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  1. - Top - End - #511
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Yes it is. It requires an alternate class feature, but it's possible.
    Ah, thank you I am not overly familiar with the alternate class features and didn't look at them (or come across them randomly) when trying to figure it out when I was reviewing, Metamagic Specialist would seem to cover this and explain were Xykon's familiar is.

    Still:
    Quote Originally Posted by rodneyAnonymous View Post
    He says Still Meteor Swarm though, which as you point out isn't actually possible from a grappled Sorcerer. Xykon definitely has the Still Spell metamagic feat, but other level or ability estimates shouldn't be based on that panel, it was a mistake. The dispute is about how he got a spell slot that high, and since there are multiple possible ways, it doesn't tell us about his level or other abilities.
    I am not sure how this would work without him being Level 23. Sudden Still Spell would allow it yes but Still Spell on its own would not seem to (and they are two independent feats).
    As such listing him as having the Still Spell feat because he used it on Meteor Swarm seems to require level 23 given the other items (unless I am missing something else).

  2. - Top - End - #512
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    He might have a magic item that makes it possible, like a metamagic rod.
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  3. - Top - End - #513
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by rodneyAnonymous View Post
    He might have a magic item that makes it possible, like a metamagic rod.
    Firstly there are no meta-magic rods of still spell as for as I know, at least based on this.

    Secondly if he used a Rod than he would not need the Still Spell feat as such the feat should not be confirmed.

  4. - Top - End - #514
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Y'know, we've never definitively seen any character use any metamagic rod ever. I wish we would, so we could see what it looks like.
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2015-06-11 at 10:05 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #515
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    To memory we have not seen a character use any Rod ever, but I think my point stand that if it was Still Spell the feat applied to Meteor Swarm that requires a level 10 slot (unless Automatic Meta-magic Feats are used which also boost the level), and a Level 10 spell slot requires Xykon to be level 23+.

    For 'Sudden Still Spell' he could still be level 21+ but that is a different feat than the one listed, as such the current entry is logically incorrect based on the rules of the game.

    From the first post:
    Nevertheless, in this thread we assume the rules are being followed anyway, and see what stats, feats, and skills could explain what happens.
    If Xykon is level 21 or 22 (i.e 21+) and has a 10th level spell slot and epic magic than the rules are not being followed, if Xykon used the Still Spell feat on Meteor Swarm he has at least one 10th level spell slot.
    If Xykon used Sudden Still Spell than he has not shown himself to have Still Spell, if he used a Rod (or other item) than he has not shown himself to have Still Spell.

    My reading of this is that Xykon needs to either be level 23+ or did not use Still Spell on Meteor Swarm - as such for consistency one of these items should change on the entry.

    I am happy to be shown holes in my logic of this of course the same way that the alternate class feature showed me a hole in my earlier logic.

  6. - Top - End - #516
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Jackpot! From the last panel of 990, we learn both that Haley has leveled up from the Crystal Golem et al., and that Roy is back to the same level he was before he died.

    And on Xykon's metamagic not increasing casting time, that's not listed because there are multiple possible explanations, and we have no idea which one he's using. It could be but probably isn't the Arcane Preparation feat from Complete Arcane, or it could be a feat from Complete Mage or an alternate class feature from PHB2, either one of which fits reasonably well. I think it's more likely the alternate class feature, as it would also explain why we've never seen a familiar for Xykon, but that's just circumstantial evidence.
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  7. - Top - End - #517
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    And on Xykon's metamagic not increasing casting time ...
    Yea zimmerwald1915 covered that.

    But none of that explains how he used the Still Spell Feat on a 9th Level Spell without having access to a 10th Level Spell Slot.
    Yes a homebrew rod of Still Spell would allow Still Spell to be applied, yes Sudden Still Spell would work, yes Automatic Still Spell would work, but the first two mean that he should not have the Still Spell Feat confirmed and the third requires a minimum level of 27 (I believe).

    If there are other ways that allow for it to be the Still Spell feat and still remain a 9th level spell I am not seeing them.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Sooo.
    New comic says:
    1. Haley gained a level fighting Crystal
    2. Roy barely caught up to where he was before dying.


    Regarding the first point, it makes me doubt that the whole party gained a level after the VL fight. On another hand I don't see Haley pinned at the level she had in #615 until now...
    Except adding a level to Haley, there seems there's not much to do.

    The second point however... I don't understand why Roy is indicated as having gained a level in #862. Xp from fight?
    #886 shows us that Roy gained a new feat, which means he has an even level. Maybe Roy was already level 14 when he died, went back to level 13 in 665 when resurrected and got that level back in the pyramid?
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  9. - Top - End - #519
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    I think we need a reassessment of when and how many times Roy levelled up, and we also may need to rethink the level of the Sapphire Guard components.
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Quild View Post
    Sooo.
    New comic says:
    1. Haley gained a level fighting Crystal
    2. Roy barely caught up to where he was before dying.


    Regarding the first point, it makes me doubt that the whole party gained a level after the VL fight. On another hand I don't see Haley pinned at the level she had in #615 until now...
    We don't know the CR adjustment for Crystal's special status golem. But +4 would not be out of line.

    If we treat Haley as soloing the golem (treating the NPCs as followers or cohorts rather than PC participants), and assume Crystal is one level lower than Haley other than the CR adjustment, she'd be worth 80% of the XP needed to level all by her lonesome.

    A bit of roleplaying XP, a bit of a surplus from the LG fight, and DING!

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    If Xykon is level 21 or 22 (i.e 21+) and has a 10th level spell slot and epic magic than the rules are not being followed, if Xykon used the Still Spell feat on Meteor Swarm he has at least one 10th level spell slot.
    He's also Quickened a 9th level spell. We've been through this a couple of times: Xykon is at least level 29 (plus or minus his INT bonus) based either on his casting of Superb Dispelling. I'm comfortable with him having the Metamagic specialist ACF as being more likely than having taken Automatic Quicken Spell three times, though if single-classed he'd have to take Improved Spell Capacity 4 times, as he's cast a Quickened 9th level spell. Six epic feats (Epic Magic, Epic Skill Focus, and 4x ISC) means he's at least 29th level (character feats at L21, 24, 27; class feats at L23, 26, 29). (If he's cast two Quickened 9th level spells it would also mean he has a CHA of at least 36 (to have a bonus 13th level spell), which given a base of 18, +2 for being a lich, and +7 from levelling bonuses means he needs an extra +9, which is easily achievable via a combination of Inherent Bonus and Enhancement Bonus.)

    ETA At 30th level he can take Craft Epic Wondrous Item and make himself a +10 item.
    Last edited by Quartz; 2015-06-12 at 11:21 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #522
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    He's also Quickened a 9th level spell. We've been through this a couple of times: Xykon is at least level 29 (plus or minus his INT bonus) based either on his casting of Superb Dispelling. I'm comfortable with him having the Metamagic specialist ACF as being more likely than having taken Automatic Quicken Spell three times, though if single-classed he'd have to take Improved Spell Capacity 4 times, as he's cast a Quickened 9th level spell. Six epic feats (Epic Magic, Epic Skill Focus, and 4x ISC) means he's at least 29th level (character feats at L21, 24, 27; class feats at L23, 26, 29). (If he's cast two Quickened 9th level spells it would also mean he has a CHA of at least 36 (to have a bonus 13th level spell), which given a base of 18, +2 for being a lich, and +7 from levelling bonuses means he needs an extra +9, which is easily achievable via a combination of Inherent Bonus and Enhancement Bonus.)
    Sorry when did he quicken a 9th level spell?

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Posting from France
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Sorry when did he quicken a 9th level spell?
    You know, I'm having a middle-aged moment and cannot recall; I think it was in his fight against V.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    You know, I'm having a middle-aged moment and cannot recall; I think it was in his fight against V.
    You are likely thinking about the Maximised Energy Drain, dumbass moment.

    But there are ways that he could have done that without being a higher level (I disagree with those ways as taking Sudden Maximise Spell or a rod of Metamagic Maximise Rod seems worthless for a character that is claimed to have Maximise Spell directly but that is beyond the point).

    Now there are are ways that he could have cast a Still Meteor Swarm without being a higher level - my current issue is those ways would mean that he has not been shown to have Still Spell.

    The Xykon entry as it reads currently is inconsistent with the rules of the game - and as this is the Geekery topic with a stated assumption of 'For this purpose, we assume that the comic strictly follows the 3.5E D&D rules' you wound think the inconsistency would be rectified.
    Or if there is a logical method of achieving the current entry that someone would point it out.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    You are likely thinking about the Maximised Energy Drain, dumbass moment.
    Quite possibly, in which case he only needs 3 ISC feats and thus be 27th level.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Now there are are ways that he could have cast a Still Meteor Swarm without being a higher level - my current issue is those ways would mean that he has not been shown to have Still Spell.
    Indeed, he could have multiclassed into Ultimate Magus purely for the ability to sacrifice memorised spell slots for metamagic feats, but that's unlikely.

  18. - Top - End - #528
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    I think people are missing the point of this thread. The question you need to ask yourself isn't "what level is Xykon most likely at?", it's "what is the minimum level Xykon can be to do what he did?"

    If there is any way, regardless of cheese, that Xykon can cast a Maximized Energy Drain at Level 21, then we peg him at level 21. And I may be incorrect, but I think someone did show a rather silly way a while back that showed it was possible.

    (We should probably make a list of these ways and link to it in the OP so we can stop having this discussion every year or so)
    Last edited by littlebum2002; 2015-06-12 at 01:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    I think people are missing the point of this thread. The question you need to ask yourself isn't "what level is Xykon most likely at?", it's "what is the minimum level Xykon can be to do what he did?"

    If there is any way, regardless of cheese, that Xykon can cast a Maximized Energy Drain at Level 21, then we peg him at level 21. And I may be incorrect, but I think someone did show a rather silly way a while back that showed it was possible.

    (We should probably make a list of these ways and link to it in the OP so we can stop having this discussion every year or so)
    I am not talking about Maximized Energy Drain, I am talking about Still Meteor Swarm.

    I will try to lay it out as I see it.
    1. Still Spell is confirmed because he cast it on Meteor Swarm - that is why he has the feat listed.
    2. If he has the feat and used it for Meteor Swarm than it would need a level 10 spell slot.
    3. If he has a level 10 spell slot he has Improved Spell Capacity.
    4. If he has Improved Spell Capacity he has at least 2 epic feats (the second being Epic Spellcasting - which is listed as a feat for him).
    5. If he has two epic feats he needs to be level 23 or higher.

    The work arounds for Still Meteor Swarm that have been mentioned are:
    1. Sudden Still Spell - this is a different feat so Still Spell should not be listed as confirmed.
    2. A Still Metamagic Rod - this would be home brew and would also negate the feat so the Feat should not be listed.
    3. Automatic Still Spell taken three times, this increases the level to 27+ for meeting the requirements of it and purchasing it three times.
    4. Ultimate Magus - this require him to be a level 18 Ultimate Magus (to allow for 9th level augmentation), and as Xykon needs to be level 20 before he can take more than ten levels in the prestige class leaving him over all as 28+.

    As such Xykon is confirmed as level 23+ or he is not confirmed as having the Still Spell Feat.

    I am happy to be told options I have missed that explain how he could be level 21 and use the Still Spell Feat on Meteor Swarm, but so far no one has told me.

    Edit: Correction on prestige class level requirement.
    Last edited by dancrilis; 2015-06-12 at 03:34 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #530
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Quild View Post
    Sooo.
    New comic says:
    1. Haley gained a level fighting Crystal
    2. Roy barely caught up to where he was before dying.


    Regarding the first point, it makes me doubt that the whole party gained a level after the VL fight. On another hand I don't see Haley pinned at the level she had in #615 until now...
    Except adding a level to Haley, there seems there's not much to do.

    The second point however... I don't understand why Roy is indicated as having gained a level in #862. Xp from fight?
    #886 shows us that Roy gained a new feat, which means he has an even level. Maybe Roy was already level 14 when he died, went back to level 13 in 665 when resurrected and got that level back in the pyramid?
    I'll get on it this weekend. Just from memory I know that the experience from fighting the Linear Guild and Vector Legion is overestimated. I used the minimum values listed in this thread, and Tarquin's level was listed higher when I did the original calculations than it is now.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Okay, I've redone the math using Tarquin's currently-listed level. This time, I didn't pick an arbitrary starting position and start counting from there; I went back to each character's known demonstration of their latest level, set their XP to the minimum required to attain that level at that time, and counted from there.

    I could post a table, but I'm supposed to be doing something else and I don't really want to deal with the formatting, so here's the short version:

    • Roy was level 12 at Strip #665, garnered enough XP from combat and traps alone to level to 13 by Strip #862 at the latest, and has since garnered a total of 89,907 XP from combat and traps alone, not enough to level to 14;
    • Belkar was level 15 by strip #862, and has since garnered a total of 111,808 XP from combat and traps alone, not enough to level to 16;
    • Durkon was level 14 by strip #862, and has since garnered 95,975 XP from combat and traps alone, not enough to level to 16;
    • Elan was level 15 by strip #862, and has since garnered a total of 112,558 XP from combat and traps alone, not enough to level to 16;
    • Haley was level 15 by strip #619, and as of strip 981 has garnered a total of 120,618 XP, enough to level to 16;
    • Vaarsuvius was level 16 by strip #936 at the latest, and has since garnered 121,667 from combat and traps alone.


    This strip, plus this XP count, suggests that we should disregard Roy's use of not-Mage Slayer in the microcosm as evidence for his level, and remove that feat from his statblock (though perhaps include a reminder that he intends to learn it, linking to his time on the cloud and to the microcosm as evidence).

    For purposes of this count, I did not include the freezing of Bozzok near the end of Don't Split the Party as overcoming the challenge he presented, and I gave Crystal a CR of 17 (15 from class levels +2 from a hypothetical homebrew template that's about as strong as Lich or Vampire). I did not count Bozzok because doing so actually gave Haley enough XP to level before the final encounter with the Vector Legion at the end of Blood Runs in the Family, and Vaarsuvius specified that she leveled today. That could be handwaved as Haley only checking her XP total today, but that seems off to me. I also did not give Haley XP for Crystal's defeat of Grubwiggler and Bozzok. She didn't need it, and while she gave Crystal her impetus, Haley did not participate in the encounter.

    EDIT: ah, nuts, I forgot to check to see if starting Roy at level 13 (under the assumption he died at level 14 instead of level 13) could bring him back up to level 14 and salvage not-Mage Slayer. Be right back.
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2015-06-12 at 07:29 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #532
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    This strip, plus this XP count, suggests that we should disregard Roy's use of not-Mage Slayer in the microcosm as evidence for his level, and remove that feat from his statblock (though perhaps include a reminder that he intends to learn it, linking to his time on the cloud and to the microcosm as evidence).
    Doesn't he use it against Miron here?
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Cizak View Post
    Doesn't he use it against Miron here?
    Possibly.

    I checked the math again starting Roy at his resurrection at level 13 (84,500 XP), and it turns out he levels to 14 in exactly the same place; after Strip #862. It also turns out he does not level to 15 (ending up with 97,479 XP).

    Thus we have some options. We could preserve Roy as level 13 at the time of his death and Eugene's cutting remark in Strip #485. This interpretation would require us to either disregard all indications that Roy has leveled to 14 and gained not-Mage Slayer, or disregard Strip #990 which caps Roy's advancement at his level at the time of his death. Or we could list Roy as having leveled to 13 at some unknown time, and being level 14 at the time of his death. This interpretation reconciles Strip #990 with Strips #886 and #928, and is truest to Eugene's words in strip #485. Though this interpretation would mean Roy had some feat at the time of the Battle of Azure City that he no longer has (having lost it upon resurrection and having gained not-Mage Slayer instead of it upon regaining level 14), that's no great loss. We've never known all of Roy's feats.

    Here are the tables for each option (also adjusting to reflect the fact that XP calculations no longer support the notion that Belkar and Elan are level 16):
    Spoiler: Disregarding Strips #886 and #928, listing Roy as currently level 13
    Show
    Level
    9 12 12 12 12 12 12
    10 124 125 124 124 124 124
    11 251 ??? 201 ??? ??? 186
    12 ???, 665 249 ??? ??? 477 ???
    13 485, 990 ??? 556 393 511 397
    14 - ??? 859 647 ??? 627
    15 - 860 - 860 615 716
    16 - - - - 990 935


    Spoiler: Disregarding Strip #990, listing Roy as currently level 14
    Show
    Level
    9 12 12 12 12 12 12
    10 124 125 124 124 124 124
    11 251 ??? 201 ??? ??? 186
    12 ???, 665 249 ??? ??? 477 ???
    13 485, 862 ??? 556 393 511 397
    14 886 ??? 859 647 ??? 627
    15 - 860 - 860 615 716
    16 - - - - 990 935


    Spoiler: Disregarding no strips, listing Roy as currently level 14
    Show
    Level
    9 12 12 12 12 12 12
    10 124 125 124 124 124 124
    11 251 ??? 201 ??? ??? 186
    12 ??? 249 ??? ??? 477 ???
    13 ???, 665 ??? 556 393 511 397
    14 485, 862 ??? 859 647 ??? 627
    15 - 860 - 860 615 716
    16 - - - - 990 935
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2015-06-12 at 08:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Haley was level 15 by strip #619, and as of strip 981 has garnered a total of 120,618 XP, enough to level to 16;

    For purposes of this count, I did not include the freezing of Bozzok near the end of Don't Split the Party as overcoming the challenge he presented, and I gave Crystal a CR of 17 (15 from class levels +2 from a hypothetical homebrew template that's about as strong as Lich or Vampire). I did not count Bozzok because doing so actually gave Haley enough XP to level before the final encounter with the Vector Legion at the end of Blood Runs in the Family, and Vaarsuvius specified that she leveled today. That could be handwaved as Haley only checking her XP total today, but that seems off to me. I also did not give Haley XP for Crystal's defeat of Grubwiggler and Bozzok. She didn't need it, and while she gave Crystal her impetus, Haley did not participate in the encounter.
    Obvious question time - given the amount of time she apparently spent off-panel in the Azure City Resistance, travelling to Cliffport/Greysky/etc, not to mention how she somehow got from "not having the money for Resurrection" after being soaked by black marketeers in Az all the way back to "having money to pay her dad's ransom", is it possible you're underestimating Haley's level such that the Bozzoksicle, etc count and she's actually +1 level from your calculation?

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    Obvious question time - given the amount of time she apparently spent off-panel in the Azure City Resistance, travelling to Cliffport/Greysky/etc, not to mention how she somehow got from "not having the money for Resurrection" after being soaked by black marketeers in Az all the way back to "having money to pay her dad's ransom", is it possible you're underestimating Haley's level such that the Bozzoksicle, etc count and she's actually +1 level from your calculation?
    Yes, actually, if she got XP from Bozzok in both Don't Split the Party and this book, she could be level 17. But 17 is not Haley's minimum level, and the possibility of her being level 17 is accounted for in the notation "Rogue 16+".

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Point was, it seemed like you were twisting the numbers to fit a fact of her being L16. Why WOULDN'T she have got XP for surviving the Battle of Pete's House?

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    I would be curious to know what actually starts them all at level 8 also, or why they count as overcoming Spiky when he merely changed sides without any input from the characters baring the one that summoned him (is it possible to get experience - for yourself or the party - from summoning creatures telling them to fight you and than telling them to stop?), or why the got experience from the exploding pyramid 'trap' when the activated it themselves (can you get experience from activating explosions and claiming to have survived?) or why there is a CR 21 character in the - Laurin, Miron, Tarquin, 1 triceratops - encounter (ignoring that they count as winning it where two of the characters left of there own devices, and another was alive and well).

    But than since we are not bothering to consistently track Xykon's abilities compared to his level (baring me having missed something) I guess this is really just for fun and not any actual detailed analysis and rational which could be pointed to in the event of perceived conflict.

  28. - Top - End - #538
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    Point was, it seemed like you were twisting the numbers to fit a fact of her being L16. Why WOULDN'T she have got XP for surviving the Battle of Pete's House?
    She's at least level 16 at this point whether or not she got XP from Bozzok in Don't Split the Party. The only scenario where she is level 17 is if she got XP from him there, and again now. Why would she get XP from him when she wasn't involved in the encounter? Shojo didn't get XP from every evildoer Miko executed on her travels.

    The point of excluding Bozzok's XP was not to fit a preconceived minimum (Haley has more XP now than any other party member), but to fit the comic's own timing. With the XP from Bozzok, Haley would have gained enough XP to level to 16 in the middle of the fight with Tarquin's army. Laurin, Miron, and Tarquin would have been icing on the cake. And yet she didn't level up on the days-long airship ride,* but is instead leveling "today." As I said, it's possible to handwave that she only checked her total after the encounter with Crystal, but she didn't check once? In several days of downtime?

    * Actually, maybe she did. Once during the ride to put ranks in UMD, and then again after Crystal and Bozzok? Seems farfetched, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I would be curious to know what actually starts them all at level 8
    The second time the Order levels up [mostly] together, Elan surmises that Belkar was "a little behind us on XP when we started" the Dungeon of Dorukan. This only makes sense if the Order's individual XP totals are similar at that point. Also, it's very hard to get differently-leveled characters to level together, yet the Order managed it twice in rapid succession (and several characters' demonstrations of having leveled to to 11 and 12 also line up very closely in time).

    As for why level 8, early in the comic's run the Giant had an FAQ up that placed the Order "around level 7-9, strong enough so I can have them use certain abilities, but weak enough to justify running from goblins." If you couldn't tell, I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist. The first onscreen level-up featured Vaarsuvius gaining access to a new spell level, which means that level-up was to an odd level. She uses cone of cold just a couple dozen strips after that, which means that level-up could have been no lower than 9th level.

    also, or why they count as overcoming Spiky when he merely changed sides without any input from the characters baring the one that summoned him (is it possible to get experience - for yourself or the party - from summoning creatures telling them to fight you and than telling them to stop?),
    Converting a character to your side can count as overcoming the challenge it poses. If it did not the Diplomacy skill and the charm line of spells would be completely pointless.

    Also, yes, it is possible to call* a creature, order or convince it to fight you, defeat it, and claim XP (there are innumerable exploits based off calling, and this is one of the tamest). It is also possible to call a creature, fail to bargain with or bind it, have it attack you of its own accord, fend it off, and claim XP, though if a creature is strong enough to resist a binding, it's probably strong enough to kill you outright.

    It is not possible to summon a creature, order it to fight you, and claim XP. Ordinarily summons don't grant XP at all. The elemental only does because it is not part of a larger fight with its summoner, Redcloak.

    * Calling is distinct from summoning in that calling is usually for a longer term and brings stronger creatures into play. Usually this is offset by the challenge of binding the target creature, or bargaining for its services.

    or why the got experience from the exploding pyramid 'trap' when the activated it themselves (can you get experience from activating explosions and claiming to have survived?)
    Yes, activating and surviving a trap can grant you XP. Say you need to get past a trap, and have no way to disarm it, but are pretty sure you can survive it. By activating it, surviving, and going on towards your destination you would have overcome the challenge the trap posed for you.

    Technically the exploding pyramid is more of an environmental "hazard," like a collapsing cliff or an avalanche (tell me a character surviving an avalanche she accidentally set off would not be a challenge), but these are treated as traps when calculating their CR, so it's really a semantic difference.

    or why there is a CR 21 character in the - Laurin, Miron, Tarquin, 1 triceratops - encounter (ignoring that they count as winning it where two of the characters left of there own devices, and another was alive and well).
    That's an artifact of when Tarquin was listed as CR 21, and rectifying that is the precise reason I redid the calculations in the first place. Pay attention.
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2015-06-12 at 10:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Ok, so a thought about the whole did we screw up Roy's level estimate because of the statements in comic 990 topic. Is it possible we screwed up our estimate of Roy's level at time of death? As far as I can tell that estimate was based primarily on Eugene's comments in #485 "highest level good Character" and all. But that only really gives us a minimum not a maximum. Is it possible he had already hit level 15 before death? Maybe from engaging both X and the zombie dragon solo?

  30. - Top - End - #540
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XIII - Comic As Written, not Comic As Intended

    Quote Originally Posted by AMoonWalker View Post
    Ok, so a thought about the whole did we screw up Roy's level estimate because of the statements in comic 990 topic. Is it possible we screwed up our estimate of Roy's level at time of death? As far as I can tell that estimate was based primarily on Eugene's comments in #485 "highest level good Character" and all. But that only really gives us a minimum not a maximum. Is it possible he had already hit level 15 before death? Maybe from engaging both X and the zombie dragon solo?
    Indeed:

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    I checked the math again starting Roy at his resurrection at level 13 (84,500 XP), and it turns out he levels to 14 in exactly the same place; after Strip #862. It also turns out he does not level to 15 (ending up with 97,479 XP).

    I think we can safely read 485 as saying that Roy is the highest level Good character at battle of Azure City, not merely one of them characters there (otherwise the responsibility doesn't fall to him). This would put his level over Elan's at the time, at 14.

    Also of note, and I'm sure it's been discussed, Belkar seems to imply in 957 that he has undead as a favored enemy* and acquired that during his time with the Resistance. That would put his 10th ranger level during his time with them (as makes sense), and set his minimum Barbarian level at 3 (as it must minimally be his 13th character level). This requires we disregard the Giant's round-by-round summary of the battle with Miko, which fixes his level at 12 and his Ranger level at 11. Buuuut... that would mean that the 12th level that Belkar has around 250 is also the level he gains in 125, when he decides to multiclass (since the Giant says he "just" got the d12 hit die level). Arguably Belkar didn't take the Barb level right then, and was just visiting the Barbarian's Guild to get training for his next level, but Belkar's decision to multiclass precedes the whole discussion of retroactive practice and training. I think we should go strictly by the comic where possible (and assume forum posts contradicting the comic have been retconned into being wrong), which would place Belkar's minimum Barbarian level at 3.

    *There might be a feat I don't know about that would also improve his ability to fight undead, but he's already level 12 by the time he's in the resistance and doesn't reach level 15 until much later.
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