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Beowulf DW
2010-04-06, 10:18 AM
Odysseus is one of my favorite characters from fiction, so it follows that I'd want to create a character based on him.

My question, of course, is how should I go about doing that?

Odysseus was cunning and accomplished warrior. He wasn't as good as Achilles, but he was good enough to get the job done (i.e. he wasn't at full optimization:smallwink:).

One of Odysseus's greatest feats was stringing his bow, which only he had the strength to string.

So I guess I'm asking for a build for a good strength-based archer who can still get up-close-and-personal when necessary. Thoughts, anyone?

gallagher
2010-04-06, 10:26 AM
well, there are the various archery builds that i am sure will get ninja'd before i have a chance to enter this string of words.

and since the archery builds tend to have a class in them with martial weapon proficiency, you will be able to get a good weapon for hand to hand combat as well.

and, of course, with any martial character, you at least need a decent strength. having a 16 strength will be sufficient to say you were strong, but not as strong as achilles.

Oslecamo
2010-04-06, 10:27 AM
One of Odysseus's greatest feats was stringing his bow, which only he had the strength to string.

Nitpick, but the only people who failed to string the bow were a bunch of alcholic losers. Odysseus's son could have stringed it, but his father made a signal for him to don't so he could make his big entrance.

Anyway, Odysseus was still in good shape, but his main ability is his brains. He knows when to run and he doesn't even hesitate to sacrifice his own mens to save his own skin. He takes Troy with one of the best bluff checks in History. Yes, this is totally an harmless wooden horse. It's totally not filled with warriors wich will sneack out when you're asleep and cut your throats. All the heavy breathing and weapon clanking? Just your imagination.

Rogue or factotum, perhaps with a couple fighter levels.

Lysander
2010-04-06, 11:07 AM
I also put a vote in for rogue. Take one or two archery feats. Give him a masterwork compound bow with a high strength requirement. Put lots of ranks into lots of skills.

Amiria
2010-04-06, 11:27 AM
How about two levels of Feat Rogue (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#rogue) (for archery feats and a good skill base) going into Warblade ?

LichPrinceAlim
2010-04-06, 11:30 AM
Here's my thought:

Human
Feat Rogue 4/Factotum 8/Chameleon 5/Bard 3

Vorpalbob
2010-04-06, 11:35 AM
Make sure he gets a Charisma bonus when he puts on his Dapper Dan :smallwink:

balistafreak
2010-04-06, 11:37 AM
I'm sorry, but I highly doubt Odysseus was (is?) 20th level. :smallannoyed: While I'm not a die-hard fanatic of E6, it is pretty good at low fantasy. I'm of a mind to say that Odysseus was no more than 4th level, but with great stats.

There's an article related to it about the 20th level fallacy: that since *insert favorite hero* is so awesome, he must be 20th level, which means that since his foes gave him trouble, they must have been really hard (say a horde of 15th level Orcs vs. 20th level Aragorn), so he must have been 20th level to kill them.

Odysseus was cunning and strong, but perhaps most of his direct power came from having friends (albeit also having enemies) in very high places. Wasn't Athena basically riding on his shoulder for much of the story?

Noodles2375
2010-04-06, 11:41 AM
I'm sorry, but I highly doubt Odysseus was (is?) 20th level. :smallannoyed: While I'm not a die-hard fanatic of E6, it is pretty good at low fantasy. I'm of a mind to say that Odysseus was no more than 4th level, but with great stats.

There's an article related to it about the 20th level fallacy: that since *insert favorite hero* is so awesome, he must be 20th level, which means that since his foes gave him trouble, they must have been really hard (say a horde of 15th level Orcs vs. 20th level Aragorn), so he must have been 20th level to kill them.

Odysseus was cunning and strong, but perhaps most of his direct power came from having friends (albeit also having enemies) in very high places. Wasn't Athena basically riding on his shoulder for much of the story?

I don't think the people who posted a build were trying to say Odysseus was 20th level. They were trying to give a player an idea he could use to build a character up to 20th level with the idea of playing "Odysseus" in mind. They aren't really the same.

subject42
2010-04-06, 12:00 PM
Given his history as a draft dodger and his tendency to turn tail and run when things went wrong, you might want to try to squeeze in the Craven feat. It grants extra sneak attack but penalizes saves against fear effects.

Also, there's a feat in one of the completes that allows you to use your bluff check to sneak your entire party past guards. It could be good for Trojan-Horseyness.

Zach J.
2010-04-06, 12:03 PM
Given his history as a draft dodger and his tendency to turn tail and run when things went wrong, you might want to try to squeeze in the Craven feat. It grants extra sneak attack but penalizes saves against fear effects.

Sigh. Odysseus is so cool...

Beowulf DW
2010-04-06, 01:42 PM
Given his history as a draft dodger and his tendency to turn tail and run when things went wrong, you might want to try to squeeze in the Craven feat. It grants extra sneak attack but penalizes saves against fear effects.

Also, there's a feat in one of the completes that allows you to use your bluff check to sneak your entire party past guards. It could be good for Trojan-Horseyness.

Craven? Odysseus wasn't a coward, he was smart, and he cared for his family. He didn't want to go to war for another king's woman because he knew that he could be gone for years. When his buddies saw through his act, he went along with them, albeit resentfully. He never ran from combat, but used his gifts (i.e. cunning) to overcome enemies who out-classed him in every other way.

Besides, Odysseus basically said "Bring it on!" to the boulder-chucking son of a major god.

My definition of courage may differ from yours, but as far as I'm concerned, Odysseus is pretty damn brave. It takes guts to set sail when the god of the sea is gunning for you every chance he gets.

hamishspence
2010-04-06, 01:46 PM
In the Epic handbook, when describing epic heroes, his name comes up.

Octopus Jack
2010-04-06, 01:54 PM
High physical and mental stats.

Very good at bluffing and tricking people ( i still maintain that his stories books 9-12 was a lie)

Some sort of Bard build would fit him well with ranks in perform (storytelling)

Beowulf DW
2010-04-06, 01:58 PM
In the Epic handbook, when describing epic heroes, his name comes up.

Just because you're in an epic doesn't mean that you are epic.

I kid, I kid.

EDIT: What were Books 9-12 about? I've kind of forgotten.:smallredface:

subject42
2010-04-06, 02:01 PM
He never ran from combat, but used his gifts (i.e. cunning) to overcome enemies who out-classed him in every other way.


Looking back through my book, you're right. I thought that he was the one that didn't want to kill Scylla. It was one of his mates that convinced him otherwise.

The second feat recommendation still stands, though.

Dienekes
2010-04-06, 02:04 PM
I believe they're the books in which he's telling his hosts all his glorious tales of adventure. Most of the great scenes come from these parts, including the Cyclops, meeting the dead spirits, gets the winds, and the meeting with Circe.

AtwasAwamps
2010-04-06, 02:08 PM
There’s two view on Odysseus. The heroic one is that he was a clever, wily character who could not match his comrades in straight up combat, but was unmatched when it came to cleverness. This is the view that classical Greeks are said to have viewed him as.

The other side is the one that classical Romans are supposed to have depicted, which is that he was a cowardly conniver unwilling to face physical combat and constantly reluctant in battle. The Trojan Horse wasn’t a clever ruse, but a terrible betrayal of honorable war and battle.

There is a portion of the Illiad (I THINK it’s the Illiad) where Odysseus claims Achilles armor after the hero’s death. Ajax makes the claim on it first, as he was the physically strongest of the Greeks and clearly dominated the battle field. Then Odysseus tears his claims apart, pointing out the myriad times that it was Odysseus’ strategies that got him and allies victory after victory after victory. Nobody argues with him and its admitted that everything he said was true. And then he is granted the armor.

So, clever, wily, manipulating? Probably. Cowardly? Only if you share the Romans opinions.

So what classes represent him?

1. Saying Odysseus “wasn’t that strong” is false. He was WEAKER physically than his other Greek heroic counterparts, but these were guys who outran horses and strangled lions to death while whistling Dixie. On top of that, he was a military expert and more than skilled swordsman. Proficiency with medium or heavy armor and all martial weapons is a must. Building that up with his “cunning” aspect, rather than going for rogue, I’d say that Odysseus is primarily a Warblade – A strong melee fighter focused on Int is perfect. Focus on White Raven (Clever Tactics!) and Diamond Mind (mental strength!) and you have the basic chassis for what Odysseus was.
2. Of course, there’s no ignoring the “skill-monkey” aspect of Odysseus. There’s no contest here. Factotum. Dipping into Factotum grants plenty of skill points (possibly enough that you may want to take this at first level, with able learner, to represent his vast knowledge).
3. He was a commander of men. A dip or two into marshall rounds out the build on that front, helping give the aura of a strong battlefield commander.

I won’t really bother with the class breakdown. I’m not that great at those things. But breaking down his skills, I’d say he would focus on bluff, disguise, diplomacy, and all of the knowledge skills.

Featwise, you have to dump one into EWP: Greatbow. Knowledge Devotion as well. A few tactical feats would also be worthwhile, so whatever you feel would be the best to aim for is the choice here.

hamishspence
2010-04-06, 02:08 PM
Just because you're in an epic doesn't mean that you are epic.

I kid, I kid.



True- it was more the introductary paragraphs to the book that gave me that idea.
Specifically:


Baba Yaga. Conan the Barbarian. Cu Chulainn. Elminster of Shadowdale. Elric of Melnibone. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Gandalf. Gilgamesh. Hiawatha. Odysseus.

These are names of power. Names of glory. Epic names.

These heroes are examples of epic characters: heroes who have gone beyond the normal limits of skill, battle prowess and magical might. While still mortal beings, these individuals- and those like them- wield powers that other characters (even 20th level ones) can only dream about.

Epic characters cast spells that kill without a gesture or sound, wield their weapons so superbly that whole schools try to emulate their techniques, slip into and out of impenetrable fortresses, challenge a god's moral authority, and write songs that will be sung a thousand years hence. Epic characters set their feet upon the road to omnipotence. Given time, they rival the powers of gods.

This book is about those powers, and now your character can do more than dream about them.

Odysseus doesn't have to be epic- but (at least here) it's suggested he'd make a good example of one.

Beowulf DW
2010-04-06, 02:10 PM
Looking back through my book, you're right. I thought that he was the one that didn't want to kill Scylla. It was one of his mates that convinced him otherwise.

The second feat recommendation still stands, though.

Yeah.

If Odysseus did have a major flaw, it was definitely his pride, rather than cowardice. Although he did get over himself, eventually.

Dienekes
2010-04-06, 02:14 PM
There is a portion of the Illiad (I THINK it’s the Illiad) where Odysseus claims Achilles armor after the hero’s death. Ajax makes the claim on it first, as he was the physically strongest of the Greeks and clearly dominated the battle field. Then Odysseus tears his claims apart, pointing out the myriad times that it was Odysseus’ strategies that got him and allies victory after victory after victory. Nobody argues with him and its admitted that everything he said was true. And then he is granted the armor.

The inevitable nitpick. Didn't happen in the Illiad, but was in several later plays and commonly believed to have been in the folk lore of the war from around the time of the Iliad. The best example I can think of is Ajax by Sophocles, which was admittedly written much later. By the way, this is the play that made Ajax my favorite member of the Trojan Mythology era. He seemed more human than Achilles the ever complaining, and Odysseus the one can outsmart everyone on the planet.

AtwasAwamps
2010-04-06, 02:16 PM
The inevitable nitpick. Didn't happen in the Illiad, but was in several later plays and commonly believed to have been in the folk lore of the war from around the time of the Iliad. The best example I can think of is Ajax by Sophocles, which was admittedly written much later. By the way, this is the play that made Ajax my favorite member of the Trojan Mythology era. He seemed more human than Achilles the ever complaining, and Odysseus the one can outsmart everyone on the planet.

Balls, I think you're right. I'm away from my mythology and classical books right now. I could have sworn there was something about it in one of Homer's works. I'll dig for it later.


EDIT: What is the significance of Ajax' refusal to speak to Odysseus in Hades (was it Hades? Damn its been a while)? I thought it had something to do with their contest regarding the armor. Note that I cannot read the original works and have only read translations as best I can, so my knowledge is filtered through this.

Zach J.
2010-04-06, 02:23 PM
Balls, I think you're right. I'm away from my mythology and classical books right now. I could have sworn there was something about it in one of Homer's works. I'll dig for it later.

In book 11 of the Odyssey Odysseus mentions winning the claim for Achilleus' armor when he sees Ajax in the underworld and states his belief that Ajax still holds a grudge.

AtwasAwamps
2010-04-06, 02:24 PM
In book 11 of the Odyssey Odysseus mentions winning the claim for Achilleus' armor when he sees Ajax in the underworld.

GYAHA!

Though I think they don't say HOW he won it. I might be inserting Ovid into Homer.

Zach J.
2010-04-06, 02:26 PM
GYAHA!

Though I think they don't say HOW he won it. I might be inserting Ovid into Homer.

Haha, no Odysseus doesn't mention how he won the armor, but I just wanted you to know that you're not crazy. :smallwink:

Oslecamo
2010-04-06, 03:05 PM
EDIT: What is the significance of Ajax' refusal to speak to Odysseus in Hades (was it Hades? Damn its been a while)? I thought it had something to do with their contest regarding the armor. Note that I cannot read the original works and have only read translations as best I can, so my knowledge is filtered through this.

I believe it's because Odysseus was pretty much a smartass. He defeats Acquilles in a race by praying to the gods to make his oponent slip in a pile of crap, and tricks one of the dudes of his own side who had "recruited" him in falling in a pit and leting him to die during the siege of Troy. Odysseus wasn't a coward, but he wasn't much honorable either, while Ajax believed in direct contests of strenght. Odysseys proved his ideal of life wrong time and time again, and that probably left Ajax quite bitter.

Mark Hall
2010-04-06, 03:34 PM
Make sure he gets a Charisma bonus when he puts on his Dapper Dan :smallwink:

I'm afraid all they have in the MIC is Fop. It'll take a couple weeks to make a custom item...

Mark Hall
2010-04-06, 03:36 PM
GYAHA!

Though I think they don't say HOW he won it. I might be inserting Ovid into Homer.

That sounds... dirty.

AtwasAwamps
2010-04-06, 03:37 PM
That sounds... dirty.

Oh, it's Ancient Greece.

That's not dirty for them. That's Tuesday.

Shadowbane
2010-04-06, 04:08 PM
Oh, it's Ancient Greece.

That's not dirty for them. That's Tuesday.

And Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Oh, and Mondays too.

strider24seven
2010-04-06, 04:09 PM
+1 for Odysseus Factotum.

He could just use Cunning Brilliance to emulate Fighter feats or Marshal Auras. Or even Warblade maneuvers. Or whatever he wants. He's Odysseus.

Oslecamo
2010-04-06, 04:30 PM
He could just use Cunning Brilliance to emulate Fighter feats or Marshal Auras. Or even Warblade maneuvers. Or whatever he wants. He's Odysseus.

Screw the rules, I have brains!:smallcool:-Odysseus, epic skillmonkey, after cheating another goddess, geting out of Hell and returning to home against all odds.

strider24seven
2010-04-06, 04:38 PM
Screw the rules, I have brains!:smallcool:-Odysseus, epic skillmonkey, after cheating another goddess, geting out of Hell and returning to home against all odds.

And best of all, he did it before (and better than) Aeneas.

Pechvarry
2010-04-06, 04:41 PM
Oh my...

I suppose it's been discussed to death somewhere, but I've never seen it. To what extent can Cunning Brilliance emulate ToB material? Use 4 points to emulate "Maneuvers" and another 4 points to emulate "Maneuvers Readied" and for 1 minute/day, you're a 15th level Warblade? I guess you'd have to set your 3rd ability to be "Stances Known" since that's listed as a different class feature. There goes another 4 IP.


Also, I just realized how dumb some of the Factotum class feature names are -- Cunning Knowledge? Cunning Brilliance? Those are hilariously bad/redundant names.

strider24seven
2010-04-06, 04:45 PM
Also, I just realized how dumb some of the Factotum class feature names are -- Cunning Knowledge? Cunning Brilliance? Those are hilariously bad/redundant names.

I guess you didn't get the Cunning Humor.
And I guess that's how you'd become a Warblade for a day. Forgot it took 8 IP. Guess Odysseus took lots of Font of Inspiration.

TheMadLinguist
2010-04-06, 09:35 PM
Oh my...

I suppose it's been discussed to death somewhere, but I've never seen it. To what extent can Cunning Brilliance emulate ToB material? Use 4 points to emulate "Maneuvers" and another 4 points to emulate "Maneuvers Readied" and for 1 minute/day, you're a 15th level Warblade? I guess you'd have to set your 3rd ability to be "Stances Known" since that's listed as a different class feature. There goes another 4 IP.


Also, I just realized how dumb some of the Factotum class feature names are -- Cunning Knowledge? Cunning Brilliance? Those are hilariously bad/redundant names.
20th level warblade. IIRC, it's a class feature up to level fifteen as a character of your level.


"Odysseus, did you just gain bard spellcasting and use glibness?"
"No."

strider24seven
2010-04-07, 09:04 AM
"Odysseus, did you just gain bard spellcasting and use glibness?"
"No."

Was that a bluff check, or was that serious? Should I have rolled Sense Motive with a Cunning Knowledge boost?

AtwasAwamps
2010-04-07, 09:07 AM
Was that a bluff check, or was that serious? Should I have rolled Sense Motive with a Cunning Knowledge boost?

At this point, everyones brain explodes.

Can you imagine a full party of factotums? It would be amazing.

strider24seven
2010-04-07, 09:16 AM
At this point, everyones brain explodes.

Can you imagine a full party of factotums? It would be amazing.

HAHAHA! Your head ASPLODE!!!

Seriously, though. I've played in a party where most people took at least a 3-level dip in Factotum. Including a Dungeoncrasher Fighter. The one's that didn't were a Trapkiller Barbarian, a Wildshape Ranger/Master of Many Forms, and the Wizard. Yeah, we tore dungeons apart.

Actually, I've only been playing in that campaign for a few months, but the campaign itself has been running for over three years. From 1-20 for the most part.

paddyfool
2010-04-07, 09:25 AM
Odysseus, after Indy, would be pretty much the poster child for a Factotum.

Androgeus
2010-04-07, 09:53 AM
At this point, everyones brain explodes.

Can you imagine a full party of factotums? It would be amazing.

Even better a party of factotums that all go chameleon.

Serpentine
2010-04-07, 10:10 AM
EDIT: What is the significance of Ajax' refusal to speak to Odysseus in Hades (was it Hades? Damn its been a while)? I thought it had something to do with their contest regarding the armor. Note that I cannot read the original works and have only read translations as best I can, so my knowledge is filtered through this.The (non-Iliad, though it may have been alluded to in Odyssey) story goes that they battled over the armour, Odysseus won, and Ajax felt so dishonoured and shamed by that that he killed himself. In the afterlife, he still resents Odysseus for that humiliation.
A dumb end to one of the most awesome heroes of all time :smallannoyed: He had hardly any help from the gods (I think he was descended from one of them, but so was everyone else, and most of them had active assistance from them), yet he held off an entire army almost single-handedly! He RAWKS!

SethFahad
2010-04-07, 10:14 AM
Factotum/Chameleon. end of discussion.

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2010-04-07, 10:19 AM
Yeah, we tore dungeons apart.You deserve a cookie for your awesomeness.

Complete Offtopic (yes even I do that): Hey does anyone have that line Odysseus says to Alcinous when asked why he didn't just show himself and ask for help? Something like "What a beast we men are."

I lost my copy :smallfrown::smallfrown::smallfrown:

SethFahad
2010-04-07, 10:33 AM
And may I add (as a Greek) that Odysseas is the typical Greek SOB. ...in a positive way... if there is one... well ok then, he is a blackadder-ish type... from the 2nd or 3rd season...

"I love my wife and strive to return to her. It doesn't matter if I'm bedding every single female witch I meet. I love my comrades, and it's not my fault if they are all dead because of... me. I can beat every enemy, no matter how strong he is, because I can always stab him in the back when he turns to see were I'm pointing with my finger. My favorite toy as a child was a wooden horse. I loved my dog... god I loved him so much... And finally I'm glad I didn't allow my wife to attend weaving lessons, my wife became a miserable weaver, and that saved our marriage."

Not even funny... No really, I DO like Odysseas as a hero.

Beowulf DW
2010-04-07, 11:17 AM
And may I add (as a Greek) that Odysseas is the typical Greek SOB. ...in a positive way... if there is one... well ok then, he is a blackadder-ish type... from the 2nd or 3rd season...

"I love my wife and strive to return to her. It doesn't matter if I'm bedding every single female witch I meet. I love my comrades, and it's not my fault if they are all dead because of... me. I can beat every enemy, no matter how strong he is, because I can always stab him in the back when he turns to see were I'm pointing with my finger. My favorite toy as a child was a wooden horse. I loved my dog... god I loved him so much... And finally I'm glad I didn't allow my wife to attend weaving lessons, my wife became a miserable weaver, and that saved our marriage."

Not even funny... No really, I DO like Odysseas as a hero.

It's just really difficult to think poorly of a guy who slept with not one but two supernatural female beings.

That must have been an awkward conversation when he got home:

Penelope: "Even though I was surrounded by young men who wanted to fulfill my every fantasy, I stayed faithful to you my darling."

Odysseus: "I slept with a goddess every night for seven years, but I didn't really have a choice because she was holding me as a captive on her island paradise."

Penelope: :smalleek:

Zach J.
2010-04-07, 11:20 AM
And may I add (as a Greek) that Odysseas is the typical Greek SOB. ...in a positive way... if there is one... well ok then, he is a blackadder-ish type... from the 2nd or 3rd season...

"I love my wife and strive to return to her. It doesn't matter if I'm bedding every single female witch I meet. I love my comrades, and it's not my fault if they are all dead because of... me. I can beat every enemy, no matter how strong he is, because I can always stab him in the back when he turns to see were I'm pointing with my finger. My favorite toy as a child was a wooden horse. I loved my dog... god I loved him so much... And finally I'm glad I didn't allow my wife to attend weaving lessons, my wife became a miserable weaver, and that saved our marriage."

Not even funny... No really, I DO like Odysseas as a hero.

My Classical Epics teacher dealt with that recently. Here's a quote of his that I like to share:

"Heroes fight wars, have lots of sex and steal cattle."
-Prof. Ready

Edit: Also in the Epic Cycle there's an ending to Odysseus' story that's not dealt with by Homer. Odysseus had a son by Circe (I think. It might have been Calypso, but I think it was Circe) who traveled to Ithaca and wound up inadvertently killing Odysseus with a spear with a stingray's barb at the end. So Odysseus dies and his bastard son takes Telemachus and Penelope to his mother's island where the bastard marries Penelope and Telemachus marries Circe (Calypso?). Yeah it's pretty awesome.

Shadowbane
2010-04-07, 12:58 PM
It's just really difficult to think poorly of a guy who slept with not one but two supernatural female beings.

That must have been an awkward conversation when he got home:

Penelope: "Even though I was surrounded by young men who wanted to fulfill my every fantasy, I stayed faithful to you my darling."

Odysseus: "I slept with a goddess every night for seven years, but I didn't really have a choice because she was holding me as a captive on her island paradise."

Penelope: :smalleek:

I can imagine his son's reaction.

Son: Pound it, yeah!

Dienekes
2010-04-07, 01:25 PM
And may I add (as a Greek) that Odysseas is the typical Greek SOB. ...in a positive way... if there is one... well ok then, he is a blackadder-ish type... from the 2nd or 3rd season...

"I love my wife and strive to return to her. It doesn't matter if I'm bedding every single female witch I meet. I love my comrades, and it's not my fault if they are all dead because of... me. I can beat every enemy, no matter how strong he is, because I can always stab him in the back when he turns to see were I'm pointing with my finger. My favorite toy as a child was a wooden horse. I loved my dog... god I loved him so much... And finally I'm glad I didn't allow my wife to attend weaving lessons, my wife became a miserable weaver, and that saved our marriage."

Not even funny... No really, I DO like Odysseas as a hero.

You're forgetting some other great Odysseus moments. Such as the entire start of the Trojan War was because of an oath that he himself thought up. When Palamedes came to fetch him to complete the oath he feigned madness, which Palamedes figured out. Odysseus' response? Frame Palamedes as a traitor and got him stoned to death. He also had a hand in stranding Philoctetes on a deserted island, because he unfortunately became wounded and was of no further use. Of course, when it became known that they needed Philoctetes arrows to win the war, Odysseus went back, he then tricked the weapon away from Philoctetes and planned to strand him again, now tacking away his only means of survival as well. Oh and he also committed infanticide against Hector's kid.

Dude was a prick.