The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Norbert View Post
    You may be confusing forum discussion with the actual comic. I remember that Vaarsuvius made an attempt to contact Serini, but no other mentions. Her mysterious fate has been brought up a grand total of once.
    Xykon could have mentionnés killing her both time he showed us the diary (once online, once in SoD).
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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Regarding Chekov's Gun, it's advice from a playwright about writing plays, where props and other such details are at a premium. In literally any other medium, where every prop isn't a huge pain in the ass for the crew to deal with, Chekov's Gun is largely inapplicable. You can have guns hanging on the wall without them having to go off. They're not real, they don't have to be managed by a ton of stagehands who are on a very strict timeline.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    The Schroedinger reference was because Serini currently exists in a state of uncertainty, not unlike the cat in his theoretical box.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by D.One View Post
    What's the (DnD 3.5) skill for breaking codes? Profession (codebreaker)? Knowledge (Cryptoanalysis)*? Craft (Codes)? Decipher Script?


    *I know it's Cryptanalysis, but given it's Xykon we are talking about, I did an emphasis with the "o" to differentiate fro the ability to analyze a mausoleum.
    Decipher Script, with infinite retries. Once you pass, you automatically understand everything as clear text. So all Xykon needed to do was invest some time, of which he has plenty.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Decipher Script, with infinite retries.
    Decipher Script doesn't allow retries. (I'm also not sure it normally works on encoded text, but I have seen adventures give Decipher Script DCs to understand encoded text, so I could see it go either way...assuming, of course, "encoded" refers to cryptography rather than steganography)
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Well, I don't think Serini had access to modern computers. But it still took Xykon about 1-3 years to break Serini's code. So either Xykon is abismally dumb, or Serini's encription was something way more complicated than a caesarian cypher. Though not something as complicated as the Grand Chiffre, or else Xykon couldn't have broken it even with a chunk of text.
    Did it take Xykon 1-3 years to break the cipher, or did it take him 1-3 years to locate and recover the diary?

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeson View Post
    Did it take Xykon 1-3 years to break the cipher, or did it take him 1-3 years to locate and recover the diary?
    He was absent for three years, and he states that it took him "forever" to decode the diary. Therefore, I estimate it took him 1-3 years to do it, depending on how long it took him to discover and retrieve the Diary.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwhouk View Post
    The Schroedinger reference was because Serini currently exists in a state of uncertainty, not unlike the cat in his theoretical box.
    Actually it is because she was polymorphed into a cat!
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    Actually it is because she was polymorphed into a cat!
    (in blue)
    Hold the Phone. Does this open the line of inquiry based on the premise that Mr Scruffy is Serini polymorphed into a cat? I like the idea, but I think that Serini would honor the agreement not to mess with each other's gates, so she would not be hanging around Shojo and Soon's gates.
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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    I think that Serini would honor the agreement not to mess with each other's gates, so she would not be hanging around Shojo and Soon's gates.
    That's way more following rules than what I believe Serini would be inclined to do faced whith The Possible End of Existencetm. I'm not saying she's the cat, and part of Belkar's arc with Mr.Scruffy gets a little diminished by the cat being an Epic Adventurer in disguise influencing the events, it's just that I don't buy she would refrain from overseeing things like that just to keep the agreement, given the stakes.
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by D.One View Post
    That's way more following rules than what I believe Serini would be inclined to do faced whith The Possible End of Existencetm. I'm not saying she's the cat, and part of Belkar's arc with Mr.Scruffy gets a little diminished by the cat being an Epic Adventurer in disguise influencing the events, it's just that I don't buy she would refrain from overseeing things like that just to keep the agreement, given the stakes.
    Why not, when all the other Scribblers did?
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Why not, when all the other Scribblers did?
    As has been pointed out before: Soon didn't. He was the one Scribbler to stick to that agreement until well after the day he died.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by HorizonWalker View Post
    As has been pointed out before: Soon didn't. He was the one Scribbler to stick to that agreement until well after the day he died.
    There were two clauses in the agreement: 1) don't mess with the others' gates (which everybody seems to have respected), and 2) don't stay in touch with the others (which only Soon seems to have fulfilled).

    I would argue that the breach of #2 makes 1# perfectly plausible even if no other Scribbler did it, but still, they're separate things.
    Last edited by hrožila; 2019-09-23 at 09:17 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by HorizonWalker View Post
    As has been pointed out before: Soon didn't. He was the one Scribbler to stick to that agreement until well after the day he died.
    I assume you mean "only Soon did" instead of "Soon didn't"?
    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    There were two clauses in the agreement: 1) don't mess with the others' gates (which everybody seems to have respected), and 2) don't stay in touch with the others (which only Soon seems to have fulfilled).

    I would argue that the breach of #2 makes 1# perfectly plausible even if no other Scribbler did it, but still, they're separate things.
    I would agree. But didn't Girard also keep to the "don't contact the others" part? I only remember Dorukan and Lirian breaking that, and even that was only with each other.
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  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I would agree. But didn't Girard also keep to the "don't contact the others" part? I only remember Dorukan and Lirian breaking that, and even that was only with each other.
    It's an inference from Girard's dialogue here: the trap notifies both the Draketooths and Serini, which makes little sense if they hadn't stayed in touch. But it is way less explicit than I remembered, to be honest.
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  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I assume you mean "only Soon did" instead of "Soon didn't"?

    I would agree. But didn't Girard also keep to the "don't contact the others" part? I only remember Dorukan and Lirian breaking that, and even that was only with each other.
    Girard and Serini talked to each other (or had plans to when Soon came along).

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    Last edited by Schroeswald; 2019-09-23 at 09:32 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    It's an inference from Girard's dialogue here: the trap notifies both the Draketooths and Serini, which makes little sense if they hadn't stayed in touch. But it is way less explicit than I remembered, to be honest.
    Also, that's (in theory) only a "i'll only break the rules after Soon breaks the rules" thing. Which totally still breaks the rules, but by that point the whole thing would be in shambles anyway, at least so far as Girard was concerned.
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  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I assume you mean "only Soon did" instead of "Soon didn't"?
    I misread what you were saying; thought you meant "All the Scribblers went back on their word, why wouldn't Serini also do that?"

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Also, that's (in theory) only a "i'll only break the rules after Soon breaks the rules" thing. Which totally still breaks the rules, but by that point the whole thing would be in shambles anyway, at least so far as Girard was concerned.
    Yeah, that makes sense. And since the message was recorded soon after they split, it is even possible that he discussed the issue with Serini after they made the agreement but just before they all parted ways.
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  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Decipher Script doesn't allow retries. (I'm also not sure it normally works on encoded text, but I have seen adventures give Decipher Script DCs to understand encoded text, so I could see it go either way...assuming, of course, "encoded" refers to cryptography rather than steganography)
    D&D makes no distinction. Coded is coded, doesn't matter how. And yes, DS works on codes. I know it was clarified in a Sage Advice (with the lower DCs for code breaking), so presumably it was explained in a splat somewhere. And yes, for code breaking you get infinite retries; I remember that because it annoys me that bad handwriting is a better way of concealing info than encryption.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    D&D makes no distinction. Coded is coded, doesn't matter how. And yes, DS works on codes. I know it was clarified in a Sage Advice (with the lower DCs for code breaking), so presumably it was explained in a splat somewhere. And yes, for code breaking you get infinite retries; I remember that because it annoys me that bad handwriting is a better way of concealing info than encryption.
    Isn't Sage Advice for 5e?
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Sage Advice ran from the earliest days of D&D (seriously, I do not remember a time it was not in DRAGON) to, well, whenever. I stopped playing current edition when 4E came out and I realized I had no interest in spending another $100 to start another edition.

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Sage Advice ran from the earliest days of D&D (seriously, I do not remember a time it was not in DRAGON) to, well, whenever. I stopped playing current edition when 4E came out and I realized I had no interest in spending another $100 to start another edition.
    I suspected that when you mentioned it but I've only ever seen people reference it for 5e,so I wanted to make sure (and Google was surprisingly unhelpful). Thanks!
    Last edited by Peelee; 2019-09-23 at 11:41 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Sage Advice is pretty much a necessity for playing any edition of D&D, to the point they probably should've published a compendium of the columns.

    For the record, Skip chose three of my questions to answer, so I am likely slightly biased on the subject.

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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    D&D makes no distinction. Coded is coded, doesn't matter how. And yes, DS works on codes. I know it was clarified in a Sage Advice (with the lower DCs for code breaking), so presumably it was explained in a splat somewhere. And yes, for code breaking you get infinite retries; I remember that because it annoys me that bad handwriting is a better way of concealing info than encryption.
    Hmm....Oh, there it is, buried among Complete Adventurer's expanded skill descriptions. The DC to decipher is 10+(creator's total Decipher Script modifier at the time of the cipher's creation), though; and it requires ranks in Decipher Script to attempt the check to decipher it. And the initial try takes a day, and retries take a week each....
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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. D&D has rules to let you do anything once you find the right splatbook. Somewhere, there's a splat that lets fighters cast meteor swarms at will.

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    I've said it before, I'll say it again. D&D has rules to let you do anything once you find the right splatbook. Somewhere, there's a splat that lets fighters cast meteor swarms at will.
    Giant Fighters do that all the time
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    D&D makes no distinction. Coded is coded, doesn't matter how. And yes, DS works on codes. I know it was clarified in a Sage Advice (with the lower DCs for code breaking), so presumably it was explained in a splat somewhere. And yes, for code breaking you get infinite retries; I remember that because it annoys me that bad handwriting is a better way of concealing info than encryption.
    This is only tangentially related, but I once let my players decipher a code without a check at all, because they actually managed to dicipher the actually encrypted text I'd given them for real as a prop.

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: Could Belkar be descended from Serini?

    That's just being smart rather than a slave to RAW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RatElemental View Post
    This is only tangentially related, but I once let my players decipher a code without a check at all, because they actually managed to dicipher the actually encrypted text I'd given them for real as a prop.
    That's called being a good DM with clever players, kudos
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