The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    It is unsettling how Loki refers to the world as belonging in the trash. For one of the creators of a world to think so little of it, of all the people living there, is callous in a way that neither Xykon nor the Snarl manages to achieve. At least those two don't have such utter disregard for whatever-the-world-of-OOTS-is-called.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Assuming that Loki is telling the truth this would both establish him as actually being a caring parent, and not having created the Bet for some bigger plan than just "I want to see things happen".

    Of course the assumption that Loki is telling the truth is a rather big one under the best of circumstances, but at least it's believable since shaking things up is usually in the portfolio of trickster gods.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by nolongeralurker View Post
    It's interesting that Loki won't be honest with his daughter because it'll go against how he usually behaves, when just six strips ago he was explaining that he can do whatever he wants if it's most convenient for him. Don't see why this couldn't be justified the same way. (Plus, it's not like all his followers would find out about it.)

    *Edit: missed a word
    The way he phrases it gives the impression that it's less about whether he wants to be truthful or not and more that it's literally impossible for him. The comic has addressed this issue before, that gods are heavily influenced by their believers.

    Thor is a blonde even though he started out as a ginger because the mortals think of him as blonde, and Odin was turned into an idiot because in the last world everyone living in the North thought magic (his domain) was stupid and only used by stupid people.
    Last edited by Worldsong; 2019-08-26 at 10:20 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RatElemental View Post
    Wow, never actually witnessed the moment a comic went up before.
    This went up right before my alarm went off this morning. Nice to be able to read over my morning coffee (especially since my current work project is also somewhat D&D / fantasy related).

    Nothing too surprising in this one, although it lays out Loki's motivations nicely and gives us extra stakes for our heroes. (And maybe extra motivation for Thor to bend the rules, if it becomes necessary.)

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    There's a timely reminder that, hey, y'all, Loki's still chaotic evil.
    ~ Composer99

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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by nolongeralurker View Post
    It's interesting that Loki won't be honest with his daughter because it'll go against how he usually behaves, when just six strips ago he was explaining that he can do whatever he wants if it's most convenient for him. Don't see why this couldn't be justified the same way. (Plus, it's not like all his followers would find out about it.)

    *Edit: missed a word
    I think the issue is that he can't really tell the truth because he lies so often no one would believe it. He also says outright that she would probably try to stop them saving trillions of future lives out of spite, so telling her is counterproductive at best.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Last panel. Neutral Evil is fotti g for a goddess of death, and disease.
    Who's fotti g? Is she the Italian Cardi B?

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I’m interested to hear Loki describe himself as having half a billion people who think he’s incapable of telling the truth. That’s a lot of people! Bigger than I had thought for the whole OOTS world, though it’s certainly possible that Loki was exaggerating to make a point.
    It's a fictional world, so obviously it can have any population that the author wants, but the pre-industrial population of our world peaked at about half a billion, so my head canon has the population of all thinking peoples in the OOTS world at or below that level. So it requires that they all believe in Loki and believe he's incapable of telling the truth.

    So, I'm going to say it's hyperbole from Loki - just because he can tell the truth to Thor doesn't mean he does, so there's no need to take his believer estimates as even remotely accurate.
    Last edited by Tarthalion; 2019-08-26 at 10:21 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    There's a timely reminder that, hey, y'all, Loki's still chaotic evil.
    What tipped you off? The fact he's the god of thieves and cutthroats or him gambling with people's lives and afterlives for funsies?
    Yes, I am slightly egomaniac. Why didn't you ask?

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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by nolongeralurker View Post
    It's interesting that Loki won't be honest with his daughter because it'll go against how he usually behaves, when just six strips ago he was explaining that he can do whatever he wants if it's most convenient for him. Don't see why this couldn't be justified the same way. (Plus, it's not like all his followers would find out about it.)

    *Edit: missed a word
    This is a misunderstanding of what Loki is saying.

    He's not saying he can't say something because his followers would find out and be upset. He's saying that he is physically constructed from the beliefs of his followers (and the broader public), and thus because his followers believe he is incapable of honesty, he actually is incapable of honesty (except to Thor). Everything is made up of ideas, even him.

    As far as Loki saying just six strips ago that he can do whatever he wants: he is incapable of honesty (except to Thor).
    Rich Burlew


    Utterly Dwarfed, the sixth compilation of The Order of the Stick, coming in December! Pre-order at Ookoodook (paper copies) or Gumroad (digital PDFs). (Also the 2020 OOTS Calendar!)

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    There are 10,000,000+ Dwarves (according to Hel), and Dwarves are usually a relatively minor race. Half a billion is probably too many for the Northern Pantheon, because it would screw up Hel's plan*, but it is not unreasonable for the world as a whole.




    *The value of (Nondwarven Northern souls/11 non-Hel gods) must be significantly less that 10 million for getting every last Dwarf to be enough for her to take over. This would cap the North at >100 million. However, what we've seen suggests that the North is less heavily populated than the other two deitic regions.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    *The value of (Nondwarven Northern souls/11 non-Hel gods)
    17*, not 11. That's a significant change to the maths.
    edit : *even more if we count demigods
    Last edited by Cazero; 2019-08-26 at 10:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari
    Also this isn’t D&D, flaming the troll doesn’t help either.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This is a misunderstanding of what Loki is saying.

    He's not saying he can't say something because his followers would find out and be upset. He's saying that he is physically constructed from the beliefs of his followers (and the broader public), and thus because his followers believe he is incapable of honesty, he actually is incapable of honesty (except to Thor). Everything is made up of ideas, even him.

    As far as Loki saying just six strips ago that he can do whatever he wants: he is incapable of honesty (except to Thor).
    Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem though, isn't it?

    If the gods created the world and all the people and souls in it, then who thought of the gods?

    (or is the answer a Giant called Rich?)

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Half a billion people down there believe I'm incapable of honesty. Do you think I can go against that when its inconvnient?
    At last we see Loki in a more three dimensional sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    I like how Loki can only tell the truth to Thor because he's rubbing Thor's face in being wrong. Just like how Odin's still not quite right from his time of northerners not believing in magic, Loki is sort-of controlled by the beliefs of his followers.
    Nice comparison.

    I liked this strip a lot.
    It resets the gods into their usual roles, to include Loki warning Thor that if Hel dies before the next world is created, there will be trouble.
    The only thing you'll know for sure is that you'll never see me coming.
    And to underscore Loki's "lying is what I do" point we compare
    Especially once I knew we were doing yet another boring fantasy pastiche for this one
    with He's only interested in the defeat of the Snarl in that appeal to In summary: Vote Loki 2016 but is presenting it as something else.

    Internally consistent. Nice job, Giant.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2019-08-26 at 10:42 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazero View Post
    17*, not 11. That's a significant change to the maths.
    edit : *even more if we count demigods
    Not to mention there are probably a lot of souls that don't end up in a god's domain like Roy or the archfiends' souls.

    Plus the OOTS world has the major races duplicated as aquatic and subterranean variants. Rich can always just say "there are 100 million merfolk" or "there are only 100 thousand merfolk" if he ever accidentally throws out a number that's too big or too small.
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  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by masamune1 View Post
    Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem though, isn't it?

    If the gods created the world and all the people and souls in it, then who thought of the gods?

    (or is the answer a Giant called Rich?)
    We have seen Odin still suffering from the beliefs in the last world. So, the answer is: it's a process. And, don't ask for the begiining and the ending, because that way lies madness. And lot's of quantum...

    Edit: missing an e and a .
    Last edited by Onkeldata; 2019-08-26 at 10:38 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by masamune1 View Post
    Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem though, isn't it?

    If the gods created the world and all the people and souls in it, then who thought of the gods?

    (or is the answer a Giant called Rich?)
    There seems to be some level of ontological inertia for the gods. They need mortals believing in them to continue to exist, yes, but all established gods that have made it through a destruction and creation cycle have some resources they can fall back on when there are no mortals.

    So the answer is "The mortals of the previous few worlds did enough thinking they can afford to not be thought about for a bit."
    Last edited by RatElemental; 2019-08-26 at 10:39 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Given the color of the portal Thor and Loki are leaving, Hel's place seems to be in the Neutral Evil plane. That nails her alignment.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by masamune1 View Post
    Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem though, isn't it?

    If the gods created the world and all the people and souls in it, then who thought of the gods?

    (or is the answer a Giant called Rich?)
    That question has troubled philosophers and theologians for millennia. OotS is probably not the place to look for an answer to it.
    ungelic is us

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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by masamune1 View Post
    Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem though, isn't it?

    If the gods created the world and all the people and souls in it, then who thought of the gods?

    (or is the answer a Giant called Rich?)
    In all fairness that isn't much different from the recurring question of "how did existence get started".

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by masamune1 View Post
    Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem though, isn't it?

    If the gods created the world and all the people and souls in it, then who thought of the gods?

    (or is the answer a Giant called Rich?)
    The gods existed first, but the belief of their followers and non-followers will directly affect their existence whether they like it or not. If, for some reason, the public at large believed that Thor was blond-haired instead of ginger, Thor's hair color would change in response. In the same way, the gods rely on that very same belief to exist, as faith serve as food for them.

    Remember that gods do not have direct communication with their followers. Aside from telling them their agenda, no one ever meets the gods face-to-face unless it's for a vital, world-shaking reason (like Durkon). Which means that most people don't actually know what the gods are like, so they fill in the gaps with what they themselves believe, and some ideas catch on and everybody start believing that.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by masamune1 View Post
    Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem though, isn't it?

    If the gods created the world and all the people and souls in it, then who thought of the gods?
    Except we know the answer to the chicken and the egg. The egg predated avian life by millions of years, and beyond that, the chicken as we know it is a domesticated form of the red junglefowl of Southeast Asia. At some point, an almost-chicken junglefowl laid an egg with what we would consider a chicken in it.

    In a similar way, the fact that the gods are the way they are now does not preclude them having existed in some other form in the past—one that we might not have thought of as "gods." It's just that the mechanism for change isn't reproduction and evolution. Or rather, it's memetic evolution, not genetic.

    EDIT: I also think you're forgetting that the gods originated "from beyond the chaos." Their initial creation and/or ascension would involve how things work in that other place, wherever that might be, and has little bearing on the story.
    Rich Burlew


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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by hroşila View Post
    That question has troubled philosophers and theologians for millennia. OotS is probably not the place to look for an answer to it.
    I’m pretty sure that the idea of gods being shaped by their followers’ beliefs instead of being objective realities the way mortals are is a recent-ish fantasy invention.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Poor Durkon. His responsibility is even bigger than he knows:
    • Save the world
    • save the universe potentially forever
    • save Hell
    • save Thor from Loki's retaliation and the potential Divine Vendetta that rises from it.

    All on the shoulders of a stick figure.

    PS: I admire the narrative contructions that have made this 'Role Reversal' possible. Internally consistent and believable.
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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I’m pretty sure that the idea of gods being shaped by their followers’ beliefs instead of being objective realities the way mortals are is a recent-ish fantasy invention.
    But the broader question is, "If the gods created the world, what created the gods?", or "What was there before the world, and how could nothing lead to something?". This thing with belief is just a spin on it.
    Last edited by hroşila; 2019-08-26 at 10:55 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    It's just that the mechanism for change isn't reproduction and evolution. Or rather, it's memetic evolution, not genetic.
    *golf clap*

    (We'll set aside the scene where Thor is holding a beer and has his arm around a goddess since reproduction need not have been the motive there)
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    In all fairness that isn't much different from the recurring question of "how did existence get started".
    In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post

    Anyway - while I never really thought about it much before, the concept of deities putting faith in their clerics (which I suppose can be taken multiple ways!) is definitely interesting. Makes you wonder how far forward they can see. Odin's seemingly cryptic statements suggests he might see farther than his children - is that due to his portfolio, him having originated his pantheon, both, or something else?
    Odin canonically traded his eye for a number of things, one of which included future vision. It’s how he knew about Ragnarok, a thing that had yet to pass. I’d imagine comic Odin having a similar ability would make a lot of sense.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by hroşila View Post
    But the broader question is, "If the gods created the world, what created the gods?", or "What was there before the world, and how could nothing lead to something?". This thing with belief is just a spin on it.
    *Looks at ten-foot-pole.*
    Nope, still too short to touch this with it.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    In all fairness that isn't much different from the recurring question of "how did existence get started".
    Unreality got bored. Nothingness is being a teenager in a small town on a Sunday night, somethingness is being 21 at a club in a major city. So many particles bumping together on the dance floor.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1177 - The Discussion Thread

    "There seems to be some sort of doctrinal flexibility..." is one of those great lines I love this comic for.

    I also love that this subtlely showing the symbiosis between gods and mortals.

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