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Thread: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

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    Default Re: MitD XIII: Learning is happening

    Section 3: Proposed Ideas

    Section 3a: Suggestions that Fit the Big Scenes (FBS)
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    This category groups ideas that fit the clues in the major scenes of MitD, with the following characteristics (as per thread consensus):
    1) Has a plausible explanation for the Escape
    2) Has a plausible explanation for the Tower (both his attack and his defence)
    3) Has a plausible explanation for the Circus (both his act, and the reactions)
    4) Isn't one of the impossible categories (unless it is an exception)
    5) Existed before strip #100 in a form accessible to Rich.
    6) Size no bigger than Huge ("fits in the box")
    7) Is vulnerable to mind-affecting effects (SoD)

    The proposals may still have other objections (such as that the above explanations require stretching the rules of D&D).

    Athasian Nightmare Beast
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    Pros:
    • 30 Strength
    • Psionic teleport
    • Fairly ugly and unique
    • CR18, decent defences
    • Dominated by its voracious appetite, can eat anything
    • Despite spell-like abilities and intelligence appears to have no listed languages or even forms of communication

    Cons:
    • Posted publicly a few months after MitD's decision, but the designer could have sent an advance copy to other designers, such as Rich.

    Glabrezu (SRD or MM 43)
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    Pros:
    • Access to wish 1/month, explains the escape and why the goblin wasn't teleported. It also cannot grant its own wishes, further explaining the lack of later success.
    • 31 STR
    • 20 CHA, but still rather disturbing looking, while not being immediately recognisable as a demon
    • Surprising it can speak common (not in its language list)
    • The stronger limbs are probably not dextrous. The human-like ones are probably not strong enough to pull on a rope.

    Cons:
    • Huge would not really fit under the umbrella
    • Not surprising it can speak
    • Depending on canon interpretation, cannot have a parent
    • Embodiment of Chaotic Evil plane - should not be able to be as Good as MitD is.
    • Low CR

    Hagunemnon (Protean) (SRD or ELH 196)
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    Pros:
    • Great strength (53)
    • Access to Planar Travel through convenient partial shapeshift into e.g. Umbral Blot, which includes greater teleport
    • As a psionic creature, it may have been converted by the means described in the Expanded Psionics handbook, which would give him psionic teleport
    • adequate size
    • his shapeshifting sounds disturbing, but has 34 CHA.
    • Normally speak only ever-evolving language impossible for any non-protean to understand, thus being surprising it talks in common.
    • Its psionic ability to detect thoughts would explain his knowledge of the ritual, probably having heard RC's thoughts on the subject.
    • Fluff implies there are protean newborns, so presumably they have some form of parentage ("Even newborns are tides of flesh, ever changing")

    Cons:
    • Plane shift doesn't fit well with the escape as shown (see 1b: The Escape), and while greater teleport fits slightly better, it requires a timely shapeshift into the exact appropriate creature. There is no evidence that psionic-class creatures have been converted as per EP handbook.
    • Its constant shapeshifting has not been reflected in a change of MitD (mouth and eyes stay roughly the same)

    Hunting Horror (CoC)
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    Pros:
    • CR 20 - powerful enough to be MitD.
    • Strength of 34 - on the lower side, but within acceptable bounds for the tower scene.
    • Hideous form - looks like a "black ropy worm or serpent, rather like a legless dragon... with a single wing rising from the middle of the back and a long sinuous tail trailing behind," but are also "mutable, as some have reported them with two wings instead of one, or two eyes instead of a single three-lobed yellow eye." 6th edition of CoC describes them as "hard to look at" and "continually changing, twitching and writhing".
    • Accompanied by a permanent foul stench that causes Nausea.
    • Has a Roar ability, but that causes damage, so perhaps that doesn't explain the "STOP" after all.
    • Can understand speech, but "rarely speaks," according to the D20 version.
    • Has a Swallow Whole ability, so more than capable of devouring Redcloak.
    • Has a tail that it can use as an appendage, allowing him to smack the ground and "punch" Miko and Windstriker through a wall, but making pulling things or holding small objects difficult.
    • Rare to see it on Earth at all, let alone in a rainforest in the middle of the day.
    • Acquires spells by rolling dice, and picking from a list

    Cons:
    • Defences not that great: AC of 19, plus DR 5/+1, fast healing of 10 - only the last can help explain the "tickle" comment, and not well at that.
    • Acquires spells by rolling dice, and picking from a list
    • Access to teleportation a bit dodgy - some older versions give it more random spell access, but D20 specifies a list of spells that does not include teleportation
    • Damaged by light - explanations vary as to whether it can tolerate a few hours worth of light or if light damages it outright, but a problem either way
    • Too big to fit under either umbrella or box.
    • The total lack of non-wing limbs in the official description doesn't fit the art clues. It's of variable form, though, so it might have limbs.

    Alternatively, it has been suggested that the HH could be following the CoC rules, rather than the d20 rules, in which case he could use Avert Harm to resist the attacks, but in that case, the creature does not have a means to explain the escape. As a workaround, it has been suggested it could have learnt a heavily modified Word of Recall that teleports to a random destination, although this has no canon support (that such WoR exists, nor that MitD has learnt it).

    Schlock Mercenary's Carbosilicate Amorph
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    Pros:
    • Can interface with a teraport to teleport
    • Incredible strength and fighting abilities. Invulnerable to anything short of plasma weapons.
    • Looks like a pile of poo
    • Endearing and adorable
    • Fits under the umbrella easily, but his dad could have been bigger if he had eaten recently
    • Famous for his unbridled appetite.
    • As per Shining Wrath's Weak Carbosilicate Amorphic principle, "If MitD is in fact a Carbosilicate Amorph, it is because Rich has brought Carbosilicate Amorphs into OotSverse, and therefore they are as recognizable as any other monster of similar rarity"
    • Rich could probably secure copyright from Howard Tayler, since they are friends

    Cons:
    • Rich probably wouldn't use a SF character from another comic in his fantasy comic.


    Slaad (ELH 217)
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    White/Black slaads only.
    Pros:
    • Very strong, epic defences
    • Can teleport others
    • Disgusting appearance (humanoid toad)
    • Not inmune to mind-affecting spells
    • White one fits in the box/umbrella. Black only in the box.

    Cons:
    • Tricky reproduction cycle means black/white slaads are unlikely to have a "father" (unless it is of the foundling variety).
    • MitD would have to be over 300 years old, having evolved through green, grey and death slaad varieties. This does not mesh well with his mental characteristics. (unless Rich has bent the reproduction flavor text)
    • It may be Product Identity (listed as such in d20.org, but not in the WotC legal documentation).
      • Even if it is, it may not be impossible for Rich to use it for free, unlike trademarked creatures.
    • Can talk common, and thus wouldn't surprise the hunters that he can talk.
    • It may be too recognisable as a humanoid toad to fit the wizard's comment in the circus scene.


    Uvuudaum
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    Pros:
    • greater teleport available 3 times a day as an SLA explains the escape
    • very high strength (39), is very ugly but has extremely high charisma (46)
    • large bonuses to knowledge:arcana and spellcraft explains understanding of the ritual
    • Large size, so fits in the box (not so much under the umbrella)
    • Normally communicates with telepathy, not by speaking, so it's surprising it talks.
    • A confusion aura could explain reactions in the circus, particularly if it's weakened by MitD being a youngster of the species.

    Cons:
    • Might not have eyes or mouth (unmentioned in description, not present in pictures)
    • His confusion aura should give everyone missing saves around him swirly eyes, but no such thing is visible in the circus scene.



    Section 3b: Frequently Proposed Unlikely Ideas
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    These ideas have been frequently brought up, but they fail in a major way that presents a major problem. If you are considering them, please address the problem listed in your initial post.

    Deity
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    First, note that "a god" is not a specific proposal. There are hundreds to pick from, many with wildly different capabilities. Furthermore:
    • If they have D&D stats, they will have Divine Ranks, which automatically gives them immunity to mind control (see Section 2c: Categories). This applies even to demigods (rank 1-5).
    • They can speak every language - unsurprising they can talk
    • Why would the SBGH think there is a market in selling deities?
    • Any deity RC would consider appropriate for his team (Evil/Neutral ones) can Animate Dead, or copy it through Miracle.


    Grue
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    Can challenge any lone adventurer, has insatiable appetite and sparse descriptions mention it being horrible. However, it wouldn't desire to be lighted as MitD does, and it is not known to have magic (e.g. teleportation). Note that MitD has been in the light before joining team evil, both in the jungle and specially in the circus, and has never shown any discomfort from being in the light.

    Pun-Pun & Family
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    Pun-Pun isn't really something that can be classified as "one of those", and it seems likely that Rich made a joke of this idea when MitD suggested he might be a kobold, only to be told he's to tall for a kobold

    Rich "The Giant" Burlew
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    Rich does not fit any of MitD's characteristics - neither physical (e.g. great strength), nor mental (e.g. personality), nor supernatural (e.g. teleportation powers). Claims that he could give himself the powers needed because he is the author are effectively accusations that MitD is a Mary Sue (unfounded), but also if that were the case, it would be something Rich invented for the story.

    A frequent defence is that OotS people would react poorly to people from our world, but we have seen RL people in the comic, and they are stickified, so Rich would not fit the circus scene. Claims that he'd retain his RL nose are baseless, and furthermore the reactions to noses in-comic do not match the circus scene anyway. Rich is also a vegetarian, while MitD eats meat

    Snarl jr
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    Probably the #1 proposed idea, the "son-of-Snarl" has a major problem: it does not match Rich's words that MitD is a monster someone else (i.e. not him) invented (see Section 1a: "it isn't something I just made up for the story" & "I realize that the line between something I made up and something someone else made up is a pretty fine one, but I trust that someone will figure it out eventually"). Snarl has also not displayed any form of teleportation magic, nor any particular appetite (except maybe for souls, although it could equally be a figure of speech of the destruction it brings to mortals), nor need to sleep.

    Furthermore, Snarl has been kept a major secret - it's unlikely that the hunters would know, or that they have seen so many Snarl Jr.s running around they can talk about not having seen "one of these".

    Tarrasque (SRD or MM 240)
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    Tarrasque is an iconic creature, famed for eating a lot and sleeping a lot. Unfortunately, there is no particular reason to think that MitD is an iconic creature, and Tarrasque brings several other issues to the table, the most important of which is its lack of teleportation/wishing abilities. Other issues: Tarrasque is traditionally unique and non-reproducing (not part of a species) and far bigger than can fit under an umbrella.


    Section 3c: Copyrighted Ideas
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    All ideas listed here, regardless of how well they fit, have a major problem: they are trademarked, or otherwise unavailable for Rich's use due to legal issues (see Section 4a: Inappropriate Topics)

    Boggart (Harry Potter)
    Claydol(Pokemon™)
    Danica (Star Power)
    Diawolf
    Domo-kun (NHK)
    Father (KND)
    Black Mage (Final Fantasy)
    Red Mage (Final Fantasy)
    Godzilla & pals (Godzilla)
    Goku (Dragon Ball)
    Gozer (Ghostbusters)
    Haggunenon (HHGTTG)
    Heffalump(Winnie the Pooh)
    Kirby(Kirby)
    Pervect (MYTH Adventures)
    Plastic Man (DC Comics)
    Lord Ochu (FinalFantasyX)
    My Little Pony(My Little Pony)
    Q (from Star Trek)
    Rawhead Sidhe (Dresden Files)
    Roger Rabbit (Who framed Roger Rabbit?)
    Snorlax (Pokemon™)
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    A great fit, since:
    • "They can throw incredibly powerful punches and cause immense earthquakes",
    • is known for its huge appetite (including his ability to eat moldy food) and its sleeping.
    • It grows from a much smaller pokemon, Munchlax, and fits in the box as an adult (6' 11'').
    • Using Metronome, it could have a plot-casuality induced access to "escape from battle" abilities.
    • When not drawn anime style, pokemons can be downright disturbing (non-Snorlax example).
    • When you fight a static-encounter Snorlax in the games, if you do not capture it, when the fight ends the game text tells you that it has 'stomped off back to the mountains.'
    • Has Fissure as an egg move, whose in-game description reads: 'The user opens up a fissure in the ground and drops the foe in. The target instantly faints if it hits.' (picture)


    Shadow (Babylon 5)
    SMT3 and Persona 3 and 4 (Megami Tensei)
    Skull (PvP)
    Tonberri (Final fantasy)
    Vatch (Witches of Karres)
    Vorlon (Babylon 5)
    Weeping Angel (Dr. Who)
    Ygramul (Neverending Story)
    Yoshi (Super Mario Brothers)
    Zoidberg (Futurama)

    Section 3d: Light-Hearted Ideas
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    These ideas are not meant to be taken seriously, and were added to this post only because they amused me enough I wanted them recorded for posterity. Please don't read too much into them (or what they say about my sense of humour)
    • Inmune to blades, including scissors, but suffers from papercuts?
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      Must be a Rock
    • The most dangerous box ever
    • The fearsome Gazebo
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      HotAndCold explained:
      • A gazebo is obviously a powerful monster, devouring the story's PC without any chance of rebuttal.
      • It takes no damage from a +3 arrow, just as MitD apparently takes no damage from Miko's or Belkar's attacks.
      • Would you recognize a gazebo's tracks?
      • Or expect to find one in a jungle and even speaking in Common, for that matter?
      • It is, of course, a juvenile gazebo, explaining its roughly Medium size, rather than its being large enough for, y'know, people to hang out in it.
      • I... guess he could be a particularly ugly gazebo? Although technically speaking, the gazebo's never actually described in the story beyond its dimensions, color, and the pointiness of its top. So I guess one could argue the gazebo's horrific appearance.
      • The description states that the PC "awakened" the gazebo, implying that it was sleeping. Perhaps it had recently used one of its mighty and tiring abilities!
    • A Fanboy
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      Truly grotesque creatures, Fanboys have been known to consume vast quantities of whatever they get their hands on (including mouldy cheeseburgers), while skulking in the darkness of their 'boxes'. When inserted into fantasy fiction, they often wield great quantities of inexplicable power (Mary Sue Syndrome) and have difficulty remembering minor plot details (Gate? What gate?) They are truly the most fearsome creature any Creator can face, and yet are beautiful in that a Creator would be nothing without them. And of course, the monstrous and twisted exterior hides an innocence ill-befitting a horrendous beast, and a niceness of character little understood by those around, often causing them to be bullied by lesser souls in the vicinity.

      We are all MitD in the quiet corners of our souls.
    • Grey_Wolf_c
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      Quote Originally Posted by Throknor View Post
      1) How did Grey_Wolf_c punch Miko and her horse through a wall?
      - She suggested a Tarrasque should be added, and her horse said Snarl Jr. An adrenaline-fueled rage took over.
      2) Why didn't Miko or Belkar's weapons hurt Grey_Wolf_c ?
      - Maintaining these threads has made him impervious to pain.
      3) Why wouldn't a wizard recognize Grey_Wolf_c ?
      - Keeping up with the thread means he doesn't have time to keep up his appearance so looks like a human-sasquatch mix wearing clothing.
      4) Why would humans become nauseous at seeing Grey_Wolf_c ?
      - No time to shower either.
      5) How did Grey_Wolf_c teleport V and O-Chul to the beach with Hinjo?
      - Well, you got me there.
    • The Giant
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      No, not that Giant, this Giant Former WCW World Champion. Latterly The Big Show, and played by Paul Wight.

      An actual fairy-tale Giant, a wild-haired mountain-savage, who wrestled in World Championship Wrestling from 1995 to 1999, and was booked as the son of the late Andre The Giant.

      1) The Escape: Can The Giant teleport?... Bizarrely enough, yes. The Giant debuted in 1995 in World Championship Wrestling as part of the 'Dungeon Of Doom' stable, portraying a similar role that the MITD has in OOTS. The powerful dragon controlled by 'The Taskmaster' Kevin Sullivan. In this role, he actually could teleport. And teleported to and from the titular 'Dungeon of Doom.'

      2) The attack and defense portrayed in the tower scene: At Halloween Havok 1995, he attacked Hulk Hogan on the roof of the Cobo Arena in Detroit. He fell from the roof of a 12,000 seater stadium straight to the concrete parking lot below, and not only lived to tell the tale, but wrestled later that night. Talk about damage reduction. As for attack? Well... He's been showed to flip cars and throw "350 Pounds, solid steel ring-steps" in his time... I think you'd need at least a Strength of 28 to do that last one if you had the Hulking Hurler Prestige Class's ability 'Really Throw Anything.' He's choke-slammed two large men at once, in real life, where the men are resisting, rather than helping you lift them up, that's basically dead-lifting around 500 pounds at once.
      Also, he beat Hulk Hogan. No one beats Hulk Hogan. Ever. Seriously. Because Hulk Hogan is an arrogant, selfish old c-... Never mind.

      3) Has a plausible explanation for the Circus: He's been portrayed as gross, scary, impressive and interesting. And plenty of people paid to watch him.

      4) Isn't one of the impossible categories: He's definitely a humanoid.

      5) Existed before strip #100 in a form accessible to Rich: Debuted on US TV in 1995

      6) Size no bigger than Huge: Only seven foot tall, 484 or so pounds.

      7) Is vulnerable to mind-affecting effects: Yup.

      8) Smaller and eats less than his father: He was portrayed as the son of Andre The Giant a seven foot four, 520 pound man who is said to have consumed 7,000 calories a day in wine alone.

      9) Small, but will get much bigger: The Big Show is significantly fatter now than he was when he was known as The Giant.

      10) Could he eat Redcloak whole?: Well... He has the appetite of a Giant, soon after his debut, he became tremendously fat, and since he was booked as a literal Giant, a mountain-dwelling savage from 'Parts Unknown,' he probably isn't above eating moldy cheeseburgers.

      11) 'Wouldn't expect to see on of these here [In The Jungle]': You wouldn't expect to bump into a wrestler in a jungle... Well, you wouldn't! Would you? I wouldn't!

      12: Surprised he can speak, and in common?: Weirdly enough, despite speaking English very well, the interviewers and commentators would often pretend that they couldn't tell what The Giant was saying, kind of like Stewie in Family Guy.
    • Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Young Adult Green Dragon
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      The MitD is a green dragon that also has five different green dragon ancestors in his family, so he has five instances of the Half-Dragon template.

      Pros:
      • Template combination is guessable, because it's not unusual for the Stickyverse. Half-dragon hybrids are common: Girard is half-dragon, Enor is half-dragon ogre, Durkon's parents fought a half-dragon troll. The ancient black dragon says in #628 that she's expected that her son invites "that nice green dragon girl", showing that green dragons sometimes interbreed with dragons. #555 has a joke about a half-orc half-orc orc.
      • 63 strength to explain tower scene.
      • Two claw attacks for 1d6 damage and a bite attack of 1d8 damage, weaker than the attacks of an ordinary young adult green dragon. Lets Miko and horse survive tower scene.
      • 36 natural armor, 25 base armor class, 5/magic DR explains why Belkar's and Miko's attacks fail. Half-Dragon template says "Natural armor improves by +4" so the bonus from multiple instances will stack.
      • "Elongated features […] and exaggerated teeth and claws" and "more formidable" both stacked five times to explain circus scene. The wizard in circus has seen green dragons, but not one with such grotesque features. He's just the kind of misshapen mutant that a freak show wants to show off. Xykon finds him ugly.
      • Misshapen features explain why Belkar can't recognize his tracks.
      • Overly long claws and 10 dexterity makes it difficult to pull the rope.
      • People can still recognize that he is a dragon, explaining "one of these".
      • 29 intelligence, 19 wisdom, and 29 charisma, may have skills in Bluff and Knowledge. That is why he can bluff Xykon once he actually starts to think, and recognize the half a ritual.
      • Large size to fit in box.
      • Can fly, which is how he can get up to the entrances higher up in the mountain without leaving a trace.
      • Dragons grow as they age, which explain that MitD's father was BIG.
      • Two eyes.
      • Not immune to mind affecting effects.


      Con:
      • Doesn't explain escape scene.

    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2019-03-31 at 10:30 AM.