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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grey_Wolf_c's Avatar

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    Aug 2007

    Default MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    WARNING: This Thread WILL contain spoilers.
    Smallprint: If you are unwilling to hear what MitD might be, or segments from the published books (specially SoD) then this is not a thread for you.
    Everyone else: don't bother spoilering or hiding that stuff in this thread. It is what we are here for


    ATTENTION: Newcomers, please read:
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    This thread has, over the last 140 pages, accumulated a lot of knowledge about MitD. However, you don't need to read the whole thread (and the previous two) to get up to speed. So long as you are reasonably familiar with this first post, you can jump right in, with no need to read more than the last few pages. On the other hand, please don't be surprised if your insight has been proposed before.


    Section 1: General Information
    Section 1a: Directly from Rich
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    Rich's Words
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew, in War and XPs c.368
    So, just so everyone is clear: I know exactly what the Monster in the Darkness is. I have (almost) always known. Its first two or three appearances were before I had worked out much of the plot's details, so at that point, I just figured it was a mystery I would never answer. Once I started developing the real story that I was telling, around strip #100, I figured out what the monster really was and have been dropping hints ever since. (Note that nothing from before strip #100 actually contradicts the truth of what it is, either.) [...]
    I will say this much: It is possible to guess.
    That is, it isn't something I just made up for the story. It wouldn't be any fun for the answer to a mystery to be something I invented just for one purpose, would it? I won't finally throw back the darkness and have someone say, "Look! It was a therblewurkersaurus the entire time!" or some other made-up monster.
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew, in Don't Split the Party
    [O-Chul] breaks himself out of the cage, he drives off Redcloak with a lucky shot, and most importantly, he has won the trust of the monster in the darkness over the course of months. So much so that the monster digs deep and discovers powers that he didn't even know he had in order to save him.
    Notes:
    • Strip 100 is copyrighted 2004, so no creature first published after that time can be considered.
    • What is probably the most common misconception about Rich's words in this thread is the following: "It is possible to guess." Any number of people have jumped to the conclusion that it means that MitD must be a famous or iconic creature. The phrase warrants no such conclusion. Instead, all it says is that MitD exists listed somewhere outside OotS - nothing more and nothing less. As such, the iconic status of an idea, or lack thereof, is of no weight whatsoever when considering its fitness as MitD's species.

    Start of Darkness Canon
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    Stereotyped Big Game Hunters, when they capture MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by SBGH
    Monocle: "My gods, is it talking? In Common, no less!"
    Jenkins: "Unbelievable!"
    Monocle: "Well, that will surely fetch a fine price."
    Jenkins: "Indeed!"
    Monocle: "I tell you, Jenkins, I never expected to see one of these in this part of the world."
    Jenkins: "Quite!"
    Monocle: "One-in-a-lifetime catch, Jenkins[...]"
    Circus, when the public looks upon MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by Circus Public
    Human male: "Oh my gods..."
    Human Male: "It's horrible!"
    Human Female: "And yet... beautiful!"
    Human Female Child: "Mommy, I feel funny looking at it"
    Human Male: "Blerrch!" (throwing up)
    Human Male in wizard's clothing: "I've never seen anything like it!"
    Goblin Female Child: "Wooooooo!"
    Goblin Male Child: "YEAH!"
    Rest of the public:
    3 Human Males, 2 Human Females and 1 Halfling Male look:
    1 Human Male has "queasy" mouth, as if about to throw up
    1 Human Male has closed his eyes and is attempting to cover them with his hands
    2 Goblin Males (RedCloak and his brother) are unimpressed
    RedCloak, admitting he knows what MitD is:
    Quote Originally Posted by RedCloak, pg. 88
    I know what you are. You could kill them all if you wanted.
    Xykon's First look at MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by Xykon
    "My you're one ugly sonofabitch, aren't you?"


    Section 1b: Other Info
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    Legal Issues
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    Many of the ideas presented in the thread have the same base problem: they are Intellectual Property of a company, and they have not been released to the general public. An author - particularly one selling books for money - may only make use of such creatures under Fair Use guidelines, the most relevant of which is Parody, since it is the one used by Rich. So long as he makes a joke out of it, Rich can use protected intellectual properties, and he has in a few occasions. However, there would be no fair use in taking a Protected character like, say, Mickey Mouse, and making him one of the main antagonists of the comic. Instead, if discovered, Rich could end in a whole lot of legal trouble, and thus it is very unlikely he would use such character.
    It has been argued that Rich could also get away with copyright infringement under the "added value" clause that allows the use of a copyrighted creation if the creation is developed in a new way (see the Obama "Hope" poster, which was based on an AP photograph). This would not apply, as far as we can tell, to trademarked creations.

    Please note that at no point has an IP lawyer commented on this issue, and as such it may be wrong.

    The Escape
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    • It can't be dimension door or blink because those spells have pityable ranges.
    • Teleport and Greater Teleport in the standard rules require the caster to go along with the other subejcts of the spell. We have seen teleport work this way in OOTS here and here, and also here we get to see two teleports work this way. In fact there, there are two casters, presumably one divine (raise dead) and one arcane (teleport). Then Soul Spliced V casts (presumably) Teleport and travels along too (though we don't actually see the spell cast, just the resultant "pop"). Finally when we see Epic Teleport, even then the caster (and his spliced spirits) go along for the ride. So although it doesn't absolutely prove that Rich insists the caster always goes along when they Teleport, it really seems to suggest that is the way it works in OOTS, which is the standard D&D rules. Teleport also requires the caster to know the destination, although when that is not the case, a lucky (i.e. plot-induced) roll in the missed teleportation table could have delivered V & O'Chul to the right place anyway.
      • It has been suggested that a dimensional anchor cast on MitD's box would prevent him from teleporting, but not from casting it. There is, however, no evidence that such spell has been cast on the box.
      • Standard teleporting rules do require the caster to touch any other travelers, but the rule is not observed in OotS (see any of the prior examples)
    • Standard 3.5 edition D&D rules say Plane Shift can be cast so that the caster does not travel along for the ride. However it also says you MUST go to another plane, not another place on the same plane and that "precise accuracy as to a particular arrival point on the intended plane is nigh impossible". Also that "creatures must find their own way back". O-Chul and V make no mention of "getting back" and have no apparent means to plane shift. Note that in most occasions plane shift has been depicted with a kind of "window" opening, but not always.
      • It has been suggested that MitD could have plane-shifted them to a good plane (e.g. Souther Gods' domain), and then where teleported back by an agent of good.
    • Wish and the psionic ability "reality revision" are stated as being able to "Transport Travelers. A wish can lift one creature per caster level from anywhere on any plane and place those creatures anywhere else on any plane regardless of local conditions".
    • Miracle can "Move you and your allies along with your and thier gear from one plane to another through planar barriers to a specific locale with no chance of error".
    • Limited Wish doesn't say anything about travelling or transportation explicitly.
    • The Epic Spell "Dreamscape" could be interpreted as providing the "Escape" capabilitiy, (see Dream Larva)



    Section 1c: Useful Links
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    Section 2: MitD
    Section 2a: Physical Characteristics
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    Age
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    MitD's first appearance in SoD happens "29 years ago" (SoD pg. 49). This is measured back from comic 1, so MitD is at least 30 years old.

    Appearance
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    MitD's appearance is both disgusting and beautiful, to judge from the reactions of the circus crowd (see 1b SoD Cannon). It is ugly enough to provoke vomiting in the stands, but still cause someone to exclaim "And yet... beautiful".

    Body
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    RedCloak suggest that he could use MitD as material to create undead, which suggests he has a physical body (e.g. not a fire elemental)

    Diet
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    MitD is almost constantly hungry, thus probably indicating a species that requires food (but it isn't stated).
    Take into account:
    • He is not at all picky about his food, having been shown to eat almost anything ("His palate can't be that refined", dibs on a moldy cheeseburguer in sock drawer).
    • He has preference for stew (See SoD, and here).
    • He feels weird to eat babies (including veal), but not adults.
    • He has eaten scrabble tiles, and apparently didn't find them to his taste (but he was expecting donuts)

    Gender
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    MitD self-identifies as male, forming clubs that don't allow girls. Also, O'Chul calls him "a good man"

    Limbs
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    MitD has got stomping ability while holding an umbrella. No specific limbs are identified (feet/paws/tail?), but the use of the verb stomp requires physical limbs, whatever they are. He also leaves tracks, which Belkar can't identify (but he's a lousy tracker). The limbs are also dextrous enough to hold crayons (War and XPs page 415a) and draw (lack of quality may indicate clumsy apendages, or lack of maturity).

    Head
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    • Eyes: MitD has two yellow eyes, next to each other.
    • Face: RC makes reference to stabbing him in the face (War and XPs, page 415a)
    • Mouth: MitD presumably has a mouth, since he has a tongue.


    Maturity
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    MitD has consistently acted in very immature fashion, which could be his personality, or it could indicate he is a child of his species.
    Take into account:
    • He is over 30 years old (see Age)
    • He hasn't changed all that much in size or personality since his earliest appearance
    • Many creatures (including demons and angels) have a really hard time fitting as MitD because of his child-like behaviour.

    Personal Odor
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    MitD has frequently apologized for his personal odor. This could explain the reaction in the circus, although it would need to address the reason why the odor doesnt' affect the public until after he is lighted up.

    Size
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    Since his first appearance, MitD has fit in a box this size, and under this umbrella. This makes him human-sized or large.
    Take into account:
    • Rich has been known to mess around with sizes of creatures in the comic (Inexplicably large faeries)
    • MitD could be a young member of his race (see Maturity)
    • He's probably taller than a kobold:
      Quote Originally Posted by War and XPs c.368
      Mitd: "I know! Maybe I'm a kobold!"
      BlueCloak: "You're pretty tall for a kobold"
      MitD: "Maybe I'm two kobolds?"
    • If you do not object to using templates (see 3a: Templated Creature), the Dungeonbred template can be used to reduce his size by one category, theoretically allowing for huge creatures (but does carry the disadvantages of templates)
    • RedCloak was able to lift him and his box onto a wagon in SoD
      • Due to RedCloak's likely build (spell-oriented cleric), this can be disregarded as a clue, since it is entirely possible that RC isn't strong enough to lift even the empty box, never mind MitD's weight inside (unless MitD is buoyant).

    Sleep
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    MitD has been shown sleeping in various occasions (in SoD, and after O'chul's and V's teleportation), and has admitted to becoming sleepy, so it is reasonable to assume he requires sleep (but it isn't stated).


    Section 2b: Abilities
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    Attack
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    MitD attempts to "hit as lightly as possible" and still sends both Miko and her horse flying through a wall, off a tower and long distance (the tower in nowhere to be seen, the mountains are far away).
    Take into Account:
    • If proposing a "child" or "runt" of a species known for great strength, the dissonance between his undeveloped personality and adult strength needs to be addressed.
    • See here a post examining possible ways the punch could have happened by the rules.


    Defences
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    MitD did not notice 5 attacks from Belkar and feels tickles when attacked by Miko.
    Take into Account:
    • It could indicate piercing resistance, DR, high AC, high HP or a combination thereof.
    • He got a paper cut from trying to eat a letter, indicating he can hurt himself (e.g. overcoming epic resistance, if he himself is epic, or indicating a natural armour that doesn't protect his insides), or Rule of Funny
    • Miko believes he has DR
    • RC knows he cannot possibly injure MitD by stabbing him in the face (see War and XPs, page 415a)

    Earth Cracking
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    MitD cracks the earth by stomping on it.
    Suggestions:
    • Consequence of his great strength: sending horses flying through walls and for kilometers take about as much strength as causing the Earth to crack.
    • Earthquake ability: like that of an Earth Elemental, or some other specific spell-like ability in that sense.

    Knowledge
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    Even though MitD displays lack of maturity (see 2a: Maturity), he has displayed flashes of brilliance:
    • O'Chul's comment he learnt Go! quickly
    • His ability to tell that a ritual was only the second half of a whole
    • He admits he doesn't actually try to think, and that he lets Xykon and RedCloak think for him
    • If MitD is psionic, it can be explained by hypercognition

    O'Chul's Escape
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    We know from Rich's words (see section 1a) that MitD was responsible for O'Chul's and V's escape.
    Suggestions:
    • Teleportation Spell: in D&D, teleportation requires the spell caster to travel with the targets, and more often than not to be touching the other targets.
    • Wish: Very few creatures can cast wish, but would explain the situation well. In its favour, MitD is surprised when his wishes don't come true (but that could be his child personality).
    • Plane shifting: Many creatures have this spell, but has all the disadvantages of teleportation, plus O'Chul's and V's escape does not match the effect of plane shift (in that they ended up in the same plane)
    • See also Section 1b for an in-depth analysis of teleportation options in D&D

    Take into Account:
    • Difficulties with the teleportation spell can be waved away by Plot Requirement, or by suggesting MitD's box has a Dimensional Anchor (which can be read to not stop the spell, only the caster). Plane Shift, in particular, doesn't necessarily affect the caster (it is used offensively in OotS, although never successfully due to saving throws)
    • It has been pointed out that if it where a spell, MitD would have had to say its name out loud, which typically a spell requires (but not a spell-like ability or supernatural ability). On the other hand, not all spells have been said out loud in-comic (example: Xykon's mental suggestion in SoD, Redcloak passing his Trial Of Becoming A Hobgoblin with a silent Slay Living), so it doesn't discard a spell either.
    • Other systems have spells or abilities named "Escape"

    Psionics
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    It has been suggested that MitD may have psionic abilities since we never see his limbs holding up objects, and as an avenue to explain his other powers. If he only starts to actively use psionics at the time of escape ("unshackling" his mind due to the stress of the situation), it would also tie with Rich's comment about discovering powers deep inside himself (see Section 1a - Rich's Words). Also, it would explain why he tends to be tired after using his powers.
    However:
    • MitD is unaware of most of his powers, which doesn't suggest his mind is making them happen (so it would only explain the escape, if at all).
    • RedCloak, who knows what MitD is, had to research if psionics existed in OotS-verse. If MitD is psionic, why was it so difficult to know? (it has been suggested he may have templated psionic ability, and as such his psionics not be part of his species). On the other hand, creatures can be psionic or not depending on the setting. RC could have known about the mind flayer in Dorukan's Dungeon, and still not know if psionic powers did exist.
      • If MitD wasn't actively psionic until the escape, it would also constitute an explanation: RC tested him for psionic powers and, finding none, couldn't decide if psionics existed or not.
    • The lack of visible limbs is likely a combination of the minimalistic drawing style of the comic and Rich's desire to not show us what MitD is.
    • MitD had to tip the circus cage to get to the bucket of stew; presumably a psionic creature could simply levitate the bucket (but MitD may be unaware of his abilities)

    Rain
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    It has been suggested that MitD could have (inadvertently) caused rain to help O'Chul rest

    Raising undead
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    MitD probably does not have the ability to raise undead, but might be used as raw material. At the very least, he does not have 5 levels of cleric, although it has been pointed out he may have the capability but due to his innocence/incompetence he has never used it, leading RC to believe he cannot without gaining cleric levels first. That said, RC would probably have checked MitD's MM entry, and be aware of all its powers, regardless of which one MitD uses.

    Speech
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    the Stereotyped Big Game Hunters were surpised MitD could speak, and in common (see 1b SoD Cannon)
    • This is usually interpreted as a lampshade: his species can't talk, but Rich changed it for plot purposes

    Shout
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    MitD can shout loud enough that it gives Belkar pause. This may or may not be an actual shout attack, although neither Belkar nor Haley were damaged, but they may have been Shaken, as in Frightful Presence.

    Summoning Demon Roaches
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    MitD was not responsible for the Demon Roaches following team evil - as per SoD, they first attached to Xykon and RC in an evil dinner where Xykon used to get his coffee (in his pre-Lich days). MitD may have attracted more of them, but not the original group. As such, it is unlikely that their presence indicates anything about MitD. That said, the Demon Roaches are 4th-wall breaking rule of funny most of the time, regardless of their origin.


    Section 2c: Other Characteristics
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    Categories
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    MitD cannot belong to any of the following:
    - NOT a deity (vulnerable to mind-affecting effects)
    - NOT Construct (eats, and desires to eat; sleeps)
    - NOT Elemental (has a body)
    - NOT Ooze (has a body)
    - NOT Plant (vulnerable to mind-affecting effects)
    - NOT Undead (eats, sleeps, etc)

    Challenge Rating
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    Rich intends the MitD to be a credible challenge for the heroes - the watchtower scene was included for that reason, as explained by Rich. Since Rich likely has a target level the party will achieve by the time they face MitD, MitD must have a CR at or above this level. As a rule of thumb, CR18 or higher is preferred, Epic levels being better.

    Drawing Clues
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    Even though MitD is always in darkness, it has been suggested that by carefully noting the placement of his eyes, and of anything he manipulates, his general shape can be deduced. The general consensus is that he is either walking crouched or has four legs on the floor (from the placing of the stomp), and that he has a long reach (as when pulling on the rope: 9th panel).
    Take into account that this is debatable, and that MitD has not necesarily been drawn consistently

    Also, it has been brought up multiple times that the go board is a cryptoclue about MitD. Unfortunately, there is no agreement on what image they show, with people having identified it as Tarrasque, PvP's Skull, a demon (and one jokingly suggested it looked like Pepe le Pew due to the color scheme). It is likely a case of pareidolia

    Environment
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    The Stereotyped Big Game Hunters were surprised to find him deep in a rainforest. This discards rainforest as his environment, but leaves everything else open.

    Family
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    MitD remembers his dad "sort of" as BIG and even a bigger eater than he is.
    Considerations:
    • MitD could have been "adopted" by another species completely, just as he is in the wrong environment
    • MitD is still young and will eventually be as big as he remembers his father to have been
    • MitD might have a warped mental image of his father, from remembering as "big" when MitD himself was smaller; as such, he may already be as big as his father used to be.
    • MitD is mixed breed, and his father is larger than he will ever be

    Knowledge of MitD
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    MitD is very difficult to identify. Only the Stereotyped Big Game Hunters and RedCloak (see Section 1a) have claimed to know what he is, while what looks like a wizard in the circus audience admitted he'd never seen anything like it. MitD believes Xykon also knows what he is.

    Species
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    MitD was declared by the Stereotyped Big Game Hunters to be "one of these", indicating that there are more than one of him.

    Mental Resistance
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    In SoD (pg.96), Xykon was able to command MitD (as evidenced by MitD's swirly eyes), indicating MitD is not immune to mind-affecting spells.


    Section 2d: Augmentation
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    A number of ways to increase creatures capabilities to match those shown by MitD have been proposed.

    Templated/Mixed lineage Creature
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    A whole range of possibilities, it suggests MitD is a stack of Templates rather than a specific monster type.
    Pros: Can be templated to have:
    • Teleportation
    • Psionics
    • Earthquake
    • Unnerving Gaze

    Cons:
    • No Wish template
    • Probably violates the "can be guessed/figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since the exact base type and templates use is not really guessable.
    • Its unlikely that a one-in-a-lifetime combination of templates would be so common that the hunters call it "one of these"
    • No actual evidence of MitD having different species parents

    Proposed combinations:

    Pimp my Tarrasque
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    Given the huge number of such combinations suggested for the Tarrasque, this approach is also known as Pimp my Tarrasque:


    Class Levels
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    Only useful to explain the escape scene, it suggests MitD has 18+ class levels of Sorcerer, which would allow him to cast wish even if the base creature normally wouldn't (assuming it has at least 18 CHA).
    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "can be guessed/figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since MitD has not shown any other spell from those 18 levels
    • It is unexplained how MitD would even gain 18 levels, given his general lazyness
    • It would require MitD to have forgotten he gained those levels ("discovers powers that he didn't even know he had")

    Reincarnation
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    This idea suggests that MitD used to be a powerful spellcaster (level 18 or more) that dies and used a Reincarnation spell to reincarnate as a rare animal.
    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "can be guessed/figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since there has been no mention of the possibility of reincarnation in the comic, and it would make figuring out what MitD almost impossible



    Section 3: Proposed Ideas
    Section 3a: Forerunners
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    This category groups ideas that fit the "big 3" scenes of MitD: the circus scene (particularly the requirement to both be a circus act where nothing is done, and the varied response from the public), the tower scene (that is, the ability to punch a person and a horse through a wall when trying to "hit light") and the escape scene (i.e. teleportation of O'Chul and V). The proposals may still have other objections (such as size problems, or simply that the above explanations require stretching the rules of D&D), but must NOT belong to the discarded categories (see Section 2c: Categories), unless they are somehow exceptional (e.g. an undead that eats burgers and sleeps).

    Dread Linnorm
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    Pros:
    • Huge Strength
    • Wish (Sorcerer Levels)
    • Ugly (with high Charisma)

    Cons:
    • Colossal - requires him to be a runt, which brings problems re: high-level spell access
    • Two Heads - requires a reason why it lost one (e.g. decapitation)
    • Immunity to all spells of the enchantment school

    Dream Larva
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    Pros:
    • Worst Nightmare ability explains circus' reactions (as long as it is a 'young' dream larva, so that it is not immediately lethal)
    • Very strong (42), high CR, defences and DR
    • Dreamscape allows teleportation, with a certain amount or rules bending (see here for an explanation)

    Cons:
    • Immune to mind-affecting effects
    • Dreamscape doesn't explain the escape all that well
    • Not known for its appetite, or its need to sleep
    • Unclear if a young dream larva can even exist, and would be less lethal than an adult one.


    Hagunemnon (Protean)
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    Pros:
    • Great strength (53)
    • teleportation (plane shift) abilities
    • Access to Planar Travel through convenient partial shapeshift into Umbral Blot, which includes greater teleport
    • adequate size
    • his shapeshifting sounds disturbing, but has 34 CHA.
    • Has no languages, thus being surprising it can talk.
    • Its psionic ability to detect thoughts would explain his knowledge of the ritual, probably having heard RC's thoughts on the subject.

    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.
    • it's powers are psionic-based (see 2b Psionics).
    • It's constant shapeshifting has not been reflected in a change of MitD (mouth and eyes stay roughly the same)


    Note: it has been suggested that, if it is psionic, it may have been converted by the means described in the Expanded Psionics handbook, which would give him psionic teleport

    Neothelid
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    Pros:
    • Fairly high strength (30)
    • Psionic Teleport at will
    • Vomit-inducing, since it's a gigantic worm with tentacles
    • Heavy eating
    • Rarely communicates in a meaningful way
    • Its ability to Trace Teleport would explain how it knew where to send O'Chul and V

    Cons:
    • Difficulty explaining the earthquake and the stomp, laking legs.
    • Defences not that great
    • No eyes


    Slaad
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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. Unless, that is, slaads usually talk like this (but this is probably Rule of Funny)


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

    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, nor need to sleep.

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

    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
    Quote Originally Posted by War and XPs c.368
    Mitd: "I know! Maybe I'm a kobold!"
    BlueCloak: "You're pretty tall for a kobold"
    MitD: "Maybe I'm two kobolds?"



    Section 3c: Copyrighted Ideas

    Section 3d: Proposed ideas
    Spoiler
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    Ideas that have been proposed, but cannot explain all 3 major MitD scenes (circus; tower; escape. See 3a)

    Anaxim
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    Construct, no teleportation.

    Barghest
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    Pros:
    • Eats a lot, and gets stronger as he eats (reference)
    • Greater Barghest has dimension door

    Cons:
    • Not really all that strong, (max 26, greater barghest is a mere 20)
    • No earthquake ability
    • Dimension door doesn't explain the escape well
    • can speak (but not in common)


    Atropal
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    Undead: doesn't eat or sleep.

    Brachyurus
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    Strong and relatively ugly, but can't explain the escape

    Braxat
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    Not particularly strong, CR9 and can only explain the escape with Dimension Door.

    Centaur
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    Not strong enough, can't explain the earthquake, the tower scene, the circus scene or the escape.

    Chi You
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    Vaguely defined. Weird looking, but not particularly revolting. Can speak.

    Corpse Tearer Linnorm
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    Strong and with access to miracle, but only through cleric spells, which would give him Animate Dead, which MitD is known not to be able to cast

    Dao
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    aka "earth genie". Pros:
    • Can grant wishes
    • Can cast earthquake
    • Has a "shove" ability to push enemies

    Cons:
    • Unsurprising it can talk
    • CR6, little strength, no defences
    • Not unusually ugly
    • Unclear how father would be "bigger and hungrier"

    Dragon
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    Pros:
    • Decent defences
    • they like to eat and sleep

    Cons:
    • They don't get the kind of strength and powers needed until they are way too big for the box.
    • They are very recognisable, and thus don't match the circus' reactions.

    Draknor
    Spoiler
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    Sprouts from the ground, but we have seen MitD in high floors of towers.

    Earth Elemental
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    Unstated how it would cause the escape, it cannot provide material for undead

    Enveloper
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    Insufficient strength, it's main ability of absorbing powers (thus explaining the escape scene), would also give MitD knowledge that would be at odds with his known naïvety and ignorance.

    Ephemeral Hangman
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • Looks like a mass of black tentacles centered around a large maw and a trunklike body.
    • Large, but when in darkness or shadowy illumination, it can fit into spaces that appear too small for it
    • The base species prefers eating children "and others too small and weak to fight back"

    Cons:
    • Can't explain the escape scene
    • Probably too weak: CR7, STR 22

    Epic Dragon
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • Have access to Wish
    • Very strong
    • Like most dragons, it likes to eat and sleep

    Cons:
    • They don't get the kind of strength and powers needed until they are way too big for the box.
    • Beautiful (sp. prismatic)
    • They are very recognisable, and thus don't match the circus' reactions.

    Fiendwurm
    Spoiler
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    strong and known for eating constantly, can't talk, can send people to the Abyss, but that explains the escape very badly if at all, and lack of limbs and gargantuan size are problematic.

    Fifth-Dimensional Imp (from Superman)
    Spoiler
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    Their reality revision power would explain the escape scene, but the circus scene and tower scene do not really fit.

    Formian
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    Two heads, but only one eye each, lazy & fairly ugly, but can't explain the escape and are not that strong. They can also speak, but only elven, not common.

    Genie/Djinn
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    while able to cast wish, they can talk, they are not particularly ugly, and they're nowhere near powerful enough for MitD

    Ghour
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    Decently strong, but insufficient CR and too big. Being a demon, it's morality and 'father' doesn't match well MitD's.

    Gibbering Orb
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    Can't stomp due to lack of limbs. Shouldn't leave tracks. Too many eyes and mouths. No explanation for Escape, except far-fetched "ate someone with access to wish the day before". Not strong enough (CR 5).

    Glabrezu
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • Access to wish
    • Fairly powerful

    Cons:
    • Too big
    • No parent
    • Unlikely to change morality (since it is a denizen of a morality plane)
    • Low CR

    Gray Render
    Spoiler
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    Too many eyes, and unclear how it accounts for the escape.

    Gozilla (& family)
    Spoiler
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    Too big, unclear how they account for the escape. Copyright issues possible

    Grendel
    Spoiler
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    Unclear how it accounts for the escape scene, except if it were demon-spawn due to conversion to D&D, which is a very big stretch. Difficulty addressing its strength, defences, earthquake ability.

    Grey Slaad
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    can teleport people both within a plane and between planes, but so-so strength

    Gug
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    (From Call of Cthulhu) Very ugly, and causes loss of sanity when looked at. Has a small chance of knowing how to teleport, but is not strong enough, particularly if young version is assumed due to size problems.

    Ha-Naga
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    Access to wish, and fairly strong although, being gargantuan, too big for the umbrella (when moving), and lack of limbs make several scenes difficult to explain (like pulling on the rope). Not particularly vomit-inducing. Proposing a child version reduces the strength bellow appropriate amount. Psionic powers could explain the earthquake, but not the tower scene.

    Half-Giant
    Spoiler
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    Strong and psionic, but can talk, unclear how it accoutns for circus scene and the escape.

    Hellfire Wyrm
    Spoiler
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    Dragon, and thus can't explain the circus scene properly. Too big (huge)

    Hoary Hunter
    Spoiler
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    Very strong, can plane shift, but not revolting enough to explain the circus' reactions

    Illurien
    Spoiler
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    Female, Insufficient strength

    Jaberwocky
    Spoiler
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    Difficult to gauge if it fits or not, since the jaberwocky is never really described. However, being unique, it doesn't fit the comment of MitD being "one of these".

    King-Kong descendant
    Spoiler
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    Problem addressing strength and size at the same time. Cannot explain the escape scene.

    Infernal
    Spoiler
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    Immune to mind affecting spells, unclear how it accounts for the escape scene (it's greater teleport is self-only). Can animate dead, which RC claims MitD cannot.

    Li Lung (Earth Dragon)
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • Yellow eyes
    • Reasonably strong, potentially challenging, and correctly sized up to young adult
    • Damage reduction
    • Earthquake AND a powerful roar
    • Plane Shift

    Cons:
    • plane shift doesn't explain the escape well
    • Personality (sleepiness, constant desire to consume, etc) doesn't match typical li lung's description
    • As a young adult, it is not powerful enough

    Nabassu
    Spoiler
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    Not particularly strong, can only teleport themselves, and kill any level-1s that look at them, thus having difficulty explaining its success as a circus act.

    Neh-Thalggu
    Spoiler
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    incorporeal

    Neo-otyugh
    Spoiler
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    Can't explain the escape. Unclear strength (otyugh is definitely too weak). Too many eyes (3).

    Nessie the Loch Ness Monster
    Spoiler
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    Too big for the umbrella, can't explain the escape scene, difficulty existing in dry land

    Nightmare Beast
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • Fairly strong
    • spends most of its time looking for food, and then sleeping
    • Dimension door
    • Can't talk

    Cons:
    • Dimension door doesn't explain the escape well
    • Red eyes
    • Everyone in the city should've been having terrible nightmares

    Phaerimm
    Spoiler
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    Very, very ugly, access to wish through sorcerer levels, but not strong enough for the tower scene, and has no eyes.

    Pit Fiend
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • Strong, good defences
    • Highly skilled in Knowledge Arcane, -Religion, -Planes and in Spellcraft which would explain how the MitD could identify the ritual with merely a glance.
    • Access to Wish

    Cons:
    • Pit Fiends probably don't have children and aren't child-like. (From Roy's Archon's words here, it seems OotS-verse has normal "advancement" of celestial beings. On the other hand, two demons have mentioned parents)
    • It is not surprising it can talk.
    • It can reanimate the dead
    • Circus scene presents two problems: demonic creatures are not difficult to recognise (in a broad sense, if not the specific type), and the reaction one would expect is fear, not vomiting.
    • Rich's comments in W&XPs seem to indicate that morality planes creatures can't change alignments more than slightly.

    Planetar Angel
    Spoiler
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    Has cleric levels

    Psammead
    Spoiler
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    Can grant wishes, but is not strong, is too small and being damage by water is something that does not match well with MitD's life in the rainforest. Also, Psammeads cannot grant their own wishes, so it cannot explain the earthquake or the tower scene.

    Shadow Dragon
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • It can cast Dimension Door as a supernatural ability once per day.
    • Its size is Large as a young adult and adult, and Medium if it is juvenile.
    • It has damage resistance 5 when it becomes a young adult.
    • It's Shadowy and gets 9/10ths concealment from this....

    Cons:
    • Not incredibly strong
    • Doesn't explain the earthquake or the escape

    Siabrie
    Spoiler
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    Insufficient strength, female, beautiful, can't account for the escape.

    Snark
    Spoiler
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    Cannot explain the escape scene, and most likely cannot explain the earthquake or tower scenes (although the descriptions are vague)

    Solar
    Spoiler
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    Cons:
    • Solars don't really have children and aren't child-like.
    • It is not surprising it can talk.
    • It can reanimate the dead

    Sphinx
    Spoiler
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    Not really strong enough; the suggested idea was a kind of rock sphinx, but that can't be found in the stat'ed lists.

    Starspawn (aka Son of Cthulhu)
    Spoiler
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    Drives people looking at him insane, thus having difficulty explaining its success as a circus act. Strength high, but not impressively so.

    Sun Wukong
    Spoiler
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    Talks, no father, not part of a group, vegetarian.

    Titan
    Spoiler
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    Pros: High Strength, mythologically, the Titan Uranus ate his children.
    Cons: The only way to rescue O'Chul is by using Maze, which fits badly. It wouldn't be surprising it can talk.

    Truly Horrid Umber Hulk
    Spoiler
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    Fairly strong, confusing gaze might explain the circus' reactions. However, doesn't have teleportation abilities, or earthquake.

    Ultroloth
    Spoiler
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    Demonic (morality problems), insufficient strength & defences, can't explain the escape

    Uluu Thalongh
    Spoiler
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    Not surprising to be found in a jungle/rainforest. Unclear if it accounts for the escape.

    Vasuthant
    Spoiler
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    Undead. Can't explain the escape

    Vermiurge
    Spoiler
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    revolting sight, but can speak and is immune to mind-affecting spells.

    Warforged
    Spoiler
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    Construct

    Wendigo
    Spoiler
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    Very strong, fairly ugly, famously hungry creatures. However, no magic, and thus doesn't explain the escape.

    Wumpus
    Spoiler
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    Doesn't explain the escape.

    Ygramul
    Spoiler
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    Can teleport, but the teleported person dies an hour after the teleportation. Unclear of his strength.

    Zodar
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • Very strong
    • Can cast wish once in a lifetime, and any spell three times in a lifetime
    • Human-sized
    • Invulnerable to all damage except bludgeoning explains his resistance to Belkar's and Miko's attacks.

    Cons:
    • Does not explain the circus scene, since it basically looks like a man in a black armor
    • The newer version of Zodar is a construct, which would discard him


    Section 3e: Joke Ideas

    Version History
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    1.0 Up to date to last page of previous thread
    1.2 Up to date to end of page 10
    1.4 Up to date to end of page 20
    1.6 Up to date to end of page 30
    1.8 Up to date to end of page 40
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2011-01-16 at 10:21 PM.
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    Deep in the corners of your mind
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Third time's the charm!

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    nice title :P

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    confused Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    I'm thinking Slaad, but Snorlax really fits if it weren't for the legal thing. Does anyone know how one could get round that rule?

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolkabro View Post
    I'm thinking Slaad, but Snorlax really fits if it weren't for the legal thing. Does anyone know how one could get round that rule?
    call it a Laxsnor and use it in 3 strips and call it a gag.
    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Leecros View Post
    call it a Laxsnor and use it in 3 strips and call it a gag.
    If it was a gag, it wouldn't need a name change, anymore than the illithid needed one. But MitD is not a gag character, and if it came to lawyers, Rich would not be able to claim parody when MitD has been a straight character throughout the whole comic.

    No, there is no way we've been able to think to get around copyright restrictions, not in a comic that is sold for money. Thus why they get a "dump" category.

    Grey Wolf
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    And myth and legend thrive
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Wow, I'm amazed how much consideration and organization is now behind the MitD speculation (long time not visiting these threads). It's a true riddle, keep up solving it!

    Spoiler
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    I'm still likely to suggest Snarl jr., and none of the forerunner suggestions persuaded me, personally. I still interpret Rich's words in the way: "I'm not inventing a new monster for the reveal but instead I planned this since strip 100".

    Now you may stone me to death for my heresy.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    My Guess?
    Teddy Bear.
    That's right, Teddy Bear, A giant one too!
    EDIT: I have reasons too, quiz me.
    Last edited by EternalMelon; 2010-06-14 at 04:27 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Wow, I'm amazed how much consideration and organization is now behind the MitD speculation (long time not visiting these threads). It's a true riddle, keep up solving it!

    Spoiler
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    I'm still likely to suggest Snarl jr., and none of the forerunner suggestions persuaded me, personally. I still interpret Rich's words in the way: "I'm not inventing a new monster for the reveal but instead I planned this since strip 100".

    Now you may stone me to death for my heresy.
    "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." He pretty much states here that it's not something he made up, period, not just not something he made up for the specific purpose of the mystery. Not to mention that Snarl Jr. isn't exactly "one of these."
    Last edited by DaggerPen; 2010-06-14 at 04:19 PM.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by DaggerPen View Post
    "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." He pretty much states here that it's not something he made up, period, not just not something he made up for the specific purpose of the mystery.
    In this particular case, I much prefer the far more clear "it isn't something I just made up for the story". Snarl was invented for the story. MitD wasn't. Thus, they cannot be the same, or father and son, or any other permutation thereof.

    Grey Wolf
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    Where reality is an intruder
    And myth and legend thrive
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    In this particular case, I much prefer the far more clear "it isn't something I just made up for the story". Snarl was invented for the story. MitD wasn't. Thus, they cannot be the same, or father and son, or any other permutation thereof.

    Grey Wolf
    True. I missed that, actually, since it was followed by the "it isn't something I made up for just one purpose" line, which I figured could be interpreted on its own to mean that it could have been created as part of the larger story rather than for the mystery itself.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    I'd hazard a guess that he is Large, or at least "Largeish". Look at any strip where he converses with a human-sized creature, you'll see that while his eyes appear to be at approximately the same level as the person he is talking to, they are significantly bigger. Could be a large creature crouching down (or a quadruped).

    Or just a creature with an abnormally large head/eyes for Medium. Maybe this is Rich's way of hinting that he is something from anime.
    Last edited by Starscream; 2010-06-14 at 05:08 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Starscream View Post
    I'd hazard a guess that he is Large, or at least "Largeish". Look at any strip where he converses with a human-sized creature, you'll see that while his eyes appear to be at approximately the same level as the person he is talking to, they are significantly bigger. Could be a large creature crouching down (or a quadruped).
    See section 2a - Size. You bring nothing new to the table.

    GW
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    The comment about the eyes being bigger than Medium creatures' is new, but it's not conclusive either. He could just have big eyes, or they could look bigger because they're glowing.
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Nice, new thread!

    (My vote for Laxsnor with reversed powers:P)

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    See section 2a - Size. You bring nothing new to the table.

    GW
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    I offer no insight (though I think it's some kind of half thing) but would like to point out that your BB code goes to pot in the Ephemeral Hangman entry under things that it isn't.
    Last edited by Sc00by; 2010-06-14 at 06:32 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    I was thinking about Redcloak being able to identify MitD. Assuming the check was based on a knowledge skill, clerics only have access to Arcana, History, Planes, and Religion as class skills.

    If Xykon knows what he is (and not through Redcloak), sorcerers only have Arcana.

    Arcana: Constructs*, Dragons, Magical Beasts
    Religion: Undead*, Divine Beings*
    Planes: Outsiders, Elementals*

    *ruled out for other reasons

    History doesn't offer specific monster lore, though if MitD was of a famous type I could see a generous DM allowing it. That doesn't really help us though.

    Wizards can take any, so the spectator at the circus would in theory have been able to know, but that seems indicative of it being a high DC Knowledge check, ie MitD is a rare creature.

    If it's based off a Kn check:
    Xykon and Redcloak know - Dragon or Magical Beast
    Only Redcloak knows - Dragon, Magical Beast, or Outsider


    I would say one of my issues with Slaad in this context is that even though the White and Black Slaad are very rare, they are identifiable as Slaad, and those are common enough as a species to be used as conscience angels. I think the Kn:Planes check to know "that's a kind of slaad" might not be that high. That's supposition though.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Alright. I have the answer guys.

    The MitD is always in the dark. And eats a lot.

    You know what he is?

    Spoiler
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    A grue.


    I like this better than my Giygas suggestion last thread.
    Last edited by The Dark Fiddler; 2010-06-14 at 07:46 PM.
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    The best answer is always to ask your DM.
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    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Fiddler View Post
    Alright. I have the answer guys.

    The MitD is always in the dark. And eats a lot.

    You know what he is?

    Spoiler
    Show
    A grue.


    I like this better than my Giygas suggestion last thread.
    That one's been suggested a few times, but no one's yet been able to really explain the escape with it.

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Can we throw the grue in "Frequently proposed discarded ideas"? At this point I think it's beaten Pun-Pun.
    Last edited by Shale; 2010-06-14 at 08:26 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Don't know if this has been stated before, but I find the chance of it being a psonic creature very rare.

    When Redcloak was looking for a way to search O-Chul's mind, he said that he had to research wether psonics were even being used in the campaign. If MitD was a psonic, and RC knew what it was, he would have known psonics exist.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Fiddler View Post
    Alright. I have the answer guys.

    The MitD is always in the dark. And eats a lot.

    You know what he is?

    Spoiler
    Show
    A grue.


    I like this better than my Giygas suggestion last thread.
    Already under proposed ideas

    Peace,
    -Darakonis


    EDIT: Ninja'd
    Last edited by Darakonis; 2010-06-14 at 09:36 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Acero View Post
    Don't know if this has been stated before, but I find the chance of it being a psonic creature very rare.

    When Redcloak was looking for a way to search O-Chul's mind, he said that he had to research wether psonics were even being used in the campaign. If MitD was a psonic, and RC knew what it was, he would have known psonics exist.
    I'm not a very big fan of Psionics in the game, but for this creature/character I think its the most likely source of its powers. The concept of "wishing really hard and making something come true" (barring an actual granted "Wish", but then where did it come from) seems to suggest psionics rather than arcane or divine magic. He would effectively be creating the idea of what he was doing with his mind.

    Now, granted, either was we look at this his going from having no real power (psionic or arcane/divine) to being able to transport (teleport/wish/alter reality) as his first conscious manifestation is a hurdle. It goes against the idea of leveling up. You don't start with 9th level spells, you start with 1st. Even creatures that have sorcerer levels have to progress through HD levels and get higher spell casting as we go (see the fat dragon in the current story arc). Given this I still think it would be easier for psionics to work this way than the other alternatives.
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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    ... will he ever tell us what it is?

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    ... will he ever tell us what it is?
    Not sure if he ever explicitly states that he will, but it's pretty well implied in the first quote from him in the thread, since he does talk about how anticlimactic the reveal would be if it was a monster he made up. Plus, he uses past tense when saying he planned to never reveal MitD before he knew what he was, implying that said plans have changed.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Maybe I didn't see it it, but I think the summation missed what many people regard as a big hint in strip 651, panel 7, with the Go pieces making a reflection of the MitD's head.

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    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by JonestheSpy View Post
    Maybe I didn't see it it, but I think the summation missed what many people regard as a big hint in strip 651, panel 7, with the Go pieces making a reflection of the MitD's head.
    Pretty much everyone comments on that, and oddly enough, pretty much everyone seems to either see exactly their theory in it or have no idea what it is. I think the general consensus by now is that it's just pareidola.
    Last edited by DaggerPen; 2010-06-15 at 01:16 AM.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    I think it's some sort of Flumph.

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    Default Re: MitD III: You are likely to suggest Tarrasque

    Quote Originally Posted by Jokasti View Post
    I think it's some sort of Flumph.
    Er- why, exactly?

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