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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    It seems I lost my whole post but this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Clearly, the right answer is Fenri. He's Fenri the 8th after 7 previous monster-gods didn't get enough worship.
    Iiii'm Fenri the 8th I am, Fenri the 8th I am I am...


    I'm glad the most important part survived.

    Interesting comic that makes the situation more muddied and realistic. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this can be resolved now that we know it can't be solved with the gods instantly giving the goblins (and what about the other monsters?) better land.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Dang, I was hoping to be the first one to get to Fentanyl.

    Well, anyway, this made me think of one of the crayon panels in Start of Darkness, where The Dark One is actually physically shepherding goblins and encouraging them to go forth, which stands in marked contrast to Feng Shui's treatment of them.

    I'm also in hindsight a little more surprised I (or anyone as far as I know) didn't figure out the specifics of how Redcloak's account of the goblins' creation was wrong, given that we've had the story for a long time about how the gods take turns creating elements for their new world.
    Don't feel bad, we all wanted to be the one who picked Fentanyl.

    I can see how it'd be hard to figure out: when presented with Redcloak's stark accusation ("goblinoids were maliciously created to die as XP for clerics") and no other context for it, a person's natural reaction is much more likely to either accept it as truth or dismiss it completely, rather than think "oh, maybe it has a kernel of truth but is also colored by his personal lived experience."

    That was my initial reaction until today's comic: I thought "huh, that sounds plausible, and Redcloak already experienced one injustice at the start of this prequel book, so it fits the theme. I will believe this story until proven otherwise."
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2021-04-22 at 04:41 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Xihirli View Post
    In D&D goblins are generally Small, but Redcloak and the other goblins are taller than Durkon, even though Dwarves are generally Medium sized. This panel was poking fun at the fact that the strip doesn't quite follow D&D rules. Or at least not the more well known versions.
    Dwarves have always been shorter than other Medium races. They're just so stout that they're Medium.
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  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Xihirli View Post
    I can see this. It's still true that the goblins were thrown into a disadvantageous position by the twin factors of being created with access to fewer resources and then not receiving the same guidance and help as the other races of their intelligence level.

    And it's true that Goblins were created explicitly as monsters, as Fenris is the god of monsters. And as part of the mechanics of this world, monsters do exist for heroes to kill and gain xp. That's accurate.

    It's also true that at least some of the gods hate goblins. Don't have the strip number memorized, but one of Thor's illustrative flashbacks has a god dismissively calling the Dark One "that goblin" in a context suggesting that him being a goblin makes negotiating with him beneath that god's dignity.

    Redcloak believes

    • The goblins were created as monsters
    • Monsters exist as xp farms for the "heroes"
    • The gods have a bias against goblins
    • All of these are contributing factors to the goblins' state as less fortunate in general than other humanoids.


    And all of those, as we've just learned, are correct.
    I do not agree that we have just learned that they are all correct.

    • They were created by Fenris, the god of monsters, but as Vaarsuvius put it in 640, "we are all in the Monster Manual somewhere, are we not?" A monster is as a monster does. To put it another way, to say that they are monsters because they were created by the god of monsters would mean that any race created by Thor, the god of storms, must therefore be storms, or that any race created by Sunna, the god of the sun, must be suns, etc.
    • Yes, but only because everything exists as an XP farm for everything else. We were just reminded that Belkar once tried to harvest XP from Elan, who is quite human. And as Thor pointed out, if a goblin kills a human or a dwarf, the goblin gets the XP.
    • One god might have a bias against goblins, depending on how you interpret his use of the phrase "that goblin", which could be pejorative, but which could also be entirely neutral. It might be worth considering that, at the godsmoot, that same god's high priest was an orc (I know OotS draws mainly from 3rd edition, but in 2nd edition, orcs were characterized as goblinoids, at least in some sources).
    • They can only be contributing factors if they are true, which I do not think that they are. And the current state of the goblins is far more advantaged than many other humanoids--the humanoids of Azure City, certainly, but probably the humanoids of the Western Continent as well, who have to struggle to get by in a desert at least as barren as anywhere the goblins have ever had to live.

  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Skull the Troll View Post
    Just their short lives has a lot to do with it. The first and last 15 years of a humans life are not as productive as the rest and they tend to live about 75 years. If you extrapolated that out to goblins then they only have a couple decades in which to amass knowledge and wealth and pass it down to their children. They also start out at the disadvantage of a race that is usually evil. Presumably they cooperate less and are less concerned with the society as a whole. Yes I know Redcloak cares but he's not goblin society as a whole. Those two things are going to give them a bad start and it isn't their fault, it's completely Fenrir's. That said Fenrir is "those other gods" as far as Redcloak and any goblin that thinks about it is concerned. The goblinoids don't answer to Fenrir anymore hes exactly who they are talking about when they say the gods screwed us.
    And giving the goblins better land fixes those supposed drawbacks, how exactly?

    Give them better land, they still live shorter lives, they are still usually evil. They will end up back at the bottom in a few generations.

    If you were right, that would mean the goblinoids are racially inferior, and the only real way to improve their lot would be to remake their species for the better, resorting to genetic engineering magic.

    I don't see that kind of theme going on in this webcomic. I think the goblins are perfectly fit as they are.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2021-04-22 at 05:54 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Well that was insightful.. how do you think RC would react upon learning that they did have a god, he just.. didn't care about them when he got bored.. probably badly.
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    Use your smite bite to fight the plight right. Fill the site with light and give fright to wights as a knight of the night, teeth white; mission forthright, evil in flight. Despite the blight within, you perform the rite, ignore any contrite slight, fangs alight, soul bright.

    That sight is dynamite.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    I don't think this information is supposed to make you reevaluate anything about what we've been told in a serious manner. You can make the academic argument that there's a difference between active malice and indifferent negligence, but the character of Durkon doesn't seem particularly interested in making that distinction, which makes me think we the audience aren't supposed to be making it either. The goblinoids have a horrible lot in life and the gods are directly responsible. That it wasn't specifically "screw over the goblins" from inception isn't that important given everything that's happened.

    With that in mind, I'm surprised to see people taking this as Redcloak/the Dark One being "wrong" (outside of methods, obviously).
    Last edited by Rrmcklin; 2021-04-22 at 04:46 PM.
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Skull the Troll View Post
    Just their short lives has a lot to do with it. The first and last 15 years of a humans life are not as productive as the rest and they tend to live about 75 years. If you extrapolated that out to goblins then they only have a couple decades in which to amass knowledge and wealth and pass it down to their children. They also start out at the disadvantage of a race that is usually evil. Presumably they cooperate less and are less concerned with the society as a whole. Yes I know Redcloak cares but he's not goblin society as a whole. Those two things are going to give them a bad start and it isn't their fault, it's completely Fenrir's. That said Fenrir is "those other gods" as far as Redcloak and any goblin that thinks about it is concerned. The goblinoids don't answer to Fenrir anymore hes exactly who they are talking about when they say the gods screwed us.
    You compare goblins to humans, but that cuts both ways, and maybe more the other way. I have long thought that humans are a lot more like goblins than they are like elves or dwarves. That is, humans resemble goblins in longevity and fecundity far more than they (I guess I should say we) resemble elves or dwarves. And yet humans are one of the dominant races, maybe the dominant race, in much of Stick-world. Maybe Fenris' theory is not as foolish as Thor claims. If so, then the goblins were not disadvantaged by the gods. They just failed to exploit the advantages they had. And as for goblins being usually evil and not cooperating with each other, if true (it seems to me that a critical theme of this comic is that no mortal race should be characterized as "usually evil") is that because they were made that way, or because they have chosen to act that way? Do they have free will or not? If they have chosen to act that way, and that is the cause of their disadvantages as a people, then their suffering would be both self-inflicted and deserved.

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    You mean it's harder for the Goblins to improve their living conditions if they just need to fight against other species, rather than having to fight against other species and also against the Gods?

    You can't and you shouldn't. You should work with them. Like Right-Eye did. Like the former hobgoblin leader did.
    Well that one's on me, I guess, for thinking I was safe using "fight" in its broader sense of "struggle." I apologize for the miscommunication.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    And giving the goblins better land fixes those supposed drawbacks, how exactly?

    Give them better land, they still live shorter lives, they are still usually evil, they will end up in back at the bottom in a few generations.
    I think you're fixating too closely on the particulars and not looking at the big picture.

    We've had several comparisons to the gods as family units, so let's use that. Thor, Odin, & co. see their brother Frirner creating his children, the goblinoids. They think "ugh here he goes again" and then watch him, predictably, neglect those goblinoids, who are conceptually their nieces & nephews. But they're focused on raising their own kids, and they don't really think that hard about the nieces and nephews.

    Sure, the goblinoids aren't *their* children in the literal sense of the world, and they weren't being outright abused, but they're still family, right? They knew that Ferrari would do this, because he's done it before, right? Wouldn't you agree that, if the other gods had the ability to take those nieces and nephews under their wings, or at least check up on them from time to time, it could set those nieces & nephews up for a better life?

    Disclaimer: In no way, shape, or form do I intend to pass any judgments on anybody's real-world family dynamics or decisions. I recognize every situation is different and hard and not everyone gets the support they need.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2021-04-22 at 04:56 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shale View Post
    The fact that Fenrirsirisir is a poor tactician who's not interested in learning from his mistakes doesn't undo the goblins' geopolitical and economic disadvantages. It's not even their own scheme -- if they'd squandered a perfectly good starting position that'd be something, but this is more like a very bad pet owner who gives his dog an entire field of grass to eat and then wonders why it's so sickly compared to his friends' pets. Maybe the guy really thought dogs could thrive on an all-grass diet, but it doesn't improve his dog's health any.
    But was he a poor tactician? Why do you assume that Thor was right? Humans are also short-lived and highly fecund compared to say, elves, dwarves, or gnomes. Indeed, humans resemble goblins in longevity and fecundity far more than we do elves or dwarves, and yet humans seem to have done just fine in Stick-world. Maybe Thor is wrong, and Fenris' theory is right, but the goblins simply failed to exploit the advantages they were given? I would also point out that the human civilization on the Western Continent has to survive in a desert at least as barren as anywhere the goblins have had to live, yet seems to be thriving, relatively speaking.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddstar View Post
    If so, then the goblins were not disadvantaged by the gods. They just failed to exploit the advantages they had. And as for goblins being usually evil and not cooperating with each other, if true (it seems to me that a critical theme of this comic is that no mortal race should be characterized as "usually evil") is that because they were made that way, or because they have chosen to act that way? Do they have free will or not? If they have chosen to act that way, and that is the cause of their disadvantages as a people, then their suffering would be both self-inflicted and deserved.
    I honestly don't see how you could read this story and this other's views on things, and think that's going to be the ultimate moral here.
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    With that in mind, I'm surprised to see people taking this as Redcloak/the Dark One being "wrong" (outside of methods, obviously).
    Ironically (given who we're talking about), I think it's at least partially a sunk cost fallacy. Some readers have spent this long being opposed to Redcloak, and therefore assuming that his beliefs and goals MUST be complete falsehoods, invented to justify his actions, that they can't stand the idea of somebody being right about a problem but wrong about the solution.

    Even though a Villain Who Has A Point offers a wealth of character and story possibilities, some people want their Bad Guys to be BAD, end of story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    I honestly don't see how you could read this story and this other's views on things, and think that's going to be the ultimate moral here.
    Absolutely. I was only mostly convinced before, but after this page and the confirmations it gave in Durkon's reactions, I am now legitimately 100% convinced this story will not end with the moral of "TDO and Redcloak were wrong about the problem," even if (when) they're proven wrong about the solution.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    I honestly don't see how you could read this story and this other's views on things, and think that's going to be the ultimate moral here.
    I don't think that is going to be the ultimate moral. I was using rhetorical irony, in a way that I thought was clear but apparently was not. My point was that I think it does not work to say that the goblins' disadvantaged state is due to their being "usually evil" and thus unable to cooperate with one another, precisely because I do not think that any mortal race within Stick-verse can be characterized as "usually evil" or "usually good".

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Ironically (given who we're talking about), I think it's at least partially a sunk cost fallacy. Some readers have spent this long being opposed to Redcloak, and therefore assuming that his beliefs and goals MUST be complete falsehoods, invented to justify his actions, that they can't stand the idea of somebody being right about a problem but wrong about the solution.

    Even though a Villain Who Has A Point offers a wealth of character and story possibilities, some people want their Bad Guys to be BAD, end of story.
    Fortunately, real life is rarely that boring in fact.

    Unfortunately, it often seems like that's a very-well-kept secret.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Besides, Thor doesn't even say the Dark One's interpretation of things is wrong he calls it uncharitable. Thor does not deny what the gods did or the results of those actions (or inactiions), he just says the reasons for it weren't exactly as the Dark One and Redcloak think they are.
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddstar View Post
    But was he a poor tactician? Why do you assume that Thor was right? Humans are also short-lived and highly fecund compared to say, elves, dwarves, or gnomes. Indeed, humans resemble goblins in longevity and fecundity far more than we do elves or dwarves, and yet humans seem to have done just fine in Stick-world. Maybe Thor is wrong, and Fenris' theory is right, but the goblins simply failed to exploit the advantages they were given? I would also point out that the human civilization on the Western Continent has to survive in a desert at least as barren as anywhere the goblins have had to live, yet seems to be thriving, relatively speaking.
    I'm taking Thor at his word that there is a long-running cycle where Fenri* creates species in the mold of OOTS goblins, they don't dominate the ecosystem, and he tries again anyway.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Just noticed that Tyr (the one determined not to give in to "that goblin") appears to have a "generally considered monstrous" representative speaking for him. Maybe "only a half" orc, but still interesting on the idea of whether and to what extent the gods continue to be biased.

    Also the hook... cute.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shale View Post
    I'm taking Thor at his word that there is a long-running cycle where Fenri* creates species in the mold of OOTS goblins, they don't dominate the ecosystem, and he tries again anyway.
    Okay, but why do you take him at his word, when we have countervailing evidence in humans? Perhaps Thor simply has his own theories of how to make a successful species and cannot see the merit in Fenris' competing theory, and so tends to ignore all the evidence in favor of Fenris' theory and all the evidence against his own, while noticing all the successes for his theory and all the failures of Fenris'. That is a very typical cognitive bias: we tend to notice the evidence that fits our theories and disregard the evidence that does not, and there is no reason I can think of to conclude that OotS gods are not just as vulnerable to that bias.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    My two cents is that the gods, or at least the good one, have a responsibility to sometime tell their followers, "hey, that's not cool". Even if they have a very limited ability to control them, that commandment will be (literally?) written in stone, people will be exposed to the idea, and genuinely good people will entertain it.

    Let's suppose at the start some neutral or evil god (let's say, Tyr, god of war and tacos) wanted to stop Fen-Fen's scheme and told the mortals to be sure to keep the goblins in their place. The PC races did and generally didn't pay good attention to where goblins' places were and how fair the grand scheme was.

    Evil people used the command as an excuse to take anything good the goblins' happened to have. As the goblins have less and less, they become more desperate and try more often to leave their "place"

    The good gods (or any moral authority) should recognize this viscous cycle and try to break it. The old sapphire guard servers as as an excellent example of where the good gods paid more attention. Presumable those gynocidal paladins will have to pay when their judged in the afterlife or maybe as soon as the next day when their spells don't refresh.

    While these people and gods are nominally "good" in the setting, I would say their flaw is (as O'Chul said) settling for 'good' and "never considering what's best"). Thor seems to actually understand that he could have been better (even if he hasn't ben the worst) which IMHO is what makes him more than nominal good.


    Quote Originally Posted by bunsen_h View Post
    Is there anything in the rules which addresses this? -- whether children of characters with certain stats tend to have stats which resemble their parents'? In-comic, the chosen professions of Horace, Eugene, and Roy tend to suggest otherwise, though clearly Roy is no dunce.
    Randal Monore (of XKCD) did something in his what if book has something approximate. But it was more as a way to illustrate some actual scientific point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    I don't think this information is supposed to make you reevaluate anything about what we've been told in a serious manner.
    I think that entire depends on the 'you". I see the purposes of this page as (1) more exposition, (2) jokes, and (3) to get the audience more 'on page" with the moral of the story. Some of us are pretty close to being "on page" and see little surprising; for some it introduces depth not considered before; for some it seems like a sharp turn.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    A lot of ink has been spilled on this, so if I say something which has already been said, I apologize.

    While I won't mention any real-world situations, I can say that the core of the problem isn't really what it seems to be. Giving the goblins less fertile land than the humans and other civilized races (however you choose to define the term) isn't really a disadvantage, although I can see why it might superficially be seen as one. A predominantly agricultural world would see having more fertile soil as an advantage and less fertile soil as a disadvantage, which is likely what is meant by "the goblins got worse land than the humans", which was then allegedly to blame for the goblins' lack of success in the world.

    The problem is, that's not how it works. At all. Even in-universe. As per the rules, I won't mention any real-life countries and I acknowledge that the situation in a fantasy world isn't going to be a perfect 1-1 analogue to real life, but even from what we've seen so far, other races with infertile land and hostile environments have done quite well for themselves. Humans and lizards in the desert have done well as seen in-story, humans have been seen working on marginal farmland, and humans as a whole appear to be adaptable to different environments. Plus, there are disadvantages to having good soil. For one thing, the same qualities which make land good to farm make it hard to defend. Flat plains aren't shielded from invasion, they tend to lack mineral deposits for making metal weapons and armor, and they make for a tempting target for outsiders. Furthermore, cultures which can't count on a fertile harvest often develop thriftier ways and methods of squeezing out more from the land, tend to be less wasteful, and may be more industrious than people who have had less incentive to be that way. It's better to state that having "worse" land gives one a different set of circumstances than a worse one, and the qualities which make a land harder to farm may make it easier to defend, have more minerals, or at least be less of a target than more fertile lands if nothing else. Or to put it simply, the toughest warrior races in fantasy games usually come from the toughest lands.

    Then there's the matter of equity, or fairness. Yes, the goblins were on the losing side of things in this world for the most part. When they were on the winning side, they acted at least as badly if not worse to the Azurites than they themselves were treated. Were both sides in that struggle treated unfairly by each other at different points in their fight? Yes. Does this mean one side is morally superior to the other? By itself, no. It does seem like the only reason the goblins (or at least Redcloak) seem to think they were treated unfairly is that they were losers for the longest time. That doesn't by itself imply an unfair start, although Redcloak seems to think so. He's a self-identified victim, and those are the most dangerous sort of people, as they think the world owes them something and that being a victim excuses or ennobles any action ones takes to "correct" their victimhood. The more I see, the more I'm convinced the "bad land" bit is really something of an excuse for bad behavior, or a justification for a land grab at other's expense. It's a flimsy argument, but in this world, it's just about the only inherent "disadvantage" the goblins have apart from their patron god(s), which I'll get to later: they're not weaker or smaller than humans, they're not any less intelligent here from what we've seen, they aren't cursed by anything, and their land situation hasn't stopped them from developing at least the basics of metalworking and other crafts- we even see a hobgoblin with enough skills to make a perfect replica of a fancy phylactery.

    Simply not having something someone else has doesn't entitle someone to that thing; that's just jealousy and/or greed. There's the greater issue that allegedly "goblins were created by the gods as XP fodder", but Thor shot that one down; if a goblin kills a non-goblin, they get the XP just the same. There's also no restriction on classes or levels, no rule which states that goblins can't have class levels or use the same sort of equipment humans can use. More to the point, the goblins and hobgoblins (especially the latter) were able to raise armies large enough, powerful enough, and sophisticated enough (catapults, use of stealth to infiltrate cities, magic/clerical spells, etc) to conquer a major human city with strong defenses. If there's a disadvantage based on material problems, it isn't enough to make a real difference when it comes to warfare, which is arguably the most important sphere of all. One can develop materially and culturally in a million ways and none of it means a thing if one can't keep invaders at bay.

    If goblins are the victim- and I'm not convinced that they are- the fault would lie with their gods and with themselves, not the gods as a whole, not the humans, and not some sort of divine system. It's not a problem of the system being inherently unjust; other races with the same geographic situation do just fine. It's not a problem of humans and similar races all being terrible to goblins; we've seen examples going both ways. If there IS a problem, it would be with the gods specific to the goblins themselves. Bluntly, they've been bad parents. There's nothing that can be done to fix that on a mortal level, and if the gods responsible for the goblins won't treat them well, there's not much the other gods can do to fix that. It's not so much a "social justice" issue as it is a bad parenting one, and that can't be solved by changing (divine) laws, changing the fertility of the soil, or any one simple fix. Even if the goblins were to be given all the good soil they could ever need, that wouldn't change their violent culture, it wouldn't make their patron god(s) any more caring towards them, and it wouldn't treat the root of the problem. Getting angry at the gods is like wanting to abolish parenting because one had bad parents.

    It would seem like the goblins would be the victim of at least some of the gods because of the "bad parenting" bit, but once again, I'm not convinced. There are plenty of evil gods whose followers have done quite well for themselves, including followers of Loki, many of the gods on the Western continent (said followers live in a desert on top of that), and probably some others that I missed. We see the same situation; bad patron gods, infertile land, yet we see a different outcome. In other words, having "bad" land and neglectful or abusive patron gods doesn't automatically or even probably condemn a group to marginal status. Remember, it's not "blaming the victim" if the alleged victim actually isn't one, and even if they were, that doesn't excuse bad behavior on their part. The ability to field armies, work metal, be no less strong or intelligent than humans, and even be able to take down major human settlements all militates strongly against goblinoids being victims. They were just losers. They fought, lost, and blamed others for their losses until the day they could gain supremacy over at least one human nation, and when they did, they acted like hideous tyrants over said humans. They were never put in a no-win situation (we even see them win in a very big way), and while it is true that they were not given an optimal situation like many of the humans and dwarves, that doesn't imply victimhood. They could have made something of their situation but they didn't until recently. Not privileged doesn't mean "victim". There's a lot of space between the two extremes.

    I'm also not buying the "gods treat people like crops and this is bad" bit. If your food went to heaven and enjoyed itself for all eternity after living a virtuous life, that would seem to be a very good deal for the food. At worst, it's a sort of symbiosis with most of the benefits going to the mortals once their short lives come to an end, assuming one followed the good gods (as defined in universe) or at least the neutral ones. If anything, the gods are the ones holding the short end of the stick, having to build the world over and over, populate it over and over, grant mortals their power every day, intervene directly at times, keep the Snarl at bay, and provide for the afterlife, whatever that would entail. The good mortals (for the most part) simply need to have faith, do good to other mortals, and maybe build a temple or two, which they can themselves enjoy as well. If we go by the crops analogy, the only time the farmer would benefit is the point of harvest, and even then, said wheat would enjoy an eternity of happiness which the farmer had to provide for it, so the idea of mortals being exploited the way a farmer would exploit the life cycle of his crops just doesn't hold up, given that the benefits of following the good and neutral gods extend forever.

    Adding moral complexity to a villain and a story is no easy task. People can and will have a million different views on a matter and in many ways, that's a good thing. As things stand now, more information could be revealed which might redefine the situation, so it's best to keep an open mind. I can say a few things about how it appears and how things stand now, given what we've been shown:

    - The goblins aren't victims. If anything, that is just a ploy or an excuse to justify conquest. Victims aren't able to field gigantic armies, mages, siege equipment, etc.
    - There were some injustices against the goblins at points, but the same could be said of most of the races, if not all of them. That doesn't mean they're victims.
    - Victimhood is no excuse for bad behavior in any event.
    - No one in the world is inherently XP fodder. If they were supposed to be, they wouldn't be able to earn XP themselves.
    - Having "poor land" isn't really a disadvantage and can actually be an advantage in many ways, as explained above.
    - Neglectful or abusive patron gods don't necessarily or even likely place a group at a disadvantage.
    - If the goblins ever had or sought the moral high ground, they lost it when they acted just as bad or considerably worse to the humans when they conquered Azure city.

    I get that there's a "social justice" theme being made here, but it doesn't really work out as we've seen. Case in point, there have to be a ton of arbitrary points just to make things more difficult to resolve the matter when gods are involved and a bunch of points taken as given to make it work, such as "infertile land gave us a disadvantage" (not really the case), or arbitrary rules like "the gods can't just change the geography once the land is set." It's also hard to depict the good gods as anything but good when they reward virtue, punish vice, do all they can to help mortals, keep the world together under dire circumstances, and reward the good people of the world infinitely after death. I don't envy the task of making that look bad. Also keep in mind that the good gods are NOT omnipotent and they actively have to work with the less-than-good gods (who are also not omnipotent), so there are situations here where they legitimately might have their hands tied or be unable to help. It's not like more traditional problems of evil.
    Last edited by Aristocles22; 2021-04-22 at 05:28 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #231
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemarc View Post
    Fenris apparently did.
    Fenris? Probably you intended to write Fentanyl.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    The goblins are not "doing nothing and hoping the gods fix all their problems", quite the opposite actually.
    Red cloak IS though, and he’s also the one who did quite the opposite really when he ruined his brothers village, and arguably when he put a giant target on the goblins who conquered Azure City and then refused an honest, good faith deal to get the nation of Gobotopia officially recognized and legitimized for the sake of his ever so precious Plan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristocles22 View Post
    Adding moral complexity to a villain and a story is no easy task. People can and will have a million different views on a matter and in many ways, that's a good thing. As things stand now, more information could be revealed which might redefine the situation, so it's best to keep an open mind. I can say a few things about how it appears and how things stand now, given what we've been shown:

    - The goblins aren't victims. If anything, that is just a ploy or an excuse to justify conquest. Victims aren't able to field gigantic armies, mages, siege equipment, etc.
    The specific military hobgoblin settlement is an exception, not a norm.

    - There were some injustices against the goblins at points, but the same could be said of most of the races, if not all of them. That doesn't mean they're victims.
    "Well, Group A has it bad, but Group B also has it bad, so Group A should quit complaining" is a strange, baffling train of thought.

    - Victimhood is no excuse for bad behavior in any event.
    Of course it's not. But do you really expect someone whose family gets massacred right in front of them to be like, "oh, wow, understandable mistake, let's move on?" The only surprise is that this conflict between goblins and humans in the Southern Continent didn't happen sooner.

    - No one in the world is inherently XP fodder. If they were supposed to be, they wouldn't be able to earn XP themselves.
    The inequality doesn't come from XP, it comes from placing certain people in certain locations.

    - Having "poor land" isn't really a disadvantage and can actually be an advantage in many ways, as explained above.
    ...

    - Neglectful or abusive patron gods don't necessarily or even likely place a group at a disadvantage.
    ...what?

    - If the goblins ever had or sought the moral high ground, they lost it when they acted just as bad or considerably worse to the humans when they conquered Azure city.
    The concept of "the reason a race deserves to live because they were on their best behavior" is just weird at best, and pretty appalling at worst.

  24. - Top - End - #234
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    By and large I agree with understatement's post, but I also wanted to add this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Aristocles22 View Post
    - Neglectful or abusive patron gods don't necessarily or even likely place a group at a disadvantage.
    So what? We have word from Thor, more or less, that Fenris' neglect did place the goblins at a disadvantage. Hypothetical possibilities otherwise (which you have not supported, aside) don't change that.

    Aside, as a writer who often overly obsesses over little choices in a piece if it has a long enough lead time before I publish it, Odin's comments definitely resonated with me.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Oof. If Redcloak ever learns that his race's historical problems aren't even an act of deliberate divine malice, but of divine indifference, he is going to be LIVID. Designated bad guy is one thing, actual divine cast-off is just insulting. Amazing comic.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    The specific military hobgoblin settlement is an exception, not a norm.



    "Well, Group A has it bad, but Group B also has it bad, so Group A should quit complaining" is a strange, baffling train of thought.



    Of course it's not. But do you really expect someone whose family gets massacred right in front of them to be like, "oh, wow, understandable mistake, let's move on?" The only surprise is that this conflict between goblins and humans in the Southern Continent didn't happen sooner.



    The inequality doesn't come from XP, it comes from placing certain people in certain locations.



    ...



    ...what?



    The concept of "the reason a race deserves to live because they were on their best behavior" is just weird at best, and pretty appalling at worst.
    That's not what I'm saying, but I suppose I should clarify and bring up a few points in more detail.

    First, we don't really know that the hobgoblin military is "the exception", but even if it was, it shows that goblinoids are capable of fielding those sort of armies. Moreover, there was nothing inherent about their race which prevented them from being able to do so, even if they didn't do it in other cases that we've seen. For what it is worth, hobgoblins were mentioned as being disciplined and militarily skilled by Redcloak before he even knew how strong this particular army was, so they developed a reputation for that sort of prowess, which would be impossible if they were just a helpless group of permanently disadvantaged people. For what it's worth, the goblins (green-skinned ones) also appear to be quite capable of violence, they just aren't as good at it as their hobgoblin peers.

    I never said that a group shouldn't complain, only that they shouldn't act badly because they have it bad themselves. There's a big difference between complaining and killing, conquering, and enslaving. Self-defense is one thing, but counter-massacres only lead to cycles of revenge and far greater injustice.

    No one expects him to understand, but the logical conclusion to said event isn't to hate all humans. If anything, it's a bit of stereotypical supervillian origin story. It would have made more sense for him to want to deal with those particular humans, not hate the whole human race.

    As for "certain locations", I've already explained how that isn't really a problem. People of all stripes can and do adapt to their conditions. Poor soil might lead people to take up industry instead, lack of natural defenses in the terrain might encourage fort-building, isolation from the coastline might lead to a greater emphasis on overland and river trade as opposed to oceangoing shipping. Humans in OOTS often live in some pretty terrible places yet they mostly seem to do just fine regardless of the climate.

    And I never said that they deserve to live by being on their "best behavior." I'm not sure where you got that idea from.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonus45 View Post
    Red cloak IS though, and he’s also the one who did quite the opposite really when he ruined his brothers village, and arguably when he put a giant target on the goblins who conquered Azure City and then refused an honest, good faith deal to get the nation of Gobotopia officially recognized and legitimized for the sake of his ever so precious Plan.
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    Point of order: Redcloak is responsible for many of those things, but not for ruining Right-Eye's village. He actually wanted to join the village and give up The Plan, until Xykon tracked Redcloak down and forced The Plan back on the rails.

    You could argue that this is still RC's fault for his earlier sin of making Xykon into a lich, but ruining the village wasn't a conscious decision in the moment.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    So I am curious how Orcs, Kobolds, and Lizardfolks doesn’t seem to have xp fodder status even with Fenris’ concepts?
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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    By and large I agree with understatement's post, but I also wanted to add this:



    So what? We have word from Thor, more or less, that Fenris' neglect did place the goblins at a disadvantage. Hypothetical possibilities otherwise (which you have not supported, aside) don't change that.

    Aside, as a writer who often overly obsesses over little choices in a piece if it has a long enough lead time before I publish it, Odin's comments definitely resonated with me.
    I don't see where that's a disadvantage. It may be a "dumb idea", and Thor may be right for characterizing it as such, but it's not a disadvantage. It's like a game of Stellaris (a 4X space colony game, a bit like Civilization) where you can choose to have a race breed quickly but have a planet with little food. That forces you to make different choices, but the game isn't necessarily made harder as a result. It might encourage the goblins to get clever with their food sources, trade crafted items for food, find ways to limit population growth, etc.

    It's a dumb idea in that it doesn't confer an advantage when it was intended to. Remember, there's a huge space on the spectrum between advantaged and disadvantaged. It's not a black and white case.
    Last edited by Aristocles22; 2021-04-22 at 05:56 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1232 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by t209 View Post
    So I am curious how Orcs, Kobolds, and Lizardfolks doesn’t seem to have xp fodder status
    Thor explained that in the comic. The gods created the goblins and then grew bored and stopped paying attention to them.
    Last edited by Dion; 2021-04-22 at 06:04 PM.

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