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    Default Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    I mean he knew there was an Epic level Lich Necromancer camped outside his castle for months and took no steps to protect himself from negative energy despite them being readily available to a Wizard of his power.

    Are we sure his INT was actually high enough to cast spells?

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Procyonpi View Post
    I mean he knew there was an Epic level Lich Necromancer camped outside his castle for months and took no steps to protect himself from negative energy despite them being readily available to a Wizard of his power.

    Are we sure his INT was actually high enough to cast spells?
    Sure, but he also had to start fighting on short notice. He didn't spend those few months preparing for battle, he was going about his daily business while mostly ignoring Xykon. And even though I doubt he'd admit to it, he acted rashly on impulse upon learning that Xykon was keeping Lirian's soul hostage.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    A couple points to note. First, liches do not in fact get the ability to inflict negative levels as an innate ability. They do have a negative energy touch, but that's just 1d8+5 Will for half, which is trivial at Dorukan's level. Xykon knows Energy Drain as a spell, but Dorukan didn't have any way of knowing that, since he wouldn't have seen Xykon fight before the final showdown. Second, how exactly was Dorukan supposed to have protected himself? Death Ward is a divine spell, and he's an arcane caster.
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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    A. He had no reason to expect negative energy. Liches only have one negative energy based ability inherently, and it's a 1d8+5 Will save for half: For an Epic Level Wizard, with the appropriate Will save, that's...Maybe impossible to fail. B. Even if he tried to Ward, he'd need to spend a Wish or Limited Wish to do it. Death Ward isn't on the Wizard spell list. And, besides, Xykon has Superb Dispelling. I can see why he didn't think it worth spending the resources for a risk that minor. C. Why are we assuming Dorukan would have a vast knowledge of undead? Knowledge: Religion (the relevant skill) is a Wizard class skill, sure, as are all Knowledge skills, but, with Soon and Lirian also having it on their lists, I could easily see Dorukan not seeing it as worth the skill points.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Xykon somehow got an item to protect himself from positive energy, so Dorukan could have managed it if he wanted to.

    Death effects are one of the basic things optimized characters defend themselves against at high level, because dying is bad. OotS characters aren't optimized though, so I guess Dorukan never figured this out despite making it to epic levels?

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Xykon somehow got an item to protect himself from positive energy, so Dorukan could have managed it if he wanted to.

    Death effects are one of the basic things optimized characters defend themselves against at high level, because dying is bad. OotS characters aren't optimized though, so I guess Dorukan never figured this out despite making it to epic levels?
    Dorukan had a whole party at his back for most of his career, at least two of whom almost certainly had ways to deal with undead and such. And Xykon literarly MADE the object. But, uh, keep in mind: He's had a LOT more time.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Nitpick: Xykon is not a capital-N Necromancer, he's a sorcerer. He has a reasonable pile of necromantic spells, but he's not a specialist wizard.

    As an addendum, wizards and wizard-adjacent people in OotS have a consistent history of denigrating and underestimating sorcerers in general and Xykon in particular. To wit: Xavion and Fyron in SoD itself, Eugene, V, Roy, the wizard who served V the summons. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to add Dorukan to that list.

    EDIT: indeed, it's right there on the page; thanks, Rrmcklin!
    Last edited by Gurgeh; 2021-06-26 at 11:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    It wouldn't be a stretch, because Dorukan made it clear he thinks that way. He explicitly states that Xykon cannot defeat him because his magic wasn't "earned" but something he was born with.
    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: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    It wouldn't be a stretch, because Dorukan made it clear he thinks that way. He explicitly states that Xykon cannot defeat him because his magic wasn't "earned" but something he was born with.
    It's almost like the author has stated before that he thinks the only way to make a death narratively satisfying is if it's brought about by the character's own personality flaws/bad decisions. Or something.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Didn't the Giant toy with the idea of showing absolutely no panels of Dorukan and Xykon fighting, because the fight was a foregone conclusion, the real drama was between Redcloak and Righteye, no matter what he drew someone would go 'Why didn't Dorukan cast X? PLOT HOLE", and it'd really wind up the optimisers if Xykon just came back to Redcloak dragging Dorukans corpse with no explanation?
    My take on it is Dorukan wasn't Batman. He didn't plan ahead, he rushed in because of a mix of anger, overconfidence and wanting to save Lirians soul ASAP.
    Also, and I can't state this boldly enough, Optimised play isn't dramatically compelling

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Optimization also depends on having access to all the rules to know all the options. It's likely not the case that people in OOTS world know all the rules for all the classes that are not their own, and possibly not even all the future possibilities beyond their level in their own class.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Yeah, between the Order having no idea what a phylactery is, Xykon only hearing the word lich two minutes before becoming one, and the relative dearth of people knowing that a vampire and their host aren't the same person, it looks like the specifics of necromancy are rather unknown to people who aren't necromancers themselves.
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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by pearl jam View Post
    Optimization also depends on having access to all the rules to know all the options. It's likely not the case that people in OOTS world know all the rules for all the classes that are not their own, and possibly not even all the future possibilities beyond their level in their own class.
    To be fair, this is a situation where Dorukan likely did know all of the relevant rules. Wizards and sorcerers share a spell list (with some few insignificant, irrelevant exceptions), and Dorukan had spent over sixty years as an epic-level wizard. He very likely knew about any core spell that Xykon could throw at him. If he had prepared properly, he likely would have been able to defeat Xykon in a head-to-head fight.

    Now, of course, Dorukan was a person with human weaknesses like impulsivity and hubris; it makes perfect sense that he didn't act like an optimized machine, but rather underestimated Xykon and paid the ultimate price for doing so. I have no problem with how the plot played out, even though a big, childlike part of me cringes at the fact that the Bad Guy wasn't defeated in a scene where he so easily could have been. Still, I don't think we need to resort to blaming the OOTSverse's lack of optimization for Dorukan's defeat. It's his human qualities that let him down, not his access to knowledge or lack thereof. (Which I guess doesn't make for the best moral - "The bad guy who stripped away all of his humanity to become an undead monstrosity defeats the good guy because the good guy still had his humanity intact" hardly seems like an inspiring takeaway.)
    Last edited by Emanick; 2021-06-27 at 06:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Yeah, between the Order having no idea what a phylactery is, Xykon only hearing the word lich two minutes before becoming one, and the relative dearth of people knowing that a vampire and their host aren't the same person, it looks like the specifics of necromancy are rather unknown to people who aren't necromancers themselves.
    Heck, the only dedicated necromancer in the comic (apart from Clang Killitchy, a.k.a. Iron Mage Necromancy (and maybe Yidranna – I can't be bothered to recall what her specialty was)), Tsukiko has a number of, well, weird notions concerning undead abominations.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2021-06-27 at 06:34 AM. Reason: Just remembered that Iron Mage Necromancy has a name.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    We know they share a spell list because that is meta rule knowledge available to readers familiar with D&D rules. OOTSworld breaks 4th wall and incorporates meta knowledge to come extent, but there also is evidence that individuals don't have access to all the meta knowledge like that, so it's certainly possible that Dorukan was aware of all the spells Xykon had access to, but it's not guaranteed.

    That said, I agree overall with what you said about why he was defeated.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Procyonpi View Post
    I mean he knew there was an Epic level Lich Necromancer camped outside his castle for months and took no steps to protect himself from negative energy despite them being readily available to a Wizard of his power.

    Are we sure his INT was actually high enough to cast spells?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bilbo Baggins View Post
    Sure, but he also had to start fighting on short notice. He didn't spend those few months preparing for battle, he was going about his daily business while mostly ignoring Xykon. And even though I doubt he'd admit to it, he acted rashly on impulse upon learning that Xykon was keeping Lirian's soul hostage.
    Not preparing? Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Page 102:

    Frame 3: "I've been preparing for this fight since you arrived on my doorstep."
    Frame 4: "Why should I [have come out]? You didn't have anything I wanted until today"
    Frame 7: "I came out because you were dumb enough to show me where you were keeping her"

    The only "dumb" thing Dorukan can be accused of was - ironically - overestimating Xykon. He obviously expected Xykon to use a more varied spell set (albiet not as extensive as his) rather than just spamming Energy Drain on him.

    That was the flaw - he was expecting at least some degree of art, and he got a sledgehammer instead. Xykon's speech even explains this.
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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Yeah, between the Order having no idea what a phylactery is, Xykon only hearing the word lich two minutes before becoming one, and the relative dearth of people knowing that a vampire and their host aren't the same person, it looks like the specifics of necromancy are rather unknown to people who aren't necromancers themselves.
    Or indeed to necromancers themselves given how
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    Tsukiko
    went down

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanick View Post
    (Which I guess doesn't make for the best moral - "The bad guy who stripped away all of his humanity to become an undead monstrosity defeats the good guy because the good guy still had his humanity intact" hardly seems like an inspiring takeaway.)
    If it helps remember Xykon wasn't exactly a non-monstrosity overflowing with humanity before he was undead.

    He has greater potential to act on those impulses now he is a lich, but he always had them

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Xykon somehow got an item to protect himself from positive energy, so Dorukan could have managed it if he wanted to.
    You thought he'd leave the gate to try and get a trinket, with a Lich Sorcerer and a massive army right there?

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanick View Post
    If he had prepared properly, he likely would have been able to defeat Xykon in a head-to-head fight.
    He had prepared properly, I would argue.
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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mic_128 View Post
    You thought he'd leave the gate to try and get a trinket, with a Lich Sorcerer and a massive army right there?
    He had plenty of lackeys to send on errands. He also had a lifetime before SoD to prepare for caster fights in general.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Death effects are one of the basic things optimized characters defend themselves against at high level, because dying is bad.
    What exactly do you not consider "one of the basic things optimized characters defend themselves against at high level"? What spell could Xykon have used that would not have you declaring Dorukan colossally dumb for not having invented and used an Immunity to Xykon spell?

    If your case is: The wizard should not have lost because he's a wizard,

    then I would venture that your analysis is not real applicable to OotS. Or any other story I ever have read. Or any D&D game I've ever played in. Or read about. Or anything other than the Tippyverse, to be blunt.

    Neither Evershifting List of Perfectly Prepared Spells nor Grounds to Howl at the DM If I Ever Lose is actually a wizard class feature.
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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    What exactly do you not consider "one of the basic things optimized characters defend themselves against at high level"? What spell could Xykon have used that would not have you declaring Dorukan colossally dumb for not having invented and used an Immunity to Xykon spell?

    If your case is: The wizard should not have lost because he's a wizard,

    then I would venture that your analysis is not real applicable to OotS. Or any other story I ever have read. Or any D&D game I've ever played in. Or read about. Or anything other than the Tippyverse, to be blunt.

    Neither Evershifting List of Perfectly Prepared Spells nor Grounds to Howl at the DM If I Ever Lose is actually a wizard class feature.
    As people have noted, I think Superb Dispelling would have been difficult to defend against.
    If I were to rewrite the scene, Dorukan would have had a one use immunity item, or a counterspell, and Xykon would have brute forced his way with multiple castings anyway. Would have shown Dorukan to have some preparedness while still arrogantly ignoring the main strength of sorcerers: their many spontaneous spell slots.

    Of course this is all nitpicky and unnecessary, since the Giant got across what he wanted to anyways with less complicated detail. Just would have been nice to have the wizard put up more of a fight in a scene illustrating that wizards aren't the best at everything. Other fights, like V vs Z or Nale vs Malack, do show that a caster can be well-prepared and still have holes in their defenses.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by wilphe View Post
    Or indeed to necromancers themselves given how
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    went down
    Since this happened in main comic don't think a spoiler is needed.

    Tsukiko does seem to understand how necromancy works, and even the physical capabilities of her undead minions. Note that she wears a ring of negative energy protection, so she can get her "hugs". Red Cloak has her minions take it off her before they drained her.

    Her one mistake (admittedly a dozy) is believing that they are capable of love.
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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    she can get her "hugs"
    Minor point but I don't think the quotes are needed here. She saw her wights as her babies, not as sexual partners. For that, she had Xykon, and the regular dead in mind.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2021-06-27 at 03:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Minor point but I don't think the quotes are needed here. She saw her wights as her babies, not as sexual partners. For that, she had Xykon, and the regular dead in mind.
    The quotes are more because she has to command them to do it. It's forced hugging, and shows how good she is at deluding herself.
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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    No mention of the fact that Dorukon spent a round casting prismatic spray, only to find it doesn't work in a black-and-white comic?

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    No mention of the fact that Dorukon spent a round casting prismatic spray, only to find it doesn't work in a black-and-white comic?
    To be fair, even if Dorukan had a lot of rules knowledge, that particular interaction isn't covered in the core rulebooks.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    As people have noted, I think Superb Dispelling would have been difficult to defend against.
    If I were to rewrite the scene, Dorukan would have had a one use immunity item, or a counterspell, and Xykon would have brute forced his way with multiple castings anyway. Would have shown Dorukan to have some preparedness while still arrogantly ignoring the main strength of sorcerers: their many spontaneous spell slots.
    Wouldn't have, since epic spells don't work that way. It would have showcased one thing alone: that Xykon was higher level than Dorukan. Which was probably true, and might have satisfied the "optimization is obligatory" crowd on the forum by reducing the fight to a simple "26 > 22," but whether it was or not was not what Rich wanted to showcase.
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    "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.

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    Default Re: Talk How colossally dumb Dorukan was [Untagged SoD spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Wouldn't have, since epic spells don't work that way. It would have showcased one thing alone: that Xykon was higher level than Dorukan. Which was probably true, and might have satisfied the "optimization is obligatory" crowd on the forum by reducing the fight to a simple "26 > 22," but whether it was or not was not what Rich wanted to showcase.
    Sorry, i was unclear. I meant he would use energy drain. Basically what happened in the comic, but Dorukan would block one of them before getting overwhelmed.

    So yeah, overall a pointless addition.

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