PDA

View Full Version : OOTS #270 - The Discussion Thread



Pages : [1] 2 3 4

The Giant
2006-01-20, 06:04 PM
New comic is up. If you live anywhere near Williamsburg, VA, I'll see you at MarsCon.

Oppolo
2006-01-20, 06:05 PM
Nooo, Miko's beautiful hair! ...It can't be over already :(

Deuce
2006-01-20, 06:05 PM
Great strip!

Mom was wrong, playing with fire can be good!

Belkar seems to have better Int then some folks here were giving him credit for. That was a wonderful and creative use of "at hand" resources.

Kusai
2006-01-20, 06:07 PM
Ouuu, page 1? ^^

<3 the comic, as usual!

TarSheva
2006-01-20, 06:07 PM
Oooohhhh. "A Matter of honor." What a wonderful taunt!

"Flame on!"

soozenw
2006-01-20, 06:07 PM
;D I LOVE IT! god, giant...you made me spit lemonade all over my screen!

GO BELKAR! ;D

Voshkod
2006-01-20, 06:07 PM
I love the smell of burning paladin in the morning. Smells like . . . victory.

Nicely done comic, as ever.

deathbyhokie
2006-01-20, 06:09 PM
New comic is up. If you live anywhere near Williamsburg, VA, I'll see you at MarsCon.

what? con in williamsburg? maybe i do have weekend plans.

Amazingly enough, Belkar and I have the same outlook on adventuring.

Kian
2006-01-20, 06:09 PM
It's just too bad that's merely non magical fire. 1d6 points of damage, and a measly reflex save to put out.

TwinFang
2006-01-20, 06:11 PM
Oh, that was so totally awesome.
I would never ever have suspected that one.

You are god mr giant.

Tabmow
2006-01-20, 06:11 PM
To quote Meatwad...

Okay, it's either you definitely should play with matches, or you definitely shouldn't play with matches.

Karellen
2006-01-20, 06:11 PM
Ahh, the joy. Go, Belkar. Go. =D

Moraine_Sedai
2006-01-20, 06:12 PM
I love to see Miko hoisted by her own petard. ;)

Evik
2006-01-20, 06:12 PM
Oh that is just freakin awesome!

i love that rougish mentality even if he is a ranger!
seriously why go toe to toe with someone who can kick your butt and 4 of your closest friends' at the same time. I know i would be sniping from the shadows too!!!
and a classic "booby trap" for the angry not thinking fighter!
oo oo oo You make me Happy Giant!

spoilerdiction heh maybe Miko will run out "lay on hands" for herself but perhaps she may have a couple of heal potions and turn the tables on Belkar

Charity322
2006-01-20, 06:12 PM
Belkar seems to have better Int then some folks here were giving him credit for. That was a wonderful and creative use of "at hand" resources.

It's not Intelligence he's low on it's Wisdom. Am I evil because I'm rooting for him hehe? :-[ ;D

Renloth
2006-01-20, 06:12 PM
Another great comic!

Is it me, or is the Giant throwing bones to the people trying to nail down the Orders stats as of late?

enigma
2006-01-20, 06:12 PM
Belkar is an evil little creature, but so funny.

enigma

sun_tzu
2006-01-20, 06:13 PM
Whoa.
You know, I'm wondering if Belkar's some kind of idiot savant...Genius at hurting people (physically and mentally), retarted at most other stuff.

Deuce
2006-01-20, 06:14 PM
Oh that is just freakin awesome!

i love that rougish mentality even if he is a ranger!
seriously why go toe to toe with someone who can kick your @$$ and 4 of your closest friends' at the same time. I know i would be sniping from the shadows too!!!
and a classic "booby trap" for the angry not thinking fighter!
oo oo oo You make me Happy Giant!

spoilerdiction . . .

Need to move a tag there.

Sammael
2006-01-20, 06:14 PM
I've been reading the comic since the very beginning, but didn't feel the need to register and post here before tonight. I couldn't stand Miko before tonight. But to see her taunted, humiliated, and hurt evoked a feeling of... pity... like I've never felt before. To be able to evoke such feelings in a comic about stick figures is pure genius. Rich, I bow to your art-fu.

thatwolfguy
2006-01-20, 06:14 PM
OH MY GOD SOOOOOO FUNNY

tis_tom
2006-01-20, 06:15 PM
>:(

That evil bitter halfling! has crossed the line! I dunno, I used to hate Miko, but then I read those threads defending her and god damn it! Miko's never done anything wrong! She's in fact been too nice for her own good!

....

Was a good strip though... lol ;)

koran_the_archmage
2006-01-20, 06:15 PM
chaotic evil AND smart. great!!!!!!!

1d6 non magical fire? while you're soaked in sake you cant just extinghish the fire that easily... i guess... at least, if i were DMing i'd let it burn for 3 or 4 rounds at least, or raise the DC for extinguishing the fire in 10 ou 15 points...

see ye

igor

Randomnesh
2006-01-20, 06:15 PM
Between my mom (who introduced me to OotS) and me, I think we had a good five minutes of straight laughter.

Flaming sake...priceless.

*continues giggling insanely*

SpamPutney
2006-01-20, 06:18 PM
LOVED the decoy dummy. Very reminiscent of Squidi.net. BRAVO!

Eli_Gamir
2006-01-20, 06:19 PM
First post, wheee! :D

Ooh boy, is Belkar going to get the others in some big trouble or what.

Great comic Rich. :)

Yahoo_Serious
2006-01-20, 06:21 PM
I love the smell of burning paladin in the morning. Smells like . . . victory.

;D

Evik
2006-01-20, 06:23 PM
Need to move a tag there.


Fixed it now thanx

Devoured_Dude
2006-01-20, 06:23 PM
Belkar seems to be making cunning use of the "one ninja" rule of action movies: Many ninjas=easy to defeat, One ninja=unstoppable. Substitute "OOTS adventurer" for "ninja" in this case.

Brilliant strip, by the way.

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 06:24 PM
Eeee.

Reading the Jack archives did not put me in the emotional context to prepare for this comic.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; Miko's likely got a ridiculous Reflex save, but still: death by burnination? My father watched a guy burn to death on an oil rig about 18 years ago. Sent him into a depression that he never really got over. By extension, I've always had a rather gut-wrenching "that is so wrong" reaction to such a thing, even if it's completely fictional. That firestarter episode of the X-Files, in, like, the second year? Squicked me the No masking profanity. out. I cannot wait for Belkar to die.

Dr_Nno
2006-01-20, 06:25 PM
This is why we love Belkar.

Go Halfling!

Elurindel
2006-01-20, 06:26 PM
Go Belkar! He may have a low wisdom, but being a ranger gives you hunting skills, which, when you're a psycopathic maniac is very handy.
It's not exactly going to endear the OOTS to Shojo and the rest, though.

Randomnesh
2006-01-20, 06:27 PM
Just noticed something a bit ironic...

"Listen" isn't a Paladin class skill. May explain Miko's behavior a bit.

Don't get it? Mull it over for a little.

*bricked for bad jokes*

dragon95046
2006-01-20, 06:29 PM
"When in doubt, set something on fire"

Ahh, that line makes me reminisce :'( about some of my earliest games. I don't know how many inns I have seen burned down across the years because of that simple phrase.

DarkLadyOfTheSith
2006-01-20, 06:29 PM
Belkar is definitely one of the best examples of a well-played chaotic evil PC I've ever seen. I've seen far too many (edit: badly played ones, that is)-- for some reason, I always seem to have people in my parties who like to play CE and do it really badly.

BardicLasher
2006-01-20, 06:29 PM
THAT WAS AMAZING!

Seriously, I think this might be my favorite OotS yet... It was so awesome, I mean, a lot of us were expecting things like this, but to see it come together, and the trap, it was just...

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


"Listen" isn't a Paladin class skill. May explain Miko's behavior a bit.

This made me laugh.

Lilly
2006-01-20, 06:29 PM
Belkar is one smart little cookie. And good at reading people. He knew that asking Miko to demonstrate honor to him would get her to fall into his trap, and that pouring sake all over her would throw her off her guard momentarily.

Even if I don't like the little booger all that much, I gotta give him respect for coming up with this all on his own.

Props to Rich for intriguing character day!

Reborn
2006-01-20, 06:29 PM
OMG WOOT. You show that samurai bitch Belkar. I want to see a Miko shaped hat on your head by next comic.

Doug_Lampert
2006-01-20, 06:30 PM
Go Belkar! He may have a low wisdom, but being a ranger gives you hunting skills, which, when you're a psycopathic maniac is very handy.
It's not exactly going to endear the OOTS to Shojo and the rest, though.
I don't know, mildly injuring Miko and slightly inconvienincing her won't make them as mad as killing the guard. It might well endear them given WHY Miko spends most of her time on lone expeditions to far away places.

Non-magical fire. It won't even fully use her Lay on Hands unless her Cha sucks, which it probably does.

Then there's spells and just shear number of HP. And in a real game high level Paladins carry wands of CLW.

EDIT: Note that she can use Detect Evil to find Belkar if she thinks of it. It takes time and concentration, but Belkar can't really hurt her badly from range.

Lost_Bugbear
2006-01-20, 06:30 PM
Brilliant comic. Hard to know who to root for in this one:

-love Belkar because he represents that mean, nasty, aggressive part of me that wants to use violence to solve every problem

-While I'm not a huge Miko fan, I understand what she is doing and trying to accomplish - I just don't like her methods and process.

In any event, the Giant has set this up very well - Belkar as a solid expression of CE and Miko as the stereotypical example of LG facing off in a one on one duel. Perhaps they will both learn something from the experience...or perhaps we will just have a lot of blood spilled.

I'm good either way.

Godhand
2006-01-20, 06:31 PM
If Belkar keeps doing what he is doing, he stands a chance...I gotta admit Belakr doing exactly what he should do; fight like a halfling.

EDIT: Let me rephrase that, fight like a CE halfling whos been waiting for this for a long, long time.

Mjoellnir
2006-01-20, 06:36 PM
I don't like Miko, but this is cruel. :-[

Joker
2006-01-20, 06:37 PM
I thought Sake isn't flammable? ???

P.S. Go, Miko, go!

DOOM2099
2006-01-20, 06:38 PM
I don't know how to describe how I feel about this. Seriously....

I can't believe how conflicted I feel here. Burning Miko? You little halfling turd! But so definitive of his character. This is Belkar saying "Look at me. I am evil. Utterly, irrevocably, really, really evil. This is my alignment." And it's funny, it really is. But it's also very serious in the development of Belkar and Miko's characters, especially in relation to each other.

The masterful part is that I really didn't care about Miko at all as far as how her character might potentially develop alongside or even as a member of OotS, but now I find I am feeling very sympathetic towards her. She was only "playing" to the duties of her class, albeit somewhat overzealously, and now she is tragically burned. Tragic tale of horrifying agony and all that.

Suddenly I empathize with her and the character means more to me. 1d6 damagenonmagical fire or not, it is still dramatically played in the strip, letting us know in no uncertain terms that Belkar is very much a threat, thanks largely to his evil, evil alignment and some innovation in the use of sake. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Nighthawk4
2006-01-20, 06:39 PM
The Giant does it again - another really good one. :D

DarkLadyOfTheSith
2006-01-20, 06:39 PM
It should also be noted that Belkar made Miko waste one of her smite evil attacks for the day. Not sure how many she has, but if he can do that a few more times, he'll be better able to fight her face to face.

whitemane
2006-01-20, 06:39 PM
Go Belkar! Who da halfling? You da halfling!

BTW, I'm not a chemist by any stretch of the imagination... but I'm pretty sure that liquids with a high alcohol content (like sake) burn hotter than oil... so it would probably do more than just 1D6 damage.

celticdeltic
2006-01-20, 06:39 PM
What a waste of Wine.

Just kidding a perfect way to use it.

WITH FIRE

KhaelTheDragon
2006-01-20, 06:39 PM
So obvious a tactic by Belkar, yet so funny to see...

Also anyone else seem to remember Belkar's words from somewhere? Because i sure do...(or maybe i'm just thinking of generic villain lines...)

Dark_Stalion
2006-01-20, 06:40 PM
Before I did not know who I wanted to win, Belkar or Miko (not because I like Miko, but because I was worried about the effect on the other Oots in the trial). Now I know Belkar deserves to win.

Great comic, Rich. Really exciting.

Reaver225
2006-01-20, 06:42 PM
To quote 8bit theatre,

'Everything I love is flammable!'

Ilaun_Undil
2006-01-20, 06:42 PM
I agree Belkar is going to far with this. I hope he gets a higher wisdom as punishment. It helped last time. I find that the killing without anyreason and just cruelness it is seeming to make Belkar too murderous cruel and sickening. I'm just hoping for more depth to his charachter, not just the killing.

Odd_Thomas
2006-01-20, 06:43 PM
Great job, overall very funny. I will wait until monday for the sequel.

Beelzebub1111
2006-01-20, 06:44 PM
Go belkar! It's yo birthday!

Belkar, Kickin' ass and takin' names!

silvadel
2006-01-20, 06:45 PM
Belkar has TONS of reasons to want miko dead -- but....

oops -- now how do you do that beige thing

I tried using a beige tag and it failed.

chiefwaha
2006-01-20, 06:47 PM
Belkar isn't as smart as he could be... He should have said, "Then show me. Show my by not getting healed." This way she can heal herself and not violate her honor. As of right now if another paladin comes through the door and heals Miko she'd technically break her paladin code...

"Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents."

thatwolfguy
2006-01-20, 06:47 PM
i can't believe you people; conflicted? poor miko? mixed emotions? yeah, i got mixed emotions - a mixture of joy and happiness!

1) it's a comic - it's not real! how can you feel bad to see that.....woman.....well, if any of you play any RPG's i hope you don't get attached to all of your NPC's this way.

2) it's really funny! i mean brilliantly funny on many different levels! why do you have to analyze it? just sit back and enjoy it and bask in the brilliance of the giant!

go belkar, go giant, keep doing what your doing - there are people who just accept it and love it and don't try to tell you that you stepped over any lines of concience or anything.

t.w.g.

Wrecan
2006-01-20, 06:48 PM
Well, that settles it. Miko is definitely Lawful Stupid (promising not to accept outside healing!) and Belkar is definately Smart Evil

The sake shouldn't do more damage than Greek fire, which is d6 for two rounds. Not much damage at all.

I wonder how many throwing daggers Belkar has.

Spoilerdiction: Does Belkar still have the Strength poison he scraped off of Xykon's trap? Is it still good?

Anyway, I think this shows that Belkar is one clever psycho.

Devoured_Dude
2006-01-20, 06:48 PM
Of course actual Sake doesn't have the alcohol content to toast a paladin like that. Shochu might be able to, that stuff is STRONG.

Beelzebub1111
2006-01-20, 06:48 PM
Belkar has TONS of reasons to want miko dead -- but....

oops -- now how do you do that beige thing

I tried using a beige tag and it failed.
It's

Also, belkar just found out that he should have done the ranged weapon fighting rather than two

Illsbane
2006-01-20, 06:49 PM
I'm impressed by Belkar's display of strategy ... He must have pretty high ranks in Craft (trapmaking) as well as in Hide and Move Silently. One might even go so far as to suggest he has Perform (ventriloquism) ...
This is one of those cases where neither party is exactly likeable; Belkar's a certified psychopath, Miko abuses the spirit of Good by obeying the letter of its rules. ... I think Miko deserves to be taken down a few (thousand) pegs, but Belkar doesn't deserve to really win. Ever.

evileeyore
2006-01-20, 06:51 PM
Eeee.

Reading the Jack archives did not put me in the emotional context to prepare for this comic.
Ooooh. Thanks for the reminder. I haven't checked on Jack in awhile. Good deal!


I thought Sake isn't flammable? ???Depends on its strength.

"Traditional" Sake that is drunk now, isn't. It's too weak.

Sake made stronger, more like scotch or whiskey instead of wine will burn.

Vernal
2006-01-20, 06:51 PM
First, "When in doubt, set something on fire." is hilarious.


EDIT: Note that she can use Detect Evil to find Belkar if she thinks of it. It takes time and concentration, but Belkar can't really hurt her badly from range.
While it is true that Miko has the ability to use Detect Evil, the restraining order placed on Miko back in comic #228 (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=228) prevents Miko from employing that ability. Well, until she gets the 10' "Follow the Law everywhere and anywhere" pole out of her ... donkey.


Vernal

Runolfr
2006-01-20, 06:52 PM
Before we exaggerate Belkar's cruelty too much, let's all remember that the OOTS characters are intimately aware of the game mechanics that affect their lives in a "breaking the fourth wall" kind of way.

Belkar is well aware that he can't have inflicted more than about 18 hit points of damage on Miko and that there are no rules for fire causing disfigurement or any other permanent damage.

In context, Belkar is certainly evil, but he's definitely not plumbing the depths of the Book of Vile Darkness.

iNSOMN14
2006-01-20, 06:54 PM
Anyone notice Miko has no luck when it comes to Smiting Evil. First Roy, now some scarecrow... It's like she's Smite happy.

BurntOfferings
2006-01-20, 06:56 PM
Belkar Bitterleaf you're my hero. ;D

Brasswatchman
2006-01-20, 06:56 PM
Honestly, I don't feel too bad for Miko. Mostly because I think she's going to turn around and kick Belkar's ass, somehow.

And honestly? I'm not rooting for either of them. They're both excellent players (or their players are... whatever), and their reasons for engaging make sense in the context of their characters. I'm just planning to sit back and enjoy the show, thanks. Good comic, Giant.

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 07:00 PM
Belkar isn't as smart as he could be... He should have said, "Then show me. Show my by not getting healed." This way she can heal herself and not violate her honor. As of right now if another paladin comes through the door and heals Miko she'd technically break her paladin code...

"Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents."


No she wouldn't. Despite what most people think, Miko likely included, honor is an internal thing. If a paladin came in and healed Miko, Miko wouldn't be the one at fault.

Besides, even if she breaks the code, she'll only lose her Paladin abilities if she "grossly violates" the code. Another Paladin giving her a bit of a boost isn't that big of a deal. Especially since Paladins often team up to annihilate Evil beings.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; being LAWFUL Good.

ekuyper
2006-01-20, 07:00 PM
You know, before Miko found out that the party was not Evil as she thought, she was content to be judge, jury and executioner to the lot of them.

So now here is Belkar, who figures that either a) Miko will kill him, or b) Miko will have him tried and executed, or c) he offs her and escapes.

With those as his options, you can hardly blame him for doing everything in his power to get rid of the one he sees as his enemy. And he is fighting with the weapons and tactics that give him his best opportunity of prevailing.

Miko cannot let Belkar escape. Belkar cannot afford the risk of being captured. It has progressed the only way it could. Feeling bad for Miko because Belkar used fire is like feeling bad for Beklar that Miko was willing to use smite evil.

So since it's going as it should, it's now just a matter of preference: Go Belkar.

nuwandabob
2006-01-20, 07:00 PM
One of the best strips!!!
I loved the dummy, is was the best part for me!!

Go Giant! Go Belkar!

PhoeKun
2006-01-20, 07:02 PM
First time poster by virtue of the internet breaking every time I try...

Firstly, I need to congratualte Belkar (and by extension, the Giant) on coming up with such a good plan given the circumstances. Sadly, it cannot last.

To my understanding, sake doesn't burn all that well, and most alcohol fires flare out pretty quick. Plus, non-magical fire won't do much damage, nor will thrown daggers (don't get a Strength bonus to damage, right?). I figure Miko has a fairly good Charisma score (remember, Charisma is defined as strength of personality, not affability), which would mean somewhere between 24 and 36 points of Lay on Hands healing. Technically, Belkar hasn't scratched her yet.

If this is the extent of Belkar's planning, his time is running out. When Miko finds him, I will laugh.

Beelzebub1111
2006-01-20, 07:03 PM
...It's like she's Smite happy.
Same is true with most paladins

Qwernt
2006-01-20, 07:03 PM
Miko is very lucky that Belkar is a Ranger and not a Rogue... think about a bunch of dice worth of sneak attack....

Samiam303
2006-01-20, 07:07 PM
You know, before Miko found out that the party was not Evil as she thought, she was content to be judge, jury and executioner to the lot of them.

So now here is Belkar, who figures that either a) Miko will kill him, or b) Miko will have him tried and executed, or c) he offs her and escapes.

With those as his options, you can hardly blame him for doing everything in his power to get rid of the one he sees as his enemy. And he is fighting with the weapons and tactics that give him his best opportunity of prevailing.

Miko cannot let Belkar escape. Belkar cannot afford the risk of being captured. It has progressed the only way it could. Feeling bad for Miko because Belkar used fire is like feeling bad for Beklar that Miko was willing to use smite evil.

So since it's going as it should, it's now just a matter of preference: Go Belkar.
I agree; Miko had it coming for a LONG time.

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 07:07 PM
Well, that settles it. Miko is definitely Lawful Stupid

Maybe. This could also just be a case of Belkar, being Chaotic Evil, having more dirty tricks. I mean, Miko could very easily think that she, personally, has to take Belkar down because she could have earlier but didn't because her honor dictated that she take him in for trial.

Since she is the way she is, it's very likely that she feels that Belkar killing that guard is sort of her part, and feel that Belkar has already made it personal with the killing of her comrade.

Although, she could think that, since she's pretty sure that Belkar can't cast spells, she has too many advantages over him. That could be LS.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

Godhand
2006-01-20, 07:12 PM
Amusingly enough, MIko and Belkar are the only characters to have actually killed a named character. Belkar killed off Yikyik and made that "swanky leather hat"(he also killed the chimera but thats a little different) and Miko off'd Sam and her father since Sam tried to take her over.

While none of this information really means anything, it does show these two both will be fighting without holding any of their skills back, IF Miko catches Belkar before he weakens her too much, she'll rip him to shreds.

Kizor
2006-01-20, 07:12 PM
Wait, what happens if Miko's forced to break her willingly given oath of no outside healing?

sniffles
2006-01-20, 07:13 PM
If I were playing in a campaign with a character who behaved like Belkar I'd probably find it annoying - but it is so entertaining to read! :D

AtomicKitKat
2006-01-20, 07:13 PM
Holy crap, I dislike Miko's haughtier than thou attitude, but that has got to hurt! :o

Oznstuff
2006-01-20, 07:14 PM
Belkar has demenstrated excellent short term planning. Getting Miko distracted with his daggers and having her fall for his dummy were well planned and masterfully executed; however, if he doesn't have a heck of a closer up his sleeve he is seriously up schist creek right about now! I love the way he baited Miko into his trap, but he is now trapped in a small space (that's now on fire) with a pissed off Paladin. I get the feeling that Monday it's going to be Miko's turn.
Regardless, WAY TO GO BELKAR!!

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 07:15 PM
Miko had it coming for a LONG time.
Had what coming? Killing Belkar?

Yes.

Yes she has.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

Icosahedron
2006-01-20, 07:28 PM
Brilliant comic, Giant!

Belkar completely pwned Miko in every way. He set the fight in an area where he had the advantage, manipulated her into nerfing an advantage she did have in the name of 'honor', taunted her into rushing into a trap and got her to waste a smite at the same time. Her paladin arrogance blinded her to the fact that Belkar could actually defeat her, and she blithely wandered exactly where Belkar wanted her.

Having said that...

I don't think Belkar will win. Miko may be an arrogant, self-absorbed, twit but I don't think she's stupid. And one doesn't get to her apparent level by being stupid. I think she will smarten up by the next comic, or the one after that and turn the tables on Belkar. I'm not sure how, but I am sure it will be entertaining. Besides, I really don't see Rich killing Miko.

In summary: Round One to Belkar

DING!! ROUND TWO!!!

Beelzebub1111
2006-01-20, 07:28 PM
Belkar has demenstrated excellent short term planning. Getting Miko distracted with his daggers and having her fall for his dummy were well planned and masterfully executed; however, if he doesn't have a heck of a closer up his sleeve he is seriously up schist creek right about now! I love the way he baited Miko into his trap, but he is now trapped in a small space (that's now on fire) with a pissed off Paladin. I get the feeling that Monday it's going to be Miko's turn.
Regardless, WAY TO GO BELKAR!!
Oh, I think that he has quite the closer up his sleeve. If he had knowlege of all of the paladin's abilities, then if not a closer, he has a contingincy plan for either escape or "Pwnage"

He still hasn't raged

Raptor13x
2006-01-20, 07:28 PM
I love this, an extremely dislikeable LG vs a likeable CE, so you don't really know who to root for, haha. Genius :)

Being someone who loves chaos, hates law, and respects ingenuity, GO BELKAR!! :D

Vampire_Boy
2006-01-20, 07:28 PM
Holy crap, I dislike Miko's haughtier than thou attitude, but that has got to hurt! :o

I bloody well hope so! :D :D Nothing else to say, but... burn baby, burn! :D

I doubt that this will be enough to kill her off, though.

Kiaman
2006-01-20, 07:29 PM
Long time reader, first time poster... dude, belkar, sweet.

Amalthea
2006-01-20, 07:30 PM
This is why we love Belkar.

Go Halfling!

Or hate him.

The following must be said:

I don't know of a single player-paladin who would have put up with Belkar. He's the only character that doesn't hate Miko because they think she's annoying. He hates her and torments her because she's good.

And I sit and wonder what my paladin would do in a case like this, and I must admit - she'd be pissed. Extremely so.

This is quite possibly the dumbest thing Belkar has ever done.

Extispex
2006-01-20, 07:32 PM
"When in doubt, set something on fire. If nothing else, you'll have a lovely blaze to cheer you up as you await your impending doom."

From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Does this mean that Belkar is awaiting impending doom? :o

Deleran
2006-01-20, 07:41 PM
Great comic! That's all. ;D

That Lanky Bugger
2006-01-20, 07:41 PM
Go Belkar!

I'm rooting for ya, little buddy! Then again, given my own penchant for playing slightly off the wall characters, strait-laced types like Miko tend to annoy me anyways.

That said, I'm breathlessly waiting for Monday's strip.

VariaVespasa
2006-01-20, 07:42 PM
Personally I'm in the "Gooooo Belkar" crowd, although I doubt the fight will go to the finish. I think something will prevent it, although I'm not sure exactly what.

That said, its early days yet in this fight- a couple of knife hits and some arson (alch fire is really only 1-2 d6 now? Ick) is only gonna suck up Mikos lay hands and cure light spells at best (I cant imagine she has more than a +2 cha modifier, and most of that from force of personality, rather than niceness or attractiveness of personality), and probably not even quite that, so shes still gonna be at full hp after the fires out, probably with a little healing left, and a couple of smite evils left (I think she's in the lvl 10-15 range so she started with 3 smites for the day). Thats plenty for her to fight and win with, IF she can bring the fight to Belkar. But its also a good start on Belkars plan to wear her down if he can keep her away. I think the bigger effect of this exchange is to make Miko angry. But whether that will result in her making mistakes and getting hurt further, or getting creative herself, or doing something unpaladinlike remains to be seen. And who, if anyone, will ultimately prevail, remains a mystery. :)

Edit- Small revision, Belkar said "several big jugs" so that may well be rather more than 1d6 for a single alchemist fire that just got dumped on her. That may well be anywhere from 3d6 to 10d6 worth of damage overall depending on extinguishing rolls and how closely burning sake damage equates to alchemist fire damage in the Giants mind. So upon further reflection I wouldnt be in the least surprised if that does actually take up all her remaining healing and maybe still leaves her down a few (but not many) hp. And an angrier Miko as a result, but the basic issue remains- either can win, only time will tell.

I agree with the "when in doubt set something on fire" ethos, and so do my players, but for some reason neither I nor they ever really do. Occasionally they use molotovs on critters, but never really on anything that isnt a critter. Wierd.

*Hugs*
Varia

Flak_Razorwill
2006-01-20, 07:43 PM
Armed girls covered in alcohol?

Yep, I love it. Although the fire thing is probably not going to lead to its obvious conclusion.

Brardos
2006-01-20, 07:45 PM
OMFG!!!....ROFLMAO....ROFLMAO some more...*gasps for air* can't...Breath.. Laughing....to....hard.



Belkar is "The Man" sort of. too bad Roy has to kill him.

RBloom0566
2006-01-20, 07:47 PM
I agree with ThatWolfGuy...IT'S A COMIC!!!
A damn great comic, but still...a comic.

I wonder what would be a good dessert wine to have with Paladin Flambe'?

The Demented One
2006-01-20, 07:47 PM
And Belkar becomes my favorite character.

Vengeful_Hand
2006-01-20, 07:48 PM
It's not Intelligence he's low on it's Wisdom. Am I evil because I'm rooting for him hehe? :-[ ;D

No way. At this point, the downfall of Miko is in the best interests of good guys everywhere. Her being made a fool of and humiliated is actually better than seeing her get hurt in a fight.

Up till now, I was always unsure whether I hated or loved Belkar. Now it's official. He is fabulous. I kept thinking Blade, striking from the shadows, which is unusual for comic based on mishaps.

Burn, baby, Burn!

Randomnesh
2006-01-20, 07:49 PM
I bloody well hope so! :D :D Nothing else to say, but... burn baby, burn! :D


Seconded! ;)

Seros
2006-01-20, 07:50 PM
Miko has always reminded me of my first munchkin DM (who just happened to have an obsession with samurai).

I hope Belkar spreads her ashes across railroad central.

Adeptus
2006-01-20, 07:50 PM
Go Belkar! Who da halfling? You da halfling!

BTW, I'm not a chemist by any stretch of the imagination... but I'm pretty sure that liquids with a high alcohol content (like sake) burn hotter than oil... so it would probably do more than just 1D6 damage.

Uh. Not to be mean to you White Mane, but these things are easy enough to check (try wikipedia frex). You guessed wrong.

Distilled alcohol like Shochu, made from Sake, does burn quite merrily, but not with anything like the intensity of oil. Oil has an incredible amount of energy stored in it. Me and my friends used to mess about with denatured fuel alcohol while in the scouts. You can dip your hand in it and set it alight for a few seconds without hurting yourself at all. I wouldn't try that with anything oil based. Alcohol fires are those blue, nearly invisible ones. Think of flambeing food (like Belkar propably does!) :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shochu

Anyway, Miko must be pissed, but propably not all that much hurt yet. Let's see what our favorite little berserker has in store for an encore. Great strip Rich!

Flak_Razorwill
2006-01-20, 07:55 PM
Uh. Not to be mean to you White Mane, but these things are easy enough to check (try wikipedia frex). And unfortunately you got it wrong.

Distilled alcohol like Shochu, made from Sake, does burn quite merrily, but not with anything like the intensity of oil. Oil has an incredible amount of energy stored in it. Me and my friends used to mess about with denatured fuel alcohol while in the boy-scouts. You can dip your hand in it and set it alight for a few seconds without hurting yourself at all. I wouldn't try that with anything oil based. Alcohol fires are those blue, nearly invisible ones. Think of flambeing food (like Belkar propably does!) :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shochu

Anyway, Miko must be pissed, but propably not all that much hurt yet. Let's see what our favorite little berserker has in store for an encore. Great strip Rich!

Sake only has 20% alcohol content. That's like a strong wine: ever heard of setting someone on fire after splashing them with chardonnay? It'll flare for a bit, but experience with cooking means the flame will die out kinda quickly.

Also, sake is clear. Kind of like vodka clear. But that's because my experience revolves around modern refined sake. This is probably to old-world original kind, and therefore brownish.

PS: Miko might become awesome flaming avatar of death Miko.

siobharek
2006-01-20, 07:56 PM
I wonder how many daggers Belkar has left...

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 07:57 PM
Y'know what I just realized?

Endure Elements is a 1st-level spell for Paladins.

If she manages to extinguish herself, Belkar's in a bit of trouble.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

BardicLasher
2006-01-20, 07:57 PM
Remmeber guys, it's only half-time...

And I don't expect this one-on-one combat to finish one-on-one... There's always interference... Well, almost always.

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 07:59 PM
No way. At this point, the downfall of Miko is in the best interests of good guys everywhere.
. . .

Miko IS A GOOD GUY!!!

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

nightfire8199
2006-01-20, 08:02 PM
SWEET comic... im on belkars side. that was awsome. its been 15 minutes and im still laughing. hilarious one giant.

Mordeus_Dire
2006-01-20, 08:05 PM
Round one guys to Belkar!

Give the guy credit where it's due, his stategies are brilliantly planned and masterfully executed. Not only is he wearing down Miko with constant attacks from the shadows (damn, too bad he's not a rogue) but he's also using up all her special abilities. She's already wasted one 'Smite Evil' for the day and her lay on hands can't last forever. Especially since she's multiclassed.

To make the combat even more on Belkars favour, he's using Miko's own arrogant morality against her. There'll be no reinforcements saving her (she will refuse any outside assistance out of principle) unless she's unconscious.

True, any damage Belkar is actuslly inflicting is minor, at best. But he still seems confident so he's probably got plenty more tricks up his sleeve. Gueriila Warfare at its best.

Go Belkar! The Chaotic Evil legend!

watermammal
2006-01-20, 08:08 PM
OMG!!! I simply love Belkar. The vindictiveness, the foresight, the manipulation. I am just so proud.

Zink
2006-01-20, 08:11 PM
:'(

Yeah, Belkar's line were funny throughout the strip. Yeah, it made me laugh. During the beginning.
But... but... but...
Ack. It's sad to see how small is the amount of people feeling bad for Miko. Sure, it's nonmagical fire. She'd probably survive. But that 'AAARHH!' and that 'FWOOSH!' of the last panel really hit something. Hit something hard. It's a sad day for Miko supporters (or at least for me). I can only hope that Monday would be a sad day for everyone else.

Also, I can't say I'm not interested in what the Giant has to say about this. I've seen comics where a character that everyone loves, including the creator, gets killed because the Plot demands. Miko is far from a character that everyone loves, but that doesn't say the Giant doesn't... She's a great character, and a great NPC. That's more than enough reason for me to love her.


Go Miko! :(

plommon
2006-01-20, 08:13 PM
ahhh... wonderfull. I almost wet my self reading...
hehe sake... (though its only about 14 percents in sake.. heehe)
nice

The Lady Auneredra
2006-01-20, 08:13 PM
I was going to comment on how Belkar has totally surprised me by having the intellect (yes, int, not wis; in 2nd book he said "I may not be the brightest torch in the dungeon...") of setting up such an elaborate trap... but, like, 20 people beat me to it.
Anyway, this comic has inspired me spritually. I've been comtemplating which career path I wanted to go down, but now I know what I shall be:
a pyromaniac.

Kian
2006-01-20, 08:17 PM
I find it interesting that Miko doesn't appear to particularly care about the death of the little guard. Just checked, and in today's comic she doesn't even mention how he will pay for killing the guard. In fact, his poking at her honor gets more of a raise out of her than him killing a guard.

This is mostly why I'm happy she is getting annoyed right now. She hasn't yet shown much 'goodness', but that is a debate for another thread. So I'll stick to 'YAY BELKAR!!!'

silvadel
2006-01-20, 08:21 PM
Ok what I wanted to say earlier (I wasnt posting between the beige and the /color)

The flaw in Belkars plan is when Miko calls windstriker... who very much could have listen AND scent

bluewurm
2006-01-20, 08:22 PM
Belkar seems to be making cunning use of the "one ninja" rule of action movies: Many ninjas=easy to defeat, One ninja=unstoppable. Substitute "OOTS adventurer" for "ninja" in this case.

Brilliant strip, by the way.

that rule extends to pretty much anything... ever watch the X-men cartoon? 1 sentinel is a pain in the ass, but dozens off sentinels die effortlessly

BardicLasher
2006-01-20, 08:24 PM
. . .

Miko IS A GOOD GUY!!!

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque



Fine. Miko's demise is in the best interest of the protagonists.

Hawkeye
2006-01-20, 08:25 PM
ohmygod! Belkar just burninated Miko!

That's got to be painful

luilupino
2006-01-20, 08:25 PM
I knew he was going to make something incredible... Playing with the victim, simply awesome....

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 08:33 PM
Fine. Miko's demise is in the best interest of the protagonists.Miko's demise is only in the best interests of Belkar.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

JeffreyToTheMax
2006-01-20, 08:36 PM
Miko's demise is only in the best interests of Belkar.

At pretty much any other time, Miko's death would have aided the OOTS. But this is the one time that it would send them up a certain creek without a paddle.

Traitor
2006-01-20, 08:38 PM
Very Funny!

Hmmm. I'd say it would do more than a d6. You're looking at a bit more than a pint there. It looks like a small barrel, so it's probably 10 gallons or so. At 8 pints to the gallon... I'd rule that it's the same as total immersion, and use the boiling water rules. So, that would be 10d6 dmg. But I'd have it burn an additional round, like oil. So next round, she would take an additional 10d6. Then I'd have her make a DC 15 ref save to avoid being caught on fire.

Yep, I'd have to say she's toast. ;D

The_Shadow
2006-01-20, 08:39 PM
There's no denying that Belkar was clever and funny in this one. The "matter of honor" line was perfect.

But I now want the little whoreson to die. Burning people really gets under my skin, for similar reasons to AaronBourque.

Flak_Razorwill
2006-01-20, 08:42 PM
At pretty much any other time, Miko's death would have aided the OOTS. But this is the one time that it would send them up a certain creek without a paddle.


Ohmygod: Imagine if she survives: what will her testimony be in front of Lord Shojo? That Roy stopped liking her and told her the truth about he felt? And that she possibly tolerated (read in Miko terms: liked) him back?

yuccadude
2006-01-20, 08:48 PM
Heh. Miko = a good guy :o
But yeah, most alcohol fires are very short-lived and burn out quickly, and I imagine this one should be no different.

Martok
2006-01-20, 08:52 PM
LOL!!


Funniest Belkar strip ever. Great job Rich!

Nightfall
2006-01-20, 08:54 PM
I thought Sake isn't flammable? ???

Technically, anything containing alcohol is flammable. However, the alcohol burns off very quickly, so even if Miko is soaked with sake, it's not going to burn very long.

Solara
2006-01-20, 08:57 PM
W00t! Go Belkar! :D

I actually think this is the first strip where he's gotten to prove just how devious and downright competant he can be. Usually he gets overshadowed by the other characters.

Kaerou
2006-01-20, 09:02 PM
Go Miko!

... yeah, i dont like Miko. I like Belkar kinda.. well, i did till YikYik was killed :'( but i am with the good side here as a matter of principle.

... *rolls bluff and gets a 1*

.. dang.. ok, i'm with Miko as revenge for Kobold kind..!

DarkLadyOfTheSith
2006-01-20, 09:04 PM
She was only "playing" to the duties of her class, albeit somewhat overzealously, and now she is tragically burned. Tragic tale of horrifying agony and all that.


Course, any damage incurred from the burning wil be restored by the next heal spell-- if a cure potion can fix Elan's clothes, then I'm sure it can restore any singed/burned hair Miko may get.

Hawkeye
2006-01-20, 09:05 PM
Y'know I was expecting more negative feedback to Miko being set alight by some of the Mikophiles, like flameposts (oh, I couldn't resist putting that comment in there)

Jarawara
2006-01-20, 09:11 PM
Miko's demise is also in the best interest... of this reader. I'm getting durned tired of her.

Go Belkar!!!



Hey, I'm not a pixie anymore. :D

Odd_Thomas
2006-01-20, 09:13 PM
i hate all paladins.

darkninjaoflight
2006-01-20, 09:17 PM
There aren't enough people here who feel bad for Miko so I decided to show my support for the paladin.
She may be a pain, but geez, burned to death(possible, but still disturbing)? She's been given nothing but strife from Belkar! Obviously she's been giving out her share of the same, but Belkar is having fun, Miko is doing what she considers a sacred duty that benefits all. Plus, Belkar killed those guards.

Also, for those of you who doubt whether the sake was that flammable.....just look at the comic! I think flames that huge mean that it was quite flammable.

Count-Tyr
2006-01-20, 09:21 PM
Great comic...
im in the party of people who believe that we should just enjoy these comics...nto overanalyze them...and dont feel so attached

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 09:21 PM
Y'know I was expecting more negative feedback to Miko being set alight by some of the Mikophiles, like flameposts (oh, I couldn't resist putting that comment in there)
I those Mikopologists (I like that term better) who haven't given up in defending her have already chimed in.

But one of the attributes of basic Mikophilia (when it works, it works) includes hatred of thematic punnings, so thus no flames.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; plus, it would be a banning offense when you think about it: we would be flaming the Giant for his treatment of Miko, after all.

Runolfr
2006-01-20, 09:22 PM
Even taking personal experiences into account, I still fail to see why people are getting uptight because Belkar had the audacity to burn Miko.

The burning sake is small potatoes (or rice, as the case may be). Belkar's use of fire as a weapon positively pales in comparison to Vaarsuvius'. Why don't these people get upset when Vaarsuvius goes pyrotechnic with fireballs on a batch of monsters?

LaValle
2006-01-20, 09:26 PM
Go Belkar!!!

Burn baby burn!!! Awesome episode, loved the stealthy approach. I'm afraid Belkar doesn't stand much of a chance, but seing how he dealt with Miko so far made my heart rejoice :D I pray to the whole panteon that Belkar doesn't die. Gian't please don't do that!

SpoilerHow about something in the warehouse catches on fire leading to a fire in the whole castle and the destruction of yet another Gate.

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 09:28 PM
Great comic...
im in the party of people who believe that we should just enjoy these comics...nto overanalyze them...and dont feel so attached
. . .

No. It's a credit to Mr. Burlew's skills that so many people can get so attached to both the characters and situations he puts in the comic. And also a testament to his skills that we're analyzing them at all. If they were just mindless fluffy entertainment, we would just go "Yeah. Haha! Good one!" And, heaven forbid, any strip isn't up to the standard I've come to expect I'll say so here.

If they weren't ever any good, I, for one, wouldn't say anything: I'd've bailed out long ago.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

Sebastian
2006-01-20, 09:28 PM
My speculation on how this fight will/should end, don't read it if you don't want spoilers

Miko will be able to kill Belkar but he will make her so hangry that she kill him in a way that make her lose her alignement and paladinhood. Belkar die, but he'll die happy for that reason :D.
Eventually he could be raised, but that beside the point.

Zantetsuken_Kokoro
2006-01-20, 09:29 PM
Perhaps it is shameful of me to think this way, but...

I am pleased that Belkar, CE psycho though he is, has gotten some satisfaction for Miko's prior assaults. And I don't mean the PREDICTION:

possibility of death

but that he has made her cry out in pain.

Remember, the first time she attacked the party was excusable due to an unavoidable misreading of their alignment...but the second time she attacked the GOOD GUYS was simply because they didn't meekly roll over and play dead for her. That's not being good, that's being a megalomaniac.

Duskrider_Moogle
2006-01-20, 09:31 PM
If I was going to say I'm on anyone's side here, I'd say I'm on Miko's. But it's just a friggin comic guys, so I can say that and then add that I love Belkar's tricks because it reminds me of "Home Alone" :p

From a purely statistical perspective I still think Miko's going to win this one. As far as I can tell Belkar's never carried any more than the two daggers at a time, so he's screwed when Miko gets into melee; even if he doesn't, I've always gotten the impression that Miko's character level is like 25-50% higher than any given member of the order.

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 09:34 PM
Even taking personal experiences into account, I still fail to see why people are getting uptight because Belkar had the audacity to burn Miko.

The burning sake is small potatoes (or rice, as the case may be). Belkar's use of fire as a weapon positively pales in comparison to Vaarsuvius'. Why don't these people get upset when Vaarsuvius goes pyrotechnic with fireballs on a batch of monsters?
Partly it's because it's magical fire, which in 3.5 doesn't heat the air around it (somehow), which means we can rationalize it to whatever effect is least mental-blocking. Partly it's that those monsters V fireballs are there for a strip or two, and aren't presented sympathetically (or don't have a recognizable face, which Miko--having been in the strip for . . . approximately seventy strips? Has it been so long?--does, even if some didn't like her before she got burninated, or still don't but can express sympathy for her current situation).

Mainly, it's because we don't actually see the effects on Miko, and so our imaginations run rampant.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

aaronbourque
2006-01-20, 09:36 PM
Remember, the first time she attacked the party was excusable due to an unavoidable misreading of their alignment...but the second time she attacked the GOOD GUYS was simply because they didn't meekly roll over and play dead for her. That's not being good, that's being a megalomaniac.
::sigh::

No. She attacked them because they revoked their parole. They were under legal arrest, what choice did she have? Going: "Oh, you won't come along? Okay then. Sorry for the inconvenience, bye-bye! Have fun! Don't let any other Paladins with sticks up their asses find you!"?

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque

Solara
2006-01-20, 09:38 PM
I haven't had time to read through all the posts yet, but I noticed a lot of people seem almost horrified by Miko getting set on fire.

What's the big deal? V and Haley didn't seem that worried about walking through fire at the inn, and IIRC Miko was even inside when it blew up. Non-magical fire's no big deal, especially to someone with as many hit points as she has. It's basically a minor inconvenience, just like those knives Belkar was throwing before. Right now the fight is far from over, and just to keep things balanced Miko will probably gain the upper hand for a little while in the next comic.

VariaVespasa
2006-01-20, 09:41 PM
Even taking personal experiences into account, I still fail to see why people are getting uptight because Belkar had the audacity to burn Miko.

The burning sake is small potatoes (or rice, as the case may be). Belkar's use of fire as a weapon positively pales in comparison to Vaarsuvius'. Why don't these people get upset when Vaarsuvius goes pyrotechnic with fireballs on a batch of monsters?

Heh, I was about to say the same thing, but you beat me to it! Adventurers dont actually usually kill things in nice ways (if there even IS a nice way to kill something), so I really dont see why people are getting particularly upset by this specific instance. Especially when, as you say, Varsuvius fireballs things as a matter of course which does a lot more damage, and indeed has done so on Mikos orders. Remember the ogres they encountered where she got them all nicely bunched up for Varsuvius and Durkon to nuke them? She was quite happy to use fire on them. So...

But primarily, it IS a comic and its about story and humor. Its not about real life. So have fun with it for what it is.

*Hugs*
Varia

Kizor
2006-01-20, 09:42 PM
The more it's pointed out that Miko's not in serious danger from the fire, the more it seems to me that Belkar is trying to get her to fly off the handle and break alignment.

BardicLasher
2006-01-20, 09:45 PM
As far as I can tell Belkar's never carried any more than the two daggers at a time,

They're in a storage room. For a big castle with a dungeon. I'd be quite surprised if said storage room didn't have weaponry.

EladrinStarmist
2006-01-20, 09:47 PM
Kizor, that's a good point; maybe that's what he's doing. If she does something very un-Paladin like, she'll lose a lot of her abilities and advantages.

Personally, I laughed like crazy over today's comic.

WildBill
2006-01-20, 09:51 PM
Great (insert censored word here) comic Giant!

Personally, I think Belkar has a very good chance in this encounter. Rangers in general make good hunters and based on Belkars personality, I think this is the type of hunting Belkar had in mind when he became a ranger. As far as the damage caused by those throwing daggers, don't forget they have a minimum +2 to damage, very likely a +6 from Favored Enemy: Humans.
Also, the sake should cause more than 1d6 of damage due to non-magical fire. Running through a fire and being covered in burning liquid are very different things. Also, although I have no idea how this would work in a game mechanics kind of way, my experience in fighting is that anger leads to mistakes. As a monk/paladin Miko needs discipline, which Belkars strategy will make difficult.
Assuming they are close in level a few more rounds of this will give Belkar a major advantage, Miko will be below max HP with no healing, and possibly no smites left. When they engage in close combat, Belkar can rage, this offsets Mikos starting HP advantage (d8+2 is > d10), and possibly gives him an advantage in overall damage (+6 favored enemy, +2 rage STR, +normal STR bonus) should even things up. If he is actually a 12th level ranger, he has combat style mastery, so they should have the same number of attacks.
I like how the class abilities of rangers and paladins are being matched up here.

U2QueenBee
2006-01-20, 09:51 PM
I haven't had time to read through all the posts yet, but I noticed a lot of people seem almost horrified by Miko getting set on fire.

What's the big deal? V and Haley didn't seem that worried about walking through fire at the inn, and IIRC Miko was even inside when it blew up. Non-magical fire's no big deal, especially to someone with as many hit points as she has. It's basically a minor inconvenience, just like those knives Belkar was throwing before. Right now the fight is far from over, and just to keep things balanced Miko will probably gain the upper hand for a little while in the next comic.


I guess for me, heroic people being in a building that's on fire, but unharmed themselves, doesn't seem that bad - they can just walk outside, basically, as long as they're reasonably quick. But actually setting a person on fire...I don't know, I don't especially like Miko and up till now I've found Belkar's evil more funny than offensive (I'm prone to fits of LG-ness in real life), but this kind of creeps me out. It's not particularly logical, but it probably stems from some innate primal fear of fire, and innate primal fears aren't generally known for their reasonableness.



Same is true with most paladins

Funnily enough, I've recently started playing a paladin in a small (2-person party) D&D game. I chose it in large part to be a challenge; I've generally played bards or warriors in computer versions or tabletop games, and partly in response to the Miko-style stereotype of pallys I wanted to see if I could roleplay a paladin, a LG character, without being all up myself. So far, I think it's working. :) But anyway, I tend to forget I have Smite Evil, or think 'I should save this in case things get *really* bad' and not use it at all!

Miko is certainly digging her own grave with her single-mindedness though, and falling for such an obvious reverse psychology trap. Silly girl.

Scion_of_the_Light
2006-01-20, 09:51 PM
Bah! Miko is seeing so little support! I firmly put myself in her wagon, and I and quite sorry for her. The "argh!" she made sounds like it hurts, a lot. Sorry Miko!

I hope Belkar dies. I really do. I mean, he was funny in the past, but not now. Now, he just is a blank target, somebody who needs to be punished. Not because he is simply evil (I've had evil characters that interacted well with a good party), but because of his deeds. Killing so many, just for the sake of killing them. Trying to kill Elan! All these things and more! They just have culminated to the level where Belkar needs to be killed. I cannot stand him anymore.

It really isn't in the better regards to the protagonists that Miko dies. I highly doubt Roy, Elan, Haley, or the others would advocate her death. Miko might be less than pleasant to be around, but she shouldn't die. And really, what is better for the protagonists isn't always the best. What is good for the protagonists is not necessarily the good thing. Just because we are rooting for them dosn't mean they are good. Actually, now I don't even see Belkar as a protagonist. He's now an antagonist, through and through. Damn it...kill him already.

I like Miko. I see a LOT of potential character growth in her, and really hope that she can grow. Yes, she does have a stick up her rear, but I don't think that is permanent. The final conversation, before she was forced to chain them up, really gave me evidence of that: that she can change, that she can get better. I hope for her, and eagerly await the time for when Miko changes. I especially liked the old thread that gave everything from her point of view. It really helped me understand why she is acting like she is, and gives me her perspective on the issues. Remember, the OotS's perspective is not the best one, necessarily. The protagonists are not always the PRO-tagonists, and I sometimes find myself rooting for other characters.


Oh: Why are all of you seriously overdramatizing the paladin class? She'll lose powers because she kills Belkar? I don't remember the Player's Handbook saying anything about a paladin killing a foe nicely. What is she going to do, kill Belkar with a flower? Paladins are dedicated to the pursuit of the ultimate good, and I'd definitly allow a minor violation of a rashly given oath to be breached--especially if it contriubted to the greater society. I would only take away a paladin's powers if they did some terribly evil act, I mean anything else and it'd be stupid. Paladins don't lose their powers over everything, the violation should be fairly serious. Not something like : "OMG lololololol11lol. Miko killed someone, and she did it in a vicious way. Die Miko die lololol11lol."

GAZ
2006-01-20, 09:52 PM
::sigh::

No. She attacked them because they revoked their parole. They were under legal arrest, what choice did she have? Going: "Oh, you won't come along? Okay then. Sorry for the inconvenience, bye-bye! Have fun! Don't let any other Paladins with sticks up their asses find you!"?

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque


They were not under legal arrest. Roy said it best with "I have every right! I'm not part of your little feudal deal there, I'm a free man." Miko left her jurisdiction when she went to track down The Order. She is not the legal authority of the lands she took custody of them in. The Order went along with her because they wanted too, and then that arrogant bitch opened up on them when they changed their minds.

saraswati
2006-01-20, 09:53 PM
I noticed a lot of people seem almost horrified by Miko getting set on fire.


I agree, I think it's pretty interesting too. My take on that is just that the Giant can make us feel sympathy for the characters, so we feel sympathy about their physical pain as well.

But the truth is that OOTS, just like D & D, represents a certain level of cartoon violence. I honestly can't say that Belkar is some sort of horrible monster for setting Miko on fire, and then turn around and say that Miko and the rest of the OOTS are good and kind even though they stab, chop, disembowel or behead their opponents. (or in the case of V, hit them with Evard'
s Tentacles of Spiked Intrusion). That would be (IMHO) sort of hypocritical.

Don;t get me wrong. I'm not some psychopath who laughs with glee at other people's pain. I just think we kind of sublimate all of the violence in D & D to a removed level. Otherwise we couldn't play at all.

My group tried to play a game once with a paladin character who had a code only to capture, never to kill. It...... didn't work out. Let's just leave it at that.

Musing over, time for reviews. I loved this one Giant! It totally made me laugh, had great tactics, good D & D in jokes, and, as noted by many others, although I can't help but root for Belkar, I still felt sympathy for Miko when Belkar mentioned Honor.

I'm totally looking forward to see how the whole storyline progresses. I hope for divine intervention to keep any sort of ultimate nastiness from ensuing, but, we will just have to trust to the Giant's genius.

edit: during my long and protracted typing Varia made some good points along the same lines and posted before me. Go Varia! What she said

Tyrmadris
2006-01-20, 09:53 PM
First off: Hillarious!! Best one in awhile, and that's difficult, because the ones immediately preceeding it are all winners.

My main thing, though, is that I can't seem to see the problem from the "Pro-Miko" crowd. Arguably, it's probably because I'm in the "Pro-Belkar" group, but the logic should hold true in either case.

Known: All the OotS characters know they are game characters, and understand the game at the same level we do.

Known: Miko and Belkar are in a citadel practically chock-full of Paladins and Clerics.

Given this, I have little to no sympathy for Miko or her supporters, for one reason: It doesn't matter if Miko dies or not.

Let's consider the worst-case scenario for Belkar:
Miko kills Belkar effortlessly in melee. Having confirmed he was one evil little bastich, both by her own personal experience travelling with the group and with Exhibit A--a massive 'come get me' message scrawled in a dead guard's blood--being what it is, she has more than enough proof of such to show that he was, indeed, Evil, and his remains are fit for, at best, cremation. To insure he can't be brought back later, of course, not without effort and resources the OotS clearly does not have.
So, if Miko wins, short of some serious deus ex machina, Belkar is toast, and we lose one of the coolest, funniest characters in the strip.

Now the worst case scenario for Miko:
Belkar nickles-and-dimes her to death. He then says something suitably witty, and probably desecrates her still-cooling corpse. Probably carves smiley faces into it, or whatever. He might even wear a Miko hat for a frame or two if he's feeling rather nasty (I won't say I'd be disappointed, really).
Upon finding her remains, the Paladins bring her body back to Lord Shojo, who, assuming he's a Samurai too, calls for the High Cleric Pontificate of Azure City, and orders her Raised or Resurrected. If he's a high-level Cleric, he'll just do it himself. In either case, he'd be exceedingly angry. I'd be willing to bet that, despite her high level, there are quite a few higher-level people there than her, and have no doubt one would be a Cleric. Even if Belkar went against his usual form and, say, burned her body to cinders, they could still probably whip together a True Resurrection or the like.

See a difference here? In one worst-case, the person for whom it's the worst is dead, never to return. For the other character, the worst case is--while unpleasant--merely a speed bump on her career. Barring the Giant reading something like this and saying "You dont think it could work that way?" and purposefully thinks to come up with a way to go against this successfully, all possibilities lead to both people surviving... except one, which leads to that character never being part of the strip again.

Plot or not, I don't think we've seen the last of Belkar. I certainly would hope not, as he has been a well-established character in a strip that's almost 300 pages strong.

So, pardon me if I relish watching the Holier-than-thou Paladin get some comeuppance for being such a detestable example of 'how not to be Lawful Good' (although a great example of the 'Paladin Sterotype'). She deserves it, for in the end, even death is merely an inconvenience for her. I, personally, don't think it will go that far, but if she did hit the old -10, I wouldn't weep a tear, fully expecting her to make a return and be even more exceedingly angry than last time. As it is, she'll still probably get the upper hand on everyone's favorite half-pint psychotic. While this will make us pro-B types slightly miffed, I think he has accomplished enough so far in knocking her down a peg or two that it would still have been worth it.

nuance
2006-01-20, 09:57 PM
The following must be said:

I don't know of a single player-paladin who would have put up with Belkar. He's the only character that doesn't hate Miko because they think she's annoying. He hates her and torments her because she's good.

And I sit and wonder what my paladin would do in a case like this, and I must admit - she'd be pissed. Extremely so.


I've reread all the strips since the one where Miko turns up and I don't see this at all. I can't see any evidence that Belkar's dislike is based on anything different than the rest of the order's. None of them like her and when Roy finally came to his senses in #251 they were all with him in telling her where to go.

Your analysis that Belkar's dislike of Miko is somehow different from the rest of the order's doesn't appear to be borne out by the scripts.

As far as setting Miko on fire being evil - does that mean that Vaarsuvius is the most evil creature that ever walked? He does throw those fieballs around quite a bit. If damaging creatures with fire is so evil, why didn't Miko lose her class abilites when she ordered Vaarsuvius to inflict fire damage on the ogres in #215?

One of Varsuvius' fireballs probably does 6 to 7 times as much damage as the burning sake. Explain to me why one of these (the sake) is an evil act and the other (the fireball) isn't.

As far as I can see, Belkar hasn't done anything in this strip that could be construed as evil.

boytbpc
2006-01-20, 10:00 PM
It is hard for me to understand how anyone who plays DnD can get upset about violence in the game without being hypocritical.

Most of us play characters whose primary employment is killing things and taking their money. Ohh, but when it's someone we know we get all up in arms! Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Boytbpc

P.S. First post :)

Scion_of_the_Light
2006-01-20, 10:03 PM
They were not under legal arrest. Roy said it best with "I have every right! I'm not part of your little feudal deal there, I'm a free man." Miko left her jurisdiction when she went to track down The Order. She is not the legal authority of the lands she took custody of them in. The Order went along with her because they wanted too, and then that arrogant bitch opened up on them when they changed their minds.



May I quote the Lord Shojo in saying, "...the Sapphire Gaurd has been given their holy powers by the Twelve Gods of the South to protect the gates. And since the gods are not limited in their jurisdiction, neither are we."

You are approaching this too much in the view of a modern day person. In a world where gods actually exist, and make themselves known, actively, then I think it is quite acceptable for their servants to fulfill their will. Especially if they are for the greater good. Remember, Elan actually did destroy the gates. There is no getting around that.

SirGalrim
2006-01-20, 10:08 PM
If Mikko die I'll kill myself.. :-[

Well not really.. But I do love her.. :P :-* ;D

nuance
2006-01-20, 10:11 PM
May I quote the Lord Shojo in saying, "...the Sapphire Gaurd has been given their holy powers by the Twelve Gods of the South to protect the gates. And since the gods are not limited in their jurisdiction, neither are we."

So, the whacked out fundamentalist thinks his religion gives him the right to trample all over everyone else.
Surprise!

Just because he can justify it to himself doesn't make him right.

xyzchyx
2006-01-20, 10:12 PM
Explain to me why one of these (the sake) is an evil act and the other (the fireball) isn't.

Because killing evil creatures/beings is not considered evil, while attacking good creatures/beings (with intent to kill) is. I believe there's something like that which is actually in the player's handbook


So, the whacked out fundamentalist thinks his religion gives him the right to trample all over everyone else.

In a world where gods actually exist, it does.

Our modern view typically rejects supernatural or divine causes, at leasat in the mainstream, so of course by modern standards, it does not.

Ravenlord
2006-01-20, 10:16 PM
Belkar has thrown both his daggers (we never see him wearing/carrying more than two) and set her aflame which probably won't kill her.

The only viable strategy left for Belkar actually seems challange her alignament ("hey you can't hurt me, I'm unarmed now"); that said I pretty much hope she kills the little bugger off. First of all I can't stand him, secondarily if she only detains him and brings him to the court, Belkar gonna screw the entire defence for the rest of the team.

Solara
2006-01-20, 10:17 PM
Upon finding her remains, the Paladins bring her body back to Lord Shojo, who, assuming he's a Samurai too, calls for the High Cleric Pontificate of Azure City, and orders her Raised or Resurrected.

Good point!

I actually can't believe it's taken eleven pages for someone to bring that up.

Before I was thinking something would have to interrupt the fight, but now I wonder...

EladrinStarmist
2006-01-20, 10:19 PM
He's not a fundie though if his god will actual open up His/Her mouth and back him up though ;)

I'm still in the Belkar camp and personally I think that anyone who feels that what Belkar did is really bad should take a look at the D&D game itself, something most of us play or have played, and realize that yeah, our profession is to kill things and take their money. Is that not the greatest of evils? To kill for mere gold?! Belkar is goading Miko on, sure, but he's also now fighting for his life against someone who would clearly kill him out of hand if she got the chance by justifying it in some way . Why do you think she wanted to know his alignment so badly?

nuance
2006-01-20, 10:19 PM
In a world where gods actually exist, it does.

Our modern view typically rejects supernatural or divine causes, at leasat in the mainstream, so of course by modern standards, it does not.

Fantasy literature is full of the disagreements of Gods being worked out in the conflicts of lesser beings. If they're disagreeing and fighting they can't all be right. Therefore (in this fantasy polytheistic setting) being a God doesn't automatically make you right.

Maxymiuk
2006-01-20, 10:22 PM
First off...

"When in doubt, set something on fire."

Thus I abandon any plans to introduce OoTS to my gaming group. They already set stuff on fire without the justification this comic would give them.

Second, said fire seems to have coaxed a lot of lurkers out of the woodwork. I count no less than 5 first-posters. Which isn't a bad thing.

Third...


Even taking personal experiences into account, I still fail to see why people are getting uptight because Belkar had the audacity to burn Miko.

The burning sake is small potatoes (or rice, as the case may be). Belkar's use of fire as a weapon positively pales in comparison to Vaarsuvius'. Why don't these people get upset when Vaarsuvius goes pyrotechnic with fireballs on a batch of monsters?

Duh, because they're monsters. ::)


But on a more serious note, how many people (IRL) do you know that can set off fireballs?

Now, how many people do you know who could set someone on fire? (note, I said could. I'm not saying they would, or even should for that matter)

We can empathise far easier with something that could very well happen in the real word (and where it would have much more drastic effects) that with something that can be relegated strictly to the realms of fantasy.

Mr._Blinky
2006-01-20, 10:25 PM
Actually, this is my favorite comic in a long time. While it seems to me that most people are reading Belkar's lines comically, I'm reading them in a far more sinister light. Belkar isn't trying to be funny, he's basically coldly saying he's going to enjoy killing her, and while we've certainly seen Belkar's violent side before, I don't think we've ever seen him this truly evil.

xyzchyx
2006-01-20, 10:28 PM
I think that anyone who feels that what Belkar did is really bad should take a look at the D&D game itself, something most of us play or have played, and realize that yeah, our profession is to kill things and take their money. Is that not the greatest of evils? To kill for mere gold?!
Not if what you are killing happens to be evil anyways. While your ends, that is the acquisition of wealth, may not be completely altruistic, such motives are not considered evil either, so that leaves one to judge the mere act itself, which is the killing of evil creatures, and that is not considered an evil act.

WildBill
2006-01-20, 10:31 PM
Actually, this is my favorite comic in a long time. While it seems to me that most people are reading Belkar's lines comically, I'm reading them in a far more sinister light. Belkar isn't trying to be funny, he's basically coldly saying he's going to enjoy killing her, and while we've certainly seen Belkar's violent side before, I don't think we've ever seen him this truly evil.
Of course he hasn't been this evil before. He's been on a leash, remember what he did in the Origin of the PCs, that was his idea of fun. He is this evil. He became a ranger to hunt people.

Slibs
2006-01-20, 10:32 PM
Belkar isn't as smart as he could be... He should have said, "Then show me. Show my by not getting healed." This way she can heal herself and not violate her honor. As of right now if another paladin comes through the door and heals Miko she'd technically break her paladin code...

Well at its most simply put, no. If she requested Healing, she'd break her word of Honor, which means a great deal to her. If someone comes through and heals her because he sees her wounded, its an issue for her honor possibly, but not the Paladin Code. What nearly no one on this forum seems to realize is a Paladin's Code is between the Paladin and their God. If the God says be an uptight Ramrod, so be it. If the God says get along with everyone, so be it. If the God says the CE Halfling is the Key to saving the Universe, make it happen, the Paladin says "Okily Dokily Godarino!" with not even a single hit point of reprecussion!


Her paladin arrogance blinded her to the fact that Belkar could actually defeat her, and she blithely wandered exactly where Belkar wanted her.


I am amazed at the number of people willing to trot out Paladins that they or someone they know have pitifully role played as "The Only Way To Play a Paladin so smite You, Me!" Just because you can't roleplay, doesn't mean the rest of us can't. Yes, many newbie drift towards the Paladin for the Meta Game advantages that are only offset by roleplayed Dis-ads. But some of us are roleplayers, and a roleplayer is defined by dealing with the Disadvantage. If you can't hack it, be a fighter, be honest enough to realize the weakness is with you, not the Paladin.


No way. At this point, the downfall of Miko is in the best interests of good guys everywhere. Her being made a fool of and humiliated is actually better than seeing her get hurt in a fight.


Considering the number of people who Demand Miko be treated and act like a police officer, this fits, sadly.


I love the smell of burning paladin in the morning. Smells like . . . victory.


OMG WOOT. You show that samurai bitch Belkar. I want to see a Miko shaped hat on your head by next comic

2) it's really funny!


Yeah, torture! Woot. Yay. Yippee Kayee.
Mods who feel the need to warn/ban me for a personal attack feel free. A lot of today's "Miko's skin is burning off, yaaaaaaaaaay!" responses sickened me. Sickened me enough that I probably won't be back in the forum anyway. An unfortunate number of people in this forum will (ironically, but fortunately) never understand the price a real Miko pays to keep a real Belkar away from them. Giant, I well and truely salute you for the awesome abilities you show in your storylines. I'll continue to support you, and your merchandise, and eagerly await the day you transfer to novellization.


Also, I can't say I'm not interested in what the Giant has to say about this. I've seen comics where a character that everyone loves, including the creator, gets killed because the Plot demands. Miko is far from a character that everyone loves, but that doesn't say the Giant doesn't... She's a great character, and a great NPC. That's more than enough reason for me to love her.

Again, hats off Giant. You are not a cartoonist, you are a Bard.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-01-20, 10:33 PM
Actually, this is my favorite comic in a long time.
Oh, definetely. Most of the recent comics have given me a chuckle. This is to first to bring out a guffaw since Larry Gardener got the axe ;D

I want Belkar to win against Miko, however, once she's down I'd rather enjoy him getting a good knocking by someone else. I don't want her to have the satisfaction of winning again.

Zantetsuken_Kokoro
2006-01-20, 10:36 PM
A real Belkar scares the heck out of me.

But then, so does a real Miko.

Nice try.

Adolfo
2006-01-20, 10:38 PM
Heh ;D

Go ranger power!!

nightfire8199
2006-01-20, 10:44 PM
cool comic made me drop my train of thought... wait disregard that last one...

Nightmarenny
2006-01-20, 10:49 PM
Great strip Giant. Just beutiful.

I'm starting to hope both Miko and Belkar die in this fight. That way for the six or so strips they stay dead I wont have to read this constant whining about Belkar doing this which is horrible and miko doing that which is why she deserves it. Blah blah blah. Come on guys this is just a comic! Its good that people care about them this much but really, stop this!

GobalinKing
2006-01-20, 10:55 PM
Okay, there, she's DEAD. Are you all HAPPY NOW?! Are all you whiny little Miko haters who think it's cool to hate Good characters because you like to pretend to be Evil HAPPY NOW?! Now everyone SHUT UP ABOUT HATING MIKO!!!

Slibs
2006-01-20, 10:58 PM
Posted by: Zantetsuken_Kokoro Posted on: Today at 9:36pm
A real Belkar scares the heck out of me.

But then, so does a real Miko.



Then go to your local police barracks and ask to be put in the violent ward. If there is still ambiguity after that, ask for the mental ward.

Zantetsuken_Kokoro
2006-01-20, 11:10 PM
Then go to your local police barracks and ask to be put in the violent ward. If there is still ambiguity after that, ask for the mental ward.

My point was that both a RL Belkar and a RL Miko could make your life a living hell.

Or do you call being strongarmed into the hands of a legally questionable jurisdiction as the Order has a picnic?

Remember also, it has been stated unambiguously that Miko is an exception, rather than the rule as far as paladins go.

If Miko were more like Hinjo, I would have no issue with Miko. That was my point.

VariaVespasa
2006-01-20, 11:13 PM
About the divine authority thing- Lord Shojo has authority from the 12 gods of the south. However, those arent the only gods in the world (We've even seen several during the various strips), and the other gods may say differently. Its certain that some of them do, although whether any of them are applicable to the events in this strip is another matter. In a world where gods are real, viking settlers showing up on american shores saying we have the authority of the gods (norse pantheon) for this would have been met with something less than amusement by local law enforcement, backed by the forces of the local indian gods and spirits, forinstance.

So merely claiming authority from the 12 gods of the south doesnt mean he actually legitimately does have authority, beyond that of the sword. He might have, but its not an automatic thing based on whats been said in the strip so far.

*Hugs*
Varia

kit
2006-01-20, 11:21 PM
I want a t-shirt with that "when in doubt set something on fire" line.

Merc_Kilsek
2006-01-20, 11:23 PM
Being that OotS is based in the D&D realm of thinking/logic. I found the strip to been great when he tossed the match and *poof*! *breaks out the marshmallows*

I like both characters for different reasons. However the little guy has a special place in my heart. Belkar is not your typical home loving halfling that farms and enjoys a smoke in the evening. I have seen a lot of the typical halfling crud in the past. He is a real warrior with the skill to back-up his mouth. In a lot of ways he reminds me of an old 2nd edition halfling I played so long ago (thou he was not evil).

For those that take a look at this strip as more akin to real life: try not to, itís all in the name of fun and entertainment. Is it funny because Miko was lit on fire? Well it based on your personal feelings. Myself I was rooting for the little ranger. I donít play D&D/d20 Modern or video games to follow the rules and laws of the country. I want to do things that I canít or would not do in real life.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-01-20, 11:32 PM
Gonna take this sentence by sentence... ::)


Okay, there, she's DEAD.
No, she's not.


Are you all HAPPY NOW?!
Yup, got to hear Miko go AGHHHH.


Are all you whiny little Miko haters who think it's cool to hate Good characters because you like to pretend to be Evil HAPPY NOW?!
I can only speak for myself, but I don't think its cool to hate good. I almost always play good and I detest those who think its cool to pretend to be evil. I've written long posts just on that. Its call 'Stake Driver or Blood Sucker?' Go take a look.

You can detest evil, wish to uphold good, and still be ticked off at Miko.


Now everyone SHUT UP ABOUT HATING MIKO!!!
One can dislike someone and not hate them. I very much dislike Miko but I don't hate her. I don't want her to die. Put in her place surely, and if that means she gets a touch crispy, so be it.

Also, only one person in this entire thread has said he hated anything, and he just said he hated paladins. No one, not a single one, has said they hate Miko. I've done a text search ;)

So all in all, get a grip and keep the finger off caplock
::)

Kevlimin_Soulaxe
2006-01-20, 11:35 PM
First off...I didn't laugh at this strip. But somehow it is my favorite.

The current Belkar plotline is proof that The Giant is not just a funny guy, but a comic artist. I have honestly felt little pangs of fear and horror at the actions of our favorite halfling. I don't hate Miko, but I don't really like her at all. And yet I feel incredible pity, and almost sadness for her.

Even if she is only taking 1d6 damage, this situation must be looked at beyond rules. This is a situation that contains so much real emotion and conflict, I cannot do it justice.

Miko won't let Belkar go. Belkar won't be captured. They are opposite in so many ways. Evil vs. Good. Chaos vs. Order. Freedom vs. Control. Tall vs. Short. If you look back, it couldn't have ended any other way.

I'm sure I know people who could intelligently disect this for hours. Let it be known that Rich Burlew may never get the credit he deserves as a story teller.

He could even be compared to Shakespeare. He has got slapstick and fighting and boob jokes for the (no offense to anyone) less intelligent, and multi-dimensional characters and plots for the higherbrows out there.

Congratulations Rich. You have definetly succeded at comedy, the hardest of all entertainment forms. You have also invoked emotions in this reader that have changed the way I will write from now on.

TheFallenOne
2006-01-20, 11:36 PM
Nice how Belkar outsmarted her. I'm curious if she is too mad to find a clever way out

As I saw the shadow, I first expected it to be a guard captured by Belkar to make Miko loose her powers for killing him. But it#s questionable if this would work if she kills by accident

Randomnesh
2006-01-20, 11:40 PM
Prediction that is half a joke and half very, very honest:

Wonder if the fire will burn the stick-up-Miko's-rear...?

Then again, that raises the question of what happens when you set a stick figure on fire...

*tomatoed for more corny jokes*

xrestassuredx
2006-01-21, 12:03 AM
Ahhh -- my cursed schedule. I first get to see the comic usually in the middle of one class; when I am free to look at the forums there are usually 3-4 pages of comments. By the time I get home, there are 8 pages, and by the time I finish reading 8 pages, there are two more, until I end up on page 13. Vicious cycle, it is. Still, great comic.


As I saw the shadow, I first expected it to be a guard captured by Belkar to make Miko loose her powers for killing him. But it#s questionable if this would work if she kills by accident
Unless it was an evil guard, it wouldn't have hurt him at all, any more than Smite Evil hurt Roy back in 200-201.

On that note -- I'm wondering why she's trying Smite Evil on [objects that she thinks are] Belkar. Smite Evil, like Detect Evil, acts differently on those that are Evil and Not Evil -- a disticiton Miko is not allowed to make thanks to certain court order (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=228). If Miko ever did off Belkar with a Smite Evil, she'd be breaking the law, and lose her status. I'm not listing that as a spoiler as I'm 100% confident the Giant has something far more clever and gratifying than that planned.

The straw dummy was wonderful .. brings back great memories of A Modest Destiny (RIP *snif*) ..

Spoilerdiction: Did Belkar have the chance to go settle score with Windstriker before laying out this trap? I hope so...

Single Shot Zombie
2006-01-21, 12:07 AM
<Thinks of the Metal Slug flamethrower>

Ooh, that can't be good for Miko's appearance and temper. Not to mention her health. ;D

TheFallenOne
2006-01-21, 12:13 AM
On that note -- I'm wondering why she's trying Smite Evil on [objects that she thinks are] Belkar. Smite Evil, like Detect Evil, acts differently on those that are Evil and Not Evil -- a disticiton Miko is not allowed to make thanks to certain court order (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=228). If Miko ever did off Belkar with a Smite Evil, she'd be breaking the law, and lose her status. I'm not listing that as a spoiler as I'm 100% confident the Giant has something far more clever and gratifying than that planned.[/color]

She already used Smite Evil on him in the second fight with the order, so either violating the court order isn't enough to remove her paladin status or is doesn't reveal his evil alignment

n11
2006-01-21, 12:14 AM
183 185 replies in six hours. That's an average flow of one reply every two minutes... for six hours!!

I remember reading a comment in "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools" (which I recommend.. shameless plug) about the point in the comic the Giant turned the comic from a D&D rules commentary to story that contained characters one could care about.

If that be the Giant's goal, one reply every two minutes, for six hours, is quite a testament to his success.

While I do have a slight rooting interest in the Balkar v. Miko grudge-match, no result from this battle (assuming it remains true to the Giant's style) will make me enjoy the comic any less.

(And I enjoy reading the commentary, so please continue posting your opinions.)

Caledonian
2006-01-21, 12:17 AM
Wow. The awesomeness goes straight to my brain, like the bubbles in champagne, or tears in rain.

On a more serious note:

I'm glad to see that Miko's immolation is making some people think. Alcohol doesn't burn as hotly as most fuels, although it can still cause some quite serious burns.
Consider, then, what Fireball can do. The spell description states that it can melt lead and gold, which requires a significant transfer of heat energy. If the pulse of heat is brief, that means it must be even more intense.
Alcohol fires can blister and scald. Magical fire, or even burning alchemicals, can char and consume. Exposure to such potent sources would burn flesh to the bone and turn bone to friable chalk. Yet no one bats an eye when Vaarsuvius casts Fireball, probably because no one bothers to imagine what the smouldering corpses actually look like.
Think about that the next time you or a player you know casts Fireball at a living creature. Think about what the results would be.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-01-21, 12:38 AM
Think about that the next time you or a player you know casts Fireball at a living creature. Think about what the results would be.
See, thats another reason to play psionics. Mind Thrust them and they keel over without any pain, or put them into their own little inner world with Microcosm where they are perfectly happy and perfectly harmless.

Play psionicists, their humane! ;D

Amotis
2006-01-21, 12:46 AM
Until their ears start bleeding...
*flashback to evil campaign with fellow psion...*
Anyway, I think that neither Belkar nor Miko 'deserve' to die.
It's funny, period. Stop digging stuff up.

Susan Sontag can stop rolling around in her grave now...

WildBill
2006-01-21, 12:57 AM
Nice how Belkar outsmarted her. I'm curious if she is too mad to find a clever way out

As I saw the shadow, I first expected it to be a guard captured by Belkar to make Miko loose her powers for killing him. But it#s questionable if this would work if she kills by accident
From a rules standpoint I think a strong case could be made that she would keep her powers, until she was done with Belkar anyway. After that, if I was playing a paladin who had that happen I would have them do the Atonement quest anyway. Because a paladin should feel tremendous guilt for even accidently harming an innocent.

Mordeus_Dire
2006-01-21, 01:05 AM
The burning damage won't take Miko out but it will certainly be a serious distraction for her, at least for a couple of rounds.

In the meantime Belkar is readying traps, collecting his weapons back, or simply nailing her while she's on fire.
Even better, once on fire it takes a full-round to extinguish the flames, and then she'll need to take another action to heal her wounds.

I want Belkar to win. Sure he's a psychopath, but he's such an awesome character that I couldn't wish harm on him. In any case, Miko kind of deserves it. Miko showed no regard for the well-being of that dead guard. How she can qualify as good I'll never know. She's probably closer to Lawful Neutral, a fact Belkar will likely exploit.
Go Belkar! And not because he's a pycho, but because in a twisted kind of way, he's the good guy.

Oh, and honor should be honour. :)

nick012000
2006-01-21, 01:21 AM
What I think will happen is that he will work her into a rage, and flash a card reading "I surrender" at her right before she attacks him.

Attacking a surrendered opponent? That's an evil act right there.

Either that, or he's going to run into the courtroom, get one of the clerics to hit him with an Atonement spell, and then watch in glee as Miko falls after she tries to kill a Good person.

Liquid
2006-01-21, 01:24 AM
GREATEST. STRIP. EVER!

And the thread has 13 pages in like about several hours.
This is going to be the one strip everybody keeps talking 'aboot' :)

rosebud
2006-01-21, 01:30 AM
Wow, 13 pages already. Well, responding to the first 9 pages for now.


Eeee. Reading the Jack archives did not put me in the emotional context to prepare for this comic.We all feel sorry for you. :-[ Howabout we buy you a drink! Care for some sake? ;)


While it is true Miko has the ability to use Detect Evil, the restraining order [...] prevents Miko from employing that ability.It just prevented her using it to detect his alignment. She already knows his alignment. As suggested, she would be using it to locate him, which is a distinctly different use.


Anyone notice Miko has no luck when it comes to Smiting Evil.During the fight in #251 (as described by Rich), she used it to knock out Belkar.


Another Paladin giving her a bit of a boost isn't that big of a deal.She only agreed to no external healing. She never swore off other assistance, potions, or handing over the matter to others. But she went out of her way to not retain assistance, so I don't discount the possibility of honorable stupidity. Or Lawful Stupid as others describe.


So now here is Belkar, who figures that either a) Miko will kill him, or b) Miko will have him tried and executed, or c) he offs her and escapes.Um, (d) escapes.


With those as his options, you can hardly blame him for doing everything in his power to get rid of the one he sees as his enemy.Come on. He's out for revenge. If he was only concerned about living, he'd have escaped the complex by now.


Although, she could think that, since she's pretty sure that Belkar can't cast spells, she has too many advantages over him. That could be LS.Yup, hubris, the downfall of many a hero.


Amusingly enough, MIko and Belkar are the only characters to have actually killed a named character.Xykon's torment of you for ignoring his defeat of many more named characters (Fyron in Cliffport, Durokan, Kadrog the Slayer, and Jim) shall be long and humorous.


he is now trapped in a small space (that's now on fire) with a pissed off Paladin.Hey, don't forget, she's a well lit target, so she's easier to see and thus hit. And there's nothing in the strip to imply that this isn't a large room.


In summary: Round One to Belkar DING!! ROUND TWO!!!Does anyone remember Spy v. Spy? :D

It would be amusing to see this drag on for a few weeks.


He hates her and torments her because she's good.She hates and torments him because he's evil. Seems like they're even.


It's sad to see how small is the amount of people feeling bad for Miko.I did, but then I recalled Roy being poisoned 17 times, stung by ants, and impaled. And Elan being impaled by ninjas. And Elan being impaled by his brother. And Elan being set aflame with a maximized fireball. And Belkar getting throttled to the point of turning full red and then getting hit by the same fireball. And Haley getting swallowed by a dragon and vomited onto Belkar. And V getting turned into a lizard and then swallowed by a dragon. And Celia turned into stone. And Durkon (the luckiest) being betrayed and drained.

Think of it as an initiation rite in a world where these things don't have long-term consequences if you survive. Does that make you feel any better? :)


most alcohol fires are very short-lived and burn out quickly, and I imagine this one should be no different.Nah, I expect it to last three days. No strips over the weekend.

Zargon
2006-01-21, 01:37 AM
Another great one Giant!
And for those that are posting predictions in this thread... :-[
So focusing on what we've seen.

Miko strongly dislikes Belkar for what he appears to be - evil. Her immediate use of Smite evil when fighting the Oots the second time seems to bear out her belief.
Recently - Miko seperated Belkar out and put him in a pit away from the rest of the Oots. Why? Emotional duress seems petty.

Belkar escapes. Unknown if he could escape by himself from the prison. However knows that Miko would chase him. So with his crayon (or perhaps blood) he attempts to incite Miko so that only she would chase him down and not a group of guards. A score to settle?

Belkar has no hope in direct attack, so uses existing skill to setup a trap to neutralize Miko.
Once Miko walks into the trap (the whole area is a trap for Miko as he picked it and decided on his attack strategy) he continues taunting Miko and attempts to weaken her (physically, magically and mentally). His attacks, including the fire, is not likely to have done signficant damage to Miko. So he better have some more of what he has already shown.
He has manipulated Miko, now was it just for the trap...?
Yeah, I won't attempt to predict what could happen here.

Monday is a long time away!

p.s. for those that freak out about a buring paladin - I can only shake my head... in real life, this is obviously bad, but c'mon this is D&D! - tons of hp and can heal right back up (ok, might lose a few hairs) - this is just a delay tactic.

theKOT
2006-01-21, 01:38 AM
Kinda late in the thread for this, but I am still a poster with lurker tendencies. That said, I really enjoyed this one, and after much indecision this comic pushed me into the miko camp. I don't know why exactly, I didn't really have a problem with the whole fire thing, but this strip definitely has me decided..... then again, belkar is so hilarious...... Agh!

dylosaur
2006-01-21, 01:40 AM
Wow Giant, great comic. I haven't seen this much controversy since I first joined the boards.

I didn't laugh when I read this comic, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I didn't laugh when I read #84, either, and #84 is perhaps my favorite comic the Giant has ever done.

I very much agree with Saraswati, that D&D and OOTS both have an element of comic violence, and that can be fun; after all, my characters flambe their opponents relatively frequently. The last panel of #270, however, was not about an ogre getting humorously fried like in #215, so much as it was an example of human suffering. Miko's line was not a comedic "ack" or "erk;" it was a scream. Though the Giant has told us many times before that Belkar is evil, I don't think there will be any more threads called "Belkar: CN?" on the boards.

Kudos, Giant, on an excellent episode. I only wish that my work inspired so much discussion, serious or otherwise.


Oh, one last thing:

i hate all paladins.
Rrrrrr. Very articulate. When Miko first appeared (that is, when she first took off her hood), I hated her. Not because she was annoying, but because she perpetuated the negative, "Lawful Stupid" stereotype of paladins.
Of course, then the Giant did #265. "What, you didn't think all paladins were like her, did you?" Of course not, and I'm glad you don't either. I'm sorry I ever doubted you Giant, and now I'm rooting for Miko.

Frank
2006-01-21, 01:52 AM
This is, quite possibly, the greatest thing I've seen on the internet since I first saw realultimatepower.net . And I believe it has surpassed it, because at EVERY turn, Rich coulda blown this particular set of strips.


Belkar is a MUCH more dubious, and challenging character than ANYONE from Order of the Stick, and perhaps, more crafty than Xykon himself. There is an element of danger to Belkar, and yet a humanity in him, that was made very present, and very real in this comic. He now has, by far, more layers than any of the other members...

Oh, that, and it was just dang hilarious.


POSSIBLE SPOILER!?!?!?!?!?!?





...







Time for that Miko Belkar love affair to begin. She has finally found someone who won't put up with her guff. Stronger willed than any man she knows.




...


Hey, it's possible.

-Frank

Bakta
2006-01-21, 02:12 AM
I had to regsiter to say this.

Unless I err, no one yet pointed out Belkar has "crafting disturbing mental images" as feat. He may be going for the mind game and not for an all-out kill. Even and humourless chap like me could find some snippy remarks to throw at a girl who just lost her hair, like putting a bunch of snakes for a wig so she would both look and act like medusa..


[edit] and, as it was pointed out in another strip, human (or halflin) chemistry does not necessary means both share the same perspective...a little extreme though, but soo full of potential. Like what a DM did to my paladin long ago

Frank
2006-01-21, 02:15 AM
lmfao.

Great point. Post more often! =P

-Frank

TheFallenOne
2006-01-21, 02:32 AM
Time for that Miko Belkar love affair to begin. She has finally found someone who won't put up with her guff. Stronger willed than any man she knows.


Considering in DND Will is based on Wisdom this isn't entirely correct ;)

The_GoldFish
2006-01-21, 02:33 AM
Much like #189, something about the strip just feels wrong to me - it seems too brutal, like what's happening to the characters isn't deserved (IMO anyway, but then I like Miko). However, that's just how it looks at the end of this strip - it depends wholly, as people have said, on how dangerous the fire really is.

It was funny until the last couple of frames. See, I would have found covering her in Tar and Feathers funny because of how obvious yet undermining that is, though naturally it's not the same - being burned like that simply seems too much, at least at the moment. I'm not really a dnd player; Even with the Inn fire, I just don't feel like I have enough context to know just how horrible that fire is gonna be, except from what I know real worlde stylee, which is NOT nice.

Duraska
2006-01-21, 02:45 AM
Good will always triumph over evil. Just as the sun is always brighter after a hard rain.

Winged One
2006-01-21, 02:56 AM
Good will always triumph over evil. Just as the sun is always brighter after a hard rain.


The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins.

((Cliche game: Good: 1, Evil: 1))

SirAngus
2006-01-21, 03:03 AM
Belkar has obviously taken stuck up arragont paladins as a favored enemy.

He gets decent bonuses (depending on what his level is) to taunt, damage, attack base, and about every other possible thing. Its not Belkar whose stuck in the room with Miko, its Miko whose stuck in the room with Belkar.

Go Rangers!

Abd al-Azrad
2006-01-21, 03:07 AM
That was great. Good job, Giant/Rich. I am thoroughly entertained and impressed.

Show her how it's done, Belkar! Too bad you only did, like, 1d6 damage.

Espher
2006-01-21, 03:11 AM
Reading this strip, I kept hearing System of a Down's "Revenga" in my head...

[...] Poisoning a drink
Bleeding in a sink
Burning up

My sweet revenge
Will be yours for the taking
It's in the making baby

My sweet revenge
Will be yours for the taking
It's in the making baby

I saw her laugh
Then she said, "Go away"

I saw her laugh
Then she said, then she said,
"Go away, away" [...]

/dance

Friv
2006-01-21, 03:21 AM
(Forum newb, here.)

I've got to say, my respect for Belkar has been slowly ebbing since the end of the fight with Xykon, when he starts murdering goblins.

On one level, I love it; he's an incredibly well-written evil character, with all the goodness that implies.

But, ultimately, even if I sympathize with an evil character, I don't root for them. I may root for them to find their way to a non-evil stance, but that's as far as I can go, and Belkar's been moving farther and farther away from good, not closer towards it.

In all honestly, while this comic was nasty, it was the drawing in blood that really did it for me. That's a villain move, not a hero one.

SteveMB
2006-01-21, 03:42 AM
Belkar isn't as smart as he could be... He should have said, "Then show me. Show my by not getting healed." This way she can heal herself and not violate her honor.
Getting Miko to buy into the notion that this is a matter of honor between her and Belkar only goes so far -- fast-talking her into rejecting outside help on that basis worked, but trying to fast-talk her into not using her own full abilities would risk pushing it too far, accomplishing nothing (actually worse than nothing, since it would put her on her guard against further trickery in that vein).

the_belkarnator
2006-01-21, 03:54 AM
if i was rich i follow up with a really funy elan strip cause other iwse its getting to dark

PhoeKun
2006-01-21, 03:54 AM
Nah, I expect it to last three days. No strips over the weekend.


You sir, are my hero. I only wish I could be so clever.

Back to the subject at hand, why are so many people so delighted by the prospect of Miko being horribly killed and/or disgraced? She's done nothing wrong: all her actions are within the tenets of a samurai and (more importantly) a paladin. Everything she does is by the will of the 12 Gods of the South and her Lord Shojo, and her service has rewarded her with divine gifts, which she in turn uses only for the sake of her masters.

Nothing she has ever done has been for herself. She's slain ogres with no prospect of reward. She's entered a burning buildings to search for trapped people. She's traveled deep into foreign lands to apprehend "dangerous criminals" (whether or not they deserved to be brought to Shojo's court is irrelevent. Its not like Miko woke up one day and said, "I think I'll head North and arbitrarily force my viewpoint on some hapless adventurers. If you've got a problem, take it up with Shojo and the 12 Gods). Heck, she's even given those same criminals quarter in two fights to the death.

I mean, Belkar was dying at the end of the second fight. At a 10% chance per round of self-stabilizing (and 3 rounds left in which to stabilize), its a fairly safe bet to say Belkar would be dead right now if not for some magical help. Whether it came from Miko personally or from Durkon, she still allowed him to be healed. That's a heck of a compassionate act.

I gave Belkar credit for coming up with a good plan. Maybe some of you should consider giving Miko credit for her acts of self-lessness, integrity, and honor. Please?

Tycho_Bloodbeard
2006-01-21, 03:55 AM
Excellent strip!

I still find it really interesting the level of polarization that the Belkar/Miko conflict causes in many of us.

I am not an evil person. I don't push old ladies into the street, hurt animals, or stalk people. I do believe in rules, as long as they further general well being (call me NG in real life).

However, I am also fond of black humour, and cynicims and "the dark" also have their appeal. Taunting the paladin to the extent that she fights like crap (when she had beat the whole OOTS and chained them) and gets hurt is a stroke of tactical genius.

Having lived in a country (Mexico) with strong handed law officers with little regard for situational modifiers (Miko did kill the bandit leader and daughter, when even Belkar acquiesced to leave them be) it is for me completely comprehensible how this is bound to generate antipathy. Hence, the amount of people rooting for the evil little booger (go Belkar!).

I do understand why several readers are upset at Belkar - basically, rejecting the evil one, instead choosing the clearly-defined good. I don't. I like witty, charismatic characters who never say die, fight 'till the end, and take as many of the bastards with them when they go.

Additionally, had Miko been more diplomatic, all this mess would have been prevented. It is irrelevant whether her actions are justified or not (given her charge) - she is a hardass, and even though she fights for a greater good her methods are far from sound.

Those who have seen the french movie "Dobermann" (not for the squeamish) probably can understand this well - at the moment of confrontation, it seldom matters who is good or evil when the situation is not handled properly.

Tycho

Lady_Orc
2006-01-21, 04:04 AM
*blissful smile* Aaaahhh...everything that I hoped for. Burn baby, BURN!

Icosahedron
2006-01-21, 04:06 AM
I am amazed at the number of people willing to trot out Paladins that they or someone they know have pitifully role played as "The Only Way To Play a Paladin so smite You, Me!" Just because you can't roleplay, doesn't mean the rest of us can't. Yes, many newbie drift towards the Paladin for the Meta Game advantages that are only offset by roleplayed Dis-ads. But some of us are roleplayers, and a roleplayer is defined by dealing with the Disadvantage. If you can't hack it, be a fighter, be honest enough to realize the weakness is with you, not the Paladin.




You misunderstand me. I was speaking to Miko's arrogance. I happen to like paladins; they're probably my favorite class and I have been roleplaying for nearly 30 years. I can and have effectively roleplayed a wider variety of characters than most people. I don't believe any class is too weak; all can be roleplayed effectively.

Again, I was refering to Miko specifically, not paladins in general.

Devoured_Dude
2006-01-21, 04:12 AM
"When in doubt, set something on fire"

A very clever tactical manuver for Belkar. Miko is hurt, and will have to make concentration checks to cast spells as long as she is burning.

Also, fire creates smoke. Smoke rises. Being a low-to-the-ground halfling will have its advantages.

Lady_Orc
2006-01-21, 04:12 AM
Same is true with most paladins

Especially the ones played by people who think that alignment says everything you need to know about a person and that everything that blips 'Evil' on their stupid 'Detect Evil' radar should be put do death.

Gilthans
2006-01-21, 04:13 AM
I didn't actually finished the thread, but I'd like to mention that if (and in my opinion, when) Belkar kills Miko, its like she said, there are dozens of clerics in that building, there'll be enough of them willing to cast Raise Dead on such a high level paladin.
And I don't think that the OotSers will get punished if Belkar does kill her, I mean, its not like they encouraged him, its not their fault.

Oh yeah, and about the fight (spoiler)
I actually think Belkar has a good chance. Since they're in a cellar, he can probably find enough sake for a some nice burnination, and since its the cellar of a paladin order, it MUST have weapons there, possibly many darts and throwing daggers. Also, those who read the battle description of the OotS against Miko would've noticed that she won much thanks to Windstrike (him getting in the way alot, and breaking Haley's weapon), Miko taking out V early, and using her stunning kick on Belkar. Since she doesn't have a surprise round this time, Belkar might actually attack this time, and with Rage he has a very good chance at one on one (unless I'm mistaken, Rage gives bonuses to Will Save? Too bad for you, stun kick!)
But Rich was never famous for being predictable, so I guess we'll all have to see what happens monday. :)


Gilth, out

mec
2006-01-21, 04:15 AM
Monday is a long time away!

I know! All this time ... Friday night ... Saturday ... Sunday ... it just drags on and on.

I can't wait for Monday morning! ;)

Lady_Orc
2006-01-21, 04:18 AM
. . .

Miko IS A GOOD GUY!!!

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque


Actually, Miko is exactly the kind of character that gives 'good guys' a bad name. Good thing we have characters like Roy and Durkon to remind us that Good characters don't have to be like her.

Bakemono
2006-01-21, 04:18 AM
Just a few points I noted.

Those daggers are doing ok damage, damage dice(d2 I'm thinking, small daggers) + Str bonus (no idea but must be something; 2 or 3 ish I'd guess) + favoured enemy bonus (maybe +6; somewhere in that region), so probably around 10 pts per dagger. He could be getting extra damage from rage too, but that doesn't seem as likely currently.

Endure elements, although a paladin spell won't help; they've been upgraded to 3.5 and in 3.5 the spell simply protects from environmental temperatures, not fire damage.

Paladins DO NOT lose abilities for acting non-lawfully, only for acting in a non-good manner; so violating the court order or even the agreement with Belkar are not going to cause problems in that way. Although roleplay wise Miko should probably do penance of some sort for acting non-lawfully too, rules-wise it has no effect.
Her Samurai code may well be a different matter, although somehow I don't see seppuku in her near future.

Just because Belkar only carries a couple of daggers normally does not mean that that's all he has in the store room, they may not even be his daggers, the evil little (not by class) thief :).

Miko's monk levels contribute D8 not D10 to her hps, so she may be lower on them than we'd expect.

Miko has at least one or two "smite evils" left for today.

Disclaimer: The Giant is in charge and any/all rules may vary, references are just PHB stance.

This should be a great fight, and is one of the most enjoyable comics for a while. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens, while not really minding whichever way it goes.

Deleran
2006-01-21, 04:22 AM
Firstly: That fire is doing more than 1d6 damage. Belkar used an accelerant.

Secondly: Miko is a freaking antangonist! Belkar is a protagonist! How the heck can you be rooting for Miko?

BardicLasher
2006-01-21, 04:29 AM
Secondly: Miko is a freaking antangonist! Belkar is a protagonist! How the heck can you be rooting for Miko?

I root for Draco Malfoy.

Rei_Jin
2006-01-21, 04:42 AM
Having just read the last 14 or so pages of responses, I am surprised at the outright anger and fighting that has been going on.

Miko was originally out to either kill the OOTS or bring them to justice. That was a LAWFUL order from her superior, because they had committed an EVIL act. Whether or not she had jurisdiction is not important, she was doing as she was told. If her instructions are to bring them back alive, if possible, and if not, to kill them, she has every right to act as she has, AS DO THEY (including Belkar). They had every right to reject her "request" to go to the Southlands. They are not under the law of her master, but she is, and as such, she follows his instructions. If they had died in the fight then she would still have been fine, alignment wise and class wise.

I believe that Belkar's actions at the moment are fine. His method of escape was not, nor was his method of attention gaining (blood on the walls). HOWEVER, Her fight with Belkar is simple. A fight between equals. Yes, stat wise and level wise Belkar is probably outmatched, but he has no restrictions on him. Miko does, and that puts them equal in my book

And in regards to the fire...Which do you think hurts more, being hit with a greatsword, or a spiked chain? Do you ever take into account the feelings of the monsters you are attacking, and try to kill them with the least pain possible, or do you try and kill them as quickly as possible?

And you know when you beat a BBEG that you dance around happily. It is a difficult foe, beaten. Whether Miko or Belkar wins, I do not care. I just want people who read this comic to view it as what it is, a comic based on D&D.

If OOTS was real world, and we applied real world rulings to it, then every strip from #1 onwards would have to change.

Vampire_Boy
2006-01-21, 05:19 AM
Miko was originally out to either kill the OOTS or bring them to justice. That was a LAWFUL order from her superior, because they had committed an EVIL act.

EVIL act? Which act was that? Defeating the Good Xykon who was taking good care of the Gate?

Rei_Jin
2006-01-21, 05:26 AM
No, the EVIL act was the destruction of the gate and the weakening of the fabric of the universe. They themselves admitted to it, and whether it was intentional or not does not change the fact that they did indeed destroy the gate.

Yes, Xykon was evil, and the destruction of the gate was probably necessary. That doesn't change the fact that it was an evil act to destroy the gate.

For example, killing Orcs simply because they are orcs is an evil act. If they attack you, then you are well within your rights (as a D&D character) to defend yourself, and kill them. If they ask for quarter, if they surrender, it is an evil act to kill them. Just because a creature has an evil alignment doesn't make it right to kill it.

Bakta
2006-01-21, 05:32 AM
Miko was originally out to either kill the OOTS or bring them to justice. That was a LAWFUL order from her superior, because they had committed an EVIL act

me again,

I do not pretend to have real knowledge of the current rules, last time I played DD it was like v2.0, but, to me, what seems to fire up so many people here is the good/evil debate which is as old as my first character.

Quoting the post above as start one must mention that OOTS are brought here to decide whether or not they havecomitted one not what kind of punishment they deserve. One must note too, that OOTS encompass the whole spectrum of aligment from good to evil. That didn't prevented them from sticking together. That runs true even for Belkar, I've seen LG players leaving the casters unprotected because they -just- had to sway whatever weapons they had against the ennemies with about the same results as in the strip.

Which brings us at Miko vs Belkar. First tauting the paladin is an international pastime, no player right in his mind can't help himself, one must have a swipe at the ever holier than thou. Some players take it in stride, for it's only a momentary thing, some get stuck up like Miko. In this regard Belkar is no different than, say, V.
As the saying goes all is fair in love and war (or duel).

Due respect must be given to Miko's reaction for considering a paladin has to live under fair ruling. This is highnoon, having a line of cleric healing you everytime one is scratched is below contempt. She ain't stupid either, and will use her ability to the fullest.

Now, and the main point here. I hope that most polarized posters realize this is a comic, as in fun, and not ragnarrok. The Giant's purpose is to make us laugh, somethin he does successfully, and death is not a laughin matter.

Unless...

Miko pulls out a obi-wan thing...acting like OOTS' guardian angel (with emphasis on guardian) may be ground to lot more laughs.

nahh, it would upset too many readers


[edit] :




killing Orcs simply because they are orcs is an evil act


Not under DD terms, orcs are evil, thus leaving them alive is an evil act for you know they cannot be redeemed, and will commit an evil act anytime they're able to.

Ahhh the age old "is is LG to burn baby kobolds". Fixed alignment is so unrealistic, even for a fantasy world.

Flippy
2006-01-21, 05:33 AM
Did anyone notice that there was once again a shadow?

Rei_Jin
2006-01-21, 05:38 AM
Another good example of this is the "small evil to save people" type argument.

If you had captured a prisoner, who had knowledge about a BBEG, and without that information you would not be able to stop him, would you torture him for the information?

(yes, I'm aware there are other methods of getting the information, let's leave that aside for now.)

What if that information was needed to save the lives of people. Many people. Maybe a whole city, a whole continent. Maybe just your wife/husband/partner/relative/person you care about. Would you do it then? According to the Book of Exalted Deeds, torture, no matter for what reason, is an evil act. If a Paladin had two choices, torture the prisoner and save a city, or not torture him and watch the city burn, most (PC) Paladins would choose to torture him.

In real life, I know I would too.

But, in D&D, this is a reprehensible act, and it actual indicates that you have let evil win. The big pendulum of Good vs Evil has swung over to evil's side. As such, all (NPC) Paladins should not torture him. It is giving in to Evil.

Yes, it does not necessarily make sense to you or me. But this is the way that the game is played.

D&D does not function under the rules of our world. If it did, it would not be as fun to play. It is fantasy.

Darius Midnite
2006-01-21, 05:40 AM
God almighty! Belkar was so cool!
It was like an epic battle*sniff* an Belkar won!

Must say, it was the most exiting strip since #200.

Good job Giant, can't wait for strip #300... ;)

Sc00by
2006-01-21, 05:49 AM
I wasn't going to reply to this, but....

Guys - take a deep breath - relax - focus!

It's a comic based on one of the most bloodthirsty (generally) games on the face of the planet.

People may get hurt


Anyway - my take on the battle: Belkar is an evil little toe rag (he should wear his hoodie more often and say 'innit', get some white trainers and wear bling ;) (anyone from the UK will get that reference - for the rest of you Chavs (http://www.chavscum.co.uk/)) and deserves to die a horrible and painful death.

Miko is just a bit annoying... ::)

So Belkar all the way then? ;)

Also - speaking as a player of many a pyromaniac mage! "If in doubt set it on fire!" Classic! ;D

Great stuff Mr Burlew Sir!

Leveller
2006-01-21, 05:54 AM
Miko's demise is also in the best interest... of this reader. I'm getting durned tired of her.

Go Belkar!!!



Hey, I'm not a pixie anymore. :D


Hell yeah ;D
The pro-miko/anti-Belkster people are taking this comic WAY TO SERIOUSLY. I mean, you have to be able to separate reality and fantasy. Some people said they were upset because noone felt bad for miko, I'm getting scared there's so many people out there that can't see the difference between a DnD comic and real life.

So I say, Go Belkar bcause he's funnier and he's part of the original order.

Die Miko Because she is not funny and is the orders ENEMY.

Belkarseviltwin
2006-01-21, 06:28 AM
1d6 non-magical fire, you say? Who knows? Maybe it was enchanted sake...

Belkar gets his level-12 stat bump from killing the guard.
He puts it into Wisdom (shock!)
That gives him Wisdom 11.
Durkon slips him a divine scroll of Bless Water.
As a divine caster, he can use it.
He casts it on the sake, making it magical.
Instant magical fire!

Frank
2006-01-21, 06:30 AM
It's not just good versus evil here...

Belkar and the OOTS got their butts handed to them by Miko. Belkar, though evil, is combating someone probably two to three times a higher level than he...alone.

That takes incredible fortitude and guts. It takes cajones. He, my friends...is an underdog. And he is taking on the fight of his LIFE to stand up for his chaotic beliefs.

(That, of course, only answers the "what". The "How", obviously, is "evil".)

Think about what any other member of the OOTS would do, after being defeated.


Roy: Would try to talk her down and then either give in, or charge and die.

Elan: Would probably run...and sing to give himself a speed boost if possible. And run some more.

Haley: Would probably throw her arms in the air, get all indignant, then give in until she could find a new route to escape.

V: She'd narrow it to logic. Gee...I can't win. I'm lawful. I'm smart...maybe I can outwit their lawyers. I have good words.

Durkon: My God tells me what to do. And Miko just owned my much more tanky and arcane/knowledgable comrades. Uhhhhh...duh. Go Thor.

But here's Belkar:


Belkar: I have escaped from prison. I could get myself lost in the city, bail out on my friends, and go hop a boat and get the Hell out of here. Maybe even kill some innocents.

Oh. Wait. No. You know what? Screw that. I got bested by a hoity toity stick up the behind paladin who IMPRISONED me. Took away my ability to MOVE FREELY!

You know what. Forget it. I'm going to take my chances and STAY in the fully armed castle and, more than that, CHALLENGE her to a duel, despite the fact I am physically overmatched. So all I have left now are my brains and the very little amount of equipment I own or that I rummaged to find...but dang it, I'm not leaving this castle until I teach that wench a lesson (And perhaps...save his friends?)


It is clear that Belkar isn't doing this to kill good...he's doing this because the good is a lawful that believes she has power over him. And she DOES. And she BEAT him. And that seriously bothers the chaotic nature of Belkar more than the Evil nature. So now, well, he's decided to take a brave and noble stand and go 1 on 1 against someone who's clearly a superior fighter. If she can reach him, she'll kill him or bring him to justice.

So now he's going to humiliate her and defeat her spirit. He's going to stick it to her...and yes, it is evil, but I believe it is evil for the direct effect of further incensing her. He COULD say something less evil, but he doesn't...because he's purposefully committing evil to counter her nature to be good all because of her lawfulness dominating his chaos.


So maybe, just maybe...Belkar killed the guard thinking he wouldn't get a fair trial. Maybe the drawing was in the red pen he had earlier, not in blood. And maybe, he is being evil just to teach Miko a lesson about chaos/law rather than just trying to harm a good guy.

Maybe Belkar can come out of this, afterall...as a Chaotic Neutral who has been put in his deepest fear space, and thus, is forced to fight back and teach his end of morality.

After all...he didn't just leave his friends high and dry. He knows they were innocent in all this...maybe he's looking to set things right.

But eh.

-Frank

rosebud
2006-01-21, 06:46 AM
You sir, are my hero. I only wish I could be so clever.Awwww. Thanks! Actually, you are, too...


her service has rewarded her with divine gifts, which she in turn uses only for the sake of her masters.The first time I read that, I read "sake" in the two-syllable form that makes your sentence darkly ironic. ;)


Nothing she has ever done has been for herself.You've presumably read Roy's speech. Do you agree with any of it? (Before the personal insult section.)


Maybe some of you should consider giving Miko credit for her acts of self-lessness, integrity, and honor. Please?Miko's the type of person who tattles on everyone else to those in authority. While that might be "right", it's generally anti-social. Those in authority like her. Everyone else despises her.

Xarkan
2006-01-21, 06:47 AM
It's not just good versus evil here...

Belkar and the OOTS got their butts handed to them by Miko. Belkar, though evil, is combating someone probably two to three times a higher level than he...alone.

Miko is not 2-3 times Belkars level.. at least there are no indications that remotely point to such

Cirin
2006-01-21, 07:06 AM
Not under DD terms, orcs are evil, thus leaving them alive is an evil act for you know they cannot be redeemed, and will commit an evil act anytime they're able to.

Ahhh the age old "is is LG to burn baby kobolds". Fixed alignment is so unrealistic, even for a fantasy world.
Well, you said you don't know 3rd Edition terms, so here's a little update for you. Orcs can be redeemed, there is no creature in fact that can't at least be theoretically redeemed (albeit extremely difficultly), and Orcs are relatively easy.

The alignment entry from "Orc" in the 3rd Edition Monster Manual is "Often Chaotic Evil". You see, now, creatures have not just their alignment, but how common that alignment is to their race.

It has three types:
Often: A plurality of the race has that alignment, either by nature or nurture, but the tendency isn't particularly strong. Exceptions are common. Example: Humans are Often True Neutral

Usually: The majority of creatures have this alignment, the alignment is due to culture or a tendency due to the origin of the race. Example: Elves are often Chaotic Good

Always: This creature is born with the alignment, it's either hereditary or innate to the creature. It's theoretically possible for them to change alignment, but it is a unique case or a very rare event. Example: Balors are Always Chaotic Evil

Thus, more Orcs are Chaotic Evil than any other alignment, and you'll find many orcs that are True Neutral, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Neutral. You could even find a rare Chaotic Good or Neutral Good orc, or even possibly a Lawful Good one, especially away from their culture (which encourages CE behavior).

Vampire_Boy
2006-01-21, 07:09 AM
No, the EVIL act was the destruction of the gate and the weakening of the fabric of the universe. They themselves admitted to it, and whether it was intentional or not does not change the fact that they did indeed destroy the gate.

Yes, Xykon was evil, and the destruction of the gate was probably necessary. That doesn't change the fact that it was an evil act to destroy the gate.

Exactly why was it an Evil act? Yes, yes, the whole weakening of fabric of reality thing that a few people have mentioned. Sounds very ominous, doesn't it? Just that... uh, have you seen any signs of this so called reality actually being weakened, whatever it might mean? Furthermore - if the consequences of destroying the gate are so severe, wouldn't you think that putting a tantalizing red button and a sign: "For the love of God, DO NOT PUSH!" next to the gate, and then later complaining about something is a bit hypocritical at best?

Heh, maybe the Sapphire Guard are simply in trouble with their Gods because of this and now are using OoTS as scapegoats for their own ineptitude and incompetence in defending the gate?

rosebud
2006-01-21, 07:13 AM
From a purely statistical perspective I still think Miko's going to win this one. As far as I can tell Belkar's never carried any more than the two daggers at a timeFrom a statistical perspective, people thought Miko would have lost against OOTS. And, conversely, General Custer didn't think much of the Lakota armies. The Story will decide who is the winner or if there even is a winner. At this point, any outcome is possible.


even if some didn't like her before she got burninated, or still don't but can express sympathy for her current situationMy personal preference (which has no weight =) is for both of them to be spun off into a separate strip (eg, "Everybody Hates Miko", "Halfling Hunter", "The Paladin and The Psychopath", etc...). :)

Belkar crossed a line that, short of divine intervention, makes reassociation difficult.

Miko is salvageable, but what purpose does she serve at this point? She's no longer a foil to Roy. She completed her mission of bringing them to the Azure City. Short of backstory, the conflict between her and Belkar is the only unresolved thread that currently involves Miko. It's possible, of course, one or both are a deeper party of the storyline. But it's also possible that one or neither are.


I don't especially like Miko and up till now I've found Belkar's evil more funny than offensive (I'm prone to fits of LG-ness in real life), but this kind of creeps me out. It's not particularly logical, but it probably stems from some innate primal fear of fire, and innate primal fears aren't generally known for their reasonableness.I think it's called "not being a psychopath". Nothing to apologize for or worry about! :D


It doesn't matter if Miko dies or not. (...) Upon finding her remains, the Paladins bring her body back to Lord ShojoThe hardest core Belkarite would ask, "What Paladins? What City?"

Otherwise, very nice logic.


Remember, Elan actually did destroy the gates. There is no getting around that.Good thing they weren't charged for the destruction of the gates, yeah?


Belkar has thrown both his daggersHe has a whole freaking warehouse of supplies. This is the climax of the movie. The heroine and anti-hero meet. That's where major special effects budgets get spent.


Much like #189, something about the strip just feels wrong to meBelkar is chaotic evil.


It was funny until the last couple of frames.They're battling to the death. Ha ha. To paraphrase Belkar (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=71), "I believe chaotic evil was mentioned?"


being burned like that simply seems too much, at least at the moment.See also: "chaotic evil".

bexie
2006-01-21, 07:18 AM
Belkar is so cool! All of Miko's pretty hair gone....ha ha. she so deserved it though.

...Not many people in Order of The Stick like Belkar, do they? Poor Belkar. :(

I like him though! ;D BELKAR ROCKS!!!

lol.

Rei_Jin
2006-01-21, 07:18 AM
Regardless of whether or not you view as evil the destruction of the gate and the weakening of the fabric of the universe, as charged by Lord Shojo is irrelevant.

It is possible that they did not weaken the fabric of the universe, and as such they committed no evil act. However, until that is shown to be the case, they are charged as having committed an evil act, to which they agreed that they did destroy the gate. What comes from that destruction, they are responsible for.

If the Gods are willing to send a Celestial to the realms to judge them, then they too must believe that an evil act has been committed. Who by, and what mitigating circumstances there are remains to be seen.

Frankly, I think that this discussion on the nature of the charge is over and if you wish it to continue further, please start up a thread devoted to it, this is not the place for it.

rosebud
2006-01-21, 07:23 AM
I hope Belkar dies.Ahh, problem! You've admitted he adds tension and chaos to the storyline. Sure, he might be killed. But do you see him going down quietly? And if he lives, what type of interesting plots can he cause?


I like Miko. I see a LOT of potential character growth in her, and really hope that she can grow. [...] The final conversation, before she was forced to chain them up, really gave me evidence of thatI do think she has a lot of potential, but I don't see that potential being realized yet. It's entirely possible that Belkar will help with that. Or it's possible she'll never change. The authority she respects seems sufficently incompetent as to make that route unlikely. As to the "final conversation", that struck me as forced -- a railroaded conversation, if you may. I don't see her in a romantic relationship. It's difficult for any paladin, but near impossible for one so emotionally removed from humanity.


She'll lose powers because she kills Belkar?Belkar doesn't want to be killed, but having her lose her powers was a goal from the start. But there's always atonement, and it's possible to read #270 in a manner that had her make no promises. And, even if that was a promise, there's numerous lawful loopholes.


What is she going to do, kill Belkar with a flower?No, poison would generally be dishonorable. What do you think hemlock is? :)


Paladins are dedicated to the pursuit of the ultimate good, and I'd definitly allow a minor violation of a rashly given oath to be breached--especially if it contriubted to the greater society.Actually, one is serious, especially to her. Killing evil is not a problem. As for the oath, however, was it the case that a binding oath was made? Her dialog,"I've got you now... very well", can be matched, making "very well" not an answer to Belkar's challenge. Even if it was an oath. there's plenty of loopholes.

But, more importantly, as she said in #209, "Flattery breeds ego. I did nothing worth noting but serve my lord." Making this battle a personal one rather than one of good versus evil is an egotistical act. I don't buy an honor argument. Her lord's interests are Belkar's apprehension. Had that been her priority, she would have taken a guard contingent with her. Her pride may be her downfall.

rosebud
2006-01-21, 07:52 AM
Okay, I'm finally caught up and can finally post my observations that are hopefully not discussed in the first 17 pages. :)

Did You Notice: The decoy looks kinda like (South Park's) Kenny! As she moves, the boxes don't repeat. (Suggesting a larger room.) Thrown items are thrown spinning rather than straight. There's a first-person angle close-up. Belkar has no visible injuries. Miko's healing fixes clothing and removes bloodstains.Comments: Lovely onamatapeia Lovely box color variety Miko looks so static and sad in panel 11 :-[ Apparently the dummy isn't evil -- it's not damaged or cut.Questions: Have there ever been close-up first-person views before? Has anyone been drawn getting soaked before? "toe-to-toe fight" sounds like one-on-one, but does it have any other implications? Is that a boxing or wrestling reference, or where does it come from?

Eloco
2006-01-21, 08:43 AM
Burn baby burn!

rosebud
2006-01-21, 08:44 AM
Did anyone notice that there was once again a shadow?That's a background figure, not a shadow. Notice no figures themselves have a shadow. Compare the ninja (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=242) with Miko and the dummy in the current strip 270 (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=270). Then notice background ogres (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=215), background Roy in the bushes (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=163), background bandits (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=152), and the monster in the shadow (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=147).

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-01-21, 09:14 AM
*goes for his own eyes*

Some of you guys are agonizing just plain, excrutiatingly agonizing...


if i was rich i follow up with a really funy elan strip cause other iwse its getting to dark
We just got through with funny Elan strips. Recall the bit about the ruler of Azure City being a talking horse or an alien robot?

Egads, this strip WAS funny. A touch of dark humor though and you guys start boo hooing. For the third time since this comic came out, get a grip guys.

Lightman
2006-01-21, 09:14 AM
Death to Miko!

barongas
2006-01-21, 09:46 AM
Suhweet! I've read oots for a long time and I've always loved Belkar, that psycho really likes what he's doing. And as far as Miko is concerned, anyone rooting for her is just weird and should probably be locked up.
His fire quote reminds me of Zelda 2's smith in the second city saying
"When all else fails, use fire" which is kind of retarded but anyway, GO BELKAR!

Marller
2006-01-21, 09:55 AM
Ahh, problem! You've admitted he adds tension and chaos to the storyline. Sure, he might be killed. But do you see him going down quietly? And if he lives, what type of interesting plots can he cause?
I think you got it. There seem to be many people who hate Miko passionately (although i got the impression half or more of em just jumped onto the bandwagon). Can you imagine how much money the Giant could make if he put the story of Miko's death as a sort of bonus story into the next 20 books?

kerberos
2006-01-21, 10:15 AM
Good will always triumph over evil. Just as the sun is always brighter after a hard rain.



You've obviously never visited England. ;D

dragonfly83h
2006-01-21, 10:19 AM
loved it ;D

go Belkar, GO! :D