by Loki's proposed "No Backsies" clause, which is why they couldn't stop it anytime they like (and so Hel has to wait for the next world version to get out of it).
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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I'd imagine childbirth counts.
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    So THAT'S why so many mixed-race characters don't know both their parents...
    Spoiler: IDK if this technically qualifies as NSFW or not...
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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Yeah, that's definitely NSFW. I'm not a mod, but I'd recommend simply linking than instead of posting it, even in spoilers. I like when people don't get in trouble.
    Cuthalion makes great avatars. Like my Silver Dragon.
    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

  28. - Top - End - #328
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    B. Dandelion's Avatar

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I know what you mean. I'm just saying that the fact that the Dark One hasn't taken center stage is a good thing. His motivation is really not all that important.
    When you say "not all that important", in this context I'm not clear on whether it means "factually not important to the story" or "not compelling to me personally, because Redcloak and his god are unlikable hypocrites." He's a major character. If he's been lying or misrepresented -- a possibility you yourself suggested about the Jirix bit -- it would just be sloppy storytelling to introduce that element and then not elaborate on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt620 View Post
    I find such conflicts amorphous and esoteric.
    "What are we truly fighting for" is an amorphous and esoteric conflict? I personally would like to see the leads of this heroic fantasy get the chance to strongly define themselves as heroes by going through that crucible.

    Keeping in mind that with the Snarl in play, I suspect we may be in for some degree of literal re-writing reality in the far flung-future. In the somewhat nearer future, though, having the Order of the Stick be forced to confront the terrible true nature of the world they're bent on saving... that strikes you as just a waste of time?

    I have a lot of faith that the story is going to wind up being a fantastic read all-told, and I wanted to sell you on some of that confidence, but it's not looking like I'll make a lot of traction if the things I expect to be great are the ones you don't care for at all. Sorry I couldn't cheer you up for the future there.

  29. - Top - End - #329
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGirl

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    Default Re: OOTS #1083 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Well, according to Haruhi world-warping powers use SQL.
    We're all adults here, so let's stop acting like schoolyard bullies.

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