The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Page 8 of 23 FirstFirst 123456789101112131415161718 ... LastLast
Results 211 to 240 of 680
  1. - Top - End - #211
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Which is why, say, I'm willing to give a party composed of 7 Level 4 to level 6 characters a bit of a break when facing off with an adult black dragon. Even in the later editions, if I'm using the CR calculator correctly, this is an unwinnable battle in a straight up fight. I'm willing to accept necessity as a justification or mitigation of their actions and allow stuff that I'd never allow in town. Because they're going to die unless they work every angle.

    Is this fair? Or am I missing something?
    What you are saying would certainly be relevant to consider in determining whether Raistlin's actions were reasonable or necessary or wise, but that wasn't the original question. The original question was whether his action was evil, and I don't think an otherwise evil action loses it's evil character simply because it is the most expedient or even the most effective way to accomplish an otherwise good goal. (Otherwise, pretty much any atrocity could be called non-evil as long as it was done to promote "a good cause.")

    Raistlin's action may have been reasonable or necessary or wise for the reasons you suggest
    Spoiler
    Show
    though it is worth noting that charming the gully dwarves ultimately backfired on the party and led to them getting betrayed to the dragon which would have caused a TPK if not for literal divine intervention,
    but even if his action was reasonable or necessary or wise that doesn't make using enchantment magic to rewrite part of the brain of an innocent sentient being any less evil. And I would contend that's why Raistlin is in the story. He's the character that's not afraid to do what is "necessary" even when it is immoral.

  2. - Top - End - #212
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    What you are saying would certainly be relevant to consider in determining whether Raistlin's actions were reasonable or necessary or wise, but that wasn't the original question. The original question was whether his action was evil, and I don't think an otherwise evil action loses it's evil character simply because it is the most expedient or even the most effective way to accomplish an otherwise good goal. (Otherwise, pretty much any atrocity could be called non-evil as long as it was done to promote "a good cause.")

    Raistlin's action may have been reasonable or necessary or wise for the reasons you suggest
    Spoiler
    Show
    though it is worth noting that charming the gully dwarves ultimately backfired on the party and led to them getting betrayed to the dragon which would have caused a TPK if not for literal divine intervention,
    but even if his action was reasonable or necessary or wise that doesn't make using enchantment magic to rewrite part of the brain of an innocent sentient being any less evil. And I would contend that's why Raistlin is in the story. He's the character that's not afraid to do what is "necessary" even when it is immoral.
    While I agree that Raistlin is in the story for exactly that purpose, I don't agree that it should be applied here.

    This is standard D&D party behaviour. A Lawful Good mage doing this in a game would not be questioned for one second about their morality by using the spell, regardless of the "real world" implications.

    It especially wasn't considered untoward behaviour back in the 1980s when this story was written. If a dragon was chromatic rather than metallic, you killed it. You cast Sleep on a bunch of goblins, you coup-de-graced them. There certainly wasn't any consideration that temporarily fogging the minds of an villain's minions would cause any sort of moral quandary. I again refer you to Obi Wan and his "these are not the droids you are looking for" moment.

    Raistlin is behaving like a D&D adventurer here, and it isn't indicative of his character in a negative fashion. In fact, since he gets reverse charmed by the Bupu it's actually a positive indication that Raistlin still has some goodness in him.

    This isn't about whether Charm Person (or Friendship, or Insert Mind Affecting Spell Here) is moral. That's for a 50 page thread elsewhere where you can have a proper philosophical debate. It's about whether we're seeing Raistlin act Evil in the context of the story, as part of indications of where his character might go later. And we simply don't see that here. He makes pragmatic use of a tool in his arsenal, and nobody in the party bats an eye at it.

  3. - Top - End - #213
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    It especially wasn't considered untoward behaviour back in the 1980s when this story was written. If a dragon was chromatic rather than metallic, you killed it. You cast Sleep on a bunch of goblins, you coup-de-graced them. There certainly wasn't any consideration that temporarily fogging the minds of an villain's minions would cause any sort of moral quandary. I again refer you to Obi Wan and his "these are not the droids you are looking for" moment.
    Despite being written in the '80s, the Chronicles never endorsed the murderhobo style of play you are describing.

    Spoiler
    Show
    We will see a sympathetic, heroic chromatic dragon in this very novel. Likewise in DoWN, Tas will weep over the death of blue dragons. And in DoSD, Tika and Caramon are disgusted when Raistlin murders some draconians simply for being draconians.


    And you really don't see a difference between mind fogging enemy soldiers (who will absolutely try to kill you if they discover you have the droids they are looking for) and mind fogging slaves being held by the enemy who have no hostile intent towards you at all?

    Raistlin is behaving like a D&D adventurer here, and it isn't indicative of his character in a negative fashion. In fact, since he gets reverse charmed by the Bupu it's actually a positive indication that Raistlin still has some goodness in him.
    I'm not following your logic here. How does Raistlin being charmed by Bupu give any indication on Raistlin's moral stance? Evil person can still have affection or even love for other people.

    This isn't about whether Charm Person (or Friendship, or Insert Mind Affecting Spell Here) is moral. That's for a 50 page thread elsewhere where you can have a proper philosophical debate. It's about whether we're seeing Raistlin act Evil in the context of the story, as part of indications of where his character might go later. And we simply don't see that here. He makes pragmatic use of a tool in his arsenal, and nobody in the party bats an eye at it.
    Sturm was clearly alarmed by the Friendship spell. Now admittedly his concern was not on behalf of the gully dwarves but more out of concern that Raistlin could turn the spell on the rest of the party, but notably we don't see Sturm express similar worry that Raistlin could use a Burning Hands or Sleep or Web spell on the rest of the party. That indicates Sturm had a specific revulsion to the idea of falling under a mental enchantment which in turn suggests a recognition that such a mental attack is different than (and worse than) a spell that just does physically damage.

  4. - Top - End - #214
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Forum Explorer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    And you really don't see a difference between mind fogging enemy soldiers (who will absolutely try to kill you if they discover you have the droids they are looking for) and mind fogging slaves being held by the enemy who have no hostile intent towards you at all?



    I'm not following your logic here. How does Raistlin being charmed by Bupu give any indication on Raistlin's moral stance? Evil person can still have affection or even love for other people.



    Sturm was clearly alarmed by the Friendship spell. Now admittedly his concern was not on behalf of the gully dwarves but more out of concern that Raistlin could turn the spell on the rest of the party, but notably we don't see Sturm express similar worry that Raistlin could use a Burning Hands or Sleep or Web spell on the rest of the party. That indicates Sturm had a specific revulsion to the idea of falling under a mental enchantment which in turn suggests a recognition that such a mental attack is different than (and worse than) a spell that just does physically damage.
    That's not the point. The point is what the party would've done if Raistlin hadn't mind fogged them. Which would have been to bully the slaves into helping them, and if the slaves tried to escape, kill them to prevent them from telling the Draconians where they were.


    It shows that Raistlin is capable of mercy, kindness, and empathy. Hilariously, Raistlin is the reverse of that saying how you should judge people how they treat their inferiors, not how they treat their equals or betters. If you only ever saw Raistlin dealing with gully dwarves and other unfortunates like plague victims or the homeless, you'd likely think he's a saint.


    No one else reacts that way, and Sturm has such a bias against magic he, multiple times, will accuse Raistlin of being a traitor despite all evidence to the contrary.
    Spoiler: Future stuff
    Show
    and after being proven wrong, multiple times, he will eventually insist that either Raistlin leaves the party, or he will.
    Spoiler: I'm a writer!
    Show
    Spoiler: Check out my fanfiction[URL="https://www.fanfiction.net/u/7493788/Forum-Explorer"
    Show
    here[/URL]
    ]Fate Stay Nano: Fate Stay Night x Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

    I Fell in Love with a Storm: MLP

    Procrastination: MLP



    Spoiler: Original Fiction
    Show
    The Lost Dragon: A story about a priest who finds a baby dragon in his church and decides to protect them.



  5. - Top - End - #215
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    I've created a companion thread for the alignment discussion. I respectfully suggest that those of us who are interested take our discussion there so we can leave this thread clear for reactions, as has been asked repeatedly. Perhaps the thread originator could stick a note to that effect in the thread's first post?

    It occurs to me that part of the reason for Raistlin's actions is storytelling; Weis & Hickman need to show him as useful, and so far he's been a combat liability. His sleep spell isn't useful against draconians. He has burning hands and magic missile, but not many slots for either. So far they've had him save the day in Darken Wood and here by using non-combat magic; absent these, well, he's a sickly child who still needs to be babysat by Caramon. He isn't anywhere close to that point on the power curve when wizards stop being almost useless and become almost-all-powerful demigods. And until then, they have to give him some way to be useful so we can justify keeping him around at all.

    ETA: Evidently there's a direct to video movie adaptation of the book. Is it any good?

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2019-06-09 at 01:06 PM.
    "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid."

    -Valery Legasov in Chernobyl

  6. - Top - End - #216
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    A place near Boulder.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    ETA: Evidently there's a direct to video movie adaptation of the book. Is it any good? .
    Noooooooooooooooooo.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  7. - Top - End - #217
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post

    ETA: Evidently there's a direct to video movie adaptation of the book. Is it any good?
    The crappy CGI! It burns our eyes, precious!
    Last edited by Slayer Lord; 2019-06-09 at 10:37 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #218
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Wookieetank's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Gridania, Eorzea
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    ETA: Evidently there's a direct to video movie adaptation of the book. Is it any good?
    It comes in somewhere near SW:Holiday Special.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  9. - Top - End - #219
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    JadedDM's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Oh, it wasn't that bad. It's watchable. And has Lucy Lawless as Goldmoon and Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin.

  10. - Top - End - #220
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Wookieetank's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Gridania, Eorzea
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    Oh, it wasn't that bad. It's watchable. And has Lucy Lawless as Goldmoon and Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin.
    I said near not tied!

    But on the list of things worth watching more than once, this does not have a place. It's probably closer to the first live action D&D movie with Jeremy Irons in it, with the D&D movie being the better of the two.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  11. - Top - End - #221
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Noooooooooooooooooo.
    Be fair now, it's not like there's lab science linking Dragonlance movie exposure to sudden eyeball explosions in rats.


    Onwards, to

    The broken city. Highbulp Phudge 1, the Great
    We open with a min exposition dump about the radical modification of Xak Tsaroth's geography during the Cataclysm. Most of the city slid down into a newly formed chasm, getting spread across several different levels, and then being entombed in a huge cavern. The companions are on the middle of the three layers; the lifts are on the top, and there's another layer of broken city below them.

    There's streams of water running through the streets, between shattered buildings. It's very gloomy, and everything stinks, but at least the water means they can wash off the worst of the slime and/or flour.

    They follow Bupu along the stream in the center of the street, where it joins a genuine river, which terminates in a five hundred foot waterfall, leading to the bottom layer of the buried city of Xak Tsaroth. Looking over the edge, the companions can see the ruined city spread out below them; some buildings are totally demolished, but others seem intact. They can also see the great elevator chain, running perhaps a thousand feet from the upper level.

    Apparently the Highbulp lives in one side of the cavern underneath them, and a series of rebuilt buildings are full of draconian bosses. Bupu - holding up all her fingers - reassures them that there's only two, which as Sturm says grimly doesn't really mean all that much. But most of the draconians are going up to the city above to look for the companions; they can see another pot full of them going up now. Bupu points out that this means they'll probably be safe, a fact that takes a surprising amount of time to register with everybody but Raistlin.


    Bubu, according to the Dragonlance movie. It's... not good.

    Sturm points out that they're still five hundred feet above the cavern floor, and lack wings. Bupu says they can climb down on vines growing next to the waterfall. Goldmoon looks pale, Caramon's non-fussed, and Flint declares it better than sliding down a sewer pipe. Everybody's ready to get going, except for Goldmoon, who, as Riverwind explains, is afraid of heights. Goldmoon gets very angry at Riverwind for revealing that, but he says that there's no point in pretending to be flawless around the others, since the only subject she's got left to impress is him.

    Goldmoon is clearly really hurt by this helpful public examination of her personality flaws, makes Tanis tie the staff to her back, and gets ready to set off down the vines. Sturm offers to go underneath her, but she points out all that will mean is that if she falls, they both die, and starts off. She slips at first, but catches herself. Sturm goes down next to her, providing moral support if nothing else. Tanis follows them down, and slips the last couple of feet.

    Once everyone is at the bottom - Goldmoon is literally shaking in fear, she and Riverwind are pointedly ignoring each other - they set off for the Highbulp's. Tanis wants to know where the dragon is, Bupu asks if he wants the dragon; Tanis still does not want the dragon. Bupu clearly thinks Raistlin has the patience of saint for putting up with these insane morons.

    They make their way through the fallen city, until they reach a plaza. They're hesitant to cross, since there's no cover, but Bupu says the Highbulp is on the other side. They're about to cross, when the mist swirls away, revealing a huge, ruined palace with great pillars in front of it, and - the dragon.

    Khisanth is walking into the ruined palace, talking to a cringing draconian. She is incredulous that anybody survived her attack, and thinks she should have sensed the presence of the staff. The draconian says the intruders are trapped on the upper level, but Khisanth says that if the gully dwarves can get down, the companions can as well, and if they have the staff they're here for the Discs. She's irritated at Verminaard for being too busy fighting a silly war to have taken the staff threat seriously enough.

    The draconian suggests destroying the Discs, but Khisanth says they can't, having apparently tried, and tells the draconian to tell Verminaard that she's taking the Disks and relocating to Pax Tharkas, or, if the draconians persists in their silly charade, asking Verminaard's permission for her to do so. She then tells the draconian to capture the companions, and bring them to her, then vanishes back into the darkness. The draconian heads off with some other draconians.

    Sturm says that the dragon and draconians think they've got them cornered, and are right. If they can even get the Disks, they're still stuck a thousand feet underground, in caves crawling with draconians. Tanis wants to know if anybody has any better ideas, Caramon suggest they lure the dragon out and kill it.

    Raistlin points out that Caramon is an idiot, and even if they could deal with the physical power of the dragon and the acid breath of the dragon, there's still the problem of her magic, against which they have no defense. So unless Caramon fancies being enchanted like the gully dwarves and dismembered, fighting isn't a great plan.

    Caramon's abashed at his lack of knowledge, and wonders who actually knows anything about dragons at this point. Sturm says that there's a lot of dragon lore in Solamnia; he's looking a bit wistful at the idea of dragon-fighting, just like his hero, Huma.

    Bupu thinks they should get going; Sturm is getting irritated by hiding behind gully dwarves. Also, probably just gully dwarves in general. Tanis tries to comfort himself, thinking maybe this is the last surviving dragon, but Raistlin isn't so optimistic. The missing stars mean the Queen of Darkness come back to Krynn, along with the 'shrieking hosts' of dragons described in the Canticle.

    The continue on a bit, leaving the river behind, and reach the gully dwarf section of Xak Tsaroth. The draconians, aside from enslaving the gully dwarves, have pretty much left them to their own devices, which, since they're outnumbered substantially, is probably a wise move. The gully dwarf section is exactly as unpleasant as you'd imagine, the buildings are in severe disrepair, and it's full of very grubby gully dwarves chasing rats for dinner. Naturally the Highbulp is in the most decrepit, stinkiest building of the lot.

    They follow Bupu a bit farther, into an alley that dead ends against a wall. Sturm momentarily thinks they've been lead into a gully dwarf ambush, and draws his sword, which causes a panic among the nearby gully dwarves. Bupu insists that Raistlin make him stop, or she won't take them to see the Highbulp. Raistlin tells Sturm to cool it, which Sturm does with bad grace, wondering what Raistlin's game is, since he was so eager to come here, even before they knew about the Disks. Raistlin ignores this, and tells Bupu that the others won't be any more bother.


    A copy of the chapter image of Bupu, from http://www.krynnwoman.com/Artwork/Art-BWGalleryOne.htm

    Bupu knocks on the wall twice, declaring it a secret door, and three knocks is the signal. Tas finds this hilarious. Nothing happens, so Bupu knocks twice again, there's a lot of back and forth with the guards on the other side about how many knocks make up the secret signal, and how many knocks were knocked. Bupu finally pushes on the wall, steps through the door, and informs the guard about the proper number of knocks while waving her fist under his nose, steps back outside, closes the door, knocks the wrong number of knocks, and is let in by the grumbling guards.

    The guards take one look at the companions, and runs off down the hallway, screaming that giants have come to kidnap the Highbulp.


    We now get the backstory of Highbulp Phudge I, the Great, and the history of the gully dwarves living in Xak Tsaroth. It's actually quite an enjoyable read, but I'm not going to reproduce it in detail because this chapter reread s already about a million pages long. Short version, Phudge is quite the gully dwarf - described as being "almost intelligent" and very much with his own agenda: getting the draconians and dragon out of his city so things can return to the good old times of being completely ignored. He's got a map to the dragon's lair, which is full of precious stones, but can't figure out his own map. Once he's convinced that the heroes aren't there to kill him, he's quite happy to see them, figuring that a bunch of heroic types with swords are there to kill the dragon.

    Tanis informs him that they are not there to kill the dragon, and just want to get the Disks, which are sacred to their god. The companions, having been made to wait for a while in the Waiting Place, are now in the throne room of the Highbulp, which the gully dwarves have decorated with exactly zero good taste. Given the entire contents of a city to play with, they've gone for maximum gaudiness; painting over the tapestries in garish colors - Sturm is alarmed by a bright red Huma - and over the nude statues with a considerable eye for anatomy. Most of the companions manage to keep a straight face, but Tas utterly fails, while Flint stands straight upright, fingering his axe and not saying anything.

    The Highbulp, convinced that the companions aren't going to kill the dragon, point out that he's got no guarantee they won't clean out the dragon's lair, leaving him with one pissed off dragon and no precious stones. Tanis assures that the Highbulp that they will give him all the shiny rocks, and that Bupu said he was the only one who could lead them to the dragon's lair. The Highbulp is considerably alarmed by the prospect of going anywhere near the dragon, but is happy to give the companions a map...

    The Highbulp tells the companions he'll have someone go to get the map, and while they can go eat in the mess hall, an offer which they quickly decline. Tanis also declines to tell the Highbulp their plans, saying they haven't made them yet. This is a lie; the Highbulp had a hole drilled in the wall of the Waiting Place, and knows perfectly well what the companions are planning, even if we don't yet. But he's quite tickled by Tanis calling him 'your majesty' and so doesn't make a fuss.

    Once the companions are gone, the Highbulp sends one of his guards to get the map, and then tells the other to take a message to the dragon from him. If the companions don't want to fight the dragon, maybe he needs to change the circumstances a bit...


    Commentary
    This is like two chapters worth of stuff, so I'm going to a bit quickly over stuff, otherwise I'll accidentally write a novel here.

    Raist-o-Meter:
    Times Evil: 1
    Times horrible to Caramon + 1: 5
    Times saved the party + 1: 2

    +1 to saving the party, since it's pretty clear that sans charmed gully dwarves they'd be totally sunk. +1 horrible to Caramon because he did pretty much call him a lunkhead again, although to be fair Caramon's suggestion of whacking the dragon with a sword wasn't exactly a great plan.


    Character-wise, half of this chapter is a travelling sequence, which means that somebody has to be a jerk to somebody else. In this case Riverwind drew the jerk straw, and I have to say he's pretty horrible here. Goldmoon was certainly snappish with him, but it didn't seem to be so much a matter of her being hung up on being Chieftain's Daughter as feeling humiliated by his reveal that she's afraid of heights. But he pretty much went in for the emotional jugular in response. I guess the lesson here is that being magically brought back to life by forgotten gods doesn't solve any problems in your relationship, useful advice I'm sure we can all relate to.

    Also, being afraid of shimmying down a bunch of slippery vines over a five hundred foot drop isn't being 'afraid of heights.' It's being a vaguely sane person.

    Also also, this is the second time the party's gone rope climbing, and Tanis has slipped each time. Sort of embarrassing for the rugged outdoorsy type.

    In terms of ongoing adventure elements, this is the first time the party has to solve a problem with diplomacy, and I'm amused by just how terrible they are at it. Sturm's jumpiness is sort of understandable, although extremely unhelpful. Tanis, the party face, meanwhile is totally taken by the Highbulp, and getting played by a gully dwarf has to be a special sort of failure. Admittedly, we the audience have access to some information about the Highbulp's agenda that he doesn't, but it's not like getting rid of the occupying force is a super-subtle goal, nor was the Highbulp was terribly subtle about wanting them to fight the dragon. Really, he should have had the sense to leave the negotiating to Raistlin, who would probably have had the sense to lie, or convince the Highbulp that helping them is in his best interest


    Writing-wise the Highbulp's background is our first major instance of the Wies & Hickman Infodump. This is distinct from other species of infodumps in that it occurs at an appropriate place in the story *coughDavidWebercough*, is totally free of italics *coughDavidWebercough*, and generally serves to deliver some sort of information to the audience that the characters don't (yet) have access to. Personally I quite enjoy them, since they're nearly always full of cool little bits of worldbuilding and are written in an amusing, somewhat dispassionate tone.

    It's also done in a very controlled way; W&H are plenty cagey with information when they want to be. They've been downright stingy with info about the gods for instance. So when you get told something that the main characters don't know, it's clearly done to enhance the story. Here for instance knowing that they're being set up increases the tension of going into the dragon's lair, and also allows the Highbulp to be something of a real character. Since I'm a fan of stories as stories, and not as let's pretend this is a log of somebody's thoughts, I very much approve of this technique.

    There's a couple annotations in this chapter, however the best by far is Bupu's recipe for "rat dip fondue". Melt cheese. Dip rat. Drink wine. Take nap.


    This. But with rats. And grubbier table settings. Yummy!
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  12. - Top - End - #222
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    +1 to saving the party, since it's pretty clear that sans charmed gully dwarves they'd be totally sunk.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Yeah, I mean if he hadn't charmed the gully dwarves the party might have been betrayed and ended up ambushed by the dragon in a hopeless position where only a god could save them. No chance of that happening now. :)


    In terms of ongoing adventure elements, this is the first time the party has to solve a problem with diplomacy, and I'm amused by just how terrible they are at it. Sturm's jumpiness is sort of understandable, although extremely unhelpful. Tanis, the party face, meanwhile is totally taken by the Highbulp, and getting played by a gully dwarf has to be a special sort of failure.
    In Tanis's defense, the Highbulp is arguably one of the more cunning and effective leaders we meet in the Chronicles.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Just compare him to leaders like Solostaran (who when faced with a genocidal threat tried to declare war on people who should have been his allies), Lorac (who destroyed his own country by using a magic item he didn't understand), Derek Crownguard (who led his army into a suicidal charge), and the Dragon Highlords (who destroyed their empire with their incessant infighting).


    Admittedly, we the audience have access to some information about the Highbulp's agenda that he doesn't, but it's not like getting rid of the occupying force is a super-subtle goal, nor was the Highbulp was terribly subtle about wanting them to fight the dragon. Really, he should have had the sense to leave the negotiating to Raistlin, who would probably have had the sense to lie, or convince the Highbulp that helping them is in his best interest
    Putting aside the question of the morality of enchantment magic for the moment, if Raistlin simply had to use it then wouldn't it have made more sense to save it to use on Phudge?

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now as it turns out Bupu had useful information on how to get to the dragon's lair, but Raistlin had no way of knowing that Bupu had that information at the time he charmed her, so it seems odd he used up his one readied Charm Person spell on her rather than saving it for the Highbulp. (I'm assuming Raistlin only had one Charm Person spell memorized because otherwise he almost certainly would have cast one on Phudge.)

  13. - Top - End - #223
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    Spoiler
    Show
    Yeah, I mean if he hadn't charmed the gully dwarves the party might have been betrayed and ended up ambushed by the dragon in a hopeless position where only a god could save them. No chance of that happening now. :)




    In Tanis's defense, the Highbulp is arguably one of the more cunning and effective leaders we meet in the Chronicles.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Just compare him to leaders like Solostaran (who when faced with a genocidal threat tried to declare war on people who should have been his allies), Lorac (who destroyed his own country by using a magic item he didn't understand), Derek Crownguard (who led his army into a suicidal charge), and the Dragon Highlords (who destroyed their empire with their incessant infighting).




    Putting aside the question of the morality of enchantment magic for the moment, if Raistlin simply had to use it then wouldn't it have made more sense to save it to use on Phudge?

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now as it turns out Bupu had useful information on how to get to the dragon's lair, but Raistlin had no way of knowing that Bupu had that information at the time he charmed her, so it seems odd he used up his one readied Charm Person spell on her rather than saving it for the Highbulp. (I'm assuming Raistlin only had one Charm Person spell memorized because otherwise he almost certainly would have cast one on Phudge.)
    I rather suspect that any attempt to cast a spell on the Highbulp would have provoked a negative reaction from both the Highbulp and his minions. Not violent necessarily, but it may have frightened the poor things so badly that they wouldn't come within 100 feet of the companions.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  14. - Top - End - #224
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Raist-o-Meter:
    Times horrible to Caramon + 1: 5
    I'm not a Raist-fan, but not even sure I agree with this. Telling someone they are an idiot because they try to care for you is horrible. Telling someone they are an idiot because their idea of a battle plan is to run up to an ancient black dragon and whack it with a sword, while not even being high enough level to handle a straight fight with a few draconians is -- just being vaguely sane?

  15. - Top - End - #225
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    By Bellevue, WA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    ETA: Evidently there's a direct to video movie adaptation of the book. Is it any good?

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    I liked it, it actually works really well. Sadly, they decided to combine CGI with it, rather than just use the regular animation, which makes the film look really bad. In my opinion, they should have gone with the same kind of animation throughout the whole film.

    It's probably just as good as any standard D&D based movie, or some fantasy ones, so not really that bad considering. Its just, that D*** CGI. Its just that horrible. The plot could have gone somewhat better, but that did try.
    Blog Read and Comment! I use green for joking and Blue for sarcasm.
    Published two Kindle Books on Amazon, both are 99 cents. Ask Me about them!
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Wookiee. 2 E's. [I am obsessed with this]
    My First Let's Play -- Temporary Haitus (I plan to get back to it eventually)

  16. - Top - End - #226
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sermil View Post
    I'm not a Raist-fan, but not even sure I agree with this. Telling someone they are an idiot because they try to care for you is horrible. Telling someone they are an idiot because their idea of a battle plan is to run up to an ancient black dragon and whack it with a sword, while not even being high enough level to handle a straight fight with a few draconians is -- just being vaguely sane?
    Ditto here. I do like that that in this scene you can practically hear the players arguing.

    "It's a dragon, let's kill it!"
    "Are you insane? You're level FIVE!"
    "So???"

  17. - Top - End - #227
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I rather suspect that any attempt to cast a spell on the Highbulp would have provoked a negative reaction from both the Highbulp and his minions. Not violent necessarily, but it may have frightened the poor things so badly that they wouldn't come within 100 feet of the companions.
    But would the gully dwarves have even realized Raistlin was casting a spell? They didn't the first two times Raistlin cast enchantment spells, and it's not as though enchantment spells create the kind of flashy effects that make it obvious a spell has been cast.

  18. - Top - End - #228
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    But would the gully dwarves have even realized Raistlin was casting a spell? They didn't the first two times Raistlin cast enchantment spells, and it's not as though enchantment spells create the kind of flashy effects that make it obvious a spell has been cast.
    Maybe not. But if a strange man you already consider dangerous goes up to you and starts making weird gestures at you and speaking in a language you cant understand, what would you think? Probably "holy crap this guy is a lunatic" or something, right? They already had to drag the Highbulp out from under his bed just to get him to talk to the companions.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  19. - Top - End - #229
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Just posting to join the choir of people who really appreciate this thread. I was obsessed with Dragonlance in my teens, and it's super nostalgic to travel through the books again by means of your commentary.

    Weirdly, Tas was always my favourite character by far, despite my lifelong obsession with arcane spellcasters of all kinds (Raist was my second favourite, though). I think there was something in his relentless optimism that really resonated with my sort of mopey teenage self - and besides that I just found him really funny. Perhaps it also has something to do with never actually playing in a tabletop Dragonlance game - I can sort of imagine how annoying kender might become in the hands of a certain type of player, but I always liked them in the books (though the ones in other books tended to be pale shadows of Tas).

    I liked Tas so much that I was genuinely moved to tears when
    Spoiler: Major spoiler for Dragons of Winter Night
    Show
    he made his speech and smashed the dragon orb at the Council of Whitestone rather than let the various factions start to fight amongst themselves. Though in retrospect I guess his reckless decision might well have doomed everyone if it hadn't been for the extremely well-timed 'Dragonlance Ex Machina'.

  20. - Top - End - #230
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlindale View Post
    Just posting to join the choir of people who really appreciate this thread. I was obsessed with Dragonlance in my teens, and it's super nostalgic to travel through the books again by means of your commentary.

    Weirdly, Tas was always my favourite character by far, despite my lifelong obsession with arcane spellcasters of all kinds (Raist was my second favourite, though). I think there was something in his relentless optimism that really resonated with my sort of mopey teenage self - and besides that I just found him really funny. Perhaps it also has something to do with never actually playing in a tabletop Dragonlance game - I can sort of imagine how annoying kender might become in the hands of a certain type of player, but I always liked them in the books (though the ones in other books tended to be pale shadows of Tas).

    I liked Tas so much that I was genuinely moved to tears when
    Spoiler: Major spoiler for Dragons of Winter Night
    Show
    he made his speech and smashed the dragon orb at the Council of Whitestone rather than let the various factions start to fight amongst themselves. Though in retrospect I guess his reckless decision might well have doomed everyone if it hadn't been for the extremely well-timed 'Dragonlance Ex Machina'.
    I dont cry when I read Dragonlance (like I usually do when I reread Lord of the Rings), but I do get misty/teary-eyed. Pretty much all of those moments involve Tas, he is beautifully written, and, oddly enough, the most well developed character in the whole saga, even more than the twins, in my opinion.

    But Kender are really dynamite to an RPG in the hands of the wrong player.

  21. - Top - End - #231
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    JadedDM's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    I think Caramon was arguing from ignorance. Remember, dragons have not been seen or heard from in a couple of thousand years by this point in time. They are a thing of fairy kender tales. Caramon probably has no idea how powerful they are, which is why 'let's just kill it' seems reasonable to him.

  22. - Top - End - #232
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    I think Caramon was arguing from ignorance. Remember, dragons have not been seen or heard from in a couple of thousand years by this point in time. They are a thing of fairy kender tales. Caramon probably has no idea how powerful they are, which is why 'let's just kill it' seems reasonable to him.
    Well, as it is on Earth... but if you check the literary history "lets just kill it" is not how people, even heroes of war, react to Dragons ;)

  23. - Top - End - #233
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    I think Caramon was arguing from ignorance. Remember, dragons have not been seen or heard from in a couple of thousand years by this point in time. They are a thing of fairy kender tales. Caramon probably has no idea how powerful they are, which is why 'let's just kill it' seems reasonable to him.
    Well, then Raist is trying to save Caramon's life by impressing on him, in no uncertain terms, that charging the dragon would be suicide.

    Also, the ignorance thing might have worked a few chapters ago, but Caramon just saw the dragon, saw how big it is -- and saw it cast spells, paralyze half the party with dragon fear, and then one-shot Riverwind. He should be at a place of "the legends were not exaggerating".

  24. - Top - End - #234
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    I think Caramon was arguing from ignorance. Remember, dragons have not been seen or heard from in a couple of thousand years by this point in time. They are a thing of fairy kender tales. Caramon probably has no idea how powerful they are, which is why 'let's just kill it' seems reasonable to him.
    If Caramon was saying this on the way to Xak Tsaroth he could be forgiven. However, he's just experienced Dragonfear, seen one of his party get melted, or rather NOT seen because of magical darkness, and is actually looking at the dragon at the time he says this. There should be very basic concerns entering his mind right now, like "How do we fight something that can turn out the lights?" and "How do we fight something that can fly when only a couple of us even have ranged weapons?" It's clear that Caramon isn't thinking straight (or at all) and Raistlin's right to be scornful when he points out how obviously outmatched they are.

  25. - Top - End - #235
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    By Bellevue, WA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Khisanth is walking into the ruined palace, talking to a cringing draconian. She is incredulous that anybody survived her attack, and thinks she should have sensed the presence of the staff. The draconian says the intruders are trapped on the upper level, but Khisanth says that if the gully dwarves can get down, the companions can as well, and if they have the staff they're here for the Discs. She's irritated at Verminaard for being too busy fighting a silly war to have taken the staff threat seriously enough.

    The draconian suggests destroying the Discs, but Khisanth says they can't, having apparently tried, and tells the draconian to tell Verminaard that she's taking the Disks and relocating to Pax Tharkas, or, if the draconians persists in their silly charade, asking Verminaard's permission for her to do so. She then tells the draconian to capture the companions, and bring them to her, then vanishes back into the darkness. The draconian heads off with some other draconians.
    I always found K here a bit silly. Nobody could have survived the attack? What attack? She breathed once, and then took off. She didn't stay nor do any real attacking. So where did she come up with this idea that she got everyone? Plus, she used a spell to make everything dark so she couldn't see. She didn't even lurk to see what results were produced before flying off. It feels like she is making a claim to which she has no right to make, or the writers had intended to go with another attack, but changed it without modifying K's line here.

    So, the staff was important, and K thinks she should have some kind of radar going for Good artifacts. However, she is evil, and would probably to burn some kind of Detect Good, and i don't recall it mentioning her attempting that.

    Hey, we learn about some disks that are Important and probably something for the party to find.

    We learned who is currently running matters in Pax Tharkas, Verminaard. Which is a funny name.

    Also, why is K asking for the players/characters to captured alive? Why not order the Dracos (Draconians) to kill them, then collect the staff later? A deal gets made about information and interrogations, but what exactly is there to know? Also, last I recalled, there is a good number of the companions that could suit being spared, while whacking the rest.

    For a Dragon / Party confrontation, it takes the Gully Dwarf leader to make happen, and that solely by information being sent off. The party would have to deal with K anyway, and why not station Dracos in the lair to watch whenever K is absent?

    K is not making the best use of her assets here and seems to have little grasp on anything tactical or strategic here. Plus, she is really not shining in the combat department, not acting like how a Black Dragon would be expected to happen, with hit-and-run sneak attacks, striking like a cobra at moments before disappearing back. We get two hits, Tanis and Riverwind, with some mediocre results of one guy melted and the other hit, but nothing else. K Doesn't even wait to check or confirm her kills.

    I can get why Caramon thinks they could take the Dragon, after, she has not done anything Dragon like at all, and has done nothing to really influence how dangerous this/she is supposed to be. Really, it feels like the DM just fudged events heavily in the PC's favor. I am very disappointed with this.
    Blog Read and Comment! I use green for joking and Blue for sarcasm.
    Published two Kindle Books on Amazon, both are 99 cents. Ask Me about them!
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Wookiee. 2 E's. [I am obsessed with this]
    My First Let's Play -- Temporary Haitus (I plan to get back to it eventually)

  26. - Top - End - #236
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    A place near Boulder.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    I actually ran the original modules and played Khisanth smart. It did not go well for the PCs. PiS and divine intervention are kind of neccesary here imo.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  27. - Top - End - #237
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    Also, why is K asking for the players/characters to captured alive? Why not order the Dracos (Draconians) to kill them, then collect the staff later? A deal gets made about information and interrogations, but what exactly is there to know?
    There's a lot of things K should reasonably want to find out from the party:

    Who sent them?
    Does the party know about the Disks?
    If so how did they found out about them and what are they planning to do with the Disks?
    Are they the entire raiding party or are they just scouts for a larger force?
    If the later then where and how well armed is the rest of their force?
    How did the party survive her attack?
    How has the party gotten as far into Xak Tsaroth as they did?

    And of course K could also just be a bored sadist who wants to torture the party members.

    Also, last I recalled, there is a good number of the companions that could suit being spared, while whacking the rest.
    Sure, but K has no way of knowing which party members have the information she wants, so it's best to take them all alive.

    For a Dragon / Party confrontation, it takes the Gully Dwarf leader to make happen, and that solely by information being sent off. The party would have to deal with K anyway, and why not station Dracos in the lair to watch whenever K is absent?
    Maybe K thinks the draconians will steal from her if she leaves them alone in her lair. (Which they probably would.)

    K is not making the best use of her assets here and seems to have little grasp on anything tactical or strategic here. Plus, she is really not shining in the combat department, not acting like how a Black Dragon would be expected to happen, with hit-and-run sneak attacks, striking like a cobra at moments before disappearing back. We get two hits, Tanis and Riverwind, with some mediocre results of one guy melted and the other hit, but nothing else. K Doesn't even wait to check or confirm her kills.
    I agree that K's performance so far has been pretty poor, but that could be a bit of fridge brilliance in the novel as it does make sense that Verminaard would station his least capable dragon on guard duty in a ruined city (rather than squander one of his more capable dragons on such a thankless duty.)

  28. - Top - End - #238
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RossN's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    I like the idea that Verminaard basically reassigned Khisanth to a spot that offered prestige but no actual responsibility.

    Actually in retrospect I feel sorry for Verminaard. Not to take anything away from the military leadership of some Dragon Highlords but leading a force of Reds (and at least one Black) must be far more headache inducing than commanding a wing of Blues.

    Incidentally according to Lord Toede Verminaard translates into Gnollish as 'Word Guts', Kitiara as 'Small Cat Crown' and Lord Toede himself as 'King of Little Dry Frogs'. I love that book.
    Last edited by RossN; 2019-06-11 at 08:15 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gnoman's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    There's a lot of things K should reasonably want to find out from the party:

    And of course K could also just be a bored sadist who wants to torture the party members.
    Or simply wants to eat them. K is a dragon, after all.

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    In the Mountains
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Illustrated Dragonlance Reread

    Reading this thread is very nostalgic, thanks for doing it.

    It also makes me think of the a old Nodwick comic, where the discs get somewhat melted due to the acid dripping from the dragon, thus Nodwick and friends write their own scriptures.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •