Quote Originally Posted by Gusion View Post
"OotS appears to have Power as a theme throughout the narrative. What interests you about this topic and how did you develop your own views on it?"
In what way do you see "Power" as being a theme of OOTS? Because I kinda don't know what you're talking about, but I might if you extrapolate on what you see as the theme. Generally speaking, I think of themes as being things you can sum up in declarative statements, such as, "Your family is who you decide your family is, not strictly those to whom you're biologically related."

Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
"Rich, why is double posting against the rules of the forum?"
Because it's obnoxious and encourages thread-spamming.

Quote Originally Posted by Xihirli View Post
I have a suggestion that has received mixed reviews from my peer group, to explain Unholy Blight and Evan's Spiked Tentacles.

Vaarsuvius was Neutral Good in this comic:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0011.html
That's how Unholy Blight worked on vir despite vir alignment as True Neutral should have allowed V to overcome it rather easily, if not bypass it entirely.
What pushed V into True Neutral?
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0020.html
Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion.
Then the Chimera screamed out "the horror... the horror!" V was shocked and guilty, though, because of vir's lack of emotional involvement at this point, did not share this with the rest of the party. Vaarsuvius forsook Conjuration and made it vir barred school, instead of what was previously V's second barred school, illusion, which explains why V hardly ever uses this school and is actually behind Elan as far as that school is concerned. Invisibility was also not cast until after the Linear Guild was dealt with the first time, so V could well have gained a level since #20. V does later say that he chose Conjuration as his barred school before "the rules of the universe have since been rewritten," but probably ve simply didn't check the rules in the 20 strips from the 3.5 update to vir's attack on Trigak. This explains the shift in V's alignment as well as why ve no longer uses Conjuration. It also gives us sort of a prelude to V's second (possible) alignment change with Familicide, which is from Necromancy, Conjuration's evil twin.
Vaarsuvius was never Neutral Good—you're just reading too much into the artwork in strip #11. Neutral characters still take half damage from Unholy Blight. She/he either failed the Will save and took half damage, or made the save and took one-quarter damage (but as an elven wizard with low hit points, that reduced damage still "hurt" as much as Haley or Elan taking whatever damage they took).

In general, it's a fallacy to look at the comic and declare that the most statistically probably outcome of an event is necessarily what is occurring, especially if doing so contradicts stuff that's explicitly stated elsewhere. Is it less likely for a Neutral character with good Will saves to take significant damage from Unholy Blight? Sure. But it's still possible, and in this case, it's what happened, because anything else would have cluttered the joke.

There was also no switch to Conjuration as a barred school, so much as I didn't decide what V's barred school was until later when I needed to eliminate teleportation as a possible plot-killer and forgot about the spiked tentacles. However, if you really need it to all fit together smoothly, just assume that anytime V is seen casting a Conjuration spell in the early part of the strip, he/she is actually casting Shadow Conjuration and everyone around her/him is failing their saving throw.

EDIT: To be clear, it is entirely possible that at the time I drew strip #11, I thought of V as Good. I don't remember. I'm saying that the continuity of the narrative is that V has always been True Neutral, and nothing in strip #11 contradicts that.