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Querzis
2012-01-20, 07:13 PM
- There was talk in this thread about Xykon taking out Redcloak and all of Gobbotopia if he discovered that Redcloak was hiding the phylactery. But could Xykon really take out all of Gobbotopia? That's a few hundred thousand goblins. Low level ones, but even an epic lich would eventually run out of spells? I mean, there's a reason he's dragging along all those minions in the first place, right?

He most definitly could. Even excluding epic-level magic that could probably destroy entire cities, hes a lich. Redcloak is the only one in the city who could actually harm him, no one else is likely to get through his damage resistance and saves and hes immune to critical. He could litterally rest right there to regain his spells while hobgoblins keep trying to hit him. Not that he would need to, hes a sorcerer with tons of undead at his command, he most likely woudnt have to rest much to utterly destroy Gobbotopia...also, he seems to have more then enough strength to kill all the hobgoblins with his bare hands if he ever has to. Liches also have a fear aura and a paralyzing touch attack which arent very usefull against anything past level 10 but yeah, hobgoblins could litterally die by touching him directly.

So yeah, the reason hes dragging along these minions is because he enjoy watching other people fight, he doesnt wanna waste spells on normal soldiers and hes lazy. Except for Redcloak, Tsukiko and the MiTD (well, if he would actually help), everyone is utterly irrevelant to him in a fight. Numbers means nothing against a lich.

Gift Jeraff
2012-01-20, 07:23 PM
A single wight could, in theory, turn the whole place into Necrotopia, no?

Subzero008
2012-01-20, 07:26 PM
What if the MitD had the remote on his person all along? It might make a good opportunity for Rich to give some clues about his identity.

Is it really safe for RC to put his recall spot in the middle of the hall? Why not some kind of warded chamber?

Querzis
2012-01-20, 07:27 PM
A single wight could, in theory, turn the whole place into Necrotopia, no?

That too. The wight would have to be very lucky but yeah, if we dont count Redcloak, its possible in theory. Thats another reason why Redcloak cant afford to fight Tsukiko, not all her wights are with her and wights spawn new wights when they kill someone. If she has around 20 wights outside of Redcloak room, even if Redcloak kill Tsukiko, they can easely kill thousands of hobgoblins with Tsukiko last order.

turkishproverb
2012-01-20, 10:03 PM
Nice to see the humor back.


guys, i think we are all forgetting the real problem here.

i bet the remote was stolen by the resistance.

This is canon until the Giant says otherwise. Because it is awesome.

You get a cookie and an internet.

silvadel
2012-01-20, 10:05 PM
Symbol of insanity and watch the fun.

Gusion
2012-01-20, 10:28 PM
Personally I think the best way for RC to show her a lesson without killing her would be hitting her with an energy drain. Or two.

"I just took 4d4 of your levels. Keep ****ing with me and the next spell will turn your ass inside out. Got it? Good. Now go away."

Chances are that at least some of them would be permanent. It would be a DC 23 or 24 Fort save most likely (19+RC Wis, which is probably +4 or +5). Almost impossible for her to get for every level.

Yes, she'd go whine about it but Xykon is just as likely to say, "whatever, you're still alive so go away" as anything else. The best thing is that the levels are gone, regardless of what Xykon wants to do about it. I guess he could punish RC by doing the same thing to him... but that really doesn't help Xykon at all so I doubt he'd do it.

ti'esar
2012-01-20, 10:59 PM
I'm coming to think all this speculation on whether Redcloak is going to try and snuff Tsukiko is pointless, because it requires one thing that we have no way of knowing: how he expects Xykon to react. The lich is totally unpredictable in this kind of thing - every prediction of his possible reactions I've seen in this thread, from finding the whole thing hilarious to single-handedly razing Gobbotopia, seems plausible. It's possible that Redcloak may have a good idea of which way he'll jump, but we the readers have no way of knowing what that is.

Finn Solomon
2012-01-20, 11:08 PM
Like the title, maybe Rich likes Sherlock on the BBC too.

i6uuaq
2012-01-20, 11:34 PM
Question:

Doesn't Xykon already know that he only has half the ritual? That's the whole reason RC is along for the ride, to cast the divine half of it. And Xykon obviously didn't tell Tsukiko about it.

Tsukiko is all excited because she thinks RedCloak is hiding half the ritual from Xykon, and she thinks she can become #1 henchman by busting RC. But Xykon knows perfectly well that he only has half the ritual, so Tsukiko's logic is flawed.

(Admittedly, Tsukiko learning the ritual could make RC worthless, but Xykon could squeeze the ritual out of RC himself without getting Tsukiko to do it, so Tsukiko is running into a dead-end)


The question then is, why did Xykon ask Tsukiko to study the ritual?


Possible answers:

1. Reverse-engineer the divine half, to make RC useless without RC's knowledge, thus removing RC's major bargaining chip.

2. If Xykon already doubts RC's loyalty, he may suspect a double-cross, and so is getting Tsukiko to see if the ritual really works as advertised.

3. Xykon is too lazy to learn the thing himself, so he's getting Tsukiko to cast it for him.


Analysis:

1. A possibility, but seems to be an unrealistic expectation on a mid-level Mystic Theurge, and also runs the risk of allowing Tsukiko control of the Snarl?

2. I don't think RC has given Xykon any reason to doubt his loyalty yet. Effectiveness, yes, but loyalty, don't think so. It might just be a back-up plan, but Xykon's not really big on those. RC is the planner in Team Evil, as shown repeatedly in the invasion of azure city.

3. Seems in line with Xykon's character, but wouldn't getting Tsukiko to cast it give control to Tsukiko?


I've argued myself into a dead-end, so would appreciate some additional insight.

with an e
2012-01-20, 11:39 PM
Personally I think the best way for RC to show her a lesson without killing her would be hitting her with an energy drain. Or two.

"I just took 4d4 of your levels. Keep ****ing with me and the next spell will turn your ass inside out. Got it? Good. Now go away."
Energy Drain is not the way to go, because Tsukiko would need to be hit by a lot of it to be unable to cast Restoration on herself (11, by my calculation).

2xMachina
2012-01-21, 03:09 AM
On average, 4d4 2d4 is 5 lvls...

And Restoration, a lvl 4 spell can only be casted by a lvl 7 cleric. Given that with MT, she has a at least 1 lvl of arcane too (with 'cheating', normally, 3 lvls), which means she'll lose her top spells pretty quick.

Even if she's as strong as Red Cloak (lvl17), she'll be bust down to lvl 7, and her best case scenario is Wiz 1/Cleric2/MT4, which is only lvl 6 divine, incapable of using restoration.

EDIT: Reread Energy Drain. Only 2d4.

So... no cheating, Wiz 3, Cleric 3. Need 4 lvls of MT to cast restoration, so lvl 10 required. If she's lvl 14 and below, chances are she can't cast restoration.

However, as a lvl 9 spell, RC may not want to tip his hand.

EDIT2: Ok, I see that he means 2 Energy drain. Original points stands

FatJose
2012-01-21, 05:16 AM
3. Seems in line with Xykon's character, but wouldn't getting Tsukiko to cast it give control to Tsukiko?



No, it would work the same as advertized...as far as he knows. The plan was to give Xykon control of the Snarl but at this point there is no doubt that there is something more to it. There is zero trust between RC and Xykon, only need. Potentially, replacing RC with Tsukiko would just change the face of the double-crosser but considering she seems to be in love with Xykon she is a lot more trustworthy. Once she knows the spell she is likely to alter it to benefit Xykon most or at least act as Xykon's Super-powerful servant.

luc258
2012-01-21, 05:36 AM
It could also be that Tsukiko is just taking a shot into the dark (and hopefully not hitting poor MITD) with her search. Maybe she just believes that there is a written version of the divine part of the ritual and she took her chances to search Redcloaks study, while in reality there is none.

Iranon
2012-01-21, 09:21 AM
A more appropriate reaction than a direct Energy Drain would be to take control of Tsukikos wights and have them drain away.
Wouldn't reveal his hand in the same way, and assert that he has more power over her precious undead than she has over his precious goblins.
Sure, a couple of wights shouldn't be a real threat to Tsukiko but it'd be doubly unsettling to her and she wouldn't like blasting them to bits.

Ancalagon
2012-01-21, 09:22 AM
Has this been brought up? Redcloak can Control Undead.

Would it not be funny for Tsukiko to find out Redcloak just took over her babies and makes them attack her? Actually, I think she has that coming. Redcloak sits right on the most humiliating end for her. Given how he dislikes her, it seems this as a lever he really would love to pull - with a grin.

Cynric
2012-01-21, 10:58 AM
Frankly I'm just glad the carnage is over*.

* The immediate carnage that is, the over-arching carnage I presume is set to continue to an unprecedented degree.

rewinn
2012-01-21, 11:58 AM
Maybe what I like best about #828 is that it is (A) a totally logical development and (B) utterly confusing as to what happens next!

FujinAkari
2012-01-21, 12:21 PM
Has this been brought up? Redcloak can Control Undead.

Would it not be funny for Tsukiko to find out Redcloak just took over her babies and makes them attack her? Actually, I think she has that coming. Redcloak sits right on the most humiliating end for her. Given how he dislikes her, it seems this as a lever he really would love to pull - with a grin.

Yeah, but Tsukiko can -also- control undead, and is a lot better at it.

While Redcloak can definately make Tsukiko-paste if he wants, I don't think he can do it that way.

Kobold-Bard
2012-01-21, 12:31 PM
Yeah, but Tsukiko can -also- control undead, and is a lot better at it.

While Redcloak can definately make Tsukiko-paste if he wants, I don't think he can do it that way.

Is she? Her caster level will be lower and her Rebuke Undead will be significantly less powerful since Mystic Theurge doesn't advance it? If Redcloak prayed for a load of Necromancy spells he probably could take them from her.

FujinAkari
2012-01-21, 12:31 PM
A single wight could, in theory, turn the whole place into Necrotopia, no?

AC 15 with 26 hitpoints? No way. That thing wouldn't last three rounds against any of the innumerable hobbo squads it would run across.

Yeah, it could probably kill off some of them, but they won't raise for 24 hours by which point they will be surrounded and killed while they're still prone. The Hobgoblins know what wights are and how they are created, no way would a city be even moderately inconvenienced by a CR 3 monster.

Gift Jeraff
2012-01-21, 12:40 PM
Yeah, it could probably kill off some of them, but they won't raise for 24 hours1d4 rounds (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wight.htm), actually, which seems to hold true in the OOTSiverse (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0519.html).

Kish
2012-01-21, 12:42 PM
Yeah, but Tsukiko can -also- control undead, and is a lot better at it.
Redcloak rebukes undead as a level 17 cleric.

Tsukiko? Well, three cleric levels to qualify her for Mystic Theurge. Her most powerful negative energy spell when she joined Xykon's forces was Inflict Critical Wounds, making it highly unlikely that she had reached level 10 Mystic Theurge and taken more levels of cleric. Now? Still pretty unlikely that she has more levels of cleric. So, almost certainly, she rebukes undead as a level 3 cleric.

If Redcloak's dice were completely on Tsukiko's side, he could utterly control 19+his Charisma modifier Hit Dice worth of Tsukiko's wights. A better roll would get him up to 11 more Hit Dice. Tsukiko has more spells that can create undead, but I doubt she'd survive being suddenly attacked by five of her wights.

Burner28
2012-01-21, 02:35 PM
Huh. Interesting strip.

rman
2012-01-21, 03:40 PM
Is the MitD becoming more aware of his powers:

There was a reference to #700 where Tsukiko is studying the ritual and the MitD throws out the off-hand knowledge that it is only 1/2 a spell. But the real key is #701, second panel -

"I didn't do it! And if I did do it, I didn't know I could do it until I did it." A reference to the teleport other or limited wish that caused the escape of Mr Stiffly.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0701.html

deathsli'helper
2012-01-21, 05:13 PM
Team Evil: Once again, not just one big happy family!

Then again, fighting over the Teevo remote seems almost...wholesome.

Isnt it steriotipocal for Evil to Get along horribe, if they didnt the world would be screwed, weve got like, 3 team evils all running

FujinAkari
2012-01-21, 05:37 PM
Redcloak rebukes undead as a level 17 cleric.

Yes, Redcloak is a higher level.

Tsukiko has specialized in creating and controling undead. Twice.

Its like saying that the veteran of four wars is a better shot than the sniper. No, the veteran has seen more and is doubtless a better soldier, but the sniper has dedicated his life to doing nothing EXCEPT being a good shot.

Mechanics wise, I would be absolutely astounded if Tsukiko didn't have most of the controlling and creating and empowering feats from Libris Mortis.

Kobold-Bard
2012-01-21, 06:05 PM
...

Mechanics wise, I would be absolutely astounded if Tsukiko didn't have most of the controlling and creating and empowering feats from Libris Mortis.

So she makes more powerful undead. That doesn't change the fact that Redcloak's caster level is higher than both of hers & his Rebuking is probably 14 levels higher than hers. Assuming she's Wizard/Cleric being a Necromancy specialist doesn't give her any bonus in commanding undead, and the domains she most likely picked won't do anything of enough use against Redcloak either.

I may be wrong, and I doubt Redcloak will ever try to take control of her undead and even if he does I fully expect that she has some homebrew feat that makes her babies loyal only to her), but if it came down to it I don't see how she could stop him.

SaintRidley
2012-01-21, 08:01 PM
Yes, Redcloak is a higher level.

Tsukiko has specialized in creating and controling undead. Twice.

Its like saying that the veteran of four wars is a better shot than the sniper. No, the veteran has seen more and is doubtless a better soldier, but the sniper has dedicated his life to doing nothing EXCEPT being a good shot.

Mechanics wise, I would be absolutely astounded if Tsukiko didn't have most of the controlling and creating and empowering feats from Libris Mortis.

In terms of pure mechanics, a cleric 17 is far superior at necromancy, specialized in it or not, than a wiz 3/cleric 3/mystic theurge X who specialized in necromancy with either or both sets of casting devoted to necromancy specialization.

It's simple function of being higher level, wizard levels being about the least helpful thing you can take as a necromancy specialist (well, other than non-casting levels entirely), and the fact that per the rules wizard and cleric spellcasting don't actually stack for control pools, so Redcloak still controls more undead should he feel like it.

Red XIV
2012-01-21, 08:51 PM
Yes, Redcloak is a higher level.

Tsukiko has specialized in creating and controling undead. Twice.

Its like saying that the veteran of four wars is a better shot than the sniper. No, the veteran has seen more and is doubtless a better soldier, but the sniper has dedicated his life to doing nothing EXCEPT being a good shot.
Gameplay mechanics say otherwise. Mystic Theurge is simply an inferior class to pure Cleric, even ignoring the 3-4 levels Redcloak probably has on Tsukiko.

ti'esar
2012-01-21, 08:54 PM
Gameplay mechanics say otherwise. Mystic Theurge is simply an inferior class to pure Cleric, even ignoring the 3-4 levels Redcloak probably has on Tsukiko.

The Giant has said time and again that story trumps mechanics here. Tsukiko's entire character is intimately (ahem) connected to the undead. Redcloak's... isn't. Who I'd bet on in a pure contest of statistics and who I'd bet on in the story are two different matters.

Kish
2012-01-21, 09:56 PM
The Giant has said time and again that story trumps mechanics here. Tsukiko's entire character is intimately (ahem) connected to the undead. Redcloak's... isn't. Who I'd bet on in a pure contest of statistics and who I'd bet on in the story are two different matters.
Indeed. I have very little interest in statistical analysis and "theoretical optimization."

I'd bet on Redcloak any day. We've just been shown that he has ninth-level spells now. He may be--probably is--the most powerful cleric in the world where he exists. He smashed the entire Resistance singlehanded (no, his summons don't make it not-singlehanded, since they are his summons). He has always been the most powerful cleric in the story. That is his story role.

Tsukiko is a mid-level mystic theurge. Her story role is to brag about how many spells she can cast per day, to be obsessed with the undead, and to be able to use arcane and divine spells so Xykon can ask her to figure out the ritual. I would be surprised if it ever came to a fight between her and Redcloak and Redcloak did not swat her like a bug. If, for some reason, the battle took the form of wrestling over control of undead, I'm sure she could create more undead than Redcloak--if they had a fight in a graveyard or something and she had unlimited bodies to call on--but I wouldn't expect her to survive Redcloak turning her first 5 wights against her, and so it wouldn't come up.

ti'esar
2012-01-21, 10:55 PM
Indeed. I have very little interest in statistical analysis and "theoretical optimization."

I'd bet on Redcloak any day. We've just been shown that he has ninth-level spells now. He may be--probably is--the most powerful cleric in the world where he exists. He smashed the entire Resistance singlehanded (no, his summons don't make it not-singlehanded, since they are his summons). He has always been the most powerful cleric in the story. That is his story role.

Tsukiko is a mid-level mystic theurge. Her story role is to brag about how many spells she can cast per day, to be obsessed with the undead, and to be able to use arcane and divine spells so Xykon can ask her to figure out the ritual. I would be surprised if it ever came to a fight between her and Redcloak and Redcloak did not swat her like a bug. If, for some reason, the battle took the form of wrestling over control of undead, I'm sure she could create more undead than Redcloak--if they had a fight in a graveyard or something and she had unlimited bodies to call on--but I wouldn't expect her to survive Redcloak turning her first 5 wights against her, and so it wouldn't come up.

Oh, my money is definitely on Redcloak if it comes to a direct showdown in general. I just think that because Tsukiko is so closely connected as a character to the undead, while Redcloak is not, that in a struggle for control of her wights, I'd give her much better odds then the mechanical details would indicate.

I don't think we'll see that happen, though.

The Pilgrim
2012-01-22, 06:23 AM
Oh, my money is definitely on Redcloak if it comes to a direct showdown in general. I just think that because Tsukiko is so closely connected as a character to the undead, while Redcloak is not, that in a struggle for control of her wights, I'd give her much better odds then the mechanical details would indicate.

I don't think we'll see that happen, though.

Redcloak has been animating and commanding zombies and other undead since the beginning of the story. The Hobgoblin army had a sizeable contingent of ghouls, zombies and even three major undead - we have still to see Tsukiko creating major undeads like the three Xykon clones.

Tsukiko is just a freak that don't even understand the undead - she thinks they are sentient people instead of a dead corpse animated by dark forces and the will of the necromancer.

If it comes to a contest for control of the undead, the outcome is simple: Redcloak is the bigger fish, the undead will obey him. Period. No matter about "loyalties" or such because they are animated corpses, they just bow to the strongest willpower and mojo, and RC has both.

hamishspence
2012-01-22, 07:28 AM
Wights (which is what Tsusiko seems to create a lot) are more like "sentient people" than skeletons or zombies are.

Admittedly they are, on average, a lot more malicious, but they can think, unlike the other two (but more like Xykon).

Omergideon
2012-01-22, 01:17 PM
I am not too happy. I am not sad as this strip was allright at least, but I am not happy for 2 reasons. Firstly because I was not able to get my review/thoughts down before a new strip was up. And secondly because Tsukiko is back. I do not like her. And this is not in the "she is a fascinating character designed to be hated" like Miko was, or even a "She is pure evil, let her die" as Xykon is. I just find her one note, irritating and otherwise pathetic in a truly unenjoyable way. She is perhaps the least interesting character in the strip on team evil's side for me. Occasionally she has moments but otherwise nothing. And this strip is a reminder of this. I do not "hate" her because the writing is done that way. I dislike when she is in a strip. She never entertains me.

This bias out the way (and it will colour my overall score) Lets get on with the strip.

The Good:
1) The art in the strip is top notch IMO. Reddy's room is well constructed, the perspective changes work very well, Redcloaks expressions are excellent and so forth. There are no massive issues with that.
2) My antipathy towards ms Tsukiko aside her role in this strip, the interactions with Redcloak and her actions are good for allowing him to shine through. The fact that Team Evil (once more closely knit than the OoTS) is now a mess of infighting is pretty revealing. As is how Reddy responds to dead hobgoblins/the threat of such. It reinforces his character in good subtle ways. His hiding of the phylactery at the start is also a nice Redcloak moment and hints at amny future developments.

The Bad:
1) Tsukiko is in the strip. Hey I am biased I admit that. I truly do not enjoy seeing her. She lacks the charm or 3D interest of Xykon and Reddy, or the menace that Tarquin and the IFCC had. She is just dull and her being around is automatically a bad.
2) The final joke does not work for me. It is not in keeping with the rest of the strip, comes out of nowhere and lacks any context. Plus as a reference it has no repeat value in reading. I did not even smile at it.
3) The pacing of the strip seems off to me. I cannot put my finger on what exactly is up but there seems to be a lot of wasted time with unfunny banter that does not pregress the story in any significant way.


So there is my summary of what both works and does not in this strip. For me. This is one of the rare examples of a dud strip for me. not a total failure, but not a great read. I go through it out of necessity, and the plot development. not for enjoyment. For me this is a *1/2 strip.

martianmister
2012-01-22, 02:50 PM
2) The final joke does not work for me. It is not in keeping with the rest of the strip, comes out of nowhere and lacks any context. Plus as a reference it has no repeat value in reading. I did not even smile at it.

What joke? :smallconfused:

The Pilgrim
2012-01-23, 05:24 PM
Redcloak has been animating and commanding zombies and other undead since the beginning of the story. The Hobgoblin army had a sizeable contingent of ghouls, zombies and even three major undead - we have still to see Tsukiko creating major undeads like the three Xykon clones.

Tsukiko is just a freak that don't even understand the undead - she thinks they are sentient people instead of a dead corpse animated by dark forces and the will of the necromancer.

If it comes to a contest for control of the undead, the outcome is simple: Redcloak is the bigger fish, the undead will obey him. Period. No matter about "loyalties" or such because they are animated corpses, they just bow to the strongest willpower and mojo, and RC has both.

As much as I hate to quote myself...

ti'esar
2012-01-23, 05:32 PM
...Well, I'm a big enough man to admit when I'm wrong.