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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Maybe I'm completely overseeing some detail, but Xykon could hypotherically have found the real phylactery and then planted a fake one to be found in the sewers. Or is there something in the comic that contradicts this possibility beyond any doubt?

    On the other hand, if he was trying to fool RC it would have been more sensible to let him keep the fake rather than show him the fortress. Still that wouldn't be proof enough about what happened.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    I think we're reasonably certain that it's in Redcloak's possession. He positively identified it when it was recovered, and then went to some effort to disguise his fake to match the original before giving it to Xykon. Xykon stashed the fake in his astral fortress.

    There is some question about where Redcloak has hidden the real phylactery, since he's wearing a holy symbol that looks just like the original. He might actually be using the real phylactery as his holy symbol again.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    It's theoretically possible that Xykon found the phylactery before the hobgoblins did and swapped it out with a fake but I kind of doubt it, mostly because the phylactery getting lost clearly was not part of any of Xykon's plans, and while the lich obviously isn't as stupid as he sometimes appears I don't think we're supposed to read him as the kind of guy who is constantly masterminding everything behind the scenes.

    All the information we've got so far suggests that Redcloak successfully managed to get his hands on the real phylactery and fool Xykon, and while it's not impossible that he's actually being outplayed by Xykon (in regards to the phylactery) I'd say the chances are very low.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBV View Post
    Maybe I'm completely overseeing some detail, but Xykon could hypotherically have found the real phylactery and then planted a fake one to be found in the sewers. Or is there something in the comic that contradicts this possibility beyond any doubt?
    No there is not.

    On the other hand, if he was trying to fool RC it would have been more sensible to let him keep the fake rather than show him the fortress. Still that wouldn't be proof enough about what happened.
    If he can build one astral fortress he can likely build two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    He positively identified it when it was recovered, and then went to some effort to disguise his fake to match the original before giving it to Xykon.
    That is not wholly accurate - he would have had a fake whether he recovered the original or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    It's theoretically possible that Xykon found the phylactery before the hobgoblins did and swapped it out with a fake but I kind of doubt it, mostly because the phylactery getting lost clearly was not part of any of Xykon's plans, and while the lich obviously isn't as stupid as he sometimes appears I don't think we're supposed to read him as the kind of guy who is constantly masterminding everything behind the scenes.

    All the information we've got so far suggests that Redcloak successfully managed to get his hands on the real phylactery and fool Xykon, and while it's not impossible that he's actually being outplayed by Xykon (in regards to the phylactery) I'd say the chances are very low.
    This is fair - the one time that I would see Xykon actually taking the phylactery from Redcloak (without Redcloak's knowledge) is between panel 11 and panel 1, providing he had a spare in his pocket, and lied to Redcloak about how it get a scratch.

    In all likelihood Redcloak has the real one - if the story moves in a 'Xykon is massively underestimated' direction then that might not be the case ... and the Order of the Stick is likely doomed.

    I do think it was a poor strategic play by Redcloak (assuming he didn't just give Xykon the real one).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    This is fair - the one time that I would see Xykon actually taking the phylactery from Redcloak (without Redcloak's knowledge) is between panel 11 and panel 1, providing he had a spare in his pocket, and lied to Redcloak about how it get a scratch.

    In all likelihood Redcloak has the real one - if the story moves in a 'Xykon is massively underestimated' direction then that might not be the case ... and the Order of the Stick is likely doomed.

    I do think it was a poor strategic play by Redcloak (assuming he didn't just give Xykon the real one).
    Honestly even if the story is building up to Xykon having been massively underestimated and him being in control of everything the entire time (beyond the control of "I'm the strongest so you do as I say") I'd guess that Redcloak having the real phylactery would be the one time that Redcloak managed to outplay the lich and that the phylactery plays an important role in defeating Xykon.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I do think it was a poor strategic play by Redcloak (assuming he didn't just give Xykon the real one).
    Not really.

    Look at from Redcloak's perspective: world domination was never on the table. the ritual simply won't allow for that, there is not enough control. and Xykon will be angry once the gate disappears into the Dark One's possession no matter where the Phylactery is. giving the real one to Xykon would serve no point other than to make sure that Xykon can kill him with impunity. with the phylactery there, that gives him a chance to kill the lich he has been using for the 30 years or so who has been killing so many of his goblin companions in the process, once Xykon's done, he can go back to Gobbotopia and just wait for the Dark One to sort out the negotiations on a deific level.

    and we all know how long Redcloak can hold onto his vengeance: 35 years calmly coolly planning. Xykon coming in ruining his brothers village is relatively fresh in his mind compared to his childhood tragedy. Xykon was never a partner to him, and he never intended to give him anything substantial for going to all this trouble. (unless you count "cushy retirement in their new goblin nation" but that went out the door the moment he became a lich). Xykons a capital E evil teamkilling jerk who laughs at other peoples pain, him staying around after his use is done serves no benefit for Redcloak, as even as a weapon of fear he is too much of a loose cannon to control. Its a only a poor strategic play if you think Redcloak and Xykon trust each other enough to truly be on the same side. and I honestly don't think they are.
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Every time the idea that Xykon switched the phylactery back comes up, I think of this.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Not really.

    Look at from Redcloak's perspective: world domination was never on the table. the ritual simply won't allow for that, there is not enough control. and Xykon will be angry once the gate disappears into the Dark One's possession no matter where the Phylactery is. giving the real one to Xykon would serve no point other than to make sure that Xykon can kill him with impunity. with the phylactery there, that gives him a chance to kill the lich he has been using for the 30 years or so who has been killing so many of his goblin companions in the process, once Xykon's done, he can go back to Gobbotopia and just wait for the Dark One to sort out the negotiations on a deific level.

    and we all know how long Redcloak can hold onto his vengeance: 35 years calmly coolly planning. Xykon coming in ruining his brothers village is relatively fresh in his mind compared to his childhood tragedy. Xykon was never a partner to him, and he never intended to give him anything substantial for going to all this trouble. (unless you count "cushy retirement in their new goblin nation" but that went out the door the moment he became a lich). Xykons a capital E evil teamkilling jerk who laughs at other peoples pain, him staying around after his use is done serves no benefit for Redcloak, as even as a weapon of fear he is too much of a loose cannon to control. Its a only a poor strategic play if you think Redcloak and Xykon trust each other enough to truly be on the same side. and I honestly don't think they are.
    Redcloak doesn't care what happens to him or Xykon after the ritual has been completed. He'll have already won. Redcloak's only concern is getting Xykon to go through with the ritual. The phylactery switching doesn't help with that, and could actually ruin everything if Xykon notices.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    I think a question just as pressing is if Redcloak has destroyed the phylactery yet or not.

    I expect he hasn't, considering it's mentioned that the phylactery has all sorts of high-level abjurations, and he's been with Xykon 24/7 ever since they left from Gobbotopia.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Redcloak doesn't care what happens to him or Xykon after the ritual has been completed. He'll have already won. Redcloak's only concern is getting Xykon to go through with the ritual. The phylactery switching doesn't help with that, and could actually ruin everything if Xykon notices.
    Maybe?

    Redcloak's may be a fanatic willing to throw his life way for his cause, but he is incredibly logical about it. If he has any chance of surviving after the rituals been completed so he can return to Gobbotopia and continue to protect his people after the changes go into effect- he is not foolish enough to think that the Plan will be all he needs as his answer to right eye asking "but if we the goblin fail to make this utopia when this is all done?" is "well then thats our fault"- that is what he will do. We're already past the point where the world destruction is a possibility narrative wise, the entire last book was dedicated to stopping it.

    as for ruining everything...again. revenge. Xykon ruined his second chance at life in a goblin village. Redcloak doesn't forget that kind of day. he didn't forget the paladins, he won't forget Xykon. and if Xykon is shocked by the unexpected result of the rituals completion, Redcloak can simply teleport away with Word of Recall while Xykon is processing it, dispel all the enchantments on the real phylactery, destroy it then let the OOTS and the two paladins take care of a lich without a phylactery safety net. Xykon wakes up in the CE afterlife with the IFCC waiting for him and thats the end of that. if Xykon could scry and teleport after people, he would've already demonstrated the capability when V and O-Chul got whisked away.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2020-09-18 at 09:29 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    as for ruining everything...again. revenge. Xykon ruined his second chance at life in a goblin village. Redcloak doesn't forget that kind of day. he didn't forget the paladins, he won't forget Xykon.
    Yep. The only reason for Redcloak to not have already destroyed the phylactery is the chance that Xykon may get his body destroyed again and need to regenerate. The moment the rituals to give control of the gate to the Dark One are completed Redcloak won't need Xykon anymore, and he will take that opportunity for revenge. Keeping the real phylactery is part of Redcloak's plan to get that revenge.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riarra View Post
    Every time the idea that Xykon switched the phylactery back comes up, I think of this.
    Seeing you and raising you.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBV View Post
    Maybe I'm completely overseeing some detail, but Xykon could hypotherically have found the real phylactery and then planted a fake one to be found in the sewers. Or is there something in the comic that contradicts this possibility beyond any doubt?

    On the other hand, if he was trying to fool RC it would have been more sensible to let him keep the fake rather than show him the fortress. Still that wouldn't be proof enough about what happened.
    Nothing 100% excludes the possibility that Xykon had the real phylactery and tricked Redcloack, but it's hard to believe he managed to find it by hand quicker than a legion of hundreds or thousands of hobgoblins.
    And as you said, in that case it would have been safer to let your right hand believe you still trust him to keep your most important possession rather than give him an ulterior motive to resent you.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Yep. The only reason for Redcloak to not have already destroyed the phylactery is the chance that Xykon may get his body destroyed again and need to regenerate. The moment the rituals to give control of the gate to the Dark One are completed Redcloak won't need Xykon anymore, and he will take that opportunity for revenge. Keeping the real phylactery is part of Redcloak's plan to get that revenge.
    That and coming back to this, Redcloak already did something stupid that could reveal him as a traitor to Xykon: regenerating his right eye. the moment his eye patch comes off, which is a far more likely thing to occur in battle than say, the real phylactery falling out of his pocket or something. mostly because of the meta-narrative reason of "Redcloak's eyepatch is shown and where he keeps the real phylactery is in hammerspace, so of course its the thing thats easily visually changed on panel thats going to happen to screw him over"

    his sunk cost fallacy isn't "I'll work together with Xykon to the end" its "I'll sacrifice anyone and anything for my people" Xykon is just the last sacrifice in a very long line, and if he was truly planning to die to Xykon's wrath after successfully completing the ritual he wouldn't have regenerated in his eye on the off chance he'd survive the Plan's completion. We have a few examples of evil being able to form working partnerships with trust and such in this comic. Xykon and Redcloak are not one of them.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    If he already found it before the goblins and the resistance, it means that he was faking the whole "waiting around Gobbotopia because of Redcloak" thing for some reason.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Not really.
    If Xykon had used his +8 bonus to spot checks and noticed Redcloak hand him a a fake one he might have killed Redcloak right there - and the goblinoid he gave the cloak to might not have been as good at keeping the secret, so possible plan over.
    Same for if Xykon has developed 'Xykon's Epic Spell of Where Is My Phylactery', or if he passes a decent sense motive roll etc.

    Giving Xykon a fake risked The Plan then and there.

    Ignoring that - lets say he gave Xykon a fake risk free.
    In this case if Xykon is destroyed and regenerates he will know that Redcloak betrayed him and as such The Plan is messed up in the same manner as above unless Redcloak can destroy him before he regenerates - same for if Redcloak is destroyed with Xykon and Xykon regenerates in 'secret location A'.

    Assuming that Redcloak succeeds in destroying Xykon - then he is out his high level arcane caster and would have to get a new one, even with the arcane casters in Gobbotopia it is unlikely they would be meaningful help against The Order, The Paladins or the monsters in the hollow etc.

    An action that places your lifes work in jeopardy in order to secure the stage for once your lifes work is complete is a poor strategic play in my opinion.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    That and coming back to this, Redcloak already did something stupid that could reveal him as a traitor to Xykon: regenerating his right eye.
    Hold on, what? When did this happen?
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Hold on, what? When did this happen?
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    In the hearts of angels and the laughter of children.
    What do mean I looked at 701- oh right mirrors. I thought he switch the eye patch around to look like Right-Eye for that single moment.

    Edit: But in the future, please don't be so rude, just say I'm factually wrong and explain why.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2020-09-19 at 05:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Maybe I'm completely overseeing some detail, but Xykon could hypotherically have found the real phylactery and then planted a fake one to be found in the sewers. Or is there something in the comic that contradicts this possibility beyond any doubt?
    Well, there's the hobgoblin that crafted the fake phylactery just like Redcloak remembered it that he later compares with the one found in the sewers to check that it's a perfect match. Maybe this doesn't contradict it "beyond any doubt" but the other option is that Xykon knew every detail of Redcloak's amulet and make a perfect copy that later planted in the sewers. I suppose it's possible but more unlikely.

    That said, I think we don't know exactly where's the real phylactery right now. It's possible that Redcloak is wearing it now or that it's hidden and maybe Xykon found it and it really is in the astral fortress ...

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Redcloak doesn't care what happens to him or Xykon after the ritual has been completed. He'll have already won. Redcloak's only concern is getting Xykon to go through with the ritual. The phylactery switching doesn't help with that, and could actually ruin everything if Xykon notices.
    Except Xykon likely won't just kill redcloak, he'd probably teleport to gobbotopia afterward and meteor swarm it to dust out of spite while forcing redcloak's soul to watch from inside a gem or something. Redcloak probably suspects as much, too.
    Last edited by Corwin Icewolf; 2020-09-19 at 05:27 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    If Xykon had used his +8 bonus to spot checks and noticed Redcloak hand him a a fake one he might have killed Redcloak right there - and the goblinoid he gave the cloak to might not have been as good at keeping the secret, so possible plan over.
    Same for if Xykon has developed 'Xykon's Epic Spell of Where Is My Phylactery', or if he passes a decent sense motive roll etc.

    Giving Xykon a fake risked The Plan then and there.

    Ignoring that - lets say he gave Xykon a fake risk free.
    In this case if Xykon is destroyed and regenerates he will know that Redcloak betrayed him and as such The Plan is messed up in the same manner as above unless Redcloak can destroy him before he regenerates - same for if Redcloak is destroyed with Xykon and Xykon regenerates in 'secret location A'.

    Assuming that Redcloak succeeds in destroying Xykon - then he is out his high level arcane caster and would have to get a new one, even with the arcane casters in Gobbotopia it is unlikely they would be meaningful help against The Order, The Paladins or the monsters in the hollow etc.

    An action that places your lifes work in jeopardy in order to secure the stage for once your lifes work is complete is a poor strategic play in my opinion.
    While I agree that it's not a foolproof plan I have to say that if Xykon was easily destroyed the Order would have it a lot easier. As Roy himself admitted, Xykon's defeat at Dorukan's Gate was a fluke. So Redcloak is most likely planning with the assumption that Xykon isn't going to get destroyed before the Plan is completed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corwin Icewolf View Post
    Except Xykon likely won't just kill redcloak, he'd probably teleport to gobbotopia afterward and meteor swarm it to dust out of spite while forcing redcloak's soul to watch from inside a gem or something. Redcloak probably suspects as much, too.
    The same sunk cost what makes him willing to sacrifice this world for the vague promise of a better life for goblinoids in the next world would also have him explain all of that away as worth it.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    I think the theory falls down on the idea that Xykon would even try searching for the phylactery himself rather than leaving the hobgoblins to do it. Not to mention, one lich versus hundreds of hobgoblins, even if both *were* searching for it at the same time, the hobgoblins are simply more likely to find it due to sheer numbers. It would completely destroy the story's credibility if this twist occurred, and I have confidence that the Giant is far too good a writer for that to happen.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    I'd say that it's almost certainly in Redcloak's possession. Pretty sure the point of the astral fortress, and the hiding the phylactery there was (well, in addition to reiterating how much power Xykon has), is that he feels like he's invincible. That's the purpose for the story. He won't run, he won't hide, he'll fight to the end because he thinks it safe.

    So it can be destroyed right there, at the climax. And there will be no more lich.
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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    The same sunk cost what makes him willing to sacrifice this world for the vague promise of a better life for goblinoids in the next world would also have him explain all of that away as worth it.
    Sure, but he's a potential threat. Especially if, as some have speculated, the phylactery and a plane shift would allow him to hide out in his astral fortress till the next world.

    But I grant you, that doesn't feel quite like something redcloak would be taking into account at this point.

    Aren't there rituals in some settings that let you directly control a lich via their phylactery? Could that be what he's playing at.

    Or maybe it's as simple as once the plan is complete, xykon becomes a loose end.
    Last edited by Corwin Icewolf; 2020-09-21 at 03:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Xykon won't be a loose end to anyone.

    Let's not forget that the base intelligence for a Lich is 20. While the base wisdom is a "mere" 14, it could be much higher than that.

    Redcloak better not underestimate that -- the self-proclaimed puppeteer may be on strings he doesn't know yet.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    The lich template gives +2 to all mental ability scores; not sure where you're getting the 20/14 from - if it's from an example lich from a monster manual then bear in mind that most NPC liches are wizards and would have put their best ability score into intelligence, while Xykon is a sorcerer and uses charisma as his primary casting stat. Xykon specifically would also have further mental ability boosts from his age category prior to lichdom, but even that pretty formidable +5 doesn't guarantee his intelligence or wisdom would be that high.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Also, having high mental stats doesn't mean you can't get blindsided by something.

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    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurgeh View Post
    The lich template gives +2 to all mental ability scores; not sure where you're getting the 20/14 from - if it's from an example lich from a monster manual then bear in mind that most NPC liches are wizards and would have put their best ability score into intelligence, while Xykon is a sorcerer and uses charisma as his primary casting stat. Xykon specifically would also have further mental ability boosts from his age category prior to lichdom, but even that pretty formidable +5 doesn't guarantee his intelligence or wisdom would be that high.
    Hard agree. The 20 intelligence comes as a result of the default lich being a wizard, not as a result of the lichdom template.

    Xykon strikes me as having 10-12 Intelligence. He was pretty stupid as a kid, with maybe a 6-7 Int, and even as a venerable old man, with the +3 Int bonus he would have received from aging, his intellect is not particularly impressive. Lichdom makes him smarter - he is no longer what you would call "stupid" or even below-average - but his intelligence is still not notably impressive.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Xykon's phylactery... do we know 100% where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanick View Post
    Hard agree. The 20 intelligence comes as a result of the default lich being a wizard, not as a result of the lichdom template.

    Xykon strikes me as having 10-12 Intelligence. He was pretty stupid as a kid, with maybe a 6-7 Int, and even as a venerable old man, with the +3 Int bonus he would have received from aging, his intellect is not particularly impressive. Lichdom makes him smarter - he is no longer what you would call "stupid" or even below-average - but his intelligence is still not notably impressive.
    Not to mention a paper score is no guarantee of using it.

    Both Elan and the MitD are much smarter (on paper) than they act for most of the comic. Elan likes to play goofy but when he really digs in he seems capable, though not wizard level brilliance. Not that most wizards in comic really seem to be earning their assumed base 18 I either IMO. Similarly O'Chul manages to coax out surprising abilities in the MitD, you aren't just a dumb monster if you can learn to play go.

    There's really no contradiction between having a good score and not really using it. Xykon isn't as dumb as he looks or acts for dure, but he's no mastermind either. He is definitely nto the patient plotter type. Xykon blasts everything in his path, because it's worked well so far. Only occasionally does he have to stoop to actually thinking.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2020-09-29 at 06:25 AM.

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