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  1. - Top - End - #421
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TRH View Post
    If V having Teleport is too dangerous for this comic, what on Earth makes you think Rich would allow her to run loose with Wish?
    I could see V getting it at the very end of the book and attempting to use it that way, or leaving with the stated intention of doing so. Heck, if V went around spending the rest of V's very long life doing good and scrimping all the XP and money V can get together to resurrect as many of the Familicide victims as possible, I'd consider that redemption right there, even if V doesn't get to complete the task.

    But if Familicide isn't reversible - what about V dedicating the rest of V's life to trying to make the world a better place for disenfranchised humanoids and nonhumans? If V spent a thousand years fighting for peace between the privileged species and the "monsters"? Doing all V could to give all the species a fair shot at things? Protecting dragon dens, goblin settlements, etc.? I'd consider a thousand years of that combined with genuine atonement a good start on redemption, personally, especially if V does resurrect as many of V's victims as possible.
    Last edited by DaggerPen; 2013-09-13 at 02:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalek Kommander View Post
    Heartless? Those flaming letters spelled ELAN! How many sons can honestly say their father has murdered dozens of human beings just to show how much they care?

    Tarquin's fatherly love is truly unique... or at least I hope it is!
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, I'm impressed that this topic went so far off topic that it ended up back at The Order of the Stick.
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  2. - Top - End - #422
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by choie View Post
    WHAT, in the name of the Oracle's orange balls, was Vaarsuvius's going back to heal O-Chul if not an act that was not just "right" but utterly selfless good? Hell, I can't think of any act by a non-Paladin in this strip that comes close to it.
    You're bringing out the whitewash again. What, besides your desire to see it, suggests that V going back to "save" O-Chul indicates that the act was animated by a good impulse? What indicates to you that it was not animated by, say, a desire to stick it to Xykon and to reclaim some small shred of pride from the being who had utterly humilitared V? Because that's how the scene reads to me. What, for that matter, makes you see salvation in that scene? V healed O-Chul, but she did not move him, did not attempt to hide him, did nothing at all to ensure his safety. And she did it on the sly, at what she judged to be minimal risk to herself. That Xykon again proved her judgement utterly facile doesn't change the fact that V was far, far far from heroic in that scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaggerPen View Post
    I could see her getting it at the very end of the book and attempting to use it that way, or leaving with the stated intention of doing so. Heck, if V went around spending the rest of V's very long life doing good and scrimping all the XP and money V can get together to resurrect as many of the Familicide victims as possible, I'd consider that redemption right there, even if V doesn't get to complete the task.
    Redemption hinted at as a possibility in a denouement or an epilogue is no redemption at all. Why? It hasn't happened.

    But if Familicide isn't reversible - what about V dedicating the rest of V's life to trying to make the world a better place for disenfranchised humanoids and nonhumans? If V spent a thousand years fighting for peace between the privileged species and the "monsters"? Doing all V could to give all the species a fair shot at things? Protecting dragon dens, goblin settlements, etc.? I'd consider a thousand years of that combined with genuine atonement a good start on redemption, personally, especially if V does resurrect as many of V's victims as possible.
    There's the small matter of the "monsters" not necessarily wanting V's help. Who is this elf, after all, to go around butting her nose into their affairs, telling them how to comport themselves in their relations with other races? What right does she have to speak for them; they can speak for themselves thank you very much. This whole attitude smacks of condescension and presumption on V's part.

    Oh, and the Elf lifespan tops out at something like seven hundred and fifty years.
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2013-09-13 at 01:25 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #423
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Redemption hinted at as a possibility in a denouement or an epilogue is no redemption at all. Why? It hasn't happened.
    Um...we do all know that none of this is really happening, right? The implied events of an epilogue are exactly as "real" as anything else that happens in a work of fiction.

  4. - Top - End - #424
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Redemption hinted at as a possibility in a denouement or an epilogue is no redemption at all. Why? It hasn't happened.
    If in our epilogue we have the party meet up 20 years in the future or something and V's been revealed to have been doing that, would you count that? Events that don't happen onscreen but are confirmed to happen still happen. They may not be as satisfying, depending on how they're handled, but they do still happen.


    There's the small matter of the "monsters" not necessarily wanting V's help. Who is this elf, after all, to go around butting her nose into their affairs, telling them how to comport themselves in their relations with other races? What right does she have to speak for them; they can speak for themselves thank you very much. This whole attitude smacks of condescension and presumption on V's part.
    That's a fair point, but the idea of V going in and, say, keeping adventurers from going in and callously slaughtering dragons is something V could probably do reasonably well.

    Anyway, I'd say that any attempt V makes to make up for Familicide requires the cooperation of those V's making amends to, whether it's agreeing to return to life or agreeing to humor the elf who's out chasing adventurers away from your horde.

    Oh, and the Elf lifespan tops out at something like seven hundred and fifty years.
    Epic spellcasters can extend their lives indefinitely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalek Kommander View Post
    Heartless? Those flaming letters spelled ELAN! How many sons can honestly say their father has murdered dozens of human beings just to show how much they care?

    Tarquin's fatherly love is truly unique... or at least I hope it is!
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, I'm impressed that this topic went so far off topic that it ended up back at The Order of the Stick.
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  5. - Top - End - #425
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    You're bringing out the whitewash again. What, besides your desire to see it, suggests that V going back to "save" O-Chul indicates that the act was animated by a good impulse? What indicates to you that it was not animated by, say, a desire to stick it to Xykon and to reclaim some small shred of pride from the being who had utterly humilitared V? Because that's how the scene reads to me. What, for that matter, makes you see salvation in that scene? V healed O-Chul, but she did not move him, did not attempt to hide him, did nothing at all to ensure his safety. And she did it on the sly, at what she judged to be minimal risk to herself. That Xykon again proved her judgement utterly facile doesn't change the fact that V was far, far far from heroic in that scene.
    Okay, well, I thought I was wasting my time, but now I know it. You are quite literally intractable and utterly blinded by hatred. Which I've known for some time having read your vitriolic posts but I didn't think even this was an argument you'd make. I have never ever EVER heard of anyone, not even Kish for pete's sake, claim that V's act was an intent to "stick it" to Xykon and purely an act of "prideful" spite. Good God, do you not see the expression V's face in the window? The closed eyes? The remorse? (Dayum, Rich gets a lot of mileage out of these stick figures! He's an amazing artist.) If spite were intended, V's eyebrows would've likely been lowered into a deep "v" (no pun intended) or a straight line, and his mouth would be just as grim. But no: V is shutting his/her eyes in humility. That is the second most important turning point in this entire character arc, for God's sake (the first being "I, I must succeed"), how could it be so badly misinterpreted?! Do you even get the story Rich is trying to tell?

    And you claim V did nothing to ensure his safety? V HEALED HIM! Without that act, O-Chul would've been back in a reinforced cage the instant V thought "see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya" and crawled out the wreckage leaving the Paladin behind.

    What on God's green earth would have been the point of invisible V trying to move O-Chul--and BTW, that's even assuming V could've moved him, considering elves are hardly known for their strength even when at full health, much less in the state V was in? It was the same problem V had when confronted by the door: an invisible character is given away at once. Any attempt to move O-Chul was utterly doomed.

    What, was Xykon gonna think "huh, the Paladin is so awesome he can slide across the floor even when unconscious! I guess I'll just watch him do that and not retrieve him, because man, that's badass"? No, Xykon would've said "Seriously, elf? You're trying this? Damn, you're dumber than I thought you were!" and grabbed the unconscious O-Chul with his paralyzing grip along with V, and that's the end of that show. No Wish by the MitD, no missing phylactery, likely dead V and O-Chul. I'm sure you'd be fine with dead V, but you really want O-Chul tortured even longer? How twisted is that?

    V had to do it by stealth or Xykon would've noticed that V was healing O-Chul. The fact that Xykon didn't realize that's what V was doing is precisely what enabled the newly-healed-thanks-entirely-to-Vaarsuvius Paladin to use the staff to attack Xykon and grab the phylactary.

    So, um, nope, I'm not whitewashing, dude. You are tarring, and rather badly, too. The funny thing is that you have a perfectly legitimate complaint--the indisputable horror of Familicide--but you lose the plot completely when you try and denigrate V for this act that obviously, to the vast majority of readers--and I have to imagine for Rich as well since he drew that humble, remorseful look on V's face (one of my favorite panels in the entire 918)--was intended as a turning point for the character.

    Anyone who'd utter such balderdash, who'd willfully misread and/or misrepresent what Rich intended for V's character growth there, is beyond hope of reason. I leave you to people with lower blood pressures to deal with. (Liliet, hon, go for it! And where oh where is wonderful Kaytara?)

  6. - Top - End - #426
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by choie View Post
    So, um, nope, I'm not whitewashing, dude. You are tarring, and rather badly, too. The funny thing is that you have a perfectly legitimate complaint--the indisputable horror of Familicide--but you lose the plot completely when you try and denigrate V for this act that obviously, to the vast majority of readers--and I have to imagine for Rich as well since he drew that humble, remorseful look on V's face (one of my favorite panels in the entire 918)--was intended as a turning point for the character.
    V doesn't get to have a turning point less than fifty strips after something even you admit is an "indisputable horror" and something like three hundred strips before she realizes the horror of it. She doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. Her actions should instead be read in the context of that act, as if she is still the person who would commit such an act, because she is.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    V doesn't get to have a turning point less than fifty strips after something even you admit is an "indisputable horror" and something like three hundred strips before she realizes the horror of it. She doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. Her actions should instead be read in the context of that act, as if she is still the person who would commit such an act, because she is.
    So why is the strip in which V heals O-Chul called Second Chance? The Deva interviewing Roy says leaving an ally to an uncertain fate is bad and Roy would have been true neutral if he had never come back. V is true neutral and her risking her life to help O-Chul is a good act, no matter how small. How can you look at panel 7 of strip 657 and say the opposite

  8. - Top - End - #428
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Why ? Why does anyone have to read V's acts in that context? There are lots of ways and perspectives on stories. Why does any one way have to be the only way ?

    (Edit: sorry for being confusing. I should have quoted the post I was reflecting on -- it's the second before mine here, not the one before mine.)
    Last edited by Scifne; 2013-09-13 at 04:26 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #429
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Seriously, did V kick your cat or something? I'm not even going to bother arguing with you, but damn.

  10. - Top - End - #430
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    This isn't D&D. In order to make the claim that most of them are evil you must provide evidence that they are, and there is no such evidence within OotS.
    Um, you do know that the world of OotS is based on D&D, right?
    Things like saying " 'all' black dragons are Evil Sadists" is a valid interpretation of D&D black dragons. Things like saying "all black dragons are innocent until observed/proven guilty" is not a valid interpretation of D&D black dragons.

    As a whole, black dragons are nasty, evil, multiple murderers. They are multiple murderers in the same way that if cows and pigs were intelligent beings then the Human Race as a whole would be multiple murderers.

    There will no doubt be examples of innocents in all this (heh - the whole draketooth clan were innocent in that regard), but as a whole you cannot say that the state of the world would be better if V was to spend the rest of his life raising the black dragons he killed*.

    He shouldn't have done it, and he killed many 'innocents' (innocent of the evil deeds that most black dragons commit), but his evil act is one he has seen the error in committing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    As a matter of fact, when blackwing brought up the same point you're making, the only thing V would say is that Tarquin would think the same.
    It would make sense in Tarquin's world. What with him being an Evil pragmatist (at least in things where his story is not concerned).
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    Even then, even if they're evil, you need some infalliable way to prove that more lives will be lost by returning the dragons, another thing you can't prove. And keep in mind not just dragons died, but a lot of humans as well.
    Um, no. He doesn't. Killing them was a major Evil act, but returning them 'en mass' to life would also be a series of evil acts.
    Say, for example, you had a prison full of multiple murderers, none (or very few) of which you had proof had murdered, but they are multiple murderers or multiple-murder-wannabees nonetheless. Incarcerating them all just because 'on the whole' they had a raical tendancy towards mass murder is wrong, but each one that is released that goes on to kill again is an evil act that you have enabled.

    The D&D revolving door that is death works like a prison in that way.

    V did a major evil act by just 'locking them all up' (ie killing them all), but 'releasing' (raising) them all again is just as bad. If only there was a way to punish those 'incarcerated' (dead) that were truly evil, and rewarding those that were truly good. Oh yes, it is called the afterlife.

    What V did was wrong. Three-mile-high-lettering-on-fire wrong. Bringing them back will punish the good ones (that already have their eternal reward) and allow the evil ones to commit more evil. Which is also wrong.

    Those few that had done evil acts that they had yet to atone for are, IMO, a sad reality of life in a D&D alignment world. Just like if V were to die now, he would go to an Evil afterlife instead of the Neutral one he once deserved (and may again someday possibly regain access to).

    V's best way to atone for the evil he has done would be to do good acts. Restoring all black dragon kin to life would not (on the whole) be good acts. Saving the world would be a good act.

    That having been said, he could start atoning by returning the Draketooth clan to life (good/evil balance probably positive). Possibly even doing so to those that the draketooth clan thought innocent of evil. But not 'just bring them all back', as that will lead to more evil being done, and all due to him.

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    Last edited by Niknokitueu; 2013-09-13 at 04:46 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    So why is the strip in which V heals O-Chul called Second Chance?
    The strip title could easily be referring to O-Chul getting a "second chance" at the phylactery, which chance he takes in the final panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scifne View Post
    Why ? Why does anyone have to read V's acts in that context? There are lots of ways and perspectives on stories. Why does any one way have to be the only way ?
    Why do I have to preface my opinion by saying that it's my opinion? Shouldn't it be obvious?

  12. - Top - End - #432
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyEowyn View Post
    And at any rate, I don't thing there's any "Undo" button for Familicide.
    Not touching the moral arguments, which are well in Morally Justified territory by now. (I should probably go back and delete my earlier post too.)

    However, strictly mechanically speaking, there is no reason for the DC of a spell that would reverse Familicide to be significantly higher than the DC of Familicide itself. Vaarsuvius has always wanted more arcane power than anyone else ever had; now s/he would have an actual use for it, instead of just sitting on it like a...dragon...with a hoard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  13. - Top - End - #433
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    I don't know why people are disputing that killing hundreds/thousands of indiscriminately sentient creatures - no matter if they're "Evil", mass murderers or just unpleasant persons - is an EVIL act, no matter what. I can't see any common ground in the V-familicide discussion if both sides can't agree on that.
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    All those strips, the strongest of which I already cited, establish recognition of sin (anagnorisis), not capacity for good. The two are not connected; one can condemn wrong without being themselves able to do right. Miko is a fine example of such a person.
    Quote Originally Posted by choie View Post
    WHAT, in the name of the Oracle's orange balls, was Vaarsuvius's going back to heal O-Chul if not an act that was not just "right" but utterly selfless good? Hell, I can't think of any act by a non-Paladin in this strip that comes close to it.

    Let's just stick with the Order: who else has done something so completely terrifying, something so completely beyond his or her capabilities for self-defense, for quite literally no benefit to him/herself?

    Roy? He's a powerful fighter--any risk he takes, he quite genuinely thinks he has a decent chance of surviving; plus, this whole quest began for his own family's debt. He has something to gain out of it. NOT that this isn't a noble and good act, but it's still something he (and those he loves) gains from.

    Elan? I love him like nobody's business, but he is saved by plot armor. He knows he's getting a happy ending, plus he's too plot savvy to think he's ever really in danger. Oh, I think he has the capacity for selflessness and hsa done some selfless things. But not on a par with the O-Chul Rescue.

    Haley? Hmm. I don't think anything she does is purely selfless. And that's fine, she's still a good (or as she would say, goodish) character despite her desire for XP and gold. I suppose helping the Resistance was a noble deed. But again, she's a hella powerful character and while I don't doubt she feels fear, she knows she's one of the best there is.

    Durkon comes closest, by going after Belkar and having his final wish be the safety of his companions. But his fight with Malack was still nearly a match among equals; Durkon had a great deal of power, he thought he had a damn good shot at winning that fight. So: selfless, yes, but not astonishingly brave.

    Nope, it was the elf you despise so much, without any spells worth mentioning (probably a Feather Fall and Explosive Runes, but what good would they do against a lich?), who was THISCLOSE to escape and freedom when s/he turned around, fought terror, and forced his/her way back to get within mere inches of Xykon in order to heal a guy V barely knew... simply because V knew O-Chul needed help and might have a chance at escaping himself if he was healed.

    And that was post-Familicide.

    If that wasn't showing "the capacity to do good" (an act that dwarfs--um, pun not intended--anyone else's in the Order) then I say the definition of "good" needs serious tweaking.

    If the ONLY definition that will satisfy you is "restore all the dragons to life," well, we know that's not likely in this strip due to the rules of good storytelling Rich has set up. If it were an act that could be undone, it wouldn't be as heinous, would it? No, I'm sure Rich meant it to be permanent and horrifying, and it was.

    Plus, even if it were possible (but it ain't), can we please remember that there are a few other things on V's mind at the moment, like y'know saving the whole freakin' world? Now, I would not be surprised if, given the fact that we know V acknowledges that all the victims of familicide weren't evil, once the pesky saving the whole freakin' world thing is over with, V does make some effort, expresses some desire, to rectify that spell--or at least to learn if it's possible.

    But it won't be, because the story is better than that. If by some miracle Vaarsuvius survives both the quite likely Dramatic Noble Price to Pay that lies ahead as well as the curse of Being Choie's Favorite Character (which is a state that's way more dangerous than anything Xykon can come up with), the dragons will certainly remain dead, because as I said, the act was meant to be horrifyingly awful and making it reversable totally nerfs that message that Rich took pains to set up. And Vaarsuvius must live with that knowledge and will likely spend the rest of his/her life trying to be a better Elf. That's the best future I can hope for.
    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    V doesn't get to have a turning point less than fifty strips after something even you admit is an "indisputable horror" and something like three hundred strips before she realizes the horror of it. She doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. Her actions should instead be read in the context of that act, as if she is still the person who would commit such an act, because she is.
    ...context of that act, or maybe of the whole arc? You know, the arc where V got survivor's guilt for not saving Azure city virself / not staying to die at the wall (I hope you are not saying that ve truly is to blame for that?), had nightmares and sleep deprivation... hell, this strip is one of the most emotional in the whole comic!

    Because of this guilt (and injured ego, surely) V went completely off rockers to the point of Familicide. Then ve more or less came back to vir senses when the soul splice ended... and then this happened. Other people that I did not quote have already pointed out that V's expression has nothing to do with wrath or spite. Ve decides to come back after Xykon mentions torturing O-Chul - it's like Azure city wall all over again for vir, only this time V doesn't run away. I don't know what sort of reading comprehention you must have to misread it that much.

    Also, this. FOR AZURE CITY! Yeah, of course. O-Chul gets the praise here, holy cojones and all... he is a paladin whose city has fallen and who has a lot to avenge, both for fallen and personal. And V, who follows him, is a fragile elf wizard whose only bone to pick with Xykon is vir team's save-the-world quest, who is totally not supposed to attack in such situation, and who has a retreat option readily avaliable. Feather Fall out of the window down to relative safety - you know, compared to staying to face Xykon who would 100% slay at least V (O-Chul had a chance of still being useful and fun as a prisoner), were it not for absolutely unpredictable for V intervention of MitD. V was staying there for certain death instead of taking an easy option, and now you tell me how this was not a "capacity for good". Look at vir face: V is terrified out of vir wits. And still follows with some spell ready to blast.

    Also, you may have missed this, which was V's first step on the road of redemption towards vir family.



    Oh, and please stop calling prescribing V any good qualities "whitewashing", even if it's something obvious like personal bravery. That makes you look bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by raymundo View Post
    I don't know why people are disputing that killing hundreds/thousands of indiscriminately sentient creatures - no matter if they're "Evil", mass murderers or just unpleasant persons - is an EVIL act, no matter what. I can't see any common ground in the V-familicide discussion if both sides can't agree on that.
    We are not disputing that. Familice being Evil is obvious to both sides of the discussion, it's the implications to V's character that are unclear.
    Last edited by Liliet; 2013-09-13 at 06:41 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    The strip title could easily be referring to O-Chul getting a "second chance" at the phylactery, which chance he takes in the final panel.
    He actually takes it in the first panel of the immediate strip. Also the strip title is likely referring to both things, as the strip titles regularly have double meaning.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    The first steps towards V's redemption start much earlier. It starts here, just a few strips and maybe half an hour after casting familicide. Heck, you could even count #667, or indeed, V going back to rescue O-Chul, as the first steps towards redemption.

    You guys are making V out as some king of horribly evil mass-murderer who suddenly started feeling regret over her bad acts. But that's not what is going on at all. V was always a good, or at least good-ish person, and then did something horrible, with which she is struggling to come to terms.

    I really don't understand the hatred towards V. Her arc is one of the most interesting in the story, and she's probably the most human of all characters in the strip, precisely because she has flaws.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    However, strictly mechanically speaking, there is no reason for the DC of a spell that would reverse Familicide to be significantly higher than the DC of Familicide itself. Vaarsuvius has always wanted more arcane power than anyone else ever had; now s/he would have an actual use for it, instead of just sitting on it like a...dragon...with a hoard.
    Except nearly all healing spells are divine, not arcane. Not to say it is impossible, but in a world without "wish" I don't see how it would happen.

    Aside from Tiamat, I can't imagine any of the other gods want all the dragons to be restored.. so unless V starts leveling in cleric I don't see this as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liliet View Post
    Oh, and please stop calling prescribing V any good qualities "whitewashing", even if it's something obvious like personal bravery. That makes you look bad.
    I'm halfway convinced that he's just trolling at this point. Even if there was a strip where V did something so amazing Tiamat herself forgave V on behalf of all the dragons, Ao himself broke out of apathy to congratulation V on redemption, and V sacrificed his life to save the world... Zimmer would still say he is incapable of redemption.

    Thankfully I think the vast majority believe that redemption is possible, in theory at least, even though I suspect it will cost V his life to do it.... likely literally saving the world from being unmade.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    I don't know why people are disputing that killing hundreds/thousands of indiscriminately sentient creatures - no matter if they're "Evil", mass murderers or just unpleasant persons - is an EVIL act, no matter what. I can't see any common ground in the V-familicide discussion if both sides can't agree on that.
    Because:
    - Killing something for money is the cornerstone of OOTS-economy (#357)
    - dragons are colour-coded for our convenience, black dragons thus are evil (#207).
    - Killing Evil is a good act for good PCs (D&D core and #207: "ah, then its destruction was just and necessary.")
    - Using Familicide had engaged a deva to express "quite a dramatic turn towards Evil" (#664) but abandoning Elan (just leaving him to the bandits!) had the deva declassifing Roy into Neutral (#488). Just get it: A "dramatic turn" against immediate alignment change!
    - Mass-killing Evil describes some of the best "good" spells in Core D&D.

    So please take the hint that this question is not to be viewed upon by the moral standards of "us Players" but of "PCs/gods in OOTS".
    It was just a good spell to get rid of some powerful evil, like holy word, a "good" spell of SRD. The only "evil" in Familicide was the focus not on Evil but on relation, so it most likely killed some "Good", too. But V didn't know about this fact. So it wasn't evil from his view... kind of more evil than the spell was his direkt dabbling with greater forces of hell.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gusion View Post
    Except nearly all healing spells are divine, not arcane. Not to say it is impossible, but in a world without "wish" I don't see how it would happen.
    You haven't read the rules on epic spells, have you?

    "Divine, not arcane" isn't even a concern.

    If Ao showed up in the comic, I would call for him to go back to the Forgotten Realms where he belongs or better yet, get eaten by the Snarl. I would certainly not let him tell me what I should think of any character. In fact, if he told me to hate a character I would be more inclined to like that character and if he told me to like a character I would be more inclined to hate that character. SOMEONE GET THE SNARL OVER HERE.
    Last edited by Kish; 2013-09-13 at 07:34 AM.
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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

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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielmayer View Post
    Because:
    - Killing something for money is the cornerstone of OOTS-economy (#357)
    - dragons are colour-coded for our convenience, black dragons thus are evil (#207).
    - Killing Evil is a good act for good PCs (D&D core and #207: "ah, then its destruction was just and necessary.")
    - Using Familicide had engaged a deva to express "quite a dramatic turn towards Evil" (#664) but abandoning Elan (just leaving him to the bandits!) had the deva declassifing Roy into Neutral (#488). Just get it: A "dramatic turn" against immediate alignment change!
    - Mass-killing Evil describes some of the best "good" spells in Core D&D.

    So please take the hint that this question is not to be viewed upon by the moral standards of "us Players" but of "PCs/gods in OOTS".
    It was just a good spell to get rid of some powerful evil, like holy word, a "good" spell of SRD. The only "evil" in Familicide was the focus not on Evil but on relation, so it most likely killed some "Good", too. But V didn't know about this fact. So it wasn't evil from his view... kind of more evil than the spell was his direkt dabbling with greater forces of hell.
    ...you've GOT to be joking.
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by David Argall View Post
    XP is based on difficulty and risk. A kobold who is invisible, hasted, armed with a +lots staff of mucho damage can be worth more than a storm giant who is weakened, stunned, blinded, and weaponless. Those of us who dream that the party can actually win this fight have to say the party won't get much. Those with a more realistic view would say the party is taking on "an opponent" of several levels higher. So they get a lot of XP if they win. But we are likely only talking about 4-5 levels higher and so the party is unlikely to earn even a level worth. If they are getting a level worth, it would likely mean the DM screwed up. The party should have been an easy TPK or something weird was happening that meant the XP award was way too large.
    The problem would be to assign a Challenge Rating to the army. I guess a DM would give an Ad Hoc xp reward for surviving instead.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    The strip title could easily be referring to O-Chul getting a "second chance" at the phylactery, which chance he takes in the final panel.


    Why do I have to preface my opinion by saying that it's my opinion? Shouldn't it be obvious?
    Sheesh. You know, Zim, the funny thing is that underneath all the vitriol and utter hatred for Vaarsuvius that warps and twists all your arguments, you have a point. Objectively, yes, Vaarsuvius is now more of a liability than an asset to the Order of the Stick.

    But now you want Roy and the entire plot to just bump off Vaarsuvius, purely because she's no longer objectively useful? Might I direct you to this topic?

    Judging the characters based on the objective utility of their actions is missing the entire point of a story. A story, and especially The Order of the Stick, is driven by its characters. What they think, what they feel, what they do -- that is the story. You despise Vaarsuvius so much that you ignore the fact that her character is capable of and is currently undergoing change. Vaarsuvius is no longer the trigger-happy, egotistic blaster she was three hundred strips ago. And yes, her current sobby, emotional state isn't that much of an improvement, but it's only a stepping stone in her path of character development.

    An objective viewpoint can be fun to utilize, but by no means should it be the guidelines for writing a story. It might be most optimal course of action for Roy to fire Vaarsuvius, but it would also be the least interesting course of action. Point is, we're not done with the story yet, and nor is Vaarsuvius finished growing. You can rail against and hate and despise Vaarsuvius as much as you like, but she isn't going anywhere. It's been stated by the Giant time and time again that OotS isn't driven by characters taking the most optimal actions they could possibly manage, so why start demanding Roy to do so?

    If you really can't stand Vaarsuvius, then feel free to get out, because she's not leaving the story any time soon.
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    (cut material)


    Why do I have to preface my opinion by saying that it's my opinion? Shouldn't it be obvious?

    I can only explain why I would find it easier to understand your positions if you highlighted which were more a matter of fact and which were more a matter of opinion. It would, for me, make your posts clearer.

    I would find it easier in discussion for there to be some indication between things that are less impacted by opinion (examples: V killed the black dragons, the number of the current strip is 918) and things which are more impacted by opinion (justice). Without some distinction between the two different types of assurance, I find it much harder to understand the essence of the post. I'm parsing methods of knowing rather than content.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    don't feed the troll, let's focus on the name of the new hot couple:

    Sabsuvius?
    VaSA?
    Varbine?
    SaVar?
    S&V?
    All that we see or seem
    is just a dream within a dream


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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    OotS is based, pretty closely, on D&D. Barring evidence to the contrary, our assumption should be that things behave more or less as they do in D&D. If the Order were to meet a gold dragon, while Rich is of course free to do whatever he wants, it'll probably be good unless he has a particular reason for it to be otherwise. It's part of the toolset he's using. They probably won't encounter any chaotic modrons, unless it's for a joke. D&D black dragons are, for the most part, sadistic, evil killers, and the majority of OotS black dragons are probably sadistic, evil killers. Certainly the two we've met have been.

    Is it possible that the OotS world is full of black dragon paladins, or black dragon vegetarians? Sure, and in that sense you're right that we can't know. But we have no evidence that they're any different than their D&D counterparts, and without that evidence the most likely assumption is that they're "always evil" (which means, in D&D terms, "almost always evil").

    The point of Familicide was not that black dragons aren't bad news; the point was that you can't go around killing things just because their stat block says they're (most likely) bad news. You have to have evidence of individual wrongdoingóbut that doesn't mean that such evidence wouldn't be forthcoming if we went looking for it.



    From a practical standpoint, apart from the Draketeeth there's not a lot of difference between undoing Familicide and summoning a few thousand black dragons and scattering them around the countryside. The moral implications of that are by no means clear.
    Actually, we know all of that is NOT true, because Miko said the slaying of the young black dragon was "just and necessary."
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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracon1us View Post
    the new hot couple:

    Sabsuvius?
    VaSA?
    Varbine?
    SaVar?
    S&V?


    Sabius
    Suduction and the Wizard
    The Odd Couple
    Varsivius and the Sabine Woman

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    Actually, we know all of that is NOT true, because Miko said the slaying of the young black dragon was "just and necessary."
    Because Miko was logical, just and totally not over-zealous in murdering anything that isn't a Paladin or striving to be one.

    There are non-evel Goblins in OOTS, for all we know. It didn't stop Azure Guard from attempting to wipe out every single one of them.
    And Miko was the foremost in that narrow-minded vision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracon1us View Post
    don't feed the troll, let's focus on the name of the new hot couple:

    Sabsuvius?
    VaSA?
    Varbine?
    SaVar?
    S&V?
    "What Sex Is Sabine Now and Why?"
    "So Many Questions"
    "Ambiguous Gender Pair"
    Last edited by Trillium; 2013-09-13 at 08:11 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    That is the worst misapplication of the Law of Large Numbers I have ever read. That's like saying "Albinism is a common mutation, so by the Law of Large Numbers half of any species is probably albino."

    Crossbreeds are rare; per Word of Rich, the ancestral Draketeeth were the first and only human-black dragon pairing. Most of the beings killed by Familicide were therefore black dragons (which is, incidentally, reflected in the art). Nearly all of the black dragons in the world (and thus nearly all of the black dragons killed), absent any evidence to the contrary, were sadistic multiple mass murderers, because black dragons in D&D are nearly always sadistic multiple mass murderers. (Rich would of course be free to make his black dragons behave differently, but we have seen no evidence that they are anything other than D&D's default black dragons.) The great majority of the victims of Familicide were almost certainly Chaotic Evil, and almost certainly guilty of terrible crimes.

    Again, this doesn't excuse Vaarsuvius's crime, but we shouldn't sugarcoat the victims.
    But maybe once there was a humanoid lineage, they bred faster than the purebred dragons, so their percentage in the population vulnerable to Familicide increased.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    No, we don't. The entire POINT of the black dragon slaying was to challenge the presumption that things are just evil. We DON'T KNOW within the universe of OotS how many dragons are good or evil.
    The point was to cause Varsuvius to commit a form of genocide. That is considered pure evil in the story if you like. It could have been a hippogriff as easily as a black dragon. (We generally consider genocide evil in real life too, unless the victim is a microorganism.)

    Also, the dragon that was killed seemed reasonably evil, so I don't see how it would make your point. We weren't introduced to the others that were killed.

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    Default Re: OOTS #918 - The Discussion Thread

    I still vote on Vaasabius.
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