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  1. - Top - End - #931
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    I disagree there, but I'll say that I don't know why people blame Redcloak for the fall of Azure City but then insist it was the Bearer's fault that his village ended up massacred.
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  2. - Top - End - #932
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    confused Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Weirdo View Post
    If they were human cultists, they wouldn't have been created by the gods to be murdered by humans and downtrodden on purpose. If they were human cultists, their families wouldn't have anything to fear from "adventurers". Heck, if they were human cultists, there'd actually have been a chance that they'd be arrested and tried, not slaughtered, along with their children, for crying out loud! And if the entire world hadn't been built in a way that specifically harms them, and grievously, they'd not need to twist the arm of the gods.

    That's the point. Their situation has to change.
    I honestly don't know what RPGs you have played or participated in... By default, cultists in almost any medium serve the same purpose as so-called "monstrous races," that is they are the weak servants of some greater power that act as speed bumps for heroes to slaughter in droves. It is often the case that the cultists might have legitimate grievances against the established power, that they were indoctrinated as children, manipulated by another entity, or outright mind controlled. Oh, and if we treat a DM as a stand-in for a creator deity, then cultists (of any species) are, by definition, created specifically to be murdered by adventurers. This applies regardless of the species. RPGs as a general rule tend to fail on the "take prisoners, leave non-combatants be" front, and this has always been a problem in the genre.
    2B or not 2B, that is... a really inane question

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  3. - Top - End - #933
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleomancer View Post
    RPGs as a general rule tend to fail on the "take prisoners, leave non-combatants be" front, and this has always been a problem in the genre.
    Yes and, by this acknowledgment - RPG's would instead turn into games of diplomacy and ambassadorship. Instead of something which promotes wanton violence and murder.

    Right?
    Last edited by DreamCreator; 2020-08-08 at 06:04 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #934
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    That's what I thought, but I don't consider Xykon "the Gobbotopia regime."

  5. - Top - End - #935
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    confused Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCreator View Post
    Yes and, by this acknowledgment - RPG's would instead turn into games of diplomacy and ambassadorship. Instead of something which promotes wanton violence and murder.

    Right?
    I have no idea what you are trying to say here. I was responding to hyperbole from another poster that claims that cultists would be treated differently depending on species, when cultists in RPGs (like those that OotS parodies) are essentially substitutes for "monstrous races" that could be seen as less morally repugnant cannon fodder for adventurers to wipe out to the last. Or, in other words, each time an enemy becomes less socially appropriate to slaughter in fiction, we find a new one to serve the same role. In fact, unlike certain RL issues pertinent to this and the preceding comics (which cannot be discussed lest this thread get locked), being a cultist is usually a death sentence when dealing with PCs regardless of species or gender.

    It is also distinct from the specific Goblin prejudice seen in the comic and elsewhere. After all, being a cultist is something you do, a choice. Obviously that can be mitigated by coercion, indoctrination, mental illness, mind control, or anything that harms free will, as well as situations where the cult has a justifiable motive or is the victim of propaganda; but again, I point out RPGs often cite those as background for why someone is a cultist and then allows or even forces players to ignore that complication. In contrast, being a goblin is something you are, and is an intrinsic quality for which such barbarity should be unacceptable. Hence why I disagreed with the previous poster's claim, since he is conflating cultist (choice) with species (intrinsic) and also ignores that cultists exist specifically to be slaughtered like goblins are in the comic (except there's at least the pretense of motive with the cultists, hence why they are often used instead). I honestly don't know what you think I am implying here.
    Last edited by Paleomancer; 2020-08-08 at 07:25 PM.
    2B or not 2B, that is... a really inane question

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  6. - Top - End - #936
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleomancer View Post
    I have no idea what you are trying to say here. I was responding to hyperbole from another poster that claims that cultists would be treated differently depending on species, when cultists in RPGs (like those that OotS parodies) are essentially substitutes for "monstrous races" that could be seen as less morally repugnant cannon fodder for adventurers to wipe out to the last. Or, in other words, each time an enemy becomes less socially appropriate to slaughter in fiction, we find a new one to serve the same role. In fact, unlike certain RL issues pertinent to this and the preceding comics (which cannot be discussed lest this thread get locked), being a cultist is usually a death sentence when dealing with PCs regardless of species or gender.

    It is also distinct from the specific Goblin prejudice seen in the comic and elsewhere. After all, being a cultist is something you do, a choice. Obviously that can be mitigated by coercion, indoctrination, mental illness, mind control, or anything that harms free will, as well as situations where the cult has a justifiable motive or is the victim of propaganda; but again, I point out RPGs often cite those as background for why someone is a cultist and then allows or even forces players to ignore that complication. In contrast, being a goblin is something you are, and is an intrinsic quality for which such barbarity should be unacceptable. Hence why I disagreed with the previous poster's claim, since he is conflating cultist (choice) with species (intrinsic) and also ignores that cultists exist specifically to be slaughtered like goblins are in the comic (except there's at least the pretense of motive with the cultists, hence why they are often used instead). I honestly don't know what you think I am implying here.
    I'm not sure why you think that the way OotS specifically addresses goblins being treated as XP fodder implies that it wouldn't have a problem with other groups of people being treated as XP fodder. Because it happens in RPGs? Because it's not an immediate analogy to real-world racism? So what?

    And in the specific context of this conversation, which was about unfallen paladins who nonetheless allowed their presumably fallen colleagues to murder innocent goblin children, I really don't know why you think changing 'goblin' to 'cultist' in that description would affect the Giant's portrayal.

  7. - Top - End - #937
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleomancer View Post
    I have no idea what you are trying to say here. I was responding to hyperbole from another poster that claims that cultists would be treated differently depending on species, when cultists in RPGs (like those that OotS parodies) are essentially substitutes for "monstrous races" that could be seen as less morally repugnant cannon fodder for adventurers to wipe out to the last. Or, in other words, each time an enemy becomes less socially appropriate to slaughter in fiction, we find a new one to serve the same role. In fact, unlike certain RL issues pertinent to this and the preceding comics (which cannot be discussed lest this thread get locked), being a cultist is usually a death sentence when dealing with PCs regardless of species or gender.

    It is also distinct from the specific Goblin prejudice seen in the comic and elsewhere. After all, being a cultist is something you do, a choice. Obviously that can be mitigated by coercion, indoctrination, mental illness, mind control, or anything that harms free will, as well as situations where the cult has a justifiable motive or is the victim of propaganda; but again, I point out RPGs often cite those as background for why someone is a cultist and then allows or even forces players to ignore that complication. In contrast, being a goblin is something you are, and is an intrinsic quality for which such barbarity should be unacceptable. Hence why I disagreed with the previous poster's claim, since he is conflating cultist (choice) with species (intrinsic) and also ignores that cultists exist specifically to be slaughtered like goblins are in the comic (except there's at least the pretense of motive with the cultists, hence why they are often used instead). I honestly don't know what you think I am implying here.
    Apologies. I said that with a lot more humor than I managed to translate into the writing

    I think your entire post was quite poignant and interesting. And, part of it just begs the question of why RPGs are largely based on senseless violence, within the entire theme

    Times will change. The entire OOTSverse is quite a beautiful commentary on our own social reality, and the ways we are or are not dealing with certain issues.

  8. - Top - End - #938
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCreator View Post
    I think your entire post was quite poignant and interesting. And, part of it just begs the question of why RPGs are largely based on senseless violence, within the entire theme
    Honestly, I think a lot of it is just because violence is a really easy option to engage a player with. It's easy to understand (Thing dangerous to player. I attack thing to get rid of it.) It provides challenge fairly simply (I attack thing, but thing attacks back.) And human story telling has been full of Good Guy defeats Bad Guy in battle, going all the way back to our earliest recorded stories

    I don't think that's entirely bad, mind you. Potentially problematic, definitely. And I do enjoy premises that turn those expectations upside down. But on some level, the shortcut can be useful if you avoid the bigger problematic pitfalls.

  9. - Top - End - #939
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacky720 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bunsen_h View Post
    If Redcloak acknowledged someone as his personal rival, would that person instantly level up as cleric ("ding! ding! ding!") to match him?
    Only if that person was an NPC.
    Such as
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    the hot goblin chick whose attentions he spurned in SoD?
    Who appeared on just the one page?

  10. - Top - End - #940
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Sometimes diplomacy works, others come down to saving throws and hopefully initiative. If Durkon survives, is there a shot of him killing Redcloak? Also, does Redcloak speak for the Dark One, I can't help but wonder if their opinions differ?
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  11. - Top - End - #941
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Durkon's got almost no chance of defeating Redcloak in a one-on-one fight. He's at least four levels below him, possibly more, so his spellcasting options are far more limited and his saves are worse. He's probably a better melee combatant than Redcloak is (if only thanks to actually bothering to equip himself for it), but even if he were to quickly get his hammer (via a remote retrieval or Minrah chucking it to him or w/e) it would probably still not be enough of an edge to compensate for Redcloak's much better spellcasting.

  12. - Top - End - #942
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurgeh View Post
    Durkon's got almost no chance of defeating Redcloak in a one-on-one fight. He's at least four levels below him, possibly more, so his spellcasting options are far more limited and his saves are worse. He's probably a better melee combatant than Redcloak is (if only thanks to actually bothering to equip himself for it), but even if he were to quickly get his hammer (via a remote retrieval or Minrah chucking it to him or w/e) it would probably still not be enough of an edge to compensate for Redcloak's much better spellcasting.
    Are we forgetting that said hammer is an honest-to-Thor artifact, and not a measly +1 weapon in a low-level boss's trophy room somewhere? Plus, Redcloak is a little lacking in ranged attacks, at least from what we've seen... Sure, he has Disintegrate, but as a high-level spell he can't have more than a few castings of it. Beyond that, his arsenal seems to rely more on touch attacks, which don't work so great outside of melee. I'm not saying Durkon could beat him into submission, but escape is very easily on the table.
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  13. - Top - End - #943
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Having an Artifact doesn't generally boost a creature's Challenge Rating much - maybe 2 points at most.
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  14. - Top - End - #944
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironsmith View Post
    Are we forgetting that said hammer is an honest-to-Thor artifact, and not a measly +1 weapon in a low-level boss's trophy room somewhere? Plus, Redcloak is a little lacking in ranged attacks, at least from what we've seen... Sure, he has Disintegrate, but as a high-level spell he can't have more than a few castings of it. Beyond that, his arsenal seems to rely more on touch attacks, which don't work so great outside of melee. I'm not saying Durkon could beat him into submission, but escape is very easily on the table.
    Escape is irrelevant to the question I was answering:

    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    Sometimes diplomacy works, others come down to saving throws and hopefully initiative. If Durkon survives, is there a shot of him killing Redcloak? Also, does Redcloak speak for the Dark One, I can't help but wonder if their opinions differ?
    The post immediately above mine (emphasis added). I'm not sure if there's any way I can make my point clearer. :/

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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    "Only a few castings" of high level spells is more than enough when each of those spells can singlehandedly end a fight.

  16. - Top - End - #946
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    Sometimes diplomacy works, others come down to saving throws and hopefully initiative. If Durkon survives, is there a shot of him killing Redcloak? Also, does Redcloak speak for the Dark One, I can't help but wonder if their opinions differ?
    None whatsoever. Redcloak alone is an extremely capable combatant, and he has allies within call if needed, up to and including Xykon.

    This was always a mad gambit on Durkon's part. Not only has Redcloak refused his offer, not only is it highly probable one of the team's clerics will be mission-incapable for some time as a result, but he has given Redcloak a [b]lot[/i] of intel, both on his own group of adventurers but also on what the gods are up to as well.

    It's as if two people sat down to play high-stakes poker, and one of them tried to play with all his cards face up.

    Their best hope of overcoming an epic-level lich and his friends was always surprise; Durkon has forfeited that crucial advantage even if he DOES come out of it alive. If we weren't so extremely shorthanded and close to end game, I'd kick him out of the party myself for going off the reservation like that.

    All would have been forgiven if it had actually worked, and for a minute it looked as if it would, but it didn't. Durkon is honest and brave and forthright, which makes him a terrific ally and cleric but a terrible negotiator; he lacks the requisite subtlety, cunning, and persuasiveness needed for such a role.


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  17. - Top - End - #947
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Honestly, the end was foreshadowed by the fourth panel.

  18. - Top - End - #948
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Hangwind View Post
    Honestly, the end was foreshadowed by the fourth panel.
    By Redcloak's hand position, or the dialogue?

  19. - Top - End - #949
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    This was always a mad gambit on Durkon's part. Not only has Redcloak refused his offer, not only is it highly probable one of the team's clerics will be mission-incapable for some time as a result, but he has given Redcloak a [b]lot[/i] of intel, both on his own group of adventurers but also on what the gods are up to as well.

    Their best hope of overcoming an epic-level lich and his friends was always surprise; Durkon has forfeited that crucial advantage even if he DOES come out of it alive. If we weren't so extremely shorthanded and close to end game, I'd kick him out of the party myself for going off the reservation like that.
    He didn't actually say he's part of an adventuring team, did he? Redcloak thinks he's a lone Dwarf Cleric on a mission from his God to talk it out, not a band of assassins sent to kill the lich.

    EDIT: Not necessarily. Durkon does acknowledge he was part of the adventuring party back at Durkon's Dungeon when Redcloak remembers it. But then he keeps going on about how alone and weaponless he is, so Redcloak MIGHT think he ditched them somewhere. Which is TECHNICALLY true, I guess. The closest I saw him get to admitting he still has a team is "Me and my team defeat you." That certainly doesn't give Redcloak any more tactical information than fighting against the party 3-4 times already (albeit indirectly a few of those) did.

    So what is this "lot of intel" he gave out that's worth kicking him out over?
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  20. - Top - End - #950
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    For Durkon versus Redcloak...before this comic, I thought Durkon had a decent fighting/escape chance, since Redcloak himself earlier had said he was drained from the dungeon crawling.

    If his definition of "drained" meant he still had 9th-level spells, it's pretty much close to zero that Durkon can escape on his own.

  21. - Top - End - #951
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    For Durkon versus Redcloak...before this comic, I thought Durkon had a decent fighting/escape chance, since Redcloak himself earlier had said he was drained from the dungeon crawling.

    If his definition of "drained" meant he still had 9th-level spells, it's pretty much close to zero that Durkon can escape on his own.
    I suspect you are underestimating how much earlier Redcloak said that.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleomancer View Post
    It is also distinct from the specific Goblin prejudice seen in the comic and elsewhere. After all, being a cultist is something you do, a choice. Obviously that can be mitigated by coercion, indoctrination, mental illness, mind control, or anything that harms free will, as well as situations where the cult has a justifiable motive or is the victim of propaganda; but again, I point out RPGs often cite those as background for why someone is a cultist and then allows or even forces players to ignore that complication. In contrast, being a goblin is something you are, and is an intrinsic quality for which such barbarity should be unacceptable. Hence why I disagreed with the previous poster's claim, since he is conflating cultist (choice) with species (intrinsic) and also ignores that cultists exist specifically to be slaughtered like goblins are in the comic (except there's at least the pretense of motive with the cultists, hence why they are often used instead). I honestly don't know what you think I am implying here.
    Well my point was, the Bearer of the Crimson Mantle and his followers basically are a cult, and a doomsday cult at that. The Sapphire Guard hunts them because they know (or at least, are under the impression) that they're plotting to destroy the world under the orders of their Evil god. That's textbook fantasy cult stuff. TDO's faith is not synonymous with the entirety of goblinkind.

    Now, killing the bystanders as well had pretty clear racial motivations, I'll give you that. Those were war crimes, there's no getting around it.
    Last edited by Larsaan; 2020-08-09 at 12:08 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #953
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Larsaan View Post
    Those were war crimes, there's no getting around it.
    There is - there are no war crimes in stories where nobody has agreed on war crimes. I'm not saying it's right or just or non-evil. But in Stickworld, it's probably not classified as "war crimes."
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I suspect you are underestimating how much earlier Redcloak said that.
    ? He said it in #1040 (I can't remember which comic exactly) after one door of dungeon crawling, and #1189 tells us that Team Evil has pushed it up to several doors a day. It's only been a 4-5 days since then.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    ? He said it in #1040 (I can't remember which comic exactly) after one door of dungeon crawling, and #1189 tells us that Team Evil has pushed it up to several doors a day. It's only been a 4-5 days since then.
    That tells us nothing about whether Redcloak has actually done the dungeon dives yet on this day, or not.

  26. - Top - End - #956
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    ? He said it in #1040 (I can't remember which comic exactly) after one door of dungeon crawling, and #1189 tells us that Team Evil has pushed it up to several doors a day. It's only been a 4-5 days since then.
    And how many doors have they been through this day? Unknown. So we don't know if Redcloak is drained on this day.

    He is very likely not.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    Sometimes diplomacy works, others come down to saving throws and hopefully initiative. If Durkon survives, is there a shot of him killing Redcloak? Also, does Redcloak speak for the Dark One, I can't help but wonder if their opinions differ?
    Absolutely none

    If Redcloak dies at this point, it's game over for the world

    RC had, has, and will have plot armor until we get to the end of his role

    I think Durkon understands this, and won't use any violence against RC
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RatElemental View Post
    That tells us nothing about whether Redcloak has actually done the dungeon dives yet on this day, or not.
    I'd assume he's done so, since it's morning (Belkar waking up) and Team Evil does their dungeon diving at dusk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    And how many doors have they been through this day? Unknown. So we don't know if Redcloak is drained on this day.

    He is very likely not.
    More bad news for Durkon, then.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCreator View Post
    Yes and, by this acknowledgment - RPG's would instead turn into games of diplomacy and ambassadorship. Instead of something which promotes wanton violence and murder.

    Right?
    There was/is a really good board game called "Diplomacy" that I played starting in Junior High School, and into early adulthood. Most people who were in on the first published RPG, Dungeons and Dragons, were also people who played or had played diplomacy. (Mike Mornard did a nice coverage of that on one of the grognard boards a few years back).

    But you may be interested to know that, unlike Risk, diplomacy used no dice. And, when the diplomats were done, whole regions were conquered and entire armies either retreated or were annihilated.

    Even diplomacy, in games, can have lethal results.

    And just to point out something that political scientists have discovered over the years: Diplomacy is an empty exercise if there's nothing to back it up - be it trade, force, location, land, various quid pro quo agreements, etc. And we won't go any farther toward RL stuff to stay in our box.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2020-08-09 at 02:03 PM.
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    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
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  30. - Top - End - #960
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: OOTS #1209 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RatElemental View Post
    "Only a few castings" of high level spells is more than enough when each of those spells can singlehandedly end a fight.
    Also, Redcloak is a minimum of level 17. Disintegrate is a level 7 spell for a cleric with destruction.

    if Redcloak gets no bonus spells from Wisdom or from an item, and is the minimum possible level and ability score, the gets NINE spells of level 7 or more per day. That's not "only a few" that's "quite a few".

    Each additional level up to 20 is 2 more spells of level 7+.

    Stat of 24, one more spell (starting score of 14, +4 for levels, +6 for an item RC can make himself, done). Stat of 26, another extra spell. Stat of 28, yet another extra spell.

    And if he somehow runs out of level 7+ spells, he's got at least 5 more level 6 spells.

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