A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 12345678910 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 283
  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    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.
    Do you mean counterspell?
    In a one-on-one duel, counterspelling against a sorcerer is a bad move. They have more slots than you, and you're using up your action to stall. Opening a gate was a smart move on Dorukans part, as it switched Xykon from using powerful single target spells to less powerful multi-target/area spells at their cost of one action. Was also more visually interesting than counterspelling.
    In-comic, I can think of three instances of counterspelling. V against Samantha was entirely a stalling tactic till the rest of the Order could attack, and it didn't entirely work.
    V vs Frost giants was effective because it wasn't a one on one duel and V was protecting the ship rather than trying to kill the giants.
    Redcloak vs Tsukiko was very effective because he was already winning; the Shout was a last minute spell of desperation by someone being utterly trounced, and thinking about it, wouldn't have done much even if RC hadn't blocked it.
    So counterspelling is circumstantially useful, not a universal answer to all magic.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

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

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    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.
    Wait, as in, Dorukan has the buff and then Xykon disspells it? I mean, I guess thatíd work. Doesnít really change much, though.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

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

    I think The Giant made a statement about optimization in the design of the defenses of each gate. Each relied upon the abilities of one class and all, save one so far, have failed.

    TOotS being a diverse party with complimentary rather than overlapping abilities is repeatedly shown to be their strength.

    Optimization is great against one type of attack. Chances are really good that the ten million other ways of attacking will be tried, especially if the DM hates Min/Maxing.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Neither Evershifting List of Perfectly Prepared Spells nor Grounds to Howl at the DM If I Ever Lose is actually a wizard class feature.
    This is begging to be added to someone's signature. Since no one else has done so yet, may I?
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Neither Evershifting List of Perfectly Prepared Spells nor Grounds to Howl at the DM If I Ever Lose is actually a wizard class feature.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Kish's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2004

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    This is begging to be added to someone's signature. Since no one else has done so yet, may I?
    Certainly.
    Spoiler
    Show
    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Magikeeper's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    IL, USA
    Gender
    Male

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

    Ok, so, I've played in high-op D&D 3.5 campaigns before. Games where some of the most obnoxious stuff in Tippyverse (infinite loops, fast time plane creation, contingent celerity, etc) is stopped by tweaking a few spells / effects but something only on the level of an Ubercharger is normal. First off, the biggest determiner of "which caster wins" in this situation would probably be their gear, which requires more of a commitment to extreme paranoia than just keeping a good selection of spells prepared. Especially for death effects / level drain - I would agree that being immune to those is very high on the "must block" list for a high-op char, but although there are several good item options arcane spell options.. less so. Especially against a higher-level spellcaster. I wouldn't even want to rely on divine spells, death ward is too important to use something easily dispelled. To go a bit farther, in a very high-op but not Tippyverse-level game protecting your magic items is far more important than protecting your life in most cases. Less so if every enemy is packing soultrap weapons and what-not, granted. Anyway, always have protection from disjunction ready.

    Oots is not a high-op setting, so there isnít much Dorukan would have experienced to highlight the need for such protection into him. How many high-level caster duels did he even have? Like, in his entire life? Probably not many! He was never in a situation where, at any moment, he expected to be ambushed by a team of assassins wielding staffs that can fire off a barrage caster level 80+ spells created by an evil empire that uses wish-based-crafting + liquid pain from their pain factories along with optimized caster level buffing, all while some ass uses a Forced Dream combo at the bottom of a carried enveloping to reverse time if they failed to kill him in the surprise round (so they can start fleeing the plane before the fight even began). Thatís not the kind of life you live in the Oots world, so youíre a bit less twitchy. He might not even know items that protect vs negative levels exist.

    Also, what are Dorukan's banned schools? Was one of them necromancy?


    ------------------

    I also wanted to talk about high-op campaigns in general. I think there's a view that such a campaign is comprised of PCs with a few strengths and crippling weaknesses. The thing is, extremely high-op chars IME tend to be pretty well-rounded. For example, I see theoretical Ubercharge builds that waste all 20 levels and the entirety of their wealth getting the biggest damage number possible. In an actual game you can set up your primary main combat suite with an investment of ~8 levels and probably pick up some other stuff at the same time. That leaves ~12 levels that can be something completely different as long as you don't lose too much BAB. With enough optimization a PC isn't just min-maxed - it's simply more powerful period than a less optimized character.

    Btw, stuff to put on your high-op defensive wish list (I'll admit I haven't played 3.5 in years, hope I'm not missing anything...):
    Spoiler: Da List
    Show

    > Death Ward, or something similar (mostly for negative levels / ability damage)
    > Mind Blank, or something similar.
    > High Saves
    > Saving throw re-rolls (Planar Touchstone[Catalogues of Enlightenment[Pride Domain]] is a GREAT feat).
    > Freedom of Movement, or something similar.
    > Some way of escaping traps FoM can't help with. (Teleportation, flight, etc)
    > Protection against Dispelling / Disjunction [contingent suppression field/dispelling screen/antimagic field, an item that redirects spells, etc]
    > Some way of overcoming death.
    > Some way of manipulating time.
    > Some way(s) to resist damage. Outright immunity to at least some energy types is also nice, but breadth is generally better than depth if you must choose.
    > Evasion, Mettle, any other way of overcoming rapid flurries of partial save effects (that one armor enchantment that lets you regain HP whenever you pass a saving throw vs a spell is good for this). Better yet, just pick up all of them if you can.
    > SR/PR
    > Some way of dealing with enemy teleportation.
    > Some way to greatly bolster your senses / see invisible things /etc.
    > Ways to survive lack of food, water, air, other environmental dangers.
    > Some kind of disintegration effect and/or some other way of defeating Force barriers.
    > That obnoxious air elemental graft that makes you virtually immune to non-siege ranged weaponry. Yes, that specific graft. Ugh. Okay, there's some other anti-ranged options as well.
    > A thinaun poison ring or something to ensure your soul stays with the party when you die. Enemy can't trap your soul if you trap your soul first!
    > Immunity to disease / poison. If you're relying on this to survive never taking your gear off, put this higher on the list. >.>
    > Some way of surviving in an antimagic field vs a powerful enemy (generally takes a lot of commitment). You can partially work towards this one by always favoring non-magical protections over magical ones whenever feasible.
    > Some way of surviving lethal amounts of damage. (this would be higher up but generally takes more of a commitment).
    > High Touch AC in general, High AC within an antimagic field (Generally takes a lot of commitment).
    > Various ways of protecting yourself from eavesdropping methods that Mind Blank doesn't already cover.
    > Some way to cast clairvoyance and possibly other divinations. (this would be much higher, but generally if anyone in your party can do this it's fine).
    > A way to summon a disposable minion to run off and trigger traps for you. (this would be higher, but generally if anyone in your party can do this it's fine).
    > Ability to reflect hostile wish spells specifically. You're going to need to slap the ?spellblade? item ability on a combo item for this one, I don't think anything else is going to cut it.
    > Immunity to hostile transmutation effects. High saves + rerolls generally covers this, but it's pretty easy to pick up IIRC.
    > If your DM is allowing dragon magazine stuff, that one spell that shuts down time manipulation should go way up this list.
    > If you're undead, turn resistance/immunity is way higher up on this list. There are cleric domains that turn other stuff as well, so picking up some turn resistance can be useful even for living PCs (but is a very low priority for them).
    > Prestidigitation, so you can stay clean without having to EVER take your most critical protective gear off. For a higher quality of life, make sure all critical armor enchantments are on your bracers of armor and/or combo item that includes that effect. Vests > Shirts, etc. Stuff you can live with basically treating as a part of your body forever. This is only on the bottom because you're likely immune to disease / poison, so you can survive being dirty. If you don't want to be a filthy murder-hobbo, put this higher on the list.


    The list assumes stuff like Ice Assassin has been nerfed, along with some of the other key elements of Tippyverse super-immunity-to-everthing-forever. Also note that, although many of these can (and/or must) be acquired on an individual basis, some stuff can be done via party member auras and such.
    Last edited by Magikeeper; 2021-06-28 at 09:53 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    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?
    It's one of the most unsatisfying fights in the history of the comic, right up there with V v.s Xykon. Basically Dorukan is handed an idiot ball, and then he flails about helplessly while Xykon makes a (bad) point about Sorcerers being better than Wizards. I'm not even saying whether it's right or wrong, but you can't that point either way with a straw man like "Dorukan fights like an idiot". And some of this isn't even Dorukan fighting like an idiot, he also gets flat out jobbed from a rules perspective. In the final phases of the battle Xykon just repeatedly casts spells while Dorukan seemingly does nothing on his turns. I remember bringing this up on here before, but the final phase of the showdown saw something ridiculous like Xykon taking 5 spells to Dorukan's 1 (right after Dorukan fell out of the sky and took damage somehow, even though that is flat out not what happens when Fly is dispelled). Really unsatisfying. The moral seemed to be "fight like a moron and you will lose, no matter how superior your class is".

    It shouldn't have been hard to have Xykon beat Dorukan legit either. The guy was already at least level 19 when Lirian captured him. By the time he gets to Dorukan he could easily be Epic; instead of a legit win over Dorukan that is satisfying we get that railroad.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-06-29 at 02:42 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    It's one of the most unsatisfying fights in the history of the comic, right up there with V v.s Xykon. Basically Dorukan is handed an idiot ball, and then he flails about helplessly while Xykon makes a (bad) point about Sorcerers being better than Wizards. I'm not even saying whether it's right or wrong, but you can't that point either way with a straw man like "Dorukan fights like an idiot". And some of this isn't even Dorukan fighting like an idiot, he also gets flat out jobbed from a rules perspective. In the final phases of the battle Xykon just repeatedly casts spells while Dorukan seemingly does nothing on his turns. I remember bringing this up on here before, but the final phase of the showdown saw something ridiculous like Xykon taking 5 spells to Dorukan's 1 (right after Dorukan fell out of the sky and took damage somehow, even though that is flat out not what happens when Fly is dispelled). Really unsatisfying. The moral seemed to be "fight like a moron and you will lose, no matter how superior your class is".

    It shouldn't have been hard to have Xykon beat Dorukan legit either. The guy was already at least level 19 when Lirian captured him. By the time he gets to Dorukan he could easily be Epic; instead of a legit win over Dorukan that is satisfying we get that railroad.
    See, thatís kinda the point: Xykon beats him using an advantage only a sorcerer could have: spamming. A Wizard couldnít have pulled Energy Drain five times in a single fight, due to the nature of spell slots. But XykonÖCan. The analogy is that Xykon is the hammer to Dorukanís fine-tuned watch: he only had the one trickÖBut itís a hell of a trick. Also, what was unsatisfying about the V Xykon fight exactly. It seemed to be pretty good to me.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    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.
    I don't think "illustrating that wizards aren't the best at everything" was high on the list of priorities for that scene. Or, indeed, anywhere on that list. Insofar as that scene had any kind of deeper message, it was to display Xykon's belief in overwhelming force above all else. The important story was happening on the ground below the fight.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
    Interested in the Nexus FFRP setting? See our Discord server.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Magikeeper View Post
    Ok, so, I've played in high-op D&D 3.5 campaigns before. Games where some of the most obnoxious stuff in Tippyverse (infinite loops, fast time plane creation, contingent celerity, etc) is stopped by tweaking a few spells / effects but something only on the level of an Ubercharger is normal. First off, the biggest determiner of "which caster wins" in this situation would probably be their gear, which requires more of a commitment to extreme paranoia than just keeping a good selection of spells prepared. Especially for death effects / level drain - I would agree that being immune to those is very high on the "must block" list for a high-op char, but although there are several good item options arcane spell options.. less so. Especially against a higher-level spellcaster. I wouldn't even want to rely on divine spells, death ward is too important to use something easily dispelled. To go a bit farther, in a very high-op but not Tippyverse-level game protecting your magic items is far more important than protecting your life in most cases. Less so if every enemy is packing soultrap weapons and what-not, granted. Anyway, always have protection from disjunction ready.

    Oots is not a high-op setting, so there isnít much Dorukan would have experienced to highlight the need for such protection into him. How many high-level caster duels did he even have? Like, in his entire life? Probably not many! He was never in a situation where, at any moment, he expected to be ambushed by a team of assassins wielding staffs that can fire off a barrage caster level 80+ spells created by an evil empire that uses wish-based-crafting + liquid pain from their pain factories along with optimized caster level buffing, all while some ass uses a Forced Dream combo at the bottom of a carried enveloping to reverse time if they failed to kill him in the surprise round (so they can start fleeing the plane before the fight even began). Thatís not the kind of life you live in the Oots world, so youíre a bit less twitchy. He might not even know items that protect vs negative levels exist.

    Also, what are Dorukan's banned schools? Was one of them necromancy?


    ------------------

    I also wanted to talk about high-op campaigns in general. I think there's a view that such a campaign is comprised of PCs with a few strengths and crippling weaknesses. The thing is, extremely high-op chars IME tend to be pretty well-rounded. For example, I see theoretical Ubercharge builds that waste all 20 levels and the entirety of their wealth getting the biggest damage number possible. In an actual game you can set up your primary main combat suite with an investment of ~8 levels and probably pick up some other stuff at the same time. That leaves ~12 levels that can be something completely different as long as you don't lose too much BAB. With enough optimization a PC isn't just min-maxed - it's simply more powerful period than a less optimized character.

    Btw, stuff to put on your high-op defensive wish list (I'll admit I haven't played 3.5 in years, hope I'm not missing anything...):
    Spoiler: Da List
    Show

    > Death Ward, or something similar (mostly for negative levels / ability damage)
    > Mind Blank, or something similar.
    > High Saves
    > Saving throw re-rolls (Planar Touchstone[Catalogues of Enlightenment[Pride Domain]] is a GREAT feat).
    > Freedom of Movement, or something similar.
    > Some way of escaping traps FoM can't help with. (Teleportation, flight, etc)
    > Protection against Dispelling / Disjunction [contingent suppression field/dispelling screen/antimagic field, an item that redirects spells, etc]
    > Some way of overcoming death.
    > Some way of manipulating time.
    > Some way(s) to resist damage. Outright immunity to at least some energy types is also nice, but breadth is generally better than depth if you must choose.
    > Evasion, Mettle, any other way of overcoming rapid flurries of partial save effects (that one armor enchantment that lets you regain HP whenever you pass a saving throw vs a spell is good for this). Better yet, just pick up all of them if you can.
    > SR/PR
    > Some way of dealing with enemy teleportation.
    > Some way to greatly bolster your senses / see invisible things /etc.
    > Ways to survive lack of food, water, air, other environmental dangers.
    > Some kind of disintegration effect and/or some other way of defeating Force barriers.
    > That obnoxious air elemental graft that makes you virtually immune to non-siege ranged weaponry. Yes, that specific graft. Ugh. Okay, there's some other anti-ranged options as well.
    > A thinaun poison ring or something to ensure your soul stays with the party when you die. Enemy can't trap your soul if you trap your soul first!
    > Immunity to disease / poison. If you're relying on this to survive never taking your gear off, put this higher on the list. >.>
    > Some way of surviving in an antimagic field vs a powerful enemy (generally takes a lot of commitment). You can partially work towards this one by always favoring non-magical protections over magical ones whenever feasible.
    > Some way of surviving lethal amounts of damage. (this would be higher up but generally takes more of a commitment).
    > High Touch AC in general, High AC within an antimagic field (Generally takes a lot of commitment).
    > Various ways of protecting yourself from eavesdropping methods that Mind Blank doesn't already cover.
    > Some way to cast clairvoyance and possibly other divinations. (this would be much higher, but generally if anyone in your party can do this it's fine).
    > A way to summon a disposable minion to run off and trigger traps for you. (this would be higher, but generally if anyone in your party can do this it's fine).
    > Ability to reflect hostile wish spells specifically. You're going to need to slap the ?spellblade? item ability on a combo item for this one, I don't think anything else is going to cut it.
    > Immunity to hostile transmutation effects. High saves + rerolls generally covers this, but it's pretty easy to pick up IIRC.
    > If your DM is allowing dragon magazine stuff, that one spell that shuts down time manipulation should go way up this list.
    > If you're undead, turn resistance/immunity is way higher up on this list. There are cleric domains that turn other stuff as well, so picking up some turn resistance can be useful even for living PCs (but is a very low priority for them).
    > Prestidigitation, so you can stay clean without having to EVER take your most critical protective gear off. For a higher quality of life, make sure all critical armor enchantments are on your bracers of armor and/or combo item that includes that effect. Vests > Shirts, etc. Stuff you can live with basically treating as a part of your body forever. This is only on the bottom because you're likely immune to disease / poison, so you can survive being dirty. If you don't want to be a filthy murder-hobbo, put this higher on the list.


    The list assumes stuff like Ice Assassin has been nerfed, along with some of the other key elements of Tippyverse super-immunity-to-everthing-forever. Also note that, although many of these can (and/or must) be acquired on an individual basis, some stuff can be done via party member auras and such.
    Man.

    Wow.

    That's a lot of gear, Paw-paw.

    What kind of world would have that much junk conveniently available so that a character can wear and use it all? That's got to cost the entire wealth-by-level of at least two or three level 3o characters and at least an epic character worth of exp if your character crafts it.

    That doesn't sound at all like a character that was leveled up from 1 in a series of campaigns, but one that was dreamed up to be 'unbeatable' but who would fold like tissue paper when dealing with a ranger or rogue optimised to be a mage-killer.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

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

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    See, thatís kinda the point: Xykon beats him using an advantage only a sorcerer could have: spamming. A Wizard couldnít have pulled Energy Drain five times in a single fight, due to the nature of spell slots. But XykonÖCan. The analogy is that Xykon is the hammer to Dorukanís fine-tuned watch: he only had the one trickÖBut itís a hell of a trick. Also, what was unsatisfying about the V Xykon fight exactly. It seemed to be pretty good to me.
    But that's only how Xykon can beat him because Dorukan:
    a) acts like an idiot (protecting from energy drain is easy, as is escaping once you realise you need to go do that), and
    b) Is jobbed by a selective ignoring of the rules in the fight. In the final sequence of their battle Xykon gets 5 spells in a row to Dorukan's 1. That is not how the game mechanics work. Dorukan just stands there and lets Xykon cast energy drains over and over while casting almost no spells in reponse, and not even trying to teleport away. Abusrd.

    The V fight was unsatisfying because it was a classic example of an author boxing themselves into a corner. The Author had foreshadowed HARD that V was going to lose the fight. It was obvious leading into the comic where they finally trade blows. The problem was the author had pumped V up to such a point to hype him that Xykon winning shattered suspension of disbelief. I think the author was aware of this issue, and looking back over the old threads you can see it was discussed widely.

    I honestly believe Rich was aware of both the problem he'd created in this respect, and the blowback the fight was generating. Posters were highlighting hundreds of ways V could effortlessly win, and so the author started to try and sell the fight as something plausible. First Rich had the strongest soulbind escape. Then the author "clarified" how the soul bind worked to tone down V a bit (arguably in contradiction of the prophecy he was fulfilling). Personally I think the author initially thought this was enough, and the original plan was to have the "maximized energy drain dumbass" to be the checkmate. Going back and reading it, it certainly comes off that way, but so heavy was the criticism at the mechanics, the inconsistency and the lack of originality (really, energy drain again?) that the next comic features a better conclusion which continues to add dues ex machina's to help Xykon; e.g. suddenly RC and Xykon know what soulbinds are (and gosh, they just happened to check for it). Xykon just happens to have the right item on him (and hey, he can no sell the impact damage from a point blank explosion of meteor swarms apparently, aside from being immune to Fire). Xykon busts out a spell that all but assures us he is much, much higher level than was previously indicated.

    All that said, it's still a bit unsatisfying, even though everything else about the arc and story rocks.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maat Mons's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2018

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

    Magikeeper, you touched on how some magic items would be weird to wear in the bath. This is a topic of interest to me. Along with how some magic items would be weird to wear to bed. And how some magic items would be weird to wear at social functions.

    Spoiler: Always-On Magic Items
    Show
    I've been thinking of ways to get the most vital protections onto items you could plausibly always have on, no matter the occasion. For these purposes, I've merged some items together. But I haven't re-slotted any.

    Semi-Custom Bracelet
    • Bracers of Armor (+1, Soulfire, Proof Against Transmutation): 100,000 x 1 = 100,000
    • Wand Bracelet: 12,000 x 1.5 = 18,000
    • Total: 118,000

    Semi-Custom Anklet
    • Anklet of Translocation: 1,400 x 1.5 = 2,100
    • Cloudwalker Anklets: 50,000 x 1 = 50,000
    • Total: 52,100

    Semi-Custom Ring
    • Ring of Feather Falling: 2,200 x 1.5 = 3,300
    • Ring of Freedom of Movement: 40,000 x 1.5 = 60,000
    • Ring of Sustenance: 2,500 x 1.5 = 3,750
    • Ring of Mental Fortitude: 110,000 x 1 = 110,000
    • Total: 177,050

    Semi-Custom Necklace
    • Enduring Amulet: 1,500 x 1.5 = 2,250
    • Necklace of Adaptation: 9,000 x 1.5 = 13,500
    • Periapt of Health: 7,400 x 1.5 = 11,100
    • Periapt of Proof Against Poison: 27,000 x 1 = 27,000
    • Total: 53,850

    Total Total: 401,000

    It's expensive, yes. But can you really put a price on being able to take off your hood without fear of being mind-controlled?

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    massachusetts
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    But that's only how Xykon can beat him because Dorukan:
    a) acts like an idiot (protecting from energy drain is easy, as is escaping once you realise you need to go do that), and
    b) Is jobbed by a selective ignoring of the rules in the fight. In the final sequence of their battle Xykon gets 5 spells in a row to Dorukan's 1. That is not how the game mechanics work. Dorukan just stands there and lets Xykon cast energy drains over and over while casting almost no spells in reponse, and not even trying to teleport away. Abusrd.

    The V fight was unsatisfying because it was a classic example of an author boxing themselves into a corner. The Author had foreshadowed HARD that V was going to lose the fight. It was obvious leading into the comic where they finally trade blows. The problem was the author had pumped V up to such a point to hype him that Xykon winning shattered suspension of disbelief. I think the author was aware of this issue, and looking back over the old threads you can see it was discussed widely.

    I honestly believe Rich was aware of both the problem he'd created in this respect, and the blowback the fight was generating. Posters were highlighting hundreds of ways V could effortlessly win, and so the author started to try and sell the fight as something plausible. First Rich had the strongest soulbind escape. Then the author "clarified" how the soul bind worked to tone down V a bit (arguably in contradiction of the prophecy he was fulfilling). Personally I think the author initially thought this was enough, and the original plan was to have the "maximized energy drain dumbass" to be the checkmate. Going back and reading it, it certainly comes off that way, but so heavy was the criticism at the mechanics, the inconsistency and the lack of originality (really, energy drain again?) that the next comic features a better conclusion which continues to add dues ex machina's to help Xykon; e.g. suddenly RC and Xykon know what soulbinds are (and gosh, they just happened to check for it). Xykon just happens to have the right item on him (and hey, he can no sell the impact damage from a point blank explosion of meteor swarms apparently, aside from being immune to Fire). Xykon busts out a spell that all but assures us he is much, much higher level than was previously indicated.

    All that said, it's still a bit unsatisfying, even though everything else about the arc and story rocks.
    Could you explain some of the ways V could have won that fight? I was fine with it and didn't see all those debate threads.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Magikeeper's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    IL, USA
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Man.

    Wow.

    That's a lot of gear, Paw-paw.

    What kind of world would have that much junk conveniently available so that a character can wear and use it all? That's got to cost the entire wealth-by-level of at least two or three level 3o characters and at least an epic character worth of exp if your character crafts it.

    That doesn't sound at all like a character that was leveled up from 1 in a series of campaigns, but one that was dreamed up to be 'unbeatable' but who would fold like tissue paper when dealing with a ranger or rogue optimised to be a mage-killer.
    Few comments:

    First up, in general:
    Spoiler: general blather
    Show

    - I called it a "wish list" for a reason - most PCs are not going to be able to grab all of that. Also, not all of that needs to be from items! Spellcasters have trouble dipping, but martials can generally multiclass/prestige 6+ times to pick up all sorts of defensive stuff while maintaining the allmighty bab most feat-based combat styles need. You can also pick up stuff from feats, racial abilities, etc. HOWEVER, even if you're just relying on items, you can pick up lesser versions of a sizable portion of that list without doing anything particularly crazy. Being *always* immune to X/Y/Z is more expensive and is probably reserved for the most important stuff, but temporary or X/use per day immunity to most things is feasible to acquire. One of the strongest spell redirection items is... was it 8k off the shelf? I don't remember. I wouldn't expect a normal optimized PC to be packing most of that list in any case - if you're seriously blocking wish spells and feel that's a good use of your gold you not in a normal campaign.
    - If you do optimize crafting, reducing XP expenditure is a big part of it. There's some combos that basically skip the issue entirely (iirc there's some kind of XP save point trick), but we houseruled that out of existence as it's very degenerate. Even without infinite crafting XP you can get costs pretty low. Liquid pain / liquid joy is also an option but that's more on the national level.
    - - In general, finding, training, and/or having a party member be an optimized crafter dramatically changes what you have access to. Depending on how your table runs leadership you might be able to pick up a dedicated artificer pretty easily.
    - There's also ways to generate wealth by running a business or whatever.


    Most hi-op PCs I've had only had part of that wishlist, as it were, but it really is quite feasible to have access to a sizable portion of that list to a limited extent at high levels. EDIT: I'll agree I emphasized items a bit too much though, most such PCs will be relying on buffs and class features for most things. It's just that Xykon / Dorukan were both single-class arcane spellcasters so item choice is going to be an even bigger deal than normal. Items usually being harder to replace than resurrecting PCs still stands though.

    Okay, now if you want to know about the specific campaign that I was mentally drawing from to come up with that list, including wish protection, one that ran for several years and was my favorite campaign to be in as a player:
    Spoiler: Campaign Blather
    Show

    - Campaign went from 1 to 19 (ended due to DM death :( ). We had some free ECL, although partway through we traveled to an parallel multiverse around level 10 where our redesigned selves had to give up all but 2 levels of that in exchange for becoming gestalt (It was plot opportunity to make big changes and that was part of what we agreed on).
    - We had a dedicated artificer. More than one - a PC and at least one cohort IIRC. They were extremely optimized for crafting, and we allowed dragon magazine stuff (I forget if some of the crafting feats were from that..? I think the most important ones were from Eberron sourcebooks but I don't quite recall). There are rules for merging that exist outside of the DMG custom rules. We didn't allow the custom rules, only merging (no re-sloting).
    - The DM loaded up enemies with whatever gear they needed - we were dealing with some very well-funded foes that were also optimizing crafting and such. Then we looted them and had tons of wealth. People talk about this causing issues, but if you just double down like our DM did you reach the point where the party is so rich their power level stabilizes and enemies can have anything pre-epic without making them the players any stronger.
    - - Combined with our crafting optimization we were filthy rich and actually had a spreadsheet detailing the set-up for our organization's "standard gear". I also included several different price points for each item (as they were all combo items), with lower-tier npcs that still met the requirements to be with the away team often getting budget versions that still covered the most critical stuff. The standard gear didn't cover that entire wish-list either, but it did cover death effects and such.
    - - Most excess wealth went towards our airship.. which was more like a fantasy spacestation tbh. Well, a colony arkship traveling the multiverse, let's say.
    - The one thing the DM heavily restricted was epic-Level stuff - we could not craft it without being epic level ourselves and due to plot reasons most epic level NPCs had vanished prior to the start of our campaign.
    - The threats faced by the PCs were extreme - the DM had basically memorized everything in 3.5 and a bunch of 3rd party stuff and used all of it. I was enjoying the uphill battle but party morale was an issue. Yes, even with all our powers. It was very much a campaign where you had to pick your battles and plan every step with care, especially since we could not survive the evil empire we were opposing if they prematurely considered us an existential threat instead of just a regular old threat they can just let a small subset of their elites deal with and/or recruit.


    -----------------

    @Maat Mons - Always on items - I forget where I put my old spreadsheet. Some of those items do jog my memory, though!

    Spoiler: item blather
    Show
    Ah! Found it. Aaaaand... the sheet didn't list what the component items were, just the final calculated costs and capabilities.
    Hrm... I didn't complete the spreadsheet, it seems, the ring/anklet stats are missing. I'd need my PC's old character sheet to get all the items and their competent parts, although that'd only show the "full" version of the combo items, not the budget versions. I suppose we mostly just handed out the spell redirecting rings as our "budget" option, and footwear wasn't standardized yet among party members..?

    As for helping with your item suggestions, a necklace of natural weapons can be enchanted with weapon abilities (some of which are defensive / utility-focused!). Making anything you can out of aurorum (to repair if physically broken) + tossing on rust/acid proofing is somewhat affordable but I don't remember exactly where the rust/acid proofing was coming from. Was it a slotless weapon quality from the magic item compendium? +10k? Maybe..? There's also a fairly cheap (IIRC) face slot item that's a pearl that fuses with (?vanishes into? IDR) your tongue, that's a good one to use as a merging base. There are some even better face slot / head slot options but they're obscure and kinda convoluted / expensive, like extremely so. There's also some kind of vest that can be enchanted with armor abilities, but the most critical stuff should go on the bracers. There's also some way to get a self-disguise effect on bracers but I don't recall how.

    If you use dragon mag, all rings can be poison rings (a weapon) and I know there's some way to turn either the face or head slot into a weapon but I don't recall the specifics. Making everything you can into a weapon is good because:
    > A lot of "this item is hard to perma-destroy" stuff is weapon-specific.
    > There are several defensive/utility weapon abilities, and dumping it all on the same weapon can get very expensive very fast. Including multiple mutually exclusive abilities that convert attack enhancement bonus into some other statistic, if someone in the party can efficiently buff large numbers of weapons.
    >> Having multiple armors is also good because of this - the bracers & the vest effectively lets you wear two pairs of armor at once.
    > You can never have enough spellblades (slotless enhancement that reflects a specific spell).
    > If your party is crazy rich, luckblade reroll effect is also something you can never have enough of.
    Last edited by Magikeeper; 2021-06-29 at 02:15 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

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

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    See, thatís kinda the point: Xykon beats him using an advantage only a sorcerer could have: spamming. A Wizard couldnít have pulled Energy Drain five times in a single fight, due to the nature of spell slots. But XykonÖCan. The analogy is that Xykon is the hammer to Dorukanís fine-tuned watch: he only had the one trickÖBut itís a hell of a trick. Also, what was unsatisfying about the V Xykon fight exactly. It seemed to be pretty good to me.
    Not just that, but this is a specific blind spot that lots of skilled people have. When you're used to competing at a high skill level, your legitimate threats are generally only going to be other high skilled opponents. These are people who are going to tend to be ready for anything and can attack from any angle. People with crippling overspecializations aren't going to survive to that level, so you're simply not going to face someone who can be a competent threat and can drill one trick super hard.

    Except... due to the nature of a sorcerer's magic, they don't have to have a crippling overspecialization to pull off that effect. And I imagine not all high level sorcerers would be as inclined as Xykon to resort to 'mindless' brute force tactics anyways.

    So this result also ties in even more to the prejudice that wizards might have against sorcerers and underestimating what they're capable of.

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    (and hey, he can no sell the impact damage from a point blank explosion of meteor swarms apparently, aside from being immune to Fire).
    Resist energy applies to each meteor individually, and it's pretty uncommon for 6d6-30 to do any damage at all.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

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

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Could you explain some of the ways V could have won that fight? I was fine with it and didn't see all those debate threads.
    I mean, it'd be a wearisome task but if you search the forums you can find the old Xykon v.s V threads from that time, where skepticism was brewing about how the heck Xykon could even win (and how the comic was being ruined by V being so powerful that no plausible threat existed). I spent some time looking them up myself a while back. Some of this was abated by the author gradually addressing it, and add ons to what I suspect was the initial story which helped soften the blow. It still came off as a bit ridiculous though. Much like Dorukan, the guy just has to stop and apply the right buffs and he'd golden even with no further adjustment. The adjustments also kind of didn't make sense and ruined the showdown.

    Some specific things that are annoying, even after a lot of the issues were fixed:
    1) Someone said "energy resistance, etc, ought to cover the meteor swarm". Yeh ok, he could have had a ring to protect from the fire, but what about the impact damage each of the 4 orbs cause when they explode? Xykon was at ground zero of the explosion, the damage should have been serious, and I don't even think there is an item to defend against that.
    2) How do Redcloak and Xykon know about soul splices, and isn't it just a little convenient for them to think of it and check so quickly?
    3) The prophecy & binding contract are frankly not fulfilled satisfactorily. V is told he will achieve "complete and total ultimate arcane power" and that his power will "dwarf any caster who has ever lived". V's power is not ultimate and complete; and not because he loses to Xykon. It's not complete and total because the way that power works "evolves" from the manner it originally appeared to work. The way it originally seemed to work was the levels of all 3 casters would stack, and so by harnessing 3 of the strongest ever casters to V he would have ultimate arcane power. So let's say Haerta, Ganonron and Jephton were level 70, 35 and 25. The combined caster level for V would now be 130. That was how may of us thought it worked. Instead, we get told later the levels don't stack and are shackled to V's normal base stats. I think a lot of readers would be annoyed by that because how can you have complete and total arcane power that dwarfs any caster to ever live when Haerta (who once lived) could have beaten you by herself? By definition V would have had no chance, because a wider array of spells attached to a mid level caster like V loses to Haerta. It was just a let down tbh.

    I like that the author did some things to improve the fight after the ridiculous maximized energy drain, but it was still unsatisfying.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-06-30 at 03:05 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    3) The prophecy & binding contract are frankly not fulfilled satisfactorily. V is told he will achieve "complete and total ultimate arcane power" and that his power will "dwarf any caster who has ever lived". V's power is not ultimate and complete; and not because he loses to Xykon. It's not complete and total because the way that power works "evolves" from the manner it originally appeared to work. The way it originally seemed to work was the levels of all 3 casters would stack, and so by harnessing 3 of the strongest ever casters to V he would have ultimate arcane power. So let's say Haerta, Ganonron and Jephton were level 70, 35 and 25. The combined caster level for V would now be 130. That was how may of us thought it worked. Instead, we get told later the levels don't stack and are shackled to V's normal base stats. I think a lot of readers would be annoyed by that because how can you have complete and total arcane power that dwarfs any caster to ever live when Haerta (who once lived) could have beaten you by herself? By definition V would have had no chance, because a wider array of spells attached to a mid level caster like V loses to Haerta. It was just a let down tbh.

    I like that the author did some things to improve the fight after the ridiculous maximized energy drain, but it was still unsatisfying.
    Almost as if the entire deal was offered by three fiends who were manipulating Vaarsuvius every step of the way and counted for exactly this kind of outcome.
    Last edited by Morty; 2021-06-30 at 03:14 AM.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
    Interested in the Nexus FFRP setting? See our Discord server.

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fyraltari's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    France
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    2) How do Redcloak and Xykon know about soul splices, and isn't it just a little convenient for them to think of it and check so quickly?
    Redcloak didn't check for Soul Splices, he used True Seeing which, if I am not mistaken, checks for a lot of shenanigans. As for how he knew what they were: he's a nerd. He's one of the most, if not the most, knowledgeable character in the comic.
    Instead, we get told later the levels don't stack and are shackled to V's normal base stats.
    I don't know much about D&D rules, but I don't think that's what Xykon is saying. He is saying that V isn't actually level 100, he made a deal so V could borrow that power but because V didn't level up fair and square that power can be taken away, unlike Xykon's. Xykon isn't saying that V didn't enjoy all the perks of being level 130 or whatever, he's saying that once the source of V's power is taken away, V's just a mid-level wizard again. So V was the weak link in that situation however you look at it.
    "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
    Gehm's corollary to Clarke's Third Law



    Mage avatar by smutmulch.

    Forum Wisdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Almost as if the entire deal was offered by three fiends who were manipulating Vaarsuvius every step of the way and counted for exactly this kind of outcome.
    1) It contradicts the prophecy too
    2) If the fiends can just lie about the contract why honour any of it? We've been presented in the story with a contract that is prima facie binding. For the author to let it be ignored or gotten out of by some sort of imaginative interpretation of it is a let down. Why not just say "oh, we were measuring time according to the snoozypuss dimension, where every second is worth a year". Why does any of the spirit of the contract need to be promised if they can just cheat out of it? They promised his power would dwarf any caster to ever live. It didn't. That is a let down. To clarify; I 100% believe the original intention and portrayal is for the levels to stack, which fulfills the prophecy. Then Rich realized he'd boxed himself in too much and that wouldn't work, so suddenly that wasn't how the splices worked. I'd rather he just had V lose a 2nd splice before fighting Xykon so it wouldn't have ruined stuff that had been so nicely set up.

    It's a small complaint. Overall the story in that Arc, and in SoD, was fantastic. So I hate to seem like I'm being too harsh on it. Just those 2 particular Xykon fights were annoying to me. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Redcloak didn't check for Soul Splices, he used True Seeing which, if I am not mistaken, checks for a lot of shenanigans. As for how he knew what they were: he's a nerd. He's one of the most, if not the most, knowledgeable character in the comic.


    I don't know much about D&D rules, but I don't think that's what Xykon is saying. He is saying that V isn't actually level 100, he made a deal so V could borrow that power but because V didn't level up fair and square that power can be taken away, unlike Xykon's. Xykon isn't saying that V didn't enjoy all the perks of being level 130 or whatever, he's saying that once the source of V's power is taken away, V's just a mid-level wizard again. So V was the weak link in that situation however you look at it.
    No, this isn't right. V legitimately retained the base stats he ordinarily had. All he got was their spells. That was how he was failing checks and missing attacks he should have made with ease. So the prophecy doesn't work.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-06-30 at 03:28 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Orc in the Playground
     
    pearl jam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    Not just that, but this is a specific blind spot that lots of skilled people have. When you're used to competing at a high skill level, your legitimate threats are generally only going to be other high skilled opponents. These are people who are going to tend to be ready for anything and can attack from any angle. People with crippling overspecializations aren't going to survive to that level, so you're simply not going to face someone who can be a competent threat and can drill one trick super hard.

    Except... due to the nature of a sorcerer's magic, they don't have to have a crippling overspecialization to pull off that effect. And I imagine not all high level sorcerers would be as inclined as Xykon to resort to 'mindless' brute force tactics anyways.

    So this result also ties in even more to the prejudice that wizards might have against sorcerers and underestimating what they're capable of.
    People have a frequent tendency to stick with something that they have seen to be successful. (This is also a response to the "Energy Drain again? critique of the V fight)

    In this case, I think a good analogy for the fight is a hard throwing pitcher. Sure, Xykon could mix in a curve ball or a slider or something, but then he may miss the strike zone. In this fight he's basically just showing Dorukan that he's gonna throw fastballs right over the center of the plate and Durokan can take the pitch or try to swing, but he'll strike out either way because he's just not capable (perhaps due to lack of preparation) to hit Xykon's fastball.
    Last edited by pearl jam; 2021-06-30 at 03:35 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pearl jam View Post
    People have a frequent tendency to stick with something that they have seen to be successful. (This is also a response to the "Energy Drain again? critique of the V fight)

    In this case, I think a good analogy for the fight is a hard throwing pitcher. Sure, Xykon could mix in a curve ball or a slider or something, but then he may miss the strike zone. In this fight he's basically just showing Dorukan that he's gonna throw fastballs right over the center of the plate and Durokan can take the pitch or try to swing, but he'll strike out either way because he's just not capable (perhaps due to lack of preparation) to hit Xykon's fastball.
    Except in this situation Xykon gets to throw 4-5 pitches, and Dorukan is only allowed to swing once because screw the rules Xykon is badass. If you liked the fight good for you. It rubbed me the wrong way because it was a rule of cool idiot ball railroad that ignored the rules that the comic ordinarily seems to operate by. How hard would it have been to give Xykon the win legit, instead of like that?
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-06-30 at 04:24 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    1) It contradicts the prophecy too
    It really doesn't. Vaarsuvius got "ultimate arcane power" just like they wanted. That they couldn't use it properly and it wasn't what they'd expected doesn't make the prophecy inaccurate.

    2) If the fiends can just lie about the contract why honour any of it? We've been presented in the story with a contract that is prima facie binding. For the author to let it be ignored or gotten out of by some sort of imaginative interpretation of it is a let down. Why not just say "oh, we were measuring time according to the snoozypuss dimension, where every second is worth a year". Why does any of the spirit of the contract need to be promised if they can just cheat out of it? They promised his power would dwarf any caster to ever live. It didn't. That is a let down. To clarify; I 100% believe the original intention and portrayal is for the levels to stack, which fulfills the prophecy. Then Rich realized he'd boxed himself in too much and that wouldn't work, so suddenly that wasn't how the splices worked. I'd rather he just had V lose a 2nd splice before fighting Xykon so it wouldn't have ruined stuff that had been so nicely set up.
    Your repeated conjecture about the author's motives is, to put it mildly, not well-founded. The fiends were truthful about the terms of the deal - they gave Vaarsuvius the three soul splices and they got hold of their soul for as much time as they spent using those souls. They just buried it in half-truths, carefully-placed lies and things that Vaarsuvius could have and should have questioned but didn't. Because they're fiends and this is what they do.

    Much like with Vaarsuvius themselves, your "let down" is mostly caused by your expectation of something that was never going to happen.
    Last edited by Morty; 2021-06-30 at 03:45 AM.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.
    Interested in the Nexus FFRP setting? See our Discord server.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Orc in the Playground
     
    pearl jam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    1) It contradicts the prophecy too
    2) If the fiends can just lie about the contract why honour any of it? We've been presented in the story with a contract that is prima facie binding. For the author to let it be ignored or gotten out of by some sort of imaginative interpretation of it is a let down. Why not just say "oh, we were measuring time according to the snoozypuss dimension, where every second is worth a year". Why does any of the spirit of the contract need to be promised if they can just cheat out of it? They promised his power would dwarf any caster to ever live. It didn't. That is a let down. To clarify; I 100% believe the original intention and portrayal is for the levels to stack, which fulfills the prophecy. Then Rich realized he'd boxed himself in too much and that wouldn't work, so suddenly that wasn't how the splices worked. I'd rather he just had V lose a 2nd splice before fighting Xykon so it wouldn't have ruined stuff that had been so nicely set up.

    It's a small complaint. Overall the story in that Arc, and in SoD, was fantastic. So I hate to seem like I'm being too harsh on it. Just those 2 particular Xykon fights were annoying to me. Sorry.



    No, this isn't right. V legitimately retained the base stats he ordinarily had. All he got was their spells. That was how he was failing checks and missing attacks he should have made with ease. So the prophecy doesn't work.
    He got their "arcane power", narrowly speaking, in access to their spells. The combination of spells available to V after the splice was more than any other caster who ever lived in their universe, thus they fulfilled the promise in a narrow legalistic sense.

    Because V didn't get any power beyond their "arcane power" he was still much less powerful than Xykon, particularly due to his lack of familiarity with the power he'd inherited and his poor strategic employment of it.

    That devils will keep the letter of the contract but do so in a way that breaks the spirit of it is a very well established tradition of such contracts, so I think it's completely to be expected that the goods they delivered to V didn't live up to their hype while still meeting the requirements in the narrowest sense possible.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

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

    It's not "ultimate and complete arcane power" if you have less arcane power than one of the splices individually. If you want to look for wordplays to try and rationalize the contract and prophecy you can find them; I'm just saying they are unsatisfying to me, because you could just as easily use wordplay to negate the whole prophecy/contract. That's cheap, and unenjoyable to me, and inconsistent with how the rest of the comic is being portrayed. It undermines the story to me, by begging the question of why even bother to treat any of the contract/prophecy as binding, just claim you are using a different interpretation of words, or another language where the words meant something different, or whatever.

    As for Dorukan, just to clarify for anyone interested, the final sequence in the disappointing fight with Xykon goes as follows: Xykon casts 2 energy drains. Dorukan gets one non-specific blast spell of some kind. Xykon casts 3 further energy drains. What sort of satisfying rules based fight is that? Never mind all the stuff that came before that point. Yeh, ok, Rich can toss the rules when he likes, but he's also writing a story which (whether he likes it or not in hindsight) has been written in a D&D rules based context. In fact, Rich has in the past done an amazing job in providing rules based explanations of how certain fights he depicted could have worked. This is not one of those occasions, and I suspect I'm not alone in finding it unsatisfying when Xykon could so easily have been depicted as having a legitimate win given his likely level at that point.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-06-30 at 04:23 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    1) Someone said "energy resistance, etc, ought to cover the meteor swarm". Yeh ok, he could have had a ring to protect from the fire, but what about the impact damage each of the 4 orbs cause when they explode? Xykon was at ground zero of the explosion, the damage should have been serious, and I don't even think there is an item to defend against that.
    There isn't any. Only a creature intentionally targeted by one of the spheres takes such damage, and even then only on a successful ranged touch attack.

    Aside: I remember when that strip came out, people were upset over the immunity thing so it was actually relevant that a Greater Ring of Fire Resistance was effectively the same for this purpose, but I don't actually recall why people thought it was such a big deal.

    2) How do Redcloak and Xykon know about soul splices, and isn't it just a little convenient for them to think of it and check so quickly?
    Literally seeing the souls spliced to V probably helped in coming to that conclusion. One might question whether casting "True Seeing" is an appropriate response to a battle with a high level spellcaster that has been weird from the very beginning, but I don't think you'll get much traction on that.

    So the only point remaining on this question is whether or not it's reasonable for team evil to know that soul splices are even a thing.
    Last edited by Hurkyl; 2021-06-30 at 05:31 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    There isn't any. Only a creature intentionally targeted by one of the spheres takes such damage, and even then only on a successful ranged touch attack.

    Aside: I remember when that strip came out, people were upset over the immunity thing so it was actually relevant that a Greater Ring of Fire Resistance was effectively the same for this purpose, but I don't actually recall why people thought it was such a big deal.


    Literally seeing the souls spliced to V probably helped in coming to that conclusion. One might question whether casting "True Seeing" is an appropriate response to a battle with a high level spellcaster that has been weird from the very beginning, but I don't think you'll get much traction on that.

    So the only point remaining on this question is whether or not it's reasonable for team evil to know that soul splices are even a thing.
    Uh no, the stuff like them knowing about the soul splices is more tangentially annoying. The bigger issues are the others I've highlighted, like how V fights like an idiot and gets jobbed out of the power he supposedly had. Those other things are asides. The Xykon fight didn't end up too bad after the author added more elements to it... it was still disappointing though.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-06-30 at 05:57 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    EU
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    Uh no, the stuff like them knowing about the soul splices is more tangentially annoying. The bigger issues are the others I've highlighted, like how V fights like an idiot and gets jobbed out of the power he supposedly had. Those other things are asides. The Xykon fight didn't end up too bad after the author added more elements to it... it was still disappointing though.
    What's so weird about a studious high-level cleric and Epic level sorcerer lich knowing what a soul splice is? Xykon shows a certain knowledge of ways to cheat death, so it's not absurd he learnt about fiendish bargains and stuff like soul splices.

    And yes, V fights like an idiot. That's the point of the whole scene: V was utterly convinced all it took to win was usage of high level spells and that Xykon would just crumble before sheer arcane might. V, in that moment, is obsessed with "fixing everything" and doesn't spend time to analyse and think clearly - teleporting into Xykon's lair unprepared and alone, thinking that since they have achieved power of the highest degree, nothing can stop them now.

    How is V "jobbed out" of the power that had been given? The fiends had been clear on the splice's duration being dependant on V's willpower, and when it wavered or got impaired, V lost the splices.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Clertar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ockham
    Gender
    Male

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

    It was meant to be like the Mountain-Martell fight, where the guy we're rooting for has a lot of skill and we think they have a good chance of winning, but they become overconfident and in such a high stakes fight one mistake is a deadly mistake.
    "Like the old proverb says, if one sees something not right, one must draw out his sword to intervene"

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    1) It contradicts the prophecy too.
    No it doesn't. It just doesn't fulfill the prophecy the way you expected it to be fulfilled. That's not a issue with the story, that's an issue with your expectations.
    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    3) The prophecy & binding contract are frankly not fulfilled satisfactorily.
    I recall being perfectly satisfied with it.
    Spoiler: Avatar by always-awesome Cuthalion
    Show
    Spoiler: Come down with fire
    Show
    Spoiler: Lift my spirit higher
    Show
    Spoiler: Someone's screaming my name
    Show
    If anyone has a crayon drawing they would like to put on the Kickstarter Reward Collection Thread, PM me.
    Quote Originally Posted by pearl jam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hroĢila View Post
    Peelee's genius status confirmed
    Seconded.

Posting Permissions

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