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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    You seem to have some very odd opinions about how this comic is produced. For reference, it's not a television show.
    I, uh....I assumed that was a JOKE.

    But, either way, as to the OP's question...Nah. Animal companions have a long, proud history of serving as consciences. Jimmy Cricket is obvious, but, in this very comic, Mr. Scruffy arguably counts: He doesn't advise Belkar, due to being mute and all, but he does still basically serve as the one living creature other then himself that Belkar cares about, and, in caring about him, Belkar has been slowly easing into caring about other people. While V does technically have a closer relationship with Haley then the rest of the Order, that's a relative term. While it would have been nice to have that idea expxanded on a bit more when it first came up, it doesn't really make sense with how the characters evolved.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Well Iím going to ignore that question and talk about something related.

    I really hope that we see and learn more about V and Haleyís friendship at some point before the end. This relationship is implied to be significant and important quite a few times, but itís never really be explored much.

    V repeatedly expressed how much she valued Haley and is apparently very attached based on how out of her mind she is trying to track Haley down when they are separated. In contrast, I donít recall Haley ever expressing more than what would be typical for a very casual friendship or even acquaintance to V. She obviously constantly demonstrates her affection for Elan, but she also seems to be closer to and more open with Roy compared to V. I donít really remember Haley seeming to feel more strongly towards V than she does for Durkon. They donít seem to have much time interacting and they donít seem to act closer than the rest of the order.

    This raises a lot of questions. Is it just that we havenít seen them acting closer and friendlier, and if so why not and what is their interaction like when they are more open with each other? Why does V value Haley so highly? Is the relationship as asymmetrical as it seems and if so, why is V so openly attached and does Haley know quite how attached V is and how do they feel about it? Why hasnít Haley noticed how withdrawn V has been? Or do they notice but not care? I really hope we learn more since their whole dynamic is very odd and doesnít get as much time and other intra-order relationships, and there are just so many implied questions.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I also think it's pretty insulting to Rich to work from an assumption that he is developing characters solely to be marketed as toys rather than to tell the story he wants to tell in the best way he can.
    That it is. (Though it might have either been a joke, or, a very well camoflaged zing aimed at another web comic, PvP - Kurtz was selling plushies for Skull the Troll, for example, years ago).
    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    ... Blackwings jokes tend to fall flat for me most times, especially when there was a whole page dedicated to him trying and failing to free Belkar from the vampire gaze (a page that could be edited out with no repercussions to the rest of the story)...
    On the other hand, the Terminator Belkar look was for me quite enjoyable. But I am with you - Blackwing's attempts at jokes usually fall flat for me. About the best line from Blackwing is when it's flying along with Bloodfeast and says something like "I love your work"

    As to people comparing OoTS to a TV show: some of the jokes are set up and delivered as they would be in a sitcom. (Along the lines of "we work the humor from the 'this is awkward' frame of reference").
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-01-20 at 08:54 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    From the practical standpoint, yeah.
    Since OotS is a commercial project, and the author's livelihood is on stake on those, some form of merchandising is necessary. Come on.

    Animal companions make great mascots. But besides and above that Blackwing is a perfectly justified, organic character. It's a wizards familiar in a D&D webcomic.

    So it's not very smart. Sure, it's a bird.

    Idk, it is funny to me, but I am not expecting a lot from a bird who is a class feature and not a main character to begin with.

    Would an alternate timeline where V doesn't get a familiar a-la-Raistlin and Hailey and V are close enough for her(?) to confide the Familicide thing somehow be cool? idk, probably. But this series is not over yet so there might be still some reasons why Blackwing and Roy know, and the rest of the Order do not.

    Since someone mentioned Sherlock and Watson, I'd say the dynamic is very much like the recent BBC Sherlock adaptation where Sherlock kinda mocks Watson's intellect a lot...

    Also, strictly speaking Mr. Scruffy is only functionally mute. He can speak Cat like the Starmetal Cave Young Dragon could speak Lizard. If somebody uses "Speak with Animals" (or Tongues?) on it they should be able to communicate. Oh, the many things it could reveal to us, oh yes.
    (Is this the real reason Belkar killed that gnome, Solt Lorkyurg? Did Mr. Scruffy talk to any of the gnomes in Tinkertown?)

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    As others said, I don't think Haley and Vaarsuvius are actually that close, so it makes sense that he didn't take the initiative to confide her the matter regarding the Familicide. I also don't think it would have worked too well, because then Haley would have to keep that a secret from her boyfriend and her party leader, in direct opposition to her character development that leads to her learning to be more honest and open with others. In the end, relying on Blackwing was probably the smartest and safest choice for Rich.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalFailure View Post
    Well Iím going to ignore that question and talk about something related.

    I really hope that we see and learn more about V and Haleyís friendship at some point before the end. This relationship is implied to be significant and important quite a few times, but itís never really be explored much.

    V repeatedly expressed how much she valued Haley and is apparently very attached based on how out of her mind she is trying to track Haley down when they are separated. In contrast, I donít recall Haley ever expressing more than what would be typical for a very casual friendship or even acquaintance to V. She obviously constantly demonstrates her affection for Elan, but she also seems to be closer to and more open with Roy compared to V. I donít really remember Haley seeming to feel more strongly towards V than she does for Durkon. They donít seem to have much time interacting and they donít seem to act closer than the rest of the order.

    This raises a lot of questions. Is it just that we havenít seen them acting closer and friendlier, and if so why not and what is their interaction like when they are more open with each other? Why does V value Haley so highly? Is the relationship as asymmetrical as it seems and if so, why is V so openly attached and does Haley know quite how attached V is and how do they feel about it? Why hasnít Haley noticed how withdrawn V has been? Or do they notice but not care? I really hope we learn more since their whole dynamic is very odd and doesnít get as much time and other intra-order relationships, and there are just so many implied questions.
    The simplest explanation is that Haley is the only friend V has had, so she's more important to V than V is to her.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I, uh....I assumed that was a JOKE.
    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    That it is. (Though it might have either been a joke, or, a very well camoflaged zing aimed at another web comic, PvP - Kurtz was selling plushies for Skull the Troll, for example, years ago).
    Considering the follow-up was scrubbed, I really doubt it was a joke.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    The simplest explanation is that Haley is the only friend V has had, so she's more important to V than V is to her.
    Yeah, this makes sense. We don't really know much about V and Haley's friendship or its history other than that they were friends enough to commiserate after V blew up the Iron Mage stadium.

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

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    The simplest explanation is that Haley is the only friend V has had, so she's more important to V than V is to her.
    To be fair, Haley isn't exactly swimming in friends either. Which is a little weird, given her Charisma, but I guess her background does a pretty good job of explaining that fact.
    Number of Character Appearances VII - To Absent Friends

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    My pronouns are he/his.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Well, that may be less 'friends' than 'socialization'. Haley has had a lot, with a bevy of, if not friends, then acquaintances. V was locked up in a tower until Master A chucked them out.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lex View Post
    I also don't think it would have worked too well, because then Haley would have to keep that a secret from her boyfriend and her party leader, in direct opposition to her character development that leads to her learning to be more honest and open with others. In the end, relying on Blackwing was probably the smartest and safest choice for Rich.
    Big second. The soul splice falls midway between Haley's confession to Elan, her first big step toward sorting out her trust issues, and her coming clean about her dad's imprisonment, i.e., the biggest secret she was keeping. If Haley had kept the soul splice secret but came clean about her dad, it would have seriously undermined the culmination of a major development process.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Metastachydium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shirow View Post
    So it's not very smart. Sure, it's a bird.
    [Goes into angry little flower mode.] Birdies are not dumb.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Well, that may be less 'friends' than 'socialization'. Haley has had a lot, with a bevy of, if not friends, then acquaintances. V was locked up in a tower until Master A chucked them out.
    Maybe "work friends" is the best way to categorize them? It's very true that Haley & V talked about simple stuff a lot early on, and V was fixated on finding Haley specifically throughout Don't Split the Party (though, in fairness, V's other choice was contacting Belkar, an obvious non-starter for them). But having V discuss the Soul Splice and Familicide with Blackwing instead helped to isolate V from the rest of the team, which I'm pretty sure was the desired effect. I also agree that starting Haley on a "don't keep secrets" character arc and then dumping a cosmic-horror secret on her would be a messy storytelling play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    [Goes into angry little flower mode.] Birdies are not dumb.
    I mean, crows and ravens alone are like, scary smart. Makes sense for an intellect focused wizard!

    And also Ravenclaw. How am I just putting those pieces together right now?

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    I mean, crows and ravens alone are like, scary smart. Makes sense for an intellect focused wizard!
    Yup. You can add magpies and jays to that, and it isn't even a strictly corvid thing. Egyptian vultures and some songbirds, such as nuthatches also have tricks of their own.

    And also Ravenclaw. How am I just putting those pieces together right now?
    Ö
    That fits quite well indeed, now that you mention it.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    [Goes into angry little flower mode.] Birdies are not dumb.
    Ha hah, sorry. No offense intended. Apparently they are very wise.
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/raven.htm
    Str 1, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6

    And then...
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/so....htm#familiars

    Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int
    15th-16th* +8 13
    *Since V can cast Mind Blank.

    Int 13 and Wis 14, that actually sounds pretty smart.
    I guess Blackwing's "annoyingness" comes from the Cha 6, or perhaps the Abrasive or Honest traits (pure speculation).
    Last edited by Shirow; 2021-01-22 at 04:05 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    sigh Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    The simplest explanation is that Haley is the only friend V has had, so she's more important to V than V is to her.
    ♪ You're my best friend, and I know I'm not yours and that's OK. ♪

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Schroeswald's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Is that... it is! The very first reference to Crazy Ex Girlfriend I have found in the wild. I believe that means that OOTS and CXG have the best fans if Iíve finally found one.
    Arrrgh, here be me extended sig!
    Spoiler: Read this if I've posted a theory in the post above
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    I recognize that Conservation of Detail is Overrated, but I find the event that I am using as evidence for my theory above important enough/given enough focus to qualify for what I call Elanís Exception, ďWho wastes perfectly good foreshadowing like that?Ē. Also I have never correctly predicted any event in any piece of media so take this theory with a grain of salt (I call this Peeleeís Ye Old Reminder).

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I also think it's pretty insulting to Rich to work from an assumption that he is developing characters solely to be marketed as toys rather than to tell the story he wants to tell in the best way he can.
    He did include the one joke that this is the reason Haley changes outfits every book, but that's not a whole new character.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    HalfTangible's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    One other point to note is that Blackwing was able to be with V for moments Haley wasn't. V's realization of just how many people they slaughtered with Familicide and the sudden panicked run, as an example. Also Haley probably wouldn't have known that much about V's personal life. If she did she wouldn't know it to the extent Blackwing does.

    Blackwing's role has been small, but it hasn't been superfluous or detrimental. I'm admittedly in agreement that Haley and V's friendship has been left a bit by the wayside, but that's a separate issue from Blackwing.
    It's hard to forgive those who have wronged you but every moment you don't is another they have hurt you.

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  19. - Top - End - #49
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    As someone who disparaged Blackwing earlier I should point out that his most recent punchline worked for me, as did his narrative requirements.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    This take was so bad I actually got an error message the first time I tried to view it
    The rich and powerful love to talk about justice. The right to punish those you fearÖ to kill those you hateÖ And call it execution, not murder!
    Is that really justice?
    Or it is evil?
    No one can truly draw the line between just and unjust, good and evil. What you REALLY fear is your enemyís idea of justice.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    [Goes into angry little flower mode.] Birdies are not dumb.
    You wanna test that with owls?

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Blackwing's snark in the final panel of today's page is so awesome that it conclusively debunks the myth that Blackwing was a mistake. Even if you ignore what everyone else already said in this thread.

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Value added by Blackwing aside, and I believe he's added quite a bit, it really wouldn't make sense to do it the way you're suggesting for either V or Haley.

    The whole point for V is that they're so racked by guilt they can't tell anyone what happened, even people they trust. Heck, they can't even really face it themself until forced to by the mummies. If V could have told Haley, it would undermine the enormity of their burden.

    As for Haley, her whole arc throughout the series has been learning how unhealthy it is to constantly keep secrets, and she reinforces that growth in Blood Runs in the Family. For her to turn around and keep V's secret from everyone, when it is both obviously harming V to continue bottling these things up and immediately important to the mission that everyone is on the same page runs directly against that development.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    Is that... it is! The very first reference to Crazy Ex Girlfriend I have found in the wild. I believe that means that OOTS and CXG have the best fans if Iíve finally found one.
    It's a good show.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    Is that... it is! The very first reference to Crazy Ex Girlfriend I have found in the wild. I believe that means that OOTS and CXG have the best fans if Iíve finally found one.


    I found Blackwing funny in #1223 as well. I find the lawyers funny too, so. Make of that what you will.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingMist View Post
    You wanna test that with owls?
    That's because the eyes take up space that could have been used for brains.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Metastachydium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingMist View Post
    You wanna test that with owls?
    I like owls.
    Also, I'm pretty sure owls are smarter than quite a number of mammals, and yet I don't hear people saying stuff like Ēyeah, it's pretty dumb, but what do you expect from a mammal-brained mammal?Ē

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Blackwing in the right doses can add lots of fun to a strip. Speaking as one that thinks the first 400 strips or so are the most fun of OoTS, it is obvious you need new dynamics and characters after a while. The comic can't stay 2000-page long doing punchlines about D&D rules and it was inevitable that it became more "talky" and "story-centered". However the most important thing to consider here is the author's motivation. After years of doing the same thing you need new challenges and goals, be it in terms of art or in narrative. IF this makes the author happier and inspires him more, then it must be so.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Fish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfTangible View Post
    One other point to note is that Blackwing was able to be with V for moments Haley wasn't.
    I was wondering when someone would bring this up. When V needed someone to talk to, the party was split. Haley was with Celia and Belkar, sans magic, and V could not contact her due to the cloister spell.

    Now, Rich didn't have to write the story in that way, splitting the party like that. He could have written it so Haley and V were together, at least for the purpose of giving V someone to talk to. I'm not sure what Haley would do in such a hypothetical alternate plotline, given that her whole arc after the fall of Azure City was about becoming a leader in a time of crisis. It's possible that by forcing Haley and V together to build depth between them would come by robbing Haley of an opportunity to grow as a person. It might also break V's motivation for wanting to discover how to break through that cloister ó if Haley were with V, and it was just Belkar and Dead Roy, would V be as desperate to get them back? V doesn't like Belkar, and at least Dead Roy isn't in danger.

    Later, when the party was back together again, following Darth V's failure to make a dent in Xykon's epicness, V was ashamed and alone. V wouldn't even tell the truth to anyone about what had happened ó V lied to Durkon about some high-XP-cost magic power. They didn't want to admit what they had done, at least not to anyone who mattered. The fact that V felt Blackwing was beneath them is a pretty sound reason for V to feel safe having that conversation.
    The Giant says: Yes, I am aware TV Tropes exists as a website. ... No, I have never decided to do something in the comic because it was listed on TV Tropes. I don't use it as a checklist for ideas ... and I have never intentionally referenced it in any way.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: Blackwing was a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    The fact that V felt Blackwing was beneath them is a pretty sound reason for V to feel safe having that conversation.
    Well, that

    And the fact that Blackwing already knew, because he was V's familiar and was definitely there the whole time.
    It's hard to forgive those who have wronged you but every moment you don't is another they have hurt you.

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