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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Tarquin is sending Nale away with his own team and issues some last warning. But he's clearly not taking him seriously (panel 2, #833) and he already knows that Nale is an impatient, loose cannon that'll roll wherever.

    So is he really giving Nale a chance to "impress" him? Even if he knows that no matter what, he'll never be able to trust Nale.

    Or is he counting on Nale fudging the attack on the Order up for some reason?

    Or does he just want to get rid of Nale to do... something else?
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    I'd say the last option really. Tarquin is giving some resources to Nale to take care of this, but he is staying behind for the real ace up his sleeve, and doesn't want Nale around when it shows up. Probably because, when it does, Tarquin won't allow Nale to run the show anymore.

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    He knows that the villain doesn't actually win when he clashes with the hero, so he's arranging for the villain who will clash with Elan to be Nale, not himself.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    He knows that the villain doesn't actually win when he clashes with the hero, so he's arranging for the villain who will clash with Elan to be Nale, not himself.
    Good point.

    In general, I also do not think he counts on Nale winning. But that he sends Malack with him is a bit strange to me. Is he counting on Malack holding back or even on him backstabbing Nale?
    I think it is likely he sends Malack with Nale to pay attention Nale isn't going to do something stupid with the gate itself.

    On the other hand, with all the ressources Nale has now, it is very unlikely he does not win, in which case Elan (whom Tarquin likes more and still needs?) would be in grave danger.
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Tarquin is a pragmatic and careful guy, I don't think he'd lower his chances of victory by underrating his opponents. The whole "you now have a chance to prove yourself to me" and "commanding spellcasters should be more than enough" talk is only classic Tarquin manipulating Nale into following his commands, the same he has been doing during this entire alliance.

    So, whatever Tarquin is going to do now probably have to do with the secret he and Kilkil mentioned on the previous page, and it is certainly going to prove an effective ace in the hole later, either against the Order or Team Evil.

    I don't think he is counting on Nale fudging it, though. More like having a contingency plan in case he does fudge it. After all, despite the odds, their last heads-on attack against the Order didn't go well for them, and they just managed to get out of the situation with less losses because of a huge streak of luck (Malack fighting Belkar, then Durkon, both one-on-one).
    Last edited by Roland Itiative; 2013-04-10 at 07:32 AM.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    In the normal course of affairs, Nale and three primary casters should be more than enough to stomp the remains of the OotS. Tarquin--his internal distortion of the narrative to make Elan the central figure notwithstanding--is more than genre savvy enough to realize that this is not a normal course of affairs. By staying in reserve and keeping an eye on things, he's in the best position to intervene and win the day, or grab his allies and flee, or even to step in for a parley if he figures out that defending the Gate should override all other considerations given his personal goals. Of course, he doesn't realize that Xykon is heading for the pyramid and that his position will leave him exposed without significant backup to an epic level lich and probably the highest level cleric in the entire world (barring unseen epic level lurkers elsewhere). Sometimes those Xanatos Gambits blow up real good on the plotter.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperdragon View Post
    Good point.

    In general, I also do not think he counts on Nale winning. But that he sends Malack with him is a bit strange to me. Is he counting on Malack holding back or even on him backstabbing Nale?
    I think it is likely he sends Malack with Nale to pay attention Nale isn't going to do something stupid with the gate itself.

    On the other hand, with all the ressources Nale has now, it is very unlikely he does not win, in which case Elan (whom Tarquin likes more and still needs?) would be in grave danger.
    He's sending Malack at them because Malack made the amateur hour mistake of vampirizing the Hero's best friend.

    As somebody extremely genre-savvy, he is well aware that Malack's days are now numbered. So Tarquin is chucking Malack at them with his incompetent son to give them an opportunity to take Malack down, so that he doesn't get caught up with him.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Actually, it's simpler than that.

    He'll be hanging out there with Kilkil when Team Evil shows up, as, for purposes of drama, it must do before the situation is entirely resolved. Kilkil's there to aid in negotiations.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    This is occurring right after Tarquin called Nale "an easily controlled leech whose parasitic existence evokes a once-cherished existence that died painfully." Malack just spoke of his "wrath over the demise of [his] previous spawns."

    Whatever Tarquin's plan is, it doesn't bode well for Nale.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Tarquin backs off because he does not want to be there when Malack finally gets his revenge on Nale. Nale's excuse to live is getting really thin and Tarquin doesn't want to be in position where he would need to choose between honoring his old friend and protecting his own blood.
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    There must be some sense of order - personal, political or dramatic - and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Itiative View Post
    Tarquin is a pragmatic and careful guy, I don't think he'd lower his chances of victory by underrating his opponents. The whole "you now have a chance to prove yourself to me" and "commanding spellcasters should be more than enough" talk is only classic Tarquin manipulating Nale into following his commands, the same he has been doing during this entire alliance.

    So, whatever Tarquin is going to do now probably have to do with the secret he and Kilkil mentioned on the previous page, and it is certainly going to prove an effective ace in the hole later, either against the Order or Team Evil.

    I don't think he is counting on Nale fudging it, though. More like having a contingency plan in case he does fudge it. After all, despite the odds, their last heads-on attack against the Order didn't go well for them, and they just managed to get out of the situation with less losses because of a huge streak of luck (Malack fighting Belkar, then Durkon, both one-on-one).
    Agreed. Also, Tarquin knows that Nale's ego is enormous. If he goes in with such a heavily overpowered team, it's very likely that he'll either get sloppy, drag the fight out due to overconfidence, or pull some of his resources out of the fight so that the win won't be "too easy". Any of these alternatives gives OOTS a chance to turn the tables, or at least escape.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Like a lot of people said, Tarquin is probably playing out a Xanatos Gambit First, he gets himself of out of the way and plans to further his own agenda, sending in his son, who has lost to "Elan's team" multiple times, despite the odds. Tarquin is also sending Malack with Nale so that Malack won't get in the way of his own plans. This will stall the Order, giving him time to do whatever.

    Malack has already had doubts about attacking the Order, and has now vamped someone he became close to. He's got to be somewhat conflicted about what happened, and Tarquin will know that. Either Malack will stay true to Tarquin, and will likely make sure he gets out alive, or will feel bad and only be able to hurt Nale. Tarquin will probably decide what to do after the resulting fight.

    But overall, Nale is probably gonna lose, and Tarquin knows it. They've already gotten a decent victory and a draw/loss in this dungeon. The heroes are down their cleric, their ranger is low on health, and wizard is MIA. This looks bad for their heroes, so what should Tarquin expect? The heroes to come back from it, of course.

    Or, Nale and Malack could win. Maybe. And if Nale wins, that helps him too. But probably a test for Malack to see what he will do.
    Last edited by smashbro; 2013-04-10 at 11:51 AM.




  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperdragon View Post
    Tarquin is sending Nale away with his own team and issues some last warning. But he's clearly not taking him seriously (panel 2, #833) and he already knows that Nale is an impatient, loose cannon that'll roll wherever.

    So is he really giving Nale a chance to "impress" him? Even if he knows that no matter what, he'll never be able to trust Nale.

    Or is he counting on Nale fudging the attack on the Order up for some reason?

    Or does he just want to get rid of Nale to do... something else?
    You can never go wrong on the assumption that any advice Tarquin gives to the leader he is currently advising is for Tarquin's benefit, not the leader's.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion Tarquin uses Nale to a) be occupied and b) keep the Order occupied.

    He's sending Malack with Nale to make sure Nale does not muck up too bad - and Tarquin also gives Nale a chance to actually do a successful thing, he's not counting on it, but he also gives Nale that chance.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Tarquin might be suspicious of why Vaarsuvius did not act in the last encounters but might know wizards keep their slots for when the situation warrant it
    There is no indication he knows for sure Vaarsuvius is AWOL

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperdragon View Post
    But that he sends Malack with him is a bit strange to me.
    Here's what I've been thinking. He's sending off Nale to fight the heroes at a time when as said, narratively it wouldn't work for the heroes to lose. He expects Nale and friends to lose. So who does he send? People he doesn't care about, Nale who is an outright enemy, and his friend the vampire who if "killed" will just materialize in his coffin. Meanwhile, he and the kobold stay behind in safety. The only people actually being risked aren't really on his side.
    "The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right." - Mark Twain

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    An old theory of mine that does not quite fit is that Tarquin is hoping to rescue Elan from Nale, as a means of further manipulation of the remaining not-proven-to-be-incompetent son.

    The main problem is it should be obvious to Tarquin that the Order would have figured out who is pulling strings by now.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Obscure Blade View Post
    ... his friend the vampire who if "killed" will just materialize in his coffin.
    Actually, that is not so sure. Srd:

    If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, vampire automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (It can travel up to nine miles in 2 hours.)
    Flight to the Windy canyon takes two days, and I don't think the Guild carries one of Malack's coffins on the trip.
    Last edited by Mike Havran; 2013-04-10 at 05:05 PM.
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    There must be some sense of order - personal, political or dramatic - and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    If I was a vampire, I wouldn't travel more than nine miles without my coffin.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Actually, that is not so sure. Srd:
    If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, vampire automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (It can travel up to nine miles in 2 hours.)
    Flight to the Windy canyon takes two days, and I don't think the Guild carries one of Malack's coffins on the trip.
    "You cannot destroy me that way, Durkon!" Both Malack and Durkon think he does have that fallback. And obviously, Malack would know.
    "The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right." - Mark Twain

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Tarquin backs off because he does not want to be there when Malack finally gets his revenge on Nale. Nale's excuse to live is getting really thin and Tarquin doesn't want to be in position where he would need to choose between honoring his old friend and protecting his own blood.
    that, sir, is a very good point.

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Flight to the Windy canyon takes two days...
    At flying carpet speed. Is it possible that Mist!Malack flies much faster? Decided to calculate instead of ask: he can move at 4.5 mph (which is about human walking speed) in gaseous form and must reach his coffin in 2 hours, no way the carpet is twenty-four times slower than that (0.1875 mph).

    As mentioned above, he didn't think Durkon could destroy him "that way" (by inflicting damage). Either Rich forgot about the distance when he wrote the exchange, or Malack had some other sort of "out". I didn't see a coffin, but it might be in a Bag of Holding that Tarquin has?
    Last edited by rodneyAnonymous; 2013-04-10 at 08:54 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    youll notice that Tarquins current actions are actually perfectly in line with the IFCCs plan

    Tarquin saw enough in the alst fight to know his son is still a complete useless imbecile but still puts him in "command"

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by rodneyAnonymous View Post
    At flying carpet speed. Is it possible that Mist!Malack flies much faster? Decided to calculate instead of ask: he can move at 4.5 mph (which is about human walking speed) in gaseous form and must reach his coffin in 2 hours, no way the carpet is twenty-four times slower than that (0.1875 mph).

    As mentioned above, he didn't think Durkon could destroy him "that way" (by inflicting damage). Either Rich forgot about the distance when he wrote the exchange, or Malack had some other sort of "out". I didn't see a coffin, but it might be in a Bag of Holding that Tarquin has?
    I was under the impression that anything in a bag of holding could not affect the material world while it was in the bag - i.e. if the vampire was killed, the coffin would NOT be within his range, and he would die. (Belkar certainly seemed to think so, hence why he wouldn't let Haley stuff Roy in a bag of holding).

    Or Rich has his own house-ruled vampires. He's been willing to bend rules when it suits narrative purpose before (Weather Control probably the best example).

    Maybe Rich's vampires have a much longer range.

    There is, of course, the possibility that his coffin is back on the giant riding dinosaur they were all on, and is in range of the Canyon now.
    Last edited by Olinser; 2013-04-11 at 01:35 PM.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    I was under the impression that anything in a bag of holding could not affect the material world while it was in the bag - i.e. if the vampire was killed, the coffin would NOT be within his range, and he would die. (Belkar certainly seemed to think so, hence why he wouldn't let Haley stuff Roy in a bag of holding).

    Or Rich has his own house-ruled vampires. He's been willing to bend rules when it suits narrative purpose before (Weather Control probably the best example).

    Maybe Rich's vampires have a much longer range.

    There is, of course, the possibility that his coffin is back on the giant riding dinosaur they were all on, and is in range of the Canyon now.
    Doesn't matter if it being in the bag means it's inaccessible. He still has two hours to get access to it, and we specifically know he can talk in gaseous form. So as long as he's no more than 1,199 rounds away from an unoccupied Tarquin, Tarquin can dig it out on the last round and Malack would be perfectly fine.

    Or, failing that, Malack could just squeeze into the bag itself so long as it isn't bound airtight. He doesn't need to breathe, so he could still worm inside his coffin.

    Which is even assuming Belkar's interpretation is correct at all, and he's paid to be funny, not think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Messenger View Post
    I really would rather Tarquin finally just went all George R. R. Martin on Nale.
    That's right - George R. R. Martin; a writer so ruthless, his name is a verb akin to Samuel L. Jackson. Valar morghulis.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    The only thing worse than the usual irrelevant rules pedantry is incorrect irrelevant rules pedantry.

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    rodneyAnonymous's Avatar

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    I was under the impression that anything in a bag of holding could not affect the material world while it was in the bag - i.e. if the vampire was killed, the coffin would NOT be within his range, and he would die.
    Reduced-to-zero-hits-vampires don't die from being out of range of their coffin, they die from not getting into their coffin within 2 hours. If his coffin was 1000 miles away when he took fatal damage, but he got teleported to it before the time is up, he'd be fine. The relevant Mark of Justice trigger, on the other hand, was specifically about range.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by rodneyAnonymous View Post
    If his coffin was 1000 miles away when he took fatal damage, but he got teleported to it before the time is up, he'd be fine.
    Oh. That explains quite a bit. Malack gets to Tarquin and he activates that Emergency Thingy and calls their teammate who does magic transport. A cakewalk.
    All thanks to half-halfling for the avatar.

    There must be some sense of order - personal, political or dramatic - and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    As I see it, characters of double digit class levels are expected to be capable of "impossible" things, with sufficient planning and resources expended. The pedestrian definition of "never" does not necessarily apply.

    That was my position regarding sunlight and vampirism. It is quite possibly the case for coffins.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    Either Tarquin is sending Nale off to distract the Order while he searches for the gate...

    ... or else Tarquin is going to hide off-panel until Nale gets into trouble, then jump out and swing the momentum of the fight in the other direction for a page or two.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Does Tarquin count on Nale fudging it up?

    No, that was Thog who counted on Nale to fudge up his ice cream. Tarquin's more of a pistachio guy.
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