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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grey_Wolf_c's Avatar

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    Aug 2007

    Default MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    WARNING: This Thread WILL contain spoilers.
    Smallprint: If you are unwilling to hear what MitD might be, or segments from the published books (specially SoD) then this is not a thread for you.
    Everyone else: don't bother spoilering or hiding that stuff in this thread. It is what we are here for


    ATTENTION: Newcomers, please read:
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    This thread has, over the last 500+ pages, accumulated a lot of knowledge about MitD. However, you don't need to read the whole thread (and the previous ones) to get up to speed. So long as you are reasonably familiar with these first five posts, you can jump right in, with no need to read more than the last few pages. On the other hand, please don't be surprised if your insight has been proposed before.

    • For relevant MitD canon and in-depth analysis of central MitD scenes, check section 1
    • For specific characteristics of MitD, check section 2
    • To see all suggestions so far (and particularly, if your idea has been mentioned before), check section 3
    • Thread rules and FAQ, check section 4

    If you want to propose a new creature, consider using the following question template:
    1) How did [insert suggestion here] punch Miko and her horse through a wall?
    2) Why didn't Miko or Belkar's weapons hurt [insert suggestion here]?
    3) Why wouldn't a wizard recognize [insert suggestion here]?
    4) Why would humans become nauseous at seeing [insert suggestion here]?
    5) How did [insert suggestion here] teleport V and O-Chul to the beach with Hinjo?


    Section 1: General Information
    Section 1a: Directly from Rich
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    Rich's Words on MitD
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    I've been imagining the scene for MITD's eventual reveal for like nine years now
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew, in War and XPs c.368
    So, just so everyone is clear: I know exactly what the Monster in the Darkness is. I have (almost) always known. Its first two or three appearances were before I had worked out much of the plot's details, so at that point, I just figured it was a mystery I would never answer. Once I started developing the real story that I was telling, around strip #100, I figured out what the monster really was and have been dropping hints ever since. (Note that nothing from before strip #100 actually contradicts the truth of what it is, either.) [...]I now know exactly when and why the monster will reveal itself, too ... don't expect it any time soon, though. Sorry. There's a lot of story left, and that little tidbit will need to wait to close to the end.
    I will say this much: It is possible to guess.
    That is, it isn't something I just made up for the story. It wouldn't be any fun for the answer to a mystery to be something I invented just for one purpose, would it? I won't finally throw back the darkness and have someone say, "Look! It was a therblewurkersaurus the entire time!" or some other made-up monster.
    I realize that the line between something I made up and something someone else made up is a pretty fine one, but I trust that someone will figure it out eventually.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew, in Don't Split the Party
    [O-Chul] breaks himself out of the cage, he drives off Redcloak with a lucky shot, and most importantly, he has won the trust of the monster in the darkness over the course of months. So much so that the monster digs deep and discovers powers that he didn't even know he had in order to save him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew, in War and XPs (PDF, R4-B) - After the War: Looking Back from 2016
    A lot of people have asked me whether there is any actual answer to the mystery of the Monster in the Darkness that could possibly satisfy after so many years of wondering and guessing and weighing characteristics against existing monsters and otherwise just generally thinking about it.
    The answer to that question is yes. Yes, there is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew, in War and XPs
    The Monster in the Darkness plays an important role in this scene [Tower scene - ed] -- perhaps the first time it has ever done so. Prior to this, the creature existed mostly as comedy relief for Xykon's team. Sure, Redcloak and Xykon talked about how powerful they thought it was, but we never actually got to see it in action. Its childlike persona had likely led many readers to feel that he wasn't a real threat... and that needed to change. And so, I had the opportunity for the monster to display a little of its power without giving too much away by encountering Miko.

    This was specifically necessary because of the scene I had planned for later, when Haley and Belkar need to retrieve Roy's dead body from the monster's tea party. I wanted there to be no doubt that the monster was a real threat when they encountered it. Moreover I wanted to explore the idea that the monster itself isn't really aware of all its capabilities. It tries to tap Miko lightly, but fails. It doesn't know it can cause an earthquake by stomping until a demon roach tells it so.

    Notes:
    • Strip 100 came out Sep 2, 2004, so no creature first published after that time can be considered.
    • "It is possible to guess." Any number of people have jumped to the conclusion that it means that MitD must be a famous or iconic creature. The phrase warrants no such conclusion. Instead, all it says is that MitD exists listed somewhere outside OotS - nothing more and nothing less. As such, the iconic status of an idea, or lack thereof, is of no weight whatsoever when considering its fitness as MitD's species.
    • "someone will figure it out": related to the above, it specifies that what Rich means by "guess" is not "throwing darts while blindfolded" type of guess, but a rational, follow the clues to a conclusion process. "A potted plant that was eaten and spat out by the Snarl, giving it eyes, a horrible appearance, great strength and the ability to teleport, and look, it can be guessed- I just did!" might fit the first meaning, but not the second.

    Rich's Words on Fidelity to D&D Rules
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich, news item 1/12/2012
    I barely even reference the 3.5 rules anymore, using them just to determine what sort of spells or class abilities a character might have and then ignoring them the rest of the time.
    Notes:
    • Rich has made mistakes with the powers a character can have (Tsukiko's extra school), but has admitted they are mistakes. The fact he admits it is one, in addition to this quote, indicates that Rich does not routinely give characters powers they wouldn't normally have. In addition, MitD's guessing game would require him to be more careful, not less, about what abilities and powers it displays, such as immunity to mind control.

    Published Canon
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    Stereotyped Big Game Hunters, when they capture MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by SBGH, SoD
    Monocle: "My gods, is it talking? In Common, no less!"
    Jenkins: "Unbelievable!"
    Monocle: "Well, that will surely fetch a fine price."
    Jenkins: "Indeed!"
    Monocle: "I tell you, Jenkins, I never expected to see one of these in this part of the world."
    Jenkins: "Quite!"
    Monocle: "One-in-a-lifetime catch, Jenkins[...]"
    Circus, when the public looks upon MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by Circus Public, SoD
    Human male: "Oh my gods..."
    Human Male: "It's horrible!"
    Human Female: "And yet... beautiful!"
    Human Female Child: "Mommy, I feel funny looking at it"
    Human Male: "Blerrch!" (throwing up)
    Human Male in wizard's clothing: "I've never seen anything like it!"
    Goblin Female Child: "Wooooooo!"
    Goblin Male Child: "YEAH!"
    Rest of the public:
    3 Human Males, 2 Human Females and 1 Halfling Male look:
    1 Human Male has "queasy" mouth, as if about to throw up
    1 Human Male has closed his eyes and is attempting to cover them with his hands
    2 Goblin Males (RightEye and his oldest son) are unimpressed
    RedCloak, admitting he knows what MitD is:
    Quote Originally Posted by RedCloak, SoD, pg. 88
    I know what you are. You could kill them all if you wanted.
    Xykon's first look at MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by Xykon, SoD
    "My you're one ugly sonofabitch, aren't you?"
    Xykon's wording of the mind-controlling spell on MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by Xykon, SoD
    "And if Redcloak ever betrays me, you will devour him whole and spit out that gold amulet he wears."
    Nature of the darkness around MitD:
    Quote Originally Posted by NCftPB, pg. 194a
    Xykon: Did you see him yet?
    RedCloak: He's permanently shrouded in magical darkness. How exactly was I supposed to "see him yet"?
    MitD enjoying the sunshine:
    Quote Originally Posted by SoD, pg. 49
    MitD: Oh man, I love the jungle! The sun, the blue skies, the fresh air—


    Section 1b: The Circus Scene
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    The circus scene is, as befits the most MitD-centric moment in the comic, full of clues:
    • The public's reactions: note they are not fear, but disgust. Vomiting, queasy faces and exclamations of ugliness do not match reactions of people scared (that would be brown pants, yellow pools under the stands, and attempts to run away).
    • MitD's Actions: none. it is quite explicitly told he is doing nothing. Activated abilities thus are unlikely to explain this scene
    • Recognition: The show depends on MitD not being recognisable (billed as such), and this aspect reinforced with the guy in robes saying he's never seen anything like MitD before.

    Section 1c: The Escape
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    • Link to the scene
    • It can't be dimension door or blink because those spells have pityable ranges.
    • Teleport and Greater Teleport in the standard rules require the caster to go along with the other subjects of the spell. We have seen teleport work this way in OOTS here and here, and also here we get to see two teleports work this way. In fact there, there are two casters, presumably one divine (raise dead) and one arcane (teleport). Then Soul Spliced V casts (presumably) Teleport and travels along too (though we don't actually see the spell cast, just the resultant "pop"). Finally when we see Epic Teleport, even then the caster (and his spliced spirits) go along for the ride. So although it doesn't absolutely prove that Rich insists the caster always goes along when they Teleport, it really seems to suggest that is the way it works in OOTS, which is the standard D&D rules. Teleport also requires the caster to know the destination, although when that is not the case, a lucky (i.e. plot-induced) roll in the missed teleportation table could have delivered V & O'Chul to the right place anyway.
      • It has been suggested that a dimensional anchor/lock cast on MitD's box would prevent him from teleporting, but not from casting it. There is no evidence that such spell has been cast on the box, since the visual effect is a green aura and coloring that is not present on either, but MitD himself may have been hit by the stray (Quickened) Dimensional Anchor cast by V during the preceding battle.
      • In the Scruf and Tumble short story (in GDGU), the carbuncle befriended by Mr. Scruffy teleported (likely with a SU-type Dimension Door) him without going along, suggesting that at least Dimension Door in OotS doesn't require the caster to go along
      • Alternatively, the Forbiddance spell provides a similar effect to that of dimension lock without the visual component, but would require it to be awkwardly placed to only cover MitD's box, since it doesn't hurt V - this would be a very strange use of a spell designed to cover a whole area from teleport. The chance of MitD remembering the password are slight, too, which would mean he'd be damaged every time he entered the box.
      • Standard teleporting rules do require the caster to touch any other travelers, but the rule is not observed in OotS (see any of the prior examples)
      • MitD could have the ability to grant Greater Teleport or its equivalent to its target, rather than cast it himself, thus leading to V or O-Chul casting it to get them out of there (although O-Chul wouldn't know where to take them anymore than MitD would, and it seems unlikely MitD would target V with that ability)
    • Standard 3.5 edition D&D rules say Plane Shift can be cast so that the caster does not travel along for the ride. However it also says you MUST go to another plane, not another place on the same plane and that "precise accuracy as to a particular arrival point on the intended plane is nigh impossible". Also that "creatures must find their own way back". O-Chul and V make no mention of "getting back" and have no apparent means to plane shift. Note that in most occasions plane shift has been depicted with a kind of "window" opening, but not always.
      • It has been suggested that MitD could have plane-shifted them to a good plane (e.g. Souther Gods' domain), and then where teleported back by an agent of good.
    • Wish and the psionic ability "reality revision" are stated as being able to "Transport Travelers. A wish can lift one creature per caster level from anywhere on any plane and place those creatures anywhere else on any plane regardless of local conditions".
    • Miracle can "Move you and your allies along with your and thier gear from one plane to another through planar barriers to a specific locale with no chance of error".
    • Limited Wish doesn't say anything about travelling or transportation explicitly.
    • The Epic Spell "Dreamscape" could be interpreted as providing the "Escape" capabilitiy, (see Dream Larva)
    • Psionics has equivalent teleportation abilities to all of the above. DaggerPen compiled a fairly complete list here.
    • Creatures who have the ability might have captured Ganonron after he was expelled from V, and forced him to cast the teleport (other than being theoretically possible, no monster has been found capable of doing so other than the Parshendi that came out in 2014, and there is no evidence that this scenario took place)
    • Selecting the Destination: Wish and Miracle have no issues with the destination of the escape. Teleport and Greater Teleport, on the other hand, do not easily explain how MitD was able to send them to a place he does not know about (teleport can only target places, not individuals). Possibilities:
      • MitD also used some form of Trace Teleport to send them to where V came from
      • MitD "rolled" on the Mishap table due to False destination, and got 'Similar Area', which placed them in the right place


    Section 1d: The Tower Scene
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    Link to the scene
    It is likely that Rich bent the rules of D&D to show the point about MitD being both amazingly strong and a credible threat to the OotS. Nevertheless, Nerdanel has done an analysis of the feats and strength necessary for the scene to work in accordance to the rules. Find the relevant posts here, here and here.

    Section 1e: MitD's Alignment
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    The best that can be said about MitD's species' alignment is that it is unlikely to be Good, since RedCloak would not have recruited a Good creature to protect the goblin village given his rather dim views on the Good alignment.

    This, however, is a very weak argument, since it can be argued that MitD was not, at the time, Good. Also, consider that MitD's alignment and his species' need not match. As such, knowing MitD's actual alignment brings us no closer to knowing his species' alignment and, thus, for the purposes of this thread, this is a barren path of inquiry.

    The only exception to this is alignment when applied to morality plane denizens (i.e. angels, demons, etc.). Rich commented on this topic in DStP:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant, Round 4 Commentary
    It's important to note that this doesn't necessarily make Celia right in her views. Heck, they're not even all that consistent, considering she has been known to fly off the handle and zap people from time to time. Because, see, Celia isn't a deva or an angel; she's not an embodiment of Law or Good. She can mistakes and screw up, and she can fail to live up to her own ideals, as she does later when she finds herself cheering while Haley shoots people. She wants to be a pacifist, but she can get caught up in the excitement of battle the same as anyone else.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant, Round 7 Commentary
    The entire point of their organization is to blur the lines between the the three fiendish races (demon, daemon, devil) and depict cooperation where normally one would expect backbiting and betrayal. So here, we have a slightly less neutral daemon, a slightly more chaotic devil, and a slightly more lawful demon (one who went to college with devils, even).
    From the above, we know that angels and demons (unlike other outsiders) are embodiments of their own morality planes. Yes, they can change their alignment, but only slightly, and when doing so it serves the purposes of their other alignment. And even then, it is a very rare and line-pushing experiment. The embodiments of the morality planes are as follows:

    Lawful Evil: Baatezu/Devils Lawful Neutral: Formians, Inevitables, Modrons Lawful Good: Archons
    Neutral Evil: Yugoloths/Daemons True Neutral: Rilmani Neutral Good: Guardinals
    Chaotic Evil: Tanar'ri/Demons Chaotic Neutral: Slaadi Chaotic Good: Eladrin

    Since MitD has performed both good and evil acts, it is very unlikely he is an embodiment of either Good or Evil.

    Section 1f: MitD's Scores
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    It has proven almost impossible to nail down what MitD's scores might be. The general agreement is that his strength must be past 30, his INT must be high (to account for his ability to learn quickly), his Wisdom be low (to account with his innocence and bad judgement) and his Charisma high (to account for the "beautiful" comment).

    However, it is equally likely that he will be a near-epic creature, and as such his scores are going to be all-around high (by human standards).

    Section 1g: (Not) Seeing the Gates
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    MitD's inability to "see" the gates is felt by several participants to be a "clue" about MitD (rather than the alternative possibility, Rule of Funny). However, no explanation that ties MitD's species to the gates has been forthcoming, except when contemplating the idea of MitD being part of the Snarl.

    Alternatively, it has been proposed that since the demiplane in which the Snarl is trapped is designed to null divine magic, and it is third-handedly established in SoD that the gods have difficulty in detecting the rifts, there might be some connection between MitD and the gods that makes him, too, unaware of the rift. Note, however, that MitD has an issue seeing the definitely-not-Snarl-related gate that Xykon installed to stop his zombies from walking into and being destroyed by the rift, so this connection is quite far-fetched.

    Finally, it must be pointed out that MitD doesn't have a problem actually seeing the physical object that is the gate. Instead, his words seem to suggest that he doesn't know it is one. It has been suggested this might be because he thinks the only definition of "gate" is the portal that opens when the spell gate is cast. If he has been told that is a gate (and he probably had seen the spell before, when he previously saw the Astral Plane), he would be confused as to why he can't see one near the massive wooden thing Xykon and RC keep pointing at.

    Section 1h: Recognising MitD (in-comic)
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    There have been two alternative explanations for the Hunter's + Circus scene and the differing reactions to MitD when looked at.

    On one hand, the Hunter's scene can be seen as a lampshade hanging of MitD's ability to talk, i.e. an express admission of Rich that he shouldn't, just to get it over with and ignored thereafter. The hunters see a creature that is rare, powerful, strangely non-threatening and decide to sell it. They mention it talks, and from then on Rich need not keep pointing out this fact. The circus scene builds on this, letting us know MitD is revolting to look at (or smelled, or some other passive characteristic).

    On the other hand, MitD could be a shifter. The Hunters may have seen a creature that couldn't talk, because MitD was adopting the shape of one, and was sold under the guise of one such creature. The circus crowd would likewise see either a revolting creature, or one that is shifting uncontrollably, such that the change is both revolting and, for some, beautiful (like a kaleidoscope). RC would recognise MitD for what he is, a creature that both shifts and can talk, explaining why he is not surprised by this last fact. Note that while this works on paper as an explanation, no creature that fits it has ever been proposed.

    Section 1i: Recognising MitD (by readers)
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    Some people have argued that the MitD must be easily recognized because they feel it would detract from the eventual reveal if the readers cannot immediately identify its species (usually, this is countered by the argument that the reveal will likely be a dramatic moment for MitD which, while it might require a specific ability, will not be centered upon MitD's species, but his growth as a character).

    Other people have argued that the MitD cannot be easily-recognized because it seems unlikely that Rich would select something easily guessable when part of the purpose of MitD was to provide a challenge to what, at the time, was a very D&D-centric readership. Faced with such an audience, Rich, they argue, would likely go for a challenging creature that would keep them (us) guessing for years to come.

    Finally, some more people think that the fame of the creature is irrelevant, because nothing in Rich's words suggest that he must be famous or must be obscure and thus, unless he chooses to clarify, it is not a demonstrable characteristic upon which to build a hypothesis.

    Section 1j: Suspicion of MitD's involvement in the escape
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    Why wasn't MitD suspected for the escape beyond the demon roaches? RC, the resident know-it-all and most likely to connect the dots was not present for the escape - he used Word of Recall and only returned once the action was over. We also do not know how much Xykon knows about MitD. We only have MitD's word that Xykon knows what he is, and even then, given Xykon's attitude towards book knowledge, he probably only knows MitD's species name and the fact that he is strong, and thus powerful (power is all Xykon cares about). If so, Xykon would not know MitD can teleport, and likely thinks him too incompetent (and too asleep) to be responsible. All in all, the scene seems carefully orchestrated so that MitD could save O-Chul and V without giving himself away.

    Section 1k: The meaning of Fine Line
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    For a wide variety of reasons, a number of participants feel that the "fine line" comment is meant to be a clue about MitD's authorship:
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew
    I realize that the line between something I made up and something someone else made up is a pretty fine one
    The reasoning goes that the phrase itself is unnecesary, the general understanding of it (i.e. Rich didn't create MitD) is addressed well enough in the context, and thus the retreading of the point actually hints to something not quite so clear cut - usually interpreted that Rich did have a hand in MitD's creation (because he helped craft the manual it is in, for example) or because he created it, but not for OotS.

    On a strictly logical way, it is true that the sentence is somewhat redundant in context. However, it is also Rich's way of admitting that, to most of his readers, his assurance that he personally didn't create MitD is a cop-out since when MitD is revealed, he might as well have - the line he intends to draw between fantasy monsters created by him and others is fine indeed.

    As a practical matter, even if the above interpretation is correct, and it is a subtle hint that Rich did in fact create MitD is some indirect way, it has never as a theory born fruit. To date no creatures have been brought forth with "partially authored by Rich" as a point in their favour.

    Section 1l: MitD's Hand in #555?
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    Unfortunately, what we see in Panel 1 in strip 555 is not MitD's hand, but the bucket's handle

    Section 1m: MitD's Species Size
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    We know that MitD has not yet reached his adult size, both from MitD's recollection of a much bigger father, and from Oona's comment that he is "so small, but will grow in time". The question, then, is how much bigger we can expect the base species to be. To answer this, size categories as used in D&D must be understood to be a logarithmic scale - each size category is double the height of the previous (length for quadrupeds) - a Medium size creature is up to 8 feet tall, a Large one 16, a Huge one 32, etc. While a child-sized Large or even Huge creature could be argued for (and is the basis for the size restriction in the FBS rules in section 3a), anything beyond has generally been found to be hard to justify. In part due to the general agreement that MitD is a pre-teen (due to his attitudes towards sex & boys-only clubs), which suggests he still has some growth to do before he becomes an adult - but not a huge growth. Humans, for example, grow about 20-30% of their height during adolescence. In D&D size terms, that might push you through one size category, but not through two (which would require more than doubling your height).

    A second consideration is strength - larger creatures are, of course, stronger, but children are weaker than full grown adults. In the D&D ruleset, there exists a strength growth chart for creature size advancement that can serve as a guideline to how strength changes between sizes:
    Old Size New Size Str Dex Con Nat. Armor AC/ Attack
    Fine Diminutive Same -2 Same Same -4
    Diminutive Tiny +2 -2 Same Same -2
    Tiny Small +4 -2 Same Same -1
    Small Medium +4 -2 +2 Same -1
    Medium Large +8 -2 +4 +2 -1
    Large Huge +8 -2 +4 +3 -1
    Huge Gargantuan +8 Same +4 +4 -2
    Gargantuan Colossal +8 Same +4 +5 -4
    Dragons, as one of the few species with detailed statblocks for multiple stages of development, adhere to the above strength growth, usually splitting it across the age groups that share a size.


    Version History
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-07-20 at 07:28 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Section 2: MitD
    Section 2a: Physical Characteristics
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    Age
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    MitD's first appearance in SoD happens "29 years ago" (SoD pg. 49). This is measured back from comic 1, so MitD is at least 30 years old.

    From his keeper's comments about how long he has been fed stew every day, we know MitD spent more than five years in the circus.

    Appearance
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    MitD's appearance is both disgusting and beautiful, to judge from the reactions of the circus crowd (see 1a SoD Canon). It is ugly enough to provoke vomiting in the stands, but still cause someone to exclaim "And yet... beautiful".
    Oona the Beastmaster compares him to a creature out of a spicy meat-induced nightmare, although she also calls him magnificent.

    It has been suggested it could be because in 1st edition, an evil creature with CHA -1 had the same CHAR bonus as a good one with CHA 24

    Body
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    RedCloak suggests that he could use MitD as material to create undead, which suggests he has a physical body (e.g. not a fire elemental)
    MitD's ability to laugh indicates he has lungs

    Diet
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    MitD is almost constantly hungry, thus probably indicating a species that requires food (but it isn't stated).
    Take into account:
    • He is not at all picky about his food, having been shown to eat almost anything ("His palate can't be that refined", dibs on a moldy cheeseburguer in sock drawer).
    • He has preference for stew (See SoD, and here).
    • He feels weird to eat babies (including veal), but not adults.
    • He has eaten scrabble tiles, and apparently didn't find them to his taste (but he was expecting donuts)

    Gender
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    MitD self-identifies as male, forming clubs that don't allow girls. Also, O'Chul calls him "a good man"

    Head
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    • Eyes: MitD has two yellow eyes, next to each other. They are consistently drawn as larger than those of medium-sized creatures, closer to that of ogres (while still being more or less at medium-sized height, but he might be crouched under the umbrella)
    • Face: RC makes reference to stabbing him in the face (War and XPs, page 415a)
    • Mouth: MitD presumably has a mouth, since he has a tongue and teeth (that leave toothmarks in a taco in SoD). It must be rather large, since Xykon instructs him to "devour [RedCloak] whole"
    • Olfactory organ: smells by sniffing while holding the bag close to below his two eyes (but could be his mouth, rather than a nose)
    • Teeth: munches its food. And its voice is deformed while speaking with its mouth full


    Limbs
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    MitD has got stomping ability while holding an umbrella. No specific limbs are identified (feet/paws/tail?), but the use of the verb stomp requires physical limbs, whatever they are. The limbs are also dextrous enough to hold crayons (War and XPs page 415a) and draw (lack of quality may indicate clumsy apendages, or lack of maturity).

    Since he was able to both step on and pull on the rope at the same time, he must have or be able to produce at least two limbs, one of which must be prehensile.

    He is capable of holding a bucket of paint and a brush on opposite sides of his face, suggesting he probably has two symmetrical prehensile appendages.

    In the Earthquake scene, the stomp suggests he is either bipedal and crouched over, or quadrupedal.

    Finally, what is visible in Panel 1 of strip 555 is not a limb, but the bucket's handle.

    Maturity
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    MitD has consistently acted in very immature fashion, which could be his personality, or it could indicate he is a child of his species.
    Take into account:
    • Oona the Beastmaster believes he will grow bigger
    • He is over 30 years old (see Age)
    • He hasn't changed all that much in size or personality since his earliest appearance
    • Many creatures (including demons and angels) have a really hard time fitting as MitD because of his child-like behaviour.
    • Rich is unlikely to have him be too young - he dislikes the idea of creatures with the personality of a 4 year old having an alignment. MitD acts more like a 12 year old.

    Personal Odor
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    MitD has frequently apologized for his personal odor. This could explain the reaction in the circus, although it would need to address the reason why the odor doesn't affect the public until after he is lighted up.
    • It has been suggested that MitD's personal smell could be a hint towards the Stench ability

    Size
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    Since his first appearance, MitD has fit in a box this size, and under this umbrella. This makes him human-sized or large. He is also shorter than Oona, who is Medium sized.
    Take into account:
    • Rich has been known to mess around with sizes of creatures in the comic (Inexplicably large faeries), but to this date he has only made small creatures larger, never larger ones smaller than they should be.
    • MitD could be a young member of his race (see Maturity)
    • Oona the Beastmaster believes he will grow bigger
    • He's probably taller than a kobold:
      Quote Originally Posted by War and XPs c.368
      Mitd: "I know! Maybe I'm a kobold!"
      BlueCloak: "You're pretty tall for a kobold"
      MitD: "Maybe I'm two kobolds?"
    • If you do not object to using templates (see 3a: Templated Creature), the Dungeonbred template can be used to reduce his size by one category, theoretically allowing for huge creatures (but does carry the disadvantages of templates)

    Sleep
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    MitD has been shown sleeping in various occasions (in SoD, and after O'chul's and V's teleportation), and has admitted to becoming sleepy, so it is reasonable to assume he requires sleep (but it isn't stated).

    Weight
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    RC was able to lift both MitD and his box onto a cart. This is almost certainly an exaggeration of RC's lifting ability for the purposes of moving the plot forwards, but a detailed examination of the issue was attempted starting here. The conclusion reached is that if Rich wasn't bending the rules, and if the box was made of a light wood (such as pine), and RC was using a spell to boost his strength [Divine Power gives +6], and he has average or slightly above average strength for a goblin (he is unlikely to have more than that, since he is a pure caster), MitD's weight should be that of a medium creature, tops. (See my numbers here)


    Section 2b: Abilities
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    Attack
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    MitD attempts to "hit as lightly as possible" and still sends both Miko and her horse flying through a wall, off a tower and long distance (the tower in nowhere to be seen, the mountains are far away).
    Take into account:
    • If proposing a "child" or "runt" of a species known for great strength, the dissonance between his undeveloped personality and adult strength needs to be addressed.
    • See here a post examining possible ways the punch could have happened by the rules.


    Defences
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    MitD did not notice 5 attacks from Belkar and feels tickles when attacked by Miko.
    Take into account:
    • It could indicate piercing/slashing resistance, DR, high AC, high HP or a combination thereof.
    • He got a paper cut from trying to eat a letter, indicating he can hurt himself (e.g. overcoming epic resistance, if he himself is epic, or indicating a natural armour that doesn't protect his insides), or Rule of Funny
    • Miko believes he has DR
    • RC knows he cannot possibly injure MitD by stabbing him in the face (see War and XPs, page 415a)

    Earth Cracking
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    MitD cracks the earth by stomping on it.
    Suggestions:
    • Consequence of his great strength: sending horses flying through walls and for kilometers take about as much strength as causing the Earth to crack.
    • Earthquake ability: like that of an Earth Elemental, or some other specific spell-like ability in that sense such as Wrack Earth (PH2)

    Knowledge
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    Even though MitD displays lack of maturity (see 2a: Maturity), he has displayed flashes of brilliance:
    • O'Chul's comment he learnt Go! quickly
    • His ability to tell that a ritual was only the second half of a whole
    • His right-on-the-money Political Analysis
    • He admits he doesn't actually try to think, and that he lets Xykon and RedCloak think for him
    • If MitD is psionic, it can be explained by hypercognition

    O'Chul's Escape
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    We know from Rich's words (see section 1a) that MitD was responsible for O'Chul's and V's escape.
    Suggestions:
    • Teleportation Spell: in D&D, teleportation requires the spell caster to travel with the targets, and more often than not to be touching the other targets.
    • Wish: Very few creatures can cast wish, but would explain the situation well. In its favour, MitD is surprised when his wishes don't come true (but that could be his child personality).
    • Plane shifting: Many creatures have this spell, but has most of the disadvantages of teleportation, plus O'Chul's and V's escape does not match the effect of plane shift (in that they ended up in the same plane)
    • See also Section 1b for an in-depth analysis of teleportation options in D&D

    Take into account:
    • MitD may have been hit by V's missed dimension anchor, explaining why he didn't go along if it was a teleportation effect.
    • Plane Shift, in particular, doesn't necessarily affect the caster (it has succesfully been used offensively in OotS)
    • It has been pointed out that if it were a spell, MitD would have had to say its name out loud, which typically a spell requires (but not an extraordinary, spell-like ability or supernatural ability, nor a psionic power). On the other hand, not all spells have been said out loud in-comic (example: Xykon's mental suggestion in SoD, Redcloak passing his Trial Of Becoming A Hobgoblin with a silent Slay Living), so it doesn't discard a spell either.
    • Other systems have spells or abilities named "Escape"

    Psionics
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    It has been suggested that MitD may have psionic abilities since we never see his limbs holding up objects, and as an avenue to explain his other powers. If he only starts to actively use psionics at the time of escape ("unshackling" his mind due to the stress of the situation), it would also tie with Rich's comment about discovering powers deep inside himself (see Section 1a - Rich's Words). Also, it would explain why he tends to be tired after using his powers.
    Take into account:
    • Most psionics featured in the comic (goblin mind reader, the story of the little psion that could and a guest appearance in SSaDT), had a purplish aura around their entire heads. However, Laurin has a yellow aura. In both cases, though, the aura surrounds the entire head, where MitD, at best, illuminates his eyes briefly.
    • During the Go game, his turn starts and end, and yet we don't see him place a counter. Rich may have skipped the dialogue where MitD told O'Chul were to place his counter just to reduce the wordiness of that page, though. There is also no psionic effect line like the ones radiating from Laurin
    • MitD is unaware of most of his powers, which doesn't suggest his mind is making them happen (so it would only explain the escape, if at all).
    • RedCloak, who knows what MitD is, had to research if psionics existed in OotS-verse. If MitD is psionic, why was it so difficult to know? (it has been suggested he may have templated psionic ability, and as such his psionics not be part of his species). On the other hand, creatures can be psionic or not depending on the setting. RC could have known about the mind flayer in Dorukan's Dungeon, and still not know if psionic powers did exist.
      • If MitD wasn't actively psionic until the escape, it would also constitute an explanation: RC tested him for psionic powers and, finding none, couldn't decide if psionics existed or not.
    • The lack of visible limbs is likely a combination of the minimalistic drawing style of the comic and Rich's desire to not show us what MitD is.
    • MitD had to tip the circus cage to get to the bucket of stew; presumably a psionic creature could simply levitate the bucket (but MitD may be unaware of his abilities)
    • The fact that no hand is seen holding the umbrella is a style issue where the hand is behind the object, rather than around it. Belkar holds his daggers in the same way

    Rain
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    It has been suggested that MitD could have (inadvertently) caused rain to help O'Chul rest

    Raising undead
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    MitD probably does not have the ability to raise undead, but might be used as raw material. At the very least, he does not have 5 levels of cleric, although it has been pointed out he may have the capability but due to his innocence/incompetence he has never used it, leading RC to believe he cannot without gaining cleric levels first. That said, RC would probably have checked MitD's MM entry, and be aware of all its powers, regardless of which one MitD uses.

    Sight
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    MitD's sight is keen enough to be able to recognise Xykon on top of a dragon a catapult-max-range away, without the benefit of a telescope, but does nto see him until he becomes visible, indicating he does not have natural See Invisible ability

    Speech
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    The Stereotyped Big Game Hunters were surpised MitD could speak, and in common (see 1b SoD Cannon)
    • This is usually interpreted as a lampshade: his species can't or won't talk, but Rich changed it for plot purposes.
    • Alternatively, MitD's species could have been confused with a similar species, which while rare and valuable, is not capable of speech.
    • Note that the wording could indicate both species incapable of speech, and species that normally wouldn't talk (like Zodars).

    It has been pointed out that MitD's speech bubbles are black text on white background, unlike demons, who tend to have red-on-black and undead, who tend to have white-on-black. However, there is one demon who has a normal voice, Sabine, so it is probably not a good indicator of species. Rich has confirmed that voice "colour" can mislead.

    Shout
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    MitD can shout loud enough that it gives Belkar pause. This may or may not be an actual shout attack, although neither Belkar nor Haley were damaged, but they may have been Shaken, as in Frightful Presence.

    Summoning Demon Roaches
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    MitD was not responsible for the Demon Roaches following team evil - as per SoD, they first attached to Xykon and RC in an evil dinner where Xykon used to get his coffee (in his pre-Lich days). MitD may have attracted more of them, but not the original group. As such, it is unlikely that their presence indicates anything about MitD. That said, the Demon Roaches are 4th-wall breaking rule of funny most of the time, regardless of their origin.

    Swallow Whole?
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    In SoD, Xykon orders a mind controlled MitD to devour whole RC if RC double-crosses Xykon. This might indicate that MitD has a swallow whole ability.
    Take in account:
    • Xykon uses the word devour, not swallow, which allows MitD to chew.
    • Xykon had only just met MitD, and since he isn't interested in reading, he probably would not know what MitD is precisely. Nevertheless, something about MitD (probably a big mouth or similar) suggested to Xykon that MitD would be able to carry out the order.


    Section 2c: Other Characteristics
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    Categories
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    MitD cannot belong to any of the following without being an exception to the listed characteristic:
    • Not a deity (vulnerable to mind-affecting effects)
    • Not Construct (eats, and desires to eat; sleeps)
    • Not Elemental (eats, and desires to eat; sleeps)
    • Not Ooze (has a body)
    • Not Plant (vulnerable to mind-affecting effects)
    • Not Undead (eats, sleeps, etc)
    • Not Vermin (vulnerable to mind-affecting effects)

      Several people have remarked that Oona's knowledge of MitD makes it unlikely he is an Outsider - but Oona may have better-than-average knowledge skills from her extended familiarity with Kraagor's Tomb.


    Challenge Rating
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    • Rich intends the MitD to be a credible challenge for the heroes - the watchtower scene was included for that reason, as explained by Rich. Since Rich likely has a target level the party will achieve by the time they face MitD, MitD must have a CR at or above this level. As a rule of thumb, CR18 or higher is preferred, Epic levels being better.
    • See also lothos' analysis of MitD's CR

    Connection to the Astral Plane
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    MitD seems to know the Astral Plane's characteristics.
    Considerations:
    • He doesn't remember having been there
    • Xykon is surprised at this
    • It could be just a successful knowledge roll, or that he was taken there at some point in the past
    • In the past, it displayed extreme ignorance of the planes

    Darkness
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    As per NCftPB (see section 1a - Published Canon), the darkness that surrounds MitD is magical in its nature. Xykon's instructions imply that they are independent of MitD, since he can step or leap out of them (i.e. leave them behind).
    Note that D&D rules for line of sight allow for creatures at the edge of magical darkness to see out of it, while remaining concealed.

    Drawing Clues
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    Even though MitD is always in darkness, it has been suggested that by carefully noting the placement of his eyes, and of anything he manipulates, his general shape can be deduced. The general consensus is that he is either walking crouched or has four legs on the floor (from the placing of the stomp), and that he has a long reach (as when pulling on the rope: 9th panel). Take into account that this is debatable, and that MitD has not necesarily been drawn consistently

    Since he can turn his eyes around (panel 11) without turning his entire body, it is possible that MitD has a neck or similar (such as eyestalks) that can move independently of the rest of the body.

    Also, it has been brought up multiple times that the go board is a cryptoclue about MitD. Unfortunately, there is no agreement on what image they show, with people having identified it as Tarrasque, PvP's Skull, a demon, or an 8-bit sprite from some NES game (also, one jokingly suggested it looked like Pepe le Pew due to the color scheme). It is likely a case of pareidolia

    Environment
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    The Stereotyped Big Game Hunters were surprised to find him deep in a rainforest. This discards rainforest as his environment, but leaves everything else open.

    Family
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    MitD remembers his dad "sort of" as BIG and even a bigger eater than he is.
    Considerations:
    • MitD could have been "adopted" (or even created) by a member of another species completely, just as he is in the wrong environment. If this adoptive parent is of a different alignment from MitD's base species, it could explain MitD's conflict between good and evil.
    • MitD is still young and will eventually be as big as he remembers his father to have been
    • MitD might have a warped mental image of his father, from remembering as "big" when MitD himself was smaller; as such, he may already be as big as his father used to be.
    • MitD is mixed breed, and his father is larger than he will ever be

    Knowledge of MitD
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    MitD is very difficult to identify. Only a few individuals have claimed to know what he is:
    • The Stereotyped Big Game Hunters (SoD) knew he was "one of those" and that it was surprising he could talk (and in common, even)
    • RedCloak (SoD) stated he knew what MitD is
    • Oona compared him to a majestic monster comparable to a kebab-induced nightmare, but smaller than he could be
    • O-Chul, after his long imprisonment and friendship with MitD, still needed the help of the most knowledgeable scribe available to the Azurites, and even after that, he only has "a theory" (which he does not think Lien or MitD would believe).
    • MitD believes Xykon also knows what he is, but it's likely Xykon only cares about MitD's strength and looks, rather than detailed knowledge of what MitD can do
    • What looks like a wizard (SoD) in the circus audience admits he'd never seen anything like it.


    It has been suggested that the hunters may have confused MitD with a different, less powerful but similar looking species that nevertheless is still rare. There have been no practical examples of this yet. Stereotypical Big Game Hunters, however, are seldom wrong about their prey.

    Mental Resistance
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    In SoD (pg.96), Xykon was able to command MitD (as evidenced by MitD's swirly eyes), indicating MitD is not immune to mind-affecting spells.

    Reach
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    MitD cannot reach stew or meat left outside his box, but can reach the doors in Kraagor's wall enough to paint them, suggesting his reach is based on free movement rather than long appendages or telekinesis.

    Species
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    MitD was declared by the Stereotyped Big Game Hunters to be "one of these", indicating that there are more than one of him.

    Tracks
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    MitD leaves tracks, which Belkar can't identify (but he's a lousy tracker, and even if he wasn't, MitD might have been carrying table, chairs, stuffed animals and a paralized O-Chul at the time, which might have obscured the tracks). However, he leaves no tracks in the snow. The following possibilities have been suggested as an explanation:
    • He floats/flies
    • He has some form of permanent pass without trace or water walk (note that despite its name, it works on plenty of non-water surfaces, including snow and lava)
    • The umbrella hides the tracks, in the same way it hides MitD's limbs even when they should be visible (e.g. around the handle) (i.e. it's part of the "we don't get to see any part of MitD until the reveal)


    Section 2d: Abilities Augmentation: Templates, Class Levels, etc.
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    A number of ways to increase creatures capabilities to match those shown by MitD have been proposed. All of them have the same general problem: they likely violate Rich's assurance that he didn't invent MitD and that it can be figure out. To illustrate these issues, consider two examples:
    Bingosaurus
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    The argument most commonly cited in favour of augmentations is that it is not a Rich creation if Rich merely uses already existing rules to create MitD, such as adding tempaltes, feats, class levels, etc. But there are rules for making your own monsters, spells, etc.

    Nothing is stopping Rich from making what is for all intents and purposes a Bingosaurus* complete with an insatiable hunger for stew and yellow eyes, using rules that were published prior to comic #100. He will then furnish it with Bingo's epic earthquake (which functions like a regular earthquake except it is much more awesome and can be aimed in a direction), Wish and Bingo's Commanding You To Stop ability, DC100, at will

    *Named after Lord Bingo, original proponent of this counterexample.

    Binks' Mystery Sword
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    Related to the above, the second most common argument in favour of augmentations is that since the rules exist, it can be figured out. By the same logic, a DM could hand a character a custom magic item like Binks' Mystery Sword* and not tell his player what it does because the DM didn't invent it, instead followed the rules, so clearly the player can figure out what it does on his own.

    *Named after Binks, original proponent of this counterexample.


    The augmentation ideas presented so far are:
    Feats
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    When a creature is promoted beyond its base CR, with every 3 HD added, the DM can also add a feat. Of interest to this thread are the two following feats:
    • Mighty Roar: allows a creature, once per day, to make a dreadful roar that renders everyone nearby shaken for x rounds. Pre-requisite: be an animal or magical beast of at least large size.
    • Stamp: allows a creature to make a shockwave with a radius of a number of squares equal to their HD. Creatures within the radius that fail a balance check vs the stamper's attack roll are knocked down; structures are also damaged by the shockwave, which could explain the ground being torn up if one is generous with the definition of 'structure'. Prerequisites: have feet, be at least huge size, and have the trample attack.

    Cons:
    • No Wish feat
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since the exact number of extra HD added by "the DM" is not really guessable.
    • Size issues: MitD is likely Medium sized; while large is possible, huge is likely too big.
    • MitD is clearly lazy, and thus has little canon support for the idea that he has developed beyond the average of his species (quite the opposite, in fact). His father being bigger than he is also argues against this (more HD eventually makes the monster bigger).


    Templated/Mixed lineage Creature
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    In D&D, a template is not a creature, but rather a number of changes that can be made to any creature meeting the requirements. The changes usually are around a theme. For example, the half-dragon template (applied to creatures with partial draconic parentage) make the creature more draconic, giving it a breath weapon, claws, a bite attack, and some draconic immunities, along with making the creature physically and mentally stronger.

    Some templates function more generally, the fiendish template, for example, is used to create races of fauna native to the lower planes, and never originally were the base creature, but instead are a separate (but similar) species. Therefore, not all templates are once-in-a-lifetime combinations fluff-wise (although a half-fiend, half-celestial, half-red, half-blue, half-green, half-silver, fiendish living fireball could hardly be considered anything but a once-in-a-lifetime combination).

    More practically, templates can provide practically every ability the MitD has demonstrated (teleportation, strange appearance, physical defenses, great strength, etc). Due to the ability of templates to make practically anything the MitD, this thread has moved away from analyzing specific monster template combinations (of which there are many), and instead will evaluate templates alone as what they could contribute (if there is a published example of a creature with a template, it can be proposed as a creature).

    However, templates, like all augmentation, has its drawbacks:
    • No Wish template before strip #100 (Amidah and other Immortal's Handbook variants came out later)
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since the exact base type and templates use is not really guessable.
    • Unless the exact combination of templates and base creature has been used elsewhere, it can be argued that an original template stack would be a Rich invention.
    • Its unlikely that a one-in-a-lifetime combination of templates would be so common that the hunters call it "one of these" (although not all templates require mixed parentage)
    • No actual evidence of MitD having different species parents (although not all templates require mixed parentage)


    Below is a list of templates that can provide abilities the MitD has demonstrated.
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    Beast of Xvim (Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerűn)
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    Summary: A monster blessed by Xvim (and evil god in Forgotten Realms). While it doesn't give any abilities that make it a good candidate to be the MitD, it has a Feed ability similar to that of the Barghest (only increases HD, but the HD increase is uncapped). See the entry on Phrenic Creature for how this is useful. The fluff would need to be redone, as Xvim does not exist in OoTSverse, although the Dark One could be a suitable replacement. Has moderate DR that might be able to explain tower scene defenses, although on its own it cannot explain any other scene.

    • Advances HD by 1 automatically, gains an additional HD per 8 HD of humanoids slain and eaten.
    • Makes explicit mention of glowing green eyes. The eyes of the MitD glow yellow. With the adaptation to a different god, arguably the appearance like this could be altered.
    • In any case, there would be some alteration (which could violate the "not Rich's creation" rule) to make a Beast of Xvim without Xvim.
    • Gives moderate DR (scaled on HD, /+1, +2, or +3, so unclear what would overcome it after upgrade, which could explain tower scene defense.
    • Can be applied to any creature, although Xvim prefers "bats, black dogs, black cats, hawks, and vultures, or in monsters such as beholders, green or blue dragons, hell hounds, cockatrices, imps, dark nagas, and undead creatures."


    Dungeonbred (Dungeonscape)
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    Summary: Creature was raised in a dungeon and is smaller than normal. Applied to corporeal aberration, animal, magical beast, or vermin. Makes the creature slightly weaker physically. Doesn't explain any scene, but can allow the MitD to fit in the box or under the umbrella.

    • Rich was involved in the creation of Dungeonscape, and has mentioned working on the template chapter, therefore could be his creation, no real way to be sure.
    • Essentially gives -4 Strength, so it is harder to fit the tower scene.
    • Eats less than a normal member of his race, as the MitD eats a lot, not all that good a fit.


    Fiendish Creature (SRD/MMI)
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    Summary: Like normal creature, but native to lower planes. Gets DR/magic, energy resistance, SR, and Smite Good, all scaled with HD. Always evil. Doesn't explain any scenes, although the DR arguably could help provide defenses for Tower Scene (although it is at most 10/magic, so not unlikely Milko would overcome it). Can be applied to corporeal nongood aberrations, animals, dragons, fey, giants, humanoids, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, oozes, plants, or vermin. Animals and vermin become magical beasts.


    Half-Dragon (SRD, MMI, various other books)
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    Summary: Applied to any corporeal living creature to make it more draconic. Gets breath, claws, bite, and some draconic immunities (paralysis, sleep). Also gets wings if large or larger. Big bonus to Strength (+8), small bonuses (+2) to Con, Int, and Cha. There is a type of half-dragon for practically each type of true dragon, although none of them really do much. The +8 Str means if the base creature's strength is ≥22, it'd have get sufficient tower scene offensive, but other than that, the template doesn't generally help much (there are a bunch of types, it is possible one of them adds something else, if so, bring it up).


    Half-Elemental (Manual of the Planes)
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    Summary: Creature has various elemental traits. Doesn't change appearance much (minor elemental themed things, like an half-earth elemental might get gemstone eyes. Gives a number of SLAs based on HD, none of which really are useful (with the exception of half-earth, which gives earthquake at 13 HD, and could explain the stomp scene). Earth and Water give minor boosts to strength. Can be applied to any corporeal creature with an Int of 4+. Changes type to outsider, gives appropriate elemental subtype. With the exception of the strength boost (+4 and +2 for earth and water respectively), doesn't allow creatures to explain the big scenes, although Half-earth can explain the the stomp with earthquake.


    Half-Troll (Fiend Folio)
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    Summary: Boosts strength, gives a bit of fast healing, bite attack, claw attacks. Can be added to any animal, dragon, fey, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, or outsider, and changes type to giant. Strength boost (+6) lowers the required strength of the base creature (with this template) to explain the tower scene to 24. The fast healing (5) arguably could explain the tower scene defense, although somewhat dubious. The changing type away from outsider allows lots of template stacking, if one so desires. Furthermore, half-trolls are pretty ugly, which could explain the circus scene (but what kind of wizard hasn't heard of trolls?).


    Monster of Legend (MMII)
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    Summary: An animal, magical beast, or monstrous humanoid has a divinely appointed task, and special powers to back it up in accomplishing said task. Changes type to outsider (native). They are unique, so all those things kind of make the (seemingly purposeless and lazy) MitD not seem to fit. The template increases physical strength (+10), and can give fast heal 5 and DR 10/+1 as well, which arguably could explain the Tower scene (the strength boost certainly helps, although the fast healing and DR is rather on the low end). Nothing to explain escape. Can get frightful presence, which could explain circus scene, although it is triggered by making "a loud sound (a roar, growl, or other sound appropriate to its form)," hardly what the MitD did.


    Paragon Creature (SRD/ELH)
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    Summary: Generally makes the creature stronger, better faster. Gives fast healing and DR which can explain the tower scene. Boosts ability scores, attacks, damage, AC, saves, skill checks which can qualify an otherwise weaker monster (ex: Genie) as a threat to a near epic-level party. Does not change physical appearance or grant teleportation ability, so cannot explain escape or circus scene. Does not change creature type. Can be added to anything.

    • +15 Strength allows any base creature with Strength ≥15 meet strength requirement for tower scene offense.
    • Fast healing 20, DR 10/epic, maximized HP, +15 Con, and +12 HP/HD on top of that (along with +12 luck and +12 insight bonus to AC) can explain the defenses in the tower scene for pretty much anything.
    • The +25 luck bonus to hit and +20 luck bonus to damage could be argued to be a cause for the MitD "accidentally" hitting a horse through the wall.
    • There is no real evidence of the MitD being exceptionally competent for a member of his species. In fact, Team Evil seems to think of him as sort of a disappointment. Without saying the MitD is exceptional, there is no real way to convey it is Paragon.


    Phrenic Creature (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook)
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    Summary: The creature happens to be psionic. It can be applied to any not mindless creature that doesn't already have the psionic subtype. It provides various PLAs (Psi-like abilities) based off HD. The important thing for the MitD is psionic teleport 3/day (just like normal teleport, but psionic) at 15+ HD, which can explain the escape scene. It does not say it alters appearance (although larger than normal brains is a common trait to denote psionic ability), but probably cannot explain the circus scene, and provides no boosts to physical attack or defense to explain the tower scene.

    • Gives PLAs, ML=HD. At 15 HD, gives psionic teleport 3/day which serves as an adequate explanation (likely arriving at a "similar area", possibly the MitD originally had a false destination making it more likely.
    • It has been argued the MitD's eyes glowing with the Escape are more similar to psionics than other magic.
    • We had no real evidence of the MitD being psionic, and the template makes no physical distinction between the base creature, potentially violating "can be figured out" even more than templates in general.


    Pseudonatural Creature (SRD/ELH)
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    Summary: Makes the creature a cosmic horror. Explains circus scene with alternate form. It can fit tower scene for ~90% of proposed candidates (Strength ≥8), but can't explain the escape. Can be applied to any corporeal creature. Makes the creature an Outsider (extraplanar)

    • Can be added to any corporeal creature.
    • Gives +22 strength, at least 35 natural armor, and DR/epic scaling with HD. This allows pretty much any creature with over 8 strength to fit the tower scene (although the more HD initially, the better).
    • Has an alternate form specified to be "a grotesque, tentacled mass (or another appropriately gruesome form)," which can explain the circus scene. Alternate form imposes morale penalty on attacks against the monster, but nothing huge like dying of fright or confusion.
    • Does not provide explanation for the Escape (its Dimensional Door ability has a range of 1200 ft).



    Radiant Creature (DR321)
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    Summary: Creature native to the "plane of radiance." Gets DR/magic and fast healing 2 (while in light), which kind of poorly explains defenses in tower scene. Gives some light-based SLAs (nothing we've seen the MitD use). Main draw is dazzling aura (dazzles creatures within 30 ft that fail a will save) to explain the circus scene. Boost to charisma (+6) might make it more beautiful. Strobe lights can cause dizziness and other such things, so that could explain why some people had a negative reaction. The template can be added to any Aberration, Animal, Dragon, Fey, Giant, Humanoid, Magical Beast, or Monstrous Humanoid, and changes type to outsider.

    Proposed combinations:

    Pimp my Tarrasque
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    Given the huge number of such combinations suggested for the Tarrasque, this approach is also known as Pimp my Tarrasque:


    Class Levels
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    Only useful to explain the escape scene, it suggests MitD has 18+ class levels of Sorcerer, which would allow him to cast wish even if the base creature normally wouldn't (assuming it has at least 18 CHA).
    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since MitD has not shown any other spell from those 18 levels
    • It is unexplained how MitD would even gain 18 levels, given his general lazyness
    • It would require MitD to have forgotten he gained those levels ("discovers powers that he didn't even know he had")


    Proposed class levels:
    • 18 levels of sorcerer would give him access to wish.
    • 2 levels of fighter with the alternate class feature Dungeoncrasher might be used to explain the tower scene (although he would have had to rush Miko and her horse, which doesn't quite fit the "hit lightly" rule he himself imposed).

    Reincarnation
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    This idea suggests that MitD used to be a powerful spellcaster (level 18 or more) that dies and used a Reincarnation spell to reincarnate as a rare animal.
    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since there has been no mention of the possibility of reincarnation in the comic, and it would make figuring out what MitD almost impossible

    Abomination
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    It has been claimed that there is a way for Rich to create his own abomination. Some abomination traits are similar in their description to MitD's eating habits.

    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words
    • Almost certainly violates the "didn't create it" clause in Rich's words
    • Abominations are immune to mind control


    Psychic
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    From a third-party book published just months before strip 100, if offers a number of powers similar to teleport and others, except using "psychic powers".

    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a) since MitD has shown no psychic abilities, and if he did, they are too easily confused with psionics

    Unbridled Shapeshifter
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    By RAW, a shapeshifting creature can gain a large number of abilities by successive shapeshifting into the correct creatures, gaining their magical powers and access to ways to make those changes permanent. The ur-example of this is Pun Pun, the shapeshifting all-powerful kobold. Combined with some form of convenient amnesia you could create a creature very much like MitD, no matter what powers MitD turns out to posses.

    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a)
    • Rich has been very outspoken about his views on this kind of shapeshifting, including a series of articles on how to fix it.


    Book of Vile Darkness Demon Lord
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    As per BoVD, demon lords each have a unique look and a unique set of abilities. While a few examples are given (such as Demogorgon, a demon prince), they are explicitly by no means exhaustive. The proposed demon lord, as such, fits the big scenes in whatever way we wish.
    Cons:
    • Probably violates the "figured out" clause in Rich's words (see Section 1a)
    • Demons may or may not have parents in OotS (general cosmology used doesn't have them, but the demon summoned by Qarr claimed to have one - but he was under the Despair spell, and therefore his idea of being a disappointment to his father might have been spell-induced)
    • Demon Lords are embodiments of their respective Evil plains, and as per Rich's words on the topic, should not be able to change their moral position more than slightly - nowhere near the range demonstrated by MitD (see section 1e)


    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-10-08 at 08:20 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Section 3: Proposed Ideas

    Section 3a: Suggestions that Fit the Big Scenes (FBS)
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    This category groups ideas that fit the clues in the major scenes of MitD, with the following characteristics (as per thread consensus):
    1) Has a plausible explanation for the Escape
    2) Has a plausible explanation for the Tower (both his attack and his defence)
    3) Has a plausible explanation for the Circus (both his act, and the reactions)
    4) Isn't one of the impossible categories (see section 3c - categories) (unless it is an exception)
    5) Existed before strip #100 in a form accessible to Rich.
    6) Size/strength requirement
    • Up to Huge: 30 STR
    • Gargantuan: 38 STR
    • Colossal: 46 STR
    • Colossal +: 54 STR

    7) Is vulnerable to mind-affecting effects (SoD)

    The proposals may still have other objections (such as that the above explanations require stretching the rules of D&D).

    Athasian Nightmare Beast
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    Pros:
    • 30 Strength
    • Psionic teleport
    • Fairly ugly and unique
    • CR18, decent defences
    • Dominated by its voracious appetite, can eat anything
    • Despite spell-like abilities and intelligence appears to have no listed languages or even forms of communication

    Cons:
    • Posted publicly a few months after MitD's decision, but the designer could have sent an advance copy to other designers, such as Rich. Post no longer exists. Closest official version (Legends of Athas beta pdf) Jasdoif could find is gargantuan, and from 2008

    Glabrezu (SRD or MM 43)
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    Pros:
    • Access to wish 1/month, explains the escape and why the goblin wasn't teleported. It also cannot grant its own wishes, further explaining the lack of later success.
    • 31 STR
    • 20 CHA, but still rather disturbing looking, while not being immediately recognisable as a demon
    • Surprising it can speak common (not in its language list)
    • The stronger limbs are probably not dextrous. The human-like ones are probably not strong enough to pull on a rope.

    Cons:
    • Huge by base, would require MitD to be less than half-adult sized
    • Not surprising it can speak
    • Depending on canon interpretation, cannot have a parent
    • Embodiment of Chaotic Evil plane - should not be able to be as Good as MitD is.
    • Low CR

    Hagunemnon (Protean) (SRD or ELH 196)
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    Pros:
    • Great strength (53)
    • Access to Planar Travel through convenient partial shapeshift into e.g. Umbral Blot, which includes greater teleport
    • As a psionic creature, it may have been converted by the means described in the Expanded Psionics handbook, which would give him psionic teleport
    • adequate size
    • his shapeshifting sounds disturbing, but has 34 CHA.
    • Despite being capable of speaking any language, Proteans normally speak only ever-evolving language impossible for any non-protean to understand, thus being surprising it talks in common.
    • Its psionic ability to detect thoughts would explain his knowledge of the ritual, probably having heard RC's thoughts on the subject.
    • Fluff implies there are protean newborns, so presumably they have some form of parentage ("Even newborns are tides of flesh, ever changing")

    Cons:
    • Plane shift doesn't fit well with the escape as shown (see 1b: The Escape), and while greater teleport fits slightly better, it requires a timely shapeshift into the exact appropriate creature. There is no evidence that psionic-class creatures have been converted as per EP handbook.
    • Its constant shapeshifting has not been reflected in a change of MitD (mouth and eyes stay roughly the same), and is specially an issue while he sleeps, since he likely cannot spend actions to keep a face then (however, see this essay giving plausible story reasons why MitD might want to keep his eyes steady, and he might be faking sleep, or his eyes are not visible at all when he sleeps and the lines drawn are for visual communication only)

    Hunting Horror (CoC)
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • CR 20 - powerful enough to be MitD.
    • Strength of 34 - on the lower side, but within acceptable bounds for the tower scene.
    • Hideous form - looks like a "black ropy worm or serpent, rather like a legless dragon... with a single wing rising from the middle of the back and a long sinuous tail trailing behind," but are also "mutable, as some have reported them with two wings instead of one, or two eyes instead of a single three-lobed yellow eye." 6th edition of CoC describes them as "hard to look at" and "continually changing, twitching and writhing".
    • Accompanied by a permanent foul stench that causes Nausea.
    • Has a Roar ability, but that causes damage, so perhaps that doesn't explain the "STOP" after all.
    • Can understand speech, but "rarely speaks," according to the D20 version.
    • Has a Swallow Whole ability, so more than capable of devouring Redcloak.
    • Has a tail that it can use as an appendage, allowing him to smack the ground and "punch" Miko and Windstriker through a wall, but making pulling things or holding small objects difficult.
    • Rare to see it on Earth at all, let alone in a rainforest in the middle of the day.
    • Acquires spells by rolling dice, and picking from a list

    Cons:
    • Defences not that great: AC of 19, plus DR 5/+1, fast healing of 10 - only the last can help explain the "tickle" comment, and not well at that.
    • Acquires spells by rolling dice, and picking from a list
    • Access to teleportation a bit dodgy - some older versions give it more random spell access, but D20 specifies a list of spells that does not include teleportation
    • Damaged by light - explanations vary as to whether it can tolerate a few hours worth of light or if light damages it outright, but a problem either way
    • Too big to fit under either umbrella or box.
    • The total lack of non-wing limbs in the official description doesn't fit the art clues. It's of variable form, though, so it might have limbs.

    Alternatively, it has been suggested that the HH could be following the CoC rules, rather than the d20 rules, in which case he could use Avert Harm to resist the attacks, but in that case, the creature does not have a means to explain the escape. As a workaround, it has been suggested it could have learnt a heavily modified Word of Recall that teleports to a random destination, although this has no canon support (that such WoR exists, nor that MitD has learnt it).

    Schlock Mercenary's Carbosilicate Amorph
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    Pros:
    • Can interface with a teraport to teleport (although it is not clear how he'd know where to send them)
    • Incredible strength and fighting abilities. Invulnerable to anything short of plasma weapons.
    • Looks like a pile of poo
    • Endearing and adorable
    • Fits under the umbrella easily, but his dad could have been bigger if he had eaten recently
    • Famous for his unbridled appetite.
    • As per Shining Wrath's Weak Carbosilicate Amorphic principle, "If MitD is in fact a Carbosilicate Amorph, it is because Rich has brought Carbosilicate Amorphs into OotSverse, and therefore they are as recognizable as any other monster of similar rarity"
    • Rich could probably secure copyright from Howard Tayler, since they are friends

    Cons:
    • Rich probably wouldn't use a science fiction character from another comic in his fantasy comic.


    Slaad (ELH 217)
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    White/Black slaads only.
    Pros:
    • Very strong, epic defences
    • Can teleport others
    • Disgusting appearance (humanoid toad)
    • Not inmune to mind-affecting spells
    • White one is Large. Black is Huge.

    Cons:
    • Tricky reproduction cycle means black/white slaads are unlikely to have a "father" (unless it is of the foundling variety).
    • MitD would have to be over 300 years old, having evolved through green, grey and death slaad varieties. This does not mesh well with his mental characteristics. (unless Rich has bent the reproduction flavor text)
    • It may be Product Identity (listed as such in d20.org, but not in the WotC legal documentation).
      • Even if it is, it may not be impossible for Rich to use it for free, unlike trademarked creatures.
    • Can talk common, and thus wouldn't surprise the hunters that he can talk.
    • It may be too recognisable as a humanoid toad to fit the wizard's comment in the circus scene.


    Uvuudaum
    Spoiler
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    Pros:
    • greater teleport available 3 times a day as an SLA explains the escape
    • very high strength (39), is very ugly but has extremely high charisma (46)
    • large bonuses to knowledge:arcana and spellcraft explains understanding of the ritual
    • Large size, so fits in the box, and doesn't need for MitD to be much smaller than adult to fit under the umbrella
    • Normally communicates with telepathy, not by speaking, so it's surprising it talks.
    • A confusion aura could explain reactions in the circus, particularly if it's weakened by MitD being a youngster of the species.

    Cons:
    • Might not have eyes or mouth (unmentioned in description, not present in pictures)
    • His confusion aura should give everyone missing saves around him swirly eyes, but no such thing is visible in the circus scene.


    Xenocrysth (Hyperconscious: Exploration in Psionics)
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    Pros:
    • Strength 43, High AC, DR
    • Psionic Teleport, and ability to read minds, which would allow him to pick up the destination from V's mind
    • Unusual appearance
    • Telepathic, so surprising one chooses to talk rather than "impart their thoughts directly into the mind of those with whom they wish to communicate"

    Cons:
    • More terrifying than vomit-inducing appearance
    • No legs to stomp with, but the end of its tail does have a mace-like protrusion that could have been used instead
    • Gargantuan, although a very small gargantuan by size (30 ft in length, is actually shorter than the minimum). MitD can be argued to be a mere 25% of its standard size (two categories), which even with hefty strength penalties would still make him quite strong
    • Fluff suggests they are formed from psionic nightmares, rather than through reproduction, but it is vague hearsay, and possibly wrong ("Sages believe that xenocrysths have slipped from a lucid dream of the Dark Plea[...] the Dark Plea’s progeny continue to squirm forth, birthed from the foulest nightmares of powerful psionic creatures")
    • Hard to reconcile with RC's difficulty in establishing if psionic rules are in place in OotS, since a Xenocrysth comes from a psionic manual, although it could be that its Catapsi Leech ability was impeding any other psionic's from properly demonstrating their abilities to RC.



    Section 3b: Frequently Proposed Ideas
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    These ideas have been frequently brought up, but they fail in a major way that presents a significant problem. If you are considering them, please address the problem listed in your initial post.

    Deity
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    First, note that "a god" is not a specific proposal. There are hundreds to pick from, many with wildly different capabilities. Furthermore:
    • If they have D&D stats, they will have Divine Ranks, which automatically gives them immunity to mind control (see Section 2c: Categories). This applies even to demigods (rank 1-5).
    • They can speak every language - unsurprising they can talk
    • Why would the SBGH think there is a market in selling deities?
    • Any deity RC would consider appropriate for his team (Evil/Neutral ones) can Animate Dead, or copy it through Miracle.


    Grue
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    Can challenge any lone adventurer, has insatiable appetite and sparse descriptions mention it being horrible. However, it wouldn't desire to be lighted as MitD does, and it is not known to have magic (e.g. teleportation). Note that MitD has enjoyed being in the light before joining team evil, both in the jungle and specially in the circus, and has never shown any discomfort from being in the light (see section 1a - Published Canon)

    Pun-Pun & Family
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    Pun-Pun isn't really something that can be classified as "one of those", and it seems likely that Rich made a joke of this idea when MitD suggested he might be a kobold, only to be told he's to tall for a kobold

    Rich "The Giant" Burlew
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    Rich does not fit any of MitD's characteristics - neither physical (e.g. great strength), nor mental (e.g. personality), nor supernatural (e.g. teleportation powers). Claims that he could give himself the powers needed because he is the author are effectively accusations that MitD is a Mary Sue (unfounded), but also if that were the case, it would be something Rich invented for the story.

    A frequent defence is that OotS people would react poorly to people from our world, but we have seen RL people in the comic, and they are stickified, so Rich would not fit the circus scene. Claims that he'd retain his RL nose are baseless, and furthermore the reactions to noses in-comic do not match the circus scene anyway. Rich is also a vegetarian, while MitD eats meat

    Snarl jr
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    Probably the #1 proposed idea, the "son-of-Snarl" has a major problem: it does not match Rich's words that MitD is a monster someone else (i.e. not him) invented (see Section 1a: "it isn't something I just made up for the story" & "I realize that the line between something I made up and something someone else made up is a pretty fine one, but I trust that someone will figure it out eventually"). Snarl has also not displayed any form of teleportation magic, nor any particular appetite (except maybe for souls, although it could equally be a figure of speech of the destruction it brings to mortals), nor need to sleep.

    Furthermore, Snarl has been kept a major secret - it's unlikely that the hunters would know, or that they have seen so many Snarl Jr.s running around they can talk about not having seen "one of these".

    Tarrasque (SRD or MM 240)
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    Tarrasque is an iconic creature, famed for eating a lot and sleeping a lot. Unfortunately, there is no particular reason to think that MitD is an iconic creature, and Tarrasque brings several other issues to the table, the most important of which is its lack of teleportation/wishing abilities. Other issues: Tarrasque is traditionally unique and non-reproducing (not part of a species) and far bigger than can fit under an umbrella.


    Section 3c: Copyrighted Ideas
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    All ideas listed here, regardless of how well they fit, have a major problem: they are trademarked, or otherwise unavailable for Rich's use due to legal issues (see Section 4a: Inappropriate Topics)

    Boggart (Harry Potter)
    Claydol(Pokemon™)
    Danica (Star Power)
    Diawolf
    Domo-kun (NHK)
    Father (KND)
    Black Mage (Final Fantasy)
    Red Mage (Final Fantasy)
    Godzilla & pals (Godzilla)
    Goku (Dragon Ball)
    Gozer (Ghostbusters)
    Haggunenon (HHGTTG)
    Heffalump(Winnie the Pooh)
    Kirby(Kirby)
    Pervect (MYTH Adventures)
    Plastic Man (DC Comics)
    Lord Ochu (FinalFantasyX)
    Mario (Super Mario Brothers)
    My Little Pony(My Little Pony)
    Q (from Star Trek)
    Rawhead Sidhe (Dresden Files)
    Roger Rabbit (Who framed Roger Rabbit?)
    Snorlax (Pokemon™)
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    A great fit, since:
    • "They can throw incredibly powerful punches and cause immense earthquakes",
    • is known for its huge appetite (including his ability to eat moldy food) and its sleeping.
    • It grows from a much smaller pokemon, Munchlax, and fits in the box as an adult (6' 11'').
    • Using Metronome, it could have a plot-casuality induced access to "escape from battle" abilities.
    • When not drawn anime style, pokemons can be downright disturbing (non-Snorlax example).
    • When you fight a static-encounter Snorlax in the games, if you do not capture it, when the fight ends the game text tells you that it has 'stomped off back to the mountains.'
    • Has Fissure as an egg move, whose in-game description reads: 'The user opens up a fissure in the ground and drops the foe in. The target instantly faints if it hits.' (picture)


    Shadow (Babylon 5)
    SMT3 and Persona 3 and 4 (Megami Tensei)
    Skull (PvP)
    Tonberri (Final fantasy)
    Vatch (Witches of Karres)
    Vorlon (Babylon 5)
    Weeping Angel (Dr. Who)
    Wile E. Coyote (Looney Tunes)
    Ygramul (Neverending Story)
    Yoshi (Super Mario Brothers)
    Zoidberg (Futurama)

    Section 3d: Light-Hearted Ideas
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    These ideas are not meant to be taken seriously, and were added to this post only because they amused me enough I wanted them recorded for posterity. Please don't read too much into them (or what they say about my sense of humour)
    • Inmune to blades, including scissors, but suffers from papercuts?
      Spoiler
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      Must be a Rock
    • The most dangerous box ever
    • The fearsome Gazebo
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      HotAndCold explained:
      • A gazebo is obviously a powerful monster, devouring the story's PC without any chance of rebuttal.
      • It takes no damage from a +3 arrow, just as MitD apparently takes no damage from Miko's or Belkar's attacks.
      • Would you recognize a gazebo's tracks?
      • Or expect to find one in a jungle and even speaking in Common, for that matter?
      • It is, of course, a juvenile gazebo, explaining its roughly Medium size, rather than its being large enough for, y'know, people to hang out in it.
      • I... guess he could be a particularly ugly gazebo? Although technically speaking, the gazebo's never actually described in the story beyond its dimensions, color, and the pointiness of its top. So I guess one could argue the gazebo's horrific appearance.
      • The description states that the PC "awakened" the gazebo, implying that it was sleeping. Perhaps it had recently used one of its mighty and tiring abilities!
    • A Fanboy
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      Truly grotesque creatures, Fanboys have been known to consume vast quantities of whatever they get their hands on (including mouldy cheeseburgers), while skulking in the darkness of their 'boxes'. When inserted into fantasy fiction, they often wield great quantities of inexplicable power (Mary Sue Syndrome) and have difficulty remembering minor plot details (Gate? What gate?) They are truly the most fearsome creature any Creator can face, and yet are beautiful in that a Creator would be nothing without them. And of course, the monstrous and twisted exterior hides an innocence ill-befitting a horrendous beast, and a niceness of character little understood by those around, often causing them to be bullied by lesser souls in the vicinity.

      We are all MitD in the quiet corners of our souls.
    • Grey_Wolf_c
      Spoiler
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      Quote Originally Posted by Throknor View Post
      1) How did Grey_Wolf_c punch Miko and her horse through a wall?
      - She suggested a Tarrasque should be added, and her horse said Snarl Jr. An adrenaline-fueled rage took over.
      2) Why didn't Miko or Belkar's weapons hurt Grey_Wolf_c ?
      - Maintaining these threads has made him impervious to pain.
      3) Why wouldn't a wizard recognize Grey_Wolf_c ?
      - Keeping up with the thread means he doesn't have time to keep up his appearance so looks like a human-sasquatch mix wearing clothing.
      4) Why would humans become nauseous at seeing Grey_Wolf_c ?
      - No time to shower either.
      5) How did Grey_Wolf_c teleport V and O-Chul to the beach with Hinjo?
      - Well, you got me there.
    • The Giant
      Spoiler: No but really though.
      Show
      No, not that Giant, this Giant Former WCW World Champion. Latterly The Big Show, and played by Paul Wight.

      An actual fairy-tale Giant, a wild-haired mountain-savage, who wrestled in World Championship Wrestling from 1995 to 1999, and was booked as the son of the late Andre The Giant.

      1) The Escape: Can The Giant teleport?... Bizarrely enough, yes. The Giant debuted in 1995 in World Championship Wrestling as part of the 'Dungeon Of Doom' stable, portraying a similar role that the MITD has in OOTS. The powerful dragon controlled by 'The Taskmaster' Kevin Sullivan. In this role, he actually could teleport. And teleported to and from the titular 'Dungeon of Doom.'

      2) The attack and defense portrayed in the tower scene: At Halloween Havok 1995, he attacked Hulk Hogan on the roof of the Cobo Arena in Detroit. He fell from the roof of a 12,000 seater stadium straight to the concrete parking lot below, and not only lived to tell the tale, but wrestled later that night. Talk about damage reduction. As for attack? Well... He's been showed to flip cars and throw "350 Pounds, solid steel ring-steps" in his time... I think you'd need at least a Strength of 28 to do that last one if you had the Hulking Hurler Prestige Class's ability 'Really Throw Anything.' He's choke-slammed two large men at once, in real life, where the men are resisting, rather than helping you lift them up, that's basically dead-lifting around 500 pounds at once.
      Also, he beat Hulk Hogan. No one beats Hulk Hogan. Ever. Seriously. Because Hulk Hogan is an arrogant, selfish old c-... Never mind.

      3) Has a plausible explanation for the Circus: He's been portrayed as gross, scary, impressive and interesting. And plenty of people paid to watch him.

      4) Isn't one of the impossible categories: He's definitely a humanoid.

      5) Existed before strip #100 in a form accessible to Rich: Debuted on US TV in 1995

      6) Size no bigger than Huge: Only seven foot tall, 484 or so pounds.

      7) Is vulnerable to mind-affecting effects: Yup.

      8) Smaller and eats less than his father: He was portrayed as the son of Andre The Giant a seven foot four, 520 pound man who is said to have consumed 7,000 calories a day in wine alone.

      9) Small, but will get much bigger: The Big Show is significantly fatter now than he was when he was known as The Giant.

      10) Could he eat Redcloak whole?: Well... He has the appetite of a Giant, soon after his debut, he became tremendously fat, and since he was booked as a literal Giant, a mountain-dwelling savage from 'Parts Unknown,' he probably isn't above eating moldy cheeseburgers.

      11) 'Wouldn't expect to see on of these here [In The Jungle]': You wouldn't expect to bump into a wrestler in a jungle... Well, you wouldn't! Would you? I wouldn't!

      12: Surprised he can speak, and in common?: Weirdly enough, despite speaking English very well, the interviewers and commentators would often pretend that they couldn't tell what The Giant was saying, kind of like Stewie in Family Guy.
    • Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Half-Green-Dragon Young Adult Green Dragon
      Spoiler
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      The MitD is a green dragon that also has five different green dragon ancestors in his family, so he has five instances of the Half-Dragon template.

      Pros:
      • Template combination is guessable, because it's not unusual for the Stickyverse. Half-dragon hybrids are common: Girard is half-dragon, Enor is half-dragon ogre, Durkon's parents fought a half-dragon troll. The ancient black dragon says in #628 that she's expected that her son invites "that nice green dragon girl", showing that green dragons sometimes interbreed with dragons. #555 has a joke about a half-orc half-orc orc.
      • 63 strength to explain tower scene.
      • Two claw attacks for 1d6 damage and a bite attack of 1d8 damage, weaker than the attacks of an ordinary young adult green dragon. Lets Miko and horse survive tower scene.
      • 36 natural armor, 25 base armor class, 5/magic DR explains why Belkar's and Miko's attacks fail. Half-Dragon template says "Natural armor improves by +4" so the bonus from multiple instances will stack.
      • "Elongated features […] and exaggerated teeth and claws" and "more formidable" both stacked five times to explain circus scene. The wizard in circus has seen green dragons, but not one with such grotesque features. He's just the kind of misshapen mutant that a freak show wants to show off. Xykon finds him ugly.
      • Misshapen features explain why Belkar can't recognize his tracks.
      • Overly long claws and 10 dexterity makes it difficult to pull the rope.
      • People can still recognize that he is a dragon, explaining "one of these".
      • 29 intelligence, 19 wisdom, and 29 charisma, may have skills in Bluff and Knowledge. That is why he can bluff Xykon once he actually starts to think, and recognize the half a ritual.
      • Large size to fit in box.
      • Can fly, which is how he can get up to the entrances higher up in the mountain without leaving a trace.
      • Dragons grow as they age, which explain that MitD's father was BIG.
      • Two eyes.
      • Not immune to mind affecting effects.


      Con:
      • Doesn't explain escape scene.

    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-07-31 at 06:18 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Aug 2007

    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Section 3: Continued


    Section 3e: Proposed ideas
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    Ideas that have been proposed, but cannot explain all major MitD scenes (See 3a)
    Aboleth Mage
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    Pros:
    • 28 Strength
    • Effective caster level 10th would allow him to have teleport
    • Appearance: "The aboleth is a revolting fishlike amphibian" but charisma 14 could count as "beautiful" for someone that isn't too nauseated by fish-like beings
    • Can only speak languages that are used underwater - would be surprising to hear him speak out of the water, and in common no less.
    • Very rare to be found outside of their natural environment (water)
    • Grows bigger as it ages - father would be bigger than MitD
    • Eating creatures gives him their memories, which would explain why he doesn't like to eat babies (no memories - bland and boring food) and why he likes stew (he never knows what he's going to get, it's a big surprise!)

    Cons:
    This creature could be considered the "almost" FBS suggestion.
    • Strength is almost to the 30 used as rule of thumb for the tower scene, but not quite there
    • Huge, almost small enough to fit in the box - and if made any smaller by age or template, he'd be too weak
    • CR17 is almost to the rule of thumb expected power level
    • 3 eyes - almost the right amount - vertically stacked.
    • Study-based spellcasting is a poor fit for MitD, who is never seen studying spells

    Akvan Div Prince
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    Too tall. probably not ugly enough. Might be too recent.

    Alhoon
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    Undead, not strong enough

    Anaxim (SRD or ELH 158)
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    Construct, no teleportation.

    Andeloid
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    Can absorb the powers of other creatures, virtually explaining everything with the right set of creatures, but seems unlikely that MitD has had a chance to do so

    Angel of Decay
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    Undead

    Astral Dragon
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    Too big when powerful enough (if it ever is powerful enough - top strength of 24 is insufficient); too weak when the right size. Too recognisable due to being a dragon for it to fit the circus scene. Fluff about staying a child until mating does fit MitD.

    Astral Dreadnaught
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    only one eye, gargantuan, can't explain the escape

    Asura (high CR homebrew)
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    Can cause earthquake, looks weird. Can't explain the escape. Unsurprising to hear it speak in common. Too many eyes.

    Atropal (SRD or ELH 159)
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    Undead: doesn't eat or sleep.

    Audrey II
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    Not that ugly (people flock to see it), unclear if it can teleport others/grant wishes (up for interpretation), unclear if its strength is sufficient to punch people through walls and send them flying.

    Bauhei
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    Unclear if it can be called "one of these". Doesn't fit the circus scene (awe doesn't induce vomiting)

    Aurumach Rilmani
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    Too humanoid looking to fit the circus scene.

    Baku
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    28 STR, probability travel works as teleport or a critical roll, fairly unrecognisable. However, also not specially disgusting looking.

    Barghest (SRD or MM 22)
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    Pros:
    • Eats a lot, and gets stronger as he eats (reference)
    • Greater Barghest has dimension door

    Cons:
    • Not really all that strong, (max 20)
    • No earthquake ability
    • Dimension door doesn't explain the escape well
    • can speak (but not in common)


    Black Troll
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    Large, ugly as every troll, but looking demonic on top. Can cast Teleportation without error, explaining the escape (but not what the hell a troll is doing with that spell and 10 INT and CHA). Unfortunately, not quite strong enough.

    Brachyurus (SRD or ELH 170)
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    Strong and relatively ugly, but can't explain the escape

    Brainstealer Dragon
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    Old ones are strong and have spells that can explain the escape, but are too big to fit in the box. Young ones that do fit are too weak. All of them can explain the circus scene. Published a year after strip #100

    Braxat (MM2 37)
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    Not particularly strong, CR9 and can only explain the escape with Dimension Door.

    Brood Keeper (MM3)
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    Can't explain the escape, the fear aura doesn't fit the circus scene, too big, not strong enough. Rich may have had a hand in their creation.

    Bigfoot
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    Very strong, presumed ugly even though no-one ever manages to see him. However, no magic, and thus doesn't explain the escape.

    Cerebrilith
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    Can´t explain the escape. Insufficient Strength

    Centaur (SRD or MM 32)
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    Not strong enough, can't explain the earthquake, the tower scene, the circus scene or the escape.

    Cherub (four-faced version)
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    Pros:
    • Strength of 36.
    • "four-sided head with the faces of a lion, ox, eagle, and man," which can be disgusting
    • Wish as an SLA, easily explains the escape
    • Has earthquake as a power, could explain the stomp.
    • Large size
    • Can be advanced to gargantuan, meaning that MitD's "father" could be either another larger cherub who was raising him or just a god specifically.
    • Strange to find a cherub in a rainforest.

    Cons:
    • Like most angelic hosts and demonic armies, it is hard to understand how it went unrecognised in the circus act - most people would have heard of them at their religious service of choice.
    • OotS Cherubs don't look like that.
    • Four sets of eyes
    • Unsurprising it can talk common (can talk all languages)
    • SBGH would probably not likely sell divine beings into slavery
    • Immune to mind-affecting spells and abilities.
    • Doesn't really fit with why Xykon and Redcloak expect him to be "scary" and eat children


    Chi You
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    Vaguely defined. Weird looking, but not particularly revolting. Can speak.

    Chichimec
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    No explanation for the escape

    Chronotyryn
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    Large, and can teleport, but has low Str (26), isn't particularly revolting-looking (it's a bird with arms) and not surprising it can speak ("dual voice").

    Coco, el
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    Creature from Spanish mythology that hides in the shadows and eats (misbehaving) children. Unclear if he is strong enough, probably can't teleport, and both the shadow hiding and children eating are the opposite of MitD's

    Coeurl
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    CR4, nowhere near powerful enough. Can't explain the escape

    Concordant Killer (MM4)
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    Created too late to be MitD. Not strong enough. Can't explain the escape

    Corpse Tearer Linnorm (MM2 141)
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    Strong and with access to miracle, but only through cleric spells, which would give him Animate Dead, which MitD is known not to be able to cast

    Couatl
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    Cannot explain the escape (caster level not high enough) the tower or the circus (not particularly revolting). CR10, nowhere near powerful enough. Since it has cleric abilities, should be able to help RC

    Crypt Thing
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    Undead, can't explain the tower scene. Unclear how someone could claim not to have seen a human skeleton before. Unsurprising it can talk

    Crystalle
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    Can cast Wish, but limited since the ioun stone has limited charges. STR 33. Cons: appearance not particularly disgusting; Elemental: doesn't eat or sleep.

    Dao (MoP 172)
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    aka "earth genie". Pros:
    • Can grant wishes
    • Can cast earthquake
    • Has a "shove" ability to push enemies

    Cons:
    • Unsurprising it can talk
    • CR6, little strength, no defences
    • Not unusually ugly
    • Unclear how father would be "bigger and hungrier"

    Deus Ex Machina personified
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    Would be a Rich creation

    Disenchanter
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    Not strong enough, cannot explain the escape, not powerful enough to be Xykon's Ace in the Hole.

    Displacer Beast (MM 60)
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    Can't explain the escape, not strong enough

    Dragon (SRD or MM 68 + most MMs)
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    Pros:
    • Decent defences
    • they like to eat and sleep

    Cons:
    • They don't get the kind of strength and powers needed until they are way too big for the box.
    • They are very recognisable, and thus don't match the circus' reactions.

    Draknor
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    Sprouts from the ground, but we have seen MitD in high floors of towers.

    Draeden
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    Ludicrously large (1,000ft per HD), would not fit in the box. Can raise the dead

    Dread Linnorm (MM2 141)
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    Pros:
    • Huge Strength
    • Wish (Sorcerer Levels)
    • Ugly (with high Charisma)

    Cons:
    • Colossal - requires him to be a runt, which brings problems re: high-level spell access
    • Two Heads - requires a reason why it lost one (e.g. decapitation)
    • Immunity to all spells of the enchantment school

    Dream Larva (SRD or ELH 161)
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    Pros:
    • Worst Nightmare ability explains circus' reactions (as long as it is a 'young' dream larva, so that it is not immediately lethal)
    • Very strong (42), high CR, defences and DR
    • Dreamscape allows teleportation, with a certain amount or rules bending (see here for an explanation)

    Cons:
    • Immune to mind-affecting effects
    • Dreamscape doesn't explain the escape all that well
    • Not known for its appetite, or its need to sleep
    • Unclear if a young dream larva can even exist, and would be less lethal than an adult one.


    Earth Elemental (SRD or MM 97)
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    Unstated how it would cause the escape, it cannot provide material for undead

    Efreet
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    Not powerful enough in D&D, regardless of how powerful they were in the original mythology

    Empyrean
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    5e monster, and therefore published way too late for MitD

    Enveloper (1e FF)
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    Insufficient strength, it's main ability of absorbing powers (thus explaining the escape scene), would also give MitD knowledge that would be at odds with his known naďvety and ignorance. Difficulty explaining the circus scene.

    Ephemeral Hangman (ToM 161)
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    Pros:
    • Looks like a mass of black tentacles centered around a large maw and a trunklike body.
    • Large, but when in darkness or shadowy illumination, it can fit into spaces that appear too small for it
    • The base species prefers eating children "and others too small and weak to fight back"

    Cons:
    • Can't explain the escape scene
    • Probably too weak: CR7, STR 22

    Epic Dragon (SRD or ELH 181)
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    Pros:
    • Have access to Wish
    • Very strong
    • Like most dragons, it likes to eat and sleep

    Cons:
    • They don't get the kind of strength and powers needed until they are way too big for the box.
    • Beautiful (sp. prismatic)
    • They are very recognisable, and thus don't match the circus' reactions.

    Essence Reaver
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    Published in 2007, too late for MitD.

    Fhoimoren Giant
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    No explanation for the escape. Weak defences.

    Fiendwurm (MM2 99)
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    strong and known for eating constantly, can't talk, can send people to the Abyss, but that explains the escape very badly if at all, and lack of limbs and gargantuan size are problematic.

    Fihyr, Greater
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    too many eyes, not strong enough, not challenging enough, can't explain the escape.

    Formian Myrmarch
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    Not strong enough to explain the tower scene

    Gelatinous Cube
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    Fits none of the major scenes

    General Ox
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    Sorcerer with access to 9th level spells, and STR 36. Doesn't quite match the circus scene's public reactions

    Genie/Djinn (SRD or MM 114)
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    while able to cast wish, they can talk, they are not particularly ugly, and they're nowhere near powerful enough for MitD

    Geriviar
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    No good explanation for the Escape. Not strong enough.

    Ghour
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    Decently strong, but insufficient CR and too big. Being a demon, it's morality and 'father' doesn't match well MitD's.

    Giant Snowman
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    Large strength and high HP, but no other known powers to explain the other scenes (especially the escape).

    Giant Space Hamster
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    Not strong enough, no magical powers, not ugly enough for the circus scene

    Gibbering Orb (SRD or ELH 191)
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    Can't stomp due to lack of limbs. Shouldn't leave tracks. Too many eyes and mouths. No explanation for Escape, except far-fetched "ate someone with access to wish the day before".

    Girard (Member of the Order of the Scribble)
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    Unsurprising it can talk, wouldn't be exhibited as a circus freak, wouldn't be hunted by the SBGH, is now known to be dead.

    Gloom
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    Fairly strong, very powerful, but has no eyes, shadow walk isn't quite good enough to explain the escape and "tall, very dark, elf-eared person with a cloak" is not exactly "I've never seen anything like it before"

    Goristro
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    Huge, and can't teleport, or explain the escape in any other way. See also Pit Fiend.

    Gray Render (SRD or MM 138)
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    can't explain the escape, or the tower. Not particularly good at explaining the circus. Too many eyes (6).

    Grendel
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    Original text says it is immune to weapons. Unclear how it accounts for the escape scene, except if it were demon-spawn due to conversion to D&D, which is a very big stretch. Difficulty addressing its strength (enough to break benches, but not the full hall).

    Grey Slaad (MM 231)
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    can teleport people both within a plane and between planes, but so-so strength

    Grootslang
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    Cannot explain the escape. Did not exist when #100 was posted

    Guardinal, Leonal
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    Not strong enough, aura of fear for evil creatures should have been seen in the comic.

    Gug (CoC)
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    (From Call of Cthulhu) Very ugly, and causes loss of sanity when looked at. Has a small chance of knowing how to teleport, but is not strong enough, particularly if young version is assumed due to size problems.

    Ha-Naga (SRD or ELH 195)
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    Access to wish, and fairly strong although, being Colossal, too big for the umbrella (when moving), and lack of limbs make several scenes difficult to explain (like pulling on the rope or painting the doors). Not particularly vomit-inducing. Proposing a child version reduces the strength below appropriate amount. Can raise undead (or could by retraining upon level up), which MitD cannot "without gaining 5 levels of cleric". Can speak multiple languages, and thus would not be surprising it talked in common.

    Half-Giant (SRD or XPH 200)
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    Strong and psionic, but can talk, unclear how it accounts for circus scene and the escape.

    Hellfire Wyrm (MM2 125)
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    Dragon, and thus can't explain the circus scene properly. Too big (huge)

    Hephaestus
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    God: Immune to mind control

    Hoary Hunter (SRD or ELH 197)
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    Very strong, can plane shift, but not revolting enough to explain the circus' reactions

    Hollyphant
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    Not quite strong enough, can't explain the escape, too adorably cute for the circus scene

    Hunefer
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    Undead; due to paralysing aura can't explain the circus scene.

    Illithid
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    Not strong enough, can't explain the escape

    Illithid Elder Brain
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    Has good explanations for the Escape and Circus, but not quite enough strength for the Tower (while still having good defences). Does not have teeth or eyes. Requires a pool of water to live in.

    Illurien (MM5)
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    Female, Insufficient strength

    Ilsidaur
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    Demonic (difficulty explaining alignment, probably no parent), difficulty explaining the circus scene. Specific stats linked are too recent for MitD (older versions may exist, but have not been presented)

    Incubus
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    Not powerful enough, difficulty changing alignments, can't explain the circus scene

    Infernal (SRD or ELH 164)
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    Immune to mind affecting spells, unclear how it accounts for the escape scene (it's greater teleport is self-only). Can animate dead, which RC claims MitD cannot.

    Intellect Devourer
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    Strength too low. No explanation for the Escape

    Jabberwock
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    Difficult to gauge if it fits or not, since the jabberwock is never really described. However, being unique, it doesn't fit the comment of MitD being "one of these". D&D versions tend to be too weak, and lack teleportation.

    Juiblex
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    Pros:
    • High strength.
    • High DR
    • Teleport without error
    • Appearance matches the Circus scene and there is even the fact that some people get obsessed with Juiblex and become thralls to explain the bit about beauty.
    • Eats everything. Yeah. Everything.
    • High knowledge skills that would explain the MitD knowing unexpected things. i.e. the ritual.

    Cons:
    • Unique creature (likely, his children wouldn't have the above powers)
    • No reason, assuming the BGH were not confused, for it to be surprising he can speak common.
    • Attacks are always acidic in nature - does not match the Tower scene
    • Too many eyes, no teeth
    • Alignment issues (see section 1e)

    King-Kong descendant
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    Problem addressing strength and size at the same time. Cannot explain the escape scene.

    Klicker
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    No explanation for the escape, didn't exist before comic #100

    Klurichir
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    Several versions exists: the one that are strong enough cant explain the escape, and viceversa. Demonic, so has some issues with Mit'd morality.

    Kyton, Eremite
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    Can't explain the escape, since it can only self-teleport. Created after strip #100

    Lammassu, Celestial
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    Not strong enough, can cast cleric spells.

    Lammassu, Greater
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    The 2e 'Greater Lammasu' looked promising, but the 3 or 3.5 versions that have been reviewed fell short across the board.

    Laogzed
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    Demigod: can be mind controlled

    Lava Children
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    Can't explain the circus scene (neither ugly nor particularly strange), unclear if it can explain the escape

    Lethus Dragon
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    publication date 7 years after strip #100. Otherwise, fits the FBS rather nicely, but not the general fluff of MitD

    Li Lung (Earth Dragon) (OA)
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    Pros:
    • Yellow eyes
    • Reasonably strong, potentially challenging, and correctly sized up to young adult
    • Damage reduction
    • Earthquake AND a powerful roar
    • Plane Shift

    Cons:
    • plane shift doesn't explain the escape well
    • Personality (sleepiness, constant desire to consume, etc) doesn't match typical li lung's description
    • As a young adult, it is not powerful enough

    Marut
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    Construct, has a vendetta against undead, embodiment of a morality plane

    Myrmixicus
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    Teleport self+objects only (although with a very generous weight limit). 33 strength. Demonic looking, which might not quite explain the circus scene. Embodiment of a morality plane. Might not have the ability to breath air, since it's a aquatic demon.

    Nabassu (WotC book previews or Fiendish Codex 1)
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    Not particularly strong, can only teleport themselves, and kill any level-1s that look at them, thus having difficulty explaining its success as a circus act.

    Neh-Thalggu (SRD or ELH 206)
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    incorporeal - meaning it has 0 STR and can't explain the punching of Miko or her horse (it could have bitten them, but not hit them)

    Neo-otyugh (2e MM?)
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    Can't explain the escape. Unclear strength (otyugh is definitely too weak). Too many eyes (3).

    Neothelid (SRD or XPH 204)
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    Pros:
    • Fairly high strength (30)
    • Psionic Teleport at will
    • Vomit-inducing, since it's a gigantic worm with tentacles
    • Heavy eating
    • Rarely communicates in a meaningful way
    • Its ability to Trace Teleport would explain how it knew where to send O'Chul and V

    Cons:
    • Difficulty explaining the earthquake and the stomp, lacking legs.
    • Defences not that great
    • No eyes
    • Gargantuan

    Nessie the Loch Ness Monster
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    Too big for the umbrella, can't explain the escape scene, difficulty existing in dry land

    Nightmare Beast (MM2 161)
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    Pros:
    • Fairly strong
    • spends most of its time looking for food, and then sleeping
    • Dimension door
    • Can't talk

    Cons:
    • Not defensively impressive - Miko would not have had trouble hurting it.
    • Dimension door doesn't explain the escape well.
    • Red eyes
    • Everyone in the city should've been having terrible nightmares

    Nightscape Battlemage
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    Can't explain the circus scene or the tower scene. Unsurprising it can talk

    Nycaloth
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    Insufficient strength, no good explanation for the circus scene or the tower scene.

    Oni, Go-Zu and Me-Zu
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    Several varieties, none really strong enough, and with no way to explain the escape.

    Onyx Worm
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    not strong enough, can't explain the escape.

    Ophan Angel
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    Good stats, but hundreds of eyes, and no good explanation for the escape.

    Outsider, The (H.P. Lovecraft)
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    undead

    Paizo Golem
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    Construct. Can't explain the escape scene or the circus scene. Created 5 years after strip #100

    Phaerimm (Monsters of Faerun 70)
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    Very, very ugly, access to wish through sorcerer levels, but not strong enough for the tower scene, and has no eyes.

    Phasm
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    Telepathic, so surprising it can speak. Not strong enough, can't explain the escape.

    Pit Fiend (SRD or MM 57)
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    Pros:
    • Strong, good defences
    • Highly skilled in Knowledge Arcane, -Religion, -Planes and in Spellcraft which would explain how the MitD could identify the ritual with merely a glance.
    • Access to Wish

    Cons:
    • Pit Fiends probably don't have children and aren't child-like. (From Roy's Archon's words here, it seems OotS-verse has normal "advancement" of celestial beings. On the other hand, two demons have mentioned parents)
    • It is not surprising it can talk.
    • It can reanimate the dead
    • Circus scene presents two problems: demonic creatures are not difficult to recognise (in a broad sense, if not the specific type), and the reaction one would expect is fear, not vomiting.
    • Rich's comments in W&XPs seem to indicate that morality planes creatures can't change alignments more than slightly.

    Planetar Angel (SRD or MM 11)
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    Has cleric levels

    Pooka
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    No good explanations for the escape or the tower, being of the trickster fairy archetype

    Primus
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    The supreme modron, has a bunch of powers, including teleport, but is too unique to be MitD (more a position than a creature type), is not particularly revolting, and cannot be mind controlled.

    Prismasaurus
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    No explanation for the escape, immune to mind-affecting "attacks" (which may or may not include what Xykon did to MitD). In the circus scene, people aren't being blinded or hit by prismatic sprays

    Psammead
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    Can grant wishes, but is not strong, is too small and being damage by water is something that does not match well with MitD's life in the rainforest. Also, Psammeads cannot grant their own wishes, so it cannot explain the earthquake or the tower scene.

    Qlippoth
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    Specifically, the Augnagar: explains circus and tower, but can't explain the escape. Immune to mind control.

    Quaraphon Bully(MM3)
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    Not strong enough, no explanation for the Escape, too many eyes.

    Reality warper (e.g. Superman's Fifth-Dimensional Imp)
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    Their reality revision power would explain the escape scene, but not the tower scene. A reality warper can cause anything they desire to become true, but in the tower scene, the exact opposite of MitD's desires (to hit as lightly as possible) happened.

    Sarrukh
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    Not strange enough for the circus scene. Not strong enough for the Tower Scene. Not surprising it can speak.

    SCP-682
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    Published in 2007, didn't exist during comic #100. Can't explain the escape (except by an undefined unrestricted ability to adapt). The personalities are very different. Arguably too powerful to be MitD.

    Shade
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    Can't explain the escape, nor the tower scene. It only fits the circus scene if it is a shade with no light sensitivity. Don't eat, breath or age. Their lack of metabolism means they also do not emit odors. The best fitting version is also a homebrew which didn't exist when MitD was picked.

    Shadow Dragon (Draconomicon 191)
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    Pros:
    • It can cast Dimension Door as a supernatural ability once per day.
    • Its size is Large as a young adult and adult, and Medium if it is juvenile.
    • It has damage resistance 5 when it becomes a young adult.
    • It's Shadowy and gets 9/10ths concealment from this....

    Cons:
    • Not incredibly strong
    • Doesn't explain the earthquake or the escape

    Shadowcloak Elder
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    Shadow Blend doesn't match MitD's instructions to stay in the shadows (other than in Xykon's tower), not quite strong enough, can't talk, can't explain the escape.

    Shedu, Greater (FF)
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    Not strong enough. Unclear what its stats are in 3.5. Not surprising it can talk.

    Shoggoth (CoC)
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    Unclear if it can explain the escape, it may drive the public of the circus insane.

    Shirokinukatsukami
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    Not enough strength (20), can't explain the escape due to only self-teleporting

    Siabrie
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    Insufficient strength, female, beautiful, can't account for the escape.

    Slime Child
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    Published after #100

    Smiling Medina
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    Homebrewed after strip 100. Not strong enough for the tower scene.

    Snark
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    Cannot explain the escape scene, and most likely cannot explain the earthquake or tower scenes (although the descriptions are vague)

    Solar (SRD or MM 12)
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    Cons:
    • Solars don't really have children and aren't child-like.
    • It is not surprising it can talk.
    • It can reanimate the dead

    Sphinx (SRD or MM 232)
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    Not really strong enough; the suggested idea was a kind of rock sphinx, but that can't be found in the stat'ed lists.

    Starspawn (aka Son of Cthulhu)
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    Drives people looking at him insane, thus having difficulty explaining its success as a circus act. Strength high, but not impressively so.

    Stench Kow
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    With a CR 3-4, it is not a credible threat to the order. Can't explain the escape or the tower scenes.

    Sun Wukong
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    Talks, no father, not part of a group, vegetarian.

    Tarasque, original mythological version
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    Probably would be the Tarrasque in OotS. Can't explain the escape

    Titan (SRD or MM 242)
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    Pros: High Strength, mythologically, the Titan Uranus ate his children.
    Cons: The only way to rescue O'Chul is by using Maze, which fits badly. It wouldn't be surprising it can talk.

    Titan, Elder
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    Not surprising it can talk. Can't explain the circus.

    Troll
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    Not strong enough, can't explain the escape, has difficulty explaining the circus (trolls are fairly common creatures, not something that unrecognisable).

    Truly Horrid Umber Hulk (MM 248)
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    Fairly strong, confusing gaze might explain the circus' reactions. However, doesn't have teleportation abilities, or earthquake.

    Tulani Eledrin
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    Too pretty and elf-looking for the circus scene. Not quite strong enough. Can cast clerical spells.

    Two-headed Cyclops
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    Two heads, but only one eye each, lazy & fairly ugly, but can't explain the escape and are not that strong. They can also speak, but only elven, not common.

    Ulgurstasta Sorcerer
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    Undead. Eats (swallows whole) bodies to produce undead, so should have been able to help RC. Gargantuan. Defences too weak to explain the Tower scene or Belkar's attack.

    Ultroloth
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    Demonic (morality problems), insufficient strength & defences, can't explain the escape

    Uluu Thalongh
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    Not surprising to be found in a jungle/rainforest. Unclear if it accounts for the escape.

    Umbral Blot (Blackball)
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    Construct, too weak (Str 10) for the tower scene. Can't explain the earthquake's stomp. Appearance doesn't match circus reactions.

    Umpleby (1st ed FF)
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    Can't explain the circus scene, or the escape.

    Unbodied
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    Cannot explain the escape nor the tower

    Utukku
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    Insufficient strength. 2nd ed version has poor defences, 3rd ed. version can't explain the escape.

    Vasuthant (MM3 182)
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    Undead. Can't explain the escape

    Vaarsuvius
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    Created for the comic. Doesn't eat meat. Not strong enough. Explanation that turns a wizard into MitD by means of the Snarl is completely unlikely and unsupported by evidence

    Vermiurge (SRD or ELH 226)
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    revolting sight, but can't explain the escape, can speak and is immune to mind-affecting spells.

    Velociraptor
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    Cannot explain the escape or the tower scene

    Void Yai Oni
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    Can't explain the escape

    Warforged (Eberron or MM3 190)
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    Construct

    Wendigo (FF 186)
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    Very strong, fairly ugly, famously hungry creatures. However, no magic, and thus doesn't explain the escape.

    Wharlysk
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    Lives in the rainforest. Huge. No explanation for the escape. Not strong enough

    Wild Things
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    Cannot explain the escape

    Wolf-in-sheep's-clothing
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    Can't explain the escape. Can't explain the circus, since he explicitly does nothing during his act, so all the public would see is a tree stump with maybe a dead animal on top. Can't explain the tower scene (STR 17, CR 8)

    Wumpus
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    Doesn't explain the escape.

    Yali
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    Strong, can psionic teleport, but cannot explain the circus scene.

    Yeti
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    Very strong, presumed ugly even though no-one ever manages to see him. However, no magic, and thus doesn't explain the escape.

    Xor-Yost (Planar Handbook 122)
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    Can't explain the escape

    Zodar (FF 199)
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    Pros:
    • Very strong
    • Can cast wish once in a lifetime, and any spell three times in a lifetime
    • Human-sized
    • Invulnerable to all damage except bludgeoning explains his resistance to Belkar's and Miko's attacks.

    Cons:
    • Does not explain the circus scene, since it basically looks like a man in a black armor
    • No reason why he'd remember a bigger father, or why Oona would expect him to grow.
    • The official version of Zodar is a construct, which would discard him; there is, however, an unofficial version that retains the 2.0 version that was monstrous, and that existed before the official one.

    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-07-17 at 10:58 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grey_Wolf_c's Avatar

    Join Date
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Section 4: Thread Information


    Section 4a: Thread Rules
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    This is a curated thread, and as such obeys the following rules:

    Curator
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    I, Grey Wolf, am the curator of the thread.
    Responsibilities:
    • Maintain the thread
    • Remember arguments and canon
    • Answer polite questions about MitD and the thread


    What I can't do
    • I have no official authority
    • I am not a moderator
    • I cannot ban discussion of issues I consider settled
    • I cannot prevent certain topics from being discussed (but I can publicly withdraw from them); however, see also section on Inappropriate Topics below
    • I cannot prevent any given poster from participating (but can Ignore them)
    • I cannot make executive decisions on what is or is not included in the first post outside the guidelines stated in this post.


    Adding information to the first post
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    To add something to the first post needs two positive votes to do so. "Positive votes" means two more people in favour of the idea than against it.

    In normal operation, that essentially means convincing me to add it. The original proponent and me make the 2 votes, assuming no-one objects. If I disagree, the proponent will then need two other posters to agree with him/her (assuming no-one else but me disagrees). And so on: if 3 people are opposed, five need to be in favour, etc.

    Why not simple majority? Because that is perilously close to a draw. With only one vote up or down, someone might come in a day later and vote against the idea would mean that we open the door to having to continually add and remove things from the first post - I want to prevent that as much as possible. This way, a vote against the change coming after the change still leaves a simple majority in favour of it (if would take two votes against the change after the fact for it to be reverted).

    The only exception to the rule is the refreshes. When I do a refresh of the first post, I will not require to get anyone to agree with me; instead, I will publish a list of all changes as I make them, and when it is over, two objections will be enough to remove a change. For those doing the math at home, that is only one positive vote to remove it (I'd naturally be opposed, since I just added it), but since it got added only with one vote (mine), it's fair to remove it also with only one vote.

    For major reworking of the first post, such as the issue with the definition of FBS, removing or adding whole sections, etc, it will need to be put to general vote. To request a vote to make a change to the OP, a proponent must obtain the backing of two other participants. The vote will then be held when the curator can set it up, or at refresh, whichever comes soonest.


    Inappropriate Topics
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    The following topics are considered by consensus inappropriate for the thread. Note that no mod has weighted on either, so the easiest way forward if you want to discuss them is to first get mod approval:
    • Intellectual Property ("copyrighted") creatures not belonging to WotC. Due to section "Inappropriate Topics", subsection "Professional Advice" of board rules, discussion of laws is verboten in this forum. Since the biggest objection to copyrighted creatures is whether or not Rich would be legally allowed to use them, every such creature proposed quickly devolved into a discussion of applicable laws, which is not allowed. For the purposes of this thread, any creature created after Mickey Mouse (1923) is currently under copyright in the US.
      • Please also see this post explaining the rationale behind the blanket ban on all copyright and copyright discussion, and especially the section on fair use.
    • MitD's personal alignment: not that of his species, but his personally. Consensus is that his alignment cannot be tied to that of his species (see section 1e). It is a separate enough topic that it should have its own thread. If V can have a thread for gender and a separate one for alignment, MitD can have one for his species (this one) and a separate one for his alignment. At least until the mods say otherwise.

    Section 4b: Voting Rules
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    Major changes to the first post may be put to consensus vote. In those cases, the following rules will be followed:
    • Public vote: votes will be posted in the thread, although please be conscious of both spamming rules and the general discouragement of short posts. I will compile all votes in the original voting post for verification and record keeping.
    • Multiple votes per person: you can vote for more than one option. Do so in order of preference.
    • Vote counting: will not be first past the post; instead, alternative vote system will be used.
    • Vote length: Until a day passes without anyone else voting.
    • Voting is binding: if you vote for extra work, be prepared to do the extra work. If extra work is voted for, but no-one does it, the option will be discarded and runner-up will be done instead. Generally, though, I will clearly articulate which options I will expect voters to do if they win, usually on the basis of the effort involved. If I do not say anything, you can assume that I'm happy to implement every option myself.
    • Voting options: If you feel the options are not to your liking, you can vote for a new option by describing it in your post. Give it a letter for ease of voting.
    • Changing Votes: You can change your vote at any time before the end of the voting.

    Voting record
    • Aug-2013; Result: "Size no bigger than huge" & "no immunity to mind control" added to FB requirements
    • Mar-2019; Result:No change
    • Aug-2019; Result: No change
    • Jul-2020; Replace FBS Condition 6) with a scaling strength scale, starting at 30 for Huge, and adding 8 thereafter due to reduced size of MitD compared to base species



    Section 4c: FAQ
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    Do I have to read all of the first post before jumping in?
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    No, but you should exercise good sense and read the sections most likely to be related to what you are about to post.

    If you want to propose a creature, scan the proposed creatures list to see if it is already there, and read both section 3a (to see how your idea stacks up against the current "best of the crop") and the frequently proposed (in case your idea is already there - in this last case, you need to address all the cons listed in your first post).

    If you want to propose an explanation for a MitD characteristic, check section 2 for it, and see what the general consensus of the thread for the characteristic is. If it is a scene, rather than a characteristic, you may have read the whole section to see where that scene is involved.

    For other situations, reading section 4 and this FAQ is a good start. If in doubt, you can ask me, the curator, for guidance to the best sections to read.

    When is the first post updated?
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    Updates of details that strike me as important, typos, small corrections and other quick things can happen at any time. But, time permitting, every ten pages (at the end of page 10, 20, 30 & 40) I do "first post refreshes" where I add all new proposed ideas, and I may add entire new sections. See rules for the refreshes in section 4a.

    When is a proposal added to the first post?
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    Proposals are added during first post refreshes (every 10 pages, unless I am very busy). For a proposal to be added, it needs to meet the following:
    • Be minimally defended. If just the name is mentioned, it won't get added
    • Not meant as a joke. If it was meant as one, it will only be added if I find it exceptionally funny (or with two positive votes).
    • Not retracted by the author. If the author retracts it and no-one else is in favour, it won't get added.

    Why is my idea not a FBS?
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    Probably because it doesn't meet the requirements which by current consensus are:
    1) Has a plausible explanation for the Escape
    2) Has a plausible explanation for the Tower (both his attack and his defence)
    3) Has a plausible explanation for the Circus (both his act, and the reactions)
    4) Isn't one of the impossible categories (unless it is an exception)
    5) Existed before strip #100 in a form accessible to Rich.
    6) Size no bigger than Huge ("fits in the box")
    7) Is vulnerable to mind-affecting effects (SoD)

    Wouldn't a non-D&D copyrighted creature be legal under fair use or parody?
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    A detailed answer would count as legal advice, and can't therefore be further discussed (see Section 4a - Inappropriate topics). Thread consensus is that neither fair use nor parody are applicable to MitD, but agree or disagree, discussion of IP non-D&D monsters is not allowed in this thread per the board rules.

    Can't a non-D&D copyrighted creature be discussed, ignoring the legal status and only discussing its pros and cons?
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    In theory, yes, but in practice the biggest con is its legal status, especially if the creature is a half-decent fit. The fact of the matter is that in practice, any non-D&D IP creature quickly descends into a legal discussion.

    Isn't every idea guessable? I mean, if someone just guessed it?
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    "Guess" has two meanings. One is "random chance", like throwing a dart at a board. The other is "deduce". Rich intended the second one, as he clarified when he says "I trust that someone will figure it out eventually". He is dropping clues, and expects us to be able to eventually figure it out, presumably once we have all the clues.

    Since you haven't found the solution yet, is it possible you are doing something wrong?
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    Not necessarily. Ideas come to this thread slowly. For example, our current best fits were not suggested until late in the second thread and early third, and the explanations for the escape only included the stray dimensional lock as of start of the fifth thread. Besides, there is no way to know if we have found the solution. Balloons won't fall from the ceiling the moment someone says the correct species; for all we know, we have already found the creature Rich thought of.

    Haven't you checked all D&D creatures by now?
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    Not even close. There are literally thousand of official creatures, and beyond counting for third-party creatures published in all manner splatbooks. To illustrate just how deep the search space goes, consider that Crusher, in the space of an afternoon, checked one new source and found 5 new better-than-average candidates, and then repeated the feat a few pages later. There remains a lot of material to explore. And it was 14 threads before anyone thought to suggest the xenocrysth, a remarkably good fit that you'd think would've been brought up much sooner.

    Does MitD have to be a D&D creature?
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    No, not at all. Rich has never said that MitD is a D&D creature, only that, whatever he is, he didn't make his species up.

    Does MitD have to be a 3.5 D&D creature?
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    If he was updated to 3.5, yes, since conversion is automatic. But if he was never updated, he could be a 1st Ed or 2ed creature (although the latter would need a reason why he wasn't trapped in Dorukan's Dungeon with the rest of never-updated creatures).

    Are templated creatures allowed?
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    Yes and no. You can put in a guess (that will be recorded in Crusher's list of guesses post) with as many templates, class levels, HD boosts, etc as you feel is called for. But when it comes to recording suggestions (section 3), only the base creature, as described in the statblock, is listed - templates are instead classified in section 2d. The reason for this is twofold: first, as per section 2d, templates are a kind of crutch, since they can be used by any creature, so it doesn't so much explain an MitD characteristic as much as declare it is not such, since others of his species can't do what he can.

    But more importantly, the number of combinations of template and creature is practically infinite. I don't want to have to insert or maintain entries for species X; species X-template A; species X - template B; species X, templates A & B; etc. - because in the end, the information all those would contain is the entry for species X, and the information under the template entries in 2d. No need to duplicate the information.

    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-07-31 at 12:02 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Europe
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Section 6: Appearances of the MitD

    Section 6a: Appearances in online strips.
    Spoiler: Section 6a: Appearances in online strips
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    • #23: Xykon says MitD is his secret weapon, will reveal him when the time is right.
    • #37: Xykon and MitD watch Roy set off the booby-trapped door.
    • #47: More crystal ball watching.
    • #82: Redcloak tells MitD off for leaving mess in kitchen. More crystal ball watching. MitD is in magical darkness.
    • #96: MitD can't see gate.
    • #97: MitD joins Redcloak in evil laugh.
    • #103: Xykon practices big reveal of MitD. Xykon is not satisfied, MitD listing spices to cook OotS with isn't scary enough.
    • #105: Nothing.
    • #106: Doesn't see gate again.
    • #109, #110, #113: Nothing notable.
    • #114: Xykon prepares to reveal MitD, gets interrupted. MitD is anxious.
    • #117: MitD wants to get revealed, Redcloak and Xykon stops him.
    • #120: Nothing notable.
    • #147: MitD asks to hold Xykon's phylactery. Redcloak refuses, MitD had broken all his toys, including “Power Ranger figures”. MitD gets fanged Hello Kitty umbrella.
    • #148: Nothing notable.
    • #149: MitD does exposition about the initiation rituals.
    • #190: MitD teaches Redcloak evil leadership.
    • #191: MitD doesn't want to go into abandoned castle. Xykon tells MitD should be scary and powerful.
    • #192: Nothing notable.
    • #194: MitD asks lantern archons to light him up.
    • #195: MitD asks why Serini's diary is useful, knows about magical books.
    • #196: MitD knows about Dorukan. Doesn't know about gates.
    • #259: Reader question time. Hobgoblin Kodrog the Slayer knows what the MitD is, took a peek under his umbrella. Dies before he answers.
    • #299: MitD wants to be a valuable member. Redcloak says he can't help in making zombies.
    • #331: Still confused about gate.
    • #368: “Sometimes I eat to fill the loneliness.”
    • #369, #371: Nothing notable.
    • #373: Miko meets MitD.
    • #374: MitD has to stop Miko. Feels Miko's full attack as only tickles. Plays “Who Can Hit the Lightest”, hits Miko and his horse far through the tower wall, but they survive. Wall now has holes in the shape of Miko and horse.
    • #375: MitD finds Miko's purse with letter from High Priest of Thor to Durkon, paper cuts his tongue.
    • #376: Xykon had asked MitD to not let Miko get away, and this was Xykon's idea.
    • #414: Nothing notable.
    • #415: MitD crystal ball watching on Miko. Confused about gate.
    • #422: MitD confused about Redcloak chewing out on decoy Xykon.
    • #426: MitD confused about three Xykons.
    • #428: Nothing.
    • #431: MitD confused about four Xykons. Understands the distinction between arcane and divine spells. Redcloak explains the decoy strategy to him. MitD still doesn't understand.
    • #447: Nothing notable.
    • #451: MitD grumbles.
    • #463: MitD plays tea party with toy green dragon. Paralyzed O-Chul arrives.
    • #474: When Belkar is trying to track down Roy's corpse, he sees weird tracks that he can't recognize. They're definitely not hobgoblin footprints, or Roy's, but doesn't know what made them. MitD is still having tea party, now with dead Roy too.
    • #475: Haley and Durkon wants to retrieve Roy's body. MitD doesn't allow, shouts “Stop!” As alternate plan, Haley offers stew in exchange for Roy. Flashback to MitD eating moldy cheeseburger.
    • #476: MitD enjoys Belkar's half-cooked vulture stew. As Haley and Belkar starts to leave, MitD hears they're the Order of the Stick, who he's supposed to devour.
    • #477: MitD thinks about whether he should eat Haley and Belkar without Xykon introducing him first. Doesn't seem to notice Belkar's attack. Haley and Belkar escape while he's still thinking. MitD stomps after demon roach's advice, causes earthquake and huge cracks in ground. “Wow! I didn't know I could do that!” Belkar lets O-Chul go, O-Chul falls back to MitD. MitD is “really tired all of a sudden. And still hungry.”
    • #484: MitD carries the paralyzed O-Chul.
    • #541: MitD is now in a large box with barred window. Wants to join Team Evil in betting game. Again bets on O-Chul escaping.
    • #543: MitD says he hoped O-Chul would escape, but it didn't work. Still doesn't know gates. Wants to get out of the box, Xykon doesn't let him.
    • #549: MitD is friends with O-Chul, trades food with him. Tells he eats anything but babies. Wants to start a club that girls can't join.
    • #550: O-Chul questions MitD about why he's friends with Team Evil. MitD wants to play, O-Chul promises to play go with him in the morning.
    • #651: MitD tells O-Chul about his youth. He always lived in the rainforest, although need not have been born there. His dad was BIG and a big eater. The MitD doesn't know what species he is or where he belongs, but thinks Redcloak and Xykon know. O-Chul convinces the MitD to start to think for himself, with a cheesy go metaphor. We see the go board. Fart joke at MitD's expense when Vaarsuvius arrives with a bang.
    • #652: MitD does not appear. Vaarsuvius casts Quickened Dimensional Anchor spell, its ray misses Xykon.
    • #654: MitD still wants to get the darkness lit up. O-Chul escapes, and in his parting words, reminds the MitD of the lesson from #651. MitD calls O-Chul his real name for the first time.
    • #658: MitD is worried about O-Chul.
    • #661: MitD says O-Chul needs to escape now, because Xykon will be really angry. Calls O-Chul his friend again. Shouts “ESCAPE”, O-Chul and Vaarsuvius disappear. Xykon doesn't seem to realize it was the MitD's doing.
    • #662: MitD is sleeping (or pretending to).
    • #663: (MitD not present.) Vaarsuvius and O-Chul turn out to have arrived in Hinjo's camp. O-Chul requests the most learned scribe because he has questions about the escape.
    • #699: MitD tries to replicate the escape on a hobgoblin. Deliberately misinterpreted Redcloak's words to bother someone else. Hobgoblin tells him he'd need to use magic for that to work, MitD says he's too dumb for that. MitD is worried about where he sent his friends and if they're safe. Mentions the other planes.
    • #700: MitD is not allowed in Tsukiko's room. MitD asks Tsukiko's help because she knows both types of magic. They discuss Tsukiko's fascination with the undead. MitD recognizes ritual scroll as “half a ritual”. Tsukiko promises she'll try to help him find his friend.
    • #701: Hobgoblin from #699 asks MitD to open the curtains before Redcloak's speech. MitD warns him about clumsiness with pulling a rope. MitD thinks the goblins are cheering for his performance with the curtain.
    • #702: Nothing.
    • #703: MitD reads Gobbotopia history booklet. Joke about how Jirix was dead.
    • #704: Redcloak thinks MitD doesn't know what a prime minister is.
    • #709: MitD meets up with Tsukiko to call in her promise to find his friends. Tsukiko tells him he shouldn't be friends with paladins, and that she can't help because the Cloister spell protects O-Chul from divination. Joke about Xykon's balls. Even if Tsukiko and Xykon can't help, MitD hopes he'll find O-Chul eventually, and recalls the detail O-Chul said about rain.
    • #828: (MitD not present.) Redcloak says MitD still watches the crystal ball.
    • #831: MitD (still in box) informs Redcloak that Xykon is angry. (The reason is that the resistance acquired his phylactery.)
    • #832: MitD now under umbrella. (Team evil is preparing to leave.)
    • #833: MitD still thinks of Tsukiko as a friend. Xykon says they'll take a quick detour to the Astral Plane before they go to Girard's gate. Redcloak opens portal to the Astral Plane. MitD: “Oooo! I love the Astral Plane! It's so silvery and weightless!” Xykon: “When the hell were YOU ever on the Astral Plane?” MitD: “…I don't remember. Maybe I wasn't?”
    • #886: MitD does not appear in OotS's illusionary imagination of confrontation with Team Evil.
    • #887: In tiny picture in illusion montage, MitD under umbrella drinking tea with O-Chul, while Elan, Roy and Durkon are present.
    • #899: Team Evil arrives to Girard's pyramid, MitD under umbrella.
    • #900: MitD's umbrella damaged after pyramid explodes. He asks which pelvis Xykon is looking for.
    • #901: MitD recognizes the Order of the Stick, knows they are O-Chul's friends. MitD refers to the paralyzed O-Chul accidentally falling to his tea party as him having captured O-Chul. Worried about the party, bluffs to Xykon that O-Chul and Vaarsuvius are more dangerous and must be already at Kraagor's dungeon, while Roy's party distracts Team Evil here. He cleverly uses the fact that Xykon never remembers Roy. The bluff works, they depart to Kraagor's dungeon immediately.
    • #1036: MitD shows off his new umbrella to Oona, with drawings of duckies.
    • #1037: Oona calls him “Great Beast in Shadow”, magnificent and majestic, “like in wildest dreams”. He saw MitD under umbrella. He and Greyview the dog treats him as if he was Xykon's pet who should obey Xykon, but MitD isn't willing to accept that idea. Oona says he almost bought two humans as food to MitD, seems to have heard that a human was MitD's best friend, but misunderstood as if he was his favourite snack. He also says he'd seen under the umbrella, he's a “magnificent monster”, envies Xykon for owning him, and thinks it's a waste keeping him in the shadows. Also says that the MitD is small but will grow.
    • #1038: MitD understands that Redcloak needs to prepare his spells. Shows suspicious understanding of goblin culture with big words, demon roach lampshades that as clue to MitD puzzle.
    • #1039: Team evil heads into Kraagor's Tomb, apparently not the first time. To know which entrances they've explored, they mark the door with paint. MitD gets permission to do the painting tonight.
    • #1040: MitD feels lucky about new company, picks a door. Joke about adventure being off-screen.
    • #1041: MitD falls back, paints cross on multiple doors, including ones not on the ground floor. Holds paint can and brush as if he had two hands. Seems to leave no footprints in the snow, unlike rest of the team.
    • #1042: O-Chul and Lien covertly observe MitD doing that. O-Chul is happy that the MitD is not always obedient to Team Evil. O-Chul has a theory about MitD, but doesn't tell because nobody would believe it. O-Chul brought a go game board.
    • #1189: Redcloak sees a lots of doors marked, concludes they've explored them quickly. Oona disagrees, but MitD takes Redcloak's side to move on from that topic and cover his trick.
    • No more occurences until #1207.


    Section 6b: Appearances in Start of Darkness (prequel book).
    Spoiler: Appearances in Start of Darkness (prequel book)
    Show

    • page 49: MitD is sleeping then waking up. He's in the jungle and loves it there. Naively baited by a giant steak on a hook, he gets trapped in a box.
    • Page 50: MitD asks hunters to let him out of the box, since it doesn't open from the inside. Hunters are surprised that he talks, and talks in Common. They believe he's a rare and expensive catch. “I never expected” They'll load him into the cargo hold of a boat.
    • Page 83: MitD is about to perform in circus, has stage fright. He likes stew.
    • Page 84: The ringmaster announces him as “Prepare to feast your eyes on ‘IT!’”. Circus audience reactions: “Oh my gods…”, “It's horrible!” (closing eyes), “And yet beautiful!”, “Mommy, I feel funny looking at it.”, “Blerrrch!” (vomiting), “I've never seen anything like it!”, “Woooooo!” (Redcloak's niece), “YEAH!” (Redcloak's nephew). MitD found the performance tough. The lady who cares for him doesn't understand, because every show he just “stands out on the stage and gets gawked at”. She gives him stew and has prepared his box. The lady also says the MitD's dinner was the same stew every day for over five years. MitD still likes stew.
    • Page 84: After performance, Redcloak's brother Right-Eye and his children meet MitD. MitD is in the box eating the stew from a bucket. The box seems to be the same one as the one in #541. We see the box from its narrower side too: it has a window without bars there. MitD remains in this box for the rest of the book. MitD recognizes the family and plays with the younger children with his toy plush dragon from #463. Right-Eye: “Almost everyone else who spends a silver piece to get into the sideshow recoils in abject horror at the sight of you”. They leave but will return tomorrow.
    • Page 85: Right-Eye says that no, they can't take the MitD home. He affirms that the MitD eats a lot of stew, and can sleep.
    • Page 88: Presumably the next day, Redcloak, newly arrived in town, is supervising Right-Eye's children in the circus. They meet the MitD behind stage in his box again. Redcloak was impressed seeing him. MitD: “I don't fit into the leotards the trapeze artists wear. Probably has something to do with all the stew.” Redcloak affirms that the MitD could leave the circus and kill all the guards if he wanted, but MitD says that would be rude. Redcloak invites the MitD to work for him. Work involves “Being scary, mostly. Maybe some fighting.” MitD is not paid by circus, Redcloak will pay three times as much.
    • Page 89: In Right-Eye's home, Redcloak tells him he wants to recruit the MitD for the Plan, because he's powerful.
    • Page 90: During the night, Redcloak steals the monster from the circus. Lifts MitD's box onto a cart with great difficulties. MitD rocks the box to reach the bucket of stew.
    • Pages 91, 92, 93: Still escaping from circus. MitD doesn't help, except he can lean his weight to steer the cart.
    • Page 94: MitD eats cotton candy.
    • Page 95: Nothing notable.
    • Page 96: Xykon observes the MitD. Xykon says the MitD is ugly, and is his “secret weapon” now, to deal with any heroes who try to stop Xykon and the Plan, as in #103. They're unclear about the details: “Well… what do you do that really terrifies people?” “Um… let's see… I eat a lot?” “OK, then, when the heroes show up, you'll eat them!” “I've never eaten a hero before.” Xykon also magically charms the MitD to eat Redcloak if he ever betrays Xykon. MitD has swirly eyes, reacts out of character: “Yes, master”. Xykon promises him all the stew he can eat and toys, but refuses to let him out of the box when the MitD asks.
    • Page 100: Redcloak orders MitD to lead the zombies to attack the castle of Dorukan.
    • Page 101: MitD has no idea how to storm the castle. Asks zombies to bring him tacos instead.
    • Page 103: A zombie has brought taco. MitD eats, with bite marks. MitD abuses the authority that Redcloak left him in charge.
    • Page 104: MitD has a feast with a zombie bringing more taco and a goblin band playing music.
    • Page 105: MitD still feasting. Xykon questions Redcloak about that.
    • Page 109: MitD reacts to the news that Right-Eye died and won't be resurrected: “Awwwww, that sucks. He was fun.”. Offers taco to Redcloak.
    • Page 110, 112: Nothing notable.


    Section 6c: Appearances in Good Deeds Gone Unpunished (book -1/2) and other books by the Giant.
    Spoiler: Section 6c: Appearances in books by the Giant.
    Show

    No Cure for the Paladin Blues (Book 2)
    • #194a: unknown (I don't have the book)

    War and XPs (Book 3)
    • #415a: unknown (I don't have the book)

    Good Deeds Gone Unpunished (book -1/2)
    • Page 28, in the Scruffy story “Scruff and Tumble”, which happens in Gobbotopia while Haley leads the resistance, around the time of #514: In a house, a tiny psionic teleporting elephant beetle is leashed and captured in a magic circle. Redcloak enters to find the beetle gone, the leash torn. Redcloak is angry, blames the MitD for it. MitD is under the Hello Kitty umbrella.


    Section 6d: Administrative notes about this list and version history.
    Spoiler: Section 6d: Administrative notes about this list and version history.
    Show
    These lists try to list all appearances of the MitD and references to him in all comic strips that the Giant considers canonical for the story. I mention strips where the MitD is visible even if he's not doing anything, and strips where someone else is talking about the MitD in his absence. I do not collect appearances in non-canonical material such as calendars and ornaments and shirts.

    If you find any mistakes or omissions in this list, please point it out in the active MitD thread. I will edit the list in place so that we always have the freshest information on the first page of the thread. In particular, I know there are appearances of the MitD in bonus strips of some of the books I don't have, and one appearance in Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales, and would like your help in writing entries for them. I am trying to make the list give an objective description of what we see in the comic without interpreting the scene in any particular way, so please try to stick to that style when writing entries.

    Version history.

    Thanks.
    At least the following forum users gave helpful hints for this list, so I'm hereby thanking them: Doug Lampert, Windscion, D.One, Yendor.
    Last edited by b_jonas; 2020-08-19 at 06:35 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Tracking MitD guesses

    We've been thinking about the MitD's identity for quite some time now. The unmasking is probably not nigh, but its definitely getting closer. Since these threads sometimes run for a long time (a recent one ran for almost 2 years), its entirely possible the great unveiling will occur before this thread finishes so its time to get formal about it.

    This spot will track the guesses of anyone who cares to make a guess, along with when they made the guess (and I'll probably track people's guess history as well, unless people object). If you want to make a guess, you can either post it in the thread or message me. I'm pretty thorough about reading the thread, but I miss things so feel free to remind me.

    For now, I'll organize them chronologically by guess but I may switch to alphabetical. Date is whatever day the forum tells me it was when the note was posted. Also, I'm already getting tired of typing out "Athasian Nightmare Beast", so it will be abbreviated ANB. You can guess up to three candidates.

    List of guesses
    Spoiler: There are quite a few
    Show
    DaggerPen - Protean 5/21/16, Protean > Hunting Horror 5/28/16, Protean > ANB > Hunting Horror 4/29/2018
    Ranagrande - Extremely heavily templated Giant Space Hamster 5/22/16
    Grey_Wolf_c - Protean > Zodar > Aboleth 5/22/16
    Kish - Infernal > Slaad 5/22/16, Infernal > Slaad > Protean 7/17/16, Slaad > Protean 8/31/18
    Ron Miel - Púca 5/22/16
    Sniffnoy - Uvuudaum 5/22/16
    TraceHyde - Protean > Barghest > Something copywrited 5/23/16
    Magesmiley - Prismatic Dragon (very young or young) 5/23/16
    Michaeler - heavily templated Protean 5/23/16, young Protean = something Snarl-related (perhaps a Protean) 4/20/2018
    RWeird - Protean > Neh-Thalggu > Uvuudaum 5/23/16
    nihil8r - Glabrezu 5/24/16
    Yanisa - ANB 5/27/16
    Crusher - ANB > Prismasaurus > Glabrezu 5/27/16, ANB > Glabrezu > Neh-Thalggu 6/22/2016, ANB > Glabrezu > Slaad 1/11/17, Slaad > Glabrezu 1/23/17, Slaad > Glabrezu > Xenocryst 7/16/20
    HarryMcB - Protean 5/28/16
    Lord Bingo - Zodar 5/29/16
    Lombard - Couatl 5/31/16, Li Lung (templated) 7/11/18, Li Lung with Wilder levels 4/10/19
    Quartz - ANB 5/31/16, ANB = Uvuudaum 4/25/20
    halfeye - Boojum 6/1/16, Black Hole > Boojum 7/24/18, Nightcrawler 3/19/19, Boojum > Nightcrawler > Black Hole 5/1/20
    Ruck - Protean > ANB > Snorlax 6/2/16, Protean > Uvuudaum > ANB 12/3/19
    GM_3826 - Protean > ANB > Uvuudaum 6/2/16
    dancrilis - Grey Render 6/3/16
    Vendanna - Half-dragon 6/3/16, Half-dragon/demon 11/15/17
    IrishMusician - Protean 6/22/16
    thereaper - Protean 6/22/16
    ReaderAt2046 - Protean > Zodar > Carbosilicate Amorph 6/22/16, Protean > ANB > Carbosilicate Amorph 7/17/16, ANB > Carbosilicate Amorph 11/17/17, Xenocrysth > Carbosilicate Amorph 8/1/20
    theinsulabot - ANB 6/22/16
    Onyavar - Protean 6/22/16
    Dark Matter - Protean 6/22/16
    Humanist Geek - Protean > ANB > something templated 6/22/16
    littlebum2002 - Protean 6/23/16, Slaad > Protean 8/25/2017
    voiceofreason - the author 7/1/16
    SirKazum - Slaad 7/12/16
    Bestigle - Protean 7/12/16
    ShiningWrath - ANB 7/17/16, Dread Linnorm (runty, minus a head) 4/28/18
    Qwertystop - Protean > Zodar 7/17/16
    Hardcore - Imentesh (its a kind of Protean) 7/17/16, Snorlax > Protean 5/1/20
    Darth V - Protean 7/20/16
    Peelee - Protean 7/20/16
    Throknor - Uvuudaum > Glabrezu 7/28/16, Aboleth Mage -> Uvuudaum > Glabrezu 8/5/20
    Knight.Anon - Young Titan 8/3/16
    Rosstin - Protean 11/22/16
    Outliar - ANB 11/23/16
    Darth Paul - Slaad 1/20/17, Slaad > ANB 11/19/17, ANB > Uvuudaum 1/12/19, ANB > Protean, 1/13/19, Protean 3/31/19
    Kythia - Slaad 8/9/17
    Sniccups - Slaad = ANB 10/15/17
    Thermophille - Slaad (White > Black) 11/6/17
    Monation - Protean 11/15/17
    Zenzis - Glabrezu 11/15/17
    Shashakiro - ANB 11/15/17, Slaad 8/28/18
    Clockshock - ANB 11/20/17
    Djinnocide - Enveloper 7/6/18
    Jaxzan Proditor- Protean > Zodar 7/11/18
    godsflunky - Protean (because of the nice character-development resonances) 7/11/18
    woweedd - Protean = Zodar 7/12/18
    redgoblin - Hephaestus - 7/18/18
    Father Miles - ANB > Protean > Snorlax 7/19/18
    3Power - Ha-Naga 7/28/18, Ha-Naga > anything not on FBS list > Zodar 3/20/19
    Calavera - Zeus 8/15/18
    Synesthesy - “pure” Black Slaad 9/16/18
    Qzin - Snarl, Jr 9/29/18
    SpoonR - Baby Deity 9/29/18
    Riarra - Slaad > Protean 9/30/18
    EmperorSarda - Kandra/Mistwraith 10/22/18
    thelivingmonkey - Glabrezu 10/25/18, Protean > Glabrezu > Snorlax 3/13/19
    Mightymosy - Something not yet guessed > Protean > Carbosilicate Amorph 1/8/19, Something not yet guessed > Protean 3/31/19
    NobleCuriosity - Protean > ANB 1/12/19
    The Aboleth - ANB 3/5/19, Protean > ANB 12/5/19
    Son of a Lich! - Protean 3/7/19
    Mariele - Protean = ANB 3/14/19
    Squire Doodad - Protean > Slaad 3/21/19
    Jineon - 9-times blinded Beholder 3/29/19
    Sir_Norbert - Uvuudaum 3/29/19
    cinderrain - Protean 3/29/19
    KrankenWagon - ANB > Black Slaad 3/29/19
    Angrith - ANB > Haunting Horror 3/30/19
    Mad Humanist - Protean 3/30/19
    locksmith of io - Protean > ANB 3/31/19
    gooddragon1 - Galeb Duhr 6/18/19
    BasilisksSoldier - ANB - 8/30/19
    pwning doodes - Uvuudaum 9/25/19
    Fish - thesaurus 10/1/19
    Schroeswald - Red Cloak's niece 10/1/19
    Rollin - Protean 12/5/19
    DLcygnet - Protean 12/10/19
    Scizor - Protean 12/16/19, Xenocrysth > Protean 8/3/20
    Iskar Jarak - Protean 4/1/20
    trtl - Protean > Gazebo 4/4/20
    Emanick - Frankenstein 4/5/20
    DavidBV - Prismatic Dragon - Kinda guessed on 5/10/20 and kinda guessed on 1/20/10 (prior to the contest starting, making it kind of a gray area)
    Thales - Protean - 6/15/20
    Kastor - ANB (the old one) - 6/18/20
    catagent101 - Protean > Snorlax - 6/23/20, Protean > Xenocryst > Snorlax 7/16/20
    LadyEowen - ANB - 6/24/20
    Doug Lampert - Wile E. Coyote > Cabosilicate Amorph > Redcloak's Niece 6/24/20
    JonahFalcon - Very Young Obsidian Dragon 7/5/20
    Neponde - Protean 7/16/20
    Charybdis - Protean 7/18/20
    Ariko - Xenocryst 7/19/20
    Jaziggy - Xenocryst > Protean 7/21/20
    Baine - Protean 8/4/20


    I will also compile a list of the top vote-getters, which I will update infrequently. If you have 1 guess, it gets 1 point. 2 ordered guesses split 0.6/0.4 and 3 ordered guesses split 0.5/0.3/0.2. 2 non-ordered guesses "It is either X or Y, with no favorite" will be awarded 0.5/0.5 and 3 non-ordered guesses will go 0.33/0.33/0.33. If you guess more than 3, I'll discard 4th and after if possible. If not possible ("its one of these 5...") then I'll exclude the entire guess.

    In the ancient past, when dinosaurs roamed the forums, I used a slightly different scoring system. However, it had a slight improportionality in points awarded based on numbers of monsters guessed. Over time it slowly started bugging me, so I eventually fixed it.

    Last updated 7/16/20

    Roughly 15 months have passed since the last scoring update, and while things haven't changed a lot, they have changed more than usual. The big gainers since the last scoring pass were the Protean, the ANB, and somewhat surprisingly the Uvuudaum and "Dragon".

    The top 3 remain the same, and in the same order, but there has kinda-sorta been a challenge for 3rd. The Protean not only remains the very strong leader but has even significantly lengthened its lead over the ANB, which remains second over the Slaad. A couple years ago the Slaad got hot and *almost* caught the ANB, but its been downhill ever since as the ANB's hold on 2nd went from hair's-breadth to small to "pretty firm".

    Below 3rd, however, there was some action. The Uvuudaum has vaulted from a somewhat distant 6th to having a firm grip on 4th place (sort of. See below). The Glabrezu fell to 5th and remains narrowly ahead of the Zodar in 6th place.

    Two interesting quasi-candidates are "Dragon" and "Deity". If you took all of the votes for various sorts of Dragons and Deities, and scored them both as single candidates, Dragon would come in a very solid 4th (between Slaad and Uvuudaum) and Deity would be tied with Glabrezu at 5th (or, well, 6th if we include "Dragon").

    The ranking currently goes:

    #1 - Protean (or some variant of Protean) - 32.9
    #2 - ANB - 12.7
    #3 - Slaad - 8.6
    #X - "Dragon" - 6.0
    #4 - Uvuudaum - 4.8
    #5 - Glabrezu - 3.0
    #Y - "Deity" - 3.0
    #6 - Zodar - 2.8
    Last edited by Crusher; 2020-08-05 at 08:52 AM.
    "Its a setting less visitor-friendly than the Red Wedding." - 111balz

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Spoiler: My complete case for the Protean
    Show

    First, the background to my process:

    Preamble

    I’m not a D&D player, a couple of the computer game adaptations aside. I don’t know the game like other people do. Now on the one hand, I think that means I come in without any particular attachment to a creature, so perhaps my case is more “objective” than those of people who have a favorite D&D monster and want it to be the MITD.

    It also means I’m working only from the list of already-proposed FBS characters. Given my lack of experience with D&D and the amount of research already done here by people looking through various sourcebooks to find suitable monsters, I don’t think I can add value with any further research. Thus, I have focused my efforts on examining the evidence available vs. the already-existing FBS list and trying to deduce an accurate conclusion. (As this implies, I also believe that “it is possible to guess” means MITD is a D&D monster which is capable of the things we have seen in comic by the rules of D&D 3.5.)

    I also recognize that none of the creatures are perfect fits; if they were, this thread likely would have reached a consensus already. But being as I don’t believe I will find a better creature out there, I am going to try to determine the best fit from the FBS creatures based on the evidence at hand.

    I’m laying out my case in three parts. The first part I call the “Negative Case”-- why the Protean has the fewest flaws in its case of any creature on the FBS list. The second part I call the “Positive Case”-- why I think the Protean is the best fit for more scenes we’ve seen than any other FBS creature. The third part is the “Thematic Case”-- while the MITD’s species is “possible to guess” from the clues we’ve been given, I’m also keeping in mind that this is a story and not a game of D&D, and I think the Protean is also the best fit for the MITD’s role in the story and story arc.

    Without further ado:

    Part 1: The Negative Case

    As you can see from the list of FBS monsters, every monster in the list has some marks against its case (under “Cons” for each). Two things I want to highlight here are:

    1a. Fewest cons

    Most of the other FBS-list monsters have significantly longer lists of cons than the Protean's two. The longer the list of cons, the worse fit a creature is, as more conflicts need to be explained.

    The only monsters with comparably short lists of cons are the Athasian Nightmare Beast, the Carbosilicate Amorph, and the Uvuudaum. I’ll get to the Uvuudaum more in the next section, but I believe the first two, while they really only have one significant con, have disqualifying cons:

    The Carbosilicate Amorph would have been imported entirely from another webcomic, a sci-fi story at that. It’s not a D&D monster, and that makes the sort of deduction through D&D stats and powers we’re looking for here nigh impossible. I do not think Rich used a monster outside of D&D; while it is certainly possible he might, I would wager that the complications involved there violate the implicit agreement of the “it is possible to guess” statement. (To say nothing of any complications that might arise from using someone else’s intellectual property-- because I’m pretty sure we’re not allowed to discuss that topic.) In any case, that’s a deal-breaker for me.

    The Athasian Nightmare Beast was published after Rich, by his own words, decided on what MITD’s species was. The explanation here is that “the designer could have sent an advance copy to other designers, such as Rich,” but again, I interpret Rich’s “possible to guess” statement to mean it would have been possible to publicly find the information on MITD when he decided on the species. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe he would have picked a creature yet to be published. (And that’s before we get into things like the ANB being described as having “crimson eyes” when the MITD’s are yellow, but I’ll get to artwork in a minute.)

    Every creature besides those three has a longer con list than the Protean. I believe two of those creatures will not be the MITD because of how they seem to violate the nature of the “guessing game” of MITD’s species. But let’s get to what may be the more important part of this argument: The nature of those cons.

    1b. Mechanical Explanations

    The Protean’s cons can be explained without changing the D&D mechanics of how the species works.

    Not only is the Protean's cons list shorter than the rest, the other species' cons all require substantial bending of the 3.5 rules to dismiss, or aren't really dismissable at all except by saying "This one just doesn't apply." (Or in the case of ANB and CA, bending space/time and genre in a way that I think violates the guessing game.) The Protean's is the only one whose Cons can be explained with established mechanics. (While Rich has said he only uses the mechanics as a framework for the story and isn’t totally faithful to them, the assumption of this thread has been that his statement that “it is possible to guess” means he is faithful to 3.5 when showing the MITD’s powers, and I too use that assumption here.)

    Let’s pick up the Uvuudaum again. One of the Uvuudaum’s cons is “His confusion aura should give everyone missing saves around him swirly eyes, but no such thing is visible in the circus scene.” I believe this is significant because it’s a mechanic that should work in OOTS-verse for an MITD scene but would simply have to not work as described in order for the Uvuudaum to fit. Many of the creatures in the FBS list have even more cons of this nature where the mechanics don’t fit the creature in question. (The Glabrezu, for example, is too low CR, would not draw a reaction of surprise upon speaking, and is an embodiment of Chaotic Evil, which doesn’t fit what we’ve seen with MITD. The Hunting Horror is too weak and is also damaged by light, which would be a problem considering how often MITD asks for light to be shone on him. Slaads can talk in common and also have already been depicted in the comic.)

    The other con on the Uvuudaum’s list is art-based. The Uvuudaum, ANB, and Protean all have art-based cons, but I am willing to consider these as weaker cons than mechanical deficiencies. My main reasons for this are due to the limitations of the stick-figure art system and how to best express MITD’s reactions, and due to Rich not wanting to change how MITD is depicted in strip and thus give away a reveal he’s been planning for what might well be 20 years by the time it happens.

    That said, I also believe the Protean’s art-based con is the weakest of the three:

    • The Uvuudaum’s is “Might not have eyes or mouth (unmentioned in description, not present in pictures).” While I can let the eyes go given that MITD is shrouded in darkness and eyes are the best way to represent his facial expressions, not having a mouth seems like a serious impediment toward eating and speaking, two things the MITD definitely does.
    • The ANB’s regards the eye color; again, I think it would have been a huge clue to change eye colors on the character as soon as its species was decided, so I’m willing to overlook it (because I think the ANB is disqualified for the reasons I state above anyway).
    • The Protean’s is “Its constant shapeshifting has not been reflected in a change of MitD (mouth and eyes stay roughly the same).” If you buy the above art explanations, then they will suffice as well for the Protean. If you don’t, however, the Protean has a mechanical explanation that would suffice, in its description in the SRD:

    Quote Originally Posted by 3.5 SRD
    A protean can assume the shape of any combination of physical nondeific creatures at the same time as a free action. In fact, a protean’s form constantly boils, and it requires a move-equivalent action each round for a protean to maintain a certain shape (even if that shape is a combination of several shapes).
    Given how little movement we see the MITD make, it’s certainly possible that MITD is constantly using a move action to hold a form with two eyes (and probably a mouth in case someone brings stew). Indeed, given that a move action can be used in place of a standard action, even when we see MITD moving, it’s possible he’s using his standard action to hold form.

    I think there are good explanations why MITD might do this (I’ll cover them in “Thematic Relevance”), but for now, what’s important is that a Protean can do this. It doesn’t need to be especially likely or common for a Protean to act this way to fit MITD; it only needs to be that a Protean is capable of doing so. (In addition, taking the effort to hold a more-or-less constant form may be why MITD is always so tired.)

    It is also possible that MITD is not doing this, but any extra eyes he manifests continue to remain hidden in the darkness. In any case, there are multiple plausible explanations here for why we might not see MITD appear as we “expect” a Protean to appear. Rich's exact words on the subject are "Nothing from before strip #100 actually contradicts the truth of what [MITD] is," and appearing with two eyes, while unusual, does not contradict the truth of what a Protean is or can be. (NobleCuriosity has a good post further elaborating on artistic reasons why Rich might depict a Protean MITD as having two consistent eyes-- specifically, the artistic convention of keeping one feature of a shapeshifter consistent so the audience knows which character it is-- as well as other points that supplement the case made in this post.)

    The other con for the Protean is:

    Plane shift doesn't fit well with the escape as shown (see 1b: The Escape), and while greater teleport fits slightly better, it requires a timely shapeshift into the exact appropriate creature. There is no evidence that psionic-class creatures have been converted as per EP handbook.
    While “timely shapeshift into the exact appropriate creature” might require rolling a natural 20 in a real game of D&D, OOTS is a story. In this story, the unlikely result will happen if it proves best for the story (and I don’t just mean in the sense that Elan believes “a one-in-a-million chance is a sure thing,” but also in what Rich has said himself about writing the story). It may be unlikely, but it is possible without changing the rules of how a Protean works in 3.5.

    In fact, that timely shapeshift explains why MITD doesn’t teleport the hobgoblin in #699: As the hobgoblin says, MITD is “just shouting synonyms at me,” while MITD would have to shapeshift to actually teleport the hobgoblin (and probably still doesn’t realize that’s what he did or how his power works; see “I didn’t do it! And if I did do it, I didn’t know I could do it until I did it!”).

    My point is, the Protean is capable of explaining the Escape scene without adding any new information, qualification, or template, or without bending, fudging, or discarding the mechanical rules of the species. It may be unlikely that your typical Protean would do so, but “unlikely under the rules” is not the same as “impossible under the rules.” Unlike the Uvuudaum’s mechanical con (or the other creatures with even more cons), the rules of a Protean’s mechanics do not have to change to explain anything about MITD.

    Thus, both of the cons of the Protean do have a possible mechanical explanation without altering any of the rules of 3.5 or how the creature works. I don’t think you can say that about any of the other proposed creatures. Those explanations may be the product of unlikely behavior for a Protean, but stories like this are generally about unlikely people. (It's pretty unlikely that a wildly dysfunctional, somewhat hastily assembled party of mid-level characters would grow into the team that saves the world, but, here we are.)
    .
    So I believe the drawbacks against the Protean have been addressed above. In this section, I’ll talk about the Protean as actively the best fit for the big scenes.

    Part 2: The Positive Case

    I believe that not only does the Protean fit all the big scenes, but it generally goes beyond meeting what the agreed minimum requirements to fit them are, and in fact is often the best fit for them of all the creatures on the FBS. I’ll give some examples.

    2a. The Tower Scene

    Now, 3Power actually gave me an idea with this one a while back (I think in thread XII), although perhaps not the idea he expected. In his case for a creature (the Ha-Naga, IIRC), he suggested that the Tower scene is a joke that can be handwaved away, a bit of Looney Tunes cartoon physics. Well, i agree with the Looney Tunes part, but come to a different conclusion. The physics of the scene are so ridiculous-- MitD tries to hit Miko as softly as possible and knocks her and her horse through the wall and some substantial distance away-- that it's far more likely that MitD has preposterously high strength than that he barely meets the threshold we've established. Thus, the higher the strength, the better fit the creature. Every candidate listed in the FBS list with D&D stats has a strength in the 30s (except the Black Slaad which is listed as 42). The Protean has STR 53. It is significantly higher strength than any of the other FBS creatures. It is thus by far the most likely species on the list that a creature of such could attempt to hit someone as weakly as possible and still send them cartoonishly flying through a solid wall and hundreds of feet away.

    2b. The Circus Scene

    I think the sheer variety of reactions in the Circus Scene make far more sense for a Protean than anything else on the FBS list. Most of the other creatures on the FBS list should be terrifying, sure, but we see everything from horror to nausea to fascination (both with it being "beautiful" and "never seen anything like it") to the goblin kids cheering him on. The Protean's constantly shifting form is the best fit to cause all of those reactions (including its 34 CHA qualifying it as "beautiful" in someone's eyes); anything that keeps a consistent form is more likely to evoke similar reactions from each audience member, rather than such a wide variety of reactions. Individual reactions from the crowd can be explained by other creatures' traits (Hunting Horror's stench of Nausea, Uvuudaum's confusion aura if you really fudge it, they could all be described as "horrible"), but only the Protean has the traits necessary to cover such a gamut of reactions.

    In addition, I also believe that a Protean best explains why the goblin children are always excited to go back to the circus-- they get a new experience every time.

    This doesn’t conflict with my art explanation for MITD’s eyes; MITD is told by his circus handler that what he does every show is “stand on the stage and get gawked at.” If those are his instructions, then he is probably not using a move action to hold a form when he’s on stage, merely standing still. (We don’t see his eyes when he’s on stage, after all-- we see that entire scene from his perspective until he goes back into the darkness.)

    While the Escape scene is not one where the Protean’s ability to perform it stands out compared to other species, it does have the capacity to do so (as I explained in part 1), and it’s really a binary yes/no question as to whether a species can. The Protean can.

    Items 4-7 in the list of characteristics necessary to be on the FBS list aren’t scenes, they are traits, and the Protean does possess them all.

    For the record, it’s not in the Big Scenes list, but the Stomp scene would also fit a Protean, given that a Protean can manifest a limb to stomp with, that MITD is later shown in the Escape scene to be capable of great powers when it focuses intently, and that the Protean has a ridiculously high strength, the highest on the FBS list. (Note that MITD’s reaction to his stomp is, similar to his defense of the Escape scene, that he didn’t know he could do that; this also fits for a Protean that’s just discovering it can shapeshift into certain creatures to do specific things.)

    So the Protean isn’t lacking in any of the characteristics necessary for the FBS list, and in two of the three big scenes is the best fit for the scene of any creature proposed.

    I believe that covers the case for why the Protean is the best fit for the MITD mechanically. Now, since OOTS is a story, I want to touch on the storytelling aspect of MITD’s species.

    Part 3: The Thematic Case

    While the species of the MITD is a guessing game that can be deduced by clues, I also believe that, first and foremost, Burlew is telling a story with The Order of the Stick, and that his criteria for choosing MITD’s species in the first place would involve that species being thematically relevant to the story.

    Of course, it helps if we agree on what that story is. From my perspective, there are two key elements here:

    3a. MITD’s relationship with Xykon and Redcloak

    MITD, for the first six hundred-odd strips or so, seems to believe Xykon and Redcloak are his friends (despite the evidence to the contrary). Given MITD’s love of social gatherings like tea parties, and the stress he feels from performing in the circus (let alone how people who’ve seen him openly call him ugly, horrifying, etc.), he’s probably someone who wants to be liked, likes to have friends, struggles to fit in, and is insecure enough that he thinks anyone who will accept him is his friend. Darth Paul has a good post on this topic, to which I'll add that he didn't leave the circus because "he didn't want to be rude about it." MITD is a people-pleaser.

    This is my explanation for why he constantly holds his form to have two eyes: His two best friends have two eyes each (or, you know, did) and he wants to fit in. Grey Wolf had an excellent post in the previous thread detailing this idea further, and expanding another thematic point in favor of the Protean: Part of MITD’s struggle has been, as an ever-changing creature, to resist change in order to fit in and find friendship. (Of course, if you accept one of the other explanations for his depiction, he doesn’t even have to be holding a form.)

    3b. MITD’s relationship with O-Chul

    I think the interactions between MITD and O-Chul are the most revealing parts for the theme of MITD’s story. Given those interactions and how MITD has changed since then, here’s what I think: The story of the MITD is that of a juvenile growing up, someone who is content to be led around by other people and have them think for him and give him orders as long as he thinks they’re his friends. O-Chul begins to prod him into challenging those ideas, not only the idea that Xykon and Redcloak are his friends but also the idea that he should just do what other people say and not think for himself.

    O-Chul’s prodding and friendship leads the MITD to save him in the Escape Scene, and from then on MITD has been following his own agenda independent of Xykon and Redcloak (and apparently without their awareness). The MITD’s journey is one of realizing the things O-Chul has taught him, realizing the immense things he is capable of when he tries, focuses, and follows his own conscience rather than the orders of others.

    (The Protean’s high stat block also explains why he is able to learn and change so quickly; we’ve seen signs of his intelligence in the comic, he’s just never really applied himself before #661. Intelligence and wisdom are the lowest of the Protean’s stats, but they’re still 20 and 21, respectively, which is still remarkably high when compared to typical creature stats, aside from adventuring wizards and clerics. Plus, the Protean has Detect Thoughts at will, which would work to explain how MITD has acquired some of his knowledge.)

    The reason I think the Protean is the most relevant is because it is the one suggestion for the FBS that has the power to will itself to change its physical form, not merely its inner character. In fact, from what I can tell, the Protean can consciously choose creatures to shapeshift or partially shapeshift into. (This explains how a Protean MITD achieves the Escape Scene, the first step in his self-actualization.)

    Thus, I believe that the MITD is a literal manifestation of the concept “You can be whatever you want if you put your mind to it,” and that the Protean is the creature that fits this theme. (Other people have expressed this idea in other posts better than I am here, but searching in threads seems to be somewhat broken right now on the forums, so I couldn’t find those posts.) This also explains why O-Chul doesn’t think the MITD would believe his theory on what he is (if he is correct); for someone who has been as passive as MITD has his whole life, learning he is not just capable of setting his own course, but in fact a creature of great and immense power, capable of virtually anything, would indeed come as a shock.

    Even if you don’t find this particularly convincing, I can’t think of any thematic relevance to the story that any of the other FBS creatures hold. There’s always the more general “Even pure Evil can be changed by a resolute Goodness,” but that doesn’t particularly apply for any creature more than the others (or not enough to outweigh their cons), plus that theme makes MITD’s story more about O-Chul than himself. Based on some of Rich’s comments about character choices, I believe MITD’s story is about his decisions, not simply as a foil to show O-Chul’s Goodness (which we’ve seen many times over anyway). The MITD’s story is about finding the willpower to follow your own heart and mind and change who you are, and what better represents the ability to make that change than a Protean?

    Thus, in addition to the Protean having the strongest D&D 3.5 mechanical argument for species fit, I believe it also has the most thematic relevance to MITD’s story.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion: I believe the MITD is a Protean. I believe Protean is the species that is the best positive fit for all of MITD’s scenes, that it is the species that least requires any fudging or bending of the D&D 3.5 rules to work (or the rules of space and time), and that Protean makes the most sense for MITD’s character journey and growing awareness of his own capabilities. I’ve reviewed the decade-plus of research and argumentation that has gone into compiling this thread, and I believe this is where the evidence points, substantially and better to the Protean than any other creature proposed.

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Voting time
    Voting is now closed

    As promised, we have a bit of consensus-establishing to do, most of it surrounding the FBS. As per last thread's request, the following items are up for a vote:

    A) Remove FBS condition 6) Size no bigger than Huge ("fits in the box") (*)
    B) Replace FBS Condition 6) with a scaling strength scale, starting at 30 for Large, and adding 8 thereafter due to reduced size of MitD compared to base species
    C) Replace FBS Condition 6) with a scaling strength scale, starting at 30 for Huge, and adding 8 thereafter due to reduced size of MitD compared to base species Winner
    D) Remove Section 3a ("FBS") entirely, and merge all its entries with Section 3e
    E) Replace Section 3a ("FBS") with the top 6 from Crusher's list of guesses, or some similar popularity-based selection (e.g. top 6 most voted with Approval Voting, similar to the thread title selection), to be determined later, if this option wins.
    F) Replace FBS Condition 6) with a scaling strength scale, starting at 30 for Medium, and adding 8 thereafter due to reduced size of MitD compared to base species
    G) Replace FBS Condition 6) with "Can plausibly have juveniles"
    H) Replace FBS Condition 6) with "Can plausibly have juveniles that are MitD's size"
    I) list xenocrysth in FBS as an exception with size as a con

    Z) No change

    Voting rules, as per section 4, are:
    Spoiler: Voting Rules
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    • Public vote: votes will be posted in the thread, although please be conscious of both spamming rules and the general discouragement of short posts. I will compile all votes in this post for verification and record keeping.
    • Multiple votes per person: you can vote for more than one option. Do so in order of preference.
    • Vote counting: will not be first past the post; instead, alternative vote system will be used. In case of a draw at primary level, I'll look for number of "downballot" votes see which one has more secondary support.
    • Vote length: Until a few days pass without anyone else voting.
    • Voting is binding: if you vote for extra work, be prepared to do the extra work. If extra work is voted for, but no-one does it, the option will be discarded and runner-up will be done instead. I have marked with an asterisk "(*)" the option someone else will have to do, if they win.
    • Voting options: If you feel the options are not to your liking, you can vote for a new option by describing it in your post.
    • Changing Votes: You can change your vote at any time before the end of the voting.


    Vote recording
    Spoiler: Vote recording
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    I record each vote as the letter it is represented by. If you prefer for multiple options at once (e.g. both X and Y and W), I'll record them as "(X, Y, W)". If you then would be happy with any subset of them, but don't care to list the exact order, I'll record it as "Any subset of (X, Y, W)". If you want anything except X, I'll record it as !X. This effectively represents "I'll vote for anything that doesn't contain this option".

    If none of this makes any sense, I encourage you to completely ignore it and just describe in English what you would prefer to happen, and in what order, and I'll transcribe it for you, or ask question to clarify your intent.

    Also please do NOT think that there is a maximum number of preferences. If you give me a list of votes longer than I have columns, I'll add extra rows for recording purposes.


    Collected votes:
    Spoiler: Votes spoilered for length
    Show

    Voter PV 1 PV 2 PV 3 PV 4 PV 5 PV 6 PV 7
    Grey Wolf Z D E C H !(A, F)
    MartytheBioGuy A C B !E
    Kish B C A Z E F D
    Crusher C B Z
    Sir_Norbert C B I Z !(D,E)
    lio45 A Any(G,H) C !Z
    InvisibleBison A B C
    Neponde H C Z
    catagent101 C D Z
    dmc91356 C B F I Z
    Squire Doodad I A Z
    3powers A D C B Z
    Spirare A F !(D, E, H,Z)
    Jasdoif A E Z D
    Malloon E G Any of (A, B, C) Z !(D, E)
    Jaxzan Proditor A C Z B
    Qwertystop Any of (B, F) H G Z
    Doug Lampert C I B Z
    Charybdis136 B
    Savil I C B Any of (G, H) Z
    Joerg C I A any of (G, H) Z E B
    b_jonas (1) D F (F, I) E B C (C, I)
    b_jonas (2) --> Z I (B, I)
    LadyEowyn A
    mjp1050 A C !(E,Z)
    Ariko H I
    ReaderAt2046 I B C Z
    Throknor Z F G H I !(D,E,C,B,A)
    ArkenBrony F B C I D A Z
    Ruck F Z I
    Darth Paul Any of (B, H, I) Z
    Jaziggy A H I
    ranagrande E D A G H Z
    Vulkos A G H C B
    Emanick B C A F I Z
    Hardcore E
    Scizor H B F I E





    Reasons for my own votes:
    FBS is causing too many flame wars, to the point it might just not be worth the damage it does to the thread in exchange for the good it does. To be sure, we could move to a completely rule-less popularity list, either crusher's or with some kind of cyclical voting, but I'm wary that that would remove some of the interesting if unlikely candidates (like the Carb-Amorph).

    My main issue with replacing the hard size limit with a strength-based one is that it is going to remove too many examples - I think we took a look at it, and was going to drop like half the current list? That's excessive, IMnpHO.

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    I'm in favor of options A, C, or B, in that order.

    I'm getting the sense that I'm apparently quite annoying, so I'll also try to control my post impulse a little better. I have poor impulse control in general.
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    In order, B, C, A, Z, E, F, D.
    Last edited by Kish; 2020-07-17 at 04:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    I vote C > B > Z

    If we do end up getting rid of the FBS list, I'm willing to maintain a periodically refreshing "top vote" list (spoiler alert: the refresh period would almost certainly be the duration of each thread) if need be. However, I like the rule-directed nature of the FBS list and hope it survives. I will admit I value GW_c's sanity above the existence of the FBS list so I guess we'll see how it goes.
    Last edited by Crusher; 2020-07-17 at 04:46 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    C > b > z > !(d,e)

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    This spot reserved for endless additional puns
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

    See my extended signature here! May contain wit, candor, and somewhere from 52 to 8127 walruses.

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    F is a no brainer, but isn't that already how FBS Rule 2 works, as per the current phrasing of it? Rule 2 simply asks that any FBS candidate must have a decently convincing explanation for what's observed, it absolutely does not demand physical strength.

    I'll make it easy and vote for !Z.
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Well, folks, I think you nailed it with the Protean. Congratulations, after all those years you got it.

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    I want to say that the presence of the FBS is good, despite the conflicts around it.
    If it makes everyone happy, I'm fine with removing the size restriction to allow for the Xenocrysth to enter and for people to stop fussing about snake biology vs human biology. I still hold that MitD being larger than Huge is implausible, but at some point holding a stance isn't worth it.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

    See my extended signature here! May contain wit, candor, and somewhere from 52 to 8127 walruses.

    Purple is humorous descriptions made up on the fly
    Green is serious talk about hypothetical
    Blue is irony and sarcasm


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    I walk, therefore I stand,
    I sleep, therefore I dream;
    I joke, therefore I meme."
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I want to say that the presence of the FBS is good, despite the conflicts around it.
    If it makes everyone happy, I'm fine with removing the size restriction to allow for the Xenocrysth to enter and for people to stop fussing about snake biology vs human biology. I still hold that MitD being larger than Huge is implausible, but at some point holding a stance isn't worth it.
    ... I honestly not sure what you are voting for. Sounds like Z -> A?

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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    I'll vote A, B, C.
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    For GW's sake, E.

    Then B, then C, then Z.


    Superceded by later vote : H > C > Z.
    Last edited by Neponde; 2020-07-20 at 09:24 AM.

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    ... I honestly not sure what you are voting for. Sounds like Z -> A?

    Grey Wolf
    I guess A->Z?
    I can't recall off the top of my head what each one would do for the current FBS list (one adds one or two, another reduces it to like 3), so I guess A->Z works.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

    See my extended signature here! May contain wit, candor, and somewhere from 52 to 8127 walruses.

    Purple is humorous descriptions made up on the fly
    Green is serious talk about hypothetical
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    I joke, therefore I meme."
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    I'm going to ask again a bit more specifically this time: does anyone know who exactly suggested "F", and what is that person's problem with FBS Rule #2 as currently written? I'm just curious.

    edit: Squire Doodad, if you want to lift the size restriction, the way to help that happen is to vote for A, B, C. You can then follow that with Z (or !(D,E) if you want to make sure you specifically vote against eliminating the FBS category).

    (Note that Kish, MartyTheBioGuy, and InvisibleBison all did exactly that; they want to remove the upper size limit, but they all disagree with each other on what's the best way to implement what'll replace it.)
    Last edited by lio45; 2020-07-17 at 05:57 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    I'm a little unclear what B and C look like, not least of which because I don't remember if Large or Huge is bigger. (We generally agree MITD in comic is Medium, yeah?)

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I'm a little unclear what B and C look like, not least of which because I don't remember if Large or Huge is bigger. (We generally agree MITD in comic is Medium, yeah?)
    Huge is bigger than large (order goes Medium, Large, Huge, Gargantuan, Collossal), and MitD as presented is most logically Medium, but could arguably be fudged to be as big as large, but likely not huge.
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I guess A->Z?
    I can't recall off the top of my head what each one would do for the current FBS list (one adds one or two, another reduces it to like 3), so I guess A->Z works.
    Fine, lets do this.

    A: adds who knows how many. Everything that we've ever put in 3e over size that, looked at closely, has enough strength, ugly, unrecognisable, no issues with mind control, etc. I have no idea how many of those there might be lurking in 3e. Which is why, after some reflection, I marked as to be done by not-me.

    B: Drops ANB, Glabrezu, HH if it's Huge (someone will need to interpret the CoC statblock for me), and someone will need to check the slaads.

    C: by definition, drops none currently there, and allows Xeno-what's-his-name in, possibly a couple of others

    D: Drops all of them, by definition

    E: more voting! This thread will be just one continuous vote.

    F: heck if I know. In fact, I probably should star it.

    Z: no changes, thus drops nothing.

    (Please do let me know if this changes your vote)

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    I'm going to ask again a bit more specifically this time: does anyone know who exactly suggested "F", and what is that person's problem with FBS Rule #2 as currently written? I'm just curious.
    You did. And if you can't answer the second part, not sure anyone can help you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I'm a little unclear what B and C look like, not least of which because I don't remember if Large or Huge is bigger. (We generally agree MITD in comic is Medium, yeah?)
    The names are alphabetical, so Huge is bigger.
    (I'm really loving that rule of thumb. It breaks after Medium, but it works great for this thread)

    MitD is currently Medium, or possibly a very small Large.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-07-17 at 06:47 PM.
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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Put me down for C > D > Z

    I think C is keeping in spirit with the size restriction as it currently stands, and I can see the argument for getting rid of the FBS list altogether.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I'm a little unclear what B and C look like, not least of which because I don't remember if Large or Huge is bigger. (We generally agree MITD in comic is Medium, yeah?)
    Sizes go Colossal > Gargantuan > Huge > Large > Medium. As someone noted in the previous thread, they are in alphabetical order.
    I use they pronouns.

    Meow Meow Meow. Meow? Meow Meow? Meow Meow Meow Meow! Meow Meow. Meow Meow Meow Meow. Sorry, just thinking aloud

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Kish's Avatar

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    I should have E before F, in the unlikely event that it winds up mattering.
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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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    MartytheBioGuy's Avatar

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    E: more voting! This thread will be just one continuous vote.
    Oh, with his in mind, I'f like to add !(E) to my vote, if possible.
    Science and theater teacher, dad, recent returnee to the playground after a long absence

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Please put me down as:

    C > B > Z

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: MitD XV: The Other Dark One

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    The names are alphabetical, so Huge is bigger.
    (I'm really loving that rule of thumb. It breaks after Medium, but it works great for this thread)
    Doesn't break until after Tiny, actually. Colossal - Gargantuan - Huge - Large - Medium - Small - Tiny - and then Diminutive which doesn't fit.
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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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