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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Ooh, remember in http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0861.html Malack mentions that the trap is airtight? Now we know why that's important (it prevents him from bypassing it using gaseous form).
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    What do we do if we can't control [Belkar]?
    We run the clock. Pretty soon, Belkar will be someone else's problem. Someone bony with a black robe and a big scythe. Until then, we'll do what we can to keep him pointed at the bad guys.

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0666.html

    *Looks at Malack's robes and staff*

    Well played Rich, well played

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake View Post
    Also, I am

    EXTREMELY AGGREVATED

    by the fact that there has been exactly ZERO talk on what is Belkar thinking and feeling right now.

    He's probably feeling like a Kobold.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    No, I didn't see this coming either. And on a personal note, I find the current comic one of the most shocking - no, make that the most shocking - I can remember.

    The bright side is - in much the same way as others are hoping this is the end of speculation about Belkar's death - I'm hoping it'll put an end to the blithe assumption "we know Malack is LN...".
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Do vampires actually need to drink blood to sustain themselves? Can't they live unlive without it?
    The MM doesn't say- but in Libris Mortis vampires need blood, otherwise they eventually become unable to move, and they need drained energy, otherwise they eventually go crazy.
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  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by urandom View Post
    I kinda doubt Malack is a vampire lord - he's pale (unlike vampire lords), and he apparently used control winds instead of vampire lord flight here.

    Hmm, I rather thought that walking around in sunlight, and no character noticing that he doesn't have a shadow was decent evidence that he wasn't a vampire. The speech bubble change is interesting. I wonder if it just means that characters have control over their voices, and Malack didn't sound undead until he let that side out. Still kinda disappointing because it adds an exception to something that was previously consistent. Hopefully we'll get a more complete explanation.
    Eugene was able to disguise his speech balloons during the trial. And the mummies lacked speech balloons so it wasn't 100% consistent. Corpses temporarily animated via Speak with Dead have also been shown with speech balloons different from other undead.
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  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    I guess this kind of torpedoes the "Durkon/Belkar will die and be replaced in the Order by Malack" theory.

    ...and it also probably means that we can pencil in Malack as Evil over in Class and Level Geekery.
    Last edited by rgrekejin; 2013-02-18 at 03:50 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake View Post
    Also, I am

    EXTREMELY AGGREVATED

    by the fact that there has been exactly ZERO talk on what is Belkar thinking and feeling right now.

    I'm gonna guess it's something along the lines of "AAAAAAH! My face! My beautiful, beautiful face! AAAAAAH!"

    Those are some serious teeth, after all.

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Itiative View Post
    He's probably feeling like a Kobold.
    Zing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Epic View Post
    Also, does this mean Belkar can finally be useful (in combat)?
    He already - and quite inexplicably - was. He might get some neat powers that can help explain his competency better now though.

    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?
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  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    OK, trying not to comment too much on stuff that will be explained in future comics but:

    You guys are overthinking the black speech bubble thing. Remember that the speech bubbles are an artifact of the comic strip process, which means they are subservient to the story. Obviously, it was narratively important to hide that Malack was undead, so therefore I decided he only speaks in black speech bubbles when he "vamps out." After all, vampires in fiction have a long history of having traits that only pop out when they feed: their fangs elongate, their eyes turn read, maybe their face gets all demony-looking if you want to go the Buffy the Vampire Slayer route. Changing voice is not outside of that realm.

    Also, I already pointed out that Tarquin was able to change his speech balloons just by adopting a different way of speaking. It's not my fault no one extrapolated that to mean that charactersólike the one floating next to himócan disguise/change the visual appearance of their balloons.

    As far as other questions, you'll have to wait and see.
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    No one has noticed yet but in panel 4, Malack says "May your next not lead you..." Does he mean next life. Typo!

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph_Lavode View Post
    Mr Scruffy trying to protect Belkar and then trying to pull him away by by his cape... That's a tug at the old heartstrings.
    I didn't even notice the latter on first read, but you're right about that, for sure.
    I think I just failed a Spot check.

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by urandom View Post
    I kinda doubt Malack is a vampire lord - he's pale (unlike vampire lords), and he apparently used control winds instead of vampire lord flight here.

    Hmm, I rather thought that walking around in sunlight, and no character noticing that he doesn't have a shadow was decent evidence that he wasn't a vampire. The speech bubble change is interesting. I wonder if it just means that characters have control over their voices, and Malack didn't sound undead until he let that side out. Still kinda disappointing because it adds an exception to something that was previously consistent. Hopefully we'll get a more complete explanation.
    Vampire Lords return to their original appearance, and Vampires don't usually have pink eyes- I would guess that Malack was albino before becoming a vampire, either way. And, judging by the strip you linked, the Control Winds seems to be aiding the others in their flight as well (although I could just be misreading Malack's intention).
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  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    No one has noticed yet but in panel 4, Malack says "May your next not lead you..." Does he mean next life. Typo!
    No, he means, next master. It's not a typo, just a esoteric manner of speaking.
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  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    No one has noticed yet but in panel 4, Malack says "May your next not lead you..." Does he mean next life. Typo!
    He's talking to Mr Scruffy, about masters- "may your next (master) not lead you to such dangerous places as this."

    EDIT: Ninjaed, by the Giant no less.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2013-02-18 at 03:58 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Of course, Belkar becoming a vampire spawn doesn't necessarily preclude him being destroyed before the end of this arc...heck, a single Turn Undead from Durkon will probably cause his head to explode, or something!

    Genuinely didn't expect that Malack would actually turn out to be a vampire, though...nice that the Giant can still surprise us.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Imagining Belkar with the ability to enslave people by looking at them, beat people to death with negative energy fists, have loads of natural armour, be able to summon swarms of disgusting creatures AND being even more badass...it is a scary thought indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake View Post
    Also, I am

    EXTREMELY AGGREVATED

    by the fact that there has been exactly ZERO talk on what is Belkar thinking and feeling right now.

    So to answer that, he is probably freaking out. Then when he realizes, he will be quite overjoyed. That is assuming he isn't some crappy, no-willed spawn.
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  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Oh man, this is awesome! Giant, you are a magnificent storyteller, especially when all your appendages are functioning properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    OK, trying not to comment too much on stuff that will be explained in future comics but:

    You guys are overthinking the black speech bubble thing. Remember that the speech bubbles are an artifact of the comic strip process, which means they are subservient to the story. Obviously, it was narratively important to hide that Malack was undead, so therefore I decided he only speaks in black speech bubbles when he "vamps out." After all, vampires in fiction have a long history of having traits that only pop out when they feed: their fangs elongate, their eyes turn read, maybe their face gets all demony-looking if you want to go the Buffy the Vampire Slayer route. Changing voice is not outside of that realm.

    Also, I already pointed out that Tarquin was able to change his speech balloons just by adopting a different way of speaking. It's not my fault no one extrapolated that to mean that charactersólike the one floating next to himócan disguise/change the visual appearance of their balloons.

    As far as other questions, you'll have to wait and see.
    Huh, that's pretty interesting. So, is the black speech bubble a consistent tone of voice (like how Xykon described it as sort of a Darth Vader thing), or do they indicate undead in general while still allowing for a significant variety of different voice types?
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    Anarion's right on the money here.
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    No one has noticed yet but in panel 4, Malack says "May your next not lead you..." Does he mean next life. Typo!
    Eh? I understood it that Malack is talking to Mr. Scruffy: May your next (master) not lead you to such dangerous...

    Edit: Ninja'd. Twice.
    Last edited by Mike Havran; 2013-02-18 at 03:58 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    No one has noticed yet but in panel 4, Malack says "May your next not lead you..." Does he mean next life. Typo!
    No. He means "May [Mr. Scruffy's] next master not lead you" etc., which is grammatically correct, if a rather florid way of speaking (which is typical when clerics get all religion-y).

    EDIT: *snerk* I better get in line, I guess.
    Last edited by Math_Mage; 2013-02-18 at 03:59 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    WHAT. THE. HELL.

    So they really were right? Oh........Well....I am speechless.

    So surprising, so shocking, so awesome, and yet.....I'm actually kinda disapointed. I feel Malack just became the cliched evil vampire serving the evil overlord, but I guess it's too early to tell.

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    No one has noticed yet but in panel 4, Malack says "May your next not lead you..." Does he mean next life. Typo!
    "To such dangerous places as this", aka "dungeon of zombies vampires and assorted traps". No typo.

    Augh. I have never known, to be ninja'd by so many.
    Last edited by Mutant Sheep; 2013-02-18 at 04:00 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post

    As far as other questions, you'll have to wait and see.
    Answer them soon please!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are really excited and want to know more!

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    On the other hand, the implication that Nale killed a bunch of vampires, as opposed to a bunch of baby lizardfolk, greatly increases my respect for the man's combat prowess, if nothing else.
    Last edited by rgrekejin; 2013-02-18 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    No one has noticed yet but in panel 4, Malack says "May your next not lead you..." Does he mean next life. Typo!
    He's talking to Mr. Scruffy. Master, not life, is the implied noun.
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by urandom View Post
    I kinda doubt Malack is a vampire lord - he's pale (unlike vampire lords), and he apparently used control winds instead of vampire lord flight here.
    He was in direct sunlight, and although the Vampire Lord stats don't seem to specifically call out the flight as a Su ability, it's a fairly justified extrapolation to make that he can't use it in direct sunlight.

    Alternately, as others suggested, he cast Control Winds to get the Linear Guild there faster.


    I'm a fan of this development. And I hope Malack will continue to act in all ways as a LN cleric of death. Perhaps he reads as Evil to detect spells, but his actions (that we've seen so far) place him pretty firmly on neutral ground, I'd say. However, in retrospect it's fortunate for him that the trap blocked the Holy Word from affecting him, as with a likely +5 level adjustment he may very well have been low enough to be paralyzed.

    Belkvamp might end up stuck as the guardian of this gate for the foreseeable future ... I don't see the Order making allowances for his vampire status during travel. Heck, they might just have to kill him. All of them but Elan probably knew it would have to happen someday.
    Last edited by Da'Shain; 2013-02-18 at 04:07 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfly View Post
    Vampire Lords return to their original appearance, and Vampires don't usually have pink eyes- I would guess that Malack was albino before becoming a vampire, either way. And, judging by the strip you linked, the Control Winds seems to be aiding the others in their flight as well (although I could just be misreading Malack's intention).
    I figured that pink was the 'not in a feeding frenzy' color. It is possible that he was also albino - but that seems somewhat convoluted. Look at the third panel of the strip I linked to. I took Malack's rhetorical question 'is your vapid devil-whore still keeping you aloft' to indicate that Nale's question 'Malack, is the control winds scroll you cast still active' was also obviously true because he was evidently still flying. That would mean that the reason Malack was still flying was the control winds - not vampire lord flight. I also don't see why he would disguise his vampire nature considering Nale must know of it if he killed Malack's children.

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    You know, the rules for D&D specify that vampire wizards can't keep any familiar other than a rat or bat, but there's no such rule for ranger animal companions, so Scruffy could keep Belkar.
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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Da'Shain View Post
    He was in direct sunlight, and although the Vampire Lord stats don't seem to specifically call out the flight as a Su ability, it's a fairly justified extrapolation to make that he can't use it in direct sunlight.

    Alternately, as others suggested, he cast Control Winds to get the Linear Guild there faster. ...
    Good point. Flight as Su does make sense.

    Edit:
    Also: thanks Rich for explaining the speech bubbles - since it's an meta issue it helps to have official word on how they work.
    Last edited by urandom; 2013-02-18 at 04:11 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #870 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Caivs View Post
    WHAT. THE. HELL.

    So they really were right? Oh........Well....I am speechless.

    So surprising, so shocking, so awesome, and yet.....I'm actually kinda disapointed. I feel Malack just became the cliched evil vampire serving the evil overlord, but I guess it's too early to tell.
    Why?

    Literally the only thing this comic changes is it shows us that Malack is an undead character who requires blood to survive. Certainly it changes the tenor of some of his conversations about his "children," but we have no reason to believe he valued them any less, and his apparent reluctance to turn people and create undead pawns willy-nilly are still present. It hasn't changed any of his attitudes or behaviors. He still evidently respects Durkon, still values his family, still demands a level of practicality, and still seems among the more reasonable probably-evil-aligned characters in the comic. Heck, for all we know, he may still be Lawful Neutral - and if he's Evil-aligned purely because of his undead nature, but it hasn't manifested in his actual behavior, then what does it really matter?

    Malack is still the same character. We just know one more reason he's acted the way he has.

    EDIT: Heck, forget "probably evil-aligned", Malack is one of the most reasonable, intellectual characters in the entire comic.
    Last edited by Jetrauben; 2013-02-18 at 04:13 PM.

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