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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I thought "I don't know if you're the paladin type" was subtext for

    "You're NG (or CG) - do you really want to change yourself that much just to take paladin levels?"

    But that's just my reading.
    I seem to have a vague recollection of a 2nd edition Baldurs Gate character; a female Halfling who wanted to be a Paladin but couldn't because 2e had class restrictions for non-humans. Maybe Serini 'wanting to be a paladin' (I'm putting it in quotes because I'm not convinced she wasn't just spit-balling to pass the time) was a reference to the Baldurs Gate character.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    I'm a fan of the idea that the Monster Hollow is something of a shell game, but not exactly.

    It's purpose is two fold in this idea.

    The first purpose is to either kill or keep people busy that are not worthy of visiting the gate.
    Individuals whom are unworthy will not be able to meet the requirement for which the Monster Hollow was built.

    The second purpose is to create scenarios where individuals can prove they are worthy of knowing the true location of the gate.
    How would this be accomplished?
    The various caverns are filled with monsters that can provide experience for an epic level lich... so they are crazy strong.
    Most parties would be hard pressed to get through such encounters with everyone alive.
    To pass the test, somebody would need to commit a act of pure self-sacrifice.
    Maybe nobody would need to die, but the idea of sacrificing for the greater good seems a fitting memorial.

    So, the gate isn't actually within the Monster Hollow... or if it is, there isn't a direct path from the outside.
    However, the only way to learn of the true location/gain access is to pass the test of displaying true self-sacrifice (ex. pushing a friend out of an attack to take a killing blow).

    This would keep most evil being busy for a long time (if it didn't kill them outright) as they just wouldn't get the idea or take the risk.

    Additionally, it would be interesting if this is how Durkon and Minrah survive.
    One sacrifices their-self to protect the other from RC and Xykon... suddenly they both are *pop* teleported away.
    More kill steals from Xykon.
    Last edited by mashlagoo1982; 2020-09-17 at 08:37 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    The gate is in the location of the rift iirc so it’s there somewhere not a different location
    'Utúlie'n aurë! Aiya Eldalië ar Atanatári, utúlie'n aurë! “The day has come! Behold, people of the Eldar and Fathers of Men, the day has come!" And all those who heard his great voice echo in the hills answered, crying:'Auta i lómë!" The night is passing!"

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    if the doors are too close together to sport real dungeons, and the stone is multidimensional, maybe every door leads to a small pocket-dimension dungeon? maybe more then one?

    not sure how exactly that helps guard a dimentionally locked gate buut... *shrug* might explain how the monsters replenish? every so often a gateway to the semi-elemental plane of Manticores opens up or something?
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    (This looks like a good time to get back on this one, so) I personally believe that the corridors behind each door are mostly straight and they lead to shafts. The length of the corridors varies, so the shafts do not open into each other. The depth of the shafts varies, so there is enough space for many dungeons because they are not on the same level.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    (This looks like a good time to get back on this one, so) I personally believe that the corridors behind each door are mostly straight and they lead to shafts. The length of the corridors varies, so the shafts do not open into each other. The depth of the shafts varies, so there is enough space for many dungeons because they are not on the same level.
    But by MitD's own comment, they are visually complex dungeons, which is something that a straight corridor wouldn't be described as, no matter how many monsters were in it.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingMist View Post
    But by MitD's own comment, they are visually complex dungeons, which is something that a straight corridor wouldn't be described as, no matter how many monsters were in it.
    That's not at all what I mean. Permit me to give you an example: Door 1 (20 m above ground level) leads to Corridor 1 which is 52 m long and which leads to Shaft 1 which is 124 m deep. Shaft 1 leads to Dungeon 1 which is a visually complex dungeon at a depth of 104 m. Door (directly below Door 1) leads to Corridor 2 which is 8 m long and which leads to Shaft 2 which is 140 m deep. Shaft 2 leads to Dungeon 2, a visually complex dungeon at a depth of 122 m.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    We already had the deception and shell game thing at Girard's pyramid. Personally I hope Monster Hollow is exactly what we are told it is: a huge dungeon (maybe random generated or extradimensional) full of dangerous monsters with the rift at the end.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurgeh View Post
    "you lack the discipline needed to live by the paladin code"
    Isn't that pretty similar to saying "you aren't Lawful enough to be a Paladin"?

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyoi View Post
    Isn't that pretty similar to saying "you aren't Lawful enough to be a Paladin"?
    But she wouldn't be able to consider being able to take a level in paladin if she weren't lawful.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingMist View Post
    But she wouldn't be able to consider being able to take a level in paladin if she weren't lawful.
    That's not what the rules say. You're allowed to consider whatever you want, you just can't actually be a paladin unless you have the right alignment.

    I also interpret "I've got the charisma for it" as "I have approximately no other qualifications for this class"

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingMist View Post
    But she wouldn't be able to consider being able to take a level in paladin if she weren't lawful.
    Then again, playfully proposing something you know to be impossible just to rile up the more straight-laced members of the party is a pretty Chaotic thing to do, no?

    On a more serious note, Dorukan's response to the suggestion could be interpreted as evidence that Dorukan (who is confirmed Neutral Good) sees Serini and Soon as the two ends of the Good spectrum that differ from him.
    Last edited by Hyoi; 2020-10-10 at 09:24 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    I also interpret "I've got the charisma for it" as "I have approximately no other qualifications for this class"
    Which would be how the class started in D&D 0th edition when it was introduced in the Greyhawk Supplement (1975).

    Hmmm, if Ian Starshine was a first edition AD&D thief, were the Order of the Scribble older than he and maybe OG PC's when they started out? Probably not.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2020-10-11 at 09:41 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    I seem to have a vague recollection of a 2nd edition Baldurs Gate character; a female Halfling who wanted to be a Paladin but couldn't because 2e had class restrictions for non-humans.
    And did such a good job of it that Avoreen blessed her with magical powers not usually granted to the Fighter class.
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  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    That's not at all what I mean. Permit me to give you an example: Door 1 (20 m above ground level) leads to Corridor 1 which is 52 m long and which leads to Shaft 1 which is 124 m deep. Shaft 1 leads to Dungeon 1 which is a visually complex dungeon at a depth of 104 m. Door 2 (directly below Door 1) leads to Corridor 2 which is 8 m long and which leads to Shaft 2 which is 140 m deep. Shaft 2 leads to Dungeon 2, a visually complex dungeon at a depth of 122 m.
    (Interesting fact: Xykon's calling the dungeon they enter a level (page no. 2, panel no. 9) is consistent with my hypothesis.)

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Am I way off track or wasn't there a requirement back in Old D&D days (2nd ed, 3.0, 3.5, maybe all the way back to the Blue Box) that a Thief/Rogue had to be a non-Lawful alignment, on the theory that stealing things for a living is basically not lawful? So the way I took it was Serini trolling Soon, the most uptight member of the party, and Soon's reaction was analogous to V's when Elan announced he was going to take Wizard levels. I mean, look at the expression on his face. That's a frown.

    A very interesting suggestion that the bugbears are secretly working with or for Serini, but what's their motivation? Can we come up with a plausible reason they would strike a deal with a lone retired halfling adventurer?
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    In Basic, thieves could not be Lawful (note that the alignment axis there was simply Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic, with no good or evil).

    Thieves could not be good-aligned in first edition AD&D; in 2E they could have any alignment other than Lawful Good.

    3.0 and 3.5 D&D placed no alignment restrictions upon the Rogue class.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    A very interesting suggestion that the bugbears are secretly working with or for Serini, but what's their motivation? Can we come up with a plausible reason they would strike a deal with a lone retired halfling adventurer?
    A combination of plenty of food, supplies, and pay (if they’re interested in money - they might not have much use for it up at the North Pole) would likely be enough to buy the loyalties of a tribe, especially a remote one with few other options for attaining a reasonably secure lifestyle. They may prefer to hunt for their food and supplies, and Serini may be helping them to safely take down some of the monsters, either by weakening them or by luring them to a place where they can be safely trapped and killed.

    I don’t believe for a second that this is actually happening, but in principle, I don’t see why it couldn’t be. The best argument against it is “Oona seems pretty loyal to Team Evil so far, and we have no evidence of this being true,” but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and Oona hasn’t really faced a serious test of loyalty to Team Evil (vis-a-vis Serini) yet, at least as far as we know.

    It’s a fun theory, anyway, no matter how unlikely it is.
    Last edited by Emanick; 2020-10-13 at 10:37 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurgeh View Post
    In Basic, thieves could not be Lawful (note that the alignment axis there was simply Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic, with no good or evil).
    Rules Cyclopedia (that includes not just D&D Basic, but Expert, Companion, and Master) says that Chaotic is mostly associated with Evil and Law mostly associated with Good - but allows exceptions.



    Some monsters are specifically called out as being Chaotic, and and the same time, it states that 50% of these monsters are Good, and 50% are Evil. Others are Lawful and their behaviour is specifically called out as Evil.

    It also does not appear to have any alignment restrictions on thieves as far as I can tell. An early edition of Basic (Eric Holmes was one of the names on the cover) had True Neutral include "all thieves" - but this looked more like a hybrid of AD&D and regular Basic D&D. It had 5 alignments - TN, LG, CG, LE, CE)

    Later versions of Basic went to Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic - and dropped any alignment restriction on thieves. A thief does not have to steal (though according to the book, most do) - the class's speciality is stealth, lockpicking, trap removal, etc. You could plausibly have an "Adventuring thief" who never steals from civilians - they only remove traps in dungeons, to assist their party members.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-10-13 at 10:45 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    My bad, there; I have no play experience pre-3.5, so put it down to bad research on my part.

    To return to the matter of Serini, specifically, I find it more parsimonious to take her at her word than to assume it was a roundabout insult.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurgeh View Post
    To return to the matter of Serini, specifically, I find it more parsimonious to take her at her word than to assume it was a roundabout insult.
    Maybe "insult" is more than I was trying to convey, I was trying to get across the idea of "teasing". When I used the word "trolling", I can see why it came out that I was saying she was insulting Soon.

    From that one panel, I got the impression that Serini was the joker of the group, very much like Elan. Dorukan's comment, that "maybe she would march in stoic silence for a change", supports that she's a light-hearted chatterbox- the opposite of stoic and silent. So when she suggested becoming a Paladin I felt she was getting under Soon's skin, but not in a mean-spirited way.

    I realize that's a lot of interpretation to draw from a single crayon panel, but that's the genius of OOTS- an economy of words and images that can relay enormous amounts of characterization in such a small space.
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    I have read somewhere in this thread a theory about "forgotten sacrifice" as the key to this Gate.

    My own theory is also about sacrifice. The Gate will only appear if someone makes a voluntary, altruistic sacrifice. That will exclude evil adventurers, like the Dorukan sigil, and will be a fitting tribute to the self-sacrifice of Kraagor.

    It will be self-sacrifice, not strenght, the quality that Serini wanted to remember from Kraagor.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginasius View Post
    It will be self-sacrifice, not strenght, the quality that Serini wanted to remember from Kraagor.
    While I like the idea, I don't think that's where Rich is going with this.
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  24. - Top - End - #54
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    After Roy's comment about the doors being too closely spaced to have a Dungeon (as opposed to a corridor) behind each one, I got to thinking about what is actually behind the doors of Monster Hollow.
    Consider the following;
    *The Bugbears have been living there a while, yet don't seem to have any maps or anything to work from.
    *We're explicitly not shown what's behind the doors.
    *Oona describes it as 'so many twistings and turnings'
    *Grey view describes it as 'death beckoned behind every corner'
    *Redcloak says the maze is built from multidimensional stone, preventing ethereal travel from one Dungeon to another.
    *So far, it appears that Team Evil haven't had to back out of a Dungeon halfway; they've searched multiple dungeons and marked them off.
    *There are epic monsters in at least once Dungeon, enough to challenge Xykon (who is probably late-20s epic)
    *Yet the hollow is also frequented by bugbears who probably aren't all epic (Oona being pegged by the C&G thread as 15-18th level)
    *Oona says the tribe hunts a little, then leaves the hollow alone for a while before hunting again.

    My theory is the dungeons aren't static shapes; they alter at regular intervals to allow monsters to refill empty corridors, rotate where the stronger creatures are (so they don't eat everything and starve), and keep the ecology from stagnating.
    How does this fit with Kraagors belief in strength? Well only one Dungeon leads to the gate, and that Dungeon changes regularly. The only way to find it would be to wipe out *every* doors Dungeon before the reset, or do enough damage to the ecology that the dungeons reset is meaningless. In effect, you can't feasibly search for the gate and clear the dungeons at once; you have to fight through all the monsters *first*, then you're at leisure to search for the gate.
    Thoughts?
    I like this theory. Having to kill nearly every monster feels like the right kind of catch for this dungeon.
    Last edited by catagent101; 2020-10-17 at 09:36 PM.
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    I seem to have a vague recollection of a 2nd edition Baldurs Gate character; a female Halfling who wanted to be a Paladin but couldn't because 2e had class restrictions for non-humans. Maybe Serini 'wanting to be a paladin' (I'm putting it in quotes because I'm not convinced she wasn't just spit-balling to pass the time) was a reference to the Baldurs Gate character.
    Mazzy Fentan! Such a fun and even inspiring character. Man, I loved how unique they made each party member in that game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginasius View Post
    I have read somewhere in this thread a theory about "forgotten sacrifice" as the key to this Gate.

    My own theory is also about sacrifice. The Gate will only appear if someone makes a voluntary, altruistic sacrifice. That will exclude evil adventurers, like the Dorukan sigil, and will be a fitting tribute to the self-sacrifice of Kraagor.

    It will be self-sacrifice, not strenght, the quality that Serini wanted to remember from Kraagor.
    While I'm preparing myself for a heroic sacrifice in this Book (most likely Belkar), I really don't see the story featuring it as an explicit mechanic like the MCU Soul Stone. That scene was my least favorite part of Endgame -- specifically because the rule is so blatantly contrived for maximum drama. Though in fairness, it was damn cool when it showed up in The Black Cauldron.

    I think Rich has even said outright that he's never going to write a story where the "correct" answer is suicide. That's what this would feel like if it was explained in-story as a choice, and if it wasn't explained -- if it just happened when someone made a sacrifice -- that would be a confusing moment in the story. Kraagor was established as believing in the power of physical might, and it's said Serini took that to heart when she build Kraagor's Tomb.

    As others have said, we did the shell game and the double bluffs in both of the last "Gate" books (the 3 Xykons, and "Sorry, Your Gate Is in Another Pyramid"). I can see a different faction (say, Orange & Green) using trickery, but I'm willing to take Kraagor's Tomb at face value until I have a reason to do otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdruss View Post
    I'm just throwing in my theory that the rift will always be behind the door to the dungeon that you have just left. So, if you clear dungeon behind door A, the moment you leave it the rift is behind door A. Once you clear the dungeon behind door B, the rift is behind door B.

    In that way you can ensure that someone who is just blasting through all the dungeons with his goblin army will never find the rift.

    I don't have any proofs to help my hypothesis, I just thought it would be a neat trick :D
    Reminds me of a puzzle I put in one of my dungeons. There was a hallway that had walls at both ends, but they were only there when you were facing them from inside the hallway. Had to walk backwards down it to make it to the other side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Mazzy Fentan! Such a fun and even inspiring character. Man, I loved how unique they made each party member in that game.



    While I'm preparing myself for a heroic sacrifice in this Book (most likely Belkar), I really don't see the story featuring it as an explicit mechanic like the MCU Soul Stone. That scene was my least favorite part of Endgame -- specifically because the rule is so blatantly contrived for maximum drama. Though in fairness, it was damn cool when it showed up in The Black Cauldron.

    I think Rich has even said outright that he's never going to write a story where the "correct" answer is suicide. That's what this would feel like if it was explained in-story as a choice, and if it wasn't explained -- if it just happened when someone made a sacrifice -- that would be a confusing moment in the story. Kraagor was established as believing in the power of physical might, and it's said Serini took that to heart when she build Kraagor's Tomb.

    As others have said, we did the shell game and the double bluffs in both of the last "Gate" books (the 3 Xykons, and "Sorry, Your Gate Is in Another Pyramid"). I can see a different faction (say, Orange & Green) using trickery, but I'm willing to take Kraagor's Tomb at face value until I have a reason to do otherwise.
    While it doesn't need to be self-sacrifice, I would be bothered if some act of selflessness wasn't required.
    I hope it is more then "Durrr big muscles smashes things..."

    I get that Kraagor was a strong character and valued strength, but I want to believe that Serini saw something more in Kraagor then just his muscles.
    The type of requirement to gain access to the final gate imo will be a reflection of what Serini admired in Kraagor.

    Considering how the location has already been presented, a likely trait seems to be Kraagor's selfless behavior.
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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    I always take Serini's comment about being a paladin analogous to Elan's several delusions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mashlagoo1982 View Post
    While it doesn't need to be self-sacrifice, I would be bothered if some act of selflessness wasn't required.
    I hope it is more then "Durrr big muscles smashes things..."

    I get that Kraagor was a strong character and valued strength, but I want to believe that Serini saw something more in Kraagor then just his muscles.
    Why on earth would Serini's decision to reflect his belief in the power of physical might be a bad thing, an insult, or anything negative whatsoever? What's the problem with being strong and using that physical strength to make the world better? It's kind of insulting to imply that every person who enjoys being strong is an idiot meathead. As if they're incomplete without someone smart or clever to tell them what to do?

    And anyway, where is this idea coming from, that the Gate's defenses **must** be a thesis statement on the character's entire personality?

    Lirian's, Dorukan's, Soon's, and Girard's defenses could all be effectively summed up as "Nature," "Magic," "Honor," and "Deception." They all received as much characterization as Kraagor got, and their defenses were all relatively uncomplicated, except for a single twist (Ghost-martyrs, "Epic-Level Phantasm & Gate in Another Pyramid," Lirian's *special* life forms, Pure of Heart sigil).

    The finale of this epic saga is already complicated enough. We've got world-ending threats, meddling fiends, a Snarl-world, a Goblin extremist, negotiations, God Stuff, a doomed halfling who's just now becoming a good guy, and secret plans galore...

    I'm calling Hanlon's Razor on Kraagor's Tomb. Sometimes a monster-filled dungeon is just a monster-filled dungeon, and that's perfectly okay. If your story is ONLY plot twists, there isn't much plot to work with.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-10-20 at 04:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Theory about Monster Hollow

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Why on earth would Serini's decision to reflect his belief in the power of physical might be a bad thing, an insult, or anything negative whatsoever? What's the problem with being strong and using that physical strength to make the world better? It's kind of insulting to imply that every person who enjoys being strong is an idiot meathead. As if they're incomplete without someone smart or clever to tell them what to do?
    shrug
    I know a guy named Atlas who might wish to subscribe to your newsletter. I think he was the guy Bob Dylan wrote about in the lyric 'everybody must get stoned'
    Avatar by linklele
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (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
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
    How Teleport Works

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