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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Mightymosy View Post
    There's another thing:

    I just read that the Protean can only copy extraordinal abilities, but not spell like ones.
    What is Wish?
    Or "Teleport others"?
    This is addressed in the protean's entry in 3a.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2019-04-08 at 07:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    My theory (unless it's better phrased as an hypothesis) goes something like this:

    The Monster has been hanging around Team Evil, specifically Redcloak, the knowledge guy, for years. MitD has this Detect Thoughts power (assuming he is a Protean). He doesn't really have much to do, because they don't trust him to do much, but sometimes, he reads thoughts. It's a power he's not really aware of having because he's always had it. So, without fully realizing it, he's picked up a lot of Redcloak's knowledge.

    Now comes the time when he needs to find the power to help O-Chul Escape. Where should O-Chul Escape to? In V's mind, MitD can see an Azurite settlement. O-Chul's other friends! Cool! How will he Escape? If only there were some creature MitD could turn into that had the ability to teleport everybody to that place! Well... Redcloak was thinking about psionic powers just the other day, and he was reading about a creature that has the psionic ability to teleport... so... try really hard... and.... change...

    Is it a huge stretch? Perhaps. Does it make a sort of sense? Perhaps.

    EDIT: I see the SRD lists a +47 Intimidate skill. Would that account for the instance of shouting at Haley and Belkar, rather than a Shout spell of some kind? Even at a lower level of skill due to his youth?
    First set of things: I think that's roughly what the canon headcanon for the Protean hypothesis.
    For the Edit: that would make sense. I take it that's a skill for the Protean's inherent form? If so, and if it is not on the list of pros already, its worth noting. It isn't particularly important but is an extra unique pro, which is nice.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

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  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    For the Edit: that would make sense. I take it that's a skill for the Protean's inherent form? If so, and if it is not on the list of pros already, its worth noting. It isn't particularly important but is an extra unique pro, which is nice.
    It's not considered a Big Scene, I don't believe so anyway, but it is a nice added factor. Other candidates may have similar skills, I haven't trawled the entries. +47 is rather impressive, though.
    It is listed as a base skill for the Protean, not something that comes from shapeshifting. My understanding is that only extraordinary abilities are gained through shifting, skills would have to be inherently known.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Also, everything Darth Paul just said.
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  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    First set of things: I think that's roughly what the canon headcanon for the Protean hypothesis.
    For the Edit: that would make sense. I take it that's a skill for the Protean's inherent form? If so, and if it is not on the list of pros already, its worth noting. It isn't particularly important but is an extra unique pro, which is nice.
    It is hardly unique, and in fact it can be considered that a natural intimidation skill is a con: "He's about as scary as musty styrofoam", after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Correction: Any scarier than he SHOULD be (+47 Intimidate)
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by NoHaxJustPi View Post
    Correction: Any scarier than he SHOULD be (+47 Intimidate)
    Given the results of his deliberate attempts to be scary, I think its safe to say that intimidate is not one of his strong points.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by NoHaxJustPi View Post
    Correction: Any scarier than he SHOULD be (+47 Intimidate)
    Yes, but if the scariness is due to a sine-qua-non skill, it begs the question of why MitD is not inherently scary (in the same way that Haley can't help to be believed when she lies while hopped up on the glib potion).

    Now, I'm personally on your side, I think that the +47 is indicative of the fact that a protean is a boiling mass of mutation, which is probably scary and intimidating as all get-out, but then, why is it that MitD is so terrible at it? Well, presumably because of his attitude and speech and personality... but I can see people looking at the evidence and saying "a protean cannot help but be intimidating" (ETA: see Keltest above). Bottom line, it's a nice supporting detail, but I'm not sure it rates as enough of a "pro" to add. That said, like with the size of the ANB, I'll add it if enough people seem to be in favour of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Yes, but if the scariness is due to a sine-qua-non skill, it begs the question of why MitD is not inherently scary (in the same way that Haley can't help to be believed when she lies while hopped up on the glib potion).
    That may be because his scaryness isn't an always active aura, but an attack for which he has to spend a deliberate action. The Eye of fear and flame has such an ability, as #469 shows. And the only time the MitD tried to use that ability was in #103, when he tried it on Xykon, and Xykon is immune to that ability on account of being undead.

    Update: unless perhaps he also used the fear attack on the lantern archons in #194, prompted by the conversation in #191.
    Last edited by b_jonas; 2019-04-09 at 09:30 AM.

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by b_jonas View Post
    Update: unless perhaps he also used the fear attack on the lantern archons in #194, prompted by the conversation in #191.
    You know, I just realized that MitD tells the lantern archons that he'd be "flatfooted" if they hit him. Proof that he has feet, perhaps?

    Between that and the recent calendar scene implying he has a waist, we're starting to construct a vague outline* of MitD's anatomy!

    *Mostly kidding, of course, but worth noting anyway.
    Last edited by The Aboleth; 2019-04-09 at 09:46 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #220
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by The Aboleth View Post
    You know, I just realized that MitD tells the lantern archons that he'd be "flatfooted" if they hit him. Proof that he has feet, perhaps?
    As far as I know, the condition of flat-footed applies even to creatures that don't have feet and nevertheless can be surprised or start a combat low on the initiative scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by b_jonas View Post
    That may be because his scaryness isn't an always active aura, but an attack for which he has to spend a deliberate action.
    Isn't using a skill considered a standard action?
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Also, everything Darth Paul just said.
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  12. - Top - End - #222
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    Isn't using a skill considered a standard action?
    Isn't that what b_jonas said?

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    b_jonas suggested "attack". That's one possibility. "Intimidation" is a skill use, and then again there are fear auras and such which would fit the description as well. I'm verging on the pedantic here, I realize, but it could be a distinction that matters in reading a creature stat block.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Also, everything Darth Paul just said.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    As far as I know, the condition of flat-footed applies even to creatures that don't have feet and nevertheless can be surprised or start a combat low on the initiative scale.

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    I had no idea that "flat-footed" was a condition. Thanks for this!

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by The Aboleth View Post
    Between that and the recent calendar scene implying he has a waist, we're starting to construct a vague outline* of MitD's anatomy!

    *Mostly kidding, of course, but worth noting anyway.
    If constructing a vague outline of the MitD's anatomy is the name of the game, have you looked at #701? 'Tis a shame I can't post images because I'd have some nice photo montages of various creatures trying to play with that rope the way the MitD does.

    Suffice to say, look at the 10th panel. What kind of creature can give a rope these kind of angles ? One with at least two grasping appendages, sure, and one with psionics. Now, that reduces the list of fit candidates by a lot !

    #703 has it holding a book in various poses. There again, psionics or appendages.

    And #477 tells us it has something able to stomp the ground on the back of its figure (rather than straight under the head as an humanoid would).

    There's much to learn from the art. Is the place where it holds things (ex. O-Chul's foot in #477) consistent? Is the umbrella magically following it everywhere or does it hold it? What about its mouth placement?

    Please, don't get me started.
    Last edited by Jineon; 2019-04-09 at 11:23 AM.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by b_jonas View Post
    That may be because his scaryness isn't an always active aura, but an attack for which he has to spend a deliberate action.
    I don't know a whole lot about D&D mechanics, but I figured Intimidate was a skill check, and so MitD would have to actually try to intimidate someone in order for any bonuses to apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jineon View Post
    If constructing a vague outline of the MitD's anatomy is the name of the game, have you looked at #701? 'Tis a shame I can't post images because I'd have some nice photo montages of various creatures trying to play with that rope the way the MitD does.
    Speaking of #701, you know what makes "holding something AND moving it at the same time" difficult? Using a move-equivalent action to hold a form. Especially if you needed to do so to have appendages capable of pulling.

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Speaking of #701, you know what makes "holding something AND moving it at the same time" difficult? Using a move-equivalent action to hold a form. Especially if you needed to do so to have appendages capable of pulling.
    Mm, yeah, "holding things" is a clue that I think is significant but hard to make anything of. At Kraagor's Tomb he holds the umbrella, paintbrush and paint can at the same time. Maybe he's holding the umbrella with his neck, but I think it's most likely he has more than two arms, which can also stretch/change shape/unfurl to great lengths based on the height of some of the X's he draws on screen. (Or he hovers. Or he has latent psionic abilities.)

    I like the Protean, and I definitely can't assess what is unreasonable for a Protean to be able to do. I'm just continuing your train of thought for a bit.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Aveline View Post
    Mm, yeah, "holding things" is a clue that I think is significant but hard to make anything of. At Kraagor's Tomb he holds the umbrella, paintbrush and paint can at the same time. Maybe he's holding the umbrella with his neck, but I think it's most likely he has more than two arms, which can also stretch/change shape/unfurl to great lengths based on the height of some of the X's he draws on screen. (Or he hovers. Or he has latent psionic abilities.)
    It's not impossible to hold both an umbrella and a can of paint in one hand, especially when one has 40+ strength and thus it's like holding the umbrella and your keys.

    I do like that the hypothetical MitD!protean would find it hard to grab things with appendages that keep changing shapes, though. And thus that he'd find it easier to just walk into anything he would want to move (because, again, when one has 40-ish strength, things you push tend to move. Even if they where bolted to the ground beforehand)

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Speaking of #701, you know what makes "holding something AND moving it at the same time" difficult? Using a move-equivalent action to hold a form. Especially if you needed to do so to have appendages capable of pulling.
    The problem I see with the Protean is that it can meet most requirements we can throw at it by default. The Escape scene was maybe the hardest for it to meet it and we have an explanation for that (which I can find fitting enough).

    So, the Protean is a winner by default, which I find a bit anti-climactic, so I like to ask myself the question, may there be another winner? I like the idea of White Slaad turning Black upon reveal but we've seen a Slaad (albeit a Red one) and the eyes don't match like, at all.

    The ANB can't pull a rope for it's life but maybe it can use some kind of psionic telekinesis to do so? Can Telekinetic Thrust be used for something else than a thrust?

    The Glabrezu could fit as far as I'm concerned, though it's a bit low on Strength for both the Tower and the Stomp scenes.

    The Hunting Horror lacks limbs and I don't see it handling the rope, though as is well stated in the opening posts (thanks for putting them so orderly!), it could very well have limbs.

    The Carbosilicate Amorph shares its situation with the Protean. Not being stated in DnD, it's easy to have him reach the requirements as long as the Escape scene matches. Plus, I don't buy the Teraport explanation (but that's just me, though, of course, all this speech is just me - I'm not trying to invalidate any proposal here).

    And the Uvuudaum... no, just no. I really can't see Rich going for a creature with no eyes when deciding what the MitD would be, especially since he could still choose what abilities he'd want it to display at the time (so wasn't bound by the Big Scenes).

    I'm still looking through the other proposals so I may still pick a winner in there. I still have to go through all the Monsters for any Season too, in order to maybe pick a winner based on physical apearance and gut feeling.

    EDIT: Regarding the umbrella: I've been trying to think what kind of shadows could take the shape they do under it, specifically assessing if they could graphically be emited by the MitD. I've come to the conclusion that they're probably magical shadows, which could very well be cast by the umbrella itself, which would then be magical and, hey, if it's magical, why not also enchant it to magically follow the beast it's meant to hide while we (Xykon or Redcloak) are at it?

    I mean, the MitD does drop it from time to time, but that's when there's shadows around so that may be part of the enchantment of the umbrella.

    I've checked, by the way. The umbrella has the exact same length when covering the MitD and when lying on the ground so it's not holding it in its mouth.
    Last edited by Jineon; 2019-04-09 at 02:05 PM. Reason: I can't do English.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Jineon View Post
    The problem I see with the Protean is that it can meet most requirements we can throw at it by default.
    What do you mean, it meets most requirements by default? And double what do you mean by that being a problem?
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    What do you mean, it meets most requirements by default? And double what do you mean by that being a problem?
    When we're considering other creatures, we are looking for one creature with all the abilities to fit the big scenes. When we're considering the Protean, all we have to do is find one of them with one ability as an Ex for each of the big scenes. If we were able to find a creature with a fitting Teleport ability as an Ex ability, I'm willing to think we can find a creature allowing the Protean to partially morph into to fit whatever next scene Rich will throw at us. But once again, that's just me and a belief, just because I think it doesn't mean it's true.

    It's not really a problem as much as "not funny". I mean, until we have a new Big Scene to work with, what's the funnier thing to do: wait for it doing nothing because we have a/some potential winner(s) already or search for other contenders?

    I mean, beside talking about Star Wars and designing the perfect voting system, of course.
    Last edited by Jineon; 2019-04-09 at 02:45 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever heard the argument "It can't be the Protean because it fits too well."

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    One could make that argument based on O-Chul's "you would not believe it". But I think the argument here is more that the protean can fit any scene, meaning that clues are largely irrelevant besides excluding other candidates. Or in other words, if the MitD had shown totally different abilities, the protean would probably still be a very good fit.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever heard the argument "It can't be the Protean because it fits too well."
    I know, I was expecting that to be saved for the Ha-Naga!
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Joerg View Post
    One could make that argument based on O-Chul's "you would not believe it". But I think the argument here is more that the protean can fit any scene, meaning that clues are largely irrelevant besides excluding other candidates. Or in other words, if the MitD had shown totally different abilities, the protean would probably still be a very good fit.
    My counterargument to that is that the Protean's innate abilities are a better fit for certain scenes than anything else on the FBS list (the Circus and Tower scenes specifically).

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever heard the argument "It can't be the Protean because it fits too well."
    Well, it can very well be the Protean. Also, I don't think it fits "too well", if it did, we'd not need to tap into subjective interpretations of its personality to have it fit the eyes thingy, it's just that it can fit almost anything "good enough" so we can (ETA: me included) basically rationalize any con as something still in the realm of the acceptable.

    Basically, what Joerg said.

    Note also that I'm willing to see the Protean as a workable candidate but it doesn't have that dream forged in glitter ink ring to me.

    Also, I've reached 10 posts, so:

    Because this one cracks me up.
    Last edited by Jineon; 2019-04-09 at 03:51 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    My take on the intimidation bit:
    It would appear that, assuming MitD is a Protean, either
    a) Rich is interpreting the intimidate skill to be either an ability that must be manually used or is otherwise not always in effect
    b) MitD is really poor at using it, meaning the given his youth and ineptness, his intimidation is of the "whining child dragging and kicking their heels" variety instead of the "Half-Dragon Demon Warlord is brandishing their axe in your direction" variety. He's not only bad at it, he doesn't get how to use it right.
    c) Rich is seeing the skill as one that requires the entity to be seen for most of the effect (works with the "roiling mass of flesh" bit, maybe its a "inherent +5 if not visible" instead)
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    I think the Intimidate thing is being overthought.

    Behold, a wildly successful Intimidate check against two high-level adventurers, even with the circumstance penalty from the "please?" afterward.
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    "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.

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ruck's Avatar

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    Oct 2015
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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    I think the Intimidate thing is being overthought.

    Behold, a wildly successful Intimidate check against two high-level adventurers, even with the circumstance penalty from the "please?" afterward.
    I thought that's where we started, with Darth Paul's comment, and I agree-- especially insofar as "The Protean's +47 to Intimidate easily explains this result."

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Mar 2019

    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    If the shout in that scene is MitD using the Intimidate skill, it's worth remembering everything Haley was able to do with that +20 Bluff Skill potion. I don't think it's unfeasible that the MitD's shout could result from a high Intimidate skill, or another skill that has a similar effect of, "allow me to resolve this conversation as I desire." On #965, Roy even remarks that "magic makes sense. What [Haley] does defies the natural order," presumably in reference to her liberal use of the Bluff skill. It's a joke, yes, but it also seems to suggest that it's one of the ways the comic treats high skill checks.

    Does no one know what the Hagunemnon's immunities are, though? It's odd that they're not included in its own statblock... and I still want to know!
    feed the crows

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