A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #361
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Why the hell would the Order expect that?
    I dunno, never thought it. What I'm mystified by is why we the readers seem to be so split on how normal it is.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Haley mentions that O-Chul told them when Girard's recording is busy showing off how much Girard was a paranoid, spiteful hypocrite.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I don't think either of them need the others help at all.

    The Order's actions prior to Serini's involvement alerted Redcloak to the fact that someone is falsely marking doors, and their next action was going to be to alert Xykon to a teleport misdirection.
    The Order are actively undermining her defences (they even mentioned this when discussing their plan to ambush Xykon - panel 3) - that is not help she needs, if she wanted to undermine her defences she could likely do it herself.

    Serini's actions have isolated The Order from their paladin allies, seperated their party, ran down there resources and incapacitated some of their members - again that is not help they need, if they wanted to do that they could likely achieve it would her.
    I kind of agree that neither needs the other. Although you make the point that the two groups might potentially hinder the other, and that would be less likely if they worked together.

    I don't actually think Serini has done any of those things yet. Few of their resources are gone, an incapacitations are easily fixed, they are within a one round walk from each other, and now they've found the paladins.

    Serini's tactic to stop interference seems to be to try and capture and manacle the Order without really talking to them. Given that the Order appear to be winning, do you think they should manacle Serini without talking to her first?

    Ultimately they have different goals:
    Serini: Protect Gate.
    Order: Defeat Xykon.

    Serini would likely like Xykon defeated and the Order would likely like the Gate protected, but the Order are willing to risk the Gate's defences to defeat Xykon and Serini is willing to allow Xykon to win providing the Gate is protected.
    I'm not sure this is true. I think the Order's primary goal is to protect the gate at this point. Roy basically said at Girard's gate that he wouldn't destroy it if it was the last. I think the difference isn't in their goals, but methodology.
    • Serini thinks the gate is safest if Xykon is not directly opposed even though that might lead to him seizing the gate and all the risks to the gate that entails.
    • The Order thinks the gate is safest is Xykon is attacked, with the risk that the gate gets damaged in the conflict.


    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    I'll answer for why I do; with Serini on side Redcloak, Oona and Greyview have to deal with a much tougher party/combat than Order vs Team Evil as it stands. She has local terrain and fauna knowledge, and she's got some nasty tricks up her sleeve that may, for example, neutralize parts of Xykon's defense team ... but that's me projecting forward to a tactical scenario if the Order finds a way to get Serini onside. So it's a bit of speculation, all said and done.
    Although I don't think they need Serini, i agree that they'd have better chance if with her onside if they could get her to behave. Not so much for her abilities (although Sunny could be very useful), but because her knowledge of the dungeons could help with an ambush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    It's effectively being treated as "cast on self" for anyone who steps in it, so no, no saving throw.
    Isn't there a mishap chance with teleport. So that like, once in every twenty or so times they end up in the wrong place?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    It's somewhat amazing that there is so much forum dialog questioning it. I wonder if the issue is that the Giant actually fleshed out the motivations beyond a simple "I'm the guardian and you're seeking it out".
    What are you surprised that people are questioning. That the Order should have guessed that they would be attacked by Serini?
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2021-12-01 at 03:29 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Why the hell would the Order expect that? They've been to precisely three Gates. Two had already fallen when the Order got there, and the only one they actually met the defenders for are still their allies. Moreover, the macguffin guardians usually attack the protagonists because the protagonists want it for one reason or another. The Order has actively avoided going in further to find the Gate.
    The shapphire guard are their allies now, but at first they were hostile to them either.

    Well, and Girard's family were dead but if not I would bet hostility too, in fact, the only contact they had with Girard's, the recording at the desert, was hostile.

    They have never met one gate defender who wasn't hostile at first, so the real question is: why the hell wouldn't the Order expect that?
    Last edited by Vikenlugaid; 2021-12-01 at 03:51 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #364
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Vikenlugaid View Post
    Well, and Girard's family were dead but if not I would bet hostility too, in fact, the only contact they had with Girard's, the recording at the desert, was hostile.
    And they could only have found that trap with information from the Sapphire Guard, so, yep, definitely hostile. (Meaning Elan needn't have worried about Nale after all.)
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post

    Isn't there a mishap chance with teleport. So that like, once in every twenty or so times they end up in the wrong place?
    Teleportation Circle mimicks Greater Teleport, which is perfectly accurate and has no mishap chance.
    Last edited by Bacon Elemental; 2021-12-01 at 06:13 AM.
    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: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Since Roy can lean through the trap and see the other side, it's more like a portal than a teleport.

    It's an epic-level trap, possibly using an epic-level spell, and it is evidently very effective against non-rogues.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Honestly, the fact that you don’t need a single rank in Spellcraft to disarm even the most potent of magical traps is… annoying. At the very least it’d make sense for Spellcraft, if not actual casting, gave bonuses to disarming magic traps for example.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Bit like finding exploits in a video game. Pure trial and error can find them sometimes, and if multiple games use the same engine those might carry over, but being a programmer, especially one who has access to decompiled code, will make finding them easier.

    But at that point you can just modify the game itself to do whatever you want anyway, so most exploits are found by trial and error by nonprogrammers.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Honestly, the fact that you don’t need a single rank in Spellcraft to disarm even the most potent of magical traps is… annoying. At the very least it’d make sense for Spellcraft, if not actual casting, gave bonuses to disarming magic traps for example.
    Disagree. D&D did its absolute best to completely destroy the niche of the rogue/thief class when it advanced from 2e to 3e and beyond. The last thing needed is to make it so they have to cross class into a skill they don't need just to do one of their few remaining abilities of disarming traps. Unless you are into the "this game is all about the wizard and everyone else are just henchmen" mode of play that 3e and later propogated.

  10. - Top - End - #370
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    That’s why I said bonus, and not requirement. Synergy bonuses are a thing, after all. Spellcraft already gives a +2 bonus to UMD checks involving scrolls IIRC, why not a +2 bonus to Disable Device when disabling magic traps?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermoot View Post
    Disagree. D&D did its absolute best to completely destroy the niche of the rogue/thief class when it advanced from 2e to 3e and beyond. The last thing needed is to make it so they have to cross class into a skill they don't need just to do one of their few remaining abilities of disarming traps. Unless you are into the "this game is all about the wizard and everyone else are just henchmen" mode of play that 3e and later propogated.
    You could make spellcraft a rogue skill.
    If one of their implied class features is a wide range of general knowledge, knowledge of spellcraft shouldn’t be out of the question. Yet it is out of the question, RAW.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Cross-class skill ranks also feel silly. Not so much the cap, more about needing twice the skill points.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    1. I prefer to simply treat it as "not available" to anyone.
    2. I prefer to simply treat it as "not available" to everyone.

    Those are also different statements.
    That's true, but I don't think you understand the difference. By moving the "not" into the quotes it no longer affects the "anyone" or "everyone".

    #2 is the stronger statement and would be refuted by it (greater resurrection) being cast by anybody ever.

    #1 could only be refuted by every single character being able to cast it on demand. And that ship has sailed because Haley was unable to get it cast once.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I should also point out the defenses are actively making Team Evil stronger by providing them with ample amounts of XP and treasure.
    That's a criticism of the setting, not any particular character or event.

    The same criticism could be levelled at almost every D&D dungeon.
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

  14. - Top - End - #374
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    That's true, but I don't think you understand the difference. By moving the "not" into the quotes it no longer affects the "anyone" or "everyone".

    #2 is the stronger statement and would be refuted by it (greater resurrection) being cast by anybody ever.

    #1 could only be refuted by every single character being able to cast it on demand. And that ship has sailed because Haley was unable to get it cast once.
    I am not sure where you are entering this conversation or what you think I don't understand - your statement seems to support mine.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    The same criticism could be levelled at almost every D&D dungeon.
    The defenses of the other Gates didn't exactly work like that, though.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2021-12-01 at 02:55 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    The defenses of the other Gates didn't exactly work like that, though.
    Didn't they - all had various forces to defend the Gates presumedly getting past those defences would provide XP and thereby make the attacker stronger.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Didn't they - all had various forces to defend the Gates presumedly getting past those defences would provide XP and thereby make the attacker stronger.
    Not indefinitely, not as a stalling tactic and not at this rate.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    That's a criticism of the setting, not any particular character or event.

    The same criticism could be levelled at almost every D&D dungeon.
    It's true that it a common trope within DnD adventures where the monsters leading up to the boss fight make the party stronger for the boss fight.

    But that doesn't change the fact that there's a pretty clear choice between launching one big assault on Xykon, or leaving him be to fight a few monsters every day. And one of the downsides of the second option is that it makes him more powerful.

    This is exacerbated because Xykon so rarely gets experience ordinarily, but Serini has gathered up some super strong monsters and placed them in a well ordered shooting gallery for him. She's even arranged transport, so he doesn't have to take travel time moving between dungeons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Not indefinitely, not as a stalling tactic and not at this rate.
    Yeah, Xykon may have got experience if he had beaten the paladin ghosts, but that was their do or die defence which actually had a shot of stopping Xykon, rather than a seemingly unending experience tap.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2021-12-01 at 03:13 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    But that doesn't change the fact that there's a pretty clear choice between launching one big assault on Xykon, or leaving him be to fight a few monsters every day.
    What it does change is who's choice it is. It's Rich's choice. Serini is metaphysically incapable of sending the monsters all at once.
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    What it does change is who's choice it is. It's Rich's choice. Serini is metaphysically incapable of sending the monsters all at once.
    Well by that logic we cannot criticise any character in the comic for anything. Or in any media for that matter.

    My perspective, and I think a pretty common one, is that you can critique the decisions of fictional characters, despite there being an author guiding their choices.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Cross-class skill ranks also feel silly. Not so much the cap, more about needing twice the skill points.
    Another good point for pathfinder, as off topic as it might be. There is no difference between class skills and cross class skills, other than that class skills get a +3 bonus so long as you have at least one rank in them.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Well by that logic we cannot criticise any character in the comic for anything. Or in any media for that matter.

    My perspective, and I think a pretty common one, is that you can critique the decisions of fictional characters, despite there being an author guiding their choices.
    I never said you couldn't criticize them about anything, I'm just saying you need to consider the setting.

    If something in the setting doesn't make sense, it's not Serini's job to fix it.
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    I never said you couldn't criticize them about anything, I'm just saying you need to consider the setting.

    If something in the setting doesn't make sense, it's not Serini's job to fix it.
    Yeah, I'm not sure I follow you. I accept that it is often the case in DnD setting to set up a series of encoutners to make the PCs strong before they meet the boss. This strip followed that pattern in Dorukon's dungeon.

    But each of the gate defenders still has the choice (accepting that the Author makes their choices for them) whether to supply a stream of beatable monsters, or defend the gate in a different way. As far as we've seen, Serini is the only one who chose to provide the stream of monsters.

    I'm not really overly critical of Serini for that choice. As you note, it's a common dungeon design principle, and I'm sure her monsters would have defeated lots of parties that are weaker than Xykon. But the fact remains that the status quo is increasing Xykon's power and making the prospects of the Order defeating him now, or some future group from displacing him if he doesn't destroy the world first, lower.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Honestly, the fact that you don’t need a single rank in Spellcraft to disarm even the most potent of magical traps is… annoying. At the very least it’d make sense for Spellcraft, if not actual casting, gave bonuses to disarming magic traps for example.
    The same way a days long diagram to hold a summoned demon gets ruined by a single step rubbing out a chalk mark
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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mjasghar View Post
    The same way a days long diagram to hold a summoned demon gets ruined by a single step rubbing out a chalk mark
    That's why Redcloak uses sharpies

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    There's so much in the question of whether Xykon ruling the world would be better or worse than the Snarl destroying it.

    There's a huge amount of question of what might happen if Xykon rules. Would he be overthrown sooner or later, or at all. Would he be able to blackmail the gods like Redcloak intends, or even become a god like the Dark One did?

    There's also all the value judgments of whether there are fates worse than death. Whichis such a loaded discussion that I think it better not to have.

    I think you just stepped on the most important points; Redcloak and The Dark One.

    Problem is, you have it all wrong. Redcloak does not intend for Xykon to blackmail the Gods. He intends to give the gate to the Dark One who can blackmail the gods or destroy them as he sees fit. We've known Redcloak has been planning to betray Xykon for a long time now. Unfortunately, Serini does not have that information.

    If Team Evil seizes the Gate, it won't end with Xykon ruling the world. It will end with the either the Gods destroying it, or the Snarl destroying the Gods. Because I don't think the Dark One truly cares about his people anymore. He just wants revenge.

    In summary, Serini is not playing with a full deck, and so she can't be fully blamed here.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Halfmoon View Post
    I think you just stepped on the most important points; Redcloak and The Dark One.

    Problem is, you have it all wrong. Redcloak does not intend for Xykon to blackmail the Gods. He intends to give the gate to the Dark One who can blackmail the gods or destroy them as he sees fit. We've known Redcloak has been planning to betray Xykon for a long time now. Unfortunately, Serini does not have that information.

    If Team Evil seizes the Gate, it won't end with Xykon ruling the world. It will end with the either the Gods destroying it, or the Snarl destroying the Gods. Because I don't think the Dark One truly cares about his people anymore. He just wants revenge.

    In summary, Serini is not playing with a full deck, and so she can't be fully blamed here.
    I don't think that information on its own would enough, but it might help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Halfmoon View Post
    or the Snarl destroying the Gods. Because I don't think the Dark One truly cares about his people anymore. He just wants revenge.
    That's a theory which is wildly popular for some reason that I fail to understand and one, at that, with which I'm absolutely fed up. However many times it may get proposed, the thing is, it's canonically wrong:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    There is some misunderstanding of the mechanics involved here.

    1.) If the Dark One succeeds at the ritual, he gains the ability to move the Gate. If he does this and moves the Gate to, say, Valhalla, then the Snarl pops out of the Gate and kills the gods on Valhalla. Then it destroys all of Valhalla until it's a big empty void-plane. And then...nothing. That's it. The Dark One does not have a way to put the Snarl back into the prison after he's unleashed it. The Snarl just lives on Valhalla now, or what's left of it.

    2.) The Gate connects the prison to another plane. When the Dark One moves it, it now connects the prison to a different plane. So after the Snarl is unleashed on Plane 1, then the Dark One moves the Gate to Plane 2, it now connects the prison to Plane 2—it does not connect Planes 1 and 2.

    3.) But that doesn't really matter because once the Snarl is free on any plane other than its prison, then literally any planar gateway could potentially allow it to change planes. The Dark One would cease to have any control over its location, and in fact it would be far more likely that some of the evil gods would start spamming big flashy portals to the Dark One's domain until the Snarl took the bait and went through.

    4.) Alternately, once any Northern god dies, the deadlock at the Godsmoot is broken and the vote resolves (votes from dead gods don't count). Even if the world was "saved" they would be free to immediately take a second vote to destroy the world—or even just to kill all goblins—depriving the Dark One of his followers and ultimately killing him over the long term.

    The Snarl is like a nuclear bomb. You can get a lot of leverage out of owning a nuclear bomb, because no one wants it dropped on them. But if everyone knows you only own one and then you use it on someone...then everyone left knows you don't have it anymore. Sucks for your one target, but it won't end well for you, either.

    That's why the Dark One's actual plan is to use the threat of moving the Gate to extract concessions from the other gods and deter preemptive strikes against his followers. Those concessions will be significantly less than, "All of you be my slaves forever," because at that point, the calculus would change and some of the gods might risk the bomb getting dropped on one of them to end the Dark One's threat to their friends and family.
    [Emphases mine.]

    So no, what you present as one of the only two possible outcomes of Team Evil seizing the Gate is not a possible outcome at all (I'd also argue that the other isn't as likely as you'd have it either, but that's beside the point). If that was "the real plan", it would achieve nothing: Big Purple would kill a couple gods, tops, and then (indirectly) himself and he knows that.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Oh, I think I know why the "TDO is going to kill everyone" is seemingly popular; because that means Redcloak is WrongTM.

    Note that this isn't necessarily about the... controversial positions about Redcloak's stance; as a villain and antagonist there is a fairly large expectation that he's going to be defeated both philosophically and physically. Plus, "actually has some well-meaning intentions but was used by a superior who doesn't" isn't an uncommon trope either, so without Rich's clarification it wouldn't be an unreasonable conclusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1249 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I think the Order's primary goal is to protect the gate at this point. Roy basically said at Girard's gate that he wouldn't destroy it if it was the last. I think the difference isn't in their goals, but methodology.
    The trick is to get Serini to believe that.
    Not so much for her abilities (although Sunny could be very useful), but because her knowledge of the dungeons could help with an ambush.
    Yes to both Sunny and her knowledge of terrain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermoot View Post
    Disagree. D&D did its absolute best to completely destroy the niche of the rogue/thief class when it advanced from 2e to 3e and beyond. The last thing needed is to make it so they have to cross class into a skill they don't need just to do one of their few remaining abilities of disarming traps. Unless you are into the "this game is all about the wizard and everyone else are just henchmen" mode of play that 3e and later propogated.
    The 5e rogue does OK.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    It's true that it a common trope within DnD adventures where the monsters leading up to the boss fight make the party stronger for the boss fight.
    Not just a trope, but an expectation of the genre. "Ding" you leveled up is a core piece of D&D's level based game system.
    This is exacerbated because Xykon so rarely gets experience ordinarily, but Serini has gathered up some super strong monsters and placed them in a well ordered shooting gallery for him. She's even arranged transport, so he doesn't have to take travel time moving between dungeons.
    I find this both humorous and Ironic at the same time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Well by that logic we cannot criticise any character in the comic for anything. Or in any media for that matter.
    I find it best not to criticize characters, for the most part. The characters can only do what the writer crafts them to do.
    My perspective, and I think a pretty common one, is that you can critique the decisions of fictional characters, despite there being an author guiding their choices.
    You can, but it's always well to remember that italicized part and consider: what purpose for the story does this choice make?
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Halfmoon View Post
    Redcloak does not intend for Xykon to blackmail the Gods. He intends to give the gate to the Dark One who can blackmail the gods or destroy them as he sees fit. We've known Redcloak has been planning to betray Xykon for a long time now. Unfortunately, Serini does not have that information.

    If Team Evil seizes the Gate, it won't end with Xykon ruling the world. It will end with the either the Gods destroying it, or the Snarl destroying the Gods. Because I don't think the Dark One truly cares about his people anymore. He just wants revenge.

    In summary, Serini is not playing with a full deck, and so she can't be fully blamed here.
    Fair.
    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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