The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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    Default A Practical Guide to Evil

    https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/

    I binged on this recently, and was very impressed with how fun it is to read up on the adventures of a genre-savvy well-intentioned extremist anti-heroine. The quotes kicking off each chapter are often hilarious. (I'd love to read a side story or two about Dread Emperor Irritant I.)

    Anyone else into this? What do you think?
    Last edited by Leewei; 2018-10-17 at 03:18 PM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I've been reading it for a while. It's displaced Ward as my top web serial.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Never heard of it, befoire, but I am part-way into chapter one and am already deeply intrigued.



    Edit:
    Bahahahahahahaha!

    This is amazing! And hilarious!

    I LIKE these people!
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2018-10-17 at 08:08 PM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I have to say, The Black Knight has to be one of my favorite Villains.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Never heard of it, but bookmarked for later perusal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I've been reading it for a while. I have given up trying to track some of the bit players or predict what's going to happen next...I'm just along to enjoy the ride.

    The Wandering Inn is my current favorite serial.

    Ward is OK-ish, but there are too many characters that I just don't like. Victoria, Sveta, and Rain are the only Reach'ers that have managed to land any worthwhile sympathy from me. Most of them are jerks and/or mentally ill beyond just the normal "powers" issue in ways that the Undersiders and the Chicago Wards were not. Worm seemed more positive and hopeful than Ward did. I have not caught up on Ward in a couple of weeks.
    FWIW, I did finish Wildbow's post-Worm story about the fake stick guy in Canada with magic powers in a crapsack magic world where everything is depressing and down the drains... wish I'd skipped it. I bailed on the next one because it was similarly dark and depressing. I don't care to read about worlds that would be better off being nuked from orbit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    I've been reading it for a while. I have given up trying to track some of the bit players or predict what's going to happen next...I'm just along to enjoy the ride.

    The Wandering Inn is my current favorite serial.

    Ward is OK-ish, but there are too many characters that I just don't like. Victoria, Sveta, and Rain are the only Reach'ers that have managed to land any worthwhile sympathy from me. Most of them are jerks and/or mentally ill beyond just the normal "powers" issue in ways that the Undersiders and the Chicago Wards were not. Worm seemed more positive and hopeful than Ward did. I have not caught up on Ward in a couple of weeks.
    FWIW, I did finish Wildbow's post-Worm story about the fake stick guy in Canada with magic powers in a crapsack magic world where everything is depressing and down the drains... wish I'd skipped it. I bailed on the next one because it was similarly dark and depressing. I don't care to read about worlds that would be better off being nuked from orbit.
    Pact is borderline garbage, but you're missing out with Twig. Twig starts off slow and becomes something AMAZING. It's Wildbow's attempt to write characters with actual arcs, motivations, and depth for once and he pulls it off in a big way.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    ... why was I never made aware of this?

    Egads, it's like a biography. It's like a documentary.

    I'm only several chapters in, and the Black Knight is... He's just me. Ruthless and cold, sure, but utterly pragmatic about the genre conventions.

    I am going to devour this.

    And afterwards, I'm going to maim a few minions for failing to make me aware that this existed.
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    What, you didnt write it?

    I am shocked, SHOCKED I say!


    Jokes aside: I am binging it in monthly dosages since I found it (2 years ago) most of the time. Until this thread I ahd managed to abstain for over 4, now ....I will soon ahve caught up again, dangit....
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Yeah, I'm hooked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    .
    FWIW, I did finish Wildbow's post-Worm story about the fake stick guy in Canada with magic powers in a crapsack magic world where everything is depressing and down the drains... wish I'd skipped it. I bailed on the next one because it was similarly dark and depressing. I don't care to read about worlds that would be better off being nuked from orbit.
    Ah, Pact. Yeah, it's...the magic and stuff could be interesting, but the pacing is an awful lot of "and then it gets worse". Basically non stop. It's rough. I likewise bailed on Twig.


    I intent to keep reading Ward, but it does feel significantly less epic than Worm did, and I'm having more trouble empathizing with some of the characters.

    I've tried to get into APGtE at least twice, but I've had a bit of trouble getting hooked. Doesn't seem bad, just...vanilla? I dunno. I'm a lot more enthused about Mother of Learning.
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I'm delighted this was so well-received!

    There's a lot of spoiler-y stuff I'd love to talk about, but I'll hold off a while.

    I love the attitude Team Evil has regarding Team Good: sanctimonious cheaters.

    I also love how Black and others are pretty much using the Evil Overlord list as a playbook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Ah, Pact. Yeah, it's...the magic and stuff could be interesting, but the pacing is an awful lot of "and then it gets worse". Basically non stop. It's rough. I likewise bailed on Twig.


    I intent to keep reading Ward, but it does feel significantly less epic than Worm did, and I'm having more trouble empathizing with some of the characters.

    I've tried to get into APGtE at least twice, but I've had a bit of trouble getting hooked. Doesn't seem bad, just...vanilla? I dunno. I'm a lot more enthused about Mother of Learning.
    I love me some MoL. Zorian is my kind of protagonist - the kind who unabashedly weaponizes munchkinry.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I just got to the

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    Undead suicide goats.


    And had to take a break to stop laughing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Robber's cackling glee over that incident never fades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    Edit:
    Bahahahahahahaha!

    This is amazing! And hilarious!

    I LIKE these people!
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    ... why was I never made aware of this?

    Egads, it's like a biography. It's like a documentary.

    I'm only several chapters in, and the Black Knight is... He's just me. Ruthless and cold, sure, but utterly pragmatic about the genre conventions.

    I am going to devour this.

    And afterwards, I'm going to maim a few minions for failing to make me aware that this existed.
    Well then. Seals of approval from Red Fel and the lich? This is going on my must read list.
    Used to be DMofDarkness
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    Spoiler: Collection of Signature Quotes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I've tried to get into APGtE at least twice, but I've had a bit of trouble getting hooked. Doesn't seem bad, just...vanilla? I dunno. I'm a lot more enthused about Mother of Learning.
    It takes a few chapters to get going, and then explodes into action. The conceit of the universe is very interesting as more gets revealed, and it steadily gets better and better over time (with the exception of a rough patch in book 3, though that may just be me. I don't tend to like

    Spoiler: Book 3
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    "war arcs" very much, they tend to drag on. Especially when it's the entire book.
    )

    It also has the benefit over MoL of being updated 3 times a week instead of once per month. =)

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Perhaps I shall give it a third try, then.

    I do agree that the every three weeks update of MoL leaves me with a great deal of time for reading other things. It's a great story, but I read a lot faster than that book gets written. More good web novels are always welcome!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Ah, Pact. Yeah, it's...the magic and stuff could be interesting, but the pacing is an awful lot of "and then it gets worse". Basically non stop. It's rough. I likewise bailed on Twig.


    I intent to keep reading Ward, but it does feel significantly less epic than Worm did, and I'm having more trouble empathizing with some of the characters.

    I've tried to get into APGtE at least twice, but I've had a bit of trouble getting hooked. Doesn't seem bad, just...vanilla? I dunno. I'm a lot more enthused about Mother of Learning.
    I think Pact suffers from Wildbow learning the wrong lessons from Worm. And this is from someone who absolutely loves Pact, loves the setting, loves the characters, I liked the story....

    But there's so much reading the story that didn't make sense to me.

    EDIT: Because I feel like elaborating on this, I think that Pact suffered far too much from Wildbow's reliance on Wham Moments to keep audience attention. He leaves chapters off on cliffhangers to keep you thinking about it. To keep you interested, but oftentimes the cliffhangers themselves don't make much sense or even seem to have much of a plan behind them. This doesn't lead to COMPLETE chaos, because he's a good enough writer to go from there, but for example...
    Spoiler: Pact Spoilers.
    Show
    When Blake has his friends become Practitioners and join a circle/coven/cabal with him. It's presented as a big hanging cliffhanger. But then once it's done, they're all but glossed over for the remainder of the arc it happens in. They don't actually become relevant again until after Blake has 'died' and gone to the Abyss and then clawed his way back out. And this kind of thing happens SO often. He drops a cliffhanger because he feels like a cliffhanger is needed, even if it doesn't make sense. And usually it's a 'And it gets worse' moment.
    Last edited by druid91; 2018-10-18 at 06:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

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    Note to self: Never get involved in an ethics thread again...Especially if I'm defending the empire.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I really, really like all of the chapter-opening quotes. There are so many terrible and great Emperors and Empresses.
    Especially Dread Empress Triumphant, may she never return.

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    May she never return!

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    May she never return!Although, if her return is the end of the story kind of thing, putting it at the end of the series might be a worthy ending, just sayi.......ugkh.
    Nothing to see, move along!
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    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    I think Pact suffers from Wildbow learning the wrong lessons from Worm. And this is from someone who absolutely loves Pact, loves the setting, loves the characters, I liked the story....

    But there's so much reading the story that didn't make sense to me.

    EDIT: Because I feel like elaborating on this, I think that Pact suffered far too much from Wildbow's reliance on Wham Moments to keep audience attention. He leaves chapters off on cliffhangers to keep you thinking about it. To keep you interested, but oftentimes the cliffhangers themselves don't make much sense or even seem to have much of a plan behind them. This doesn't lead to COMPLETE chaos, because he's a good enough writer to go from there, but for example...
    Spoiler: Pact Spoilers.
    Show
    When Blake has his friends become Practitioners and join a circle/coven/cabal with him. It's presented as a big hanging cliffhanger. But then once it's done, they're all but glossed over for the remainder of the arc it happens in. They don't actually become relevant again until after Blake has 'died' and gone to the Abyss and then clawed his way back out. And this kind of thing happens SO often. He drops a cliffhanger because he feels like a cliffhanger is needed, even if it doesn't make sense. And usually it's a 'And it gets worse' moment.
    Yeah. It's probably the biggest reason that I have such mixed feelings about it. Like, right before the Conquest arc, I was feeling really into it. You've got some great worldbuilding going on, and you finally feel like you understand the nature of the bind the protaganist(s) are in. And then...it all sort of just goes away. Yeah, I know Wildbow's really big on trying to evoke the feeling in the reader of exactly what the protaganist is going through, but sometimes that gets taken too far. A confused protagonist doesn't necessitate a confused reader.

    Anyways, there's surprisingly few quality web fictions of this sort. It's a bit baffling. So many fanfics, and so very few original works of note.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Anyways, there's surprisingly few quality web fictions of this sort. It's a bit baffling. So many fanfics, and so very few original works of note.
    That reminds me, I've wanted to make a web fiction general thread for a while.

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    I have been reading this for quite a while. And had actually been thinking about starting a thread myself a few times.
    Though i can hear i should likely wait at least a few weeks before starting any noteworthy discussion, even though there are so many awesome topics.
    Like the Peregrine, or the Bard, or the Tyrant. Or the Woes.

    I love the attitude Team Evil has regarding Team Good: sanctimonious cheaters.
    Spoiler: Spoiler for chapter 12+ or so
    Show

    See.. this is actually something that really, really enraged me by the sheer hypocracy of it.
    Black and his calamities are effectively a group of mid-high level players camping the starting zone in a MMO, to preserve their stranglehold on the server.
    Heck, some people are effectively directly killed during character creation by Blacks assasins.

    And yet he still has the audacity to complain about unfairness?
    As someone -not- killed for just having the potential to take on a name, then i dont think he should complain to loudly.

    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I have been reading this for quite a while. And had actually been thinking about starting a thread myself a few times.
    Though i can hear i should likely wait at least a few weeks before starting any noteworthy discussion, even though there are so many awesome topics.
    Like the Peregrine, or the Bard, or the Tyrant. Or the Woes.



    Spoiler: Spoiler for chapter 12+ or so
    Show

    See.. this is actually something that really, really enraged me by the sheer hypocracy of it.
    Black and his calamities are effectively a group of mid-high level players camping the starting zone in a MMO, to preserve their stranglehold on the server.
    Heck, some people are effectively directly killed during character creation by Blacks assasins.

    And yet he still has the audacity to complain about unfairness?
    As someone -not- killed for just having the potential to take on a name, then i dont think he should complain to loudly.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Eh, I can see his argument - particularly after the later explanations where he goes into more detail on all the unfair ways the heroes get their deck stacked. I think it's pretty clear that the Good gods take a much more active role in the conflicts of Fate than the Evil gods do; if nothing else, the presence of Priest as a Hero Role and the so-far lack of any equivalent for the Villains shows a certain slant. If the Calamities are a group of high-level MMO players, the low-level players they are camping are regularly getting handed artifact-grade weapons and /console hacks by the GMs running the server. He's just trying to level an uneven playing field the one way he knows how - incredibly unfairly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Well.. but would they be given all those subtle advantages, where are none are actual direct aid.
    If the initial playing field were not already insanely unfair?
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leewei View Post
    Anyone else into this? What do you think?
    Looks good so far. I think I'll give it a whirl...
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Reading now. A bit tropey, but we'll see how it goes.

    Spoiler: ch3
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    Nobody with that little control over their tongue would live so long in that world.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post

    Anyways, there's surprisingly few quality web fictions of this sort. It's a bit baffling. So many fanfics, and so very few original works of note.
    Very difficult to promote and get decent profile without the built in audience, I expect.
    Last edited by Sapphire Guard; 2018-10-20 at 11:56 AM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Spoiler
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    Well.. but would they be given all those subtle advantages, where are none are actual direct aid.
    If the initial playing field were not already insanely unfair?
    Spoiler
    Show

    Because Good, as mentioned, cheats. It's never meant to be a level playing field, Good is always intended to triumph over Evil in the end. That's why heroic stories feature things like plucky farm-boys finding magic swords in stones, it's an indelible part of the Heroic legend to be getting extranormal support. Hence Black's 'Rage Against The Heavens/Hells' monologue, he's pissed that the game was stacked against him from the beginning, and the result is 'if they're already cheating, I'm going to cheat too' - in his case, by knocking off potential Heroes pre-emptively before they're in a position to benefit from their deific sponsors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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