A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #361
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    It is utterly inexplicable V is still failing to employ even basic protections much of the time, never mind the higher end stuff they could do.
    We have seen V cast Stoneskin in the fights with the Linear Guild, Tarquin's army, and the vampires in the banquet hall. V probably should have cast it while in the Forcecage surrounded by vampires, but that's it for recent fights (unless there's something I'm forgetting). The fight with the frost giants mainly took place at a distance where the biggest threat to V that would be reduced by DR was nonmagical rocks, so let's assume that V casts Protection from Arrows every morning along with Overland Flight (can we at least agree that this is a reasonable assumption?) and decided that would be sufficient. As a general rule, V seems to be using the basic protections that we know they have.

    Also, I wouldn't get your hopes up for seeing optimal 3.5 strategies any time soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Here's the thing: No matter what I draw in any battle scene, within ten minutes of posting it someone chimes in about how the characters are stupid for not executing this, that, or the other tactic. Never mind that said tactic would likely end the fight in one panel when it is my job to provide you with an entertaining battle scene. Never mind that said tactic may result in the person winning whom the plot does not need to win. Never mind that the fight may not be over yet. No, all that matters is that these characters are not living up to someone's imagined D&D tactical mastery.

    Well, I don't give a damn anymore. The characters fight the way they fight to make an interesting page. They may make subpar decisions, I don't care. I don't spend enough time with the D&D rules anymore to eke out all of these Ultimate Killer Strategies anyway, so we're really running up against the limits of my knowledge and ability. The characters can't be better strategists than I am, and I care more about other aspects. Such strategies are usually boring to read and visually bland to look at anyway. There aren't going to be a lot of invisible save-or-die effects thrown around, because there are only so many ways I can draw characters succeeding at Fortitude saves (and then I still have to verbally explain what just happened). You should stop expecting them, because I'm not going to use them.

    My job is to entertain, not to showcase perfect D&D tactics. If you can't be entertained by anything BUT perfect D&D tactics, that's on you.

  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Wasn't there a quote about buffing happening off panel too?

  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Oh interesting. In #919 I noticed an interesting side effect of not casting Protection from Arrows on one's self every morning, the spell slot is still available should a better use. (assuming he only prepares one use)

    People have been talking as if there was absolutely nothing to be gained by waiting to buff when it is needed, but that's simply not true. Waiting gives you the flexibility to find a better way to use the spell. Even on a long-duration self-only buff, waiting still means you don't risk partially using it up or losing it to a dispel in some inconsequential fight.

    Just to be clear, I don't dispute there are also advantages to buffing early as a gamble that having an extra action in a surprise encounter is more useful than having the flexibility to do whatever else you could have done. I'm not even arguing how anyone should value the alternatives in deciding how to prepare.

    I'm just arguing that it is not an entirely irrational strategy to employ.

    While flipping through some older fights, I notice in #800 that V espouses a much less optimistic view about being able to prepare for every threat than some posters here. That surely influences his decision to make different choices than some posters here.
    Last edited by Hurkyl; 2021-09-27 at 08:32 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #364
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    I want to see V allowed to employ more of the power that makes them the top dog in the Order.
    Now THIS is an argument worth having.

    All this tedious bickering about spell slots is a needless distraction.

    The real question, is this:

    Is Roy or V the top dog in the Order?

  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post

    It would be nice if he used it then. I mean maybe he does and the author doesn't feel like drawing an indicator, but it really feels like something that's missing. A greatsword warrior is supposed to power attack essentially all the time.
    Well, Roy could definitely be Power Attacking whenever he attacks if it's so important to fighter play, as lampshaded by https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0604.html where Hank tells Yor the fighter he doesn't actually have to yell "POWER ATTACK" every time he charges and yor says he just wants to fit in with the rogues constantly declaring their sneak attacks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    Wasn't there a quote about buffing happening off panel too?
    https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1040.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionReplay View Post
    Why does D&D have no Gollum? Why it does. You just can't see him. He is wearing his precious at the moment.
    There is a lot of very bizarre nonsense being talked on this forum. I shall now remain silent and logoff until my points are vindicated.

  6. - Top - End - #366
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    But we also see V as able to perform complex and instant calculations, and demonstrate strong tactical and strategic understanding. V has also resolved since their belated arc to use power more responsibly and be more cautious... that was 600 comics ago. It is utterly inexplicable V is still failing to employ even basic protections much of the time, never mind the higher end stuff they could do. Personally it's not the biggest issue; much of V's inability to be helpful is the author railroading them with plot contrivance. We're now heading into the final confrontation, I want to see V allowed to employ more of the power that makes them the top dog in the Order.
    Yeah, by “use power responsibly”, I think they meant “don’t commit genocide out of spite”, not “give up this blaster nonsense and become a proper Batman”. We have seen V show complex tactics…Mostly post that character development. See: using Yikyik to attack Z instead of trying to go it alone. Old V would never have, because one of their major flaws was an inability to accept the help of others due to their ego (this is probably why they don’t do summoning: V wants to show off, they want to have the enemy know when they get to hell who sent them, not hide between summons). V has clearly developed, that they aren’t dominating encounters is mainly a consequence of poor optimization from before they became a wiser person, and nor should they be dominating every fight as you seem to wish they would.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Now THIS is an argument worth having.

    All this tedious bickering about spell slots is a needless distraction.

    The real question, is this:

    Is Roy or V the top dog in the Order?
    There's really no question V is the strongest in the party, that's already established.

    The real question is why stuff like protection from arrows is not an automatic cast every single day when it lasts 18 hours at V's current probable level. Like, V does trance 6 hours a day, so why would it not be in constant effect? Much like overland flight, there's no reason it should not be operating all the time. When you are in a hectic situation (like in a forcecage with vampires surrounding you, or waiting to ambush Xykon) you should also always have buffs that last 3 hours in effect, like stoneskin.

    The monsters they are facing are now strong enough that hopefully we can see more of V employing their full gamut of spells at any rate. V already overcomes stuff the others have no business even surviving against (Black Dragons, Pit Fiends, High end casters, etc), it'd be nice if the handcuffs were taken off and V could stick around for some of these fights more often.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-09-27 at 03:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    overcomes stuff the others have no business even surviving against (Black Dragons,
    Black dragon, singular. Darth!V's capabilities are not indicative of V's actual efficacy.

    Pit Fiends,
    V had no business doing anything about the island devil either. Simply by virtue of having that pile of HD, it's saves should have been automatically succesful, barring natural 1s.

    High end casters, etc),
    Kobold beat Z. (But seriously, V won that one through applying their intelligence; their spells could do precious little against Z.)
    Also, Laurin is technically a manifester, rather than a caster.

    it'd be nice if the handcuffs were taken off and V could stick around for some of these fights more often.
    All in all, V does a terrible job of demonstrating caster supremacy most of the time. They have their moments, of course (the elementals, one-shotting Tarquin's entire air force as an afterthought &c.), but not quite as often as you'd seem to think, so yeah, they'd probably deserve to get something juicy to fight this book.

  9. - Top - End - #369
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Didn't V lose against Z the time they dominated the kobold? They got planeshifted out. Depends on how you define winning and losing, I guess, but they got removed from the battlefield. I guess it might be more of a tie since Z immediately collapsed and was arrested.

  10. - Top - End - #370
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    V had no business doing anything about the island devil either. Simply by virtue of having that pile of HD, it's saves should have been automatically succesful, barring natural 1s.
    That's why the V and D connection had to lower it's saves until it was hittable.
    "Besides, you know the saying: Kill one, and you are a murderer. Kill millions, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." -- Fishman

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Black dragon, singular. Darth!V's capabilities are not indicative of V's actual efficacy.



    V had no business doing anything about the island devil either. Simply by virtue of having that pile of HD, it's saves should have been automatically succesful, barring natural 1s.



    Kobold beat Z. (But seriously, V won that one through applying their intelligence; their spells could do precious little against Z.)
    Also, Laurin is technically a manifester, rather than a caster.



    All in all, V does a terrible job of demonstrating caster supremacy most of the time. They have their moments, of course (the elementals, one-shotting Tarquin's entire air force as an afterthought &c.), but not quite as often as you'd seem to think, so yeah, they'd probably deserve to get something juicy to fight this book.
    1) The adolescent Black Dragon would probably trash Roy, Hayley, Elan and Belkar even now.
    2) V showed they could beat an Ancient Black Dragon who doesn't have an Anti-magic field, if not for that the ABD would be trapped in a forcecage. They just happened to be against an Ancient Black Dragon who was also a level 17 Sorcerer, when V himself was only level 13 at the time. If the Ancient Black Dragon rocked up today it would destroy all 5 other party members even at their current levels.
    3) V did beat the pit fiend, and plenty of plausible explanations could be given for how V might beat one now. The rest of the party could not.
    4) Laurin would destroy the rest of the Order is the point. Without V there Tarquin would also have destroyed the rest of the order. Tarquin would still destroy the rest of the order, yet V could one shot him.
    5) As I already explain on the previous page, V used the Kobold to beat Z. Without V there to nullify Z's magic, and to exhaust Z's magic in the lead up to his using the Kobold, Z would/could have one shot the Kobold.

  12. - Top - End - #372
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    2) V showed they could beat an Ancient Black Dragon who doesn't have an Anti-magic field, if not for that the ABD would be trapped in a forcecage. They just happened to be against an Ancient Black Dragon who was also a level 17 Sorcerer, when V himself was only level 13 at the time.
    With the right feat, she could have been "able to cast as a 16th level sorcerer", as opposed to 17th, (so, having 5 levels of sorcerer on top of being an Ancient Black Dragon).

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post

    16th works, via the aforementioned Extra Spell feat. Statted as a 36 HD monster (31HD for Ancient Black Dragon, 5 HD for Sorcerer) it would gain the feat on the same level that it gained 1 8th level Spell Known.

    https://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#prerequisites
    Some feats have prerequisites. Your character must have the indicated ability score, class feature, feat, skill, base attack bonus, or other quality designated in order to select or use that feat. A character can gain a feat at the same level at which he or she gains the prerequisite.


    It's in both Complete Arcane (original source for Warlocks, which are mentioned in-strip) and Tome And Blood (3.0 ed equivalent of Complete Arcane, which where The Giant got the Orb spells originally, based on Tsusiko's original description of them as evocations rather than conjurations). Adds a spell known, must be at least 1 level lower than the highest level spell the caster can cast.




    Ancient Black Dragon Mother (deceased)

    Ancient Black Dragon female, Sorcerer Level 5+ if knowing Plane Shift : CL 16+ (forum)
    Casts as: 16th+ level sorcerer (11th level sorcerer casting from Ancient Black Dragon, 5+ levels of Sorcerer- they stack)
    Cha 19+ (required to cast Soul Bind from a scroll) or ranks in Use Magic Device
    Age: 801-1000 (minimum and maximum ages for Ancient)
    Feats: Extra Spell (Complete Arcane), if only having 5 sorcerer levels and knowing Plane Shift
    Spells: Plane Shift (implied), Finger of Death, Greater Teleport, Antimagic Field
    Skills: Use Magic Device, if Cha is below 19
    Items: Two scrolls of Soul Bind, or a very similar spell
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2021-09-27 at 05:46 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #373
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    With the right feat, she could have been "able to cast as a 16th level sorcerer", as opposed to 17th, (so, having 5 levels of sorcerer on top of being an Ancient Black Dragon).
    In fairness the Dragon could also have teleported out of the Forcecage, so V's stalemate would not have lasted regardless. V could however have protected themselves within a forcecage at least, then gotten the right spells to challenge it. Anyhow, the point is V at least has a chance to competently fight the dragon, whereas if the Dragon turned up to fight the order (minus V), even at their current level, they would be wrecked, even without an Anti-Magic Field.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-09-27 at 06:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by HeraldOfExius View Post
    Also, I wouldn't get your hopes up for seeing optimal 3.5 strategies any time soon.
    I find that quote by The Giant to be extremely strong evidence of how the system constraints of D&D 3.5 impede the story of OOTS, especially in combat, often in highly significant ways. The difference is that I think the adjustments made go well be 'non-perfect tactics' all the way down into 'genuinely bad tactics.'

    But I get it. High-level 3.5e combat is bad. The system is broken, and even played straight the combination of hp inflation and SoD proliferation means that a straight fight is mostly about flinging around effects and waiting for someone to fail a saving throw which is extremely non-compelling (and the comic famously did the cleric vs. cleric fight in Azure City to make precisely this point).

    The general tactic in comic to make fights workable involves finding some way to either remove full casters from the battlefield entirely or to nerf them when present. Perfectly understandable. The issue is, this hasn't been done consistently. Stickworld doesn't operate under some set of house rules designed to nerf casters outlined in a session zero, it bounces around according to the needs of the moment. It's a serial production, so of course that's the case, but that's one of the risks of producing serial works - if you make some kind of mistake, like attaching your fantasy epic to a mechanical system that becomes dysfunctional across the upper third of its progression - you can't take it back.

    The author's choices to wrestle with the system are better than the alternative. Roy is not useless, based on how the comic has actually unfolded, but he should be based on how the system operates and the individual character builds in play.
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    I find that quote by The Giant to be extremely strong evidence of how the system constraints of D&D 3.5 impede the story of OOTS, especially in combat, often in highly significant ways. The difference is that I think the adjustments made go well be 'non-perfect tactics' all the way down into 'genuinely bad tactics.'

    But I get it. High-level 3.5e combat is bad. The system is broken, and even played straight the combination of hp inflation and SoD proliferation means that a straight fight is mostly about flinging around effects and waiting for someone to fail a saving throw which is extremely non-compelling (and the comic famously did the cleric vs. cleric fight in Azure City to make precisely this point).

    The general tactic in comic to make fights workable involves finding some way to either remove full casters from the battlefield entirely or to nerf them when present. Perfectly understandable. The issue is, this hasn't been done consistently. Stickworld doesn't operate under some set of house rules designed to nerf casters outlined in a session zero, it bounces around according to the needs of the moment. It's a serial production, so of course that's the case, but that's one of the risks of producing serial works - if you make some kind of mistake, like attaching your fantasy epic to a mechanical system that becomes dysfunctional across the upper third of its progression - you can't take it back.

    The author's choices to wrestle with the system are better than the alternative. Roy is not useless, based on how the comic has actually unfolded, but he should be based on how the system operates and the individual character builds in play.
    Useless is a little strong. Even a doorstop is useful. Sure, a brick could do the same thing, but it still has a use. Roy and the non-casters can indeed contribute, especially with V not having conjuration, but they are far less useful than V and it shouldn't even be close.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    Useless is a little strong. Even a doorstop is useful. Sure, a brick could do the same thing, but it still has a use. Roy and the non-casters can indeed contribute, especially with V not having conjuration, but they are far less useful than V and it shouldn't even be close.
    I was exaggerating based off the thread title.
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    The quote is pretty useful for pointing out where the author stands. It's fair to consider the things being discussed "flaws" but they're flaws that will never be corrected because the author himself does not hold that view, which is also fair, especially since it's his story.

    It's just a difference in priority of what would improve the story, and while everyone is entitled to opinions on that, it's probably generally better if author's right stories they'd personally find themselves engaged with, over what other people would consider "better".
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    1) The adolescent Black Dragon would probably trash Roy, Hayley, Elan and Belkar even now.
    Never questioned that.

    2) V showed they could beat an Ancient Black Dragon who doesn't have an Anti-magic field, if not for that the ABD would be trapped in a forcecage. They just happened to be against an Ancient Black Dragon who was also a level 17 Sorcerer, when V himself was only level 13 at the time.
    This has been addressed by others (including yourself).

    If the Ancient Black Dragon rocked up today it would destroy all 5 other party members even at their current levels.
    No doubt. (I'm curious how V would fare against it, though.)

    3) V did beat the pit fiend, and plenty of plausible explanations could be given for how V might beat one now. The rest of the party could not.
    The only plausible explanation for their defeating the island devil the way they did is that it kept rolling 1s on its saves.

    4) Laurin would destroy the rest of the Order is the point.
    Yeah, I know. I was just nitpicking.

    Without V there Tarquin would also have destroyed the rest of the order. Tarquin would still destroy the rest of the order,
    That has been amply demonstrated, yes.

    yet V could one shot him.
    Do note that yes, a high level wizard should be able to beat a high level swordsage/warblade in general, but, you know, when did that happen again?

    5) As I already explain on the previous page, V used the Kobold to beat Z. Without V there to nullify Z's magic, and to exhaust Z's magic in the lead up to his using the Kobold, Z would/could have one shot the Kobold.
    Technically, no, Z was exhausting V's magic, because he mostly just relied on his SR to wear V down instead of casting an equal amount of spells himself. V's magic only helped them directly with those two lucky counterspells (mind you, we don't know how Yukyuk dodged the Phantasmal Killer and V was never shown counterspelling it). Essentially, Z's build was almost as suboptimal as V's, since he made himself effectively immune to evokers but gave up his ability to defend himself well against martials.
    (Further, RatElemental raises a valid point: in-universe, people keep saying V won, but while Z certainly didn't (he was trying to kill V and failed to achieve that objective), whether the fight counts as a victory for V depends mainly on what their objective was. And the thing is, judging by the last thing V told Z before getting Plane Shifted heavily implies that V wanted to kill Z too, which they failed to achieve.)

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    (mind you, we don't know how Yukyuk dodged the Phantasmal Killer and V was never shown counterspelling it).
    Another minor point, but as far as save or die spells go phantasmal killer is pretty spectacularly bad. It offers two separate saves, has a middling DC (14+int mod for wizards if not heightened) and if the target makes either save they don't die. If they make the first save it just straight up does nothing and if they fail the first but make the second they only take 3d6 damage. Yukyuk was probably in practically 0 danger from that spell at all.

    I always took Z using that spell as the giant showing they were on the ropes and out of options.
    Last edited by RatElemental; 2021-09-28 at 06:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by RatElemental View Post
    Another minor point, but as far as save or die spells go phantasmal killer is pretty spectacularly bad. It offers two separate saves, has a middling DC (14+int mod for wizards if not heightened) and if the target makes either save they don't die. If they make the first save it just straight up does nothing and if they fail the first but make the second they only take 3d6 damage. Yukyuk was probably in practically 0 danger from that spell at all.

    I always took Z using that spell as the giant showing they were on the ropes and out of options.
    FWIW rogues have bad Will saves.
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Honestly, I'd just ask why Z prepared that spell at all or even learned it, it seems like it would be a waste of a slot under typical circumstances.
    Then again, maybe he got it from a booster pack
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    Honestly, I'd just ask why Z prepared that spell at all or even learned it, it seems like it would be a waste of a slot under typical circumstances.
    Then again, maybe he got it from a booster pack
    Phantasmal Killer is a medium range death effect that is only visible to the target (I guess in comic the audience briefly saw through Yukyuk's eyes). It's also medium range, meaning that at Z's level the range is around 250 ft. That makes it a useful long-distance assassination spell since the risk of the caster being detected is fairly low. Even if the spell only has a ~20% chance of success it's not useless as a long-distance SoD option in certain circumstances.

    Z might have intended to cast the spell at Roy or Belkar while they were engaged in gladiatorial combat, or perhaps at Haley from the other side of the arena while before the Linear Guild sprang their assault.
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    I feel like the answer to the question of "if v is so smart/powerful/yadda yadda why don't they just fly to xykon and nuke him from orbit" is "it isn't an entertaining story if the heroes are OP and can just blast the bad guy straight to hell in ten seconds".

    Not saying that "OP = bad" because stories like One Punch Man pull off the idea of an invincible hero well, but stories aren't entertaining if the heroes win every battle because then what's the point of even getting invested when you know that nobody's gonna get seriously hurt/die? It kind of takes away tension.

    I feel like you guys need to maybe take a look at the comic from a storytelling aspect instead of the game aspect. (Blasphemous, I know.)
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robots View Post
    I feel like the answer to the question of "if v is so smart/powerful/yadda yadda why don't they just fly to xykon and nuke him from orbit" is "it isn't an entertaining story if the heroes are OP and can just blast the bad guy straight to hell in ten seconds".

    I feel like you guys need to maybe take a look at the comic from a storytelling aspect instead of the game aspect. (Blasphemous, I know.)
    I agree with the first paragraph. The Doylist answers for many of these questions are pretty clear. But partly because the Doylist answers are so clear, I think that, when someone creates a forum thread asking, you know, 'why doesn't V cast more save-or-dies?' or whatever, they are generally looking for a Watsonian answer.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Another thing to remember is that we see the ways V or other characters could improve as obvious because most of us have played dnd or similar games a lot. The Order are essentially newbies on their first long campaign.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenian View Post
    I agree with the first paragraph. The Doylist answers for many of these questions are pretty clear. But partly because the Doylist answers are so clear, I think that, when someone creates a forum thread asking, you know, 'why doesn't V cast more save-or-dies?' or whatever, they are generally looking for a Watsonian answer.
    Save or Die spells tend to be significantly less flashy, and so only a few were ego-stroking enough when cast to be frequent parts of their spell kit?
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    Save or Die spells tend to be significantly less flashy, and so only a few were ego-stroking enough when cast to be frequent parts of their spell kit?
    V actually uses quite a few SoD spells. Disintegrate - arguably their signature spell - certainly is, and Prismatic Spray is a 4 out of 7 SoD that V casts in almost every combat - it just never works that way against anyone important.

    In general, the spell selection by characters in OOTS is all over the place, including heroes, villains, and random third party characters. There's a massive bias towards what the author considers an exciting fantasy fight scene and fights his narrative purpose. This creates a conflict with the underlying system because fighting efficiently in high-level D&D is neither visually interesting nor does it lead to exciting fight scenes. One of the central problems is that HP inflation at high levels is so massive that unless damage output is incredibly optimized killing people with damage just isn't very effective. A back and forth exchange of blows with each side gaining and losing advantage due to various ploys/positioning/pluck represents both sides acting extremely sub-optimally. A 'great fight' like Roy v Thog is bad high-level 3.5 D&D play.

    Essentially, in order to produce exciting fights the author has to make everyone bad at fighting according to the rules of their world. This is fine when played for laughs or used in meta-jokes as it consistently was during the first half of the strip, but fights now have the 'fate of the world' at stake literally every time the Order throws down and the fact that everyone is bumbling around makes things less compelling than they might otherwise be.

    There is no good solution. 3.5 D&D is broken at high levels and produces broken worlds. Any Watsonian answer will always have gaping holes in it.

    Now, the importance of this issue with the comic varies widely from one member of the audience to the next, but it definitely exists. The author is aware of it, has commented on it, and has even expressed that had he the chance to do it all again he wouldn't have bound the story to D&D 3.5.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  28. - Top - End - #388
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Disintegrate is a save or take a whole fistful of dice as damage spell. Sure, its damage is basically uncapped since it scales straight up to level 20, but save or dies kill you outright on a failed save.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    V actually uses quite a few SoD spells. Disintegrate - arguably their signature spell - certainly is, and Prismatic Spray is a 4 out of 7 SoD that V casts in almost every combat - it just never works that way against anyone important.

    In general, the spell selection by characters in OOTS is all over the place, including heroes, villains, and random third party characters. There's a massive bias towards what the author considers an exciting fantasy fight scene and fights his narrative purpose. This creates a conflict with the underlying system because fighting efficiently in high-level D&D is neither visually interesting nor does it lead to exciting fight scenes. One of the central problems is that HP inflation at high levels is so massive that unless damage output is incredibly optimized killing people with damage just isn't very effective. A back and forth exchange of blows with each side gaining and losing advantage due to various ploys/positioning/pluck represents both sides acting extremely sub-optimally. A 'great fight' like Roy v Thog is bad high-level 3.5 D&D play.

    Essentially, in order to produce exciting fights the author has to make everyone bad at fighting according to the rules of their world. This is fine when played for laughs or used in meta-jokes as it consistently was during the first half of the strip, but fights now have the 'fate of the world' at stake literally every time the Order throws down and the fact that everyone is bumbling around makes things less compelling than they might otherwise be.

    There is no good solution. 3.5 D&D is broken at high levels and produces broken worlds. Any Watsonian answer will always have gaping holes in it.

    Now, the importance of this issue with the comic varies widely from one member of the audience to the next, but it definitely exists. The author is aware of it, has commented on it, and has even expressed that had he the chance to do it all again he wouldn't have bound the story to D&D 3.5.
    I do not disagree with any of this. But it ignores the role of the DM to limit or modify broken mechanics, to build challenges that make the 'weaker' characters more important, and to moderate the story so that all players are allowed their moment to save the day. Sort of like the author is doing.

    D&D is not a game of chess, nor even an Avalon Hill tactical simulator. It is a game of communal fantasy storytelling. If the rulebooks get in the way of the story, (per Gary Gygax,) then the rule is wrong.

  30. - Top - End - #390
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Another thing to remember is that we see the ways V or other characters could improve as obvious because most of us have played dnd or similar games a lot. The Order are essentially newbies on their first long campaign.
    A fair point, although Roy's dad was an adventurer at one point in his life.
    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    But it ignores the role of the DM to limit or modify broken mechanics, to build challenges that make the 'weaker' characters more important, and to moderate the story so that all players are allowed their moment to save the day. Sort of like the author is doing.

    D&D is not a game of chess, nor even an Avalon Hill tactical simulator. It is a game of communal fantasy storytelling. If the rulebooks get in the way of the story, (per Gary Gygax,) then the rule is wrong.
    Keeping this post for posterity.
    Avatar by linklele. How Teleport Works
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

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