Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 77

Thread: TPK Time?

  1. - Top - End - #31
    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psepha View Post
    I can understand the idea of a TPK being a "rite of passage", but one of the key things is who it's a rite of passage for.

    I'd argue that it could be considered that for the players, but not for the characters themselves.
    while I mostly agree, for the characters it is a part of the rite of passage into the afterlife ... or into legends and lore ... bardic tales of tragedy or comedy ...
    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

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Personally, and to each their own, but personally, I would have much rather that Durkon do his thing /during/ the battle, at a climactic moment, without

    *Roy putting all his team mates to sleep with his sword
    *every single save made by the PCs failing
    *Durkula actually handling Durkon at speed of thought instead of constantly skipping his turn
    *Belkar coming back from KO without a heal
    *Belkar then soloing all the other vampires when Roy couldn't

    I get that Durkon needed to do his thing at a pivotal moment, but I don't think that incapacitating the whole party was needed for this nor made it better. Everything felt way more contrived than it usually is.
    Attention LotR fans
    Spoiler: LotR
    Show
    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Everything felt way more contrived than it usually is.
    I don't know.
    Here (panel 1) not-Durkon is set to be destroyed in a round, Belkar is down, Roy is down, Haley is stunned, Vaarsuvius is grappled so effectively incapacitated.

    And the only thing that saved them was 'the DM' delivering an NPC (and cover) at exactly the right round.

    You could also nitpick the first battle with Xykon, where Redcloak and The Monster in the Darkness both leave when between them they likely had the power to finish the order then and there (and save the gate), and that is ignoring Roy successfully grappling and throwing Xykon after making an unarmed strike to take his head off.

    Of course since this is a story not a game these things are to be expected - and in that context I think all the above seem to work well enough.
    Last edited by dancrilis; 2020-11-23 at 03:57 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Yanisa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Personally, and to each their own, but personally, I would have much rather that Durkon do his thing /during/ the battle, at a climactic moment, without

    I get that Durkon needed to do his thing at a pivotal moment, but I don't think that incapacitating the whole party was needed for this nor made it better. Everything felt way more contrived than it usually is.
    I can't take away all your grievances, but let me try to add some D&D rules to give some context. To a hardcore nerd as myself scenes like this just really click. And list also really click with me, so I just needed to counter-list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    *Roy putting all his team mates to sleep with his sword
    I saw that as non lethal damage, and Roy should have enough attack to take the -4 to hit and still be able to hit Haley. And his damage is high enough to knock them down in one or two hits.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    *every single save made by the PCs failing
    In general the vampires seem to have high DCs. We don't see them fail often.
    Besides, it's a will save and Belkar has no will save to speak off, Haley is pretty low and Elan is decent. Only Hylga's is the outlier, she probably had like a 5-10% chance of failure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    *Belkar coming back from KO without a heal
    My favorite theory is that Belkar went in rage from the pain. That would give him temporary hit points.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    *Belkar then soloing all the other vampires when Roy couldn't
    Most vampires are killed, even Roy managed to kill one when most of the team was dominated.
    Belkar killed 1 additional vampire, that maybe was still injured (unsure if drinking blood heals vampires), and clearly was unware of him (Flat footed), when he was also in rage. The second one fled (a character flaw of that vampire). The third one was Durkon, who scarified himself.

    I still give you that scenes like these contrived, you won't probably see them in any real D&D game. But for me it could happen in a game, and that's what I like about Richard's writing.
    Proudly addicted to pointing out where exactly rules can be found.

    Avatar by Akrim.elf
    ___

    What effects allow a saving throw?
    List of almost all 3.5 skills.
    ..

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    I can't take away all your grievances, but let me try to add some D&D rules to give some context. To a hardcore nerd as myself scenes like this just really click. And list also really click with me, so I just needed to counter-list.


    I saw that as non lethal damage, and Roy should have enough attack to take the -4 to hit and still be able to hit Haley. And his damage is high enough to knock them down in one or two hits.

    In general the vampires seem to have high DCs. We don't see them fail often.
    Besides, it's a will save and Belkar has no will save to speak off, Haley is pretty low and Elan is decent. Only Hylga's is the outlier, she probably had like a 5-10% chance of failure.

    My favorite theory is that Belkar went in rage from the pain. That would give him temporary hit points.

    Most vampires are killed, even Roy managed to kill one when most of the team was dominated.
    Belkar killed 1 additional vampire, that maybe was still injured (unsure if drinking blood heals vampires), and clearly was unware of him (Flat footed), when he was also in rage. The second one fled (a character flaw of that vampire). The third one was Durkon, who scarified himself.

    I still give you that scenes like these contrived, you won't probably see them in any real D&D game. But for me it could happen in a game, and that's what I like about Richard's writing.
    I think how Belkar killed those is A. Crit on the first (as shown in the narrative by a straight-up beheading), B. Successful Intimidate check on the second, and, of course, Durkon pretty much giftwrapped himself.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Personally, and to each their own, but personally, I would have much rather that Durkon do his thing /during/ the battle, at a climactic moment, without

    *Roy putting all his team mates to sleep with his sword
    *every single save made by the PCs failing
    *Durkula actually handling Durkon at speed of thought instead of constantly skipping his turn
    *Belkar coming back from KO without a heal
    *Belkar then soloing all the other vampires when Roy couldn't

    I get that Durkon needed to do his thing at a pivotal moment, but I don't think that incapacitating the whole party was needed for this nor made it better. Everything felt way more contrived than it usually is.
    I'm willing to set that aside, as it's not the "deus ex machina" type of contrivance that will disrupt a story. All the elements of that scene were introduced or foreshadowed beforehand - vampiric mind control, Hilgya's firestorm, Belkar's broach, Durkon's memory games - none of it suddenly came out of nowhere. I suppose the only new thing is Roy's ability to KO people - which isn't particularly a shock. Hilgya losing her will save was surprising - but not impossible.

    Yes, the scenario was designed to build dramatic tension to its height - but that is kind of the purpose of a story. All fiction, by definition, involves some contrivance, and generally the most entertaining stories are not reflective of the mean experience of reality.

    Also, I would point out that Rich has said that while this world is structured on D&D rules, it's not intended to reflect a D&D gaming session. It doesn't always stick to the rules.

    Also, if we're gonna complain about contrivance when discussing a battle with vampires, a fictional species of magically-puppeted walking dead that drinks blood and can't take a suntan - well, our disbelief is already well-suspended.

    I could argue from the other side how massively contrived D&D vampires are anyway. There was a guy in my middle school D&D group whose character was a vampire half-dragon mage who had amazing magical powers, could not be killed, and commanded an army of mind-controlled slaves from his doom fortress, and every time his character faced any sort of threat, he would reveal yet another goddamn vampire power or trait from some monster manual that made him invincible to it. Playing D&D with him quickly became very, very dull.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I don't know.
    Here (panel 1) not-Durkon is set to be destroyed in a round, Belkar is down, Roy is down, Haley is stunned, Vaarsuvius is grappled so effectively incapacitated.

    And the only thing that saved them was 'the DM' delivering an NPC (and cover) at exactly the right round.

    You could also nitpick the first battle with Xykon, where Redcloak and The Monster in the Darkness both leave when between them they likely had the power to finish the order then and there (and save the gate), and that is ignoring Roy successfully grappling and throwing Xykon after making an unarmed strike to take his head off.

    Of course since this is a story not a game these things are to be expected - and in that context I think all the above seem to work well enough.
    That battle didn't really bother me, because the Legion was set up to be a formidable opponent. Durkula, not so much. He's a single cleric of at most the same level as the party, and all of his mooks are way, way weaker, and the Order for once had proper time and intent to prepare. Though it wouldn't have been as dramatic, I would have expected the Order to wipe out the vampires without much difficulty, as things were set up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    I can't take away all your grievances, but let me try to add some D&D rules to give some context. To a hardcore nerd as myself scenes like this just really click. And list also really click with me, so I just needed to counter-list.


    I saw that as non lethal damage, and Roy should have enough attack to take the -4 to hit and still be able to hit Haley. And his damage is high enough to knock them down in one or two hits.

    In general the vampires seem to have high DCs. We don't see them fail often.
    Besides, it's a will save and Belkar has no will save to speak off, Haley is pretty low and Elan is decent. Only Hylga's is the outlier, she probably had like a 5-10% chance of failure.

    My favorite theory is that Belkar went in rage from the pain. That would give him temporary hit points.

    Most vampires are killed, even Roy managed to kill one when most of the team was dominated.
    Belkar killed 1 additional vampire, that maybe was still injured (unsure if drinking blood heals vampires), and clearly was unware of him (Flat footed), when he was also in rage. The second one fled (a character flaw of that vampire). The third one was Durkon, who scarified himself.

    I still give you that scenes like these contrived, you won't probably see them in any real D&D game. But for me it could happen in a game, and that's what I like about Richard's writing.
    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I think how Belkar killed those is A. Crit on the first (as shown in the narrative by a straight-up beheading), B. Successful Intimidate check on the second, and, of course, Durkon pretty much giftwrapped himself.
    I'm familiar with D&D rules. The DC on the dominate would have been around what, 17? I'd have expected at this level for classes with weak will saves to still have around +8 total. Like, why is Roy always resisting, even with a good wisdom score he still has a bad will save progression. Belkar, even with a negative wisdom modifier, would probably be able to get a better will save than he does, or at least pretty comparable, and yet Belkar always fails. Hylgia should have passed that save on a 2, and yet she fails. Haley and Elan wouldn't have been guaranteed to make the save, but still have a decent chance of making it.

    And yet, only Roy ever saves, everyone else always fails. And when ordered to attack their team mates, they should have gotten a new save, with a +2, and yet nobody ever breaks the enchantment.

    Similarly, dispel magic requires a check, and most of these casters should be pretty low level, yet no buffs remain at the end. Plus I only see 5 casters do dispel, and they had more than 5 buffs on. So it couldn't have been an area dispel, as the limit is 1 spell per target in the area, and if targetted then it needed for each dispeller to succeed on each of his dispel checks.

    On top of the bad guys making every single save, and the good guys failing every single save... then you've got all the horrible tactical decisions, like Roy wasting time breaking Haley's bow, Minrah... honestly I'm not even sure, is that an attack of opportunity she provoked from Belkar when trying to heal V? Why not just heal from a bit further. Or use a Mass heal spell, those have reach.

    And then the order always seems to roll minimum when convenient, and maximum when likewise convenient. Sure, I know about nonlethal (or subdual) damage. But he still knocks off Belkar way too easily, despite Belkar probably having quite a bit of HP.

    Quote Originally Posted by skim172 View Post
    I'm willing to set that aside, as it's not the "deus ex machina" type of contrivance that will disrupt a story. All the elements of that scene were introduced or foreshadowed beforehand - vampiric mind control, Hilgya's firestorm, Belkar's broach, Durkon's memory games - none of it suddenly came out of nowhere. I suppose the only new thing is Roy's ability to KO people - which isn't particularly a shock. Hilgya losing her will save was surprising - but not impossible.

    Yes, the scenario was designed to build dramatic tension to its height - but that is kind of the purpose of a story. All fiction, by definition, involves some contrivance, and generally the most entertaining stories are not reflective of the mean experience of reality.

    Also, I would point out that Rich has said that while this world is structured on D&D rules, it's not intended to reflect a D&D gaming session. It doesn't always stick to the rules.

    Also, if we're gonna complain about contrivance when discussing a battle with vampires, a fictional species of magically-puppeted walking dead that drinks blood and can't take a suntan - well, our disbelief is already well-suspended.

    I could argue from the other side how massively contrived D&D vampires are anyway. There was a guy in my middle school D&D group whose character was a vampire half-dragon mage who had amazing magical powers, could not be killed, and commanded an army of mind-controlled slaves from his doom fortress, and every time his character faced any sort of threat, he would reveal yet another goddamn vampire power or trait from some monster manual that made him invincible to it. Playing D&D with him quickly became very, very dull.
    I recognize the setup. It certainly could have been way worse. I just feel like the execution could also have been better, and not rely on all rolls being nat 1s or nat 20s depending on what makes it more dramatic.
    Attention LotR fans
    Spoiler: LotR
    Show
    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Issues with the previous TPK(nockout) aside, where do we go from here?

    The party is unprepared for the ultimate battle and they have boxed themselves into a dungeon with only one exit, where they face two, possibly three foes, (if MitD shows up,) any one of whom could defeat the party on a good day.

    It is far too early in the book for Xykon to loose, unless he's been the McGuffin all along, (contrary to Mr.Burlews statements on the subject.)

    So, the party can force Xykon to retreat, possibly opening up an opportunity to visit the Astral Fortress, or the party can lose, with nowhere to hide.

    This leaves intervention by Green and the paladins. Green seems like the kind to watch things unfold rather than directly interfere, so I assume her help will come after the fact.

    Also, Xykon's thing with coffee forshadows Belkar's inability to savor his next birthday cake.
    (that last bit is a joke, just in case you didn't know)

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Issues with the previous TPK(nockout) aside, where do we go from here?

    The party is unprepared for the ultimate battle and they have boxed themselves into a dungeon with only one exit, where they face two, possibly three foes, (if MitD shows up,) any one of whom could defeat the party on a good day.

    It is far too early in the book for Xykon to loose, unless he's been the McGuffin all along, (contrary to Mr.Burlews statements on the subject.)

    So, the party can force Xykon to retreat, possibly opening up an opportunity to visit the Astral Fortress, or the party can lose, with nowhere to hide.
    Except not really. You seem to think that Xykon will catch up with the Order here and now, no matter what, which is not a given, and in fact quite unlikely. The Order ran into a dungeon and went out of their way to erase their trails precisely because they intend not to fight Team Evil at this point.

    Green seems like the kind to watch things unfold rather than directly interfere, so I assume her help will come after the fact.
    We have only seen heard Green once thus far, and all Green did was to directly interfere with what was happening at that point. (Also, since when do we know Green is a she?)
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2020-11-24 at 11:28 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Issues with the previous TPK(nockout) aside, where do we go from here?

    The party is unprepared for the ultimate battle and they have boxed themselves into a dungeon with only one exit, where they face two, possibly three foes, (if MitD shows up,) any one of whom could defeat the party on a good day.

    It is far too early in the book for Xykon to loose, unless he's been the McGuffin all along, (contrary to Mr.Burlews statements on the subject.)

    So, the party can force Xykon to retreat, possibly opening up an opportunity to visit the Astral Fortress, or the party can lose, with nowhere to hide.

    This leaves intervention by Green and the paladins. Green seems like the kind to watch things unfold rather than directly interfere, so I assume her help will come after the fact.

    Also, Xykon's thing with coffee forshadows Belkar's inability to savor his next birthday cake.
    (that last bit is a joke, just in case you didn't know)
    I don't follow. Xykon can maybe take on the order solo, maybe. MitD can maybe do it, too. Redcloak can't. Oona presumably can't, though for all we know she's a level 64 character. Grewview presumably can't, but again, we don't know much about his strength and what perks he'd get from a level 64 master. So who are the two you are refering to, excluding MitD?

    The dungeon could have loops. It's entirely possible to lure Team Evil into the right dungeon, and then still escape without a battle. The only way Team Evil can block an escape is to camp the exit.

    So yea, escape without a battle is entirely a possibility.

    Then there's battle, and there's no reason that needs to be conclusive. Durkon and Minrah escaped Xykon once, they could perhaps do it again. Escape following battle is another possibility.

    Defeat and capture is another alternative to defeat and death.

    Party splitting where some are defeated and others escape is another possibility. V is protected while in the IFCC's charge, so that's another venue.

    There's also victory, albeit presumably partial. I don't expect Xykon to die now, though who knows. His death would force the resolution of all the questions around the phylactery con. Though Team Evil is stronger, they might have depleted resources on a door earlier, they did deplete some resources on the dwarves, they might be forced to deplete resources on the door they just entered, and finally, the trap that Haley is bypassing might be the mechanism that renews monsters inside so they might again be faced with epic or near-epic challenges. Team Evil has been defeated plenty of times before, they could be once again.
    Attention LotR fans
    Spoiler: LotR
    Show
    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Kish's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I think how Belkar killed those is A. Crit on the first (as shown in the narrative by a straight-up beheading),
    Not at all to support Goblin_Priest's complaints here, but vampires are immune to crits.
    Spoiler
    Show
    "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.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ruck's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    I saw that as non lethal damage, and Roy should have enough attack to take the -4 to hit and still be able to hit Haley. And his damage is high enough to knock them down in one or two hits.
    I'm not a D&D rules stickler or even someone who could be considered knowledgeable, but this is what I assumed too.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    That battle didn't really bother me, because the Legion was set up to be a formidable opponent. Durkula, not so much. He's a single cleric of at most the same level as the party, and all of his mooks are way, way weaker, and the Order for once had proper time and intent to prepare. Though it wouldn't have been as dramatic, I would have expected the Order to wipe out the vampires without much difficulty, as things were set up.





    I'm familiar with D&D rules. The DC on the dominate would have been around what, 17? I'd have expected at this level for classes with weak will saves to still have around +8 total. Like, why is Roy always resisting, even with a good wisdom score he still has a bad will save progression. Belkar, even with a negative wisdom modifier, would probably be able to get a better will save than he does, or at least pretty comparable, and yet Belkar always fails. Hylgia should have passed that save on a 2, and yet she fails. Haley and Elan wouldn't have been guaranteed to make the save, but still have a decent chance of making it.

    And yet, only Roy ever saves, everyone else always fails. And when ordered to attack their team mates, they should have gotten a new save, with a +2, and yet nobody ever breaks the enchantment.

    Similarly, dispel magic requires a check, and most of these casters should be pretty low level, yet no buffs remain at the end. Plus I only see 5 casters do dispel, and they had more than 5 buffs on. So it couldn't have been an area dispel, as the limit is 1 spell per target in the area, and if targetted then it needed for each dispeller to succeed on each of his dispel checks.

    On top of the bad guys making every single save, and the good guys failing every single save... then you've got all the horrible tactical decisions, like Roy wasting time breaking Haley's bow, Minrah... honestly I'm not even sure, is that an attack of opportunity she provoked from Belkar when trying to heal V? Why not just heal from a bit further. Or use a Mass heal spell, those have reach.

    And then the order always seems to roll minimum when convenient, and maximum when likewise convenient. Sure, I know about nonlethal (or subdual) damage. But he still knocks off Belkar way too easily, despite Belkar probably having quite a bit of HP.



    I recognize the setup. It certainly could have been way worse. I just feel like the execution could also have been better, and not rely on all rolls being nat 1s or nat 20s depending on what makes it more dramatic.
    Yes, that is how stories work. There are no die rolls here: It happens based on what it makes for a better story. Most stories do not adhere to strict rules of probability.
    Last edited by woweedd; 2020-11-26 at 02:44 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ruck's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    Yes, that is how stories work. There are no die rolls here: It happens based on what it makes for a better story. Most stories do not adhere to strict rules of probability.
    To follow up-- what makes for the better story still must be plausible, but it doesn't have to be the most likely outcome, or even a foreseeable one. (Aside, I have been impressed with how often The Giant has come up with storytelling turns that make sense but I still didn't foresee, especially the longer the story has gone on.)

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    To follow up-- what makes for the better story still must be plausible, but it doesn't have to be the most likely outcome, or even a foreseeable one. (Aside, I have been impressed with how often The Giant has come up with storytelling turns that make sense but I still didn't foresee, especially the longer the story has gone on.)
    Indeed. A predictable story would be boring. But there's a huge difference between predictable and plausible.

    And going from "the whole Order is down and all the vampires reign supreme, with all of their important assets intact" to "one beat up order of the Order wakes up and suddenly kills all the vampires solo"... strains plausibility. In 3.5, undead are immune to critical hits and sneak attack. Not only does she appear to have healed while Roy was fighting the others of the Order (no more damage marks and, seriously, she had plenty of rounds), but she also drained blood after leaving the antilife shell, which would have given her a ton of temporary HP. There's zero reason she should be one-shoted by Belkar. We've even seen her tank a hit from Roy without much issue.

    And I just don't see what it brings to the story to have the whole party defeated at that point. They finally had preparation, and there was zero pay-off, so it kinda nulled their growth as a team. And the reversal was both inexplicable by game mechanics and came out of the blue, a deus ex machina.

    I just think the story would have been better served by having the order struggle, and perhaps do a few mistakes, but not an actual TPK, with Durkon overtaking Durkula during the actual fight, or just fooling him into making a critical mistake. You know, show us how they've matured as a team (albeit less than the point they are at now), and have the fight play out in a more organic and plausible manner, than just "oh yea, every save the order makes fails, every dispell check the bad guys make succeed".
    Attention LotR fans
    Spoiler: LotR
    Show
    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    We have spent a lot of time discussing what happened last book, but I had hoped to discuss what is coming next.

    Unless G+O intervene it looks bad for the home team. If you don't think a TPK is about to happen, please explain why or offer better solutions to the current crisis. I don't see Xykon saying, "Well, they're gone. Let's go for coffee and donuts."

    I do expect Green to intervene, but only after the party fails. The shape of that failure could be other than a TPK, but a TPK at this time would allow Team Evil to go back to business as usual while the Order learns, grows, and prepares for the next fight at the end of the book.

    And anything short of a TPK leaves Team Evil hunting for them.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2020-11-26 at 09:28 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    We have spent a lot of time discussing what happened last book, but I had hoped to discuss what is coming next.

    Unless G+O intervene it looks bad for the home team. If you don't think a TPK is about to happen, please explain why or offer better solutions to the current crisis. I don't see Xykon saying, "Well, they're gone. Let's go for coffee and donuts."

    I do expect Green to intervene, but only after the party fails. The shape of that failure could be other than a TPK, but a TPK at this time would allow Team Evil to go back to business as usual while the Order learns, grows, and prepares for the next fight at the end of the book.

    And anything short of a TPK leaves Team Evil hunting for them.
    Again, X. looking for the Order and X. finding the Order are two vastly different things. Running into the Voices or the Mystery Ally could easily propel the plot forward without anyone dying. (Also, the Order cannot learn, grow or prepare much while dead, and losing a level will not do good service to any of them, least of all to Durkon.)

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Like, why is Roy always resisting, even with a good wisdom score he still has a bad will save progression. Belkar, even with a negative wisdom modifier, would probably be able to get a better will save than he does, or at least pretty comparable, and yet Belkar always fails.
    Just nitpicking about this point in particular - Belkar's will save progression is worse than Roy's, since he's a multiclass character and all of his classes have bad will progression. (Ranger has good fortitude/reflex, barbarian only has good fortitude). The absolute best-case scenario for Belkar is that every single one of his classes has a total level divisible by three, which would make his base will save exactly the same as a single-classed character with bad will save progression. Rage can give Belkar a +2 bonus which will still likely leave him behind Roy due to the difference in ability score modifiers (and also doesn't stack with any bonus that Elan might apply with Inspire Courage or Inspire Heroics.

    Roy does save more often than he probably ought to if it were a matter of simple statistics, but even in a scenario where that was the rule, he ought to be doing so more frequently than Belkar.
    Last edited by Gurgeh; 2020-11-26 at 11:01 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurgeh View Post
    Just nitpicking about this point in particular - Belkar's will save progression is worse than Roy's, since he's a multiclass character and all of his classes have bad will progression. (Ranger has good fortitude/reflex, barbarian only has good fortitude). The absolute best-case scenario for Belkar is that every single one of his classes has a total level divisible by three, which would make his base will save exactly the same as a single-classed character with bad will save progression. Rage can give Belkar a +2 bonus which will still likely leave him behind Roy due to the difference in ability score modifiers (and also doesn't stack with any bonus that Elan might apply with Inspire Courage or Inspire Heroics.

    Roy does save more often than he probably ought to if it were a matter of simple statistics, but even in a scenario where that was the rule, he ought to be doing so more frequently than Belkar.
    Huh, when I looked up ranger, I thought I saw good will save progression. Guess you are right on that, and that Belkar probably has the worst will save of them all.

    But it remains that Roy is the only character who ever resists and shrugs off domination, even when there are clearly other characters with better will saves and many others with close enough will saves.
    Attention LotR fans
    Spoiler: LotR
    Show
    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    While I guess that scene was a bit contrived fight wise, I thought it was really cool that despite being able to go through memories at the speed of thought he was still paralyzed by that moment. Because it doesn't matter how much he went over that memory, he would still lack any sort of living experience to properly deal with that, the only way to really come to terms with it he had to experience every single memory Durkon had it since. The fact that he actually stopped for several rounds, made me think that he was just playing that memory on loop just constantly, to a degree where even in relative time he couldn't shake off the traumatic shock of it all.
    Last edited by ebarde; 2020-11-26 at 03:09 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    We have spent a lot of time discussing what happened last book, but I had hoped to discuss what is coming next.

    Unless G+O intervene it looks bad for the home team. If you don't think a TPK is about to happen, please explain why or offer better solutions to the current crisis. I don't see Xykon saying, "Well, they're gone. Let's go for coffee and donuts."

    I do expect Green to intervene, but only after the party fails. The shape of that failure could be other than a TPK, but a TPK at this time would allow Team Evil to go back to business as usual while the Order learns, grows, and prepares for the next fight at the end of the book.

    And anything short of a TPK leaves Team Evil hunting for them.
    How are we supposed to tell you what's going to happen? We don't know what's going to happen, that's why we're still reading the story. Your claim is that it "has" to end in a TPK and it's on you to prove it. People don't need to present alternate predictions to refute it.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    I mean, even if Xykon cares enough to chase them down, all we get is that classical Scooby Doo scene with them chasing each other through various doors lol it ends with Xykon running into himself

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RatElemental's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Huh, when I looked up ranger, I thought I saw good will save progression. Guess you are right on that, and that Belkar probably has the worst will save of them all.

    But it remains that Roy is the only character who ever resists and shrugs off domination, even when there are clearly other characters with better will saves and many others with close enough will saves.
    Roy's a human fighter, so he's got feats to spare too. I wouldn't be surprised if he picked up iron will, steadfast determination or that ACF that lets fighters trade a bonus feat for the ability to apply their BAB to will saves.
    Last edited by RatElemental; 2020-11-26 at 03:41 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Kish's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Huh, when I looked up ranger, I thought I saw good will save progression. Guess you are right on that, and that Belkar probably has the worst will save of them all.

    But it remains that Roy is the only character who ever resists and shrugs off domination, even when there are clearly other characters with better will saves and many others with close enough will saves.
    Neither Durkon nor Vaarsuvius has ever been mind-controlled. So...who are these Clearly Other Characters?
    Spoiler
    Show
    "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.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Also, we remember that V and Roy had Mind Blank right? From what I recall, dispel tries to dispel the highest rank spell first, then if it fails the second highest etc till it is successful. Elan, Haley, Hilgya and Belkar (and presumably Kudzu) had Protection from Law from a wand. Wands have the lowest possible caster level for the spell they hold.
    So the vampires dispel-spammed, but none of them were high enough to hit the Mind Blanks, but still hit the Prot. Vs Law (as well as the spawn protections). Other buff spells we don't know if they were dispelled or not; Haley could've easily gotten enough damage with sneak attacks to beat Stoneskin.

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    We have spent a lot of time discussing what happened last book, but I had hoped to discuss what is coming next.

    Unless G+O intervene it looks bad for the home team. If you don't think a TPK is about to happen, please explain why or offer better solutions to the current crisis. I don't see Xykon saying, "Well, they're gone. Let's go for coffee and donuts."

    I do expect Green to intervene, but only after the party fails. The shape of that failure could be other than a TPK, but a TPK at this time would allow Team Evil to go back to business as usual while the Order learns, grows, and prepares for the next fight at the end of the book.

    And anything short of a TPK leaves Team Evil hunting for them.
    I doubt a TPK is incoming. As Elan points out, it doesn't feel like a moment for a climactic battle. And if it were setting up a false climax that would lead to a major moment of loss from which the party must recover, then I think the Giant would at least try to make it feel climactic, so it would feel all the more shocking to the reader when the party is defeated.


    As for what saves them, I would assume it has something to do with this trap. I feel it's notable that the dialogue specifically states that the trap will be disabled to allow the Order through, but will reactivate before Team Evil arrives.

    My bet would be that the trap activates some sort of teleportation or dimensional portal or magic-thingamob so the corridor will lead to somewhere else if you trip the trap. Perhaps it randomizes the linked destination, so the same door will lead to a different place each time you go through, so the systematic approach is entirely useless. Or maybe it leads to a whole other location entirely, far away from the Gate.

    Obviously, it wouldn't work on every group of intruders, if they happened to have a rogue with them - but it'd be a helluva first-line defense mechanism that could utterly stymie any attempts to get at the Gate without the intruders even being aware of the deception.

    In any case, the Order and Team Evil will end up in different locations, and the story will advance from there.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ebarde View Post
    While I guess that scene was a bit contrived fight wise, I thought it was really cool that despite being able to go through memories at the speed of thought he was still paralyzed by that moment. Because it doesn't matter how much he went over that memory, he would still lack any sort of living experience to properly deal with that, the only way to really come to terms with it he had to experience every single memory Durkon had it since. The fact that he actually stopped for several rounds, made me think that he was just playing that memory on loop just constantly, to a degree where even in relative time he couldn't shake off the traumatic shock of it all.
    We don't see any evidence of him ever looping memories, though, and every depiction of the memory thing states it works at the speed of thought and is unable to distract him. In fact, I think it was stated pretty clearly that this memory was going to be played in one run, without pauses or skips, and every panel about it seems to suggest it to be so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Neither Durkon nor Vaarsuvius has ever been mind-controlled. So...who are these Clearly Other Characters?
    We don't see them fail, true, we don't see them succeed either. Belkar fails in this fight, he also fails at the pyramid, and fails every time on the Mechane, that we could see. Haley failed. Elan failed. Most egregious of all, Hylgia failed. And presumably failed twice, even with a bonus, by handing her baby over as meatshield. Whereas Roy broke it off in the fight at the Godsmoot because... Durkula was being hyperbolic?
    Attention LotR fans
    Spoiler: LotR
    Show
    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    and every depiction of the memory thing states it works at the speed of thought and is unable to distract him
    I could see argument that some of that was Durkula being overly sure of himself. I've certainly had a memory pop up "at the speed of thought", but then get utterly distracted by it for the next several minutes or whatever. I'd also argue that "speed of thought" is inherently variable - An idea or memory popping up is a different timescale (more or less instant) than then mulling over the idea or memory (effectively real time).


    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Most egregious of all, Hylgia failed. And presumably failed twice, even with a bonus, by handing her baby over as meatshield.
    Might depend on how the command was formatted. She clearly didn't have a real problem letting Durkon hold the baby later, so "The baby's father would like to hold him" could have been effective and not trigger a save.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    One memory did make him confused though, which showed he could very well be affected by them. Difference is that none of the memories he saw before that point had enough context or emotional weight to be traumatic, just because he can experience a memory in a very short period of time doesn't mean that he can proccess and cope with it any faster. Especially if he doesn't have much emotional intelligence to rely on.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: TPK Time?

    @Morty:
    Sorry, I missed your post behind the other, more important discussion.

    I don't think a TPK is the only, or even the probable direction the comic is headed. I think that this is a thematically and dramatically good time for it. There are allies and potential allies on hand to reset the clock, so to speak, and a TPK will allow Team Evil to go back to business as usual rather than to devote time and resources to hunting down the missing dwarves.

    Having reread my post, it does appear, if one has missed or forgotten my OP, that I posed it as the only option. My apologies. My intent was to make it clear that I am not interested in discussing the event from the previous book, but would like to discuss the current situation.

    For example, it never occurred to me that bypassing the trap might take the party to a different destination. This is an awesome possible outcome.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •