A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    That's not a contradiction at all. They got a detailed story about her life and associates during the Crayons of Time sequence. "That halfling that journeyed with the Order of the Scribble and is guarding the final gate" would work even if they didn't have her name, but including her name in the message proves they aren't part of the Holey Brotherhood or whatever.

    She got not such accounting about them, nor did she reciprocate contact to get anything like that, so "here's who's calling you" is reasonable.
    Like an unsolicited business letter. "To Soandso, I'm Such-and-such on behalf of Blahblahblah, contacting you about [insert matter here.]
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    We should try to make that a thing; I think it might help civility. Hey, GitP, let's try to make this a thing: when you're arguing optimization strategies, RAW-logic, and similar such things that you'd never actually use in a game, tag your post [THEORETICAL] and/or use green text

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyoi View Post
    My argument doesn't really rest on the characterization, I just mentioned it to give context to my perspective. I do think it's supportable from the story, though: when we first see Serini in the crayon flashbacks she's cheery and optimistic, the more serious members of the party seem to find her annoying (but possibly also endearing), and she's proposing the wildcard tactic of multiclassing from rogue to paladin. Her diary entry that we see mentions that she "totally zoned out on the details" of the gates, and she seems more focused on social dynamics within the party.

    All that gives a characterization that is in contrast with what we've seen so far of Old Serini, making me read this is as a Break the Cutie type narrative.
    I'm not sure you can equate optimism with wildcard status. But I appreciate that this is an aside and not really what your points rest on.

    Which, as Hurkyl pointed out, is supported by the fact that Team Evil did not destroy (or even access) Dorukan's gate during all the time they had uncontested control of it.

    I haven't read Start of Darkness yet so I can't speak to the exact details of how Lirian's gate was destroyed, but from what others have said it was destroyed through collateral damage from a conflict. She doesn't expect someone else to topple the gate, she expects someone else to topple Xykon. That battle doesn't necessarily have to happen at the gate, and it also doesn't necessarily have to happen before the other rifts are resealed. As Serini told the paladins, that battle doesn't necessarily have to happen at all if it would threaten the gate, because a world ruled by Xykon is still preferable (for Serini) to a world unmade by the Snarl/the gods.
    I apologise for spoiling SoD when you haven't read it.

    I probably can't discuss the evidence that Xykon is a threat to the gate with you, because that evidence is in SoD.

    From a reasoning point of view though, Serini acknowledges that it is conflict that is the threat to the gate, and later acknowledges that conflict will continue with her prediction that someone will topple him.

    And Serini would no doubt oppose those adventurers as well.
    So that would be conflict between Serini and another adventuring group near the gate? That group would likely just see her and her allies as monster defenders of Xykon's gate. If they thought they were strong enough to challenge Xykon they are probably much stronger than Serini (as the Order was). Once they defeat her, not knowing the backstory they are likely to destroy the gate that is the source of the evil lich's power.

    I guess this is where we disagree. It seems to me that if Serini saw all the events we saw, she would view the Order and the Paladins in an unfavorable light. If she saw some subset of what we saw, she would probably still view them unfavorably. I'm having a hard time coming up with a version of events that looks good, honestly.
    Oh, maybe. I was speaking relatively. Most of the discussion has assumed Serini knows that the order destroyed two gates and very little else, which paints them in a terrible light. If she knows a whole lot more, your mileage may vary whether it paints them in good or bad light, but it's a whole lot better than just the destroyer of gates.

    Serini already knows that the Order/Paladins have no intention of destroying the last gate. She doesn't think they should even have let things come to the point where there was only one gate left to destroy.
    From 1229 Serini is worried that, despite having no intention of destroying a gate, the paladins/Order would do so as a last resort to prevent Xykon from getting it. She believes that based on the fact that is what has happnened previously.

    But if she heard roy, she would have heard him say that that they were only destroying Girard's gate as a last resort because another gate remained. The clear implication was that he would not have destroyed the gate to keep it out of the wrong hands if it had been the last gate.

    This may not have entirely assuaged Serini's worries about the Order, but it should have lowered them.

    An escaped prisoner who was a former paladin who went nuts and destroyed the gate because she believed that her divine destiny demanded that she do so? Or, taking O'Chul's report, "I did make that decision, and it was my blade that did the deed". Hinjo also expected O'Chul to destroy the gate under those circumstances.
    Sure, but still someone who was rogue in the context of paladins society, someone who had been locked up for taking rash actions, someone who had fallen, and someone who took action in the face of shouts of "no" from other paladins. The mere fact that she was imprisoned immediately prior suggests that her goals and outlook were misaligned with the paladins.

    Quite the contrary, it seems to me you have to really specifically cherry-pick the information to get a narrative that doesn't make the Order/Paladins seem like a liability.
    Hardly, I thought she knew little more than that the order and paladins had destroyed some gates. I didn't even attribute to her the additional knowledge that Miko was an escaped prisoner and not a paladin when she destroyed the gate.

    Does the latest strip change your view on how much Serini knew about the Order?

    I'm not objecting to metaknowledge in general, I'm objecting to the argument that Serini should trust the Order as we do, when the basis of our trust in the Order is our knowledge of their protagonist status and of the general direction of the story, which aren't things we should expect to enter into Serini's decision-making process. I'm arguing that if Serini knows everything about the Order that we know about the Order, except that they are destined for success by the story we are reading, then her distrust is rational. If Serini knows less about the Order than we do, her distrust is still rational.
    What I take you to be saying here is that you are not relying on metaknowledge at all. It's just that you think that Serini knows as much as any reader of the comics does except that we are destined for the Order to prevail.

    But that's not true - you were justifying Serini's actions based on things that had not yet happened, such as the Order piercing the illusion. That is no different from criticising her choices based on things that had not happened yet (such as losing the fight with the Order).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermoot View Post
    V wasting words in Sending spells is a long standing tradition. Look at just the example from the latest strip

    "Order of the Stick to Serini Toormuck:"

    None of that is necessary. the Receiver of the sending is implicit and this adds nothing to the message

    "We are working to safeguard your colleague's..."

    you can take out "we are" "to" "your colleague's" to save six works. "Safeguarding Gates" works just as well in 2.
    With lots of spell slots andnot that much to cast them on, do they need to conserve words in sendings?

    Quote Originally Posted by elros View Post
    If we want to talk about characters who should be making different decisions, top of my list would be asking why Vaarsuvius doesn't contact Aarindarius for help. I know that things happen because of the plot and storytelling, but the Giant even pointed out (through IFCC) that the OOTS could contact Aarindarius. Considering Vaarsuvius is compromised by the IFCC, it makes sense to ask for help from V's mentor.
    I think that was pretty clearly cast as obviously a decision that took him more toward evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    That, as claimed, "way too many people had a reaction to Bandana that sure as death didn't go with what was on the page."

    The reasons why, people can decide for themselves. The point is that there was a mismatch between "reaction" and "what the characters were seen doing".
    It's kind of a common situation in real life quite commonly. A more junior person gets promoted ahead of a more senior person, and the senior person resents it.

    In our society normal people wouldn't try to take command by force though. But this is a pirate ship, and I think on a pirate ship you foten do take control by force.

    i suppose who was right and wrong comes down for the norms for priates on the OotS world - does command change by force or by bequethment? If the former, perhaps neither Andi nor Bandana was in the wrong.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2021-09-16 at 06:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    I think some of us have strong opinions on what should be, and are weighing things by how well they support that.

    For example: Serini and TOotS should team up.

    They then either consciously or unconsciously read things in a way that favors their opinion.

    For example, Rox at the pyramid.

    A. Roy said he would not destroy the last gate, so Serini is stupid to not instantly believe cool and trustworthy Roy.

    B. Serini saw Roy knock down 20% of the stability of existence, not as a last resort, or third resort but as the first option, because, hey, there's one more. And you expect her to even care what Roy said?

    Any sentence that says [Character] thinks [this,] should be prefaced with, "The way I read it..."

    A lot of conclusions are springing from things which are in the end unchallenged and incorrect statements of 'facts.'

    It's okay to have opinions. Just remember that that is all they are. They may have to change a few times before this is all over.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-09-16 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    I meant specifically in your claim
    Do not play this cheap game with me, please.
    When you attempt to attribute to a conversation a structure of claim and counter claim, you are doing it wrong.(When conversing with me, anyway).
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  5. - Top - End - #515
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    I think some of us have strong opinions on what should be, and are weighing things by how well they support that.



    A. Roy said he would not destroy the last gate, so Serini is stupid to not instantly believe cool and trustworthy Roy.

    B. Serini saw Roy knock down 20% of the stability of existence, not as a last resort, or third resort but as the first option, because, hey, there's one more. And you expect her to even care what Roy said?
    Serini has not talked to Roy yet and might have no idea he said this. I think it would have been decent to try to talk to him first before pummeling the Order into submission. Maybe he agrees with her reasoning and decides that destroying the last gate isn't an option. Or, as we know, he already came to that conclusion on his own.
    Or he disagrees and Serini is in basically the same position. Maybe the Order expects an ambush based on how the conversation went, but there's not much they could do about it. They expected an ambush coming into this chamber and still got surprised by it.
    The real risk is that the Order might ignore her warnings and then get captured and interrogated by Team Evil. Up to you, I guess, whether that risk is high enough to justify attacking people unprovoked.

  6. - Top - End - #516
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    I think some of us have strong opinions on what should be, and are weighing things by how well they support that.

    For example: Serini and TOotS should team up.

    They then either consciously or unconsciously read things in a way that favors their opinion.

    For example, Rox at the pyramid.

    A. Roy said he would not destroy the last gate, so Serini is stupid to not instantly believe cool and trustworthy Roy.

    B. Serini saw Roy knock down 20% of the stability of existence, not as a last resort, or third resort but as the first option, because, hey, there's one more. And you expect her to even care what Roy said?

    Any sentence that says [Character] thinks [this,] should be prefaced with, "The way I read it..."

    A lot of conclusions are springing from things which are in the end unchallenged and incorrect statements of 'facts.'

    It's okay to have opinions. Just remember that that is all they are. They may have to change a few times before this is all over.
    I agree with you, but I see the opposite example in this thread. Sorta like:

    Serini is so cool so surely she:

    A. Has an actual plan to defeat Xykon

    B. Hasn't just given up and is willing to let Xykon win

    C. Doesn't have deep psychological flaws (like most of the other antagonists) that is causing her to be irrationally.
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Serini has not talked to Roy yet. But based on what we know, why would it matter?

    What would Roy have to say that would matter to her, and why should she give away any of her secrets?

    (remember, no extrapolations based on what we think she knows, only defendable facts.)

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Serini has not talked to Roy yet. But based on what we know, why would it matter?

    What would Roy have to say that would matter to her, and why should she give away any of her secrets?

    (remember, no extrapolations based on what we think she knows, only defendable facts.)
    Destroying the world would result in Hel being in charge of the next one, which would be as bad or worse than Xykon ruling the world. Therefore the Order cannot destroy the gate as a last resort, even if they really did think the world was better off dead than under Xykon's heel.

    Also, she would learn the gods are ready to destroy the world if Xykon wins, which might change her strategy.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I agree with you, but I see the opposite example in this thread. Sorta like:

    Serini is so cool so surely she:

    A. Has an actual plan to defeat Xykon

    B. Hasn't just given up and is willing to let Xykon win

    C. Doesn't have deep psychological flaws (like most of the other antagonists) that is causing her to be irrationally.
    Honestly I don't see why C. would take away from her character - heck, the protagonists have deep psychological flaws, even if they've dealt with them for now.
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Honestly I don't see why C. would take away from her character - heck, the protagonists have deep psychological flaws, even if they've dealt with them for now.
    None of it does. I honestly like the idea that Serini didn't just 'get over' being horrifically maimed by Xykon.

    But at the same time, we can only judge her by what she's said and done, and her amnesia potion plan simply won't work. It is just flat out a bad idea.
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    None of it does. I honestly like the idea that Serini didn't just 'get over' being horrifically maimed by Xykon.

    But at the same time, we can only judge her by what she's said and done, and her amnesia potion plan simply won't work. It is just flat out a bad idea.
    Personally I figured that she's also afraid for her adoptive family, and has emotional baggage considering the circumstances how this Gate was sealed.

    And honestly I'd get that.
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Honestly I don't see why C. would take away from her character - heck, the protagonists have deep psychological flaws, even if they've dealt with them for now.
    The problem is that the narrative set up Serini having principled opposition to protagonists involvement. So if it turns out "whoops, she's just crazy", it not only destroys the narrative, but it's rather offensive towards those principles.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    The problem is that the narrative set up Serini having principled opposition to protagonists involvement. So if it turns out "whoops, she's just crazy", it not only destroys the narrative, but it's rather offensive towards those principles.
    Excuse me? Xykon came a 5-foot step within killing her and stole her information about the Gates. Irrationally scared of him sure, but crazy?
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    The problem is that the narrative set up Serini having principled opposition to protagonists involvement. So if it turns out "whoops, she's just crazy", it not only destroys the narrative, but it's rather offensive towards those principles.
    It's not really crazy. Her fear is informing her principled opposition rather than overriding it, and blinding her to the flaws of her own plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Excuse me? Xykon came a 5-foot step within killing her and stole her information about the Gates. Irrationally scared of him sure, but crazy?
    Yes? I'm expressing contempt for what that twist would do to the narrative, so the phrasing with negative connotation is appropriate.

    If you're thinking I'd be expressing contempt for her character, I guess I can see how you'd misunderstand since that was what you had been talking about. I thought I had made it clear enough I was referring to the impact on the storytelling, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    It's not really crazy. Her fear is informing her principled opposition rather than overriding it, and blinding her to the flaws of her own plans.
    On these lines, the question boils down to how the conflict is resolved: do the protagonists refute her position by demonstrating better reasons, or does the story dismiss her position by tearing down her character?

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    Yes? I'm expressing contempt for what that twist would do to the narrative, so the phrasing with negative connotation is appropriate.

    If you're thinking I'd be expressing contempt for her character, I guess I can see how you'd misunderstand since that was what you had been talking about. I thought I had made it clear enough I was referring to the impact on the storytelling, though.
    It's hardly a twist. It's an explanation on why she isn't opposing Xykon that makes a lot of sense. Because as this thread has pointed out, her plan to let Xykon just conquer the world doesn't actually make sense and neither does her plan to dose the Order with amnesia potions.


    Now if she has an actual plan to fight Xykon, then hey, we can judge that plan. However there isn't really any evidence that there is such a plan.

    But we already know her plan to amnesia potion the Order won't work, because if Xykon gets the Gate it is an immediate Game Over for the entire world. Therefore, while we know she's a threat to the Order in the sense of weakening them/distracting them, she won't actually defeat them.

    So maybe they'll get an explanation on what her real plan is. Or maybe they'll find out that she doesn't actually have a plan at all. Either or.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    On these lines, the question boils down to how the conflict is resolved: do the protagonists refute her position by demonstrating better reasons, or does the story dismiss her position by tearing down her character?
    EDIT: Actually this brings up a good question:

    What, exactly, is Serini's character? She's only been on screen for like, a dozen comics, and has spent most of those sniping away with only minimal dialogue. So what do you think her character is?
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    On these lines, the question boils down to how the conflict is resolved: do the protagonists refute her position by demonstrating better reasons, or does the story dismiss her position by tearing down her character?
    Serini's position is that the Order can't beat Xykon and will destroy the gate when they realize that. That second part is an incorrect assumption, we know the Order won't do that, and are actually staking everything on a fight to the death with Xykon. The conflict being resolved by Serini learning this would not only be pretty boring, it would be frustrating as it would mean that everything would have been resolved already if Serini had just answered V's sendings.
    Last edited by hungrycrow; 2021-09-17 at 12:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I'm not sure you can equate optimism with wildcard status. But I appreciate that this is an aside and not really what your points rest on.
    What I said was:

    Quote Originally Posted by me
    she's cheery and optimistic, the more serious members of the party seem to find her annoying (but possibly also endearing), and she's proposing the wildcard tactic of multiclassing from rogue to paladin. Her diary entry that we see mentions that she "totally zoned out on the details" of the gates, and she seems more focused on social dynamics within the party.
    That's a lot more support for wildcard status than just optimism.

    I apologise for spoiling SoD when you haven't read it.

    I probably can't discuss the evidence that Xykon is a threat to the gate with you, because that evidence is in SoD.
    No worries, spoilers aren't something that bother me much. My understanding from hearsay is that Team Evil accidentally destroyed the gate while in combat with Lirian's defenders. That's consistent with Serini's desire to prevent combat from occurring near her gate. Regardless, even if she does view Xykon as a threat, that doesn't mean she should allow the Order/paladins to get involved, given that her gate is only in the danger it is in because of the previous failures of the Order and the paladins.

    From a reasoning point of view though, Serini acknowledges that it is conflict that is the threat to the gate, and later acknowledges that conflict will continue with her prediction that someone will topple him.
    That's fair, though as I pointed out in the last post, that hypothetical future conflict doesn't necessarily have to happen near the gate, and postponing that conflict also opens the possibility of repairing the other gates before putting this one in danger. Serini might also be hoping for a more qualified party than the Order, and as she told the Paladins, even if nobody shows up to topple Xykon, that's still a better outcome than the unmaking of reality. As she said, some people (monsters) might even be better off under Xykon's rule.

    Basically, Serini is opting to deal with immediate threats to the gate right now, and worry about future threats to the gate in the future.

    So that would be conflict between Serini and another adventuring group near the gate? That group would likely just see her and her allies as monster defenders of Xykon's gate. If they thought they were strong enough to challenge Xykon they are probably much stronger than Serini (as the Order was). Once they defeat her, not knowing the backstory they are likely to destroy the gate that is the source of the evil lich's power.
    These are all hypothetical futures, while the Order's current incursion is an immediate threat. Again, Serini's approach seems to be to reject any option that involves gambling with the safety of the Gate.

    Oh, maybe. I was speaking relatively. Most of the discussion has assumed Serini knows that the order destroyed two gates and very little else, which paints them in a terrible light. If she knows a whole lot more, your mileage may vary whether it paints them in good or bad light, but it's a whole lot better than just the destroyer of gates.
    Sure, in the sense that it makes them less culpable in a moral sense, but knowing the details still doesn't make a convincing case that they are safe to have around. As someone else pointed out, Serini has been the guardian of the gate for a long time, so when some adventurers want her to hand off that responsibility and operate according to their plan instead of hers, the default answer is "no", and she needs a very good reason to do otherwise.

    From 1229 Serini is worried that, despite having no intention of destroying a gate, the paladins/Order would do so as a last resort to prevent Xykon from getting it. She believes that based on the fact that is what has happnened previously.

    But if she heard roy, she would have heard him say that that they were only destroying Girard's gate as a last resort because another gate remained. The clear implication was that he would not have destroyed the gate to keep it out of the wrong hands if it had been the last gate.

    This may not have entirely assuaged Serini's worries about the Order, but it should have lowered them.
    Again "I know we messed up and lost the last three gates we fought over, but this time will be different because we will try extra hard not to mess up" is not a compelling argument.

    Sure, but still someone who was rogue in the context of paladins society, someone who had been locked up for taking rash actions, someone who had fallen, and someone who took action in the face of shouts of "no" from other paladins. The mere fact that she was imprisoned immediately prior suggests that her goals and outlook were misaligned with the paladins.
    I feel like this is ignoring that O'Chul would have destroyed the gate a few moments before Miko did had Xykon not paralyzed him. Miko acted as she did because she saw what O'Chul was trying to do and failed to understand that it was no longer necessary.

    Hardly, I thought she knew little more than that the order and paladins had destroyed some gates. I didn't even attribute to her the additional knowledge that Miko was an escaped prisoner and not a paladin when she destroyed the gate.

    Does the latest strip change your view on how much Serini knew about the Order?
    The latest strip confirmed that she knows the identity of the Order, and that she knows what the Order's intentions are in coming here. That changes the dynamic of their relationship, but it doesn't really change my understanding of Serini's assessment of them.

    What I take you to be saying here is that you are not relying on metaknowledge at all. It's just that you think that Serini knows as much as any reader of the comics does except that we are destined for the Order to prevail.

    But that's not true - you were justifying Serini's actions based on things that had not yet happened, such as the Order piercing the illusion. That is no different from criticising her choices based on things that had not happened yet (such as losing the fight with the Order).
    I'm still a little unclear on what you mean by metaknowledge here, but maybe this will help: I'm justifying Serini's actions by saying that she has assessed the Order's character and competence, and found them wanting by her standards. The Order's later actions were't what made Serini's actions reasonable, but they were consistent with her view.

    I will say that the best case the Order has going for them is the conversation in comic 1224. Roy's statements in panels 2 and 3, if Serini could hear them, ought to go a long way towards earning Serini's trust (we might be about to see that in the next page or two of the comic).

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy
    Our job here is to stop Xykon, not find the Gate ourselves—and the one place we know for a fact he's not is here in this exact tunnel. We can't afford to do that thing we always do where we blunder around and cause a lot of damage before fixing it at the last minute. Because this is the last Gate. If we do any harm to its defenses now and then fail to defeat Xykon, we'll be leaving it exposed.
    If Roy communicates that sentiment to Serini and she still is all "you children have no idea how important this is! Only I must defend the gate!" then I will agree with you that she is being unreasonable and begins to seem to be driven more by pride and stubbornness than by legitimate caution.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Serini has not talked to Roy yet. But based on what we know, why would it matter?

    What would Roy have to say that would matter to her, and why should she give away any of her secrets?

    (remember, no extrapolations based on what we think she knows, only defendable facts.)
    A discussion with Roy, as well as some gentle persuasion, would reveal to her that the Gods have given up one billion times, and don't care one whit about giving up one billion and one times, which would therefore render her plan(?) pointless or even counterproductive. They might be able to convince her to come up with a proactive plan to stop Xykon from mucking around her gate, rather than coming up with proactive plans to stop anyone who's at least ATTEMPTING to stop Xykon.

    I'm not sure they could really convince her that they're trustworthy or that they're able to stop Xykon, but at the very least they might be willing to leave the True Dungeon and try to set up an ambush somewhere in the fake dungeon, since they're both in agreement that the gate's defenses shall not be weakened.

    I also get the sense that if Serini mentions her vague hope that "the world will survive a few years of a villain calling the shots before someone topples him", the Order might present the same argument that I have: someone's trying to topple him now and toppling him later is not going to be an option, even if the Gods don't just ragequit. In fact they might be able to solve the gate issue for a very very long time!

    Honestly, there's a LOT to be gained from not immediately attacking people, even in fantasy worlds. I know I'm throwing out a lot of mights and maybes here, but it seems apparent to me that there's plenty of relevant points to make, and this is just off the top of my head.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Serini's position is that the Order can't beat Xykon and will destroy the gate when they realize that.
    She's talking to the paladins at that point, and Lien outright affirmed one of Serini's main concerns about their frame of mind:
    Quote Originally Posted by #1228
    Serini:... are you willing to do whatever it takes to stop [Xykon] from taking control of the Gate?
    Lien: Yes, duh, of course!
    But ultimately, her explicitly stated position is simply that the protagonists have screwed up four times too many, and she's unwilling to give them the chance to screw up a fifth time.
    Quote Originally Posted by #1229 (Serini)
    ... no fifth chances on Serini's watch.

    If I take you off the board, then there's no more conflict.

    No more conflict means no chance of the Gate being destroyed, either accidentally or as some sort of misguided act of sacrifice
    As an aside, this makes me wonder how much she actually knows and what she's assuming about the circumstances of the destruction of Lirian's gate.

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow (continued)
    That second part is an incorrect assumption, we know the Order won't do that, and are actually staking everything on a fight to the death with Xykon.
    You describe exactly the frame of mind that Serini was chastising the Paladins for having.

    And guess what? The stakes the OotS is offering up for this gamble include one of the gate defenses that has been working extremely very well. (let alone whatever might happen during the course of the fight)

    The conflict being resolved by Serini learning this would not only be pretty boring, it would be frustrating as it would mean that everything would have been resolved already if Serini had just answered V's sendings.
    Nah, what's frustrating if that somehow resolved the conflict despite none of the criticisms of the protagonists being addressed.
    Last edited by Hurkyl; 2021-09-17 at 01:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyoi View Post
    What I said was:
    That's a lot more support for wildcard status than just optimism.
    None of those things (thinking amount multi-classing etc) add up to a wild card in my opinion, in the sense that you are meaning. Given that this is not central to your argument, I suggest we don't spend too long on it.

    No worries, spoilers aren't something that bother me much. My understanding from hearsay is that Team Evil accidentally destroyed the gate while in combat with Lirian's defenders. That's consistent with Serini's desire to prevent combat from occurring near her gate. Regardless, even if she does view Xykon as a threat, that doesn't mean she should allow the Order/paladins to get involved, given that her gate is only in the danger it is in because of the previous failures of the Order and the paladins.
    It's consistent with conflict occurring near the gate being dangerous and with Xykon being near the gate being dangerous.

    Her gate is not in danger only because of the previous failures. If Xykon had failed at eachof the previous gates, he still would come to Serini's gate. He only needs one gate for his plans.

    Xykon being a threat does not, in and of itself, mean she should allow the order to get involved. Instead it means that she should consider whether the threat is greater if Xykon is left unchecked, or greater if the Order takes a shot at him

    That's fair, though as I pointed out in the last post, that hypothetical future conflict doesn't necessarily have to happen near the gate, and postponing that conflict also opens the possibility of repairing the other gates before putting this one in danger. Serini might also be hoping for a more qualified party than the Order, and as she told the Paladins, even if nobody shows up to topple Xykon, that's still a better outcome than the unmaking of reality. As she said, some people (monsters) might even be better off under Xykon's rule.

    Basically, Serini is opting to deal with immediate threats to the gate right now, and worry about future threats to the gate in the future.
    Well, being disregarding future threats is a flaw in her logic in and of itself. Just because something may happen sooner does not mean it is more of a threat.

    A future threat does give the possibility of doing something like repairing another gate. But we have no indication whatsoever whether anyone who exists who is capable of doing that, let along there being any plans for it. Since you have allowed for spoilers, Lyrian' gate was destroyed 40 years ago without anything being done to repair it.

    Serini does think that nobody showing up is a better outcome than destruction, but she also knows that it is likely someone will show up. As for how powerful they might be - who knows, another roll of the dice by her.

    These are all hypothetical futures, while the Order's current incursion is an immediate threat. Again, Serini's approach seems to be to reject any option that involves gambling with the safety of the Gate.
    Every single thing we are discussing is a hypothetical future. THe Order attacking Xykon, Xykon getting the gate and ruling for years, the gate getting destoryed - they are all hypothetical futures. What Serini should do, and what we should do in critiquing her, is think about which of those hypothetical futures support her goals, and how she can make those happen.

    Every single choice Serini can make, from doing nothing, to attacking the order, to talking to the order nicely etc is a gamble with the safety of the gate. Attacking the order is probably the gamble with the worst odds because she's making it more likely that they fail against Xykon and either destroy the gate to stop him, or he gets control and faces the threat of those future parties.

    Sure, in the sense that it makes them less culpable in a moral sense, but knowing the details still doesn't make a convincing case that they are safe to have around. As someone else pointed out, Serini has been the guardian of the gate for a long time, so when some adventurers want her to hand off that responsibility and operate according to their plan instead of hers, the default answer is "no", and she needs a very good reason to do otherwise.
    No, not just in sense of moral culpability. It makes the case that the Order are not a threat to the gate more compelling. It may not satisfy Serini completely, as you say - I don;t think I have ever suggested thast she should be certain they were no danger to the gate.

    As noted above, there's nothing here which is guaranteed. This is about assessing risks against one another. There is no 'no risk' option here. If Serini is only prepared to let the Order attack Xykon if she completely and absolutely trusts them, she has set her standard too high, and increased the risk to the safety of the gate.

    Again "I know we messed up and lost the last three gates we fought over, but this time will be different because we will try extra hard not to mess up" is not a compelling argument.
    Nothing I said went remotely clsoe to saying "I know we messed up, but....". Roy made deliberate choice (which might have been the right choice) in one set of circumstances but made it clear he would make a different choice if the circumstances were different (it were the last gate).

    I feel like this is ignoring that O'Chul would have destroyed the gate a few moments before Miko did had Xykon not paralyzed him. Miko acted as she did because she saw what O'Chul was trying to do and failed to understand that it was no longer necessary.
    O-Chul was paralyzed long before Miko entered the scene, so I don't think she say what he was doing, or that could be said to be a cause of the destruction of the gate. But I agree that O0Chul did try to destroy the gate, which might lead Serini to assess the risk of him destroying this one as being higher.

    The latest strip confirmed that she knows the identity of the Order, and that she knows what the Order's intentions are in coming here. That changes the dynamic of their relationship, but it doesn't really change my understanding of Serini's assessment of them.
    I didn't ask about what you thought Serini's assessment of them was. I asked whether you still thought that she had been investigating them and essentially knew everything about them that the reader did? To me it seems she does not know that much, because if she did her reaction would not be "I know about you from those few sendings".

    it doesn't really matter. I am more than happy to continue this discussion on the basis that Serini knows everything about the Order that we do. In my opinion that knowledge would make Serini's decision seem even les logical than if she jsut knew about their involvement in two gates.

    I'm still a little unclear on what you mean by metaknowledge here, but maybe this will help: I'm justifying Serini's actions by saying that she has assessed the Order's character and competence, and found them wanting by her standards. The Order's later actions were't what made Serini's actions reasonable, but they were consistent with her view.
    I mean if we use stuff we know but Serini doesn't to justify Serini decisions. As an example of how your reasoning could be used to justify a whole lot of things (mostly not in Serini's favour) I will use the exact paragraph with a few words changed to justify a different conclusion:

    I'm justifyingcriticising Serini's actions attack on the orderby saying that she has assessed the Order's character and competence, and found them wanting by her standards beatable. The Order's later actions victory of herwere't what made Serini's actions unreasonable, but they were consistent with her view being wrong.

    In my opinion, whether Serini's guesses about the Order ultimately turn out to be correct, is not a particularly good guide as to whether they were reasonable guesses to make at the time based on what she knew. if we do rely on how things ultimately turn out, I think we would see Serini's actions in an even less favourable light.

    I will say that the best case the Order has going for them is the conversation in comic 1224. Roy's statements in panels 2 and 3, if Serini could hear them, ought to go a long way towards earning Serini's trust (we might be about to see that in the next page or two of the comic).

    If Roy communicates that sentiment to Serini and she still is all "you children have no idea how important this is! Only I must defend the gate!" then I will agree with you that she is being unreasonable and begins to seem to be driven more by pride and stubbornness than by legitimate caution.
    I agree that statement is indicative. That's why I was asking if you if you thought Serini saw what was hapenning in that cave. Anyway, i think Roy's comments just before destroying Girard's gate were equally meaningful.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2021-09-17 at 01:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    You describe exactly the frame of mind that Serini was chastised the Paladins for having.

    And guess what? The stakes the OotS are offering up for this gamble is one of the gate defenses that has been working extremely very well.
    The stakes are their lives. Their initial plan was to fight Xykon outside the caves, and they would just die if they lost, without getting near the gate at all. When they do get chased into the caves, Roy chooses not to explore further explicitly so they don't mess up the defenses.

    The trap at the entrance of the caves is just a stall tactic; there are a finite number of caves and Xykon will inevitably explore all of them and realize the trick. Since Team Evil is clearing multiple fake dungeons every day, it's likely none of the dungeons are dangerous enough to stop them.
    Maybe stalling is crucial to some plan Serini can set up later. But in that case, it would have been a lot better to warn the Order to wait.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    The stakes are their lives. Their initial plan was to fight Xykon outside the caves, and they would just die if they lost, without getting near the gate at all. When they do get chased into the caves, Roy chooses not to explore further explicitly so they don't mess up the defenses.
    Yes, he does. And contrasting the OotS's intentions against their actions just drives home Serini's point.

    The trap at the entrance of the caves is just a stall tactic; there are a finite number of caves and Xykon will inevitably explore all of them and realize the trick. Since Team Evil is clearing multiple fake dungeons every day, it's likely none of the dungeons are dangerous enough to stop them.
    Maybe stalling is crucial to some plan Serini can set up later. But in that case, it would have been a lot better to warn the Order to wait.
    Ah, so it's a "stall tactic", not a "defense". I bet Serini would beg to differ. See how easy it is to rationalize doing things one claims to have no intention doing?

    Whether we call it a "defense" or a "stall tactic" is irrelevant. The OotS is happy to sacrifice it for a brief tactical advantage, despite their intentions not to mess things up.
    Last edited by Hurkyl; 2021-09-17 at 01:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I agree with you, but I see the opposite example in this thread. Sorta like:

    Serini is so cool so surely she:

    A. Has an actual plan to defeat Xykon

    B. Hasn't just given up and is willing to let Xykon win

    C. Doesn't have deep psychological flaws (like most of the other antagonists) that is causing her to be irrationally.
    I haven't seen anyone call her cool.

    Almost everyone assumes she has a plan. Many assume the plan is "let the defenses do their thing". I fail to see how assuming the plan is different is somehow wrong.

    She has not given up and is willing to let Xykon win. This is demonstrated by the simple fact that she hasn't opened the door and let him in. She obviously still opposes him. The only indication that she might have done this is that she flippantly told the paladins that him winning is better than literally everyone in existence dying.

    I haven't seen anyone say she doesn't have deep psychological flaws. I, for one, simply don't assume immediately she is acting irrationally, since from what we have heard, she has very rational reasoning behind what she is doing.

    I can only speak for myself, but from what what we know she knows, so far I agree with her that the Order and allies should not be allowed near the Gate.
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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    As we have seen in the most recent strip, she's gone insane due to Vaarsuvius' constant harassment.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by Empiar93 View Post
    A discussion with Roy, as well as some gentle persuasion, would reveal to her that the Gods have given up one billion times, and don't care one whit about giving up one billion and one times, which would therefore render her plan(?) pointless or even counterproductive. They might be able to convince her to come up with a proactive plan to stop Xykon from mucking around her gate, rather than coming up with proactive plans to stop anyone who's at least ATTEMPTING to stop Xykon.

    I'm not sure they could really convince her that they're trustworthy or that they're able to stop Xykon, but at the very least they might be willing to leave the True Dungeon and try to set up an ambush somewhere in the fake dungeon, since they're both in agreement that the gate's defenses shall not be weakened.

    I also get the sense that if Serini mentions her vague hope that "the world will survive a few years of a villain calling the shots before someone topples him", the Order might present the same argument that I have: someone's trying to topple him now and toppling him later is not going to be an option, even if the Gods don't just ragequit. In fact they might be able to solve the gate issue for a very very long time!

    Honestly, there's a LOT to be gained from not immediately attacking people, even in fantasy worlds. I know I'm throwing out a lot of mights and maybes here, but it seems apparent to me that there's plenty of relevant points to make, and this is just off the top of my head.
    Those are things Serini needs to hear.

    Those are not reasons she should listen in the first place.

    I hope they get a chance to say some of them before the Round 2 bell rings.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Those are not reasons she should listen in the first place.
    Well, that’s not what you asked. You asked what Roy could have to say, and why Serini should share her secrets. I didn’t even address the latter part because she doesn’t need to and I agree there’s no compelling reason to. The Order is the only party that needs to explain anything, and the explanations are important enough that the conversation could be successful without Serini saying anything new whatsoever.
    I do agree and hope that this conversation can take place now, so we can perhaps hear about the Scribblers and continue with the main plot.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Serini is only operating from things she's seen and assumptions. For example, she thinks Xykon being an Evil Overlord will just elevate humanoids to power and re-balance society, when in reality, Xykon prefers obedient troops and it's easier to kill them and raise them as undead.

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    Default Re: Serini is a moron

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Do not play this cheap game with me, please.
    When you attempt to attribute to a conversation a structure of claim and counter claim, you are doing it wrong.(When conversing with me, anyway).
    My dude, we are not in an argument right now. I'm sorry if I gave that impression by communicating poorly, but I was literally just asking a clarifying question out of curiosity.

    I am not trying to set you up for some devious rhetorical trick. I was just curious if you were referencing specific 4th-wall-breaking knowledge or behavior that Serini has demonstrated, or if you just meant it in the broader sense of "she's an OotS character, of course she has meta-knowledge."

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    It's not really crazy. Her fear is informing her principled opposition rather than overriding it, and blinding her to the flaws of her own plans.
    Yeah, I can definitely get behind this. "Informing rather than overriding" is a good way to sum up my read on Serini's mental state.

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Those are things Serini needs to hear.

    Those are not reasons she should listen in the first place.
    This is an excellent way to put it. The Order have said all the "right" things from their point of view, but Serini happens to disagree philosophically, in a way that makes their statements ineffective. People are saying "she should just listen to them" but they have not given her sufficient reason to.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonahFalcon View Post
    she thinks Xykon being an Evil Overlord will just elevate humanoids to power and re-balance society, when in reality, Xykon prefers obedient troops and it's easier to kill them and raise them as undead.
    That's not what she said. She said that the world was a big place and it would survive being ruled by Xykon for awhile. "Survive" is not a word you use when you think it'll be a harmless restructuring of society (how's that for an oxymoron?).

    She says her job is to protect the world, not the status quo, and then she made an offhand comment about how the status quo isn't as great for every sentient creature as it is for the "civilized" humanoids. Her point wasn't that she expected Xykon to fix inequality for all kobolds or whatever; her point was that humans, dwarves, elves, halflings etc. stand to lose more from Xykon's takeover, and that might be clouding their judgment. Or, in other words, "I'm not going to risk the physical eradication of the entire planet just because you're hung up on how the alternative might disrupt Poker Night." I'm being extra flippant here to make a point, but obviously any takeover would come with tremendous loss of life. It just wouldn't be the loss of ALL lives and potential to ever create more lives in this version of reality.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2021-09-17 at 10:25 AM.

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