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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    But it can't be really only be ugly, because that doesn't fit that well to the circus-crowd reactions ins SoD (if you don't have SoD, in the first post in this thread, the main scenes with MitD from SoD are transcribed there), but it could be some soft version of the Aura of Doom maybe [if the Vermiurge can regulate the effect - but from the text it seems to be only an on/off switch]
    Maybe it's some combination of being really ugly and being covered in a swarm of insects yet having a charisma of 44. Also as far as mind affecting aura's go, shaken is a lot closer to what we see in the circus than some of the other stuff we have seen in this thread like instadeath or permanent madness.

    Overall, I think it is a decent fit, it fits two of the three scenes without too much rule stretching.

    Circus Scene: Really ugly, has a Cha of 44 and certainly could be something a wizard guy never saw before.

    Tower Scene: Strength of 34, on the low end, but might be enough.

    Escape scene: This one is troubling. If you don't buy the unidentified SLA's bit then you're stuck with either templates or class levels, both of which are frowned upon.

    Also a real shame that it is immune to mind affecting effects which is sort of like a fourth big scene.
    Last edited by Silver Swift; 2012-12-05 at 09:27 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Thinking at it from the perspective of a writer, though, if you see a creature entry that has a high concealment rate and that's incredibly powerful, I could easily see it inspiring the idea of a monster that you don't see.
    Thinking about a monster that already self-conceals, you don't pile a second concealment source on top of it. Worse, in the case of the Vemiurge, his concealment is a cloud of insects. Revolting, I'll grant you, but could it really be described as something not seen before? An unrecognisable 'IT'? How is it no-one pointed at it and said, "it's just an insect swarm!"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    The important consideration is what Rich intended when he established the identity of the monster. The fact that they were retroactively created earlier doesn't change the fact that they first appeared around the monster.
    Ummm... no, I disagree. The important consideration is that Rich is giving us clues about MitD. If retconning the origin of the demon roaches removed a clue about MitD, that would be contrary to Rich's explicit intention of having us figure it out. In SoD, the book where the clues are laid most thickly, and thus a time when MitD's species must have been at the forefront of Rich's mind, the roaches are explicitly unconnected to MitD.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Yes. So it has spell-like abilities that are undefined. Which are separate from the abilities listed for the creature. I.e., for an author, they could be anything. They could be the earthquake effect, the teleport... It creates a lot of opportunities, particularly since at least one of a Vermiurge's abilities is at a caster level of 42.
    It also makes the guessing game impossible. Lets say that there are a dozen epic creatures with undefined SLAs in the books. If Rich felt those were carte blanche to add whatever abilities he wanted, then the guessing game just became impossible, because he has given us clues that will never match the creature in any way except "it doesn't say it can't".

    Quote Originally Posted by ReaderAt2046 View Post
    Actually, it might be a clue. Wouldn't it mean that MitD must be something that exists both in 3.5 and 4.0 editions?
    Not sure why you think so. Can you please elaborate? Consider that the joke is that they are unsure if MitD will be affected - so it could be because, not being in 4E as a creature type, he lacks the keywords to be targeted, or maybe he does have the exact same keyword from 3.5, but they aren't sure if, not having been upgraded to 4, if that keyword still applies. There are many scenarios, for either interpretation, I fear.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2012-12-05 at 09:41 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Savannah View Post
    All that shaken gives is a -2 penalty to d20 rolls, which doesn't really mesh with the reactions at the circus.
    That is what happens mechanically, however what would shaken look like in fluff form, i.e. story form. Not necessarily agreeing with the ability, but just giving a different perspective on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Savannah View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine Crow View Post
    Also a real shame that it is immune to mind affecting effects which is sort of like a fourth big scene.
    This is a big one. Without being able to be mind altered, that kind of nixes him to be the MitD, because of what Xykon does to him, with the mind spell.


    Also, I saw an ability on the Uvuudaum, it was Teleport without error......does someone have the stats on that, or a description somewhere for it? Is it in the first and I am just an idiot and missed it ?
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Thinking about a monster that already self-conceals, you don't pile a second concealment source on top of it. Worse, in the case of the Vemiurge, his concealment is a cloud of insects. Revolting, I'll grant you, but could it really be described as something not seen before? An unrecognisable 'IT'? How is it no-one pointed at it and said, "it's just an insect swarm!"?
    Would you say "it's just an insect swarm!" if you saw a crawling mass of bugs covering what looks like some weird monstrous scorpion thing? Wizard guys words do not indicate something that is completely indescribable, just something for which a clear definition doesn't easily springs to mind. Otherwise something like the dread linnorm is just a dragon with no wings.

    Also note that the guy is in shock, he might be able to give a more accurate description later on, but at that moment he is completely freaked out.

    Edit: I just realised we may be imagining this creature differently, when I read the description I don't see a big pile of insects just lying there completely obscuring what is underneath, I imagine that some parts of the scorpion thing are visible some of the time and the pile moving to adjust for the vermiurges subtle movements* so that you get some idea that there is something even more horrible underneath the already quite horrible sight of a mass of insects.

    *: I know he is supposed to be just standing there, but that doesn't mean he stands utterly still.
    Last edited by Silver Swift; 2012-12-05 at 10:20 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine Crow View Post
    Would you say "it's just an insect swarm!" if you saw a crawling mass of bugs covering what looks like some weird monstrous scorpion thing? Wizard guys words do not indicate something that is completely indescribable, just something for which a clear definition doesn't easily springs to mind. Otherwise something like the dread linnorm is just a dragon with no wings.

    Also note that the guy is in shock, he might be able to give a more accurate description later on, but at that moment he is completely freaked out.

    Edit: I just realised we may be imagining this creature differently, when I read the description I don't see a big pile of insects just lying there completely obscuring what is underneath, I imagine that some parts of the scorpion thing are visible some of the time and the pile moving to adjust for the vermiurges subtle movements* so that you get some idea that there is something even more horrible underneath the already quite horrible sight of a mass of insects.

    *: I know he is supposed to be just standing there, but that doesn't mean he stands utterly still.
    I'm basing my assumption of its looks on the original description of the spell - if it provides concealment equivalent to the darkness, then nothing of the original creature would be seen. Reading more closely, it seems it is only 9/10ths cover, so I could accept that some of the underlying creature is visible, which strengthens your argument.

    However, I think what you missed was my own. I wasn't talking about wizard guy (I use him as my "decent knowledge check reference", which an epic creature I can accept will be too much for him). No, I'm referring to the act itself. MitD is billed as an unrecognisable "It". We don't have a clear timeline, but I don't think I'll raise any hackles if we assume MitD was part of the circus for at least months before RC stole him. I can't imagine a successful Circus act that would just display a mass of insects to farmers and get away with it - the next act, the bearded lady, doesn't: it is immediately heckled, and rightly so.

    I'm a city dweller, and even I have seen swarms of insects. It is not such a rare sight. Farmers even more so. Now, could the unrecognisable part of the act be the fact that the insect cloud seems to be hiding something? Maybe. That's not the feeling I get from the scene, but my feelings are not something that can be rationally use for my position.

    However, now that I've read the description of the crown of insects thing, I have to add: how is this disgusting? There is nothing special about these insects. Yes, the occasional bug might be scary, but it seems more like a buzzing mass of indistinct moving shapes. Some people might react badly to it, but the circus reactions feel overblown if it is just a cloud of insects.

    On the other hand, no-one has pointed out that the ability is suppressible. The circus scene fits much better if the vermiurge stands there, doing nothing, which can be read in this case to still himself, including the insect cloud. Now, normally I would be against such coaching, but this is a case where the ability really can be switched off, doesn't take any active thought when off, and when it is on would be in the way of the show (i.e. being off, rather than on, is better for the fit - normally, ideas trying to fit the scene need an ability to be active, not inactive).

    If he has been coached to not have the insects, it fits that 1) no-one has seen it before (vermiurges wouldn't be seen without their insect cover) and 2) that it is hard to be looked at (really not used to it) and 3) the vermiurge itself, rather than the insect cover, is truly disgusting in looks.

    So OK, I can buy that vermiurge fits the circus scene. Unfortunately, it still cannot be mind-controlled, and more importantly, I don't buy the "keyword means I can give it whatever SLAs I want" explanation for the Escape.

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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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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    @SLA: From reading the text I do not get the impression that Vermiurge have random undefined abilities. I think the SLA is the Aura of Doom.

    And being "immune to all mind-affecting effects" is a pretty big drawback.
    Both the book and the SRD list spell-like abilities under the special attacks section separately from the aura of doom. As far as I can tell, all monsters that have spell-like abilities listed under their special attacks have a "spell-like abilities" bit that's separate from their other listed attacks. Usually it's in the form of something like: "At will - animate dead, blasphemy, create greater undead ... 5/day haste, project image..." (taken from the Atropal listing) Caster level is usually CR in the entries (24 for Vermiurge). Though it's possible it would have a 42 caster level given that its aura of doom is at a caster level 42.

    Why might it be affected by the charm though it's immune to mind-control effects? Well, 1) dread linnorms are listed as a viable possibility above when they're immune to all enchantments, 2) whatever spell Xykon cast would have to be epic since charm monster has a duration of 1 day/caster level and I doubt Xykon would have expected betrayal within a month. Immunities vs. epic magic get awkward. 3) Who's to say the spell worked?

    One more argument: whatever the monster in the darkness is, it's likely open-source since Rich has been pretty clear whenever he's used a non-OS enemy (the beholder and mind flayer in comic 32, and Zz'dtri-parody is protected speech). Vermiurges are open source (and available on the SRD). Many of the other possibilities are not.

    But yes, the immune to mind-control is a problem. I'd still posit it's no less a problem for the linnorm or some other options.


    Why might the monster not have dread cockroaches in the rainforest? Because Aura of Doom can be completely suppressed at will.
    Last edited by kimagure; 2012-12-05 at 04:06 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    On bypassing spell immunity with epic spells, I was able to find this resource:
    http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Addit...rs_(3.5e_Other)

    I can't say how definitive it is, but it seems at least possible to create a domination/charm epic spell that would bypass mind-affecting spell immunity.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Both the book and the SRD list spell-like abilities under the special attacks section separately from the aura of doom. As far as I can tell, all monsters that have spell-like abilities listed under their special attacks have a "spell-like abilities" bit that's separate from their other listed attacks. Usually it's in the form of something like: "At will - animate dead, blasphemy, create greater undead ... 5/day haste, project image..." (taken from the Atropal listing) Caster level is usually CR in the entries (24 for Vermiurge). Though it's possible it would have a 42 caster level given that its aura of doom is at a caster level 42.
    All that suggests that the fact that "Spell Like Abilities" is listed is a mistake, not an "add whatever other powers you want" license. This is an RPG creature, not merely a literature device, and it is subject to certain characteristics, like CR, which might as well be thrown out the window if the author/DM can just add "Miracle" to the list of abilities just because of your open-ended interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Why might it be affected by the charm though it's immune to mind-control effects? Well, 1) dread linnorms are listed as a viable possibility above when they're immune to all enchantments,
    Irrelevant. You misunderstand the definition of FBS.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    2) whatever spell Xykon cast would have to be epic since charm monster has a duration of 1 day/caster level and I doubt Xykon would have expected betrayal within a month. Immunities vs. epic magic get awkward.
    [citation needed on the Immunities vs. epic magic]
    Edit: Your link leads to a page with this text: "This page needs content. You can help by adding a sentence or a photo!"

    Xykon may just reapply the spell every month. Or it could be a conditional Geas spell. EDIT: Or contingency. Link to last time we talked about this

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    3) Who's to say the spell worked?
    Swirly eyes say the spell worked.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    One more argument: whatever the monster in the darkness is, it's likely open-source since Rich has been pretty clear whenever he's used a non-OS enemy (the beholder and mind flayer in comic 32, and Zz'dtri-parody is protected speech). Vermiurges are open source (and available on the SRD). Many of the other possibilities are not.
    Read Section 5a: Inappropriate Topics. This is all I will say on this matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    But yes, the immune to mind-control is a problem. I'd still posit it's no less a problem for the linnorm or some other options.
    Irrelevant. A creature is considered on its own merits, not on how it stacks against others.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Why might the monster not have dread cockroaches in the rainforest? Because Aura of Doom can be completely suppressed at will.
    You lost me. What is this about?

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2012-12-05 at 04:49 PM.
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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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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post

    Irrelevant. You misunderstand the definition of FBS.
    What's FBS again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    [citation needed on the Immunities vs. epic magic]
    Edit: Your link leads to a page with this text: "This page needs content. You can help by adding a sentence or a photo!"
    Parenthesis got cut off. Here's the link I placed. Note: it has a strong likelihood of not being definitive. If the link doesn't work, throw on an end-parenthesis.
    http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Addit...rs_(3.5e_Other)

    I'll search to see if there are any examples of cannon epic spells or epic spell factors that abrogate immunity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Xykon may just reapply the spell every month. Or it could be a conditional Geas spell.
    Looking at the SRD, the longest effect any mind-controlling spell has (including conditional geas/quest) is 1 day/caster level. He would need to cast it again every month. Not saying he doesn't, but that would be the requirement. Though geas doesn't really fit by the spell description, since the target understands the requirement and can choose not to, whereas the monster's ordered to forget. Domination requires exclusive performance of the command ignoring all other tasks. The closest is suggestion which lasts 1 hour/level or until completed.

    I would again like to note that Dread Linnorms are immune to enchantment spells, which also includes spell-like abilities. That would make them immune to geas, quest, suggestion, and all other controlling spells. If the Dread Linnorm is still a contender despite that, I'd argue that Vermiurges have more factors in their favor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Read Section 5a: Inappropriate Topics. This is all I will say on this matter.
    My apologies. I wasn't saying that he couldn't use the monsters or making any statement on copyright, but that he's structured gags around whether something's open-source and on the SRD or not (which is completely different from copyrighted). I'm not trying to start a copyright debate, just saying that most every enemy he's used has been open source off the SRD, and making an inference from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Irrelevant. A creature is considered on its own merits, not on how it stacks against others.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    All that suggests that the fact that "Spell Like Abilities" is listed is a mistake, not an "add whatever other powers you want" license. This is an RPG creature, not merely a literature device, and it is subject to certain characteristics, like CR, which might as well be thrown out the window if the author/DM can just add "Miracle" to the list of abilities just because of your open-ended interpretation.
    They point isn't so much how the creature itself compares to others, but how WoTC and the SRD list creatures' stats. I.e., when they list separate special attacks, they are separate abilities of the creatures. When they list spell like abilities separate from an actual ability "aura of doom", then it means that two different abilities were intended. Spell-like abilities would be consistent with the Vermiurge considering that the monster description says that they're the equivalent of gods for swarming insects.

    The fact that specific spell-like abilities aren't listed can either be read to mean that 1) it was a mistake and they don't have any, or 2) that they have them but are undefined and defineable. From a literary sense, that gives an author a lot of room to specify them as needed for the story, if he or she so chooses.

    And although it's an RPG creature, everything's a literary device within the confines of the comic. I seriously doubt you'd be able to calculate each attack in the comic, connect it with an exact number, and make every combat consistent. There are too many enemies that are killed with one big attack/etc. The important thing is that it all works out more or less and that it makes for good storytelling.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    You lost me. What is this about?
    There was an earlier comment here or elsewhere that there were no demonic cockroaches when the monster was caught in the jungle. One answer to that is that the swarming aura is suppressible.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Note, this isn't a spell, but there's at least one feat that suggests that mind-control immunity can be nullified. That's the Epic feat: Music of the Gods, which is available to bards.

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm

    It lets bardic music affect those normally immune to mind-affecting effects. Now yes, I realize Xykon isn't a bard, but it shows that abrogating mind-affecting immunity is possible in D&D 3.5 under epic rules.

    Earlier on, Grey Wolf, you asked why use darkness to conceal something that has 90% concealment? Because the 90% concealment comes from bugs and the creature can still be identified. Xykon wanted to keep the monster's identity hidden.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    What's FBS again?
    Please note thread name. Then acquiesce its request.
    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Looking at the SRD, the longest effect any mind-controlling spell has (including conditional geas/quest) is 1 day/caster level. He would need to cast it again every month. Not saying he doesn't, but that would be the requirement. Though geas doesn't really fit by the spell description, since the target understands the requirement and can choose not to, whereas the monster's ordered to forget. Domination requires exclusive performance of the command ignoring all other tasks. The closest is suggestion which lasts 1 hour/level or until completed.
    Not my department, but it seems there is an interpretation of geas that it is on hold until the conditions required happen ("RC betrays me"), and at that point only does the duration start to count down. See also my edit - especially the link to where the people that actually know what they are talking about hashed it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    I would again like to note that Dread Linnorms are immune to enchantment spells, which also includes spell-like abilities. That would make them immune to geas, quest, suggestion, and all other controlling spells. If the Dread Linnorm is still a contender despite that, I'd argue that Vermiurges have more factors in their favor.
    And I would once again note the definition of FBS, and the purpose of the thread being to compare suggestions against the evidence, and not against each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    My apologies. I wasn't saying that he couldn't use the monsters or making any statement on copyright, but that he's structured gags around whether something's open-source and on the SRD or not (which is completely different from copyrighted). I'm not trying to start a copyright debate, just saying that most every enemy he's used has been open source off the SRD, and making an inference from there.
    Saying that open source is not copyright (or that it is) is, itself, talking about legal matters, which is verbotten. Please do not bring it up again - after this point, I will simply report it to the mods. In fact, please read the rules. You have now double posted twice in a matter of hours. That is also against the rules. Edit: I should add: it's not a big deal, but these threads are under harsher scrutiny than most threads. I'd rather it didn't get closed because of legal discussion (it has almost happened before).

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    The fact that specific spell-like abilities aren't listed can either be read to mean that 1) it was a mistake and they don't have any, or 2) that they have them but are undefined and defineable. From a literary sense, that gives an author a lot of room to specify them as needed for the story, if he or she so chooses.
    No, it doesn't. Rich doesn't need the SRD's permission to change a creature. What constrains him is not the SRD, but his desire to keep MitD deducible. Adding unsconstrained teleportation to a creature that does not have it and make them be MitD pretty much runs contrary to his belief that, in such circumstances, it can be figured out. The first post is teeming with creatures that would fit if only they had teleportation, and there are uncountable ways to give it to them based on "what the author can do to his literary creation".

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    I seriously doubt you'd be able to calculate each attack in the comic, connect it with an exact number, and make every combat consistent. There are too many enemies that are killed with one big attack/etc.
    As far as I know from the Geekery thread, you are utterly wrong. Rich tends to be accurate down to the correct number of attacks, when he is showing the whole fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    There was an earlier comment here or elsewhere that there were no demonic cockroaches when the monster was caught in the jungle. One answer to that is that the swarming aura is suppressible.
    The swarming aura generates regular bugs, not demonic ones. He'd have to have supressed it for over 30 years, until he joined the rest of Team Evil, who already had the roaches tagging along, and only then turned it on. That is stretching it well past breaking point. The Demon roaches joined Team Evil before MitD.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2012-12-05 at 05:31 PM.
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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 VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Both the book and the SRD list spell-like abilities under the special attacks section separately from the aura of doom. As far as I can tell, all monsters that have spell-like abilities listed under their special attacks have a "spell-like abilities" bit that's separate from their other listed attacks. Usually it's in the form of something like: "At will - animate dead, blasphemy, create greater undead ... 5/day haste, project image..." (taken from the Atropal listing) Caster level is usually CR in the entries (24 for Vermiurge). Though it's possible it would have a 42 caster level given that its aura of doom is at a caster level 42.
    CL usually is HD for SLAs (Spell-like abilities), though in epic it often becomes CR, it is noted somewhere that it usually is HD (this often is capped at 20, and their can be variation, usually + or - 1-2). Still, due to no CL being specified, it is defaulted to HD (42) for the SLAs, though I don't think that they exist, due to not being listed (at least effectively not able to use them).

    I would argue that it does not have any SLAs it can use because none are listed, would you argue that everything with SLAs can have Wish, Miracle, True Resurrection, Shapechange, Gate, and Prismatic Sphere at-will because it never says they don't? I think it would be more reasonable to assume it has no SLAs that it can use (as if it said: Spell-like Abilities: [and didn't list anything after it, just went onto its next ability]) meaning that is does't have any SLAs, rather than it can have any SLA.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Please note thread name. Then acquiesce its request.
    Whoops. My apologies about the rules. I'll keep them in better mind.

    There's really nothing more I can add on the question of spell-like abilities other than to note that Rich has shown willingness to personalize magic items/effects in the Oots world (Haley's icy burst bow) and to use non-standard factors with his epic spells (familicide, epic teleport).

    Anyway, thanks for engaging in discussion!

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Whoops. My apologies about the rules. I'll keep them in better mind.

    There's really nothing more I can add on the question of spell-like abilities other than to note that Rich has shown willingness to personalize magic items/effects in the Oots world (Haley's icy burst bow) and to use non-standard factors with his epic spells (familicide, epic teleport).

    Anyway, thanks for engaging in discussion!
    Ummm...

    I'm not good with the Epic Spell rules, so I can't say anything on that, but Icy Burst is a thing, and you can have it on bows.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Icy burst is a standard D&D ranged weapon enhancement. Epic spells are explicitly designed so you can make up your own. I don't see how using a standard ability and making up something that is explicitly designed to make things up means that Rich is more likely to make up something completely random.

    The thing to understand about spell-like abilities is that "spell-like abilities" does NOT mean that the creature casts like a spellcaster and therefore the spell selection can be customized. "Spell-like abilities" means that the creature has explicitly defined abilities that mimic a specific spell or spells. The fact that there are no spell-like abilities explicitly defined is completely nonstandard and strongly implies that something got lost in editing.

    While the SLA error could mean that a DM can make up whatever s/he wants, I personally think using that to give the MitD the exact spells needed is against the spirit of Rich's comments "I [...] have been dropping hints [...] It is possible to guess." (See OP for full quote)

    Finally, I do want to say thank you for taking these criticisms in the spirit they were intended -- I know we can sometimes come off like we do nothing but criticize when a new idea is proposed here.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    *ahem* I am pleased to announce that my list of all MitD strips is fully up to date. If you find any I'm missing, please let me know!
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    The tower scene has always boggled me the most. This is just what I saw:

    - If the MitD was strong enough to launch Miko and her horse a massive distance, then the strength of a physical blow that strong would have simply instantly crushed or plain decapitated them.

    - Yet they must have been launched through the wall at incredible speeds, or else much of the wall would have been also destroyed.

    - They both landed without apparent injury. The actual scene of the strike is not seen.

    - They both land vertically, indicating that they must have been launched to an extremely high altitude. Enough so that gravity and a strong breeze could change their direction to terminal ascent.

    Conclusion: MitD is a caster based creature so strong that it can replicate high STR abilities. MitD must have generously shielded them both before launching them through the wall. Or maybe he shielded them, launched them through the wall and then teleported them down on their heads.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Basooned View Post
    The tower scene has always boggled me the most. This is just what I saw:

    - If the MitD was strong enough to launch Miko and her horse a massive distance, then the strength of a physical blow that strong would have simply instantly crushed or plain decapitated them.

    - Yet they must have been launched through the wall at incredible speeds, or else much of the wall would have been also destroyed.

    - They both landed without apparent injury. The actual scene of the strike is not seen.

    - They both land vertically, indicating that they must have been launched to an extremely high altitude. Enough so that gravity and a strong breeze could change their direction to terminal ascent.

    Conclusion: MitD is a caster based creature so strong that it can replicate high STR abilities. MitD must have generously shielded them both before launching them through the wall. Or maybe he shielded them, launched them through the wall and then teleported them down on their heads.
    Then he said "Oh man, I lost twice, I suck." Unless the MitD was being sarcastic, and sarcastic for pretty much everything else, him willingly using a spell or SLA is rather unlikely.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Basooned View Post
    The tower scene has always boggled me the most. This is just what I saw:

    - If the MitD was strong enough to launch Miko and her horse a massive distance, then the strength of a physical blow that strong would have simply instantly crushed or plain decapitated them.

    - Yet they must have been launched through the wall at incredible speeds, or else much of the wall would have been also destroyed.

    - They both landed without apparent injury. The actual scene of the strike is not seen.

    - They both land vertically, indicating that they must have been launched to an extremely high altitude. Enough so that gravity and a strong breeze could change their direction to terminal ascent.

    Conclusion: MitD is a caster based creature so strong that it can replicate high STR abilities. MitD must have generously shielded them both before launching them through the wall. Or maybe he shielded them, launched them through the wall and then teleported them down on their heads.
    Alternative: massive strength and cartoon physics.

    Edit: evidence for my position: the third law of cartoon law physics.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    [Moving that little Int sub-discussion to the real thread...]


    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FujinAkari View Post
    With all due respect... how precisely are you able to propose a theory calling on the MitD to have 18 Int with a straight face? :P
    From what we saw we cannot draw any conclusions about Int. It could be "barely above average" or "super genius". All we can say he very probably has abysmal Wis.

    He usually does not seem to actually use the brainpower he has.

    But I really think all these speculations belong in the "real" thread (and already have been made countless times over in there).

    IDK, personally, I'd think that being repeatedly unable to assimilate super-simple explanations ("Gate? What gate?" "Wow, I didn't know Xykon could cast cleric spells -- do his brothers know he can do that?" and so on) is, plain and simple, just not compatible with high Int.

    We've seen MitD be incredibly dense a couple times. To my knowledge, no other "intelligent" character (V, Roy, Redcloak, etc.) has ever come close (and I am pretty sure Rich knows that we, as readers, wouldn't accept smart people acting that dense as something likely/credible) in the entire history of the comic...
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Alternative: massive strength and cartoon physics.
    I think we can safely say Cartoon Physics is at play there... seems to me it's crystal clear.

    Anyway, there's also the magic angle to consider... which I'd consider parallel to Cartoon Physics here... it's basically the only way to explain -- from a story/D&D mechanics POV -- how Miko's human body could possibly conserve its integrity while being on the receiving end of a hit that transferred enough energy to it to propel it that far through a stone wall... "Extremely kickass magical armor", and voilą, problem solved.

    (I mean, yes, it's obviously a pure case of Cartoon Physics, but to be credible, it requires another component: Miko needs to be a really powerful character as well, i.e. unnaturally high damage resistance, which is something that's entirely possible for a well-equipped high-level character.)
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimagure View Post
    Looking at the SRD, the longest effect any mind-controlling spell has (including conditional geas/quest) is 1 day/caster level. He would need to cast it again every month. Not saying he doesn't, but that would be the requirement. Though geas doesn't really fit by the spell description, since the target understands the requirement and can choose not to, whereas the monster's ordered to forget. Domination requires exclusive performance of the command ignoring all other tasks. The closest is suggestion which lasts 1 hour/level or until completed.
    You've got quite a harsh DM if his/her reaction to, "I want to design a spell which exactly resembles a third-level spell, except for having a duration of years rather than days" would be, "Then it has to be Epic!"

    The question isn't "Would any official spell work?" since Rich has demonstrated on multiple occasions his willingness to give his characters custom spells they designed themselves. The question is, would Years-Long Suggestion be significantly more powerful than Horrid Wilting, Meteor Swarm, Greater Prying Eyes, Mind Blank, Clone, Time Stop, Wish, Polymorph Any Object, etc., such that the DM's logical response would be "that's an Epic spell"? I would venture a "no," or possibly an "absolutely not," with options on "are you kidding?"
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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I'm referring to the act itself. MitD is billed as an unrecognisable "It". We don't have a clear timeline, but I don't think I'll raise any hackles if we assume MitD was part of the circus for at least months before RC stole him. I can't imagine a successful Circus act that would just display a mass of insects to farmers and get away with it - the next act, the bearded lady, doesn't: it is immediately heckled, and rightly so.
    I have just check SoD and found the handler after the show saying that she has fed MitD stew for 5 years and that their was a previous handler before her. The maximum time for him to be in the circus is 29-3=26 years based on how long ago each scene is.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by cd4 View Post
    I have just check SoD and found the handler after the show saying that she has fed MitD stew for 5 years and that their was a previous handler before her. The maximum time for him to be in the circus is 29-3=26 years based on how long ago each scene is.
    Thank you for finding that little nugget!

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    IDK, personally, I'd think that being repeatedly unable to assimilate super-simple explanations ("Gate? What gate?" "Wow, I didn't know Xykon could cast cleric spells -- do his brothers know he can do that?" and so on) is, plain and simple, just not compatible with high Int.

    We've seen MitD be incredibly dense a couple times. To my knowledge, no other "intelligent" character (V, Roy, Redcloak, etc.) has ever come close (and I am pretty sure Rich knows that we, as readers, wouldn't accept smart people acting that dense as something likely/credible) in the entire history of the comic...
    Intelligence: MitD was able to learn Go quickly.
    Wisdom: MitD is childish.

    The difference between intelligence and wisdom is up to the DM, but in essence, wisdom can be thought of as "how grown up you are" (thus V, for all its intelligence, is also quite childish - or more like adolescent - in hirs thought process: thus why V tends to just attempt to smash problems in V's way). Intelligence measures raw processing power of the brain.

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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 VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Basooned View Post
    The tower scene has always boggled me the most. This is just what I saw:

    - If the MitD was strong enough to launch Miko and her horse a massive distance, then the strength of a physical blow that strong would have simply instantly crushed or plain decapitated them.

    - Yet they must have been launched through the wall at incredible speeds, or else much of the wall would have been also destroyed.

    - They both landed without apparent injury. The actual scene of the strike is not seen.

    - They both land vertically, indicating that they must have been launched to an extremely high altitude. Enough so that gravity and a strong breeze could change their direction to terminal ascent.

    Conclusion: MitD is a caster based creature so strong that it can replicate high STR abilities. MitD must have generously shielded them both before launching them through the wall. Or maybe he shielded them, launched them through the wall and then teleported them down on their heads.
    I think you may be over-analyzing this particular scene. Obviously, the MitD is ridiculously strong, and Miko and Windstriker did take a fairly hefty amount of damage (judging by the consumption of healing potions in the next strip), but the holes in the wall and the vertical drop strike me personally as pretty clear examples of "Rule of Funny".

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    I assume he just neglected to draw the damage for some reason or other, probably forgot.

    But, after all, this is a system where Miko could survive falling from orbit (70 average damage). I don't think surviving being hurled through a stone wall is out of the question either.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by runeghost View Post
    I think you may be over-analyzing this particular scene. Obviously, the MitD is ridiculously strong, and Miko and Windstriker did take a fairly hefty amount of damage (judging by the consumption of healing potions in the next strip), but the holes in the wall and the vertical drop strike me personally as pretty clear examples of "Rule of Funny".
    Yes, it's so clearly cartoony that it's meant mostly to be an amusing way of showing how strong the MitD is. It's like Wile E. Coyote landing after a fall and making a coyote-shaped hole in the ground, rather than splattering all over it. It isn't a deep statement of some kind of physics particular to that situation; it's just supposed to be fun and silly.
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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Has anyone suggested Gibbering Orb yet? It can swallow opponents whole like Xykon ordered MiTD to in case of Redcloak's betrayal. Its appearance is horrible enough to incite reactions of horror from the crowd. It also gains any spell-like abilities from creatures it eats, which gives MiTD a wide range of possible abilities to use to transport OChul. It is very strong. It's also supposed to be smart, so it's not perfect, but it does have a low wisdom for a monster of its caliber. I'm not sure how it could "hit" Miko... run into her maybe? Anyway, especially if MiTD is an older monster who's eaten many powerful people, it's at least a possibility.

    EDIT: Oops, looks like they lose spells and abilities after 24 hours. A little less plausible, then.
    Last edited by kiapet; 2013-01-08 at 07:48 PM.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by kiapet View Post
    Has anyone suggested Gibbering Orb yet?[...]

    EDIT: Oops, looks like they lose spells and abilities after 24. A little less plausible, then.
    Yes, it has been suggested a few times. But as you discovered, the fact that the power gain lasts a mere 24 hours severely limits the plausibility that he could perform the escape.

    As always, please check the first post to see if a monster has been proposed before. I don't mean to sound cranky, but I do spend quite a bit of time trying to keep the list updated.

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    Default Re: MitD VI: The Undiscovered Creature (Please Read the First Post)

    Sorry. I tried to read everything but I guess I missed it.

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