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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Its more old style- 1st few editions of D&D up to 3rd ed. In 3.5 Smite Makes Right began to be countered by various writers.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    "What have you done for me lately?"

    Those examples of Belkar helping happened a long time ago. He's already done enough bad for the team to completely prove himself worthless to the team or just too evil to be allowed in their group anymore. The second strip that shows Belkar being helpful is also not a very good example. He saved Elan and Durkon from death, but he wasn't really Belkar. That Owl's Wisdom somehow shifted his alignment to Chaotic Good and turned him into a halfling who cares about his friends and who actually enjoys healing the wounded. That is not Belkar at all. Also, he wants to see everybody dead, including the people of his village, for little reason or provocation. His only reason for not doing it is because he has enough sense to not put himself in a situation that ends with him dead. Unfortunately, he has no respect for Haley.

    Let's see what Haley has against her.

    - Shady class and alignment which seems to cause Belkar to have the assumption that the rules are more lax now.

    - Lower AB and HP, so Belkar knows he doesnt have much to fear in regard to physical punishment as he did with the greatsword wielding fighter and Sneak Attack is harder to pull off in a one on one fight.

    - She is essentially alone and Celia isn't much help since she is so non-violent. Belkar knows she needs him.

    Haley was going to abandon him after he killed the oracle but they forgot that he did it in the first place, so she kept him around out of pity. After learning that he had been sick because he killed someone during their stay at the Oracle, she decided to let him stew.

    If he hadn't killed the oracle they would have known how to get to Durkon, they wouldn't have ended up in Greysky and Belkar would still be able to fight outside of cities.

    The reason for all the Belkar hate is simple, he's hate-worthy. He's vile scum. Even "evil" characters, or atleast the ones that hang with the good guys, either have a common goal and dont try so hard to derail everything or have good qualities or emotions for others that cause them to be more "human" but Belkar is almost devoid of it. The only people he's ever actually liked were Shojo and the cat.
    Last edited by FatJose; 2008-10-26 at 03:18 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Belkar's always been an awesome character and it'll be a shame to see him go (and I think it will be soon).

    Thing is, early in the comic there was always some kind of circumstances that kept him from doing anything overly bad. So much that I wondered if he really was evil beyond a little comedic effect. Probably the real reason why he wasn't so bad was b/c the circumstances provided by Rich kept Belkar from ruining the plot (see: attempt to kill Elan for xp). This mitigation continued even when Miko came in. I think that the Azure city guard is the first creature I've seen him actually kill in cold blood. And ever since they left Azure city, he's been so successfuly kill-happy and hated he almost seems out of character compared to before. Belkar in OoPCs likewise surprised me. And while that's before the start of the comic in the time line, I'm sure it was written some time in the middle of the comic.

    IMO the recent elevation in evil and character hate to Belkar is a prep for his imminent death. I don't like it so much, especially since it seems forced. I think it'd be cool - though somewhat cliche - for him do do something mildly but honestly good right before going.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Dew View Post
    Miko illustrated a perfectly valid way of roleplaying a paladin, as illustrated by her many fans. That particular character type is fine when acting solo; it's when a player tries to wedge it into a more pragmatic party that's annoying.
    Yup, just as Belkarites do not fit in a less morally flexible party.
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    To be fair, the group never liked him much to start with
    Haley just happen to not have the same sort of attitude that Roy have to keep Belkar in check. Roy just grunfs away with his sarcastic remarks. Haley is trying to "teach Belkar a lesson", without knowing exactly how to do it.

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Belkar didn't kill the Azure City guard in cold blood. He killed him (or was it her?) in the course of an escape from capture by an enemy. Perhaps not "good", but not "evil" either.

    He arranged to have the Lawful Good Kobold killed because said Kobold was actively trying to kill him. Nothing evil there either.

    He killed Grand Larceny Guy to prevent him from killing Hinjo. His actual motiviations were base, but his actions in that incident were not at all evil.

    Poor Belkar. Just because he's CE, he gets blamed for EVERY little thing he does that no one would blink an eye at if another character had done it. If Roy had been in the non-anti-magic section, jumped out, and killed the guard, would anyone blame him for it? If Elan had been chased by Yok-Yok and maneuvered a group of adventurers into dealing with him, would we not be praising him for his uncharacteristic quick thinking? If Haley had shot Grand Larceny Guy, would we have objected? I don't think so.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    Poor Belkar. Just because he's CE, he gets blamed for EVERY little thing he does that no one would blink an eye at if another character had done it. If Roy had been in the non-anti-magic section, jumped out, and killed the guard, would anyone blame him for it?
    I would. If Roy would have done that, he would definitly not be one of my favorite character anymore because of how incredibly out of character that would have been. I would also probably woudnt like the comic as much because it would be very poor writing to have a LG hero do that.

    By the way, I dont remember anyone blaming Belkar for the two other thing you said. Sure some people mentioned Grand Larceny guy but what was important is why he did it, no one is blaming him for actually doing it. I could be wrong but anyway, it sure as hell isnt two really important thing.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    Belkar didn't kill the Azure City guard in cold blood. He killed him (or was it her?) in the course of an escape from capture by an enemy. Perhaps not "good", but not "evil" either.
    Evil. Perhaps not as evil as possible, but still evil. Calling the law the enemy is not that inaccurate, but one can generally expect to survive dealing with the law, and so killing to escape is at least suspect. Now while Belkar's grapple is rather low for his level, the presumption is that his guard is a low level mook, and thus Belkar does not need to kill him to escape, so he is on moral difficulty on that point too.

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    He arranged to have the Lawful Good Kobold killed because said Kobold was actively trying to kill him. Nothing evil there either.
    The kobold's alignment was unstated, tho unimportant. But Belkar offered extra coin for extra pain for the kobold, which is evil. More important, he was not being truely threatened by the kobold. The kobold was certainly trying, but Belkar ends the encounter unwounded, and at times seems to be almost playing with him. It is not evil to kill what you have to, but it is when you kill what you don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    He killed Grand Larceny Guy to prevent him from killing Hinjo. His actual motiviations were base, but his actions in that incident were not at all evil.
    He killed GLG only after the threat to Hinjo was over, and in a situation where he was effectively harmless, if indeed not highly useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    If Roy had been in the non-anti-magic section, jumped out, and killed the guard, would anyone blame him for it?
    Yes, even more so since we expect Roy to be good at grapple.

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    If Elan had been chased by Yok-Yok and maneuvered a group of adventurers into dealing with him, would we not be praising him for his uncharacteristic quick thinking?
    We would be astonished, but would expect him to do it by non-lethal means.

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    If Haley had shot Grand Larceny Guy, would we have objected?
    We would not have objected to her shooting to prevent GLG from shooting, but would if she tried to shoot him as he fell from the wall.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    I could be wrong, but didn't Grand Larceny Guy just commit attempted murder, and treason. and didn't you say earlier, that A CG person can kill someone who "deserves to die" without alignment problems?

    Belkar certainly isn't CG, but why is Belkar doing it Wrong, V doing it Right? Motives? Didn't you also say it doesn't matter what motives are, if person deserves to die, killing them isn't Evil?

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I could be wrong, but didn't Grand Larceny Guy just commit attempted murder, and treason. and didn't you say earlier, that A CG person can kill someone who "deserves to die" without alignment problems?
    Actually GLG committee the thought crimes of Treason and Attmpted Assassination... Belkar interrupted this by grappling him off the wall.

    Then, after successfully foiling the scheme, Belkar murdered him.

    Also, committing a slightly or fully Evil act for an Evil individual doesnot constitute Alignment problems.

    Belkar certainly isn't CG, but why is Belkar doing it Wrong, V doing it Right? Motives? Didn't you also say it doesn't matter what motives are, if person deserves to die, killing them isn't Evil?
    Vaarsuvius was most certianly in the wrong. But one Evil act does not make one Evil.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Belkar certainly isn't CG, but why is Belkar doing it Wrong, V doing it Right? Motives? Didn't you also say it doesn't matter what motives are, if person deserves to die, killing them isn't Evil?
    Because David though a long time ago that V was probably Chaotic good since hes an elf (seriously, hes been saying that for age). And David never change his opinions no matter what. Its not that complicated.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Not only did he only save Hinjo so that the possibility of him getting that curse removed didn't disappear. Really, it only makes him unable to kill people within cities. For him to be that pissed, he must have been planning on killing LOTS of civilians since it doesn't really stop him from dungeon crawling. He saved Hinjo so he could continue killing innocents after the curse was removed. He killed GLG because he forced him to commit a quasi-good act because even with his rationing the very act of saving a life at all disgusted him.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    Belkar didn't kill the Azure City guard in cold blood. He killed him (or was it her?) in the course of an escape from capture by an enemy. Perhaps not "good", but not "evil" either.
    Really? Well, perhaps if he left it at that, yes, but using the guard's blood to write an inflammatory message to Miko?

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    He arranged to have the Lawful Good Kobold killed because said Kobold was actively trying to kill him. Nothing evil there either.
    ...With a bonus to the person who makes him squeal the loudest?

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    He killed Grand Larceny Guy to prevent him from killing Hinjo. His actual motiviations were base, but his actions in that incident were not at all evil.
    "This for making me perform a quasi-good act!"

    Quote Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
    Poor Belkar. Just because he's CE, he gets blamed for EVERY little thing he does that no one would blink an eye at if another character had done it.
    Indeed. I am sure that, if a good character were to start doing things that the readers consider to be evil, the forums would be completely silent. After all, the Paladin Who Shall Not be Named never raised so much as a... oh. (ahem). Next!

    Belkar's CE status shows up not just in what he does, but how (and why) he does it.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    I prefer "one evil act doesn't make one Evil, Unless being was already morally right next to the border between Neutral and Evil, or, it was a very, very evil act"

    EDIT: my reason for thinking the second- was- DMG and PHB in 2nd ed said so, and DMG in 3rd ed 3.5 ed pretty much says so, though it's cited as very rare.

    For the first, The Giant's essay in War and XPs fits the change for Good to Neutral, IMO.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2008-10-28 at 10:00 AM.

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I could be wrong, but didn't Grand Larceny Guy just commit attempted murder, and treason. and didn't you say earlier, that A CG person can kill someone who "deserves to die" without alignment problems?
    Which was unimportant to Belkar. He killed him for bothering Belkar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Didn't you also say it doesn't matter what motives are, if person deserves to die, killing them isn't Evil?
    Somebody has said so, but I doubt I have, and certainly retract any such implication. Motives are of major importance. You donating a car to a charity in Africa sounds good, until we find out this means the cops will never find the getaway car from the big bank robbery, and that you will get a nice tax write-off.

    Now in the final analysis, we might say that only results count, but we are planning creatures, and our plans work at least part of the time. So we can get closer to the result we want by saying intentions count. We praise the good intentions because they lead, on average, to good results. The times they don't, we accept as just a cost of being mortal.
    Within limits of course. At some point we have to say the intention may have been good, but the results were just too likely to be evil. So motive can be considered a lesser standard than the actual results.
    We also have the problem of often being unable to determine motive. Pretty much all you have is what the other guy says, and you know he lies. So you have major problems in judging acts by their motives.

    But yes, motives are of major importance in judging actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth
    Really? Well, perhaps if he left it at that, yes, but using the guard's blood to write an inflammatory message to Miko?
    Ah yes. I had forgotten that point. Belkar did not kill the guard to prevent unjustified evil to himself, but to allow him to do additional evil. So any claim of non-evil is negated by his overall intentions being evil.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    "he deserves to die" and "no sin to snuff him"
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2008-10-28 at 02:43 PM.

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    Belkar Is useful at rare times, but I don't think that's the point. I don't want to argue abou the effectiveness about the team's members, because we all know they're all just kind of screwed up and lucky if they ever win a battle (Except for V pwning the giant devil but that's a new trend in him) (her) by which I mean that it's a freakin' webcomic and no one takes they're usefulness seriously it's just that they're funny and awesome in they're own special way. What has belkar done? He's probably the funniest character and also he stabbed like fifty hobgoblins in one strip, but does anyone question that if he were missing that rich burlew would justify the oots' progress through their story in some funny, a** backwards way? I don't. But belkar is more than just comic relief. Face it, he's been offered to leave or betray the oots many times, but he hasn't. And now, because he's been acting like a d**k to haley, killed an innocent dude, and an innocent useful dude, and subsequently lost the ability to do anything but make others vomit. So now he's an obstacle, too, not just a walking joke with a creepy smile. I'm just saying there has to be more to belkar than meets the eye. Is he, in fact, a worthy friend and ally of the others who's been hiding for dramatic effect? Why kill him now? I say tragic hero - with an ootsworthy twist.

    Or I don't know, maybe Rich decided he has too many good characters and started peeling away Roy V and Belkar lol.

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "he deserves to die" and "no sin to snuff him"
    Where do these quotes come from? They do not appear to be from this thread.

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    So they don't mind his actions when they are morally wrong as long as they help the party, is that right?[/QUOTE]



    Isn't that the way it is in all adventering parties?

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    I like Belkar. He's the only one that's consistently funny (now that the order is apart anyway...). You'd think that if the story wasn't really going to be moving anywhere, they'd keep the jokes rolling, but right now, he's not getting so many lines.

    Yes, character development, exploring other plot points and showing how the order falls apart without Roy is nice and all, but honestly...it's kinda boring.

    I began reading this comic because it was consistently funny, but it has traded it in for player motivated drama.

    I say keep Belkar alive even though the oracle says he's gonna die anyway.

    Although...if the new strip was any indication, maybe I'll get some more comic relief for the next few strips. Btw, Haley is my favorite character. Go rogues!

    And Belkar is of course, my second favorite.
    Last edited by Lunar Savage; 2008-10-28 at 08:02 PM.
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Belkar illustrates the classic DnD problem of the Mixed-Alignment Party. When most of the party is Good or Neutral, even a single evil (in particular, Chaotic Evil, or, as is sometimes known, Chaotic Stupid) character can destroy party unity over moral issues.

    When you're killing a bunch of maurading monsters in a dungeon, it's not so much of an issue. There's no real problem with motivations since everyone regardless of alignment is on the same track; kill the monsters.

    However, if the player of the CE character decides he hasn't been roleplaying his alignment well enough, or the Good players do something solely for the betterment of the world, then there are going to be serious issues.

    In the first case, if the Chaotic Evil character decides, say, to resell libererated slaves to the highest bidder, or use villagers as walking health potions via a Vampiric Weapon (which actually happened in my game), then naturally the Good characters would want to stop such behavior. Conflict ensues.

    In the second case, the CE character is going to feel he lacks motivation for the adventure, as rightly he/she should based off his/her alignment, then that player feels obligated to either walk out on the adventure or royally mess everything up at the first possible opportunity, or simply kill random people. Conflict ensues.

    In terms of Belkar, he has been immensely useful in dungeon crawls and pitched battles- what DnD players call "Kick in the Door" kind of adventures. When the story has become more about "roleplay" aspects of the game, the alignment difference is going to cause difficulties in the same way that it would in a real DnD game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isandhlwahna View Post
    Belkar illustrates the classic DnD problem of the Mixed-Alignment Party. When most of the party is Good or Neutral, even a single evil (in particular, Chaotic Evil, or, as is sometimes known, Chaotic Stupid) character can destroy party unity over moral issues.

    When you're killing a bunch of maurading monsters in a dungeon, it's not so much of an issue. There's no real problem with motivations since everyone regardless of alignment is on the same track; kill the monsters.

    However, if the player of the CE character decides he hasn't been roleplaying his alignment well enough, or the Good players do something solely for the betterment of the world, then there are going to be serious issues.

    In the first case, if the Chaotic Evil character decides, say, to resell libererated slaves to the highest bidder, or use villagers as walking health potions via a Vampiric Weapon (which actually happened in my game), then naturally the Good characters would want to stop such behavior. Conflict ensues.

    In the second case, the CE character is going to feel he lacks motivation for the adventure, as rightly he/she should based off his/her alignment, then that player feels obligated to either walk out on the adventure or royally mess everything up at the first possible opportunity, or simply kill random people. Conflict ensues.

    In terms of Belkar, he has been immensely useful in dungeon crawls and pitched battles- what DnD players call "Kick in the Door" kind of adventures. When the story has become more about "roleplay" aspects of the game, the alignment difference is going to cause difficulties in the same way that it would in a real DnD game.
    That it does, that it does. I tried running an evil campaign once...about halfway through, I had to just change them into good characters because they sucked at playing evil (basically wanted to kill everything in sight, or anything that even gave them a cross look). I used jeweled armor (greedy characters) that had an enchantment that made the wearer's alignment change to the opposite of what they currently were. The enchantment only worked one time per person. Naturally they each received a set of armor, and put them on at the same time. They had no idea what was about to happen.

    But, the humor value...was priceless! I have several stories I could go on about, but then again...that's not what this thread is for. Actually...come to think of it, they had more hilarious stories than just the ones in the evil campaign.
    *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, pulls out cane and walks away* and yes, that is Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb.

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    they come from you, as part of your arguments that killing someone who deserves to die, is by default a good act.

    This will draw from numerous sources, so bear with me.

    Vile Darkness defines Revenge as not evil, but selfish, and says it is "revenge at any price" that is the mark of the evil mindset. Faerun has a LG deity and an LN deity, both devoted, at least partly, to vengeance (especially the LN Hoar The Doombringer). The Deva in SoD does not say Eugene is in trouble for swearing an oath of vengeance against the living Xykon, but for failing to complete it. Same with the deva who tries Roy.

    So, revenge alone does not make Belkar's act evil. By BoED, such a selfish motivation would make the normally Good act Neutral.

    As for the issue of taking him prisoner, GLG has just committed high teason and attempted murder, on the field of battle, has a quiver of deadly poisoned arrows, and Belkar is plummeting with him toward enemy lines. There is no good reason to try and take him prisoner. In effect, by attempting to murder Hinjo, he has made himself "a valid target" for Belkar.

    While I consider Belkar virtually the definition of CE, by your own arguments, the act of attacking and killing GLG is very difficult to define as evil.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2008-10-29 at 08:47 AM.

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Re: What's with the Belkar hate?
    Excessive moralism that demonstrates a mis-understanding of the comic genre?

    Just a guess.
    Aren't all of us "not-nale"?

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotNale View Post
    Excessive moralism that demonstrates a mis-understanding of the comic genre?

    Just a guess.
    Hit the nail on the head, you have.
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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotNale View Post
    Excessive moralism that demonstrates a mis-understanding of the comic genre?

    Just a guess.
    I both understand the comic and have no morals... yet I despise the way Belkar consistently drags the party down.


    As I said earlier, when the comic jumped the aardvark Belkar went from from a funny necessary part of the team to a not as funny unecessary not-a-team player. Is there still humor to be mined from his dead weight? Sure and The Giant has been digging at it, but the mine is pretty played out, time to move on.

    Cerebus has roared, Belkar's time is nigh.
    EvilEeyore AntiSocialite

  27. - Top - End - #117
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Kish's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    I'll just say that it's the easiest thing in the world to say anyone who disagrees with you, quote unquote, "mis-understands" something that you understand.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Querzis View Post
    Its not moral preachiness man.
    Well, I actually perceive the recent treatment of Belkar in the book as such.

    Belkar, on the other hand, is just stabbity-stabbity-stab. It really get old, at least for me.
    Well, I disagree. "Belkar stabs someone" is merely the common element in a great many different hilarious situations.
    "Got it out for you."
    Also, Xykon's evilness is not as funny because he's the villain. Sure, the nonchalance with which he goes about it is mildly funny, but the whole "foil" aspect of Belkar is lacking.
    The "bad guys" equivalent of Belkar would be the... is there an official term... unknown Monster.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Shadic's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Belkar really wasn't that bad while he was under Roy's control. As the chart from the Diva had shown, Belkar's evil acts dropped dramatically while he was stuck hanging around with Roy.

    I think that despite what Belkar has said, he actually does respect Roy on some grounds - If only because he knows that Roy is more intelligent, AND more powerful than he is.

    First of all, we see Belkar respecting Roy's intelligence. Hell, Belkar WANTS to rescue Elan, and knows that Roy would very likely be the best one of them to come up with a plan to do so successfully.

    And secondly, in the sixth panel, Belkar directly calls Roy "Awesome." Roy is able to insult his opponents, and kick ass. Not to mention, Roy took his side over Miko, and actually fights her three times over the comic.

    Also, Belkar doesn't resort to needless killing in combat while Roy is around. He could have killed that second level character in a round or two pretty easily, especially with Durkon and Roy whacking him as well. Did he? No.

    I'm not arguing that Belkar isn't Chaotic Evil, at all. I do think that part of it is because he just enjoys killing.. Which has been shown in comic being based off his low wisdom. I'm not saying that Belkar will ever not be evil, nor that he's just misguided. Belkar just wants to have fun, and Roy is able to curb Belkar's fun so that it doesn't involve killed people that don't need to be killed.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Prowl's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's with the Belkar hate?

    Belkar doesn't fit with a lot of peoples' expectation of the current OotS, a psychopathic murderous halfling is a bit out of place on a quest to save the world. Back when the expectation for the strip was humor rather than drama, he fit in just fine.

    Someone once said, "Tragedy is when I stub my toe. Comedy is when you fall down an open manhole." Belkar is a walking open manhole, and those of us who appreciate the comic first for humor and the storyline afterwards appreciate his presence. For those who expect this stick figure comic to be the epitome of seriousness, it is no surprise that Belkar should be inconvenient to their expectations.

    I believe the author gave the proverbial middle finger to the 'over serious' camp with strip #600, and in doing so made an implicit statement that the storyline exists to support the primary goal of comedy, not to replace it.

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